6. It is this Spirit alone, who can rectify the deep disorders of our nature. (T. M. Herbert, M. Were we now to take away, I say, from the earth all that God added after the time here alluded to, then we should have this rude and unpolished, or rather shapeless chaos. For example, Moses used bara of the creation of man out of previously existing material ( Genesis 1:27), and he used asah of the whole creation as the primary creative activity of God ( Exodus 20:11). l. 1. c. 3. himself owns that this was the most ancient opinion concerning the origin of the universe, and observes, that it was not only the opinion of Thales, but of those that were the most remote from the then present generation in which he lived, and of those that first wrote on divine things; and it is frequent in Hesiod and Homer to make Oceanus, or the ocean, with Tethys, to be the parents of generation: and so the Scriptures represent the original earth as standing out of the water, and consisting of it, 2 Peter 3:5 and upon the surface of these waters, before they were drained off the earth, "the Spirit of God moved"; which is to be understood not of a wind, as Onkelos, Aben Ezra, and many Jewish writers, as well as Christians, interpret it; since the air, which the wind is a motion of, was not made until the second day. We should also take tohu wa bohu to mean either unformed or evil. there is the usual mark of a pause. the earth. The scene of chaos, in which heaven and earth, fire and water, were commingled together into one vast ocean of jarring elements, was not more replete with confusion than is the mind, when let loose unto itself, and freed from the soothing restraints, and the controlling and regulating impulses, of that Spirit which moved upon the face of the waters. Whitelaw assures us that the term for "moved" actually means "brooded" as in the older versions; and it means "to be tremulous with love. Commentary on Genesis 2:18-25 (Read Genesis 2:18-25) Power over the creatures was given to man, and as a proof of this he named them all. The remainder of the universe is not in mind. 14. fol. We should also take Genesis 1:3 the same as in view2. Moses uses this term ( Deuteronomy 32:10) to describe the desert wasteland where Israel wandered for forty years. He saw everything that He had made answering the plan which His eternal wisdom had conceived; and, "Behold it was very good" [ Genesis 1:31 ]. 2. And the Spirit of God— רוח ruach, i.e.. In the Old Testament it is only used in connection with ‘tohu’ (three times). This word, from a root signifying confusion or disturbance, is poetically applied to the ocean, as in Psalms 42:7, from the restless motion of its waves, but is used here to describe the chaos as a surging mass of shapeless matter. A. Whereas Genesis 1:1 explains the creation of the universe, Genesis 1:2 pictures its pre-creation condition. The words appear in the same form again in Jeremiah 4:23. Williams. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. This globe, at some undescribed period, having been convulsed and broken up, was a dark and watery waste for ages perhaps, till out of this chaotic state, the present fabric of the world was made to arise. [Note: Without Form and Void, 1970.]. Be fruitful, &c.--The human race in every country and age has been the offspring of the first pair. Genesis 1:20-23 . Yet the mind of man is at work, though invisible, animating his body; and it is truer to speak of his mind as planning the house he builds, and the steam engine he sets to work, than to say that the materials came together into their right places, though that is all that we see. (1) A simple factual statement regarding God’s work as Creator. Such is the intimation that we gather from the text, when it declares that “the spirit of God was brooding upon the face of the waters.” It means something more than the ordinary power put forth by the Great Being for the natural sustenance and development of the universe which he has called into existence. That same breath of God which moved over the face of those ancient fluids, is moving today over the soul of humanity. Science mentions only what appeared; but Genesis tells the deeper truth, that the informing mind accomplished all--Genesis, which was written centuries before science was born. In addition to this, we cannot see how a universe of moral beings can be governed on any other principle; while, on the other hand, the principle itself is perfectly compatible with the administration of the whole according to a predetermined plan, and does not involve any vacillation of purpose on the part of the Great Designer. . We observe, also, that this creative power is put forth on the face of the waters, and is therefore confined to the land mentioned in the previous part of the verse and its superincumbent atmosphere. The latter two may be designated in common the imperfect state. After this preface, the narrative is confined to the earth. Moreover, in many Hebrew MSS. To fill our mouths with praises to Him that made us what we are, and might have continued, without His free and infinite mercy. The Genesis 1 & 2 Controversy “Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. “Be,” as a change of state, “become.” This is applied to what had a previous existence, but undergoes some change in its properties or relations; as מלח גציב ותהי vatehı̂y netsı̂yb melach “and she became” a pillar of salt Genesis 19:26. There was no atmosphere. II. "and") is a conjunction that indicates consecutive occurrences. [Note: Chalmers, Keil and Delitzsch, Pember, Scofield, Custance, et al, favored this interpretation. “The face of the waters.” As light was positive and darkness was absence of light, so ‘land’ was positive and ‘waters’ or ‘deeps’ represented absence of land, in other words here there was the absence of the means of creaturely existence and absence of shape and form. It is true of physical life. II. The Spirit of God must bring order and development (1) to the spiritual world, (2) to the individual soul. Figure of speech Paronomasia. In Matthew 19:4-5, Jesus refered to events in Genesis 1 and to events in Genesis 2 as one harmonious account. Where we have an account of the first matter, and the first Mover1. [Note: Young, et al. Either way the idea is of God hovering over earth ready for action. As the new creation is only a restoration of this image, the history of the one throws light on the other; and we are informed that it is renewed after the image of God in knowledge, righteousness, and true holiness ( Colossians 3:10 , Ephesians 4:24 ). The first recorded step in the process of fashioning the earth into the form in which it now appears was God"s remarkable utterance, "Let there be light" [ Genesis 1:3]." Genesis 1:2 The Holy Spirit is the power of God—not a personage, entity, consciousness, or part of the Godhead or a trinity. The Spirit of God brought order and development to the material world. God created it good. A better translation of the waw would be "now." The writer could not have made the connection any closer (there are no verse divisions in the original) - ‘ha aretz we ha aretz’ - ‘---the heavens and the earth, and the earth was ---’. in wisdom hast thou made them all" [ Psalms 104:24 ]. The Targums are expanded translations of the Old Testament made during the Babylonian captivity in the Aramaic language.]. Jeremiah 4:23-27; Isaiah 24:1; Isaiah 45:18 clearly indicate that the earth had undergone a cataclysmic change as the result of divine judgment. Some conservative scholars believe that, though the Spirit was really the third person of the Trinity, people living during the Old Testament period did not associate the Spirit with God Himself. It probably refers to what covered the earth, but it also suggests chaos. See Psalms 104:6 2 Peter 3:5. How many transformations it may have undergone, and what purpose it may have heretofore served, are questions that did not essentially concern the moral well-being of man, and are therefore to be asked of some other interpreter of nature than the written word. Was is not the copula, but the substantive verb existed, and expresses duration of time. Mars, Venus, Mercury, etc. . It is expressive of omnipotent power; and by its use here in the plural form, is obscurely taught at the opening of the Bible, a doctrine clearly revealed in other parts of it, namely, that though God is one, there is a plurality of persons in the Godhead--Father, Son, and Spirit, who were engaged in the creative work ( Proverbs 8:27 , John 1:3 John 1:10 , Ephesians 3:9 , Hebrews 1:2 , Job 26:13 ). ; idem, Genesis; Ross; Sailhamer, "Genesis;" et al. The work of the Spirit in the REGENERATE man. This is in italic type, because no verb "to be" in Hebrew. Hence, Exodus 3:1, kept = became keeper, quit = become men, &c. See App-7. Not even the seeds of any useful herbs. 1. In such a condition all waters would have been driven into the earth's atmosphere. The air was thus "in the midst of the waters," that is, separated them; and this being the apparent use of it, is the only one mentioned, although the atmosphere serves other uses, as a medium of life and light. Observe, here is no broad statement that darkness prevailed through the entire universe of God; nor is the deep or the waters to be identified with the entire surface of the globe. For each man is a microcosm, a miniature world of his own. Genesis 1:2 probably describes what we now call the earth before God created it. It has a surface, and over that surface God waits and is about to act. The last stage in the progress of creation being now reached--God said, Let us make man--words which show the peculiar importance of the work to be done, the formation of a creature, who was to be God's representative, clothed with authority and rule as visible head and monarch of the world. The soul life of many lacks architecture. The two primary words for "create" (bara and asah used respectively in Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:25) refer to two different kinds of creativity. We cannot see the Intelligence, the Mind which directs the works of nature; but it is equally true that we cannot see them in the works of man. The verb היה hāyâh “be” has here, we conceive, the meaning “become;” and the import of the sentence is this: “And the land had become waste and void.” This affords the presumption that the part at least of the surface of our globe which fell within the cognizance of primeval man, and first received the name of land, may not have been always a scene of desolation or a sea of turbid waters, but may have met with some catastrophe by which its order and fruitfulness had been marred or prevented. To the Israelite the deep itself was a mystery. God--the name of the Supreme Being, signifying in Hebrew, "Strong," "Mighty." without form = waste. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. Moses pictured the Spirit as a wind-the words are identical in Hebrew-moving over the unorganized creation. He commanded and all things stood fast" [ Psalms 33:9 ]. We should interpret the chaos (tohu wa bohu) as an evil condition (not necessarily so). "And the earth was without form and void." When, therefore, He fixed the foundation of the earth, and formed the world, He tells Job that then “the morning stars sung together, and all the sons of god shouted for joy”: they sung of the mighty power and glory of God: they shouted for joy at the goodness and wisdom of their everlasting Father, here displayed so gloriously. What evidences are these of volcanic agency, while other elevations, due possibly to the same mighty power, astound him who steadily contemplates them, by their rectilinear extent. It forms a part of the physical derangement which had taken place on this part at least of the surface of our globe. A purpose to create the woman, and the reason thereof, Genesis 2:18. In our image, after our likeness--This was a peculiar distinction, the value attached to which appears in the words being twice mentioned. The children of God were “at one time darkness, but now are light in the Lord; “ “they walk as children of light” (Ephesians 5:8); they are “called out of darkness into marvellous light” (1 Peter 2:9); they are “delivered from the power of darkness” (Colossians 1:13); they “cast off the works of darkness, and walk honestly as in the day” (Romans 13:12-13). l. 2. c. 10. p. 33. relates, supposed the principle of the universe to be a dark and windy air, or the blast of a dark air, and a turbid chaos surrounded with darkness, as follows. He Who is light is ready to act on darkness. If so it may have been some white cloud like the Shechinah. The words used in the first verse needed an explanation, which the rest of the chapter at once supplies. . The Bible speaks of the Spirit as the power or mind of … Genesis 1:2 is a reference to the form He gave it thereafter. He will make the soul a fit world for the habitation of all that is heavenly. 3. Moved.âHeb., fluttered lovingly. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters: "And darkness was upon the face of the deep ...", "And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters ...", and darkness was upon the face of the deep, and the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters, "earth" refers to the whole planet, though the same English word also refers to the earth and the heavens (when combined with "heaven,", ". l. 1. p. 7. , whose opinion he is supposed to give, thought the system of the universe had but one form; the heaven and earth, and the nature of them, being mixed and blended together, until by degrees they separated and obtained the form they now have: and the Phoenicians, as SanchoniathoF16Apud Euseb. The first recorded step in the process of fashioning the earth into the form in which it now appears was God"s remarkable utterance, "Let there be light" [, [Note: Brevard S. Childs, Myth and Reality in the Old Testament, p30. And the Spirit of God moved on the face of the waters.’. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. Into this gap he places a pre-Adamic age, about which the scriptures say nothing. was. ), I. EMPTINESS OF GOOD. 4. ), and was written to counter Babylonian mythology and to give captive Israel hope in a time of despair. 1. It is not now a region of land and water, but a chaotic mass of turbid waters, floating over, it may be, and partly laden with, the ruins of a past order of things; at all events not at present possessing the order of vegetable and animal life. and what hast thou, O man, that thou didst not receive? Explanation: Genesis 1:1 states the creation of the universe as we know it, and it is a general statement of some kind. . (G. and versions. Cicero do Natura Deorum, l. 1. the philosopher makes water to be the beginning of all things, as do the Indian BrahmansF18Strabo. 3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. "And darkness was upon the face of the deep ..." This is a reference to the state of the earth when it was waste and void. "waste and void," perhaps another hendiadys) describes an evil condition (cf. 3. and fol. 1. calls it, a chaos and an indigested mass of matter; and HesiodF12 ητοι μεν προτιστα χαος &c. Hesiodi Theogonia. We should be sure we understand both Nature and Scripture before we pronounce certainly on their agreement or disagreement, and it can hardly be said that either is quite understood. The signs of animal life appeared in the waters and in the air. In fact, Genesis is a very carefulaccount, which teaches the main principles in … It is further to be noted that the darkness is described to be on the face of the deep. 59, 109, 113). And in what did this image of God consist? 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. It says, “Change succeeded to change, in strict accordance with physical law, very slowly but surely, with no sudden transitions, till, step by step, the one condition passed into the other.” Those regular changes were all that appeared; and they are all which appear now, though the same changes are still going on. ], "We would affirm that the first verse serves as a broad comprehensive statement of the fact of creation. 6. Many modern English translations so render it. [Note: See Leon J. Two points must here be noticed: the first, that the motion was not self-originated, but was external to the chaos; the second, that it was a gentle and loving energy, which tenderly and gradually, with fostering care, called forth the latent possibilities of a nascent world. .," pp80-81. Thomas Chalmers promoted it in1814. And God is pictured as by His Spirit waiting apart from it to act on it from the outside. 4. and 6. The chaos (tohu wa bohu, "waste and void," perhaps another hendiadys) describes an evil condition (cf. 2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. 5. Both these lights may be said to be "made" on the fourth day--not created, indeed, for it is a different word that is here used, but constituted, appointed to the important and necessary office of serving as luminaries to the world, and regulating by their motions and their influence the progress and divisions of time. ], [Note: Modern Science and the Genesis Record, 1941. From these terms it is probable that the ancient Syrians and Egyptians borrowed their gods, Theuth and Bau, and the Greeks their Chaos. makes a chaos first to exist, and then the wide extended earth, and so OrpheusF13Orphei Argonautica, ver. προτογον, ver. [Note: For a good explanation of the gap theory, as well as the atheistic evolution, theistic evolution, progressive creation, and fiat creation views, see James M. Boice, Genesis, 1:37-68. [Note: Chalmers, Keil and Delitzsch, Pember, Scofield, Custance, et al, favored this interpretation.]. The chaos was the condition that characterized the earth. Wight. Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible, California - Do Not Sell My Personal Information. God was not a part of the stuff of creation. (c) Darkness covered the deep waters, for the waters covered everything. THE CREATION OF HEAVEN AND EARTH. Others, a magnetic attraction, by which all things were caused to gravitate to a common center. “Be,” as a state. This power was--. And darkness was upon the face of the deep-God did not create this darkness, (as he is said to create the darkness of affliction, Isaiah 45:7.) The last clause introduces a new and unexpected clement into scene of desolation. Proud member
But will needs, cannot be without, wisdom to plan and power to execute what is to be willed. Ah, this is the blessed energy by which the chaos of our moral nature is being organized into order and beauty. In this condition we are utterly unfit for the service of God here, and the presence of God hereafter--unfit for communion with God by prayer and devout meditation--unfit for the suitable and acceptable discharge of any one of the duties of God’s worship--unfit for life--unfit for death. This sentence, therefore, does not necessarily describe the state of the land when first created, but merely intimates a change that may have taken place since it was called into existence. While He moved upon the face of the waters, the command went forth, and they were at once seen to teem with animated existence. . We do not know who wrote the Book of Genesis. I. God had created the earth covered in water and now He began His work upon it. It is not necessary to postulate billions of years between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2 in order to help God find the time to do all that He did for our earth. The present verse is therefore to be regarded as a statement of the needs that have to be supplied in order to render the land a region of beauty and life. Let me restate these last two views. This is usually the case, but not always (cf. Because the rock layers display death on a grand scale, they could not have existed before the fall of Adam. Darkness surrounds it, no beauty appears, God is forgotten; the jarring elements of corrupt nature breed wild uproar; and universal desolation seems diffused around. Brooding, incubating as God’s Holy Dove over the chaos of humanity, He is quickening its latent forces, arranging its elements, assorting its capacities, organizing its functions, apportioning its gifts, perfecting its potentialities: in short, completing, fulfilling consummating man in the sphere of Jesus Christ. From what we see of heaven and earth, we learn the power of the great Creator. Harry Rimmer supported it [Note: Modern Science and the Genesis Record, 1941.] Your little one may grow into a Shakespeare; but at present, and intellectually surveyed--forgive me, fond mother, for saying it--your little one is scarcely more than a little animal. waw, "and") is a conjunction that indicates consecutive occurrences. These two words are not so distinct. 1. This is therefore a connection of objects in space, and not of events in time. To picture human society as it is--I mean especially its evils--would be more, not only than imagery could realize, but more than any feeling heart could bear. Genesis 1:1, 2 . [Note: Bruce K. Waltke, An Old Testament Theology, p181.]. And each man, compared with what is conceivable concerning him, is a chaos. ארץ 'erets means not only “earth,” but “country, land,” a portion of the earth‘s surface defined by natural, national, or civil boundaries; as, “the land of” Egypt, “thy land” Exodus 23:9-10. We should be sure we understand both Nature and Scripture before we pronounce certainly on their agreement or disagreement, and it can hardly be said that either is quite understood. (J. Davies, B. D.). . Motion, which is the essential element in change, originates with God"s dynamic presence.". "Deep" (tahom) describes the world. Genesis 1:2, ESV: "The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep.And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters." Of such a condition of the earth, a definite idea may be formed by an examination of the moon’s surface--a very chaos of explosive action. .," p77. fowl--means every flying thing: The word rendered "whales," includes also sharks, crocodiles, &c.; so that from the countless shoals of small fish to the great sea monsters, from the tiny insect to the king of birds, the waters and the air were suddenly made to swarm with creatures formed to live and sport in their respective elements. “In the beginning” (v. 1). Thus a large part of the earth was left "dry land," and thus were formed oceans, seas, lakes, and rivers which, though each having its own bed, or channel, are all connected with the sea ( Job 38:10 , Ecclesiastes 1:7 ). What power in the word of God! This is a legitimate translation, but "became" is not always the best translation (cf. (J. i. It is a marvellous fact that Genesis does contain the germ of well-nigh every evangelical truth, but it contains it in a suggestive and not a completed form. l. 2. c. 10. p. 33. , of the form of an egg; and in the rites of Bacchus they worshipped an egg, as being an image of the world, as MacrobiusF4Saturnal. 1. upon the face of the waters, to impregnate them, as an hen upon eggs to hatch them, so he to separate the parts which were mixed together, and give them a quickening virtue to produce living creatures in them. Moses may have used these terms to describe, in terms that we can begin to understand (i.e, figurative terms), a condition that is entirely foreign and incomprehensible to us. How short and wretched must have been the existence of creatures, if God had doomed any to dwell in such a state!--how utterly impossible would it have been for them to fix a comfortable habitation, or to remedy one even of the existing evils! Genesis 2:2 Genesis 2:2And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. (App-7). The Bible should be read--the ordinances of religion should be attended--the duties of prayer, and devout meditation and reflection, should be solemnly and uninterruptedly discharged; but other means, without the accompanying and moving energies of the Spirit, will be found ineffectual. Whether the sun was created at the same time with, or long before, the earth, the dense accumulation of fogs and vapors which enveloped the chaos had covered the globe with a settled gloom. What its previous condition was, or what interval of time elapsed, between the absolute creation and the present state of things, is not revealed. 12. , and others; and this is agreeably to the notion of various nations. This is true of the world of soul. And now let us attend to THE MORAL MEANING OF THE STORY. View3above: Before God created the earth there was nothing where it now exists, and Genesis 1:2 describes that nothingness. : and perhaps from hence is the mundane egg, or egg of OrpheusF1Hymn. The effect is described in the name "day," which in Hebrew signifies "warmth," "heat"; while the name "night" signifies a "rolling up," as night wraps all things in a shady mantle. The immediate agency of the Spirit, by working on the dead and discordant elements, combined, arranged, and ripened them into a state adapted for being the scene of a new creation. The soul of man by sin, is become a heap of confusion: as dead to God, and incapable of producing any fruits of holiness, as the unformed chaos to produce trees or flowers. Without form, and void.âLiterally, tohu and bohu, which words are both substantives, and signify wasteness and emptiness. Wood, The Holy Spirit in the Old Testament, and idem, The Prophets of Israel, pp85-87.]. The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. “Tohu” is used in both Hebrew and Arabic to indicate a waste place. 1, 2. : or the firstborn or first laid egg, out of which all things were formed; and which he borrowed from the Egyptians and Phoenicians, and they perhaps from the Jews, and which was reckoned by them a resemblance of the world. The chaos was a hideous mixture of all discordant materials--earth and water; mud and rock; vegetable and mineral; mire, slime, lees, scum, clay, marl, crag, and pool. 16. two great lights--In consequence of the day being reckoned as commencing at sunset--the moon, which would be seen first in the horizon, would appear "a great light," compared with the little twinkling stars; while its pale benign radiance would be eclipsed by the dazzling splendor of the sun; when his resplendent orb rose in the morning and gradually attained its meridian blaze of glory, it would appear "the greater light" that ruled the day. However there are several indications in the Old Testament that informed Israelites identified the Spirit as God (cf. The sentence is, as heretofore, coupled to preceding one by the noun or subject. It had no form or shape, was ever changing and temporary, and was suitable as a description of ultimate formlessness and barrenness. It was, as OvidF11"Quem dixere chaos, rudis indigestaque moles", Ovid Metamorph. However, we have the direct eyewitness report of God himself that he made everything in six days. 7. l. 234, 235. . 1. Every tree given him but that of knowledge, Genesis 2:16. [Note: See Thomas J. Finley, "Dimensions of the Hebrew Word for "Create" (bara)," Bibliotheca Sacra148:592 (October-December1991):409-23.]. This is true in some cases, but not always (cf. ], [Note: Systematic Theology, 1947-48, 6:67.]. he calls the global ocean (the "deep") in Genesis 1:2 a "desert." What account of the transition does science give? When, then, creation is ascribed to the wind (Job 26:13; Psalms 104:30), we justly see, not the mere instrumental force employed, but rather that Divine operative energy which resides especially in the Third Person of the Holy Trinity. Genesis 2:1 Genesis 2:1Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. Verse two describes the earth as it came from the hands of the Creator and as it existed at the time when God commanded the light to shine forth. [Note: For a good explanation of the gap theory, as well as the atheistic evolution, theistic evolution, progressive creation, and fiat creation views, see James M. Boice. what a resemblance there is between the empty void of nature, before the lights of heaven were introduced into the creation, and that of the human soul before the light of grace hath passed upon it. You have seen, then, an exact representation of the fallen state of man, and what the Word and Spirit of God, and these only, can do for him. The complex, systematic order that characterized it later could never have evolved from chaos. THE SPIRIT OF GOD MUST BRING ORDER AND DEVELOPMENT TO THE SPIRITUAL WORLD. and darkness was upon the face of the deep: the whole fluid mass of earth and water mixed together. The Holy Spirit, the third person in the Trinity; or, as some of the ancient Jews called him, the Spirit of the Messiah, who was the first mover in this creative operation: which explains the Evangelist St. John, who, in the beginning of his Gospel, says, that all things were made by the eternal ΛΟΓΟΣ, or Word of God, (the same with the νους , or mind of the ancient philosophers,) whose Almighty Spirit agitated the vast confused mass of matter, and put it into form. It is impersonal. “It is our part to preach Christ, but it is the Spirit’s office to convince “of sin, righteousness, and judgment.” The Spirit Himself is the foundation of all spirituality.