Writer of the Book:



About 1500 B. C.

Key Thought:

Number of Chapters:

Key Verse:

Beginnings 50 Gen_1:1

Christ seen as:

Written To:

Seed of Abraham

The people of Israel.

Key Characters in the Book of Genesis:

Adam and Eve , 
Noah, Abraham and Sarah, 
Isaac and Rebekah, Jacob, Joseph.

The Hebrews now entitle all the Five Books of Moses, from the initial words, which originally were written like one continued word or verse; but the Septuagint have preferred to give the titles the most memorable occurrences of each work. On this occasion, the Creation of all things out of nothing, strikes us with peculiar force. We find a refutation of all the heathenish mythology, and of the world's eternity, which Aristotle endeavoured to establish. We behold the short reign of innocence, and the origin of sin and misery, the dispersion of nations, and the providence of God watching over his chosen people, till the death of Joseph, about the year of the world 2369 (Usher) 2399 (Salien and Tirinus), the year before Christ 1631. We shall witness the same care in the other Books of Scripture, and adore his wisdom and goodness in preserving to himself faithful witnesses, and a true Holy Catholic Church, in all ages, even when the greatest corruption seemed to overspread the land. (Haydock)


In this first Book of Moses, we have brought before us the history of the creation; the original state of man as innocent; his fall, by reason of sin; the gracious promise of redemption; together with the Church’s history, in the lives of the Patriarchs, comprising a period of about 2369 years.

Genesis is a name taken from the Greek, and signifies “the book of generation or production;” it is properly so called, as containing an account of the origin of all things. There is no other history so old. There is nothing in the most ancient book which exists that contradicts it; while many things recorded by the oldest heathen writers, or to be traced in the customs of different nations, confirm what is related in the book of Genesis.


In observing how short an account we have of the lives of the Fathers, during so long. a period, contemplate with due seriousness, the fluctuating passing state of man upon earth! And while the reflection suitably affects the mind, recollect no less, how sweet, and reviving the thought is, that amidst all the changing scenes of succeeding generations, in which one passes away, and another cometh, our Covenant God in Christ, lives' and abides forever. Lord, grant to him that writes, and to him that reads these lines, that when their hour is also come, in which both will cease from their labors, be gathered to their fathers, and have seen corruption, they may find thee to be the strength of their heart, and their portion forever.

As the very foundation of religion must be formed in the knowledge of God, and our relation to Him; the Sacred Historian opens this Book of God, with a general account of the glorious work of the Divine Persons of the Godhead, in Creation; and the particular recital of each day’s work, in the progress of it: concluding the Chapter with an account of the Divine Complacency, in the review of the whole, as being all perfect in its kind, and very good.

Genesis has a character of its own; and, as the beginning of the Holy Book, presents to us all the great elementary principles which find their development in the history of the relationships of God with man, which is recorded in the following books. The germ of each of these principles will be found here, unless we except the law. There was however a law given to Adam in his innocence; and Hagar, we know, prefigures at least Sinai. There is scarce anything afterwards accomplished of which the expression is not found in this book in one form or another. There is found also in it, though the sad history of man's fall be there, a freshness in the relationship of men with God, which is scarce met with afterwards in men accustomed to abuse it and to live in a society full of itself. But whether it be the creation, man and his fall, sin, the power of Satan, the promises, the call of God, His judgment of the world, redemption, the covenants, the separation of the people of God, their condition of strangers on the earth, the resurrection, the establishment of Israel in the land of Canaan, the blessing of the nations, the seed of promise, the exaltation of a rejected Lord to the throne of the world, all are found here in fact or in figure-in figure, now that we have the key, even the church itself.


Genesis 1-11 is primordial history. God creates the world, which is good, but sin enters the world through human disobedience. Adam and Eve eat fruit that was forbidden to them, and Cain murders his brother Abel.  God commands Noah to build an ark in which pairs of all living things are preserved from the great flood that God sends to purge the earth. Afterward, people begin building a tower that would reach to heaven in order to make a name for themselves, but God confuses their speech and scatters them.

Genesis 12-25 tells of Abraham and his family. God promises that Abraham will receive a land and many descendents, and that through him all the families of the earth will be blessed.  Abraham's wife Sarah is barren, so he fathers a son Ishmael through Sarah's servant Hagar.  Messengers repeat God's promise, and in advanced old age, Sarah gives birth to Isaac.  God tests Abraham by commanding him to sacrifice Isaac, but before Abraham completes the sacrifice God intervenes and preserves the boy.  Isaac marries Rebekah, who bears Jacob and Esau.

Genesis 26-36 centers on Jacob. Jacob barters for his brother's birthright and tricks his father Isaac into blessing him, then flees to his uncle Laban.   On the way he dreams of a ladder stretching to heaven, and God promises him land and descendants.  Jacob marries Laban's daughters Rachel and Leah, becomes rich, and has twelve sons.  Upon his return to Canaan, Jacob wrestles with an angel and is named "Israel."

Genesis 37-50 is the story of Joseph and his brothers. Joseph was Jacob's favorite son.  His brothers become jealous and sell him as a slave into There Joseph is imprisoned on false charges, but after successfully interpreting Pharaoh's dreams, he is given responsibility over Egypt's food stores.  During a famine, Joseph's brothers come to Egypt for food.   At first Joseph hides his identity, but later reveals that he is their brother and brings the family to Egypt.

Outline of Genesis

The Beginnings of the Race and of the Chosen Family

Outline of the Book of Genesis:

Chapter 1 - Six Days of Creation and the Sabbath
Chapter 2 - Another Account of the Creation

Chapter 3 - The First Sin and Its Punishment

Chapter 4 - Cain Murder Abel & The Beginning of Civilization
Chapter 5 - Adam’s Descendants to Noah and His Sons
Chapter 6 - The Wickedness of Humankind & Noah Pleases God
Chapter 7 - The Great Flood
Chapter 8 - The Flood Subsides & God’s Promise to Noah
Chapter 9 - The Covenant with Noah & Noah and His Sons
Chapter 10 - Nations Descended from Noah
Chapter 11 - The Tower of Babel & Descendants of Shem & Descendants of Terah
Chapter 12 - The Call of Adam & Abram and Sarai in Egypt
Chapter 13 - Abram and Lot Separate
Chapter 14 - Lot’s Captivity and Rescue & Abram Blessed by Melchizedek
Chapter 15 - God’s Covenant with Abram
Chapter 16 - Birth of Ishmael
Chapter 17 - Signs of Conversion
Chapter 18 - A Son Promised to Abraham and Sarah & Judgment Pronounced on Sodom
Chapter 19 - Sodom and Gomorrah Destroyed
Chapter 20 - Abraham and Sarah at Gerar
Chapter 21 - The Birth of Isaac & Hagar and Ishmael Sent Away & Abraham and Abimelech Make a Covenant
Chapter 22 - The Command to Sacrifice Isaac & The Children of Nahor
Chapter 23 - Sarah's Death and Burial
Chapter 24 - The Marriage of Isaac and Rebekah
Genesis 25 - The Birth and Youth of Esau and Jacob  & Esau Sells His Birthright  
Genesis 26 - Isaac and Abimelech and Esau’s Hittite Wives
Genesis 27 - Isaac Blesses Jacob, Esau’s Lost Blessing
Chapter 28 - Jacob Flees to Laban & Jacob's Ladder
Chapter 29 - Jacob is Deceived at His Wedding
Chapter 30 - Jacob returns to Canaan
Chapter 31 - The Flight of Jacob

Chapter 32 - Jacob at Mahanaim and Penuel

Chapter 33 - Meeting of Jacob and Esau
Chapter 34 - The story of Dinah
Chapter 35 - Jacob at Bethel
Chapter 36 - The Generations of Esau
Chapter 37 - The Narrative of Joseph and his Brethren
Chapter 38 - The story of Judah and Tamar
Chapter 39 - Joseph and Potiphar's Wife
Chapter 40 - Joseph interprets the Dreams of Pharaoh’s Officer
Chapter 41 - Joseph and Pharaoh’s Dreams
Chapter 42 - Joseph’s Brethren in Egypt
Chapter 43 - Joseph’s Brethren in Egypt. The second Visit

Chapter 44 - Joseph and his Brethren

Chapter 45 - Joseph reveals himself
Chapter 46 - Jacob’s Descent into Egypt, and the Genealogy of his Family
Chapter 47 - Jacob Settles in Goshen
Genesis 48 - Jacob Blesses Joseph’s Sons
Genesis 49 - Jacob’s Last Words to His Sons & Jacob’s Death and Burial
 Chapter 50 - Joseph Forgives His Brothers & Joseph’s Last Days and Death
Daily Meditation by(c) 2013 Don Schwager
Bible Story illustrations by publishing.com 


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