In Genesis 1:26, we read: And G-d said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. They shall rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the cattle, the whole earth, and all the creeping things that creep on earth.” In Genesis 1:27, we read: And G-d created man in His image, in the image of G-d He created him; male and female He created them.

It is well known that G-d was consulting His court of angels. However, it seems that verse 26 say, "Let us make man in My image, after my likeness." As it stands, the implication seems to be that the angels are made in the image of G-d. Is this a fair assessment and is it a true statement to say that angels were created in the image of G-d?

  • Please add : what type of מלאכים‎ Malakim helped in creating HaAdam? Aug 4, 2021 at 15:44
  • What do you mean by form and likeness? From chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/692875/jewish/…: "There is some debate among the great Jewish philosophers whether the angels that the Torah describes as appearing actually assumed a visible physical form,[Ramban] or they appeared in the course of a spiritual vision or prophecy—in which the angels appeared as physical beings. [Rambam] According to all approaches, however, seeing an angel requires extra-sensory perception, as the bodies of the angels are not comprised of all the basic elements of a physical being."
    – rosends
    Aug 4, 2021 at 17:09
  • Yes, and no. It depends.
    – Turk Hill
    Aug 4, 2021 at 17:36
  • In Judaism, humans, that is, good people can be angels. So yes. However, usually, we use the word angel we are referring to natural laws, which are not intelligent but forces. So then the answer is no. It depends on who you ask and in what context.
    – Turk Hill
    Aug 4, 2021 at 17:43

2 Answers 2


The simple meaning of the former verse is that it is the royal "we", such that there is no conflict with the following verse. For homiletic purposes, to teach a moral lesson of consulting others, that verse was taken midrashically to mean "us" and "our" including the angels.

In your question, you are trying to then make a very logical deduction, and equation, that therefore angels were created in God's image. Perhaps. This might have been within the intent of the midrashist, but perhaps not.

Personally, given that I think (based on other verses) that "tzelem elokim" means freedom of choice, knowledge of good and evil, and that perek 2 and 3 are zooming in, explaining how humanity was created male and female with choice -- I would not make that logical deduction. Angels lack freedom of choice.

  • If the divine image is knowledge of good and evil one wonders why the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil had any effect on the humans who ate it.
    – user19234
    Jul 7, 2022 at 14:09

Although there seem to be many different explanations on this passuk here is one that seems to address this question:

Rashi says (translation - Sefaria)

כדמותנו. לְהָבִין וּלְהַשְׂכִּיל:

כדמתנו AFTER OUR LIKENESS — with the power to comprehend and to discern.

The Sifsei Chachamim addresses why Rashi chose to explain it this way;

להבין ולהשכיל. דק"ל והא לאדם יש גוף ולמלאכים אין להם גוף:

To understand and to be intellectually creative. Rashi is answering the question: [How is man in the likeness of angels, when] man has a body and the angels do not?

  • That is true, but it is not the same as tzelem Elokim, for the reasons @josh waxman said.
    – N.T.
    Aug 5, 2021 at 0:04
  • It's not the same, but he understands the passuk is saying that a person is in the likeness and form of an angel, and explaining how it is so.
    – Chatzkel
    Aug 5, 2021 at 0:18
  • But that wasn't the question.
    – N.T.
    Aug 5, 2021 at 2:20
  • The question was assuming that angels are in the image of G-D since its says like "us" . All I'm saying is that Rashi explains the "likeness" in the power of comprehension because of this very problem, namely, if both man and angel are in the image of G-D then they are similar in form, which they're not. Therefore it must mean something else and angels and man are not similar in their image of G-D
    – Chatzkel
    Aug 5, 2021 at 2:54

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