In Bereishit 1:26, Hashem says (all text and translation from the Chabad site's Judaica Press version)

And God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness,

וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים נַעֲשֶׂה אָדָם בְּצַלְמֵנוּ כִּדְמוּתֵנוּ

But in the next pasuk, the text says that

וַיִּבְרָא אֱלֹהִים | אֶת הָאָדָם בְּצַלְמוֹ בְּצֶלֶם אֱלֹהִים

And God created man in His image; in the image of God He created him

So the initial statement was to create man in the tzelem (image) and d'mut (likeness). Rashi says that the former term points to the mold/shape and the latter to understanding and intellect. But when the actual creation is done, the term d'mut is missing. According to the Stone chumash, the Rambam connects "image" to "morality, reason and free will" but this ignores the loss of 2 separate terms, tzelem and d'mut.

Did something change between the idea of man and the creation?

  • See Nefesh Hachayim in the first part ofthe sefer. May be that you can found something.
    – kouty
    Sep 25, 2016 at 15:11

1 Answer 1


Rav Hirsch traslates it as being an aspect rather than a separate meaning.

1:26 And Hashem spake: Let Us make Adam (a representative) in a form worthy of Us as is commensurate with being in Our likeness ...

1:27 So Hashem created Man in a form worthy of Himself, in a form worthy of Hashem did He create him, male and female created He them.

As we see from this translation, the usage of כִּדְמוּתֵנוּ is an expansion of the usage of בְּצַלְמֵנוּ and therefore is not required in the next pasuk. The second pasuk states that Hashem created Adam if a worthy form which included the implications of דְמוּת

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