Testament is another word for covenant. Sin broke the perfect peace between God and humanity Genesis 3 and instead of enjoying the blessing God intended, humanity was burdened with the curse. But God established His plan for redemption and blessing through covenants, first with Abraham Genesis —5 , reaffirmed with Isaac —35 , then with Jacob — These promises applied to the Israelites in Egypt and to later generations. Keep God, not just the people, in mind as you read through the book. Consider His character qualities.
Or His anger over sin? Or the way He fulfilled His promises to everyone? Awareness of each of these characteristics should evoke worship. Remember that the Lord is strong, faithful, and just.
And His desire to bless His creation will one day be fully realized. View Chuck Swindoll's chart of Genesis , which divides the book into major sections and highlights themes and key verses. Who wrote the book? I put my slave in your arms, and now that she knows she is pregnant, she despises me. May the Lord judge between you and me. My covenant in your flesh is to be an everlasting covenant. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her. Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?
He will be the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him into a great nation. When he saw them, he hurried from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground.
While they ate, he stood near them under a tree. Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him. I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son. If not, I will know. Will you really sweep it away and not spare [ x ] the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it?
Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right? Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five people? What if only thirty can be found there? What if only ten can be found there? When he saw them, he got up to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground. You can wash your feet and spend the night and then go on your way early in the morning.
He prepared a meal for them, baking bread without yeast, and they ate. Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do what you like with them. The outcry to the Lord against its people is so great that he has sent us to destroy it.
Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away when the city is punished. Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away! Then my life will be spared. He and his two daughters lived in a cave.
He was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up. Again he was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up. I have done this with a clear conscience and clean hands.
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That is why I did not let you touch her. But if you do not return her, you may be sure that you and all who belong to you will die. How have I wronged you that you have brought such great guilt upon me and my kingdom? God tests Abraham by demanding that he sacrifice Isaac. As Abraham is about to lay the knife upon his son, God restrains him, promising him numberless descendants. On the death of Sarah, Abraham purchases Machpelah believed to be modern Hebron for a family tomb and sends his servant to Mesopotamia to find among his relations a wife for Isaac; after proving herself, Rebekah becomes Isaac's betrothed.
Keturah , Abraham's other wife, births more children, among whose descendants are the Midianites. Abraham dies at a prosperous old age and his family lays him to rest in Hebron. Isaac's wife Rebecca gives birth to the twins Esau , father of the Edomites , and Jacob. Through deception, Jacob becomes the heir instead of Esau and gains his father's blessing. He flees to his uncle where he prospers and earns his two wives, Rachel and Leah. Jacob's name is changed to Israel, and by his wives and their handmaidens he has twelve sons, the ancestors of the twelve tribes of the Children of Israel, and a daughter, Dinah.
Joseph , Jacob's favorite son, makes his brothers jealous and they sell him into slavery in Egypt. Joseph prospers, after hardship, with God's guidance of interpreting Pharaoh's dream of upcoming famine. He is then reunited with his father and brothers, who fail to recognize him, and plead for food. After much manipulation, he reveals himself and lets them and their households into Egypt, where Pharaoh assigns to them the land of Goshen.
Jacob calls his sons to his bedside and reveals their future before he dies. Joseph lives to an old age and exhorts his brethren, if God should lead them out of the country, to take his bones with them. Genesis takes its Hebrew title from the first word of the first sentence, Bereshit , meaning "In [the] beginning [of]"; in the Greek Septuagint it was called Genesis , from the phrase "the generations of heaven and earth".
The Qumran group provides the oldest manuscripts but covers only a small proportion of the book; in general, the Masoretic Text is well preserved and reliable, but there are many individual instances where the other versions preserve a superior reading.
For much of the 20th century most scholars agreed that the five books of the Pentateuch —Genesis, Exodus , Leviticus , Numbers and Deuteronomy —came from four sources, the Yahwist , the Elohist , the Deuteronomist and the Priestly source , each telling the same basic story, and joined together by various editors. The Deuteronomistic source does not appear in Genesis. Scholars use examples of repeated and duplicate stories to identify the separate sources.
In Genesis these include three different accounts of a Patriarch claiming that his wife was his sister, the two creation stories, and the two versions of Abraham sending Hagar and Ishmael into the desert. This leaves the question of when these works were created. Scholars in the first half of the 20th century came to the conclusion that the Yahwist is a product of the monarchic period, specifically at the court of Solomon , 10th century BC, and the Priestly work in the middle of the 5th century BC with claims that the author is Ezra , but more recent thinking is that the Yahwist is from either just before or during the Babylonian exile of the 6th century BC, and the Priestly final edition was made late in the Exilic period or soon after.
As for why the book was created, a theory which has gained considerable interest, although still controversial is "Persian imperial authorisation". The two powerful groups making up the community—the priestly families who controlled the Temple and who traced their origin to Moses and the wilderness wanderings, and the major landowning families who made up the "elders" and who traced their own origins to Abraham, who had "given" them the land—were in conflict over many issues, and each had its own "history of origins", but the Persian promise of greatly increased local autonomy for all provided a powerful incentive to cooperate in producing a single text.
Genesis is perhaps best seen as an example of a creation myth , a type of literature telling of the first appearance of humans, the stories of ancestors and heroes, and the origins of culture, cities and so forth. In David Clines published his influential The Theme of the Pentateuch — influential because he was one of the first to take up the question of the theme of the entire five books. Clines' conclusion was that the overall theme is "the partial fulfillment — which implies also the partial nonfulfillment — of the promise to or blessing of the Patriarchs".
By calling the fulfillment "partial" Clines was drawing attention to the fact that at the end of Deuteronomy the people are still outside Canaan. The patriarchs , or ancestors, are Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, with their wives Joseph is normally excluded. Through the patriarchs God announces the election of Israel, meaning that he has chosen Israel to be his special people and committed himself to their future. The promise itself has three parts: offspring, blessings, and land. The ancestors, however, retain their faith in God and God in each case gives a son — in Jacob's case, twelve sons, the foundation of the chosen Israelites.
Each succeeding generation of the three promises attains a more rich fulfillment, until through Joseph "all the world" attains salvation from famine,  and by bringing the children of Israel down to Egypt he becomes the means through which the promise can be fulfilled. Scholars generally agree that the theme of divine promise unites the patriarchal cycles, but many would dispute the efficacy of trying to examine Genesis' theology by pursuing a single overarching theme, instead citing as more productive the analysis of the Abraham cycle, the Jacob cycle, and the Joseph cycle, and the Yahwist and Priestly sources.
To this basic plot which comes from the Yahwist the Priestly source has added a series of covenants dividing history into stages, each with its own distinctive "sign". The first covenant is between God and all living creatures, and is marked by the sign of the rainbow; the second is with the descendants of Abraham Ishmaelites and others as well as Israelites , and its sign is circumcision ; and the last, which does not appear until the book of Exodus , is with Israel alone, and its sign is Sabbath.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For the comics, see The Book of Genesis comics. Genesis Exodus Leviticus Numbers Deuteronomy. See also: Primeval history and Patriarchal age. Main article: Documentary hypothesis. Main article: Weekly Torah portion.
Bible portal. Freedman Ed. Clifford; Daniel J. Harrington Reading the Old Testament: An Introduction. Paulist Press. Sweeney, Marvin In Evans, Craig A. Bandstra, Barry L. Reading the Old Testament.
Cengage Learning. Bergant, Dianne Genesis: In the Beginning. Liturgical Press. Blenkinsopp, Joseph Continuum International Publishing Group. Brueggemann, Walter Atlanta: John Knox Press. Carr, David M.
Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible. Amsterdam University Press. Cotter, David W De La Torre, Miguel Belief: A Theological Commentary on the Bible. Westminster John Knox Press. Fretheim, Terence E. Edited by Leander E.