To record God's creation of the
world and his desire to have a
people set apart to worship him
The people of Israel
In the wilderness during Israel's
wanderings, somewhere in the
The region presently known as the
"So God created man in his own
image, in the image of God created
he him; male and female created
he them" (1:27). "And 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" (12:2, 3).
Adam, Eve, Noah, Abraham, Sarah,
Isaac, Rebekah, Jacob, Joseph
BEGIN . start . commence . open .
There's something refreshing and optimistic
about these words, whether they refer to the
dawn of a new day, the birth of a child, the prelude
of a symphony, or the first miles of a family
vacation. Free of problems and full of
promise, beginnings stir hope and imaginative
visions of the future. Genesis means "beginnings"
or "origin," and it unfolds the record
of the beginning of the world, of human history,
of family, of civilization, of salvation. It is the story of God's purpose
and plan for his creation. As the book of beginnings, Genesis sets the
stage for the entire Bible. It reveals the person and nature of God (Creator,
Sustainer, Judge, Redeemer); the value and dignity of human beings
(made in God's image, saved by grace, used by God in the world); the
tragedy and consequences of sin (the fall, separation from God, judgment);
and the promise and assurance of salvation (covenant, forgiveness,
God. That's where Genesis begins. All at once we see him creating the
world in a majestic display of power and purpose, culminating with a man
and woman made like himself (1:26, 27). But before long, sin entered the
world, and Satan was unmasked. Bathed in innocence, creation was
shattered by the fall (the willful disobedience of Adam and Eve). Fellowship
with God was broken, and evil began weaving its destructive web. In
rapid succession, we read how Adam and Eve were expelled from the
beautiful garden, their first son turned murderer, and evil bred evil until
God finally destroyed everyone on earth except a small family led by
Noah, the only godly person left.
As we come to Abraham on the plains of Canaan, we discover the beginning
of God's covenant people and the broad strokes of his salvation
plan: Salvation comes by faith, Abraham's descendants will be God's
people, and the Savior of the world will come through this chosen nation.
The stories of Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph that follow are more than interesting
biographies. They emphasize the promises of God and the proof
that he is faithful. The people we meet in Genesis are simple, ordinary
people, yet through them, God did great things. These are vivid pictures
of how God can and does use all kinds of people to accomplish his good
purposes-even people like you.
Read Genesis and be encouraged. There is hope! No matter how dark
the world situation seems, God has a plan. No matter how insignificant or
useless you feel, God loves you and wants to use you in his plan. No matter
how sinful and separated from God you are, his salvation is available.
Read Genesis . and hope!
A. THE STORY OF CREATION (1:1-2:3)
We sometimes wonder how our world came to be. But here we find the answer. God created
the earth and everything in it, and made man like himself. Although we may not understand
the complexity of just how he did it, it is clear that God did create all life. This shows not only
God's authority over humanity, but his deep love for all people.
1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 2 And the earth was without
form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God
moved upon the face of the waters.
3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. 4 And God saw the light, that it was
good: and God divided the light from the darkness. 5 And God called the light Day, and the
darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
6 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the
waters from the waters. 7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were
under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. 8 And
God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.
9 And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and
let the dry land appear: and it was so. 10 And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering
together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good. 11 And God said, Let the
earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind,
whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. 12 And the earth brought forth grass, and
herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his
kind: and God saw that it was good. 13 And the evening and the morning were the third day.
14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from
the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: 15 and let them be
for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. 16 And God
made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he
made the stars also. 17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the
earth, 18 and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness:
and God saw that it was good. 19 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
20 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life,
and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. 21 And God created
great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly,
after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and
let fowl multiply in the earth. 23 And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.
24 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and
creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. 25 And God made the beast
of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and everything that creepeth upon the
earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion
over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all
the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27 So God created man
in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish
the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the
air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face
of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall
be for meat. 30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing
that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat:
and it was so. 31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.
And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
2 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 2 And on the seventh
day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day
from all his work which he had made. 3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it:
because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.
B. THE STORY OF ADAM (2:4-5:32)
Learning about our ancestors often helps us understand ourselves. Adam and Eve, our first
ancestors, were the highlight of God's creation-the very reason God made the world. But
they didn't always live the way God intended. Through their mistakes, we can learn important
lessons on how to live rightly. Adam and Eve teach us much about the nature of sin and its
1. Adam and Eve
4 These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the
day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens, 5 and every plant of the field before it
was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the Lord God had not caused it
to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground. 6 But there went up a mist
from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground. 7 And the Lord God formed manof the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a
The Garden of Eden
8 And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he
had formed. 9 And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to
the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of
knowledge of good and evil.
10 And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and
became into four heads. 11 The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the
whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; 12 and the gold of that land is good: there is
bdellium and the onyx stone. 13 And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that
compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia. 14 And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is
it which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river is Euphrates.
15 And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to
keep it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou
mayest freely eat: 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it:
for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
Eve is created
18 And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help
meet for him. 19 And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and
every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and
whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. 20 And Adam gave
names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam
there was not found an help meet for him.
21 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one
of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; 22 and the rib, which the Lord God had
taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. 23 And Adam said, This is
now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was
taken out of Man. 24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave
unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. 25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife,
and were not ashamed.
Adam and Eve sin
3 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had
made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of
2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
3 but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat
of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 5 for God doth know that in
the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good
and evil. 6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant
to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did
eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. 7 And the eyes of them both
were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and
made themselves aprons.
8 And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day:
and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the
trees of the garden. 9 And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art
10 And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and
I hid myself.
11 And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof
I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?
12 And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree,
and I did eat.
13 And the Lord God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done?
And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.
14 And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art
cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go,
and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: 15 and I will put enmity between thee and
the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt
bruise his heel.
16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow
thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule
17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and
hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is
the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; 18 thorns also and
thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; 19 in the sweat of
thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken:
for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
20 And Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living. 21 Unto
Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them.
22 And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil:
and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:
23 therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from
whence he was taken. 24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of
Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree
2. Cain and Abel
Cain kills Abel
4 And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a
man from the Lord. 2 And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of
sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. 3 And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain
brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord. 4 And Abel, he also brought of
the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to
his offering: 5 but unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth,
and his countenance fell.
6 And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? 7 If
thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door.
And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.