We begin where the Bible begins, with Genesis. It stands as the first chapter in the history of mankind, but, more importantly, as the first chapter of the history of God's redemptive plan for sinful man. The book contains 50 chapters, 1,533 verses, and some 38,267 words. As J. W. McGarvey noted "The author goes over in this short book nearly 2,500 years of the world's history; and yet the book, if printed by itself, would be only a small pamphlet."
The book is regarded as a book of generations. The first section, chapters 1-11, traces the generations from Adam to Noah (including such names as Adam & Eve, Cain, Abel, and Seth). The book opens with a brief account of creation. The events recorded in chapters 3-9 trace the increase of mankind in both number (population) and wickedness. This section concludes with the destruction of all except Noah's family (8 people) in the waters of the flood. Chapters 10-11 record events associated with the repopulating of the earth and the dispersion of man into different communities, through the confusion of tongues at Babel.
The second section of the book, chapters 12-50, traces the generations of Abraham to Judah. (Chapter 11:10-32 forms a bridge in the generations from Noah to Abram [Abraham] through the line of Shem.) As the generations roll by, we are introduced to the patriarchs, Abram (Abraham), Isaac, Jacob (Israel), and Jacob's twelve sons. This section centers on both the promises of God made to the patriarchs and God's providential care of the children of Israel, as seen in the life of Joseph. A four-fold promise including (1) Personal Blessings, (2) A Great Nation Promise, (3) A Land Promise, and (4) the Messianic Prophecy, as first given to Abram (Abraham) (Chapter 12:1-7) and repeated to Isaac (26:2-4) and Jacob (28:13-14). This section includes the events from the call of Abram until the descent of the Hebrew people into Egypt (a response to the famine in Canaan). The book concludes with the death of Joseph, who, in dying, spoke of the promised return to Canaan.
God's redemptive plan begins to unfold in Genesis. We learn the Seed (Christ) will come to triumph over Satan; Christ will come through the seed of Abraham, through Isaac, through Jacob, through Judah, and through Pharez. Christ will bless all families of the earth. He (Christ) will reign. (Gen. 3:15; 12:1-3; 26:2-4; 28:13-14; 49:10.)
Reader's guide to Genesis: Part I. BEGINNING OF MANKIND (Genesis 1:1-11:32) A. Creation (Gen. 1:1-2:25), B. Corruption "The Fall" (Gen 3:1-5:32), C. Catastrophe "The Flood" (Gen. 6:1-9:29), D. Confusion "Babel" (Gen. 10:1-11:32). Part II. BEGINNING OF A NATION (Genesis 12:1-50:26), A. Abraham (Gen 11:10-25:18), B. Isaac (Gen. 21:1-35:29), C. Jacob (Gen. 25:19-50:14), D. Joseph (Gen. 37:1-50:26).
Extended outlines of Genesis thru Deuteronomy are available in book form. To order email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call (304) 592-3125. 90 Pleasant Ave., Shinnston, WV 26431
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