The earth was formless and empty. Darkness was on the surface of the deep and God’s Spirit was hovering over the surface of the waters. (Genesis 1:2)
Believers in YHVH know that with a blink of His eye He could create the earth in all its fullness, ready-made for life. However, He chose to develop the earth from specific circumstances and as I believe, took His time to hint at a similar compassion He would have for all mankind. In my last post I proposed that just like the physical earth at the beginning, all of mankind is tohu v’bohu (formless and empty) before seeing God’s truth. Assuming I’m correct, it stands to reason that ‘darkness’ and ‘water’ also represent metaphors for our original state of emptiness. I don’t have the space to exhaust all the Scripture verses portraying the metaphors of darkness of water, but the following is a sampling:
Water is Always Plural for a Reason
It is fitting that the Hebrew word for water (mayim) is always plural, because it symbolizes a great multitude of people. The use of ‘the Deep’ (tehom) is also significant because it has specific characteristics that further paint a grim picture of the beginning:
- Ezekiel 26:7,19— For thus says the Lord GOD: ‘Behold, I will bring on Tyre Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, king of kings, from the north, with horses, with chariots, with horsemen, and an army with many people…. For thus says the Lord GOD: ‘When I make you a desolate city, like the cities that are not inhabited; when I bring up the deep on you, and the great waters cover you…
Habbakuk 3:10—The mountains saw you, and were afraid. The storm of waters passed by. The deep roared and lifted up its hands on high.
- Revelation 19:6—I heard something like the voice of a great multitude, and like the voice of many waters, and like the voice of mighty thunders, saying, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns!
- Revelation 17:15—He said to me, “The waters which you saw, where the prostitute sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and languages.”
I can see from the above examples that “the Deep” and “waters” represent masses of people. The fact that God allowed water to cover the earth in the beginning leads me to believe this is also an allegory that mankind is tohu v’bohu, lost without God in our collective life. Another thing I see is that the Deep is never quiet. It thunders, it roars, it… rages. I further believe God alludes to the “noise” of mankind here, with our raging, shouting, wailing, hissing… just as the Deep never shuts up, mankind is always roaring. In other words, when God hovered over it, the Deep was “roaring back” at God, and this also occurs in the allegorical- there is much more rage directed against the word of God than stillness and peace.
Darkness Means Evil (Big Surprise)
Moving on to the allegorical meanings of darkness (Heb. choshek), nothing really educates:
- Psalm 107:10-11— Some sat in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron, because they rebelled against the words of God, and condemned the counsel of the Most High.
- Proverbs 2:12-15— …the men who speak perverse things; who forsake the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness; who rejoice to do evil, and delight in the perverseness of evil; who are crooked in their ways, and wayward in their paths…
- Isaiah 5:20—Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness…
- Isaiah 42:6-7—I, the LORD, have called you in righteousness, and will hold your hand, and will keep you, and make you a covenant for the people, a light for the nations; to open the blind eyes, to bring the prisoners out of the dungeon, and those who sit in darkness out of the prison.
As expected, the above examples show that choshek metaphorically means a complete opposite of uprightness, such as perversion, evil doings, and rebellion against the Most High. I can also see choshek refers to a prison, both the brick-and-mortar kind and of the spiritual variety. As a matter of fact, the latter verse from Isaiah is a reference to the covenant of Messiah Yeshua, who came for the very reason (among other reasons) of releasing all people from their prisons. In context of Matthew 12:18-21 which quotes Isaiah 42, Yeshua was healing people and casting out demons.
This allegory elaborates on the tohu v’bohu state of mankind before knowing God. Mankind stumbles around, participating and organizing all sorts of perverse acts. I see clearly that the tohu v’bohu state is a prison full of a wide variety of evils, ranging from our own devices to unclean spirits. No man in the great multitude of peoples is exempt from this fact of life. The good news is-literally, the Good News is that Yeshua came as foretold in the prophet; the great deep that is mankind has someone to release them from the prison that is darkness. The picture of earth at its tohu v’bohu genesis paints a prophetic picture which will play out over time. I will comment more on that point in my next post.
While I uncovered the hidden meanings of darkness and the deep/waters, I haven’t yet talked about the Spirit of God who enters the equation. Fortunately, just as the Spirit is the only chance for the earth to gain structure, the Spirit of God is mankind’s only chance to break free from the chaotic state of perversion and his evil ways. As I see it, there are two powers vying to rest on the face of the “waters” (symbolically mankind)- the first is choshek, and the other of course is Ruach Elohim (Spirit of God). As I will show in my next post, it doesn’t appear like either power is interested in sharing.