Some Study Notes On Genesis

Here’s some notes from my studies on Genesis. They are in no way
fleshed out but I put them up in an effort to update them as I go
along. That being said, the HTML may be a bit fuzzy and there may be
other posts that come out added to this. It will not preempt my Romans
series but it will reinforce some of the things I’ll be saying when I
get to Romans 14.

The Book of Genesis

chart with thematic element

of the World (1-11)

of a People (12-50)

story 1

story 2

story 3

story 1

story 2

story 3












Noah means

means of



Major Theme(s):
The Fall and the Reconciliation of People with God
God’s Word is Good: From the creation of the heavens and the
earth to the saving of Jacob, his family and the nations, God’s word continues
to stand proving to be Good.

The Creation of God and how he deals with it

  • God
    makes promises of setting things in order and will make sure such promises
    are kept from the Fall to the Saving of the Seed by Joseph

The Calling out of a People

  • The
    Fall of Man
  • The
    Wickedness of Man
  • The
    Setting Apart for blessing
  • The
    Keeping the promise for blessing

The Living God reveals Himself

The Thematic Structure consists of almost a
compartmentalization process from the overall picture to the specific box of
the Israelites and their saving from famine by Joseph. The Fall of Man was
something that affected all of mankind and was apparent in the Wickedness of
Man in Gen 6. The issuing out of an edict for man to judge wickedness was only
supplanted by Man making a great name for themselves and subsequent confusion. But
in each of these events, there was a promise. In the garden a promise of the
seed of women crushing the serpent’s head, to Noah a promise of destruction no
more by water, to Abraham a promise of blessing to himself and all the nations
through himself and yet a promise of judgments on wickedness by the very distant
smokes of destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. The promise of the land,
compartmentalized down to Isaac instead of Man’s Provision in Ishmael and
further by God’s Choosing of Jacob (the younger) instead of Esau. Finally, the
tribes are preserved by Joseph in the close of the book, set apart from the
Egyptians and multiplying.

This doesn’t specifically define the structure but the way
the structure progresses. The book can actually be divided in two from chapters
1-11 then 12 onwards; the first section dealing with The Creation of Man and
the second The Calling of a People. The first section consists of three major
movements summarized in the creation headers (1:1; 2:4 and 5:1) while the
second section consists of three major movements summarized in the patriarchal
headers referent to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Each of the sections have a major
calamity which can spell an end to some aspect of God’s revelatory word. In
section 1 God’s Word creates and with His Word He saves a man to preserve the
creation: Noah. In section 2 God’s Word calls out Abraham and with His Will He
overrules Joseph’s situation so as to save Joseph’s family and the nations. The
Noahic story is part of the greater story of the Generations Of Men while the
Joseph story is part of the greater story of the Generations of Israel.

So technically we can say the Structure of the Book is
defined by the differentiation of World vs. A People divided at 11:27. My chart
would specify this as the Found of the World vs. The Founding of A People. This
of course can also show further progress by seeing the element of a genealogy
which may be viewed as a structure or at the very least, a pattern that hints
at the structure.

The setting of the book starts at the Garden and moves out
to the World and progressively centralized in Canaan, only ending in Egypt with a promise still awaiting
fulfillment…to acquire the land
of Canaan.

Some Patterns:

(This may also attest to the Structure) Generational lines: Heavens
and Earth (2:4); Adam (5:1); Noah (6:9); Shem, Ham and Japheth (10:1); Shem
(11:10); Terah (11:27); Ishmael (25:12); Isaac (25:19); Esau (36:1 and 9) and Jacob

The Generational patterns also seem to pair off. Heavens-Earth
and Adam; Noah and Shem, Ham, Japeth; Shem and Terah; Ishamael and Isaac; Esau
and Jacob. This pattern leads me to wonder if the structural break in Genesis
is actually Gen 11:10. In light of the stories being told there’s almost a
chiastic structure to the generations meeting up at that point. Heavens and
Earth were cursed but Adam survived. Noah was shamed but Shem, Ham and Japheth
went on. 11:10 switches that about putting the line that is not the called line
up front. Shem’s line is ends in ambiguity but through Terah comes Abraham; Ishmael
is sent out as a wild man while Isaac remains; Esau will bow to Jacob (although
we don’t see it in this book) and eventually leaves the land to Jacob.

Of course, there are other genealogies mentioned but not
with the distinctive character of “the record of the generations of”


Cain and the murder of Abel

Done out of Jealousy

One was doing it his way the other was doing it God’s way

Punished by cursing and no one can touch him

Indicative of the fall of man

Lamech and the murder of a young man

Done for no stated reason

Completely situated in his own self-defined morality outside
of God’s way

Justification that no one can touch him

Indicative of the wickedness of man (He wrote a poem about


God and Adam n’ Eve vs. Satan and Adam n’ Eve

Truth vs. Lying

Life vs. Death

Noah vs. the People

Righteous vs. Wickedness Continually

Belief vs. Unbelief

Salvation vs. Death

God vs. the Babylonians

Down vs. Building Up

Abram vs. His Family

Called vs. Not-called

Covenant vs. Non-Covenant

Sarah vs. Haggai

Freewoman vs. Bondwoman

Barren/Dead Womb vs. Fertile/Living womb

Child of Promise vs. Child of Flesh

Isaac vs. Ishmael

Young vs. Old

Promised vs. Not-Promised

Berated vs. Wild Man

Lot vs. Sodom

Upright vs. Proud n’ Perverse

Life vs. Death

Jacob vs. Esau

Promised higher position vs. lower position

Dwelled in the Tents vs. Hunted in the Field

Deceiver vs. Disparager

Jacob vs. Laban

Liar vs. Dishonorable

Joseph vs. His brothers

Blessing for all

Provider vs. Provision for

Exalted position vs. Lowered position

Love vs. Jealousy


Adam and Even

Lied to by the serpent

Eve’s children would eventually all die—(The Flood)

Eve’s promise as mother encompassed by a younger son—Seth

Abraham and Sarah

Lied when potential problems would come instead on relying
on God

Sarah was barren and at the appointed time her womb was

The Promise came through a specific child—Isaac

Isaac and Rebekah

Lied when potential problems would come (same king
Abimelech, but no pharaoh) instead of relying on God

Rebekah was barren until Isaac prayed that her womb would be

The Promise came through a specific child—Jacob

Jacob and Rachel, Leah, Kilbah and Bizpah

Lied to when a promise came to get a wife

Rebekah was barren and Leah bore children. Rebekah gave her
handmaiden and Leah did likewise. Jacobs favored children came from
Rachel—Joseph and Benjamin.

Salvation for the people came from Joseph in Egypt
although it was through much pain.

Er, Onan,
Judah and Tamar

lies and doesn’t give Tamar his last son after Er and Onan die.

Tamar lies and sleeps with Judah

Tamar’s children come through Judah.

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