This book records the creation of all things, the fall of man, the universal flood and the Tower of Babel. It also overviews the lives of four all-important Old Testament individuals, Abraham, his son Isaac, one of Isaac’s two sons, Jacob, and one of Jacob’s 12 sons, Joseph.
INTRODUCTION OF THE BOOK OF GENESIS
The when, who, how, and what of all things explained in ten short words!
- In the beginning (the when)
- God (the who)
- Created (the how)
- The heavens and the earth (the what)
FACTS REGARDING THE AUTHOR OF GENESIS
1. Who? Moses. He was the younger brother of Aaron and Miriam (Ex. 6:20; Num. 26:59) who led his people Israel out of Egyptian bondage (Ex. 5-14) and gave them the law of God at Mt. Sinai (Ex. 20).
2. What? The books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.
3. When and where? 1405 B.C., from the eastern bank of the River Jordan in Moab.
- Genesis. To record the origin of the world and the nation Israel.
- Exodus. The supernatural deliverance of Israel from Egyptian bondage.
- Leviticus. The purpose and functions of the tabernacle.
- Numbers. The failure of Israel to enter Canaan.
- Deuteronomy. The review of the Law for that generation about to enter Canaan.
5.To whom? Israel in particular, all believers in general.
KEY EVENTS IN GENESIS
- The creation of man
- The institution of marriage
- The fall of man
- The births of Cain and Abel
- The removal of Enoch
- The universal flood
- The Tower of Babel
- The call of Abraham
- The giving of the Abrahamic Covenant
- The institution of circumcision
- The offering up of Isaac
- The marriage of Isaac and Rebekah
- The births of Jacob and Esau
- The marriage of Jacob to Leah and Rachel
- The elevation of Joseph in Egypt
- The move of Jacob and his family from Canaan to Egypt
KEY INDIVIDUALS IN GENESIS
- Shem, Ham, and Japheth
- Potiphar’s wife
KEY PLACES IN GENESIS
- Garden of Eden
- Land of Nod
- Mt. Ararat
- Land of Shinar
- Ur of the Chaldees
- Mt. Moriah
- Cave of Machpelah
- Land of Goshen
1. Genesis spans a total time period of at least 2,200 years. In light of this, note God’s priority here.
He employed 20 percent of the book (1-11) to describe the first 1,800 years. This covers Creation, the Fall, the Flood, and Babel. He employed 80 percent of the book (12-50) to describe the final 400 years. Here we read of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph. This means approximately 80 percent of the total time period is covered in only 11 chapters, while 20 percent of the time is described in 39 chapters. The priority point is simple—in the mind of God, Abraham is more important than the universe.
2. It is the only book which describes God as resting (2:2, 3).
3. It gives the first prophecy of the coming Messiah, of his suffering and eventual victory (3:15).
4. It provides his first two names (Seed of the woman and Shiloh (3:15; 49:10).
5. It pinpoints the tribe from whence he would come (Judah) and in the first book to mention the city where he would be born (Bethlehem) . See 49:10; 35:19.
6. It gives us the first human to be created (Adam) and the first human to be born (Cain) (1:26; 4:1).
7. It records the first man to die (Abel) and the first man not to die (Enoch) (4:8; 5:24).
8. The glory of God in creation (1:1) and the grace of God in salvation (Noah) (6:8) are both clearly seen.
9. We see the world’s earliest civilization (Cainite) and the world’s oldest citizen (Methuselah) (4:17; 5:27).
10. The first three of four divine institutions as found in Genesis:
- Marriage (2:21-25)
- Human government (9:6)
- The Nation Israel (12:1-3)
- The church (Mt. 16:18, 19)
11. It provides the first illustration of human religion (the fig leaves), and the first example of divine redemption (the coats of skin) (3:7, 21).
12. Here a city is destroyed on the plains (Sodom) and a boy is spared on a mountain (Isaac) (19, 22).
13. Here a son (Jacob) deceives his father (Isaac) and is later himself deceived by his sons (brothers of Joseph) (27, 37).
14. Here we read of the first barren mother (Sarah) and the first dying mother (Rachel)
15. Jerusalem (a type of the heavenly) and Egypt (a type of the worldly) are first mentioned in this stage (13, 14).
16. Here we first learn of a king called Melchizedek and a cave named Machpelah (14, 25).
17. Here are the first of three great biblical covenants is introduced (12:1-3). These covenants are:
- The Abrahamic Covenant (12:1-3). This has to do with a land (Canaan) and a people (Israel).
- The Davidic Covenant (2 Sam. 7:4-16; 1 Chron. 17:3-5). This has to do with a king to rule in that land over that people.
- The New Covenant (Jer. 31:31). This has to do with changed hearts so that the people in the land will allow the king to rule over them.
18. In its pages sinners are drowned, and a saint (Noah) is drunken (7:21, 9:21-21).
19. A ship settles on a mountain and a tower rises on a plain (8:4, 11:1-4). This tower is but the beginning of three satanic attempts to consolidate religion around a project. Two more will follow. One was built near Babylon (Dan. 2), and the final one will be placed in the Holy of Holies (Rev. 13).
20. History’s first rebellion (Babel) and revival (Bethel) occurred (11:4; 35:2-4).
21. Here Abraham climbs a mountain where God’s Lamb would someday die (22:2). On this occasion Isaac asks his father a question that would be answered by John the Baptist some 20 centuries later. The question asked by Isaac: “Where is the Lamb?” (22:7). The answer given by John: “Behold the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).
COMPARISON WITH OTHER BIBLE BOOKS
- Genesis records humanity’s first rebellion against God (3:1-6); Revelation records the final rebellion (Rev. 20:7-10).
- Genesis records the entrance of sin (3:1-6); Revelation records its exit (Rev. 20:10; 21:4-8).
- Genesis records the imposition of the curse (3:9-19); Revelation records the lifting of the curse (Rev. 22:3).
- Genesis records the beginning of death (3:19); Revelation records the end of death (Rev. 21:4).
- Genesis records the creation of the present heavens and earth (1:1); Revelation records the creation of the new heavens and earth (Rev. 21:1).
- In Genesis, Abraham is the patriarch of Israel; in Romans, he is the patriarch of all who believe (Rom. 4:16).
3. John, 1 John:
- All “begin at the beginning,” but their beginnings are different: Genesis begins with Creation; John and 1 John begin before Creation, with the preexistent Word.
- Both show that salvation is by faith (15:6; Gal. 3:6).
- Both show God’s desire to redeem all humanity (12:2-3; Gal. 3:8).
TITLES FOR AND TYPES OF JESUS
- The Seed of the Woman (3:15)
- Adam and Eve’s Lamb (3:21)
- Abel’s Lamb (4:4)
- The Angel of the Lord (16:7)
- Abraham and Isaac’s Ram (22:13)
- Shiloh (49:10)