GENESIS is the book of beginnings.

It records not only the beginning of the heavens and the earth, and of plant, animal, and human life, but also of all human institutions and relationships. Typically, it speaks of the new birth, the new creation, where all was chaos and ruin. With Genesis begins also that progressive self-revelation of God which culminates in Christ. The three primary names of Deity, Elohim, Jehovah, and Adonai, and the five most important of the compound names, occur in Genesis; and that in an ordered progression which could not be changed without confusion. The problem of sin as affecting man's condition in the earth and his relation to God, and the divine solution of that problem are here in essence. Of the eight great covenants which condition human life and the divine redemption, four, the Edenic, Adamic, Noahic, and Abrahamic Covenants are in this book; and these are the fundamental covenants to which the other four, the Mosaic, Palestinian, Davidic, and New Covenants, are related chiefly as adding detail or development. Genesis enters into the very structure of the New Testament, in which it is quoted above sixty times in seventeen books. In a profound sense, therefore, the roots of all subsequent revelation are planted deep in Genesis, and whoever would truly comprehend that revelation must begin here. The inspiration of Genesis and it character as a divine revelation are authenticated by the testimony of Christ Mt. 19:4-6; Mt 24:37-39; MK 10:4-9; LK. 11:49-51; LK 17:26-29, 32; John 1:5; John 7:21-23; John 8:44, 56).

Genesis is in five chief divisions:

I. Creation (Gen 1.1 through Gen 2.25)
II. The fall and redemption (Gen 3.1 through 4,7).
III. The Diverse Seeds, Cain and Seth, to the Flood (Gen 4.8 through Gen 7.24).
IV. The Flood to Babel (Gen 8.1 through Gen 11.9).
V. From the call of Abram to the death of Joseph (Gen 11.10 through Gen 50.26).

The events recorded in Genesis cover a period of 2,315 years (Ussher).

Chapter 1

Notes For Verse 1

Elohim (sometimes El or Elah), English form "God," the first of the three primary names of Deity, is a uni-plural noun formed from El=strength, or the strong one, and Alah, to swear, to bind oneself by an oath, so implying faithfulness. This uni-plurality implied in the name is directly asserted in Ge 1:26 (plurality), 27 (unity); see also Gen 3:22. The Trinity is latent in Elohim. As meaning primarily the Strong One it is fitly used in the first chapter of Genesis. Used in the OT about 2500 times. See also Gen 2:4, note; Gen 2:7; Gen 14:18, note; Gen 15:2, note; Gen 17:1, note; Gen 21:33, note; 1Sa 1:3, note.

[2] created

But three creative acts of God are recorded in this chapter: (1) heavens and the earth, v.1; (2) animal life, v.21; and (3) human life, vs. 26,27. The first creative act refers to the dateless past, and gives scope for all the geologic ages. [Typist's note: This is the "GAP" theory.]

Notes For Verse 2

[3] without form and void

Jer 4:23-27; Isa 24:1; Isa 45:18 clearly indicate that the earth had undergone a cataclysmic change as the result of divine judgment. The face of the earth bears everywhere the marks of such a catastrophe. There are not wanting imitations which connect it with a previous testing and fall of angels.

See Ezek 28:12-15; Isa 14:9-14 which certainly go beyond the kings of Tyre and Babylon.

Notes For Verse 3

[4] Let there be light

Neither here nor in verses 14-18 is an original creative act implied. A different word is used. The sense is, made to appear; made visible. The sun and moon were created "in the beginning." The "light" of course came from the sun, but the vapour diffused the light. Later the sun appeared in an unclouded sky.

Notes For Verse 5

[1] day

The word "day" is used in Scripture in three ways:
(1) that part of the solar day of twenty=four hours which is light Gen 1:5, 14; John 9:4; John 11:9
(2) such a day, set apart for some distinctive purpose, as, "day of atonement" Le 23:27); "day of judgment" Mat 10:15
(3) a period of time, long or short, during which certain revealed purposes of God are to be accomplished, as "day of the Lord."

[2] evening

The use of "evening" and "morning" may be held to limit "day" to the solar day; but the frequent parabolic use of natural phenomena may warrant the conclusion that each creative "day" was a period of time marked off by a beginning and ending.

Notes For Verse 11

[3] bring forth grass

It is by no means necessary to suppose that the life-germ of seeds perished in the catastrophic judgment which overthrew the primitive order. With the restoration of dry land and light the earth would "bring forth" as described. It was "animal" life which perished, the traces of which remain as fossils. Relegate fossils to the primitive creation, and no conflict of science with the Genesis cosmogony remains. [Typist's Note: THE GAP THEORY]

Notes For Verse 16

[4] greater light

The "greater light" is a type of Christ, the "Sun of righteousness" Mal 4:2 He will take this character at His second advent. Morally the world is now in the state between Gen 1:3-16 Eph 6:12; Acts 26:18; 1Pe 2:9 The sun is not seen, but there is light. Christ is that light John 1:4, 5, 9 but "shineth in darkness," comprehended only by faith. As "Son of righteousness" He will dispel all darkness. Dispensationally the Church is in place as the "lesser light," the moon, reflecting the light of the unseen sun. The stars Gen 1:16 are individual believers who are "lights" Php 2:15, 16 (See Note for John 1:5)

A type is a divinely purposed illustration of some truth. It may be:
(1) a person Rom 5:14
(2) an event 1Co 10:11
(3) a thing Heb 10:20
(4) an institution Heb 9:11
(5) a ceremonial 1Co 5:7 Types occur most frequently in the Pentateuch, but are found, more sparingly, elsewhere. The antitype, or fulfilment of the type, is found, usually, in the New Testament.

Notes For Verse 21

[1] every living creature

The second clause, "every living creature," as distinguished from fishes merely, is taken up again in verse 24, showing that in the second creative act all animal life is included.

Notes For Verse 24

[2] living creature

"Creature," Heb. nephesh, trans. soul in Gen 2:7 and usually. In itself nephesh, or soul, implies self-conscious life, as distinguished from plants, which have unconscious life. In the sense of self-conscious life animals also have "soul." See verses Gen 1:26, 27 (See Note for Gen 1:26)

Notes For Verse 26

[3] make man in our image

Man. Gen 1.26,27, gives the general, Gen 2.7, 21-23, the particular account of the creation of man. The revealed facts are:

(1) Man was created not evolved. This is (a) expressly declared, and the declaration is confirmed by Christ Mat 19:14; Mark 10:6 (b) "an enormous gulf, a divergence practically infinite" (Huxley) between the lowest man and the highest beast, confirms it; (c) the highest beast has no trace of God-consciousness--the religious nature; (d) science and discovery have done nothing to bridge that "gulf."

(2) That man was made in the "image and likeness" of God. This image is found chiefly in man's tri-unity, and in his moral nature. Man is "spirit and soul and body" 1Th 5:23 "Spirit" is that part of man which "knows" 1Co 2:11 and which allies him to the spiritual creation and gives him God-consciousness. "Soul" in itself implies self-consciousness life, as distinguished from plants, which have unconscious life. In that sense animals also have "soul" Gen 1:24 But the "soul" of man has a vaster content than "soul" as applied to beast life. It is the seat of emotions, desires, affections Ps 42:1-6 The "heart" is, in Scripture usage, nearly synonymous with "soul." Because the natural man is, characteristically, the soulual or physical man, "soul" is often used as synonymous with the individual, e.g. Gen 12:5 The body, separable from spirit and soul, and susceptible to death, is nevertheless an integral part of man, as the resurrection shows John 5:28, 29; 1Co 15:47-50; Rev 20:11-13 It is the seat of the senses (the means by which the spirit and soul have world-consciousness) and of the fallen Adamic nature. Rom 7:23, 24

Notes For Verse 28


A dispensation is a period of time during which man is tested in respect of obedience to some specific revelation of the will of God. Seven such dispensations are distinguished in Scripture. See note [5].

[5] And God blessed them

The First Dispensation: Innocency. Man was created in innocency, placed in a perfect environment, subjected to an absolutely simple test, and warned of the consequence of disobedience. The woman fell through pride; the man deliberately. 1Ti 2:14 God restored His sinning creatures, but the dispensation of innocency ended in the judgment of the Expulsion Gen 3:24 See, for the other dispensations; Conscience (See Note for Gen 3:23) Human Government (See Note for Gen 8:20) Promise (See Note for Gen 12:1) Law (See Note for Ex 19:8) Grace (See Note for John 1:17) Kingdom (See Note for Eph 1:10)

[6] The Edenic Covenant, the first of the eight great covenants of Scripture which condition life and salvation, and about which all Scripture crystallizes, has seven elements. The man and woman in Eden were responsible:

(1) To replenish the earth with a new order--man;
(2) to subdue the earth to human uses;
(3) to have dominion over the animal creation;
(4) to eat herbs and fruits;
(5) to till and keep the garden;
(6) to abstain from eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil;
(7) the penalty--death. See, for the other seven covenants: ADAMIC (See Note for Gen 3:14) NOAHIC (See Note for Gen 9:1) ABRAHAMIC (See Note for Gen 15:18) MOSAIC (See Note for Ex 19:25) PALESTINIAN (See Note for Deut 30:3) DAVIDIC (See Note for 2Sa 7:16) NEW (See Note for Heb 8:8)