Jeremiah 4:23
New International Version
I looked at the earth, and it was formless and empty; and at the heavens, and their light was gone.

New Living Translation
I looked at the earth, and it was empty and formless. I looked at the heavens, and there was no light.

English Standard Version
I looked on the earth, and behold, it was without form and void; and to the heavens, and they had no light.

Berean Study Bible
I looked at the earth, and it was formless and empty; I looked to the heavens, and they had no light.

New American Standard Bible
I looked on the earth, and behold, it was formless and void; And to the heavens, and they had no light.

King James Bible
I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light.

Christian Standard Bible
I looked at the earth, and it was formless and empty. I looked to the heavens, and their light was gone.

Contemporary English Version
After this, I looked around. The earth was barren, with no form of life. The sun, moon, and stars had disappeared.

Good News Translation
I looked at the earth--it was a barren waste; at the sky--there was no light.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
I looked at the earth, and it was formless and empty. I looked to the heavens, and their light was gone.

International Standard Version
I looked at the earth, and it was formless and void, at the heavens, and there was no light there.

NET Bible
"I looked at the land and saw that it was an empty wasteland. I looked up at the sky, and its light had vanished.

New Heart English Bible
I saw the earth, and, look, it was waste and void; and the heavens, and they had no light.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
I see the earth. It's formless and empty. I see the sky. Its lights are gone.

JPS Tanakh 1917
I beheld the earth, And, lo, it was waste and void; And the heavens, and they had no light.

New American Standard 1977
I looked on the earth, and behold, it was formless and void; And to the heavens, and they had no light.

Jubilee Bible 2000
I beheld the earth, and, behold, it was without order, and empty; and the heavens, and they had no light.

King James 2000 Bible
I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light.

American King James Version
I beheld the earth, and, see, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light.

American Standard Version
I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was waste and void; and the heavens, and they had no light.

Brenton Septuagint Translation
I looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was not; and to the sky, an there was no light in it.

Douay-Rheims Bible
I beheld the earth, and lo it was void, and nothing: and the heavens, and there was no light in them.

Darby Bible Translation
I beheld the earth, and lo, it was waste and empty; and the heavens, and they had no light.

English Revised Version
I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was waste and void; and the heavens, and they had no light.

Webster's Bible Translation
I beheld the earth, and lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light.

World English Bible
I saw the earth, and, behold, it was waste and void; and the heavens, and they had no light.

Young's Literal Translation
I looked to the land, and lo, waste and void, And unto the heavens, and their light is not.
Study Bible
Lamentation for Judah
22“For My people are fools; they have not known Me. They are foolish children, without understanding. They are skilled in doing evil, but they do not know how to do good.” 23I looked at the earth, and it was formless and empty; I looked to the heavens, and they had no light. 24I looked at the mountains, and behold, they were quaking; all the hills were swaying.…
Cross References
Genesis 1:2
Now the earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.

Isaiah 5:30
In that day they will roar over it, like the roaring of the sea. If one looks over the land, he will see darkness and distress; even the light will be obscured by clouds.

Isaiah 24:19
The earth is utterly broken apart, the earth is split open, the earth is shaken violently.

Jeremiah 2:12
Be stunned by this, O heavens, be shocked and utterly appalled, declares the LORD.

Lamentations 3:2
He has driven me away and made me walk in darkness instead of light.

Joel 2:10
Before them the earth quakes; the heavens tremble. The sun and moon grow dark, and the stars lose their brightness.

Zechariah 14:6
On that day there will be no light, no cold or frost.

Treasury of Scripture

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

the earth.

Jeremiah 9:10
For the mountains will I take up a weeping and wailing, and for the habitations of the wilderness a lamentation, because they are burned up, so that none can pass through them; neither can men hear the voice of the cattle; both the fowl of the heavens and the beast are fled; they are gone.

Genesis 1:2
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.

Isaiah 24:19-23
The earth is utterly broken down, the earth is clean dissolved, the earth is moved exceedingly…

the heavens.

Isaiah 5:30
And in that day they shall roar against them like the roaring of the sea: and if one look unto the land, behold darkness and sorrow, and the light is darkened in the heavens thereof.

Isaiah 13:10
For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine.

Ezekiel 32:7,8
And when I shall put thee out, I will cover the heaven, and make the stars thereof dark; I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon shall not give her light…







Lexicon
I looked
רָאִ֙יתִי֙ (rā·’î·ṯî)
Verb - Qal - Perfect - first person common singular
Strong's Hebrew 7200: To see

at the earth,
הָאָ֔רֶץ (hā·’ā·reṣ)
Article | Noun - feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 776: Earth, land

and it was formless
תֹ֖הוּ (ṯō·hū)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 8414: A desolation, desert, a worthless thing, in vain

and empty;
וָבֹ֑הוּ (wā·ḇō·hū)
Conjunctive waw | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 922: A vacuity, an undistinguishable ruin

[I looked] to
וְאֶל־ (wə·’el-)
Conjunctive waw | Preposition
Strong's Hebrew 413: Near, with, among, to

the heavens,
הַשָּׁמַ֖יִם (haš·šā·ma·yim)
Article | Noun - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 8064: Heaven, sky

and they [had] no
וְאֵ֥ין (wə·’ên)
Conjunctive waw | Adverb
Strong's Hebrew 369: A non-entity, a negative particle

light.
אוֹרָֽם׃ (’ō·w·rām)
Noun - common singular construct | third person masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 216: Illumination, luminary
(23) I beheld the earth.--In words of terrible grandeur the prophet speaks, as if he had already seen the consummated destruction; and repeating the words "I beheld," as if he had passed through four distinct visions, describes its completeness.

Without form, and void.--An obvious quotation from the tohu va-bohu of Genesis 1:2. The goodly land of Israel was thrown back, as it were, into a formless chaos, before the words "Let there be light" had brought it into order.

Verse 23. - I beheld. The prophet is again the speaker, but in a calmer mood. God's judgment has been pronounced, and it is not for him to rebel. He has now simply to record the vision of woe which has been granted him. He foresees the utter desolation into which not only the land of Judah, but the earth in general, will be brought, and which reminds him of nothing so much as the "waste and wild" condition of the earth previous to the first creative word. But why is "the earth" mentioned in this connection? Because the judgment upon Judah is but one act in the great general judgment which, when completed, will issue in a fresh order of things (comp. Isaiah 3:14, 15, where side by side are mentioned Jehovah's judgment of "the peoples" and of "his people," and Isaiah 24, where the judgment upon the enemies of Israel is interwoven with the judgment upon "the earth"). Without form, and void; rather, waste and wild (to represent in some degree the characteristic assonance of the original - tohu va-bohu); more literally, immovable and lifeless. It is the phrase used in Genesis L 2 for primeval chaos. Tohu and bohu occur in parallel lines in Isaiah 34:11, to express utter desolation; tohu alone five times in the Book of Isaiah, and once in Job. They had no light. The heavens were in the same condition as on the third day, subsequently to the creation of the heavens, but prior to that of the luminaries. 4:19-31 The prophet had no pleasure in delivering messages of wrath. He is shown in a vision the whole land in confusion. Compared with what it was, every thing is out of order; but the ruin of the Jewish nation would not be final. Every end of our comforts is not a full end. Though the Lord may correct his people very severely, yet he will not cast them off. Ornaments and false colouring would be of no avail. No outward privileges or profession, no contrivances would prevent destruction. How wretched the state of those who are like foolish children in the concerns of their souls! Whatever we are ignorant of, may the Lord make of good understanding in the ways of godliness. As sin will find out the sinner, so sorrow will, sooner or later, find out the secure.
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OT Prophets: Jeremiah 4:23 I saw the earth and behold it (Jer.) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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