Word for Word: Episode 13
וְהָאָ֗רֶץ הָיְתָ֥ה תֹ֨הוּ֙ וָבֹ֔הוּ וְחֹ֖שֶׁךְ עַל־פְּנֵ֣י תְהֹ֑ום וְר֣וּחַ אֱלֹהִ֔ים מְרַחֶ֖פֶת עַל־פְּנֵ֥י הַמָּֽיִם
From Chaos to Order
Whereas verse 1 accents the fact of creation, verse 2 displays the process of God's working the miracle. Creation is an orderly arrangement of 40 to 50 billion trillion trillion trillion trillion invisible particles by means of vibrations. This can only be accomplished by One who is both omnipotent and omniscient.
There would be no mistakes, for each atom was individually "programmed" to specifications needed to react with other atoms. Once gravity was in affect, the molecules needed for everything else could be manufactured.
As the Spirit settled into place among the atoms, He was present everywhere. Being omnipresent made the work instantaneous. From then on, time was introduced for the benefit of mankind.
To recap the words so far:
(1) [b'] בְּ at, by, in, with
(2) [rōsh] רֹאשׁ. head, start, first
(3) [bara'] בָּרָא. Create, form by cutting, make, fashion.
(4) [elohim] אֱלֹהִ֑ים God, gods; Literally, The Most Mighty One
(5) ['et] אֵ֥ת indicates direct object
(6) [ha] הַ. The
(7) [Shamayim] שָּׁמַ֖יִם. Heaven(s), air, sky, space. Lit., lofty place
(8) [erets] אֶרֶץ. Earth, land,
(9) [w'] וְ and, or, but
(10) [tohu] תֹ֨הוּ֙ formless
(11) [bohu] בֹ֔הוּ empty
(12) [khō·shek'] חֹשֶׁךְ darkness, obscurity
(13) [`al] עַל over, on, upon
(14) [paniym] פָּנִים face, presence
(15) [teh·hōm] תְּהוֹם deep, depth(s)
(16) [ruakh] ר֣וּחַ spirit, breath, spirit, wind
(17) [rä·khaf] רָחַף hover, move, brood
(18) [mayim] מָּֽיִם water(s)
A simple paraphrase tying in what we know so far:
The first thing God did was bring space and particles into existence. But everything was dark and chaotic. The Spirit stepped in to organize the chaos, using the laws of physics to form a huge ball of water.