To get what Jeremiah 4:23 means based on its source text, scroll down or follow these links for the original scriptural meaning , biblical context and relative popularity.

“I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light.”

Medium popularity: 170 searches a month
Popularity relative to other verses in Jeremiah chapter 4 using average monthly Google searches.

Jeremiah 4:23 Translation & Meaning

What does this verse really mean? Use this table to get a word-for-word translation of the original Hebrew Scripture. This shows the English words related to the source biblical texts along with brief definitions. Follow the buttons in the right-hand column for detailed definitions and verses that use the same root words. Use this reference information to gain deeper insight into the Bible and enrich your understanding. Information based on Strong's Exhaustive Concordance[1].

KJV Verse Original Hebrew Meaning/ Definition
This is a simplified translation of the original Hebrew word. Follow the buttons on the right to get more detail.
Use the buttons below to get details on the Hebrew word and view related Bible verses that use the same root word.
I beheld רָאִ֙יתִי֙ To see, literally or figuratively (in numerous applications, direct and implied, transitive, intransitive and causative) beheld
the earth, הָאָ֔רֶץ The earth (at large, or partitively a land) earth
and, lo, וְהִנֵּה Lo! lo
it was (No Hebrew definition. English implied.)
without form, תֹ֖הוּ A desolation (of surface), i.e., desert; figuratively, a worthless thing; adverbially, in vain without form
and void; וָבֹ֑הוּ A vacuity, i.e., (superficially) an undistinguishable ruin void
and the heavens, הַשָּׁמַ֖יִם The sky (as aloft; the dual perhaps alluding to the visible arch in which the clouds move, as well as to the higher ether where the celestial bodies revolve) heavens
and they no וְאֵ֥ין A nonentity; generally used as a negative particle no
had (No Hebrew definition. English implied.)
light. אוֹרָֽם׃ Illumination or (concrete) luminary (in every sense, including lightning, happiness, etc.) light

Verse Context

See Jeremiah 4:23 with its adjacent verses in bold below. Follow either of the two large buttons below to see these verses in their broader context of the King James Bible or a Bible concordance.

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Verse Search Popularity Levels What do people search for?

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  • 21  How long shall I see the standard, and hear the sound of the trumpet?

  • 22  For my people is foolish, they have not known me; they are sottish children, and they have none understanding: they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge.

  • 23  I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light.

  • 24  I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly.

  • 25  I beheld, and, lo, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled.


The King James Bible (1611) and Strong's Concordance (1890) with Hebrew and Greek dictionaries are sourced from the BibleForgeDB database ( within the BibleForge project ( Popularity rankings are based on search volume data from the Google AdWords Keyword Planner tool.

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