- Genesis constitutes a working introduction to the further revelation of God communicated to us in the Bible.
- Genesis is explanatory. The root of all subsequent revelation are planted deep in Genesis, and whoever would truly comprehend that revelation must begin here.
Genesis and the Pentateuch
Genesis is the first of the five books of Moses or the books of the law. These five books are also known as the Pentateuch (Greek: Penta – five; teuchos – book). The Greek King of Egypt named Ptolemy II Philadelphus asked scholars to translate the Torah from Hebrew into Greek, for inclusion at the great library in Alexandria.
It is said that Ptolemy gathered 72 elders, placed them in 72 chambers, each of them in a separate one, without revealing to them why they were called. He entered each room and commanded each man to write the Torah. It is said that each translated the Torah identically as all the others did.
This translation will become known as the Septuagint later. Septuagint is from Latin for 70. It is sometimes abbreviated as LXX. This translation was utilized by the Lord Jesus and His disciples. The Pentateuch contains a progressive spiritual unity or a spiritual completeness. It offers a human and divine side:
The Human Side
- GENESIS: Ruin – through the sin of man
- EXODUS: Redemption – by blood and by power
- LEVITICUS: Communion – on the ground of atonement
- NUMBERS: Direction – guidance by the will of God
- DEUTERONOMY: Destination – through the faithfulness of God
The Divine Side
- GENESIS: Divine sovereignty – in creation and election
- EXODUS: Divine power – in redemption and emancipation
- LEVITICUS: Divine holiness – in separation and sanctification
- NUMBERS: Divine goodness and severity – judging, caring
- DEUTERONOMY: Divine faithfulness – in discipline and destination
Genesis and Revelation (First and Last)
Genesis answers, “How did it all begin?” Revelation answers, “How will it all end?” Comparing the two highlights similarities, contrasts, and completions:
- Both contain a new beginning and a new order.
- Both contain the tree of life, the river, the bride, and the walk of God with man.
- Both paradises have the same moral and spiritual ideals. Holiness finally triumphs.
- One Paradise Closed and the Other Paradise Opened – “Therefore the Lord God sent [Adam] out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken.” (Genesis 3.23) “[The New Jerusalem’s] gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there).” (Revelation 21.25)
- Dispossession through Sin and Repossession through Grace – “So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.” (Genesis 3.24) “And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it.” (Revelation 21.24)
- Curse Imposed and Curse Removed – ”Then to Adam He said, ‘Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’: ‘Cursed is the ground for your sake; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life.” (Genesis 3.17) “And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him.” (Revelation 22.3)
- Access to the Tree of Life Prohibited and Permitted – “So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.” (Genesis 3.24) “Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.” (Revelation 22.14)
- Sorrow and Death and No More Sorrow or Death – “To the woman He said: ‘I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; in pain you shall bring forth children; your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’: “Cursed is the ground for your sake; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, and you shall eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, For out of it you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust you shall return.” (Genesis 3.16-19) “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21.4)
- Garden and City – “The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed. And out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” (Genesis 2:8–9) ”And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,” (Revelation 21:10)
- Failure of Adam and the Reign with Christ – “In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust you shall return.” (Genesis 3:19) “There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.” (Revelation 22:5)
- Triumph of the Serpent and the Triumph of the Lamb – “And the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”” (Genesis 3:13) ”The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.” (Revelation 20:10) “And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him.” (Revelation 22:3)
- Walk with God Interrupted and Walk with God Resumed – “And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?” So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.” (Genesis 3:8–10) “And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.” (Revelation 21:3)
- The Garden in Genesis gives way to the City in Revelation.
- Sin begins to develop in Genesis. Sin is in its full development in Revelation (Harlot, False Prophet, Beast, and Dragon).
- Physical death begins in Genesis. The second death comes to fruition in Revelation.
- The sentence is passed on Satan in Genesis. The sentence is carried out in Revelation.
- The first promise of a coming salvation is in Genesis. The final and glorious fulfillment of salvation is in Revelation.
- Genesis anticipates. Revelation realizes.
- Genesis is the foundation stone. Revelation is the capstone.
The Structure of Genesis
The Divine Sovereignty – In Creation, History, and Redemption
Primeval History (Genesis 1-11)
Four Outstanding Events
THE CREATION – Divine sovereignty in the physical creation. God’s eternal priority.
THE FALL – Divine sovereignty in human probation. God’s moral authority.
THE FLOOD – Divine sovereignty in historical retribution. God’s judicial severity.
THE BABEL CRISIS – Divine sovereignty in racial distribution. God’s governmental supremacy.
Patriarchal History (Genesis 12 – 50)
Four Outstanding People
ABRAHAM – Divine sovereignty in election. Supernatural call.
ISAAC – Divine sovereignty in election. Supernatural birth.
JACOB – Divine sovereignty in election. Supernatural care.
JOSEPH – Divine sovereignty in direction. Supernatural control.