TOHUW WA BOHUW in Gen & Jer.

Lawrence May lgmay at
Wed Apr 3 13:44:57 EST 2002

I am not qualified to debate with you the linguistic constructions of the Hebrew
language, but your interpretation implies that the heavens and the earth already
existed in some form before God (majestic plural) or the three persons of the Godhead
began to prepare it for habitation by man and other living things.

My understanding is that there was a previous creation as stated in verse 1.  There was
a rebellion and the Earth was wasted in the conflict.  The imagery of the  Spirit of
God hovering like a mother bird over the earth to warm or hatch implies to me that the
Earth may have became encased in ice.  Science teaches that there was a ice age on this
Earth as well as a universal flood in Noah's time. (i.e. all the earth has been covered
by water at one time).

Peter Kirk wrote:

> 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
> verses
> > use both the
> > words 'tohuw wa bohuw.'  Jeremiah used it to describe the Southern
> Kingdom
> > after its
> > destruction by the Chaldeans and Israel's enemies. I believe Genesis
> 1:2
> > describes the
> > Earth after the rebellion of  Lucifer and his followers. What
> linguistic
> > analysis is
> > there that would deny this interpretation?
> >
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