THE FIRST BOOK OF MOSES CALLED
O U T L I N E
Overview of the Book. The book of Genesis is the first book of what is called the Pentateuch, or the first five books of the Hebrew Torah (Old Testament), and it therefore is the first book of the Bible. The word ‘genesis’ naturally means ‘beginning’, and this book is the book of beginnings. The book of Genesis can be broadly divided into two parts: the early chapters (ch.1-11) and the history of faith (ch.12-50). The early chapters of Genesis contain important truths that are often discounted by secularists as myth, and by liberal theologians as allegory. On the other hand, some Bible teachers, failing to grasp the moral purpose of the scriptures, relegate the early chapters to the Divine science textbook, and therefore miss the higher themes of these chapters: creation, fall, judgment and government. We do not need scientific evidence to prove the plain statements of Genesis. We must remember that it is “By faith we apprehend that the worlds were framed by the word of God” (Heb. 11:3). There are many pitfalls in dealing with the early chapters, however they are of much profit, if we have ears to hear what the Spirit of God is saying. The second part of Genesis is marked by God’s calling Abraham into special relationship with Himself. The remainder of the book deals primarily with four patriarchs: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph. It is striking that each of these four men lived long and colorful lives, and except the case of Joseph, the failures of the patriarchs are covered as well as their successes. These were real people, who made huge mistakes at times, and who also had real relationships with God. We find many practical lessons in their lives for our exhortation and comfort, as well as broad themes that give us a good foundation in understanding who God is, and His ways with men.
The Seed-plot of the Bible. Almost every doctrine of scripture can be seen in Genesis in some basic form. Whether it be the creation (ch.1), the headship of man (ch.2), sin and Satan (ch.3), sacrifice (ch.4), judgment of the world (ch.6-8), government (ch.9), calling, election, promise, covenants, separation, resurrection, strangership, Millennial blessing (ch.12-35), or the exaltation of Christ (ch.37-50), all are found in Genesis. Whether it be the voice of God declaring the truth directly, or through typical teaching, we have a seed-plot for the whole Bible contained in the very first book! It is like the key to a map, the details of which are expanded on in subsequent parts of the Word of God.
Ten Generations. Genesis gives us the beginning of things, and the expression “generation” occurs often. There are ten generations mentioned in Genesis, all beginning with the words “the generations of…”. They are the following:
- Gen. 2:4 “the generations of the heavens and the earth”
- Gen. 5:1 “the generations of Adam”
- Gen. 6:9 “the generations of Noah”
- Gen. 10:1 “the generations of the sons of Noah”
- Gen. 11:10 “the generations of Shem”
- Gen. 11:27 “the generations of Terah”
- Gen. 25:12 “the generations of Ishmael”
- Gen. 25:19 “the generations of Isaac”
- Gen. 36:1 “the generations of Esau”
- Gen. 37:2 “the generations of Jacob”