Genesis is written around 1450 BC by Moses, in the Sinai wilderness.
In Hebrew this book is called ‘Bereshith’, which means ‘in the beginning’, after the first words with which this book begins. In Greek it is called Genesis, which means ‘birth’, or ‘origin, or ‘becoming’.
It is rightly the book of the beginning. We find the origin of all things in it. This book tells us, among other things, about the origins of heaven and earth, the institution of marriage and family, the first sin and, as a result, the death, the first sacrifice, the judgment, the origins of nations, of the Hebrew race, of the covenant and circumcision, of the heavenly priesthood.
We will search in vain for the origin of God. God has no beginning. He is the eternal God Who was “in the beginning” (Jn 1:11In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.; Psa 90:22Before the mountains were born
Or You gave birth to the earth and the world,
Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.
All truths that appear in the following books of the Bible are already indicated in this book. A truth can be communicated directly, a truth can also be presented in pictures. Some examples of the first: creation, man and his fall into sin, the power of satan. Some examples of the second: salvation – God clothed man after his fall in sin with the skin of an animal, which refers to the substitute death of the Lord Jesus; the resurrection – in the history of Abraham and Isaac; the reign of a rejected Lord on the throne of the world – in the history of Joseph.
Strikingly beautiful is the way in which God personally makes Himself known to man in this book. Thus He comes to Adam in the cool of the evening (Gen 3:88They heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.), announces to Noah His intention about the flood (Gen 6:1313Then God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence because of them; and behold, I am about to destroy them with the earth.) and visits Abraham and speaks with him (Gen 18:1,10-141Now the LORD appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre, while he was sitting at the tent door in the heat of the day.10He said, “I will surely return to you at this time next year; and behold, Sarah your wife will have a son.” And Sarah was listening at the tent door, which was behind him.11Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in age; Sarah was past childbearing.12Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I have become old, shall I have pleasure, my Lord being old also?”13And the LORD said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Shall I indeed bear [a child], when I am [so] old?’14Is anything too difficult for the LORD? At the appointed time I will return to you, at this time next year, and Sarah will have a son.”). He does not use prophets or priests here, but He Himself comes into the confidentiality with which a man treats his friend. In this book we experience the living, tangible proximity of God to His creature.
Genesis can be divided into seven parts, according to the seven patriarchs that appear in it (other divisions are also possible):
1. Genesis 1-4 Adam
2. Genesis 5(:21) Enoch
3. Genesis 6-11 Noah
4. Genesis 12-23 Abraham
5. Genesis 24-26 Isaac
6. Genesis 27-36 Jacob
7. Genesis 37-50 Joseph