1:2The earth . . . deep. The primordial earth is lightless and landless. Neither the origins of darkness and the abyss nor the origin of Satan (3:1–6) is explained in Genesis. Their beginnings are a mystery, but only God is eternal (Ps. 90:2; Prov. 8:22–31). In the new heaven and new earth there will be no sea or darkness (Rev. 21:1, 25).
earth was without form and void. This description signifies the as yet unordered or unfilled creation. Some view it as a negative threat of chaos that is overcome by God’s creative power.
Some suggest that vv. 1 and 2 refer to two separate creative acts separated by a span of time. They argue that the initial creation fell into a desolate condition (perhaps because of the fall of Satan), and that the Hebrew word here translated “was” should be rendered “became.” This view is very doubtful, however, because the proposed translation “became” is unlikely in this context, and because the description “without form and void” refers more naturally to a creation yet to be formed and filled, rather than to one that had fallen into disrepair.
hovering over the . . . waters. Hovering eagle-like over the primordial abyss, the almighty Spirit makes the earth into a habitation for human beings.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your free trial.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your subscription.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate of $3.99/month, click the button below.
You've successfully created your account! For the ultimate Bible Gateway experience, consider upgrading Bible Gateway Plus to get the most out of your new account. For just a few dollars each month, a Bible Gateway Plus upgrade gives you:
• A complete digital Bible study library integrated with your Bible Gateway account, with no expensive software to install.
• Access to 40+ study & reference books including the NIV Study Bible, the Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary, and the MacArthur Study Bible.
• An ad-free Bible Gateway experience.
• A risk-free, 30-day trial—you can cancel any time.