"For thus says the Lord, who created the heavens, who is God, who formed the earth and made it, who established it, who did not create it in vain, who formed it to be inhabited: I am the Lord, and there is no other."
The phrase that stood out to me was "who did not create it in vain". What exactly does that mean? Well at first glance it seems like obviously God had a purpose in creating the earth, and the verse goes on to say the purpose is inhabitation. Case closed right. But why use the word vain? Was there a deeper explanation?
I checked up the Hebrew word for vain - tohuw (tohoo). This word literally means a waste or desolation as in the sense of destruction. So God did not create the earth to be a waste land. Ok fine, he created it for the purpose of being inhabited.
However, what is really interesting is that this same Hebrew word is used in Genesis 1:2.
"The earth was without form (tohuw), and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters."
Here another word is also used to describe the earth; void. The Hebrew for void is Bohuw (bohoo) which carries the meaning of either vacuous or an undistinguishable ruin. So to paraphrase Gen 1:2, the earth was a desolate wasteland and beyond recognition.
So my question is; If God did not create the earth this way, how did it end up like this in the second verse of the Bible? Was there something that occurred after verse one?