Genesis 1:2  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Genesis 1:2 is the second verse of the first chapter in the Book of Genesis. It is a part of the Torah portion Bereshit (Genesis 1:1-6:8).

Contents

Analysis

Formless and void

Genesis 1:2 presents an initial condition of creation - namely, that it is formless and void. This serves to introduce the rest of the chapter, which describes a process of forming and filling. That is, on the first three days the heavens, the sky and the land is formed, and they are filled on days four to six by luminaries, birds and fish, and animals and man respectively.

This correspondence is emphasised in the framework interpretation of the length of days in Genesis 1. Craig Rusbult notes

In a framework view, the six days describe actual historical events, arranged topically instead of chronologically. The framework is based on two problems in Genesis 1:2, with the earth being "formless and empty." The two solutions are to produce form (by separations in Days 1-3) and fill these forms (in Days 4-6) to connect related aspects of creation history in Days 1-and-4, 2-and-5, 3-and-6.

Darkness on the deep

William Dumbrell notes that that the reference to the "deep" in this verse "alludes to the detail of the ancient Near Eastern cosmologies" in which "a general threat to order comes from the unruly and chaotic sea, which is finally tamed by a warrior god." Dumbrell goes on to suggest that Genesis 1:2 "reflects something of the chaos/order struggle characteristic of ancient cosmologies".

The Spirit of God

This verse refers to the "Spirit of God" hovering over the waters. The Hebrew phrase Template:Transl can be translated in this way, or else as a "great wind". Victor Hamilton decides, somewhat tentatively, for "spirit of God", but dismisses any suggestion that this can be identified with the Holy Spirit of Christian theology.

Text

Veha'arets hayetah tohu vavohu vechoshech al-peney tehom veruach Elohim merachefet al-peney hamayim.

Translation Text
American Standard Version "And the earth was waste and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep: and the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters."
Bible in Basic English "And the earth was waste and without form; and it was dark on the face of the deep: and the Spirit of God was moving on the face of the waters."
Darby Bible "And the earth was waste and empty, and darkness was on the face of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters."
God's Word "The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep water. The Spirit of God was hovering over the water."
Holman Christian Standard Bible "Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness covered the surface of the watery depths, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters."
Jewish Publication Society (3rd ed.) "The Earth being unformed and void, with darkness over the surface of the deep and a wind from God sweeping over the water—
King James Version "And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters."
The Message "Earth was a soup of nothingness, a bottomless emptiness, an inky blackness. God's Spirit brooded like a bird above the watery abyss."
New King James Version "The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters."
Webster's Bible Translation "And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep: and the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters."
World English Bible "Now the earth was formless and empty. Darkness was on the surface of the deep. God's Spirit was hovering over the surface of the waters."
Young's Literal Translation "The earth hath existed waste and void, and darkness is on the face of the deep, and the Spirit of God fluttering on the face of the waters,"

See also

Template:Portal

Further reading

  • Jewish Publication Society. The Torah: The Five Books of Moses (3rd ed). Philadelphia: 1999.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Genesis 1:2" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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