The oldest extant manuscripts of Genesis are the twenty-four fragments found among the Dead Sea Scrolls, dating from between 150 BC and AD 70.

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.




Genesis (Ge)


Chap.9 15 And I will keep in mind the agreement between me and you and every living thing; and never again will there be a great flow of waters causing destruction to all flesh. 16 And the bow will be in the cloud, and looking on it, I will keep in mind the eternal agreement between God and every living thing on the earth. 17 And God said to Noah, This is the sign of the agreement which I have made between me and all flesh on the earth. 18 And the sons of Noah who went out of the ark were Shem, Ham, and Japheth; and Ham is the father of Canaan. 19 These three were the sons of Noah and from them all the earth was peopled. 20 In those days Noah became a farmer, and he made a vine-garden. 21 And he took of the wine of it and was overcome by drink; and he was uncovered in his tent. 22 And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father unclothed, and gave news of it to his two brothers outside. 23 And Shem and Japheth took a robe, and putting it on their backs went in with their faces turned away, and put it over their father so that they might not see him unclothed. 24 And, awaking from his wine, Noah saw what his youngest son had done to him, and he said, 25 Cursed be Canaan; let him be a servant of servants to his brothers. 26 And he said, Praise to the Lord, the God of Shem; let Canaan be his servant. 27 May God make Japheth great, and let his living-place be in the tents of Shem, and let Canaan be his servant. 28 And Noah went on living three hundred and fifty years after the great flow of waters; 29 all the years of his life were nine hundred and fifty: and he came to his end.

Chap.10 1 Now these are the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth: these are the sons which they had after the great flow of waters 2 The sons of Japheth: Gomer and Magog and Madai and Javan and Tubal and Meshech and Tiras. 3 And the sons of Gomer: Ashkenaz and Riphath and Togarmah. 4 And the sons of Javan: Elishah and Tarshish, the Kittim and the Dodanim. 5 From these came the nations of the sea-lands, with their different families and languages.

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