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Darkness and Deep literally picture ocean depth. Figuratively, they unlock the world of spirit beings.
In Genesis 1:2 we read, “darkness was upon the face of the deep.” For the Biblical Hebrew words: Darkness and deep the 4th Key, literal and figurative meaning of Biblical Hebrew words, swings into action.
If you read such words as darkness, deep, light, even words like beginning, create, heaven, in the context before creation in Genesis 1:1-2, ONLY keeping in mind your native language meanings, you are missing the essential understanding. We apply our knowledge of the LITERAL meaning of these words and don’t give it more attention than that.
A basic understanding of the usage of Biblical Hebrew, namely, the 4th key, the literal and figurative meaning of words, is essential as we will see. Other contexts clearly reveal their FIGURATIVE meanings. This is not an interpretation, it is Bible corroboration.
If all you grasp from Genesis 1:2 is the LITERAL darkness, you’ve missed at least half the meaning which the translations cannot transmit. The FIGURATIVE comprehension is at least, if not more important than the literal translation. Think of the implication for comprehension when we miss over fifty percent of the author’s meaning? From the start, in the first five minutes of the Genesis narrative, God uses the literal and figurative key. We must understand.
Here’s the first part of Genesis 1:2, “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep…” Immediately following this description of the decrepit state of the Earth, we see the words darkness and deep. They correspond to Strong’s H2822 and H8415. Instead of giving them a quick glance, let’s unlock Bible meaning.
Here is Strong’s reference to darkness, followed by 2 verses in the Old and one verse in the New Testament to confirm the use of the literal and figurative 4th key.
חֹשֶׁךְ chôshek kho-shek’; from H2821 (חָשַׁךְ); the dark; hence (literally) darkness; figuratively, misery, destruction, death, ignorance, sorrow, wickedness:
KJV – dark(-ness), night, obscurity.
These contexts reveal the figurative usage of darkness.
Who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness (H2822). (Sam: unrighteousness or sin)
For he comes in with vanity, and departs in darkness (H2822), and his name shall be covered with darkness. (H2822) (Sam: the vain person departs in ignorance covered in shame)
For you were sometimes darkness (G1161), but now are you light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (Sam: the contrast of coming out of wrong-doing to walk in right-doing).
Do you see the figurative meaning of darkness? It signifies destruction and obscurity because of unrighteousness, wrong-doing, ignorance, and shame. This is the state of Earth before the 7 days of Creation; pre-history prior to the existence of our world and humankind.
Deep (H8415), as you now can easily understand, also carries a meaning beyond literal depth.
תְּהוֹם tᵉhôwm teh-home’; or תְּהֹם; (usually feminine) from H1949 (הוּם); an abyss (as a surging mass of water), especially the deep (the main sea or the subterranean watersupply):
KJV – deep (place), depth.
הוּם hûwm hoom; a primitive root (compare H2000 (הָמַם)); to make an uproar, or agitate greatly:
KJV – destroy, move, make a noise, put, ring again.
הָמַם hâmam haw-mam’; a primitive root (compare H1949 (הוּם), H1993 (הָמָה)); properly, to put in commotion; by implication, to disturb, drive, destroy:
KJV – break, consume, crush, destroy, discomfit, trouble, vex.
There is much to learn from this deep that corroborates the tohu and bohu. This chaotic scene was present BEFORE creation week. We now have a chronology problem to solve. In the previous Key 3, we saw that beginning (beraisheet) also has the meaning excellent. So, this excellent beginning somehow got into a state of chaotic destruction and the 7 day creation week was to REcreate a stunning, appropriate environment for humankind. Those are the Bible puzzle pieces. For more information, please refer to the book Origin of the Universe.
Back to Strong’s. Check it for yourself. At creation week, not only was there absence of light but the deep figuratively means to destroy, and make a noise. Look at Psalms 55:2, “Attend to me, and hear me: I mourn in my complaint, and make a noise (H1949).” The literal and figurative meaning of depth is the noise or moaning and groaning of someone with a complaint, someone in pain. That’s the result of the tohu va bohu.
Please notice that all Strong and Kneller are doing is showing you how these same words (dark, deep, light, beginning, created…) are being used in other instances in the Bible. The literal and figurative meanings. Nobody is interpreting anything.
These initial verses in Genesis reveal God’s excellent beginning for Earth, followed by troubled, noisy destruction and then the 7 day Creation. The psalmist writes: “When you [God] send your Spirit, they [living creatures] are created, and you renew the face of the earth” (Psa. 104:30). The story of this REnewal of Earth for humankind occupies the vast majority of the Bible. However, certain portions reveal the prehistoric events leading to the downfall of spirit beings and the destruction of Earth. Bible texts in Isaiah and Ezekiel corroborate the literal and figurative meanings of darkness and deep. Your turn to study them.
Let’s go a step further into deep water (figurative speech) with this literal and figurative key to unlock the Bible meaning of Noah’s flood. If you’ve been reading The Explanation, even for a little while, you know I don’t pull any punches (figurative speech), Let’s bridge the gap (figurative speech) between those who comprehend the way the Author composed the Bible and those who laugh at how ridiculous such Bible conjecture is.
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