Author: Moses (date of writing: c.1440-1400 B.C.).
Period: Creation to c.1800 B.C.
Title: The Hebrew title of this book is taken from its opening phrase, Bereshith (“In the beginning . . .”). The English name is taken from the title given to this book in the Greek Septuagint translation. The Greek word genesis can mean “birth,” “genealogy,” “history of origin,” or “source.” The word genesis is also found in the opening phrase of the first book of the New Testament, Matthew, where it means “genealogy” or “history of origin.”
Summary: Genesis is the single most important book of the Bible. It is the beginning and foundation of the Bible, on which everything else is built. Everything revealed in the other books of the Bible has its beginning in the book of Genesis. It is the first book of the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Hebrew Bible. As both the Hebrew and Greek titles suggest, the book of Genesis is a book of beginnings. Genesis and Revelation stand as two end posts bridging the revelation of God to man; the first telling how it all began, the second revealing in symbol how it all will finish. In Genesis we see the beginnings of all that Revelation predicts as the consummation of the Divine purpose in the earth.
- Genesis speaks of a natural creation (chapter 1); Revelation of a spiritual creation (3:14).
- In Genesis the serpent speaks (3:1-5); in Revelation it is restrained (20:2).
- In Genesis, the curse is imposed (3:17); in Revelation it is removed (22:3).
- In Genesis, sorrow and death make their appearance (3:16-19); in Revelation they are taken away (21:4).
- In Genesis, access to the tree of life is denied (3:24); in Revelation, access to it is opened (22:7).
- In Genesis, the first paradise is closed to man (3:23); in Revelation it is opened to him (21:25).
A BOOK OF “GENERATIONS:” THE SUBJECT
DIVISIONS OF GENESIS
In addition to the natural separation into two periods of time, the book of Genesis is also divided naturally into twelve sections. With the exception of the first, these natural subject divisions are marked in the Hebrew text by the word toledoth (lit., “generations,” or “births”). In the Septuagint, this word is translated with the Greek term genesis. The King James Version translates the phrase in which toledoth appears as “the generations of . . .” and the New International Version uses the expression “the account of . . .” These divisions act something like the subject headings used in some Bibles–except in this case, they are inspired! The divisions of Genesis are listed below, using the wording of the NKJV:
1.Creation – the beginning 1:1 – 2:3
2.The history of the heavens and the earth 2:4 – 4:26
3. The book of the genealogy of Adam 5:1 – 6:8
4. The genealogy of Noah 6:9 – 9:29
5. The genealogy of the sons of Noah 10:1 -11:9
6. The genealogy of Shem 11:10-26
7. The genealogy of Terah (Abraham) 11:27 – 25:11
8. The genealogy of Ishmael 25:12-18
9. The genealogy of Isaac 25:19 – 35:29
10. The genealogy of Esau 36:1-8
11. The genealogy of the sons of Esau 36:9-43
12. The genealogy of Jacob 37:1 – 50:26
SOME POINTS TO CONSIDER FROM GENESIS
- God the great Creator of all: Genesis 1:1
- God’s First Promise to Man: Genesis 3:15
- God called Abram: Genesis 12:1
- God’s Covenant with Abram/Abraham: Genesis 12, 13, 15, 22
- How the nation of Israel came to be in Egypt: Genesis 15, 37-50