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The Pentateuch (meaning five rolls or volumes) evidently was originally one book called the Torah (Law) or " the book of Moses " but was later divided into five rolls for easier handling.
Genesis is the first book which means "Origin; Birth" taken from the Greek Septuagint, in the Hebrew manuscripts the title is the opening word, Bere 'shith', In the beginning (Greek, en ar-khei ). These ancient books are a written record of people's obedience they help us to understand Gods concern for his people and help to keep faith alive.
IN THE BEGINNING
The Old Testaments details creation in time periods called days, each beginning with an evening, and as the glory of the creative work becomes clearly manifest ending in the brightness of a morning. On successive " days " light appears ; the expanse of the atmosphere; dry land and vegetation; land animals and finally man (Genesis 1:).
The Seven Days
The first day god created light :
He made the day and made the night.
In six days God created the heaven and the earth and all the creatures Adam was last, who was the first man, he was put into terrestrial paradise, the garden of Eden, God had made him after his own image, and gave him dominion over the rest of the creatures. Eve the first woman was formed from out of one of Adams ribs : They would have lived happy, together if they had kept the law that God had given them .
The father of the lie Satan, in the guise of a serpent seduced the first human pair Adam and Eve to rebel, by eating of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil which God had commanded them not to do .
Man who had been formed in the image of God, had now sinned and death and suffering were the inevitable consequences.(Genesis 3:1- 5;). They forfeited both their innocence and their happiness, were made subject to death : and driven by God out of paradise. From thence we have sin and death and all men had been for ever miserable.
The Almighty God immediately pronounced judgment (Genesis 3:14 -15;) The rebellion in Heaven and on Earth raised issue's of sovereignty, vindication of Gods name will be through His messianic kingdom, (Genesis 49:10;) [shiloh - He to whom it belongs]), this theme runs like a thread throughout the whole of the Bible. God has promised, that the seed of the woman will bruise the serpent's head ; that men will be delivered from sin, death and the power of the devil, by Jesus Christ.
The Holy Scriptures give an important insight, to the events over the generations, showing how Satan the arch enemy of God, has made every effort to block the promised "seed" of Abraham, and his desire to destroy or mislead those who wish to live in accord with the Almighty God.
Cain & Abel
Two sons were born to Adam and Eve, the first named Cain worked the ground, the second Abel was a shepherd .The two brothers had learnt from their father and mother the importance of worshiping the Creator of the Earth .But there was a difference between these two brothers, whilst offering God a sacrifice, the characters of these two brothers was to become apparent, Cain offered up his produce Abel with a pure heart, gave his very best to the God he loved. Cain realized why Abel's sacrifice was appreciated, he hated Abel, in the midst of an argument a rage suddenly seized upon Cain, through his wicked temper he struck and killed his brother the voice of God called out :
Where is Abel, thy brother?
"I know not" he cried back. "Am I my brother's keeper?"
But God continued:
"What hast thou done?" the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto Me from the ground.
Sin presently took root after the creation, Cain slew his brother Abel, and propagated a wicked posterity, in despair he went forth as a fugitive marked as a murder,Cain's conscience was in turmoil, with a bitter cry of agony he called upon God: " My punishment is greater than I can bear.",
It is worthy of note that in the sixth generation, Tubal Cain became the inventor of metal working and of stringed musical instruments..
In Genesis, Moses gives an account of the children and descendants of Adam and Eve they have a third son Seth, the life of man was then much longer than it it is now ; they lived many hundreds of years . God was worshipped by the patriarchs, and especially in the family of Seth. Among these patriarchs was Enoch who is outstanding among their descendants by " walking with the true God. " (Genesis 5: 22) , in the process of time the posterity of Seth was corrupted ;
The earth filled with crime and sin grew great and general, some of the Angels were to forsake their privileged existence in heaven, they had noticed that the daughters of men, were good looking and began taking wives for themselves which produced a hybrid race of giants known as the Nephilim. The earth was being ruined, filled with violence God was sorry He had made the Earth. God looked at the way men and women were living, and was determined to send a great flood;
In 2370 B.C.E. God told Noah who was an upright man that he was to gather his family of three sons, Shem, Ham, And Japheth and their wives he was given detailed building plans for an ark to be built of gopher wood which was to be covered with pitch inside and outside, with enough room for two of each kind of living thing upon the Earth .Once they were securely inside the downpour began and the Flood continued for 40 days, until every part of the earth was completely covered even the highest mountains, and in the flood waters the wicked perished.
But God had remembered Noah, due to his godliness, he and his family, were the only persons preserved ; the rain ceased, the waters passed away, and the sunlight entered into the Ark. Then Noah let a raven fly from the window of the Ark, and it did not come back to him. Noah then sent out a dove, but the dove returned, after seven days more Noah sent out the dove again, and this time it returned bearing in its beak a leaf of olive. Noah then knew that the Earth was dry, and when he again sent the dove forth it did not return. Finally they were able to leave the ark, Noah came out from the Ark with his family, and on an altar of stones they offered thanks to God. After the deluge God made a covenant with Noah, and promised never more to drown the world; as a token he placed a rainbow a bow of light in the sky as a sign that there would never be a world wide flood again .
The Ark rested in a place where it was easy for the sons of Noah to spread themselves over the Earth. Once again God commanded those survivors that they go forth and multiply, and to cultivate the Earth. Noah's sons were Shem, Ham, and Japheth ; their posterity peopled the world. The descendants of Shem, Asia, and those of Ham, Africa, those of Japheth Europe. A more particular account of which may be seen in Genesis 10: Their are many profane, as well as sacred, historians who record the memory of this deluge .
Hams son Canaan is cursed for being disrespectful and Noah lives until he is 950 years of age .
There lived in the world a mighty man named Nimrod, his empire was poisoned by idolatry; for, although he built mighty cities, the people who dwelt in them were weak and cowardly. God had ordained that men should have dominion , yet they prayed to images, they were superstitious and worshipped animals .The grandson of Ham, was to become "a mighty hunter in opposition to God." (Genesis 10: 9;) At this time the entire earth still had one language , but the sons of Noah decided to build a great city, and in the midst of the city they would erect a great tower, with its top in the heavens . They wished to make a celebrated name for themselves, when God saw they were determined to disobey Him, He caused the people to speak different languages, so that they could not understand each other, scattering them abroad from thence upon the face of all the Earth, that is why the place came to be named Babel .
Idolatry had taken hold ; upon which God made the choice of Abraham who is notable for his faith and his obedience to God, (Acts 7: ).The call of Abraham happened four hundred and twenty-seven years after the flood. He was appointed to leave his native country and commanded to go into Canaan, and promised this country to his posterity ; Abraham tarried some time in the land of Canaan with Lot his nephew, but without any child, even this country was inhabited by an idolatrous and wicked people; particularly those of Sodom (where Lot dwelt ) and Gomorrah their sin was detestable to God so that it was destroyed by fire from heaven .
The messiah (Jesus) was promised to be one of Abrahams descendants, and Isaac was born to Abraham at the age of 100 then follow, his descendants Esau, and Jacob (also called tassel ), and Jacob's twelve sons, who were the founders of the twelve tribes of Israel. The two main tribes were that of Levi, from which the priests were taken ; and the most powerful possessed of regal authority, that of Judah, from which tribe the messiah was to be born.
The story of Joseph, is amazing he was sold into Egypt by his brothers, where providentially he was given a position of the highest power. Some years after, Jacob, Joseph's father was constrained by famine to sojourn in Egypt, with all his family. It was around this time that Job lived.
The children of Israel increased so exceedingly, that Pharaoh, jealous of them, endeavored to destroy them: but God wrought many miracles, and smote Egypt with ten plagues, and obliged Pharaoh to let the Israelites depart.
This departure happened four hundred and thirty years after the call of Abraham. Exodus actually means "departure", and refers to the setting free from Egypt of Gods people who were held as slaves. The central figure in the book of Exodus is Moses, whom God had chosen to lead his people, his birth and early life are recorded, along with the confrontation with Pharaoh .We then read of the Passover meal their release from captivity from Egypt, the walk of the Israelites through the Red Sea on dry ground ; and Pharaoh's attempt to pursue, through, the waters when they resume their former course, and all are drowned .
The Ten Commandments were given upon Mount Sinai fifty days after the Israelite's deliverance from Egypt, ten moral, civil, and religious laws, Moses some time after was also given ceremonial laws to be observed, Leviticus contains these ancient regulations for worship and religious ceremonies, by which Gods people were to worship and live. The holiness of God and his ways of cleanness and what is unclean, are shown so that they may maintain their relationship with him. It also includes the ordination of Aaron and his sons as priests, who were responsible for carrying out the offering of sacrifices.
Moses was impatient, but devoted to God and his people, the Israelites did not enter the land of Canaan immediately ; but God stayed with them in the wilderness for forty years .
The book of Numbers is the story of their disobedience, and God's constant care for his people on their incredible journey . The name of the book refers to an important feature of the story, that is, the census which Moses took of the Israelites at Mount Sinai before their departure to Kadesh Barnea.When they came to the borders of Canaan, every soul of the six hundred thousand, from twenty years old and upward, which were part of the rebellion, and numbered at the coming out of Egypt, were now dead, except Moses, Caleb, and Joshua, Moses ordered then, to be numbered a second time, and found them to be as many as came out of Egypt.
In order to prepare this new generation for taking possession of the land , Moses speaks and appeals to the people, whose eyes had seen all the great acts of the Almighty God, that he had written nothing but what God had commanded to be done .
Moses appeals to their knowledge and conscience, the bible book of Deuteronomy recalls the great events of the past forty years and asks the people to remember God has led them through the wilderness, to be submissive and loyal to God. Moses then reviews the Ten Commandments and emphasizes the meaning of the First Commandment, the need of devotion to the Almighty God alone. He then reminds the people of the meaning of God's covenant with them, and asks for commitment to its obligations. Joshua is commissioned as the next leader of God's people. They then sing a song celebrating to God's faithfulness, and pronouncing of a blessing on the tribes of Israel. Moses then dies in Moab east of the River Jordan. (Psalms 105: & 106:)