Genesis 1:2
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
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.

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.

Darby Bible Translation
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.

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,

Genesis 1:2 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

- II. The Land

היה hāyah, "be." It is to be noted, however, that the word has three meanings, two of which now scarcely belong to our English "be."

1. "Be, as an event, start into being, begin to be, come to pass." This may be understood of a thing beginning to be, אור יהי yehiy 'ôr, "be light" Genesis 1:3; or of an event taking place, ימים מקץ ויהי vayehı̂y mı̂qēts yāmı̂ym, "and it came to pass from the end of days."

2. "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.

3. "Be," as a state. This is the ultimate meaning to which the verb tends in all languages. In all its meanings, especially in the first and second, the Hebrew speaker presumes an onlooker, to whom the object in question appears coming into being, becoming or being, as the case may be. Hence, it means to be manifestly, so that eye-witnesses may observe the signs of existence.

ובהוּ תהוּ tohû vābohû, "a waste and a void." The two terms denote kindred ideas, and their combination marks emphasis. Besides the present passage בהוּ bohû occurs in only two others Isaiah 34:11; Jeremiah 4:23, and always in conjunction with תהוּ tohû. If we may distinguish the two words, בהוּ bohû refers to the matter, and תהוּ tohû refers to the form, and therefore the phrase combining the two denotes a state of utter confusion and desolation, an absence of all that can furnish or people the land.

השׁך choshek, "darkness, the absence of light."

פגים pānı̂ym, "face, surface." פנה panah, "face, look, turn toward."

תהום tehôm, "roaring deep, billow." הוּם hûm, "hum, roar, fret."

רוּח rûach, "breath, wind, soul, spirit."

רחף rāchaph, "be soft, tremble." Piel, "brood, flutter."

והארץ vehā'ārets, "and the earth." Here the conjunction attaches the noun, and not the verb, to the preceding statement. This is therefore a connection of objects in space, and not of events in time. The present sentence, accordingly, may not stand closely conjoined in point of time with the preceding one. To intimate sequence in time the conjunction would have been prefixed to the verb in the form ותהי vatehı̂y, "then was."

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.

Before proceeding to translate this verse, it is to be observed that the state of an event may be described either definitely or indefinitely. It is described definitely by the three states of the Hebrew verb - the perfect, the current, and the imperfect. The latter two may be designated in common the imperfect state. A completed event is expressed by the former of the two states, or, as they are commonly called, tenses of the Hebrew verb; a current event, by the imperfect participle; an incipient event, by the second state or tense. An event is described indefinitely when there is neither verb nor participle in the sentence to determine its state. The first sentence of this verse is an example of the perfect state of an event, the second of the indefinite, and the third of the imperfect or continuous state.

continued...

Genesis 1:2 Parallel Commentaries

Library
In the Present Crusade against the Bible and the Faith of Christian Men...
IN the present crusade against the Bible and the Faith of Christian men, the task of destroying confidence in the first chapter of Genesis has been undertaken by Mr. C. W. Goodwin, M.A. He requires us to "regard it as the speculation of some Hebrew Descartes or Newton, promulgated in all good faith as the best and most probable account that could be then given of God's Universe." (p. 252.) Mr. Goodwin remarks with scorn, that "we are asked to believe that a vision of Creation was presented to him
John William Burgon—Inspiration and Interpretation

God's Creation
GENESIS i. 31. And God saw everything that he had made, and behold it was very good. This is good news, and a gospel. The Bible was written to bring good news, and therefore with good news it begins, and with good news it ends. But it is not so easy to believe. We want faith to believe; and that faith will be sometimes sorely tried. Yes; we want faith. As St. Paul says: 'Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God; so that things which are seen were not made of
Charles Kingsley—The Good News of God

Appendix ix. List of Old Testament Passages Messianically Applied in Ancient Rabbinic Writings
THE following list contains the passages in the Old Testament applied to the Messiah or to Messianic times in the most ancient Jewish writings. They amount in all to 456, thus distributed: 75 from the Pentateuch, 243 from the Prophets, and 138 from the Hagiorgrapha, and supported by more than 558 separate quotations from Rabbinic writings. Despite all labour care, it can scarcely be hoped that the list is quite complete, although, it is hoped, no important passage has been omitted. The Rabbinic references
Alfred Edersheim—The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah

Covenanting Adapted to the Moral Constitution of Man.
The law of God originates in his nature, but the attributes of his creatures are due to his sovereignty. The former is, accordingly, to be viewed as necessarily obligatory on the moral subjects of his government, and the latter--which are all consistent with the holiness of the Divine nature, are to be considered as called into exercise according to his appointment. Hence, also, the law of God is independent of his creatures, though made known on their account; but the operation of their attributes
John Cunningham—The Ordinance of Covenanting

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

Deuteronomy 32:11
"Like an eagle that stirs up its nest, That hovers over its young, He spread His wings and caught them, He carried them on His pinions.

Job 38:9
When I made a cloud its garment And thick darkness its swaddling band,

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

Psalm 104:30
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 lovingkindness is everlasting;

Psalm 148:7
Praise the LORD from the earth, Sea monsters and all deeps;

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