[b-hebrew] Genesis 1:2 - And the earth was without form, and void

Steve Miller smille10 at sbcglobal.net
Sun Apr 16 23:03:59 EDT 2006

-----Original Message-----
schmuel Sent: Wednesday, April 12, 2006 11:28 PM
The conjunction 'and' is not in the Hebrew coming from verse one, 
and some folks claim it really should be the adverb
     'now' -  (At this point in the series of events; then)

Honestly, I don't have the gist of why they think this 'now' 'is
I think it has something to do with a pre-Adamic race, or a gap theory 
(although how it helps those theories I haven't yet figgered out)
but that is not the issue anyway.  
As already said by others, verse 2 does begin with "and".
The reason the "and" is significant is because it disallows an understanding
like: "In the beginning, when God was creating the heavens and the earth,
the earth was without form and void." 

Another understanding that the "and" does not allow is to take verse 1 as a
heading over the chapter, with verse 2 as the 1st action:
I. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
   A. The earth was without form and void
   B. Darkness was over the deep.
The "and" tells us that verse 2 happened after verse 1.
The "and" serves in lieu of punctuation in Biblical Hebrew, and indicates
the structure of the text. I do not like translations where the translator
has given himself the liberty to ignore the "and"s.
The KJB & Darby respect "and" the most of English translations, which is one
reason I like them the best for OT. From my limited experience with the LXX,
it seems to me that the LXX respects the "and"'s even more.

An argument in favor of throwing away "and"'s is that the book of Jonah
begins with "and", and Jonah does not continue any other book. I think "and"
is still significant there. Jonah is the only book in the OT concerned with
God's mercy to the Gentiles, so it is something additional to the rest of
the OT revelation.

"Gap theory" simply stated, without other extraneous theories added in: The
Bible does not say that the heavens and the earth are 6,000 years old. 6,000
years begins with God saying, "Let there be light" in verse 3. But verses 1
and 2 happened before that, and the Bible does not tell us when. Mankind and
the present living land animals, however, are 6,000 years old.
-Steve Miller,

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