What is the meaning of וְרוּחַ אֱלֹהִים of Genesis 1:2? Older translations read, “Spirit of God” (rûah °élöhîm) while newer translations seem to prefer “a wind of God,” or a “mighty wind . . . ”
Both readings are plausible. The term רוּח (rûah) connotes a moving power that is both mysteriously intangible and unseen; hence, “mighty wind” is an apt metaphor. When read in this context, °élöhîm is used not as a noun but rather as a descriptive adjective connoting a sense of that which is “powerful” and “awesome.” Accordingly, this translation suggests that God utilized a mighty tempest in the primal design of the earth.
The Septuagint translates רוּחַ (rûah = spirit) as πνεῦμα (pneuma), which has basically the same meaning in Greek as it does in Hebrew. For the visionaries of the 8th century B.C.E., the rûah of God is the driving force (elan vital) that seeks to liberate, heal, remake, and transform communities into spiritual centers of social justice; rûah is the life-breath and life-principle that points us toward the most profound dimension of human experience. Continue reading “Genesis 1:2: Which rendering is more correct, “Spirit of God” or “Mighty Wind of God” ?qqqqqqqqq”