About this book
The name “Genesis” comes from a Greek word meaning “beginning”. And this is a book of beginnings, because it talks about the beginning of the universe, the beginning of the human race, and the beginning of the people of Israel.
The first part of Genesis (1—11) tells about creation and the human race up to the time of Abraham. Everything God created was good, but the first two human beings, Adam and Eve, disobeyed him and brought evil into the world. People became so sinful that God decided to send a flood to kill everyone except a man named Noah and his family. They worshipped God, and so God told them to build a large boat to save themselves and a few of each kind of animals and birds. After the flood people again spread out over the earth, and most of them stopped worshipping God.
The rest of the book of Genesis (12—50) contains the story of Abram and his family. God chose them to be the beginning of his own special people. God also changed Abram's name to Abraham, and the name of Abram's wife Sarai to Sarah. Abraham and his wife Sarah had no children, but God promised that they would have a child and that their descendants would some day have their own land and be a blessing for all nations.
Abraham and Sarah moved to Canaan, the land that God had promised to give their descendants. Abraham and Sarah had a son, Isaac, when they were very old. Isaac later had two sons, Jacob and Esau. As the book concludes, Jacob's twelve sons and their families are living in Egypt. One of these brothers, Joseph, had become the governor of Egypt. But Joseph knew that God would some day keep his promise to his people:
Before Joseph died, he told his brothers, “I won't live much longer. But God will take care of you and lead you out of Egypt to the land he promised Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”
(50.24)
A quick look at this book
1. The story of creation (1.1—2.25)
2. The first sin and the first murder (3.1—4.16)
3. Descendants of Adam before the flood (4.17—5.32)
4. Noah and the flood (6.1—9.28)
5. The descendants of Noah and the tower of Babel (10.1—11.32)
6. The Lord chooses Abram (12.1–20)
7. Abram and Lot (13.1—14.24)
8. The Lord's promises to Abram (15.1–21)
9. Abram, Hagar, and Ishmael (16.1–16)
10. God changes Abram's name to Abraham and promises him a son (17.1—18.15)
11. Abraham, Lot, Sodom, and Gomorrah (18.16—19.38)
12. Abraham, Sarah, and Isaac (20.1—23.20)
13. Rebekah, a wife for Isaac (24.1–67)
14. The death of Abraham (25.1–18)
15. Isaac and his family (25.19—28.9)
16. Jacob and his family (28.10—35.29)
17. Esau and his family (36.1–43)
18. Joseph is sold by his brothers as a slave (37.1–36)
19. Judah and Tamar (38.1–30)
20. Joseph in Egypt (39.1—41.57)
21. Joseph and his brothers (42.1—45.28)
22. Jacob and his family go to Egypt (46.1—47.31)
23. Jacob blesses his family and dies (48.1—50.14)
24. Joseph dies (50.15–26)
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