Genesis 1:2

Genesis 1:2

In Genesis 1:1, the author invites us into a story. It is not his story, but God’s story of creation, performed, not just by God, but by the Gods. These Gods worked in unison, to create the heavens and the earth. But verse one leaves us asking the question, “Who are these Gods?” When the verse says, “They created the heavens and the earth, what did this looks like?” “What were the conditions before they began creating?” “Finally, for what purpose did this creation take place?”

The second verse of Genesis chapter 1 begins to answer these questions. The verse says, “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. What is interesting about this text is, while verse 1 has seven words in Hebrew, verse 2 has fourteen.

The verse answers the question concerning the condition of the earth before creation when it states, “Without form and void.” What that specifically looked like, we are unsure. The author wants us to know that it was in a chaotic state. It was in disorder. Perhaps this means that elements needed for creation were stockpiled together, in a haphazard way. Others have suggested God created out of nothing the earth and the heavens. But the beginning of the text in Hebrew states, “Earth was without void darkness over face deep spirit God hovering over face waters.” I wrote it without punctuation because Hebrew was without punctuation. The subject of the sentence is earth. The author uses three verbs in a row to describe the earth’s condition. They are, “without,” “void,” and “darkness.” Without, void, and darkness was[1] over face deep, means that these conditions ruled over the face of the earth.

The verse uses the word face twice in “face deep” and “face water.” In between, these two statements, it states, “Spirit of* God hovering over.” Verse two is made up of two parts, the first part the subject is the “earth” and the condition it was in; “without,” “void,” “Darkness.” “Over face deep,” meaning this was the condition of everything which consisted. It was chaotic, void of structure, and shrouded in darkness over everything, including all that was present.

The verse ends by saying, “Spirit God hovering over face waters.” The emphasis of the passage is Spirit of God.” In verse 1, we saw that there were Gods in that the writer used the plural form of God to indicate there is more than one and that they worked in unison to create the heavens and the earth. Now we are introduced to the Spirit of these Gods hovering over, or as some translations state, “Brooding” over the waters. It is as if they have sent their representative to examine the earth’s condition and report as they council together, pondering what they will create through their majesty and power. Whether it was the Holy Spirit, or the pre-incarnate Christ, or God the Father that vised upon the face of the waters to see the chaotic condition of the world, the author does not indicate which it was or if it was even all of them. But what is certain, based on the first two verses, Gods created the heavens and the earth. Before they began creating, the world was without, void, filled with darkness over the face of everything. Eloheem came, saw, and counseled together, formulating a plan to create. They created a plan to serve that which was without, void, and filled with darkness. Love cannot store up for itself; it can only serve or create. From a heart of other-centered love, the Gods were about to serve by creating.

I am in no way endorsing pantheism, but simply describing that the Hebrew text uses the plural form of the word God. It describes these Gods working together in unison to serve and create. We will learn through the narrative of scripture that this Eloheem is made up of three eternal co-existing beings, that work together in unison, exemplifying other-centered love.

As the first two verses end, the author wants you to ask the question, what does this creation look like? How is it that they are serving, and why would they serve by creating?

[1] Added for clarity or ease of reading

Published by The Bible In Your Hand

Hi, I am Pastor Lester Bentley, a devoted husband, father, and Pastor for the Northeastern Wyoming District of the Rocky Mountain Conference of Seventh-day Adventist. I am committed to the great gospel commission as stated in Matthew 28:19, 20.

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