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Book 1 of 39 in The Old Testament


The very first book of the Bible, and one of the most attacked! A look at its authenticity is to be found in the section dealing with the Pentateuch as a whole. The name Genesis means ‘beginnings’, and this book deals with them. It is referred to as the seed plot of the Bible because in it are to be found the foundations of many truths in the Bible. Below is an outline of Genesis.

1. Author

Apart from the Jewish tradition supporting the Mosaic authorship, the NT also affirms it, telling us that he received the living oracles directly from God Lk. 24:27, Jn. 7:22 -23, Acts 7:37 – 38.

2. Basic Outline

Section Ref. Subsection Notes
Creation 1- 2
Day Ref. brief description
1 Ch.1:1-5 Original creation; light and the division from darkness.
2 Ch.1:6-8 Firmament and division of the waters.
3 Ch.1:9-13 The dry land appears.
4 Ch.1:14-20 The sun, moon and the star.
5 Ch.1:21-23 Moving creatures in the waters and fowls of the air.
6 Ch.1:24-31 Land animals and finally man.
7 Ch.2:3 God ended His work and blessed the seventh day.
Ch.2:4-25 We are not told the timescale of the events of the naming of the animals, or Eve’s creation
Were the six days literal?
The Fall 3-5
3:1-7 The temptation
3:8-19 The curse
3:20-24 The expulsion from Eden
4:1-26 The first murder
5:1-32 The generations of Adam
The Flood 6-10
6:1-5 The wickedness of the world
6:6-22 God’s instructions to Noah
7:1-24 The deluge, all flesh destroyed
8:1-22 Noah, his family and the animals leave the ark
9:1-17 The Covenant with Noah
9:18-29 Noah the husbandman
10:1-32 The generations of the sons of Noah
The Division 11
11:1-9 The tower of Babel
11:10-26 The generations of Terah
ThePatriarchs 12-50
Abraham Ch.12-25:10
12:1-9 Abraham’s call
12:10-20 Abraham in Egypt
13-14 Abraham and Lot
15 The Covenant
16 Abraham and Ishmael
17 Circumcision
18:1-5 Isaac promised
18:6-19:37 Sodom and the cities of the plain
20 Abimelech
21 Isaac born and the bondwoman cast out
22 Abraham tested to offer up Isaac.
23 Sarah’s death
24 Abraham sends his servant to find a wife for Isaac
25:1-10 Abraham’s second wife and death
Isaac Ch.21-35
21 Isaac born
22 Isaac offered
24 Isaac marries Rebekah
25:12-26 Esau and Jacob born to Isaac and Rebekah
26 Isaac deceives Abimelech
27 Isaac deceived by Jacob
35:28-29 Isaac dies
Jacob Ch.25-50
25:24-34 Jacob born and buys the birthright from Esau.
27 Jacob deceives to get the blessing.
28 Jacob flees to Laban
29-31 Jacob with Laban
32-49 Jacob meets with God at Peniel etc.
49-50 Jacob’s patriarchal blessing and death
Joseph Ch. 37-50
37 Joseph sold as a slave
39 Joseph in Potiphar’s house and prison
40 Joseph interprets dreams
41 Joseph elevated by Pharoah
42-46 Joseph, his brethren and Jacob
47-48 Joseph invites his family to Egypt
49-50 The Patriarchal blessings and Joseph’s death

3. Natural Division

In the book of Genesis we have the phrase ‘ this is the generation of ..’ and this seems to divide the book up naturally.

These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens
Gen. 2:4

This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him;
Gen. 5:1

These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.

Now these are the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth: and unto them were sons born after the flood.
Gen. 10:1

These are the generations of Shem: Shem was an hundred years old, and begat Arphaxad two years after the flood:

Now these are the generations of Terah: Terah begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran begat Lot.

Now these are the generations of Ishmael, Abraham’s son, whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah’s handmaid, bare unto Abraham:
Gen. 25:12

Now these are the generations of Esau, who is Edom.
Gen. 36:1

And these are the generations of Esau the father of the Edomites in mount Seir:

These are the generations of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brethren; and the lad was with the sons of Bilhah, and with the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives: and Joseph brought unto his father their evil report.

4. Some FAQ with Genesis

a. Was creation in six literal days?
From a simple exposition of scripture it has to be answered that the six days of Genesis were literal 24 hour periods. The reasons are easy to understand:
The narrative intends us to understand that they were 24hr. periods. Look at the text:

‘ the evening and the morning were the first day etc.’ Gen 1:5

Clearly we are being told of the origin of the night/day pattern and so we conclude that it is the 24 hr. period that is in view.
God Himself said it was literal 24 hr. period! We read in Exodus;

And God spake all these words, saying, I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt,………………………. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.
Ex. 20:1-11

That has to be the end of all disputing, lest we find ourselves arguing against God.

b. Was there a gap between the first two verses of Gen. 1?
This idea is based on speculation and misunderstanding of scripture, sufficient to say that the arguments in favour of the ‘gap theory’ have been answered. The reader is referred to the book Unformed and Unfilled ( A critique of the Gap theory) Weston Fields published by Burgener Enterprises 1997 for a detailed exposure of the theory.

c Was the Flood Universal?

Again from the simple understanding of scripture the answer has to be a clear ‘Yes’:
The words spoken to Noah were clear

And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.

And the flood was forty days upon the earth; and the waters increased, and bare up the ark, and it was lift up above the earth. And the waters prevailed, and were increased greatly upon the earth; and the ark went upon the face of the waters. And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered. Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered.

So the Genesis account makes it plain that the flood was universal ; but the testimony of the NT is also clear:

For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:
II Pet. 3:5-6

If the Flood was only local, as some maintain, then God has broken His promise of no more floods destroying the Earth, for there have been many local floods since:

And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth.
Gen. 9:11

For more answers regarding creation and related issues you are directed to