How did this nothing of the earth end up the way it is? This Elohist author explained that God intervened. He created this world that we see around us. The ending of the second verse of Genesis explained what happened. After presenting his view of this nothing world, an amorphous mass of water, he said that the Spirit, וְר֣וּחַ (weruah), of Elohim, אֱלֹהִ֔ים (Elohim), was hovering, מְרַחֶ֖פֶת (merahepet), over, עַל־ (‘al), the face, פְּנֵ֣י (pene), of the waters, הַמָּֽיִם׃ (hammayim). The Hebrew word for Spirit can also mean a wind or breath. However, the Greek Septuagint use the words “the Spirit of God, καὶ πνεῦμα θεοῦ (kai pneuma theou)”. This was a breath, a wind, or the spirit of God. In either case, it was a divine intervention. God was breathing or blowing a wind. The Elohim God was going to insert himself into this formless confused mass of heavens and earth. God’s Spirit was another way of saying that God was present. Of course, for Christians, they have interpreted this Spirit of God as the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Blessed Trinity. Suffice it to say, this Elohist author saw this as an intervention of some kind by God, Elohim. What do you think of the Spirit of God?
The Spirit of God
The Spirit of God (1 Cor. 7:40)
“But in my judgment,
She is happier
If she remains
As she is.
That I have
The Spirit of God.”
μακαριωτέρα δέ ἐστιν ἐὰν οὕτως μείνῃ, κατὰ τὴν ἐμὴν γνώμην· δοκῶ δὲ κἀγὼ Πνεῦμα Θεοῦ ἔχειν.
Paul said that in his judgment (κατὰ τὴν ἐμὴν γνώμην), the widow would be happier or blessed (μακαριωτέρα δέ ἐστιν) if she remained as she was (ἐὰν οὕτως μείνῃ). Paul thought (δοκῶ) that he had the Spirit of God (δὲ κἀγὼ Πνεῦμα Θεοῦ ἔχειν). Thus, Paul once again favored the celibate widow, although she was free to marry. Paul said that his judgment was that she would be happier and more blessed if she remained a celibate widow, as he was. Paul considered that he had the Spirit of God working in him as he made these remarks. There was nothing wrong with remarriage for a widow, but Paul certainly preferred the widow who did not marry again. He indicated his opinion was worthwhile, since he had the Holy Spirit working in him. Is the Holy Spirit working in you?
The Spirit of God (1 Cor. 2:12)
“Now we have received
Not the spirit
Of the world,
But the Spirit
That is from God.
We might understand
Bestowed on us
ἡμεῖς δὲ οὐ τὸ πνεῦμα τοῦ κόσμου ἐλάβομεν ἀλλὰ τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἐκ τοῦ Θεοῦ, ἵνα εἰδῶμεν τὰ ὑπὸ τοῦ Θεοῦ χαρισθέντα ἡμῖν·
Paul said that now we (ἡμεῖς δὲ) have received (ἐλάβομεν) not the spirit of the world (οὐ τὸ πνεῦμα τοῦ κόσμου), but the Spirit (ἀλλὰ τὸ πνεῦμα) that is from God (τὸ ἐκ τοῦ Θεοῦ,). Thus, we might understand (ἵνα εἰδῶμεν) the gifts or things bestowed (χαρισθέντα) on us (ἡμῖν) by God (τὰ ὑπὸ τοῦ Θεοῦ). We all knew about the spirit of the world around us. However, we have not received that spirit, but the divine Holy Spirit that we know has graciously bestowed gifts on us from God. Paul was not talking about the human spirit of the world, but the gracious Holy Spirit. Paul made a clear contrast between the human worldly spirit and the gift giving divine spirit. We should understand that difference. Do you understand the difference between the human spirit and the Holy Spirit?
The Spirit of God (Mt 12:28-12:28)
“But if it is
By the Spirit of God
That I cast out demons,
Then the kingdom of God
Has come upon you.”
εἰ δὲ ἐν Πνεύματι Θεοῦ ἐγὼ ἐκβάλλω τὰ δαιμόνια, ἄρα ἔφθασεν ἐφ’ ὑμᾶς ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ.
There is a similar statement in Luke, chapter 11:20. However, Luke talked about the finger of God rather than the Spirit of God (ἐν Πνεύματι Θεοῦ). Notice that Matthew said that the Kingdom of God (ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ) had come, not the Kingdom of heaven, as he said many times earlier in this work. Jesus said, via Matthew, that if he cast out the demons with the Spirit or breathe of God (εἰ δὲ ἐν Πνεύματι Θεοῦ ἐγὼ ἐκβάλλω τὰ δαιμόνια), then the kingdom of God had come or arrived for them (ἄρα ἔφθασεν ἐφ’ ὑμᾶς ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ). The end times had already begun.
Wisdom at creation (Sir 24:3-24:7)
“‘I came forth
From the mouth of the Most High.
I covered the earth like a mist.
I dwelt in the highest heaven.
My throne was in a pillar of cloud.
I compassed the vault of heaven.
I traversed the depths of the abyss.
Over waves of the sea,
Over all the earth,
Over every people,
Over every nation,
I have held sway.
Among all these,
I sought a resting place.
In whose territory
Should I abide?’”
Sirach has wisdom personally speak in the first person singular. She seems to come directly from the mouth of the Most High God, like the spirit of God, what Christians would later call the Holy Spirit. She covered the earth like a mist. She was in the highest heaven on a throne in a cloud pillar. She was alone in the vault of heaven and walked in the depths of the sea. She was in charge of everything, earth and sea, peoples and nations. She was looking for a resting place where she might live. She wanted to know where this might be.
The Spirit of God (Wis 1:6-1:11)
“Wisdom is a kindly spirit.
Wisdom will not free blasphemers
From the guilt of their words. God is witness
Of their inmost feelings.
God is a true observer of their hearts.
He is a hearer of their tongues.
The Spirit of the Lord
Has filled the world.
What holds all things together
Knows what is said.
Therefore those who utter unrighteous things
Will not escape notice.
When it punishes,
Will not pass them by.
Inquiry will be made
Into the counsels of the ungodly.
A report of their words
Will come to the Lord.
It will convict them of their lawless deeds.
A jealous ear hears all things.
The sound of grumbling does not go unheard.
Beware then of useless grumbling!
Keep your tongue from slander!
No secret word is without result.
A lying mouth destroys the soul.”
Wisdom (σοφία) is a kindly or philanthropic spirit (φιλάνθρωπον πνεῦμα). There is almost equivalence between wisdom and the Spirit. The blasphemers (βλάσφημον) will not escape the guilt of their words. God is a witness (μάρτυς ὁ Θεὸς) to their innermost feelings. He knows their heart (τῆς καρδίας αὐτοῦ ἐπίσκοπος ἀληθὴς). He hears their tongues (τῆς γλώσσης ἀκουστής). The Spirit of the Lord (πνεῦμα Κυρίου) has filled the world. Thus this creative spirit knows all things. Thus those who utter unrighteous things will not escape notice. A just punishment will not pass them by. An inquiry will be made and a report will be given to the Lord (Κΰριον). They will be convicted of their evil and lawless deeds. A jealous ear hears all things. Thus the Lord hears this useless grumbling. You should keep your tongue from slandering. Even secret words are known, so that a lying mouth destroys the soul (ψυχήν).