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Earth Without Form Or Void

"In the beginning God created the heavens and earth; And the earth was without form and void." Why would God create something without form and void? Sounds like a result of judgment or something!

Moderator - If you got a piece of clay, then next you would make something of it.

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Genesis I:2 says when the earth was created it 'was formless and empty.' When you read on God then caused dry land to appear, and began to fill it with creatures, so it was no longer formless and empty.

Though I love science and scientific experimentation we do not need scientific knowledge to understand this.

Remember God wrote it simply for primitive creatures-us!
---Warwick on 7/5/09

Well, you have to follow the nuclear physics involved in God's Creation, in what we now call the Big Bang:

First, God created everything. But there was no mass, no solids yet in this void! (Certainly, it was a "mighty wind" in the Big Bang.) Then, this energy (this creation) cooled down into light. Then, the light energy cooled further into mass - particles and dust that we can see: and, thus ONLY AFTER the energy cooled down from light into solids were shadows possible: separating the night from the day. Re-read Genesis and you'll see this sequence. By the way, until plants appear, the atmosphere was opaque and so the stars and moon (although created) were not visible for navigation.
---Robert on 7/4/09

Well, it shows me what God can do! Ofcourse, you must know God to understand that God is our Creator.
---catherine on 11/28/08

Hi, God bless you!

From the first time I pick up the bible. And read
Gen 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
And know as I believed. God can do anything in no time.
This means it was done, finish!

So, I ask God! Why lord, why would you make it to destroy it!
And then rebuild it!
So, now ask yourself! Why would God, do this?

Right! You are so smart, I love you!
Yes! The lord is revealing things, is this good or bad?
This one you like him?
---TheSeg on 11/27/08

Warwick is right: the Greek phrase ap archs ktises or variants mean "from the beginning of creation", and this world is the creation. Compare:

Mark 13:19 For in those days there will be such tribulation as has not been from the beginning of the creation which God created until now, and never will be.

2 Peter 3:4 [Scoffers say] Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
---Ktisophilos on 11/26/08

StrongAxe you are reading Mark as though he wrote-man was made at the beginning of creation week. He is I believe writing about man being created at the beginning of the creation, that in which we live. I think that Mark (10:5-7)and Matthew ( 19:4-5) both used 'ceation' in this sense. They are using it the same as Paul who uses it this way four times in Romans ch. 8:19-22.

Surely these words of Jesus put paid to any idea that God used evolution, over billions of years, as His creative method.

I will be interested to see what Ktiso thinks about this.
---Warwick on 11/26/08

manny and Warwick:

Other doctrines based on a single verse:

Mormon doctrine of Baptism for the Dead from 1 Corinthians 15:29:
"Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?"

Roman Catholic doctrine of Purgatory is from Apocrypha: 2 Maccabees 12:46:
"It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins."

Jewish separation of meat and milk from "Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother's milk" (Exodus 23:19, 34:26, Deutronomy 14:21), even chicken that gives no milk.
---StrongAxe on 11/26/08


It is dangerous to base a fundamental doctrine on a single verse, or a single word, or an excessively pedantic reading of a phrase, or relying on the accuracy of a translation.

As you say, it would be misleading to infer from "replenish" that the earth was full, and then emptied, and then need to be filled again. However, it would be similarly unwise be use Mark 10:6-8 as a creation chronology. Genesis 1:1 describes the creation in general, while the rest of the chapter describes it in more minute detail. Similarly, Mark 10:6-8 speaks in general terms, because if it was specific, it would contractict Genesis, which does NOT say man was created "in the beginning" but rather AFTER the heavens and earth)
---StrongAxe on 11/26/08


The Hebrew verb "to be" can only be translated "become" if it is accompanied by "to" (Hebrew "le"). This is not the case in Genesis 1:2, so "became" is an illegitimate translation. The Hebrew vav-disjunctive further shows that Gen. 1:2 is a parenthetical statement describing the condition of the Earth when first created. A vav-consecutive would be used to describe the next event in a sequential narrative, required if the gap theory were right.
---Ktisophilos on 11/26/08

Robert when the King James Bible was written 'replenish' meant simply 'fill' , not refill. All other Bible versions I've consulted have the correct 'fill.' Read this for yourself online in Noah Webster's 1828 dictionary where it says 'replenish' means 'to stock of fill.' No suggestion of re-fill.

Further when you say God created the earth billions of years ago and used evolution to create you are writing directly contrary to (Mark 10:6-8) where Jesus the creator said-that man was made at the beginning of the creation. In your version man comes along almost at the end. Reconsider what you are promoting, as it's contrary to God's Word.

Also you will find nothing in Scripture which supports evolution, only the opposite.
---Warwick on 11/26/08


Two points:

First, excluding the New Testament, (which was not written until several thousand years later), the Jewish Bible makes no mention of "different" heavens being created separately.

Second. the Hebrew word used for "heaven" is "shamayim", which is plural, meaning "heavens". So multiple heavens are created in verse 1, and multiple heavens are created later. There is no indication anywhere that there are multiple sets of multiple heavens.

It is also fairly dangerous to base a major point of doctrine on a comment that is made only once in the Bible, and then merely as an aside. (Paul was describing a vision experience - NOT teaching doctrine on cosmology there).
---StrongAxe on 11/26/08

StrongAxe>> "there is nothing in the text..."

Actually, there are indications... or does it have to be explicitly stated (e.g. "...and the firmament He called heaven, BUT IT IS NOT THE SAME HEAVEN WHICH HE DID ON THE 1ST DAY...") -- Does it have to be such?

2Cor.12:2 speaks of a 3rd heaven. If you say "3rd" it necessarily follows that there is a 2nd and a 1st. It is illogical to say 3rd heaven when there is no 2nd heaven and 1st heaven.

(e.g. If you say "He's my 3rd son..." it follows that you have at least 2 other sons) -- C'mon... simple logic bro..

Therefore, we have established that there is NOT JUST ONE heaven.
---manny on 11/25/08


While that might be a nice theory (that the word "heaven" means two different things), you are only inferrring this, since there is nothing in the text that actually says that these are two "different" heavens. Can you find any other scripture anywhere else in the bible to corroborate this novel theory?
---StrongAxe on 11/25/08

Concerning the translated of "was without form and void". The Hebrew word for "was" is translated in other places in God's word "became". God would never create a void world also evolution is part of God's creation. God created the heavens and the earth, 3 billion years go by, and the earth became without form and void. Scientists say there was a great extinction about 13,000 years ago, which wiped out almost every living thing on earth. even clovis man, the original humans that lived in North America, disappeared. When God tells Adam and Eve to "replenith" the earth, he meantit. To bring back what was. If there weren't people before Adam and Eve God would have said to plenish or populate the earth.
---Robert on 11/25/08

Without form- not having a shape, or configuration.
void- empty space

Kind of like a blank canvas before you start painting.
The space is empty and has no form. But apply the brush and you start to see the beginning of the end result- The Creation.

I agree with the moderator- God is the potter and we and the entire universe is the clay. God makes us what He wants us to be.
This is why God made it without form and void. So God could put what he wanted here.
---miche3754 on 11/25/08

StrongAxe>>"There is no indication..."

Actually there is.

Verse1: God created the heavens and the earth -- that was on the 1st day.

Verses6-8: God created the firmament which divided the waters which were under the firmament from waters above it... and he called the firmament Heaven.

So, the heaven mentioned in verse8 was created on the earth, because the firmament (which He called heaven) divided the waters on the earth.... as opposed to the heaven mentioned in verse1 which was created on the same day the earth was created.
---manny on 11/25/08

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StrongAxe, the fact that a "third heaven" was mentioned in 2Cor.12:2 shows that "heaven" is used in the bible to denote "different heavens".

In verse 1 it just states God created the heavens... In verses6-8 he created the FIRMAMENT and divided the waters above the firmament and those that are below the firmament... and this firmament He called heaven. So just because the same word was used doesn't mean it refers to the same exact thing.

Ex.: the word "law" is used many times in the bible, but it doesn't always refer to the OT laws... because in some instances the "law" may refer to the "law of Christ" (Gal.6:2)
---manny on 11/24/08

The firmament which He also called heaven is described in verses6-8:

It divided the waters so that there is water above and water below the firmament.

The water above the firmament is the water vapor (which will later be rain).... and the water below are the different bodies of water -- seas, oceans, lakes, etc. So, we can surmise that the firmament (or heaven) mentioned in v.6-8 would be what we now call "atmosphere" (the air that surrounds us).

This heaven was created after the earth was created. The heavens in verse1 was created at the same time the earth was -- on the 1st day. So, the heaven mentioned in verse 1 refers to a different heaven than that in verse8.
---manny on 11/24/08


The two verses that mention heaven use the same word. In English, it is "heaven", but in Hebrew, it is "shamayim" which means "heavens" (plural). God created the heavens in verse 1, and heavens again in verse 8. There is no indication that "some" heavens were created in 1:1 and "other" heavens were created in 1:8.

While you may believe that this is the case, there is nothing in the text to indicate this, the grammar does not indicate it, and the context does not either.

In fact, while 2Cor.12:2 mentions a third heaven, nowhere else in the Bible are specific multiple heavens mentioned.
---StrongAxe on 11/24/08

"the earth was without form and void".... When God created the earth it was without form because at that point (1st day) He has not yet divided the waters from above the firmament and those below the firmament (verses6-7) which happened on the 2nd day, nor has He separated the land from the waters -- which happened on the 3rd day (verse9).

Also, it was void, because plants and animals were still not created at that point. The plants came on the 3rd day, life in the waters and fowls in the air on the 5th, and animals on land and humans on the 6th...
---manny on 11/24/08

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void is not filled yet
without form. as water has no form this is the beginning and the bible did not say it BECAME void and empty. there is no "missing link between Gennesis 1.1 and Genesis 1.2. the bible only says how God started to make heavens and earth.
---Andy on 11/24/08

1st day -- God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form. The earth here is the planet which is still without form because God has not yet separated the waters from the land. The heaven talked here could be the universe or the "outer space", not the visible sky (or atmosphere) that we see now.

The sky (or atmosphere) we see now is the FIRMAMENT which He made on the 2nd day which He called also as heaven. Remember, the bible speaks of multiple heavens.

"...such as one caught up to the THIRD HEAVEN." (2Cor.12:2)
---manny on 11/24/08

It's curious, however, that God creates heaven both "in the beginning" (in verse 1), and also on the second day (in verse 7). There has to be something different here than a straight linear progression of events here, otherwise, God would be making something twice.

It makes sense if verse one is a summary of the chapter (what God did) and the rest of the chapter is the details (how God did it).
---StrongAxe on 11/23/08

What Kai has written fits with Scripture while the Gap Theory doesn't. The originator of the Gap Theory believed the fossil record was a record of millions of years and reinterpreted Genesis away from its clear meaning, to fit with man's fallible opinions.

There is no gap in Genesis Ch 1. Read it again with an open mind. 'In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep ...'

God had yet to speak the earth into its finished form. As evidenced in vs.9.
Had not yet created living creatures and vegetation therefore it was obviously 'empty.'
He had yet to create light.

There is no gap.
---Warwick on 11/22/08

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i used to believe the gap theory but there is a problem. the gap theory attempts to reconcile the geological age system to Genesis. the geological age system is dependent on the fossil record.
1.if the fossil record is true and pre-Adamic then death was on the earth BEFORE sin. Fossils are dead things!
Romans 5:12
2.The geological age system supports evolution. Genesis says creation took 6 days and evolutoin says it took what? millions? billions? of years.

Christians, it dangerous when try to reconcile the world's THEORIES (impossible to prove ideas) and philosophies to the certainties of scripture. Take God at His Word. Stop trying to put a billion years between verse 1 and 2.
---Kai on 11/21/08

I accept and subscribe to the "gap" theory. I believe something of a ruinous deconstructive nature took place in the time gap between verse one and verse two in the book of Genesis. Because I believe God's creation would not have been a void without form. I did not learn about this "gap" theory until sometime in college.
---mima on 11/20/08

In verse 1 God created the heavens and earth. Between verses 1 & 2 there was destruction to the earth done by satan. In Ezekial 28 it shows satan being casted down. When he was kicked out of heaven he brought destruction to the earth.
---Rickey on 8/31/06

# 2 Jack, if Elder's phrase "eternity past/future" does not mean anything, nor does your "God is outside time".
In grammatical & humanly logical terms, both are meaningless, as are my own suggestions.
But how do we describe something which, although we believe it, is beyond our full comprehension?
---alan8869_of_UK on 8/14/06

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# 1 What we don't & can't understand fully is the concept of eternity (either past or future) and that is because we are bound by time. Clearly, since God was always there, from Past Eternity, He was there for billions of years before Creation as described in Genesis (whether you agree with Elder or me as to when Day One started)
But we can't quantify it in years. Even if time did exist then, the number of billions would be infinite, since God had been there since ever.
---alan8869_of_UK on 8/14/06

Jack ... I don't see the objection to "Eternity past to Eternity future" It's quite good in fact, a phrase I had been seeking. The best I had come up with in my mind was "From ever till ever"
OK we cannot comprehend it, but these phrases do show what the mystery is that we do not comprehend.
---alan8869_of_UK on 8/14/06

Elder ... # 3 I know you don't like modern versions, but NIV says "The spirit of God was hovering over the waters" ... which indicates a continuing action, supporting my view of the KJV words.
Then in verse 3 we have a change from Past Imperfect (God was moving) to Past Perfect (God did) and there is incisive action: "And God said ... " ... And that is when the times recorded in Genesis (which uses the term Days) began
---alan8869_of_UK on 8/14/06

Elder ... # 2 God was clearly there first ... from ever.
But I do not think that the creation of the heavcens and the earth necessarily started the Timescale of the Creation.
Verse 2 to me shows God moving over the waters for a length of time (& I know this is fanciful, maybe pondering what to do next with this world)
---alan8869_of_UK on 8/14/06

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Elder ... # 1 Thank you for your kind words!
I realise that my postulation as stated meant that God and the earth & heavens would have been co-existent from always (how difficult it is to describe eternity going back in time!) and that of course would mean that God did not create the heavens and earth.
---alan8869_of_UK on 8/14/06

Debbie a "gap" between v1 and 2 cannot account for the Dinosaurs because in Gen 1:20-27 is when God created them, fowls of the air and man.
So if there were millions of years between v1 & v2 it still would not account for their existence.
Their dying out and result could be accounted for by the Great Flood of Noah's time and the changing of the topography and atmosphere of the earth.
---Elder on 8/13/06

Alan it appears that you are saying that God and the earth existed at the same time and there was not one without the other.
I am saying that God existed before all things to include time, the world and the earth.
We humans don't and cannot understand eternity in the past or future without the aid of time.
So in the beginning of "something" God created the Heaven and Earth. I think that "something" is time.
Cond #2
---Elder on 8/13/06

Cond #2
Alan you are a dedicated polite representative of your faith I enjoy you and your post my brother. I am not the only one that feels that way either.
---Elder on 8/13/06

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Jack do you have relatives pulling plows somewhere and what does your statement contribute?
Do the deaf wear underwear?
Did you miss the statement about time in your endeavor to edit without purpose? Does anyone understand more because you sneered?
Contribute or learn but leave the editing up to someone who knows what they are doing.
It appears that the only one who didn't understand was you.
Your garbage should be neat. Don't spread it everywhere. It ain't good when you do. Keep it neat.
---Elder on 8/13/06

Elder ... I don't read it like that.
I think it says ... in the beginning, when God began, He created the earth etc. In other words, since God was/is eternal (in past and future) both He and the earth are/were since ever. Then at the start of Day One, God said "Let there be light" & there was light, & time began.
Does it matter which we believe? Does it affect our salvation? I'm sure we agree on the answer to that question.
---alan8869_of_UK on 8/13/06

**God is from eternity past through eternity future.**

Past and future are qualities of time.

Eternity, by its nature is OUTSIDE of time.

To say "eternity past/future" is like saying "underwear for the deaf" or "neat garbage": the phrases don't mean anything.
---Jack on 8/13/06

In the beginning God created... in the beginning of what?
God is from eternity past through eternity future. So what was beginning?
Could it be a measuring device.... like time?
In the beginning of time God created the earth.
Gen 1:1 says what God did and Gen 1:2 and on tells how He did it.
There are no billions of years crammed in between those verses with all kinds of life forms.
Why would God who spoke things into existence have to use billions of years to accomplish this?
---Elder on 8/12/06

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#2 What happened? Satan happened! Is. 14:12-17; Ezek. 28:11-19; Between verse 1 and verse 2, Satan was cast out of heaven to earth. He caused the destruction. There were thousands of years between verse 1 and 2. It accounts for all the dinasaurs and etc.
---Debbie on 8/11/06

#1 Have you ever known God to create something half way, or leave it unfinished? In Genesis 1:1 God created the heaven and earth and He did created them beautifully. Is. 45:18. In Genesis 1:2, we see the earth without a heaven mentioned. It is without form and void, not at all the way God created it.
---Debbie on 8/11/06

#2--My own understanding:

"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth"--this was the Big Bang, with the creation of the "formless, void" and amorphous time-space-matter-energy continuum.

"And God said, 'Let there be light,' and there was light." The BB theory says that light was the first thing to differentiate itself from the TSME blob.

And so it goes.
---Jack on 8/11/06

Some (not all) interpret the Hebrew verb to mean, "And the world had become formless and void," referring to some great pan-celestial battle. The rest of Genesis refers to a "recreation" or "remodelling", repaing the damage at some unspecified time. This is called the "great gap" exegesis.
---Jack on 8/11/06

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Its a metaphor. The clay is made into pottery. Read the first chapter of Job. Who created the clay? The creative process must have been a grand event. As a boy seeing Yosemite Valley I imagined The Lord as a loving creator, sculptering the valley with ICE, carving that wonderful valley in His own time. Some places seem to be made with extra care. One would be void of reason not to seee His hand in creation, from Yosemite Valley to the small but beatifully complex DNA molecule.
---MikeM on 8/11/06

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