The first book of the Bible, literally means "beginnings". When you start to read Genesis it may get confusing because of the way some of the stories intertwine. It seems like the timeline is disrupted and it will not make sense. Some say that the book was written as a form of poetry and that is why the flow is the way it is. Some say it was written in an analogical way and not everything can be interpreted the way it is written. To understand how Genesis is written you have to go back to what it means; beginnings. Genesis is about the beginning of everything. It is separated into many sections that deal with beginnings of many subjects. The following is break down of what it is all about.
- Genesis 1:1-2:3, the beginnings of the universe. It takes us back in time before man existed. It tells us how the universe was created and the beginning of life on earth.
- Genesis 2:4-25, the beginning of mankind. These passages lets us know how man and woman came into existence. This is why some of it is repeated from the 1st chapter. It is a different creation. It takes part of the creation of the universe and explains it in deeper detail.
- Genesis 3:1-5:5, the beginnings of sinful nature. These chapters explain to us how man lost Paradise and his place with God. It shows the need of a bridge to get back to Him.
- Genesis 5:6-10:32, the new beginning. Man was so corrupted that God in His mercy decides to give man a new beginning. He does not give a new creation, just a new beginning.
- Genesis 11:1-11:32, the beginning of cultural differences and languages. It shows why languages are different.
- Genesis 12:1-15:21, the beginning of God's people. These chapters describe why God chose the Hebrew race as His chosen people. It also shows the Promise of man's redemption.
- Genesis 16:1-21:34, the beginning of the Covenant. Abraham is given a covenant to show the Promise will be fulfilled.
- Genesis 22:1-25:18, the beginning of true faith. The story continues to show us what true faith is all about.
- Genesis 25:19-39:23, the beginning of Israel. A novel about one man's struggles and how he overcomes his own insecurities to become the nation of Israel.
- Genesis 40:1-45:28, the beginning of captivity. Israel will be a captive in Egypt. This outlines how they needed to have an Exodus and the break away from captivity.
- Genesis 46:1-50:23, the end of the beginning. From here on out we will read what happened to the nation of Israel, it's struggles, it's triumphs, it's legacy, it's Son.
Don't get bogged down with the style more than what is being spoken to you. It is not written to confuse man. It is written from man's perspective so we can understand why we are the way we are. It should be taken as literal as possible except when the words "like" or "as" or any other words are used with the scripture.