Outline of Genesis


I. Introduction   [1:1 – 2:3]

II. Body [2:4 – 50:26]

A.   “The account of the heavens  the earth” (2:4 – 4:26)

B.   “The account of Adam’s line” (5:1 – 6:8)

C.   “The account of Noah” (6:9 – 9:29)

D.   “The account of Shem, Ham & Japheth” (10:1 – 11:9)

E.   “The account of Shem” (11:10 – 26)

F.   “The account of Terah” (11:27 – 25:11)

G.  “The account of Abraham’s son Ishmael” (25:12 – 18)

H.   “The account of Abraham’s son Isaac” (25:19 – 35:29)

I.    “The account of Esau” (36:1 – 37:1)

J.   “The account of Jacob” (37:2 – 50:26)



Genesis – gk. origins, source creation [LXX]

– Hb. opening words “In the beginning ..”  –both apt titles for the subject matter of this book.

Describes beginnings of universe, world, humankind, human institutions (eg. marriage), the nations  and the people of God (Israel).

There are many early stories of how the world came into being  [The Gilgamesh epics and the Sumerian Flood stories] – about the gods having wars in heaven, marriying each other and having children etc.

BUT Genesis protrayes God as ONE GOD who is creator[1v1], Lord and Judge. He is a God who is beyond time – the sun moon and stars were ofteh worshipped as gods BUT this God created all things


Traditionally Moses –  (c.1300 BC) – the book itself doesn’t say that it was written by Moses – there has been much debate which I won’t go into – Moses of course came many years after the events of Genesis but there is no reason why he could not have written this account drawing on the oral accounts of creation, flood, Abraham etc. past down from one generation to another.


Genesis divides into two neat section ch.1 – 11 Pre-Abraham and 12 – 50 Abraham on – There have been those who claim that Abraham on is history aBUT before that is just mythical story to try and explain the beginnings of the world.

However the literary structure of the book show that it is carefully structured and it is illogical to say it is two-types of literature when the author does not say that.

At the beginning of every section excluding the intro. — section not equal in length — the author put “The account of ….”



SEE outline!!

1:1 – 2:4.

It this section a poem or hymn? It is uncertain – but what is clear is that it carefully structure and in itself show the ordiliness and structure to God’s creative activity. God is a God of order and it is shown in this first Chapter.

Days of forming

Days of filling

1. “light” [v.3]

2. “water under the

expanse …water above

it” [v.7]

3a. “dry ground” [v.9]

3b. “vegetation” [v.11] 4. “lights” [v.14]

5. “every living/moving

thing in water …

every winged bird”


6a. “land animals and

creatures” [v.24]

“humankind” [v.26]

6b. “every green plant

for food” [v.30]

DAY – what is meant by this??  Heb. word covers a variety of periods —

          -the hours of daylight  – Genesis 29:7

7 “Look,” he said, “the sun {DAY} is still high; it is not time for the flocks to be gathered. Water the sheep and take them back to pasture.” (NIV)

          – a 24 hour day  Genesis 7:4 4 Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made.” (NIV)

          – an indefinite period – Genesis 35:3 3 Then come, let us go up to Bethel, where I will build an altar to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and who has been with me wherever I have gone.” (NIV)

What is important about the days of Genesis is that God worked for 6 ‘days’ – whatever that period is and then rested on the seventh day — this is the pattern for us to follow!!

***- Genesis chapter one is a wonderful hymn of praise to God  — there is a progression through the chapter of the God who brings into being a universe — sun, moon, stars, earth, sea and sky – all living creatures and plants and the pinnacle of his creation is people.

All this God creates from nothing. The word create in verse 1 implies out of nothing – God spoke [declared – not necessarily audibly but he willed it ] — and it was there.

NB – the word used in v.26 “made / formed” man is a different word because God used already created material.


Firstly the Bible is not a science text Book – it is not intended to be – it is God message to people about his love and offer of redemption.

That does not mean that the Bible is unscientific – but it is not written in scientific language –

Secondly it uses idiomatic language of its time – as we do – don’t impose on the language of the Bible what we would not would not impose on our own language.

ILLUS.: We speak abot the 4 corners of the globe!!! Does it have corners??

What about evolution?  We can’t deal with Genesis without mentioning it! Unfortunately discussion on this is often heated and not always well informed!

The point about evolution is that something that was not human changed into something that is human. Or  a fish eventually changed into a bird etc…

The word KIND in the Bible is not equivalent to oue English word species – it is probably like our word KIND  a loose grouping. Thus after it kind means that a cat will reproduce a cat, a dog a dog and so on. We know that there are sometime mutations and freaks but essentially the offspring is the same as the parent.

But the quest is always to answer the age old question – “Where did we come from?”

READ Young “In the beginning” pp.54-56.




The thing that makes people different is that we are “made in his image” — we are spiritual beings and NOT only physical – yes sin has damaged that image but it is because of that image that we are redeemable!

As we look at this passage we can’t help but get the impression that all these wonderful things were created for the benefit of people and for people to enjoy. It seems that all of God’s creative work was to provide a home for us to live in.

It is so easy to get involved in debating the difficulties of Genesis 1 – and there are difficulties, I will not pretend we have all the answers, but evolution has less answers–

BUT  look at the wonder of God’s creation and see how much there is to enjoy – The majestic mountains – the rolling plains – the pretty lake district – the raging sea – the animals – the birds – the insects – the plants –

Different smells – sizzling bacons – fresh coffee – newly baked bread

The sounds – birds – the wind and rain – children playing –

People – creative – art – music – love – kindness – opportunities that God has given us to enjoy — it is easy to focus on the bad things in the world — but it is not all bad – When God made it he said it was good — and as Christians, more than any others group we should appreciate and care for God’s creation.


Hymn 334 -HoF – v.2    Heaven above is softer blue,

Earth around is sweeter green;

Something lives in every hue

Christiless eyes have never seen:

Birds with gladder songs o’erflow,

Flowers with deeper beauties shine,

Since I know, as now I know,

I am His, and He is mine!


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