TOHUW WA BOHUW in Gen & Jer.

Peter Kirk Peter_Kirk at
Wed Apr 3 10:51:28 EST 2002

I guess you are implying that 1:2 is sequential to 1:1, and would
translate something like "In the beginning God created the heavens and
the earth. Then the earth became TOHU..." But this is not what the
Hebrew text says. The X-QATAL construction implies not consecutiveness
but a previous state: "The earth had been TOHU..." The verb form is not
enough to settle this issue decisively, but it is enough to suggest that
as the more probable interpretation.

Peter Kirk

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Lawrence May [mailto:lgmay at]
> Sent: 02 April 2002 23:12
> To: Biblical Hebrew
> Subject: TOHUW WA BOHUW in Gen & Jer.
> I believe Genesis 1:2 should be compared with Jeremiah 4:23.  These
> use both the
> words 'tohuw wa bohuw.'  Jeremiah used it to describe the Southern
> after its
> destruction by the Chaldeans and Israel's enemies. I believe Genesis
> describes the
> Earth after the rebellion of  Lucifer and his followers. What
> analysis is
> there that would deny this interpretation?

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