Willmington's Bible at a Glance

Genesis at a Glance

This book records the creation of all things, the fall of man, the universal flood and the Tower of Babel. It also overviews the lives of four all-important Old Testament individuals, namely, Abraham, his son Isaac, one of Isaac’s two sons, Jacob, and one of Jacob’s 12 sons, Joseph.

Bottom Line Introduction


In the beginning (the when)

God (the who)

Created (the how)

The heavens and the earth (the what)

Facts Regarding the Author of this Book

1. Who? Moses. He was the younger brother of Aaron and Miriam (Ex. 6:20; Num. 26:59) who led his people Israel out of Egyptian bondage (Ex. 5-14) and gave them the law of God at Mt. Sinai (Exodus 20).

2. What? The books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.

3. When and where? 1405 B.C., from the eastern bank of the River Jordan in Moab.

4. Why?

a. Genesis. To record the origin of the world and the nation Israel.

b. Exodus. The supernatural deliverance of Israel from Egyptian bondage.

c. Leviticus. The purpose and functions of the tabernacle.

d. Numbers. The failure of Israel to enter Canaan.

e. Deuteronomy. The review of the Law for that generation about to enter Canaan.

5. To whom? Israel in particular, all believers in general.

Key Events

1. The creation of man

2. The institution of marriage

3. The fall of man

4. The births of Cain and Abel

5. The removal of Enoch

6. The universal flood

7. The Tower of Babel

8. The call of Abraham

9. The giving of the Abrahamic Covenant

10. The institution of circumcision

11. The offering up of Isaac

12. The marriage of Isaac and Rebekah

13. The births of Jacob and Esau

14. The marriage of Jacob to Leah and Rachel

15. The elevation of Joseph in Egypt

16. The move of Jacob and his family from Canaan to Egypt

Key Individuals

1. Adam: First human, from whose side woman was taken

2. Eve: First woman and wife of Adam

3. Cain: First son of Adam and Eve, and first human to be born

4. Abel: Godly second son of Adam who was murdered by his brother Cain

5. Methuselah: World’s oldest human who died at the age of 969 years

6. Enoch: Father of Methuselah whom God removed from this earth without dying

7. Noah: The man God chose to build an Ark and save a remnant of humanity (Namely, his family) from a worldwide flood

8. Shem, Ham, and Japheth: Three sons of Noah from whom all human beings have sprung

9. Canaan: Wicked grandson (through Ham) who was guilty of an undisclosed sin against his grandfather, resulting in a curse.

10. Abraham: Father of the Nation Israel and the spiritual father of all believers

11. Sarah: Wife of Abraham and mother of Isaac

12. Lot: Materialistic nephew of Abraham

13. Hagar: Egyptian wife of Abraham and mother of Ishmael

14. Ishmael: Son of Hagar and Abraham and probably father of the Arab race

15. Isaac: The promised heir of Abraham and his barren wife Sarah

16. Rebekah: A relative of Abraham living in Mesopotamia who would become the wife of Isaac

17. Eliezer: Thought to be Abraham’s faithful servant who traveled to Mesopotamia and brought back Rebekah

18. Laban: Rachel’s father and later Isaac’s uncle

19. Jacob: Second born twin of Isaac and Rebekah

20. Esau: First born twin son of Isaac and Rebekah who would later sell his birthright to Jacob and eventually forfeit his blessing

21. Leah: Jacob’s first wife, who gave birth to six of his 12 sons and only recorded daughter

22. Dinah: Jacob’s only recorded daughter

23. Rachel: Jacob’s second and most beloved wife

24. Joseph: Rachel’s first-born son

25. Potiphar’s wife: Wicked woman who falsely accused Joseph of rape, resulting in his imprisonment

26. Pharaoh: Egyptian king who placed Joseph over all the land after he had interpreted the ruler’s two dreams.

Key Places

1. Garden of Eden: original home of Adam and Eve, probably located between the Tigris and Euphrates River

2. Land of Nod: Place where the rebel Cain fled after killing his brother Abel

3. Mt. Ararat: Mountain in Turkey where the Ark of Noah settled down

4. Land of Shinar: Place where the Tower of Babel was built, near where the city of Babylon would later be built

5. Ur of the Chaldees: Abraham’s original home, located near the Euphrates River

6. Bethel: Place where Abraham built his first altar upon reaching the land of Canaan

7. Egypt: Abraham backslid and went here during a famine in Canaan

8. Sodom: Wicked city located on the banks of the Dead Sea which was destroyed by God

9. Salem: Thought to be the first Mention of Jerusalem where Abraham met Melchizedek

10. Mt. Moriah: Elevated area near Jerusalem where Abraham offered up his son Isaac

11. Cave of Machpelah: Located south of Jerusalem where Abraham buried his wife Sarah

12. Jabbok: A tributary stream flowing into the Jordan river where Jacob wrestled with God

13. Bethlehem: Where Jacob buried his beloved wife Rachel

14. Land of Goshen: Area in Egypt where Jacob and his extended family settled

Unique Features

1. Genesis spans a total time period of at least 2,200 years. In light of this, note God’s priority here. He employed 20 percent of the book (1-11) to describe the first 1,800 years. This covers Creation, the Fall, the flood, and Babel. He employed 80 percent of the book (12-50) to describe the final 400 years. Here we read of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph. This means approximately 80 percent of the total time period is covered in only 11 chapters, while 20 percent of the time is described in 39 chapters. The priority point is simple—in the mind of God, Abraham is more important than the universe.

2. It is the only book which describes God as resting (2:2, 3).

3. It gives the first prophecy of the coming Messiah, of his suffering and eventual victory (3:15).

4. It provides his first two names (Seed of the woman and Shiloh) (3:15; 49:10).

5. It pin points the tribe from whence he would come (Judah) and is the first book to mention the city where he would be born (Bethlehem) . See 49:10; 35:19.

6. It gives us the first human to be created (Adam) and the first human to be born (Cain) (1:26; 4:1).

7. It records the first man to die (Abel) and the first man not to die (Enoch) (4:8; 5:24).

8. The glory of God in creation (1:1) and the grace of God in salvation (Noah) (6:8) are both clearly seen.

9. We see the world’s earliest civilization (Cainite) and the world’s oldest citizen (Methuselah) (4:17; 5:27).

10. The first three of four divine institutions as found in Genesis:

Marriage (2:21-25)

Human government (9:6)

The Nation Israel (12:1-3)

The fourth is the church (Mt. 16:18, 19)

11. It provides the first illustration of human religion (the fig leaves), and the first example of divine redemption (the coats of skin) (3:7, 21).

12. Here a city is destroyed on the plains (Sodom) and a boy is spared on a mountain (Isaac) (19, 22).

13. Here a son (Jacob) deceives his father (Isaac) and is later himself deceived by his sons (brothers of Joseph) (27, 37).

14. Here we read of the first barren mother (Sarah) and the first dying mother (Rachel) (16, 35).

15. Jerusalem (a type of the heavenly) and Egypt (a type of the worldly) are first mentioned in this stage (13, 14).

16. Here we first learn of a king called Melchizedek and a cave named Machpelah (14, 25).

17. Here the first of three great biblical covenants is introduced (12:1-3). These covenants are:

The Abrahamic Covenant (12:1-3). This has to do with a land (Canaan) and a people (Israel).

The Davidic Covenant (2 Sam. 7:4-16; 1 Chron. 17:3-5). This has to do with a king to rule in that land over that people.

The New Covenant (Jer. 31:31). This has to do with changed hearts so that the people in the land will allow the king to rule over them.

18. In its pages sinners are drowned, and a saint (Noah) is drunken (7:21, 9:20-21).

19. A ship settles on a mountain and a tower rises on a plain (8:4, 11:1-4). This tower is but the beginning of three satanic attempts to consolidate religion around a project. Two more will follow. One was built near Babylon (Dan. 2), and the final one will be placed in the Holy of Holies (Rev. 13).

20. History’s first rebellion (Babel) and revival (Bethel) occurred in this book (11:4; 35:2-4).

21. Here Abraham climbs a mountain where God’s Lamb would someday die (22:2). On this occasion Isaac asks his father a question that would be answered by John the Baptist some 20 centuries later. The question asked by Isaac: “Where is the Lamb?” (22:7). The answer given by John: “Behold the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).

Comparison with Other Bible Books

1. Revelation:

Genesis records humanity’s first rebellion against God (3:1-6); Revelation records the final rebellion (Rev. 20:7-10).

Genesis records the entrance of sin (3:1-6); Revelation records its exit (Rev. 20:10; 21:4-8).

Genesis records the imposition of the curse (3:9-19); Revelation records the lifting of the curse (Rev. 22:3).

Genesis records the beginning of death (3:19); Revelation records the end of death (Rev. 21:4).

Genesis records the creation of the present heavens and earth (1:1); Revelation records the creation of the new heavens and earth (Rev. 21:1).

2. Romans:

In Genesis, Abraham is the patriarch of Israel; in Romans, he is the patriarch of all who believe (Rom. 4:16).

3. John, 1 John:

All “begin at the beginning,” but their beginnings are different: Genesis begins with Creation; John and 1 John begin before Creation, with the preexistent Word.

4. Galatians:

Both show that salvation is by faith (15:6; Gal. 3:6).

Both show God’s desire to redeem all humanity (12:2-3; Gal. 3:8).

Titles for and Types of Jesus

1. The seed of the woman (3:15).

2. Adam and Eve’s Lamb (3:21).

3. Abel’s Lamb (4:4).

4. The Angel of the Lord (16:7).

5. Abraham and Isaac’s Ram (22:13).

6. Shiloh (49:10).

Dr. H. L. Willmington
Founder & Dean, Willmington School of the Bible
Founder & Dean, Liberty Home Bible Institute
Professor, Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary

Copyright © 2007 by Harold L. Willmington. Used by Permission. All Rights Reserved.

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