In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

If the earth was formless and empty then how could spirit of god hover over the waters?...what exactly does this mean? What "waters" is this verse talking about? And how come any creation be formless??

  • 1
    This question is already answered on BH, in a variety of questions, this one particularly What does it mean in Genesis 1:2 etc.
    – Nigel J
    Oct 24, 2019 at 19:42
  • What form does empty, barren land have, exactly ? And what does earth, shapeless or not, have to do with the presence or absence of water ?
    – Lucian
    Oct 29, 2019 at 12:05

1 Answer 1



Genesis 1 is mostly a parable about the coming regeneration (recreation) of mankind that has completely become without form (without God’s righteousness) and void of the knowledge of God. Many will disagree with that view point.

Genesis 1:1-3 KJV (1) In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. (2) And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. (3) And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

But the earth became without form (without the form of God’s righteousness: there is none righteous) and void of His knowledge (there is none that understand….there is none that seeks after God) as all have together become unprofitable. The earth becomes without form and void as all of mankind has become that way.

The whole earth mourns as its inhabitants have all have all gone out of the Way of righteousness. All have become devoid of the knowledge of God.

They key word here is "become". They are all together "become" unprofitable. The earth became without form and void.

Romans 3:9-12 KJV (9) What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; (10) As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: (11) There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. (12) They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

Again, the earth became without form and void as none have the knowledge to do good but they are “wise”’ to do evil. They have no understanding of God to do His righteousness. There is none that speak the Word of God in the Spirit of Truth as the heavens had no light...no knowledge.

Jeremiah 4:22-23 KJV (22) For my people is foolish, they have not known me; they are sottish children, and they have none understanding: they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge. (23) I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light.

But we see that mankind has no excuse for becoming that way.

Genesis 1:1 KJV (1) In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

The visible creation of God shows forth to mankind the invisible things of Him. The visible creation is clearly seen by all and so His eternal power and divine nature are readily understood by those things that God has made and is witnessed by all.

Romans 1:20-22 KJV (20) For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

People became vain in their imaginations (their discussions, thoughts, reasonings) and so their foolish heart (singular as all have become the same) was darkened.

The darkness was (became) upon the face of the deep as the foolish heart of mankind was completely darkened to understanding as they profess themselves as "wise".

(21) Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

Professing themselves to be wise, they became foolish.

(22) Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,

The earth became without form (without His righteousness) and void of understanding God.

Genesis 1:2 KJV (2) And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

The earth became without form…without righteousness as all have turned away from the Way of righteousness. They became foolish, disobedient, deceived, hating one another, etc.

Titus 3:3-6 KJV (3) For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.

Mankind on this earth has no understanding and needs to hear the knowledge of God spoken in the Spirit of God from Heaven so that he may be recreated here in the renewing of his mind.

After that time of being without form and void, the kindness and love of God our Savior appears towards all of mankind.

According to His mercy does He save us by the washing of “regeneration” (the recreation spoken of as a parable in Genesis 1) and the renewing of the Holy Spirit that moves upon the face of the waters.

(4) But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, (5) Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

In order to be regenerated, Jesus speaks to us from Heaven as the voice of many roaring waters in the Spirit so that we may have the knowledge of God so that we may hear and understand and return to the righteousness of God which is not our own “works of righteousness” as preached by many for us to do.

(6) Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;

The Lord interprets the Scriptures to our hearing ears so that we may hear and understand. He interprets the words of all the prophets and apostles who were moved by the Spirit to speak….the many “waters” of the biblical witnesses. He opens up the Scriptures to our minds so that we may have His knowledge.

2 Peter 1:18-21 KJV (18) And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.

Men still speak as they are moved by the Holy Spirit that moves upon the face of the waters (words, languages, people). He sends His messengers out to speak His words of life and spirit to many people in the time of regeneration...the recreation of mankind.

Let there be light.

The light shines out of the darkness and shines in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ….that shines as the sun in its strength (Revelation 1:16).

The Light shines within us as we hear His voice from Heaven and is the witness of God in us that says that this is His Son speaking whom we are to hear.

This day dawning…the arising bright and morning star… within our very own hearts is the sign of the Son of man who speaks to us from Heaven (Matthew 24:30). It is the sign of His presence and is of the power of God and not of those whom He sends to speak. It is mount "Zion" (meaning "sunny, rising, height, monument", etc) that arises and we are together built upon.

(19) We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: (20) Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. (21) For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

And we respond to the Light shining within our hearts with light…with works of His righteousness.

2 Corinthians 4:5-7 KJV (5) For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake. (6) For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (7) But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

  • You have interpreted the passage by attaching a spiritual meaning to it. Whether or not that is the correct interpretation (and I am not commenting one way or the other) I think you have not given substantial enough support to your theory. With little support you have immediately assumed your premise and gone on to expand upon it. Therefore, to me, the expansion is wasted because what I needed was a lot of support to the premise.
    – Nigel J
    Oct 28, 2019 at 8:03
  • Hi Nigel, Peace. Thanks for reading and the feedback. I used to read Genesis ch 1 as literal as that is what is popularly taught by mainstream thinking. But I realized after much thought/consideration. that this is not about science but about the reconciliation of mankind back to God. This ministry of the reconciliation is presented as a parable.just as Jesus (the Beginning of the creation of God) spoke in parables. I always thought Jeremiah 4:22-23 was a great indication that the earth becoming without form and void was about His people having no knowledge to do God’s righteousness.
    – MSW
    Oct 29, 2019 at 10:30

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