||God said, 'Let us make man with our image and likeness. Let him dominate the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the livestock animals, and all the earth - and every land animal that walks the earth.'
Vayomer Elohim na'aseh adam betsalmenu kidemutenu veyirdu bidegat hayam uve'of hashamayim uvabehemah uvechol-ha'arets uvechol-haremes haromes al-ha'arets.
||God [thus] created man with His image. In the image of God, He created him, male and female He created them.
Vayivra Elohim et-ha'adam betsalmo betselem Elohim bara oto zachar unekevah bara otam.
God was speaking to all the forces of creation that He had brought into existence (cf. Targum Yonathan; Ramban). Now that all the ingredients of creation had essentially been completed, all would participate in the creation of man, the crown of creation. Others interpret 'we' in the majestic sense, and translate the verse, 'I will make man in My image' (Emunoth veDeyoth 2:9; Ibn Ezra).
|with our image and likeness|
Man is thus a microcosm of all the forces of creation. A major part of the Kabbalah deals with explaining exactly how this is so (see Nefesh HaChaim 1:1). Moreover, of all creation, only man resembles God in having free will (Maimonides, Yad, Teshuvah 5:1). Others explain 'image' and 'likeness' here to refer to a sort of conceptual archetype, model, or blueprint that God had previously made for man (Rashi). This 'model' is seen as the primeval man' (Adam Kadmon).