An Outline of the Book of Genesis

by Max Andrews

The following is very brief outline of the book of Genesis.

Genesis:  The beginnings (This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord made the heavens and the earth.  Gen. 2:4 NASB)

Theme Verse(s)In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth…And God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:1, 10b (NASB)

Author:  Moses (Pentateuch Authorship:  Ex. 17:14; 24:4; 34:27; Num. 33:1-2; Deut. 31:9)

Date, Place, and Type of Writing:  1450-1410 BC, General Middle East, Historical


*A.  Theological Significances  B.  Practical Applications C.  Major Events  —Multiple or None Major

1.  The Creation—1-2

A.  The Creator creates everything (anything not created is God—cosmological argument—c.f. John 1:3).

      • There are supposed contradictory Creation accounts between chapters 1 & 2.  Chapter 2 is another account in supplementation to the first account by adding details (i.e. we are told that God created man (a generic term here) male and female (v 27), but this does not mean that the first creature was a male-female combination.  The details of that creation of the male Adam and the female Eve are given in 2:18-23.  Likewise, verse 5 adds details about the creation of vegetation on the third day.
      •  Creation was good, untainted by sin (1:10b).

B.  The meticulousness of Creation is incomprehensible.  Look at the vast glory of His work (Ps. 19:1-6) and think about how amazingly vast our universe is.  Try to compare the enormity of the stars and the universe to the smallest atoms and quarks.  American cosmologist Donald Page once calculated that the odds of the universe existing by chance were 1 out of 1010^127 (1 chance out of 10 to the power of 10 to the power of 127).  Reflect on how He made you (Ps. 139:13-15) and how He has a role for you in this world (Jer. 29:11).

C.  Creation

2.  The fall of man—3-6

A.  The fall brought inherited and imputed sin into the world.  As a consequent of the fall, man has become separated from God, from one another, and from the created order (3:16-24).  Man’s intellect is blinded (II Cor. 4:4).  His mind is reprobated and disapproved (Rom. 1:28).  Understanding is darkened and separated from the life of God (Eph. 4:18).  His emotions are degraded and defiled (Rom. 1:21, 24, 26; Titus 1:15).  His will is enslaved to sin and therefore stand in opposition to God (Rom. 6:20; 7:20).

      • The first Messianic prophecy (3:15).

B.  –

C.  The fall.

      • Cain kills his brother Abel (4).

3.  God judges the world—The Flood—7-10

  1. God passes judgment on His creation.

i.         God does no moral wrong in taking human life (as with future judgments as well).  God is under no moral obligation to prolong human life as He acts only in accordance with His nature and character.  By being the Creator and sustainer, He reserves every right to decide the duration of one’s life in accordance to His will.

  1. The flood.

4.  Babel and call of Abraham—11-25

A.  Babel was a special judgment on the arrogance of man.  God passes the judgment due to the defiance and disobedience of man in accordance to the command given in 9:1 to fill the earth; instead the descendants remained localized.  What man did not do willingly God did in form of judgment.  There are now over 300 world languages and dialects.  Babel derives from the Hebrew verb balal (to confuse).

      •  Promises of Covenant with Abraham (12:2-3; 15:18-21).

B. –

C.  Abram goes to Egypt and chooses land with Lot (12-14).

      • Abram becomes Abraham and is promised Isaac (15-18), whom he later would have offered as a sacrifice for God (22:2).  Note that this would not have been murder.  Under the ethical thought of Divine Command Ethics, what God commands becomes a moral obligation to fulfill.  The ontology, or state of being, behind this approach is consistent with the necessity of God.
      • Isaac marries Rebekah (24).
      • Abraham’s death (25).

5.  Abraham’s lineage—Isaac, Jacob—26-36

A.  Jacob’s wrestle (32:24-32) may perhaps be a Christophany (an appearance of Christ in the Old Testament).

B.  –

C.  Jacob steals Esau’s blessing from Isaac (27).

      • Jacob and Laban (29).
      • Jacob wrestles until daybreak (32:24-32).
      • Jacob is named Israel (35:9-10).

6.  Life of Joseph—37-50

A.  –

B.  –

C.  Joseph has a dream and is betrayed by his brothers (37-38).

      • Joseph succeeds in Egypt and then imprisoned (39-44)
      • Joseph deals with his brothers and Jacob moves to Egypt (45-49).
      • Jacob (Israel) and Joseph die (50).

2 Comments to “An Outline of the Book of Genesis”

  1. I still have issue with many parts of Genesis. Not the creation, the fall or the flood but stuff like the “nephilim”. Are we supposed to take that literalistically???
    And the tower of babel really sounds like a “just so story” about how the different languages came about.

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