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Genesis - The Book of Beginnings

The book of Genesis was written by Moses during his early years, before 1487 B.C. (Geisler)


One Theme of the book of Genesis is creation.

Days of Creation

First Day….Light (so there was light and darkness)

Second Day….Sky and water (vapors separated)

Third Day…..Sea and earth (waters gathered); vegetation

Fourth Day…Sun, moon, and stars (to preside over day and night and to mark seasons, days, and years)

Fifth Day….Fish and birds (to fill the waters and the sky)

Sixth Day….Animals (to fill the earth) Man and woman (to care for the earth and commune with God)

Seventh Day..God rested and declared all he had made to be very good

If we look at the chart below, we see Chuck Swindoll's theme of Genesis: God promises to redeem and bless his people.

An Outline of Genesis

  1. The Origin of Nations (1-11)
    1. The creation of man (1-2)
      • Heaven and Earth formed (day 1)
      • Light was created
      • The firmament was created (day 2)
      • Waters and land separated (day 3)
      • Grass, herbs and trees were created
      • Stars, sun and moon created (day 4)
      • Sea creatures and fowl were created (day 5)
      • Land animals were created (day 6)
      • Man and woman formed
    2. The corruption of man (3-5)
      • Temptation and sin of woman (3:1-6)
      • Temptation and sin of man (3:6)
      • Sin's affect on creation (3:16-19)
    3. The destruction of man (6-9)
      • God calls Noah to build an ark (6:14-16)
      • The people reject God's message (7:1)
      • God saves a remnant (7:7-9)
    4. The dispersion of man (10-11)
  2. The Election of the Chose Nation (12-50)
    1. Abraham (12-25)
      • The Call of Abraham (12:14)
      • The Covenamt with Abraham (15-16)
      • The Confirmation to Abraham (17-21)
      • The Confidence of Abraham (22-23)
      • The Concern of Abraham (24-25)
    2. Isaac (25-27)
      • The Blessing Confirmed (25-26)
      • The Blessing Conferred (27)
    3. Jacob (28-36)
      • Jacob's Call (28)
      • Jacob's Marriage (29-31)
      • Jacob's Return to Canaan (32-35)
    4. Joseph (37-50)
      • Joseph as a Slave (37-39)
      • Joseph as the Servant to Egypt (41-45)
      • Joseph the Savior of Israel (46-50) (Basic outline Geisler)

To Whom was Genesis Written

Genesis, being written by Moses, was written to the Hebrew children in captivity. The reminder of God's promises to Abraham would have given them encouragement and hope in their bondage in Egypt.

As discussed in the Introduction to the Pentateuch, the most immediate recipients of the Book of Genesis would likely have been the Exodus generation. Yet it is clear that the intended audience was to extend to all future generations of the elect seed of Abraham who would be born under the Mosaic covenant.

Why was Genesis Written

Genesis was written with three purposes in mind (Geisler): the historical, the doctrinal and the Christological.

  1. Historical - the historical writing provided the Children of Israel with hope that God would deliver them from the bondage of Egypt.
  2. Doctrinal - the doctrinal writing showed that God fulfilled His promises and that His plan was based on election.
  3. Christological - the Christological writing was used to point to Christ as the Seed, and would come through the line of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Judah.

Date Written

The Life Application Study Bible gives the date of the writing of Genesis as 1450 B.C.-1410 B.C.

The Patriarchs

Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph are referred to as the Patriarchs of Genesis. Judah is included because he received the birthright. Following is some information about each of them:

Patriarch Wife # Children Age
Abraham Sarah 1 175
Isaac Rebekah 2 180
Jacob Leah/Rachel 12+ 130
Judah 2
Joseph Asenath 2+ 110


Key Verses

Genesis 1:1: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

Genesis 3:15: “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel.”

Genesis 12:1-3: “Now the Lord said to Abram, ‘Go forth from your country, and from your relatives and from your father's house, to the land which I will show you; and I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and so you shall be a blessing; and I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’”

Genesis 18:19: “ For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.”

Genesis 37:5: “ And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more.”

Genesis 39:8-9: “But he refused, and said unto his master's wife, Behold, my master wotteth not what is with me in the house, and he hath committed all that he hath to my hand; There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?”

Genesis 50:20: “But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.”

Problem Passages

Some debate has risen to how and when God created the world. Did God speak it in a twenty-four hour, six days like the Bible records? I believe the Bible, but here are some of the problems that people have:

  1. The age of earth and the geological record. If you look at science, there is no way to age the earth in the six days the Bible records. Scientist say that the earth is 3-5 billion years old. This is dated using fossil records and the dating methods that scientists use. But, creationist argue that the earth is young, and the age is by special creation or a world-wide flood.
  2. Evolution. Science claims that life has evolved over billions of years from a single cell. The Bible clearly records that man was made in the image of God.
  3. Random mutation and natural selection. Mutations are variations that the offspring have from their parents. Natural selection is like “survival of the fittest”. Creationists feel life is too complex for this to have happened, but scientists believe if over five billion years, this could happen.
  4. The age of man. Science claims that man is 2-3 billions years old. Creationists believe by studying Genesis, man is dated anywhere from 10,000-20,000 B.C.

Additional Resources

genesis.txt · Last modified: 2017/07/01 20:32 by mike