36. Another explanation of "and the earth" is that the words include the lower earth, which was made of compartments as was the upper EARTH. And this is WHAT IS MEANT BY, "and the earth was without form and void; and darkness... And the wind..." And the compartments of the earth are called Eretz (earth), adamah (soil), Gey (valley), Neshiyah (oblivion), Tziyah (dryness), Arka (ground), and Tevel (world). The major level of earth is Tevel, about which it is written: "And He will judge the world (Heb. tevel) in righteousness" (Tehilim 9:8). THIS IS NOT SAID ABOUT ANY OTHER LEVEL OF EARTH, AND THUS WE INFER THAT IT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT.
37. Rabbi Yosi asks: What is THE NATURE OF THIS EARTH THAT IS CALLED Tziyah? RABBI ABA said to him: This is the location of Gehenom, as is said "a land of drought" (Heb. tziyah) and "the shadow of death" (Yirmeyah 2:6). AND AS "THE SHADOW OF DEATH" IS THE PLACE OF GEHENOM, SO IS TZIYAH. This is the secret of the words "and darkness on the face of the deep (Heb. tziyah)" (Beresheet 1:2), alluding to the place of Gehenom. This is the wilderness, the place of the Angel of Death, of whom it says, that he darkens the faces of all creatures. This is also the place of the upper darkness REFERRED TO IN THE WORDS "AND THE EARTH..."