17. Verse 2. And the earth was a void and emptiness, and darkness was upon the faces of the deep [abyssi]; and the Spirit of God was brooding upon the faces of the waters. Before his regeneration, man is called the "earth void and empty" and also the "ground" wherein nothing of good and truth has been sown; "void" denotes where there is nothing of good, and "empty" where there is nothing of truth. Hence comes "thick darkness" that is, stupidity, and an ignorance of all things belonging to faith in the Lord, and consequently of all things belonging to spiritual and heavenly life. Such a man is thus described by the Lord through Jeremiah:
My people is stupid, they have not known Me; they are foolish sons, and are not intelligent; they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge. I beheld the earth, and lo a void and emptiness, and the heavens, and they had no light (Jer. 4:22-23).