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- Old Testament
- Book of Genesis
The First Book of Moses Called
King James Version
WORDS OF GOD IN RED
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In Genesis God creates the first man (Gen 1:26,27 and Gen 2:7). "The Creation of Adam", painted by Michelangelo on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel circa 1511 Image Source
Genesis means "In the beginning" in Hebrew. The book describes God's creation of the world, early biblical history and how the Israel came into being. The book begins with: "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth" (Gen 1:1). God's first words, "Let there be light" (Gen 1:3) mark the first of six days creating the world. The lives of key biblical figures including Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Joseph and their interactions with God are described.
As the first book of the Bible, Genesis is concerned with the creation of the world by God and the earliest history of the world with the genealogies and lives of early biblical figures. It includes the stories of the creation of the world in six days, the first man Adam and first woman Eve in the Garden of Eden, the corruption of Adam and Eve with the serpent at the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; Noah and his family and animals surviving the great flood in the ark that God commanded Noah to build; God calling Abraham to the promised land Canaan; the selling of Jacob's son Joseph by his brothers into slavery; the migration of 70 Israelis to Egypt during a drought; Joseph’s reunion with his brothers and father in Egypt; Joseph’s forgiveness of and reconciliation with his brothers and the deaths of Jacob (now known as Israel) and Joseph in Egypt while vowing to someday return to the promised land.
Most Popular Verse in Genesis
Most Popular Verse in Genesis with 12,100 average monthly searches on Google.
Most Popular God Quote in Genesis
Most Popular God Quote in Genesis with 9,900 average monthly searches on Google
In Genesis God commands Abraham (Abram in the KJV) to travel from Ur to Canaan where God promises Abraham: "Unto thy seed will I give this land." marking it as the Promised Land (Genesis 12:1-7) painting by József Molnár, 1850 Image Source
Genesis Chapter Summaries
God creates the heaven, earth and all living things in six days. On the first day God made light and darkness (Genesis 1:1-5). On the second day God created the waters and the firmament which He called Heaven (Genesis 1:6-8). On the third day God allowed dry land to appear which He called Earth and the waters were called Seas (Genesis 1:9-13). On the fourth day God created the sun, moon and stars(Genesis 1:14-19). On the fifth day God created aquatic animals and birds (Genesis 1:20-23). On the sixth day God created all land dwelling creatures "after their kind" including us humans (Genesis 1:24-31). Finally God creates we the people, in His own image, blessing us and telling us: "Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over ... every living thing that moveth upon the earth." (Gen 1:28)
God has completed creating the heavens and the earth and all living things. God rests on the seventh day and blesses and sanctifies it. God forms man from dust and breathes life into him to make him a living soul. God creates the tree of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil which he forbids man to eat from. God puts Adam into the garden of Eden where Adam names all the animals. Then God puts Adam to sleep to take one of his ribs and make a woman and closes Adam's flesh before he awakens. The chapter ends: "And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and they were not ashamed." (Gen 2:25)
The serpent talks Eve into eating fruit from the the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Eve eats the fruit and offers some to Adam who also eats the forbidden fruit. After eating the fruit Adam and Eve suddenly become conscious of their nakedness and cover up with fig leaves. When God finds Adam and Eve hiding and ashamed he asks, "Who told thee that thou wast naked?" (Gen 3:11) Then Adam and Eve confess to having eaten the forbidden fruit. God curses the snake putting enmity between it and humans. God commands Eve to bear children and submit to Adam. God then tells Adam "cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life" (Gen 3:17) and commands Adam to work the soil of the land to make bread to one day return to the ground: "for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return" (Gen 3:19). Adam names his wife Eve "because she was the mother of all living" (Gen 3:20). And God said: "Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil" (Gen 3:22) and God sends Adam and Eve out of the garden and places Cherubims and a flaming sword to guard and "keep the way of the tree of life" (Gen 3:24).
Adam and Eve conceive and give birth to Cain and then Abel. Cain became a crop farmer while Abel was a shepherd. As offerings to God, Cain brought fruits he harvested while Abel offered his first-born sheep of the season. God respected Abel's offerings but did not respect Cain's causing Cain to become angry. Cain slays Abel in the field. When God inquires about Abel, Cain replies: "I know not: Am I my brother's keeper?" (Gen 4:9) God then curses Cain to become a fugitive while also promising to protect him from harm by others. And so Cain moves to the land of Nod where he raises a family which multiplies. Adam and Even conceive another son named Seth "instead of Abel, whom Cain slew" (Gen 4:25) and Seth himself has a son named Enos. "Then began men to call upon the name of the LORD." (Gen 4:26)
This is the book recounts the generations of Adam and years lived lived by Adam and his descendents: Adam: 930 years, Seth: 912 years, Enos: 905 years, Cainan: 910 years, Mahalaleel: 895 years, Jared: 962 years, Enoch: 365 years, Methuselah: 969 years, Lamech: 777 years, and finally Noah who was around 500 years old when he brought his three sons Shem, Ham, and Japheth into the world.
As people multiplied on earth, the sons of God took the daughters of men they chose to be their wives and their offspring were giants and renowned men of greatness. Yet God did not want people to live forever so he said that humans shall live 120 years. God regrets the the corruption and violence he sees in people and decides destroy all living things on earth. However, God finds favor in Noah and instructs him to build a large ark to accommodate all animals, all edible food as well as Noah, his wife, his son's and his sons' wives so that they may survive the great flood to come.
God instructs Noah to go into the ark bringing his family and seven of clean animals and two – male and female – of all unclean animals. God then tells Noah he will cause it to rain for 40 days and 40 nights, destroying all living things on the earth. Noah was 600 years, two months and 17 days old when flood came on the earth. The flood waters rose above the mountain tops. All living things on earth except those inside the ark died. The flood waters stayed on the earth for 150 days.
God causes the wind to blow and the rain to decrease and the flood waters then recede. Noah's ark comes to rest on the mountains of Ararat (present-day Turkey and Armenia) on the seventeenth day of the seventh month of Noah's 600th year. On the first day of the tenth month, the tops of the mountains are seen. Noah sends out both a raven and a dove to determine if there exists habitable land yet. Eventually the dove returns with an olive leaf indicating new life. On the 27th day of the second month of Noah's 601st year, God tells Noah to leave the ark with his family and the animals and for all to breed abundantly and multiply. Noah builds an altar and makes burnt offerings of every clean animal to God. When God smells the offerings he says in his heart he will no longer curse the ground "for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth" (Gen 8:21). God also says that while the earth remains, farming, weather, seasons and "day and night shall not cease." (Gen 8:22)
God blesses Noah and his sons and tells them: "Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth" (Gen 9:1). God then instructs them they may eat everything plants and animals as long as they are no longer alive. God decrees the death penalty murder. God promises never to destroy the earth with a flood again and sets a rainbow in the clouds as a sign. Noah plants a vineyard, gets drunk and is seen naked in his tent by Ham. Ham then tells Shem and Japheth who look away while covering their naked father with a garment. After Noah realizes Ham had seen him, he curses Ham's son Canaan to become a servant to Shem and Japheth. Noah lived 350 years after the flood to the the age of 950 years and then he dies.
The descendents of Noah's sons Shem, Ham and Japheth are recounted. Japheth's descendants include Meshech and the isles of the Gentiles; Ham's descendants included Cush (who begat the mighty hunter Nimrod) and the Canaanites who spread abroad; Shem's lineage lived from Mesha to Sephar in the East and included Aram and Elam. These were how the families divided after the flood, occupying different lands and forming different nations.
The whole world spoke a common language. As the people moved eastwards, they found a plain in Shinar (present-day Iraq and Syria) where they decide to build a great brick and mortar tower. When God saw the tower they were building he said "now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do" (Gen 11:6). And so God made their languages different and caused them to scatter abroad. The place became known a Babel which hosted the infamous site of the Tower of Babel.The generations of Shem are recounted leading to his descendent Terah who begat Abram, better known today as Abraham. Abraham's wife was Sarai or Sarah. Sarah was childless because she was unable to conceive. Terah traveled from Ur with Abraham, Sarah and his grandson Lot whose father Haran has died toward Canaan to dwell in Haran (the city is spelled the same as Lot's deceased father). In Canaan, Terah dies at 205 years old.
God tells Abram (Abraham) to leave his homeland to travel to a new land God would reveal unto Abraham saying: "I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed." (Gen 12:2-3) So Abraham departed from Haran with Sarah and his nephew Lot to go to Canaan. In Canaan God appeared to Abraham saying "Unto thy seed will I give this land" (Gen 12:7) and Abraham built an altar to God there. Then they travelled East of Bethel and then, since famine had struck, they went South to Egypt for a period. As Sarah was very beautiful, Abraham told her to pretend she was his brother so the Egyptians wouldn't kill him. And the Egyptians did find Sarah attractive and took her into Pharaoh's house while treating Abraham well for her sake. God then "plagued Pharaoh and his house" (Gen 12:17) on account of Sarah. Then Pharaoh called unto Abraham asking why he had tricked him into believing Sarah was his sister. Pharoah informed his men of Abraham and Sarah's matrimonial relationship and sent them away.
Joseph is recognized by his brothers in Egypt ( Genesis 45:1-15) years after they sold him into slavery for 20 pieces of silver. Joseph forgives his brothers after the sin has resulted in the whole families good fortune ( Genesis 37:18-28). By Léon Pierre Urbain Bourgeois, 1863. Image Source
The King James Bible text is sourced from the BibleForgeDB database (https://github.com/bibleforge) within the BibleForge project (http://bibleforge.com). Popularity rankings are based on search volume data from the Google AdWords Keyword Planner tool.