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Tohu wa bohu (תֹ֙הוּ֙ וָבֹ֔הוּ) is a Biblical Hebrew phrase found in the Book of Genesis 1:2. It is usually translated "waste and void," "formless and empty," or some variation of the same. It describes the condition of the earth before God said, "Let there be light" (Gen. 1:3). Precise translation of the phrase is difficult, as only the first word, "tohu," appears to have any independent meaning.