TOHU in Isaiah

Christian M. M. Brady cbrady at
Sat Mar 30 10:05:30 EST 2002

On 3/29/02 6:59 PM, "Bill Burks" <rwburks at> wrote:

> Jason,
> I will not pursume to speak for Liz, however I believe her reference was to
> Isa. 45:18
> "For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the
> earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he
> formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else." (KJV)
> The word in the passage for vain is tohu
But this passage is not necessarily saying that God did not create "tohu"
(and I do not have the original message, so I am not sure if Jason is
correctly citing Liz). The NRSV offers a legitimate reading that does not
require one to read the passage as denying that God created tohu, but rather
than what he created was not intended to *remain* tohu.

For thus says the LORD,
    who created the heavens
        (he is God!),
    who formed the earth and made it
        (he established it;
    he did not create it a chaos,
        he formed it to be inhabited!):
    I am the LORD, and there is no other.

> "Jason A. Hare" wrote:
>> Liz,
>> You mentioned Isaiah denying God's creation of 'tohu.'  Seeing my complete
>> lack of reference materal (save a couple of minor-level dictionaries) at
>> my disposal, I would like to ask for a reference.  I'm sorry to be a
>> burden, but I think it would be great to be able to use that in
>> discussion.  And if I knew where to find it, it would add more weight.
>> ;-)
>> Regards,
>> Jason

cbrady @
To attack a man for talking nonsense is like
finding your mortal enemy drowning in a swamp
and jumping in after him with a knife.
                                --Karl Popper

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list