Genesis 1.26-27 (NRSV) reads:
“Then God said, ‘Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.’ So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”
When God proposes here in the plural to create man in his image, with whom is he talking? And with whom is God discussing when he says in later Genesis 3.22 (NRSV),”Then the Lord God said, ‘See, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever’”?
As biblical scholars such as Marc Brettler, Michael Coogan, and John Day have persuasively argued, this is yet another reference to the divine council in the Hebrew Bible. As Harvard’s Jon Levenson states:
“It is true—and quite significant–that the God of Israel has no myth of origin. Not a trace of theogony can be found in the Hebrew bible. God has no nativity. But there do seem to be other divine beings in Genesis 1, to whom God proposes the creation of humanity, male and female together: “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness” (v. 26). When were these other divine beings created? They too seem to have been primordial. Whether their existence should be interpreted as a qualification upon God’s mastery in Genesis is impossible to determine. Because they do not dissent from his proposal to create humanity in his and their image, we cannot say whether God’s authority, like Marduk’s, involved some element of collegiality. From other biblical accounts of the divine assembly in session, it would appear that these “sons of God/gods” played an active roles and made fresh proposals to God, who nonetheless retained the final say.”
A typical traditional interpretation of these passages is that God is using the “royal we.” However, this is quite unlikely, as such usage is seemingly unattested with verbs elsewhere in the Hebrew Bible; moreover, the plural style here fits perfectly with other explicit references to the divine council in session, such as Isaiah 6, Job 1-2, and 1 Kings 22.19-23. For instance, 1 Kings 22.19-20a (NRSV) states, “Then Micaiah said, ‘Therefore hear the word of the Lord: I saw the Lord sitting on his throne, with all the host of heaven standing beside him to the right and to the left of him. And the Lord said, “Who will entice Ahab, so that he may go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?”. Additionally, other biblical texts explicitly mention the divine council’s presence during the creation of the earth. For example, Job 38.4-7 (NRSV) declares:
“‘Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
Tell me, if you have understanding.
Who determined its measurements—surely you know!
Or who stretched the line upon it?
On what were its bases sunk,
or who laid its cornerstone
when the morning stars sang together
and all the sons of God shouted for joy?”
Thus, it should be noted that the divine council’s presence during the creation narrative of Genesis 1.1-2.4a additionally strengthens the argument that creation ex nihilo is not being described in Genesis 1, since the existence of the deities who comprise the council, like that of the God of Israel himself, precedes any act of creation in the narrative.
 Jon D. Levenson, Creation and the Persistence of Evil: The Jewish Drama of Divine Omnipotence (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1998), 5.
 Marc Zvi Brettler, How to Read the Jewish Bible (New York, New York: Oxford University Press, 2007), 42-43.