The Word Is Alive

The Book of Genesis

The Book of Genesis, which means origins or beginnings, is the first book of the Hebrew Bible, the Tanakh, and the Christian Old Testament.

The basic narrative expresses the central theme: God created the world and appointed man as his regent, but man proved disobedient and God destroyed his world through the Flood, preserving one righteous man, Noah, and his family. The new post-Flood world proves equally corrupt, but God did not destroy it. Instead he called one man, Abraham, to be the seed of its salvation.

At God’s command, Abraham travelled from his home in modern day Iraq into the land of Canaan, now Palestine, where he dwelt as a sojourner, as did his son Isaac and his grandson Jacob. Jacob’s name was changed by God to Israel, and through the agency of his son Joseph, the children of Israel migrate into Egypt due to a great famine, 70-72 people in all with their households, and God promised them a future of greatness. Genesis ends with this family in Egypt, where they would initially prosper a grown in number but become enslaved by Pharaoh.

The narrative is punctuated by a series of covenants with God, successively narrowing in scope from all mankind, the covenant with Noah, to a special relationship with one people alone, Abraham and his descendants through Isaac and Jacob.

Structurally, the book is partitioned into twelve major sections or toledoth, a significant number in Scripture. For details of this partitioning, view the pdf.

Introduction Chapter One Chapter Two Chapter Three
Chapter Four Chapter Five Chapter Six Chapter Seven
Chapter Eight Chapter Nine Chapter Ten Chapter Eleven
Chapter Twelve Chapter Thirteen Chapter Fourteen Chapter Fifteen
Chapter Sixteen Chapter Seventeen Chapter Eighteen Chapter Nineteen
Chapter Twenty Chapter Twenty One Chapter Twenty Two Chapter Twenty Three
Chapter Twenty Four Chapter Twenty Five Chapter Twenty Six Chapter Twenty Seven
Chapter Twenty Eight Chapter Twenty Nine Chapter Thirty Chapter Thirty One
Chapter Thirty Two Chapter Thirty Three Chapter Thirty Four Chapter Thirty Five
Chapter Thirty Six Chapter Thirty Seven Chapter Thirty Eight Chapter Thirty Nine
Chapter Forty Chapter Forty One Chapter Forty Two Chapter Forty Three
Chapter Forty Four Chapter Forty Five Chapter Forty Six Chapter Forty Seven
Chapter Forty Eight Chapter Forty Nine Chapter Fifty Summary

There is some supplementary material for the book and two mind maps of the structure of the Book of Genesis that may prove useful for study. They are: Primeval History and Patriarchal History

For more information refer to the Introduction to the Pentateuch.