Bible Overview
Overview and Summary of Every Book in the Bible

Book of Genesis

"Now the Lord had said to Abram: 'Get out of your country, From your family And from your father's house, To a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed. And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you.'" (Genesis 12:1-3, 17:7)

The title "Genesis," comes from the Greek translation of the Old Testament called the Septuagint. In the Septuagint the title of the book was "Origins." However the original title of Genesis from the Hebrew text was "In the Beginning." The Hebrew title was taken from the text of the first verse of Genesis. Both titles have the same meaning, which is the beginning of all things. Genesis discusses the beginning of creation. It tells us how the earth and everything on it was created by God. It also shows us the beginning of God's plan of redemption for mankind as well as the beginning of the nation of Israel and the Jewish people. Genesis is the first of the five original books of the Hebrew Bible called the "Torah" which means the "Law of God." Christians refer to the first five books of the Bible as the "Pentateuch" or the "Five Books of Moses."

Genesis answers the questions of where did everything start and where did everything come from? The short answer of course is God. Genesis shows us the beginnings of everything, including the universe, humanity, marriage, the family, sin, the nations, of all languages and the beginning of the story of salvation and of the nation of Israel. Moreover, nothing concludes with Genesis. Genesis begins the pathway of human history, which is not closed until the book of Revelation. Everything came from and was created by God. Genesis walks us through creation, starting at a high level with the creation of the universe, then narrowing down as it takes us through the creation of the earth, then all of nature and finally humanity. Moreover, Genesis also shows us the beginnings of the nation of Israel as God calls a man named Abraham, along with his descendents through his son Isaac, and Isaac's son Jacob. We see the beginnings as God sets Israel aside to carry out a unique destiny on the earth. One that will lead to the coming of the Messiah, whom we know today as Christ Jesus our Lord and through whom, God's plan of redemption will be carried out and finally reach its culmination at the end of the age.

Genesis is the beginning of God's story as well as His special revelation to mankind, regarding His plan of redemption and His interactions with humanity as it relates to salvation history. Genesis is not only the beginning of that story, but it's also real history, laying the foundation of God's sovereignty and His work through the persons of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, as well as the nation of Israel. Genesis shows us how God created all things good before the fall and how He relinquished the earth to humanity as a free gift, while still binding Himself to all of creation. Genesis also shows us the fall of humanity, and how that ushered a state of disharmony and death into the world. And finally Genesis gives us glimpses of the Trinity as well as God's plan of salvation and the redemption of all of creation under the lordship of Jesus Christ, to the glory of God the Father.

Genesis can be summed up in five events and in the lives of five people. The events are the creation, the fall, the flood, the scattering or beginning of nations and the separation of the people God chose, whose descendents would become the nation of Israel. The five people include Adam, Abraham, Issac, Jacob and Joseph. And it's through the lives of these people that the story of God's plan of redemption unfolds.

The setting for the book of Genesis is the Middle East. Everything starts in ancient Mesopotamia and progresses from there westward, to the fertile crescent. The fertile crescent is a region of the Middle East, which curves in a quarter-moon shape, from the Persian Gulf, through modern-day southern Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel down to northern Egypt.

The history recounted in Genesis stretches from Ur of the Chaldeans, in what became ancient Babylon, down the Sinai Peninsula, through Israel and into Egypt. If we were to name the three most prominent geographical areas for the setting of Genesis, they would include Mesopotamia, the Promised Land (also known as Israel and Palestine) as well as Egypt. As Abraham, a man from the area near Babylon obeyed God and went to a land he did not know, populated with people he did not know, who spoke a language he did not understand. Abraham's father was Terah and Terah's father was Nahor, who was the son of Serug, who was a descendant of Shem. We have to recall that Shem was from the chosen line of Seth, who God had given to Eve to replace Abel. Abraham's forefathers and many of their ancestors were polytheistic. Abraham was called by God to carry out a unique destiny, one that would be fulfilled through his children, Isaac, Jacob and Jacob's twelve children who were the fathers of the nation of Israel.

The word Genesis means beginnings and the book of Genesis is about the beginnings of everything. The beginning of life, of nations and of God's redemptive plan for mankind. However, the initial settings for Genesis is eternity past when God in His own sovereignty and creative power, through Jesus Christ, who is the divine Word of God, spoke everything into existence. This is important for us to understand because it was the Trinity, working together, who brought creation into existence. That is why the Bible calls Jesus the "Author of all creation."

Book of Genesis

Quick Facts

 Old Testament
 1 of 66 (Old Testament has 39 Books, New Testament has 27 Books)
 1445-1400 B.C.
 Egypt and Canaan
 Demonstrates God's Sovereignty and the Love God has for His creation.
 Prelude to Israel and the Patriarchs
 The Beginnings and Ancestors of Israel's Faith
 Adam, Eve, Cain, Abel, Noah, Abraham, Lot, Hagar, Ishmael, Sarah, Isaac, Rebekah, Jacob, Laban, Rachel, Esau, Joseph
 Children of Israel would later become the nation of Israel.

Several Old Testament and New Testament books name Moses as the author as well as Jewish tradition. However, many believe over the years Genesis may have been updated by other authors such as Joshua. The stories of Genesis actually took place approximately three centuries before Moses was born. However, it was written after the Exodus took place, but before the death of Moses. Though the text may have been updated with some of the names of the places, there is no valid or compelling arguments against Moses as the author. Moreover, having been raised in the household of Pharaoh, Moses would have had the education and backgrounded needed to compile the historical accounts recorded in the book of Genesis.

Content Information

God created a perfect world, where all things were good. After which God relinquished the earth to humanity as a free gift, while binding Himself to all of creation, mankind included. However, man's sin placed the world under a curse. This is where begins the revelation of God's plan of redemption to save mankind through His Son Christ Jesus our Lord. It's important to remember the Bible tells us that God chose us in Christ Jesus, before the foundations of the world were laid in place. This means God in His sovereignty and omniscience, knew the fall of man would come. However, it was necessary for God's plan of redemption, in order that humanity could choose to have a relationship with God, by their own free will.

God would not be a loving God if He did not give humanity the free will to choose Him, or to rebel against Him. Despite humanity's rebellion, Genesis shows us God's love and His ultimate control, and how God can work all things out for good, for the sake of His people and those who love Him. Genesis has two parts, the first part chapter's one through eleven serve as a prologue or introduction and they reveal to us the "Primeval History." Primeval History includes the origin of the universe and everything in it. The second part in chapters twelve through fifty is the "Partriarchal History," where we see events unfold with Israel. God reveals Himself to the patriarchs who are Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. God then reveals Himself to Israel, who are the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. God creates a covenant relationship with Israel as He sets them apart, to carry out a unique destiny on the earth. A destiny that will lead to the Messiah, whom we know as Christ Jesus our Lord. Moreover, throughout Genesis we see God's sovereignty, His control and His ultimate blessings on those who follow Him, love Him and through faith have a relationship with Him.

Some of the main concepts in Genesis include the concept that there is only one true God and that He exist as three distinct persons. Genesis reveals the "theological foundations" for the Trinity, that is God the Father, God the Son, who is Jesus Christ and God the Spirit, who is the Holy Spirit. And that this same God who created the heavens also intervened in the life of Abraham and his family. We see the concept of a sinful, fallen humanity and read how mankind became so wicked, that God spared only Noah and his family. Throughout Genesis we learn the need for salvation and how salvation can only come from a Holy God, and that mankind apart from God, cannot bring about his own salvation.

In addition to the Trinity, we see the theological concepts revealed of redemption, sin, Satan, holy angels, fallen angels, nations, covenantal relationship with God, Hell and judgment. Genesis as a whole gives us understanding as to the character and nature of God Himself, with insight into the attributes of God, which include omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence, self-existence, immutability, eternality, truth, love and holiness. All of which reveal God's grace, mercy and loving kindness toward us, His creation. Genesis also gives us glimpses into the abundant life we can have through faith in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Genesis tells the story of God's purpose and plan for his creation. Genesis means beginning or origin and it explains how everything started. As Genesis unfolds, it gives us the record of the beginning of the world, human history, the family unit, of civilization and of salvation. We see how God created the universe, how people, plants and animals were created and placed in a perfect environment. Genesis explains how sin began and how it corrupted humanity and this world, through the fall. Genesis also shows us how God began to unfold His plan of redemption for mankind. Genesis explains the beginning of civilization, languages, arts and customs.

Genesis also discusses the emergence of other nations and the development of the Hebrew people and how the nation of Israel was born, starting with Abraham, then Isaac and Jacob. The book ends with the life of Joseph and his family in Egypt, where they grow into a great people group, who become the nation of Israel. This is where the book of Exodus begins with the birth of Israel as a nation. Genesis also explains the pre and post flood conditions in the earth and the state of humanity before the flood. The book of Genesis was written by Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, which is supported by both biblical and extra biblical evidence, along with Jewish and Christian history.

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