Read the Book of Genesis.The book of Genesis covers the longest span of time of any book in the Bible. If you have specific questions you would like addressed regarding the Book of Genesis that are not listed here, please ask them in the discussions area.
Food for thought: The Bible is the Word of God. Without the Word of God, there would be no light, only darkness! “Then God said, “Let there be light and there was light” Genesis 1:3.
According to Orthodox Teaching, Jesus Christ, is the Second Person of the Holy Trinity. He is the Word of God, the light of the world. Whoever follows the Lord will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life. John 8:12
- Adam and Eve disobeyed God’s commandment and ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The serpent temped them by saying that if they ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they would to be like God and know good and evil. So their pride to be like God caused them to fall. The sin was pride, the act was disobedience. Their punishment was to be exiled from Paradise so they could no longer eat from the Tree of Life and remain immortal. Being shut out of Paradise and unable to eat from the Tree of Life, they would ultimately die. So, the punishment for their sin of pride and disobedience was ultimately death.
- God in his infinite love for mankind, fashioned them clothes to wear, spoke to them and their children and continued to help all of their generations to come with the eventual plan to restore His people to Him in Paradise.
- The Chapters that follow deal with the generations of Adam. Within this sequence, it becomes evident that Seth, the third son of Adam and Eve, is the line of Noah. Then after the flood, the generations of Noah through Abraham are told with Noah’s son Shem being a direct descendant of Jesus Christ (Luke 3:35)
- The tower of Babel also occurs and the people are scattered and the language confused. Consider this action, use the comment section below for discussion of your questions.
- The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah happens in Chapter 19:1-38. Abraham pleaded with God that Sodom be spared if some righteous people were found in it. This gave rise to the idea that sinners might be spared, blessed, or even exist for the benefit of the righteous. What areas would you like to discuss relative to this?
- The birth of Isaac to Abraham and Sarah.
- Both Ishmael (Abraham’s first born son from Sarah’s handmaiden Hagar) and Isaac were promised a future by God. Ask questions in the comment section below for discussion.
- Isaac and Rebekah had Jacob and it is from Jacob, later named Israel by God, that the twelve tribes of Israel were born.
- Jacob had 12 sons with 4 women. The women were Leah, Rachael, Bilhah and Zilpah. Leah and Rachael were sisters and Jacob’s wives. Bilhah and Zilpah were servants. Ask questions in the comment section below for discussion.
- Israel’s (Jacob’s) lineage is as follows – These are the twelve tribes of Israel:
- Ruben (mother Leah) — Reuben lost his birthright and his birthright was given to Israel’s son, Joseph. Joseph had two Sons: Manesseh and Ephraim. One son was given the territory that would have been Ruben’s and the other son was given the territory that would have been Levi’s.
- Simeon (mother Leah)
- Levi (mother Leah) – the Levi tribe was the Priest tribe and they were never given land through Jacob. Their responsibility was to see to the spiritual needs of the tribes of Israel.
- Judah (mother Leah) – it is from Judah and the union with Tamar that the King David is eventually born.
- Dan (mother Bilhah)
- Naphtali (mother Bilhah)
- Gad (mother Zilpah)
- Asher (mother Zilpah)
- Issachar (mother Leah)
- Zebulun (mother Leah)
- Joseph (mother Rachael)
- Joseph had two sons through Asenath when he was in Eqypt: Manesseh and Ephraim. One son was given the territory that would have been Ruben’s and the other son was given the territory that would have been Levi’s.
- Benjamin (mother Rachael)
- Israel also had a daughter, Dinah (mother Leah)
- In Genesis 49-50, Israel (Jacob), distributes his lands to his sons and they become known as the 12 tribes of Israel. Israel dies and is buried – “…..bury me with my fathers in the cave that is in the field of Ephron the Hittite, in the cave that is in the field of Machpelah, which is before Mamre in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought with the field of Ephron the Hittite as a possession for a burial place. There they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife, there they buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife, and there I buried Leah. The field and the cave that is there were purchased from the sons of Heth.” And when Jacob had finished commanding his sons, he drew his feet up into the bed and breathed his last, and was gathered to his people.”NKJV
- Joseph confronts his brothers and then dies and is buried in Egypt.
Adam and Eve, through pride, disobeyed God’s command in the Garden of Eden. Their disobedience caused God to exile them from Paradise and eternal life. Mankind was no longer immortal and would die in exile. A long history of the Israelites culminates in Jesus Christ who became incarnate so that mankind may be saved.
The Old Testament, new revised edition, Historical Traditions, Paul Nadim Tarazi, St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press
Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture, Old Testament, Vol. I. II, InterVarsity Press
Orthodox Study Bible, St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology, Thomas Nelson publishers.
New Oxford Annotated Bible with the Apocrypha expanded edition, Revised Standard Version, Oxford University Press.