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Creation by Moralisee
Genesis is the first book of the Bible. It consists of 50 chapters, beginning with Creation, and covers 2,400 years of Biblical history. There are at least five stories of creation in the original Jewish Bible. Of these Genesis explores the nature of the relationship between God and mankind.

Genesis is filled with murder, adultery, greed, jealousy, rape and incest as well as well as godly pronouncements and acts of loyalty and goodness. As is true with most of the Bible, most of the important figures are male. The female figures that are represented either mute or flawed, with Eve being the most famous example.

In Genesis, man is portrayed as a creature of the world with a consciousness that separates him from other animals. God is portrayed as being a creator and as living in another world. Man’s consciousness is the link to that world. Man is characterized both as a creature of the world but also as one with the power to transcend it.

Historians believe Genesis is based on popular orally-passed-down stories that were complied between 10th and 5th century B.C. Thus far archaeologists and historians have not come up with proof that Garden of Eden or the Tower of Babel really existed. But beginning with story of Abraham in Chapter 12 many of the places and customs that are described are consistent with historical fact although there is no evidence that major figures like Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph really existed.

Orthodox Jews read Genesis as the literal truth. They reject evolution and geological ages and other basic principals of modern science the same way that fundamentalist Christians do. The great Christian theologian, St. Augustine, who lived in the A.D. 5th century, is among those to argue that Genesis was not intended to be taken literally. Many today see it as the Jewish creation myth.

Websites and Resources: Judaism101 ; Judaism and Jewish Resources ; ; Wikipedia article Wikipedia ; torah?org ; Chabad,org ; Religious Tolerance ; ; ; Jewish History: Jewish History Timeline ; Wikipedia article on Wikipedia ; Jewish History Resource Center ; Origin of Judaism ;Center for Jewish History ; Jewish Culture and History Resources ;

Books: A Short History of Judaism by I. And D. Cohn-Sherlok (1994); The Gift of the Jews by Thomas Cahill; Ancient Biblical History Books: Egypt, Canaan and Israel in Ancient Times by Donald Redford; Oxford Companion to the Bible ; Palestine Bible as History by Werner Keller; The Bible Unearthed by I. Finkelstein & N. Asher Silberman ; Historical Atlas of the Holy Lands by K. Farrington

Timeline of Early Old Testament (3800-2001 B.C.)

October 7, 3761 B.C.: The beginning date of the Hebrew calendar, according to scholar Rabbi Yossi ben Halafta, a 2nd century Rabbi. Adam & Eve created (Year 1 of Jewish calendar).
3630 B.C.: Seth born
3525 B.C.: Enosh born
ca. 3500 B.C.: Chalcolithic Period, first settlement
3435 B.C.: Kenan born
3365 B.C.: Mehalalel born
3300 B.C.: Yered born

3300 B.C.: First confirmed settlement of Gaza at Tell as-Sakan
3138 B.C.: Enoch born
3074 B.C.: Methusaleh born
2886 B.C.: Lemech born
2831 B.C.: Adam dies
ca. 2800 B.C.: Early Dynastic period (Akkad)

2704 B.C.: Noah born
ca. 2700-2400 B.C.: Old Kingdom period (Egypt)
ca. 2500-2200 B.C.: Ebla flourishes
ca. 2500 B.C.: First houses built in Jerusalem
ca. 2300-2200 B.C.: Priestess Enheduanna, first known author in the world
2203 B.C.: Shem born
2150 B.C.: The Flood
2100-1700 B.C.: Middle Kingdom period (Egypt)
[Source: Jewish Virtual Library, UC Davis, Fordham University]

Websites and Resources with Biblical Images: Bible in Pictures ; Bible Picture gallery ; ebibleteacher ; ; Visual Bible Alive ; Pictures from Bible ; Bible Pictures ; Blue Letter Images ; Biblical Images

Books About Genesis

Books: Genesis: Translation and Commentary by Robert Alter (Norton, 1996); Genesis: A New Translation of the Classic Biblical Stories by Stephen Mitchell (HarperCollins, 1996); Genesis: A Living Conversation by Bill Moyers (Doubleday, 1996); Genesis: As It is Written edited by David Rosenberg (HarperSan Francisco, 1996): In the Beginning, New Interpretation of Genesis by Karen Armstrong (Knopf, 1999).

In 2009, after five years of work, R. Crumb, the great 60s era illustrator who created Fritz the Cat, Mr. Natural and keep on Truckin’, produced his version of Genesis, which he regards as great myth and subtitled it “All 50 Chapters” and “Nothing Left Out.” Crumb sticks close to story line and his embellishments are based more on historical research than his lurid imagination. The work is in black and white and extraordinary, even inspired, in its detail. His depiction of God came to him a “very powerful cream.” His family trees bring clarity to “lists of begats.”


Genesis begins in the King James version with: "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light. And the was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day."

God Creates the Heavens
According to the Everett Fox version, regarded as closest to the Hebrew original:
At the beginning of God's creating
of the heavens and the earth.
when the earth was wild and waste.
darkness over the face of Ocean.
rushing-spirit of God hovering over
the face of the waters.
God said: Let there be light! And
there was light.
God saw the light: that it was good.
God separated the light from the darkness.
God called the light: Day! and the
darkness he called: Night!
There was setting. there was dawning: one day.

On the second day God made the heavens. On the third day he made the land, the seas, plants, trees and plants. On the forth day he made the sun, moon and stars and the alternating cycle of day and night. On the fifth day he made he made the fishes and birds.

On the six day God made land animals and "man in his own image, the image of God created him; male and female created he them." "And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." When God takes a rib from Adam, the sexes are differentiated. On the seventh day God rested.

Who Said the World began in 4004 B.C.

Irish prelate and scholar Archbishop James Ussher (1581-1659) was the person who fixed the date of creation in the year 4004 B.C. by examining the scriptures. During the Middle Ages most people weren't concerned with investigating ancient history because they believed the Bible recorded the events between Eden and Jerusalem adequately and the Greeks and Romans recorded the development of the Mediterranean. The world outside the Holy Land and Europe did not exist and most people did not think about what happened before Biblical Times.

An Irish prelate by the name of James Ussher (1581-1656) is the source of the generally accepted view among creationists that God created the world at 9:00am on October 26, 4004 B.C. Ussher was expert in Semitic languages, who had studied ancient texts from the Middle East and Europe nearly his entire lifetime before he announced the date in 1654. The assertion gave credibility to Christian belief that the world was created in a single week and no species existed before or were added afterwards.

The Jewish rabbi Natan Slifkin, based on his literal reading of Genesis, claims the world began in 3759 B.C. After declaring this he was condemned by leading rabbis and Jewish scholars. One of Rabbi Slifkin’s supporters told the New York Times, “the same scientists who tell you with such clarity what happened 65 million years ago---ask what the weather will be like in New York in two weeks time.”

Chapters of Genesis

In Chapters 2 and 3, Adam Eve eat the forbidden fruit and are expelled from the Garden of Eden. The association of the serpent with the devil is something that was not implicit in the original story. The notion of "original sin" was first suggested by St. Augustine in the A.D. 5th century. There is nothing about it in the Bible as is the case with “the temptation of Adam,” “Seduction,” “the curse of Eve,” “Fall of Man,” or even “sin.” There is also in no mention of an apple.

In Chapter 4, Cain slays his younger brother Abel, then asks "Am I my brother's keeper?" Cain was the first person born by humans, the first man of religion and the first killer. According to the Bible, Cain and Abel, the sons of Adam and Eve, developed agriculture and domesticated animals: “Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a tiller of the ground.”

In Chapters 6 through 9, the earth is engulfed by a catastrophic flood and Noah his family and lots of animals board the Ark. In Chapters 11, people build the Tower of Babel, God scatters them around the globe and creates different languages.

schematic for Creation occurring in 5554 BC

Creation from Genesis

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 1:2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. 1:3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. [Source: King James Version of the Bible,]

1:4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. 1:5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. 1:6 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. 1:7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.

1:8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day. 1:9 And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. 1:10 And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good. 1:11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. 1:12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

Third, Forth and Fifth Day of Creation

Genesis 1:13 And the evening and the morning were the third day. 1:14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: 1:15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. 1:16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.

1:17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, 1:18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. 1:19 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day. 1:20 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. 1:21 And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. 1:22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.

Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel

1:23 And the evening and the morning were the fifth day. 1:24 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. 1:25 And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

God Creates Man and Takes a Day of Rest

Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.1:28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. [Source: King James Version of the Bible,]

1:29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. 1:30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so. 1:31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. 2:1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.

2:2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. 2:3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made. 2:4 These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens,

2:5 And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground. 2:6 But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground. 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

Garden of Eden and Adam

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God Takes a Rest
Genesis 2:8 And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. 2:9 And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. 2:10 And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads. 2:11 The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; 2:12 And the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone. 2:13 And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia. 2:14 And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river is Euphrates.

2:15 And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. 2:16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

2:18 And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. 2:19 And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. 2:20 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.

Creation of Woman and the Serpent

Genesis 2:21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; 2:22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. 2:23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. 2:25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed. [Source: King James Version of the Bible,]

Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? 3:2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: 3:3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.

3:4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 3:5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. 3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

God Confronts Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden

Genesis: 3:7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. 3:8 And they heard the voice 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 amongst the trees of the garden. 3:9 And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? 3:10 And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. 3:11 And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? 3:12 And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.

3:13 And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat. 3:14 And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. 3:16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

3:17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; 3:18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; 3:19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

3:20 And Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living. 3:21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them. 3:22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: 3:23 Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. 3:24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

Genesis 4 Cain and Abel

Genesis 4 Adam[a] made love to his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. [b] She said, “With the help of the Lord I have brought forth[c] a man.” 2 Later she gave birth to his brother Abel. Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. 3 In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. 4 And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, 5 but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast. [Source: New International Version (NIV), *-*]

6 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” 8 Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.”[d] While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.

9 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” “I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?” 10 The Lord said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground. 11 Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. 12 When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth.” *-*

Cain and Abel offer their sacrifices

13 Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is more than I can bear. 14 Today you are driving me from the land, and I will be hidden from your presence; I will be a restless wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.” 15 But the Lord said to him, “Not so[e]; anyone who kills Cain will suffer vengeance seven times over.” Then the Lord put a mark on Cain so that no one who found him would kill him. 16 So Cain went out from the Lord’s presence and lived in the land of Nod,[f] east of Eden. *-*

17 Cain made love to his wife, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Enoch. Cain was then building a city, and he named it after his son Enoch. 18 To Enoch was born Irad, and Irad was the father of Mehujael, and Mehujael was the father of Methushael, and Methushael was the father of Lamech. *-*

19 Lamech married two women, one named Adah and the other Zillah. 20 Adah gave birth to Jabal; he was the father of those who live in tents and raise livestock. 21 His brother’s name was Jubal; he was the father of all who play stringed instruments and pipes. 22 Zillah also had a son, Tubal-Cain, who forged all kinds of tools out of[g] bronze and iron. Tubal-Cain’s sister was Naamah. 23 Lamech said to his wives,

“Adah and Zillah, listen to me; wives of Lamech, hear my words. I have killed a man for wounding me, a young man for injuring me. 24 If Cain is avenged seven times, then Lamech seventy-seven times.” *-*

25 Adam made love to his wife again, and she gave birth to a son and named him Seth,[h] saying, “God has granted me another child in place of Abel, since Cain killed him.” 26 Seth also had a son, and he named him Enosh. At that time people began to call on[i] the name of the Lord. *-*

Image Sources: Wikimedia, Commons, Schnorr von Carolsfeld Bible in Bildern, 1860

Text Sources: Internet Jewish History Sourcebook “World Religions” edited by Geoffrey Parrinder (Facts on File Publications, New York); “ Encyclopedia of the World’s Religions” edited by R.C. Zaehner (Barnes & Noble Books, 1959); “Old Testament Life and Literature” by Gerald A. Larue, King James Version of the Bible,, New International Version (NIV) of The Bible, Complete Works of Josephus at Christian Classics Ethereal Library (CCEL), translated by William Whiston, , Metropolitan Museum of Art “Encyclopedia of the World Cultures” edited by David Levinson (G.K. Hall & Company, New York, 1994); National Geographic, BBC, New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Smithsonian magazine, Times of London, The New Yorker, Time, Newsweek, Reuters, AP, AFP, Lonely Planet Guides, Compton’s Encyclopedia and various books and other publications.

Last updated September 2018

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