The Book of Genesis

Jacob blessed each of the tribes of Israel before his death. | The Tribes of Israel & Jacob's Sons

Genesis – NIV archaeological study Bible: An Illustrated walk through Biblical history and culture. (2005). Grand Rapids, Mich: Zondervan. 9780310938521.

Genesis was the seventh book I finished in the Read through the Bible Challenge. It’s the first book under the heading of “The Law” in this challenge. Not only is Genesis an Old Testament book, it’s the first book in the Bible and the Biblical book that most people have actually read. Genesis is the first book of the Pentateuch (Torah). Authorship is traditionally attributed to leader and prophet Moses.

Genesis easily divides into two major parts, the first being Primeval History (1:1 to 11:26.) Within Part I are “the Four Great Events,” – these being “The Creation of the Universe; Adam and Eve,” “The Fall and the Results of Sin,” “The Flood,” and “The Scattering of the Nations.”

Part II tells the Patriarchal History which presents “Four Great Characters” (11:27 to 50:26.) These characters are: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph. They begin what we call Judaism today – the nation of Israel. 

Throughout Genesis, people fall into sin and God punishes. Yet, God offers redemption. This book in particular often shows God’s covenant with humans, though. He promises not to flood the world again, sealing His word with a rainbow. At another point, God starts a nation in the faithful Abraham. Ultimately, God promises via Jacob deliverance in the line of Judah:

 8 “Judah, your brothers will praise you;
your hand will be on the neck of your enemies;
your father’s sons will bow down to you.
9 You are a lion’s cub, Judah;
you return from the prey, my son.
Like a lion he crouches and lies down,
like a lioness—who dares to rouse him?
10 The scepter will not depart from Judah,
nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet,
until he to whom it belongs shall come
and the obedience of the nations shall be his.
11 He will tether his donkey to a vine,
his colt to the choicest branch;
he will wash his garments in wine,
his robes in the blood of grapes.
12 His eyes will be darker than wine,
his teeth whiter than milk. (Genesis 49:8-12)

For more on Genesis and Bible-Reading Challenge, check out the following links: