Genesis Self Study Guide
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Genesis Self-Study Guide
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for use with
New International Version
of the Bible
JOHN HEPP, JR.
PO BOX 267, VAN TX 75790
We are grateful to John Hepp, Jr. for preparing the original version and revision of this introductory study on Genesis. He first tried the Bible study questions on groups in Van and Lindale, Texas.
Barry Ford studied the original completed course as a reviewer and made many helpful suggestions. Billie Jean Hepp, Joy Babes, and Jeannie Mars read it all and also suggested changes. Jeannie Mars also helped with typing.
In this revision the following people reviewed the course—or much of it—and made suggestions: Kevin Lucas, Charlie Johnson, Joy Babes, and Scott Thomas.
Barry E. Gillis
Director WW LIT
© 2001 by Source of Light
© 2007 by JOHN HEPP, JR.
PO BOX 267, VAN TX 75790
All rights reserved. Except for brief quotations used in connection with a review in a magazine or newspaper, no part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior permission of John Hepp, Jr.
Important Instructions 6
1. Genesis 1:1 to 2:3 7
2. Genesis 2:4 to 5:32 9
3. Genesis 6-8 11
4. Genesis 9-11 13
5. Genesis 12-15 18
6. Genesis 16-20 20
7. Genesis 21 to 25:18 23
8. Genesis 25:19 to 27:46 26
9. Genesis 28-31 28
10. Genesis 32-36 30
11. Genesis 37-40 33
12. Genesis 41-45 35
13. Genesis 46-50 38
Appendix: Six Days of Reconstruction? 55
Map: Division of Canaan 17
Map: Ancient World 58
This course is designed for Christians who have had little previous Bible study. Its aim is for the student to become acquainted with the general story (narrative) and revelation of God that is found in Genesis.
When you finish this course, you should be able to do the following in respect to Genesis:
1. tell the main events of many stories
2. list in chronological order twenty-seven key events
3. identify forty-two key people
4. repeat from memory certain key verses
5. tell the origins of the Jewish people
6. explain many other important concepts, such as, God’s promises to Abraham
A.D. (Anno Domini) of the Christian era
B.C. Before Christ
KJV King James Version of the Bible
Mt. Mount, Mountain
NASB New American Standard Version of the
NIV New International Version of the Bible
TEV Today’s English Version of the Bible
Ö shows a question that is part of basis
STUDY GUIDE ABBREVIATIONS FOR BIBLE BOOKS
1 Chron. 1 Chronicles Lev. Leviticus
2 Chron. 2 Chronicles Mal. Malachi
Col. Colossians Matt. Matthew
1 Cor. 1 Corinthians Mic. Micah
2 Cor. 2 Corinthians Nah. Nahum
Dan. Daniel Neh. Nehemiah
Deut. Deuteronomy Num. Numbers
Eccl. Ecclesiastes Obad. Obadiah
Eph. Ephesians Phil. Philippians
Exod. Exodus Philem. Philemon
Ezek. Ezekiel Prov. Proverbs
Gal. Galatians Ps.(Pss.) Psalms
Gen. Genesis Rev. Revelation
Hab. Habakkuk Rom. Romans
Hag. Haggai 1 Sam. 1 Samuel
Heb. Hebrews 2 Sam. 2 Samuel
Hos. Hosea 1 Thess. 1 Thessalonians
Isa. Isaiah 2 Thess. 2 Thessalonians
Jer. Jeremiah 1 Tim. 1 Timothy
Josh. Joshua 2 Tim. 2 Timothy
Judg. Judges Zech. Zechariah
Lam. Lamentations Zeph. Zephaniah
Welcome to the World Wide LIT course on the book of Genesis, the beginning of God’s written revelation. In Genesis you will find the necessary foundation for understanding the rest of the Bible, both its history and its teachings. This course is merely an introduction.
For this course you need only this study guide and your Bible. Since the study guide was written using the New International Version of the Bible, you will avoid confusion by using that version. It is good to compare other versions as you study, though. The study guide will lead you step by step in order to reach the goals listed earlier.
Units and Lessons
The whole course consists of four units, each unit containing three or four lessons plus a unit examination. Most lessons contain the following features:
1. A brief statement of lesson objectives in question form
2. Bible study: reading, writing, and questions
3. Answers to questions, for you to check your work
4. An assignment to tell someone part of the story you are studying. This can be the same
person—or different persons—for each lesson.
Occasionally there is a footnote, designed for more advanced students.
To understand any Bible book there is no substitute for reading it repeatedly. We normally require that at the beginning and at the end of a course on a Bible book, a student read that book in one sitting. Genesis is so long that we require only a quick look-through at the beginning. But you will understand it better if you read it at least twice, and even more often.
The questions in the lessons are designed to help you learn—not to test you. They are based on your own Bible study. Some of them are checked (Ö) and will serve as basis for the unit examinations. Nearly all questions are answered in the back of this study guide. Unless you are instructed differently, write your answers to all parts (a,b,c) of a question before you look in Answers. Do not send your answers to your World Wide LIT center but save them to study for your unit examinations.
Unit Examinations (available from John Hepp, Jr. at special request)
You will be told when and how to prepare for unit examinations, which are based on the questions marked Ö. There is room on the examination pages for you to write all the answers. You must answer from memory.
Now begin lesson 1 with prayer!
Genesis 1:1 to 2:3
Can you repeat Genesis 1:1 from memory? What are two views of the six days? What did God make on days one and six? What was His purpose for mankind?
1. In no more than two minutes, look through Genesis chapters 1 and 2. Then for each chapter write a chapter title, one or two words that indicate what you saw in that chapter. When you finish, look in Answers, beginning on page 41.
2. Now do for the entire book of Genesis what you just did for chapters 1-2. Prepare by listing in two or three columns all the chapter numbers: 1 to 50. Then look through the entire book of Genesis in no more than an hour (an average of about a minute per chapter). As you read rapidly, write down one or two words (a title) for each chapter, indicating the main thing or something important you see there. Do not worry about getting each chapter “right”; at this point you only want to record first impressions. Save this list to revise later.
3. Read the prologue (introduction, 1:1 to 2:3) aloud at least twice. In 1:2 “deep” refers to the water covering the earth. Notice how important God’s Word was; that is, pay attention to what happened each time He spoke. And notice that certain factors are emphasized by being repeated. After reading, answer subquestions a and b; then check in Answers.
a. List four activities God repeated while creating the universe.
b. What evaluation did God repeatedly make of His creation?
The Bible begins with the Creator; it does not try to prove that He exists. Yet, there is abundant proof. Nature did not create itself. As surely as a watch had a watchmaker, creation had a Creator. Every scientist now knows that even the lowliest forms of life are marvels of design, well-planned for the roles they play. Design always points to a designer. We should stand in awe at the great Designer’s plans and power. Nature does not evolve toward greater complexity and order; instead, it everywhere winds down. Yet Someone wound it up. That Someone is the God of Genesis.
4.Ö Learn Genesis 1:1 by memory: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” NOTE: Checked questions like this will appear on the examination. Memory verses should be learned without errors.
In this study we make two assumptions about the six days of Genesis 1: (1) These were twenty-four hour days—with hours of light and hours of dark—like the ones we know. The Bible always refers to them as such. (2) Our second assumption is that they were days of creation rather than reconstruction. (For advanced study, see the appendix on page 55.)
The creation view sees God making everything for the first time, beginning with the heavens and earth on day one. The reconstruction view, in contrast, sees Him remaking things that He had created previously.
As one evidence for these two assumptions, consider the later law of the Sabbath. In Exodus 20:8-11 God told the nation of Israel to keep the Sabbath, and why. His explanation looked back to only one creation in six normal days:
For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. (Exod. 20:11)
5. a.Ö What are two views of the six days?
b. Which view teaches that God was re-creating the world?
c.Ö Which view teaches that God was making the world for the first time?
d. Which view does Exodus 20:11 seem to support? (Tell why.)
6. As you answer this question, notice how the first three creation days (one, two, three) correspond to the next three creation days (four, five, six). That is, day one corresponds to day four, two to five, and three to six. For each of the six days in chapter 1, write on the chart in no more than three words what God did or made. (For day one do not write heaven and earth but that which He created by speaking.)
What God Made on Each Day of Creation
7.Ö Learn by memory what God made on days one and six.
8. Many Bibles provide cross-references to related Bible passages. Different publishers print these references at different places on the pages: in the side or bottom margins, in the center, or at the end of lines. For Genesis 1:3 the NASB and TEV give 2 Corinthians 4:6 as a cross-reference. Look up that reference; read it, then answer. What is a spiritual application of light?
9.Ö God’s purpose for human beings explains why He created them in His own image. What was that purpose?
10. What reason is given for God’s blessing the seventh day (the Sabbath)?
11. One cross reference for 2:2-3 is Exodus 20:11. You read this earlier. It was part of a command to Israel at Mt. Sinai. The Sabbath was given as the sign of God’s covenant (formal agreement) made there with Israel. Now look up and read all four verses, Exodus 20:8-11. Notice the two parts of this command, which covered the entire week.
a. What are the two parts?
b. What reason did God give for Israel to keep the Sabbath?
12. It is important to recognize “signposts” in a book. Genesis 2:4a is such a signpost. It introduces a new section of the book (rather than concluding the prologue, as some think). Here it is as in NIV and NASB:
THIS IS THE ACCOUNT OF the heavens and the earth when they were created.
Notice the words we have written in capital letters. The Hebrew words so translated appear nine more times in Genesis (6:9; 10:1; 11:10, 27; 25:12, 19; 36:1, 9; 37:2) and in another form in 5:1. Each time except 36:9 they seem to introduce a new section of the book. Here in 2:4 they introduce what happened to (that is, the subsequent history of) the heavens and the earth when they were created. Look up 11:27 and tell what they introduce there.
13. A practical lesson is a teaching that affects the way you live. You should see practical lessons everywhere in Genesis. For example, if God made all men in His image (1:26-27), we should respect that image in them. Look through Genesis 1:1 to 2:3 and write down at least one more such lesson.
14. Tell someone the Bible story of creation. If you live near a person that doubts or denies that there was a personal Creator, try to tell it to him.
Genesis 2:4 to 5:32
How did God create the first man? the first woman? How did Satan tempt Eve? What curses did God announce for the serpent/Satan? for Adam? Why were Adam and Eve expelled from the garden? How did Cain’s descendant Lamech show a brilliant mind? violent character?
Starting at Genesis 2:4, God’s name is “the Lord God.” “The Lord” stands for His Hebrew name probably pronounced “Yahweh,” which refers to His self-existence and His self-revelation to man. It is often referred to as His “covenant name.”
1.Ö Read Genesis 2:4-25, noticing the unique methods of creating man and woman. Then describe each method.
2. In Eden God made for man a walled garden, a paradise of beauty and blessing.
a. What was in the garden?
b. What did He tell man to do?
c. What did He tell man not to do?
3. Adam’s first recorded act showed his ability to rule over creation, but not by himself.
a. How was Adam brought to see the need for a suitable companion?
b. When the woman was created, what did Adam realize and say about marriage?
Into this ideal condition God allowed the tempter. It is hard to understand why God permitted sin in the first place. Part of the answer may be (a) that man in God’s image could be truly free to choose only if he was free to fail; (b) that God’s goodness could be fully displayed only in contrast to evil.
4.Ö Read Genesis 3. Cherubim (v. 24) are a special kind of angels. When the serpent enticed the woman to eat the forbidden fruit, what lie did he use?
5. Some of the results of the fall were obvious: Adam and Eve realized they were naked and hid themselves from God; soon they were expelled from the garden. In addition, God announced to each of the following at least two results that would later become apparent. What were they?
a.Ö for the serpent (and Satan)
NOTE: Genesis 3:15 seems to have several levels of meaning and includes the final triumph of the woman’s offspring, particularly Jesus, over Satan.
b. for the woman
c.Ö for the man
6. a.Ö Why (to prevent what?) were Adam and Eve sent out and kept out from the garden?
NOTE: God is immortal (1 Tim. 6:16) but man is not. God had warned Adam that “when you eat of [the tree of the knowledge of good and evil] you will surely die” (Gen. 2:17). That happened. In the Fall death became a certainty for every human being (see Rom. 5:12–14). As in Adam’s case, we all “return to the ground…to dust” (Gen. 3:19). But the Bible shows how God provides for us to be raised to eternal life (Rom. 2:7) and eat from the tree of life (Rev. 2:7; 22:2).
b. Look up Revelation 22:14, a cross reference for Genesis 3:22. It shows one of the many contrasts between the beginning and end of the Bible. What does it promise?
c. Look through Revelation 21-22 and write down at least two more contrasts to Genesis 1-3.
7. Read Genesis 4. Then summarize what God said to Cain on the following occasions:
a. when Cain became angry because God accepted Abel and his offering but not Cain and his offering
b. after Cain killed Abel
NOTE: Genesis 4:14 and 5:4 show that Adam and Eve had other children and descendants besides those mentioned. Among these would be daughters from whom Cain got his wife (4:17). In the early years of human history, marrying close relatives was necessary and did not involve the danger of passing on harmful genetic mutations. That danger began later—and in the law the Lord prohibited such intermarriage.
8.Ö Cainite civilization was brilliant but violent. Give evidence from chapter 4 for each of these two aspects in the case of Lamech and his family.
9. In Genesis 5:1 to 6:8 we have “the written account of Adam’s line” (5:1). Read the first part of this section, Genesis 5, then answer.
a. Which son of Adam is this line through?
b. Which descendant of Adam (and his three sons) does this line reach to?
c. For nearly every name in this line we read the same four items of information. What are they?
d. Who did not die?
10. Look through the chapters studied in this lesson (chs. 2-5) and write down at least one practical lesson that will affect your life.
11. Tell the story of mankind’s fall and curse to someone who may not have heard it.
Why did God decide to bring the flood? Can you describe the boat Noah built (five facts)? Who were saved in it? Where was the flood water from, and how high did it get? After the flood what did it mean that God would not “curse the ground” again? Can you list in order six events from Genesis 1-11?
During the earth’s history many layers of rocks have formed, encasing millions of bones that became fossils (which are preserved remnants of creatures that once lived). Many scientists today believe that these rocks and fossils required multiplied millions of years of history. Yet, there is growing evidence that the earth is only a few thousand years old. Besides, fossils are not formed slowly but only under conditions of quick burial. This lesson looks briefly at the event that best explains many rock layers and fossils: the worldwide flood that destroyed the old world (2 Pet. 3:6).
1.Ö Read Genesis 6, then answer. Why did God regret that He had made mankind and resolve to destroy mankind and other living beings?
The check after the next number means that all parts of the question will be covered on the exam.
2.Ö In obedience to God’s command Noah built a boat (usually called the ark) immense enough to carry the contents of 522 modern train stockcars.
a. Describe that boat, giving its two materials, three dimensions, places of door and window (both in v. 16), and number of decks.
b. Who and what were saved in this ark? (See also 7:2-3.)
3. Read Genesis 7, then answer.
a.Ö What were the two sources of the flood water?
b. How long did it rain?
c.Ö How high did the water reach?
d. The water stayed well above the mountains for months. Finally, the ark rested on a mountain (8:3-4). How many days did this complete flooding last?
4. What evidence can you find in Genesis 7 that the flood covered the whole earth?
5. Read 2 Peter 3:3-7, which speaks of people who deny that the Lord Jesus will come again. They believe the world has not changed since creation. What do they ignore on purpose?
6. For Genesis 7:7 read the following cross references: Matthew 24:38-39 and Luke 17:27. Who are (will be) like the people of Noah’s day?
7. Read Genesis 8, then answer. After the flood ended, how did Noah determine that the earth could sustain life?
8.Ö After smelling the aroma of Noah’s sacrifice, God purposed not to curse the ground again (8:21a). Apparently He referred to the curse of 6:7 and 7:4 (destroying all life) rather than the one of 3:17. Summarize two other statements (8:21b and 8:22) that made His purpose clear.
9. Look through the chapters studied in this lesson and write down at least one practical lesson that will affect your life.
10.Ö See if you can list, from memory and in order, the four most important events you have studied in Genesis 1-8. Then learn the list of six events in Answers, a list that goes through Genesis 11, as this unit does.
11. Tell someone the story of the flood and Jesus’ warning in Luke 17:27.
The Genesis 9 covenant: (a) with whom was it made? (b) what is prohibited in food? (c) what is the penalty for murder?
Noah’s three sons: (a) who were they? (b) what did Noah prophesy about them? (c) which son were the Hebrews descended from?
How did the Lord stop the attempt at one-world government?
After the flood God started over again with a single family. “God blessed” Noah just as He had Adam (1:28), and commanded, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth” (9:1, 7).
1. Read Genesis 9, which tells about an “everlasting covenant” and lays the foundation for human government.
a.Ö With whom did God make this covenant?
b. What is its sign?
c. What new source of food does mankind have?
NOTE: This shows that the relationship between man and animals changed at the flood.
d.Ö What prohibition is there in respect to food?
e.Ö What is the penalty for murder?
NOTE: Giving human beings such great authority implies all degrees of lesser authority. This lays the foundation for human government.
f. What is the reason for this penalty?
2.Ö When Noah became drunk and naked, one son showed disrespect but two showed respect. Upon knowing this, Noah gave a prophecy.
a. Name his three sons.
b. Summarize the three parts of his prophecy.
NOTE: Canaan was not Noah’s son but grandson. Why was he cursed rather than his father? Apparently because it was he who continued his father’s immoral tendency. Since Genesis was first written for Israel about to go into the land of Canaan, such explanations about the Canaanites were helpful.
3.Ö In all ancient writings there is nothing else like Genesis 10, “The Table of the Nations.” Most of the names are nations descended from Noah’s three sons. Read Genesis 10, then answer. “The sons of Eber” (v. 21) were the Hebrews. Which son of Noah were the Hebrews descended from?
4. In the list of descendants from Ham, only Nimrod is spoken of in detail.
a. What was Nimrod’s reputation (stated twice)?
b. What famous city was one of the first centers of his kingdom?
5. What happened that made the name of Peleg (“division”) significant?
6. Read Genesis 11, which includes the story of the city and tower of Babylon. “Shinar” in verse 2 means Babylonia. The word translated Babel in verse 9 is translated Babylon in 10:10 and elsewhere.
NOTE: This story tells man’s first attempt at one-world government.
a. What are two goals men had in building this city and tower?
b. Why did the Lord stop them?
c.Ö How did He stop them?
7. Genesis 11 includes a genealogy from Shem to Terah and his three sons.
a. At what point in this genealogy was there a sharp decline in the total years of life for each individual?
b. Diagram the family relationship of Terah, Abram, Nahor, Haran, and Lot.
8. a. Read the following cross references for Genesis 9:4: Leviticus 7:26-27; 17:10-14; 19:26; Deuteronomy 12:16, 23; 15:23. Then answer. In the covenant made with Israel, what could shed blood be used for? (Lev. 17:11)
b. In the early church there was a prohibition against eating blood or the meat of strangled animals (Acts 15:29). Look up the context in Acts 15 and determine who made this prohibition.
9. Look through the chapters studied in this lesson and write down at least one practical lesson that will affect your life.
10. Tell someone about the everlasting covenant God made after the flood.
Prepare for the unit examination by learning the answers to all checked questions. Check yourself by answering the lesson objectives: questions at the beginning of each lesson. Then practice with the sample questions that follow. These are only a few questions similar to those on the examination. The first eight questions are multiple-choice and require that you put the letter for the best answer or completion on the line before each number.
Sample Review Questions
__ 1. What did God make on the sixth day of creation? a) animals and mankind b) fish and birds c) plants d) sun, moon, stars
__ 2. What was the main thing God wanted mankind to do, as their ultimate purpose? a) fill the earth b) enjoy creation c) create new things d) rule
__ 3. God created the first man by a) having him evolve from other creatures b) simply speaking c) forming him from soil, then breathing into him d) forming him from soil, then speaking to him.
__ 4. After the man sinned, what was God’s curse on him? a) that his children would have constant warfare b) that the ground was cursed and he would return to it c) that the ground would not yield food d) that he would never again see the garden of Eden
__ 5. When God brought the flood, the water came from a) the oceans b) the river that watered the garden c) underground and the sky d) the sky and the mountains.
__ 6. What did God promise when Noah sacrificed after the flood? a) that each such sacrifice would keep the earth in existence b) that He would not again destroy every living thing c) that the earth after the flood will last forever d) that the offspring of the woman would crush the serpent’s head
__ 7. In the Noahic covenant what is the penalty for murder? a) no set penalty b) life imprisonment c) death d) the death of seven people
__ 8. The Lord stopped the people of the world from having a single government by a) mixing up their language b) putting living creatures and a sword at the gate to the garden c) putting a mark on them d) destroying them in the flood.
9. Write Genesis 1:1 from memory. (State which English translation you are using.)
10. Label each of the following views of the six days of Genesis 1.
a. On these days God made everything for the first time: ____________
b. On these days God remade things that He had created previously: ____________
11. Describe the boat Noah built (five facts).
12. List from memory and in order six key events from Genesis 1-11.
a. c. e.
b. d. f.
When you have reviewed well as instructed and have correctly answered the sample questions, take unit 1 examination according to instructions on it.
What were God’s seven basic promises to Abram? What did He promise with respect to the land of Canaan? What did Abram and Melchizedek say and/or do to each other? What did Abram do to be counted righteous? How did God confirm the covenant with him?
In this unit you will study the life of Abram, later called Abraham, the “spiritual father” of all believers (Rom. 4:16). He is the outstanding person in Genesis 11:27 to 25:18, but his relatives are also important. In fact, his story is included under “the account of Terah,” his father (Gen. 11:27). Terah had moved his family along the Euphrates River from prosperous Ur, far south in Babylonia, to Haran, in the far north (Gen. 11:31). Look up these towns on the map of the “Ancient World” at the end of the Answer section in this study guide (p. 58).
Genesis 12 begins with seven promises the Lord made to Abram, to be fulfilled after he left his country and people. These promises later form the basis of the eternal Abrahamic covenant, which covenant is the background for the story of salvation in the rest of the Bible.
1. Read aloud Genesis 12:1-3, noticing that these promises of verses 2-3 are personal (for Abram), national (for his nation), and international (for the world). Which one is clearly international?
2.Ö Here are the same promises, stated as in the NASB. Read them twice, then follow the instructions below.
(a) I will make you a great nation.
(b) I will bless you.
(c) I will make your name great.
(d) So you shall be a blessing.
(e) I will bless those who bless you.
(f) The one who curses you I will curse.
(g) In you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.
The first promise can be restated in third person (him) instead of second person (you), in terms of what God would do for or through Abram. The first promise would then read “make him a great nation.” Rewrite all seven promises in a similar way, then learn them as given in Answers.
3. Read Genesis 12:4-20, which gives by name three places Abram visited after he first arrived in the Promised Land: Shechem, near Bethel, and Egypt. What happened in each place?
NOTE: You should get in the habit of looking up places in the maps in your Bible, if you have them. We have provided two maps in this study guide. For example, look for Bethel, Shechem, and the Negev in the “Division of Canaan” map at the end of Unit 1 (p. 17). Shechem is near the center of the Promised Land; Bethel is further south (down). The Negev (meaning south and sometimes spelled Negeb) is semi-desert land in the far south. The “plain of the Jordan” (vv. 10,11) is long, wide, and deeper than sea-level. In it the Jordan River runs from north to south to the Dead Sea (Salt Sea).
4. Read Genesis 13, which tells about Lot’s tragic choice that affected him and the nations descended from him.
a. What was the occasion for that choice?
b. What was his choice?
c.Ö After Lot departed, what was the Lord’s promise to Abram about the land?
5. Read Genesis 14, then answer. Why did Abram pursue and fight against Kedorlaomer and his allies?
NOTE: Be sure you can find the following places on the “Division of Canaan” map at the end of Unit 1 (p. 17):
Dead Sea (at the southern end of which was Sodom)
Hebron (where Abram lived, west of the Dead Sea)
Damascus (to the north, and beyond which Abram chased the kings)
Salem=Jerusalem (where Melchizedek was king and priest).
NOTE: The “ch” in Melchizedek is pronounced like k. Some versions use the same hard “ch” to begin Kedorlaomer.
6. Upon his victorious return with the loot, describe Abram’s encounters with the following people, telling what each of them did or said to Abram, and how he responded.
a.Ö Melchizedek, king of Salem
b. the king of Sodom
By Genesis chapter 15, years had passed and Abram had no son. Yet, the Lord still planned to bless him, giving him many descendants and the Promised Land. Now the Lord put these promises into the form of a covenant He would never change.
7.Ö Read Genesis 15, which has the first mention of Abram’s being counted righteous, that is, pleasing God and being accepted by God.
a. On what basis was he counted righteous (what did he do)?
b. How can you be counted righteous—and thus participate in Abram’s blessings? (See Rom. 4:1-5.)
8. The covenant with Abram was confirmed (put in force) following a custom common at that time.
a. What did Abram do with the animals?
b. What did the Lord predict about Abram’s descendants?
c. Why would God wait so long to give Abram’s descendants their promised land?
d. When a covenant maker passed between the pieces of the covenant sacrifice, it symbolized his own death. This guaranteed that he would keep the covenant at the cost of his life. Abram saw the Lord pass between the pieces in a symbolic form. In what form?
e.Ö To summarize, how did God confirm the covenant with Abram?
9. Look through the chapters studied in this lesson and write down at least one practical lesson.
10. Tell someone who Abram was, the seven basic promises God made to him, and how we can participate in his blessings.
On behalf of Sarai, who bore Abram what son? What new names did God give Abram and Sarai? What covenant sign did He give them? What did Abraham ask God to do for Sodom? What happened to Lot’s wife and daughters? Can you identify twenty important people in Genesis 1-25?
Abram’s wife Sarai was barren (could not have children). So how could Abram have numerous descendants? Genesis 16 tells how Sarai and Abram “helped” the Lord by providing a son. Their method—though considered legitimate at that time—was wrong, and sin always causes problems. This son became the ancestor of many of the Arabs, some of whom have been enemies of Israel since that time. However, please note that Arabs can also enjoy God’s blessing.
1. Read Genesis 16:1-5, then answer.
a.Ö Who was going to bear a son for Abram on behalf of Sarai?
b. When she got pregnant, relationships became worse between two sets of people. What people?
2. Though Hagar’s son would not be accepted as the heir, yet he did benefit from the Lord’s care. This is seen, for example, when Hagar fled and the angel of the Lord (also identified as the Lord) spoke to her. He told her to go back and submit to Sarai. Read Genesis 16:6-16, then answer.
a.Ö The angel told Hagar to call her son a name meaning “God hears.” What was this name?
b. Why should she call him this?
c. That place was called “Well of the Living One who Sees Me.” What does that name seem to emphasize?
Genesis 17 took place years after Ishmael’s birth. Again the Lord guaranteed His covenant with Abram and promised a son through whom the covenant would be fulfilled.
3. Read Genesis 17, noticing the new names and the sign of the covenant.
a.Ö What were the new names the Lord gave Abram and Sarai?
b. What explanation was immediately given for each of these names?
c.Ö What was the sign of the covenant?
In Genesis 18 Abraham was nearly one hundred years old, and Sarah nearly ninety. At this point they showed hospitality to three strangers, who turned out to be the Lord and two angels.
4. Read Genesis 18:1-8, then answer. What did Abraham do for the three men who came to him?
5. Read Genesis 18:9-33. One of Abraham’s three visitors was the Lord, who made two revelations.
a. First He promised something for Sarah. She laughed and He corrected her. What did He promise?
b. Why did He reveal to Abraham that He was about to go to Sodom? (18:17-19)
c.Ö In an unforgettable example of intercession, what did Abraham ask for Sodom?
Genesis 19 relates the first stage of God’s judgment on the Canaanite civilization. Lot was a “righteous man” (2 Peter 2:7-8) and had possibly become a judge in Sodom (“sitting in the gateway,” Gen. 19:1, 9). Yet he had no good influence over the Canaanites or even over his own family.
6. Read Genesis 19, noticing the contrast in how the angels were treated in Sodom and how Abraham had treated them.
a. What did the men of Sodom want to do to the angels? (This shows where we get the words sodomite and sodomy.)
b. What did Lot offer the men of Sodom instead?
7. When the angels announced and carried out the destruction of Sodom, what happened to each of the following?
a. Lot’s sons-in-law (about to marry his daughters)
Note: It is quite possible that these were already married to two other daughters.
b.Ö Lot’s wife
c.Ö Lot’s two daughters
Genesis 20 concerns a crucial time for Abraham and Sarah, just before the promised son would be born. Out of fear they followed the same deceitful plan as in Egypt, with some of the same results. Abimelech, king of Gerar, learned that God would bless Abraham in spite of his failures. In fact, when he took Sarah intending to make her his wife, he exposed himself and his family to death.
8. Read Genesis 20, then answer. What prevented the Lord from killing Abimelech and his family?
9. When Abimelech returned Sarah to Abraham, he gave Abraham animals and servants and permission to live in his country (20:14). In addition he gave Abraham a large present as proof that Sarah was innocent and had done no wrong (20:16). What was this present?
10.Ö See if you can identify the following people from Genesis 1-25 (including one you haven’t studied yet):
a. hunter who founded Babylon
b. Abram’s Egyptian concubine
c. first woman
d. Isaac’s wife (Gen. 24)
e. three of Noah’s sons
f. Abram’s wife
g. king of Salem and priest
h. built ark, survived flood
i. killed by Cain
j. Abram’s father
k. Hagar’s son
l. violent descendant of Cain
m. Abram’s nephew
n. Abraham’s promised son
o. first man
p. first child
q. king of Gerar
r. got covenant to bless world
11. Look through the chapters studied in this lesson and write down at least one practical lesson.
12. Tell someone why and how God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.
Genesis 21:1 to 25:18
Why was Sarah right in wanting Ishmael sent away? What promise did God give about Ishmael? What was the “angel’s” oath to Abraham in Genesis 22? To get a wife for Isaac, whom did Abraham send? where? to whom? Can you list eight important events from Genesis 12:1 to 25:18?
Genesis 21 tells us that when Abraham was a hundred years old, the promised son was finally born! The laughter of disbelief turned to the laughter of fulfillment (Isaac means “he laughs”). Abraham made a great feast on the day Isaac was weaned (21:8). But mistakes from the past might wreck his joy.
1. Read Genesis 21:1-13, then answer.
a. What happened to cause Abraham great grief?
b.Ö What reason did God give for Abraham to do as Sarah demanded?
2.Ö Read Genesis 21:14-21. God did not abandon Hagar and Ishmael. When Ishmael seemed about to die, God enabled Hagar to see a well. And He gave her the same promise about Ishmael that He had given Abraham. What promise?
3. Abimelech had learned that God was with Abraham (21:22). Read Genesis 21:22-34 to learn about Abimelech’s treaty that enabled Abraham to rear Isaac in peace in the Promised Land. In connection with this treaty there was an oath and seven ewe (female) lambs as testimony that Abraham had dug a certain well. What well?
In Genesis 22 Abraham’s faith reached its height when God told him to give the promised son back in sacrifice. In response to Abraham’s obedience, God reconfirmed the covenant with an oath (“I swear by myself…I will surely bless you,” 22:16-17). Abraham called the place of sacrifice “The Lord will provide” because “on the mountain of the Lord it will be provided” (22:14).
4. Read Genesis 22:1-10, then tell the following facts about this story:
a. where God told Abraham to take Isaac and what he was to do
b. what and whom he took on the journey
c. what he told the servants he and Isaac would do
d. what Isaac carried to the mountain
e. what he told Isaac about the lamb
f. what Isaac allowed his father to do to him
5. Read Genesis 22:11-19, which tells what happened just as Abraham was about to slay Isaac.
a. Who intervened?
b. What evidence did the Angel of the Lord have that Abraham feared God?
c. What did God provide instead of Isaac?
d. What did Abraham call that place?
6. Verses 16-18 record a vow sworn by the angel of the Lord. The main points of this vow can be seen in two verbs in verse 17, as translated by NASB: “I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your descendants.”
a.Ö What two words summarize what the Angel of the Lord swore to do?
b. Look up Hebrews 6:13-14, a cross reference for verses 16-17. Read the Hebrews passage and the verses that follow it, until you can tell the practical lesson it draws.
NOTE: The book of Genesis anticipates persons and events who came centuries later. For example, Abraham’s sacrificing his son is much like a later and far more important sacrifice. In both cases the son had been promised by and to fulfill a divine covenant (Gen. 15:4; Matt. 2:4-6). Each son was born miraculously (Gen. 17:17; Luke 1:35) to an aged father (Gen. 21:2, 5, 7; Heb. 1:1-2), who greatly loved his son (Gen. 22:2, 12, 16; Matt. 3:17). In each case God provided the sacrifice (Gen. 22:8; 17:16; John 1:29). Each son walked with his father and submitted to being sacrificed (Gen. 22:6, 8, 9; Isa. 50:4-6; 53:6, 10). Each bore the wood for his sacrifice (Gen. 22:6; John 19:17). Each (Isaac in figure) was dead for three days (Gen. 22:4; 1 Cor. 15:4) and raised from death (Heb. 11:17-19; 1 Cor. 15:4). Each was sacrificed in the same land of Moriah (Gen. 22:4; 2 Chron. 3:1). The sacrifice of each resulted in great blessing and multiplication (Gen. 22:16-18; Isa. 53:11). In other words, what Abraham did to Isaac was a shadowy type of what God the Father did to God the Son (Rom. 8:32).
7. Remember that Genesis 11:27 to 25:11 is “the account of Terah.” Read Genesis 22:20-24, which lists some of Abraham’s relatives who would soon reenter the story. Which brother of Abraham were they descended from?
Genesis 23 tells us that when Sarah died, Abraham owned no part of the Promised Land in which to bury her. Therefore, following the customs of the land he purchased a field and cave at Hebron.
8. Read Genesis 23, then answer.
a. What place did Abraham buy to bury Sarah in?
b. Verses 3-15 give the process leading up to Abraham’s purchase: three things Abraham said and three responses. List and summarize the six.
Genesis 24 is a beautiful story of fidelity and guidance. Abraham was concerned that his future nation be godly in order for God to fulfill His covenant. Therefore, he saw to it that his son got a godly wife without leaving the Promised Land.
9.Ö Read Genesis 24:1-10, in which Abraham sent to secure a wife for Isaac.
a. Whom did he send?
b. Where? Look this up in the north part of the “Ancient World” map (p. 58).
c. To whom?
10. Read Genesis 24:11-67, which tells what happened after the servant arrived at his destination.
a. What sign did he ask God for, to show that he found the right young woman?
b. What were the girl’s name and family?
c. What decision was she asked to make?
Genesis 25:1-18 concludes “the account of Terah” by telling of Abraham’s death and burial (vv. 1-11), then briefly adds “the account of Abraham’s son Ishmael” (vv. 12-18). Included in verses 12-18 are (a) the origin of several other nations, such as, Midian and Sheba, that later affected Israel; (b) the names of “twelve tribal rulers” descended from Ishmael.
11. Read Genesis 25:1-18, then answer.
a. Who became Abraham’s wife after Sarah’s death?
b. How old was Abraham when he died?
c. Where did Isaac and Ishmael bury him?
12.Ö Quickly look through Genesis 12:1 to 25:18, listing what you consider the eight most important events in those chapters. Then learn those listed in Answers.
13. Look through the chapters studied in this lesson and write down at least one practical lesson.
14.Ö Practice identifying important events in Genesis 12-25. Fill in the blanks.
a. 12 ___________’s move to ___________
b. 13 ___________’s move to ___________
c. 15 God’s confirmation of __________ ____________ ___________
d. 16 ___________’s birth
e. 19 destruction of ___________ ___________ ___________
f. 21 ___________’s birth
g. 22 ___________’s sacrifice of ___________
h. 24 a ___________ secured for ___________
15. Tell someone the story of Abraham’s sacrificing Isaac (Gen. 22) and how this is similar to what God did to His Son.
Prepare for and take unit 2 examination as you were instructed for unit 1 examination.
Genesis 25:19 to 27:45
What two truths did the Lord predict about Jacob and Esau? How did Esau show he was godless? Can you tell—in eight parts—the story of Isaac’s blessing Jacob? Can you give a simple outline of Genesis?
As you have already seen, Genesis 25:12-18 had the brief “account of Abraham’s son Ishmael.” Beginning at 25:19 is “the account of Abraham’s son Isaac,” which will continue until Isaac’s death at the end of chapter 35.
God often reminded the patriarchs that man’s nature is weak and that God is sovereign. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob each had a barren wife (16:1-2; 25:21; 29:31) whom God made fertile. And in each case God chose a son who was not the firstborn. (It was the firstborn who normally became the family leader and received a double share of the inheritance.) You will see these factors in Genesis 25:19-26, which tells of (a) Rebekah’s pregnancy in answer to Isaac’s prayer and (b) the birth of her sons.
1. Read Genesis 25:19-26, then answer.
a.Ö When her unborn sons were struggling within her, Rebekah inquired of the Lord. His answer was poetic (25:23), expressing two truths in two lines each. What were the two truths?
b. The boys were given names reflecting certain facts about their birth. Tell what facts about their births were emphasized.
2. Read Genesis 25:27-34, which tells how Esau sold his birthright as the firstborn in the chosen family. “Famished” (vv. 29-30) means very hungry.
a. For what unworthy reason did Isaac have a special fondness for Esau?
b.Ö Read Hebrews 12:16, a cross reference for verse 33. The verse in Hebrews says that Esau was “godless” (KJV, “profane”). How did he show this in respect to his birthright?
In Genesis 26 the Lord confirmed the Abrahamic Covenant to Isaac (vv. 1-5). Yet Isaac, by lying about his wife, showed that his faith in the Lord was weak (vv. 6-11). Nevertheless, the Lord blessed Isaac so much that even his enemies sought peace with him (vv. 12-25).
3. Read Genesis 26:1-33, then continue.
a. Even after Abimelech reproved Isaac for lying, what material blessing did the Lord give Isaac? (26:12)
b. The Lord gave Isaac another blessing in relation to water, which is so precious in desert areas. What blessing?
Genesis 26:34 through chapter 27 again shows Isaac’s weakness as he attempted to bless the wrong son. As you have seen, Isaac had a special love for Esau (25:28). But he was wrong in purposing to give him his special blessing. For God had already announced that He had chosen Jacob (25:23). And Esau had showed lack of regard for his birthright (25:34).
4. Read Genesis 26:34-35. What other action by Esau showed he was unqualified for his father’s blessing?
5. Read Genesis 27:1-17. Isaac sent Esau out to hunt, then return for the blessing. Rebekah heard this and took instant action.
a. What did Rebekah resolve to accomplish?
b. How did she plan to do it?
6. Read Genesis 27:18-29, in which Jacob deceived his father and his father blessed him. In what three general aspects did Isaac bless Jacob? (vv. 28-29)
7. Read Genesis 27:30-34, which tells what happened when Esau came—too late—to his father, expecting the blessing. How did Isaac react when he realized he had blessed Jacob?
8. Esau responded with a loud and bitter cry, but Isaac could not alter his blessing on Jacob. He realized God had spoken through him. Read Genesis 27:35-40, noticing especially Isaac’s prophecy about Esau and Esau’s relationship to Jacob (fulfilled in their nations). In the NIV this prophecy reads as follows:
39 His father Isaac answered him,
Your dwelling will be
away from the earth’s richness,
away from the dew of heaven above.
40 You will live by the sword
and you will serve your brother.
But when you grow restless,
you will throw his yoke
from off your neck.
a. In Hebrew Isaac’s prophecy to Esau begins with words similar to those used for Jacob but with an opposite meaning. What does verse 39 promise?
b. What did he say about Esau’s future relation to Jacob?
9. Esau planned revenge on his brother. But he could not keep his plan secret. When his mother heard of it, she resolved to get Isaac to send Jacob to a safer place for “a few days” (27:44, NASB) until Esau cooled down. Read Genesis 27:41-45, then continue.
a. What did Esau resolve to do to his brother?
b. What was Rebekah’s plan to protect Jacob?
10.Ö In summary, see if you can remember at least eight parts of the story of Isaac’s blessing Jacob. (Look through questions 5-9 and make your own list, then learn the list given in Answers.)
11. Look through the chapters covered in this lesson and write down at least one practical lesson.
12.Ö Learn the following simplified outline of Genesis. Then practice writing it from memory. “Primeval” means “of the earliest times or ages.”
Prologue: Creation (ch. 1)
I. PRIMEVAL HISTORY (chs. 2-11)
A. The Fall (chs. 2-5)
B. The Flood (chs. 6-9)
C. The Nations (chs. 10-11)
II. PATRIARCHAL HISTORY (chs. 12-50)
A. Abraham (chs. 12-20)
B. Isaac (chs. 21-26)
C. Jacob (chs. 27-36)
D. Joseph (chs. 37-50)
13. Tell someone the story of Esau’s selling his birthright and losing his father’s blessing.
During Jacob’s flight from his brother, (a) where did the Lord give Jacob an impressive vision? (b) what did he see and hear? Can you list the four mothers of Jacob’s children? the children born to each of them?
Rebekah let Isaac think it was his own idea for Jacob to go to Haran (27:46; 28:1-2). Actually, he was fleeing from his brother. After he left, he and his mother never saw each other again.
1. Read Genesis 27:46 to 28:22, which tells about the beginning of Jacob’s trip. Twice in chapter 28 Jacob—unworthy as he was—was promised the blessings of the Abrahamic Covenant. Who spoke these promises, and in what verses?
2. In a dream that Jacob never forgot, the Lord gave him a powerful vision. It produced in him a healthy fear and prompted him to make a vow to God.
a.Ö What did he see and hear in the vision?
b. What promise did God make that Jacob repeated in his vow?
c. Jacob set up as a memorial the stone he had used as a headrest. He poured olive oil on the top of the stone, possibly to portray God at the top of the stairway. Then he made a vow of what he would do if (or, more likely, since) God would be with him. What did he promise (in three parts)?
d.Ö What name did he give to this place?
After a long and dangerous journey, Jacob suddenly seemed to find great success. Yet, he learned that others could be as deceitful as he.
3. Read Genesis 29:1-20, then answer.
a. Where and how did he first meet his cousin Rachel?
b. After a month with his uncle Laban, what work agreement did Jacob suggest and Laban accept?
4. Now Jacob learned what it feels like to be deceived. Read Genesis 29:21-26, then answer.
a. Who deceived him and how?
b. Can you think of three similarities between this and the incident when he had deceived his father?
After the marriage week for Leah, Jacob also got Rachel—and began seven more years of service in exchange for her. Each sister was given a slave girl, who also became mothers of Jacob’s children. Jacob’s family grew rapidly, but there was much ill feeling, tension, and competition for Jacob’s affection. The sons’ names reflect this struggle. For example, Dan is the verb in “God has vindicated me” (30:6; “has judged in my favor,” TEV).
5.Ö Read Genesis 29:27 to 30:24. Then list the four mothers and the children born to each in Haran. (Keep writing them until you can do so from memory.)
6. After laboring fourteen years to pay for his wives, Jacob labored six years to enrich his own household. Read Genesis 30:25-43, then continue.
a. What did he first agree to accept as wages?
b. Jacob knew a lot about sheep and goats. What did he put in the drinking troughs to help build his flock?
NOTE: It is not likely that Jacob’s method had much to do with his success. He later realized that it was God who had enriched him (31:8-12).
Over twenty very difficult years, God enriched Jacob with a large family and material wealth. In Genesis 31 God led him to return to the Promised Land and protected him from Laban.
7. Read Genesis 31:1-21, then continue.
a. What three reasons can you find in 31:1-3 for Jacob’s return?
b. Why were Rachel and Leah ready to leave their father? (How had he treated them?)
c. What did Rachel steal that belonged to her father?
8. Three days after Jacob left, Laban found it out. With relatives he pursued Jacob seven days until he overtook him near the border of Jacob’s Promised Land. Read Genesis 31:22-55, then continue.
a. Why had Jacob fled without advising Laban (31:26-31, 42)?
b. What kept Laban from doing Jacob harm?
c. With stones as a “witness heap” (Galeed), Laban and Jacob made an agreement. (This place was later called “Mizpah,” that is, watchtower, a common place name.) What did the agreement guarantee?
9. Look through the chapters covered in this lesson and write down at least one practical lesson.
10. Tell someone the story of Jacob’s dream and vow at Bethel.
When Jacob wrestled, (a) who was his opponent? (b) how did the opponent weaken Jacob? (c) what did Jacob insist on getting? (d) what became Jacob’s new name? At Shechem who led in avenging Dinah? What names did Rachel and Jacob give to Rachel’s second son? What are seven key events in Genesis 25:19 to 36:43?
The events of Genesis 32-33 nearly all took place in the valley of the Jabbok River. The Jabbok flows westward through Gilead (later the territory of the tribe of Gad), then goes down to join the Jordan. Look east from Shechem on any map of Old Testament Canaan.
In Genesis 32 Jacob still journeyed, with great fear because he was approaching his brother Esau. His life was changed when he wrestled with God.
1. Jacob saw a powerful camp that reminded him of his vision years before at Bethel. He called the place “Mahanaim” (two camps), referring probably to his own camp and the one he saw. Read Genesis 32:1-5, then answer. What camp did he see?
2. Read Genesis 32:6-21, in which Jacob prepared to meet his twin brother.
a. What frightening news did his messengers bring him?
b. Jacob humbled himself in prayer. What did he remind God of?
c. What kind of present did he prepare for Esau? Give a general answer, not details.
3.Ö (The three italicized words in the next sentence are nearly alike in Hebrew.) After making sure that everyone had crossed the Jabbok River, Jacob wrestled the rest of the night. Jacob could not win, but neither could his opponent. Read Genesis 32:22-32, then answer.
a. What did Jacob’s opponent do that suddenly weakened Jacob?
b. What did Jacob insist he receive before he would let go?
c. Jacob’s new name indicated new character. According to the footnote it means “he struggles with God.” (It was previously thought to mean—and may suggest —“prince of God.”) What was this new name?
d. Who did Jacob understand his opponent to be?
4. God intervened in the reunion of the brothers. It was really good. Read Genesis 33:1-17, then answer. What are two apparently considerate wishes Esau expressed but Jacob politely refused (33:9, 12/15)?
In Genesis 33:18 to 35:29 Jacob returned to the place of his vow, Bethel, and finally to his father. He traveled with God’s blessings in spite of dangers from without and from within his camp.
5. After a lengthy stay at Succoth, Jacob arrived near Shechem. Immediately, it became evident how risky it was to live with the Canaanites. Read Genesis 33:18 to 34:31, then answer.
a. Who defiled Dinah, and how?
b.Ö Which brothers took the lead in avenging her?
c. How and by what ruse did they avenge her?
6. God now told Jacob to get on to Bethel (about fifteen miles south). Read Genesis 35:1-15, then answer.
a. What did Jacob get his household to do first?
b. Back to Bethel, after “many dangers, toils, and snares”! In what three respects did God bless Jacob there? (35:10, 11, 12)
7. Genesis 35:16-29 has three sad notes. Read, then answer.
a.Ö The first sad note is that before reaching Bethlehem (Ephrath), Rachel died in childbirth. What names did she and Jacob give her second son?
b. The second sad note is that Jacob’s firstborn son committed a terrible sin. What sin?
c. The third sad note is Isaac’s death. How old was he?
NOTE: This ends Isaac’s “account,” which began at Genesis 25:19.
8. Genesis 36 may seem less important now than it did for the nation of Israel. It provides the early “account of Esau” (36:1, 9), who was both “Edom” (36:1, 8, 19) and the “father of Edom” (that is, the Edomites, 36:9, 43). In other words, Edom is the Hebrew name for his nation as well as for him. Read Genesis 36, then answer. Where did Esau (and his nation) make his home?
9. Look through the chapters covered in this lesson and write down at least one practical lesson.
10.Ö In chronological order list seven events you consider of most importance in Genesis 25:19 to 36:43. Then memorize those given in Answers.
11.Ö On the chart that follows, practice listing the four mothers of Jacob’s children and the children born to each of them. Notice that this includes the second son born to the fourth mother.
|1st MOTHER||2nd MOTHER||3rd MOTHER||4th MOTHER|
12. Tell someone the story of Jacob’s wrestling with God.
Prepare for and take unit 3 examination in the usual way. Among other things it may include writing from memory (a) the outline of Genesis, (b) Jacob’s twelve sons under their four mothers, (c) seven events from this section.
Why did Joseph’s brothers hate him? (three reasons) What did he dream about his family bowing to him? In what aspect were Judah and his family becoming like the Canaanites? How was Joseph tempted—and how did he overcome—in Potiphar’s house? Can you write the outline of Genesis from memory? Can you put twenty-seven events from Genesis in chronological order?
In this unit you will study Genesis 37-50. Much of this is the story of Joseph and his brothers, one of the most interesting stories in all of literature. There are reasons to consider Joseph an outstanding type of Christ. Don’t forget, however, that this part of Genesis is really “the account of Jacob” (Gen. 37:2). Jacob is still the most important character.
1.Ö In Genesis 37:1-11 you see Joseph’s brothers hating him and getting rid of him. Read these verses, finding three reasons for their hatred (two are said to be reasons).
a. What are those reasons?
b. How did his dreams indicate that his family would bow to him?
2. Read Genesis 37:12-36, about Joseph’s brothers selling him into slavery.
a. Where did Joseph find them grazing the flock?
b. Which brother kept the others from killing Joseph, intending to rescue him?
c. Which brother suggested selling him to the Ishmaelites (traders) so that they could profit?
d. What did the brothers use to suggest to their father that Joseph had been killed?
NOTE: God caused the traders to sell Joseph to a certain person, whose name and position will be given again when this part of the story is resumed.
Genesis 38 shows how Judah and his family were becoming like the Canaanites—a reason why the Lord needed to get them out of Canaan.
3. Read Genesis 38:1-11, then answer both subquestions before looking in Answers.
a. Name each of Judah’s three sons born of a Canaanite woman.
b. What happened to each of them?
4. Read Genesis 38:12-30, in which Judah’s daughter-in-law Tamar bore twins.
a. Who was their father?
b. What great honor came to one of these twins? (See Matthew 1:3.)
c.Ö To summarize, in what aspect were Judah and his family becoming like the Canaanites?
Genesis 39 tells how Joseph was faithful to God in Egypt but was punished unjustly.
NOTE: In these chapters and Exodus most English Bible versions follow the Hebrew in referring to the king of Egypt as “Pharaoh.”
5. Read Genesis 39:1-18, which tells of Joseph’s faithfulness in Potiphar’s house. “Make sport of” (vv. 14, 17) means “insult.”
a. What position did Potiphar have?
b. Why did Potiphar put Joseph over everything he owned?
c.Ö Joseph was young but mature and handsome, away from parental restraints, and enticed by his master’s wife. What made this temptation to sin even greater?
d.Ö Tell how Joseph overcame temptation by what he said and what he did.
6. Read Genesis 39:19-23, which tells about Joseph in prison.
a. What prison was he put into?
b. What work was he given there?
c. Why was he so honored?
Genesis 40 shows us that in this prison Joseph could learn much about Egypt and its government. And he unselfishly made life as pleasant as he could for other prisoners in his care. Two of these were high officials who were imprisoned and entrusted to Joseph. These two had dreams they felt should be interpreted. Joseph’s own dreams had caused him trouble; yet, he believed God could communicate that way. He offered to help them.
7. Read Genesis 40, then answer.
a. Who were the two prisoners whose dreams Joseph interpreted?
b. Briefly tell each of their dreams and what they meant.
c. Why did this incident seem to work out wrong for Joseph?
8. Look through the chapters covered in this lesson and write down at least one practical lesson.
9.Ö Practice writing the simplified outline for Genesis. Then look in lesson 8 to check it.
10. In the first lesson you made a list of chapter titles for Genesis. Improve that list now, then make a copy to turn in at the end of this unit. Be sure to put your name on it. Your list will not be graded but must have a simple title (no more than two words) for each chapter.
11.Ö (This objective will be completed in lesson 13.) In each previous unit you have learned to list key events in chronological order. In the last examination you will only have to put such events in correct order. For example, here is a set of events out of order: 1) the fall 2) the flood 3) creation 4) Cain killing Abel. Their correct order would be 3,1,4,2. Put each of the following sets of events in correct order. Note that they may or may not be in order already.
a. 1) Abram’s move to Canaan 2) Lot’s move to Sodom 3) building the Babylon tower 4) making the Noahic covenant
b. 1) Isaac’s birth 2) Ishmael’s birth 3) God’s confirmation of the Abrahamic covenant 4) destruction of Sodom & Gomorrah
c. 1) Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac 2) Esau selling his birthright 3) Isaac blessing Jacob 4) a wife secured for Isaac
d. 1) birth of Jacob & Esau 2) Jacob’s vision at Bethel 3) Jacob getting wives & sons 4) Jacob wrestling & getting a new name
e. 1) Judah living like Canaanites 2) Joseph sold by his brothers
3) vengeance at Shechem
12. Tell someone how Joseph became a slave in Potiphar’s house and how he overcame temptation there.
What were Pharaoh’s two dreams and their meanings? When Joseph restored his brothers, (a) what four steps did he take on their first visit? (b) what was his final step? (c) how did Judah show he had changed? (d) what did Joseph say was God’s reason for letting them sell him? Can you identify 42 people in Genesis?
Genesis 41 tells how Joseph, after two more years in the prison, was ready for an startling promotion. This took place after Pharaoh had two dreams that his magicians and wise men couldn’t interpret.
1.Ö Read Genesis 41:1-8, then summarize Pharaoh’s dreams.
2. Read Genesis 41:9-32, then continue.
a. Who remembered Joseph, resulting in his being brought before Pharaoh?
b. Look at 41:16, 25, 28, 32, 39. What did Joseph emphasize before Pharaoh?
c.Ö In two phrases, what did the two dreams predict?
3. After interpreting Pharaoh’s dreams, Joseph immediately suggested a plan. Pharaoh saw that Joseph had the Spirit of God in him (41:38) and appointed him as governor (prime minister) to carry out the plan. Read Genesis 41:33-46, then answer.
a. What officials did Joseph say Pharaoh should appoint? to do what?
b. Pharaoh gave Joseph his own signet ring (to authorize all his commands) and royal clothing and honor. What two steps did he take to make Joseph more “Egyptian”?
4.Ö Joseph became known throughout Egypt and prepared it for the years of famine. Two sons were born to him who would later become two tribes of Israel. He gave them names indicating that he forgot his troubles and was fruitful. Read Genesis 41:46-57 and the footnotes, then tell their names.
Genesis 42 tells how Joseph’s brothers went to Egypt for grain and bowed to Joseph. He began a process that would lead to their spiritual restoration, both to God and to Joseph.
5.Ö Read Genesis 42:1-7, then test your memory. Who were Joseph’s brothers (that is, half-brothers) that first went to Egypt for grain? List them according to their mothers. (This information will be helpful to you many times in your Bible study.)
6. To restore his brothers, Joseph refrained from revealing his identity while making them face various tests. Read Genesis 42:8-38, then answer.
a. What did he accuse them of being?
b. After putting them in prison for three days, he seemed to change his mind. He would put one in prison until what happened?
c. In the midst of this danger and uncertainty, what did they remember?
d. How did Joseph react?
e. Which brother did he retain in prison?
f. What else did he do that later brought them fear?
g.Ö To summarize, what are four things Joseph did to his brothers to begin restoring them?
When most but not all of his sons had returned from Egypt, Jacob had said, “Everything is against me” (42:36). When the famine grew even worse, he finally agreed to send Benjamin in order to save the rest of the family. Little did he know how God was working. Genesis 43 tells the story of Joseph’s brothers returning to Egypt, bringing Benjamin, and how they feasted with Joseph.
7. Read Genesis 43:1-14, noting how Jacob was persuaded to sacrifice Benjamin, then answer. Which son took full responsibility for bringing Benjamin back?
8. Read Genesis 43:15-34, which tells about the meal with Joseph.
a. Why were they eager to give money to Joseph’s steward?
b. They gave Joseph gifts and again bowed to him. What made him weep?
c. What astonished them at their table?
Genesis 44 shows how Joseph’s plan worked perfectly, restoring even Judah.
9.Ö Read Genesis 44:1-17, then answer. What was Joseph’s final step in testing his brothers?
10.Ö Read Judah’s speech in Genesis 44:18-34, then answer. How did Judah show more concern for his father and brothers than for himself?
Genesis 45 tells how Joseph made himself known to his brothers and arranged for the whole family to come under his protection in Egypt.
11. Judah’s speech showed that Joseph’s test had accomplished his purpose. To reveal himself to his brothers, Joseph first sent out all others, then wept loudly. Read Genesis 45:1-8.
a. What did he finally say, terrifying his brothers?
b.Ö What reason did he say God had for letting them sell him?
12. Remember that this section of Genesis is still the story of Jacob (37:2), not primarily of Joseph. Read Genesis 45:9-28.
a. What two messages did Joseph send back to his father?
b. What proof from Egypt convinced Jacob that Joseph was alive?
13. Look through the chapters covered in this lesson and write down at least one practical lesson.
14.Ö Now practice identifying important people throughout the book of Genesis. In this unit you will add only Potiphar, Tamar, Manasseh, and Ephraim.
a. Jacob’s firstborn son
b. Jacob’s favorite wife
c. sold by his brothers
d. Jacob’s last son
e. killed by Cain
f. got covenant to bless world
g. Isaac’s firstborn son
h. Isaac’s second son
i. Abram’s Egyptian concubine
j. Hagar’s son
k. Leah’s two violent sons
l. Rachel’s sister
m. first woman
n. violent descendant of Cain
o. Rachel’s maid
p. Leah’s maid
q. Bilhah’s sons
r. Zilpah’s sons
s. hunter who founded Babylon
t. Abram’s father
u. fourth & leading son of Leah
v. last two sons of Leah
w. one of Noah’s sons
x. another of Noah’s sons
y. first of Joseph’s sons
z. second of Joseph’s sons
aa. Isaac’s wife (Gen. 24)
bb. Abram’s nephew
cc. Abram’s wife
dd. first man
ee. king of Salem and priest
ff. first child
gg. another of Noah’s sons
hh. Abraham’s promised son
ii. built ark, survived flood
jj. king of Gerar
kk. captain of Egyptian guard
ll. Judah’s daughter-in-law
15. Tell someone how Joseph came to be governor of Egypt and how he dealt with his brothers on their two visits there.
As Jacob headed for Egypt, what two major promises did God give him? Where did he and his family settle in Egypt? Where did he insist on being buried? How did he assure Joseph of the firstborn’s inheritance? How long did he say Judah would have the rulership? After Jacob’s death, what did Joseph say about his brothers’ sin against him?
Starting at Genesis 46, Jacob is much more often referred to as Israel (see 46:1, 2, 5, 8, 29, 30; 47:29; 48:2, 8, 10, 11, 13, 14, 21; 49:2). Probably this is because his family was now unified more than ever as the embryonic (undeveloped, not yet born) form of his future nation. Genesis 46 tells how Israel took his family to Egypt.
1.Ö Read Genesis 46:1-7, then answer. What did God promise Israel (= Jacob) in a vision at Beersheba?
2. Read Genesis 46:8-27, then answer. Not counting his sons’ wives nor Joseph and his family, who were already in Egypt, how many people did Jacob take with him to Egypt?
3. Read Genesis 46:28-34, then answer.
a. What did Joseph tell his family to tell Pharaoh so that they could settle in a particular area?
b.Ö What was the name of this area?
In Genesis 47 Pharaoh met Joseph’s family, who settled in Goshen. During the famine nearly everything and everyone in Egypt became Pharaoh’s property.
4. Read Genesis 47:1-12, then answer. How old was Jacob when he blessed Pharaoh?
5. Read Genesis 47:13-26, then answer. What were the three stages by which nearly all in Egypt became Pharaoh’s property?
6.Ö At age 147 and nearing death, Jacob got Joseph to swear that he would bury him in the Promised Land. Read Genesis 47:27-31, then tell exactly where he wanted to be buried. (See also 49:29-32.)
In Genesis 48, nearing death, Jacob blessed Joseph by blessing Joseph’s two sons, showing that he had learned much about God’s ways.
7. Read Genesis 48, then answer.
a. As he neared death, what was in Jacob’s mind (48:3-4)?
b.Ö What special relationship did Jacob assume toward Manasseh and Ephraim, assuring Joseph the double portion of firstborn?
c. By faith Jacob blessed Joseph’s sons but reversed the natural order. How?
Genesis 49 records an amazing prophecy Jacob gave about his sons, assuring them of God’s plans for their future. Consider some samples.
8. Read Genesis 49:1-4, what he said about his firstborn. Reuben had great potential. Why did he fail to be the leader?
9. Read Genesis 49:5-7. Simeon and Levi were much alike (“brothers”)—both violent. What would happen to them, that is, to their tribes?
10. Read Genesis 49:8-12, about the dominance of Judah.
a. To what animal is Judah compared in its dominance?
b.Ö How long would Judah have the rulership?
c. Genesis 49:11-12 goes on to picture the abundance of the future kingdom. What will the abundance of vines and wine be used for?
NOTE: In Hebrew verse 10 says “until Shiloh comes” (see footnote and NASB). This is properly translated “until he comes to whom it belongs” (NIV). “Shiloh” does not refer to the town of that name, which is spelled differently in Hebrew, but to the final Ruler from the tribe of Judah. There is a similar expression in Ezekiel 21:27, translated “to whom it rightfully belongs” and probably referring to the same future Ruler. He will regain the crown lost by the king of the nation of Judah in Ezekiel’s day. Of course, Christians know that this final Ruler is the Lord Jesus Christ.
11. Read Genesis 49:13-33, Jacob’s final words and his death. Can you summarize in two words the future blessings for Joseph? (one in vv. 22, 25b-26, the other in vv. 23-25a)
In Genesis 50 two Hebrews who had died were embalmed in Egypt. One was buried in the Promised Land; the other had a promise of being buried there later. (Embalming meant treating with chemicals to prevent decay.)
12. Read Genesis 50:1-14. Who went with Joseph and his family to bury Jacob?
13.Ö Joseph’s brothers feared that after their father’s death Joseph would take vengeance. Read Genesis 50:15-21, then answer. What did he say about their sin against him?
14. Read Genesis 50:22-26, about Joseph’s death. Joseph made his family vow to take his bones to the Promised Land later. When would they take them?
15.Ö Here are four more events to put in the correct order: 1) Israel blessing his sons 2) Israel moving to Egypt 3) Joseph becoming prime minister of Egypt 4) Joseph restoring his brothers.
16. Look through the chapters covered in this lesson and write down at least one practical lesson.
17.Ö Practice matching names and descriptions, as you will on the examination. For each name choose the letter of the best description.
a. Judah 1) firstborn of sons born in Egypt
b. Joseph 2) sold by his brothers
c. Manasseh 3) Leah’s first son
d. Ephraim 4) would always have rulership
5) second of sons born in Egypt
18.Ö Practice the same way again.
a. Dan 1) son of Hagar
b. Esau 2) son of Noah
c. Reuben 3) son of Bilhah
d. Ishmael 4) first son of Isaac
5) first son of Jacob
Prepare for unit 4 examination in the usual way. Then take it. Remember to send in your revised list of chapter titles, with your name on it. Congratulations for finishing this introduction to the marvelous book of Genesis. Do you believe in this God of creation and the Patriarchs? Continue reading Exodus and the following books. They tell the story of how He revealed Himself to and through Abraham’s nation, Israel.
1. For chapter 1 you probably wrote something like “Creation”; for chapter 2 you probably wrote something like “Man,” “Man, Woman,” or “Garden.”
3. a. He (1) made, (2) evaluated (saw that something was good), (3) sorted/separated, and (4) named.
b. that everything was good
5. a. creation view and reconstruction view
b. reconstruction view
c. creation view
d. creation view. One evidence is that God said that in six days He “made,” not “restored,” it all.
6. DAYS: 1-light 2-expanse (sky) 3-land & vegetation
DAYS: 4-lights 5-fish & birds 6-animals & humans
7. 1-light 6-animals & humans
8. Here it is the knowledge of God’s glory as seen in Jesus the Messiah.
9. for humans to rule over the earth (1:28)
10. because by that day He had completed His creation and stopped working (2:3)
11. a. to work six days and rest on the seventh
b. because God rested on that day after making everything in six days
12. the story (subsequent history) of Terah (Abram’s father)
13. Here are two of the possible lessons:
(a) I am thankful for physical light and spiritual light.
(b) Since God designed me to rule, I will cooperate with Him in reaching that goal.
1. Man—God formed him from dust (soil), breathed breath into him.
Woman—God formed her from a rib from the man.
2. a. all kinds of beautiful trees, at least some with fruit, including (in the middle) the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, also a river (2:10) to water the garden
b. to work and take care of the garden, also permission to eat its fruits
c. not to eat the fruit of the tree that gives knowledge of good and evil
3. a. God brought all the animals to him and let him name them. Adam saw that none of them was suitable to be his companion.
b. that it consists of a man leaving his parents to be united to his wife so that they become one flesh
4. that they would not die (but would be like God, knowing what is good and what is evil)
5. a. He would crawl on his belly and eat dust, have warfare with the woman and her offspring until her offspring killed him. (3:14-15)
b. She would have increased pain in childbearing, have desire for her husband, who would rule over her. (3:16)
NOTE: Some interpreters understand her “desire” to mean attraction to her husband. Others understand it to mean that she wants to master him, as the same expression means in Genesis 4:7.
c. The ground was cursed; he would have to work hard to produce crops from it and would go back to it in death. (3:17-19)
6. a. so that they could not eat fruit from the tree of life, and live forever
b. that those who wash their robes will have the right to enter the holy city and eat fruit from the tree of life (Rev. 22:14)
NOTE: KJV mentions no robes but speaks of keeping Jesus’ commandments. This follows the great majority of late Greek manuscripts. NIV follows a few older manuscripts that are considered superior.
c. Here are five more of the contrasts you may have seen:
(1) Satan was allowed into the garden of Eden but nothing impure into the new Jerusalem (Rev. 21:27).
(2) Death and the curse began in Eden, will be abolished in the new Jerusalem (21:4; 22:3).
(3) The sun and moon were needed in Eden but not in the new Jerusalem (21:23).
(4) Man was excluded from Eden; the gates to the new Jerusalem will never be closed (21:25).
(5) God and man were separated, will be reunited (21:3).
7. a. Sin wanted to have (rule) him, but he should overcome sin. (4:6-7)
b. His brother’s blood was calling for revenge; the soil would not produce crops for him; yet no one was allowed to kill him. (4:9-15)
8. Brilliant—Lamech’s children were inventors in different fields. (4:20-22)
Violent—Lamech demanded exaggerated vengeance for himself. (4:23-24)
9. a. Seth (5:3) b. Noah (5:30-32)
c. (1) his age when a certain son was born (2) additional years he lived (3) the fact that other sons and daughters were born (4) his age at death
d. Enoch (v. 24)
10. Some of the possible lessons:
(a) The fact that man was made first and the woman made from him, shows man’s greater responsibility for reaching God’s goals.
(b) Satan still tempts by questioning God’s Word.
1. because man’s wickedness was so great (that all his thinking was evil, 6:5)
2. a. good timber (cypress wood) coated with pitch, 450 x 75 x 45 feet, door in the side, window (all around) between the roof and the sides, three decks
b. Noah’s family and two of each animal and bird (seven—or seven pairs—of some that would later be used for sacrifices)
3. a. (1) springs of the great deep (the vast body of water beneath the earth)
(2) the sky (7:11)
NOTE: Continuous rain for forty days and forty nights must have come from the water stored “above” the expanse on the second day of creation (1:7). Apparently that water was above the earth’s atmosphere, forming a thick, protective canopy against harmful radiation. It is no longer there.
b. forty days and nights (7:12; 8:2)
c. more than twenty feet above the highest mountains (7:19-20)
d. 150 days (7:24)
4. Here are two of the evidences:
(a) Water more than covered the highest mountains for months (7:19-24). Since water always flows down until it is all level, this means that there was water everywhere on earth, leaving no dry places.
(b) Every living being died (7:20), which would not be true in a flood limited to one area.
5. the fact that by God’s command the heavens and earth were created, that the earth was formed out of water and by water, and that by water the old world was destroyed
6. those who live before the Lord’s second coming to start His kingdom
7. Forty days after seeing the mountain tops, he sent out a raven, then (repeatedly) a dove. (8:6-12)
8. that He (a) would not again destroy all life but (b) would let the cycles of change continue
9. Some of the possible lessons:
(a) God is patient but will eventually punish wickedness.
(b) Even when He punishes the world, God will save the one who pleases Him.
10. Learn these: Creation, the fall, Cain killing Abel, the flood, making the Noahic covenant, building the Babylon tower.
1. a. with Noah, all his descendants, and every living creature (9:9-10)
NOTE: Because Noah was the leader of the new world, this covenant is usually called the Noahic covenant.
b. the rainbow (9:12-17)
c. every living thing that moves (that is, all the animals, birds, and fish, 9:3)
d. not to eat blood with meat (9:4)
e. death (9:5-6)
f. because God made man like Himself (9:6)
2. a. Shem, Ham, Japheth (9:18)
b. Canaan (Ham’s son)—to be a slave to his brothers (9:25)
Shem—his God (the Lord) to be blessed (praised, 9:26)
Japheth—to have his territory extended and to live with the people of Shem (9:27)
4. a. a mighty hunter (10:9)
NOTE: TEV says that this was “by the Lord’s help.” NASB, NIV, and KJV say “before the Lord.” Instead of pleasing the Lord, he probably hunted and killed men. Even his name implies evil, since it is probably related to the verb meaning “to rebel.”
b. Babylon (10:10)
5. “The earth was divided” in his time (10:25). This probably refers to the scattering of people from the tower of Babylon.
6. a. to make a name for themselves and not be scattered (11:4)
b. because if He didn’t, they would soon be able to do anything they wanted (11:6)
NOTE: Such absolute power without rivals would soon take away freedom, as it will when the Antichrist rules. Be glad there are many nations, which tend to limit one another’s power.
c. He mixed up their language so that they could not understand one another. (11:7, 9)
7. a. Peleg (11:18-19)
NOTE: Before Peleg each one lived over 400 years; starting with him, each one lived about 200 years or less. Terah
b. Here is one way to do it: ___________________|___________________
| | |
Abram Nahor Haran
8. a. make atonement (cover sins), when poured on the altar
b. the apostles and elders of the church, concluding a council in Jerusalem (Acts 15:23)
9. Some of the possible lessons:
(a) As the rainbow reminds God of His promise not to destroy the earth again by water, it should remind me of all His promises.
(b) The story of Babylon shows that a move for human power may be a dangerous rebellion.
1. a 2. d 3. c 4. b 5. c 6. b 7. c 8. a
9. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (NIV)
10. a. creation b. reconstruction
11. a. made of timber and pitch b. 450 x 75 x 45 feet c. door in the side
d. window between the roof and the sides e. three decks
12. Creation, the fall, Cain killing Abel, the flood, making the Noahic covenant, building the Babylon tower
1. The last one. If you know Abram’s God, God’s blessing on him will come to you.
2. What you memorize should have these meanings:
(a) make him a great nation
(b) bless him
(c) make his name great
(d) he will bless others
(e) bless those who bless him
(f) curse anyone who curses him
(g) all families blessed in him
3. Shechem – the Lord promised to give that land to Abram’s descendants (“offspring”); Abram built an altar.
Near Bethel – Abram built an altar and worshiped (“called on the name of”) the Lord.
Egypt – Abram had Sarai pose as just his sister, acquired wealth, was forced to leave.
4. a. The herdsmen of Lot and Abram were quarreling; Abram asked Lot to choose where he wanted to live.
b. to live in the plain of the Jordan and near Sodom
NOTE: It is nearly certain that Sodom and Gomorrah were at the south end of the Dead Sea.
c. that all the land Abram could see would be for him and his descendants forever
5. to rescue his nephew Lot, whom they had taken captive when they defeated Sodom and its allies
6. a. Melchizedek, king of Salem – gave Abram bread and wine, and blessed him. Abram gave him a tenth of all the loot.
b. The king of Sodom – asked for Abram to give only the people back. Abram refused to keep anything for himself.
7. a. He believed the Lord (that is, the Lord’s promise).
NOTE: The promise here was that he would have descendants as numerous as the stars, to whom the Lord would fulfill the covenant.
b. You can be counted righteous only in the same way as Abram: by faith in the same God Abram trusted.
8. a. cut them in half and laid the pieces opposite each other, that is, half of each animal to the right and half to the left (v. 10)
b. They would be enslaved four hundred years in a foreign land, but the Lord would bring them out rich. (vv. 13-14)
c. because the Amorites (who occupied Canaan) had to become so wicked that they must be punished (v. 16)
d. a smoking firepot and a blazing torch (v. 17)
e. God repeated His promises about Abram’s descendants and the Promised Land, then passed between the parts of sacrificed animals as a symbol of His own death.
9. Some possible lessons:
(a) God’s blessings to Abram—and to everyone—were undeserved and solely in response to faith.
(b) Lot’s selfish decision cost him nearly everything and harmed his family for many generations.
1. a. Hagar, Sarai’s Egyptian slave girl
b. between Hagar and Sarai and between Sarai and Abram
2. a. Ishmael
b. because the Lord heard of (that is, paid attention to) Hagar’s misery
c. the fact that the Lord saw Hagar in her trouble
3. a. Abraham and Sarah
b. Abraham—God would make him the father (ancestor) of many nations (v. 5).
Sarah (princess)—She would be the mother of nations, and kings would come from her (vv. 15-16).
c. circumcision for every male (vv. 10-14)
4. He had them stop to rest and eat the meal he got ready.
5. a. that a year later she would have a son (18:9-10, 14)
b. because Abraham would become a nation and the source of worldwide blessing, and would teach his family the things of God
c. that Sodom would be spared from destruction if God could find fifty—or even ten—righteous people there (18:23-32)
6. a. have sex with them (19:4-5; they demanded that Lot bring them out for this purpose)
b. that they take his virgin daughters and abuse them instead (19:6-8)
7. a. They didn’t believe Lot’s warning (stayed behind, and were destroyed—19:14).
b. She looked back and became a pillar of salt (19:26).
c. They escaped with Lot but—thinking that there were no men to marry—got him drunk and had children by him.
NOTE: Their children became the founders of the Moabites and Ammonites—19:30-38.
8. He returned Sarah to Abraham, and Abraham prayed for him (20:7, 17).
9. a thousand shekels of silver (20:16)
10. a. Nimrod f. Sarai (Sarah) i. Abel n. Isaac
b. Hagar g. Melchizedek j. Terah o. Adam
c. Eve h. Noah k. Ishmael p. Cain
d. Rebekah l. Lamech q. Abimelech
e. Shem, Ham, & Japheth m. Lot r. Abram (Abraham)
11. Some possible lessons:
(a) If we don’t have patience to wait for God, we may cause serious problems.
(b) It is good to practice hospitality; strangers may be angels. (Hebrews 13:2)
1. a. Sarah demanded that Abraham send away the slave girl (Hagar) and her son (21:9-11).
b. that Abraham would have his promised descendants through Isaac (21:12)
2. that He would make a great nation of him (21:18, 13)
3. Beersheba (21:29-31). Look at the footnote in your Bible for verse 31. It says that Beersheba means “well of seven” or “well of the oath.” Can you find this town on the south part of the “Division of Canaan” map (p. 17)?
4. a. to the region of Moriah, to offer Isaac as a sacrifice (22:2)
NOTE: This was to be a “burnt offering,” which was completely burnt up.
b. his donkey, two servants, Isaac, wood, a knife, and fire (live coals, 22:3, 6)
c. go worship, then come back (22:5)
d. the wood (22:6)
e. that God would provide the lamb (22:8)
f. tie him up and lay him on the altar on the wood (22:9)
5. a. the angel of the Lord, calling from heaven (22:11)
b. Abraham had not kept back his only son from God (22:12).
c. a ram (caught in a bush by its horns) (22:13)
d. The Lord will provide (22:14)
6. a. bless, multiply
b. Hebrews 6:14 quotes these promises from Genesis 22. Then verse 18 says that because of such promises “we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged.”
8. a. the cave of Machpelah in a field near Mamre (Hebron) (23:9, 17, 19)
b. (1) He announced to the Hittites his need of a burial place (23:3-4).
(2) They told him to use any of their tombs (23:6).
(3) He asked them to get Ephron to sell him the cave of Machpelah (23:7-9).
(4) Ephron offered him the field and cave as a gift (23:10-11).
(5) Abraham offered to pay Ephron for the whole field (23:12-13).
(6) Ephron gave a price but said the money was unimportant (23:14-15).
9. a. his chief servant (who was in charge of all he had) (24:2)
b. to Abraham’s country, northern Mesopotamia (24:4, 10; the city was Haran, 27:43)
c. to Abraham’s relatives (24:4; he found Nahor’s family, v. 15)
10. a. that she would offer to get water for his camels (24:14, 19, 43-46)
b. Rebekah (also spelled Rebecca), daughter of Bethuel, son of Nahor (24:15, 24, 47)
c. to leave home and go with Abraham’s servant to marry Isaac (whom she had never seen) (24:58)
11. a. Keturah (25:1)
b. 175 years (25:7)
c. in the cave of Machpelah, where Sarah was buried (25:9-10)
12. Learn the following events in this order: Abram’s move to Canaan, Lot’s move to Sodom, God’s confirmation of the Abrahamic covenant, Ishmael’s birth, destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Isaac’s birth, Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac, a wife secured for Isaac.
13. Some possible lessons:
(a) Abraham learned that his most precious possession, his son, was not as important as obeying God.
(b) Abraham said that God would provide a lamb (22:8), which He did when He provided His own Son and did not spare Him.
14. (Same answers as for 12.)
1. a. (1) that the two children would be two nations
(2) that the older would serve the younger
b. The first (Esau) was reddish and his skin like a hairy garment.
The second (Jacob) was holding tightly to his brother’s heel.
2. a. because he enjoyed eating the meat of the animals Esau killed (v. 28)
b. He sold his birthright for some lentil stew (which he called “red stew,” vv. 30, 34).
3. a. a hundred times as much as he had sown
b. He kept on opening the wells his father had dug, and finding new wells, until there was peace with Abimelech (and they even made a solemn peace agreement).
4. He married two Hittites, who made life miserable for his parents.
5. a. get the blessing for Jacob (27:10, who was called “her son Jacob” in v. 6)
b. by deceiving Isaac into thinking Jacob was Esau (through the use of food and disguise for Jacob)
6. material prosperity (27:28), supremacy over others (27:29a), and protection (27:29b)
7. He trembled violently. (27:33)
8. a. He would dwell away from richness and dew.
b. He would serve Jacob (be his slave) but eventually break away from his control. (27:40)
9. a. kill him after their father’s death (27:41)
b. for Jacob to go to her brother Laban in Haran (27:42-45)
NOTE: She got Isaac to think it was his idea and send Jacob there in search of a wife (27:46 to 28:2).
10. Learn these eight (four reaching the blessing, four more to Esau’s decision):
(a) Isaac sent Esau to hunt, then return for the blessing.
(b) Rebecca prepared food and dressed Jacob in order to deceive Isaac.
(c) Jacob made his father think he was Esau.
(d) Isaac blessed Jacob.
(e) Esau returned, expecting to be blessed.
(f) Isaac trembled but realized he could not take back Jacob’s blessing.
(g) Isaac gave promises to Esau that were not blessings.
(h) Esau determined to kill his brother.
11. Some possible lessons:
(a) God will accomplish His purposes in spite of our wrong motives.
(b) Using wrong means to accomplish good goals can produce much sorrow.
1. Isaac in 28:3-4, the Lord in 28:13-15
2. a. a stairway set up on earth and reaching to heaven, angels ascending and descending on it, the Lord standing above it and giving him promises (28:12-15)
b. that God would be with him and protect him (28:15, 20)
c. (1) The Lord would be his God.
(2) The memorial stone would be the place for worshiping God (God’s house).
(3) He would give God a tenth of all that God gave him. (28:21-22)
d. Bethel (God’s house)
3. a. at a well near Haran, when she brought her father’s flock to water them (29:2, 4-6, 9-12)
b. He would work seven years in exchange for getting Rachel as wife. (29:15-19)
4. a. his uncle Laban, by giving him Leah on the wedding night instead of Rachel
b. Here are some you may have thought of. In both cases
(1) it had to do with the firstborn
(2) a sibling (brother or sister) pretended to be the other sibling
(3) the deceived one could not see well
(4) the results were allowed to stand (probably because the deceived one saw the justice of it)
5. Leah: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun
Bilhah (Rachel’s maid): Dan, Naphtali
Zilpah (Leah’s maid): Gad, Asher
6. a. He would start with nothing but would keep all sheep that weren’t pure white or goats that weren’t solid colored (30:32-33).
b. green branches of wood that he had partly peeled to reveal white streaks (30:37-39)
7. a. (1) the attitude of Laban’s sons (that Jacob had taken away their father’s wealth)
(2) Laban’s unfriendly attitude
(3) the Lord’s command to return (and promise to be with him)
b. He had treated them like foreigners, selling them, then using all the money for himself. (31:15)
c. his household gods (31:19)
8. a. He feared Laban would send him away with nothing.
b. God warned him in a dream. (31:24, 29)
c. that Jacob would treat Laban’s daughters right, and that neither Laban nor Jacob would go to harm the other (31:49-53)
9. Some possible lessons:
(a) The Lord will protect and teach His chosen ones in spite of their shortcomings.
(b) Having more than one wife creates unnecessary problems.
1. God’s camp of angels (32:1-2)
2. a. that Esau was coming with four hundred men (32:6)
b. of God’s command for him to return and His promise to do him good and multiply him (32:9, 12)
c. hundreds of animals (32:13-20)
3. a. He “touched the socket of Jacob’s hip,” wrenching his hip (possibly making it go out of joint). (32:25)
b. his opponent’s blessing (32:26)
c. Israel (32:28)
d. God (32:30; also called “angel” in Hosea 12:3-4)
4. (a) for Jacob to keep his presents (33:9)
(b) to travel together (33:12) or that Esau leave a guard (33:15)
5. a. Shechem, son of Hamor the ruler, by raping her (34:1-2)
b. Simeon and Levi (two of her brothers by the same mother)
c. They killed all the men, who were in pain after being circumcised. (Also, their brothers took everything else as loot.) They had agreed to intermarriage if the Canaanite men would be circumcised. (34:13-16, 25)
6. a. get rid of their foreign gods, purify themselves, and put on clean clothes (35:2-4)
b. in respect to his name, multiplication, and inheriting the land
7. a. Benoni (son of my trouble) and Benjamin (son of my right hand) (35:18)
b. incest (sexual intercourse with his father’s concubine) (35:22)
c. 180 years (35:28-29)
8. the hill country of Seir (36:8)
NOTE: Edom’s land (Seir) is the high western edge of the Arabian desert as it stretches south from the Dead Sea. It provides a habitable strip that is long and narrow.
9. Some possible lessons:
(a) When wrestling with God, one can win His blessing by desperately holding on.
(b) To get all of God’s blessings, we must get all foreign gods out of our lives.
10. Memorize these: Birth of Jacob and Esau, Esau selling his birthright, Isaac blessing Jacob, Jacob’s vision at Bethel, Jacob getting wives and sons, Jacob wrestling and getting a new name, vengeance at Shechem.
|1st MOTHER||2nd MOTHER||3rd MOTHER||4th MOTHER|
|1. Reuben||7. Dan||9. Gad||11. Joseph|
|2. Simeon||8. Naphtali||10. Asher||12. Benjamin|
1. a. (1) He brought bad reports about them to his father (37:2).
(2) Their father loved him more than his brothers (and made him a special robe). (37:3-4)
(3) He told them his dreams indicating that they would bow to him (37:5-9).
b. In the first dream his brothers’ sheaves bowed to his (37:7); in the second dream the sun, moon, and eleven stars bowed to him (37:9).
2. a. Dothan (north of Shechem; 37:17) b. Reuben (37:21-22)
c. Judah (37:26-27) d. his robe dipped in goat’s blood (37:31-33)
3. a and b:
Er—was wicked and the Lord killed him (38:7).
Onan—refused to produce offspring for his brother, and the Lord killed him (38:10).
Shelah—was promised to Tamar but kept at home (38:11, 14).
4. a. Judah (38:18, 25)
b. Perez became an ancestor of the Messiah.
c. sexual immorality (which destroys the family)
5. a. captain of the palace guard (39:1; 37:36)
b. He saw that the Lord was with Joseph and made him successful (39:3).
c. One reason the temptation was strong was that she kept insisting day after day (39:10).
d. He told her it would be sin against his master and against God (39:8-9). He avoided her. When she caught him by his cloak, he left it with her and ran (39:12).
6. a. the one where the king’s prisoners were kept (39:20)
b. He was put in charge over all the prisoners and all that was done (39:22).
c. because the warden saw that the Lord was with him and gave him success in all he did (39:21-23)
7. a. the chief cupbearer and the chief baker (40:1-2)
b. Cupbearer—a vine of three branches produced grapes, which he squeezed into Pharaoh’s cup and gave to him (40:9-11). Interpretation: in three days he would be restored to his position (40:12-13).
Baker—on his head were three baskets of bread, and birds were eating out of the top basket, which had baked goods for Pharaoh (40:18-19). Interpretation: in three days he would be beheaded and his body hung on a tree (or pole) and devoured by birds (40:16-19).
c. He asked the cupbearer to mention him to Pharaoh and get him out of prison, but the cupbearer forgot him (40:14-15, 23).
8. Two of the possible lessons:
(a) Telling others about my own advantages, even if true, may only make them dislike me.
(b) At first, resisting temptation may cost more than giving in to it.
11. a. 4,3,1,2 b. 3,2,4,1 c. 1,4,2,3 d. 1,2,3,4 e. 3,2,1
1. (a) Seven fat cows from the Nile River were eaten by seven thin cows.
(b) Seven good heads of grain were swallowed by seven thin heads (41:1-7).
NOTE: This is also the meaning of KJV, which says “ears of corn.”
2. a. the cupbearer
b. that it was God who had revealed His plans to Pharaoh and the meaning to Joseph
c. seven years of plenty and seven years of famine (41:26-31)
3. a. over everything—a discerning and wise man
under that man—other officials, to collect a fifth of the harvest in the good years and store it for the years of famine (41:33-36)
b. He changed his name and gave him the daughter of a priest in On (Heliopolis) as wife (41:45).
4. Manasseh and Ephraim (41:51-52)
NOTE: Did you notice that Ephraim sounds like the Hebrew for twice fruitful?
5. Leah: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun
Bilhah: Dan, Naphtali
Zilpah: Gad, Asher (Gen. 29-30)
6. a. spies (42:9, 12, 14, 16, 31, 34)
b. until the rest of them brought back their youngest brother (Benjamin) (42:19-20)
c. Joseph’s distress when he pleaded for his life and they wouldn’t listen (42:21)
d. He turned away (left them) and began to weep (42:24).
e. Simeon (42:24)
f. had their money put back in their sacks (42:25-28, 35)
g. called them spies, put them in prison, kept one in prison until the rest returned with Benjamin, put their money back in their sacks
7. Judah (43:8-9)
8. a. They were afraid Joseph would use the money returned to them as a pretext for enslaving them (43:18).
b. seeing his brother Benjamin (43:30)
c. the fact that they had been seated in the order of their ages (43:33)
9. He had their money put back in their sacks, and his silver cup in Benjamin’s sack. Then he threatened to make Benjamin his slave.
10. He told how Benjamin’s absence would kill his father (44:18-31), then offered to take his place (44:32-34).
11. a. I am Joseph. Is my father still living? (45:3)
b. to save their lives (45:5-7)
12. a. that he was alive and lord of Egypt (45:9, 12-13) and that they should all come to Egypt under his protection (45:9-11, 13)
b. His sons told him everything Joseph had said. He saw especially the carts (wagons), also the new clothes, presents, and food (45:19-28).
13. Some possible lessons:
(a) The Lord promotes His servants (like Joseph or me) at the right time.
(b) Just as Joseph put his brothers through a severe test, knowing it was for their best, I should not resent such a test for my loved ones (if I know it is from God).
14. (If you have forgotten any of these people, look them up.)
k. Simeon, Levi
q. Dan, Naphtali
r. Gad, Asher
v. Issachar, Zebulun
1. He would (a) make him into a great nation in Egypt and (b) go with him and bring him back. (46:3-4)
NOTE: TEV interprets—perhaps correctly—”and I will surely bring you back again” as “I will bring your descendants back.” “Joseph’s own hand will close your eyes” (v. 4) meant that Joseph would be present when Jacob died.
2. 66 (46:26)
3. a. that they had taken care of livestock all their lives (in other words, that they were shepherds, who were “detestable to the Egyptians”) (46:32-34)
NOTE: Goshen was in the eastern part of the Nile River delta. The delta is where the Nile, before entering the Mediterranean Sea, breaks into various channels that leave deposits of sand and soil. Goshen was fertile and on the edge of Egypt nearest the Promised Land. See the “Ancient World” map on page 58.
4. 130 years (47:9)
5. They paid for food with (a) their money (47:14-15), (b) their livestock (47:16-17), then with (c) their land (47:20) and themselves (47:21).
6. where his fathers were buried, that is, Hebron (47:30)
7. a. God’s promise to make him into many nations and to give his descendants the Promised Land forever
b. He adopted them as his own, on a level with his other sons (48:5-6).
c. He crossed his arms to put his right hand on the head of Ephraim, who was the younger of the two (48:14, 17-19).
8. He was “turbulent as the waters” (49:4) and had defiled his father’s couch.
NOTE: The expression probably means “uncontrolled [or, destructive] like waters,” perhaps referring to boiling water.
9. They would be scattered and dispersed (49:7).
NOTE: This turned out good for Levi but bad for Simeon.
10. a. a lion (49:8-9)
b. always (49:10)
c. to tie a donkey to; to wash clothes in (49:11)
11. Probably the best words are fruitfulness and victory.
12. Pharaoh’s officials and the leading men of Egypt (50:7)
13. “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good . . . the saving of many lives.” (50:19-20)
14. when God would take the Israelites to the Promised Land (50:24-25)
16. Some possible lessons:
(a) When others do me wrong, I should try (like Joseph) to discern God’s purposes in letting them do it.
(b) I should imitate Jacob who, by blessing his sons before he died, showed faith in the future fulfillment of God’s promises.
17. a. 4 b. 2 c. 1 d. 5
18. a. 3 b. 4 c. 5 d. 1
Six Days of Reconstruction?
Genesis 1 sketches six days in which God created. Most Jewish and Christian interpreters over the years have believed that this was the original creation—and that verse 1 was the first step in that process. Some, however, believe that in those six days God reconstructed (re-created) what He had created previously. Here I will address two reconstruction theories, which differ in their interpretation of verses 1–3. I call them “The Gap Theory” and “The Summary Theory.”
1. The Gap Theory. Until recently this was the most popular reconstruction view. It sees Genesis 1:1 as the original creation, then a gap of time before verse 2, which verse pictures divine judgment. Some time after that judgment, God started again. The New Scofield Reference Bible (p. 752) gives arguments for the gap theory in its comments on Isaiah 45:18. The brackets and emphasis are theirs; I have put their arguments in a column.
“He created it not in vain [tohu].” This is one of the Scripture passages that suggest the Divine Judgment interpretation of Gen. 1:1-2…. This interpretation views the earth as having been created perfect. After an indefinite period of time, possibly in connection with Satan’s sin of rebellion against the Most High (…Isa. 14:12 and Ezek. 28:12), judgment fell upon the earth and “it was [became] without form and void.” Another indefinite interval elapsed after which “the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters” (Gen. 1:2) in a re-creation of the earth. Some of the arguments for this viewpoint are:
1. Only the earth, not the universe, is said to have been “without form and void.”
2. The face of the earth bears the marks of a catastrophe.
3. The word rendered “was” may also be translated “became,” as indicated above —“became without form and void.”
4. The Hebrew expression for “without form and void” (tohu wabohu) is used to describe a condition produced by divine judgment in the only other two texts where the two words appear in conjunction (Isa. 34:11; Jer. 4:23).
5. Such a prehistoric divine judgment would throw some light on Satan’s fall and the peculiar relation he seems to sustain to the earth. . . .
6. This interpretation leaves room for an undetermined period of time between the original creation and divine judgment. Adam, created after the events of Gen. 1:1-2, was the first man.
This Scofield note is based on Isaiah’s statement that God “created [the earth] not tohu.” Scofield later refers to tohu and (wa) bohu, a combination probably meaning “without order or inhabitants.” Since this condition is sometimes produced by divine judgment, Scofield concludes that its usage in Genesis 1:2 implies a divine judgment there, after an earlier, perfect creation in verse 1. This conclusion is not warranted. If God’s creation was in six stages, it was perfect in the final result—not in the first stage. And in fact, God did call it “very good” (Gen. 1:31). Consider some weaknesses in Scofield’s arguments, one by one as listed above.
1. Genesis 1 is indeed silent about the condition of the rest of the universe. That proves nothing because the creation narrative is strictly from the earth’s perspective.
2. The only clear Scriptural statements of worldwide catastrophe point to the flood, which made enormous changes. In fact, by the flood “the world of that time was deluged and destroyed” (2 Peter 3:6). As a result, Peter speaks of “the present heavens and earth” (2 Peter 3:7) as distinct from those before. In that case, how could we determine that any marks are pre-flood and belong to an earlier catastrophe?
3. Although a different Hebrew construction could be translated “and the earth became,” the one in Genesis 1:2 cannot (see technical discussion below). The construction used there describes a condition already existing, as it does in its next use (Gen. 3:1).
4. Tohu wabohu is indeed an undesirable final condition. Jeremiah (in 4:23-26) lamented that the Lord had brought his people to that condition. Isaiah 34:11 so pictures Edom after the future judgment. But in Genesis 1:2 it was not a final condition; it was an apt description of the first of several stages in which God put the earth in order and filled it.
5. We would like to know more about Satan’s fall. But no Bible passage implies that his fall brought physical ruin to earth. We should not assume that the earth was cursed before Adam’s fall. In fact, no Scripture tells when Satan was created, though he was already present when God “laid the earth’s foundation” (Job 38:4-7). Apparently he was perfect at first. It is possible that he did not fall until after the six days of creation.
6. This earth was designed as a “theater” to display God’s glory through man as co-ruler. What would be the purpose of an earth without human beings? No Bible passage suggests such a thing. Why then should we seek an “undetermined period” of time before the first man? Is it to harmonize the Bible with the theory held by evolutionists that the earth is ancient?
TECHNICAL. Genesis 1:2 begins with Hebrew waw (which often means “and”) joined to the subject ha-aretz (“the earth”). This combination is followed by the “perfect” verb form hayatha (“was”), then the two adjectives tohu wa-bohu (“formless and empty”). Here as elsewhere, this grammatical construction does not refer to a later condition but gives additional information about the situation already described: “When God created the universe, the earth was formless and desolate” (TEV). The same construction next appears in Genesis 3:1: “Now the serpent was more crafty” (waw joined to the subject, followed by the verb hayah and an adjective). The condition it describes did not develop after chapter 2 but already existed at that point. See other examples of this usage in Judges 8:11 (NASB, “when the camp was unsuspecting”) and Jonah 3:3 (NASB, “Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city”). A different waw construction can give the meaning “became”: initial waw joined to the “imperfect” form of the verb instead of the subject. There are many examples of this construction in Genesis 1, such as those translated “And it was so” in verses 7, 9, 11, 15, and 24. But not verse 2.
2. The Summary Theory. This is a different reconstruction theory now gaining popularity. It considers Genesis 1:1 a summary title for the story of re-creation (reconstruction) in six days. That story, it says, begins in verse 2. According to this theory, the original creation is not in Genesis 1 at all (and apparently, nowhere else). In effect, then, there is a gap before verse 1 rather than after it.
This theory also has weaknesses. Verse 1 is not a title but the beginning of a narrative. And verse 2 does not begin a story but—as you have seen above—adds new information. Furthermore, if Genesis 1 does not relate the creation story, why does the Bible call it that? For example, the narrative begun in chapter 1 is concluded in 2:1-3, which says that “thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array” and that God “rested from all the work of creating that he had done.” The next section proceeds with “the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created” (2:4). Many Bible passages refer to one creation, but none refers to two creations. They all agree with Exodus 20:11 that “in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them.”
 See chapter 7 of What is Creation Science?, by Henry Morris & Gary Parker (PO Box 1606, El Cajon, CA: Master Books, 1982, 1987).
 Actually, in the original Hebrew six are promises but one is a second command. The first command is in v. 1 (“leave…and go…”). This is followed in v. 2 by the first three promises. These lead to the second command, in v. 2 (“Be a blessing”), then three more promises in v. 3.