Genesis 1:2

Hebrew Bible

1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was without shape and empty, and darkness was over the surface of the watery deep, but the Spirit of God was hovering11 over the surface of the water. 3 God said, “Let there be light.” And there was light!

Leviticus 26:33

Hebrew Bible

32 I myself will make the land desolate, and your enemies who live in it will be appalled. 33 I will scatter you among the nations and unsheathe the sword after you, so your land will become desolate and your cities will become a waste. 34 “‘Then the land will make up for its Sabbaths all the days it lies desolate while you are in the land of your enemies; then the land will rest and make up its Sabbaths.

 Notes and References

"... Barrick proposes an allusion to Genesis 1 in the fifth and climactic threat of Leviticus 26 (verses 27–35), which depicts the devastation of the land, the destruction of its cities, and the deportation of its populace. Barrick suggests - although without supporting argument - that “desolation” in Leviticus 26:33 may allude to the empty and formless state of Genesis 1:2. In other words, divine judgment is understood as an act of uncreation. Does the proposed connection stand up to scrutiny, however? ... Notably, what is meant by והבו והת in Jeremiah 4:23 is explicated along lines akin to the language of Leviticus 26:33. The land will become a “desolation” (Jeremiah 4:27), its cities will be destroyed (Jeremiah 4:26), and its people removed (Jeremiah 4:25). The Jeremiah passage thus lends some credence to Barrick’s thesis that Leviticus 26 alludes to the formlessness of Genesis 1:2, as it envisions Israel’s judgment as a return to a pre-creation state, albeit without corroborating lexical support. Barrick also notes that imagining a return to an “uncreated” state often preempts a focus on re-creation. This too fits contextually in Leviticus 26, which from verse 40 onward begins to look toward future restoration. Thus, while overlap between Leviticus 26 and Genesis 1 in relation to uncreation is by no means certain, it is nevertheless possible at a conceptual level ..."

Harper, G. Geoffrey "I Will Walk among You": The Rhetorical Function of Allusion to Genesis 1-3 in the Book of Leviticus (pp. 299-300) Eisenbrauns, 2018

 User Comments

Do you have questions or comments about these texts? Please submit them here.