Genesis 1:3

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! 4 God saw that the light was good, so God separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day” and the darkness “night.” There was evening, and there was morning, marking the first day.

Jeremiah 4:23

Hebrew Bible

21 How long must I see the enemy’s battle flags and hear the military signals of their bugles?” 22 The Lord answered, “This will happen because my people are foolish. They do not know me. They are like children who have no sense. They have no understanding. They are skilled at doing evil. They do not know how to do good.” 23 I looked at the land and saw that it was an empty wasteland. I looked up at the sky, and its light had vanished. 24 I looked at the mountains and saw that they were shaking. All the hills were swaying back and forth! 25 I looked and saw that there were no more people and that all the birds in the sky had flown away.

 Notes and References

"... Jeremiah 4:23-26 and Genesis 1–2 have the following elements in common:

  • ‘formless and void’ – Jeremiah 4:23 and Genesis 1:2
  • the earth and the heavens – Jeremiah 4:23 and Genesis 1:8, 10
  • no lights – Jeremiah 4:23 and Genesis 1:3
  • birds – Jeremiah 4:25 and Genesis 1:20
  • no human being – Jeremiah 4:25 and Genesis 1:26; 2:5
  • desert / no vegetation – Jeremiah 4:26 and Genesis 2:5
The repeated ‘I saw ... and look!’ echoes the repetition of ‘and God saw that it was good’ in Genesis 1. Whereas the conclusion of God’s creative work in Genesis is ‘and God saw everything he had made and look! It was very good’, the prophet says ‘I saw and look! It was very bad!’ ..."

Lalleman, Hetty Jeremiah, Judgement, and Creation (pp. 15-24) Tyndale Bulletin 60 (1), 2009

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