Church of God, New World Ministries

Bible Q & A

Q. It is my understanding that verses 1 and 2 of Genesis, chapter 1, explain the creation of the earth. Yet, you say these verses describe events which happened before the seven day “creation week.” Can you prove your belief from the Bible?
 
A. Yes, we can! The Hebrew words for “without form and void” (Gen. 1:2) are tohu and bohu. Translated into English they mean chaotic, in confusion, waste, empty. Why would God create the earth in disorder and then have to straighten it out? That wouldn’t make sense! The Hebrew word for “created” used in Genesis 1:1 implies that the creation was a perfected work. It implies order and system, not chaos or confusion! We read in I Corinthians 14:33 that “God is not the author of confusion.” God is the author of peace. He is the author of law and order.

God told Job that the angels shouted for joy when the earth was created (Job 38:7). This is further indication that when God created the earth, He created it useful and beautiful.

Conclusive proof is found in Isaiah 45:18. Notice: “For thus saith the Eternal that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain…” “In vain” is an inappropriate translation. The original Hebrew word is tohu. This is the same identical Hebrew word used in Genesis 1:2 meaning “confusion” or “emptiness” or “waste”—a result of disorder, a result of violation of law. Thus, this verse is a plain statement that when God created the earth it was not tohu—in a state of confusion and disorder. It became that way long before the seven day “creation week,” which actually begins in verse 3.


An added point of evidence is verse 2 of Genesis 1. Here the English word translated “was” is from the Hebrew word hayah. This word is translated “became” in Genesis 2:7, 9:15 and 19:26. In the first three chapters of the Bible, and many other places where you find the Hebrew word hayah, it denotes a condition that was different from a former condition. In other words, the earth “became” chaotic. It had not always been that way. What caused it to become chaotic? See the next question.
 
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