New Defender's Study Bible Notes
1:2 the earth. In an attempt to accommodate the supposed evolutionary geological ages in Genesis, certain theologians postulated a long gap in time here between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2, in which it was hoped these ages could be pigeon-holed and forgotten as far as Biblical exegesis was concerned. This gap theory, however, requires a worldwide cataclysm at the end of the geological ages, in order to account for the globally inundated and darkened earth described in Genesis 1:2. The cataclysm, in turn, is hypothetically connected with the fall of Lucifer in heaven (Isaiah 14:9-14) and his expulsion to the earth (Ezekiel 28:12-15), though such a cataclysm is nowhere mentioned in Scripture. However, in addition to its obvious contradictions with other important and clear Bible passages (e.g., Genesis 1:31; Exodus 20:11), the gap theory is self-defeating geologically. The geological age system (which is the necessary framework for modern evolutionism) is based entirely on the principle of uniformitarianism, a premise which precludes any such worldwide cataclysm, and requires the interpreting of earth history by the extrapolation of present geological processes into the remote past. The concept of geological ages is based entirely on a uniformitarian explanation of the fossil beds and sedimentary rocks of the earth’s crust, which would all have been destroyed by the postulated pre-Adamic cataclysm. Thus, any attempt to ignore or explain away the supposed great age of the earth by appeal to the gap theory makes an unnecessary and abortive compromise with evolutionism, and displays a lack of understanding of the geological structures and processes to which evolutionists appeal in postulating their long ages.
The real answer to the geological ages is not an imaginary pre-Adamic cataclysm, but the very real cataclysm of the Noahic Deluge (see comments on Genesis 6–9), which provides a much better explanation of the fossil beds and sedimentary rocks, eliminating all evidence of geological ages and confirming the Biblical doctrine of recent creation.
1:2 was without form, and void. The verb “was” in Genesis 1:2 is the regular Hebrew verb of being (hayetha) and does not denote a change of state unless the context so requires. It only rarely is translated “became,” as the gap theory postulates here. Neither does the phrase tohu waw bohu need to mean “ruined and desolated,” as the gap theory requires. The King James translation “without form and void” is the proper meaning.
1:2 was upon the face of the deep. The universe as first called into existence by Elohim was in elemental existence, still “unformed” and unenergized, not yet ready for habitation, “void” (see notes on Psalm 33:6-9; Proverbs 8:22-31; Isaiah 45:18; II Peter 3:5). It would not be perfect (i.e., finished) until the end of creation week, when God would pronounce it “very good” and “finished” (Genesis 1:31–2:3). The “earth” material was suspended in a matrix of water (the “deep”) completely static and therefore in “darkness.”
1:2 And the Spirit...moved. However, this condition prevailed only momentarily. Then, the “Spirit” (Hebrew ruach) of “God” (Elohim) proceeded to “move upon the face of the waters” (literally, “vibrate in the presence of the waters”). Waves of gravitational energy and waves of electro-magnetic energy began to pulse forth from the great “Breath” (another meaning of ruach) of God, the Prime Mover of the universe. The unformed “earth” material (Hebrew eretz), as well as the “waters” permeating it (Hebrew shamayim) quickly coalesced into spherical form under the new force of gravity, and the first material body (Planet Earth) had been formed at a point in space.