Stories of the creation, sin's entry into the world, and God's covenant with Abraham and his descendants.

Genesis 1-11 is primordial history.  God creates the world, which is good, but sin enters the world through human disobedience. Adam and Eve eat fruit that was forbidden to them, and Cain murders his brother Abel.  God commands Noah to build an ark in which pairs of all living things are preserved from the great flood that God sends to purge the earth. Afterward, people begin building a tower that would reach to heaven in order to make a name for themselves, but God confuses their speech and scatters them.

Genesis 12-25 tells of Abraham and his family. God promises that Abraham will receive a land and many descendents, and that through him all the families of the earth will be blessed.  Abraham's wife Sarah is barren, so he fathers a son Ishmael through Sarah's servant Hagar.  Messengers repeat God's promise, and in advanced old age, Sarah gives birth to Isaac.  God tests Abraham by commanding him to sacrifice Isaac, but before Abraham completes the sacrifice God intervenes and preserves the boy.  Isaac marries Rebekah, who bears Jacob and Esau.

Genesis 26-36 centers on Jacob.  Jacob barters for his brother's birthright and tricks his father Isaac into blessing him, then flees to his uncle Laban.   On the way he dreams of a ladder stretching to heaven, and God promises him land and descendants.  Jacob marries Laban's daughters Rachel and Leah, becomes rich, and has twelve sons.  Upon his return to Canaan, Jacob wrestles with an angel and is named "Israel."

Genesis 37-50 is the story of Joseph and his brothers.  Joseph was Jacob's favorite son.  His brothers become jealous and sell him as a slave into Egypt.  There Joseph is imprisoned on false charges, but after successfully interpreting Pharaoh's dreams, he is given responsibility over Egypt's food stores.  During a famine, Joseph's brothers come to Egypt for food.   At first Joseph hides his identity, but later reveals that he is their brother and brings the family to Egypt.

Gen 1 - Creation
Gen 3 - Adam and Eve fall into sin
Gen 9:8-17 - Rainbow covenant
Gen 12:1-3 - God's promise to Abraham
Gen 37 - Joseph and his brothers


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