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Genesis Introduction

Introduction
The title of this book in the Hebrew Bible comes from the first word of the book, Bereshith, “In the beginning.” The English title, Genesis, a Greek word meaning “origin,” comes from the title of this book in the ancient Greek Septuagint Bible, simply by borrowing it without translating. The title is appropriate since Genesis is a book of beginnings: the beginning of the universe and the planet earth, the origin of all earth's life forms and human beings, the first entry of sin and suffering into the world through the human inclination to disobey God and to presume they know better than God what is right or wrong.
The beginnings of God's chosen people—the Israelites—follow these “pre-historical” accounts with the story of Abraham and Sarah and all of the Israelites' earliest ancestors (chapters 12–50). Abraham is famed for his great faith and his willingness to follow the call of God to leave his homeland in the region of the Upper Euphrates River and to venture to a new land, where God promised that many of his descendants would one day live. The stories of his son, Isaac, and his grandsons, Esau and Jacob, follow. The twelve sons of Jacob (also called Israel) become the founders of the twelve tribes of Israel as Jacob, his sons, and their households (“souls,” according to Exod 1.5) settled into life in the Nile Delta in Lower Egypt, where they had been forced by famine to seek food and work. It may have appeared then that the light of God's promise was growing dim as they were forced by their desperate circumstances to abandon their homes and livelihoods in the land of promise.
But Genesis tells how God's providence intervened in the person of Joseph, a great-grandson of Abraham and one of the twelve sons of Jacob. In a fit of jealousy the other brothers had sold the young Joseph into slavery in Egypt, but thanks to his bright mind and the providence of God, Joseph had risen to power in Egypt as vizier, reporting directly to Pharaoh. Joseph's careful planning enabled Egypt to get through the “lean years” of famine by storing up grains during the good years for later rationing. It was also Joseph's gracious generosity that led him to forgive his brothers and care for his family in their desperation. All through the book, the central character is God, the creator and gracious provider.
Outline
The Creation of the Universe, Earth, and Human Beings (1.1—2.25)
The Beginning of Sin and Suffering in Human Life (3.1-24)
From Adam to Noah (4.1—5.32)
Noah and the Great Flood (6.1—10.32)
The Tower of Babel (11.1-9)
From Shem to Abraham (11.10-32)
The Israelite Ancestors: Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (12.1—35.29)
The Descendants of Esau (36.1-43)
Joseph and his Brothers (37.1—45.28)
The Israelites in Egypt (46.1—50.26)

Genesis Intro

Intro
About the Book of Genesis
Genesis is the first book in the Bible. The word ‘Genesis’ means ‘beginning’.
Genesis is a book about things that happened a long time ago. It tells us about the lives of many important people. It tells us about the first humans, Adam and Eve and their descendants, Cain, Abel and Noah. It also tells us about Abraham and Sarah, and Abraham's sons, Isaac and Ishmael. It tells us about Jacob and how God changed his name to Israel. Jacob's sons became the ancestors of the 12 tribes of Israel. It tells us much about Joseph who was one of Jacob's sons.
The Book of Genesis also teaches us many important things that we need to know. It teaches us about the world, about ourselves, and about God.
It explains that God made the world. It tells us that God filled the world with beautiful plants and animals. It tells us that he made men and women. Everything that God made was very good.
It explains how the first man and woman refused to obey God. And it explains that everyone has trouble and pain because of this.
It also tells us about God's promise to forgive people and to bless them. And it tells us that God decided to send a special person to save people.