Monday, April 13, 2009

Old Testament survey (01): Genesis

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth (Genesis 1:1).

And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly. And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying,

As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee. And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee.

And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God. And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations. (Genesis 17:1-9)


[1] From “Book of Genesis” by (this website is also available in Afrikaans, Arabic, Bengali, Burmese-Myanmar, Cebuano, Chinese- Simplified, Chinese – Traditional, Hausa, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Malaysian, Persian-Farsi, Portuguese, Quechua, Sesotho, Spanish, Swahili, Tagalog, Tamil, Thai, Urdu, Vietnamese, Zulu, and 70 other languages)

The Book of Genesis has sometimes been called the "seed-plot" of the entire Bible. Most of the major doctrines in the Bible are introduced in "seed" form in the Book of Genesis. Along with the fall of man, God's promise of salvation or redemption is recorded (Genesis 3:15). The doctrines of creation, imputation of sin, justification, atonement, depravity, wrath, grace, sovereignty, responsibility, and many more are all addressed in this book of origins called Genesis. (Read the complete article)
[2] “Genesis” from Thru The Bible with Dr. J. Vernon McGee, with free downloadsNotes & Outlines (PDF), Complete 5-Year Study (MP3), Back to Bethel (PDF), Christmas in the Home of Abraham? (PDF), How It All Began (PDF), The Human Story (PDF), Was Abraham Justified By Works? (PDF), and Why the Flood? (PDF)
Where would you divide the Book of Genesis if you divided it into two parts? Notice that the first eleven chapters constitute a whole and that, beginning with chapter 12 through the remainder of the book, we find an altogether different section. The two parts differ in several ways: The first section extends from creation to Abraham. The second section extends from Abraham through Joseph. The first section deals with major subjects, subjects which still engage the minds of thoughtful men in our day: the Creation, the Fall, the Flood, the Tower of Babel. The second section has to do with personalities: Abraham, the man of faith; Isaac, the beloved son; Jacob, the chosen and chastened son; and Joseph, his suffering and glory.
[3] From “The Law: The First Five Books” by J. Hampton Keathley III, Th.M.
Even a casual reading of the Book of Genesis reveals the prominence of the theme of blessing and cursing. For obedience and faith, there is blessing as in the Garden of Eden, but for disobedience, there is cursing. The entire book turns on this theme and its antithetical opposite, cursing. But perhaps the main theme is the choice of a nation through Abraham and the Abrahamic covenant. Through Abraham God promised to bless the nations. (Read the complete article)
[4] From “The World Before the Flood, and The History of the Patriarchs” by Alfred Edersheim
THAT the "God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob" is also the "God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ," and that "they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham," - these are among the most precious truths of revelation. They show us not only the faithfulness of our God, and the greatness of our privileges, but also the marvelous wisdom of the plan of salvation, and its consistency throughout. For the Bible should be viewed, not only in its single books, but in their connection, and in the unity of the whole. The Old Testament could not be broken off from the New, and each considered as independent of the other. Nor yet could any part of the Old Testament be disjoined from the rest. The full meaning and beauty of each appears only in the harmony and unity of the whole. (Read the complete article)
[5] From Scofield’s 1917 Reference Notes
GENESIS is the book of beginnings. It records not only the beginning of the heavens and the earth, and of plant, animal, and human life, but also of all human institutions and relationships. Typically, it speaks of the new birth, the new creation, where all was chaos and ruin. With Genesis begins also that progressive self-revelation of God which culminates in Christ.

The three primary names of Deity, Elohim, Jehovah, and Adonai, and the five most important of the compound names, occur in Genesis; and that in an ordered progression which could not be changed without confusion.

The problem of sin as affecting man's condition in the earth and his relation to God, and the divine solution of that problem are here in essence.

Of the eight great covenants which condition human life and the divine redemption, four, the Edenic, Adamic, Noahic, and Abrahamic Covenants are in this book; and these are the fundamental covenants to which the other four, the Mosaic, Palestinian, Davidic, and New Covenants, are related chiefly as adding detail or development.

Genesis enters into the very structure of the New Testament, in which it is quoted above sixty times in seventeen books. In a profound sense, therefore, the roots of all subsequent revelation are planted deep in Genesis, and whoever would truly comprehend that revelation must begin here. The inspiration of Genesis and it character as a divine revelation are authenticated by the testimony of Christ (Matthew 19:4-6; 24:37-39; Mark 10:4-9; Luke 11:49-51; 17:26-29,32 ; John 1:5; 7:21-23; 8:44,56).

Genesis is in five chief divisions:

1. Creation (Genesis 1:1-2:25)
2. The fall and redemption (Genesis 3:1-4, 7)
3. The Diverse Seeds, Cain and Seth, to the Flood (Genesis 4:8-7:24)
4. The Flood to Babel (Genesis 8:1-11:9)
5. From the call of Abram to the death of Joseph (Genesis 11:10-50:26)
[6] An Overview of the Pentateuch (with chart) and Genesis - The Story at the Source (with chart), from Uplook Ministries


[1] The name “Genesis” is taken from the Septuagint (LXX), the Greek translation of the Old Testament. The word means “beginning” or “origin.” The author is Moses, and was written 1450 - 1410 B.C.

[2] Key words: “Beginning” and “generation” (“account)

[3] Key verses: Genesis 1:1; 3:15; 12:2-3; 17:1-9; and 50:20.

[4] Key characters: Adam, Eve, Noah, Abraham (Genesis 12-25:8), Sarah, Isaac (Genesis 21:1-35-29), Rebekah, Esau, Jacob (Genesis 25:21-50:14), Rachel, and Joseph (Genesis 30:22-50:26).

[5] The word “day” in the Genesis account of creation refers to a literal 24-hour day. (Please read Could God Really Have Created Everything in Six Days? and Did Jesus Say He Created in Six Literal Days?)

[6] Genesis 1 and 2 do not contradict but complement each other. Genesis 1 is chronological and contains a broad outline of the events of creation week, climaxing in man being made in the image and likeness of God. Genesis 2 is topical and reviews the creation with special emphasis upon man and his original setting. Genesis 2 does not contain any references to the creation of the earth, the oceans or fish, the sun, moon and stars. Obviously, Genesis 2 is a sequel laid upon the foundations of chapter 1.

The Lord Jesus combined quotations from Genesis 1 and 2 in Matthew 19:4-5. He declared in verse 4, “He who made them from the beginning made them male and female (Genesis 1:26). In verse 5, He said, “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh” (Genesis2:24).

[7] God makes a covenant with Abraham: Genesis 12:1-3; 15:1-21; and 17:1-9. The term “covenant” describes a relationship between two parties, with clearly defined prerequisites and commitments. A “conditional” covenant means both parties must keep all the commitments for the covenant to remain in force. An “unconditional” or unilateral covenant means that God promises to uphold the covenant with no mention being made of the other party’s responsibilities. God’s covenant with Abraham is unconditional. He initiated it, was based on grace and sealed by a sacrifice. God promised:
  • To make of Abraham a great nation and to bless those who bless him and curse those who curse him and all peoples on earth would be blessed through Abraham. (12:1-3)

  • To give his descendants all the land from the river of Egypt to the Euphrates. (15:18-21). Later, this land came to be referred to as the Promised Land or the Land of Israel.

  • To make him a father of many nations and of many descendants
Note: Abraham was justified not by works but by his faith (Genesis 15:6; Romans 4; Galatians 3:6-29; 4:21-31; Hebrews 11:8-19).

[8] Christ in the Book of Genesis: After Adam and Eve’s fall into sin, God promised a Savior (Genesis 3:15). The genealogies of Christ in Matthew 1:1-16 and in Luke 3: 23-38 show his lineage all the way to Abraham and Adam.

[9] “Type” means a person, thing, or event that has some characteristics of another that will appear later, and thus gives some indication of what the “real” will be like. Christ is typified in the persons of Adam (Romans 5:14); Abel’s offering of a blood sacrifice; the high priest Melchizedek (Gen 14:18-20; Psalm 110; Hebrews 7:3); and Joseph.

[10] Institutions established by God in the Book of Genesis: marriage, family and civil government.

Further study (Be like the Bereans! Acts 17:11)

[1] Materials by J. Hampton Keathley, III
[2] Genesis, The Book Of Beginnings, by John Stevenson

[3] Resources from Answers In Genesis
Sermons on Genesis 1:1 (Be like the Bereans! Acts 17:11)

[1] Names of God, by Norman W. Smith Jr.

[2] Hebrew Names for God, by Shaun LePage

[3] After Darkness, Light, preached by Pastor Phil Layton at Gold Country Baptist Church (

[4] Sermons by Timothy McGhee
[5] In the Beginning....God! by Jeff Mitchell

[6] Back to the Basics - There is a God, by Chris Hodges

[7] The Revolution Against Evolution, by James K. Pierce

[8] I Believe In God the Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth, by David Krueger

For other available sermons, please surf to Sermon / Preaching resources. Sermons are also available from South McGehee Baptist Church, McGehee, Arizona; Central Baptist Church, Lowesville; First Baptist Church, Mountain View, Missouri; Swift Creek Baptist Church; Word of Life Baptist Church, Pottsville, Philadelphia; Palm Springs Baptist Church, California; South Woods Baptist Church; Grove Baptist Church, Ulster; Dudley Baptist Church, United Kingdom; Independent Fundamental Baptist Sermons, Fundamental Christian Radio Broadcasts, Off-Site Audio Page and The Christian Radio Tuner

Notes: (1) This ministry does not necessarily endorse or share all the views and opinions expressed in the materials, resources or links mentioned in these posts. Please always refer to the Articles of Faith and Biblical distinctives of Baptists when you study these materials. (2) This lesson is part of the projected 300 plus lessons. From time to time, the lessons will be updated, revised, combined, formatted, and edited to comply with the VOA Simplified English word list. Later on, these lessons will be categorized, numbered sequentially, and made available as PDF downloads.

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