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Introduction: Genesis, a Greek word meaning "origin" or "beginning," was the title given to this book by the translators of the third century B.C. Greek Old Testament known as The Septuagint. The first word in the Hebrew text, Bereshith, means "in the beginning" and is used as the Hebrew name for this book.
Although this book begins with the creation of the universe, the focal point is the creation of man. As the human race multiplies, the account is narrowed to certain genealogical limits. The contents of Genesis, divided on this basis, are: the history of the heavens and the earth, 2:4; the history of the generations of Adam, 5:1; of Noah, 6:9; of the sons of Noah, 10:1; of Shem. 11:10; of Terah, 11:27; of Ishmael, 25:12: of Isaac, 25:19; of Esau, 36:1: of Jacob, 37:1.
Archaeology has provided so much information about contemporary culture of the Ancient Near East that Old Testament scholars generally recognize that the patriarchal narratives reflect the historical culture of the Near East during the first half (2000-1500 B.C.) of the second millennium B.C.
Certain scholars question the historicity of the events recorded in Genesis 1-11. Although they regardthem as "mythical" or "supra-historical" stories, they assert that these stories have religious value. This position is difficult to maintain in view of Christ's authority and attitude to the Genesis record as is reflected in the following passages: Matthew 19:4-6: 24:37-39: Mark 10:4-9; Luke 11:49-51: 17:26-32; John 7:21-23; 8:44.
The book of Genesis, as the introductory book in the account of God's progressive self-revelation to the human race, is crucially important. It is quoted more than sixty times in the New Testament, where this revelation culminates in the person of Jesus Christ. In this way Genesis provides the historical account of the beginning of God's relationship with man foundational for and essential to a proper understanding of subsequent divine revelations.
I. The universe, the earth, and man 1:1-2-25 II. Man's fall and its consequences 3:1-5:32 III. Noah's family spared in judgment 6:1-9:29 IV. Distribution of the human race 10:1-11:32 V. The life of Abraham 12:1-25:18 VI. Isaac and his family 25:19-26:35 VII. Jacob and his sons 27:1-37:1 VIII. The life of Joseph 37:2-50:26
In the beginning God (prepared, formed, fashioned, and) created the heavens and the earth. [Heb. 11: 3.]
2 The earth was without form and an empty waste, and darkness was upon the face of the very great deep. The Spirit of God was moving (hovering, brooding) over the face of the waters.
3 And God said, Let there be light; and there was light.
4 And God saw that the light was good (suitable, pleasant) and He approved it; and God separated the light from the darkness. [II Cor. 4:6.]
5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. And there wag evening and there was morning, one day.
6 And God said. Let there be a firmament [the expanse of the sky] in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters [below] from the waters [above].
7 And God made the firmament [the expanse] and separated the waters which were under the expanse from the waters which were above the expanse. And it was so.
8 And God called the firmament Heavens. And there was evening and there was morning, a second day.
9 And God said. Let the waters under the heavens be collected into one place [of standing], and let the dry land appear. And it was so
10 God called the dry land Earth, and the accumulated waters He called Seas. And God saw that this was good (fitting, admirable) and He approved it.
11 And God said. Let the earth put forth [tender] vegetation: plants yielding seed and fruit trees yielding fruit whose seed is in itself, each according to its kind, upon the earth. And it was so.
12 The earth brought forth vegetation: plants yielding seed according to their own kinds and trees bearing fruit in which was their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good (suitable, admirable) and He approved it.
13 And there was evening and there was morning, a third day.
14 And God said. Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be signs and tokens [of God's provident care], and [to mark] seasons. days, and years, [Gen. 8:22.]
15 And let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light upon the earth. And it was so.
16 And God made the two great lights-the greater light (the sun) to rule the day and the lesser light (the moon) to rule the night. He also made the stars.
17 And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.
18 To rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good (fitting, pleasant) and He approved it.
19 And there was evening and there was morning, a fourth day.
20 And God said. Let the waters bring forth abundantly and swarm with living creatures, and let birds fly over the earth in the open expanse of the heavens.
21 God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, which the waters brought forth abundantly, according to their kinds. and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good (suitable, admirable) and He approved it.
22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let the fowl multiply in the earth.
23 And there was evening and there was morning, a fifth day.
24 And God said. Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creeping things, and [wild] beasts of the earth according to their kinds. And it was so.
25 And God made the [wild] beasts of the earth according to their kinds. and domestic animals according to their kinds, and everything that creeps upon the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good (fitting, pleasant) and He approved it.
26 God said. Let Us [Father, Son. and Holy Spirit] make mankind in Our image, after Our likeness, and let them have complete authority over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the [tame] beasts, and over all of the earth, and over everything that creeps upon the earth. [Ps.104:30: Heb. 1:2: 11:3.]
27 So God created man in His own image, in the image and likeness of God He created him; male and female He Created them. [Col. 3:9. 10; James 3:8, 9.]
28 And God blessed them and said to them. Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it [using all its vast resources in the service of, God and man]; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and over every living creature that moves upon the earth.
29 And God said. See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the land and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food.
30 And to all the animals on the earth and to every bird of the air and to everything that creeps on the ground -to everything in which there is the breath of life-I have given every green plant for food. And it was so.
31 And God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good (suitable, pleasant) and He approved it completely. And there was evening and there was morning, a sixth day.
Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
2 And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done: and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. [Heb. 4:9.10.]
3 And God blessed (spoke good of) the seventh day, set it apart as His own, and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all His work which He had created and done. [Exod. 20:11.]
4 This is the history of the heavens and of the earth when they were created. In the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens-
5 When no plant of the field was yet in the earth and no herb of the field had yet sprung up, for the Lord God had not [yet] caused it to rain upon the earth and there was no man to till the ground,
6 But there went up a mist (fog, vapor) from the land and watered the whole surface of the ground-
7 Then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath or spirit of life, and man became, a living being. [I Cor. 15:45-49.]
8 And the Lord God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden [delight]; and there He put the man whom He had formed (framed, constituted).
9 And out of the ground the Lord God made to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight or to be desired -good (suitable, pleasant) for food: the tree of life also in the center of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of [the difference between] good and evil and blessing and calamity. [Rev. 2:7; 22:14, 19.]
10 Now a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from there it divided and became four [river] heads.
11 The first is named Pishon; it is the one flowing around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold.
12 The gold of that land is of high quality; bdellium (pearl?) and onyx stone are there.
13 The second river is named Gihon: it is the one flowing around the whole land of Cush.
14 The third river is named Hiddekel [the Tigris]; it is the one flowing east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.
15 And the Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to tend and guard and keep it.
16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, You may freely eat of every tree of the garden:
17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and blessing and calamity you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.
18 Now the Lord God said, It is not good (sufficient, satisfactory) that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper meet (suitable, adapted, complementary) for him.
19 And out of the ground the Lord God formed every [wild] beast and living creature of the field and every bird of the air and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them: and whatever Adam called every living creature, that was its name.
20 And Adam gave names to all the livestock and to the birds of the air and to every [wild] beast of the field: but for Adam there was not found a helper meet (suitable, adapted, complementary) for him.
21 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam: and while he slept. He took one of his ribs or a part of his side and closed up the [place with] flesh.
22 And the rib or part of his side which the Lord God had taken from the man He built up and made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.
23 Then Adam said, This [creature] is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of a man.
24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall become united and cleave to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. [Matt. 19:5. I Cor. 6:16; Eph, 5:31-33.]
25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not embarrassed or ashamed in each other's presence.
Now the serpent was more subtle and crafty than any living creature of the field which the Lord God had made. And he [Satan] said to the woman, Can it really be that God has said. You shall not eat from every tree of the garden? [Rev. 12:9-11.]
2 And the woman said to the serpent, We may eat the fruit from the trees of the garden,
3 Except the fruit from the tree which is in the middle of the garden. God has said, You shall not eat of it. neither shall you touch it, lest you die.
4 But the serpent said to the woman, You shall not surely die, [II Cor. 11:3.]
5 For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing the difference between good and evil and blessing and calamity.
6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good (suitable and pleasant) for food and that it was delightful to look at, and a tree to be desired in order to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate: and she gave some also to her husband, and he ate.
7 Then the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked: and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves apronlike girdles.
8 And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.
9 But the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, Where are you?
10 He said, I heard the sound of You [walking] in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.
11 And He said, Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?
12 And the man said, The woman whom You gave to be with me-she gave me [fruit] from the tree, and I ate.
13 And the Lord God said to the woman, What is this you have done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled (cheated, outwitted, and deceived) me, and I ate.
14 And the Lord God said to the serpent, Because you have done this, you are cursed above all [domestic] animals and above every [wild] living thing of the field: upon your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust [and what it contains] all the days of your life.
15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her Offspring; He will bruise and tread your head underfoot. and you will lie in wait and bruise His heel. [Gal. 4:4.]
16 To the woman He said, I will greatly multiply your grief and your suffering in pregnancy and the pangs of childbearing; With spasms of distress you will bring forth children. Yet your desire and craving will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.
17 And to Adam He said. Because you have listened and given heed to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, saying, You shall not eat of it, the ground is under a curse because of you: in sorrow and toil shall you eat [of the fruits] of it all the days of your life.
18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth for you, and you shall eat the plants of the field.
19 In the sweat of your face shall you eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken: for dust you are and to dust you shall return.
20 The man called his wife's name Eve [life spring], because she was the mother of all the living.
21 For Adam also and for his wife the Lord God made long coats (tunics) of skins and clothed them.
22 And the Lord God said, Behold. the man has become like one of Us [the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit], to know [how to distinguish between] good and evil and blessing and calamity; and now, lest he put forth his hand and take also from the tree of life and ear, and live forever-
23 Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the Garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken.
24 So [God] drove out the man; and He placed at the east of the Garden of Eden the cherubim and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep and guard the way to the tree of life. [Rev. 2:7: 22:2. 14, 19.]
And Adam knew Eve as his wife, and she became pregnant and bore Cain; and she said. I have gotten and gained a man with the help of the Lord.
2 And [next] she gave birth to his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.
3 And in the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground.
4 And Abel brought of the firstborn of his flock and of the fat portions. And the Lord had respect and regard for Abel and for his offering, [Heb. 11:4.]
5 But for Cain and his offering He had no respect or regard. So Cain was. exceedingly angry and indignant, and he looked sad and depressed.
6 And the Lord said to Cain, Why are you angry? And why do you look sad and depressed and dejected?
7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin crouches at your door; its desire is for you, but you must master it.
Excerpted from The Amplified Bible Copyright © 1987 by The Lockman Foundation
Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.