In 1Jn 1:5 tells us that "God is light and in him is no darkness at all". Yet this is darkness. When God creates he views it and says it is good. But this earth was without form (tohu which is also translated as confusion, wilderness, nothing, empty, waste, vain, vanity) and void (bohu which is translate void or emptiness). And God is such a God of order and yet this is desolate.

I don't agree with a gap theory but I would be curious to see how others view this.

  • It doesn't say He made it that way - that's how it is at this point in the story. Genesis is a re-creation
    – Steve
    Commented Aug 19, 2020 at 21:34
  • Existence is better than non-existence. Mixing metaphors is a fallacy (physical darkness, unlike spiritual darkness, provides time for rest, which is not a form of evil). And creation itself is vastly different than God's uncreated character.
    – Lucian
    Commented Aug 20, 2020 at 0:20
  • It appears that you are conflating God’s character/attributes with what He created coherently by necessity in the physical realm (heavens and earth); light (illumination) and darkness (blackout), these are not the same as good (light) and evil (darkness). I don’t see why given God has no ‘darkness’ (streak of evil) In Himself, He would therefore be out of “character” to create physical darkness. Or since He is light, that He would only create illuminated things. Or because He is organized that He would never start with raw materials and in time conclude with a refined end product. +1 nonethele Commented Aug 20, 2020 at 6:20
  • If you could provide a verse which says "God is a God of order", or equivalent, then you could ask a question to reconcile these two passages. As it stands, this question is soliciting opinions to harmonize your own unsupported preconceptions of what God is with the Genesis account, which makes it a bad question in my book.
    – Robert
    Commented Aug 15, 2021 at 8:01
  • Btw, the idea that "God is a God of order" has about as much scriptural basis as "God helps those who help themselves". See, for example Isaiah 45.7
    – Robert
    Commented Aug 15, 2021 at 8:14

5 Answers 5


In the beginning God created the heavens (plural) and the earth.

From other scriptures we know that the third heaven (the heaven of heavens) is God's dwelling place. The first heavens are visible. The second heavens, therefore, are invisible but not God's primary dwelling places.

After the statement regarding the beginning, the earth is said to be bohu and tohu, which I understand to mean 'inglorious' and 'markedly so'. The translation needs considerable explanation and comparison with other scriptures.

Then there is a deep. And darkness is on the face of it. Thus the volume of it cannot be discerned : neither its content, nor its extent in depth. It is obscure.

Then the Spirit of God 'hovered' or 'fluttered' upon the face of the waters. This conveys an anxious desire to alight, but an energetic reluctance to do so.

Later, a serpentine spirit appears and tragedy ensues.

All of this points to something happening in the second heavens, before the tragedy occurred on earth. And if the obscurity of darkness occurred immediately the heavens were created (and before the earth was founded) then this would explain the state of earth being inglorious and markedly so.

Something had gone wrong in creation.

And as result, 'sin entered into the world' Romans 5:12.

The creation had a liability. Just by creating intelligent, sentient life, there was a liability. In order to create independently, intelligent beings, there is the liability of what independent creatures will do.

And we see the results.

Thus, redemption becomes an absolute necessity.

Immediately, upon the creation of man and woman, who can be influenced by created spirit, there is the absolute necessity of a redemptive sacrifice.

  • Hmm, I wouldn't say ' had gone wrong'. As Jesus was slain before etc, and the Serpent was 'in the garden' it was always going the way it went. Not intending to be 'picky'
    – Steve
    Commented Aug 20, 2020 at 5:45
  • There is an assumption that you make ”The second (two other) heavens, therefore, are invisible”. Just because it cannot be seen (due to the firmament and the waters above) doesn’t mean they are invisible just obstructed from view. +1 on the rest, though it doesn’t read as though you’re envisioning Biblical cosmology but rather modern day interpretation of empty, ever expanding space, though that could be just my impression. Commented Aug 20, 2020 at 6:02
  • @NihilSineDeo The scripture speaks of 'third heaven' - Paul knew a man who was there, whether in or out of the body, he could not say. One heaven is evident to our eyes. The second, I understand to be immaterial, not physically substantial, but is necessary for matter to exist. Theories regarding quantum entanglement, the Higgs Field, the Higgs boson, dark matter and dark energy - would all agree absolutely with an immaterial heaven (populated with immaterial beings - 'principalities and powers') whose existence is necessary for energy, matter and gravity to exist.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Aug 21, 2020 at 8:33
  • @user48152 No, not picky. I understand what you are saying. It went wrong - but it was foreseen that it would go wrong. I do not think that, on this point, we disagree.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Aug 21, 2020 at 8:37
  • @Nigel not wanting to spoil a special moment... but, would you lean towards it was 'intended' to go the way it did?
    – Steve
    Commented Aug 21, 2020 at 8:48

Without form and void is simply a description of the invisible gaseous-like matter (the Day-One waters) that was "created", from which all things seen were "made" according to Heb. 11:1-3, KJV:

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

This is not simply a statement about creating something from nothing, as some contend, because there was no inspection and approval of anything on Day-One except the "light" that was formed--not created--when the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the already-created waters.

The earth and its several seas were inspected and approved on Day-Three. The sun, moon, stars, planets, and each of their local atmospheres were inspected and approved on Day-Four.

Only those who refuse to believe God's timeline for His creating, making, forming, and establishing the cosmos as being accomplished in six successive days believe that God initially either created, or allowed His creation to become some morbid sick gloomy confused offensive creation prior to Day-Three.

Those precious invisible gaseous-like waters are a type of the WORD of God in whom was life. Likewise, in the created Day-One waters was life--potential energy--that needed to be formed or transformed in accordance with God's second Law of Thermodynamics into light. Energy can neither be created nor destroyed, just transformed. That life that was in Him was "the light of man." He accomplished ALL the work for man to have life through faith in His Word.

(John 1 1-5): In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

See: https://circumspectnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Gods-Day-Five-Creation.pdf

  • 1
    It says the 'earth' was … nothing about gases etc
    – Steve
    Commented Aug 20, 2020 at 2:30
  • 'Earth' is a solid, not a gas. The problem lies with the translation .... bohu and tohu .
    – Nigel J
    Commented Aug 21, 2020 at 9:20
  • tohuw (H8414): formlessness (of primeval earth) which was nothingness, empty space. Heb., bohuw (H922): emptiness, void, waste. • Gas: A gas has neither a definite shape, nor volume. Solid: A solid may be said to have a definite shape and volume.• Liquid: A liquid has a definite volume, but no definite shape. The only matter shown to be in existence on Day-One was a single body of not-yet-divided "waters" called "the heaven and the earth"--a dual phrase "object" DEMANDED by the joint definite direct object markers, 'eth, (or 'et) and ve’et (or, and ‘eth),--from which all things were formed. Commented Aug 21, 2020 at 23:17
  • @NigelJ The problem was not with the translation if you believe the earth was created on Day-One as a solid. Paul, who I believe wrote the episitle to the Hebrew people, certainly didn't see a translation problem when he grouped the Hebrew people of his day together with himself in his great claim of "understanding"when he said "Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed (same as formed) by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear." (My emphasis) Commented Aug 21, 2020 at 23:33

1 John 1:5 God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.

English Standard Version Psalm 18:11 He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him, thick clouds dark with water.

1 Kings 8:12 Then Solomon said, “The LORD has said that he would dwell in thick darkness.

Psalm 97:2 Clouds and thick darkness are all around him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.

While God is light, he is often surrounded by darkness.

Isaiah 45:7 I form the light and create darkness

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

Darkness existed before physical light was created. This darkness relates to invisible matter and energy in the angelic realm. It was highly organized by God. It was not a confused mess. It's just that we cannot see it until some of it is revealed in verse 3

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.

The word darkness in the Bible does not always associate with unrighteousness. Sometimes, it indicates a dark color. Other times, it means invisible to us human beings.

  • I would love you to substantiate this part of your answer ”This darkness relates to invisible matter and energy in the angelic realm.” Commented Aug 20, 2020 at 17:38
  • You will not believe me if I tell you that God revealed that to me.
    – user35953
    Commented Aug 20, 2020 at 18:25
  • @TonyChan If God has revealed it, it will be documented in holy scripture. All scripture is given for ... instruction ... edification ...
    – Nigel J
    Commented Aug 21, 2020 at 9:17

He didn't create the world without form and void. That was the preceding state that the world was formed from. The primordial waters of the Void were what was used to create the world.

  • Hi Tristan, welcome to BH-Stack Exchange, we are glad you are here. Please be sure to take the site tour and read our code of conduct. Thanks! Commented Aug 15, 2021 at 10:49

You struggle to reject "a gap theory". This is the resting place of the greater issue with which you struggle. Only scripture may define and inform scripture, and it has done well to clarify the gap between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2. We can easily read about what happened in the gap, why it happened and the outcome of it all. Even the timestamp is somewhat visible and science is constantly forced to bow to it.

This discussion has grown long and boring, and is now reserved for those who think, and read, and seem to know, but do not do anything.

There is an obvious gap in Genesis. It is many millions of "years" long. God prevented the light of the sun from touching the earth as it rotted. He may well have fast forwarded the natural process, as of course he is free to do.

Now, get on with the good work of bringing people to Jesus and stop wasting his good work in your heart trying to understand and explain things that are not complex, hidden or even consequential in the light of eternity which is rushing toward us all at an incredible rate!

  • Welcome to BHSX. Thanks for your contribution. Please take the tour (link below) to better understand how this site works. This looks more like admonition than an answer to the question.
    – Dottard
    Commented Jan 26, 2021 at 4:36
  • Are you able to supply any reasoned argument and references to support you assertions?
    – Dottard
    Commented Jan 26, 2021 at 4:37
  • The purpose of this site is exegesis, not speculative debate
    – Robert
    Commented Jan 26, 2021 at 6:06
  • Welcome Dewayne, while your response has merit, the tone of it is not conducive to appreciating the points you have made. Please consider editing to allow them the consideration they deserve in a less critical manner.
    – Steve
    Commented Jan 26, 2021 at 21:08

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