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Genesis

The Book of Genesis, meaning “origin”, or in Hebrew, “In the beginning”, is the first book of the Hebrew Bible (the Tanakh) and the Christian Old Testament or Old Covenant.

References to the Hebrew Bible are very important to keep in mind as the Old Testament is a history of the Jewish people and their relationship to God.  In ancient times they did not have the benefit of paper and books as we know them today and many times people were not educated enough to know how to read even if written texts were available.  The scriptures were learned by hearing them read aloud.  The Jewish tradition remains to read the scriptures out loud.

The word parashah is Hebrew and means “portion”.  The plural, “portions”, is parashot.  Formally a parashah means a section of a biblical book in the Masoretic text of the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible).

Highlights

  • Genesis 1-6:  Creation, Eden, Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Lamech, wickedness

Creation
When God began creation, the earth was unformed and void, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and God’s wind swept over the water. (Genesis 1:1:2)

God spoke and created in six days:

First day:  God separated light from darkness. (Genesis 1:3–5)
Second day:  God separated the waters, creating sky. (Genesis 1:6–8)
Third day:  God gathered the water below the sky, creating land and sea, and God caused vegetation to sprout from the land. (Genesis 1:9–13)
Fourth day:  God set lights in the sky to separate days and years, creating the sun, the moon, and the stars.  (Genesis 1:14–19)
Fifth day:  God had the waters bring forth living creatures, and blessed them to be fruitful and multiply.         (Genesis 1:20–23)
Sixth day:  God had the earth bring forth living creatures, and made man in God’s image, male and female, giving man dominion over the animals and the earth, and blessed man to be fruitful and multiply. (Genesis 1:24–28)    God gave vegetation to man and to the animals for food. (Genesis 1:29–30 )
Seventh day:  God ceased work and blessed the seventh day, declaring it holy and a day of rest. (Genesis 2:1–3)

 

  • Genesis 6-11:  Noah’s Ark, the Flood, Noah’s drunkenness, the Tower of Babel
  • Genesis 12-17:  Abraham, Sarah, Lot, covenant, Hagar and Ishmael, circumcision
  • Genesis 18-22:  Abraham’s visitors, Sodomites, Lot’s visitors and flight, Hagar expelled, binding of Isaac
  • Genesis 23-25:  Sarah buried, Rebekah for Isaac
  • Genesis 25-28:  Esau and Jacob, Esau’s birthright, Isaac’s blessing
  • Genesis 28-32:  Jacob flees, Rachel, Leah, Laban, Jacob’s children and departure
  • Genesis 32-36:  Jacob’s reunion with Esau
  • Genesis 37-40:  Joseph’s dreams, coat of many colors, Joseph sold into slavery
  • Genesis 41-44:  Pharaoh’s dream, Joseph in government, Joseph’s brothers visit Egypt
  • Genesis 44-47:  Joseph reveals himself, Jacob moves to Egypt
  • Genesis 47-50:  Jacob’s blessings, death of Jacob and of Joseph

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