Genesis Notes from King James Bible - Old Testament

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King James Bible - Old Testament Genesis

"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." Genesis, 1.1 Then He made light and called it day. In the waters He made land which He called earth; this was the third day. On the fourth, He made the stars, planets and the sun and the moon. On the fifth, He made living creatures and on the sixth He made all the mammals with men to rule over them. On the seventh day He rested. All of the plants grew without rain. God planted a garden in Eden and set a river running through it. After placing a man in the garden, He instructed him to watch over it and name everything. God named the man Adam and created a woman, named Eve, from his rib. He forbid them to eat from the Tree of Knowledge. A serpent convinced Eve to eat the fruit and offer some to Adam. After they had eaten the fruit they realized they were naked and covered themselves with vegetation. God appeared and asked what happened. Eve told God that the serpent manipulated her. He cursed the serpent and damned women to painful childbirth and submission to their husbands. He cast them out of Eden with the burden of growing their own food.

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Eve bore Cain and Abel. God enjoyed the sacrifice of the shepherd Abel more than that of his brother, the farmer. Out of jealousy, Cain killed Abel. God cursed Cain and made him leave his parents to the land east of Eden. Cain's son's name was Enoch. Enoch had a great-great grandson named Lamech, who had two wives. Lamech's most famous child was Noah.

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Seth was Adam's third son. Adam lived 930 years and Seth lived 905. Their descendants also lived many years.

In the time of Noah, many men were wicked and the world was crowded. God decided to destroy them. Because Noah was virtuous, God warned him and told him to build an Ark for himself, his wife, his three sons, Shem, Ham and Japeth, and their wives. He was also to fill it with a breeding pair of every species as well as plenty of food and water. It rained for forty days and forty nights. The waters rose until the whole earth was covered. The waters began to roll back after 150 days. Noah sent out a dove but she came back with nothing. A week later he sent the bird again. It returned with an olive twig, meaning land was nearby. The waters receded and the inhabitants of the ark returned to dry land. Noah made an altar and sacrificed to God. God made a covenant with Noah and his descendants that He would shower them with fortune. He promised that there would be no more floods and gave the rainbow as a token of this pledge.

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Noah raised a vineyard and got drunk. Ham saw him naked but his other brothers closed their eyes and covered their father. Noah cursed Ham's son Canaan to be a servant to his kin. Japeth's line became gentiles. All the earth shared the same language but in the plain of Shinar (Babylon) the united people tried to build a tower to heaven. God descended and scattered the people of the world giving them different languages. From Shem's line descended Abram. Abram went with Lot to live in Canaan.

God told Abram to leave Canaan and promised him a great kingdom. Abram left for the plain of Moreh near Bethel where God directed him. During famine, they went to Egypt and Abram told his wife Sarah to pretend that she was his sister so that the Egyptians would not kill him. The Pharaoh took her as his own but God plagued the Egyptians and Abram departed with Sarah. There was strife between the herdsmen of Lot and Abram so they parted. Abram went back to Canaan and Lot went to Jordan. God gave Abraham more land.

There were many wars and the Jordanian cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed. Lot was taken into slavery. In a dream, Abram asked for a child and God promised him many descendants who will suffer for many years. Sarah told Abram to have children with her handmaid Hagar. Hagar conceived a child, which made Sarah jealous. She hated Hagar and asked Abram to send Hagar and her son away. Hagar's son was named Ishmael. God came to Abram and told him that he was to change his name to Abraham as the father of many nations. As a covenant, every male child should be circumcised. Sarah was to bear a son named Isaac.

God said that He was going to judge Sodom and Gomorrah hoping to find at least ten righteous men in the city. Angels arrived in the city and stayed with Lot but the city's inhabitants demanded that he reveal his guests to them. The Angels smote the inhabitants and allowed Lot to find his righteous relatives. As they left the city, they were warned not to look back. Lot's wife looked back and was turned into a pillar of salt. Lot took his daughters to a place called Zoar. They planned to get him drunk so that they might conceive children with him.

Abraham went south and a king there demanded to have sex with Sarah, but God came to the king and made him give her back. Abraham said "And yet indeed she is my sister; she is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife." Genesis, 20:12. The king gave riches to Abraham and Sarah. Sarah bore Isaac at an old age and asked Abraham to send Hagar and Ishmael away. The king made an alliance with Abraham.

God asked Abraham to make a great journey and sacrifice his son Isaac to Him. When Abraham got to the altar and took out a knife to kill his son God stopped him. He said He was only testing him. He blessed Abraham and all his descendants. Sarah died and Abraham asked for a burial ground. He bought the land and made a place in the corner of a field. Abraham asked his servant to find a woman of his people for Isaac to marry. The servant went as far as Mesopotamia and met a maiden named Rebekah. She went with him willingly and was married to Isaac. When Abraham died he left everything to Isaac. Despite this, Isaac and Ishmael buried their father together.

Rebekah bore two sons Jacob and Esau. Esau was a hunter and favored by his father. Rebekah loved Jacob more. Jacob extorted Esau's birthright (his inheritance) when his brother needed food. Esau took a wife and Isaac went blind. Isaac told Rebekah to have Esau come to him with venison and receive a blessing. Rebekah got Jacob to bring lamb and wear wool on his arms to imitate his brother's hairy arms. Because of this, Isaac blessed Jacob instead of Esau. When Esau returned and Isaac realized what had happened, Rebekah sent Jacob to stay with her brother to avoid any conflict.

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Isaac sent Jacob to get a wife and Esau took another wife from the line of Ishmael, Abraham's son by Hagar. On his journey, Jacob fell asleep and God came to him and told him that He would give him the land on which he was sleeping. Jacob swore to build a house there some day and till the land. He went to the house of Laban. He wanted to marry Laban's younger daughter Rachel. He worked for seven years and at the end Laban held a marriage banquet. The next morning, Jacob woke next to Leah, Laban's older daughter. When confronted, Laban explained that it was against his people's laws to wed the younger daughter before the older. Jacob agreed to work another seven years for Rachel. Jacob hated Leah, but she conceived a child while Rachel could not. She had four sons Reuben, Simeon, Levi and Judah. Rachel had Jacob impregnate her handmaidens and Jacob also had two sons with Leah's handmaiden. Leah had two more sons and a daughter, and Rachel finally bore a son named Joseph.

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Jacob asked to leave Laban with a part of the flock he had raised. Laban specified he could have certain colored sheep and Jacob bred the sheep differently to increase his portion of the sheep. Laban was angered by this and, in a dream, God told Jacob to flee. Laban followed him and eventually they make a pile of stones as a border that neither would cross. Jacob arrived home and sent men asking for his brother's mercy. Esau came towards him with many men and Jacob prayed to God. An angel came to him and told him that his name was from now on to be Israel. Esau arrived and embraced his brother. Jacob bought a field and raised an altar to God. Dinah, Jacob's daughter, was raped. The assailant's father asked for her to be married to his son and Jacob's sons demanded that he and his family be circumcised. They agreed and the day after, Simeon and Levi killed everyone in their town while the men were sore from their 'surgery.'

God told Jacob to go to Bethel. Rachel died in childbirth bearing their youngest son, Benjamin. Jacob loved Joseph more than any of his sons and gave him a coat of many colors. He sent Joseph to join his brothers, not knowing that they hated him. They threw him into a well and left him. Later, Judah thought that they should sell him and Joseph was sent to Egypt. They took Joseph's coat to Jacob soaked in blood.

Joseph came to be a slave in the house of a wealthy man. He became the overseer of all the slaves and the master's wife wanted to have sex with him. When he wouldn't she told her husband that Joseph had tried to have sex with her. Joseph was put into prison. The Pharaoh's servants were sent to prison and met Joseph. One of them dreamed of a vine.

"And in the vine were three branches: and it was as though it budded, and her blossoms shot forth; and the clusters thereof brought forth ripe grapes: And Pharaoh's cup was in my hand: and I took the grapes, and pressed them into Pharaoh's cup, and I gave the cup into Pharaoh's hand." Genesis, 40: 10-11

Joseph told them that this meant they would be recalled by the Pharaoh in three days. He interpreted many dreams in the prison and asked to be mentioned to the Pharaoh. After two years, Pharaoh had a dream of seven ill cows eating seven healthy cows. Joseph told him that this meant there would be seven years of plenty and seven subsequent years of famine. The Pharaoh put Joseph in charge of preparing for the famine and storing corn. When the famine came, Egypt was the only country that had food.

Jacob sent ten of his sons to purchase grain in Egypt. They bowed to Joseph, not recognizing him. He accused them of being spies and told them to send him their youngest brother. They gave him Simeon. He wept and had their sacks loaded with corn. When they arrived home they found that their money had also been returned. The famine got worse and Israel/Jacob sent his sons back to Egypt to buy more grain. Joseph had them brought to his house for dinner and reunited them with Simeon. He filled their sacks and sent them on their way. While they were traveling some Egyptian stewards stopped them and found a silver cup Joseph had planted in Benjamin's sack. They confessed this to Joseph and admitted that they were missing one brother when he asked them. He wept and revealed himself and his belief that God had sent him there to do good and save lives. He forgave his brothers and gave them gifts.

Joseph called for his father and brothers to come to Egypt and seek relief from the famine. They all came with their families and asked for the Pharaoh's leave to settle in fertile Goshen. The famine worsened and money became worthless. Only cattle or sheep were accepted as currency. The children of Israel were given seed and told to farm and give a fifth of their crop to Pharaoh. They all did well in Egypt. When Israel died he asked to be carried home (land now known as Israel) to be buried. He called his sons to him and blessed them, promising each generation would be greater than the preceding. He blessed Manasseh, Ephraim, Dan, Gad and Joseph foremost. He asked to be buried near his father and mother. They traveled out of Egypt to bury him and then returned. Israel was 110 when he died.

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