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Authorship and writing
{{OldTestament}}[[image:Viennagenesis.jpg|right|thumb|A page of the Vienna Genesis, made in sixth century Syria, with an illustration of Jacob/Israel blessing his grandsons Ephraim and Mannasseh.]]The Book [[image:creationstars.jpg|right|thumb|An icon of '''Genesis''' contains God creating light, in the pre-history form of the people of Israel. It starts stars in the first part sky, on the [[Old Testament]] section fourth day of the [[Bible]] called the [[Pentateuch]], Torah, or Books of [[Moses]]. The name ''Genesis'' comes from the Greek for beginning, origin, or birth because of [[Septuagint]]'s division of the Pentateuch into five bookscreation story. Tradition has it that the Genesis was mostly written by the [[Prophet]] Moses 1,300 years before [[Christ]].
==Contents=====Summary===The '''Book of Genesis begins with ''', also known as the '''First Book of Moses''', is the story first book of the [[creationOld Testament]] and contains extremely old oral and written traditions of the worldpeople of Israel. The English title, '''Genesis''', comes from the fall of Greek translation ([[Adam and EveSeptuagint]] and , LXX)<ref>LXX Septuagint—an ancient translation of the subsequentOld Testament into Greek</ref> meaning "origins"; whereas, quite sinfulthe Hebrew title is derived from the opening sentence of the book, history translated "in the beginning". Tradition has it that this book was mostly written by the [[Prophet]] [[Moses]]<ref>For a brief biographical sketch of Moses also read Ex. 1–6</ref> 1,300 years before [[Christ]]. The influence of Genesis over all of Holy Scripture is demonstrated by it being quoted over 35 times in the children [[New Testament]] and hundreds of Adamallusions appearing in both Testaments. It tells The story line of Noah salvation begins in Genesis 3 and is not completed until Revelation 21 and the great flood22, where the tower eternal kingdom of Babel, and Abram and Melchizedekredeemed believers is illustrated.
It then tells of [[God]]'s call == Authorship and promise of writing ==The author does not identify himself in Genesis. However, both the [[salvation]] to [[AbrahamOld Testament]]<ref> Ex. 17:14; Num. 33:2; Josh. 8:31; 1 Kin. 2:3; 2 Kin. 14:6; Ezra 6:18; Neh. 13:1; Dan. 9:11, 13; Mal. 4:4)</ref> and the story of [[IsaacNew Testament]] and <ref>(Matt. 8:4; Mark 12:26; Luke 16:29; 24:27, 44; John 5:46; 7:22; Acts 15:1; Rom. 10:19; 1 Cor. 9:9; 2 Cor. 3:15) </ref> ascribe this composition to [[JacobMoses]], whom God named Israel, ending with <ref> cf. Acts 7:22. Moses is favoured as the settlement author in light of his educational background..</ref> even though the twelve tribes context of Israel (the families of the twelve sons of Jacob) in Egypt, during the time of Joseph's favor with the Egyptian Pharaohstory ends almost three centuries before Moses is even born. In traditional Church language, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are called the [[Patriarch]]s and are also [[Forefather]]s of ChristNo compelling reasons have ever come forth to challenge this authorship.
Genesis was written after the [[image:creationstarsExodus]] (ca.jpg|left|thumb|An icon of God creating light, in the form 1445 B.C.) of the stars in the skyIsraelite people, on but before the fourth day death of the Genesis creation storyMoses (ca. 1405 B.C.]]===Creation===The creation narrative in Genesis can be split into two sections - the first section starts with an account of the Creation of the universe by God, which occurs in six days, the second section is more human-oriented, and less concerned with explaining how the Earth, its creatures and its features came to exist as they are today).
Within == Major Theme ==This is the first section, on the first day God created light; on the second, the firmament book of heaven; on "beginnings". It is widely accepted <ref>Not just amongst the third, he separated water and land, Orthodox church but other christian denominations and created plant life; on the fourth day he created the sunJudaic faith.</ref>, moon, and stars; on that it contains the fifth day marine life early history of man and birds; on the sixth day land animalsof Israel, and theological themes revealed to man and woman. On the seventh day, the Sabbath, by God rested, and sanctified the dayHimself.
The second section origins of humanity start with the story of [[creation narrative explains that ]] of the world, the fall of [[Adam and Eve]] and the subsequent history of their descendants. It tells of Noah and the great flood, the tower of Babel, and Abram and Melchizedek and the earth was lifelessearly history of Israel, how God brought moisture to starting with the three patriarchs of the soil Hebrews, [[Abraham]], [[Isaac]], and [[Jacob]], and how man was formed from the dust (Adam translates from Hebrew to mean 'Red Earth')twelve tribes that were their descendants.
===Adam and Eve===The main theme throughout all of this history is that [[God formed Adam out of earth ("adamah"), ]]'s call and set him in the Garden promise of [[Edensalvation]], to watch over it. Adam is allowed to eat of all the fruit within it, except that of the "Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil." God then brings all the animals to Adam (2:19). In verse 2:18, God says he will make a helper for Adam, singular, and then creates the animals. In 2:20, Adam studies all the animals and names them. He does not find his helpmate and notices that all the other animals have helpmates for them (the male and female). When Adam realizes this, God then puts him into a deep sleep, takes a rib from his side, and from it forms a woman (called later "Eve"), to be his companion (his helpmate)Israel.
Later, starting in verse 3:1, Eve was convinced by [[Satan]], == Background ==The Book of Genesis covers the longest time span of any book in the form Bible. It starts with the creation of a serpent, to eat of the forbidden fruit, the only freedom that God had prohibited Adam world and Eve in Eden. This turning from God is also considered concludes as the [[original sin]] in traditional Christian interpretationHebrews head to Egypt. As punishment, the ground Genesis is cursednot treated as mere history, Adam but as a source of spiritual wisdom and Eve become mortal (because they no longer have access to a book inspired by God himself. The first three chapters of Genesis are reflected in the Tree last three chapters of Life)Revelation, the Alpha and they are driven out Omega of writings "given by inspiration of the gardenGod." (2 Tim 3:16). The entrance Out of all historical information available to the garden is then guarded by [[cherubimMoses]] with a flaming sword, he selected only what was related to the religious life of people. It most likely has been edited for this goal over time.
Adam and Eve initially have two sons, == Outline ==:''Main Article: [[Cain and AbelGenesis (Outline)]]. Eventually Cain grows envious === By Content ==='''By content''' this book is comprised of two sections; the favor found by his brother before God, and slays him. The first murder is that records four major events in the '''Early History of a brother. Cain is sentenced to wander over Man''' and the earth as a fugitive. He finally settles second four great men in the land '''Early History of Nod.Israel''':
===From Adam to Noah===Cain, the son # '''History of Adam, builds the first known city in the Bible man''' (Gen. 1–11) and calls it after the name of his son, Enoch ## Creation (Genesis 4:17)Gen. Further down the line of genealogy1, Lamech takes two wives (Genesis 4:192). Lamech's sons are ; ## the first dwellers in tents and owners of herds Fall (Genesis 4:20, Jabal is called the "father of such as dwell in tents"Gen. 3–5), and they are ; ## the earliest inventors of musical instruments Flood (Genesis 4:21Gen. 6–9) ; and workers in brass and iron ## the Dispersion (Genesis 4:22)Gen. These descendants of Cain know nothing about God (Genesis 4:1610, 11).
Another son of Adam, Seth, has in the meantime been born to Adam and Eve in place of the slain Abel # '''Patriarchal history''' (Genesis 4:25Gen. 12–50)## [[Abraham]] (Gen. Seth's descendants never lose thought of God (Genesis 412:1–25:268); ## [[Isaac]] (Gen. The tenth in regular descent is Noah (Genesis 521:1–35:1-29); ## [[Jacob]] (Gen. Adam and Eve also have other sons 25:21–50:14); and daughters ## [[Joseph]] (Genesis 5Gen. 30:4). In line with most of the other biblical characters born before the flood whose ages are provided, Adam lived until the age of 930 (Genesis 522–50:526).
Chapter 5 provides a === Literary structure ===The '''literary structure''' is built around the recurring phrase "the history/genealogy of descendants of Adam till Noah:Adam, Seth, Enosh, Kenan, Mahalalel, Jared, Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech, Noah " and is the basis for the '''[[Genesis (Outline)|outline]]'''
===Noah # The Creation of Heaven and the great flood===In Genesis chapter 6, verse 2, the sons of God Earth (the men who turned back to God after the original fall), took daughters of men (women who were in rebellion against God) to be their wives. Then, in Genesis 61:1–2:3, the Lord said; "My spirit shall not put up with humans for these lengths )# The Generations of time, for they are mortal flesh. In the future, humans shall live no more than 120 years." Then God looked down on the earth Heavens and was very displeased. He saw that the beautiful world He made was filled with the violence and hate of mankind; so He decided to cleanse the world with a flood and start again. God selected one man, Noah, and his family, to survive the flood, as Noah's family is still perfect genetically Earth (Genesis 62:4–4:926). God commanded him to build a large ark, since the work of destruction was to be accomplished by means of a great flood. Noah obeyed the command, entering the ark together with his family, into which they also brought a mating pair of each kind of animal and bird on Earth. Water burst out of the ground and fell from the sky, and the world was flooded, destroying all living beings except those in the ark. When the flood had subsided, Noah's family left the ark, and God enters into a covenant with Noah and all his descendants, the entire human race. Noah soon planted a vineyard (ix. 20) and drank of its wine. While he is intoxicated, Noah is shamelessly treated by his son Ham; upon awakening, Noah cursed the latter in the person of Ham's son Canaan, while his sons Shem and Japheth are blessed. Chapter 10 reviews the peoples descended from Japheth, Ham, and Shem. # The dispersion Generations of humanity into separate races and nations is described in the story of the Tower of Babel. Humanity is dispersed by a "confusion of tongues," which God brought about when men attempted to build a tower that should reach up to heaven. A genealogy is given of Shem's descendants. ===Abram and Sarai===[[imageAdam (5:Abraham.jpg|right|thumb|The Righteous Abraham, a major figure in the Book of Genesis.]]Terah, who lives in Ur of the Chaldees, has three sons1–6: Abram, Nahor, and Haran, father of Lot. Abram married Sarai. God soon directs Abram to leave his home. Abram obeys, emigrating with his entire household and Lot, his brother's son, to the land of Canaan. Here God appears to him and promises that the land shall become the property of his descendants. However, Abram is forced by a famine to leave Canaan for Egypt. Once there, the Pharaoh of Egypt takes possession of the beautiful Sarai (whom Abram has misleadingly represented as his sister; she was in fact his half-sister8). God afflicts Pharaoh with a disease, which the ruler recognizes as a sign from God; thus Pharaoh returns Sarai to Abram. Abram returns to Canaan and separates from Lot in order to put an end to land disputes. God again appears to Abram, promising him the whole country. ===Abram and Melchizedek===Lot is taken prisoner by invading kings from the East. Abram pursues the victors with his armed retainers. Returning with his warband after rescuing Lot and his clan, Abram is met by Melchizedek, the king and high priest # The Generations of Salem Noah (Jerusalem), who blesses him; in return Abram gives him a tithe of his booty, refusing his share of the same. After this exploit God again appears to Abram and promises him protection, a rich reward, and numerous progeny. These descendants will pass four hundred years in servitude in a strange land, but after God has judged their oppressors they shall leave the land of their affliction, and the fourth generation shall return to Canaan. ===Hagar and Ishmael===[[image6:Rublev Trinity.jpg|left|thumb|Rublev's famous icon of three angels, a type of the Holy Trinity, appearing to Abraham and Sarah.]]Sarai is still childless in her old age, so Sarai and Abram decide that they will produce an heir for Abram through his Egyptian handmaiden, Hagar. Abram takes her as a concubine and has a child with her named Ishmael. God again appears to Abram and enters into a personal covenant securing Abram's future9–9: God promises numerous progeny, including one to Sarah within a year, changes Abram's name to "[[Abraham]]" and that of Sarai to "[[Sarah]]," and institutes the circumcision of all males as an eternal sign of this covenant. This meeting, in which three angels appear to Abraham and Sarah, is the subject of [[Andrei Rublev]]'s famous icon, called either ''The Hospitality of Abraham'' or simply ''The Trinity''.29) ===Sodom and Gomorrah===Next, Abraham also hears that God intends to send [[angels]] to execute judgment upon the wicked inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah. He intercedes for the sinners, bargaining with God for the lowest number of righteous people required to save the cities. God agrees that he will spare the cities in their entirety if only ten righteous people are to be found therein. Two angels go to Sodom, where they are hospitably received by Lot. # The men Generations of the city, however, pound on Lot's door, demanding to have sexual relations with the visitors. Having thus shown that they deserved their fate, Sodom and Gomorrah are destroyed by fire and brimstone. Only Lot and his two daughters are saved. Lot's incestuous relationship with his daughters, which resulted in the births Shem: Genealogy of Ammon and Moab, is also described. Abraham journeys Shem to Gerar, the country of Abimelech. Here once again he represents Sarah as his sister, and Abimelech plans to gain possession of her. He desists on being warned by God.Terah (11:10–26)===# The birth Generations of Isaac===At last the long-expected son of Abraham and Sarah is born and receives the name of "Isaac" Terah (Itzhak11:27–25: "will laugh" in Hebrew11). At Sarah's insistence Ishmael, together with his mother Hagar, is driven out of the house. They also have a great future promised to them by God. Abraham, during the banquet that he gives in honor of Isaac's birth, enters into a covenant with Abimelech, who confirms his right to the well Beer-sheba.[[image:abrahamisaac.jpg|right|thumb|A Byzantine-style mosaic from the Basilica of San Vitale in Italy depicting the angel's visition to Abraham and his almost-execution of Isaac.]] ===# The near-sacrifice Generations of Isaac===Now that Abraham seems to have all his desires fulfilled, having even provided for the future of his son, God subjects him to the greatest trial of his faith by demanding Isaac as a sacrifice. Abraham obeys; but, as he is about to lay the knife upon his son, God restrains him, promising him numberless descendants. On the death of Sarah, Abraham acquires Machpelah for a family tomb. Then he sends his servant to Mesopotamia, Nahor's home, to find among his relations a wife for Isaac; and Rebekah, Nahor's granddaughter, is chosen. Other children are born to Abraham by another wife, Keturah, among whose descendants are the Midianites, and he dies in a prosperous old age. ===Esau and Jacob===After being married for twenty years Rebekah has twins by Isaac: Esau, who becomes a hunter, and Jacob Ishmael (Ya'akov25: "will follow"12–18), who becomes a herdsman. Jacob persuades Esau to sell him his birthright, for which the latter does not care; notwithstanding this bargain, God appears to Isaac and repeats the promises given to Abraham. His wife, whom he represents as his sister, is endangered in the country of the Philistines, but King Abimelech himself averts disaster. In spite of the hostility of Abimelech's people, Isaac is fortunate in all his undertakings in that country, especially in digging wells. God appears to him at Beer-sheba, encourages him, and promises him blessings and numerous descendants; and Abimelech enters into a covenant with him at the same place. Esau marries Canaanite women, to the regret of his parents. Rebekah persuades Jacob to dress himself as Esau, and thus obtain from his blinded by old age father the blessing intended for Esau. To escape his brother's vengeance, Jacob is sent to relations in Haran, being charged by Isaac to find a wife there. On the way God appears to him at night, promising protection and aid for himself and the land for his numerous descendants. Arrived at Haran, Jacob hires himself to Laban, his mother's brother, on condition that, after having served for seven years as a herdsman, he shall have for wife the younger daughter, Rachel, with whom he is in love. At the end of this period Laban gives him the elder daughter, Leah; Jacob therefore serves another seven years for Rachel, and after that six years more for cattle. In the meantime Leah bears him Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah; by Rachel's maid Bilhah he has Dan and Naphtali; by Zilpah, Leah's maid, Gad and Asher; then, by Leah again, Issachar, Zebulun, and Dinah; and finally, by Rachel, Joseph. He also acquires much wealth in flocks. ===Jacob wrestles with God===In fear of Laban, Jacob flees with his family, but soon becomes reconciled with Laban. On approaching his home he is in fear # The Generations of Esau, to whom he sends presents. While sleeping, a being (variously regarded as God, an angel, or a man36:1–37:1), appears to Jacob and wrestles with him. The mysterious one pleads to be released before daybreak, but Jacob refuses to release the being until he agrees to bless him. The being announces to Jacob that he shall bear the name "Israel," which means "one who wrestled with God," and is freed. # The meeting with Esau proves a friendly one, and the brothers separate reconciled. Jacob settles at Shechem. His sons Simeon and Levi take vengeance on the city Generations of Shechem, whose prince has raped their sister Dinah. On the road from Bethel, Rachel gives birth to a son, Benjamin, and dies. ===Joseph the dreamer===[[Joseph]], Jacob's favorite son, is hated by his brothers on account of his dreams prognosticating his future dominion, and on the advice of Judah is secretly sold to a caravan of Ishmaelite merchants going to Egypt. His brothers tell their father that a wild animal has devoured Joseph. [[image(37:Joseph.jpg|left|thumb|The Patriarch Joseph, who was sold into slavery in Egypt by his brothers.]]Joseph, carried to Egypt, is there sold as a slave to Potiphar, one of Pharaoh's officials. He gains his master's confidence; but when the latter's wife, unable to seduce him, accuses him falsely, he is cast into prison. Here he correctly interprets the dreams of two of his fellow prisoners, the king's butler and baker. When Pharaoh is troubled by dreams that no one is able to interpret, the butler draws attention to Joseph. The latter is thereupon brought before Pharaoh, whose dreams he interprets to mean that seven years of abundance will be followed by seven years of famine. He advises the king to make provision accordingly, and is empowered to take the necessary steps, being appointed second in the kingdom. Joseph marries Asenath, the daughter of the priest Poti-pherah, by whom he has two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, who were blessed by Israel, Ephraim with Israel's right hand, Manassah with Israel's left.  When the famine comes it is felt even in Canaan; and Jacob sends his sons to Egypt to buy grain. The brothers appear before Joseph, who recognizes them, but does not reveal himself. After having proved them on this and on a second journey, and they having shown themselves so fearful and penitent that Judah even offers himself as a slave, Joseph reveals his identity, forgives his brothers the wrong they did him, and promises to settle in Egypt both them and his father. Jacob brings his whole family, numbering 66 persons, to Egypt, this making, inclusive of Joseph and his sons and himself, 70 persons. Pharaoh receives them amicably and assigns to them the land of Goshen. When Jacob feels the approach of death he sends for Joseph and his sons, and receives Ephraim and Manasseh among his own sons. Then he calls his sons to his bedside and reveals their future to them. Jacob dies, and is solemnly interred in the family tomb at Machpelah. Joseph lives to see his great-grandchildren, and on his death-bed he exhorts his brethren, if God should remember them and lead them out of the country, to take his bones with them. The book ends with Joseph's remains being put "in a coffin in Egypt." This, however, does not imply that his family was unfaithful to his wishes, but rather this burial is only temporary. Obviously, they could not have left him unburied for the remainder of their stay in Egypt. They do, in fact, take his bones with them on their journey and bury him at Shechem, a plot of ground already owned by their family (Joshua 242–50:3226). ==Purpose and Interpretation==Genesis is not treated as mere history, but as a source of spiritual wisdom, a book inspired by God himself. Out of all historical information available to [[Moses]], he selected only what was related to the religious life of people. It most likely has been edited for this goal over time.
==Liturgical readings==
At [[Vespers]] before the [[Nativity of the Theotokos]], the reading is from [;&version=9;|Genesis 28:10-17], the story of Jacob's vision of a ladder which unites heaven and earth. This passage indicates the union of God with men which is realized most fully and perfectly, both spiritually and physically, in Mary the Theotokos, Bearer of God.
== References ==
<references />
==See also==
*[[Byzantine Creation Era]]
==External links==
*ro: [ - How to read Genesis] - Ieromonah Serafim Rose
*Nine [[homily|homilies]] delivered by St. [[Basil the Great]] on the cosmogony of the opening chapters of Genesis:
:# [ In the Beginning God Made the Heaven and the Earth]
:# [ The Creation of Fowl and Water Animals.]
:# [ The Creation of Terrestrial Animals.]
* [[w:Genesis|Book of Genesis, Wikipedia article]] [[Category:Old Testament]] (Source of Contents section.)
[[Categoryel:ScriptureΓένεσις]][[Categoryro:TextsCartea Facerii]]

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