Knowing what is being read makes all the difference. There is a big difference between reading fiction and non-fiction, a recipe book, poetry, history, or today’s news! So, the reader must know what Genesis is. The Biblical writers considered it to be true history. But in addition, Genesis was
Moses made it easy to understand the outline of Genesis. He uses the phrase "These are the generations of..." ten times. The first two sections contrast the despotic kings with the believing line of Adam and culminate with the judgment in the Flood (Gen 2:4, 5:1, 6:9). The next two sections (Gen 10:1, 11:10) contrast the kingdoms of this world with the kingdom people of God. They bring the reader to the kingdom promises made to Abraham.
Abraham is the center of the outline. There are five sections that lead up to him, and he is the first of the second five (Gen 11:27). The Abrahamic Covenant is central to Genesis. The next four sections contrast the Patriarchs of the kingdom with the unbelieving line (Gen 25:12, 25:19, 36:1, 37:2).
Moses starts Genesis with the affirmation that God created all things. He writes, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Paul uses the same language in Colossians 1:16, “For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones
With the creation of the throne of God in verse one, it should be no surprise that the whole first chapter is filled with kingdom language. There are the obvious statements. Moses writes regarding the sun and the moon, “the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night….
Moses recounted the origin of kingdom and the covenant with Adam in the first chapter. Then in chapter 2 Moses recounts the covenant probation. God placed Adam in the midst of the garden of Eden. This was the starting place for Adam’s work. Adam was to multiply and subdue the whole of the earth
“These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens” (Gen 2:4 ESV).
Genesis’s first two sections, “these are the generations” (toledoths), recount the ongoing conflict between Adam’s believing and unbelieving
“These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God” (Gen 6:9; trans).
The third section starts with immediate focus on the righteous believer, Noah. He stands in stark contrast to the unbelievers who filled the earth with
"Now these are the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth: and unto them were sons born after the flood" (Gen 10:1 KJV).
The fourth section starts in Genesis 10:1 with the table of nations that came from Noah’s sons. Not only had God
“Now these are the generations of Terah. Terah fathered Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran fathered Lot” (Gen 11:27, trans.).
What would keep the pagan kings from again threatening the very existence of God’s people? The godly line continued through Shem after the Flood (Gen 11:10ff), and God had
“These are the generations of Jacob” (Gen 37:2).
The final toledoth is much more than a collection of stories about Joseph and his brothers. The section recounts God’s faithfulness to His kingdom promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The section starts with Jacob and ends with Jacob (Gen 50). God
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Unless otherwise noted Scripture quotations are from NASB. Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995, 2020 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org
trans. indicates my translation
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