TOHU in Isaiah

Christian M. M. Brady cbrady at
Sat Mar 30 16:56:26 EST 2002

On 3/30/02 3:25 PM, "Ian Hutchesson" <mc2499 at> wrote:

> As I read the text it seems to me to preclude the creation
> of tohu by God. l'-thw br'h, I would think, is rather
> unequivocal. It says that he didn't create [the earth]
> chaotic. There is no notion of "remain" in the text. (It
> would make no sense to create it in a chaotic state if the
> intention is to populate it.) The passage is referring to
> the thw wbhw of Gen 1:2 and negating both as the scope of
> creation.

Ian it requires being read in context. I think the NRSV represented that
fairly well. I have little time at the moment to go into it, but read also
Isa. 49.4 where thw clearly means "vain" (the KJV rendering I think) that
would also work here. The point, beyond the three words you cite, is that
God did not just stop with thw, but he formed and and fashioned it to be

All of that being said, I believe that the Bible does NOT address nor tell
us how *everything* was created. I think that Gen. 1 assumes that there are
many things already in existence before our narrative begins (including the
formless void and the waters). This does not mean that God did not also make
those things, it simply means that we have no biblical account of the
creation of those things.

cbrady @
³In view of the fact that God limited the intelligence of man, is seems
unfair that He did not also limit his stupidity.²
 -- Konrad Adenauer

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