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Genesis: It is not just the first book of the Bible - it is the foundation stone on which the remainder of Biblical revelation rests. The Hebrew name, Bereshith, is also the first three words of the Bible; it means ‘in the beginning.’ This says it all.

Genesis is indispensable. Without it, we would not know the following fundamental issues:

    God as Creator of the world and universe;
    The beginning of history and the world;
    The beginning of humanity;
    Introduction of sin and death into the world;
    The beginning of Gods plan of redemption, starting in Genesis 3:15;
    Genesis is the foundation of all Biblical revelation; the Bible is the house, and Revelation is the roof.
W. Graham Scroggie says Genesis is the foundation of which the whole superstructure of divine revelation rests.

A Book of Firsts

Just in the first four chapters, we learn about the first mention or origin of the following (this is a partial list):
    God (1:1);
    Heaven and the creation of space (1:1);
    Earth, the creation of matter (1:1);
    Seas (1:10);
    Starts (1:16)
    Male and female (1:27);
    Marriage and wife (2:24);
    Sin (3:6);
    Judgment and core (3:14)
    First Messianic prophecy (3:15);
    Tree of Life (3:22, 24);
    Paradise lost (3:24);
    Sex (4:1);
    Pregnancy (4:1);
    Birth (4:1);
    Murder (4:8);
    Prayer (4:26).
Genesis in Summary
Genesis is remarkable in every way. It devotes 11 chapters to the beginning of the world, including how sin and death entered into God’s good creation. Then the last 39 chapters is devoted to one man, Abraham, and his family, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph. Almighty God becomes known as the ‘God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob’ (a phrase used 5 times in the New Testament: Matthew 22:32; Mark 12:26; Luke 20:37; Acts 3:13; 7:32) and the remainder of the Bible, all the way to the Book of Revelation, looks at God’s dealings with this family and how it was used to blessed the world (just read the Genealogy of Jesus in Matthew 1).
After the early history of the world is recited, Genesis focuses on Abram of Mesopotamia. Though he came from a heathen place and family, Abram responded to the call of God to leave his country and kindred behind and to proceed to the place He called him. Abram wisely obeys God and becomes famous for two things: 1) His faith (15:6); and 2) His friendship with God (II Chronicles 20:7; James 2:23). Then God does something remarkable: He makes an unconditional covenant with Abraham, promising to give him 1) The land of Canaan; 2) Unlimited seed; 3) That through him and his seed all the nations of the earth would be blessed (Genesis 12:3). Thus Abram, whose name means ‘exalted father,’ becomes ‘Abraham,’ ‘father of many nations.’
All three patriarchs learn invaluable lessons of faith. Though they held on to the promise of many descendants, yet Abraham’s wife, Sarah was barren; Isaac’s wife Rebecca was barren and Jacob’s favourite wife Rachel was likewise barren.
Of the 3 patriarchs, Jacob was clearly the most colourful of the clan. He hoodwinked his brother Esau twice, fled as a penniless bachelor to Uncle Laban up north in Padan Aram, got two wives and their handmaidens, sired 12 sons, and returned to Canaan as a rich tribe.
The story of Joseph dominates the last quarter of Genesis. The son of Rachel and favoured by Jacob, he has dreams of supreme leadership. But like the other patriarchs, his vision will be tested by adversity. Betrayed by his brothers, sold into slavery in Egypt, after years of captivity, he catapulted from prison to palace in one day. He became prime minister of Egypt, saved the nation and his family from starvation, brought his father and brothers to Egypt, where the family goes from a tribe to a nation in 400 years.

Though highly regarded for centuries, some modern scholars have called the book ‘mythology’ and ‘unhistorical.’ The creation narrative, flood of Noah, even the existence of Abraham, have been heavily questions or rejected. Born-again, Bible-believing Christians must remember that Jesus, Who always takes a high view of Scripture, took Genesis at face value. Christ spoke of creation, Adam and Eve (Matthew 19:4-6), the flood of Noah (Matthew 24:37-39), and the Patriarchs (Matthew 8:11; Luke 13:28) as historic events or historic figures. Jesus has credibility in this area, especially because He rose from the dead (Romans 1:4).

Outline of Genesis
I.        Four Events
A.     Creation (1-2)
B.      The Fall of Humanity (3-5)
C.      The Flood (6-9)
D.     Table of Nations (10-11)
II.     Four Patriarchs
A.     Abraham (12-25)
B.      Isaac (26)
C.      Jacob (27-36)
D.      Joseph (37-50)

Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained
Cursed World (Genesis)
Eternal State (Revelation)
Cursed ground (3:17)
No more curse (22:3)
Daily Sorrow (3:17)
No more sorrow (21:4)
Thorns and thistles (3:18)
No more pain (21:4)
Sweat on the face (3:19)
Tears wiped away (21:4)
Eating herbs of the field (3:18)
Twelve manner of fruits (22:2)
Returning to the dust (3:19)
No more death (21:4)
Evil continually (6:5)
Nothing that defiles (21:27)
Coats of skins (3:21)
Fine linen, white & clean (19:14)
Satan opposing (3:15)
Satan banished (20:10)
Kept from the Tree of Life (3:24)
Access to the Tree of Life (22:14)
Banished from the Garden (3:23)
Free entry to the city (22:14)
Redeemer promised (3:15)
Redemption accomplished (5:9,10)

‘Understanding Genesis is part of the larger “Understanding the Bible Series.” It comes as 23 hours of audio MP3 commentary plus 90 pages of printable PDF notes. It is available for immediate download from the Teach All Nations website for only $9.99:


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