Genesis 1 – 25

Genesis 1: Genesis chapter one is the creation account of all that God created. In 6 literal 24-hour days, God created the heavens and the earth; light; an expanse to divide the waters above from the waters below; the sun, moon, and stars; living creatures, fish, and birds that fly; beasts of the earth; and man. The pinnacle of God’s creation is man, whom God created in His image and likeness and to whom God gave authority over all the earth. This chapter marks the beginning of time and establishes the beginning point of God’s revelation of Himself to man.

Genesis 2: This chapter is a recapitulation of Chapter 1 in which some specific details are given. The heavens, earth, and all their hosts were completed by the seventh day. Some say that “all their hosts” references the angels, created beings that serve God’s purpose. The seventh day of the week is sanctified by God and set apart as holy. The seventh day will become a significant part of the Mosaic Law for the Jews. Adam is placed in the Garden of Edin to “work and keep it.” God made Adam the mediator of one commandment, “You eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you surely die.” Adam is given authority to rule much of God’s creation. This is the first implication of a theocracy. That is a human being ruling the world by divine precept.

Genesis 3: Genesis 3 is the record of the fall of man into sin. The serpent deceives Eve into eating from the forbidden tree. She gave some of the fruit to Adam and he ate as well. As result, the serpent is cursed; the ground is cursed; Adam and Eve suffer the consequences of the curse. Adam’s descendants are hopelessly under the curse of sin, which is death. Eve’s judgment is increased pain in labor and childbearing. Adam’s judgment is increased effort and laboring for food as a farmer of the ground. On one hand, there is less production. Conversely, thorns and thistles will also grow, creating more work for man. What was once the pure image of God in man is also marred. The elements of God’s image are intact. They are, however, corrupted. There is nothing to suggest a “battle of the sexes” other than the function of the sinful nature of man. Genesis 3:15 is called the “protoevangelium.” The first giving of the gospel. It is the thread of hope as Scripture progresses for One who would deliver a crushing blow to the serpent and his works.

Genesis 4: Genesis 4 shows how quickly man degenerated after sin entered the world through Adam’s sin. Cain was a tiller of the ground and Abel his brother tended flocks. Abel brought an animal sacrifice to the Lord, while Cain did not. Cain’s offering was not regarded by the Lord but Abel’s offering was accepted. Cain became jealous and rose up against Abel and killed him. Cain is cursed from the produce of the ground and is made a vagabond wanderer on the earth. Cain fears that if anyone finds him they will kill him. God promises to take vengeance on anyone that harms Cain. Lamech, A descendant of Cain, seems to put himself in God’s place swearing that if anyone harms Lamech, vengeance will be taken 70 times (multiplied by 70). He elevated his own worth. Adam and Eve have another son they name Seth, whom Eve seems to believe is the one that fulfills the promise of Genesis 3:15.

Genesis 5: Genesis 5 is the first “toledoth” division of Genesis. It is a genealogical record from Adam to Noah. It is significant to note that while there is a continuance of the passing of “the image” from father to son, the image is the fallen image of man. A totally corrupted image of God. The only person on this list that did not die is Enoch, who walked with God and was taken.

Genesis 6: Genesis 6 contains some of the most controversial teachings in the Bible. This is the first reference to the “sons of God.” some say these are angels who are trying to corrupt the human race so the redeemer cannot come. However, human beings are already condemned in Adam. The “Nephilim” were human beings as were the “sons of God.” This chapter shows the moral decline that occurs when there is no moral compass. God plans to “blot out man” and animals from the earth due to violence and corruption. Genesis 6:9 reveals that Noah received Divine favor. Noah is declared righteous and “blameless in his time.” God commands Noah to build an ark for his family and the animals that God planned to preserve through the flood. The ark of Noah is a type of Christ.

Genesis 7: Genesis 7 begins with preparation for the flood and ends at about the mid-point of the year-long flood. Noah was to take with him on the ark seven male and female pairs of clean animals and two male and female pairs of unclean animals into the ark. While the rain lasted 40 days and 40 nights, “the fountains of the great deep burst open.” The ocean floor heaved upward inundating land masses with water. The water covered the earth 15 cubits over the mountains. The mountains that are present today are not the mountains that were covered. The pre-flood geography is unknown. Every living thing on earth that was not in the ark died. The water did not begin to recede until after 150 days, for a total of 190 to the mid-point of the flood.

Genesis 8: Genesis 8 deals with the process of receding waters in the second half of the flood. The ark came to rest on Mt. Ararat. While the flood itself caused considerable damage to the earth, as the waters receded, most land-dwelling mammals, including man, were washed out to sea. Noah, his family, and the animals were in the ark for one year and two months. The closing of chapter 8 is the great promise that God would “never again curse the ground” because of man and that seasonal patterns for planting and harvest would not cease.

Genesis 9: Genesis 9 opens with the command for man to spread out and repopulate the earth. The animals will now have a fear of man. Man is permitted to eat meat. The only prohibition is the eating of blood. Verses 5 and 6 issues a death penalty for man or beast that kills a man because man was created in God’s image. These verses are the basis for the establishment of human governments that would have investigated and administered the death penalty to those found guilty. The rainbow is established as the sign of God’s covenant that God would never again destroy the earth with a flood. The Noahaic Covenant is the first of the seven Biblical covenants that reveal God’s plan and purpose for man. The three sons of Noah dispersed in three directions. Shem’s descendants remind within the boundary of Mesopotamia and south of the Euphrates River. Ham’s descendants went to North Africa. Japhet’s descendants migrated north of Shem into modern-day Turkey and Russia.

Genesis 10: Genesis 10 is primarily a genealogy of the sons of Noah. The eldest son, Japheth, is the ancestral father of Gomer and Magog. Both of these sons of Jephthah appear in eschatology as coming from the far north. Notable sons of Ham are Chust, who is also mentioned in the prophetic end-times. Canaan is also from Ham. Cush was the ancestor of Nimrod, who founded Nineveh in Assyria. It is the Canaanite people whom the Israelites were to displace in the land of promise. The last genealogy given in chapter 10 is that of Shem. A notable reference in his line is that Peleg. It is believed that Peleg was named after the division of nations when God confused their languages at the Tower of Babel in the following chapter.

Genesis 11: Genesis 11 begins with the Tower of Babel and the confusion of languages. Instead of spreading out and repopulating the earth after the flood, people settled and built a city they called “Babel.” God judged them and confused their languages. It is likely that the “mother-child” cult has as its foundation, Nimrod and Babel. The “generations of Shem” is repeated and expanded, which continues to Terah, the father of Abram, whom God later renames Abraham.

Genesis 12: Genesis 12 is the inauguration of the Abrahamic Covenant. God promises Abram a seven-fold promise. 1) God promised to make a great nation from Abram. 2) God promised to bless Abram. 3) God would make Abram’s name great. 4) God would bless those that bless Abram. 5) God would curse those who don’t take the promises to Abram seriously. 6) Abram would be a blessing. 7) Through Abram, “all the families of the earth would be blessed.” God made these unconditional promises to Abram. There was nothing for Abram to do. God had determined by His Own will that He would do these things for Abram. From this point forward, Scripture is progressive outworking the promises to Abram.

Genesis 13: Genesis 13 gives the details of Lot’s separation from Abram. Even though Abram told Lot to choose a direction, the Lord told Abram to pick what land he wanted. Abram settled in Canaan, and Lot “chose for himself” the Jordan valley and wound up in Sodom. God promises to give the land to Abram specifically and to Abram’s descendants by way of inheritance. Abram never possessed all of the lands of promise in his lifetime and neither have his physical descendants, to whom the promises passed upon the deaths of the Fathers of the Israelites. The fulfillment of this promise is yet future when a descendant of Abram, Isaac, and Jacob will possess all of the lands of the inheritance.

Genesis 14: Genesis 14 contains the narrative of a war between kings of the land. Five kings, which included the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah, were attacked by four other kings. The five kings were defeated and Abram’s nephew Lot was carried away captive. Abram rallied his fighting men and went in pursuit. Abram returned the people and possessions of the five kings and Lot. We then see the significant figure, Melchizedek, appear to whom Abram paid a tithe of the spoils of the war. This Melchizedek is represented in the New Testament as a type of Christ. Since Jesus is both priest and king in the order of Melchizedek, it shows the temporary nature of the Mosaic system and the Levitical priesthood given to the descendants of Abram in the book of the Exodus.

Genesis 15: In Genesis 15, God promises Abram an heir. Abram thought that since God had not given him a son, “one born in his house” would inherit his estate, which included all that God promised Abram. Abram believes that God will give him an heir, and because of Abram’s belief, Abram is reckoned as righteous before God. God then tells Abram that it was Him that brought Abram out of Ur, reinforcing the unconditional nature of God’s covenant with Abram. God alone would fulfill His purpose in Abram. Abram asks, “how can I know that ‘I’ will possess the land.” God tells Abram to prepare a sacrifice. God alone walks through the sacrifice, signifying that God alone would bring it to pass or suffer the same fate as the animals that were sacrificed. Abram is given a prophetic word, which would become a sign to the generations of Abram’s descendants that fulfilled it. The sign is that Abram’s descendants would be enslaved for 400 years in Egypt. Another facet of this prophecy was to give the residents of the land opportunity to repent. That is, change their mind about who God is. The land promised to Abram and his descendants is extensive. They have never possessed all of the lands promised to them in their history. The connotation is that Abram will have to be resurrected for him to possess the land.

Genesis 16: Genesis 16 shows the weak faith of Abram in taking Hagar as a wife, at the insistence of Sari his wife, to produce an heir. When Hagar did produce a son, Sari became angry at Abram. Sari mistreated Hagar until Hagar fled into the desert with Ishmael. Hagar encounters the “angel of the Lord,” who promises her that Ishmael will become a great nation and to return and submit to Sari. Ishmael is the father of the Aram nations and settled in the wilderness of Paran, known today as the Sinai Peninsula. Many Arabs today and throughout history believe that Ishmael is the rightful heir of Abram, having been Abram’s first-born son.

Genesis 17: The events in Genesis 17 occurred twenty-four years after Abram left Haran. In chapter 15, Abram was promised an heir. Eleven years after that promise, Abram had a son through Hagar, taking it upon himself to fulfill God’s promise. In Genesis 17, God reaffirms His covenant with Abram, signifying that Abram’s actions had not canceled God’s promises to Abram. God changes Abram’s name to Abraham, signifying God’s sovereignty over Abraham and God’s commitment to His Word. God reaffirms that the land of Canaan has been given to Abraham and his descendants “for an everlasting possession.” God commands that circumcision is the sign of this everlasting covenant. Abraham had given up hope of having another son and pleaded with God to let Ishmael be the heir. God rejects the idea because God intended to give Abraham and Sarah a son when Sarah was well beyond years of conception. God promises that Abraham’s heir would come from a miraculous conception through Sarah’s dead womb. Abram is told to name his son Isaac and that God would confirm Isaac as Abraham’s heir.

Genesis 18: In Genesis 18, the Lord visits Abraham to announce that Sarah would have a son the following year. The character of Abraham is revealed in his treatment of travelers with open hospitality. When the announcement of Sarah’s pregnancy came, she laughed in disbelief. At this time, the Lord also revealed that He was about to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah because of their sin. Abraham’s character is also revealed in his intercession for the righteous who were there. God agrees to spare Sodom and Gomorrah if there are found within as few as ten people who are righteous.

Genesis 19: Genesis 19 narrates the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. The two angels that had visited Abraham in chapter 18, encountered Lot, who pleads with them to come and stay in his house. The men of the city come looking for the men whom Lot had shown hospitality so that they could have sex with them. The angels warn Lot that they are about to destroy the city and that he should take his family and leave. Lot leaves the city with his wife and two daughters. After the destruction started, Lot’s wife looked back to the city and turned into a pillar of salt. Lot’s daughters, convinced that Lot was the only man left in the world, proceeded to get Lot drunk and have sex with him so that they could have children. One daughter had a son she named Moab. The other daughter had a son she named Ammon. These two sons became enemies of the nation of Israel.

Genesis 20: Genesis 20 illustrates the faithfulness of God in God’s promises to Abraham in spite of Abraham’s faithlessness. While Abraham’s deceptive introduction of Sarah as his sister was true, it does not represent absolute truth because Sarah was Abraham’s wife. The sovereignty of God is also clear in that God prevented Abimelech from lying with Sarah. While Abraham’s excuse for misrepresenting the truth seemed plausible, it shows that Abraham was faithless concerning God’s promise to protect him from harm.

Genesis 21: In Genesis 21, God proves Himself worthy of trust to Abraham by giving Abraham a son by Sarah. Abraham circumcised Isaac on the eighth day according to the terms of God’s covenant with him. As Isaac grew, Ishmael mocked Isaac angering Sarah. As a result, Hagar and Ishmael were sent away. God assures Abraham that Isaac is the heir and that Ishmael will become a great nation. Paul, in the New Testament, uses this account as an allegory to illustrate the differences between the Mosaic Covenant and the New Covenant which replaces it.

Genesis 22: Genesis 22 is the testing of Abraham by God concerning Isaac. God tells Abraham to go to the “land of Moriah” and off up Isaac “your only son.” God did not acknowledge Ishmael as Abraham’s son. It is believed by most that Isaac was considerably older than a toddler. Somewhere in the range of 18 to 30 years old. The question arises about human sacrifice but that is not the theme of this passage. Abraham trusted God that Isaac was to be his heir. That if Abraham sacrificed Isaac, God was able to bring him back to life so that he could fulfill that purpose. The account is about the resurrection of the dead. Not human sacrifice. The ram that God provided also lays out the theme of substitutionary sacrifice.

Genesis 23: This chapter recounts the death of Sarah and Abraham’s purchase of a field with a cave for a burial place. There is some question as to the sequence of offering Isaac and the death of Sarah. Many believe that Sarah died before Abraham offered up Isaac. Abraham’s character is revealed in his willingness to pay the full price for the land. Nevertheless, Abraham and a number of his family members are buried there.

Genesis 24: This chapter recounts the events surrounding the acquisition of a bride for Isaac. Abraham sends a servant to go to the land of Abraham’s origin to find a bride for Isaac among the sons of Eber, his relatives. It is said by some that the servant is a type of the Holy Spirit. The servant prays to God for success and signs that would reveal the woman that God had chosen as Isaac’s bride. God’s sovereignty is seen in both the selection of the servant and the choosing of Rebekah as Isaac’s bride. God’s foreknowledge is seen in the servant’s prayer.

Genesis 25: In chapter 25, Abraham takes a new wife named Keturah. He fathered six more sons by her, one of which is named Midian. The Midianites would become bitter enemies of God’s chosen people. Abraham sent the sons of Keturah “eastward,” perhaps to modern-day Iran, Pakistan, and India. Upon Abraham’s death, Isaac and Ishmael bury him in the cave where Sarah is buried. Very little time is spent on the life of Isaac. He prays for Rebekah to conceive and she conceived twins. She is told by God that “one will be stronger” and that “the older sill serve the younger.” When Rebekah delivered, the firstborn was named Esau. The second was named Jacob. With the exception of the following chapter, the remainder of Genesis, and the Bible, revolves around Jacob and his sons.

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