THE GAP THEORY:

WAS THE EARTH CREATED THEN REFORMED MAKING IT BILLIONS OF YEARS OLD?

Following are a few of the doctrinal points from Scripture which support the fact that the earth was not previously created and then reformed:

B) THE DOCTRINES OF SCRIPTURE REFUTE THE POSSIBILITY OF THE GAP THEORY

1) GEN 1:28 COMMANDS MAN TO MULTIPLY & FILL THE EARTH NOT REPLENISH WHAT HAD PREVIOUSLY BEEN THERE

a) [Gen 1:27-28]:

(v. 27) "So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

(v. 28) God blessed them and said to them, 'Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.' "

[Henry Morris, op. cit., pp. 75-78]:

"The first command given to this first man and woman was to 'be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.' The King James translation used the term 'replenish,' but this does not suggest the idea of 'refilling,' either the Old English term itself or the Hebrew word from which it is translated. The Hebrew word is 'male', and means simply 'fill', 'fulfill,' or 'be filled.' Of the more than three hundred times it is used, it is translated (in KJV) by 'replenish' only seven times; and even these could as well have been rendered 'fill.' It is certainly erroneous to use this one verse as a proof text for the gap theory, as many have done."

2) THE EARTH WAS CREATED SPECIFICALLY FOR MAN

Scripture indicates that the earth was created as man's dominion and for his good pleasure. So there is a question as to why there might have been an earth created long before man:

a) [Gen 1:26]

(v. 26) "Then God said, 'Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.' "

b) [Compare Heb 2:5-8]:

(v. 5) "It is not to angels that He has subjected the world to come, about which we are speaking.

(v. 6) But there is a place where someone has testified: 'What is man that You are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?

(v. 7) You made him a little lower than the angels; You crowned him with glory and honor

(v. 8) and put everything under his feet.

In putting everything under him, God left nothing that is not subject to him. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to him.'"

[So Scripture indicates that it is not to angels that God gave the world but to man]

c) [Compare Isa 45:18]:

"For this is what the Lord says - He Who created the heavens, He is God; He Who fashioned and made the earth, He founded it; He did not create it to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited - He says: 'I am the Lord, and there is no other."

Here God states that He did not create the earth to be empty. So there is a question as to how then the earth could be permitted to be empty for ages without man to inhabit it.

And God's Word states that the world was specifically created as man's inheritance:

d) [Mt 25:34]:

"Then the King [The Lord Jesus Christ] will say to those on His right, 'Come, you who are blessed by My Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom [of the earth] prepared for you since the creation of the world."

"prepared for you since the creation of the world." = prepared for mankind since "the beginning" when "God created the heavens and the earth", (Gen 1:1).

Therefore there would be a question as to the purpose for the creation of the earth, permitting it to deteriorate into a chaotic and voided condition and then eons later re-creating the earth and subsequently creating man for whom the earth was created in the first place.

3) SINCE THE CHAOTIC AND DYING CONDITION OF TODAY'S CREATION WAS A RESULT OF ADAM'S FALL, THE EARTH BEFORE ADAM WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN THAT WAY

If death existed on the earth millions of years before Adam was created especially in the form of animals living and dying then God's Word that Adam's original sin brought death to the universe is untrue:

a) [Ro 5:12]:

"Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned - "

b) [1 Cor 15:21]:

"For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man."

And what purpose would it serve to have creation reflect the lost condition of man before Adam and Eve were even created much less lost:

c) [Ro 8:19-22]:

(v. 19) "The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed.

(v. 20) For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the One Who subjected it, in [the sure, v. 24] hope

(v. 21) that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.

(v. 22) We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time."

(v. 23) Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies."

So as believers await the redemption of their bodies, (cp. 1 Cor 15:35-49), so the whole of creation which reflects the sinful condition of man also awaits its redemption ito the new heavens and the new earth, (2 Pet 3:13; Rev 21:1),

4) THE EARTH CREATED ONE TIME RECENTLY

a) [Rev 21:1]:

"Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea."

Notice that the FIRST heaven and the FIRST earth passed away in Rev 21:1 thousands of years after Adam and Eve were created, strongly indicating that God created the heavens and the earth only one time before this and did not recreate it again before Rev 21:1.

Other passages strongly indicate that God created the heavens and the earth and all life forms therein including man in a total of six days and then rested:

b) [Gen 2:1-2]:

(v. 1) "Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array, [including all life forms especially man, vv. 1:11-27].

(v. 2) By the seventh day God had finished the work He had been doing; so on the seventh day He rested from all His work."

c) [Compare Heb 4:3b-4]:

(v. 3b) "...And Yet His [God's] work has been finished since the creation of the world.

[Notice that Heb 4:3b is stating that God's entire work of creation of the world has been finished. The next verse states the time that God spent doing this entire creative work]: (v. 4) For somewhere He has spoken about the seventh day in these words: 'And on the seventh day God rested from all His work.'"

So God's creative work is stated in Scripture as taking an uninterrupted 6 days, ruling out the possibility of an earlier creation which deteriorated into chaos.

[Dr. Baugh, op. cit., p.5-6]:

"A repetitive phrase given again and again [in the creation account in Scripture] is 'the evening and the morning,'... ....[So] "...creation days are literal [24 hour days]. The word "Yom" is used in the Hebrew, and unless there is a specific contextual arrangement, it always means a literal day... the reason the days of creation had to be literal is because of the interrelationship of life.

[Plant, insect, animal life and non-living elements of nature such as light, rain, air etc. are interdependent upon one another such that they need to be in creation at the same time for one another to survive]:

[Dr. Baugh, op. cit., p. 9]:

"It was on day number three that God created the botanical life forms. It was not until day number four that God created the stellar heavens - the sun and the moon - to create the ability for photosynthesis. If the earth were enshrouded in a cloud of darkness, there would not have been the ability for photosynthesis until the sun and more of the stellar heavens were visible and usable as light sources. In a matter of forty-eight hours, most of the botanical life forms would be dead. In a matter of twenty-eight days, all of them would be dead without the ability, designed by the Lord, that the stellar bodies give for photosynthesis upon the earth.

Even if that were not the case, it was not until day number six that God created the insects that are so very important to the procreation of most of these botanical life forms. There is such an interplay of the life forms that the days of creation have to be literal [24 hour] days."

5) THE GEOLOGICAL AGES MODEL BELIES THE GAP MODEL WHICH WAS CONCEIVED OF IN ORDER TO SUPPORT IT!

[Henry Morris states, (op. cit., p. 47)]:

"The gap theory is thus self-defeating scientifically. It attempts to accommodate the geological ages by postulating a worldwide cataclysm, but a worldwide cataclysm denies the premise on which the geological age system is based, and would indeed obliterate all the so-called evidence of the geological ages.

The geological age system depends on the supposed evolutionary succession of the fossils preserved in the sedimentary rocks of the earth's crust. A cataclysm of such dimensions as to leave the earth inundated with waters and with darkness covering the face of the deep could have been nothing less than a global explosion, blowing billions of tons of debris into the sky to blot out the sun, and all the rest of the solid earth down into the ocean. Such a disintegrative explosion would obliterate the sedimentary crust and all its fossils, and thus would leave no evidence of the 'geological ages' which the gap theory is attempting to accommodate."

6) THE GAP THEORY CONTRADICTS THE ESSENCE OF GOD

[Henry Morris states, (op. cit., p. 47-48)]:

"The Bible says, however, that death came into the world only when Adam brought sin into the world (Romans 5:12, I Corinthians 15:21). This fact directly contradicts the assumption in the gap theory that death prevailed for ages before Adam. Furthermore, this primeval prevalence of suffering and death even before Satan's rebellion leaves only God Himself as responsible for such a state. But the very idea that the God of order and love would directly create and use a universal system based on randomness and cruelty seems almost blasphemous. These, however, are the implications of the gap theory."

7) MAN WAS THERE AT THE BEGINNING

Still other passages indicate that in the beginning man was created, not later on in another time period after the time period in which the heavens and the earth were created. Man, God's Word testifies, was created there in the Genesis 1:1 beginning when "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.":

Henry M. Morris states in the October 1994 issue , (#70), of 'Impact', pp. aa-c:

"The Lord Jesus Christ...clearly affirmed the truth of recent creation. Jesus Christ was the Creator of all things (note John 1:1-3:10; Colossians 1:16; Ephesians 3:9; Hebrews 1:2, 10; etc.).....Christ says there have been people on the earth since the very beginning of the world - and He ought to know, for He was there!

For example, when the Pharisees asked Him about marriage and divorce, He replied that 'from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female' (Mark 10:6). He did not say that God made the first man and woman fifteen billion years after the beginning of the creation, but right from the beginning of the creation. In fact, the whole creation had been prepared for them (even the stars had been made to serve them 'for signs, and for seasons.' Genesis 1:14, 16), and they were given 'dominion...over all the earth' (Genesis 1:26). Such a stewardship responsibility would be an anachronism if animals and plants had already been living and dying - many even becoming extinct - for long ages before they were placed under some kind of human 'dominion' (note also Hebrews 2:6-8, Ps 8:6-8)......

What conceivable purpose could God have had in interposing a billion years of suffering and death in the animal kingdom prior to implementing His great plan of salvation for lost men and women?

[And what purpose to have creation reflect the lost condition of man before Adam and Eve were even created much less lost?]

He is neither cruel nor capricious, and would never be guilty of such pointless sadism....

Beginning with Abel (the first prophet of God according to Jesus in Luke 11:51), God sent prophet after prophet to transmit His word to men. More often than not their message was opposed, even to the point of bloodshed, and this also has been going on from the beginning. Jesus Himself referred to 'the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world' (Luke 11:50). That is, prophets have been preaching and dying since the very foundation of the world - not starting five billion years later.

This opposition to God's plan has been instigated by Satan himself. Jesus called Satan 'a liar, and the father of it,' as well as 'a murderer from the beginning' (John 8:44). He had not only deceived Eve with his humanistic philosophy ('ye shall be as gods,' Genesis 3:5), but also had caused Cain to murder God's first prophet. This too was at 'the beginning,' not five billion years after the beginning for even if animals had been dying for a billion years before this, as theistic evolutionists claim, their deaths could not be called 'murders.' Note also I John 3:8: 'The devil sinneth from the beginning.'

There is yet coming a time of God's great wrath on this unbelieving world. Again it was Jesus who said: 'In those days shall be affliction, such as was not since the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time," (Mark 13:19). The clear premise of this prophecy by Christ was that there had, indeed, been tribulation and affliction 'since the beginning of the creation which God created' (and, therefore, people had been on the earth all during that time), but that the coming period of 'great tribulation' would be still worse.

Also note that, according to these words of Christ, the creation had both a 'beginning' and a termination ('created' is in the past tense, in consistency with the use of this word all through the Bible). The world and its inhabitants are NOT continuously being created, as evolutionists and many progressive creationists would have us believe, for the creation was a completed event of the past. See also Hebrews 4:3 for a clear affirmation that all of God's 'works were finished from the foundation of the world.' Thus, the Lord Jesus Christ, by whom all things were created in the beginning, has repeatedly made it clear that the supposed billions of years of a groaning, travailing creation (note Romans 8:22) prior to man's creation and fall never existed at all. God created men and women at the beginning, and then, when Adam sinned, quickly began to implement His great plan of redemption. To the redeemed He has promised 'a kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world' (Matthew 25:34), without the slightest intimation that there would be a fifteen-billion-year prelude before He would ever start the program of redemption.

The same emphasis was later carried forward by His apostles. Peter, for example, promised the soon return of Christ, 'whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began' (Acts 3:21).

Similarly, at the birth of John the Baptist, the prophet/priest Zacharias stressed that God's 'horn of salvation'' was coming, 'as He spake by the mouth of His holy prophets, which have been since the world began' (Luke 1:70). Thus, just before and just after Christ's earthly ministry, we are assured that Jesus spoke clearly and truly when He said that God's prophets have been transmitting God's word to man not just since human history began, but 'since the world began.' Thus the world and its human inhabitants began essentially at the same time.

Consider also the testimony of the apostle Paul: 'For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, [by people] being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse' (Romans 1:20). This powerful verse explicitly tells us that the evidences of God can be seen so clearly in His created world that it is inexcusable for people not to see them. Furthermore, they were being seen and understood by people, not just since a certain imaginary population of evolving hominids somehow acquired souls, but 'from the creation of the world.'

'hominids' = imaginary human like creatures which noncreationists maintain preexisted and evolved into human beings.

Consider the words of our Lord Himself in Mark:

a) [Mk 10:6]:

"[Jesus said] But at the beginning of creation God made them male and female.'"

"at the beginning of creation" =

"creation" = The word creation here must refer to that which was created rather than the process of the six days of creation as detailed in Genesis chapter one. Otherwise "at the beginning of creation" would teach that man's body, soul and spirit were created at the beginning of the six day creation process, i.e., on day one, or two conflicting with the Genesis account of man's creation on day six.

So "at the beginning of creation" = refers to the beginning, (six day), period when God created His Creation, (i.e., all things). At the beginning man and woman were created, not billions of years of evolution later - or even hundreds of years.

Dr. Carl E. Baugh states in "Panorama of Creation", Creation Publication Services, Fort Worth, Tx, 1992, p 2:

"This verse [Mk 10:6] says a number of things to us.

First of all, it says that the universe is not sixteen and a half billion years old. It says that the earth is not four and a half billion years old.... ...From the beginning of creation, we can then point back to the history of man....

Man came on the stage fully operational, with the ability to accomplish all that God designed for him to accomplish... ...From the beginning of creation, we can trace the history of man."

So the universe is not billions of years old, nor even millions.

[Dr. Baugh, op. cit., p. 3]:

"Man and woman were made on the sixth day of creation. It was not until after that sixth day that the Bible says, 'It is finished'.....

b) [Gen 2:1-2]:

(v. 1) "Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.

(v. 2) By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day He rested from all His work."

[Dr. Carl Baugh cont., op. cit., p. 3]:

...So the entire creation was made in a progressive form in a matter of six days. Yet, the time scale for the physical six-day creation is 'the beginning.' "...

@@@k04

So the universe is not billions of years old, nor even millions - only thousands of years old.

[Henry Morris states, (op. cit., p. 44-45)]:

"...All actual historical records agree in substance with the Bible's short chronology. A longer chronology, which of course is needed to support the modern dogma of evolution, must be based on uniformitarian extrapolation...

["the belief that physical processes have always functioned in the past essentially as they do at present" (Morris, p. 47)]

...of certain present physical processes. It should be recognized, however, that all such calculations necessarily must be based on a number of unproved and, as a matter of fact, untestable assumptions. They can never be as accurate or reliable as actual historical records, of which the Bible is certainly the most accurate and reliable.

Furthermore, there are many physical processes which, even with these uniformitarian assumptions, can be shown to agree in order of magnitude with the short Biblical chronology, and only a few which can be made to give a chronology long enough to support the evolutionary idea....

[assuming that things have remained relatively the same throughout the ages, which one can observe in the world around us is just not the case]

...The weight of the scientific data is heavily on the side of a recent creation and chronology of history, in agreement with the Biblical record.

With such facts in mind, there is no good reason not to accept the simple literal Biblical chronology. This is not necessarily Ussher's* chronology; but it will be of the same general magnitude, since Ussher did base his calculations on the Biblical data....

[*...The best-known chronological system based on these Biblical data is that of Archbishop James Ussher (1581-1656), who computed the date of creation as 4004 B.C.....]

...There are many uncertainties in such calculations... In addition to Ussher's date of 4004 B.C. for the creation, many other dates have been computed, some of which are as follows (all in years B.C.): Jewish, 3760; Septuagint, 5270; Josephus, 5555; Kepler, 3993; Melanchthon, 3964; Luther, 3961; Lightfoot, 3960; Hales, 5402; Playfair, 4008; Lipman, 3916; and others.

In addition, all the above calculations assume the completeness of the genealogies in Genesis 5 and 11. Many writers have argued that one or more gaps of unknown magnitude may be assumed in these lists, especially in Genesis 11....

....In any case, they cannot be stretched sufficiently to accommodate modern evolutionary chronology, which places the origin of modern man at about 3,000,000 B.C., rather than totaling more than about five thousand years in these chapters without rendering the record irrelevant and absurd. Consequently, the Bible will not support a date for the creation of man earlier than about 10,000 B.C."

8) GOD SAID IT WAS VERY GOOD NOT RUINED OR CHAOTIC

[Commenting on Gen 1:31 - 2:3, Henry Morris states, op. cit., p. 79-80]:

"God had now completed His work but, before settling down to 'rest' in contemplation of what He had produced, as it were, He first surveyed it all and pronounced the whole creation to be 'very good,' Six times before, He had seen that what He had made was 'good'; but now that it was complete, with every part in perfect harmony with every other part, all perfectly formed and with an abundance of inhabitants, He saw with great joy that it was all (literally) 'exceedingly good.' On each previous day, the account had concluded by saying (literally) 'the evening and the morning were a fifth day.' and so on; but now it says, 'the evening and the morning were the sixth day' (the definite article occurring for the first time in this formula), thus also stressing completion of the work.

This one verse is itself sufficient to refute any theory which tries to accommodate the geological ages concept in the Genesis record of creation. Everything in the universe (the next verse specifically includes all the host of heaven in its scope) was still at this time exceedingly good, in God's own omniscient judgment. There could have been nothing that was not good in all creation: no struggle for existence, no disease, no pollution, no physical calamities (earthquakes, floods, etc.), no imbalance or lack of harmony, no disorder, no sin and, above all, no death! Even Satan was still good at this point; his rebellion and fall must have come later.

Fossils, of course, speak of death - often of violent and sudden death. They also speak of disease and injuries, of storms and convulsions - in short, of a world like the present world, 'the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together' (Romans 8:22). Since death only 'entered into the world' when sin came in through man (Romans 5:12), and since the whole creation was very good before man sinned, it is as obvious as anything could be that the fossil record now found in the sedimentary rocks of the earth's crust could only have been formed sometime after man sinned. The fossils could not have been deposited either before the six days of creation (as in the gap theory) or during the six days of creation (as according to the progressive creation day-age type of theory). How could God have possibly looked upon a world of struggle and travail, and looked into the rocks to see the remains of billions of dead animals (as well as humanlike creatures), and then described it all as exceedingly good? Such a suggestion in effect makes God out to be a monster - not the 'God of all grace' ([Who] cares for every sparrow), not the God of love and mercy (therefore too kind to create a world by such a process as suggested in the geological age concept), the God of perfect wisdom (therefore certainly able to devise a better way than that), The God of omnipotence (thus fully able to create by such a better way), and the God of infinite order (not the 'author of confusion' and of wasteful inefficiency which is implied if the fossil record is indeed a record of prehuman earth history), as revealed in the Bible...

...The cataclysmic events of the great Flood in the days of Noah are quite sufficient to account for all the phenomena of the sedimentary rocks and the fossil record. At the time of man's creation, however, the whole universe was a beautiful, perfect creation, the finest that the mind and heart of God Himself could devise for man..."

THE WORDS CREATED, FORMLESS AND VOID WHEN TAKEN INTO CONTEXT DO NOT SUPPORT A GAP THEORY

[Gen 1:1]:

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

"created" = "bara" (Hebrew) = expresses creation out of nothing. This word is used throughout the Bible and only with God as its subject.

[cp Ro 4:17]:

"As it is written: 'I have made you a father of many nations.' He is our father in the sight of God, in Whom he believed - the God Who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were."

[In other words, 'The God Who calls things into existence that were not']

[cp Heb 11:3]:

"By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible."

[cp Ps 33:6-9 N.A.S.]:

(v. 6) "By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, And by the breath of His mouth all their host. [the stars]

(v. 7) He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap; [cp Gen 1:9] He lays up the deeps in storehouses.

(v. 8) Let all the earth fear the Lord; Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him.

(v. 9) For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast."

[Compare Col 1:16]:

"For by Him [Jesus Christ] all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by Him and for Him."

[Note that Col 1:16 is even more specific: "all things...visible and invisible" were created by Jesus Christ, thus refuting the false doctrines of the preexistence of souls and the creation rather than the eternal existence of Jesus Christ. Col 1:16 also affirms our Lord's diety since only God is Creator, (cp Isa 40:28)]

[Gen 1:1 cont.]:

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

"Heaven" = "shamayim" = heavens, plural. Can be translated heaven or heavens. Refers to space in general or a particular space such as outer space, depending upon context. Henry M. Morris states, (The Genesis Record, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Mich., 1976, pp. 40-41):

"In Genesis 1:1, the term refers to the component of space in the basic space-mass-time universe... ...It does not mean the stars of heaven, which were made only on the fourth day of Creation Week (Genesis 1:16), and which constitute the 'host' of heaven,

not heaven itself (Genesis 2:1 [cp Ps 33:6]).

"earth" = "erets" = The Hebrew word "erets" which is translated "earth" connotes either the planet, a particular portion of it or the material of which the planet is made depending upon the context of the particular passage. For example,

[Gen 12:5]:

"He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Haran, and they set out for the land ["erets] of Canaan, and they arrived there."

[Compare Gen 1:11]:

"Then God said, 'Let the land ["erets"] produce vegetation..."

"earth" = "erets" = refers in Gen 1:1 to the matter which was created in the space of the heavens in its most basic condition. At this time the earth had no form (cp v. 2) and there were no other planets, stars or other material bodies in the space of the heavens, i.e., the universe, until day four, (Gen 1:14-19). The earth at this time of creation was in its most basic elements and compounds, formless and without structure - its surface being a watery one. Note that later in verse 9 it states, "Let the water under the sky [i.e., the water that is on the surface of the earth] be gathered to one place, and let the dry ground appear."

[i.e., there was no land appearing on the surface of the earth at all]

[Gen 1:1-2 NAS]:

(v. 1) "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

(v. 2) And the earth was formless and void ["empty"], and darkness was over the surface [Lit. "face" *] of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface[*] of the waters"

"And the earth was" =

"And" = "waw" = connects verses 1 & 2 chronologically and sequentially. As a matter of fact, all verses in Genesis chapter one are joined chronologically and sequentially by the conjunction "and" = "waw". Thus a pattern is established which is firmly enhanced by the use of "waw" = "and" wherein the action of each verse is portrayed as following directly after the events of the previous verse. This is verified by the statements in verses 5, 8, 13, 19, 23 and 31 which indicate a creation sequence of 6 literal 24 hour days with an evening and a morning.

James Stambaugh states, (Impact periodical #251 May 1994, in article entitled, 'Star Formation and Genesis 1'):

"The style of [Hebraic] writing of Genesis 1 is historical, using the waw-consecutive to express consecutive action (waw = and). Biblical historians... [i.e., the original writers of the Bible who wrote historical accounts used] ...this style to: 'express

actions, events, or states, which are to be regarded as the temporal or logical sequence of actions, events, or states mentioned immediately before.' What this means for Genesis 1 is that God describes a sequence of events that occur one after the other throughout the creation week. We see this sequence reflected in the English as 'And 'God said,' 'And there was,' or 'And it was,' with which each verse in Genesis 1 begins. Each occurrence signifies that some action followed another in a real time sequence.

This is very important as it relates to the events of Genesis 1. Francis Andersen observes: 'A string of (waw-consecutive) clauses in narrative prose (historical) states events as occurring in a time sequence one after another. It is implied that one is finished before the next begins, so it is possible to speak of the verbs as 'perfective' in aspect. So the events of Genesis 1:14-19 have an opening waw-consecutive 'And God said,' and a closing pattern of waw-consecutives 'and it was evening, and it was morning' separating the 4th day from the previous and subsequent commands God issued. The point for the interpreter is that each day in Genesis 1 must be a completed event! So God began His creation of the sun, moon, and stars on Day 4 and finished them on that same day. This also rules out the concept that the days may overlap in some manner."

"was" = "hayetha" = objectors to a 6 day creation often maintain that the word "hayetha" be translated "became" which is grammatically possible. So verse two would then falsely read, 'And the earth became ruined and chaotic.' But this contradicts the context by suggesting more than a 6 day creation in which the formerly perfect earth deteriorated into a ruined and chaotic condition. There are a number of reasons why this is not what God's Word is stating which will be stated shortly. In addition to this the Hebrew verb form "hayetha" is NOT normally used to indicate a change of state as in 'became'. The Hebrew word 'haphak' is normatively used for that. In Scripture "hayetha" means "was" 98% of the time. If "became" were the correct interpretation, (and it is NOT), then it is still evident that objectors to a 6 day creation ignore the possible interpretation using the word "became" that God's first stage of creation could be described as 'the earth became formless and void' followed by God's next five 24 hour day stages of giving it form and life.

"formless and void" = "tohu waw bohu" =

"formless" = In verse 1, God created the heavens and the earth and in verse 9 God drew back the water which covered the entire earth. The earth therefore was evidently without form - without structure - having formless liquid water covering its entire surface.

THEOLOGICAL WORDBOOK OF THE OLD TESTAMENT, (TWOT), vol 2, R. Laird Harris, Editor, Moody Press, Chicago, 1980, pp. 964-5:

'''tohu.. [formless] ..."the adjectives 'formless' and 'empty' seem to be the key to the literary structure of the chapter. [Gen chapter 1] The record of the first three days refers to the heaven and earth receiving their 'form,' and the record of the last three days to the filling-up of their 'emptiness,'....

The 'gap' or 'interval' theory, which posits a millennia-long period of time implied by or in Gen 1:2 and which usually translates 1:2a by the less likely 'but the earth became without form and void,' has come into increasing disfavor in recent years. Its main exegetical support, Isa 45:18, reads '(God) did not create (the earth) tohu' and has been [falsely] interpreted to mean that therefore an original creation described briefly in Gen 1:1) was destroyed; that the geologic ages ensued (during the 'gap'); and that the new creation portrayed in Gen 1:3ff, was built on the wreckage of the old. But Isa 45:18, after the phrase quoted, goes on to say that God 'formed (the earth) to be inhabited,' thereby assuring the reader that tohu was not his ultimate purpose in creation....

...The word tohu in Gen 1:2, likewise, refers not to the result of a supposed catastrophe (for which there is no clear biblical evidence) but to the formlessness of the earth before God's creative hand began the majestic acts described in the following verses...

...since 'create' in Gen 1:1 is a summary statement epexegeted in the remainder of the chapter (cf. concluding summary in Gen 2:1-3), it may be that Isaiah designates by 'create' all of God's works during the six days. He did not 'create' chaos but a cosmos."

Henry Morris states, op. cit., p. 49-51:

"The creation narrative in Genesis 1 tells the steps by which He brought form to the unformed earth and living inhabitants to its empty surface. There is certainly no contradiction with the statement in Genesis 1:2 that the initial creation was of basic elements rather than of a completed system. The initial creation was not perfect in the sense that it was complete, but it was perfect for that first stage of God's six-day plan of creation.

Likewise, the word "bohu" does not connote a desolation, but simply 'emptiness.' When initially created, the earth had no inhabitants; it was 'void.'

The essential meaning, therefore, is: 'In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth (or space and matter), and the matter so created was at first unformed and uninhabited.'

The created cosmos, as discussed earlier, was a tri-universe of time, space, and matter. Initially there were no stars or planets, only the basic matter component of the space-matter-time continuum. The elements which were to be formed into the planet Earth were at first only elements, not yet formed but nevertheless comprising the basic matter - the 'dust' of the earth."

Initially, the earth had no form; and similarly, this state must apply to the waters also. The picture presented is one of all the basic material elements sustained in a pervasive watery matrix throughout the darkness of space. The same picture is suggested in II Peter 3:5..."

[2 Peter 3:5b NAS]:

"by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water,"

[Compare Pr 8:26-27 NAS]:

(v. 26) "While He had not yet made the earth and the fields, Nor the first dust of the world.

(v. 27) When He established the heavens, I [wisdom, v. 12] was there, When He inscribed a circle on the face of the deep,"

"When He inscribed a circle on the face of the deep" =

"circle" = "chug" = circle, sphere

This verse is describing God's creative process whereby the earth is in a state described as "the deep" (cp Gen 1:2). Then God formed the earth's "face" into a circle. So the earth in Genesis 1:2 was "formless" awaiting the Holy Spirit's creative process of forming the earth into a sphere. "Deep" = "tehom" refers to the great watery depths of the earth as further defined by the rest of verse 2. Compare Gen 7:11; Isa 51:10 - same word is used to describe the watery depths on the earth.

[Henry Morris, cont.]:

"...The fact that this 'compass' [circle] had to be 'set' on the face of the deep shows that the face of the deep originally had no such sphericity - it was formless, exactly as intimated in Genesis 1:2. Elements of matter and molecules of water were present, but not yet energized. The force of gravity was not yet functioning to draw such particles together into a coherent mass with a definite form. Neither were the electromagnetic forces yet in operation and everything was in darkness. The physical universe had come into existence, but everything was still and dark - no form, no motion, no light."

[Gen 1:1-2 NAS cont.]:

(v. 1) "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

(v. 2) And the earth was formless and void ["empty"], and darkness was over the surface [Lit. "face" *] of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface[*] of the waters"

"Now the earth was...void" = "void" meaning devoid of life forms until God got to the steps beginning on the fourth day when He commenced creating living creatures. Scripture does not teach that the earth was void because it reflected the evil condition of Satan and his demonic angels.

"formless and void" [cont.] =

"tohu waw bohu"

Many hold to a 'gap' theory of interpretation whereby verse one represents a completed creation and verse 2 indicates that the earth then became 'ruined and desolate' as a result of Satan's fall and consequent occupation of the earth. Thus the words "tohu waw bohu" are translated on the order of 'ruined and desolate'. This is grammatically possible, but contextually in error. Nevertheless, objectors to a strict and exclusive 6 literal 24 hour days of creation often point to passages such as the following:

[Isa 24:1]:

"See, the Lord is going to lay waste the earth and devastate it;

He will ruin its face and scatter its inhabitants -"

This verse is misapplied to Gen 1:1 to prove that the earth was at first created then laid to waste to become "formless and void". However, the rest of the passage in Isaiah, especially verse 2, indicates that the earth's inhabitants will be scattered; inhabitants meaning men:

[Isa 24:1-2]:

(v. 1 ) "See, the Lord is going to lay waste the earth and devastate it; He will ruin its face and scatter its inhabitants -"

(v. 2) it will be the same for priest as for people, for master as for servant, for mistress as for maid, for seller as for buyer, for borrower as for lender, for debtor as for creditor."

If this passage in Isaiah applies to Gen 1:1 then there is a question as to how the 'inhabitants' who must be human based on verse 2 got scattered before they were created later on in Gen 1:26 on the 6th day. The proper interpretation is that God in the yet future time of the 7 year Tribulation period will "lay waste the earth..." when people will occupy the earth at that time, (cp Rev chapters 6, 8-9, 15-16).

Other passages such as Jer 4:23-31 are similarly misused. The conclusion is falsely drawn that Jer 4:23-31 can be applied to Gen 1:1-2 because the language is similar in verses 23-24. But similarity does not prove identity especially if the context is different:

[Jer 4:23-31]:

(v. 23) "I looked at the earth, and it was formless and empty; and at the heavens, and their light was gone.

(v. 24) I looked at the mountains, and they were quaking; all the hills were swaying.

(v. 25) I looked, and there were no people; every bird in the sky had flown away."

[Notice that this presumes that there were people in the past - therefore this could not be applicable to Gen 1:1]

[Jer 4:23-31 cont]:

(v. 26) I looked, and the fruitful land was a desert; all its towns lay in ruins before the LORD, before His fierce anger.'

[Towns which were formerly occupied by people]

(v. 27) This is what the Lord says: 'The whole land will be ruined, though I will not destroy it completely.

[Notice that God said He "will not destroy it completely". So "the whole land will not be ruined." Since this limits the ruin on the earth to an incomplete ruin of only a land and not the entire earth then this passage has no application back to Genesis 1:1 & 2, especially when the earth was to have been previously occupied by man. The following verses establish a different context from Gen 1:1]

(v. 28) Therefore the earth will mourn and the heavens above grow dark, because I have spoken and will not relent, I have decided and will not turn back.'

(v. 29) At the sound of horsemen and archers every town takes to flight....

[This speaks of a human army which will cause the destruction]

(v. 31) I hear a cry as of a woman in labor, a groan as of one bearing her first child - the cry of the Daughter of Zion gasping for breath...

[Note that the subject of destruction is not the whole earth as in Gen 1:1-2 but God's Chosen People Israel. Note that verses 1, 22, 27, 31 and others are ignored which indicate that Israel is the subject of the passage and not the whole earth and that total destruction will not result:

[Jer 4:1]:

" 'If you will return, O Israel, return to Me,' declares the Lord."

[ Compare Jer 4:27]:

"This is what the Lord says: 'The whole land [of Israel] will be ruined, though I will not destroy it completely.

"formless and void" (cont.) =

"tohu waw bohu" =

TWOT, op. cit., vol 1, p.92:

"(bohu) void, waste, emptiness.

Always occurring with t oh u 'waste' (q.v.), bohu describes the primordial condition of the earth, 'void' at the beginning of creation (Gen 1:2), or 'made empty' by God's judgment (Isa 34:11; Jer 4:23). It is probable that the descriptions in Isaiah of the desolations of Edom and those in Jeremiah of Israel borrow this phrase from the Genesis picture of a primordial chaos."

Objectors to a 6 day creation who use Isa 34:11 and Jer 4:23 to back up their gap theory apply the interpretation of "tohu waw bohu" in Isaiah and Jeremiah - that God would make a portion of the earth "tohu waw bohu", i.e., 'formless and void" through a conquering human army - to the "t oh u waw bohu" in Gen 1:2. They conclude that in a similar way in the beginning did God make the earth BECOME 'formless and void'. However, they ignore a more suitable interpretative possibility that the earth simply 'was formless and void' awaiting the next stage in God's creative process of shaping it and filling it with living creatures, including man.

Henry M. Morris states, (op. cit., p.49):

"In justification of this claim, [of the gap theory of the earth being millions of years old], reconstructionists maintain that God, being perfect, would never create the universe in a chaotic state. Therefore, they say, such a state must have come about long after the creation itself, probably because of Satan's sin and judgment. Furthermore, they point out, Isaiah 45:18 specifically says that God created not the earth "in vain [Hebrew tohu], He formed it to be inhabited."

Such an interpretation of Genesis 1:2, however, is very forced and unnatural. The word "tohu" can carry various shades of meaning. It occurs twenty times in the Old Testament and is translated in the King James Version no less than ten different ways ('vanity,' 'confusion,' empty place,' 'nothing,' etc.). Its proper translation depends on the specific context and the best translation in the context of Genesis 1:2 is exactly as the King James scholars rendered it: 'without form' "

~~~gen1.htm#gap_theory#2

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

"created" = "bara" (Hebrew) = expresses creation out of nothing. This word is used throughout the Bible and only with God as its subject.

A) [Compare Ro 4:17]:

"As it is written: 'I have made you a father of many nations.' He is our father in the sight of God, in Whom he believed - the God Who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were."

[In other words, 'The God Who calls things into existence that were not']

B) [Compare Heb 11:3]:

"By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible."

C) [Compare Ps 33:6-9 N.A.S.]:

(v. 6) "By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, And by the breath of His mouth all their host. [the stars]

(v. 7) He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap; [compare Gen 1:9] He lays up the deeps in storehouses.

(v. 8) Let all the earth fear the Lord; Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him.

(v. 9) For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast."

D) [Compare Col 1:16]:

"For by Him [Jesus Christ] all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by Him and for Him."

[Note that Col 1:16 is even more specific: "all things...visible and invisible" were created by Jesus Christ, thus refuting the false doctrines of the preexistence of souls and the creation rather than the eternal existence of Jesus Christ. Col 1:16 also affirms our Lord's diety since only God is Creator, (cp Isa 40:28)]

[Gen 1:1 cont.]:

V) THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH = BASIC SPACE-TIME-MATTER BEFORE FINAL DETAILS AND LIFEFORMS ARE ADDED

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

"Heaven" = "shamayim" = heavens, plural. Can be translated heaven or heavens. Refers to space in general or a particular space such as outer space, depending upon context. Henry M. Morris states, (op. cit., p. 40-41):

"In Genesis 1:1, the term refers to the component of space in the basic space-mass-time universe... ...It does not mean the stars of heaven, which were made only on the fourth day of Creation Week (Genesis 1:16), and which constitute the 'host' of heaven, not heaven itself (Genesis 2:1 [Compare Ps 33:6]).

"earth" = "erets" = The Hebrew word "erets" which is translated "earth" connotes either the planet, a particular portion of it or the material of which the planet is made depending upon the context of the particular passage.

For example,

A) [Gen 12:5]:

"He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Haran, and they set out for the land ["erets] of Canaan, and they arrived there."

B) [Compare Gen 1:11]:

"Then God said, 'Let the land ["erets"] produce vegetation..."

"earth" = "erets" = refers in Gen 1:1 to the matter which was created in the space of the heavens in its most basic condition. At this time the earth had no form (cp v. 2) and there were no other planets, stars or other material bodies in the space of the heavens, i.e., the universe, until day four, (Gen 1:14-19). The earth at this time of creation was in its most basic elements and compounds, formless and without structure - its surface being a watery one. Note that later in verse 9 it states, "Let the water under the sky [i.e., the water that is on the surface of the earth] be gathered to one place, and let the dry ground appear."

[i.e., there was no land appearing on the surface of the earth at all]

[Gen 1:1-2 NAS]:

VI) A SERIES OF HISTORICAL 'AND'S' = 'WAW' ESTABLISH CONSECUTIVE & RECENT ACTION OVER SIX 24 HOUR DAYS

(v. 1) "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

(v. 2) And the earth was formless and void ["empty"], and darkness was over the surface [Lit. "face" *] of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface[*] of the waters"

"And the earth was" =

"And" = "waw" = connects verses 1 & 2 chronologically and sequentially. As a matter of fact, all verses in Genesis chapter one are joined chronologically and sequentially by the conjunction "and" = "waw". Thus a pattern is established which is firmly enhanced by the use of "waw" = "and" wherein the action of each verse is portrayed as following directly after the events of the previous verse. This is verified by the statements in verses 5, 8, 13, 19, 23 and 31 which indicate a creation sequence of 6 literal 24 hour days with an evening and a morning.

James Stambaugh states, (Impact periodical #251 May 1994, in article entitled, 'Star Formation and Genesis 1'):

"The style of [Hebraic] writing of Genesis 1 is historical, using the waw-consecutive to express consecutive action (waw = and). Biblical historians... [i.e., the original writers of the Bible who wrote historical accounts used] ...this style to: 'express actions, events, or states, which are to be regarded as the temporal or logical sequence of actions, events, or states mentioned immediately before.' What this means for Genesis 1 is that God describes a sequence of events that occur one after the other throughout the creation week. We see this sequence reflected in the English as 'And 'God said,' 'And there was,' or 'And it was,' with which each verse in Genesis 1 begins. Each occurrence signifies that some action followed another in a real time sequence.

This is very important as it relates to the events of Genesis 1. Francis Andersen observes: 'A string of (waw-consecutive) clauses in narrative prose (historical) states events as occurring in a time sequence one after another. It is implied that one is finished before the next begins, so it is possible to speak of the verbs as 'perfective' in aspect. So the events of Genesis 1:14-19 have an opening waw-consecutive 'And God said,' and a closing pattern of waw-consecutives 'and it was evening, and it was morning' separating the 4th day from the previous and subsequent commands God issued. The point for the interpreter is that each day in Genesis 1 must be a completed event! So God began His creation of the sun, moon, and stars on Day 4 and finished them on that same day. This also rules out the concept that the days may overlap in some manner."

[Gen 1:1-2 cont.]:

(v. 1) "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

(v. 2) And the earth was formless and void ["empty"], and darkness was over the surface [Lit. "face" *] of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface[*] of the waters"

VII) AND AT THIS POINT THE EARTH WAS YET WITHOUT FORM AND LIFE AND LIGHT - TO BE ADDED IN THE NEXT FEW DAYS

"was" = "hayetha" = objectors to a 6 day creation often maintain that the word "hayetha" be translated "became" which is grammatically possible. So verse two would then falsely read, 'And the earth became ruined and chaotic.' But this contradicts the context by suggesting more than a 6 day creation in which the formerly perfect earth deteriorated into a ruined and chaotic condition. There are a number of reasons why this is not what God's Word is stating which will be stated shortly. In addition to this the Hebrew verb form "hayetha" is NOT normally used to indicate a change of state as in 'became'. The Hebrew word 'haphak' is normatively used for that. In Scripture "hayetha" means "was" 98% of the time. If "became" were the correct interpretation, (and it is NOT), then it is still evident that objectors to a 6 day creation ignore the possible interpretation using the word "became" that God's first stage of creation could be described as 'the earth became formless and void' followed by God's next five 24 hour day stages of giving it form and life.

"formless and void" = "tohu waw bohu" =

"formless" = In verse 1, God created the heavens and the earth and in verse 9 God drew back the water which covered the entire earth. The earth therefore was evidently without form - without structure - having formless liquid water covering its entire surface.

THEOLOGICAL WORDBOOK OF THE OLD TESTAMENT, (TWOT), vol 2, R. Laird Harris, Editor, Moody Press, Chicago, 1980, pp. 964-5:

'''tohu... [formless] ..."the adjectives 'formless' and 'empty' seem to be the key to the literary structure of the chapter. [Gen chapter 1] The record of the first three days refers to the heaven and earth receiving their 'form,' and the record of the last three days to the filling-up of their 'emptiness,'....

The 'gap' or 'interval' theory, which posits a millennia-long period of time implied by or in Gen 1:2 and which usually translates 1:2a by the less likely 'but the earth became without form and void,' has come into increasing disfavor in recent years. Its main exegetical support, Isa 45:18, reads '(God) did not create (the earth) tohu' and has been [falsely] interpreted to mean that therefore an original creation described briefly in Gen 1:1) was destroyed; that the geologic ages ensued (during the 'gap'); and that the new creation portrayed in Gen 1:3ff, was built on the wreckage of the old. But Isa 45:18, after the phrase quoted, goes on to say that God 'formed (the earth) to be inhabited,' thereby assuring the reader that tohu was not his ultimate purpose in creation....

...The word tohu in Gen 1:2, likewise, refers not to the result of a supposed catastrophe (for which there is no clear biblical evidence) but to the formlessness of the earth before God's creative hand began the majestic acts described in the following verses...

...since 'create' in Gen 1:1 is a summary statement epexegeted in the remainder of the chapter (cf. concluding summary in Gen 2:1-3), it may be that Isaiah designates by 'create' all of God's works during the six days. He did not 'create' chaos but a cosmos."

Henry Morris states, op. cit., p. 49-51:

"The creation narrative in Genesis 1 tells the steps by which He brought form to the unformed earth and living inhabitants to its empty surface. There is certainly no contradiction with the statement in Genesis 1:2 that the initial creation was of basic elements rather than of a completed system. The initial creation was not perfect in the sense that it was complete, but it was perfect for that first stage of God's six-day plan of creation.

Likewise, the word "bohu" does not connote a desolation, but simply 'emptiness.' When initially created, the earth had no inhabitants; it was 'void.'

The essential meaning, therefore, is: 'In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth (or space and matter), and the matter so created was at first unformed and uninhabited.'

The created cosmos, as discussed earlier, was a tri-universe of time, space, and matter. Initially there were no stars or planets, only the basic matter component of the space-matter-time continuum. The elements which were to be formed into the planet Earth were at first only elements, not yet formed but nevertheless comprising the basic matter - the 'dust' of the earth."

Initially, the earth had no form; and similarly, this state must apply to the waters also. The picture presented is one of all the basic material elements sustained in a pervasive watery matrix throughout the darkness of space. The same picture is suggested in II Peter 3:5..."

A) [2 Peter 3:5b NAS]:

"by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water,"

B) [Compare Pr 8:26-27 NAS]:

(v. 26) "While He had not yet made the earth and the fields, Nor the first dust of the world.

(v. 27) When He established the heavens, I [wisdom, v. 12] was there, When He inscribed a circle on the face of the deep,"

"When He inscribed a circle on the face of the deep" =

"circle" = "chug" = circle, sphere

This verse is describing God's creative process whereby the earth is in a state described as "the deep" (cp Gen 1:2). Then God formed the earth's "face" into a circle. So the earth in Genesis 1:2 was "formless" awaiting the Holy Spirit's creative process of forming the earth into a sphere. "Deep" = "tehom" refers to the great watery depths of the earth as further defined by the rest of verse 2. Compare Gen 7:11; Isa 51:10 - same word is used to describe the watery depths on the earth.

[Henry Morris, cont.]:

"...The fact that this 'compass' [circle] had to be 'set' on the face of the deep shows that the face of the deep originally had no such sphericity - it was formless, exactly as intimated in Genesis 1:2. Elements of matter and molecules of water were present, but not yet energized. The force of gravity was not yet functioning to draw such particles together into a coherent mass with a definite form. Neither were the electromagnetic forces yet in operation and everything was in darkness. The physical universe had come into existence, but everything was still and dark - no form, no motion, no light."

[Gen 1:1-2 NAS cont.]:

(v. 1) "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

(v. 2) And the earth was formless and void ["empty"], and darkness was over the surface [Lit. "face" *] of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface[*] of the waters"

VIII) A GAP THEORY OF TIME BETWEEN VERSES ONE AND TWO IS REFUTED

A) "FORMLESS AND VOID" IN GEN 1:2 INDICATES THE EARLY STAGE OF GOD'S CREATION PROCESS AND NOT A CONDITION OF DETERIORATION

"Now the earth was formless and void" = "void" meaning devoid of life forms until God got to the steps beginning on the fourth day when He commenced creating living creatures. Scripture does not teach that the earth was void because it reflected the evil condition of Satan and his demonic angels.

"formless and void" [cont.] = "tohu waw bohu"

Many hold to a 'gap' theory of interpretation whereby verse one represents a completed creation and verse 2 indicates that the earth then became 'ruined and desolate' as a result of Satan's fall and consequent occupation of the earth. Thus the words "tohu waw bohu" are translated on the order of 'ruined and desolate'. This is grammatically possible, but contextually in error. Nevertheless, objectors to a strict and exclusive 6 literal 24 hour days of creation often point to passages such as the following:

1) [Isa 24:1-2]:

(v. 1) "See, the Lord is going to lay waste the earth and devastate it;

He will ruin its face and scatter its inhabitants -"

This verse is misapplied to Gen 1:1 to prove that the earth was at first created then laid to waste to become "formless and void". However, the rest of the passage in Isaiah, especially verse 2, indicates that the earth's inhabitants will be scattered; inhabitants meaning men:

[Isa 24:1-2 cont.]:

(v. 1 ) "See, the Lord is going to lay waste the earth and devastate it; He will ruin its face and scatter its inhabitants -"

(v. 2) it will be the same for priest as for people, for master as for servant, for mistress as for maid, for seller as for buyer, for borrower as for lender, for debtor as for creditor."

If this passage in Isaiah applies to Gen 1:1 then there is a question as to how the 'inhabitants' who must be human based on verse 2 got scattered before they were created later on in Gen 1:26 on the 6th day. The proper interpretation is that God in the yet future time of the 7 year Tribulation period will "lay waste the earth..." when people will occupy the earth at that time, (cp Rev chapters 6, 8-9, 15-16).

Other passages such as Jer 4:23-31 are similarly misused. The conclusion is falsely drawn that Jer 4:23-31 can be applied to Gen 1:1-2 because the language is similar in verses 23-24. But similarity does not prove identity especially if the context is different:

2) [Jer 4:23-31]:

(v. 23) "I looked at the earth, and it was formless and empty; and at the heavens, and their light was gone.

(v. 24) I looked at the mountains, and they were quaking; all the hills were swaying.

(v. 25) I looked, and there were no people; every bird in the sky had flown away."

[Notice that this presumes that there were people in the past - therefore this could not be applicable to Gen 1:1]

[Jer 4:23-31 cont]:

(v. 26) I looked, and the fruitful land was a desert; all its towns lay in ruins before the LORD, before His fierce anger.'

[Towns which were formerly occupied by people]

(v. 27) This is what the Lord says: 'The whole land will be ruined, though I will not destroy it completely.

[Notice that God said He "will not destroy it completely". So "the whole land will not be ruined." Since this limits the ruin on the earth to an incomplete ruin of only a land and not the entire earth then this passage has no application back to Genesis 1:1 & 2, especially when the earth was to have been previously occupied by man. The following verses establish a different context from Gen 1:1]

(v. 28) Therefore the earth will mourn and the heavens above grow dark, because I have spoken and will not relent, I have decided and will not turn back.'

(v. 29) At the sound of horsemen and archers every town takes to flight....

[This speaks of a human army which will cause the destruction]

(v. 31) I hear a cry as of a woman in labor, a groan as of one bearing her first child - the cry of the Daughter of Zion gasping for breath...

[Note that the subject of destruction is not the whole earth as in Gen 1:1-2 but God's Chosen People Israel. Note that verses 1, 22, 27, 31 and others are ignored which indicate that Israel is the subject of the passage and not the whole earth and that total destruction will not result:

3) [Jer 4:1]:

" 'If you will return, O Israel, return to Me,' declares the Lord."

4) [Compare Jer 4:27]:

"This is what the Lord says: 'The whole land [of Israel] will be ruined, though I will not destroy it completely.

"formless and void" (cont.) =

"tohu waw bohu" =

TWOT, op. cit., vol 1, p. 92:

"(bohu) void, waste, emptiness,

Always occurring with tohu 'waste' (q.v.), bohu describes the primordial condition of the earth, 'void' at the beginning of creation (Gen 1:2), or 'made empty' by God's judgment (Isa 34:11; Jer 4:23). It is probable that the descriptions in Isaiah of the desolations of Edom and those in Jeremiah of Israel borrow this phrase from the Genesis picture of a primordial chaos."

Objectors to a 6 day creation who use Isa 34:11 and Jer 4:23 to back up their gap theory apply the interpretation of "tohu waw bohu" in Isaiah and Jeremiah - that God would make a portion of the earth "tohu waw bohu", i.e., 'formless and void" through a conquering human army - to the "tohu waw bohu" in Gen 1:2. They conclude that in a similar way in the beginning did God make the earth BECOME 'formless and void'. However, they ignore a more suitable interpretative possibility that the earth simply 'was formless and void' awaiting the next stage in God's creative process of shaping it and filling it with living creatures, including man.

Henry M. Morris states, (op. cit., p. 49):

"In justification of this claim, [of the gap theory of the earth being millions of years old], reconstructionists maintain that God, being perfect, would never create the universe in a chaotic state. Therefore, they say, such a state must have come about long after the creation itself, probably because of Satan's sin and judgment. Furthermore, they point out, Isaiah 45:18 specifically says that God created not the earth "in vain [Hebrew tohu], He formed it to be inhabited."

Such an interpretation of Genesis 1:2, however, is very forced and unnatural. The word "tohu" can carry various shades of meaning. It occurs twenty times in the Old Testament and is translated in the King James Version no less than ten different ways ('vanity,' 'confusion,' empty place,' 'nothing,' etc.). Its proper translation depends on the specific context and the best translation in the context of Genesis 1:2 is exactly as the King James scholars rendered it: 'without form' "

~~~gen1.htm#gap_theory#2