The book of Genesis is the first book of the Bible and starts off with the history  of creation.  This account takes place in the first two chapters and moves rapidly into the beginning of the nation of Israel.  The promises made to Abraham and his descendants of documented along with their genealogies.  As a whole the book of Genesis can be broken up into three sections:  primeval history and creation, the patriarchs, and the story of Joseph.

In section one we find the story of creation.  God created by uttering His words and concluded by saying “it is good.”  From there it proceeds into the story of Adam and Eve and the fall of man.  Eventually man gets so caught up in a sinful life that God regrets creating man and plans to destroy the race with a flood.  However Noah and his family are spared because they are deemed righteous by God.  The account of Noah is similar to other accounts from the region such as the Epic of Gilgamesh.

Section two is perhaps the most important part of the book of Genesis.  Its main focus is on Abraham and his descendants.  Abraham had a faith that should be emulated by all.  God showed favor on him and allowed his wife Sarah to conceive a child well into her nineties.  This Child is Isaac and was almost sacrificed as a test to Abraham, but God intervened at the last moment to prevent his harm.  Isaac had two sons and named them Jacob and Esau.  Jacob defrauded his brother Esau of his birthright and fled.  He married sisters named Leah and Rachel and would have twelve sons from which the twelve tribes of Israel would derive.  Thus completing the promise made to Abraham of being a father to many nations.

Section three is an account of the story of Joseph.  Joseph was a favorite among the sons of Jacob.  His brothers became jealous and plotted to kill him, but Reuben talked his brothers into selling him into slavery instead.  Joseph had a gift of interpreting dreams which was highly favored in Egypt where divination was regularly practiced.  He rose to prominence in Egypt and oversaw seven years of plenty and seven years of famine.  During the famine years his brothers came to Egypt for food, Joseph toyed with them a little because  they did not recognize him, and eventually all were reunited.  Joseph moved his entire family to Egypt, and this describes how the Israelites came to Egypt thus setting up the book of Exodus.

 

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