Genesis contains some of the best known biblical stories, including the Hebrew account of the creation of the world, Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Noah's Ark, the Tower of Babel, the Call of Abraham, Abraham and the sacrifice of Isaac, Esau and Jacob, the marriage of Jacob, Jacob and Laban, Sarah and Pharaoh, Sarah and Abimelech, the battle of the Vale of Siddim, Sodom and Gomorrah, Jacob's wrestling with the angel at Peniel, Joseph and his coat of many colours, Joseph and the interpretation of Pharaoh's dreams, Onan and his sin, the seduction of Lot by his daughters, the Blessing of Jacob, the purchase of the cave of Machpelah, and others. Structurally, it consists of the "primeval history" (chapters 1–11) and cycles of Patriarchal stories (chapters 12–50)—Abraham, Isaac, Jacob (renamed, Israel), and concluding with Joseph. While it contains traditions that developed during the monarchy and some poetry that may be even earlier, scholars are divided on its authorshipalthough many think its final shape and message come from the Exilic and Persian periods (6th and 5th centuries BCE).
For Jews and Christians alike, the theological importance of Genesis centers on the Covenants linking Yahweh (God) to his Chosen People and the people to the Promised Land. Christianity has interpreted Genesis as the prefiguration of certain cardinal Christian beliefs, primarily the need for salvation (the hope of all Christians) and the redemptive act of Christ on the Cross as the fulfillment of covenant promises as the Son of God.
Chap.1 1 At the first God made the heaven and the earth. 2 And the earth was waste and without form; and it was dark on the face of the deep: and the Spirit of God was moving on the face of the waters. 3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. 4 And God, looking on the light, saw that it was good: and God made a division between the light and the dark, 5 Naming the light, Day, and the dark, Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day. 6 And God said, Let there be a solid arch stretching over the waters, parting the waters from the waters. 7 And God made the arch for a division between the waters which were under the arch and those which were over it: and it was so. 8 And God gave the arch the name of Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day. 9 And God said, Let the waters under the heaven come together in one place, and let the dry land be seen: and it was so. 10 And God gave the dry land the name of Earth; and the waters together in their place were named Seas: and God saw that it was good. 11 And God said, Let grass come up on the earth, and plants producing seed, and fruit-trees giving fruit, in which is their seed, after their sort: and it was so. 12 And grass came up on the earth, and every plant producing seed of its sort, and every tree producing fruit, in which is its seed, of its sort: and God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening and there was morning, the third day. 14 And God said, Let there be lights in the arch of heaven, for a division between the day and the night, and let them be for signs, and for marking the changes of the year, and for days and for years: 15 And let them be for lights in the arch of heaven to give light on the earth: and it was so. 16 And God made the two great lights: the greater light to be the ruler of the day, and the smaller light to be the ruler of the night: and he made the stars. 17 And God put them in the arch of heaven, to give light on the earth; 18 To have rule over the day and the night, and for a division between the light and the dark: and God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day. 20 And God said, Let the waters be full of living things, and let birds be in flight over the earth under the arch of heaven.