The first book of the Bible starts out with the story of creation of the heavens and the earth along with the earth’s renovation for humans. Unfortunately, due to some rather sloppy translations and the failure of new translations to correct the issue, we miss a lot of information that is expressed in the first few verses.

Genesis 1:1 – In a beginning God created the heavens and the earth. In this verse the change is minor, but has a significant impact on the events expressed. Rather than in “the” beginning, we find “a” beginning in the original Hebrew. This is important because it is not referring to the beginning of all creation, but specifically referring to a beginning when God created the universe and the earth. We find over in Job 38:7 that the angels (the sons of God) shouted for joy when the stars were created. They saw God create the heavens and the earth, therefore they had to have been created prior to the universe.

The next verse is also important to correctly translate from the original Hebrew to fully understand what is being conveyed. Genesis 1:2 – “And the earth was a wasteland and empty, and darkness was upon the face of the deep, and the Spirit of God brooded over the face of the waters.” Starting with the word “was”, the Hebrew language expresses the action of the verb in primarily two ways. It is incomplete or complete action. Incomplete is closely akin to ongoing action in English, where complete is expressed by the English past tense. Why does that matter? Because if the earth is in a state of being formless and void as a part of its creation, “was” would need to express incomplete action. But it does not; rather, the action being articulated is completed. This means that the earth came to be in this state but prior was not in such a condition, for before this new form it would have had to of been in a state of order; otherwise, it could not become formless and void. It is important to pay attention to each word in Scripture and what is conveyed by it. There is a reason that God used a complete action here, and we should take the time to understand it. When we do, we have a much better understanding of God’s Word that resonates with us, because Scripture is active and sharper than a two-edge sword and truth matters.

As we move on in the verse, we need to understand the meaning of “formless” and “void” for it ends up they do not express an earth that is without form and in chaos, but a wasteland empty of any intelligent life. “Formless” means a wasteland or desert. It is only translated as “formless” when referring to the earth where all other occurrences are translated according to its true meaning, a wasteland; therefore, there is no justifiable reason to change the definition of the word when referring to the earth. “Void” expresses a place that is empty, has no intelligent life (spirit or human). It is used of a description of the land of Edom after judgment in Isaiah 34:11, where there are no humans in the land.

God did not create the earth as a wasteland that was uninhabited (Isaiah 45:18). We find out in Ezekiel 28:14 that it was originally inhabited by Lucifer, who we now know as Satan. He ruled over the universe from earth, which was a rock garden, until he sinned by trying to move his throne up to the third heaven where God resides. This is why we find the earth in a state of being a wasteland and empty in verse two. Genesis 1:1-2 are setting the stage for the renovation of the earth after judgment came upon it because of  Lucifer’s actions; however, God did not create the earth to be uninhabited, so He is about to do something new. He is going to create a new creature, called Adam.