ESV - 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.
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The Hebrew word translated "earth" tends to refer to "land" (for example, in contrast to "sea" and "sky"), rather than to the planet. Thus the statement that the earth was formless and empty doesn't necessarily imply that the planet's matter was not arranged in any definable figure (e.g. approximately spherical, which would've been necessary for there to be a surface of the water at all). It seems that the first 3 days in the creation account deal with form, while the last 3 days deal with filling (to remove the emptiness). So empty can mean something like "uninhabited by life," while formless could simply mean no dry land. I think it's possible, of course, that the "formless" could describe the mass of particles (still inherently approximately spherical due to gravity) that would consolidate into the planet Earth, though this then would seem to require a long time between verses for the water to react out, etc. In this way all God would have to do is define gravity (as he seems to define electromagnetism in generating light, though I don't know why this would come after atomic structure had developed enough for the existence of what the scripture calls "water") for the Earth to automatically become spherical and have water. Ultimately, as Mr. Watson has said, anything we propose is going to be speculation (probably best relegated to the consideration of hypotheses relying on chemistry and physics); the important thing is that God prepared the world in a way suitable for humans to live in, so that one day he could come into our world and die for us and restore us to fellowship with him.
In Genesis 1:2 we are told that the earth "was" or "became" (Hebrew - hayeta = became) without form and void and darkness was upon the face of the deep. The three elements of "become" and "darkness" and "without form and void" (Hebrew 'tohu va bohu' = a chaotic wasteland cf uses of 'tohu' and 'bohu' throughout the Old Testament referring to barrenness and destruction (eg. Jeremiah 4:23-27), indicate that something terribly destructive had occurred. The fall of Satan would appear to be the only satisfactory answer to this state. "Darkness" throughout the Bible refers to the work of Satan and Peter says we have been called out of darkness into light, 1 Peter 2:9 and John tells us there is no darkness in God (1 John 1:5) and James shares the same sentiment, (James 1:17). So it is not really a question of "shape" in the sense of oval, spherical, circular etc, but what is the "shape" physicallly and spiritually, i.e. dark, destroyed, waste, chaos, causing (a) the Spirit of God to hover, brooding and protecting the earth from this satanic attack, and then God saying, "Let there be light"! (Genesis 1:3-4) and He separated the Light and the Darkness. He continues to do that work in us today and in every new believer who comes out of darkness into His glorious light.
"When" as a sequence of events goes like this: One risk that we often take (too often) is question how, when, and why God did it. If the answer isn't right there in scripture, then we start guessing. Suffice it to say that God did it, and that settles it. That passage could read like this: "Before the beginning of space and time God (Elohim, the Trinity) spoke into existence the heavens and the earth, and the earth thereby created was shapeless and utterly void, just a bunch of gases floating around in the utter blackness of nothingness, with our invisible God hovering over the soup. Then God lit up the place and said 'Earth! Be a sphere!' And it was. And He said, 'Some of the soup will hang out around the earth, and some of it will settle on the earth.' And so it was." See how that works? No doubt whatsoever that God did it and that settles it.
Genesis 1 tells us that God created the dry land on the third day of Creation. The Bible doesn't specifically tell us that the earth was formed into a sphere at that time, but there is no reason to assume otherwise. Genesis 1:9-13: And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered water, he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good. Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.
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