Common Name: Genesis
Book Number: 1 of 66 (Old Testament has 39 Books, New Testament has 27 Books)
When Written: 1445-1400 B.C. Late Bronze Age
Where Written: Egypt and Canaan
Why Written: Demonstrates God's Sovereignty and the Love God has for His creation.
Key Phrase: Prelude to Israel and the Patriarchs
Key Idea: The Beginnings and Ancestors of Israel's Faith
Key Verse: "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 17:7)
Adam, Eve, Cain, Abel, Noah, Abraham, Lot, Hagar, Ishmael, Sarah, Isaac, Rebekah, Jacob, Laban, Rachel, Esau, Joseph
Who Wrote the Book:
Several Old Testament and New Testament books name Moses as the author as well as Jewish tradition.
Children of Israel would later become the nation of Israel.
About the Title:
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 Hebrew text originally title the book after text from the first verse which says "In the beginning." Both have the same meaning, Genesis discusses the beginning of all things as well as the beginning of God's plan of redemption for mankind. Genesis is the first of the five original books of the Old Testament. The Jewish faith calls these first five books the "Torah" which means the law of God.
The setting for the book of Genesis is the Middle East. Everything starts in ancient Mesopotamia and progresses from there. The history recounted in Genesis stretches from Ur of the Chaldeans in what became ancient Babylon down the Sinai Peninsula, through Palestine and into Egypt. If we were to name the three most prominent geographical areas for the setting of Genesis it would include Mesopotamia, the Promised Land and Egypt.
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 by 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."
God created a perfect world; 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 Jesus chose us 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 man could choose to have a relationship with God of their own freewill.
God would not be a loving God if He did not give mankind the freewill to choose Him or to rebel against Him. Despite this Genesis shows God's ultimate control and how God can work all things out for good for the sake of His people and those who believe in Him. Genesis has several parts the first part chapter's one through eleven serve as a prologue or introduction and the second part in chapters twelve through fifty we see events unfold. We see throughout Genesis God's sovereignty and control and His ultimate blessings on those who follow and believe on Him.
Some of the main concepts in Genesis include the concept that there is only one true God and that He exist in three distinct person 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 man and read how man became so wicked God spared only Noah and his family. Through this we see the need for salvation and how salvation can only come from a Holy God and that man apart from God cannot bring about his own salvation.
In addition to the Trinity we see the theological concepts revealed of redemption, sin, Satan, 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 His creation and the abundant life we can have through Christ.
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 corrupted man and his world. This book tells us how God began to unfold His plan of redemption for mankind. Genesis explains the beginning of 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 in to a great people group. This is where the book of Exodus begins with the birth of Israel as a nation. This book also explains pre and post flood conditions of mankind and the earth. 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.