What was the spirit of God hovering over?


Genesis 1:1 - 31

ESV - 1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

Clarify (4) Share Report Asked April 04 2013 Mini Shelly Adams

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Stringio Colin Wong Supporter Founder, eBible.com
While Genesis was not written to be a scientific treatise on the beginning of the universe, we are given clues as to Earth's origin.

Is the "face of the waters" in reference to the primordial matter that forms the universe, or is it an early form of the planet Earth whose surface was still covered in liquid (the "earth" as in "land" was without form because it was covered in water)? We may never know.

What is certain, that we hold to be true, is that God was there from the very beginning and that he is the author of all things (Genesis 1:1).

April 04 2013 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Jeff3 Jeff Hammond
In Genesis 1:1 we have the amazing revelation, from the first verse in the Bible of the nature of the universe - time, space and matter.

"In the beginning (TIME), God created the heavens (SPACE) and the earth (MATTER)." A triune God created a triune UNIverse not a MULTIverse and He created it beautiful (Ecclesiastes 3:11). There was no darkness for in God there is no darkness (1 John 1:5; James 1:17). Darkness comes from Satan, it is the absence of light (John 1:15; 3:19; Ephesians 6:12 etc). 

Secondly, the Hebrew word 'hayah' and its form 'hayeta' used throughout Genesis 1 is the verb "to be" and means "became". Every instance of 'hayah' in Genesis 1 has the meaning "became". See all the "and it was so" verses which mean "and it became so". That's what the word "was" means in all these references. It is the same word in Genesis 1:2, "And the earth was..." Note the footnote on "was" in the NIV "or possibly became". 

Something happened to cause the chaotic state of Genesis 1:2, "And the earth became TOHU VA BOHU." This Hebrew expression implies destruction - see Jeremiah 4:23-27 etc. Genesis 1:2, "and darkness was on the face of the deep". Where did the darkness come from? So, if we understand it literally in the Hebrew, we have destruction and darkness. We can only avoid that understanding by not being literal and going metaphoric. The Fall of Satan (Isaiah 14:12-17; Ezekiel 28:11-17) has brought this chaos, darkness, and destruction.

Genesis 1:2, "and the Spirit of God moved/hovered/brooded over the face of the waters." The Hebrew for 'moved, hovered, brooded' is the word 'rachaph' which is only used 3 times - Genesis 1:2; Jeremiah 23:9 and Deuteronomy 32:11. The word indicates a high degree of care, even concern in its action. This is very appropriate in Genesis 1:2 where the earth is under attack from Satan who has rebelled against the Lord and has been cast down to the earth bringing destruction and darkness. The Holy Spirit in His protective love hovers over the surface of the planet.

Then God said, "Let there be light!" Genesis 1:3. God responded to this destruction immediately and the battle between Light and Darkness began. The battleground is the earth. Satan's goal is to rob and to kill and destroy, but God's intention, through Christ, is bring life and life more abundantly, John 10:10.

Thus His story (history) begins...

October 09 2013 5 responses Remove Vote Share Report

B8c746f3 63c7 43eb 9665 ef7fba8e191b Kelli Trujillo Supporter Loving Wife, Mother, Grandmother, Teacher, Musician
My opinion is that nothing was created yet, so the spirit could not have actually been hovering over anything tangible as we know it. The English text uses words like "face of the waters" and "face of the deep" only because there really are no adequate words to describe what that scene would have looked like to us. We see through "glasses" based on our understanding of reality, and we have no frame of reference to truly be able to comprehend what pre-creation looked like.

April 06 2013 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Chuck jr 2 Chuck Smith Jr Supporter Soul-shaper
The Hebrew word translated "hover" is used again in Deuteronomy 32:11-12, where an eagle fluttering over its young, then lifting them on its wings and carrying them is compared to Yahweh's care for Israel in the wilderness. The word seems to combine a soft touch and gentle motion. 

Commentators' speculation on the Spirit's role in creation include the following:
That He produced vibrations to generate the energy necessary to bring order and life to the formless and void planet.
That the Spirit's action involved seeding the earth with life.

These seem like a reach, however, and an attempt to make the passage more palatable to a western, scientific mentality than an ancient Hebrew worldview. 

The reference is most likely an indication of God's intimate nearness to the creation and the processes of nature through his Spirit. As the Scriptures unfold, God will continue to interact with the earth and its people through the dynamic operations of his Word ("Let there be") and his Spirit.

April 04 2013 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Mini Pat Gregg
In the beginning GOD gave a detailed description of how he took nothing (very much like our lives) and made something out of it. Attributing him to be the potter and we the clay as mentioned in Jeremiah that he takes and molds, makes and designs after his own will. We are created by design. We are not a mistake. No matter what darkness has invaded your life GOD is able to make the darkness light before you. And what is wrong he can make right and the high places he can bring down. He led captivity, captive and gave gifts unto men. Just as he took a chaotic earth and made it livable and gave it to man, as a gift.

February 13 2014 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Stringio Abel Christian
In my opinion,God is giving us the message that His Spirit reigns transcendent and supreme over the universe and a void earth as a whole,since he created these. Most of us were thought that He is Omnipresent-all present as well as All-seeing.God's spirit is translated as Ruah(breath in Hebrew) and indicates renewal of the face of the earth.The words'hovering over the face of the waters' are,in my opinion, understood to mean the same as well,the face of the earth.To these explanations I acknowledge any flaws on them and hope that readers can help fill the loopholes.Ty God bless

April 04 2013 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Beach Jae Park
The following is my limited understanding on Genesis 1:2

1. The earth was without form and void [unorganized, inhabitable status] God changed earth into an inhabitable earth [Isa 45:18] 

2. on the face of the deep [Sea] 
a) The deep indicates the water sea [Isa 51:9,10] 
b) The earth was covered with water. [Psa 104: 5-6] 
c) The earth was formed out of water. [2Pet 3:5]

3. The Spirit of God was hovering
a) hover means bird's movement over its brood [Deut 32:11, Isa 31:5] 
b) possibly, the Spirit of God provides the energy [power] in order to bring life on empty earth. 

4. Picture of spiritual re-creation 
a) ‘Formless and void/empty’ [Jer 4:23]: 
 describe the inner condition of men. 
b) New life in Jesus [2Cor 5:17, Gal 6:15]
 Formless life into ordered life; 
 Empty life into life of fullness 
5. Day 1: Traditional view 
v1: the title of the creation account or first act of creation on day 1. 
v2: the first condition of the creation on day 1.
v3: the first written-command on day 1
 earth/water created first although it was not mentioned
 and later light was created with first written command.

November 26 2013 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Mini Paul Tewey
The heavens were the surface of the deep and the surface of the waters was earth. God was over deep and the Spirit over the waters.

Genesis 1:

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

2 Now the earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.


Psalm 18

11 He made darkness his secret place; his pavilion round about him were dark waters and thick clouds of the skies.

Genesis 1:

2 Now the earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.

May 07 2021 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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