corner graphic   Hi,    
Finding the new version too difficult to understand? Go to

Bible Commentaries

The Pulpit Commentaries

Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4
Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8
Chapter 9 Chapter 10 Chapter 11 Chapter 12
Chapter 13 Chapter 14 Chapter 15 Chapter 16
Chapter 17 Chapter 18 Chapter 19 Chapter 20
Chapter 21 Chapter 22 Chapter 23 Chapter 24
Chapter 25 Chapter 26 Chapter 27 Chapter 28
Chapter 29 Chapter 30 Chapter 31 Chapter 32
Chapter 33 Chapter 34 Chapter 35 Chapter 36
Chapter 37 Chapter 38 Chapter 39 Chapter 40
Chapter 41 Chapter 42 Chapter 43 Chapter 44
Chapter 45 Chapter 46 Chapter 47 Chapter 48
Chapter 49 Chapter 50

Book Overview - Genesis

by Joseph Exell

General Intoduction to the Old Testament


Now exegesis is one thing, and pulpit exhortation is another. A man may be a most useful preacher — he may have great powers of oratory, and may be enabled to enforce many practical and religious lessons with fervor and acceptance — without any pretence to the learning which is essential to a profound and thorough knowledge of Scripture. And such men are sometimes misled into the supposition that they can speak with authority on the meaning and interpretation of particular passages. The supposition is entirely baseless. Any man may gather for his own use, and that of others, the manna which lies everywhere upon the surface of the ground; but no man can without labor become master of all the hidden treasures which lie beneath. Holy Scripture contains all things necessary to salvation. A Christian child, an ignorant peasant, may have a deeper and more spiritual appreciation of all that is most necessary for the inner life of the regenerate soul than is possessed by the greatest master in Israel. But this saving knowledge, though infinitely more important than any other kind of knowledge, does not entitle any one to an opinion of the smallest value on the removal of exegetical difficulties, or on difficult and dubious questions of fact or doctrine. The remark of St. Jerome, that in his day there was no old woman so ignorant and so stupid as not to hold herself entitled to lay down the law on matters of theology, is true in this day; and it applies also to Biblical interpretation. But he who would aspire not only to found upon Scripture texts a moral and spiritual exhortation, but to ascertain and unfold the actual meaning of Scripture, — to decipher the oracles of God as the inspiring light gleams over the letters of the jeweled Urim, — must have at his command a multifarious knowledge. Without this he may be at home in the shallows which the child can ford, but not in the depths where the elephant must swim. Piety and charity are far more important than learning for the sympathetic appreciation of Divine revelation; and prayer is most important of all. Without these a man may know the Bible by heart, and yet possess no effectual, no spiritual knowledge of a single line; but even with these there are many passages which, without study and learning, can never be rightly understood. On such passages no unlearned and untrained person should profess the ability to form an opinion of any value. The discovery of the true meaning of many pages of Scripture, the power of looking at it in its right perspective, is only rendered possible by an acquaintance with the original languages, and with the historic and other conditions under which the Scriptures were written. But, in the last few years especially, the results of accumulated study on all questions connected with sacred literature have been placed within the reach of even the humblest students. To neglect these sources of information is inexcusable in any who really reverence the word of God. Without holiness and sincerity their thoughts on Scripture may be useless for the amelioration of mankind; but even if they possess these spiritual gifts, their teaching, not only on minor matters, but even in matters of extreme importance, will be liable (unles it be very humble and very careful) to be defaced by incessant errors of ignorant misinterpretation, which will be all the more dangerous in proportion as it is more dogmatic. The duty of study, in order to ascertain the true rendering and the original sense of Scripture, cannot be impressed too earnestly on all who are to profit by a Homiletic Commentary. It is study alone which has in any degree rescued the Bible from masses of untenable exegesis, traditionally repeated in dull catenae and biased commentaries. It is study alone which can keep alive and increase the light which has been kindled in recent years.

There are, says Coleridge, some truths so true that they lie in the lumber-room of the memory side by side with the most exploded errors. Now there are two considerations, which are often overlooked from their very obviousness, which are yet of primary importance to the understanding of Scripture. One is, that in reading the Old Testament we must always bear in mind that it is not a .single book, but a collection of books, written by authors very differently situated during a period of nearly 1000 years; that in fact we are dealing not with a book, but with a library and a literature. The other is, that the divisions which we call texts and chapters are entirely modern. There are some readers who may perhaps regard these suggestions as almost impertinently superfluous; but they are made not only under the strong conviction that their steady realization would save us from multitudes of difficulties, but also with the proof historically before us that it is the neglect of these very considerations which has caused many of the worst errors which the misuse and misinterpretation of Scripture has ever inflicted, and still continues to inflict, upon mankind.

"The giant forms of empires on their way
To ruin."

fling their colossal shadows across its pages. The Bible is at once a sacred Iliad and a sacred Odyssey. Now its pages ring with the battles of the warrior, with their confused noise and garments rolled in blood; now the sea is dashing in our faces as we traverse it in the ship of Jonah, or toss a night and day among its breakers with St. Paul. It has indeed deep speculations for the philosophic mind, but for the most part it is intensely concrete. There is in it no stifling system, no chilling gloom, no self-centered absorption, no frozen sea of abstractions. The sanctimonious and heresy-hunting formalism of the Pharisee, the selfish asceticism of the Buddhist, the chill uncertainty of the Confucian, find no sanction here; nor are we placed at the mercy of the systematizing refinements of the Schoolman, and the arbitrary tyranny of the Priest. The Bible shows us that religion may be as exquisite as music, as glowing as art, as rich as a gifted nature, as broad as a noble life. It is as universal as our race, as individual as ourselves.

β. Hence, to the Homilist and the Preacher, dullness is an inexcusable fault, and one which should be most earnestly avoided. If the preacher is dull — dull to all his hearers — he cannot possibly rouse their consciences or touch their hearts. Dullness might be pardonable if we had no better text-book than the Koran or the Tripitaka, lint it is hardly pardonable when our sacred Book is so intensely and widely humanitarian. Where the human, the concrete, and the individual element is introduced, there hearers must find something to interest and instruct them; for the experience of one heart is more or less the experience of all hearts, and there is no one who does not sympathize with the multitude in the Roman theatre who rose to shout their delighted applause on hearing the line of the dramatist —

"Homo sum; humani nihil a me alienum puto."

To the Buddhist the incidents, whether real or legendary, in the life of the Buddha Sakya Mouni furnish a theme of endless interest; the Chinese is never tired of even the dry and uneventful records of the biography of Kung fog tze; but the Bible furnishes us with thousands of thrilling incidents, and with human experiences under the most varied conditions. Not only so, but it comprises the writings of at least fifty different writers who lived in the most widely separated spheres. The voice which speaks to us is now that of a Gentile sorcerer, now that of a suffering prisoner, now that of a conquering king. Lawgivers like Moses, autocrats like Solomon, warriors like Joshua, historians like Samuel, prophets like Isaiah, priests like Ezra and Jeremiah and Ezekiel, poets like David, governors like Nehemiah, exiles like Daniel, peasants like Amos, fishermen like Peter and John, tax-gatherers like Matthew, rabbis like Paul, have all contributed their quota to the sacred page. We may truly say that it is like the great tree of northern fable, whose leaves were the lives of men. It is for this very reason that nations, like birds of the air, shelter themselves under the shadow of it. It is a vine of God's planting, which

"Reacheth to every corner under heaven
Deep-rooted in the living soil of truth;
So that men's hopes and fears take refuge ill.
The fragrance of its complicated glooms,
And cool impeached twilights."

III. After having endeavored to show the importance of these broad principles of interpretation — and I have signaled them out as the most neglected and the most important on which I could touch — it may now be useful to give a brief glance, from a homiletic point of view, at the great divisions of the Old Testament Scriptures.

The earliest trace of a classification of the Old Testament books is found in the Prologue to the Book of Ecclesiasticus, where we are told that Jesus, the son of Sirac, "had much given himself to the reading of the law, and the prophets, and other books of our fathers." In 2 Macc. 2:13 we are told how Nehemiah, "founding a library, gathered together the acts of the kings, and the prophets, and of David." This is clearly analogous to the division referred to by our Lord in Luke 24:44, "in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the Psalms." More frequently, however, the Jews, when speaking generally, comprised the Old Testament Scriptures under the head of the Law and the Prophets (Matthew 5:17; Luke 24:25). When entering more into detail they added "the writings" (Cethubim or Hagiographa). The Law (Torah) comprised the five hooks of the Pentateuch. The Prophets were divided into two classes-earlier and later. Under the head of Earlier Prophets the Jews placed the Books of Joshua, Judges, 1 and 2 Samuel, and 1 and 2 Kings. Under the Later Prophets they placed the three major prophets — Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel — and the twelve minor prophets. The Cethubim, again, were ranged under three divisions, of which the first, called Emeth ("truth"), from the initial letters of the three books, comprised Psalms, Proverbs, and Job; the second, the Canticles, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, and Esther, which were called the five Megilloth, from being written on separate "Rolls" for use at particular festivals; the third division contained Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah, and 1 and 2 Chronicles.

If we were entering on a critical introduction to the books of the Old Testament, this division — especially the position occupied in it by the Books of Daniel and Chronicles — would be found very important and suggestive. But for our present homiletic purpose it will be more convenient roughly to divide the books of Scripture into —

(1) the Law,
(2) the historic books,
(3) the poetic books,
(4) the prophetic books, and
(5) the philosophic books.

The division is only meant to be a general one for purposes of convenience; for some of the historic books contain prophetic passages, and some of the prophets contain historical sections; and, again, some of the poetic books are also prophetic, and large portions of the prophets are written in strains of the loftiest poetry, as also are parts of the books which we may term philosophic. The general divisions are, however, well marked and easily discernible.

1. The five books of the Pentateuch are partly composed of a history — first of the world, and then of the chosen family — up to the time of the entrance into Canaan, and partly of the system of Mosaic legislation.

β. In the story of the Creation the same truths are prominent, and the truths on which all may fix their thoughts are those of a loving Omnipotence and a glorious world. Similarly, in the story of the Fall of Man, while it would be possible to raise any number of perplexities which are incapable of present solution, it would argue a singular blindness if we missed the truth that the fall of Adam and Eve points the lesson of the fall of every man and woman brought into a sinful world. Be it a history or be it an allegory, we are in any case intended to read in it the causes of the loss of innocence, the certain consequences of retribution, and the Divine remedy for sin. And in the promise to Eve of that seed of the woman who should break the serpent's head we hear the first utterance of prophecy, and catch the first gleam of that light and hope which was to brighten into the perfect day. Have we not here the great elements which run through the whole Bible — "law and prophecy; the denunciation of sin and the promise of pardon; the flame which consumes and the light which comforts;" and is not this the whole of the covenant?

δ. After the remarkable genealogy of nations in the tenth chapter of Genesis, and one glance at the first colossal empires of the East, we are told of the ruin of an attempt to establish an universal dominion. That story of Babel is the Divine sanction of nationality. From that point, through forty chapters, the sacred historian leaves the history of the world to dwell on the records of three biographies. For not only is the individual life sacred to God, but those three patriarchs — Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob — were the fathers of the chosen people. They lived peaceful and, for the most part, uneventful lives in their pastoral tents; they were but men; they were not sinless; they sometimes fell into acts of cruelty, meanness, and deceit. But even with all their human weaknesses they were men eminently good, and their one great distinguishing feature was faith in God. It is this which, more than anything else, differentiates one life from another. We are helped to grasp the lesson by the striking way in which each one of them is silently contrasted with another who has his good things in this life — Abraham with Lot, Isaac with Ishmael, Jacob with Esau. Few lessons are more instructive than those which spring from drawing out this contrast in its details and in its results. But the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews points out to us the great lesson that it was faith which lit up their characters with every virtue and every grace; it was like one sunbeam brightening jewels of many colors.

α. No lessons could be more instructive for the homilist than those which he may find abundantly in the scenes and characters of the historic books; but among them the lesson of the history as a whole should not be overlooked. What conceivable explanation is there of the history of the Jews, with their inextinguishable vitality, and the fulfillment again and again of their unquenchable hopes, except the truth that God had chosen them, and that God was with them? They had no righteousness, but were a stiff-necked people. They had no splendid territory, but a strip of barren, narrow, ill-watered land. They had no grand genealogy — a Syrian ready to perish was their father. They were not powerful enough of themselves even to conquer their own small land. They were not united; Ephraim envied Judah, and Judah vexed Ephraim. They were not free, but became the prey of nation after nation. They were not a maritime people, for their strip of sea-coast was mostly harborless, and not their own. They had no commercial industry like Venice or Holland; no art like Greece; no arms like Rome; no colonies like England; no philosophy like Germany. They were constantly starting aside like a broken bow. Yet no power has ever been able to crush, no persecution to destroy them. They have influenced, taught, pervaded mankind. Their sacred book is the sacred book of humanity, their religious ideas are becoming more and more the religious ideas of the race. What explains it all, and alone explains it? Nothing but the truth that

"God showed his word unto Jacob, his statutes and ordinances unto Israel. He hath not dealt so with any nation, neither have the heathen knowledge of his law."

To foretell was one of the functions, but was not the main function, of the Prophets. A mere glance at their writings is sufficient to show that they were the moral and spiritual teachers of the people, the interpreters of God's will, the forth-tellers of Divine truth, far more than the foretellers of future circumstances. The horizon of their vision indeed, and especially its Messianic hope, extended even to the distant future; but it was not like the view of a plain outstretched before them, but like that of a mountain chain, towering range after range and peak beyond peak to the crowning glory of one eternal summit — the view of aeon after aeon, all tending to the one far-off Divine event — the kingdom of God and of his Christ. The Hebrew Prophets were patriots, statesmen, reformers, leaders of the people.

"In them is plainest taught and easiest learnt
What makes a nation happy and keeps it so,
What ruins kingdoms and lays cities flat."
(66) 'Milton, 'Paradise Regained.'

β. The Book of Ecclesiastes is one of the most singular books of the canon, and one which presents us with problems which have not yet been finally solved. It is invaluable as the faithful record and confession of a life which had been taught by evil that good is best; of a career which had struggled through luxury, sensuality, cynicism, and speculative despair into a firm conviction that to fear God and keep his commandments was the whole duty of man.

γ. Lastly, in the Book of Job, whatever may be the ultimate conclusion as to its date, authorship, and unity, we have a drama of inexhaustible interest, and one which has attracted the attention of many of the greatest thinkers, ancient and modern. The problem of the sufferings of the good does not indeed find in this book its final solution, for many of the best and noblest of mankind have not been restored, as Job was, to their old prosperity, but have died in anguish, loneliness, and apparent failure. But to the Book of Job we owe, among many other lessons the most splendid vindication ever written of innocence against the uncharitable suspicion of those who see it overwhelmed with suffering, and the most majestic description of that power and majesty and love of God which are displayed in the works of his hands, and which make us involuntarily exclaim that "though he slay us, yet will we trust in him."



1. Its title. Like the other four divisions of the Pentateuch, the First Book of Moses derives its title in the Hebrew Scriptures from its initial word, Bereshith; in the LXX., which is followed by the A.V., it is designated by a term which defines its contents, γενεσις (Genesis). γενεσις referring to the source or primal cause of either thing or person, the work to which it has been assigned as a descriptive appellation has been styled the Book of Origins or Beginnings (Ewald); but since the LXX. employ Vedette as the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew Tol'doth, which signifies not the causes, but the effects, not the antecedents, but the consequents of either thing or person (vid. 2:4: Exp.), the writing might be more exactly characterized as the Book of Evolutions or Developments.

2. Its contents. As a Book of Origins or Beginnings, it describes the creation or absolute origination of the universe, the formation or cosmical arrangement of this terrestrial sphere, the origin of man and the commencement of the human race, while it narrates the primeval histories of mankind in the three initial ages of the world the Antediluvian, the Postdiluvian, and the Patriarchal. Subsidiary to this, it depicts the pristine innocence of man in his first or Edenic state; recites the story of his fall through the temptation of an unseen adversary, with the revelation of Divine mercy which was made to him in the promise of the woman's seed, and the consequent establishment on earth of a Church of believing sinners, looking forward to the consummation of that glorious promise; traces the onward course of the divided human family, in the deepening impiety of the wicked, and the decaying godliness of the righteous, till, ripe for destruction, the entire race, with the exception of one pious household, is wiped out or washed off from the face of the ground by the waters of a flood; then, resuming the thread of human history, after first sketching the principal features of that appalling catastrophe, pursues the fortunes of this family in its three sons, till it sees their descendants dividing off into nations, and spreading far and wide across the surface of the globe; when, returning once more to the original center of distribution, it takes up the story of one of these collateral branches into which the race has already separated, and carries it forward through successive stages till it connects itself with the later history of Israel. Or, regarding the work in the other mentioned aspect, as a Book of Evolutions or Developments, by which the standpoint of the writer is changed and brought round from the historical to the prophetic, from the a posteriori to the a priori, after sketching in a preliminary section the original creation of the universe and the arrangement of the present terrestrial cosmos, in ten successive sections it relates the Tol'doth or generations, i.e. the subsequent evolutions or onward developments of the cosmos which lead down to the point of departure for the history of Israel narrated in the ensuing books. The main divisions of the Book, according to the principle just stated, am indicated by the formula: "These are the generations of...." The following tabular view of these successive sections will afford an idea of the wide range of topics comprehended in the First Book of Moses: —

Section 1. The beginning

Genesis 1:1-2:3

Section 2.

The generations of the heavens and the earth

Genesis 2:4-4:26

Section 3.

The generations of Adam

Genesis 5:1-6:8

Section 4.

The generations of Noah

Genesis 6:9-9:29

Section 5.

The generations of the sons of Noah

Genesis 10:1-11:9

Section 6.

The generations of Shem

Genesis 11:10-26

Section 7.

The generations of Terah

Genesis 11:27-5:11

Section 8.

The generations of Ishmael

Genesis 25:12-18

Section 9.

The generations of Isaac

Genesis 25:19-35:29

Section 10.

The generations of Esau

Genesis 36:1-37:1

Section 11.

The generations of Jacob

Genesis 37:2-50:26


I. Its sources of information. That writings of an earlier period may have been employed in the compilation of the present narrative, however alarming the idea was when first propounded, and notwithstanding the fact that it is still frequently advanced in a hostile spirit, is now seen to be a comparatively innocuous hypothesis, at least when considered in itself. That the author of the Book of Origins should have availed himself of pre-existing materials in the composition of his great historical work seems no more an unreasonable suggestion than that the four evangelists should have drawn upon already circulating memoirs of our Lord's life and work in the construction of their respective Gospels. Nor does any sober critic or intelligent student of the Bible now believe that such a supposition is fatal to the claims either of the Pentateuch and the Gospels to be received as canonical Scriptures, or of their writers to be regarded as inspired teachers. Accordingly, the documentary hypothesis, as it is now familiarly styled, counts among its supporters not a few of those who maintain the Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch, and therefore of Genesis, as well as the vast majority, if not all, of those by whom that authorship is assailed. The germ of the theory appears to have suggested itself so early as the seventeenth century to Hobbes, who wrote in his 'Leviathan' "that the Pentateuch seems to have been written rather about than by Moses" ("Videtur Pentatcuchus potius de Mosequam a Mose scriptus"), though doubtless it was based upon originals from his hand. About the beginning of the eighteenth century Vitriuga, in his 'Observationes Sacrae,' propounded the view that Moses had employed sketches written by the patriarchs: "Schedas et scrinia Patrum (or ὑπομνη ì<sup>ματα</sup> Patriarcharum) apud Israelitas conservata Mosen opinamur, collegisse, digessisse, ornasse, et ubi deficiebant compilasse, et exiis priorem librorum suorum confecisse." Plausible and probable as this conjecture was, it seems to have attracted little attention to the subject of the composition of the Book of Genesis beyond causing written sources to be assumed by one or two subsequent writers, such as Clericus and Richard Simon. In 1753 the well-known theory of two principal documents, an Elohistic and a Jehovistic, was broached by Astruc, a Parisian doctor and professor of medicine, who believed ten additional but smaller memoirs to have been also employed by Moses. A few years later substantially the same view was espoused and recommended to public favor by the German scholar Eichhorn. In the hands of Ilgen and his follower Hupfeld the two original or primary documents were subdivided into three, a first Elohist, a second Elohist, and a Jehovist, all of which were manipulated and pieced together by an editor or redactor. In 1815 Yater, and in 1818 Hartmann, adopted the idea that the Pentateuch, and in particular Genesis, was composed of a number of disconnected fragments; but this was so obviously erroneous that in due time it was followed by the supplementary hypothesis of De Wette, Bleek, Stahelin, Tuch, Lengerke, Knobel, Bunsen, Delitzsch, and others, which recognized two documents, of which the older and the principal, that of the Elohist, was a continuous narrative, extending from the creation to the close of the conquest as recorded in the Book of Joshua; while the other, that of the Jehovist, was the work of a later writer, who made use of the earlier as the foundation of his composition. The latest form of the theory is that of Ewald, who claims for the Great Book of Origins at least seven different authors (thus reducing the Pentateuch, as Keil observes, into atoms), and assigns the Book of Genesis, in its present state, to an author whom he designates as "the fourth or fifth narrator of original history," who must have lived in the eighth century in the kingdom of Judah.

The supposed basis of this hypothesis of supplements is —

1. The alternate use of the Divine names Elohim and Jehovah: e. g. Genesis 1:1 — Genesis 2:3; 5:1-29a, 30-32; 6:9-22; 7:11 — 8:16a, 17-19; 9:1-17, 28, 29; 10.; 11:10-32; 12:5, 6, 8a; 13:18; 17.; 19:29; 20:1-17; 21:2-32; 22:1-13, 19-24; 23.; 25:1-20, 24-34; 26:34, 35; 27:46; 28:1-12, 17-21a, 22; 29.; 30:1-13, 17-24a; 31:4-48, 50-54; 32:1-12,14; 33; 36; 37:2-36; 39:6-20; 40-50., are distinguished by the employment of the first of these Divine names, and are supposed to belong to the Elohistic document; while Genesis 2:3 — 4:26; 5:29b; 6:1-8; 7:1-10, 16b; 8:20-22; 9:18-27; 11:1-9; 12:1-4, 7, 8b, 9-20; 13:1-17; 14-16.; 18:1 — 19:28, 30-38; 20:18; 21:1, 33, 34; 22:14-18; 24.; 25:21-23; 26:1-33; 27:1-45; 28:13-16, 21b; 30:14-16, 24b-43; 31:1-3, 49; 32:13, 15-32(?); 37:1 (?); 38; 39:1-5, 21-23, are constituent parts of the supplementary or Jehovistic document, being characterized by the use of that particular name for the Deity.

2. Contradictory accounts of the same event: as, e.g., the narratives of

(1) the Creation (cf. Genesis 1., Genesis 2:4-25);

(2) the Flood (cf. Genesis 6:9-22 with 7:1-10, and in particular note the apparent discrepancy between the numbers of the animals to be taken into the ark;

(3) the boundaries of the promised land (cf. Genesis 15:18 with Numbers 34:1-12).

3. Variations in the same legend or story: as, e.g.,

(1) the Abrahamic covenant (cf. Genesis 15. with 17., 18.);

(2) the taking of Sarah (cf. Genesis 12:10-19 with Genesis 20:1 and Genesis 26:1-11);

(3) the story of Hagar and Ishmael (cf. Genesis 16:9-21 with Genesis 21:9-21);

(4) the covenant with Abimclech (cf. Genesis 21:22-34 with Genesis 26:26-33);

(5) the successive consecrations of Bethel (cf. Genesis 28:18, Genesis 19; 35:14, 15);

(6) the story of Esau and his birthright (cf. Genesis 25:27-33; Genesis 27:1-40).

4. Diversity of language and ideas in the two documents — the Elohist generally depicting the simple and inartificial manners of primeval times, and the Supplementer or Jehovist moving in a circle of ideas that belong to the era of Mosaic laws and Levitical institutions. Cf. for Elohistic ideas, the longevity of the patriarchs, 5.; the consecration of pillars, Genesis 28:18f; 35:14f; the giving or setting up of a covenant, 6:18; 9:9, 11, instead of the cutting of a covenant, as in Exodus 24:8; and for Elohistic words and phrases — "possession, property," Genesis 17:8; 48:4; "kind, sort," 1:11, 12, 21, 24, 25; 6:20; 7:14; "in the self-same day," 7:13; 17:23; "the land of wanderings," Genesis 17:8; 28:4; — for Jehovistic ideas, 4:17-24 (the arts and handicrafts of civilization); Genesis 3:8-24; 18:1 (Theophanies); Genesis 4:3, 4; 8:20; 15:9 (sacrificial worship); Genesis 12:7; 13:4; 21:33 (the erection of altars); Genesis 7:2, 8; 8:20 (the distinction between clean and unclean animals); 5:29; 9:25-27 (the prophetic element); and Jehovistic words and phrases — יָער 2:7, instead of בָרָא Genesis 1:1; אִישׁ<sup> </sup> וְאִשְׁתּוׄ. 7:2, instead of זָכָר<sup> </sup> וּנְקֵבָה 1:27; the inf. absol, for emphasis, Genesis 2:16,: 17; 3:4, 16; 16:10; 30:16; the suffix מוׄ Genesis 9:26, 27; the Divine name עֶלּיוׄן Genesis 14:18-20, 22. But, without replying to these so-called arguments seriatim, it may be answered, as against the entire hypothesis, that it is —

1. Unnecessary, not being required for a perfectly satisfactory elucidation of either the use of the Divine names, or the so-called contradictions, variations, and peculiarities that have been detected by the microscopic criticism to which the Book has been subjected (via. the exposition of the text in the body of the work).

2. Unproved.

(1) As to the existence of the documents,. — though admitted to be probable, the use of such writings by the author of Genesis is at the best inferential and problematical.

(2) As to the supposed evidence in support of this conjecture, — it is impossible to apportion the narrative into Elohistic and Jehovistic sections, so that even the former shall compose one continuous narrative, without the expenditure of a vast amount of ingenuity, and the exercise of a high degree of arbitrariness in first disintegrating the body of the Book, and then recombining the pieces, with the assistance of sundry self-invented supplements — the so-called contradictions in event and legend existing solely in the imagination of the critic, not in the work of the author, and the alleged peculiarities in thought and diction of each document having parallels in the other, except in cases which admit of easy explanation.

3. Incomplete; that is to say, not accounting for all the facts of the case that require to be explained, as, e.g. —

(1) The employment of the name Jehovah Elohim in 2:4; 3:24.

(2) The omission in the fundamental or Elohistic document of sections that are indispensable not only to the continuity of the narrative, but to the right apprehension of its meaning, as, e.g., between Genesis 2:3 and Genesis 5:1, the incident of the Fall, thus rendering Genesis 6:9-13 an enigma; between 5:32 and 6:9, the corruption of the human race, without which the Deluge remains inexplicable; between Genesis 6:22 and 7:11, the Divine communication which advertised Noah of the exact moment when the Flood should commence; between Genesis 17:27 and 19:29, the story of the destruction of the cities of the plain, which alone renders the latter verse intelligible.

(3) Allusions in the fundamental document to events and incidents recorded in the Supplementer, as, e.g., Genesis 5:3 to 4:25; 5:29 to Genesis 3:17; 17:20 to Genesis 16:10; 19:29 to 13:10-13; 18:17-32, and 19:1-25; Genesis 21:9 to 16:5. If these difficulties are not sufficient in themselves to discredit the hypothesis of documents altogether, they are at least of weight enough to show that, while the original conjecture of Vitringa may be true, the modern critical theory of an Elohistic and a Jehovistic author of the Book of Genesis has not yet been placed beyond the region of debate.

II. Its authorship. Principally on the ground of certain traces of a later age

1. The formula "unto this day" — Genesis 19:37, 38; 26:33; 32:32; 35:20; 47:26.

2. Statements that seem to presuppose the occupation of the land — Genesis 12:6; 13-20 36:31; 40:15.

3. The Palestinian standpoint of the writer — 12:8; 50:11.

4. The explanation of ancient names of cities by the introduction of names of a later origin — Genesis 14:2, 8, 7, 17; 23:2; — 5:19.

5. The mention of usages and customs that are alleged to belong to a later period — Genesis 4:3, 4, 14; 7:8; 8:20; 17:26; 24:22, 30; 25:22; 37:3, 23), the claims of Moses to be regarded as the author of the Book of Genesis, and indeed of the Pentateuch generally, have since the Reformation been vigorously assailed. Prior to that profound theological and religious awakening, it is but fair to acknowledge that certain grave doubts had been expressed as to whether the great Book of the Law should be attributed, either in whole or in part, to the Hebrew lawgiver. Ptolemaeus, the Valentinian, in the second century, ascribed only a portion of the work to Moses; the Nazarenes, an ascetic sect spoken of by John Damascenus ('De Heraesibus,' ch. 19.), rejected the entire composition as spurious; while, according to the Clementine Homilies (3:47), the present Pentateuch was written after Moses' death. There does not appear, however, to have been any serious questioning on the subject of the Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch as a whole, or of Genesis as a part of that larger work, until the sixteenth century, when it began to be insinuated by Masius, Spinoza, and Anton Van Dale, that not Moses, the Hebrew lawgiver, but Ezra, the priest-prophet of the Restoration, was the first composer of those parts of sacred Scripture. The publication of Astruc's views in 1753 gave a decided impulse to the science of historic criticism, which in course of time resulted in the widespread acceptance by Biblical scholars of the opinion that, while containing a slight substratum of Mosaic legislation, the present Pentateuch is not the work of the Hebrew lawgiver, but of an unknown writer belonging to a later period who made use of pre-existing documents, of which the principal were the Elohistic and Jehovistic memoirs already referred to. At the present moment this view extensively prevails in both England and Germany. At the same time, consistency requires it to be stated that, in the minds of those who have rejected the Mosaic authorship of the Book of Origins, the most hopeless perplexity reigns as to the person to whom that honor should be assigned. It is vain to look for anything like unanimity of sentiment among modern students of the higher historic criticism concerning the authorship and date of composition of the two principal documents or source writings (Quellenschriften), as Bleek designates them, out of which the first fifth of the Pentateuch was manufactured. In the judgment of Astruc and Eichhorn, the documents referred to were pre-Mosaic, and the Book of Genesis was the handiwork of Moses; but so safe and reasonable a solution of the authorship of Genesis has long been left behind by their scholars, the composition of the earliest or fundamental document being assigned by Stahelin to an unknown writer in the times of the Judges (Colenso suggests Samuel as the anonymous Elohist), by Bleek to a historian who flourished in the time of Saul, by Killisch to a contemporary of David, by Ewald to a brilliant Levite in the age of Solomon, by De Wette to an author in the time of the Kings, and by Bohlen to a literary artist who wrote as late as the captivity, or even later — the Jehovist or Supplementer in each case writing at a period considerably posterior. Accordingly, where such diversity of sentiment exists, the Biblical student may fairly hesitate to reject the pre-Reformation doctrine of the Mosaic authorship of Genesis, and all the more that it is still supported by such excellent names as those of Sack, Hengstenberg, Havernick, Ranke, Dreschler, Baumgarten, Kurtz, Keil, and others, and is not so entirely destitute of evidence as is sometimes alleged.

1. Without attaching that importance to the direct testimony of the Pentateuch to its Mosaic authorship which it seems to possess in the eyes of some apologists (Exodus 17:14, 24:3, 4, and Numbers 33:2 can scarcely be pressed to mean more than that Moses composed the different writings of which they speak; while Deuteronomy 17:18, 19; 28:58, 61; 29:19, 20, 27; 30:10; 31:9-11, 24-26 do not appear so conclusively to asset the composition by Moses of the entire law, as understood by Jewish tradition, as to preclude the opinion that the passages in question only refer to the Mosaic legislation proper), it may be maintained that the number and character of the direct references in the subsequent Hebrew Scriptures to the Pentateuch as the work of Moses are such as to involve the truth of his claim to be regarded as its author. In every one of these Scriptures there is a clear recognition of the Pentateuch as having been in existence at a time prior to their composition, i.e. from the days of Joshua onward; in which ease its only conceivable author was the celebrated lawgiver of the Hebrews.

2. It is allied to this to say that the historical development of the theocratic nation is inconceivable except upon the hypothesis of the Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch, and therefore of Genesis. To imagine that the complicated system of the Mosaic institute gradually took shape, and perpetuated itself through several centuries, working itself in, by slow degrees, to the national life and conscience, without any accredited historical documents, in such a way that when at length the history of the nation came to be written, it should by every separate writer be judged necessary to misrepresent the facts of the case, by promulgating the belief that their great national institutions were the outcome of a previously-recorded writing from the hand of Moses, rather than that that writing (so-called by Moses) was the free historic product of their institutions — to accept this as the true solution of the inter-relation between Hebrew literature and Hebrew life is to make a far greater demand upon the historic faculty than to believe that the Pentateuch came first from Moses, and the national character and life were framed and molded by the Pentateuch.

3. Then there is the fact that the Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch, and therefore of Genesis, was universally recognized by Jewish sects and parties — by Pharisees, and Sadducees, and Essenes; by Alexandrian as well as by Palestinian Jews; and by the Samaritans as well as by the inhabitants of Judaea.

4. The testimony of Christ and his apostles lends its weight to this conclusion. Even Bleek with sufficient candor admits that this was the view entertained at the time of Christ and his apostles, as Philo and Josephus expressly testify; and the force of this admission is not rendered nugatory by the oft, quoted dicta that neither Christ nor his apostles came into the world to teach criticism (Clericus), and that faith in Christ cannot set limits to critical inquiries (De Wette); for, as Hermann Witsius justly observes, it is quite true that neither Christ nor his apostles were critical scholars in the modem acceptation of the term; but they were certainly teachers of the truth who did not come into the world to fortify popular errors by their authority.

5. An additional argument may be derived from the internal unity of the Pentateuch, and in particular of the Book of Genesis. It is true that in one sense this is the very question in dispute, whether Genesis is the work of one or morn authors; but, as its (alleged) composite character is always paraded as an argument for its non-Mosaic authorship, it seems both reasonable and fair to claim any traces of internal unity which the writing may possess as supporting the opposite conclusion. Now one obvious mark of unity which belongs to Genesis is the exact chronological thread running through it from the beginning to the end; and another is the interdependence of all its parts, of which no section of any length can be removed without introducing into the narrative an inexplicable lacuna; while a third is the similarity of language which pervades it throughout, no one, as Keil observes, having been able clearly to establish a twofold usus loquendi in its pages. And this being the case, it is only a legitimate inference that such internal unity is more likely to have been impressed upon it by the hand of Moses than by that of a late redactor. And, 6. in proof of the Mosaic authorship of Genesis there is the insufficiency of evidence in support of every other hypothesis.


1. Its method. On this point, after what already has been written, a few words will suffice. The most cursory reader of the Book of Genesis cannot fail to discern that, so far from its being open to the charge of incoherency and want of arrangement which has been brought against it by some of its less scrupulous assailants, it is all through constructed on a simple, perfectly intelligible, and well-sustained plan. After the initial section, in which the sublime program of the Divine cosmogony is unfolded, it divides itself into ten successive books, in each of which the story of human history is advanced a stage, till the period of the first captivity is reached. While possessing to each other the very closest of relations as parts of the same connected composition, it is observable that these successive subdivisions have the appearance of being each in itself a complete piece or monograph on the subject to which it relates. The cause of this, however, is not that each has been a separate document prepared without relation to the others, possibly at a different time and by a different hand, as is so commonly suggested; it rather seems attributable to the peculiar genius of Hebrew composition, which, being governed less by logo than by dramatic interest, advances more by sketching tableaux of events and scenes than by presenting a detailed narration of each historical incident exactly in its proper time and place. A remembrance of this will go far to account for the appearance of repetition and prolixity which in some parts the narrative exhibits. Then it is deserving of attention that, while treating of the fortunes of the human race, the record, almost instantly on starting, confines its regards, in the earlier portion, to one particular section (the line of Seth), and, in the later, to one particular family (the children of Abraham, in the line of Isaac and Jacob), and deals with the other branches of the human family only in so far as they are needful to elucidate the story of the chosen seed. And still further it is noticeable that, in the elaboration of his plan, the author is always careful to keep the reader's eye fixed upon the special line whose fortunes he has set himself to trace, by dismissing at the outset of each section with a brief notice those collateral branches, that nothing may afterwards arise to divide the interest with the holy seed, and the narrative may flow on uninterruptedly in the recital of their story. "The materials of the history," writes Keil, "are arranged and distributed according to the law of Divine selection; the families which branched off from the main line are noticed first of all; and when they have been removed from the general scope of the history, the course of the main line is more elaborately described, and the history itself is carried forward. According to this plan, which is strictly adhered to, the history of Cain and his family precedes that of Seth and his posterity; the genealogies of Japheth and Ham stand before that of Shem; the histories of Ishmael and Esau before those of Isaac and Jacob; and the death of Terah before the call and migration of Abraham to Canaan;" and "in this regularity of composition," he further adds, "the Book of Genesis may be clearly seen to be the careful production of one single author, who looked at the historical development of the human race in the light of Divine revelation, and thus exhibited it as a complete and well-arranged introduction to the history of the Old Testament kingdom of God."

2. Its purpose. Consideration of the plan naturally leads to an examination of the purpose of the Book. And here it is at once obvious that Genesis was not designed to be a universal history of mankind. But just as little was it written (by a post-Mosaic author) with the special view of glorifying Judaism by tracing back the roots of its institutions to a hoary antiquity. It had indeed an aim which may be said to have been Jewish, but it had also a design which was cosmopolitan. As an integral part of the Pentateuch, it was intended to unfold the necessity and nature of the new economy which was about to be established; to show how the theocratic institutions of salvation had been rendered indispensable in consequence of the fall and the entire corruption of the race so signally punished by the Deluge, and again so strikingly displayed by the tower-builders of Babel; and to make it clear that they were not a new departure on the part of God in his efforts at redemption, but only a further development of the line he had pursued from the beginning. As the opening volume of revelation in which the history of salvation was to be recorded, it was designed to exhibit the primeval condition of the human race, with its melancholy lapse into sin which first of all rendered salvation necessary, and to disclose the initial movements of that Divine grace which ever since had been working for man's restoration, and of which the theocracy in Israel was only a specific manifestation. Thus while the Book of Genesis could not fail to be possessed of undying interest to every member of the Hebrew Church and nation, it is likewise a writing of transcendent value and paramount importance to every scion of the human race, containing as it does the only authentic information which has ever yet reached the world of the original dignity of mankind, and of the conditions under which it commenced its career on earth; the only satisfactory explanation which has ever yet been given of the estate of sin and misery in which, alas, it all too plainly finds itself today, and the only sufficient gospel of salvation that has ever yet been recommended to its attention and acceptance.


Of the exceptionally rich and varied literature on Genesis, the principal works may be classified as under: —


1. Foreign. Bleek: Introduction to the Old Testament, Berlin, 1865; London, 1875. Bohlen: Introduction to Genesis, Konigsberg, 1835; London, 1855. De Wette: Introduction to the Old Testament, Berlin, 1817; Boston, 1844. Ewald: History of Israel, vol. 1., Tubingen, 1843; London, 1869. Havernick: Introduction to the Pentateuch, Erlangen, 1837; Edinburgh, 1850. Hengstenberg: The Genuineness of the Pentateuch, Berlin, 1831-1839; Edinburgh, 1847. Keil: Introduction to the Old Testament, Dorpat, 1868; Edinburgh, 1869. Kurtz: History of the Old Covenant, Berlin, 1853; Edinburgh, 1859. Oehler: Theology of the Old Testament, Tubingen, 1873; Edinburgh, 1874.

2. English. Colenso: The Pentateuch and the Book of Joshua critically examined, London, 1862-1871. Davidson: Introduction to the Old Testament, London, 1862. Home: Introduction to the Critical Study of the Scriptures, London, 1856 (tenth edition). Hamilton: The Pentateuch and its Assailants, Edinburgh, 1852. Macdonald's Introduction to the Pentateuch, Edinburgh, 1861. Quarry: Genesis and its Authorship, London, 1873.


1. Patristic. The writings of Irenaeus, Origen, Eusebius, Theodoret, Jerome, Chrysostom, and Augustine.

2. Rabbinical. The works of Jarchi, Aben Ezra, and David Kimchi.

3. Reformation. Luther: Enarrationes in Primum librum Mose, Wittemberg, 1544; republished by Hengstenberg, Berlin, 1831. Calvin: Commentarii in Genesin, Geneva, 1563. Mercerus: Commentarius in Genesin, Geneva, 1598. Drusius: Ad loca difficiliora Pentateuchi, Franeker, 1617. Grotius: Annotationes ad Vetus Testamentum, Paris, 1641. Clericus: Translatio librorum V.T. cum paraphrasi perpetua, Comment. philol., dissertt, critt., &c., Amsterdam, 1693-1731. Venema: Dissertationes ad Genesin, 1747. Dathius: Pentateuchus ex recensione Textus Hebraei, Leipsic, 1791. Amongst Roman Catholic writers should be mentioned Pererius: Commentarii et disputationes in Genesin, Lugduni, 1594. Amongst English works, Willet's Hexapla, London, 1632; the Critici Sacri, London, 1690; and M. Poll, Synopsis Criticorum, London, 1699, in which the opinions of the Reformers and their successors are collected.

4. Modern.

(1) Foreign. Exegetical: — Delitzsch: Commentary on Genesis, third edition, Leipsic, 1860. Keil and Delitzsch: Commentary on the Pentateuch, Leipsic, 1861; Edinburgh, 1864. Lunge: Commentary on Genesis, Bohn, 1864; Edinburgh, 1868. Rosenmuller: Scholia in Genesin, Leipsic, 1821. Theological: — Baumgarten: Commentary on the Old Testament, Keil, 1843. Popular: — Von Gerlach: Commentary on the Pentateuch, 1801-1849.

(2) English: — Ainsworth: Annotations on the Pentateuch, Edinburgh, 1843. Alford: Genesis, and Part of Exodus, for English Readers, London, 1877. Browne (Bishop of Ely): Vol. 1. of Speaker's Commentary, London, 1871. Inglis: Notes on Genesis, Edinburgh, 1877. Jamieson: Vol. 1. of the Critical and Experimental Commentary, Edinburgh, 1863. Kalisch: Historical and Critical Commentary on the Old Testament, London, 1858. Macdonald: Creation and the Fall: a Defense and Exposition, London and Edinburgh, 1856. Murphy: Commentary on Genesis, Edinburgh, 1863. Patrick (Bishop of Ely): A Commentary upon the Historical Books of the Old Testament: London, 1727. Wordsworth: The Holy Bible, with Notes, London, 1864. Wright: The Book of Genesis, London, 1859.

(3) American: — Bush: Notes on Genesis, New York, 1838. Jacobus: Notes, Critical and Explanatory, on Genesis, New York, 1865. Turner: Exegetical Commentary on Genesis, New York, 1846.

III. HOMILETICAL AND PRACTICAL EXPOSITIONS. In addition to the well-known Commentaries of A. Clarke, M. Henry, and Thomas Scott, to this department may be assigned: — Bonar: Earth's Morning, or Thoughts on the First Six Chapters of Genesis, London, 1875. Candlish: The Book of Genesis expounded in a Series of Discourses, Edinburgh, 1868. Exell: A Homiletical Commentary on Genesis, London, 1875 (incomplete). Fuller: Expository Discourses on the Book of Genesis London, 1836. Gray: The Biblical Museum, London, 1876. Hughes: An Analytical Exposition of the First Book of Moses, 1672. Ness: History and Mystery, London, 1690-1696. Robertson, F.W.: Notes on Genesis, London, 1877. White: A.

Commentary upon the First Three Chapters of Genesis, London, 1656.

IV. GENERAL LITERATURE. Blunt: The History of Abraham, London, 1842. Bonnet: The Exile from Eden; Meditations on the Third Chapter, London, 1839. Bouchier: The History of Isaac, London, 1864. Dawson: The Origin of the World, London, 1877. Dykes: Abraham the Friend of God, London, 1877. Grant: The Bible Record true in every Age, London, 1877. Hengstenberg: Egypt and the Books of Moses, Edinburgh, 1845. Kitto: Bible Illustrations, Edinburgh, 1855. Lawson: Lectures on Joseph, Edinburgh, 1807; new edition, 1878. Overton: The Life of Joseph, London, 1866. Rawlinson: Ancient Monarchies, vol. 1., London, 1871. Roberts: Oriental Illustrations of the Sacred Scriptures, London, 1835. Records of the Past: Biblical Archaeological Society, London, 1875 (publishing). Robinson: Biblical Researches in Palestine, London, 1841. Sandys: In the Beginning, London, 1879. Smith: Assyrian Discoveries, London, 1875. Smith: Chaldean Account of Genesis, London, 1876. Smith (Thornley): The Life of Joseph, Edinburgh, 1875. Stanley: Sinai and Palestine, London, 1856; Lectures on Jewish Church, London, 1866. Tristram: The Land of Israel, London, 1865; The Land of Moab, London, 1873. Thomson: The Land and the Book, London, 1870. Wilkinson: Manners of the Ancient Egyptians, London, 1847.

For a more detailed account of the literature of Genesis, the works of Kurtz, Lange, and Rosenmuller may be consulted.


§ 1. THE BEGINNING. Genesis 1:1-2:3.

1. The creation of the universe, Genesis 1:1, 2.
2. The six days' work. Genesis 1:3-31.
3. The institution of the sabbath, Genesis 2:1-3.


1. The paradisiacal state of man. Genesis 2:4-25.
2. The history of the fall. Genesis 3:1-24.
3. The story of Cain and Abel. Genesis 4:1-15.
4. The development of the race. Genesis 4:16-26.

§ 3. THE GENERATIONS OF ADAM. Genesis 5:1 — 6:8.

1. The first genealogical table, Genesis 5:1-32.
2. The degeneracy of the antediluvians, Genesis 6:1-8.

§ 4. THE GENERATIONS OF NOAH. Genesis 6:9 — 9:29.

1. The building of the ark. Genesis 6:9-22.
2. The narrative of the Flood. Genesis 7:1 — 8:14.
3. The Noachic covenant, Genesis 8:15 — 9:17.
4. The destinies of Noah's sons. Genesis 9:18-29.

§ 5. THE GENERATIONS OF THE SONS OF NOAH. Genesis 10:1 — 11:9.

1. The ethnological register, Genesis 10:1-32.
2. The confusion of tongues at Babel. Genesis 11:1-9.

§ 6. THE GENERATIONS OF SHEM. Genesis 11:10-26.

§ 7. THE GENERATIONS OF TERAH. Genesis 11:27 — 25:11.

1. The migration of the Terachites. Genesis 11:27-32.
2. The history of Abraham, the son of Terah. Genesis 12:1 — 25:11.

(1) Abram is called, Genesis 12:1-3;
(2) enters Canaan, Genesis 12:4-9; descends to Egypt, Genesis 12:10-20; returns to Canaan, Genesis 13:1 4; separates from Lot, Genesis 13:5-18; pursues the kings, Genesis 14:1-16; meets with Melchisedeck, Genesis 14:17-24; is justified, Genesis 15:1-6; and taken into covenant with God, Genesis 15:7-21; marries Hagar, Genesis 16:1-16; receives the sign of circumcision, Genesis 17:1-27; is visited by Jehovah at Mamre, Genesis 18:1-8; and obtains the promise of Isaac, Genesis 18:9-15; intercedes for Sodom, Genesis 18:16-33; which is soon thereafter destroyed, Genesis 19:1-38; sojourns in Gerar, Genesis 20:1-18; rejoices in Isaac's birth, Genesis 21:1-8; casts out Ishmael, Genesis 21:9-21; covenants with Abimelech at Beersheba, Genesis 21:22-34; offers up Isaac on Moriah, Genesis 22:1-24; is bereaved of Sarah, whom he buries in Machpelah, Genesis 23:1-20; commissions Eliezer to find a bride for Isaac, Genesis 24:1-67; enters into a second marriage with Keturah, Genesis 25:1-6; and ultimately dies, Genesis 25:7-11.

§ 8. THE GENERATIONS OF ISHMAEL. Genesis 25:12-18.

§ 9. THE GENERATIONS OF ISAAC. Genesis 25:19 — 35:29.

1. The birth and early history of Isaac's sons. Genesis 25:19-34.
2. The subsequent career of Isaac. Genesis 26:1-35.
3. The blessing of Jacob by Isaac. Genesis 27:1-46.
4. The fortunes of Isaac's heir. Genesis 28:1-35:26. Jacob departs to Padan-aram, Genesis 28:1 — 35:26; sees God at Bethel, Genesis 28:10-22; arrives at Haran, Genesis 29:1-14; marries Leah and Rachel, 29:15-35; serves with Laban, Genesis 30:1-43; flees from Laban, 31:1-55; is met by angels at Mahanaim, Genesis 32:1-12; sends a message to Esau, Genesis 32:13-23; wrestles with an angel, Genesis 32:24-32; is reconciled to Esau, Genesis 33:1-20; hears of his daughter's defilement, Genesis 34:1-31; revisits Bethel, 35:1-15; is bereaved of Rachel, Genesis 35:16-20; returns to Isaac at Mamre, Genesis 35:27.
5. The death of Isaac. Genesis 35:27-29.

§ 10. THE GENERATIONS OF ESAU. Genesis 36:1-37:1.

§ 11. THE GENERATIONS OF JACOB. Genesis 37:2-50:26.

1. The wickedness of Jacob's sons. Genesis 37:2-38:30.

(1) Joseph hated by his brethren, Genesis 37:2-36.
(2) The sins of Judah and Onan. Genesis 38:1-30.

2. The fortunes of Joseph in Egypt. Genesis 39:1 — 41:57.

(1) His imprisonment by Potiphar. Genesis 39:1-23.
(2) His advancement by Pharaoh. Genesis 40:1 — 41:57.

3. The famine in the land of Canaan. Genesis 42:1 — 45:28.

(1) The descent of Jacob's sons to Egypt without Benjamin. Genesis 42:1-38.
(2) The second journey to Egypt with Benjamin. Genesis 43:1-34.
(3) The stratagem of Joseph to detain Benjamin. Genesis 44:1-34.
(4) Joseph's discovery of himself to his brethren, and invitation of his father to visit Egypt. Genesis 45:1-28.

4. The descent of Jacob to Egypt. Genesis 46:1 — 47:10.

(1) The departure from Beersheba. Genesis 46:1-27.
(2) The arrival at Goshen. Genesis 46:28-34.
(3) The presentation to Pharaoh. Genesis 47:1-10.

5. The settlement of Jacob and his family in Egypt. Genesis 47:11-26.

6. The last days of Jacob in Egypt. Genesis 47:27 — 49:32.

(1) The charge given to Joseph. Genesis 47:27-31
(2) The blessing of Joseph's sons. Genesis 48:1-22.
(3) The last prophetic utterance. Genesis 49:1-28.
(4) The charge concerning his burial. Genesis 49:29-32.

7. The death of Jacob in Egypt. Genesis 49:33 — 50:14.

(1) The mourning for Jacob. Genesis 50:1-7.
(2) The funeral of Jacob. Genesis 50:7-14.

8. The last of Jacob's sons. Genesis 50:15-26.

(1) The fear of Joseph's brethren. Genesis 50:15-21.
(2) The death of Joseph. Genesis 50:22-26.


Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, November 14th, 2019
the Week of Proper 27 / Ordinary 32
Commentary Navigator
Search This Commentary
Enter query in the box below
To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology