Understanding the Old Testament - Lesson 6


This lesson on Genesis covers the structure, themes, and key passages of the book. Genesis serves as the covenantal prologue to both the Old and New Testaments, exploring the beginning of creation and God's people. It contains various covenantal administrations, including the covenant of works, grace, and with Noah and Abraham. The lesson outlines different ways to divide the book and emphasizes its genealogical structure, highlighting the search for the promised seed throughout generations. Dr. Van Pelt shows how Genesis is connected to the gospel, presenting Jesus as the true fulfillment of Adam, Noah, and Abraham, making Genesis a precursor to the gospel.

Miles Van Pelt
Understanding the Old Testament
Lesson 6
Watching Now

I. Overview of Genesis

A. Introduction to Genesis

B. Covenantal Nature of Genesis

C. Outline Options for Genesis

D. Generational Structure of Genesis

E. Key Themes and Concepts

II. Detailed Analysis of Selected Texts

A. The Creation Account (Genesis 1)

1. Interpretation of the Days of Creation

2. Structuring of the Creation Days

3. Significance of Sabbath Rest

B. The Creation of Man and Woman (Genesis 2)

1. Sabbath Rest and Marriage Covenant

2. Detailed Description of Day Six

3. Significance of Woman in Creation

C. The Fall and Covenant of Grace (Genesis 3)

1. Introduction to the Fall

2. Consequences of the Fall

3. Promise of Redemption

III. Narrative Progression and Major Events

A. Spread of Sin and Flood Judgment (Genesis 4-9)

1. Cain and Abel

2. Lamech and Pervasive Evil

3. The Flood and Covenant Renewal

B. Covenant with Abraham and Patriarchal History (Genesis 12-36)

1. God's Promise to Abraham

2. Covenant Formalization and Circumcision

3. Binding of Isaac and Sacrificial Theme

C. The Twelve Tribes of Israel (Genesis 37-50)

1. Joseph's Story: From Exile to Leadership

2. Fulfillment of Promises in Christ

3. Genesis as a Foreshadowing of the Gospel

  • Engage with the Old Testament to grasp its Gospel-centered nature. From Genesis to Ecclesiastes and Psalms, discover foundational truths, wisdom, and insights on suffering. Strengthen your faith and find enduring hope in God's Word.
  • Gain insight into the Old Testament's theological core, centering on Jesus Christ. Explore its diverse genres, languages, and authors, unified by Jesus as its focal point. Understand how biblical evidence supports Jesus as the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy, shaping interpretation.
  • In this lesson, Dr. Miles Van Pelt provides the thematic framework for the Old Testament. The Old Testament's thematic core is the Kingdom of God. Through this lesson, you'll understand its covenantal nature, from pre-temporal arrangements to various administrations like redemption, works, and grace, unveiling God's salvation plan in Christ.
  • Discover the intricate covenantal structure of the Bible, revealing its theological depth and unity, from the division of the Hebrew Bible to its mirroring in the New Testament, all centered around Jesus Christ.
  • Gain insight into the Pentateuch's covenantal structure, Moses' authorship debate, and evidence supporting it. Understand its significance as the foundation of Israel's relationship with God and its relevance for biblical theology.
  • Through this lesson, you will understand the theological, structural, and thematic intricacies of the book of Genesis. You'll grasp its role as a foundational text in both the Old and New Testaments, exploring themes of covenant, creation, fall, redemption, and the fulfillment of promises. You'll gain insights into the genealogical structure of Genesis, its portrayal of key biblical figures like Adam, Noah, and Abraham, and its connection to the overarching narrative of the gospel.
  • Exodus reveals Yahweh's promise—"I will be with you"—unfolding divine presence and covenant. It anticipates Jesus as fulfillment—a better Moses and Tabernacle—ushering in God's eternal presence among humanity.
  • Studying Leviticus unveils the intricate system of laws and rituals at Mount Sinai. It explains sacrificial atonement, priestly consecration, purity laws, and the theme of holiness, prefiguring Jesus as the ultimate priest, sacrifice, and source of holiness.
  • Discover the Book of Numbers' insights on Israel's journey, God's faithfulness, consequences of disobedience, and parallels to Christ, cautioning against questioning God's holiness and emphasizing His desire to dwell among His people through the Holy Spirit.
  • Gain insight into Deuteronomy's covenant renewal for Israel entering Canaan, emphasizing obedience, typology, and its relevance for Christian living.
  • Gain deep insight into the former prophets, exploring themes of Yahweh's faithfulness, Israel's unfaithfulness, and the typological significance of the Mosaic covenant. Understand its relation to the Abrahamic covenant and its fulfillment in the New Covenant under Jesus, revealing God's plan for restoration.
  • Joshua unveils Joshua's leadership, divine promise fulfillment in Canaan, obedience's significance, and Jesus as the ultimate fulfiller of God's promises.
  • Discover the Book of Judges, detailing Israel's history and faith journey. Learn about judges as deliverers from oppression and idolatry, portraying parallels with Christ's ministry. Uncover a pattern of uncreation due to idolatry, emphasizing the need for an eternal judge—Jesus Christ—to save from corruption.
  • In this lesson, Dr. Miles Van Pelt provides insights into the book of Samuel, exploring its characters, themes, and the transition from judgeship to kingship in Israel. Learn of the significance of the Davidic covenant, culminating in Jesus as the ultimate King of Kings.
  • Gain insights into the Book of Kings, revealing its historical and theological significance. Discover the fulfillment of Davidic covenant, reasons for Israel's exile, and anticipation of the new covenant. Recognize Jesus as the ultimate fulfillment of its promises.
  • This lesson reviews latter prophets' insights into Israel's exile for breaking the Mosaic Covenant, the prophetic office's nature, diverse prophecy genres, and the execution of covenant lawsuits, all pointing to God's judgment and hope for restoration.
  • Explore Isaiah's profound prophetic themes, from redemption to impending judgment. Unravel his life and ministry's context, review the debate around authorship, and learn essential tools for study.
  • Enjoy this lesson on Jeremiah, a second Moses figure, and his prophetic message of repentance, redemption, and a new covenant. Explore the book's chiastic structure, historical context, and theological significance, offering hope amidst Judah's fall.
  • Studying Ezekiel reveals its focus on the glory of the Lord and the temple. You learn of Ezekiel's exile, his visions, and themes like covenant theology, creation, and apocalyptic elements, offering profound insights into hope amidst crisis.
  • Discover insights into the minor prophets' diverse genres and themes, from covenant infidelity to divine restoration. Witness Jonah's repentance narrative and prophetic visions culminating in Christ's fulfillment. Embrace Yahweh's justice and compassion, urging Israel's return, leading to Jesus as the ultimate authority.
  • Understand the structure and themes of the Hebrew Bible's writings section. Explore diverse literary forms, intentional divisions mirroring prophets, and the overarching theme of exile and return, illuminating Israel's covenant journey.
  • Discover the depth of the Book of Psalms: 150 songs divided into 5 books, expressing diverse emotions and worship forms. Explore themes, structure, and practical applications for personal devotion and prayer.
  • Gain insights into human suffering and theodicy through Job's trials. Explore themes of faith, resilience, and God's sovereignty amidst adversity. Discover hope in God's incomprehensible sovereignty amid life's trials.
  • Proverbs is a book of timeless wisdom from Solomon, who was gifted by God. By studying this book, you can learn to navigate life with righteousness and discernment, rooted in the fear of the Lord.
  • Journey through Ruth, where redemption, loyalty, and divine providence intertwine. Ruth, a symbol of strength, aligns with Boaz, embodying ancient customs. Their union shapes history, reflecting the enduring legacy of faith amidst life's complexities.
  • Explore the Song of Songs for insights into marriage and intimacy. It navigates the tension between true love and temptation, advocating for unwavering commitment and passionate intimacy, reflecting God's desired relationship. Discover timeless wisdom for modern-day love and marriage.
  • Ecclesiastes reveals life's futility without God, emphasizing the necessity of fearing Him. Through Solomon's wisdom, it prompts reflection on divine purpose amid existential questions.
  • In Lamentations, mourn the fall of Jerusalem and exile, finding hope in God's sovereignty.
  • The book of Esthers contains themes of providence, hiddenness of God, and faithfulness in exile. You will uncover the intricacies of Esther and Mordecai's roles in the deliverance of the Jewish people, as well as the establishment of the festival of Purim. This study will equip you with insights into how God's providence operates amidst human events, even when His presence may seem concealed, and how faithfulness in exile can lead to unexpected outcomes of deliverance and restoration.
  • Through this lesson on the book of Daniel, you'll gain insights into its structure, themes of faithfulness in exile, comparisons with Joseph, and its significance for understanding apocalyptic literature, providing a comprehensive understanding of God's sovereignty and care for His people.
  • Explore Ezra and Nehemiah for insights into post-exilic restoration, intertwining faith, governance, and cultural renewal. These books point towards a deeper longing for true and lasting restoration and echo themes found in apocalyptic literature such as the book of Revelation.
  • The Book of Chronicles traces Israel's history, emphasizing kingship, priesthood, and divine selection. It anticipates restoration, pointing to Jesus as the ultimate priest-king who fulfills God's promises.

Understanding the Old Testament 
Dr. Miles Van Pelt
Lesson Transcript

We have finally arrived. We're having our first lecture on a book of the Bible, the book of Genesis. It's the first book of the Old Testament, and so also the first book of the entire Christian Bible.

The Hebrew title for this book is the first word of the Hebrew text, Ba-reshith, commonly translated into English as, in the beginning, and it aptly describes the nature of the book. How did all of this begin? Both in terms of the creation of the world and the creation of God's people. The book of Genesis functions as the covenantal prologue to both the Old and New Testaments.

That is, it is both protological, about first things, but also eschatological, about last things. Meaning this, the book of Genesis begins with a statement, in the beginning, but it ends with a statement, in the last days, and it's the correlate word to beginning. Beginning and ending in Hebrew.

For example, Genesis 49:1, says, "Then Jacob called his sons and said, Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you what shall happen in the last days." So the book of Genesis is interested, not only in how things began, but also in where things are going, and we'll see that, especially in Genesis chapter 2. The book of Genesis is also the most covenantal book in the Bible. 

Now, the whole Bible is covenantal from beginning to end. Creation is covenantal, marriage is covenantal, and how God relates to us is covenantal, but the book of Genesis is the most covenantal book in the Bible in this way. It contains more covenantal administrations than any other book of the Bible. We get the covenant of works in Genesis 1 and 2. We get the covenant of grace and common grace in Genesis chapter 3. We get the covenant with Noah in Genesis 6.18, the second covenant with Noah and the world in Genesis 9, and then the covenant with Abraham in Genesis 12, 15, 17, and 22. Those are all the covenantal sections for Abraham. Outside of Genesis, there remains only the Mosaic covenant, the Davidic covenant, and the new covenants for the entire rest of the Bible.  So Genesis is full of covenantal administrations. It's not uncommon for Genesis to receive the most attention in introductions to the Old Testament because it's the most formative book that helps to shape the rest that's to come. We'll do our best here. Outline.

There are several ways to think about the outlining contents of the book of Genesis. Option one is just to divide the book relatively in half where you have Genesis 1 through 11, the pre-patriarchal era, that is, the time before Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the patriarchs, and then the patriarchal era, Genesis 12 to 50, that describes the life and times of the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and then the 12 patriarchs with special emphasis on Joseph. Option three is to think of it this way, the pre-patriarchal era in Genesis 1 through 11, the patriarchal era in Genesis 12 through 36, and then the Joseph narrative is kind of a special intrusion in Genesis 37 through 50.

But the best outline appears now on your screens. Here we have the generational structure of the book of Genesis with 12 sections, 12 sections like the 12 tribes of Israel or the 12 apostles. Now what you'll see here is a prologue and then these toledoth sections, that's the popular word to call them, toledoth is simply the Hebrew word for generation.So look in the title, you'll see the generational structure of Genesis and then you'll have toledoth or generations of, toledoth or generations of, and what you can see is that the book is shaped by genealogy. After the prologue, Genesis 1:1 to 2:3, where we get the creation of the heavens and the earth in seven days, then you have a series of 11 toledoth formulas tracing the development of, or the growth of the people of God and the people of this world. You can also say the line of Cain. The line of Cain and the line of Seth, that kind of thing. The reason for that is this, in Genesis chapter 3 verse 15, after God institutes a promise where he says, I'm not going to destroy everyone now. I'm going to send the seed of a woman to destroy the seed of the serpent.And all of these genealogies here are looking for that seed. It's like a spotlight searching, searching, searching, creating tension and tension and tension until you get to the end. So very important to understand that these generational structures are the explicit structuring devices of the book of Genesis. But we normally don't think in terms of such tight outlines. It's better to think about the pre-patriarchal era, that is divided by the flood, the world that then was and now is, and then the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, with a special focus on Joseph. 

Specific texts or issues worth considering early on in the book of Genesis. There is no way that in this brief introduction, we can cover all of the issues, but let's tackle at least three or four of them so that you have some sense of how to launch yourself into this book as you're studying it together.

First, let's consider the great issue of the days of creation in Genesis chapter 1. Correct. It is debated. Are they literal days, figurative days, long periods of time, or short periods of time? All of those things are certainly possible, but I'm not here to give you any of those answers at this point. What I want to do is I want to provide you with the literary framework for these days that tells you what the days are trying to do and how they function theologically. In another survey or other places or resources, you can tackle the debate about the nature of the days, but not in this particular instance. 

What we're going to do then is consider what is happening here in these six days, and the first two verses begin this way: "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth, and the earth was formless and void, and darkness hovered over the face of the deep, and the Spirit of God hovered over the waters." And then, wham, the days are coming.  You've got seven days, and the seventh day is the Sabbath day. Now, I'm going to give you a structure for these days to understand it, and you're going to recognize this structure from two lectures ago. 

The days of Genesis can be outlined with eight different boxes. Surprise, surprise. You've got day zero, one, two, three, four, five, six. In the first two verses of the book of Genesis after the introduction, it says, "And the earth was formless and void, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters." Now, I want to look at those words formless and void. I'm going to write them here, formless and void. Here you have the chaos, or you can think of the summary statement, in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth, that is, everything, both the visible and the invisible realms. Good.

Then He created the days in two triads, days one, two, and three, the answer to the formlessness of the earth, and it is created by way of division. So here you're going to have light and darkness. Here you're going to have the waters above and the waters below, and here you're going to have the waters and the dry land. Good. Creating by division, what is formless becomes formed. What is formless becomes formed in days one, two, and three, and then what is void becomes filled. What is void becomes filled.

So right here you get the sun and the moon and the stars. Here you get the birds and you get the fish that live in the waters above the sky and then the sea below, and here you get animals and humanity created in the image of God. So notice that you have the formless becoming formed, light and dark, sky and waters, waters and dry land.

Here you get the sun and the moon, the birds and the fish, the animals and the humans. So there's this parallelism that goes down. The void becomes filled and the formless becomes formed, but there's also interlocking parallelism here where you've got the light and the darkness, but it's the sun and the moon that give that light and darkness and rule over it.

You've got the sky and the waters below, the birds and the fish that rule over those realms, and you've got the water and the dry land and the animals and the humans, really the humans that rule over all that. These are the creation kingdoms and these are the creation kings. If you look at the text on day four, the sun and the moon rule over the darkness and the light.

The humans rule over all of humanity. The fish and the birds, though it doesn't say it, we imply from the other text, that they rule over their realms. Now, the reason I label them creation kingdoms and creation kings is because we talk about how the main theme that encompasses all themes in the Hebrew Bible is the kingdom of God.

These are kingdom realities, kingdom realms and kingdom creatures in the kingdom of God. They find their meaning on day seven, Sabbath rest. What's interesting is that the structure of the book of Genesis in Genesis chapters 1:1 to 2:3 is also the structure for the entire Hebrew canon that exists from Genesis to Revelation when you just flip this thing on its side.

So isn't it interesting that the arrangement of the cosmos in Genesis chapter 1 is the arrangement of the canon throughout the whole Bible, meaning God's unity and design are pervasive and beautiful and wonderful throughout? It's terrific. We're going to see this diagram one more time in our lectures during this survey.

Next, we're going to move on to Genesis chapter 2. What's interesting about Genesis chapter 2 after the Sabbath, well, I'll tell you two things about Genesis chapter 2 that are worth noting in our time together. Number one, in Genesis chapter 2, we begin with the Sabbath and we end with the marriage covenant. We begin with the Sabbath and we end with the marriage covenant.

And remember how I told you that Genesis not only talks about the first things, but about the last things, protology and eschatology. This is great. In Genesis chapter 2, we have pictured there for us the goal or the telos of humanity. Humanity was created to enter God's rest as his bride. And we see that in the book of Revelation when we enter into God's rest as his bride. And that's encoded at the very beginning in Genesis chapter 2. You could think of the creation of the cosmos here, the first heavens and earth, as pointing beyond themselves to the new heavens and earth. Does that make sense? So to keep those things in mind, it says in the book of Isaiah, that God declares the end from the beginning. And that's one of the things that makes him incomparable to the rest of humanity. 

Well, I want to tell you a little bit about Genesis chapter 2 because it's often misunderstood. And it's this. Genesis chapter 2 steps back in time and describes day six of creation in greater detail. And day six is important because it's the creation of the human beings that are created in the image of God. One of the things we notice in the structure and the outline of the days of Genesis 1:1 to 2:3 is how they're enumerated in Hebrew, which never comes through in English translations. I'll just give you a quick hint. Let's look at the screen together here. I mean, the whiteboard. 

Day one in Genesis chapter one is labeled this way. It says like, and God said, let there be light. And there was light. And God said it was good. And then it was evening and morning. Day one. Okay. It does not say the first day.It just says day one or a day. It's the most nondescript time of timestamp of the day. From that, it says a second day, a third day, a fourth day, a fifth day. Never is the definite article applied to any of those words in Hebrew, but every English translation provides them. Only day six gets the definite article, the sixth day. In that way, the Hebrew author is emphasizing the significance of day six as distinct from and separate from the previous five days.

Right? And what's even more interesting is that day seven gets the seventh with a definite article three times, the seventh, the seventh, the seventh. So it's the triply important day. But for now, the author wants to step back in time and talk about day six. And he does so by saying, hey, there's no water and there's no cultivator for the land yet. So I'm going to make some water, this mist or spring that comes up from the earth in verse six. And then I'm going to make a man in verses seven and eight to create the world or to take care of the creation. And so we have more water in verses nine to 14 and 15 and following the creation of the woman. 

Okay, now here's what I want to get at. One of the things that we know about day six and all of these days is they were created to be good. But day six is created as distinctly very good. So not only does it get the definite article, the sixth day, but it also gets the approbation very good. One of the things I want to point out here is in terms of maybe our anthropology or how we think about human beings, is that in this chapter, God creates Adam. He puts him in the garden and says, it is not good for man to be alone. Then he creates all of the animals and passes them by him. And it says, it is not good for man to be alone.

There is no helper like him. Now, I want to point out a couple of things here. One, Adam is in this perfectly created world in this perfectly planted garden by God with all of the animals at his side to engage with and with God himself in his presence. And he still says, Adam's alone. Adam's alone. And there's only one thing in Genesis chapter two that will bring day six from not good to very good. And it's the creation of the woman and the marriage covenant. The marriage covenant is the climax of creation because it is the goal of humanity. We said again, the marriage covenant is the climax of creation because it is the goal of humanity in this way, to enter into God's rest as his bride.

So when Adam sees Eve and says, behold now bone of my flesh, he beholds his telos or he beholds his destiny in that woman. And that's how it works. So it's a beautiful part of the chapter and how that works. And it is fundamentally important to understand the role of women in culture, that they represent for us our destiny. They represent for us our destiny in that sense. And that's an important thing.

Well, all good things come to an end. And in chapter three, we come to the fall. In chapter three, we come to the fall where Satan comes to Eve and questions the word of God. Adam and Eve give in to that questioning. They sin and eat the apple or the fruit or whatever it is, I think a tomato. And God comes and engages in judgment with them. He comes not in the cool of the day, but in the wind of the storm, and he engages in a kind of redemptive judgment. He does not wipe them out as he could have. He enters into a period of delay. We call that common grace. 

Right. And then he enters into these covenant curses, but also redemptive hope in the midst of them. So to the serpent, he says, cursed above you are all livestock. You're going to eat the dust and walk in your belly for the rest of your life. Then he moves to Eve and he says, what have you done? She tries to pass the buck, and God's going to give her for her disobedience, pain and childbearing. And then for Adam, he's going to receive the cursed ground and the working of it, no longer being fruitful, but being the sweat of his brow, thorns and thistles.

But in the midst of that, with the woman, God promises that she will bear a seed that will ultimately crush the head of the serpent. And this is called the first gospel or the Proto-Euangelion, famously. And from Genesis 3:15 on, we have the hope of the destruction of evil and the hope of the gospel of God being the thing that overcomes. We call this the covenant of grace, whereby someone will come and do for us what Adam and Eve failed to do, that they will earn the righteousness that we need to live in God's presence. So Genesis 3.15 is a key and important verse. 

From this, Adam and Eve are dismissed from the garden so that they are not able to eat from the Tree of Life and live forever, which then would keep them in a permanently fallen state. And they are kicked out of the garden where the guardian cherub is there to protect it. That's the first main thing. You've got creation, fall, and redemption in the first three chapters of Genesis. And really, the rest of the Bible is working on this whole thing, redemption, redemption, redemption. And it will ultimately be fulfilled in two stages in the first and second coming of Christ. And so we have a long time to work.

Following Adam and Eve's exile from the garden, we find that from Genesis 4 to 9, sin takes over the world. We have it beginning with Cain's killing of Abel. We have it with Lamech engaging in polygamy and murder. And then by the time we get to Genesis chapter 6, God is grieved that he has made this world because it is so pervasively evil. And he engages in the flood judgment ordeal. In this flood judgment ordeal, God undoes his creation in bringing back the waters of chaos from Genesis chapter 1. He saves the family through the waters with Noah.

And then he brings forth a new world that will continue to look for the seed of the woman to crush the seed of the serpent. That seed theology carries us to Genesis chapter 11, where we meet Abraham. And we discover here that Abraham is the one through whom the seed of the woman will come. And God makes a promise to Abraham in Genesis 12 that God will give him a great name. He'll give him offspring more numerous than the sand of the sea. And he'll give him land as an inheritance and a blessing.

Now, just by way of summary because of our time, it goes this way. In Genesis 12, God makes the promise to Abraham. In Genesis 15, God formalizes that promise through a covenant, the covenant of pieces. When God says, Abraham, I will be your shield and great reward. And then he makes promises to Abraham and God himself walks the trail of the covenant through the cut animal pieces saying to Abraham, Abraham, may it be to me like these animals if I fail to make this promise come true to you. So God, in some sense, puts himself under oath to keep his promise to Abraham no matter what. In Genesis 17, Abraham gets the sign of the covenant, circumcision, that those who come to faith like Abraham will be in covenant with God, but those who do not will be cut off. Then in chapter 22, we have the whole binding of Isaac, where we discover what will be the cost of God to keep his promise. It'll be the death of his son.

Okay, that moves us into the lives of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. And then we have the birth of the 12 patriarchs and the beginning of the nation of Israel, the birth of the 12 patriarchs and the beginning of the nation of Israel. And you can see here as we meet the 12 patriarchs that become the 12 tribes of Israel. They are the sons of Jacob and they are born in Genesis 29 to 30 and 35 in what I call the great birth race. Jacob has married Rachel and Leah. He's given Leah using deception from her father and then works for Rachel again. And what happens is Rachel can't have kids, but Leah is having a lot of kids. And so each of the numbers that I have there is the birth order of the 12 patriarchs. So Leah has Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah.

And then Rachel says, shoot, Leah's in the lead and she can't have kids. So she gives to Jacob her maid servant Bilhah and then she has Dan and Naphtali. And then Leah says, hey, she can't have that. I'm going to give Jacob my maidservant. And then they have Gad and Asher. And then finally Rachel gives birth to Joseph and Benjamin. Those are the 12 tribes of Israel. Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Gad, Asher, Joseph, Benjamin, Dan, and Naphtali. 

Now I want to give, just take a moment because it's an introductory course, and show you a map of the tribes of Israel in the land of Canaan. And what you'll see here is Judah and Simeon and Reuben and Issachar and Dan taking up inheritance in the promised land. But look back here, Levi and Joseph. Notice that Levi and Joseph do not have inheritance possessions in the land with their names on them. Why? The first one is easy. Levi serves as the priestly line or will come to serve in the book of Exodus as the priestly line of the Israelites. It says in Exodus through Deuteronomy that the tribe of Levi will not inherit land because Yahweh himself is their inheritance, which is a very special inheritance to have.

Secondly, Joseph does indeed have an inheritance in the land. And that comes through what you see as Ephraim and Manasseh, which constitutes, in fact, the largest geographical terrain in Israel. Who are Ephraim and Manasseh? Ephraim and Manasseh are the sons of Joseph. And they were adopted by Jacob. And remember, Jacob considered Joseph his firstborn because he came from Rachel. And that's what got all of his sons hot and bothered and sent him down into exile in Egypt.

But this is fulfilled when Joseph's sons are adopted by Jacob and therefore he has the double inheritance of the firstborn. So that's how that works. A lot of times in these introductory lectures, people don't understand where did Levi go, and where did Joseph go in terms of the tribal allotments. There are 12 tribes, but Levi gets Yahweh as their inheritance, not land. And Joseph gets a double inheritance because he's treated as the firstborn. And those are Ephraim and Manasseh. That's a good way to describe it. 

So again, creation, fall, redemption, chapters 1 through 3. Judgment because of sin in Genesis 6 through 9. Mercy and the promise of God to Abraham in Genesis 12, 15, 17 and 22. Then you have the narrative of Joseph where Joseph is mistreated by his brothers. He's sold into slavery. He ends up rising to power and saving the world and his family at the end of the day and leads them into exile to escape the famine. That's the story of the book of Genesis. 

How is Genesis in some sense the gospel promised beforehand? Here are three things that you can latch on to. Jesus Christ is the true and better Adam who fulfilled the work of God that was desired. He obeyed the covenant of God and earned the that we need. Jesus is the true and better Noah who brings his people through judgment. And Jesus is the one who fulfills all of the promises of Abraham.All of the promises of God are yes and amen in Christ. And Abraham's faith was rooted in Jesus Christ. He is the true and better Adam, the true and better Noah, and he is the fulfillment of all the Abrahamic promises.

This is the book of Genesis.