Genesis 1:2
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
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.

King James Bible
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.

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.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And the earth was void and empty, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the spirit of God moved over the waters.

English Revised 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.

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.

Genesis 1:2 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

The First Day. - Though treating of the creation of the heaven and the earth, the writer, both here and in what follows, describes with minuteness the original condition and progressive formation of the earth alone, and says nothing more respecting the heaven than is actually requisite in order to show its connection with the earth. He is writing for inhabitants of the earth, and for religious ends; not to gratify curiosity, but to strengthen faith in God, the Creator of the universe. What is said in Genesis 1:2 of the chaotic condition of the earth, is equally applicable to the heaven, "for the heaven proceeds from the same chaos as the earth."

"And the earth was (not became) waste and void." The alliterative nouns tohu vabohu, the etymology of which is lost, signify waste and empty (barren), but not laying waste and desolating. Whenever they are used together in other places (Isaiah 34:11; Jeremiah 4:23), they are taken from this passage; but tohu alone is frequently employed as synonymous with איך, non-existence, and הבל, nothingness (Isaiah 40:17, Isaiah 40:23; Isaiah 49:4). The coming earth was at first waste and desolate, a formless, lifeless mass, rudis indigestaque moles, ὕληἄμορφος (Wis. 11:17) or χάος.

"And darkness was upon the face of the deep." תּהום, from הוּם, to roar, to rage, denotes the raging waters, the roaring waves (Psalm 42:7) or flood (Exodus 15:5; Deuteronomy 8:7); and hence the depths of the sea (Job 28:14; Job 38:16), and even the abyss of the earth (Psalm 71:20). As an old traditional word, it is construed like a proper name without an article (Ewald, Gramm.). The chaotic mass in which the earth and the firmament were still undistinguished, unformed, and as it were unborn, was a heaving deep, an abyss of waters (ἄβυσσος, lxx), and this deep was wrapped in darkness. But it was in process of formation, for the Spirit of God moved upon the waters, רוּח (breath) denotes wind and spirit, like πνεῦνα from πνέω. Ruach Elohim is not a breath of wind caused by God (Theodoret, etc.), for the verb does not suit this meaning, but the creative Spirit of God, the principle of all life (Psalm 33:6; Psalm 104:30), which worked upon the formless, lifeless mass, separating, quickening, and preparing the living forms, which were called into being by the creative words that followed. רחף in the Piel is applied to the hovering and brooding of a bird over its young, to warm them, and develop their vital powers (Deuteronomy 32:11). In such a way as this the Spirit of God moved upon the deep, which had received at its creation the germs of all life, to fill them with vital energy by His breath of life. The three statements in our verse are parallel; the substantive and participial construction of the second and third clauses rests upon the והיחה of the first. All three describe the condition of the earth immediately after the creation of the universe. This suffices to prove that the theosophic speculation of those who "make a gap between the first two verses, and fill it with a wild horde of evil spirits and their demoniacal works, is an arbitrary interpolation" (Ziegler).

Genesis 1:2 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

without.

Job 26:7 He stretches out the north over the empty place, and hangs the earth on nothing.

Isaiah 45:18 For thus said the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he has established it...

Jeremiah 4:23 I beheld the earth, and, see, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light.

Nahum 2:10 She is empty, and void, and waste: and the heart melts, and the knees smite together, and much pain is in all loins...

Spirit.

Job 26:14 See, these are parts of his ways: but how little a portion is heard of him? but the thunder of his power who can understand?

Psalm 33:6 By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.

Psalm 104:30 You send forth your spirit, they are created: and you renew the face of the earth.

Isaiah 40:12-14 Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the span...

Cross References
2 Corinthians 4:6
For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Deuteronomy 32:11
Like an eagle that stirs up its nest, that flutters over its young, spreading out its wings, catching them, bearing them on its pinions,

Job 38:9
when I made clouds its garment and thick darkness its swaddling band,

Psalm 104:6
You covered it with the deep as with a garment; the waters stood above the mountains.

Psalm 104:30
When you send forth your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the ground.

Psalm 136:6
to him who spread out the earth above the waters, for his steadfast love endures forever;

Psalm 148:7
Praise the LORD from the earth, you great sea creatures and all deeps,

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ESV Text Edition 2011: The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
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