Genesis Outline 1-11

Written by McDonald, T.  |  Date 28th of February 2021

The Holy Bible is divided up into two section: The Old Testament and the New Testament.  In turn these sections are further divided into section.

The Old Testament:

  • Pentateuch
  • History books
  • Poetic books
  • Prophetic books

 The New Testament:

  • The Gospels
  • The Epistles 
Genesis is the first book of the Holy Bible and the Pentateuch otherwise known as the Torah.  It tells the story of creation and humanities fall from grace. It all goes wrong from thereon in; nevertheless, God has a plan.

Genesis is in two parts:

  1. Chapters 1-11 gives an account of creation and man's subsequent fall from grace.  Includes Adam and Eve's family.
  2. Chapters 12-50 tells the story of Abraham and his family.

Creation and subsequent events. (Chapters 1-11)

God creates the world in a specific order.  

Days

  1. Let there be light. The light is separated from the darkness.  God calls the light day and the dark night. (Time)
  2. God creates the expanse between the waters. (Sky).
  3. God creates the land and the seas and then populates them with vegetation.
  4. God creates the stars, the Sun and the Moon.
  5. God populates the waters and the sky with creatures. 
  6. God populates the land with creatures and creates a being in His own image. That being is mankind.  God also declares the plants food for the animals and mankind.
  7. God rests.

There is some debate over whether or not this story should be taken literally.  However, for many it is just setting the scene since God creates the day and night before He creates the Sun moon and the stars and the Earth is still without form.  It is important to remember, however, that this is a time before the fall of man and Eden is the focus of the creation.  Some people believe that day and night is symbolic for good and evil since light is God's love and the darkness is a place that God's love doesn't reach.  This has meaning because Humans are given the choice to choose and refuse, which can result in making poor decisions. For instance, after Eve chooses to ignore God's will, both Adam and Eve are thrown out of Eden into a very different world.  When Mary is visited by the angel, she agrees to God's will resulting in the birth of Jesus who delivers the killer blow to Satan.  What I am getting at is that in order to have free will their must be a selection of choices from which some may be better choices than others. In contrast, the passing of day and night is seen by some as Hebrew poetic language for the passing of time.  In our modern world, we might see the passing of time as the movement of an electron, however, at the time Genesis people wouldn't understand that, but they would understand the passing of a day.  This second idea does make more sense than the first.  So it is likely that the creation of day and night is a creative way of explaining time to a group of humans that don't have physics. 

The Serpent

We get our first clue as to what Satan is really like.  Satan sets about deceiving Eve and doesn't exactly lie, but does encourage Eve to disobey God.  God Has told Adam and Eve not to eat from the tree in the middle of the Garden, but Satan, who is at this point Lucifer, temps her into disobeying God's will by claiming that nothing bad will happen if she eats from that tree.  This shows us that Satan is not beyond manipulating people into disobeying God and in fact casts the doubt that God loves us. 

The Two Trees

The tree of knowledge of good and evil and the tree of life are two trees in the garden of Eden.  The tree of knowledge is the one that Eve is duped into eating from by Lucifer (The Satan).  While the tree of life is a tree that give eternal life.  God knows that if Adam and Eve eat from this tree they will never die and will live for ever but as broken people.  This is why God places an Angel with a flaming sword to guard the way to the Tree of Life


Cain and Abel

Cain and Abel

Who are they and who is Seth?

Cain and Abel are the Sons of Adam and Eve with Cain being the eldest.  Cain is a farmer and Abel a Shepard. 

What happened?

Cain and Abel both make offerings to God, but Cain's offering is rejected.  This angers Cain to the point that he takes his rage out on Abel by killing him. Obviously, God finds out, but Cain tries to deny it when questioned. 
'Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?”
“I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?”' (Gen 4:9)

God confronts Cain with the truth and tells him he is now under a curse where his efforts at farming will no longer work.  As a result, Cain complains and voices his concerns he will be murdered by someone, so God marks him some no one will kill him.  Cain has a family and builds a city which he names after his son Enoch. As time goes by, Cain's family line grows and Lamech starts to brag about how he has murdered people.

Seth is the other Son born after the murder of Abel.  Seth has a son called Enosh.  So, now we have two family lines from Cain and Seth both sons of Adam and Eve. 



Animals boarding the Ark in pairs before the flood

Noah's Ark and the flood

Who is Noah?

Noah comes from the line of Seth.  He has a family 

The Earth becomes overrun with violence and corruption to the point that all people's thinking is evil.  This displeases God so much that He feels only one course of attraction is left open to Him and that is to wipe everything out and start again with just one family, which is Noah's. 

"The Lord saw that the wickedness of humankind was great in the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of their hearts was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that he had made humankind on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. So the Lord said, “I will blot out from the earth the human beings I have created—people together with animals and creeping things and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found favour in the sight of the Lord." (Gen 6:5-8)
God decides to do this by coursing a flood where it will rain for forty days and nights; subsequently, instructs Noah to build a boat to precise instructions.  The boat is big enough to carry a large number of animals one of each gender from clean and unclean species.  Inevitably, the floods come and wiped everything out and the waters flooded the Earth for a 150 days as we see in Genesis chapter 7.  

God makes a covenant with Noah

Eventually, the waters subside and Noah's sends out a bird until and one day the bird returns with an olive leaf. After a long time, Noah and his family and the animals come out of the ark.  God then makes a promise to never wipe out the whole world again.  Chapter 9 is where God tells Noah that people can now eat meat, perhaps because there is not much else to eat. 

One on Noah's sons sees Noah naked in Noah's tent and tells his brothers.  His brothers cover Noah without looking upon him.  This doesn't stop Noah from being deeply offended by is younger son Canaan and curses him. 

The story of Genesis starts of well, but by the time it gets to Chapter 9 the whole world has been wiped out because of the depth of human sin and God starts over with one family: Noah's.  Nevertheless, the corruption of mankind sinful nature starts to show itself again but so does God's mercy.  The biggest thing that comes across for me is God's disappointment of human rebellion and the luck of genuine compassion.  Each time humanity goes astray, God shows a level of compassion, which humanity fails to recognise as an example of how to act; we never learn from God's own example of compassion shown to us. In other words, humanity is quick to mimic His anger and justify being angry but are slow to mimic His compassion.  Furthermore, we often think of Adam and Eve disobedience as rebellion, but it is more like selfishness.  Adam and Eve's selfish desire to know as God does overrides their will to obey His will; they thought of themselves rather than of God.  Let me leave you with this thought for this section.  The definition of selfish from the Oxford dictionary:

Selfish

adjective

(of a person, action, or motive) lacking consideration for other people; concerned chiefly with one's own personal profit or pleasure.



An artists rendition of the Tower of Babel

The Tower of Babel 

God had given the command to go out into the world and be fruitful, but the people wanted to build a city and a tower instead.  At the time, everyone was speaking the same language.

[...'They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar.  Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”...] (Gen 11:3-4)

From this we can see that they had bricks, which was a new technology that was so powerful it was was used to build mighty structures.  We can also see that team work and organisation made them powerful enough to get the attention of God; however, God can't be out witted.  

"But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building.  The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them." (Gen 11:5-6)

God's response 

God appears to be worried about their progress, which is why He causes the people to speak different languages resulting in the people being spread out as God had wished. 

'Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.” So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city.  That is why it was called Babel—because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth.' (Gen 11:7-9)

This story shows that even with new technology, teamwork and organisation we can't deny God His will.  We have to work with God and follow His plan.

It is worth remembering that it's not just impossible to build a tower to Heaven it's also impossible to get to Heaven on a tower of good deeds. 

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