Observations on life; particularly spiritual

Lessons from the book of Genesis

Lessons from the book of GenesisWhat is the purpose of the book of Genesis in the Bible? Why was it written? And why was it included in the Bible? What are the main lessons in it, both for the original readers and for us today?

When was it written? The book of Genesis was compiled and edited by Moses (Lk. 24:27; Acts 15:1) between 1446 B.C. (the date of the Exodus) and 1406 B.C. (the death of Moses). A likely possibility is during the year that Israel spent encamped in the wilderness at Sinai when Moses probably composed most, if not all, of the Books of Exodus and Leviticus. Such an assumption would place the date of composition of Genesis between 1446 and 1445 B.C.

Although the immediate recipients of the Pentateuch (first five books of the Bible) were the Israelites travelling from Egypt to Canaan, it was also written for their descendants (Dt. 29:14-15).

The historical-cultural context. This was when the Israelites were travelling through the wilderness from Egypt to Canaan. They had miraculously escaped from Egypt and entered into a covenant relationship with the God who had created the universe. They were monotheistic while the people of Egypt and Canaan were polytheistic. Idol worship and sexual immorality were prevalent in Canaanite society.

The Israelites lived in tents, amongst tribes and kept animals. It was after the times of Abraham, but before the times of the Israelite judges and kings. Ch 1-38 reflect aspects of the culture of Mesopotamia and chapters 39-50 reflect aspects of the culture of Egypt.

In order to occupy Canaan, the Israelites needed to conquer their enemies while remaining true to God. The first five books of the Bible (the Pentateuch) were written by Moses for that purpose. The first of those books, Genesis, is the book of origins. He wanted them to know that God was behind all their history, that He was the prime mover who had brought them to where they were. Since the God who had created the universe and had promised the land of Canaan to their ancestor, Abraham, was with them, they could trust Him to fulfill His promise, if they only would obey Him.

The literary context. What genre or type is it? In the Old Testament there is narrative (story), law, poetry, prophecy, and wisdom. The book of Genesis is a historical narrative. Some claim that Genesis 1:1 – 2:3 is poetic, but it lacks the parallelism of Hebrew poetry.

“Some discount that Genesis is history, claiming instead that it was a polemic (a strong attack or defence of an opinion, person, idea, or set of beliefs) against paganism. However, it is not written like other biblical polemics. Also, it’s likely that the pagan myths, such as Enuma Elish, were written after the original source documents of Genesis” (Sarfati, 2015). See Appendix.

The text. The events recorded in Genesis span from the creation of the world until the death of Joseph. These are summarized in the detailed outline below.

Main lessons. Genesis is a book of beginnings. Also, it is the foundation of the Bible. The main lessons for us in Genesis are listed below alongside the detailed outline.

Detailed outline of Genesis Lessons in Genesis
God’s perfect creation 1-2 God is a creator
The six days of creation 1:1 – 2:3
1:1-5 Day 1 Heavens, earth and light
1:6-8 Day 2 Earth’s atmosphere
1:9-13 Day 3 Land and seas and plants
1:14-19 Day 4 Sun, moon and stars
1:20-23 Day 5 Aquatic and aviary animals
1:24-31 Day 6 Land animals and mankind
2:1-3 Day 7 God “rested”
God is eternal – He has no beginning or cause
Nature is not divine (Pantheism)
Nature didn’t create itself (Atheism)
Origin of: laws of nature, mathematics and science; time, energy/matter
There is only one God (Monotheism)
God created the universe in six days
People were made in the image of God
The original animals and people were vegetarian
Additional details of creation: The creation of Adam and Eve 2:4-25
2:4-6 Before the creation of Adam
2:7 Creation of Adam
2:8-17 The Garden of Eden and its forbidden fruit
2:18-20 Adam was alone
2:21-25 Creation of Eve and institution of marriage
Adam and Eve had intelligence, language and speech
Origin of marriage
Marriage is between one male and one female (monogamy – not homosexual and not polygamy)
At marriage a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife
God’s judgment of sin 3-11 God is a ruler and judge
People are sinful (rebellious)
Sin us our greatest problem
The original creation ruined by sin and judged by the flood 3:1 – 8:19 God judges sin (disobedience and rebellion)
The first sin and its consequences
3:1-5 The serpent tempted Eve
3:6 The fall into sin – Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit
3:7 Adam and Eve made clothes of fig leaves
3:8-13 God confronted Adam and Eve
3:14-19 God sentenced Adam, Eve, Satan and the snake
– 3:14 Snakes cursed
– 3:15 Satan cursed
– 3:16 Eve cursed
– 3:17-19 Adam cursed
3:20-24 Other consequences, including expulsion from the Garden of Eden
God tested humanity’s obedience
Satan is a deceiver and liar
Origin of sin against God
Sin is possible in a perfect environment because it comes from within us
Our sin has consequences for us and others
Origin of judgment
Suffering is a consequence of sin
Physical death is a consequence of sin
Origin of the promise of the coming of the Savior (God’s plan for dealing with sin)
Cain and Abel – more sin 4:1-24
4:1-2 Their birth
4:3-7 Their offerings to God
4:8 Cain murdered Abel
4:9-16 Cain cursed by God
4:17-24 Cain’s descendants (Lamech was the 7th generation on earth)
Origin of children
Origin of sacrifices
Origin of murder
Origin of civilization
Revenge is a characteristic of the ungodly
Godly offspring – Seth’s descendants – a chronogenealogy 4:25 – 5:32
4:25-26 Seth replaces Abel
5:1-5 Adam
5:6-8 Seth
5:9-11 Enosh
5:12-14 Kenan
5:15-17 Mahalalel
5:18-20 Jared
5:21-24 Enoch
5:25-27 Methuselah
5:28-31 Lamech
5:32 Noah, father of Shem (Noah was the 10th generation on earth)
Adam was created about 4,000 B.C.
There was a longer lifespan before the flood (the decline in longevity was probably caused by the genetic bottleneck at the flood)
Gross sin and its consequences 6:1-6
6:1-6 The wickedness of humanity
6:7 God decides to destroy His creation
Eventually, God punishes sinners
The great flood – God’s judgment for the wickedness of humanity 6:9 – 9:29
6:8-12 Only Noah was godly
6:13-22 The ark (a barge) commissioned to save Noah’s family and living creatures
7:1-10 Boarding the ark
7:11-16 The flood begins
7:17-24 Rising flood water
8:1-14 Receding flood water
8:15-19 Noah’s family and living creatures leave the ark
There was a great flood about 2,350 B.C.
Only those who obeyed God survived the flood
Those who disobeyed God, died in the flood
As God used Noah to save the human race, He also used Jesus to save people from being punished for their sins
The origin of sedimentary rook layers, fossil fuels and fossil graveyards
The repopulation of the earth ruined by sin and judged by scattering 8:20 – 11:9 Human beings are inherently sinful
A new beginning 8:20 – 9:19
8:20-22 Noah worshiped God and God promised not to curse the ground nor destroy all life
9:1-7 New commands from God
9:8-17 God promised not to destroy the earth by flood, signified by the rainbow (Noahic covenant)
9:18-19 Repopulation of the earth through Noah’s sons
Meat was now added to the human diet
Origin of human government
Capital punishment was endorsed by God
Origin of Noahic covenant
The rainbow is a reminder of God’s mercy
The seeds of rebellion 9:20-29
9:20-23 Noah’s drunkenness
9:24-29 The consequences of Noah’s sin. Canaan and Ham cursed.
Sin occurs amongst God’s people
Our sin has consequences for us and others
The table of nations 10:1-32
10:1 Introduction statement regarding the offspring of Noah’s three sons
10:2-5 Descendants of Japheth
10:6-20 Descendants of Ham
10:21-31 Descendants of Shem
10:32 Summary statement about repopulation of the earth through Noah’s sons
This part of the Bible is real history, not mythical stories
The tower of Babel – more rebellion against God 11:1-9
11:1-4 People congregate together rather than scatter across the earth
11:5-9 God’s judgment is to scatter them across the earth by the disunity between different languages
The ungodly rebel against God
The origin of different languages
The origin of different human “races” (people groups)
We are not greater than God
God’s unconditional covenant of blessing by election through faith 11:10 – 50:26 God is a promise maker & a promise keeper
God kept His promises to the Israelites
Origin of God’s divine election of persons
The power of trusting God
People are sinful (rebellious)
God’s elective blessing of Abraham 11:10 – 25:18  
Shem’s descendants – a chronogenealogy
11:10-11 Shem
11:12-13 Arphaxad
11:14-15 Shelah
11:16-17 Eber
11:18-19 Peleg (earth divided through different languages)
11:20-21 Reu
11:22-23 Serug
11:24-25 Nahor
11:26 Terah
11:26 Abram (Abraham was the 20th generation on earth)
Ancient middle eastern culture placed a priority on the firstborn son, but God’s choice was often different.
The tower of Babel was about 2250 B.C.
Life of Abraham 12:1 – 25:11
11:27-32 Terah’s family
12:1-9 Abram follows the call to move from Mesopotamia to Canaan. God’s promises to Abram
12:10-20 Abram’s lapse of faith. He deceives Pharaoh in Egypt
13:1-13 Abraham and Lot separate – Lot moves to Sodom
13:14-18 God renews His promise to Abram of the land of Canaan and numerous descendants
14:1-12 The capture of Sodom and Lot by a four-king Persian confederation
14:13-16 Abram rescues Lot and the Sodomites
14:17-20 Melchizedek’s priestly blessing of God and Abram
14:20 Abram’s tithe to God through Melchizedek
14:21-24 Abram’s refusal of remuneration from the king of Sodom
15:1-6 God promised Abram numerous descendants
15:7-20 God promised the land of Canaan to Abraham’s descendants unconditionally via a covenant
16:1-6 The conception of Ishmael
16:7-16 Hagar fled from Sarai but an angel gave her a promise and told her to go back.
17:1-8 God confirmed that His promises to Abraham (name changed) were conditional on obedience
17:9-14  Male circumcision was the sign of God’s covenant
17:15-22 Abraham and Sarah (name changed) were promised a son named Isaac
17:23-27 All the males in Abraham’s household was circumcised promptly
18:1-8 Abraham’s hospitality to three visitors
18:9-15 God promised Sarah a son within 12 months
18:16-21 God tells Abraham that He intends to judge Sodom for their wickedness
16:22-33 Abraham pleaded for Sodom
19:1-3 Lot is hospitable to two angels
19:4-11 Lot’s confrontation with the men of Sodom
19:12-22 The angels rescue Lot’s family from Sodom
19:23-29 God destroys Sodom and Gomorrah
19:30-38 Lot’s tragic incest
20:1-7 Abraham deceives the king of the Philistines about Sarah and he takes Sarah as a wife
20:8-18 Abimelech’s divinely-motivated restoration of Sarah to Abraham
Origin of the Jewish nation
If the Jews were obedient, they would form God’s special nation, Israel.
Sin occurs amongst God’s people
Lying only leads to more problems

People reveal their true selves by the choices they make

Worldliness is dangerous

Origin of tithing
Satan often tempts us immediately after a great spiritual victory

Origin of Abrahamic covenant – Royal land grant (an everlasting commitment)
Even godly people can fail to trust God
Origin of the Arabic nations

Origin of Abrahamic covenant – Suzerain-vassal (blessing conditional on obedience)

Origin of Hebrew male circumcision

The godly should be hospitable

God warns the godly when judgment is coming

God answers prayer.
The godly were delivered from God’s judgment

Sin occurs amongst God’s people

Isaac and further tests of faith 21:1 – 25:11
21:1-7 The birth of Isaac
21:8-14 The expulsion of Ishmael and Hagan from Abraham’s family
21:15-21 God protects Ishmael in the desert
21:22-34 Abraham’s treaty with the Philistines
22:1-2 God asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac (as a test)
22:3-10 Abraham attempts to sacrifice Isaac
22:11-14 God provides a substitutionary sacrifice
22:15-19 God renews His promises to Abraham – he passed the test
22:20-24 The 12 children of Nahor
23:1-2 Sarah dies
23:3-20 Abraham purchases a family burial site – Sarah’s burial
24:1-9 Abraham seeks a godly wife for Isaac
24:10-14 Guidance requested through a sign
24:15-27 Rebekah fulfils the sign
24:28-49 Bethuel and Laban hear the reason for the visit
24:50-61 Rebekah leaves her family
24:62-67 Marriage of Isaac and Rebekah
25:1-11 Abraham’s death
God keeps His promises
Don’t make promises that you don’t intend to keep
God cares for the needy

God provided a ram to sacrifice, like God provided Jesus as the ultimate sacrifice for human sin

Don’t marry an unbeliever
God answers prayer

At marriage a woman leaves her father and mother and is united to her husband.

Ishmael’s descendants 25:12-18
25:12-18 Ishmael’s descendants
God’s elective blessing of Isaac and Jacob 25:19 – 28:9  
Isaac’s family 25:19 – 26:35
25:19-26 Birth of Esau and Jacob
25:27-34 Esau foolishly sells his birthright to Jacob
26:1-6 God renews His promises to Isaac
26:7-11 Isaac deceives the king of the Philistines about Sarah (like Abraham)
26:12-17 Isaac expelled by the Philistines who envied his success
26:18-22 Disputes over water rights
26:23-25 God’s promises repeated to Isaac
26:26-33 Peace treaty between Isaac and the Philistines
26:34-35 Esau’s Hittite wives

It’s a great loss to despise a godly heritage
Esau was a success in the world, and a failure with God

God keeps His promise

Jacob and the emergence of Israel 27:1 – 28:9
27:1-4 Isaac planned to give his blessing to Esau
27:5-17 Rebekah plans for Jacob to receive the blessing instead
27:18-29 Isaac is deceived to give the blessing to Jacob
27:30-41 Isaac gives a secondary blessing to the enraged Esau
27:42-45 Rebekah’s plan to protect Jacob from Esau by fleeing to Mesopotamia
27:46 – 28:5 Isaac sends Jacob to Mesopotamia to seek a godly wife
28:6-9 Esau’s belated attempt to secure a wife with relative integrity
God’s choice can go against human or cultural choice


God’s elective blessing of Jacob more than Esau 28:10 – 36:43  
28:10-15 Jacob’s dream – God’s promises are repeated
28:16-22 Jacob’s conditional vow to serve God and to tithe
29:1-12 Jacob meets Rachel at Paddan Aram
29:13-20 Jacob agrees to serve Laban for seven years to marry Rachel
29:21-30 Jacob deceived into marrying Leah and works another seven years for Rachel
Jacob’s children:
– 29:31-35 Leah has Reuben, Simeon and Levi. Rachel was unable to conceive.
– 30:1-8 Bilhah (Rachel’s servant) has Dan and Naphtali
– 30:9-13 Zilpah (Leah’s servant) has Gad and Asher
– 30:14-21 Leah has Issachar, Zebulun and Dinah
– 30:22-24 Rachel has Joseph
30:25-36 Jacob desired to return to his homeland. Laban allows Jacob to build up his own herds
30:37-43 Jacob prospers and outdoes Laban when his flocks increase
31:1-16 Jacob prepares to flee to Canaan from Laban
31:17-21 Jacob flees from Laban towards Canaan
31:22-24 Laban’s pursuit
31:25-30 Laban’s accusations
31:31-35 The search for Laban’s household gods
31:36-42 Jacob’s angry protest of innocence
31:43-55 Treaty between Jacob and Laban
32:1-2 Jacob meets angels
32:3-8 Jacob fears Esau after sending messengers to him
32:9-12 Jacob prays for protection from Esau
32:13-21 Jacob selects gifts for Esau
32:22-32 Jacob wrestles with God. His name is changed to Israel.
33:1-17 Jacob (Israel) meets Esau
33:18-20 Jacob (Israel) settles near Shechem and sets up an altar
The deceiver is deceived himself!

Origin of the twelve (12) tribes of Israel

The Bible reports polygamy, but doesn’t endorse it

Rachel brings idolatry to Canaan

Origin of the name Israel

God keeps His promises
Although Jacob worshipped God, he delayed going to Bethel, which led to trouble

Massacre at Shechem by Simeon and Levi 34:1-31
34:1-7 Dinah raped by Shechem
34:4:8-12 Intermarriage proposed by Shechem’s father Hamor
34:13-17 Male circumcision proposed by Jacob’s (Israel’s) sons
34:18-24 The men of Shechem agreed to be circumcised
34:25-31 Simeon and Levi kill all the men of Shechem in revenge
Friendship with the ungodly can be a danger to the godly
Intermarriage with the ungodly is a danger to the godly
They ran ahead of God’s judgment on the Canaanites
God’s covenant renewed with Jacob at Bethel 35:1-15
35:1-5 Jacob (Israel) buried their idols and leaves Shechem
35:6-8 Jacob (Israel) settles in Bethel and builds an altar to God
35:9-15 God renews His promises to Jacob (Israel) at Bethel
Idolatry was a constant threat in Canaan
Milestones in Jacob’s family 35:16-29
35:16-20 Birth of Benjamin and death of Rachel
35:21-22a Reuben’s incest with Bilhah (Rachel’s servant)
35:22b-26 The 12 sons of Jacob (Israel)
35:27-29 The death of Isaac
Great spiritual experiences are not security against the sorrows and trials of life
Sin occurs in godly families as well
Origin of the twelve (12) tribes of Israel
Esau’s descendants 36:1-43
36:1-14 Esau’s descendants
36:15-19 Esau’s descendants repeated
36:20-29 Descendants of Seir the Horite
36:31-39 Kings of Edom
36:40-43 Chiefs descended from Esau
God’s elective blessing of Joseph above his brothers 37-50 God’s providential care
Joseph’s destiny and disowning 37:1-36
37:1 Introduction
37:2-4 Jacob’s (Israel’s) favoritism toward Joseph; Joseph hated by his jealous brothers
37:5-11 Joseph’s dreams of his destiny of superiority among his own family
37:12-17 Joseph visits his brothers
37:18-24 The brothers’ plot to kill Joseph
37:25-28 Joseph sold into Egypt
37:29-36 The brothers deceive Jacob regarding the supposed death of Joseph
Favoritism causes trouble

The deceiver is deceived himself!

Judah’s moral failure 38:1-30
38:1-5 Judah married a Canaanite
38:6-10 Judah’s evil sons
38:11 Judah deceives Tamar
38:12-19 Judah’s immorality – Tamar deceives Jacob
38:20-30 The consequences of Judah’s immorality

Our sin has consequences for us and others

Joseph passes the test 39:1-23
39:1-6a Joseph manages Potiphar’s household
39:6b-10 Joseph tempted by Potiphar’s wife
39:11-12 Joseph tested by Potiphar’s wife
39:13-18 False accusations against Joseph by Potiphar’s wife
39:19-23 Jacob imprisoned unjustly. Made prison manager
We all face temptations
He recognized that it would be a sin against God
Don’t make false accusations against people
Godly people will have to endure injustice Suffering developed Joseph’s character
Joseph interprets dreams 40:1 – 41:36
40:1-8 Pharaoh’s cupbearer and baker have dreams
40:9-15 Joseph’s favorable interpretation of the cupbearer’s dream
40:16-19 Joseph’s unfavorable interpretation of the baker’s dream
40:20-23 The two dreams are fulfilled
41:1-8 Pharoah has two dreams
41: 9-13 The cupbearer remembers Joseph
41:14-24 Pharaoh tells the dreams to Joseph
41:25-32 Joseph’s interpretation – seven good years and seven bad years
41:33-36 Joseph’s advice to Pharaoh

Only God could interpret dreams

Joseph’s promotion to power in Egypt 41:37-57
41:37-45 Joseph made second in command and given a wife
41:46-49 Joseph stored huge quantities of grain
41:50-52 Joseph has two sons – Manasseh and Ephraim
41:53-57 Seven years of famine. But there was grain in Egypt
Joseph was a similar age (30 years) to when Jesus commenced His ministry
Put something of what you earn away to help you get you through tough times which may come your way
Joseph’s brothers first trip to Egypt for grain 42:1-38
42:1-7 Jacob (Israel) sends his sons to Egypt for grain
42:8-17 Joseph accuses them of spying
42:18-24 Joseph keeps Simeon until Benjamin comes to Egypt
42:25-28 Joseph’s return of money to each brother
42:29-34 Their report to Jacob
42:35-38 Jacob (Israel) refuses to let Benjamin go to Egypt

Bad things happen to us all

Joseph’s brothers second trip to Egypt for grain 43:1 – 45:20
43:1-10 Family discussion about taking Benjamin to Egypt
43:11-15 Jacob (Israel) reluctantly lets Benjamin go to Egypt
43:16-25 Joseph invites them to a meal
43:26-34 Joseph’s meal with his brothers – they were seated in the order of their ages
44:1-5 Silver cup put in Benjamin’s sack
44:6-13 Benjamin arrested for stealing the silver cup
44:14-17 Judah admits their guilt
44:18-34 Judah’s offers to be detained instead of Benjamin
45:1-8 Joseph makes himself known to his brothers. They were terrified. Joseph acknowledges that God sent him to Egypt to save lives.
45:9-15 Joseph invites his family to move Egypt
45:16-20 Pharaoh invites Joseph’s family to move to Egypt





The brothers eventually confess their sin against Joseph

God can work through our circumstances

Jacob’s move to Egypt 45:21 – 47:12
45:21-28 Jacob (Israel) agrees to move to Egypt
46:1-7 The Hebrews move to Egypt with God’s blessing
46:8-27 The register of Jacob’s family of seventy who moved to Egypt
46:28-34 Joseph and his father reunited
47:1-12 Joseph’s family meet Pharoah
God enables the Hebrews to survive the famine
Joseph’s administration of the Egyptian grain exchange 47:13-26
47:13-17 Grain sold in exchange for money and livestock
47:18-26 Grain sold in exchange for land
Joseph sustains people physically, while Jesus sustains them spiritually
The final days of Jacob 47:27 – 48:22
47:27-31 Jacob’s (Israel’s) request to be buried in Canaan
48:1-7 Jacob (Israel) says that Ephraim and Manasseh will be considered to be his sons
48:8-22 Jacob (Israel) blesses Ephraim above Manasseh (younger over the older)
Ancient middle eastern culture placed a priority on the firstborn son, but God’s choice was often different.
Jacob’s prophecies about his sons 49:1-28
49:1-2 Introduction
49:3-4 Reuben demoted because of his incest
49:5-7 Simeon and Levi’s will be dispersed in Israel because of their violence
49:8-12 Judah will rule over the others like a lion
49:13 Zebulun will live by the seashore near Lebanon
49:14-15 Issachar will be a hard worker
49:16-18 Dan will provide justice and be an expert in guerilla warfare
49:19 Gad will be a raider
49:20 Asher will have fertile land
49:21 Naphtali will have an independent spirit
49:22-26 Joseph (Ephraim and Manasseh) will be blessed with water and progeny and would gain supremacy amongst the northern tribes
49:27 Benjamin would be a fierce warrior
Origin of the twelve (12) tribes of Israel
Jacob’s death 49:29 – 50:14
49:29-33 The death of Jacob (Israel)
50:1-3 Jacob (Israel) embalmed for 40 days and mourned for 70 days
50:4-14 Jacob’s (Israel’s) burial in Canaan
Joseph reassures his brothers 50:15-21
50:15-21 Joseph reassures his brothers that he would not pay them back for their wrongs done to him
The death of Joseph 50:22-26
50:22-26 Joseph asked the Hebrews to take his bones to Canaan when they leave Egypt.
The death of Joseph

Appendix: Was Genesis a polemic?

Liberal theologians have pointed to alleged parallels with pagan myths to claim that Genesis was not written by God, but borrowed from these myths. Conservative theologians retain divine inspiration, but some who capitulate to long-age ideas have used this idea in a different way. They argue that Genesis 1 was written as a polemic (a strong attack or defence of an opinion, person, idea, or set of beliefs) against these pagan myths.

Supposedly, the purpose of Genesis was to refute pagan beliefs involving worship of the sun, other luminaries, or pagan deities. In other words, Genesis is allegedly teaching us not to worship the sun but the true God who made the sun. But the text is not explicitly polemic, although the truth is always against falsehood.

Also, even if the polemic view were true, this doesn’t mean that it can’t be history. It would be useless to argue against a pagan using Genesis of it were just a story – one must show that the pagan belief is contradicted by what God actually did.

Also, most of these polemic-view advocates have a naïve view of paganism. Real pagans didn’t just worship the physical object, but the god behind it (1 Cor. 10:19-20). Examples of real anti-pagan polemics in the Bible are found in Isaiah 37:18-20 and 45:12-20.

Moses had no need to write a polemic for the Israelites against the pagans – they were leaving (or had left) Egypt, were not to evangelize the pagan nations but destroy them, and would not seriously interact with the Babylonians for many generations.

Another problem with the pagan polemic idea is the likelihood that the original sources of Genesis was the original and the pagan myths were the result of distortions of that original account. In the ancient Near East, simple accounts or traditions may give rise to elaborate legends, but not vice-versa. Borrowing embellishes history into fanciful legend, rather than simplifying a legend into a purposed historical account. And there is archaeological evidence consistent with the biblical teaching that mankind was originally monotheistic, and only later degenerated into idolatrous pantheism.


Sarfati J D, 2015, “The Genesis Account – A theological, historical and scientific commentary on Genesis 1-11”, Creation Book Publishers.


The Appendix is based on Sarfati 2015.

Also see: Snakes and ladders
Who can we trust?

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