“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” (Genesis 1:27)
On Days Five and Six, God created living things. First were the water and air creatures throughout the planet. On Day Six, He created the “cattle,” “beasts of the earth,” and “creeping things” that would live on the dry land. They were very different from the air and water creatures but shared the “life” that was so different from plants, which were designed as food.
Then, God paused for a very specific purpose. He wanted to create a being that would bear His image and be in His likeness. You may recall that God took some of the dirt that was created on Day One and “sculpted” a body and breathed into this unique body (God made only one) the “breath of life.”
These special biblical terms—image, a representative form of another form, and likeness, a copy (stronger word)—are only used of humans. While that may not seem that significant, there are a lot of Bible passages that speak of animals. None of them ever speak of any animal having the image or likeness of God.
The shape and capabilities of man are unique. When we read that God formed the body of Adam from the dirt of the ground and later made the body of Eve (Genesis 2:7, 21-22), we are being told that these two living creatures were unique among all of the rest of creation. “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2). HMM III
Adapted from Unlocking the Mysteries of Genesis by Dr. Henry Morris III.