GENESIS is the book of beginnings. It records not only the beginning of the heavens and the earth, and of plant, animal, and human life, but also of all human institutions and relationships. Typically, it speaks of the new birth, the new creation, where all was chaos and ruin. With Genesis begins also that progressive self-revelation of God which culminates in Christ. The three primary names of Deity, Elohim, Jehovah, and Adonai, and the five most important of the compound names, occur in Genesis; and that in an ordered progression which could not be changed without confusion. The problem of sin as affecting man's condition in the earth and his relation to God, and the divine solution of that problem are here in essence. Of the eight great covenants which condition human life and the divine redemption, four, the Edenic, Adamic, Noahic, and Abrahamic Covenants are in this book; and these are the fundamental covenants to which the other four, the Mosaic, Palestinian, Davidic, and New Covenants, are related chiefly as adding detail or development. Genesis enters into the very structure of the New Testament, in which it is quoted above sixty times in seventeen books. In a profound sense, therefore, the roots of all subsequent revelation are planted deep in Genesis, and whoever would truly comprehend that revelation must begin here. The inspiration of Genesis and it character as a divine revelation are authenticated by the testimony of Christ ( Matthew 19:4-6 ; 24:37-39 ; Mark 10:4-9 ; Luke 11:49-51 ; Luke 17:26-29 Luke 17:32 ; John 1:5 ; 7:21-23 ; John 8:44 John 8:56 ).
Genesis is in five chief divisions:
- Creation ( 1:1-2:25 )
- The fall and redemption ( 3:1-4,7 ).
- The Diverse Seeds, Cain and Seth, to the Flood ( 4:8-7:24 ).
- The Flood to Babel ( 8:1-11:9 ).
- From the call of Abram to the death of Joseph ( 11:10-32:26 ).
The events recorded in Genesis cover a period of 2,315 years (Ussher).