Genesis 1:2 – the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters
Genesis 1:1-2 (NKJV, emphasis added)
1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
2 The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
In this verse we see ‘and’ used by the English translators to attempt to convey the ideas of the original text. The use of ‘and’ in these verses is as a connecting word, not a word separating thoughts. The earth was without form, void, darkness upon the face of the deep; the Spirit of God hovering over the face of the waters. This reading without the ‘and’s’ makes it easier to not add additional thoughts and ideas to the clear meaning of the text.
In the beginning (time) Elohiym created the heavens (space) and the earth (matter); the earth was without form and void (not yet formed and empty) with darkness (lack of light yet to be created) was upon the face of the deep (abyss with a surging mass of water). Immediately, the Spirit of God was hovering (brooding [this will be explained shortly]) over the face of the waters.
How immense this mass of matter must have been, being God created ‘earth’ only once. God never ‘created’ (bara’) the sun, moon or stars but ‘made’ (‘asah) them from the earth (matter) He had already created.
The word for ‘God’ in both the first and second verses is ‘Elohiym’. Elohiym is a plural word, yet used often in a manner giving a singular sense of God. This displays the perfect unity in which the Trinity of God works. Some may balk at the idea of God being three persons, each very God, yet altogether God. Throughout Holy Scripture we see Father, Word (Son), and Spirit shown working individually alone or individually speaking to or referencing the other. This may seem strange to our minds currently limited to the trappings of a physical universe with bodies constrained by the effects of sin. Yet, it is how God is, regardless of our inability to understand completely.
Here in the second verse of Genesis we see the first direct mention of one of the three persons of God acting individually. The ‘Spirit of God’ immediately hovered over the face of the waters.
This action of the Spirit of God also reveals part of the nature of God. There is a reasonably even split of how ‘rachaph’ is translated. Many versions translate ‘rachaph’ as hovered or hovering, while about as many (that I have access to) translated it as moved. However, a few translations used the actual meaning of the word, ‘to brood’.
BROOD, v. i. [Sax. brod, a brood; and brœdan, bredan, to dilate or extend, to warm, to divulge, to spread; D. broeden, to brood; Ger. brüten, to brood; brut, brood; W. brwd, warm; brydiaw, to warm. The sense is, to warm, or to cover, to spread over.]
1. To sit on and cover, as a fowl on her eggs for the purpose of warming them and hatching chickens, or as a hen over her chickens, to warm and protect them.
2. To sit on; to spread over, as with wings; as, to sit brooding over the vast abyss. Milton.
This is a picture of who God is, for God is love (1 John 4:8). Upon the creation of the heavens and the earth, the Spirit of God was immediately brooding over the ‘face of the waters’. Holy Spirit (the Spirit of God) so loved the creation he immediately covered the face of the waters with his presence and started fussing over it much the way a mother hen does her baby chicks, or a loving human mother does her newborn child.
Holy Spirit did not wait for all creation to be finished; he started brooding as soon as the matter was created. Does not a loving father and mother do the same when the mother finds out she is pregnant? Does not the loving couple do everything in their power to protect the precious infant child who is living within the mother’s womb, awaiting sufficient growth and development of its body to be born?
This is the love Holy Spirit has for all creation. Holy Spirit has this same love, and even more intensely, for you. Holy Spirit has so much love for you he agreed to be sent from heaven to brood over you, to comfort you, strengthen and embolden you, and to help instruct you in the ways of righteousness and love.
16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it sees him not, neither knows him: but you know him; for he dwells with you, and shall be in you.
26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatever I have said to you.
7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send him to you.
8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
9 Of sin, because they believe not on me;
10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and you see me no more;
11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.
12 I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.
13 However, when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come.
14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it to you.
15 All things that the Father has are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall show it to you.
8 But you shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come on you: and you shall be witnesses to me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and to the uttermost part of the earth.
31 Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.
5 And hope makes not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given to us.
17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
1 Corinthians 2:9-11
9 But as it is written, Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love him.
10 But God has revealed them to us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.
11 For what man knows the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knows no man, but the Spirit of God.
NOTE: Scriptures quoted from AKJV unless otherwise specified.
JIM’S RELATED ARTICLES:
- Genesis 1:2 – Darkness was on the face of the deep pt. 2
- Genesis 1:2 – Darkness was on the face of the deep pt. 1
- Genesis 1:2 – The earth was without form, and void
- Genesis 1:1 – God created the heavens and the earth
- Genesis 1:1 – God created the heavens
OTHER RELATED ARTICLES:
- How Was the Holy Spirit Involved in Creation?
- Creation—how did God do it?