Book of Genesis

The Creation of Man by Ephraim Moses Lilien, 1903.
Jacob flees Laban by Charles Foster, 1897.

The Book of Genesis (from the Latin Vulgate, in turn borrowed or transliterated from Greek "γένεσις", meaning "Origin"; Hebrew: בְּרֵאשִׁית‬, "Bərēšīṯ", "In [the] beginning") is the first book of the Hebrew Bible (the Tanakh) and the Old Testament.[1] It can be divided into two parts, the Primeval history (chapters 1–11) and the Ancestral history (chapters 12–50).[2] The primeval history sets out the author's (or authors') concepts of the nature of the deity and of humankind's relationship with its maker: God creates a world which is good and fit for mankind, but when man corrupts it with sin God decides to destroy his creation, saving only the righteous Noah to reestablish the relationship between man and God.[3] The Ancestral History (chapters 12–50) tells of the prehistory of Israel, God's chosen people.[4] At God's command Noah's descendant Abraham journeys from his home into the land of Canaan, given to him by God, where he dwells as a sojourner, as does his son Isaac and his grandson Jacob. Jacob's name is changed to Israel, and through the agency of his son Joseph, the children of Israel descend into Egypt, 70 people in all with their households, and God promises them a future of greatness. Genesis ends with Israel in Egypt, ready for the coming of Moses and the Exodus. The narrative is punctuated by a series of covenants with God, successively narrowing in scope from all mankind (the covenant with Noah) to a special relationship with one people alone (Abraham and his descendants through Isaac and Jacob).[5]

In Judaism, the theological importance of Genesis centers on the covenants linking God to his chosen people and the people to the Promised Land. Christianity has interpreted Genesis as the prefiguration of certain cardinal Christian beliefs, primarily the need for salvation (the hope or assurance of all Christians) and the redemptive act of Christ on the Cross as the fulfillment of covenant promises as the Son of God.

Tradition credits Moses as the author of Genesis, as well as Exodus, Book of Leviticus, Numbers and most of Book of Deuteronomy, but modern scholars increasingly see them as a product of the 6th and 5th centuries BC.[6][7]

Structure

Genesis appears to be structured around the recurring phrase elleh toledot, meaning "these are the generations," with the first use of the phrase referring to the "generations of heaven and earth" and the remainder marking individuals—Noah, the "sons of Noah", Shem, etc., down to Jacob.[8] It is not clear, however, what this meant to the original authors, and most modern commentators divide it into two parts based on subject matter, a "primeval history" (chapters 1–11) and a "patriarchal history" (chapters 12–50).[9][note 1] While the first is far shorter than the second, it sets out the basic themes and provides an interpretive key for understanding the entire book.[10] The "primeval history" has a symmetrical structure hinging on chapters 6–9, the flood story, with the events before the flood mirrored by the events after;[11] the "ancestral history" is structured around the three patriarchs Abraham, Jacob and Joseph.[12] (The stories of Isaac do not make up a coherent cycle of stories and function as a bridge between the cycles of Abraham and Jacob).[13]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Genesis
العربية: سفر التكوين
aragonés: Chenesi
asturianu: Xénesis
Bân-lâm-gú: Chhòng-sè-kì
беларуская: Кніга Быццё
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Кніга Роду
български: Битие (Библия)
Boarisch: Genesis
bosanski: Knjiga postanka
català: Gènesi
čeština: Genesis
chiShona: Genesisi
Cymraeg: Llyfr Genesis
Deutsch: 1. Buch Mose
español: Génesis
Esperanto: Genezo
føroyskt: Fyrsta Mósebók
Gaeilge: Geineasas
Gàidhlig: Genesis
galego: Xénese
Gĩkũyũ: Kĩambĩrĩria
गोंयची कोंकणी / Gõychi Konknni: उत्पती चें पुस्तक
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Chhóng-sṳ-ki
한국어: 창세기
Հայերեն: Ծննդոց
hornjoserbsce: Genezis
hrvatski: Knjiga Postanka
Ido: Genezo
Bahasa Indonesia: Kitab Kejadian
interlingua: Genesis
isiXhosa: Genesis
isiZulu: Ugenesis
íslenska: 1. Mósebók
italiano: Genesi
עברית: בראשית
ಕನ್ನಡ: ಆದಿಕಾಂಡ
kaszëbsczi: Knéga Zôczątków
kernowek: Jenesis
Kiswahili: Mwanzo (Biblia)
Ladino: Bereshit
lietuvių: Pradžios knyga
Limburgs: Genesis
Bahasa Melayu: Kitab Kejadian
Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄: Cháung-sié-gé
монгол: Эхлэл
Dorerin Naoero: Genesis
Nederlands: Genesis (boek)
日本語: 創世記
norsk nynorsk: Fyrste mosebok
Nouormand: Genêse
occitan: Genèsi
Papiamentu: Gènesis
português: Gênesis
română: Geneza
Runa Simi: Qallariy
русский: Книга Бытия
Sesotho: Genese
sicilianu: Gènisi
Simple English: Book of Genesis
slovenčina: Genezis
slovenščina: 1. Mojzesova knjiga
српски / srpski: Књига постања
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Knjiga Postanka
Türkçe: Tekvin
українська: Книга Буття
ئۇيغۇرچە / Uyghurche: Injilning birinchi tomi
vepsän kel’: 1. Moisejan kirj
Tiếng Việt: Sách Sáng Thế
walon: Djineze
ייִדיש: ספר בראשית
粵語: 創世記
Zazaki: Tekwin
中文: 創世記