OLD TESTAMENT: Genesis

Chapter 1 – God creates heaven and earth and all the creatures that live upon the earth. He creates man in his own image, and he gives man dominion over the earth and all other creatures. He exhorts man to procreate and subdue the earth.

Thus far, I like this god. All men desire power, and God grants men their desire. The writer does not present an argument for the existence of this god in Chapter 1, but merely makes assertions of his existence and his actions. Therefore, one must inquire into the motivations of the writer in writing this. Perhaps the god revealed the origins of the world to the writer. But I think it much more likely that the writer created this genesis story to satisfy his own desire for power. Naturally, other men will respect and fear a man who has direct access to god.

Chapter 2 – God creates the Garden of Eden, in which he places the tree of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. God creates Adam, the first man, out of dust and breathes life into his nostrils. God forbids Adam from eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. God allows Adam to name all the creatures on the earth. God sets Adam into a deep sleep, removes one of Adam’s ribs, and then transforms the rib into a woman. Thus, man and woman are one flesh and bone.

Again, the writer asserts the superiority of man over the animals. However, the writer introduces the first element of humility to the story when he explains that God created man from dust. This hints at man’s dual nature – one aspect is low, base, and mean; the other aspect is high, noble, and divine.

Chapter 3 – The serpent persuades Eve, the first woman, to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, against the express command of God. The serpent explains that God does not desire Adam and Eve to become as smart as He is. Eve eats the forbidden fruit and brings some to Adam who also eats it. Enraged that Adam and Eve disobeyed his commands, God expels them from Eden.

Before God expels Adam and Eve from the Garden, He remarks that they have become “as one of us.” Indeed, to know is to be god-like. Furthermore, God exhibits pettiness when He expels Adam and Eve from the Garden lest they eat of the tree of life and live forever, like Him. God’s pettiness renders him more relatable to the reader. A reader can understand an imperfect God, a reader cannot understand a perfect God.

Chapter 4 – Eve gives birth to a son, named Cain, and then to another son, named Abel. Cain is a tiller of the ground. Abel is a sheep herder. Cain offers fruits from the ground to God. Abel offers a sheep to God. God favors Abel’s offering over Cain’s. Cain becomes upset and kills Abel. God curses Cain, but also marks him so that no one will kill him to avenge the murder. Cain and his wife have a son named Enoch, whom Cain honors by building a city and naming it after him. Adam and Eve have another son, named Seth.

A society’s evaluation of murder and a society’s form of punishment for murderers are two things that can reveal much about the morality of a society. In this case, God condemns the murderer to the life of a fugitive and vagabond. During the time period in which the writer/s wrote Genesis, the life of a fugitive was utterly miserable and wretched. Furthermore, to not encourage further bloodshed, God promises that if someone murders Cain, Cain will be avenged sevenfold. So, whereas the Hebrews tried to end potential cycles of blood revenge by striking the fear of God into men, the Ancient Greeks tried to end potential cycles of blood revenge by establishing courts of law (see Aeschylus’ Oresteia). Although the Ancient Greek solution involves a higher order of intellect than the Hebrew solution, the fear of god, for people who possesses it, is far more effective at ending cycles of blood revenge than courts of law.

Chapter 5 – The writer traces the genealogy of man from Adam to Noah.

The number of years that these men lived is incredible. Adam begat his son Seth when he was 130 years old, and he died when he was 930 years old. But Methuselah is the man who lived the longest. He was 187 years old when he sired Lamech, and he died when he was 969 years old. I assume that the writer wishes to convey that the time period during which these men lived is a better one than modernity. Many cultures possess stories of “Golden eras” in the distant past. Thus, the reader anticipates learning about the transformation from the golden era to the modern era. Does the writer ever fulfill this expectation?

Chapter 6 – God looked upon the earth and saw that men were evil. Repenting that He made them, God decides to destroy mankind and all the creatures that live upon the earth. At the last moment, He decides to preserve Noah, Noah’s family, and two of every animal. He orders Noah to construct an ark large enough to shelter him, his family, and the animals during the flood that God intends to send to earth.

The Hebrew God of Chapter 6 is not the benevolent God of Christianity. The Hebrew God is destructive. He exterminates nearly all life on earth. This story is similar to that of Cronus eating his children. The Ancient Greeks, however, regarded Cronus as monstrous. The Jews and Christians do not regard their God as a monster.

Chapter 7 – Noah, his family, and two of every species on the earth gather in Noah’s ark. God caused it to rain for 40 days and 40 nights. The waters rose and killed everything on Earth except for Noah and those within the ark. For 150 days, the waters covered the land.

There are many ancient accounts of apocalyptic floods. Whether there was only one such flood, or whether the ancient authors are writing about the same flood is unclear. But behind these events, different cultures similarly see an act of a vengeful and angry god.

Chapter 8 – The waters recede. Noah and the animals disembark from the ark. God promises to never again smite every living thing on the earth.

The sunshine after the rain, the high after the low, the happiness after grief. “It is out of the deepest depths that the highest must come to its height.”

Chapter 9 – God makes a covenant between himself and all living creatures that he will never again destroy them with a flood. The rainbow is a token of the covenant. Also, God requires that mankind kill any man or animal that kills another. Noah plants a vineyard, harvest wine, gets drunk, and falls asleep naked in his tent. Ham, one of Noah’s sons, finds his father and tells his two brothers – Japheth and Shem – who cover their father’s naked body rather than ridicule him. Noah awakens and curses Ham and Ham’s son Canaan to lives of servitude.

God’s vengeful command to kill killers is different from the commands of Jesus in the New Testament to forgive. Laws change depending upon the circumstances. Some people need to be told to take revenge, others need to be told to be merciful.

Chapter 10 – The writer makes an account of the descendants of Noah.

Chapter 11 – The people of the earth spoke one language. They resolved to build a tower that would reach to heaven so that they would become famous and not be scattered across the Earth. Upon learning of their intentions, God thwarted the people’s plans and confounded their language so that there were many languages. Thus, the tower is called Babel. The writer provides an account of the descendants of Shem, which includes Terah and his sons Abram, Nahors, and Haran. Haran begat Lot and then died. Terah, along with Abram and his wife, Nahor and his wife, and Lot, flee Ur and settle in the land of Canaan.

Pride goes before the fall. The people of the earth sought fame and sought to rival God, who strikes them into confusion because of their aspirations. Like Adam and Eve, whenever people try to become God-like – in other words, whenever they try to improve themselves in knowledge, power, virtue, etc. – the gods become envious and thwart their attempts.

Chapter 12 – God orders Abram to leave his father. He promises to bless Abram and his descendants with the land of Canaan. Abram obeys God’s commands and takes his wife Sarai and his nephew Lot with him. The land was barren, so the party continues on to Egypt. Lest the Egyptians kill Abram in order to steal his wife Sarai, Abram commands Sarai to pretend that she is his sister. The Pharaoh asks Abram for Sarai hand in marriage, but God plagues the Pharaoh and his household. Learning of his mistake, the Pharaoh cast Abram and his family out of Egypt.

Abram is deceitful, much like Odysseus. This type of behavior is far different from the integrity of the Romans.

Chapter 13 – Abram and Lot both had cattle, herdsmen, and tents. The land could not support both of them. Therefore, Abram and Lot agreed that Lot would travel East toward the city of Sodom, while Abram remained in Canaan.

The plain near Sodom was lush and bountiful. Soon, God will desolate the city. Thus, looks can be deceiving. What is great can become low.

Chapter 14 – A war breaks out between neighboring cities. Chedorlaomer, the King of Elam, defeats the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah and takes away Lot and his family. Abram hears of this, and sets out in pursuit of Chedorlaomer. He finds the army, defeats them, and brings Lot back to Sodom. The kings of Sodom and Gomorrah offer gifts of thanks to Abram, but he declines them.

This is the first blessing that God bestows upon Abram – victory in war. Contests of life and death are often considered the quickest tests to determine whom the gods favor. War is a forcing of the hand of fate to reveal her design.

Chapter 15 – Abram laments that he has no male heir. God promises that He will give Abram an heir, and that the number of his descendants will equal the number of stars.

Man’s greatest concern – a male heir.

Chapter 16 – Sarai, Abram’s wife, cannot conceive. She urges Abram to have sex with her handmaiden, Hagar. Abram and Hagar conceive a child, but Sarai becomes jealous and banishes Hagar. God appears to Hagar and tells her that she will bear a son named Ishmael. He also commands her to return to Sarai.

A love triangle – eternally fascinating.

Chapter 17 – God changes Abram’s name to Abraham and Sarai’s name to Sarah. He establishes a covenant between Himself and Abraham that Abraham and his descendants shall be kings. Male circumcision is a token of this covenant. Any male who is not circumcised shall be cut off from his brethren.

Motivations behind circumcision – differentiate the Jewish people from the Gentiles, make sex less pleasurable (i.e. turn the mind toward God, not the flesh), self-laceration, self-loathing, penance for guilt.

Chapter 18 – Three men appear before Abraham, who addresses them as God. He prepares a meal for them, and they tell Abraham that Sarah will bear him a child when they return. They then depart for Sodom, intending to destroy the city if they discover that the people are wicked. Abraham beseeches God not to kill the righteous with the wicked. God consents not to destroy the city if it contain but 10 righteous men.

I don’t know whether the three men are all manifestations of God, whether two are angels and one is god, or whether all three are messengers of God and Abraham regards them as intermediaries between him and God. Despite this ambiguity, this chapter contains one of the most profound statements thenceforth – ‘Shall not the judge of all the earth do right?’ Abraham asks this in response to God’s declaration that He will destroy Sodom. Abraham wonders whether God will destroy the righteous with the wicked. God assures him that he will not.

Chapter 19 – Two angels arrive in Sodom. Lot welcomes them into his house.The men of the city surround Lot’s house and demand to see the two travelers. Lot begs the people not to behave so wickedly, and to instead take Lot’s two virgin daughters and do with them what they please. The mob grows angry and rushes the door. The two angels blind the crowd so that they cannot find the door. Then the angels tell Lot to take his wife and two daughters away from Sodom; for God will destroy the city and all its inhabitants. Lot travels with his wife and daughters to the city of Zoar while God destroys Sodom and Gomorrah with fire and brimstone. During the journey to Zoar, Lot’s wife, against the angel’s commands, looks back at the city and turns into a pillar of salt. Lot and his daughters leave Zoar after living there for some time and settle in a cave in the mountains. The two daughters conspire to get their father drunk and have sex with him in order to preserve their father’s seed. The eldest daughter begets Moab, the father of the Moabites. The youngest daughter begets Benammi, the father of the children of Ammon.

Lot tries to protect two angels by offering his daughters to a mob of men who will likely rape them. I suppose that this indicates Lot’s saintly level of piety. He favors God before his own children. I think its despicable. Family comes first, always. Incest – a universally revolting taboo.

Chapter 20 – Abraham and Sarah travel to Gerar. They use the old ruse that they are brother and sister. Abimelech, the king of Gerar, takes Sarah, but God appears to him in a dream and informs him that Sarah is the wife of Abraham. Abimelech immediately returns Sarah to Abraham and God blesses Abimelech for his righteousness.

In this chapter we learn that Sarah and Abraham are actually half-siblings; they share a common father. Thus, the Israelites are descendants of an incestuous relationship. The issues of incestuous relationships are more likely than the issues of non-incestuous relationships to contract genetic defects.

Chapter 21 – Sarah gives birth to Isaac. Sarah urges Abraham to cast away Hagar and Ishmael; for she does not want Ishmael to vie with Isaac as heir of Abraham. Abraham gives Hagar and Ishmael a bottle of water and bread, and sets them on their way. When they drank the last of the water, Hagar placed Ishmael underneath a tree because she does not wish to see him die. Then she begins to weep. God hears her weeping, appears to her, and assures her that Ishmael will be the father of a great nation. Hagar looks up, sees a well, and retrieves her son. Meanwhile, Abraham give Abimelech seven ewes as a token of the covenant between them. Abraham and his family sojourn in the land of the Philistines.

The story of Hagar and Ishmael is filled with pathos. The lines from Lear come to my mind – “The gods are just, and of our pleasant vices make instruments to plague us.” Ishmael, however, is not Edmund.

Chapter 22 – God commands Abraham to offer his son Isaac as a burnt offering. Abraham complies with God’s command. He prepares the firewood, places Isaac on the pile, and then raises his knife to Isaac’s throat. However, before Abraham strikes a blow, God commands him to cease. God explains that he was testing Abraham and that Abraham has demonstrated his faith in God.

Yet another chapter in which the heroes favor God (an entity who asks a man to kill his own son) over their own families – despicable.

Chapter 23 – Abraham buys land from Ephron in order to bury his dead wife Sarah.

The Judeo-Christian burial rites are different from the ancient Greek and Roman burial rites. The Jews and early Christians buried or entombed their dead, unlike the ancient Greeks and Romans who burned their dead. They symbolism of burning the dead is nobler than the symbolism of burying the dead. Smoke and flame travel upwards, symbolizing the souls ascent to the heavens. The decay and corruption of a corpse buried in the ground, symbolizes the affinity of man with dust. “From dust thou art, to dust thou shalt return.”

Chapter 24 – Abraham commands his servant to return to Abraham’s home in the land of Nahor to find a wife for his son Isaac. The servant obeys Abraham and return to the land of Canaan with Rebekah, who becomes the wife of Isaac.

This chapter is similar to the scenes in the Odyssey in which hosts feed guests and guests entertain their hosts with tales of their travels and duties.

Chapter 25 – Isaac and Rebekah have twin sons Esau and Jacob. Esau is the eldest; and therefore, he is the heir to Isaac. Isaac loves Esau because Esau is a hunter and supplies Isaac with venison. Rebekah loves Jacob, who is a farmer. One day, on the point of death, Esau asks his brother for some of his soup. Jacob requests Esau’s inheritance (birthright) in exchange for his porridge. Esau agrees, thinking that his birthright is useless if he is dead.

An interesting question – how much would you sell to buy more time on earth?

Chapter 26 – After much travel and wrangling with locals, Isaac establishes a covenant with local Philistine leaders and settles with his family and servants.

Chapter 27 – Isaac, who is now old and nearly blind, commands his eldest son Esau to bring him venison. In exchange, he will bless Esau. Esau agrees to do so and leaves his father’s tent. Rebekah overhears the conversation and conspires with her younger son Jacob to steal Isaac’s blessing form Esau. She prepares a goat for Isaac and gives it to Jacob, who offers it to Isaac. Isaac asks whether Jacob is indeed Esau. Jacob lies and says that he is. Isaac blesses him, calling on the lord to make Jacob lord over his brothers. When Esau returns to his father’s tent with venison, he and Isaac discover Jacob and Rebekah’s deceit. Esau laments that Jacob has stolen his birthright and his blessing. He promises to kill Jacob. Rebekah sends Jacob away lest Esau kill him.

Subtlety and deceit are rewarded – terrible moral.

Chapter 28 – Esau marries Ishmael’s daughter Mahalath. Jacob travels to Rebekah’s family to get a wife. On his journey, he stops to rest for the night. He dreams he sees a ladder reaching to the top of heaven. Angels ascend and descend the ladder. At the top of the ladder, God stands and He promises to protect Jacob and multiply his progeny. Jacob awakens and names the place Bethel. He believes that the place is the house of God and gate to heaven.

God appears to Jacob as he lies on rocks. Often men find god in their most arduous moments.

Chapter 29 – Jacob arrives in Haran. He sees Rachel, the daughter of Laban, the brother of Rebekah, Jacob’s mother. Jacob kisses Rachel and tells her his name and genealogy. Rachel takes him to Laban, who embraces him. Jacob promises to work for Laban for 7 years in exchange for Rachel, Laban’s youngest daughter. Laban accepts. At the end of 7 years, Laban deceives Jacob and gives him Leah, Laban’s eldest daughter, instead of Rachel. Jacob is furious when he discovers the deceit, but Laban explains that it is not right to give the younger daughter away before the elder. He promises to give Rachel to Isaac in exchange for 7 more years of service. Isaac agrees. Isaac hates Leah, but loves Rachel. Leah bears Isaac four sons: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah.

God favors Leah because she is hated – a comforting notion to the downtrodden. Only an oppressed people would say that the gods favor the oppressed. Only a noble people would say that the gods favor the noble.

Chapter 30 – Rachel finally conceives a son. She names him Joseph. Jacob prepares to leave with his family. Before he goes, he makes a deal with Laban. Laban agrees to give Jacob all spotted and speckled sheep. Jacob contrives to breed the sheep so that the strongest sheep are spotted and speckled.

More subtlety and cunning on the part of Jacob – a true hero [!]

Chapter 31 – Jacob and his family abscond from the land of Laban. Rachel steals the images of Laban’s gods. When Laban discovers their flight, he pursues them to Mount Gilead. He confronts them and searches their tents and bags for his stolen images. He does not find them because Rachel is sitting on them. Laban and Jacob come to an agreement never to harm one another and that Jacob will never take another wife.

Rachel is a thief. She lies and steals from her father. This is moral teaching at its highest [!]

Chapter 32 – Jacob returns to the land of his brother Esau. He sends a messenger to Esau, telling him of his return. The messenger returns and informs Jacob that Esau is coming to meet him with 400 men. Jacob fears Esau will kill him and his family. Therefore, he orders his servants to take a number of cattle to Esau as a gift. That night he wrestles with a man, who renames Jacob as Israel, and tels Israel that he will become a prince. The man whom Israel wrestled is God.

Symbolism – Israel wrestling with his fear of his brother. He overcomes his fear and is reborn as Israel, a mighty king.

Chapter 33 – Israel and Esau are reunited. Esau warmly embraces Israel. Israel is overjoyed at his brother’s welcome.

Nothing pulls the heartstrings as much as a reunion story, especially when the reconciliation is doubtful.

Chapter 34 – Israel and his family arrive in the land of the Hivites. Shechem, the son of the Hivite King Hamor, sleeps with Israel’s daughter Dinah. Shechem and Hamor ask Israel what he wants in exchange for his daughter. Israel and his family decide to deceive the King and his son because they defiled Dinah. They tell Shechem and Hamor that their families will become one when all the Hivites are circumcised. Hamor agrees to this and orders his people to circumcise themselves. While they are sore from circumcision, Israel’s sons, Simeon and Levi, slay all of the Hivite males with swords. Then they take the women, cattle, and other goods. Isreal rebukes them, but the boys say that their act is righteous because Shechem defiled their sister.

Yet more guile and deceit from the founding fathers of modern monotheism.

Chapter 35 – Isreal and his family travel to Bethel, the place where Israel received the vision of the ladder to heaven. He assembled a monument in honor of God. Rachel dies giving birth to Israel’s 12th and final son, Benjamin. Isaac dies, and Esau and Israel bury him.

Chapter 36 – The author gives an account of the descendants of Esau, the father of the Edomites.

Chapter 37 – Joseph, one of Israel’s sons, tells his brothers of two of his dreams. In the first dream, he and his brothers made sheaves. His brothers sheaves bowed to his. In the second dream, the sun, moon, and eleven stars bowed to him. His brothers become angry at Joseph because of his dreams. They conspire to kill him, but Reuben convinces the other brothers to merely throw him into a pit. Reuben intends to restore Joseph to their father when the other brothers leave. However, the other brothers sell Joseph as a slave to Ishmeelites, who are traveling to Egypt. The brothers spread goat’s blood on Joseph’s clothes and inform Israel that a wild beast mauled Joseph to death.

Dreams are messages from the gods about the future. People grow envious of the mere promise of power to another.

Chapter 38 – Judah, one of Israel’s sons, marries and has three sons. God kills the first two sons because of their wickedness. Judah tells Tamar, who is the widow of both dead sons, that he will marry her to his youngest son when he comes of age. Tamar does not wish to wait that long and contrives a plan to sleep with Judah. She covers her face with a veil and waits along the side of a road. When Judah sees her, he believes that she is a harlot and asks her what she wants in exchange for sexual favors. Tamar asks for his signet and jewelry. She conceives. When Judah discovers that she is pregnant, he believes that she has been whoring around and sentences her to death, but she reveal the signet and the jewelry. Judah stays the sentence of death and rebukes himself for not giving Tamar his youngest son.

Chapter 39 – Joseph gains the favor of his master in Egypt. His master’s wife implores Jospeh to sleep with her. Jospeh rejects her advances. She steals an article of Joseph’s clothing and accuses him of trying to sleep with her. The master sends Joseph to prison.

Chapter 40 – The Pharaoh puts his butler and his baker into prison with Joseph. The butler dreams about a vine with three branches that produce grapes. The butler takes the grapes, presses them to make wine, and gives the wine to the Pharaoh. Joseph interprets the dream to mean that in three days the Pharaoh will deliver the butler form prison and restore him to his former position as butler. Joseph implores the beggar to commend him to the Pharaoh when this happens. The baker dreams that he has three baskets full of meat on his head. Birds eat the meat from out of the baskets. Jospeh interprets the dream to mean that in three days the Pharaoh will hang the baker and birds will peck at his flesh. Both of Joseph’s interpretations are correct. The Pharaoh hangs the baker and restores the butler to his former position. However, the butler forgets to commend Joseph to the Pharaoh.

The butler does not commend Joseph to the Pharaoh because men often forget to do in health what they resolve to do in sickness. “If God delivers me from this ordeal, I will change my life for the better.” The resolve of a passion dies with the passion. In other words, if feelings of nausea after eating too much compel an obese man to exercise and eat healthier foods, then he will lose his resolve to exercise and eat healthier foods when he loses the feelings of nausea.

Chapter 41 – The Pharaoh dreams of seven well-fed cows that are devoured by seven malnourished cows. He also dreams of seven strong stalks of corn devoured by seven blasted stalks of corn. No one can interpret his dreams. The Pharaoh’s butler recalls Joseph’s ability to interpret dreams and tells the Pharaoh about Joseph. The Pharaoh sends for Joseph. Joseph appears before the Pharaoh and interprets the dreams to mean that there will be seven years of abundance followed by seven years of famine. Joseph advises the Pharaoh to store corn against the seven years of famine. The Pharaoh is pleased and appoints Joseph ruler of all Egypt. Only in title is the Pharaoh greater than Joseph. Joseph marries and has two sons – Manasseh and Ephraim. When the famine begins, the people clamber to Joseph, who sells them the corn he stored against the famine.

Foresight and prudence are god-like qualities.

Chapter 42 – Israel sends ten of his sons – all sons except the youngest, Benjamin – to Egypt for corn because Canaan is experiencing famine too. The sons appear before Joseph. Joseph recognizes his brothers, but they do not recognize him. Joseph accuses them of being spies. He gives them corn and orders them to bring back their youngest brother Benjamin in order to prove that they are not spies. He keeps Simeon under guard in Egypt lest they not fulfill his commands.

The author masterfully builds anticipation of the recognition scene.

Chapter 43 – The brothers return with Benjamin. Joseph is overcome with emotion at the sight of his younger brother and goes to another room to hide his tears. He returns and all 12 brothers sit down to eat.

Chapter 44 – Joseph orders his servants to secretly stow one of his silver cups in Benjamin’s sack and then sends the brothers away. Shortly after the brothers’ departure, Joseph orders his servants to overtake the brothers and bring them back to him. When the brothers return, the servants find the silver cup in Benjamin’s sack. Joseph pretends to be indignant and he orders Benjamin to become his bondman. Judah pleads with Joseph to let Benjamin return to their father, lest he die of grief. He also offers to be Joseph’s bondman.

Chapter 45 – Joseph reveals himself to his brothers and tells them not to blame themselves for selling him into slavery; for they did not send them to Egypt, God did. He sends them to retrieve their father so that they all may live happily in Egypt together.

Each man has a destiny that will be fulfilled. Often, men will endure hardships before they reap rewards. All is in the hands of God even if it does not seem to be at present.

Chapter 46 – Israel and his family travel to Egypt, where Joseph greets them. Shepherds are an abomination to Egyptians, so Joseph informs them that they will live in Goshen.

Chapter 47 – The Egyptians sell everything they have to Joseph for bread until finally they have nothing more to sell but themselves and their land. Joseph buys all the people and ll the land of Egypt. He gives the people seed and orders them to sow and reap corn. the fifth part of their harvest shall go to the Pharaoh while they keep the remaining four parts.

The circumstances of the hungry Egyptians before Joseph is similar to the circumstances of Esau before Jacob. Hunger compels men to sell their freedom, their birthright – what else? “The pangs Of gnawing hunger will soon soften him.” (Aeschylus’s Agamemnon)

Chapter 48 – Before Israel dies, he blesses Joseph’s sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. Although Manasseh is the eldest of Joseph’s sons, Israel foresees Ephraim being greater than Manasseh.

Chapter 49 – Israel foretells the fate of his twelve sons – the twelve tribes of Israel. He requests that they bury him next to Leah in the land of his fathers, the land of Canaan. Then he gives up the ghost.

Chapter 50 – Joseph has Israel embalmed. Then he and his brothers bury Israel in Canaan. After many years, Joseph dies too. He is embalmed and place in a coffin in Egypt.

Quotes:

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it.

The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

The rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.

God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:
Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.
So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.
And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper?

And the Lord said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the Lord set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him.
And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.

And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth.
the Lord said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.

Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.

Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.

Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?

Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me?

Be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life.

See that ye fall not out by the way.

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4 thoughts on “OLD TESTAMENT: Genesis”

  1. Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?

    One of my favourite quotes in Genesis.

    The writer does not present an argument for the existence of this god in Chapter 1, but merely makes assertions of his existence and his actions.

    To prove the existence of God from logical arguments would mean that there is a first principle prior to God, which is impossible. I think that is part of the reason why the writer of Genesis takes the role of a witness and let God speak for Himself.

  2. “To prove the existence of God from logical arguments would mean that there is a first principle prior to God, which is impossible.”

    Can you elaborate?

    This might be a misinterpretation, but do you mean that there is no principle prior to God because God is the first principle?

  3. Kudos to you for reviewing Genesis. You make a good many assumptions, but we all open a book with preconceived notions. I truly wish it were easier to step into the context of the primeval peoples of this time to better appreciate the phenomenal principles of this ancient book. It’s easy to take relatively new discoveries about science, government, psychology, etc. for granted when reading something known to be written more than a thousand years before the common era. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I’ll probably refer back to them, since I, too, am working on a series on Genesis from a writer’s pov.

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