Studies in Genesis

Introduction .................................................................................................................................................. 3
Genesis 1:1-2................................................................................................................................................. 4
Genesis 1:3-25............................................................................................................................................... 6
Genesis 1:26-31............................................................................................................................................. 8
Genesis 2:1-17............................................................................................................................................. 11
Genesis 2:18-25........................................................................................................................................... 14
Genesis 3:1-5............................................................................................................................................... 16
Genesis 3:6-24............................................................................................................................................. 19
Genesis 4:1-15............................................................................................................................................. 25
Genesis 4:16-24........................................................................................................................................... 28
Genesis 5 ..................................................................................................................................................... 29
Genesis 6:1-13............................................................................................................................................. 31
Genesis 6:14-22........................................................................................................................................... 34
Genesis 7 ..................................................................................................................................................... 35
Genesis 8 ..................................................................................................................................................... 37
Genesis 9 ..................................................................................................................................................... 39
Genesis 10-11.............................................................................................................................................. 42
Genesis 12 ................................................................................................................................................... 45
Genesis 13 ................................................................................................................................................... 47
Genesis 14 ................................................................................................................................................... 50
Genesis 15:1-6............................................................................................................................................. 52
Genesis 15:7-21........................................................................................................................................... 54
Genesis 16 ................................................................................................................................................... 56
Genesis 17 ................................................................................................................................................... 58
Genesis 18 ................................................................................................................................................... 60
Genesis 19 ................................................................................................................................................... 63
Genesis 20 ................................................................................................................................................... 66
Genesis 21 ................................................................................................................................................... 67

Genesis 22 ................................................................................................................................................... 70
Genesis 23 ................................................................................................................................................... 72
Genesis 24 ................................................................................................................................................... 73
Genesis 25 ................................................................................................................................................... 75
Genesis 26 ................................................................................................................................................... 77
Genesis 27 ................................................................................................................................................... 79
Genesis 28 ................................................................................................................................................... 82
Genesis 29 ................................................................................................................................................... 84
Genesis 30 ................................................................................................................................................... 86
Genesis 31 ................................................................................................................................................... 87
Genesis 32 ................................................................................................................................................... 90
Genesis 33 ................................................................................................................................................... 93
Genesis 34 ................................................................................................................................................... 94
Genesis 35 ................................................................................................................................................... 95
Genesis 36 and 37 ....................................................................................................................................... 97
Genesis 38 ................................................................................................................................................. 100
Genesis 39 ................................................................................................................................................. 102
Genesis 40 ................................................................................................................................................. 104
Genesis 41 ................................................................................................................................................. 106
Genesis 42 ................................................................................................................................................. 108
Genesis 43 ................................................................................................................................................. 110
Genesis 44 ................................................................................................................................................. 112
Genesis 45 ................................................................................................................................................. 114
Genesis 46 ................................................................................................................................................. 116
Genesis 47 ................................................................................................................................................. 118
Genesis 48 ................................................................................................................................................. 119
Genesis 49 ................................................................................................................................................. 122
Genesis 50 ................................................................................................................................................. 124
Genesis Appendix 1 ................................................................................................................................... 126
Genesis Appendix 2 ................................................................................................................................... 127
Genesis Appendix 3 ................................................................................................................................... 128
Bibliography .............................................................................................................................................. 129


These lessons are the productions of a busy pastor. They were written from
week-to-week for use by our Sunday School teachers here at First Baptist Church. The
notes were placed in book form as an afterthought in hope that they will be useful to
other Bible teachers.
The reader must not expect great originality in the lessons. I have gleaned from many
authors. Those who use the books recommended on the following page will find where
many of our thoughts were borrowed.
Allow me to encourage each teacher to put as much study into your lessons as time will
allow. The books mentioned in the recommended list will be a real help. The more you
know about your subject, the better teacher you will be.
Finally let me mention that the lessons are not equal in length. Pastors who have
several classes studying Genesis in unison will need to determine in advance how many
weeks will be required to cover each lesson.
Elder Ron Crisp
First Baptist Church
Independence, Kentucky
Recommended for Additional Study

John Calvin, Commentary on Genesis.
The famous reformer is very practical and often presents a viewpoint quite different from
modern authors.
B. H. Carroll, An Interpretation of the English Bible: "Genesis."
The section on Genesis is very good.
Matthew Henry, Bible Commentary.
This older commentary is a must for those who teach Bible classes.
Henry M. Morris, The Genesis Record.
Dr. Morris is not only a good Bible student, but a scientist and an expert in the field of
Creation Science. His book is a highly recommended study.

A. W. Pink, Gleanings in Genesis.
Mr. Pink is very interesting, but he often goes overboard in the application of Biblical

Genesis 1:1-2

INTRODUCTION: In Genesis 1:1, we have the beginning of God's great revelation to
mortal man through His written Word. Belief in God's Word provides an understanding
of creation that cannot be obtained in any other manner [Hebrews 11:3].
I. A GREAT REVELATION. No man could know by experience or research the things
recorded in Genesis 1:1-2. Our Great God and Father has seen fit to reveal the facts
of creation to us. While God has spoken to man in many ways [Hebrews 1:1], yet it
seems logical that He would give us this revelation in a written and permanent form.
What a treasure the Bible is.
Faith in God's Word is the only true safety from error. Belief in Genesis 1:1 saves us
from the great errors of human philosophy.
The following errors have enslaved millions; yet in one verse God contradicts them all:

A. Atheism - Genesis 1: 1 asserts the existence of God.
B. Agnosticism - Agnostics believe that no one can know if there is a God. Genesis 1:
1 assumes that all men by nature know that God exists.
C. Polytheism - What masses of humanity have believed in man’s gods. Genesis 1:1
speaks of one God.
D. Pantheism - This philosophy teaches that God and the universe are one. Most of
the Far Eastern religions are based on such concepts. Genesis 1:1 teaches that God is
separate from, and transcendent to the universe. He is a personal God, not just a
universal force.
E. Materialism - This philosophy teaches that matter is eternal. True evolutionists are

materialists. Genesis 1:1 states that matter had a beginning.
F. Dualism - Dualists teach that the universe was created and is controlled by two
opposing forces: one good and one evil. Genesis 1:1 teaches that there is one living
and true God who is obviously supreme.
These and a multitude of other "isms" are destroyed by a mere statement from God.
Man without an inspired revelation is like a ship without a compass.
Verse 1 - In the Hebrew language this verse is just seven words. How much the Lord
can say with such few words.
"In the beginning" - This refers to the beginning of the universe: the origin of time and
matter. It is not the same "beginning" as in John 1:1, which refers to the eternal
existence of God's Son. The Lord Jesus was not created, but is co-eternal with the
Father. In the "beginning" of Genesis 1:1, God created the universe, but in the
"beginning" of John 1: 1, Jesus "was."
"God" - Fittingly God is the first noun mentioned in the Bible. Notice that the Bible
does not argue or attempt to prove His existence. It is taken for granted that honest
people recognize the existence of God. This knowledge is universal among men
[Psalms 14:1; Psalms 19:1-3; Romans 1:18-20]. It takes effort to become an atheist.
The word translated God is Elohim in the Hebrew language. This is a rather
mysterious word because it is singular/plural. Christians have always seen in it the
implication of the doctrine of the Trinity. This is further implied in the use of plural
pronouns [Genesis 1:26; 11:7]. The rest of the Bible makes plain the truth of the
Trinity so dimly seen in the word Elohim.
In other parts of the Bible we are taught that creation was the work of all three
persons of the Godhead. This proves that all three are Elohim.
A. God the Father - Genesis 1:1; Job 38:1-4.
B. God the Son - John 1:1-3; Ephesians 3:9; Colossians 1:16-17.
C. God the Holy Spirit - Genesis 1:2; Job 26:13.

"Created" - This word means to create from nothing. It is used only of God.
"Heaven and the earth" - This phrase refers to the entire universe.
Verse 2 - Here God begins to explain exactly how He created the universe. First, the
mass of matter was created. It was "without form and void.“ This expression means
that the universe was without shape and empty. In the following days of creation, God
shaped the mass into the world we know. He then filled it with plants and animals.
How interesting that in this verse the Holy Spirit is mentioned. He worked in the
design and beautification the universe [Job 26:13]. He is said to have "moved upon the
face of the waters" because at that time water covered everything [verse 9].
CONCLUSION: Several things come to mind as we reflect upon these Scriptures:
A. Only sin can keep a person from seeing God revealed in creation. The Bible
assumes that God's existence is a self-evident fact.
B. How glorious is the Bible account of creation. What a contrast to the myths of
paganism or the theories of false science. How profound is the thought that the
universe was created by an all-wise, all-powerful, yet personal God.
C. How wonderful is the unity of the Bible. Though it was written by more than forty
authors over a period of fifteen hundred years, yet it is one book. Think how mysteries
like the Tri-unity of God are gradually made plain, yet implied from the very beginning
of Scripture.
Genesis 1:3-25

INTRODUCTION: In this portion of Scripture, we have the six days of creation.
During this time God brought shape and order to the universe and then filled it with
plants and animals. The creation of man on the sixth day win be reserved for a later
Before we begin our study of the six days of creation, there are several matters we
might note:

A. Notice that the work of creation was done by God's word [verses 3, 6, 9, 11, 14, 20,
and 24; Hebrews 11:3]. His great works are all performed in this way. Souls are saved
[I Corinthians 1:21; Romans 10:17], Christians are cleansed [John 17:17], and
judgment falls on the wicked [Revelation 19:15], all through the instrumentality of
God's word. Theologians refer to God's spoken Word, His written Word, and to Jesus
Christ as the incarnate Word [John 1:1 and 14].
B. Often people ask if the days of Genesis 1 are literal twenty-four hour periods. The
answer is yes.
Consider the following:
1. Whenever the Hebrew word yom is used with a number (first, second, etc.) it always
refers to a literal day.
2. These days are connected to the ordinary rotation of the earth [verse 16]. Each day
had a morning and an evening [verse 8].
There are many other proofs, but these are obvious and should suffice. There is no
reason to interpret the Bible otherwise.
C. In Hebrew culture to name something was to assert dominion over it. God's naming
of the parts of the universe reveals His sovereign power over it [verses 5, 8, and
others]. While we take this for granted, yet it is a great revelation to people who
worship a multitude of gods, who each rule a part of the universe.
II. THE FIRST DAY - verses 3-5.
The first thing created by God was light. Light in many respects is like God [James
1:17; I John 1:5]. It is used to represent God's holiness, knowledge, and life-giving
power. The creation of light is also used as a picture of the New Birth [II Corinthians
4:6]. In salvation, Christ brings light to a darkened soul [1 John 5:20].
III. THE SECOND DAY - verses 6-8.
On the second day God made the firmament. The word firmament means "expanse."
It refers to the sky around us. Before the second day, the waters were everywhere as
liquid and vapors. God separated the waters upon earth from those in the clouds
above. This left the atmosphere around us, as we know it.

IV. THE THlRD DAY - verses 9-13.
On the third day God separated the land from the waters [Job 38:11]. Before this time,
the earth was covered with water. Also on this day, all forms of vegetation were made.
Notice that with the creation of life, it was mentioned that it would propagate after its
kind [verse 12]. This was no doubt made clear to contradict all false theories in
advance (spontaneous generation, evolution, and other false theories).
V. THE FOURTH DAY - verses 14-19.
On the fourth day God made the heavenly bodies as we know them. Possibly they
already existed [verse 1], but did not shine or serve their present purpose. At any rate,
on the fourth day, the sun, moon, planets, and stars began to shine. The purpose is
given in verse.14.
Note: The firmament of verse 8, is different from that of verse 15. Both are expanses,
but one refers to the place where the birds fly and the other to outer space.
VI. THE FIFTH DAY - verses 20-23.
On the fifth day God created the animals which live in water and also the birds. Notice
again, that each propagate after its kind.
VII. THE SIXTH DAY - verses 24-26.
On the sixth day God created all land animals and insects. Notice that with each day of
creation, God was well-pleased with His work [verse 25]. Every part was good and the
whole was very good [verse 31]. This was all before the curse blighted God's creation.
Even today, with sin's damage, we marvel at the power, wisdom, and goodness of God
in creation. What beauty, variety, and complexity are manifest. Creation still reveals
God [Psalm 19:1-3].
CONCLUSION: Only God can make a world. Likewise, only God can make a
Christian. The physical creation is used to illustrate God's saving grace manifested in
the New Birth [II Corinthians 5:17]. The word creature is an old English word for
"creation" or "something created."
Genesis 1:26-31

INTRODUCTON: On the sixth day God created man. In a variety of ways the
importance of man's creation in God's plan is indicated.

Man was created last for several reasons:
A. Man was the high-point and the central purpose of creation.
B. Because all else was created for the benefit of man. God finished man's habitation
before He created man, so Adam could be placed in an already perfect environment
[verses 28-30].
C. Some have suggested that man was created last, so that all would know that he
neither advised nor helped God in creation [Job 38:1-4]
In stating that man was the high-point of God's creation, we do not mean to exalt man
so as to create pride. There are, however, two things that ought to be remembered:
First, we need to recall that mankind alone was created in God's image.
Secondly, we must remember that in man's creation, God already knew about Adam's
sin and the redemption through His Son. When we remember that Christ took upon
Himself human form to die for sinners, we see the importance of man's creation. This
is not cause for pride, but rather for gratitude and worship [Psalm 8:3-9].
Note: The creation of angels is not mentioned in Genesis. We do know that they are
created beings [Ezekiel 28:14-15].
Man alone was created in God's image. The importance of this is emphasized, in that
for the first time in the creation week, God deliberated with Himself [verse 26]. The
plural pronoun [verse 26] again hints at the Tri-unity of God.
We need to ask ourselves what is meant by the "image of God?" Some have
suggested that this refers to man's speech, intelligence, ability of domination, and
undying soul.
While these things may be included in the concept, the main point, however, is man's
original holy nature. Mankind was created with a love for God and goodness.
This image was marred and mostly lost in the Fall of Adam [Romans 5:12]. Through
Jesus Christ this spiritual image is restored in the New Birth [Colossians 3:10,

Ephesians 4:24]* No doubt the image will be even clearer at the resurrection when we
are fully redeemed through Christ [Romans 8:29, I John 3:2].
III. THE SEXES - verse 27.
As this is discussed in chapter two, we will say little about it here. Keep in mind both
male and female were created in God's image.
IV. MAN'S DOMINION - verses 26 and 28.
God gave man not only the command to populate the earth, but also to take dominion
over it. All of nature was created for man's use. In this command, we have the mandate
for all true science. All advances in agriculture, animal breeding, transportation,
energy, chemistry, medicine, and other fields, come under this mandate. How this
refutes the modem environmentalists who view man as in intruder in the world. While it
is foolish to abuse the earth's bounty, yet its legitimate use is man's God-given
In Hebrews 2:6-8 we have a quote from Psalm 8, that expounds God's plan for man's
dominion as originally stated in Genesis chapters 1 and 2. In the last part of Hebrews
2:8 we see that man has, however, failed because of sin. Science has made great
strides, but because of the Curse [Genesis 3: 17 -18], much of nature is out of man's
control. Famines, droughts, storms, vicious animals, blights, dangerous plants and
insects, as well as disease and aging still curse the earth. Science is limited in its
abilities. Death is the final end of all.
Praise God that Hebrews 2:9 gives glorious news! Though we do not see everything
under man's dominion [Hebrews 2:8b], we see Jesus [Hebrews 2:9]. Having come in
the form of a man, He will take the dominion that man failed to achieve. Not only will
the curse of nature be lifted [Isaiah 11:6-9], but all will be under His control [Ephesians
1 :20-22; I Corinthians 15:25]. Jesus Christ, the last Adam [I Corinthians 15:45], will
succeed where the first Adam failed.
V. GOD'S PROVISION FOR MAN - verses 29-30.
How good God is! Everything man needed was provided for him abundantly. Not only
the necessities, but variety and beauty were provided. Even today, we must see nature
as God's provision for us. Doubtless, sin's curse has greatly reduced the variety and
ease of cultivation and harvest, but still we live in a world of bountiful capabilities.
Even the hybrid plants and animals man develops are only possible because God
placed those possibilities in the genetic make-up of plants and animals.

Every part of God's work, He pronounced good [verses 12, 18 and others]. Having
finished the universe, however, He pronounced it all very good [Genesis 1:31]. God
took delight in His creation. What a universe we live in! What wisdom and power are
displayed in its design [Psalm 19:1-4]! What variety, beauty, goodness, and harmony
are manifested. Man was holy. Creation was wonderful. What a habitation before sin's
* The spiritual change in salvation is called a New Birth because children bear the
likeness of their parents [John 3:3].
Genesis 2:1-17

INTRODUCTION: In Genesis chapter two we receive additional information on the
creation and original state of mankind.
I. THE FIRST SABBATH - verses 1-3.
On the sixth day God finished His creation. The seventh day was set apart as one of
rest. This was not a rest from weariness but rather a resting in joy and satisfaction.
When the Sabbath was incorporated into Israel's law [Exodus 20:8] it was according to
the pattern given here. The seventh day was set apart for rest.
Christians have often referred to Sunday as the "Christian Sabbath." The author has
never felt comfortable with this [Colossians 2:14-16; Galatians 4:9-10; Romans 14:5].
We should, however, recognize the Sabbath principle. The Sabbath was instituted for
the physical, spiritual, and mental well-being of man [Mark 2:23-27, note verse 27].
Man needs a day of rest and spiritual nourishment. Christians follow the pattern of the
New Testament in assembling on the first day of the week. This was the day that
Christ arose [John 20:1; Acts 20:7; I Corinthians 16:2]. During the first week of the
world God set apart a day to contemplate and delight in the creation of which man was
the high-point. Let us now, as much as possible, set Sunday aside as a day to
contemplate and delight in the Lord.
Note: Here the word sanctify is used for the first time. It obviously means to "set

apart." This helps us to understand later Bible teachings on sanctification.
These verses give a quick summation of Genesis chapter one. This prepares the
framework in which to enlarge upon man's creation. There are several new items of
information here.
In verses 5-6, we have an explanation concerning the watering of the earth. In the
present hydrological cycle, the earth is watered by moisture evaporating from the
oceans and then being moved by air masses over land where it falls as rain or snow
[Ecclesiastes 1:6-7]. At the time of creation, however, the earth was watered by local
evaporation and condensation [verse 6], and spring-fed rivers [verse 10]. Probably the
water table was also very high. While there are many interesting theories on the
pre-flood nature of earth's atmosphere, it is at least obvious that it was very different
from that of today.
In verses 4-6, we are also introduced to a new name of God. The first chapter refers to
Him as "God" which is a translation of the Hebrew name Elohim. In Genesis 2:4, He is
introduced as the "LORD God." Whenever you see LORD spelled in the Old
Testament with all capitals it is a translation of the Hebrew name Jehovah. This name,
which the Jews in reverence refused even to pronounce, refers to God as the "selfexistent One."
III. MAN'S CREATION - verse 7.
Man's body was created from the dust of the earth. Perhaps "Dusty" is not such a bad
name for boys [I Corinthians 15:47]. Our food comes directly or indirectly from the
earth and in death our body goes back to the dust.
While the body is a wonderful creation we see, however, that the principle of life came
directly from God. He breathed into man the breath of life. Life is more than cleverly
arranged atoms. It is a gift of God.
IV. THE GARDEN OF EDEN - verses 8-14.
Man's original dwelling was not in a mansion, but in a garden. Houses, like clothes,
came with the introduction of sin. God provided everything Adam would need before
He created him. There was food for nourishment and delight. There was beauty for the
eyes. There was an occupation to pass the time and bring fulfillment [verse 15]. There
was even companionship [verse 18]. In all this we see the love and goodness of God.

Especially mentioned are two trees [verse 9]. Of these trees was the tree of life which
is the most difficult to understand. It is mentioned several times in Scripture [Genesis
3:24, Ezekiel 47:12, Revelation 2:7, Revelation 22:2]. In some way it was connected
with physical health.
Scripture also mentions a river that ran through Eden. This helped to water the garden
that was on the east side of Eden [verse 8]. Some information is given in verses 10-14
on the four tributaries of this river and the areas through which they flowed. While it is
not possible today to locate Eden through this information, it did seem to lie in the area
of the "Fertile Crescent." This area is commonly recognized as the birthplace of
Note: Eden means pleasant, enjoyment, or delight.
V. MAN'S OCCUPATION - verse 15.
Note well that man was given work even before sin entered. Only in work does man
find ultimate fulfillment and contentment. Adam's work was pleasant as the earth had
not yet been cursed [Genesis 3:17-19]. Noxious insects and plants were not yet
present. Blights and droughts were no problem. Earth's bounty needed only to be
directed and utilized for beauty and nourishment.
In God's original dealings with Adam, we have the basis for a work ethic [Exodus
20:8-9; II Thessalonians 3:10]. Let every Christian teach their children the need and
dignity of work. Let us also perform all labor to the glory of God.
The tree of the knowledge of good and evil was placed in the garden so that man might
be tested. Many have debated the species of the tree. This is to attempt to be wise
above what is written and misses the whole point. Man already knew good because he
was created holy and knew God. He could only know or experience evil by disobeying
God. In verse 17 we have the only restriction placed on man and therefore the only
temptation to sin. Regardless of the nature of the tree, to eat of it was disobedience.
This would bring death and the knowledge of evil.
There are several things to keep in mind concerning this first test:
1. Through Adam the whole human race was tested. Adam was the covenant head and
representative of the human race [Romans 5:12-19]. Christ is called the "last Adam"
because He represented His people [I Corinthians 15:45].

2. God bountifully provided for Adam's needs and wants [verse 16]. The only
restriction on Adam in no way left him in need [verse 17]. There was no excuse for sin.
3. Adam had no sinful nature to lead him into sin [Genesis 1:27].
4. Adam was warned of the dire consequences of disobedience. The day that he ate of
the forbidden fruit he would die spiritually [Ephesians 2:1]. Because of Adam's sin men
are now dead spiritually, dead or dying physically, and in danger of the second death
[Revelation 20:14].
Why do men age and die? We may never understand the physical process but through
Scripture we know the spiritual cause. All this background reveals how high-handed
and unreasonable Adam's sin was. It was not a small sin, but treason against the
benevolence and just authority of God.
CONCLUSION: Before the Fall God warned of death while the world knew only life.
Now in the midst of death He speaks of life in Jesus Christ. Thank God for the last
Genesis 2:18-25
INTRODUCTION: This short and simply told narrative gives us the origin of women,
marriage, and the family. Many of the precepts that deal with God's plan and order in
marriage are based on this portion of Scripture.
I. THE NEED - verses 18.
While everything that God made was good, at this point it was incomplete. The male
without the female was physically and psychologically lacking. Reproduction was
impossible. Even if children were produced in some other way the family would not be
complete. Children need the love of a father and a mother. The male and female
together in marriage form a physical and emotional unity which meets the needs of
both while providing a "nest" for child rearing. Truly the woman is a help which is
meet or suitable for the man. Sadly because of sin's entrance marriages end in divorce.
Others continue while the partners grow apart. Our goal should be to grow together as
one to the mutual benefit of both. To this end let us seek a mate from the Lord
[Proverbs 19:14], and follow the precepts of Scripture in our marriage.

Note: The Bible recognizes that some have the ability to remain unmarried and still
serve God acceptably [I Corinthians 7:7-9].
II. THE NEED MANIFESTED - verses 19-20.
Seeing that Adam was to have dominion [Genesis 1:26], God brought the animals to
him for naming. Many have mentioned that we have here the implication that Adam's
intellect before the fall was more perfect than that of men since the coming of sin and
disease. The work of giving descriptive names to animal life was quite a task as any
scientist knows. Doubtless the main purpose God had by having Adam name the
animals was to show him his need for a mate. Adam would certainly have noticed that
all creatures came in pairs. He would also have noticed that with all the benefit animals
could provide for him that none were suitable as a real companion.
III. THE NEED MET - verses 21-25.
After showing Adam his need, God then proceeded to meet that need. Adam was
caused to fall into a sleep during which God took one of his ribs and made the woman.
This method of creation caused one preacher to refer to woman as "dust double
refined and twice removed from the earth." No doubt the woman was made from man
rather than directly from the dust in order to emphasize the unity of the two and the
priority of the man.
The creation of woman occurred while Adam was asleep. Some have suggested that
this was so all would know that Adam did not advise God. Certainly the obvious reason
was that Adam would feel no pain in a sinless world. Sir James Simpson, who
discovered chloroform, was very impressed by this portion of Scripture. He was a
devout Christian who wrestled with the morality of anesthesia. It was this Scripture
that convinced him to proceed with a clear conscience and thus benefit humanity. God,
he saw, had used anesthesia in the first surgery.
A. The Institution of Marriage - verses 22-24.
These Scriptures prove that marriage is a divine institution. God Himself performed
the first marriage. Marriage, in fact, was the only institution that began before the fall
of man. How sadly man's sin has twisted God's plan. God intended marriage to be a
lasting and blessed union. One man and one woman together exclusive of all other. Sin
has brought divorce, polygamy, concubinage, polyandry, adultery, promiscuity, and
perversion. Even Scriptural divorce is a concession because of sin. It was not part of

God's original plan [Matthew 19:8-9].
B. The Order of The Sexes.
In I Timothy 2:11-13, Paul notices the order of creation. The male was made first and
then the female for his benefit. This is also noticed in I Corinthians 11:7-9. Paul bases
the official headship of the man on this fact. (Let us remember that this teaching must
not be abused. Paul balances his teaching by reminding the male of his debt to
womankind [I Corinthians 11:11-12]. Also in Ephesians 5, the official headship of the
male [Ephesians 5:23-24] is tempered with a preface on the duty of mutual submission
[Ephesians 5:21]).
Matthew Henry, the famous author, said of Eve's creation that she was "not made out
of his head to rule over him, nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him but out of
his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be
It is strange that in all of nature only man wears an artificial covering. Clothes came
with the entrance of sin. Before the fall man and woman were naked and not ashamed.
There is much here that we probably don't understand. One preacher has suggested
that before man sinned, he was clothed in light from being in God's presence. Moses'
face shone after he was with God [Exodus 34:29-35]. This is only a theory, yet it does
explain why Adam and Eve would be ashamed of their nakedness after the entrance of
sin. At any rate, we know that God clothed man and now intends for man to be clothed.
All forms of public nudity or immodesty are displeasing to God [I Timothy 2:9].
Note: Matthew Henry cleverly wrote "Blushing is now the color of virtue, but it was
not then the color of innocence. Those that had no sin in their conscience might well
have no shame in their faces, though they had no clothes on their backs."
Genesis 3:1-5

INTRODUCTION: How much light this short and simple narrative casts on Satan's
methods. As these methods never change, we as Christians can be forewarned and
forearmed [II Corinthians 2:11].

There can be no doubt that the serpent was only an instrument used by Satan
[Revelation 20:1-2]. We know that the serpent did not have its present repulsive form
before the curse [Genesis 3:1-5]. What Eve thought of the tempter under this form we
can only guess. Perhaps she recognized the presence of a spiritual being speaking
through the serpent and thought it a messenger from God. Many interesting but
unprovable theories have been advanced. For instance, as the cherubims are
presented with various forms [Revelation 4:6-9; Ezekiel 1:4-14*], it has been
suggested that as Satan was the "anointed cherub" [Ezekiel 28:11-15]; he appeared to
Eve in a way that caused her to receive him as an angel. However it happened we do
know that Satan's character has not changed [II Corinthians 11:3].
A. He hated the human race. Some have questioned why Satan wished to destroy
mankind. We may as well question why men wage war, murder, tempt, and enslave
each other. Sin creates in men and angels a malicious nature [John 8:44; I Peter 5:8].
B. He carried out his work by craft. So today Satan works by stealth. Religion is his
chosen instrument [II Corinthians 2:11, 11:3-4, 11:13-15; I Timothy 4:11].
In noticing how Satan tempted Eve, we see his present method of attack:
A. He cast doubt on the word of God [vs.1]. "Did God really say that?" Isn't this
Satan's first assault in his war on souls? Don't all preachers and teachers who cast
doubt on the inspiration, accuracy, and preservation of the Bible show that they are
ministers of Satan?
B. He denied that there was any real danger in sin [vs.4]. How often today we hear the
reality of hell or judgment questioned. The pleasures of sin are extolled while the
bondage and penalty of sin are denied.
C. He cast doubt upon the goodness of God's motives [vs.5]. God had richly and freely
provided for all of man's needs and wants. God's law, when obeyed, was for man's
well-being. Satan, however, represented God as a selfish being who did not have man's
best interest in mind. It was insinuated that God was holding good back from man.
These same temptations are hurled at men today and can only be conquered by faith
[Ephesians 6:16; Romans 8:28].
D. He said that there were great advantages in sin [vs.5]. If Eve would eat she would
be like God. She already knew good, but she could gain a practical knowledge of evil.

In Eve's deception she probably did not view the eating as an act of sin, but rather a
means of obtaining a knowledge of sin. Perhaps she reasoned that because God knew
all about sin without being defiled that she could also. How often people desire to pry
into forbidden things. They know that others have been enslaved or destroyed by sin,
but they feel that they can be an exception.
People say they will only taste or experiment with sin. It won't get a hold of them. They
will be like God Who knows evil without being harmed. How often sin ensnares men
through this guise. Others believe Satan's lie that sin brings wealth, pleasure, or glory
without danger. Too late they learn the truth.
Strange as it may seem, people never stop believing Satan's lies. Mormonism, for
instance, teaches that there is no hell and that man will one day be what God is. The
Eastern religions join in teaching that men may evolve to where they are one with God.
No one seems to see that these were Satan's original lies.
In reading of Eve's behavior we cannot but see that she made some grave errors in her
response to Satan. If the Devil could successfully tempt a sinless human let us who are
sinners be even more careful to avoid these pitfalls.
A. Eve came near the forbidden tree. If you do not wish to eat the forbidden fruit stay
clear of the tree [II Timothy 2:22; Proverbs 4:14-15].
B. She parleyed with the tempter. Talk to Satan at the door and he will soon be in the
house [Example: II John 10].
C. She did not cry out to God for help or even seek the counsel of her husband.
D. She did not rightly use the Word of God as a defense against sin [Psalm 119:11].
1. She subtracted from the word of God. (Compare verse 1 to Genesis 2:16 - Does not
the omission of the word "freely" tell us something?)
2. She added to the word of God (Compare verse 3 with Genesis 2:17 - Again God is
placed in a harsh light.)
3. She changed the word of God (Compare verse 3 with Genesis 2:17 - Here God's
threat is weakened.)
How this differs from Christ Jesus who used God's Word as a protection from Satan's

assaults [Matthew 4:4, 7, 10].
* Most Bible students recognize a double sense in prophecy. While Ezekiel 28
addresses the prince of Tyre, yet Satan is obviously the power behind this man and the
main one being spoken to.
Genesis 3:6-24

INTRODUCTION: Here in nineteen verses we have the story of man's fall and the
results of his sin. Thankfully the first promise of the gospel is also given. How
profoundly the nature and fruit of sin are described. In what a condensed, yet
enlightening manner is the gospel story prophesied. As we have noted before, "only
God could say so much in so few words."
I. LUST - verse 6.
We are told in James 1:15, that lust or illicit desire brings forth sin. According to I
John 2:15-16, all sinful desire falls into three categories. As Eve stood before the tree
of the knowledge of good and evil she was faced with all three temptations:
Lust of the Flesh - "tree good for food."
Lust of the Eyes - "tree pleasant to the eyes."
Pride of Life - "tree to be desired to make one wise."
The lust of the flesh refers to any desire that tempts one to feed the sensual nature of
the flesh (immorality, intoxication, gluttony, etc.). The fruit made Eve's "mouth water"
even though it was forbidden. The lust of the eyes refers to those temptations that
appeal to man's covetous desire to possess and obtain (theft, greed, etc.). The pride of
life refers to all temptations that appeal to man's personal pride and desire for acclaim
or greatness.
The lust of the flesh tempts us to find pleasure in sinful gratification rather than the
Lord [Galatians 6:7-8].
The lust of the eye causes us to put "things" in front of the Lord [Colossians 3:5 - last
The pride of life tempts us to glorify self rather than God [Matthew 23:12].

With this background we can better understand the victory of Christ in His temptation
[Luke 4:1-13]. Satan approached our Savior from all three avenues, yet the Lord was
impeccable. He succeeded where the first Adam failed:
Luke 4:1-4 - Lust of Flesh.
Luke 4:5-8 - Lust of the Eye.
Luke 4:9-13 - Pride of Life.
II. MAN'S SIN - verse 6.
A. Adam was not deceived - While Eve was deceived by Satan [II Corinthians 11:3]
and swept away by her desires; yet Adam sinned with full knowledge of what he was
doing [I Timothy 2:14].
B. The Guilt of Adam's Sin - Men tend to brush off Adam's sin as a trivial matter. In
truth it was much more than just "swiping an apple." Adam had a plain and easy
command. He had no sinful nature to be easily inflamed at the thought of sin. God had
been good to him. All his needs and wants were supplied. The consequence of the sin
had been made very plain. The act was a high-handed, willful act of rebellion against
Almighty God.
C. The Fall of mankind - Adam was the representative of the entire human race. We
not only inherit a sinful nature from him, but because he was our representative head
we are said to have sinned in Adam. In this sense Adam was the first type of Christ
[Romans 5:14; I Corinthians 15:22 & 45]. Just as we sinned and died in Adam so our
sins are paid for and we live in Christ [Romans 5:12-19].
No sooner had the couple sinned than their consciences condemned them. They felt
they could cloth themselves with their own works and righteousness rather than in the
righteousness of Christ typified in Verse 21 [II Corinthians 5:21]. Oddly the only thing
ever cursed by Christ during His earthly ministry was the fig tree that bore only
leaves. Could this show what God thinks of our religious works and profession apart
from the forgiveness we have in Christ and the true holiness produced in us by the
Holy Spirit [Isaiah 64:6].
IV. GOD SEEKS MAN - verses 8-9.
The Lord it seems was accustomed to meeting with Adam and Eve for fellowship. What
a wonderful time it was when man could walk with God. This lost fellowship has been

restored through Christ Jesus. God evidently appeared to Adam in the likeness of
man. These Old Testament appearances are called theophanies and are not to be
confused with the incarnation of Christ. When the Son of God was incarnate He not
only appeared in the form of man but really became a man. He then was both God and
man [John 1: I & 14].
In verse 9, we have the first question of the Bible. God seeks and asks the
whereabouts of Adam who was lost in sin. Wonderfully the first question of the New
Testament was from sinful men seeking the last Adam, that is the Savior [Matthew
2:1-2]. Lost men today need to ask both of these questions. "Where am I as a lost
sinner?" and "where is Christ the Savior"?
What a change sin immediately wrought in man. Sin which had already turned an angel
into a devil now did its work in men.
A. Sin brought man into a state of spiritual death [Genesis 2:16-17]. The description of
Adam after his sin reveals one who is alienated from God. The joy and relationship
with God were gone. All men are now born in this state and need new life in Christ
[Romans 5:12, Ephesians 2:1].
B. Sin had marred the image of God in man [Genesis 1:27]. Only in Christ is this
restored [Colossians 3:10].
C. Man, like Satan, became a tempter. Satan sinned and then tempted Eve. Eve had
no sooner sinned than she tempted Adam [verse 6]. Sinners are all tempters.
D. Man came to suffer from a guilty conscience [verse 7].
E. Man's conscience caused him to fear. The concept of fear was unknown until sin
entered [verse 10].
F. Man, rather than admit his sin, became self-righteous (See section III).
G. Man by nature had because of sin come to flee and hide from God. Apart from the
drawing of the Spirit no one ever seeks the Lord [verse 10, Psalm 14:2-3; John 6:44].
H. Adam and Eve like all who sin, soon learned to make excuses. Eve blamed the

serpent [verse 13]. Adam blamed his wife and seemed to insinuate that it was really
God's fault [verse 12]. Sadly this nature has passed on to all their descendents [Luke
I. Adam and Eve no sooner sinned than they ceased to love God. The whole picture of
fallen man in Genesis 3, reveals his dread and dislike of God. This nature is now
natural to man [Romans 8:7; Romans 5:10]. To love God is only possible to those who
have received the supernatural new birth [I John 4:7].
In verse 11, Adam is arraigned before God and in verse 16, the sentence begins to be
pronounced. Though all men suffer under this judgment, yet in Christ the sentence may
end in a free pardon.
A. The Woman Addressed - Verse. 16.
1. Because of sin childbirth will involve pain and sorrow. Both the birthing and rearing
of children can bring many sorrows in this sinful world. Was not this to remind us that
our sin nature is passed on to our children in conception? Ironically through God's
grace it was by the suffering of childbirth that our Savior came into the world. Most
Bible students believe this is the drift of I Timothy 2:15.
2. Sin has caused the woman to have many sorrows in her relation with the man. While
the "headship" of the man should be a blessing to all yet sin often hinders this. Men
often use their strength and position to bring misery to the woman. Note the plight of
women in much of history and even in many places today. Happily to those who know
Christ these sorrows are greatly reduced. In a home where the man follows Christ's
example his "headship" is a blessing to all [Ephesians 5]. Homes run by dominant
women are not happy homes in my experience.
B. The Man Addressed - Verses 17-19.
When Adam sinned he lost the ability to fully take dominion over the earth [Genesis
1:28; Romans 8:22]. Agriculture became a battle with nature. Thorns, thistles, weeds,
and pests grow with greater ease than crops. Work had become a sweaty and
wearisome task. Just to work out a living requires toil and trouble for most of earth's
population. Life then ends in physical death and a return of the body to the dust.
As we read of the curse on man we are reminded of how completely Christ suffered the

penalty of sin.
A. As the woman suffers pain in childbirth, so our Lord's suffering for sinners is
pictured as a travailing [Isaiah 53:11].
B. As the woman is under subjection, so Christ came under the law [Galatians 4:4].
C. Thorns were a fruit of the curse and so wounded the head of our Savior as men
mocked him with this crown of suffering.
D. As sweat came with sin so Christ in the garden sweat as it were great drops of blood
as He submitted to die for our sins.
E. Both the man and the woman were cursed with sorrow. Our Lord became a "man of
sorrows" [Isaiah 53:3] at His first advent.
F. Sin ends in death. Our Lord died that we might live forever.
Satan used the serpent as his instrument and thus God cursed it. We do not know the
animals' original form, but since the curse men seem to abhor and fear it. All snakes
were unclean under the Levitical law [Leviticus 11:42]. We are not to understand that
there is really anything sinful about this animal. The ceremonial uncleanness only
teaches that we are to abhor what comes from Satan and thus the serpent is a symbol
of him as unclean and dangerous. The serpent is said to "eat dust" in that it crawls and
hunts mostly on the ground. The phrase "eat dust" is symbolic of defeat [Psalm 72:9;
Revelation 12:7-17; Micah 7:17; Romans 16:20].
This verse is known as the protevangelium which means "the first gospel." It contains
the first promise of Christ and redemption through Him. Truly the rest of the Bible
may be viewed as a progressive exposition of this one verse. We who have a complete
Bible can see how much is really implied and latent in this short prophecy.
A. The woman would bring into the world one who would conquer Satan.
B. This redeemer would be "virgin born" for He is the "seed of the woman"
[Galatians 4:4].

C. The redeemer would suffer. Not only was Christ bruised in His death [Isaiah 53:5],
but it is noteworthy that only in crucifixion is the heel bruised.
D. The redeemer would be ultimately victorious for the idea conveyed is that a wound
to the heel is not fatal as is one to the head. Here the resurrection is implied in a very
veiled manner.
E. Satan and his people will hate the Redeemer and His people [John 8:44; I John
F. Satan will persecute the Redeemer and His people. Bible students have noted how
Satan fought the ancestors of Christ throughout the Old Testament. How often Satan
has tried to destroy the Jewish people as a whole. He tried to destroy Christ through
Herod when He was yet a babe. Still today Christians are persecuted and hated. Even
the Jews are persecuted because of God's future plan for that nation [Revelation
12:1-17]. None of this should surprise us when we recall that the first murder of the
Bible was a religious persecution [Genesis 4:8]. Truly this "enmity" is still alive.
G. Satan will be completely defeated, for a wound to the head is deadly. Satan's rule
will be totally destroyed [Hebrews 2:14; Romans 16:20; Revelation 20:10]. We do not
mean to imply that the Old Testament saints understood from Genesis 3:15, all that we
have mentioned. Rather we as New Testament saints see in this prophecy the bud of
promise from which the full flower of Christ's redemption story opened up.
For several reasons Bible students have always seen in this a type of God's love in
giving His Son to die for sinners, that they might be clothed and accepted in the
righteousness of His Son [Isaiah 64:6, 61:10; II Corinthians 5:21; Ephesians 1:6].
A. God did all the work in making the coats of skins. Had it merely been a matter of
warmth or convenience Adam could have taken care of this himself. Obviously there is
a spiritual significance here or the whole matter would not have been worth mentioning.
The idea was that God had to provide for man something that he could not provide for
B. Before man could be covered in the sight of God an animal must suffer and die. The
need for a covering was caused by sin. The perfect covering could not be created by

man's works (fig leaves) but by the death of an innocent sacrifice. How gracious of God
that the first physical death took place not only as a result of sin but also to remind us
of the Savior of sinners.
Having sinned the couple was driven from the garden. This was so they would not eat
of the tree of life and thus indefinitely prolong physical life. It is true that apart from
Christ long life on this earth would be a curse. Man, feeling immortal, would grow
worse and worse. Men's prolonged life before the flood seems to have increased the
ungodliness of man. Often the evil and tyranny of wicked men is only stopped by their
death. Not until sin is put away can man once more partake of the tree of life
[Revelation 22:1-3].
In verse 24 we have the first mention of cherubims. These mysterious angelic beings
are always seen in God's presence. There were golden cherubims overlooking the
mercy seat in the tabernacle. They represented the angels who are anxious to look into
Christ's redemption [Exodus 25:17-22; I Peter 1:12]. There is a great deal about the
tree of life that we do not know. Why it was needed then or will be again in the future
cannot be answered. What we do know is that the tree of life was a type of our Savior.
This idea is strengthened by the presence of the cherubims who are always connected
with redemption. Let us be anxious to let others know of Christ Jesus, the true tree of
life from which no repentant sinner is barred. We can be used as instruments to see
men come to Christ for life [Proverbs 11:30].
Those interested in the debates concerning evolution versus Biblical creationism will
find many good books on the subject. Men like Henry Morris, Duane Gish, Gary
Parker and A. E. Wilder-Smith have written some very helpful volumes. These are just
a few of the better known authors.
Genesis 4:1-15

INTRODUCTION: In Genesis 4, we continue to see that Genesis is truly a book of
beginnings. Here we have the first birth, worship, murder, death, martyr, city, bigamist,
foundry, poetry, as well as other things. This chapter also reveals the spread of sin in
the first family and then into society. Truly depravity was soon in full bloom.
I. TWO SONS - verses 1-2.

Here is the inspired record of the first children born into this world. The first was
named Cain which means "acquired" or "gotten." Some believe that Eve thought he
was the Messiah promised in Genesis 3:15. However this may have been, she soon
learned the sad fact that this world is a place of sorrow and emptiness. The second son
was named Abel which means "vanity" or "vapor." Eve must have become
increasingly aware of the wreck that sin had produced. The naming of Cain does seem
to show, however, that she was a believer in God's promises.
II. TWO OFFERINGS - verses 3-5.
Is it not obvious that Adam taught his sons the time and manner of worship? These
offerings were probably brought to the place where the cherubim were [Genesis 2:24].
This seems to be the place where God met with them [consider verse 16]. Sadly only
one of the sacrifices could be accepted by God. In some tangible way God showed His
acceptance of Abel's offering [Hebrews 11:4]. Remembering several other Old
Testament incidents, it is most likely that it was supernaturally consumed by fire. Let
us note well how the offerings differed:
A. Cain's offering was rejected because he himself was not right with God. The whole
Bible teaches that nothing we offer God is accepted if we ourselves are not right with
God [verse 5, Hebrews 11:6; Isaiah 1:10-15].
B. Cain's offering was a "Thank-offering" and betrayed a self-righteous spirit. In
bringing a lamb Abel was confessing his need of a "sin offering." His offering pointed
to Christ as the Lamb of God dying for sinners. It displayed his faith in the coming
Savior [Hebrews 11:4]. The difference in Cain and Abel is seen in all ages. The
Pharisee and the Publican give us a New Testament picture of the same thing [Luke
18:9-14]. The "way of Cain" [Jude 11] is the way of salvation by works and religion.
III. CAIN WARNED - verses 6-7.
Nothing irritates a man like having his self-righteous attitude rebuked. God warned
Cain but he would not answer. Eve was talked into sin and now Cain could not be
talked out of it. The words of God in verse 7, have been the source of much debate.
This is because the word "sin" is sometimes used in the Old Testament to refer to a
"sin offering." The verse is interpreted in two ways:
A. "If you repent you will be accepted. If you refuse to repent, sin like a dangerous
beast, lies in wait to spring on you. Sin will conquer and rule over you if you don't
crucify the flesh and rule over it." Should this be the correct interpretation, it is

illustrated in Cain's life. He became a slave to sin. Hate ruled him and led him to
murder. Sin ruined his life.
B. "If you had done well I would have accepted you. Even now there is a sin offering
that you can use to make atonement for your sins. Repent and you shall keep your
place as the firstborn and head of the family." Notice that in the second interpretation
it was Abel rather than sin that Cain would rule over. While both interpretations are in
line with Bible doctrine, I lean toward the first. The best Bible students do not,
however, agree on this verse.
The first man on earth to die was one of God's children, who was murdered. Truly the
hatred of Satan for God's people is ancient [Genesis 3:15; Galatians 4:29]. Cain hated
Abel because he was righteous and knew the gospel [I John 3:11-13]. One pleasant
thought is that the first to die went to Heaven.
V. CAIN TRIED - verses 9-10.
The Lord questioned Cain that he might have opportunity to confess his sin. Sadly the
murderer then lied. When we follow Satan we act like him [John 8:44]. One sin leads to
another. How often the world answers like Cain "Am I my brother's keeper?" They
never seem to figure out that the answer is yes [Matthew 22:39]. God said that Abel's
blood cried out from the ground. It cried for vengeance as does the blood of all the
martyrs and innocent victims of man's wrath. Thank God that Christ's blood speaks
better things [Hebrews 12:24].
VI. CAIN PUNISHED - verses 11-14.
Cain's punishment was two-fold:
A. The ground would no longer yield a crop to him. This was a punishment for the sin of
spilling man's blood as though it were a common thing. Remember that from Cain's
offering we gather that he was a farmer.
B. He would be a wanderer through the earth. This was to indicate that he was a
fugitive from God [verse 14]. This punishment seemed to be a great sorrow to Cain
[verse 13]. Sadly he was burdened about the penalty, not the guilt of his sin.
Cain's conscience told him that murder deserved death. His fears seemed to indicate
that he felt that men would automatically know this and seek to take his life. For some

reason God would not allow Cain to be executed. Civil government can only take life
because of God-delegated authority [Romans 13:1-5]. Capital punishment was not
instituted until after the flood [Genesis 9:5-6]. At this point God kept the execution of
vengeance as His own prerogative. (Do not the words of verse 15, teach that the man
who would, without authority, take vengeance is worse that the man who did the wrong.
Those who wrongly take vengeance are usurping God's very throne [Romans 12:19]).

Genesis 4:16-24

INTRODUCTION: In this short section, we have the develop- ment of civilization.
Sadly the effects of sin are prominent. Even here the sins that led to the Flood are
beginning to be committed.
I. CAIN - verses 16-18.
Cain left the place where God was worshipped and began his wandering. After some
time, he built a city (we would have probably called it a walled village) and named it
after his son. His purpose in building was no doubt protection and a desire to reverse
the curse place on him [verse 14].
It seems strange that the first city and first progress in arts, crafts, and animal
breeding were produced by Cain and his godless seed. True religion has always been a
friend of true science and culture, but those who have no heavenly hope are more
concerned with worldly comforts. Often those who push for present progress never
think of eternity. This world is their only concern.
II. LAMECH - verses 19-24.
As we come down the list of Cain's descendents, we meet Lamech. He and his sons
were very influential in human history. Sadly, like Cain, his influence was not for good.
There was great progress made by this family, yet none of it was spiritual.
A. Here we have the first polygamist [verse 19]. God intended one man and one
woman to unite in marriage until death parted them. The sixth generation from Adam
saw this order perverted by Lamech. How shocked the godly must have been. The
Hebrew names for wives seem to indicate that physical lust was the cause of
Lamech's actions.
Sadly today, men and women live together without the benefit of marriage at all. We

have sunk lower than Lamech.
B. This passage has the first man who perfected the raising of cattle. The tent was
invented to follow the pasture.
C. The origin of music in the human race is given. Music is a gift of God and should be
used to worship God. Unfortunately it is often used to drown out the memory of God.
D. Here we have the father of metal workers. Notice that Tubelcain was an instructor
in this craft.
E. The first poetry written is given here. Lamech had been insulted or injured by
someone and took his life. Rather than feel remorse, he boasted of it to his wives by
composing what is seen in the Hebrew text to be a poem. It has been called Lamech's
"taunt" or "sword song." The words of this song reveal what an ungodly man Lamech
was. Not only did he boast of his revenge, but verse 24 in essence means, "I will do
more to avenge myself than God could have done to avenge Cain had he been killed."
Someone has suggested that Lamech's pride and confidence was inflated because his
son Tubelcain had just made the first sword or spear.
Lamech's song also seems to have a self-righteous ring to it. In verse 24, he seems to
have justified his actions. Implied perhaps is the thought: "I am more righteous than
Cain for I killed someone who deserved to die and thus an attack on myself should be
greatly avenged." Men soon learned to justify their actions by pointing to the sins of
III. SETH - verses 25-26.
Seth means "appointed" or "firmly founded." Eve saw him as the one sent to replace
Abel. While the fathers of worldly progress came from the line of Cain, it was from
Seth that Noah, Abraham, and eventually the Savior sprang. In verse 26, we are told
that Seth had a son named Enos, which means "low" or "afflicted." The last statement
of verse 26, is rather difficult. It seems to indicate that in the time of Enos, men began
to publicly separate for worship and to identify themselves as followers of God. As the
masses forsook God, the faithful began to stand out. The name Enos may reveal that
God's people began to be afflicted by the world and thus banded together.
Genesis 5

INTRODUCTION: In Genesis 4, we were given a record of Cain and his descendents.
In Genesis 5, the emphasis changes to Seth and his progeny. As none of Cain's seed
survived the Flood we are all descended from Seth through Noah and his sons.
In vs. 1-2, we have an explanation of the contents of chapter 5 and a short review of
man's creation. Two things are worthy of note:
A. Only here and in Matthew 1:1, is the phrase "book of the generations" used in the
Bible. Interestingly it is used in Genesis of Adam and in Matthew of Jesus Christ, the
last Adam.
B. Notice that in verse 2, both the man and the woman are called Adam. The word
Adam is simply the generic Hebrew word for "man," though it was also the first man's
personal name. This knowledge casts light upon Christ's title as the "last Adam" [I
Corinthians 15:45]. As Adam was the representative of his descendents, so Christ
came as the "last man" to represent His people at Calvary.
II. A GENEALOGY OF SETH - verses 3-20.
The notable thing here is the longevity of these ancient men.* There is no reason to
understand these years to be
III. ENOCH - verses 21-27.
Here we meet one of the most interesting men in Scripture. Of Enoch we know several
A. Enoch was the seventh from Adam through Seth [Jude 14-15]. It is interesting to
note that Lamech was the seventh from Adam through Cain [Genesis 4:18-24]. Enoch
was a godly man, while Lamech was a rebel. This casts light upon the influence of Cain
and Seth on their families.
B. Enoch walked with God - verse 24.
C. Enoch preached to his wicked generation [Jude 14-15].
D. Enoch pleased God [Hebrews 11:5].
E. Enoch was translated into God's presence so that he never saw death [verse 24;

Hebrews 11:5]. This brings us to the interesting question as to what caused Enoch's
conversion. In verses 21 & 22, we see that he came to walk with God after the birth of
Methuselah at age sixty-five. Methuselah's name was prophetic and referred to the
coming of the flood. In essence Enoch was told that at Methuselah's death the flood
would come. Doubtless this produced his conversion and his fiery preaching. (Is it
noteworthy that the man whose life-span was the length of time until God sent the
flood, longer than any other man? Does this not illustrate the longsuffering of God?)
Lamech (not to be confused with Cain's descendant) was the father of Noah. Noah's
name meant "rest" or "comfort." In some way Lamech looked upon Noah as one
given to comfort him as he labored on a sin-cursed earth. Notice that Noah had many
brothers and sisters. Sadly, none of them repented and entered the Ark. Noah truly
stood alone for Christ. The chapter ends by giving the names of Noah's three sons.
Through these men the earth was re-populated after the flood.
* The longevity of men in early times must have greatly aided the passing on of history
and traditions. There was only 126 years between Adam's death and Noah's birth. The
depravity of man is also exposed in man's rebellion in the face of knowledge. Consider,
for instance, that Shem who was on the Ark was still alive when the tower of Babel was
built (See addenda). Anything other than normal solar years. Many reasons for this
extended life-span have been suggested. Perhaps sin had not yet produced its full
damage to the genetic and physical makeup of man. Some have thought that perhaps
the earth's climate and environment were quite different before the flood. All of this is,
of course, mere theory. We are satisfied to know God permitted it. Sadly, however,
long life did not promote godliness [Genesis 6:5].
Genesis 6:1-13

INTRODUCTION: This chapter gives an account of the conditions that led to the
flood. How much these times resemble the day in which we live.
God's people are the preserving force in society [Matthew 5:13]. When the professing
body of saints begin to compromise and lose their testimony the times are desperate.
This is what happened before the flood. In Genesis 4, we noticed the descendents of

Cain, who, though they excelled in some areas of culture, yet drifted further and
further from God and that which was right. In Genesis 3:25-4:32, we were given a list
of Seth's descendents. Many of these were God-fearing people. In Genesis 3:26, we
noted that in the days of Enos they separated for public worship. They were the salt of
the earth.
In Genesis 6:1-2, we have a sad account of their spiritual declension. It began when
they started to marry on the basis of physical attraction alone. In every age God has
asked His people to marry those who likewise serve the true God. This is for their
spiritual comfort and growth as well as for the spiritual benefit of their children
[Deuteronomy 7:2-4; Exodus 34:14-16; I Corinthians 7:39; II Corinthians 6:14].
II. MAN'S CONDITION - verse 3-5.
A. Man's State Before The Flood:
1. Before the flood man resisted the work of God's Holy Spirit in common grace. This
involved their refusal to hear the preachers of truth (Enoch, Noah) and the striving of
the Spirit with their own conscience. Just as today, the restraints to sin were gradually
broken down.
2. Man refused to profit from God's wonderful long- suffering. God gave them 120
years as a space of time to repent.
3. In verse 4, we see that wicked and brutal men were the leaders and heroes of that
time. The children of these mixed marriages were great in society, but not before God.*
4. Verse 5 reveals that men's minds were a cesspool of evil. One only needs turn on
the television to see modern examples. Bad language and sexual filth is the constant
theme. One cannot go into public without hearing dirty or profane talk.
B. The Days of Noah - Luke 17:26. Our Lord pointed out that the characteristics of
life before the flood would re-appear before His second advent. In light of modern
conditions, how this stirs us up to look for Christ's return. Note the traits mentioned:
1. Preoccupation with physical pleasure - Luke 17:27.
2. Explosion of knowledge - Genesis 4:22.
3. Materialistic attitudes - Luke 17:28.
4. Rejection of God's Word - I Peter 3:19.

5. Population increase - Genesis 6:1 & 11.
6. Widespread violence - Genesis 6:11-13.
7. Illicit sexual activity - Genesis 4:19.
8. Widespread blasphemy - Jude 15.
III. GOD'S REPENTANCE - verses 6-7. In verse 6, we are told that God
repented or changed His mind about man's creation. This, of course, is the language of
accommodation. God is spoken of as though He were a man. God, strictly speaking,
never changes His mind, for His plans are eternal and unchangeable [I Samuel 15:29;
Romans 11:29].
This language is used to help us understand the change that occurred in man since
creation, and the wrath of God toward man's sin. Even though God created man, He
must judge him for his sin.
IV. GRACE - verse 8.
Here is the first mention of "grace" in the Bible. It occurs at the time of man's
greatest depravity. God's grace may seem very restricted here, yet remember that
through this one man the human race was preserved. Many, when reading verse 8, see
only the justice of God in not destroying a righteous man along with the wicked. This
falls far short, however, of the meaning of grace. True, Noah was a righteous man
[verse 6], but remember it was God's grace that made him what he was [I Corinthians
V. NOAH'S FAMILY - verses 9-10.
These Scriptures give us more information about Noah. We are told of his righteous
life and of his walk with God. Verse 10 mentions his three sons. Through these sons
the earth was re- populated.
VI. GOD'S DETERMINATION - verses 12-13.
When sin becomes open, judgment is near. God created man holy and placed him in a
garden. Through sin the world became a "jungle." Judgment follows sin as the flower
follows the bud.
* We must candidly confess that our interpretation of Genesis 6:1-4 is not the only
one. The ancient Jewish commentators, as well as the early Christian writers, almost
universally believed that the "sons of God" were fallen angels who began to co inhabit

with human women, thus producing a race of giants. This they believed was part of the
reason God sent the Flood. Those wishing to study this viewpoint will find it covered in
the more advanced commentaries.
Genesis 6:14-22

INTRODUCTION: One of the terrible epochs of earth's history is the Flood. This
stands as the most horrible judgment of God upon sin that the world has yet seen. Let
those who doubt the coming wrath of God consider it carefully [II Peter 3:5-7].
I. THE ARK - verses 16, 18-21.

A. The Ark's Dimensions.
Perhaps it would be helpful to quote Dr. Henry Morris. He is both a Bible student and
a scientist who has given much study to the subject. (See Addenda 2 at the end of this
B. The Animals. (See Addenda 3.)
Remember that the number of species is small compared to the multitudes of animal
types. For instance a pair of dogs would have represented the entire canine family.
C. The Ark as a Type.
Bible students have always seen in the Ark a type of the Lord Jesus Christ. Following
are some of the ways in which the Ark pre-figured Christ:
1. The Ark was a Divine provision. Salvation did not originate in man's plan but in
God's [John 3:16].
2. The Ark was a place of refuge from God's wrath [John 3:18].
3. The Ark had but one door. When God shut this door, all opportunity for mercy was
over. Christ is the way and the door, yet the invitations to come in will not be extended
for ever.
4. The Ark was a place of absolute security for those inside [John 10:28-29].

5. The word translated pitch is different from the word usually used in the Old
Testament. The word used here (Hebrew - kopher) is translated "atonement" in many
other parts of the Old Testament [Leviticus 17:11]. In its noun form it simply means a
"covering." Certainly this points to Christ's blood that makes atonement for our sins
and hides us from God's wrath.
II. THE FLOOD - verse 17.
Several points may well be considered here:
A. The flood was a world-wide judgment. Those who have portrayed it as a local flood
are not honest with the Scriptures.
B. While the Bible gives us the only accurate and inspired account of the flood, yet
"flood stories" are found in cultures on every continent. Are not these widespread
traditions passed down from generation to generation an independent testimony to the
historical reality of the flood.
C. The flood is no doubt responsible for the present geological condition of the earth.
(There are several excellent books on the Flood that the pastor will be happy to
recommend to anyone interested in further personal study.)
III. NOAH'S FAITH - verse 22.
How we must admire Noah. He believed and acted upon the Word of God. No doubt
the world scoffed, but Noah warned them diligently [II Peter 2:5]. The building of the
Ark is mentioned in the great "faith chapter" as one of the monuments of faith
[Hebrews 11:7]. As someone has said in alluding to Hebrews 11:7, "Noah could not
convince the world by his preaching, but he condemned the world by his faith and
Genesis 7

INTRODUCTION: In this chapter we have a description of the flood. This is without
doubt the most terrible judgment of God on human sin that this world has yet seen. The
next time God judges the whole world it will be by fire [II Peter 3:6-7].
I. GOD'S CALL - verse 1.
God watched over the righteous. At just the right time, He called Noah and his family
into the Ark. Notice that God said "come" not "go." He was in the Ark with them for

He never forsakes His people [Hebrews 13:5-6].
II. THE CLEAN ANIMALS - verses 2-3.
Noah was told to bring a pair of each animal into the Ark. Here God gives additional
information. Noah is to bring in seven of each clean animal. The seventh or odd animal
was to be for a sacrifice [Genesis 8:20]. Later God gave Moses a list of animals that
were ceremonially unclean to the Jews [Leviticus 11]. We learn from Genesis 7,
however, that even in Noah's day, God in some way had revealed these things. In our
age there are no unclean animals, for such laws were abolished in Christ [Acts 10].
III. THE TIME OF JUDGMENT - verses 4-10.
God informs Noah that the flood will come in seven days. It seems strange that Noah
and his family were to stay in the Ark seven days before the flood began. Perhaps
there was work inside to be done. There is no doubt the world outside laughed and
made fun. How wonderful that Noah obeyed all God said. This is mentioned to his
credit several times [verse 5; Genesis 6:22]. God is pleased by our obedience.
IV. HOW THE FLOOD CAME - verses 11-16.
When God makes a threat no one should ever doubt that He will perform it. The world
had never seen a flood, yet it came just the same. In the same way men will be
surprised at the return of Christ [II Peter 3:4]. In verse 11-12, we are informed as to
the source of the flood waters. Rain poured from the skies for forty days and nights.
Underground reservoirs were opened up. Christian men like Dr. Henry Morris, who is
also a scientist, have theories as to how all this occurred. While these are interesting,
it is enough for us to know that God had made preparation in advance.
V. THE EXTENT OF THE FLOOD - verses 17-23.
As was mentioned in a former lesson this was plainly a world-wide flood. All of the
earth was covered by at least fifteen cubits of water. No air-breathing creatures
outside the Ark survived.
We will look more closely at this in the next chapter.
CONCLUSION: What a horrible time this was, yet Noah was safe in the Ark. Let this
remind us of our safety in Jesus Christ. We deserve Hell and wrath, yet because of
Christ we are sheltered. God not only called us into the Ark of safety, but He has also
shut us safely in [verse 16; John 10:27-29]. What a Savior!

Genesis 8

INTRODUCTION: Noah and his family must have wondered if they would ever get off
the ark. In God's time, however, the work of judgment was complete and the earth
became dry. This was a new start for the human race. Sadly man's character was not
improved. God did, however, give new manifestations of His grace and long-suffering.
I. GOD REMEMBERS - verses 1-3.
As day followed day, Noah probably felt forgotten. This is a common malady of God's
servants. The Hebrew phrase "God remembered" means that God began to act on
their behalf. Not only does God never forget His people [Isaiah 49:15], but at the right
time He will rise up on their behalf. In this case, God remembered the inhabitants of
the Ark by drying the earth for their habitation. The question of what happened to all
the water cannot positively be answered. We do not know what changes took place on
the land masses or ocean basins, nor how much water went back under the earth's
surface. It is enough for us to know that God took care of all this. The Bible does
speak of a wind which aided the drying process.
II. THE ARK AT REST - verses 4-5.
It seems that God is never in a hurry. His ways require our patience. Rather than just
dry the earth in a day, God allowed things to progress a step at a time. Six months
after the flood had begun, they finally came to rest somewhere in the mountains of
Ararat. Slowly the waters receded until three months later the first land is seen.
III. THE RAVEN - verses 6-7.
After nearly ten months, Noah opened the window and sent out a raven. We presume
that he wished to learn the condition of the land. The raven as an unclean bird
[Leviticus 11:15] is often seen here as a type of the apostate. It was glad to escape
from the Ark and was contented with whatever perch was available. This reminds us of
the professing Christian, who never having been born again, soon ends up back in sin
and worldliness [II Peter 2:20-22].
IV. THE DOVE - verses 8-12.
Noah now continued his test with the gentle and clean dove. The dove is a type of the
Holy Spirit [Matthew 3:16]. This type is usually applied in the following way:
A. The dove, unlike the raven, was not content to perch in filth or upon a bloated, dead
body. Likewise, the Holy Spirit is offended by sin and uncleanness [Ephesians 4:30].

B. The dove by returning with an olive leaf was bringing hope and assurance to Noah
that the flood was over. Likewise, the Spirit brings joy and assurance to the hearts of
Christians [Romans 8:16, 5:5]. Interestingly, the olive tree has been noted to put out
leaves even when the tree is submerged in a flooded lake.
V. THE DRY EARTH - verses 13-14.
Noah and his family were in the ark for over a year before the earth was finally dry.
(Compare verses 13-14 with Genesis 7:11 and 7:1-4). Doubtless God kept them
confined for their own good. There must be time for plants to grow as food for the
animals. Also the mud would have been dangerous and unhealthy for most of the Ark's
inhabitants. In our frustrations let us remember that God does what is best for us.
VI. LEAVING THE ARK - verses 15-19.
Finally the day came that they might leave the ark. There was much joy and relief. Two
things here are worthy of note:
A. Before sending them from the Ark, God said "Go forth" not "come forth." He was
in the Ark when they arrived [Genesis 7:1] and had stayed with them the entire time
[Romans 8:35].
B. All that went in the Ark came out safely. This reminds us of the security we have in
Christ. No one in the ark perished under God's wrath [John 5:24]. They were safely
sealed in the Ark [Ephesians 4:30; Genesis 7:16]. No one fell overboard, jumped off
and drowned, or was made to walk the plank [John 10:27-28].
VII. GOD'S PROMISE - verses 20-22.
Now we see the purpose for the seventh clean animal. These animals, without a mate,
were kept to be offered to God as a sacrifice. Notice the result of these offerings:
A. These sacrifices were a sweet savour unto the Lord. In wrath He had destroyed the
earth. The offerings reminded Him of Christ's future death through which mercy would
be shown to sinners [Ephesians 5:2]. God remembered His purpose of grace and the
redeemed multitudes that would glorify Him forever. (Remember that we are using
language about God that we can understand. We often describe God as though He
were a man as when we say "He remembered." This is not to be taken in a literal

B. God determined that "neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth"
[9:11b]. Note that this was not because of the sacrifices. In fact, verse 21 reveals that
God recognized that man's inbred depravity could not be corrected by judgment. Man's
heart is the same in all ages. The Tower of Babel was built before Shem was dead.
Only salvation in Christ changes man's nature. God's promise was based solely on His
long-suffering through Christ. Because He has an elect and blood-bought people He
permits the world to continue while this purpose of grace is carried out.
C. Note lastly that one day this world will be destroyed by fire. Until then there will not
be any universal judgments [II Peter 3:5-12].
Genesis 9

INTRODUCTION: Here the human race finds a new beginning. From these eight souls the world
was re-populated. On all continents we find various accounts of the Flood as the story has been
passed down. Only in the Scriptures we have the story told without error or false
I. A NEW START - verses 1-2.
Noah was given the same directive as Adam [Genesis 1:22]. There is, however, a change in the
manner of dominion. In Genesis 1:28, man was shown that the earth was created for his good.
He was therefore to take dominion, or in other words to utilize it for his good. In Genesis 9:2, it
is added that for man's protection the fear of him will be in all animals. This shows that sin had
produced misery and disharmony even in the physical creation [Romans 8:22].
II. THE BLOOD - verses 3-4.
In the creation account, man was given herbs to eat [Genesis 1:29]. Here his diet was extended
to include animal food. There is, however, one restriction. Animals were not to be eaten alive
or in any form where the blood was not drained. Beginning here God was instilling in man a
respect for blood. The life is in the blood [Leviticus 17:10]. Many of the Levitical ceremonies
required the shedding of blood [Leviticus 17:11]. All of this was preparing us to understand
redemption through the blood of Christ [Revelation 5:9].
Before the Flood, capital punishment was not permitted [Genesis 3:14-15]. God left to Himself
the right to judge men. Sadly man's sin filled the earth with unrestrained violence [Genesis
6:11]. We cannot with certainty know why God chose to do things in this way. Perhaps He

wished to illustrate for man the depth of human depravity and the need of government as a
restraining force. After the Flood, God authorized and in fact demanded the exercise of capital
punishment. The reason why murder demands so serious a penalty is explained by the fact that
man was made in the image of God. When this fact is forgotten human life is viewed as cheap.
Notice that modern abortion is promoted by the ungodly.Let us notice several other Bible
truths that go along with this topic:

A. The Bible forbids individual revenge or murder [Exodus 20:13; Romans 12:19].
B. God has given to civil government the right to exercise capital punishment [Romans 13:3-4].
C. Those who think the sixth commandment forbids capital punishment have failed to study all
the Scriptures [Compare Exodus 20:13 with Exodus 21:12]. Someone may ask why even an
animal that slew a man was to be killed. Obviously any creature that had become a man-killer
was a public menace. This law also gave a public illustration of the sacredness of human life.
IV. THE COVENANT - verses 8-17.
Before the Flood it had never rained [Genesis 2:5-6]. Man's first experience with rain was in a
universal judgment. Imagine then the fear of those who coming off the Ark, or later hearing of
the flood would feel every time it rained. To alleviate this fear and as a sign of God's pledge not
to again destroy the earth by water, the rainbow was made to act as a sign. The rainbow was a
pledge of God's covenant which He made with all men and animals. Let us today explain to our
children the meaning of the rainbow.
V. NOAH'S SIN - verses 18-21.
The events recorded here occurred some years after the Flood. This is proved in that Ham's son
Canaan was already born and at least partially grown. Noah planted a vineyard and made wine.
He was overtaken in drunkenness and because of the warmth produced by the alcohol he
uncovered himself in his tent while asleep. This led to a tragedy.
Note several lessons here:
A. The Bible was written by inspiration of God. In its complete honesty it exposes the faults of
even the best men. Books written by men tend to hide the sins and weaknesses of those who
are admired.
B. No matter how long we have been saved or how faithful we have been to God, we must
always be watchful. The best man will fall if he does not watch and pray [Matthew 6:13]. Only
God can uphold us [Jude 24].

C. The use of wine is attended with real dangers [Proverbs 20:1; 23:29-35].
D. The abuse of wine leads to other sins [Habakkuk 2:15].
VI. HAM'S SIN - verses 22-23.
The ancients were extremely modest and private. It is somewhat difficult for us to understand
the degree to which this was so. Modesty is a virtue and should be instilled into children. Ham's
sin was that of a lack of respect and propriety. Rather than honor his father, he gazed with
satisfaction and even told others of his father's disgrace. Perhaps he had resented his father's
godliness and was delighted at his fall. Contrast if you will the behavior of Ham with that of the
other two brothers. Was not their loving respect and honor for Noah a rebuke to their brother.
VII. NOAH'S PROPHECIES - verses 24-27.
A. The Curse On Canaan - When Noah awoke and found out about Ham's behavior, he was
indignant. Ham at this time had a son named Canaan. The wicked traits of Ham seem already to
have been manifested in this fellow. Rather then, than the curse fall on Ham and all his
descendents it fell upon Canaan. He and his descendents were cursed with servitude. Let us
now notice the Biblical information given about him and his seed:

1. Canaan was only one of Ham's sons [Genesis 10:6].
2. Canaan's descendents settled in the land given to Israel [Genesis 10:15-19].
3. Canaan's descendents were of a immoral tendency [Genesis 10:19 - Sodom and Gomorrah;
Genesis 15:16; Genesis 19. Genesis 34:1-2 - note Genesis 10:15-16; Leviticus 18:3-24 - note
verse 3].
4. The Canaanites were subdued and enslaved by Israel and by many Gentile nations.
5. The last of the Canaanites seem to have been destroyed in 146 B.C., when Rome attacked the
Phoenician city of Cart- hage. Even the Romans were shocked by the ungodliness of Carthage.
B. Shem Blessed - Shem was the father of the eastern peoples including Abraham and the
Jewish people. Notice that Shem's blessing is connected with God. Through Shem came all the
Jews and their prophets and finally the Lord Jesus Christ. Canaan was to be their servant.
C. Japeth Blessed - Japeth was the father of the northern or European people. Several promises

are given to him: 1. Japeth would be enlarged. Note in history the world- wide conquests of
Japeth's seed.
2. Japeth would dwell in the tents of Shem. This could refer to the fact that Japeth's seed has
often lived in Shem's land. More important yet, this is often seen as a prophecy of the coming
of the Gospel to the Gentiles [Acts 16].
3. Canaan would be his servant. The Canaanites were often enslaved and finally destroyed by
Japeth's seed. The study of Noah's prophecy and descendents is a complex and interesting one.
We have merely scratched the surface.
VIII. NOAH'S LIFE-SPAN - verses 28-29.
Genesis 10-11

INTRODUCTION: These chapters are the only ancient documents that record the origins of race,
language, and geographic divisions. Like Genesis chapters 1-3, their importance cannot be
overstated. Only blind unbelief keeps modern historians from recognizing that in Genesis alone
we have the earliest of ancient history. Dr. William F. Albright, who was widely recognized as
the leading authority on the archaeology of the Near East, wrote concerning these chapters: "It
stands absolutely alone in ancient literature, without a remote parallel, even among the
Greeks, where we find the closest approach to a distribution of peoples in genealogical
framework.... The Table of Nations remains an astonishingly accurate document."
Unfortunately we can only skim over the contents of these chapters.
I. THE TABLE OF NATIONS - Genesis 10:1-32.
Through Noah's three sons the earth was re-populated.Here we have the record of this for
A. The Descendents Of Japheth - verses 1-5.
Japheth was the ancestor of the Greeks and of the various European nations. He was the eldest
and of least importance in the Bible record.
B. The Descendents of Ham - verses 6-20.
Notice that in the ancient world, it was the sons of Ham who first built great cities and empires
[verses 10-11]. Ancient Egypt was also founded by one of Ham's sons (Mizraim). In verses 8-9,
we meet briefly a man who was perhaps the most influential mortal man who has ever lived.

Nimrod was the father of political "one-worldism" and the founder of organized false religion.
He literally organized the world against God and his influence is very much alive today. Cush, his
father, seems to have been a man who hated God. Perhaps he resented the rebuke and shame
of his father's sin and the curse placed on Canaan. At any rate he named his son Nimrod, which
means rebel and he seems to have instilled in him the desire to rebel against God's commands
and worship. We will give this more attention in Genesis 11.
C. The Descendents Of Shem - verses 21-32.
Shem means "name" and was the one through whom the Jewish people and finally the Messiah
came into the world. In verses 21 and 24, we meet Shem's great grandson "Eber." Eber was the
father of the Hebrew nation [Genesis 14:13]. One cannot help but wonder if all the people
before Babel spoke Hebrew. In that case after God confused the languages, only Eber's
descendants would have spoken the original language. Eber named one of his sons Peleg
(division). This was probably done because the boy was born near the time of the events at the
Tower of Babel [verses 25].
II. THE TOWER OF BABEL - Genesis 11:1-9.
This portion of Scripture gives us a commentary on Genesis 10:8-10. Likewise Genesis 10,
explains who the leader at Babel really was. Let us now take a closer look at Nimrod and then
we will expound verses 1-9.
A. Nimrod.
1. The name Nimrod means "rebel." He was the first man to actually organize a rebellion
against God. This seems to have been instilled in him by his father Cush, who named him.
2. Nimrod was a "mighty one" or chieftain in the earth [Genesis 10:8].
3. He seems to have struggled to power by organizing the extermination of dangerous animals.
Animals reproduce faster than men and must have been a real problem after the flood. This
situation is understood when we remember that in modern times there are records of single
tigers that have killed hundreds of people over a period of years. He became a legend and a
proverb in his own day [Genesis 10:9]. His popularity was much like that of famous generals
who have been elected to high offices.
4. Nimrod organized a political rebellion against God. Men were commanded to re-populate the
earth [Genesis 9:1]. They were to spread out and cover the earth. Nimrod, on the other hand,
wished to keep everyone together. He wanted to build a one-world government and to
consolidate the efforts of men. God seems to use nationalism to restrain man's sin [Acts 17:26-

27]. The division of governments and languages hinders man's evil purposes. Note that it has
always been evil men who have promoted a one-world system of government. Is not this
evident in our own country? In this, Nimrod stands as a type of the Antichrist.
5. Nimrod also organized a religious rebellion against the Lord. The Tower of Babel was a
religious temple. This religion permeated the ancient world and is still very much alive today. In
studying pagan religions, one is impressed by their many common features. Several excellent
books have been written to show how the doctrines of Nimrod have completely infiltrated the
Roman Catholic Church as it evolved over the years. This is so evident that the Catholic and
Ecumenical system of religion which will be on earth when Antichrist comes is referred to as
"Mystery Babylon The Great" [Revelation 17:1- 6].
6. The phrase "before the Lord" in Genesis 10:9 has an evil implication. It seems to indicate that
Nimrod brazenly and knowingly defied the Lord.
B. The Tower Of Babel - Genesis 11:1-9.
After studying about Nimrod, we are now in a better position to understand Genesis 11:1-9.
Verses 1-2. Nimrod's influence united the people and kept them from spreading abroad. Shem
was still alive at this time and must have been amazed at this rebellion so soon after the Flood.
There is no doubt he refused to take part in this movement.
Verses 3-4. Shem which means name was to glorify God's name by bringing into the world
through his descendents the Messiah. These people, however, rebelled against God by desiring
to make a name for themselves. Coming to the Plain of Shinar they built a large and beautiful
city. This city was later known as Babylon. In this city they began to build a large tower. This was
a religious temple and place of worship. It was intended to be the center of political and
religious unity. (These Temples were called "ziggurats" and were often built in later days.
Around Babylon there are several of these. Two of these are so ancient that men have
speculated that one may be this original tower. Oven-baked brick lasts indefinitely.)
Verses 5-6. God noted the progress and intention of these wicked people. The plural pronoun in
verse 7, refers to God's triune nature.
Verses 7-9. In mercy God refused to allow their wicked scheme to succeed. How many times in
history has God stopped men who wished to organize the world under central control
(Napoleon and Hitler are examples). This was effectually done by causing the different families
to speak different languages and thus scattering them abroad. Thus God's original plan to re-

populate the earth was carried out. Even today the multitude of languages hinders dictators
from achieving world-wide control. The people wanted a great name. In God's judgment the
city was called Babel which means confusion. Regrettably the spirit of these people is still with
This portion of Scripture gives us the lineage from Shem through Abraham.
A. Verses 10-26. This genealogy is important in showing that God's prophecies are true.
Without it we would have no proof that Christ descended from Shem. Notice that the lifespans began to shorten after the Fall.
B. Verses 27-32. Here we receive several facts relative to Abraham:
1. We are informed of the death of Lot's father, which explains why Lot was with Abraham's
2. We are informed of Abraham's marriage and of Sarah's barren state.
3. In verse 31 we find that Abraham's father left Ur of the Chaldees headed toward Canaan. The
significance of this will be discussed in chapter 13.
Genesis 12

INTRODUCTION: Every observant reader must notice how the focus of Genesis begins to narrow
at this point; more space is given to Abraham than was given to the creation of the world.
Genesis 1-11, is in many respects the introduction to the rest of the Bible. In Genesis 12, we
then see a great forward step in the history of redemption as God chooses and calls Abraham.
There are several things to remember about this man:
A. He is the Father of the Jewish nation as well as some others.
B. He is the Father of all the faithful [Galatians 3:6-9]. The word "Father" has the meaning here
of one who is the first example in a particular area [Genesis 4:20-21; John 8:44]. Abraham is the
first man of whom it is recorded that he was saved by faith. All who therefore trust Christ for
salvation are children of Abraham. Men were saved by faith before Abraham, but he is the first
one whom God uses as an example of this [Genesis 15:3; Romans 4:3].

C. Abraham is the first clearly specified ancestor of the Savior.
I. GOD'S CALL - verse 1.
We can only guess how Genesis 12:1 correlates with Genesis 11:31-32. In Acts 7:2-4, we learn
that the call came to Abraham when he was yet in Ur of the Chaldees. Terah's move was
probably caused by the call that Abraham received. They stopped in Haran, however, before
entering Canaan. This delay was probably caused by Abraham's disobedience. He was told to
leave his kindred and the failure to leave his father only resulted in his first stopping short of
God's destination for him.
The Lord desired to raise up a separate nation through which to carry out His redemptive plan.
Even Abraham's family had lived among idolaters [Joshua 24:2]. The darkness of sin seemed
universal, yet in Abraham's call we see God's predestinated plan coming to pass. Who in the
world at that time could have guessed what God would do through Abraham. For Abraham to
obey God required great faith [Hebrews 11:8]. There were many seeming difficulties to his
believing God's promises.
A. He did not know where God was leading him.
B. His wife was barren.
C. He was forced to break family ties.
D. Canaan was filled with idolaters and ungodly people who would provide no fellowship for
E. Many trials came upon Abraham as he obeyed God.
II. GOD'S COVENANT - verses 2-3.
These promises relate to Abraham as the father of the Jewish nation and also as the one whose
seed would be the Messiah. God has and is keeping every one of these promises. Even today
there are people in every part of the world who are saved and blessed by faith in Christ, who
are the seed of Abraham [Galatians 3:13-14].
Abraham came into Canaan knowing only that God had called him there. He believed, though
he could not have fully grasped God's plan. Faith often leads us down a path only familiar to the
As we obey God more light is cast on our path. While traveling in Canaan, God adds to the
promises made to Abraham. Here he learned that he was brought to Canaan because his seed

was to possess it. This land grant to the Jews is known in theology as the Palestinian Covenant.
Notice that Abraham was a man who knew and worshipped God. His sacrifices revealed his
faith in God's mercy. His calling upon the "name of the Lord" revealed that he knew who the
true God was.
V. TRIALS - verses 10-20.
As the story is plain, let us simply consider some of the lessons to be noted in these Scriptures:
A. Trials come even to those who obey God. What must Abraham have thought of a famine in
the promised land. They are all the more difficult because we do not expect famines in Canaan
(a type of the Christian life, not of heaven) I Peter 4:12.
B. The greatest saint may fall. Past victories are no guarantee of future victories. Each trial
requires fresh faith.
C. One sin leads to another. Had Abraham stayed in Canaan where God sent him, he would not
have been tempted in Egypt.
D. In trials our faith is to be in God's power, not in the world's provisions (Egypt is a type of the
E. Our sin can be a stumbling block to others. Note that Abraham led his wife and his future son
into sin [Genesis 26:6- 7]. There is also no knowing what damage was done to Lot through this.
Many feel that he married a woman in Egypt who later became an example of God's judgment
upon sin.
F. Our sin destroys our testimony. Pharoah seems to have had no love for Abraham or
Abraham's God.
G. God is sovereign and can protect His people wherever they go.
H. God can chasten and restore His erring children [Hebrews 12:6-8].

Genesis 13

INTRODUCTION: Abraham's life was a series of ups and downs. He was a man of true faith, yet
as with all saints, he went through periods of spiritual declension. After his fall in chapter 12, he
was again shining for God in Genesis 13.
I. ABRAHAM RESTORED - verses 1-4.
Although Abraham failed God in Egypt, the Lord did not forsake him [Psalms 37:23-24]. Through
chastisement he was brought back to God [Hebrews 12:6-11]. Though it may falter at times, the
faith of regenerate people is never overthrown [Hebrews 12:2; Luke 22:32]. Abraham came
back to Canaan and to fellowship with God. He was trusting his own wisdom when he went into
Egypt. Each step of unbelief had involved him in more difficulty. Chastened and reminded of
God's ability to care for His children, he returned to the place where he had left God and began
again to commune with Him. Abraham's prayer no doubt included a confession of his sin [I John
II. A PROBLEM - verses 5-7.
Christians never go long without encountering problems. God had so enriched Abraham and Lot
that it became difficult for them to live in close proximity. Friction between their herdsmen
began to occur and increase. One cannot help but wonder if this was not in part caused by a
prior disobedience on Abraham's part by failing to separate from his kinsman [Genesis 12:1].
In verse 7, we are told that the original inhabitants of Canaan were present. An important
lesson should be noted here. Christians will have their differences and disagreements. Let us,
however, remember that the world and the enemies of God are watching. The world loves to
see Christians fight and dishonor God. Let us always be careful to behave in all our dealings with
other saints in a way pleasing to God [I Corinthians 6:1-7 illustrates this].
Abraham truly manifested a godly spirit here. Remembering that he and Lot were "brethren" he
wanted no strife. He seemed to treasure his relationship with other people of God. As the older
man he could have demanded his way, yet he condescended to Lot [I Peter 5:5,; I Corinthians
6:7]. In all this he behaved as a spiritually-minded man [I Corinthians 3:1-3].
Notice that while we should never harbor ill-will toward another saint, yet sometimes
separation is the best option. As with Paul and Barnabas, sometimes mortal men cannot come
to see eye-to-eye [Acts 15:36-41]. Christian love, however, should remain.
IV. A WORLDLY DECISION - verses 10-13.
Lot was a true child of God [II Peter 2:6-9]. Sadly, however, he illustrated the truth that saints

can make carnal decisions and suffer great loss.
Notice several of his errors:
A. He married a woman who did not fear God. This had far-reaching consequences in his life.

B. He made decisions with no thought of prayer [Proverbs 3:5-6]. Unlike Abraham, there is no
mention of his having much communion with God.
C. His decisions were based solely on worldly factors [verse 10], with no thought of the spiritual
implications [verse 13]. As we watch his life unfold, he seems to have become increasingly tied
up in worldly affairs.
Notice now what Lot lost through his spiritual carelessness:
1. He lost his joy and peace of mind [II Peter 2:7-8].
2. He lost his family. His wife and some of his children were overtaken in the judgment on
Sodom. His other two daughters gave every evidence of being strangers to God.
3. He lost his influence. It seems that he never made one convert in Sodom. Even his family
would not take his spiritual warnings seriously [Genesis 19:14].
4. His descendents became a curse to God's people [Genesis 19:36-38].
5. He fell into open sin [Genesis 19:30-38].
6. He seems to have been chastened by God [Genesis 14], yet did not profit from it. This led to
the more serious chastening of Genesis 19.
7. In general it may be said, that while Lot's soul was saved, his life was lost. May we often
consider the importance of following in close obedience to our Savior.
V. WALKING WITH GOD - verse 14-18.
While Lot was learning that this world cannot satisfy, Abraham was enjoying fellowship with
God. Meditate seriously on the contrast here. Did not Abraham choose the better part.
Once again God made promises to Abraham. These promises are referred to as the Palestinian
Covenant. The land of Palestine was given as a perpetual grant to Abraham and his seed. It is
fascinating for us to see Israel back in the land today.

Some have wondered how God's promise of an earthly inheritance can agree with the words of
Hebrews 11:8-10. Remember that Abraham will be resurrected to reign with Christ here on this
earth [Matthew 8:11]. One day the kingdom of Heaven will be visibly manifested on the new
and renovated earth. Abraham died without owning an acre of Canaan [Acts 7:2-5], yet he will
enjoy this inheritance throughout eternity.
Genesis 14

INTRODUCTION: In this chapter we see new manifestations of Abraham's godly character. We
are also introduced to Melchizedek, that mysterious king who is so important in salvation
I. THE GREAT FORAY - verses 1-12.
Here we have the first mention of war in the Bible. Man was not long in learning this art [James
4:1-2]. For those interested in further study there has been much written on the historical
identity and ancestry of these kings.
Lot had laid up treasures on earth and here thieves began to break through and steal. One
wonders if this was not God's chastening hand. If so Lot did not profit from the reproof.
II. ABRAHAM'S VICTORY - verses 13-15.
Several things of note are worthy of our attention:
A. In this record we see the great wealth of Abraham. He must have had far over a thousand
servants to have three hundred and eighteen fit for combat.
B. We note here the great courage and military skill of Abraham. He seems to have commanded
not only his own men, but also the forces of the entire confederacy [verse 13]. His military
strategy was wise and well-executed. The ability to command armed companies would not
have been unusual for a nomadic sheik like Abraham.
III. ABRAHAM'S CHARACTER - verses 16-24.
Abraham was completely successful in his military cam- paign. More importantly, his character
as God's man really stood out.
A. Abraham's attitude toward Lot tells us much about him. He maintained a brotherly love and
concern for Lot in spite of Lot's selfish attitude toward him. Many would have gloated over Lot's

problem rather than helping him.
B. Abraham made it very clear that he had not fought to enrich himself. The king of Sodom
that Abraham had the power to make the terms. He could have kept all the wealth. Abraham,
however, wanted his motives clearly under- stood. All he would take was the food eaten by his
servants. Wars fought for financial gain alone are unrighteous wars (Abraham did allow his
confederates to take their reward or expenses - verse 24).
C. Note that Abraham's main reason for refusing the spoil of war was his concern for God's
glory. He made a vow with God that he would take nothing from the wicked king of Sodom
[verses 22-23]. He did not want the wicked taking credit for God's blessing on him. This concern
for God's glory reminds us of other men of God [II Kings 5:15-16; II Corinthians 11:9].
In verse 18, we meet one of the most mysterious persons in the Bible. The author of Hebrews
not only shows us the importance of this man, but makes it plain that one must be spiritually
mature to really grasp the subject [Hebrews 5:10-11].
A. The Bible Record - verses 18-20.
1. Melchizedek was a king - verse 18.
a. He was king of Salem. Salem means "peace."
b. The name "Melchizedek" means "king of righteousness."
2. He was a priest of God - verse 18.
3. He fed Abraham as he returned from battle.
4. He blessed Abraham - verse 19.
5. Abraham payed him tithes - verse 20.
6. There is no record of his birth, death, or parentage [Hebrews 7:3].
B. Who was Melchizedek?
1. Some teach that he was Shem. This is an interesting theory, but as we have Shem's
parentage, the theory fails [Hebrews 7:3].
2. Some teach that Melchizedek was none other than Jesus Christ appearing temporarily in
human form. These Old Testament manifestations of God are called Theophanies and must not
be confused with Christ's incarnation as a man [Genesis 18:22, Joshua 5:13-15].

As Hebrews 7:3 and 15 make it clear that Melchizedek was a type or figure of Christ, we must
also reject this theory.
3. Hebrews 7:3 and 15 make clear Melchizedek was a type of Jesus Christ. As with Adam,
Moses, Aaron, or David, he was a mortal man whose person and life in various ways pre-figured
Jesus Christ.
C. The doctrinal significance of Melchizedek. In Psalms 110, and Hebrews 7:1-28, we learn that
Jesus Christ was a priest, not after the Levitical order but after the order of Melchizedek. This is
some of the most precious teaching in the Bible concerning our Savior.
Note to Teachers: While we should encourage our students to read Hebrews chapter seven, I
have felt it was too involved to expound in our studies on Genesis.
Genesis 15:1-6
INTRODUCTION: The Bible is a progressive revelation. The further we proceed in it the more
light we are given on God's purposes and plan. Genesis 15, is a big step forward in this
revelation. Many new concepts are introduced here:

A. Concept of faith - verse 6.
B. The first of God's "I AM" titles - verse 1.
C. The first example of salvation by faith - verse 6.
D. The first example of imputed righteousness - verse 6.
E. The first mention of the "word of the Lord."
In the battle of chapter 14, Abraham had made some powerful enemies. What was to stop
them from returning to smash his little army? What chance would Abraham have had apart
from the element of surprise he had formerly used? There is no doubt all these thoughts ran
through Abraham's mind. We usually find ourselves vulnerable to doubts and fears after a
mountain-top experience.

Graciously God comforted Abraham. God is Jehovah which means the "I AM." In using this title
God is pledging: "I am whatever my people need."
God promised here to be two things for Abraham:
A. "Thy Shield" - Abraham did not need to fear his enemies and neither do we [Psalms 4:8].
B. "Thy Exceeding Great Reward" - Abraham had refused to be enriched by the king of Sodom.
Those who give up anything for God never lose by it. The Lord's grace and presence more than
compensates and He always provides for and rewards His people.
Notice that in verses 1 and 4, the "word of the Lord" came to Abraham in a vision and spoke to
him. The manner in which the "word of the Lord" is personified has caused some to believe that
this is a reference to Jesus Christ rather than the mere spoken word [John 1:1 and 14; I John
1:1; Revelation 19:13].
God had promised to make of Abraham a great nation [Genesis 12:2]. As Abraham became
older this seemed more and more impossible. His only heir was a household steward. Abraham
did not doubt God, he just did not understand what God was doing. We find it hard to
remember that God waits till all hope in the flesh is gone before He performs His wonders. That
way God alone is glorified and our faith is exercised. God did reassure Abraham.
Here we have the first example of salvation by faith recorded in the Scripture. Abraham thus
became the "Father of the faithful," because all who are saved by faith are following this
pattern [Galatians 3:6-7]. Genesis 15:6 is such an important verse that it is recorded three times
in the New Testament [Romans 4:3; Galatians 3:6; James 2:23]. God took Abraham outside for a
look at the stars. There He promised to make Abraham's seed as numerous as the stars. With a
divinely wrought faith, Abraham believed in the Lord.
Note here several important points:
A. Abraham's faith was in the coming Savior. He not only believed that he would have a
numerous progeny, but that one of them would be the Savior of sinners [Galatians 3:16].
Abraham trusted in this coming Savior [John 8:56].
B. Abraham's faith caused him to be accounted as righteous in God's sight. Those who believe
in Christ have the "righteousness of God" imputed to their account [Romans 4:22- 25; 3:21-22].
We, like Abraham, are not accepted by God because of our goodness, but through this imputed

righteousness of Christ by which we are justified in God's sight [II Corinthians 5:21].
C. Abraham as the "Father of the faithful" is the pattern of all the redeemed. Every professing
Christian should ask: "Have I been saved according to the pattern given in Abraham or am I
trusting in something else"?
Let us notice how Paul uses Abraham's example to expose false hopes:
1. It was not by works [Romans 4:1-8].
2. It was not by circumcision [Romans 4:9-12].
3. It was not by the law [Romans 4:13-16]. See also Galatians 3.

CONCLUSION: Are you trusting in Christ alone for salvation? Are you a child of Abraham?
[Galatians 3:7].
Genesis 15:7-21
INTRODUCTION: In the record given in Genesis 15:7-21, the Lord enlarged on the promises
made to Abraham and sealed them by making an unconditional covenant with Abraham. There
is much here that can teach us the nature of God's grace in our own salvation.
I. A CONFIRMATION - verses 7-8.
The Lord here reaffirmed His promise to give Palestine to Abraham and his seed. Abraham's
request for a token of confirmation does not seem to have come from a spirit of unbelief.
Abraham believed God, but seems to have sensed that God wished to give some tangible proof
of His intentions. We that are saved are all given tokens of the certainty of our future
inheritance [Ephesians 1:13-14]. (God often condescends to man's weakness in this way)
[Genesis 24:10-14; Judges 6:36- 40].
II. A COVENANT - verses 9-10.
In ancient times the strongest form of trust was based on the covenant described here. Men
would slay and dismember various animals from their herds and then the parties making the
covenant would walk through the parts. In this way they implied that what had happened to
the animals would happen to the one breaking the covenant [Jeremiah 34:18-20].
What wonderful grace that Almighty God would stoop to make such covenants with man. The
Lord has always given man every assurance of His intention to keep His promise [Hebrews 6:1619].

III. ABRAHAM'S VIGILANCE - verses 11-12.
The vision of Abraham evidently lasted from one night until the next. All day he protected the
sacrificial animals from hungry birds. This has often been seen to teach the need of vigilance in
our dealings with God. Our prayers and covenants with God often require us to spend time
before the Lord until we have received evidence of having been heard [II Corinthians 12:8-9].
Birds in Scripture often represent evil spirits [Luke 8:5 and 12]. Let us beware of wandering
thoughts and Satanic intrusions that would mar our prayer life.
IV. GOD SPEAKS - verses 12-16.
As night approached, Abraham fell into a deep, trance-like sleep. Before confirming the
covenant God explained to Abraham His future plan. God always gives His people some degree
of light concerning the future [John 15:14-15].
A. Abraham's seed will be strangers in a land owned by others [Egypt].
B. They will be slaves there.
C. Their afflictions will last four hundred years. (Most conservative commentataries give an indepth explanation of the problems connected with chronology).
D. God will judge the nation that enslaved them [Exodus 7- 14].
E. Israel will be enriched as they leave this land [Exodus 12:35-36].
F. There is no doubt that Abraham wondered if any of this would happen in his lifetime. The
answer was "no," but he could be assured of a long life.
G. After their years of affliction they will return to Canaan.
H. One of the reasons that Israel's inheritance would be delayed was that the original
inhabitants of Canaan were not yet ripe for judgment. All the inhabitants of Canaan were
referred to as Amorites for they were the principle tribe. (Thus we learn that in God's common
grace there are predetermined limits to His long-suffering with nations. Are there not evidences
in Scripture that the same is also true of individuals [Hebrews 4:7; I Thessalonians 2:16;
Revelation 2:20-23]. Many sound preachers have sneered at the concept of "sinning away your
day of grace" because they fail to distinguish between common and saving grace.)
V. GRACE - verses 17-21.
In the darkness, God confirmed the covenant by passing through the divided animals. His
presence was signified by fire [Deuteronomy 4:24] in the forms most commonly seen by
nomadic people. The furnace (firepot or brazier) was a reminder of God's presence with Israel
in their future sufferings [Jeremiah 11:4]. The lamp was a type of God's guidance of His people
[II Samuel 22:29]. The grace of God was greatly manifested in that God alone passed through
the pieces. According to custom both parties would pass through and thus both had equal

responsibility in keeping the covenant. That God incapacitated Abraham so that He might pass
through alone is very significant. God was in effect showing that His covenant would be an
unconditional one. The promises of the covenant did not depend upon Abraham's faithfulness
but on God's alone. Israel in the future would know that their receiving of the promises was
based on God's unmerited favour. It was not the holiness or truthfulness of Abraham but the
faithfulness of God in keeping His promise. Does not this illustrate our own security in salvation.
God has taken all the responsibility in redemption. Our hope is not based on our goodness but
upon God's unconditional promise [II Timothy 1:9; Romans 8:33-39]. The effect is heightened
when we consider that the sacrificial animals were all used in Levitical sacrifices under the law
and were thus types of Christ. They represented what would happen to covenant breakers. All
of us are covenant breakers, but Christ paid the penalty for our sin [Romans 8:3, 5:8]. Through
His death God could give to His people a salvation wholly of grace [Titus 3:5-7].
Genesis 16
INTRODUCTION: God's people are in many respects a strange lot. In Genesis 14-15, Abraham is
seen as a shining example of faith. In Genesis 16, however, he is found acting in unbelief. The
fact that saints are subject to influence from different forces accounts for these inconsistencies
[Galatians 5:16-17]. We can only rejoice that God does not permit true saving faith to fail [I
John 5:4].
I. THE NEED OF FAITH - verse 1.
God often waits to act until His plan becomes humanly impossible to carry out. Abraham was
eighty-five and had no children. Sarah was well past the child-bearing years.
What hope of having a child could they have had? The answer of course is that God's promise
should have been sufficient for them. God always keeps His word. He does it, however, in a
manner that glorifies Himself. His timing and methods are often a trial to the flesh. We must
learn that faith must be accompanied with patience if it is to calmly wait for God to fulfill His
word [Hebrews 6:12; 10:35-36].
II. TEMPTATION - verses 1-3.
Note well how subtle the approach of temptation can be:
A. It came from a godly person [I Peter 3:6].
B. It came from someone close to Abraham.
C. It was a well-meaning attempt to "help God."

A. It clashed with God's plan for marriage.
B. It was nothing but a human device to bolster a divine plan.
The marriage and subsequent events are used in the Scripture as an allegory teaching us the
danger of attempting to be saved by the law [Galatians 4:21-31]. This will be expounded as we
proceed. Preachers have also used this as an example of the folly of attempting to do God's
work in the power of the flesh.
The purpose of marriage is the happiness of mankind and the rearing of godly children [Malachi
2:15]. Polygamy is the enemy of both of these goals. There has never been a polygamous
marriage where jealousy and bitterness did not enter. Sadly this always passes down to the
children [Genesis 21:9-11]. After Hagar conceived she began to act in a way that greatly
irritated Sarah. Abraham thus allowed Sarah to "put her in her place." This precipitated such
resentment that Hagar fled from home.
V. BEERLAHAIROI - verses 7-14.
Doubtless as Hagar journeyed she began to reflect and to cool off. While she rested at a
fountain of water, the Angel of the LORD (Jehovah) appeared to her. Those familiar with
Scripture know that the Angel of the LORD was none other than the Son of God. Hagar was
instructed to return to Abraham's house and thus fulfill God's plan for her. Probably she was
already contemplating this herself.
Hagar, seemingly, was personally a godly woman. She seems to have been very impressed by
this meeting with God. Like so many Old Testament people, she was surprised to have seen God
and lived. They knew that no one could see God's full glory and survive.
Hagar was also impressed by the fact that God was a God Who always saw her. She henceforth
referred to God as "Thou God seest me." She named the well where she met God Beerlahairoi,
which means "the well of Him that liveth and seeth me." How many people never realize that
God sees their every act and thought. They would be shocked to know that God pays attention
to them. May we live as those who remember that we are observed by the "all-seeing-eye" of
our Lord.
VI. GOD'S PROMISES TO HAGAR - verses 10-12.
Seemingly for Abraham's sake, God blessed Hagar and Ishmael [Genesis 17:18]. However, the

descendants of Ishmael have always been enemies of Israel. Does this not illustrate the fact
that God's work carried out in the power or wisdom of the flesh will always produce problems
and ultimately harm the work of the Lord?
Notice the promises and prophecies given to Hagar:
A. Her descendants would be a multitude.
B. She would have a son who was to be named Ishmael.
C. Ishmael would be a violent man, who would both oppose and be opposed. Seemingly the
Arab people, descended from Ishmael, have often exemplified this.
VII. ISHMAEL BORN - verses 15-16. Ishmael was born of a bondwoman and was conceived
strictly through the power of the flesh. He will forever stand as a type of those who seek
salvation through the law.
Genesis 17

INTRODUCTION: In Genesis 15, we noted that God's covenant with Abraham was an
unconditional one. This is again illustrated in Genesis 17. Neither Abraham's failings, nor
unbelief, nor the passing of time had changed God's intention to keep His word.
When Abraham was eighty-six years old Ishmael was born. This child was the product of
unbelief and fleshly wisdom. For thirteen years after this, there is no record of God
communicating with Abraham. The greatest blessing in life is to fellowship with God, but sin
and carelessness can cause saints to miss out for even prolonged periods of time. Christians can
fall into open sin for a time (Solomon, David), or just suffer from long periods of spiritual
drought (Lot).
Thankfully these times are never permanent. God always brings the erring sheep back to a
closer communion. Finally God rebuked Abraham and restored him to fellowship [Psalms 23:3,
Hebrews 12:6].
Notice God's opening words:
A. "I am the Almighty God." - God is here rebuking Abraham for his lack of trust in God's power.
It was this doubt that led to the marriage with Hagar. The Almighty does not need the help of
worldly wisdom and schemes.

B. "Walk before me, and be thou perfect." - There is no doubt that this was intended as a
rebuke for his sin thirteen years before.
C. Verse 2 - God let Abraham know that the passing of thirteen years had not hindered His plan.
God allowed Abraham and Sarah to grow older that His power might be more magnified in
Isaac's birth [Romans 4:18-20].
As God spoke Abraham fell on his face. This was an act of humility and contrition. As he was
bowed down the Lord continued to speak and restate the former promises. Is it not striking
how many times God explained the covenant to Abraham [Genesis 12:1-3; 6-7; 13:14-17; 15:15; 18-21]? Do we not also see this in the New Testament? Is it not also a testimony to the
slowness of the human heart to believe and also to the intention of God to keep His word?
Note also the many signs and seals God gave of His promises. In our lesson Abram's name was
changed to Abraham, which meant "Father of many nations." What a name for a ninety-nine
year old man who had not yet fathered the promised child. Only God can make such promises.
As we contemplate these things are we not convinced of how much God loves to find faith in
the hearts of His children? Is not this why He deals with us on the basis of promise? Our very
salvation is received by belief in the gospel promise. Nothing glorifies God like faith.
III. CIRCUMCISION - verses 9-14.
The token of the covenant with Abraham's physical descendents was to be the circumcision of
the male children. Any without this were to be cut off from the covenant people. The question
as to why circumcision was chosen as the sign of the covenant is rather difficult. We do know
that circumcision was often used as a picture of spiritual repentance and submission to God
[Jeremiah 4:4; Deuteronomy 10:16 and 30:6]. Perhaps the idea was that as depravity is passed
on through human procreation so there is the need for future generations to be cleansed of
God. (In the New Testament we read of men who taught that circumcision was part of
salvation. They failed to note that Abraham was saved by faith years before his circumcision.)
IV. SARAI RENAMED - verses 15-18.
The Lord here explained that the promised seed would come through Sarai. She was the one
who had thought the Lord needed help [Genesis 16]. Now thirteen years later God affirms that
Sarai is to be a mother. As a seal of this God changed her name to Sarah which means Princess.
Abraham's laughter in verse 17, was probably the result of amazement rather than unbelief. His
request in verse 18 was a result of his natural love for Ishmael. He did not want Ishmael to be
passed over in God's plan. Should not the prayer of verse 18 be in the heart of every Christian

V. GOD'S FINAL WORDS - verses 19-22.
Three things were explained to Abraham before the Lord departed:
A. Regardless of how unbelievable it may seem Sarah will have a son. This son is to be named
Isaac which means "laughter." This would be a reminder to Abraham of God's power and
faithfulness [verse 17].
B. God's covenant would be with Isaac, the child of promise, not with Ishmael the child
produced by fleshly wisdom.
C. For Abraham's sake Ishmael would be blessed. There is power in the intercessions of God's
people [Compare verse 18 with verse 20].
VI. OBEDIENCE - verses 23-27.
Abraham's obedience to God was immediate and total. Think of the trial this must have been
for Abraham at his age. Hundreds of others were also involved. Only great faith could make
possible this obedience. Truly Abraham had been spiritually restored.
Genesis 18

INTRODUCTION: The more we study the life of Abraham the more we will be impressed with
the variety of lessons and truths found therein that can be of great value in our spiritual walk.
The narrative is colored by the location and time-period but human nature and spiritual
realities never change.
I. A THEOPHANY - verses 1-8.
God has throughout history appeared in many ways to His people [Hebrews 1:1]. The various
appearances of God in human likeness during the Old Testament period are called
Theophanies. These are not to be confused with the actual "incarnation" of God's Son [John
1:14]. In the Old Testament times, God only appeared to be a man. In the incarnation Christ
became a man while remaining God [I Timothy 3:16].
Some have tried to see in the three men an allusion to the Trinity. This is going too far. While
one of the "men" was the Lord [verses 1, 13, 17, 22, 31], the other two were merely angels
[Genesis 19:1].Lifting up his head, Abraham noted the appearance of these three men.
Immediately he showed respect and offered his hospitality. We can only guess as to whether

Abraham saw anything special in these men. There is no doubt there was a dignity in their
Notice now two lessons to be learned from Abraham's example:
A. The Importance Of Hospitality. Abraham's actions here are a shining example of Christian
hospitality [Hebrews 13:2]. Hospitality is a duty largely forgotten today, but often com- mended
in Scripture [Matthew 10:42; Acts 4:34-35; I Timothy 3:2]. Our hospitality should be especially
directed toward God's people. (Christian hospitality does not forbid us to exercise due regard
for safety in dealing with strangers.) Some also prove themselves unworthy of hospitality [II
Thessalonians 3:10].
B. Belief In Providence [verse 5]. Abraham believed that God controlled the events of life. While
he did not know why the men were there, he did know that nothing happened by chance. We
should also view the events of life as coming by providential control.
II. A MESSAGE FROM GOD - verses 9-15.
As they were eating, one of the men suddenly inquired about Sarah. The fact that this stranger
knew her name (her new name - Genesis 17:15) must have alerted Abraham that this was God
speaking. The Lord then repeated the promise that Sarah would have a son. While protocol no
doubt forbade Sarah from mingling with these strangers, it is not surprising to find that she sat
where she could hear the conversation unseen. She was curious about these distinguished
guests. Upon hearing that she would have a son she laughed to herself. Not only was she past
child-bearing years, but even Abraham at ninety-eight was no longer capable of fathering a
child [Romans 4:19]. Great was her consternation when she heard that the stranger was aware
of her silent laugh. She immediately knew that these strangers were special. In her fear she
denied having laughed. This received a straight-forward rebuke [verse 15].
How our unbelief grieves the Lord. What a question God asked in verse 14! May we live our
lives as those who know that nothing is too hard for the Lord. Notice that in the Lord's rebuke
[verse 14] He merely restated His promise. May God's word always be sufficient for us.
An important Bible principal is made plain here. God does not hide His plans from His people
[Psalms 25:14; John 15:15]. Christians alone know the course and outcome of the present age.
Notice the two reasons God gave for not hiding His plan from Abraham:
A. Abraham was to be the recipient of great promises [verse 18]. Even today the saved have a
blessed future with God to look forward to. Why then should God hide His present plans for

this world from them.
B. God knew that Abraham unlike the dwellers in Sodom, would instruct his children in the way
of righteousness. God holds us responsible for this [I Samuel 3:11-1].
There are two important themes here:
A. God's Righteousness - God made it very clear that His judgment on the cities of the plain
would be based on a careful investigation of their sin [verses 20-21]. God never acts unjustly in
His judgments. Anyone going through the Bible will be surprised to note how often the word
"righteous" is connected with God's judgment. The Lord does not destroy the righteous with
the wicked. The Lord treats no one unfairly. While God speaks here as though He were a man
we know that this is the language of accommodation. He knows all about us at all times
[Proverbs 15:3]. Such language was used and the two angels were sent to Sodom so that we
might clearly see that God never acts in judgment without complete knowledge.
B. The Need Of Intercession [verses 23-32]. This portion of Scripture has often been used to
illustrate and show the need of intercessory prayer [I Timothy 2:1]. We as Christians need to
pray on behalf of the unsaved as well as for other saints. Abraham feared that Lot and other
godly people would be destroyed. His actions give us a pattern for intercessory prayer:
1. He came before the Lord [verse 22].
2. He drew near to God [vs.23]. This shows us the need of taking time to draw spiritually closer
to God. The purpose of fasting is to seek the Lord and draw near to Him by laying aside all
3. He discussed the situation. God wants to hear from us what He already knows [II Kings 19:
14-19]. The intercessor needs to bring the situation before the Lord.
4. He rehearsed the promises that God had made. He also reminded God of His own nature and
attributes. This "reasoning" with God on the basis of His own promises and attributes is a very
important part of prayer. Perhaps more than anything it strengthens our faith.
5. Abraham was persistent [verses 27, 30, 3]. The Lord demands persistence in prayer as a test
of the depth of our desire [Luke 18:1-7; Matthew 15:21-28].
6. He was bold yet reverent [verses 27 and 32]. There is such a thing as "holy" boldness in our

prayer life.
7. He displayed great compassion. Compassion is basic to intercessory prayer [Romans 9:1-3].
Notice several other items of spiritual significance:
A. Abraham was successful in his prayers. It is true Sodom was not saved, but God agreed to all
his requests. Abraham overestimated the number of righteous people in Sodom. Someone has
said that "Abraham quit praying before God quit answering."
B. God's people are the salt of the earth. Ten saints in Sodom would have preserved the city.
C. There comes a time when even our prayers cannot save a city or nation. Nations and cities
can go beyond the hope of mercy [Ezekiel 14:12-21]. Anytime there are few real saints in a
place judgment is near.
Genesis 19
INTRODUCTION: Genesis 19 concludes for us the sad story of Lot. In Lot's life we see how much a
child of God can lose by wrong decisions and entanglement with the world. Lot married a
worldly-minded woman and lived in a wicked city for mere carnal reasons. He ended up losing his
family, his testimony, and no doubt any reward in Heaven. While Lot's example stands as a warning,
yet it must be remembered that he was a righteous man. This makes him all the more a beacon of
caution to saints. Even those who know Christ can make harmful mistakes if they fail to watch and
pray. Lot's spiritual relationship with God is proved by the following:
A. God's word declares him to have been a just man [II Peter 2:6-9].
B. His soul was vexed and unhappy in the midst of evil [II Peter 2:6-9].
C. God ultimately chastened and delivered Lot from his situation of temptation [II Peter 2:6-9].
D. Lot was willing and desirous of entertaining and protecting those whom he thought to be righteous
E. Lot rebuked the wicked [Genesis 19:7].
F. Lot believed the warning of God and attempted to warn his family [Genesis 19:14].
G. Lot, unlike his wife, hastened to escape once out of Sodom.

H. Lot prayed to God [Genesis 19:18-19].
I. THE GATE OF SODOM - verses 1-3.
The same day, described in Genesis 18, two angels came at evening to Sodom. These are the same
two mentioned in Genesis 18:22, who headed off to Sodom. As in Genesis 18 they were taken to be
ordinary men. In ancient cities the gate was the place of business and government. The fact that Lot
sat in the gate seems to indicate that he was some type of official in Sodom. This seems to be
insinuated in verse 9.
Lot's real reason for being at the gate that evening seems to have been watching for travelers.
Perhaps he feared that decent or godly people passing through would be abused, not knowing the
character of the city. Seeing the angels, which he took at this point to be ordinary men, he begged
them to lodge with him. This hospitable and concerned spirit spoke well of Lot.
II. SODOMITES - verses 4-5.
The vile sin of sodomy received its name from the actions of these men. The word "know" in verse 5
is a euphemism for a homosexual act. Verse 4 makes it clear that the city was saturated with this
lifestyle. In Romans 1:24-28, Paul gives us the origin of this sin. As men turn from God the restraints
of common grace are removed. As societies progress in evil this sin comes out of the closet. Now
America, like Sodom, openly declares its love of this sin [Isaiah 3:9]. The words of Ezekiel 16:49-50
seem to increasingly describe our nation.
Lot had a great sense of responsibility for his guests and did all he could to stop the evil designs of the
men of Sodom. At this period in history men felt a sacred responsibility to protect those who broke
bread under their roof. Lot's offer of his two daughters is shocking and disgusting. It does show the
attitude toward women at this time. Lot's attempt to help failed. The mob became angry and finally
determined to abuse Lot. There is no doubt he began to wonder why he had come to such a place.
Only the supernatural power of the angels saved Lot. The blindness of the mob seems to have
included a confusion of mind. Here Lot must have recognized the supernatural nature of his visitors.
IV. A WARNING - verses 12-14.
God had investigated Sodom and found it truly ripe for judgment [Genesis 18:20-21]. When sexual
perversion and violence become open and widespread judgment is near. Lot was warned to remove all
of his family from Sodom. His older daughters had married men of Sodom and were also living in the
city. His warning was not taken seriously. It seems that Lot's sons-in-law had no respect for his
testimony. The supernatural did not seem real to Lot's family.
V. LOT DELIVERED - verses 15-16.
Truly the Lord does know how to deliver the righteous [II Peter 2:6-9]. God would not destroy the
righteous with the wicked.

VI. GOD'S PATIENCE WITH LOT - verses 17-22.
We are amazed at the dullness of Lot. Still thinking of physical comfort, he wished to go to a small city
rather than the mountain. Did he ever stop to consider that God knew best? It seems he would have
had enough of cities. The patience of God really stands out here. The Lord agreed to Lot's request
and spared the small city for his sake. Perhaps we should reflect more upon God's patience toward us.
VII. JUDGMENT - verses 23-25.
The judgment of these cities stands as a type of God's final judgment on the wicked [Jude 7]. Even
today this area is a hot, miserable place covered with tar pits. The remains of Sodom and Gomorrah
seem to be covered by the shallow end of the Dead Sea. The whole area seems cursed by God. Let it
be remembered that these cities have a future appointment with God [Matthew 11:24]. No judgment
in this life can compare to the final judgment.
VIII. LOT'S WIFE - verse 26.
The heart of Lot's wife never left Sodom. In lingering she was overcome in the judgment and
encrusted with salt and minerals. She stands as a warning to those who flee sin and seek Christ
half-heartedly [Luke 17:32]. The truly convicted flee to Christ [Hebrews 6:18].
IX. THE INTERCESSOR - verses 27-29.
What a contrast! Lot fleeing from the overthrow, having lost all, while Abraham looks on from his
place of fellowship with God. The clear advantage of being spiritually-minded is illustrated here. The
saint only loses from entanglement with the world. In these Scriptures we also see the power of
intercessory prayer. Verse 29 states that Lot's deliverance was connected to God's relationship with
X. LOT'S DISGRACE - verses 30-38.
Oh the terrible waste and harm of sin. Lot's life became one disaster after another. Christians cannot
lose their soul but they can certainly waste their lives and lose their family. Lot's daughters had many
excuses for their sinful plot. They had no prospect of a husband. Children were a necessary protector
in old age. Without children the family name would be lost. Their sin really proceeded, however, from
a lack of faith in God's ability to provide and from an absence of moral standards. The children of this
incest were the ancestors of two nations (Moabites and Ammonites) that were habitual problems for
There are many lessons in all of this:
A. The life not lived according to God's direction is a downhill slide.
B. If we raise our children in and like the world, let us not be surprised if they learn the world's ways.
C. Drunkenness is a great sin that opens the door to greater sins.

D. The fruit of a worldly Christian's life often produces trials for those who are trying to obey God.
Compromise leaves many "Moabites and Ammonites" around to hinder those who in the future will
serve God.

Genesis 20
INTRODUCTION: The narrative now turns to Abraham as he stumbles and fails to trust the Lord.
While his life was certainly more productive than Lot's, no man is free of indwelling sin in this life
[Romans 7:18-24]. Let us humbly remember that we stand by God's grace and daily pray for
deliverance from sin [Matthew 6:13]. May the consideration of our own weakness lead us to be meek
in our treatment of the erring saint [Galatians 6:1].
I. ABRAHAM'S MOVE - verse 1.
Abraham lived as a pilgrim in the land, yet we do not know what occasioned this move. Perhaps the
destruction of Sodom made the whole area unpleasant.
Problems arose when the king of Gerar took Sarah as a prospective wife. Abraham had caused this by
passing her off as his sister. She was in fact his half-sister and his wife.
Note now several matters of concern:
A. Sins and weaknesses must be mortified [Romans 13:14], or they will bring future failure into our
lives. Earlier in life Abraham had used this same compromising tactic rather than trusting God
[Genesis 12:10-20]. Now we see him falling again because he had never truly conquered this sin
[Genesis 20:13]. He should have prayed and sought God's help with this rather that leaving the door
open for future trouble.
B. A sad thought is that our sin affects others. Children are often led astray by the bad example of
their parents [Exodus 20:5]. Years later Isaac fell into this very sin at this same place [Genesis
C. The question has often been asked as to why Abimelech wanted Sarah. There are two possible
answers to this:
1. Sarah had been a beautiful woman [Genesis 12:10]. Perhaps her beauty was divinely restored as
God prepared her to conceive Isaac.
2. Abimelech may have wanted to marry her for political reasons. Abraham was a great and wealthy
man. Marriage has often been used in history to create alliances.

God is jealous over his people and especially His servants [Matthew 18:6; Psalms 105:15; Isaiah
54:17]. God had a plan for Abraham that Abimelech was about to interrupt. Abraham was not justified
in all of his behavior, but God's plan for him must go on. Had Abimelech taken Sarah as his wife
neither Isaac, the nation of Israel, nor Jesus Christ our Lord would ever have been born. God's
purpose cannot be hindered, but sometimes it seems to hang by a thread.
Notice here another angle of truth. Abimelech was kept from falling into sin because God knew the
rectitude of his heart. He did not know that Sarah was married. There is a real lesson here. Many
temptations and sins lurk before us. God delivers the humble and prayerful from them [Proverbs
16:18; Matthew 6:13]. He may allow the proud to fall as a punishment or chastisement.
God knows how to speak to men in a way that will make an impression. Abimelech knew that the God
of all power had spoken and that he had no recourse but to obey. Note in verse 8 that even
Abimelech's servants took the message absolutely seriously. All of this reminds us of two things that
Abraham forgot:
A. The Universal Sovereignty Of God. - In verse 11, Abraham explained his fear by stating that he
believed there was no fear of God in Gerar. He seemed to feel that because he was in a place where
God was not feared that he was beyond God's protection. He forgot that we can never go beyond the
presence and power of God [Psalms 139]. God can work on the mind and direct the path of any man at
any time [Proverbs 21:1]. Not even Satan can do anything to God's children that is not permitted by
God [Luke 22:31]. This is the theme of the books of Job, Daniel and Esther.
B. He forgot that those who have faith in God need not fear man. The fear of man will always cause us
to stumble and sin [Proverbs 29:25; Jeremiah 1:17].
Abimelech having been rebuked by God was quick to make restitution. Not only was Sarah returned,
but gifts were bestowed upon Abraham as an apology and recompense for what had happened. While
all this might seem unfair to Abimelech, let us remember that Abraham may have been correct in his
judgment of the people of Gerar. Maybe they would have slain Abraham. His fault was in trusting his
own schemes rather than God.
VI. ABRAHAM INTERCEDES - verses 17-18.
Abraham was not perfect, but he was God's child. He could pray because he knew how to approach
God through Christ. The public success of his prayer was permitted to be seen because God wished all
to know that Abraham was His chosen vessel.

Genesis 21

INTRODUCTION: This chapter not only records the fulfillment of God's promise, but the narrative
is used by Paul as an allegory to teach the theology of grace.
I. GOD KEEPS HIS WORD - verses 1-2.
Three times in two verses we are reminded that God did what He said He would do. Years may pass
and faith may waiver, but God's word never falls to the ground.
II. ABRAHAM'S NEW SON - verses 3-5.
Who but God could give a child to an aged couple. Let it be said to Abraham's credit that even before
Isaac's birth he had come to believe God's promise [Romans 4:17-22]. Notice that faith produced
obedience. Abraham obeyed God in the naming and the circumcising of the child [Genesis 17:21 and
III. SARAH'S JOY - verses 6-7.
Sarah likewise came to believe God's promise even before Isaac's conception [Hebrews 11:11]. The
birth of her first and only child brought great joy. We should point out that the name Isaac means
"laughter." This does not seem to have been a reference to their former laughter of unbelief [Genesis
17:17 and 18:12], but rather to their laughter of joy. God is merciful to forgive our failings and to note
our growth and faith. Both Abraham and Sarah are commended in the New Testament while their
faults are not mentioned.
As was common, a feast was made to celebrate the weaning of Isaac. At this time Sarah saw Ishmael,
who was fourteen years older than Isaac, mocking him. It is no surprise to those who know human
nature to find that Ishmael resented Isaac, who had replaced him as Abraham's heir. Sarah was very
angry and may have feared for Isaac's safety.
V. A SHOCKING PENALTY - verses 10-13.
To Abraham's horror Sarah demanded that Hagar and Ishmael be cast out. This was grievous to
Abraham who was loath to disinherit and part with Ishmael. No doubt he also felt it was unfair to
Hagar. Only as God spoke and confirmed Sarah's word was he able to follow this course of action.
God revealed two things to Abraham that both comforted him and explained the need for a separation:
A. Isaac alone was to be God's chosen instrument in bringing the Jewish nation and finally the Savior
into the world. Other children must not be mingled with his descent [Genesis 25:1-6].
B. God would bless and care for Ishmael for Abraham's sake. There is no doubt this comforted
The history of Isaac and Ishmael is used by the Apostle Paul as an allegory to illustrate the difference
between law and grace [Galatians 4:19-5:1]. An allegory uses people and actions to symbolize certain

truths. Note the doctrines Paul illustrates in this way:
A. Two Covenants - Hagar the bondwoman represented the covenant of law made at Mount Sinai,
which could only produce bondage. Sarah the free woman represented the new covenant of grace.
B. Two Births - Ishmael was born of fleshly power and wisdom. Thus he represents the natural man
whose religion is no more than the schemes and refinement of the flesh [John 3:6- 7]. Isaac was
miraculously born of promise. He was the child of faith and represents all those, who by divine power
are born from above [Titus 3:5].
C. Ishmael was born into bondage and represented the hopelessness of those, who being born of the
flesh, are trying to be saved by the law. Isaac was born free and represents those in Christ who are
free from the law's condemnation [Galatians 5:1].
D. Ishmael had a fleshly, worldly nature. His hope and love centered on the things of this world. Isaac,
like Abraham, was a man of faith who worshipped God.
E. Ishmael mocked and persecuted Isaac. Those born of the flesh always persecute those born of the
Spirit. Isaac, like all the godly, was the object of persecution. The big "Ishmaels" of this world will
always despise the little "Isaacs" whose faith and life they do not understand.
F. Ishmael was cast out. All under the covenant of law will be cast out [Romans 3:19-20]. Isaac was
the heir. Those born of the Spirit will inherit God's kingdom.
Hagar and Ishmael were sent away at God's command. Soon their water was gone and death seemed
imminent. Hagar left Ishmael under a bush and went a short distance away to weep. She did not want
to watch him die. God, however, heard the lad's voice. Abraham had loved and prayed for Ishmael and
for his sake God cared for the mother and child. Hagar was shown a well and they were spared.
Ishmael became an archer and was married to someone from Egypt. This was the origin of the Arab
This little narrative shows how God provided for Abraham. Even the lost could see that God was
blessing Abraham. The Lord can give his people favor with the wicked when it is in their best interest.
The incident concerning the well at Beersheba revealed Abraham's peaceable nature. Rather than
fight or revile, he made a peaceable and generous covenant with Abimelech concerning the well at
Beersheba. We are always to seek peace when possible.
IX. PUBLIC WORSHIP - verses 33-34.
What a beautiful picture. Abraham planted a grove where he could publicly worship God. We can only

believe that he also instructed others concerning the true God. (Later in Israel's history, worship in
groves was prohibited as they became associated with idolatrous worship.)

Genesis 22
INTRODUCTION: Here is recorded Abraham's greatest trial of faith. This portion of Scripture is
very rich in doctrine and practical application.
I. ABRAHAM TESTED - verses 1-2.
What a shock Abraham received as God spoke to him here. He was to offer Isaac, the son of promise,
as a burnt offering. This must have seemed totally out of character for God. Did not the heathen do
such things? Would not God be destroying His own plan to bring forth Israel and a Saviour through
Israel? What a test this was to Abraham's faith. Nothing seemed to make sense.
Now let us consider several things concerning God's testing of His people:
A. God does not tempt anyone to sin [James 1:13].
B. God does try His people to test the reality of their faith [Matthew 13:18-23].
C. Often Satan provokes these trials [Jobs 1:6-12; Luke 22:31].
D. Trials are used to mature saints [James 1:3-4].
E. God tests saints to give them an opportunity to glorify Him by their actions under trial.
F. God gives true saints strength to overcome [Luke 22:31- 32; I Corinthians 10:13].
G. These tests are valuable to God's people [I Peter 1 :7].
Faith acts on God's word even when nothing seems reasonable. The next day Abraham headed out to
obey God. Not once did he question His orders. How did Abraham reconcile God's command with
God's former promise? In Hebrews 11:17-19 , we learn that Abraham believed that God would raise
Isaac from the dead. This is also seen in verse 5, where Abraham told the servants that he and Isaac
would return. Abraham's obedience was strictly an act of faith.
III ISAAC - A TYPE OF CHRIST - verses 6-14.
The entire Old Testament points to Christ. In many ways Isaac pictured the Savior:
A. Isaac was a son of miraculous birth.
B. Isaac, like Christ, was the center of all his father’s plan.
C. Isaac’s death would be a great sacrifice to Abraham, just as the giving of Christ required great love
on the Father’s part [John 3:16; Romans 8:32].
D. Isaac was to be offered by his father, as was Christ.
E. The Lord Jesus carried his cross, so Isaac carried the wood.
F. Isaac, as a young man, could have resisted his father. In this he pictured the willingness of Christ to
submit to the Father’s plan [Isaiah 53:7; Luke 22:42]. G. Isaac's deliverance was a type of the

resurrection [Hebrews 11:19].
Those who teach salvation by works have misused James 2:20-23 to prove their doctrine. Note now
the correct exposition:
A. In Genesis 15:5-6, we have a record of how Abraham was saved by faith. He was justified from all
sin and received the gift of imputed righteousness [Romans 4:1-5]. Genesis 15 gives us the first
example of salvation by grace. Abraham is our "Father" because he is the first example given of
salvation through faith in Christ. All who go to Heaven must be saved in this way.
B. In Genesis 22, Abraham justified his claim to be a believer by his obedience to God. James 2:20-23
does not teach salvation by works, but salvation by a faith that does work. Any faith that does not
manifest itself by obedience to, God is not true saving faith, but a dead faith.
V. ABRAHAM PLEASES GOD - verses 6-14.
Through faith Abraham obeyed and pleased God [Hebrews 11:2, 6, 17-19]. Many brethren have
offered their children to false gods out of fear or selfish hopes. Faith working by love makes our
actions acceptable to God [Galatians 5:6].
VI. IN SALVATION, GOD IS THE PROVIDER - verses 6-8 and 13-14.
What a revelation of grace is here. Salvation is not bought or earned but provided by God. In God's
providence a ram was provided to die in Isaac's place. God tested Abraham, but had Himself provided
the sacrifice. The place was named Jehovah- Jireh which means "Jehovah will provide." God gave
His Son to die in our place. Another of the "Jehovah" titles is Jehovah-Tsidkenull which means "
Jehovah is our righteousness" [Jeremiah 33:6]. God the Father as Jehovah gave His Son to die for
our sins and become our righteousness [II Corinthians 5:21]. As Jesus is also Jehovah, so truly
Jehovah provides and is our righteousness.
The last words of verse 14 appear to be a proverb that grew out of this event. It means, in essence,
that at that place it was seen or demonstrated that God will provide.
There is much to learn from this narrative. We see that God must be first in our life [Matthew 10:37].
Often He tests us by demanding what seems dearest in out heart [Matthew 19:21]. We also see that
only by faith can we obey God. Reason alone is never sufficient. Lastly we see that one never loses by
trusting God. Often He gives back what He demands of us. It was not the physical, but the spiritual
sacrifice of Isaac that God wanted. Abraham was permitted to keep Isaac after he proved he was
willing to give him up.
Was not this fresh encouragement to faith given because of Abraham's obedience?

IX. ABRAHAM'S RELATIVES - verses 20-24.
This section supplies necessary background information for Genesis 24. This information was
probably brought to Abraham by some passing caravan.

Genesis 23
INTRODUCTION: The Scriptures often remind us of the reality of death. God is very interested and
concerned in the death of His people [Psalms 116:15]. Death is not an unpleasant thing, but rather a
profitable theme of meditation for the child of God. Salvation delivers from the fear of death [Hebrews
2:15]. Death ushers the saint into God's presence [Philippians 2:21-23]. The thought of death reminds
the Christian of the importance of spiritual matters.
I. A UNIQUE RECORD - verses 1-2.
Sarah is the only woman whose death, burial, and even age is given extensive coverage in the
Scripture. She is the "Mary" of the Old Testament and the mother of the faithful [I Peter 3:1- 6].
II. A BURIAL PLACE - verses 3-16.
We cannot help but notice the refined manner and courtesy of Abraham. The offer of Ephron in verse
11, may have been a mere statement of courtesy, not intended to be taken seriously. Such is the
method of business in parts of the world. When Ephron mentioned a price, Abraham paid it without
dickering and obtained a burial spot for his family.
Notice several lessons:
A. Death comes to all. Not even God's people are exempt.
B. Death ends our duty toward, and influence upon the soul of an individual. Abraham was concerned
to bury Sarah's body, not pray for or perform ceremonies for her soul. All attempts to spiritually
benefit the deceased are nothing but superstition. Death seals the fate of the soul and leaves an
individual in Heaven or Hell.
C. The worshippers of God have always treated the body of the deceased loved ones with love and
respect. Christ died to redeem both body and soul and both are His property. The body is buried in
hope of the coming resurrection [I Corinthians 15:42-44].
III. BURIAL IN CANAAN - verses 17-20.
God had promised to Abraham and his seed the land of Palestine. Abraham died without yet receiving
this, but he knew that the promise was sure [Hebrews 11:13]. Abraham's purchase of the field,
seemed to indicate not only his need of a burial place but also his desire for a plot of land in Canaan.
This was the only part of Canaan he owned in his lifetime. He intended to be buried himself in the land

that he and his seed would inherit [Genesis 25:7-9]. In the resurrection he will rise to claim the

Genesis 24
INTRODUCTION: This lovely story not only touches the depth of human emotions but it is also of
great spiritual value. Notice the various aspects of its spiritual richness:
A. We have here an important link in salvation history and the lineage of our Savior.
B. This narrative gives us some wonderful examples of godly conduct. Not only is faith and prayer
exemplified but we see here a beautiful picture of real love.
C. Genesis 24 provides a beautiful example of God's special providence in the lives of His people.
Believers may be confident that God will guide them in the paths of righteousness [Psalm 23:3,
Proverbs 3:6].
D. In this story we have some striking types of the plan of redemption.
I. THE STORY - verses 1-67.
A. Abraham's Plan-verses 1-6.
Abraham knew that through Isaac would come both Israel and the Messiah. His concern was that
Isaac would have a godly wife who worshipped the Lord. He would not consider a marriage with the
idolatrous Canaanites.
Note also that Abraham did not want Isaac to leave the land of promise. God's plan and promises
were the only things that mattered to Abraham. May we have the same spiritual desires for our
B. Faith - verses 7-9.
Abraham knew that God would make a way for those who trust Him. Let young people who seek
mates and careers remember this. We never need to do wrong to accomplish God's will.
C. Putting Out The Fleece - verses 10-14.
The servant here shows himself to be a godly man. Abraham, it seems, taught even his servants the
fear of God. Believing that God could and would make His will known, the servant put out a fleece, so
to speak [Judges 6:36-40]. He believed that God already had a girl chosen for Isaac and that He
would make His will known. We know that God also has a will for each of us in marriage [Proverbs
19:14]. We may also assume that the servant's fleece [verse 14], was also a test of the girl's
character. Kindness and willingness to work are necessary traits in a wife. (He did not seek Isaac's
wife at the local mall or single's bar).

D. A Suitable Bride - verses 15-20.
Truly, Rebekah was a worthy choice. She was pretty, pure, virtuous, humble, kind, unselfish,
hospitable and hardworking. To draw water for ten camels was a major job, yet she cheerfully
E. God Is Praised - verses 21-28.
The servant watched in amazement. When he heard that Rebekah was the daughter of Bethuel, he
bowed and worshipped God. How often we forget to thank and praise God for blessings and answered
F. Laban - verses 29-31.
The servant was welcomed into Rebekah's home. Notice that Laban referred to the servant as one
"blessed of the LORD." These people worshipped "Jehovah" God which is why Abraham sent the
servant there.
G. Negotiations - verses 32-52.
The servant would waste no time before he carried out his master's errand. In an artless manner he
laid his purpose for coming before Rebekah's family. When they agreed to his request he again bowed
to worship and thank God.
H. A Dowry Paid - verse 53.
I. Haste In The Master's Work - verses 54-60.
God had made His will known. The servant had not come for a vacation, but to find a bride for Isaac.
This being done, he refused to linger. May we likewise be zealous as we redeem the time in God's
work [Ephesians 5:16].
Notice that Rebekah is given here the opportunity to decide. She came willingly and without delay,
thus making her all the more a type of Christ's bride [Psalm 45:10-11].
J. The Happy Couple - verses 54-61.
Notice the character traits seen in both Rebekah and Isaac:
1. Rebekah is both humble and modest. She followed the custom of her time in dismounting and veiling
herself in the presence of a stranger.
2. Isaac is seen to be a man given to meditation. Notice that he dwelt near Lahai-roi where God met
Hagar. He seems to have been a spiritually-minded individual who was drawn to this place [Genesis
Note also the loving way in which Isaac treated Rebekah. He took her to Sarah's tent which was the
highest place of honor in the camp for a woman. He married and loved her. Their marriage was a

strictly monogamous one, unlike the other patriarchs.
This chapter has often been seen as giving a wonderful foreshadowing of redemption. Notice some of
the striking features:
A. Abraham represented God the Father who gave His only Son to die and rise again. Abraham then
sought a bride for Isaac, just as the Father now seeks one for Christ.
B. Isaac represented the Son of God.
1. He was the Son of Promise.
2. He was slain and resurrected in type.
3. Afterward he returned to the father's house as Christ returned to Heaven.
4. He is next seen meeting his bride, just as Christ will next be seen coming for His.
C. Rebekah represented the church or bride of Christ.
1. She was fair - Ephesians 5:27.
2. She was pure just as Christ's true churches are [II Corinthians 11:2]. This is in contrast to the false
religious system represented in Scripture as a "Great Whore."
3. She acted on faith for she has never seen Isaac or Canaan [I Peter 1:8].
4. She married the son [Revelation 19:7].
D. The servant represented the one who carries the Gospel.
What a marvel that God allows us to seek a bride for His Son [II Corinthians 11:2]. Note now the
attributes of a successful servant and soulwinner [Proverbs 11:30]:
1. He was prayerful [verse 12; Romans 10:1].
2. He was Spirit-filled. The angel that accompanied him was a type of the Spirit [vs.7]. Only through
the Spirit's power may we be used of God [Acts 11:22-24].
3. This work was the passion of his life [vs.7; John 4:34; I Thessalonians 2:19].
4. He exalted not himself, but his master - verses 3-5.
5. He thanked and gave God credit for all success [verse 52; I Corinthians 3:6].

Genesis 25
INTRODUCTION: Here we finish the life of Abraham and move on to the birth of his grandsons.
Little is told concerning the end of Abraham's life. Holy Scripture follows the line of Christ and thus
the narrative soon turns to Jacob.
I. ANOTHER MARRIAGE - verses 1-4.
After Sarah's death Abraham remarried and had more children [Genesis 2:18]. This was a fulfillment

of Genesis 17:4.
Abraham remembered God's plan for Isaac and the purpose of Ishmael's departure. He therefore
knew that these other sons must not be left to challenge Isaac's position as the heir of promise and
ancestor of the Messiah [Romans 9:7]. They were therefore sent away with gifts that no doubt gave
them a prosperous start in life.
III. ABRAHAM'S DEATH - verses 7-10.
Abraham died believing God's promise. He did not own Palestine nor had the Savior yet come, but he
knew that God's promises are sure [Hebrews 11:13]. He was buried with Sarah in the land that he will
one day rise to claim in Christ's future kingdom. Notice that death is described as a "gathering to his
people." This does not refer to burial but to the immortality of the soul. We are all gathered to our
people at death. Are you part of the world or of the family of God?
We should note that Ishmael participated in Abraham's burial. This reveals that all connection was not
broken when Hagar and Ishmael left. One wonders if Abraham did not send them assistance from time
to time.
IV. ISAAC BLESSED - verse 11.
Isaac lived a quiet but prosperous life. We wonder if God's former appearance at Lahairoi is not what
attracted Isaac to the place [Genesis 16:7-14].
V. THE GENERATIONS OF ISHMAEL - verses 12-18. Remember that the phrase "Now these are
the generations of ..." occurs ten times in the book of Genesis. Genesis is the book of beginnings.
VI. REBEKAH CONCEIVES - verses 19-23.
Rebekah's barrenness was a trial to both Abraham and Isaac. Isaac was sixty years old before
children were born. Perhaps Abraham was tempted to wonder if he had found the right girl for Isaac.
Finally Isaac prayed and God answered. It seems that the Lord wanted it to be seen that His special
providence attended the birth of these men through whom Christ would come. God often carries out
His work in a way that tries the faith of His people.
Rebekah noticed in her pregnancy more movement than was usual in the womb. She inquired of God
and was told that she was carrying twins. These twins were to be the fathers of two nations (Edom and
Israel). Their descendents were to be very different types of people.
In God's plan the younger was to be the greater of the two. While this was very contrary to human
custom yet it is often the plan of God's electing grace [Romans 9:10-15]. God does not follow the path
of man's wisdom.
VII. JACOB AND ESAU - verses 24-28.

Before the birth of these boys the Lord had already promised Jacob the superior position. However, it
seems that both Esau and Isaac determined to make it otherwise. Esau was a sportsman who lived
like a prince. Jacob was a plain man who was probably stuck with much of the drudgery at home. Isaac
favored Esau and seemed determined to reverse God's decision. Rebekah loved Jacob and later used
craft to promote him. In looking at this sad situation there are several thoughts that are worth our
A. God's word should always be submitted to. Both Isaac and Esau should have realized that God
knew best.
B. Favoritism is destructive in a family. Should we have a special closeness to one of our children it
should never be allowed to hurt the others. Sadly the favorite child is often spoiled and ruined.
C. God does not need our craft in carrying out His plans. Both Jacob and Rebekah sinned in their
attempts to "help God out." This will be evident as we proceed.
A. Esau was likeable, manly, yet a natural (unregenerate) man. He was only interested in what he
could see. His heart was on the things of this world [Hebrews 12:16]. This birthright meant nothing to
Esau. He did not care for the promises of God or the coming Messiah. He was quite willing to sacrifice
the permanent for the temporal. In despising his birthright he thus fulfilled God's plan. (Do we value
our spiritual opportunities. Perhaps the spiritual opportunities afforded us in a godly home or in being
raised in this church are our birthright. How many turn from the gospel for a few worldly pleasures.)
B. There are many things about Jacob that we do not like. He was sometimes deceitful, unloving to
Esau, and thought it his duty to assist God. Jacob, however, was a man of faith. He saw the unseen
and the future. He treasured the birthright. He wanted God's spiritual blessings. Jacob's sin here was
not in wanting the birthright. By God's promise it already belonged to him. His crime was the manner
in which he sought to obtain it. He should have been kind to Esau and allowed God to take care of the
future. Even those with true faith often fail through infirmity of the flesh.

Genesis 26
INTRODUCTION: Isaac was a man of true faith, yet his failings and weaknesses are plainly
recorded. God's children are born of the Spirit and have an undying faith, yet they are never free of
the flesh in this life [Romans 8:10]. The Bible never teaches this truth or records the failures of saints
in order to excuse our sin [I John 2:1], but rather to give us an understanding of the conflict that
follows us throughout this life. Our desire for the redemption of our sinful bodies is one of the things
that causes us to long for Christ's return [Philippians 3:20-21]. How confused we would be if the Bible
hid the faults of Bible characters.

The promised land did not symbolize Heaven but rather the life of faith. We enter into the heavenly
rest by faith [Hebrews 4:1-3]. Learn then from Isaac's trial that things do not always go smoothly in
the life of believers. There are famines and temptations in the promised land [I Peter 4:12-13]. We
can, however, rejoice in the knowledge that nothing happens to us outside of God's special and loving
Years pass but God's promises never change. The very words spoken to Abraham are confirmed to
Isaac. How the passing of time must have seemed to mock God's promises. How little the patriarchs
could have understood about what God was doing. However, we who have complete Bibles know that
God had a purpose for everything and kept His every promise. May this help us to trust when we do
not comprehend. May we remember that time does not dull God's memory of His promises [II Peter
3:8-9]. The gospel promises that were precious to us can come with equal freshness to our children
[Acts 2:39].
Several lessons may be gleaned here:
A. Not even the greatest saints are immune from spiritual faultering. Even recent experiences of
communion with God do not protect us from future lapses of faith. Each day we must humbly seek
Godl's upholding power [Matthew 6:13, 26:41].
B. We are to expect perfection of no one but God.
C. Often in Scripture and in our own experience we see or hear of saints who have stumbled. Rather
than look on with a self-righteous complacency let us meekly consider our own danger and weakness.
Where Abraham fell Isaac should beware. Anytime we see others fall may we take it as a personal
warning [Galatians 6:1].
D. This record should cause us to consider the effect of our sin upon others. Had Abraham overcome
this temptation by faith Isaac may not have followed his example [Genesis 20]. How we need to
consider the effect of our example upon our children.
IV. REBUKED BY THE WORLD - verses 8-11.
The life of a Christian should be a rebuke to the world. Isaac's deception was exposed and the king
was justly upset. Rather than trust God, Isaac had even compromised the spiritual safety of others.
We might mention here that because of God's common grace the saint sometimes finds decency where
he does not expect it. God still works as a restraining force in this world. (Notice that Abimelech was a
title and not a personal name.)
V. THE CURSE OF ENVY - verses 12-16.

Envy is one of the most destructive of emotions [Proverbs 27:4]. How much misery is produced both in
the hearts of the envious and in the lives of those envied. Someone has said that the only way to
escape envy is to "have nothing, do nothing, and know nothing." The Philistines envied Isaac because
God had blessed him. What right have we to begrudge God's blessings upon others. Much of our
gossip and critical spirit is caused by envy. Envy betrays both an unthankful spirit toward God and an
unloving spirit toward man.
VI. THE WELL DIGGER - verses 17-25.
A. Isaac is seven times connected with the digging of wells. He reopened the wells filled in by the
enemies of God. This has often been made to picture the need of revival:
1. Our spiritual forefathers dug deep to reach the waters of blessing and truth.
2. God's enemies have clogged the wells of blessing with false doctrine and worldliness.
3. We can find the truth and blessings of God in the same place our spiritual forerunners did. We must
remove the sin and false teaching that have clogged these wells.
B. Isaac gives us a good example of how the saint should avoid strife. He was not a vengeful or angry
man [I Peter 2:19- 23].
C. After Isaac left the strife of this world, he found fellowship with God [verses 23-25]. Many become
so entangled with the affairs of this life that they miss out on the joy of walking with God.
God's blessing upon Isaac was so visible that the Philistines began to fear. They wished to make a
covenant of peace with him for their own safety. Likewise today we may so live that the world sees
that God is with us.
VIII. A SAD TRIAL - verses 34-35.
How Isaac and Rebekah must have grieved over Esau's character [Hebrews 12:16]. Abraham had
sent from afar to find Isaac a wife that knew "Jehovah." Spiritual considerations meant nothing to
Esau. Notice several important lessons here:
A. Saints are to seek God-fearing mates.
B. When children disappoint godly parents in their choice of a mate, they are probably making a
mistake [Proverbs 17:25].

Genesis 27

INTRODUCTION: This chapter is rich in practical lessons for anyone who will take the time to
meditate on the events recorded. We may learn from the hard knocks of our own experience or from
looking at the lives of others. In studying the history of others we may learn where certain paths lead
without having to tread them ourselves.
I. REBELLION - verses 1-4.
Isaac acted here in direct rebellion against God. He knew that Jacob was God's choice [Genesis
25:23], yet he followed his own preference. Perhaps being a quiet man himself, he greatly admired
Esau's masculine and rugged lifestyle. No doubt he justified himself in some way, but he should have
been spiritually-minded enough to see Esau's carnality and spiritual unfitness for the blessing. Isaac
simply refused to submit to God's plan.
Was it not also significant that neither Rebekah nor Jacob were told of Isaac's plan. Usually the
giving of the blessing would have been the occasion of a family celebration. The fact that Isaac wanted
to hide the deed shows the strife experienced in the family. Rebekah's behavior also shows that she
felt that Isaac's mind was not open to reason.
II. PRAGMATISM - verses 5-17.
Pragmatism is the philosophy that the end justifies the means. Many today feel that as long as we are
trying to accomplish God's will, it does not matter how we go about it. Let us learn here that God's
work is to be done in God's way. God's purpose could have been accomplished without Rebekah and
Jacob's sinful behavior. They hurt themselves and others.
Consider also how Rebekah and Jacob hurt their testimony. They were people who wanted God's will
while Esau was a profane rebel. Anyone reading this account, however, is made to pity Esau and
disdain Rebekah and Jacob's actions. The world can more easily overlook the carnality of sinners
than the faults of saints. Let us serve Christ in a Christ-like manner [Romans 14:16]. We are only
responsible to obey God. Difficulties outside of our control are to be left to God's power, not handled
by our unscriptural schemes.
III. DECEPTION - verses 18-25.
Jacob was a believer, yet look at him. He even used the name of God in vain as he perpetrated his
deception [verse 20]. His faith caused him to want the blessing, but he sought it in a fleshly way. This
has caused someone to remark that:
A. In Abraham the doctrines of election and calling are greatly illustrated.
B. In Isaac the doctrine of the new birth is illustrated.
C. In Jacob, while the above ideals are seen, it is the doctrine of the two natures of the believer that is
most illustrated. Jacob means supplanter. His propensity for scheming seems to have been his
besetting sin. Believers in this world are still subject to the weakness of the flesh. Like Peter we little

know our own weakness [Matthew 26:33-35].
IV. THE BLESSING - verses 26-29.
This blessing not only gave Jacob material benefits, but the last part of verse 29 assured him that the
promises made to Abraham would be carried out through him [Genesis 12:1-3]. Jacob would be in the
messianic line.
A. Rebekah, instead of trusting God to carry out His plan, used deceit and worldly wisdom. Because
of this Jacob had to leave and she never saw her favorite son again. Esau's threat was caused by her
plan. One is reminded of the trouble Abraham and Sarah brought on themselves with the scheme
concerning Hagar.
B. Jacob, because of his deceit, had to leave home and endure the schemes and cheating of Laban and
his sons [Genesis 29; Genesis 31:41]. He was also forced to watch his character reflected in the life of
his wives [Genesis 31:19 & 34-35] and his sons [Genesis 34 and the story of Joseph].
In conclusion, notice that through all of the schemes and downfalls of men, God's decree is still carried
V. GOD'S SOVEREIGNTY - verses 30-38.
In verse 29, we see Isaac thinking he had reversed God's decree. Here he finds out that God's
purposes are certain [Proverbs 19:21]. His final words in verse 33 seem to reflect his realization that
there is no changing God's plan. There Isaac seems to say: "he shall be blessed, regardless of what
you or I want, because it is God's will."
One can easily feel pity for Esau, but we must remember that he was an ungodly man who was not
only unworthy of the birthright and the blessing, but who must have known that in God's will it did not
belong to him. Hebrews 12:17 does not mean that Esau wished to repent of his sin, but that he wished
Isaac to change or nullify his actions in blessing Jacob. Esau still wished to override God's plan. The
saddest thing here is that Esau could accuse Jacob of carnal scheming [verse 36]. How Jacob hurt his
testimony in all this.
VI. A PROPHECY - verses 39-40.
This prophecy was fulfilled in the Edomites who descended from Esau as a tribe. They were never
totally subjugated by Israel.
VII. SOWING AND REAPING - verses 41-45.
Everyone in this family failed God and they all suffered for it:
A. Isaac rebelled against God and saw his plans come to naught. His favorite son went bad and his
home was filled with strife.
B. Esau lost the blessing and his soul. He was a man who loved neither God nor His people. His

murderous intent toward Jacob was a manifestation of his character.
VIII. SAD PARENTS - verse 46.
Esau's marriage to pagan wives was a great burden to Rebekah and Isaac [Genesis 26:35]. Those
who love God are not at home in the presence of worldliness and ungodly ways. There is no doubt that
Esau's marriages produced much friction in the camp. Christians are instructed to marry other saints
for their own comfort and edification as well as for the spiritual welfare of their children [II
Corinthians 6:14, Malachi 2:15]. Esau, after hearing of the journey made to find Isaac a bride
[Genesis 24] and in seeing his parents displeasure at his prospective brides, should have sought a
godly wife. Sadly he had no concern for such things.

Genesis 28
INTRODUCTION: This chapter is a refreshing change from the carnality displayed in the narrative
of Genesis 27. Many believe that in Genesis 28 Jacob was truly converted.
I. ISAAC SUBMITS TO GOD'S PLAN - verses 1-5. ,br> In Genesis 27:33, it seems that Isaac was
truly humbled before God. Here we see him back on track with God's plan. No longer is he rebelling
against God's will, but he seems to have accepted the fact that Jacob is God's choice. Note that he
blessed Jacob and gave him godly counsel.
A. He charged Jacob to return to Padanaram for a wife. Jacob was to marry a woman who worshipped
the true God.
B. He invoked God to bless him with many descendants.
C. He invoked God to bestow upon him the blessing of Abraham. This involved the inheritance of
Canaan, as well as a place in the Messiah's lineage.
Esau was a man with no spiritual perception. He could not do right because he was not right spiritually.
In growing up, he never understood why Abraham sent to Padanaram for Isaac's wife. Spiritual
concerns were of no concern to him. He never seemed to even consider what God or his parents
thought of his pagan wives. Seeing that Isaac wanted Jacob to marry a godly woman, and that Jacob
wished to obey, he became upset. Now that Isaac had submitted to God's plan, Esau may have felt
unsure of his position in the family. He finally wished to please his parents. (Sadly, he never cared to
please God.)
Esau's plan for gaining favor was, however, just another mistake. The family of Ishmael had already
been cast off from God's favor. Polygamy, of course, was never God's will. Until one is born from

above and is able to act from proper motives, his or her attempts at doing right are just spiritual
III. JACOB MEETS GOD - verses 10-12.
In John 1:43-51 we have the story of Nathanael coming to the Lord Jesus. Nathanael was a spiritually
honest man [verse 47], who saw his need of a Savior. In verse 51, Christ described Himself as the
ladder to Heaven. God's blessings descend to us through Christ and our prayers ascend to God in
Jesus' name [John 14:13-14]. This Nathanael understood as he trusted Christ.
In making this allusion to Jacob's dream, was not our Lord telling us that Nathanael's experience was
much like Jacob's. There is no doubt Jacob came to Bethel with a humble and contrite heart. In his
dream, he sees a ladder reaching to God. Was not this a revelation of Christ as the "way" to God
[John 14:6] and the "one mediator between God and man" [I Timothy 2:5].
Remember that there was no Bible when Jacob lived. God often spoke to men in dreams and visions.
In this way the gospel was made known [Numbers 12:6]. Today, however, the gospel is made known
by the preaching of God's word [Romans 10:14].
IV. GOD'S PROMISES - verses 13-15. ,br> God came to Jacob on the basis of unconditional grace.
He speaks not of what Jacob must do, but of what He will do for Jacob. God promised Jacob the land
of Canaan. He promised to be with Jacob in his wanderings and to return him safely to Canaan.
V. BETHEL - verses 16-19.
Bethel means the house of God. Jacob recognized this as the place where God had and would meet
with him. In later years after backsliding from God, he came back to God at Bethel [Genesis 35:1-7].
Jacob raised a memorial to the revelation of God's presence in that place [verses 18-19]. God has
always had a house where He met with His people. Today the church is God's house [I Timothy 3:15].
Here we find the ordinances and the true gospel which points to Christ as the way to Heaven. Here we
meet with and worship God. Most of us met God for the first time through the ministry of one of the
Lord's churches. Our service and spiritual sacrifices are offered to God through the ministry of the
church. Like Jacob our attitude toward Bethel is a test of the closeness of our walk with God.
VI. JACOB'S VOW - verses 20-22.
Jacob's vow was no mere contract with God. He loved God and believed His promises. Having
believed the promises of God, he made three promises to God to show his gratitude:
A. Jehovah will be his God. He dedicates himself to worship, serve, and trust the true God.
B. Bethel will be the place where he will worship and serve God.
C. The tithe will be given to God. This was already shown to be sacred to God [Genesis 14:20].

Many believe that this gives us the account of Jacob's conversion. Truly we do see in Genesis 28 a
picture of God's child following the path of obedience.
Notice the similarities here with the path of God's children today:
A. By confessing Christ, we commit ourselves to the true God and the true gospel.
B. By coming into the church in God's appointed way (baptism), we are vowing to worship and serve
God in and through His house. We are recognizing the church as "Bethel."
C. In church membership, we covenant to give back to God a portion of what He has given us, that His
work might be carried on.
Scriptural vows are always proper. In church membership, we promise God and covenant with the
church to serve Him. Let us, however, beware of making vows that we will not keep [Ecclesiastes

Genesis 29
INTRODUCTION: Jacob's life was probably not considered too important by the world, yet through
him the twelve tribes came into existence. None of us can know the true import of our lives
[Deuteronomy 26:5], but we should live in the realization that God's purpose for us could be much
greater than we think.
Nearing his destination, Jacob came upon some shepherds. Enquiring about Laban, he was glad to
learn that he was well, and that in fact his daughter was approaching with the family flock.
Several matters here are worthy of reflection:
A. Jacob's mind must have been flooded with memories of the events of Genesis 24. Many times he
had heard of the work of God in his parent's lives. Doubtless he wondered if the beautiful Rachel was
God's choice for him. His request for the shepherd to leave [verse 7] was certainly caused by his
desire to speak to Rachel alone.
B. We are impressed with the diligent work habits of Jacob, as compared to the lazy shepherds. He
was shocked at their waste of grazing time. No wonder Laban's flocks later flourished under Jacob's
care [Genesis 30:27]. Children must be taught a godly work ethic.
II. JACOB MEETS RACHEL - verses 9-14.
Jacob was overcome with emotion at meeting Rachel. This was a spiritual joy produced by his belief
that God had blessed his journey. His meeting with Rachel seems to have been love at first sight. In

frustration with the shepherds, he uncovered the well himself and watered Laban's flock. He was
anxious to proceed with Rachel to Laban's house. Jacob could not have known that he would remain
there for twenty-one years. Let us always remember the truth of James 4:13-15.
III. A LOVE STORY - verses 15-20.
This constitutes one the great love stories of history. Truly the institution of courtship and marriage is
one of God's greatest blessings upon man [Genesis 2:18]. Note the joy that Rachel brought into
Jacob's life. The world fails to understand that promiscuity, either before or after marriage, is an
enemy of lasting love [II Samuel 13:1-15]. Monogamy and the seventh commandment [Exodus 20:14]
stand as God's protecting wall around the institution of marriage.
IV. SOWING AND REAPING - verses 21-30.
Jacob seemingly had never come to grips with the evil of his conduct toward Esau and Isaac. God,
however, does not overlook the indwelling sin and weakness of His children. Here the "supplanter"
learns what it is like to be the victim of deceit. God was chastening Jacob and showing him the evil of
his own sin [Hebrews 12:3-11]. We must not expect to travel down life's road experiencing God's
blessing while there are sins that we have never dealt with [I John 1:7-9]. God does not forget.
Laban is shown here to have been a crafty and deceitful man. Even if the excuse of verse 26 were
true, an honest man would have informed Jacob when the original contract was made. Laban's
behavior reveals a greedy man who did not even care for the feelings of his own children [Genesis
31:14-15]. All he cared for was to retain Jacob's valuable service. The remaining narrative continues
to reveal his sad character [Genesis 31:41]. Having to live with such a man must have deeply
impressed Jacob with the evil of deceitfulness.
Some have wondered how Jacob could have mistaken Leah for Rachel. Doubtless, they were of
similar statue and the bride was delivered to Jacob veiled. Under the curtain of darkness, he never
recognized the difference. It is also evident that Leah was cooperating with Laban's scheme. She
probably had a secret love for Jacob, and perhaps feared that she would never marry.
V. THE FAMILY OF JACOB - verses 31-35.
Jacob became a polygamist against his will. Here we begin to see the sorrows produced by polygamy.
The story is one of envy, sorrow, favoritism, unfulfillment, and craft. Sadly the problems even carry
over into the children's lives.
Note some of the lessons here:
A. The mistake of envy. Everyone has her own burden to carry. Leah was unloved but fertile. Little
can we grasp how priviledged a woman felt to bear sons. Rachel was beautiful and loved, yet she was
barren. How this galled her [Genesis 30:1]. Let us never be guilty of envying someone else's lot in
life. We can know little of the burdens others carry. Magnificent homes may house great misery while
cottages may be the scenes of joy. What we all need is the rare jewel of Christian contentment [I
Timothy 6:6].

B. However evil and tangled human affairs may appear, God's purposes are never foiled. The whole
scene here is one of greed, envy, and competition, yet the tribes of Israel are brought into existence.
This does not justify human depravity, but illustrates the sovereignty of God in human history [Psalms
76:10; Proverbs 19:21; Genesis 50:20].
CONCLUSION: May we rejoice, that above the confusion of this world, reigns a sovereign and holy

Genesis 30
INTRODUCTION: This chapter reads like an ancient eastern "soap opera." The contents of
Scripture differ, however, from man's often sordid literature, in that all of it is spiritually beneficial [II
Timothy 3:16].
I. FRUSTRATION - verses 1-2.
Rachel comes across here in a poor light. She was guilty of:
A. Envy - How sad when God's blessings upon another make us unhappy. We understand that eastern
women burned with a desire for children. To be barren was a great cause for grief. To be miserable
because her sister was blessed was, however, a sinful and ungrateful state. She forgot God's blessings
upon herself and resented His blessings upon Leah. Envy is a work of the flesh [Galatians 5:19-21].
B. Despair - Rachael should have trusted in the goodness of God's providence, rather than wishing for
death. When has God ever mistreated His children?
C. Unbelief - Only God can give children [Psalm 127:3]. How foolish was her demand to Jacob.
Jacob's response was harsh but true. One wonders why they had not learned from the histories of
Sarah and Rebekah. Isaac and Rebekah seem to have been the only couple of the patriarchs who
manifested consistent faith in this matter [Genesis 25:21].
II. MORE SCHEMES - verses 3-13.
Noteworthy lessons:
A. Rachel and Leah both display a sad lack of faith in the use of their schemes to produce children.
Faith is based on God's Word (Romans 10:17). Certainly they had heard of God's promise to
Abraham and His blessing upon Abraham and Isaac. This was nothing but unbelief.
B. Notice here the power of influence. Rachel sins and others follow her example. Even the handmaids
are drawn into the matter. We are not islands. Our influence for good or evil is greater than we know.
C. Men's schemes do not thwart God's purposes. Man sins, but God produces the tribes of Israel. The

death of Christ was predestined by God, yet carried out by man's scheme [Acts 2:23].
III. THE EVIL OF POLYGAMY - verses 14-21.
Mandrakes were thought to enhance fertility. Rachel's desire for children caused her to barter her
husband's time for them. This sad story illustrates the evil of polygamy. Life in such a family is filled
with jealousy, envy, neglect, and unfulfillment. Even the children are drawn into the strife. How far
short this falls from God's plan for marriage [Ephesians 5:33].
IV. GOD'S GOODNESS - verses 22-24.
We are pleased to see Rachel give God the credit for His blessing. She seems also to have had an
inner assurance that God would give her another child [Psalm 113:9].
V. JACOB REAPING - verses 25-26.
For twenty-one years Jacob, the supplanter, lived with Laban the cheat. Surely God was teaching
Jacob the evil of deceit. There is, however, in Jacob's life some positive things to be said:
A. He was a diligent worker and was blessed of God in his work. Laban knew well that his prosperity
was a result of Jacob's labor. Sadly, Laban tried to keep Jacob from obtaining any personal benefit.
B. Jacob's plan seems to have been based on the simple belief that God would bless him. With the
cattle of mixed color removed there was little chance of him having many young that he could call his
own. Jacob believed, however, that God could cause solid-colored animals to have young of mixed
VI. JACOB PROSPERS - verses 37-43.
Jacob evidently believed that whatever breeding animals saw would affect the color of their offspring.
This was probably just a mistaken belief, common at that time. At any rate it was God Who caused the
animals to bear spotted and ringstraked young.

Genesis 31
INTRODUCTION: Finally the time comes for Jacob to return home. He acted according to the will of
God in leaving Laban, but one wonders if the manner in which he left was not a result of unbelief.
Through it all God was faithful to keep His word [Genesis 28:15].
I. KNOWING GOD'S WILL - verses 1-3. ,br> One of the matters Christians often wrestle with is how
to discern God's will. While we must be cautious in making someone's personal experience the rule for
all, yet in Jacob's life at this point some basic principles may be gleaned:
A. Jacob was in Pandanaram over twenty years before God directed him to leave. Patience is required

in learning God's will. We are always in a hurry, but God most often works more slowly that we
expect. Also He does not give specific leadership about matters before we need it. God's silence until
the appointed time is often the real test of faith.
B. God many times uses circumstances to direct His children. He opens and closes doors [Acts
16:6-10]. Sometimes even persecution is used to move saints into position to carry out God's purpose
[Acts 8:1-4]. Jacob could see that the family of Laban now hated him. They were better off because of
his coming, but could not be happy because of God's blessings upon him. Their accusations were as
unfair as greed, envy, and ill-will could make them. This sinful conduct was the instrument God used to
move Jacob. (Can you see a parallel here between Jacob and Joseph?)
C. Lastly, Jacob received direction from the word of God [vs.3]. In this case both providence and
God's word made the path of duty plain. God's word is the greatest asset we have in discerning His
will [Psalm 119:105]. When God's word clearly commands, we must obey. The duty of baptism for
believers is an example of this. In other cases where matters are less clear we may glean principles
from God's word that help us know which way to go.
God sometimes leads us by impressing a certain course of duty upon our mind. People often describe
this as "God speaking to them." God does work in this manner, but knowing the deceitfulness of the
human heart we must be certain that such impressions do not contradict God's written Word [Isaiah
II. A GOOD CONFESSION - verses 4-16.
To insure privacy Jacob called Rachel and Leah out into the field to make known his plans. How
wonderful was his confession of God's goodness. In true humility he ascribed all his blessings to God
[James 1:17]. The dream that he spoke of was not the same communication of God mentioned in verse
3, but an earlier one. In verses 10-12, we learn that God had assured Jacob that He would cause the
mating animals to bear young of mixed coloration. No wonder Jacob had no fear of Laban's changing
schemes to cheat him.
Verses 14-16 expose the evil character of Laban. Even his daughters felt used and unloved by him.
The wealth obtained by their marriages should have been used for their future benefit. They felt
Note: When God leads a husband, He can give the wife a willing heart.
III. JACOB'S DEPARTURE - verses 17-24. ,br> Jacob carefully chose his time of departure. Laban
was away and busy with sheep-shearing. There is no doubt that Laban would have tried to kill or
violently detain Jacob had he been present. One still wonders, however, if Jacob's stealth was
justified. Laban caught up with him at any rate. Could not God have protected Jacob as well at
Padanaram as at Mount Gilead?

In verse 19 we learn that unknown to Jacob the religious images of Laban were stolen by Rachel.
Some believe that she took them because Laban used them to seek guidance and would be thus
hindered in following them. At any rate they prove that although Laban had a knowledge of the true
God, yet he was guilty of idolatry. Even Rachel seems to have been tainted with this.
None of this is surprising when we consider that Abraham was called out of a family of idolaters
[Joshua 24:14]. Laban is a sad example of those who know about the true God, but never know Him
personally. Rachel illustrates the seductive power of idolatry. Let us beware, for idolatry is by no
means dead [I John 5:21].
In verse 24 we see once again that even the wicked are under God's restraint. Nothing can happen to
God's children that He does not permit.
Every word of this speech is disgusting to an honest person. Laban portrays himself as the model of
fatherly compassion and makes Jacob out to be a scoundrel. One could scarcely believe that anyone
could be so deceitful did we not still meet people like this.
V. AN HONEST ANSWER - verses 31-32. ,br> Jacob gave a simple and honest answer which was
sufficient to expose Laban's lies. He also expressed shock at the idea of a theft which he knew
nothing about.
VI. LIKE FATHER - LIKE DAUGHTER - verses 33-35. ,br>
VII. LABAN REBUKED - verses 36-42.
Twenty years of frustration cause Jacob to "boil over" here. Doubtless, he could see that Laban was
made helpless by God's threat. Notice his remarks:
A. Jacob demanded to know why he has been pursued as a criminal.
B. Jacob reminded Laban that he had always worked long, hard, and honestly for him. On the
contrary, Laban's terms had always been most ungenerous. Normally shepherds were not responsible
for animals slain by predators or stillborn. They simply presented the carcas to prove that they had
driven off the wild beast. Jacob, however, was responsible for every animal of Laban's. Any animal
lost for any reason must be made up from Jacob's flock.
C. Jacob then reminded Laban that he had constantly tried to cheat him. God alone had preserved him.
VIII. A COVENANT - verses 43-54.
Before leaving, Laban suggested that they make a covenant. He recognized that Jacob was blessed of
God and had come to fear him. He wanted assurance that Jacob would not later return and harm him.
It is exasperating to see how the old hypocrite pretended that it was Jacob who needed watching.

As a token of the covenant a pillar was set up and a pile of stones raised upon which a meal was eaten.
Neither man was to pass back past these stones with evil intentions toward the other.
This is the last we hear of Laban. He was a sad example of many today who think only of wealth and
never profit from any spiritual opportunities they possess. Laban was no better than those who had
never heard of God.

Genesis 32
INTRODUCTION: Jacob goes from one trial to another. Such is the Christian life. Our warfare is
never completed while we live in this world. Every day calls for new manifestations of faith. Such trials
are not merely to be endured, but rather valued for their spiritual benefit [I Peter 1:7].
I. MAHANAIM - verses 1-2.
As Jacob neared home God enabled him to see the host of angels sent to help and protect him. As a
memorial of this Jacob named the place Mahanaim which means two hosts or armies. This word is
literally translated "two armies" in Song of Solomon 6:13. Some think that there were two hosts of
angels guarding Jacob. The correct view, however, seems to be that Jacob's group was one host and
was accompanied by the angels as a second host.
What a blessed truth is revealed here. God's people and the Lord's churches are never alone. The
angels of God protect us [Psalm 34:7; II Kings 6:17]. The power and presence of God enables us to
succeed in the work of the Lord [Matthew 28:18- 20; I Corinthians 3:6]. When the world looks at the
Lord's churches they see only humans with human limitations and weaknesses. By the eye of faith we
see in the Bride - the Shulamite [Song of Solomon 6:13] - two armies or powers. We labor in physical
bodies, but God's power produces the fruit [II Corinthians 4:7]. How churches today need to learn that
our success depends on the realization that another army defends us and another power brings the
victory [Zechariah 4:6].
II. UNCERTAINTY - verses 3-5.
Years before this Jacob had fled Canaan for fear of Esau. Here he must come back into the land.
Jacob was tortured by the fear that Esau was still angry.
Notice the wisdom he used in his message to Esau:
A. He referred to himself as Esau's servant. Such language would assure Esau that he had not come
to threaten him or press his claim to the birthright.
B. By telling of his possessions, he was letting Esau know that he had no need of an inheritance. He
had not returned to take anything from Esau.

III. FEAR - verses 6-8.
To Jacob's surprise Esau had heard of his return and was coming to meet him. He assumed the worst
and prepared for disaster by dividing his group into two bands. In this way he hoped that at least half
of his family and flocks could escape. How quickly he forgot the angels and the promises of God.
IV. PRAYER IN TROUBLED TIMES - verses 9-12. God invites us to call upon Him in our time of
need [Psalm 50:15]. Jacob wisely composed himself enough to pray. Notice the pattern of this prayer:
A. Jacob reminded God of his covenant position [verse 9]. He was heir to the gracious promise made
to Abraham and Isaac. In essence he was saying: "Lord I am not worthy to come to you, yet I come as
heir of the precious promises concerning Christ made to my Fathers." This might be described as the
Old Testament version of praying in "Jesus name."
B. Jacob reminded God that the present trial came about as a result of obedience to, and belief in His
word [verse 9]. He was not complaining, but rather saying: "Lord you placed me in this position, now
please protect and bless me."
C. Jacob confessed his unworthiness to God [verse 10]. Humility and confession of sin are a must in
prayer [Matthew 6:12].
D. Jacob praised and thanked God for His goodness. Thanksgiving is not only due our Lord, but it
helps us to correctly focus our outlook. It is a necessary part of prayer [Philippians 4:6].
E. Jacob made his request [Philippians 4:6].
F. Jacob reminded God of His promise [verse 12]. The most potent words we can say in prayer are
"Lord you said." God wants us to know and use His promises.
This scheme to appease Esau was a very clever one. Instead of one large flock, the animals were
delivered in three flocks. In this way Esau's heart was to be progressively softened. Bible teachers
differ on how they view Jacob's actions. Was this just another scheme or a true attempt to seek unity
and love?
However we interpret Jacob's actions we find that the plan brought him no peace of mind.
VI. TRAVAILING PRAYER - verses 21-28.
Here we have a remarkable story that is a turning point in Bible History. We have often felt that this
is one of the most sacred scenes of Scripture. Learn here the secrets of prevailing prayer:
A. Prayer - A Wrestling With God.
The night before Jacob met Esau he sought a place of solitude at which to pray. As he wrestled in
prayer he suddenly found himself engaged in a literal match. His opponent was an angel [Hosea

12:3-4]. This was no ordinary angel but God Himself, Who was often manifested in the Old Testament
as the Angel of the LORD.
How strange that in prayer God often acts like an enemy. Prayer becomes a wrestling match as if God
must be convinced or prevailed upon to hear. This is done to test our depth of desire, our persistence,
and our true faith in God's promises [Matthew 15:21-28; Luke 18:1-7]. The time spent seeking God is
also a time of growth for us.
B. Prayer - A Humbling Before God.
As Jacob wrestled he refused to be thrown or to give up. Christians know that this implies no
limitation of God's power. God was testing Jacob's heart. Suddenly the Angel touched the hollow of
Jacob's thigh. Jacob was crippled and could now only hold on. As we seek God's power in our life
through prayer, we too are taught that we have no power of our own. Like Jacob we learn that holding
on to God is our only source of power. This is hard for us to learn while we are whole [II Corinthians
C. Prayer Brings Confession.
The closer we draw to God the more we see our own weakness. Before Jacob's name is changed to
Israel he must admit that it is Jacob. Remember that Jacob means "supplanter, cheater, schemer."
Real prayer brings real self-examination.
D. Persevering Prayer Prevails.
Jacob could not be turned from his desire for God's blessing [verse 26]. What a marvel that mortal
man could prevail with God! What power there is in prayer! How gracious that God would condescend
to deal with us in this manner.
Jacob's name was changed to Israel. His request for safety was granted. He not only lived but became
the ancestor of Messiah. Do we have prayers that need to be answered? Do we need changes in our
life and character? Are there any of our loved ones who need Christ? Let us learn from Jacob how to
pray. Perhaps if we spent more nights in prayer we would spend fewer days in scheming and worry.
VII. OTHER REQUESTS - verses 29-30.
Jacob went on to ask the angel's name. In Hebrew thought, name signifies who and what a person is.
In essence, Jacob was asking for a clearer manifestation of God. This was a wonderful prayer. Old
Testament saints did not have as full a revelation of Christ as we do today. Even today we should
desire to see more of God's glory.
VIII. A REMINDER - verses 31-32.
Jacob left the place of prayer with a limp. No doubt this reminded him of his need to lean on the Lord.
Perhaps it was his "thorn in the flesh."

The nation of Israel remembered this event by refusing to eat the sinew on the hollow of the thigh.
While this was a man- made tradition, yet it illustrates the importance placed on this event.

Genesis 33
INTRODUCTION: Jacob receives the answer to his prayer. Esau comes in a peaceful and
affectionate manner. How wonderful to have power in prayer with God, Who has power over men's
Jacob sees Esau approach with his troop of armed men. We cannot fully know what was in Jacob's
mind. Did he have peace knowing that God had heard him, or did he tremble in anxiety? Why did he
arrange his family as he did? Was it a matter of protocol, or was he protecting his favorites?
II. HUMILITY - verse 3.
Jacob had done everything possible to ensure peace with Esau. He was generous with him [Proverbs
21:14]. He prayed and used soft words [Proverbs 15:1] and a humble approach. We too are to seek
peace where it may be had without compromise [Romans 12:18].
III. THE MEETING - verses 4-11.
Jacob was joyous to learn that Esau was not angry, but that brotherly love had returned. There is no
doubt God had been at work in Esau's heart, in answer to Jacob's prayer [Genesis 32:28].
Both men use restraint and wisdom by not mentioning the former problems. Many people never learn
the art of leaving possible causes of provocation alone. Notice how eager Jacob was to have Esau
receive his gift. In ancient times the reception of a gift was a sign of goodwill. Jacob would have
doubted Esau's intent had he refused the gift.
IV. ESAU'S OFFER - verses 12-16.
Esau desired to travel with Jacob. Jacob, however, knew that the slow travel required by the women,
children, and cattle would be irksome to a band of men. Esau then offered to leave a band of men to
protect Jacob. Jacob likewise declined this offer as unnecessary. Esau was no doubt sincere in all of
this and appears as a "nice guy." Sadly many who have admiral traits are still profane in God's sight
[Hebrews 12:16]. Jacob seemed to wish to be away from Esau. There is no doubt he knew their paths
led in different directions.
V. SUCCOTH - verses 16-17.
We know not why Jacob stopped short of Mt. Seir. He stopped at Succoth and built a house and
buildings for his animals. Succoth means booths.

VI. SHECHEM - verses 18-20.
Shechem was both the name of a city and the name of the prince's son. In this city Jacob bought a
piece of land. It has often been suggested that he desired to own a piece of Canaan. Note that in this
place he reared up an altar to God and called it "God, the God of Israel." Here God was publicly
worshipped and confessed. Public worship has always been a part of true godliness.

Genesis 34
INTRODUCTION: Here is recorded a sad incident in Jacob's life. Many details are not explained, so
we must use restraint in placing too much blame on Dinah or her parents. It has been suggested that
the whole event was a spiritual chastisement in Jacob's life [Hebrews 12:6 & 11]. In the next chapter
we do see Jacob drawing nearer to God.
I. DINAH DEFILED - verses 1-2.
According to ancient custom a lone woman was often considered out of her place and thus fair game.
Again we cannot judge to what degree if any that Dinah was guilty. Several matters seem worthy of
A. Immorality is defiling. Fornication is spiritually and morally unclean in God's sight.
B. Bad company is dangerous to the spiritual and moral well-being of young and old [Proverbs 13:20].
The people of Canaan were guilty of terrible idolatry and moral laxness [Deuteronomy 12:29-31].
Dinah should have sought companionship among those of godly principles. When we go on the Devil's
turf we court disaster.
Neither Shechem nor his father Hamor seemed to feel any shame or guilt over what had happened.
Shechem was more noble than others in his tribe. He was kind to Dinah, yet seemed to see no cause
why Dinah's father would be concerned. The purity of a young girl was nothing to him or his tribe. This
attitude is becoming the status quo in our country. Many young people know nothing of moral
standards. To the contrary, Jacob and his sons were very upset. God's people always have different
standards from the world. Sexual purity must be our standard. Christians must train and watch over
their children, and if possible these things should be avoided.
III. A SEPARATE PEOPLE - verses 8-12.
God's people are called upon to be separate from the world [II Corinthians 6:17]. This is
well-illustrated in God's command for Israel to remain separate from the nations round about. There
is, however, always the temptation to become one with the world. How many churches see this happen.
Had the plan of Hamor [verses 8-10] been carried out, Israel would have lost their existence as a
nation. Only as a separate people can we be used of God.

IV. SAD DECEIT - verses 13-19.
Righteous indignation can be a mark of godliness [Ephesians 4:26]. This vengeful deceit, however,
cannot be defended. They even used the covenant-sign of circumcision as part of their brutal plan.
That which is holy should never be used in such a way.
V. HYPOCRISY - verses 20-24.
What a scene of hypocrisy. These are not the last people to use religion for worldly reasons. Many
have joined a church to get a wife or open a door for sales and financial gain. Notice how different the
story Hamor and Shechem told their own people was from the one given to Jacob and his sons
[Compare verse 10 with verse 23]. They had no concern for Israel's God or the true intent of
VI. REVENGE - verses 25-29.
Soon the plan of Jacob's sons is put into action. On the third day after the surgery, while all the men
were incapacitated, Levi and Simeon murdered them. God's covenant-sign was used as an accessory
to murder. Some have tried to justify this brutal work by pointing out that Israel was commanded to
destroy these tribes. This was, however, a future plan of God for which they had no command as yet
[Genesis 15:16]. Their actions were nothing but personal revenge. (We do not know all the details of
this massacre. Evidently the village was small and perhaps the men were gathered together under
some pretense. We do know that Levi and Simeon were full brothers to Dinah and therefore took this
more personally. Compare Genesis 29:31-34 with Genesis 34:1.)
VII. THE LAST WORD - verses 30-31.
Jacob was incensed at the rape of Dinah, but could not approve of his sons' actions. He also saw the
danger in this. What if the surrounding peoples turned on him? Nothing, however, could quench the
anger of Simeon and Levi. In verse 31, they seemed to have the last word. This, however, was not the
case. On his dying bed Jacob rebuked them again [Genesis 49:5-7]. Their moral indignation was
commendable, but their indiscriminate wrath was horrible.

Genesis 35
INTRODUCTION: In Genesis 28:10-22 we read of Jacob's vision and vow at Bethel. Bethel literally
means "the house of God." Sadly Jacob seems to have forgotten or neglected his vow. For several
years he had been in Canaan, yet he had never returned to Bethel. Spiritual declension is a natural
propensity in saints and churches. Grace saves us and only grace can keep us.
God's chastening hand often works to awaken believers from a state of spiritual complacency
[Hebrews 12:6 and 11]. The events of Genesis 31 stirred up and unsettled Jacob. At that point God
came with new direction. Notice some of the effects of revival in Jacob's life.

A. Remembrance of God's former dealings [verses 1 and 3]. Jacob recalls his conversion and the
circumstances that brought him to God. In revival the saint recalls and recovers the joy, wonder, and
humility of God's salvation [Psalm 85:6; Psalm 51:12].
B. Renewed concern for others [verses 2-3]. When Jacob was spiritually revived he became
concerned for the souls of his family.
C. Return to spiritual purity [verses 2-4]. When saints drift from God, worldliness begins to creep in.
Even idolatry had begun to be tolerated.
Let us as Christians strive to have Christian homes. We need to act, dress, and speak in a Christian
manner. The places we frequent and entertainment we indulge in need to be pleasing to the Lord. Our
children should see in us that the world's standards are not those of God's children. (Earrings in the
ancient world sometimes had idolatrous connections. This was not always the case as we see in
Genesis 24:22. When things are wrong they should be disposed of with no thought of their monetary
value. This is exemplified here and taught in Deuteronomy 7:25.)
D. Restoration of delight in God's house [verse 3]. When God's children are revived, their interest in
God's house is renewed [Psalm 27:4]. Jacob had formerly worshiped God as the "God of Israel"
[Genesis 33:20]. Remembering that "Israel" was Jacob's personal name we learn something about
his spiritual state. When we think of God only as He concerns our personal life we are in a
backslidden condition. After being revived Jacob worshiped God as the "God of Bethel" [verse 7]. He
begins to think of God in relation to His house. God's glory and God's people become the concern of
those who draw near to the Lord.
True spirituality never forgets that God has a family and a church. Christ taught us to pray "Our
Father" so that we would not forget this. True revival will make God's house a priority in our life. The
church is God's house in this age [I Timothy 3:15].
God can use many means to protect His people. Here He placed a fear in the hearts of Jacob's
enemies. Why should we fear when we follow such a God.
III. A SAD TRIAL - verses 6-8.
While at Bethel, Rebekah's old nurse passed away. No doubt she was Jacob's former nanny and
dearly loved. This would seem to explain why she had come to live with them. She was buried under a
tree henceforth known as "the oak of weeping."
The lesson here is plain: Not spirituality nor even revival exempts us from trials in this life. Trials in
fact not only awaken drowsy saints, but deepen the spirituality of those who are striving for God
[James 1:2-4]. We learn to rely on God's promises and can experience peace in Christ even during

our testings.
IV. THE PROMISES OF GOD - verses 9-15.
While at Bethel, God appeared to Jacob and renewed His promises. Jacob was assured that the
promises made to Abraham and Isaac also belonged to him. Jacob responded with public worship and
a memorial to God's presence.
Many can say that they met God for the first time at church. They might also testify that there He has
spoken to them many times since, through the preaching of His word. May we offer up spiritual
sacrifices to God in our service at and through the church [I Peter 2:5; Philippians 2:17 and 4:18]. This
is the spiritual meaning of verse 14. The pillar designated the spot as God's house. The drink-offering
represented Jacob's spiritual service to God. In the Greek text of Philippians 2:17, Paul compares his
life to a drink-offering poured forth in the service of God. The oil represented the presence of God's
Spirit in the church.
V. ANOTHER TRIAL - verses 16-20.
As we read this account it is hard to forget Rachel's words in Genesis 30:1. Let us be careful how we
speak. As Rachel died she named the child "son of my sorrow." Jacob wisely changed this to
Benjamin which means "son of my right hand." Interestingly the death and birth occurred at
Several points here might be noted:
A. The Old Testament does distinguish between the soul and the body.
B. Events in our life may have far-reaching implications. Both King Saul and the Apostle Paul were
from the tribe of Benjamin.
C. Trials sometimes come in groups.
VI. ANOTHER HEARTBREAK - verses 21-22.
Somehow in the course of time, Reuben the eldest son, had an affair with one of his Father's wives.
This act of incest was disgusting to God and to Jacob. Sadly such behavior was found in the Canaanite
people [Leviticus 18:8 and 27-28].
There is no doubt the couple thought their deed would be hidden, but as always their sin found them
out [Numbers 32:23]. Not only was God dishonored and Jacob broken- hearted, but Reuben and his
descendants suffered because of it [Genesis 49:3-4].

Genesis 36 and 37

INTRODUCTION: Genesis is the book of beginnings. In it we are given ten records of generations:
1. The Universe - Genesis 2:4.
2. Adam - Genesis 5:1.
3. Noah - Genesis 6:9.
4. Noah's Sons - Genesis 10:1.
5. Shem - Genesis 11:10.
6. Terah - Genesis 11:27.
7. Ishmael - Genesis 25:12.
8. Isaac - Genesis 25:19.
9. Esau - Genesis 36:1.
10. Jacob - Genesis 37:2.

Esau's generations are passed over rather bluntly. We are given the names of his wives and
descendants. The record of how his people married with the Horites is also given. His descendants
were known in Bible history as the Edomites.
From a worldly viewpoint, Esau's people were very prosperous [Genesis 27:39-40]. While Israel was
still just a small family clan, the Edomites enjoyed royalty and political power. We will do well to note
this. Material wealth and power is no certain mark of divine power. God's nation developed slowly and
with much affliction, yet God's purposes were being carried out according to the divine plan. How
often the "true Israel" is tempted to envy the "Edomites" of this world [Psalm 37:1-7, 34-40].

Here begins the story of Joseph. This is a favorite Bible narrative to many. In it we have a wonderful
illustration of God's special providence toward His people [Romans 8:28]. We are herein assured that
human ill-will cannot hinder God's gracious purposes toward His people.
I. IN CANAAN - verse 1.
The patriarchs lived as strangers in the land God had promised them. The time for Israel to inherit the
land was still hundreds of years away.
II. JOSEPH - verse 2.
Here we meet Joseph, whose birth was recorded in Genesis 30. Even as a teenager we note his godly
character. This is even more impressive when we contrast it to the sad character of his older brothers.
Joseph was a man who never followed the crowd. The record of his reporting to Jacob the evil doings
of his brothers is intended to reveal his faithful character.
We note that most of the fathers of the twelve tribes were men of questionable conduct. Certainly the
polygamous family and its attendant evils and jealousies were responsible for much of this. Let us

learn here that grace does not run in bloodlines. Even though God carried out His purposes through
Israel as a chosen nation, most of them as individuals never knew God. Not all physical sons of
Abraham were like Joseph; they were not all spiritual sons [John 8:39, Galatians 3:29].
Joseph was the beloved of his father. Jacob made him a special coat that was to reveal Joseph's
pre-eminent position [II Samuel 13:18].
We wonder if Jacob acted wisely in all of this. Surely he remembered the trials that favoritism had
caused in his parents' home. It had separated him from his mother just as it would separate him from
Joseph. It is easier to emulate the weakness of parents than it is to imitate their strengths. Notice,
however, that even human folly can be used to carry out God's sovereign will. The anger of Joseph's
brothers, as with Esau only furthered God's plan [Psalm 76:10].
IV. THE DREAMER - verses 5-11.
To make matters worse with his jealous brothers, Joseph had two dreams that pictured his future
exaltation. Many have felt that Joseph was wrong in telling of these dreams as they only created more
jealousy. I am unable to agree with this. Joseph seems to have realized that these dreams were
prophetic and came by divine impulse. As prophecies, they had to be told so that it would be known
that God's word was being fulfilled in future events. The dreams were literally fulfilled when Joseph
was made lord in Egypt. There is no doubt at that time all involved remembered these dreams, and
knew that God had kept His word.
Shechem was a fifty-mile journey. Dothan was twenty-five miles from Shechem on a trade route.
VI. AN EVIL SCHEME - verses 18-28.
How shocking that these men could consider murdering their own brother. We could scarcely believe
it had we not already been introduced to their heartless character [Genesis 34]. One cannot help but
feel that they were fighting against God's prophetic word [verses 19-20).
Again, we cannot help but notice God's wonderful providence. Human affairs may look like a tangled
mess, but God is weaving out the tapestry of His plan. Little could Joseph, his brothers, or the
Ishmaelites have known what God was doing.
VII. GRIEF - verses 29-35.
Here we learn that Reuben had planned to rescue Joseph. Was he trying to get back in his father's
good graces? We cannot know. It seems that his grief was sincere.
When Jacob was shown the bloody coat, even the hardened brothers of Joseph must have felt
miserable. Jacob's life was centered on Joseph. They must have felt that they would be the death of
their father. We later learn that conscience had indeed been tormenting them [Genesis 42:21].

How we would like to know what was going through Joseph's mind. We do know that he did not cease
to trust God. Perhaps even here he remembered that life's tangles are God's embroidery.

Genesis 38
INTRODUCTION: This is one of the strangest chapters in the Bible. To the careless reader it may
seem out of place and without spiritual value. To those, however, who meditate upon God's word it
contains much spiritual teaching. Like all Scripture it is profitable [II Timothy 3:16]. Note also that
this chapter contains the only information we have on Jacob's family from the sale of Joseph until the
famine that forced them into Egypt. Before we proceed with the chapter let us notice several matters
worth consideration:
A. How shocking to us are the lives of Jacob's sons. Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and now Judah are seen in
the com- mission of disgraceful acts. All of the brothers except Reuben and Benjamin took part in the
selling of Joseph. We would not insinuate that none of these men were saved, but one wonders about
them. Let us never assume that because Israel was an elect nation that all the Jews were saved
[Romans 2:28-29].
B. Had the Bible been written by uninspired men, it would not have honestly exposed the evil of
human nature. Would the Jews have willingly exposed the disgrace of their ancestors. The complete
honesty of Scripture is a testimony to its inspiration.
C. While the Bible is very blunt in the revelation of men's immoralities, it never fails to expose the
complications and penalty of sin. Men in their depravity write books and make plays and movies
about sin's pleasures, but they hide the dangers and sufferings sin produces. (Who after reading the
Bible account of David and Bathsheba would not feel an adversion rather than an attraction to
adultery. What a terrible price David paid. How quickly complications arose. Let Hollywood, however,
make a movie about it and adultery is glorified).
I. JUDAH'S MOVE - verse 1. Judah left his family and moved in with a native of Canaan. Probably
this was a result of the misery brought into the family as a result of the treachery with Joseph.
Perhaps Judah could not bear to see his Father grieve. Surely his conscience goaded him.
While Hirah may have been a friend of Judah, he was not a godly man. Bad company will always get
us into trouble as Judah's story reveals.
II. JUDAH MARRIES - verses 2-5.
Judah's companionship with the people of Canaan resulted in his marriage to a Canaanite woman.

This was in direct opposition to God's revealed will and the examples of his father and grandfather.
The matter to note here is that when we marry we are marrying the parent of our unborn children.
Christians should seek a godly mate for the sake of their children's future [Malachi 2:15]. There is
good reason to think that the problem with Judah's sons was the pagan influence of their mother.
III. SLAIN OF THE LORD - verses 6-10.
Judah took a wife for his firstborn son. God slew this young man for an unspecified wickedness. Judah
then called on his second son to perform the duty of the Levirate (brother-in- law) marriage. In this
institution the bother-in-law married the childless widow of the deceased brother. The first child of this
union carried on the dead brother's name [Deuteronomy 25:5- 10].
Onan obeyed his father and married Tamar. He consumated the marriage, but willfully interrupted the
act of intercourse before Tamar could conceive (From hence comes the term "Onanism"). This was
done because he did not want to produce a child for his brother. God in his anger slew him for this act.
Why would such a sordid story be in the Bible? Can you believe that the birth of the Savior depended
upon the outcome of this chapter? In God's sovereignty great matters sometimes hang upon small or
strange events.
Consider the following:
A. Judah was to be the tribe that Christ would be born into [Matthew 1:2-3, Revelation 5:5]. This
meant that one of Judah's sons would be in the Messianic line.
B. By interrupting conception, Onan was trying to prevent the line of the firstborn from being carried
on. We wonder how much this young man knew. Was he simply a selfish person who wished to spite
his brother's memory or was there more? Perhaps his mother taught him to love the Canaanite
religion. Perhaps he knowingly wished to stop the Messianic line. Maybe his brother was slain for the
same reason [verse 7]. Could these boys both have determined to have no children so that the lineage
of Christ would be stopped?
However all this may have been, we do know that Satan was at work here. He wanted to make the
birth of Christ impossible. Thus we have the battle of the ages [Genesis 3:15]. Satan tried to destroy
Christ before He was ever born. Even after the Lord Jesus was born Satan tried to destroy Him
before He could go to the cross [Matthew 2:16].
IV. TAMAR'S SCHEME - verses 11-23.
One must feel that Judah was not dealing honestly with Tamar. It seems that he never intended to
give her his last son in marriage. At any rate, Tamar saw what was happening and devised a scheme
of her own.
What a sad reflection this story is upon Judah. Would Tamar have thought her scheme could succeed
had she not seen immoral tendencies in Judah? Had she heard of other escapades in Judah's life?

What a sad contrast to the example of Joseph's purity in temptation [Genesis 39]. At least the words
of verse 23 show us that Judah had enough shame to not want the affair known.
While we must not justify Tamar's behavior, it is possible that her motive was not pure selfishness.
Perhaps she was attempting to be an ancestor of the Messiah. To do this she would have to bear a son
by Judah or his son. Maybe she was an ignorant convert to the God of Israel. Again we must not
justify her actions, yet we must not judge her on the basis of our level of knowledge. She was raised in
a society where religious prostitution was respectable. Perhaps in her mind both faith and ignorance
were mixed.
V. HYPOCRISY - verses 24-26.
In time Judah heard that Tamar was with child. Not knowing that he was the father of the child he was
ready to have her burned for her sin. Perhaps he was glad to get her out of the way as he did not wish
to give her to his youngest son.
How hypocritical human nature is. Let us think often of the words of Christ concerning the adulterous
woman [John 8:1-11]. How easily we justify our sins while condemning others. The only thing we can
say in Judah's defense is that when confronted with the evidence of his guilt he made a manful
confession and did not repeat his sin. Let us hope that he truly repented.
VI. THE LINEAGE OF CHRIST - verses 27-30.
Here we have the birth of Judah and Tamar's twin sons. Through Phares, the genealogy of Christ was
carried on [Matthew 1:3]. What a wonder of providence is manifested here. Man wallows in sin,
disobeys God and concocts schemes based on worldly wisdom. Satan does everything he can do to
destroy the Messianic line. Man sins, Satan rages, yet God's plan is never hindered [Isaiah 46:10].
God can bring good out of human evil and confusion. His purposes are sure.
In Genesis 38, we are also reminded of the wonder of Christ's lineage and incarnation. In Christ's
genealogy we find Rahab the harlot, Ruth a woman of Moab, and here Tamar who conceived in incest.
Christ truly humbled Himself to be made in the likeness of sinful flesh [Romans 8:3]. He truly came to
where we were. Remember, however, that our Savior was virgin-born and personally sinless.

Genesis 39
INTRODUCTION: What a contrast Joseph's godly behavior is to that of Judah's in Genesis 38. No
matter how dark the night of sin God always has His faithful.
Joseph's brothers had no motive other than hate and envy. How we rejoice to know that whatever evil
men do to us they are only instruments of God's greater purpose of good toward us [Psalm 105:16-19].

Marvelous was the faithfulness of this young man. He could not have understood why all of this was
happening to him. He was far from home and the public worship of God. No parent or pastor was
present to watch him, yet he remained faithful to God. Even the pagans around him could see that God
was with Joseph [verse 3]. His story reminds us of Daniel and the three Hebrew children. What a
testimony Joseph had. His master knew him to be diligent, honest, and totally trustworthy.
Let us note for a minute some of the reasons why God allowed Joseph to end up in Potiphar's service.
We often become impatient when God deals with us in ways we do not understand. This will help us to
see that God always has reasons for what He does.
A. Joseph became accustomed to Egyptian ways and language in Potiphar's service. This would be
necessary later on.
B. Joseph learned more about business as he managed Potiphar's large estate. There is no doubt this
experience was invaluable after his promotion under Pharaoh.
C. Joseph learned the danger of temptation and was strengthened for future conflicts. Brushes with
danger make us more cautious.
D. Joseph was put in the prison where he would meet Pharaoh's butler and baker. In God's providence
this led to his promotion.
Many of the trials and conflicts in the Christians life are preparation for future service. God molds
and places His soldiers, and only He understands the over-all plans. Often we feel deserted by God
when really we are just in a period of training [James 1:2-3].
II. TEMPTATION - verses 7-20.
Joseph was a handsome man [verse 6]. As he rose in authority and competence he became very
attractive to Potiphar's wife. The moral level of Egyptian women was very low. This pagan woman was
blunt and open in her intentions.
What a terrible trial this was for Joseph:
A. He was a young and unmarried man [II Timothy 2:22].
B. The advances from this woman of high station were very flattering.
C. The situation no doubt could have been used to enrich or empower Joseph. Perhaps the woman
insinuated as much. An affair with Potiphar's wife would give Joseph control over Potiphar.
D. Egyptian morals were so low that no one would have looked upon Joseph as doing anything evil or

Joseph, however, stood firm. Certainly this man had a close personal walk with God. Note the wisdom
he displayed:
1. While Joseph was firm in his resistance he was careful not to directly rebuke or insult this woman
who was in a way over him in power and station.
2. He recognized adultery as a sinful theft of that which was another man's [verses 9, Exodus 20:17].
3. He recognized adultery as a great sin against God [verses 9].
4. He not only refused to submit to her seductions but he also refused to dally with temptation. Many
fall not because they intended to, but because they did not stay out of harm's way [Romans 13:14].
5. When temptation made an assault, he fled with all haste [I Corinthians 6:18]. What a contrast
Joseph was to Judah and others [Proverbs 7:6-27].
Notice now one other matter: We, as Christians, often expect immediate blessing when we resist evil
and obey God. Joseph's heroic stand for God, however, landed him in prison. Potiphar's wife was truly
a "woman scorned." Her lies infuriated Potiphar, though we cannot know how much he really
believed. Hate often follows on the heels of lust.
Learn that in this life godliness does not always receive instant reward. Doing right can bring
persecution [Matthew 5:10]. We need, however, not to despair because our trials are but God's
preparation for future blessing. Not only was Joseph strengthened by his resistance of Satan [James
4:7], but he was also moved into position for future blessing. We do not always understand, but we can
always trust. Let us remember that the price of obedience is never as great as the price of sin. Had
Joseph fallen, what misery he would have brought on himself.
III. PRISON - verses 21-23.
God can care for his people even in prison. Even the heart of prison keepers is in God's hand. Soon
this man saw the honesty, wisdom, and trustworthiness of Joseph. Joseph was again elevated into a
position of authority.
May we live lives so that all may see God's hand in our life. May we learn that God has a plan for us
and that success comes from Him. Like Joseph, let us trust when we cannot understand. Let us serve
God wherever He places us.

Genesis 40

INTRODUCTION: At times Joseph must have felt that life made no sense and was totally unfair. No
doubt he was tempted to wonder if God cared about his trials. How wonderful then to recall that
Joseph's life was a striking example of God's special providence over His people. This should comfort
us when life seems out of control.
This prison was a special one where high ranking officials were imprisoned. It seems to have been a
part of Potiphar's house [Compare Genesis 40:3 with Genesis 39:1].
Sometime after Joseph had been entrusted with the oversight of prisoners, two of the king's servants
were jailed there. We are told nothing concerning the guilt or innocence of these men. What is clear is
that the incarceration of these men was part of God's plan. The timing, the dreams, etc., all fit into
God's scheme of purpose.
II. THE DREAMS - verse 5.
In former times God sometimes spoke through dreams. The ancient Egyptians were very interested in
the interpretation of dreams and these particular dreams were intended by God to make an
impression. Had these men been out of prison they would have no doubt consulted a professional
dream-interpreter. There were many of these in Egypt.
III. THE INTERPRETER - verses 6-8.
In the morning Joseph noted the sad look on their faces. Hearing of their concern he offered to
interpret their dreams. By divine enlightenment he was aware of his prophetic gift.
IV. THE BUTLER'S DREAM - verses 9-15.
After interpreting the dream Joseph asked for consideration in the future. He explained his plight and
innocence. He hoped for immediate release from prison. How could he help but be disappointed when
the Butler forgot him. Let us remember that if we fully understood God's plan, we would rejoice even
in disappointments [I Thessalonians 5:18].
V. THE BAKER'S DREAM - verses 16-19.
The interpretation of this dream helped to confirm that Joseph was truly inspired of God. Maybe
these correct interpretations helped confirm his confidence in his own former dreams.
Some have wondered if Joseph felt any compassion on the baker. While he felt pity, yet there is no
reason to think that the baker did not deserve his punishment.
VI. FORGOTTEN - verses 20-23.
The butler was probably on "thin ice" with Pharaoh and was afraid to help Joseph. Perhaps he feared
to contradict Potiphar's wife. At any rate, the human race is filled with ungrateful people.
Notice two considerations:

A. The butler did not know that his ungrateful behavior would be recorded for posterity. How many
like Pilate or Judas could not have guessed their future infamy. Let all remember that one day, all
unsaved men will have their lives made known [Revelation 20:12].
B. Joseph was forgotten by the butler, but not by God [Hebrews 13:5-6]. The butler's ingratitude made
possible God's time frame. Depravity does not hinder God's sovereign purpose.

Genesis 41
INTRODUCTION: Joseph's life may be divided into three parts. He grew up in the safety of his
Father's house. Being sold into bondage, he spent years in Egypt as a slave or a prisoner. Here we see
him enter upon the state of exaltation.
I. PHARAOH'S DREAM - verses 1-8.
In a recent television documentary on ancient Egypt, the importance of dreams in that culture was
strongly emphasized. Some of their most important books were written on this sub- ject. Great temples
were dedicated to this aspect of life. Religious leaders and wise men spent their lives interpreting
dreams. Perhaps this explains why God chose such a medium to speak to Pharaoh.
As Pharaoh slept, he dreamed a bizarre and troubling dream. Seven fat and healthy cows came up out
of the Nile to feed. In turn, seven sickly cows came up out of the Nile and devoured the healthy cows.
Shockingly, they grew no fatter. The dreams were then repeated with ears of grain, instead of cows.
God impressed upon Pharaoh the seriousness of this dream. Our Lord has no trouble getting the
attention of men. The greatest ruler on earth was turned into a trembling worried man. As we have
often noted in our study, "God rules even among earth's great ones" [Proverbs 2 1:1].
None of Pharaoh's magicians or learned men could interpret the dream. It was necessary that they
should first fail in their attempt. This proved to Pharaoh that God was truly with Joseph. When our
earthly helps fail, we are ready to give God the credit. Had Joseph first been called, it is probable that
the others would have claimed that they could have given the same interpretation.
How these Scriptures illustrate Romans 8:28. Had the butler remembered Joseph at the first, God's
timing would have been foiled. There is no doubt Joseph felt sad and bitter that he had been forgotten
for two years. How Joseph must have rejoiced in God's wisdom after the fact. Let us learn to trust God
in all circumstances [I Thessalonians 5:18].
III. HUMILITY - verses 14-16.
Only afflictions can prepare us to do God's work. In God's time after years of bondage Joseph stands

before Pharaoh. He is a mature saint above the power of flattery or the deception of trust in self. He
ascribes all credit and glory to God. Humility and trust in God's power is a distinguishing earmark of
God's servants.
Joseph explained that both dreams have the same interpretation. God is showing Pharaoh what He is
about to do. The seven good cows and stalks of grain represent seven years of great plenty. The
seven thin cows and ears of grain represent seven years of famine.
Notice how all is seen coming up out of the Nile. Egypt from the air looks like a vast desert with a
ribbon of green running through it. Agriculture in Egypt was not dependent upon rainfall, but upon the
annual flooding of the Nile. The Nile flood-plain was watered and enriched.
In some years the Nile did not flood sufficiently. This was caused by a lack of rainfall upstream or by a
temporary change in the channel of the White Nile which fed the Nile. In other years, the Nile flooded
so high that by the time it receded the planting season was lost. Either situation could bring famine. In
good years, the Nile-plain could produce huge yield. In bad years, there was no crop. Seven years of
no, or too much flooding was a monumental disaster.
Notice now several truths:
A. True prophecy comes only from God [Isaiah 41:21-23].
B. God controls the economies of nations. Think of the Great Depression in our country.
C. God controls the nations of this world for the good of His elect people.
By divine impulse Joseph advised Pharaoh. No doubt Pharaoh could see that Joseph spoke, not
through pride, but heavenly enlightenment.
Some have been tempted to feel that Joseph's plan was rather harsh toward the people of Egypt. Let
us remember several matters:
A. Joseph's plan was given by God's prophetic light and saved Egypt and Canaan from starvation.
B. We pay much more than twenty percent in taxes to our government.
C. Had the government given the grain away in years of famine, much would have been wasted.
Handouts are seldom a good idea. Because the people had no increase in famine years the sale of
grain replaced taxes for the support of the government.
VI. JOSEPH EXALTED - verses 37-44.
This is the greatest rags-to-riches story ever told. Joseph goes in one day from an unknown foreign

prisoner to second in command of the greatest nation on earth.
Pharaoh saw that God intended Joseph for this position. Bible students have often seen in this a type
of Christ's exaltation as Savior of the world. Just as Joseph ruled so that Israel could be saved, so
Christ was exalted so that the bread of life might be given [Ephesians 1: 15-23, Acts 2:33]. In the lives
of both, suffering preceded glory. Only through suffering were they brought to a position to bless
others [II Corinthians 8:9].
VII. A NEW NAME - verse 45.
It is commonly believed that Joseph's new name meant "Savior of the World." We can see how this
befitted him as the man who kept the civilized world from starvation. How much more does this title
belong to the Savior [Revelation 5:9].
In Pharaoh's attempt to make Joseph more acceptable to the nation, he also gave him the daughter of
a high ranking Egyptian priest as a wife. We can only suppose that Joseph converted her to the
worship of the true God. The names of the sons seem to bear this out as they both contain the name of
IX. A TESTIMONY FOR GOD - verses 50-52.
God blessed Joseph with two sons. Both were given names that testified to Joseph's faithfulness to
God. Joseph was a spiritually-minded man who saw God's hand in the affairs of life. Note that these
two boys were later claimed by Jacob and became the fathers of two of Israel's tribes.
X. FAMINE - verses 53-57.
Here the second part of the prophetic dreams was fulfilled. Only because of Joseph's knowledge was
Egypt and the surrounding countries saved.
This famine was God's way of bringing Israel down into Egypt. Because God would preserve Israel the
others were fed also. How strange are God's ways. How much the world benefits from the presence of
God's elect people [Matthew 5:13].

Genesis 42
INTRODUCTION: In Numbers 32:23, we are told "...and be sure your sins will find you out."
Joseph's brothers came to feel the truth of this in the chapter under consideration. Thankfully, it
seems that God was working to bring them to repentance rather than judgment. God was purifying and
unifying Israel before making them into a great nation.

I. FAMINE IN CANAAN - verses 1-2.
Famines come even in the promised land. Canaan was a type of the Christian life, not Heaven. God's
people must never be surprised at adversity in this life [Acts 14:22]. Just as in His dealings with
Jacob's family, we can rejoice that God always has a gracious purpose.
From Jacob's words in verse 1, we begin to wonder if the idea of going to Egypt troubled his sons. The
thought of Joseph troubled their conscience and made them cowards. What a terrible companion a
guilty conscience is. It can awaken years after the crime. May we like Paul strive to so live that we
are at peace in our hearts [Acts 24:16].
Some have wondered why a great man like Joseph would be found at the place where grain was sold.
We are given few details. It is entirely possible and even probable that he set up his office at the
grainary nearest to the road from Canaan. Joseph must have known from the time of Pharaoh's dream
that members of his family would one day come to buy grain. He no doubt asked to be informed when
anyone from Canaan appeared. All things considered, this meeting was not the accident it might seem
to have been.
III. THE TABLES TURNED - verses 7-20.
Joseph, now older and in Egyptian clothes, was not recognized by his brothers. As Joseph saw them
bowed before him he thought back on his former dreams [Genesis 37:5-11]. Instead of embracing them
and revealing himself to his brothers, he spoke harshly to them. He accused them of being spies sent
to plan a raid. They replied that they were honest men and all the sons of one man. Their implication
was that no one would send so many of his children on a mission as dangerous as spying. Joseph,
however, continued to act unconvinced. They were all jailed for three days. Simeon was left jailed and
the brothers were told to return with Benjamin as proof of their story.
Why was Joseph so seemingly cruel to his brothers? Was he moved by a spirit of revenge?
Actually, there were two reasons for his behavior:
A. Joseph had to know more of his brothers' present character before he revealed himself to them.
Were they still cruel and heartless? Had they murdered or sold Benjamin, his full-brother? These
questions had to be answered before Joseph could have known what to do.
B. Joseph's actions were used of God to bring confession, repentance and remorse. Through all of
Joseph's dealings they felt that God was dealing with them about their former sin of selling Joseph.
Men with past crimes often have awakened consciences in times of trouble. Joseph probably knew by
prophetic impulse that it would be good for his brothers to suffer a while the lashes of conviction.
IV. CONVICTION OF SIN - verses 21-24.
Joseph, unknown to his brothers, heard and understood their confessions of guilt and sorrow. How this
must have caused his heart to rejoice. His tears were those of a heart overcome with compassion, not

revenge [Romans 12:19]. Joseph was truly a spiritual man. Alongside his forgiving spirit, Joseph also
possessed strength of character. Rather than break down and hug his brothers, he carried out his plan.
He knew that their sense of guilt must be deepened and true repentance produced [II Corinthians
7:10]. Their sorrow was a good sign, but had their hearts really been changed? Joseph had to know
more about them before he revealed his identity.
V. THE MONEY RETURNED - verses 25-28.
Why did Joseph return their money? Did he fear that they would need it in the famine? It is more
likely that he merely intended to deepen their concern. Note in verse 28, that this again caused them
to feel that God was working in their lives. Again repentance is the theme of this chapter.
VI. BACK IN CANAAN - verses 29-36.
Returning home they told their father all that had taken place. Upon finding that all the money had
been returned, they were especially struck with fear. Every event connected with their trip to Egypt
seemed to awaken a sense of God's judgment for past sins. May we learn from this. We never commit
a sin that we will not face again. Either repentance or guilt and judgment follow every sin.
Jacob was greatly shaken by the account. Notice his words in verse 36. Did he suspect that his sons
were implicated in Joseph's supposed death. In verse 36, he also moaned that all these events had
been against him. How wrong he was [Romans 8:28 and 31].
VII. DESPAIR - verses 37-38.
What can we make of Reuben's offer? Who would want their grandchildren killed? Reuben was the
firstborn, but comes across as a man of weak character and little wisdom.

Genesis 43
INTRODUCTION: As our chapter opens, Simeon is in an Egyptian prison and Jacob's family is once
again running out of food. Hunger forces Jacob to confront the situation he had tried to forget. As we
shall see, God is not only preparing the chosen nation to go into Egypt, but He is also working in their
spiritual lives.
I. THE HORNS OF DILEMMA - verses 1-7.
Jacob in his sorrow seemed rather irrational. He knew that they must have food but he could not bear
to part with Benjamin. It would seem that he even tried to forget what had happened to Simeon. Note,
however, one encouraging sign. Jacob is called by his new name, "Israel." Was this not an indication
that God was once again preparing to manifest His grace to Jacob. Often, when life seems so dark, the
sunrise of God's gracious purposes is near.

Judah appears here to have grown in character and trustworthiness. Jacob trusts him to carry
Benjamin into Egypt. He had refused to entrust him to Reuben, the eldest [Genesis 42:37-38].
Judah used three arguments that prevailed with Jacob:
A. Judah would become personally responsible for Benjamin. (In the next chapter we will note that this
is a wonderful picture of Christ's suretyship for His people).
B. Judah reminds Jacob that without food they will all die. This would include Benjamin.
C. Procrastination will not help.
III. JACOB'S DECISION - verses 11- 14.
There are three matters here worthy of comment: A. Jacob takes every possible precaution to insure
the success of the trip. A timely gift of those luxuries still available in Canaan is sent along. Trust in
God does not preclude the use of wisdom and our best effort [Proverbs 18:16].
B. Jacob insisted that they be very honest in their dealings. Perhaps the money was returned by
mistake. We must keep the "Golden Rule" even when others make the error.
C. Jacob displays evidence here of his personal spiritual growth and submission to God's will. He knew
that only God could give a successful journey. Here he allows not only Benjamin, but all of his sons to
depart at once. The last statement of verse 14 seems to reveal his willingness to leave them in God's
hand. He is completely resigned to God's will [Job 1:2 1].
IV. AFRAID IN EGYPT - verses 15-25.
As the brothers return to Egypt, Joseph was no doubt thrilled to see Benjamin. Joseph's whole reason
for demanding that they return with Benjamin was to examine their character. Had they murdered or
sold Benjamin? Were they still resentful and jealous? Only with this knowledge could Joseph know
how to respond to them.
When the brothers were brought to Joseph's palace they grew very afraid. They feared being accused
of stealing the former corn-money. Before they dared enter the house they felt compelled to explain
the matter to Joseph's steward. He assured them that they were not in trouble and even brought
Simeon out to them. Every kindness was shown them as they prepared to dine with Joseph.
Note: It would appear from verse 23 that Joseph had instructed his servants in the knowledge of God.
The steward's words in verse 23 are not to be viewed as an untruth, but rather as a statement that all
had occurred by God's providence.
V. DINNER WITH JOSEPH - verses 26-31.
In this scene we see that Joseph's love for his family had not cooled. He inquired concerning his father
and hid himself to weep at the sight of his younger brother Benjamin. As already noted, Joseph was

not playing a game or willingly troubling his brothers. His love was merely tempered with wisdom. To
embrace his brothers with no knowledge of their character would have been to invite trouble.
VI. TESTED - verses 32-34.
Joseph's brothers were seated at the meal according to their age. They marveled, not knowing how
this was known. Joseph's purpose was no doubt to increase their sense of mystery. They seemed to
have a deep feeling that God was at work.
In these cultures it was common for the host to send choice morsels of food to certain guests. This was
done to show honor. The more food given by the host, the more honor intended. When large portions
were given the guest was not obligated to consume it all.
At this meal Benjamin, the youngest, was given five-times the amount of food received by his older
brothers. Joseph's purpose was clear. He was testing his brethren to see if they still retained their
jealous and envious attitudes. Would they resent Benjamin as they had resented Joseph with his coat
of many colors? How Joseph must have watched their reactions. What a discerning test this was on
Joseph's part.
CONCLUSION: Jacob's older sons passed the test. Joseph must have been pleased at their spiritual
change. They had seen and been cleansed of the evil of envy. One more test, however, was needful.
Would they stand by Benjamin in a trial? Did they care more for him and their father's feelings than
their own well- being?

Genesis 44
INTRODUCTION: In Genesis 43:34, Joseph tested his brothers to see if they were still controlled by
envy. In this chapter the test became more rigorous. Did they really love Benjamin? Were they willing
to go free and leave him in bondage? The test proved them to be truly changed men. Judah especially
seems a transformed man.
I. FURTHER TESTING - verses 1-5.
Not revenge but a desire to really know his brothers was the motive behind Joseph's scheme. He
played his part well and displayed great strength of character and self-control. Joseph would have
been foolish to open up to his brothers before learning their character.
Often in Scripture we are warned against putting trust in those whose character we do not know
[Proverbs 11:15]. Those ordained to the gospel ministry are to be especially tested [I Timothy 3:6].
Only trials can truly expose men's hearts [Deuteronomy 8:2].
The meaning of verse 5 is somewhat disputed. Perhaps the word "divineth" was used because the

Egyptians were not familiar with the concept of true prophecy. On the other hand, Joseph may have
carried the deception too far by pretending to be a pagan diviner.
II. CAUGHT IN JOSEPH'S TRAP - verses 6-13.
What despair the brothers felt. They knew that they were innocent, but seemed to feel that these trials
were a judgment of God upon their former sins. Joseph no doubt placed the money in their bags so
they would know that Benjamin was innocent. They would see that someone else had been tampering
with the bags.
III. PASSING THE TEST - verses 14-17.
The brothers were convinced that these trials were their just deserts even though they were innocent
of this particular deed. They did not blame Benjamin, but seemed to see a higher hand at work.
Patience under judgment is a work of true repentance [Psalm 51:3-4].
In verse 17 Joseph forced the issue and put them to the real test. Would they stand by Benjamin at the
risk of their own futures.
IV. JUDAH INTERCEDES - verses 18-34.
No lawyer ever made a greater plea than Judah. Martin Luther wished he could pray to God as Judah
plead before Joseph. For manly eloquence and touching pathos this speech is unequaled. Even the
thought of causing his father pain was intolerable to Judah. He was truly a changed man. He really
became the leader of his brethren [Genesis 49:8-12].
We have often felt that Judah's part in this history, parallels the saving work of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Note some of these great gospel truths that are here made known when we view Judah as a type of
A. Both Judah and the Lord Jesus were of the tribe of Judah [Genesis 49:8-10; Revelation 5:5]. Judah
was of course the father of the tribe.
B. Judah became a surety for his younger brother [Genesis 43:8-9]. The Lord Jesus became a surety
for His younger brethren [Hebrews 7:22 and 2:11; Romans 8:29].
C. Judah became a surety to his father. He agreed to be responsible for Benjamin and thus answer to
his father for Benjamin's safety. Jesus Christ became our surety to the Father. He took responsibility
for His people. This is illustrated in the teaching concerning the Good Shepherd [John 10:11-14, 28-29].
D. Judah became a surety for Benjamin before he ever got into trouble or came into Egypt (a type of
the world). The Savior became our surety before we were ever born into this world or before we ever
sinned [Ephesians 1:4; I Peter 1:18-20].

E. Judah went with his younger brother into Egypt. This is where Benjamin fell into trouble. The Lord
Jesus followed His people into this world where they would need redemption [Hebrews 2:11-15].
F. Judah willingly took the penalty of his brother's guilt [verse 33]. Jesus Christ paid for our sins
[Isaiah 53:6].
G. Judah interceded for his brother on the basis of his suretyship [verse 32]. The Lord Jesus
intercedes for His people on the basis of His suretyship for them [John 17:6 and 9; Romans 5:10;
Romans 8:33-34].
H. Judah was successful in his efforts to save Benjamin. Jesus Christ our Lord became our surety,
died in our place, and now lives to intercede for us. He is absolutely successful in the work of saving
His people. All of His sheep will be gathered into the fold [John 10:27-29] and all of the children will be
gathered home [Hebrews 2:10 and 13].

Genesis 45
INTRODUCTION: Three things especially stand out about this part of the narrative:
A. This chapter gives us the climax of one of the great stories of history. The simplicity of Moses's
style has often been admired.
B. Here we have the providence of God deeply emphasized. We are as actors in a play that God
C. Joseph's life teaches us how to forgive others and live without frustration or bitterness.
Judah's intercession revealed to Joseph the changed heart of his brothers. His own heart was melted.
The servants were sent out so that Joseph could lay aside the protocol of state and speak to his
brothers as family. It is also probable that he did not want his servants to know of his brothers' former
actions [I Peter 4:8].
Bible teachers have often compared this revelation to the future revelation of Christ to the Jewish
nation. What remorse must have flooded the souls of Joseph's brothers. Did not this pre-figure the
sorrow that will be felt by the Jewish people at Christ's return [Zechariah 12:10].
A. God's sovereignty assures that human affairs are so ordered that His people are preserved and His
purposes are carried out. God sees into the future and prepares well in advance for our needs. Even
evil men who sin freely end up as instruments of the divine will [Psalm 105:16-24; Psalm 76:10;
Ephesians 1:11].
B. Joseph was in no way denying the guilt of his brothers [Genesis 50:20]. Having, however, seen

evidence of their repentance, he hastens to comfort them by reminding them that even in their
rebellion God was working for their future good. Repentant sinners are sometimes in danger of
"overmuch sorrow" and need to be appropriately comforted [II Corinthians 2:7].
C. Notice that Joseph refused to take credit for the preservation of Israel. He realized that he was
only an instrument in God's hand. Man should always ascribe the glory to God [Romans 11:33-36].
D. Joseph's forgiving spirit toward his brethren teaches us a great lesson: Those who believe in God's
predestined plan are helped to forgive the evil deeds that men do to them. When we see in men's
actions a higher hand at work, we are freed from bitterness at our treatment [Job 1:21]. There are
other keys to forgiveness [Ephesians 4:32], but this is definitely a part. Note how this worked in
David's life [II Samuel 16:5-13].
Joseph was a very spiritually-minded man. This especially manifests itself in the following ways:
A. Joseph was very aware of God's work and gracious plan in his life. Egypt was a place where Israel
could be preserved as a nation while it grew and was saved from starvation. Egyptian customs assured
that Israel would not be absorbed into Egyptian culture [Genesis 43:32]. Joseph saw and rejoiced in
the divine wisdom. Some Christians seem to see little into God's wonderful works in their life.
B. Note again the complete forgiveness that Joseph extended toward his brothers. This required real
IV. PHARAOH - verses 16-20.
This Pharaoh appears in a much better light than the one Moses had to deal with. He was truly a
grateful and magnanimous man. Rulers often forget former kindness. Pharaoh, however, remembered
that the salvation of Egypt was a result of God's blessings through Joseph. For that reason he
promised to liberally care for Joseph's family. The wealth of earth's greatest nation would be at their
disposal. (One cannot help but reflect that the great Pharaohs were in God's hand. Here one showers
blessing. Later another showers Israel with cruelty. Both however were used of God to bless Israel
and glorify His name - Romans 9:17).
V. BACK TO CANAAN - verses 21-24.
For the journey home they were provided with everything needful and more. We have felt that this was
partly given to convince Jacob of the truth of his sons' story. Likewise as we travel this earth on our
way to meet the Lord Jesus, we are provided with everything needful for the journey. He even sends
gifts that assure us of future blessings [Ephesians 1:13- 14].
There is no doubt Joseph's warning in verse 24 was needful. Perhaps the brothers would fear the
exposure of their former deed and bring on strife as they attempted to shift the blame to each other
before their father found out about Joseph.

What a glorious scene. Old Jacob unable to believe for joy is convinced only after hearing the whole
story and seeing the Egyptian wagons. He then felt that upon seeing Joseph his life would be complete.
Graciously there is no mention here of Jacob rebuking his sons for selling Joseph. They had repented
and had been reconciled to Joseph. What need was there of remembering their former sins? Like
Jacob let us learn when to leave skeletons in the closet. Note that even Joseph never mentioned their
sin. The Egyptians never knew of their crime [I Peter 4:8].
Notice also how Jacob is referred to as Jacob in verse 25, but as Israel in verse 28. As his faith
revives he realizes that he is truly blessed to be a "prince" with God. We too are "Jacobs" by nature,
but by grace we will reign with Christ.

Genesis 46
INTRODUCTION: Let us remember that as Jacob's family goes into Egypt, the prophecies given to
Abraham are being fulfilled [Genesis 15:13-14]. We tend to emphasis unfulfilled prophecy while
forgetting the marvel of prophecies already brought to pass.
Before we begin a verse-by-verse study of our chapter we should pause to ask why Israel was ever
taken to Egypt to begin with. Why did the nation not remain in Canaan and there expand. Following
are some of those reasons:
A. Because of the segregation practiced in Egypt, the nation of Israel could remain a separate people
[verses 31-34; Genesis 43:31-34]. In Canaan they could have easily intermarried and lost their
corporate and spiritual identity. After four hundred years in Egypt they were still a distinct and
separate nation.
B. In Egypt the people of Israel had the opportunity for a great population increase. Joseph's influence
in giving them Goshen was a great help. This was a wonderful area for livestock. Had Israel expanded
greatly in Canaan there would have been wars for which they were not ready. (When Israel left Egypt
they had grown to around two million souls.)
C. Israel's exodus from Egypt provided a great opportunity for the display of God's power [Romans
9:17; Psalm 78:43]. God's glory and the good of God's people are the two purposes found in all of
God's works.
D. When Israel came out of Egypt they were enriched by the wealth of Egypt [Exodus 12:35-36]. This
is where much of the material that went into the construction of the tabernacle came from [Exodus

E. God's longsuffering caused Him to restrain judgment upon the Canaanites until their iniquity had
reached a certain level [Genesis 15:16]. How complex are God's purposes.
With haste Jacob began his journey to see Joseph. Reaching Beersheba on the border of Canaan he
stopped to worship.
Several reasons for this suggests themselves:
A. As Jacob was near the border of Canaan he began to question his actions. Was he doing the right
thing by leaving Canaan? He knew that it was doubtful that he would ever return in his lifetime. Should
he leave the promised land for Egypt? Had not Abraham sinned in doing this? May we learn here to
seek God's leadership [Proverbs 3:6].
B. Approaching Beersheba he was reminded that both Abraham and Isaac had met God in this place
[Genesis 21:33 and 26:26]. Like them he needed God's leadership and assurance.
How wonderful to hear from God and to know that we are in His will. Note God's words in this the final
patriarchical vision.
A. "Fear not to go down to Egypt" - How wonderful to go where we know God is leading.
B. "I will there make of thee a great nation."
C. "I will go down with thee."
D. "I will also surely bring thee up again."
E. Jacob is promised that Joseph would be with him at his death (to close his eyes).
Jacob could now proceed with a light heart.
V. A SMALL START - verses 8-27.
This small clan became a great nation. What great things God can bring out of the insignificant.
VI. A HAPPY REUNION - verses 28-30.
What a wonderful scene. Note, however, the dignity of Jacob. He allows Joseph to come to him. He
sensed that to be a patriarch of the Jewish nation was a more important position than any in Egypt.
A. Joseph was more interested in the spiritual purity of his brethren than their material greatness. He
used the dislike of the Egyptians toward shepherds as a method of keeping his family separate. Let us
learn from this what to desire for our families.

B. Egypt is always a type of the world. See here a picture of what the world thinks of the Good

Genesis 47
INTRODUCTION: How slowly, yet certainly God's purposes unfold. Israel here enters Egypt and
four hundred years later they leave according to the divine promise [Genesis 15:13-14]. How often do
God's people in the midst of their trials forget that they are a part of a much larger plan.
Pharaoh is treated with the greatest respect and nothing is taken for granted. God's children should
never needlessly provoke or anger the powers that be [Romans 13:1-7]. Some think that the gospel
gives them leeway to despise mans' laws. We are rather to see God's authority present in legitimate
Joseph brought five of his brothers to meet Pharaoh. Probably the rest were watching the cattle. These
five were to communicate three things to Pharaoh:
A. They were shepherds. There is no doubt this was a difficult confession to make in light of Genesis
B. They were only sojourners and had no desire to be naturalized. Joseph seems to have understood
the importance of Israel remaining a separate nation. In all this we see a type of Christian separation
from the world [I Peter 2:9, John 15:19].
C. They desire to dwell in Goshen.
Pharaoh kindly kept his promise yet it was little compared to the benefit Egypt received from Joseph.
Joseph had it seems no interest in his brothers working for Pharaoh. Separation of Israel from Egypt
was his desire.
Pharaoh was earth's greatest power, yet we cannot read this narrative without being impressed that
here he met a man greater than himself. This is confirmed by Hebrews 7:7, where Melchizedek's
greatness is shown in that he blessed Abraham. Jacob is twice said to have blessed Pharaoh. Earth's
people little know what eternity will reveal about men's true relative greatness [Daniel 12:3; Proverbs
10:7]. Strive to be great in God's eyes.

Notice now Jacob's words to Pharaoh:
A. He blessed Pharaoh - No doubt this blessing was an invocation to Almighty God. Saints should both
desire and pray fro God's blessings upon others [I Timothy 2:1-2].
B. Jacob explained that his days had been few. The longest life is short in light of eternity. No man has
lived a thousand years, which is but a day in God's sight [II Peter 3:8].
C. Jacob explained that his days had been full of evil (trials and care). Life is difficult and full of
burdens [Job 14:1]. Often like Jacob we add to our trials by not seeking God's leadership [Proverbs
3:5-6]. Pity any man who has not a hope in God to comfort him through life [II Corinthians 4:17].
Let us not think that Jacob was expressing a negative or unthankful attitude toward life. By twice
using the word pilgrimage he insinuates that his real hope is spiritual and future. We as Christians
recognize also that trials line the path to Heaven [Acts 14:22].
IV. THE DIVINE PROVISION - verses 11-12.
God's ways are strange to us yet He works all for our good [Romans 8:28]. Jacob here learned that
his past trial of losing Joseph was here made the source of provision in famine. May we learn to give
thanks even when we do not understand [I Thessalonians 5:18].
V. THE FAMINE - verses 13-22.
The record reveals that only Joseph's prophetic insight saved Egypt and Canaan from starvation. A
little thought will reveal that the plan used to feed the people was not as cruel as it might appear. In no
way did that express resentment. A situation where everyone is on a government dole requires
extreme arrangement. (The preference given the pagan priest was beyond Joseph's control).
VI. TAXES - verses 23-26.
As the famine came to an end Joseph formed a system to restore agriculture. This plan reveals that in
no way was Joseph unfair to the people. The government provided seed and took twenty percent of the
yield as a tax. If you think this is unfair, then try estimating what the tax rates are in this country.
Remember also that we only own land in this nation as we pay taxes on it.
VII. JACOB'S REQUEST - verses 27-31.
Jacob believed that Canaan was the land of promise. His heart was always there. Though he could not
die in Canaan, he wished to be buried there with his fathers. This request revealed his faith in God's
promises [Genesis 15:13-16; Hebrews 11:21- 22].

Genesis 48

INTRODUCTION: Precious indeed was the testimony and blessing of this aged saint. With mature
faith he reflected upon life's trials and joys. These reveries of a dying man were the fruit of faith
[Hebrews 11:21]. By this faith he had maintained an attitude of thankfulness through a life of dangers
and perplexities. Surely Joseph's sons always remembered this time. Young people need exposure to
such veterans in God's kingdom.
I. OLD AGE - verses 1-2. Faith alone can make an old man see God's hand in both the trials and
blessings of his past life. There seemed to be in Jacob's speech an attitude of profound gratitude so
missing in the lives of most elderly. He saw his remaining mission on earth as that of testifying to the
faithfulness of God. Truly old age is a blessing to such a person.
Dying men speak of that which is truly important to them. Here Jacob gave testimony to Joseph of
God's grace. As he looked back it was the times when God visited him that really stand out [Genesis
28:10-22]. To Jacob, the promises of God given in those times, was the north star by which he guided
his life. These same promises had been made to Abraham and Isaac. These men all lived on the
promise even though it was never fulfilled in their lifetime [Hebrews 11:13].
Every student should make personal application of these truths. Have you ever met God? Will your
last days find you remembering the times that God was especially near? Are God's promises your
most cherished possession?
III. WORDS OF FAITH - verses 5-6.
A. Here Jacob in a sense adopted Joseph's sons. Each of these two grandchildren would become a
tribe in Israel just as would the other sons of Jacob. Through them Joseph received the double portion
that normally went to the eldest. Reuben lost this because of his sin [I Chronicles 5:1]. Both Reuben
and Simeon were mentioned because both had highly displeased Jacob.
The words of verse 6 were spoken to correct any future misunderstanding. Should Joseph have other
children they would not become separate tribes, but have part in the tribes of Ephraim or Manasseh.
Joseph would have a double portion but no more.
B. Consider the faith that Jacob here manifested in God's promises. He began to divide the land
before Israel ever possessed it. Truly faith is the victory [I John 5:4; Hebrews 11:13]. Consider also
the value that faith placed upon God's promises. Joseph was a prince in Egypt but his real inheritance
was a double portion in Canaan.
Perhaps the presence of Joseph caused Jacob to remember his mother's death. She was the love of
Jacob's life and the only wife he ever intended to have. Had Jacob's plan to marry only Rachel
materialized, then Joseph would truly have been the firstborn. Maybe Rachel was therefore mentioned
as partial justification for giving Joseph the double portion. At any rate, the memory was one of sorrow

as well as joy to Jacob. Like all saints he knew he would see her again.
V. JACOB'S BLESSING - verses 8-22.
A. A Thankful Heart - verses 8-11.
Note well how Jacob rejoiced in God's goodness. In verse 11, he mentioned that God's blessing had
exceeded his expectation. Happy is the man whose heart bursts with gratitude to God.
B. Blessing Our Descendants - verse 9.
All Christians should feel a desire for the well-being of their children and descendants. May we
remember that the only true blessing we can pass on is that of a godly testimony and prayer in their
behalf. These boys were born with all the treasures of Egypt at their feet, yet the blessing of God was
what they needed. What a scene of faith! The world's glitter meant nothing as the blessing was
bestowed. To hold the promise, to be blessed by the aged prophet, to be associated with the despised
shepherds, that was everything.
C. Crossed Hands - verses 13-20.
Joseph was displeased because Jacob placed his right hand on the head of Ephraim rather than on
Manasseh the first born. Jacob explained that this was done knowingly as Ephraim would be the
greater tribe.
In the bestowal of blessings, God's hands are often crossed. This shows that grace does not follow the
line of nature [John 1:13]. God does not follow our expectations. He is sovereign, grace is optional,
and His blessings are distributed as He sees fit [Romans 9:15-16]. Jacob understood these things well
[Romans 9:10-13].
D. Jacob or Israel.
Notice in our present chapter as in other parts of Genesis that the names Jacob and Israel are both
used. The variation is never an accident. Jacob is a weak man, a supplanter, a worm [Isaiah 41:14].
Israel is a prince. When Jacob's faith is strong and active we see him referred to as Israel. Does this
not remind us of the ups and downs, the two natures of God's people.
E. Great Is Thy Faithfulness - vs.15-16.
When Jacob remembered how God had blessed him, he could believe that God would bless his
descendants. What a wonderful testimony as Jacob reflected over his life. The trials, the heartbreaks,
the seventeen years of mourning were remembered . As he thought of God's faithfulness through it all
his heart raised in praise to God for His great purpose and providence.
This gave him hope for the future. (Note that the Angel in verse 16 is the "Angel of the Lord." This
Angel is God Himself manifest to men in the Old Testament).
F. A Gift Of Love - verses 21-22.
Israel was dying but his faith was strong. He knew that God would bring the nation back to Canaan.

When this occurred the land he had purchased there would be a special gift to Joseph's descendants
[Genesis 33:19; Joshua 24:32]. Verse 22 evidently refers to a skirmish over the land not recorded in

Genesis 49
INTRODUCTION: Jacob, as a prophet, gathers his sons to speak of their future as tribes of Israel.
The depth and beauty of his words reveal the spirituality of the patriarch. Remember that some of
these prophecies have fulfillments of future importance. These tribes still exist within the Jewish
nation and are known to God, although most of the records have been lost to man [Matthew 19:28].
A. As we live and die our main concern should be the spiritual condition of our children and
descendants. Our words and actions should reflect a concern for their eternal well-being [II Peter
1:13-15; Psalm 71:18]. Many Bible characters gave speeches to those who would survive
[Deuteronomy 33; Joshua 24].
B. Our lives affect our descendants. While Jacob was given prophetic ability to know the future, this
did not preclude him from also making observations regarding their character. Often the character of
the sons affected the tribe that descended from them.
C. Prophecy has the practical value of helping God's people through dark days. It would be a long time
until Israel came into Canaan and even longer until Messiah came. These prophesies gave hope
during their long wait. Unfulfilled prophecy is still the comfort of God's people [I Thessalonians
II. THE SONS OF LEAH - verses 3-15.
A. Reuben - verse 3-4.
Sin can remove people from places of leadership in God's kingdom. Reuben's lost honor as firstborn
was mentioned to remind us of how sin can blight our lives [I Chronicles 5:1]. Reuben's incest revealed
the unstable element of his character. The tribe of Reuben never produced a great leader and became
an unimportant people in Israel.
B. Simeon and Levi - verses 5-6.
Simeon and Levi were guilty of violence and of total disregard of Jacob's authority as a father
[Genesis 34:25-31]. They were brethren or men of like character. Jacob disclaimed all complicity with
their actions. No doubt these strong rebukes were intended to humble the pair.
Both tribes were scattered when Israel inherited Canaan. Simeon's land was scattered throughout
Judah's inheritance [Joshua 19:1-9]. Levi of course became the priestly tribe and was given cities

distributed throughout Israel [Joshua 21]. In this case the punishment was turned into a blessing.
C. Judah - verses 8-10.
One can sense the joy Jacob felt in considering Judah. Let us so live as to bring joy to our parents
[Proverbs 10:1]. Judah and Joseph have the two most extensive prophesies.
1. Verse 8 states that Judah as a tribe will hold a position of leadership. Judah by his wise behavior in
the latter part of his life gained this over Reuben who lost it by his sin.
2. Verse 9 explains that Judah like a lion will become a mighty tribe.
3. Verses 11-12 reveal that the coming of Messiah would bring a new day of prosperity. Vines would
become so common that one might tie an animal to one with no concern for its being broken and not
producing fruit. The winepress will be so full that not just the feet, but the clothes of those who tread
will be stained. The people will be in good health through abundance of food.
Often in the Old Testament the two Advents of Christ are not separated. These words picture the
spiritual prosperity brought by Christ's coming as well as the material prosperity to come at His
second Advent.
D. Zebulon - verse 13.
Zebulon would be a tribe enriched by maritime trade.
E. Issachar - verse 14-15.
Issachar would be a strong and prosperous tribe, but not over-zealous of freedom. They would even
serve or pay tribute to other nations as long as they enjoyed worldly prosperity.
A. Dan - verses 16-17.
Dan means judge. This tribe would be a clever enemy who could overthrow a larger adversary as a
serpent striking a horse. Samson was of the tribe of Dan. (Some ancient writers believed that the
Antichrist would come from Dan. This was because the tribe was not mentioned in Revelation 7:4-8.
They also believed this was the reason for Jacob's outburst in verse 18. All of this is mere theory.)
B. Jacob's Outburst Of Praise - verse 18.
Jacob had spoken of Judah's leadership, Issachar's strength, and Dan's craft. Here he reminds all that
not these things, but Almighty God is his strength.
C. Gad - verse 19.
Gad as a tribe would be exposed to marauding bands but would fight and overcome. Their territory
would be open to attack from enemies because of its location.

D. Asher - verse 20.
Asher would be a productive tribe producing food fit for a king.
E. Naphtali - verse 21.
These freedom-loving highlanders would remind one of a deer. They would also be an eloquent people.
Think of the song of Deborah and Barak [Judges 4:6 and 5:1-31].
IV. THE SONS OF RACHEL - verses 22-27.
A. Joseph - verses 22-26.
Joseph is given a large and wonderful prophecy. In verses 22-23, we are given a picture of his youth
and persecution. Verse 24 explains that he was upheld by God the Shepherd and Rock of Israel.
Verses 25-26 explain how God abundantly blessed Joseph. Five times the word blessing was used to
describe the Lord's treatment of Joseph. Both of Joseph's sons became tribes. There may be a
reference in verse 26 to the fact that all of Jacob's sons became tribes. Jacob was the only one of the
three patriarchs who did not have a son pruned from God's program for Israel.
B. Benjamin - verse 27.
Benjamin like a wolf was a fierce and successful opponent. We think of men like Mordecai and Ehud.
The Old Testament mentions several times the skill of soldiers from this tribe. We also think of the
Apostle Paul who was a warrior for the Gospel [Philippians 3:5].
V. JACOB'S DEATH - verses 28-33.
Jacob must die, but he died in faith. His request for burial in Canaan revealed his faith in God's future
promise keeping. He wished to be buried where the tribes of Israel would one day live and rule.
Two things about death are to be noted here:
A. Death gathers our soul to be with our people. Who are your people?
B. Burial is emphasized because the body will one day be resurrected. Christians know that God has a
future plan for the body [Philippians 3:21].
CONCLUSION: Are you ready to die? Have you tried to pre- pare your family for their own eternal
future? Note Proverbs 14:32.

Genesis 50
INTRODUCTION: We have reached the final chapter of Genesis. Here the deaths of both Jacob and
Joseph are recorded. Israel at this point was no more than a large family. Nothing seemed more
unlikely than the fulfillment of God's promise that Israel would become a great nation and inherit
Canaan. Both men, however, died with unshaken faith.

I. GRIEF - verse 1.
Even saints feel a sorrow at the death of loved ones. The Gospel promises do, however, keep us from
feeling the same despair the world experiences [I Thessalonians 4:13].
In making ready for his father's burial Joseph had three matters to attend to:
A. Jacob's body had to be properly embalmed. In Egypt this was an elaborate process. The Egyptians
were so skilled in this procedure that everyone is familiar with the amazing preservation of their
B. In the case of important persons like Jacob a certain period of mourning was observed. Christians
should honor customs that do not contradict God's Word [Romans 13:7]. We are never to give
needless offence [I Corinthians 10:32].
C. Joseph needed to obtain permission from Pharaoh to return his father's body to Canaan.
III. BURIAL - verses 7-13.
Jacob's burial was actually an affair-of-state. A great company carried him to his grave. Egypt was the
greatest of nations and Jacob was the father of the leading man.
Jacob was buried in the cave where Abraham and Isaac were laid [Genesis 49:29-32]. God's people
have through the ages treated the bodies of deceased saints with marked respect. This is because they
believe that the body also was redeemed by Christ [Romans 8:23] and will one day be raised immortal
[I Corinthians 15:52]. People who have no belief in a future resurrection have little conception of how
Christians view the grave. Burial becomes more of a sowing than a disposal.
IV. TRUE FORGIVENESS - Verses 14-21.
It is little wonder that Joseph's brothers felt afraid after Jacob's death. Guilt makes cowards out of
men. Had they truly considered Joseph's character it does, however, seem that they could have seen
that he was above revenge.
Some have insinuated that Joseph's brothers were not truthful and fabricated the message attributed
to Jacob [verses 16-17]. There is no reason to make this accusation. Why would Jacob not feel
concerned for the harmony of his family after his death. In Joseph we once again see an example of
godly forgiveness:
A. Joseph forgave his brethren freely. He had absolute power over them in the position God had given
him [verse 19]. He needed nothing from them. His only motive was to follow the example of God who
freely forgives sinners [Ephesians 4:32].
B. Joseph believed that God in His sovereign plan could use even men's evil intentions and actions to

carry out His purposes. This knowledge gives peace to those who suffer unjustly. Verse 20 has often
seemed to the author of this study as an Old Testament version of Romans 8:28.
C. Joseph not only forgave but blessed and comforted those who had mistreated him [Matthew
V. BLESSED AS PROMISED - verses 22-23.
God never fails to keep His word. Joseph was blessed as promised [Genesis 49:22-26].
VI. FAITH IN THE PROMISES - verses 24-25.
What a touching scene. Four generations of men die with- out receiving the fulfillment of God's
promise, yet their faith never falters [Hebrews 11:13]. Joseph, a prince in Egypt, thinks only of
Israel's future in Canaan. Like Jacob he wishes to be buried in Canaan. Unlike Jacob he is willing to
wait until God brings the nation out of Egypt before his body is carried to its final burial. Joseph's faith
was honored years later [Exodus 13:18-19; Joshua 24:32]. (Joseph's death was doubtless an
international news item. With what pomp he was mem- orialized. Strangely the Bible is silent on all
this. Does this not illustrate God's view of this. Only matters of spiritual significance are of eternal
importance. This world's honors are empty).
VII. A COFFIN IN EGYPT - verse 26.
Genesis begins with man in the Garden of Eden and ends with a coffin in Egypt. What desolations sin
hath wrought. Since Adam's Fall, the end of man has been death and burial in this world, of which
Egypt was a type. The best hope for the future that Egypt can offer is a mummy.
How we rejoice that the end of Genesis is not the end of the Bible. The great plan of redemption
unfolds throughout Scripture to be consummated in the book of Revelation. A coffin in Egypt is not the
final chapter. Through Jesus Christ paradise will be restored. In a sense things will end as they began
[Revelations 21 & 22] only better [Romans 5:20b].

Genesis Appendix 1

The following was given to the author by an elderly pastor.
GENESIS Chapter 5 - Generations:
1. Adam was 130 years old when Seth was born.
2. Adam was 235 years old when Enos was born.
3. Adam was 325 years old when Cainan was born.
4. Adam was 395 years old when Mahalaleel was born.
5. Adam was 460 years old when Jared was born.
6. Adam was 622 years old when Enock was born.

7. Adam was 687 years old when Methuselah was born.
8. Adam was 874 years old when Lamech was born.
Lamech was 56 years old when Adam died. Methusaleh and Lamech could have received
the story of creation direct from Adam. Lamech was the father of Noah. Noah was the
tenth generation from Adam. Methusaleh could have given Adam's story of creation to
Noah's sons, Ham, Shem and Japeth, who were 100 years old when Methusaleh died.
The Flood was in the 600th year of Noah's life. From the Creation of Adam to the flood
was 1656 years. Noah lived 350 years after the Flood. Abram was 56 years old when Noah
died. Shem lived 500 years after the Flood. Jacob was 48 years old when Shem died.
The account of Creation and the account of the Flood could have come from Adam to
Methusaleh, from Methusaleh to Shem, and from Shem to Jacob. The twelve sons of
Israel (Jacob) knew the story well when they dwelt in Egypt. Moses, who wrote the account
of Creation and of the Flood, belonged to the third generation in Egypt.
The message could have come from Adam to Methusaleh, then to Shem, then to Jacob,
then to Levi and then to Moses. This account could have reached Moses from Adam by
word-of- mouth in five generations.

Genesis Appendix 2
The Capacity of the Ark
In order to preserve both human and terrestrial animal life on the earth, God instructed
Noah to build a huge barge-like structure called an ark, in which the occupants would be
saved from destruction in the coming Flood. According to God's instructions, the Ark was
to be designed for capacity and floating stability rather than for speed or navigability. The
dimensions were to be 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide, and 30 cubits high.
The question is: how long is a cubit? The Babylonians had a royal cubit of about 19.8
inches; the Egyptians had a longer and a shorter cubit of about 10.65 and 17.6 inches,
respectively; and the Hebrews apparently had a long cubit of 20.4 inches (Ezekiel 40:5)
and a common cubit of about 17.5 inches. Another common cubit of antiquity was 24 inches.
Most writers believe the Biblical cubit to be 18 inches.

To be very conservative, assume the cubit to have been only 17.5 inches, the shortest of
all cubits, so far as is known. In that case, the Ark would have been 438 feet long, 72.9 feet
wide, and 43.8 feet high. It can be shown hydro-dynamically that a gigantic box of such
dimensions would be exceedingly stable, almost impossible to capsize. Even in a sea of
gigantic waves, the ark could be tilted through any angle up to just short of 90o and would
immediately thereafter right itself again. Further- more, it would tend to align itself parallel
with the direction of major wave advance and thus be subject to minimum pitching most of
the time.
With the dimensions as calculated, the total volumetric capacity of the Ark was
approximately 1,400,000 cubic feet, which is equal to the volumetric capacity of 522
standard livestock cars such as used on modern American railroads. Since it is known that
about 240 sheep can be transported in one stock car, a total of over 125,000 sheep could
have been carried in the Ark.
Henry M. Morris, Ph.D., The Genesis Record, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1976,
p. 181.

Genesis Appendix 3
The Number of Animals
In these verses are contained the instructions for the preservation of the animals in the
Ark. A male and a female of each "kind" were to be brought into the Ark, "to keep them
alive." The scope was quite comprehensive: "two of every sort." God had a purpose for
each created kind, so He intended that all the kinds be preserved through the Flood. In
addition to this general rule, seven animals of each "clean" kind (evidently those intended
for use as domestic and sacrificial animals) were to be taken on board [7:2].
Most land animals are small, of course; so this did not by any means present an impossible
task. Authorities on biological taxonomy estimate that there are less than eighteen
thousand species of mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians living in the world today.
This number might be doubled to allow for known extinct land animals (that is, those known
from actual fossil records, not the imaginary transitional forms that never existed except in
the minds of evolutionists). Allowing then for two of each species, there might have to be a
total of about seventy-two thousand animals on the Ark -- say seventy-five thousand; to
allow for the five extra animals in each "clean" species.

Since, as we have already seen, the Ark could have carried as many as one hundred and
twenty-five thousand sheep, and since the average size of land animals is surely less than
that of sheep, it is obvious that no more than 60 percent of its capacity would have to be
used for animals. Actually, it would have been less than this, since the Biblical "kind" is
probably considerably broader than that of the arbitrary "species" category of modern
There were a few large animals (elephants, dinosaurs, giraffes, etc.) to be carried on the
Ark, but many more small ones (mice, robins, lizards, frogs, etc.). Even the large animals
were probably represented as young (therefore small) individuals, since they had to spend
a year in the Ark without reproductive activity and then go out to repopulate the earth.
Thus, the specified size of the Ark seems ideally appropriate for the animals it had to
carry. There was of course also ample room for the approximately one million species of
insects (many of these, no doubt, could have survived outside the Ark), as well as food for
the animals, for living quarters for Noah and his family, and for any other necessary
Henry Morris, p. 185.

John Calvin, Commentary on Genesis.
The famous reformer is very practical and often presents a viewpoint quite different from
modern authors.
B. H. Carroll, An Interpretation of the English Bible: Genesis.
The section on Genesis is very good.
Matthew Henry, Bible Commentary.
This older commentary is a must for those who teach Bible classes.
H. C. Leupold, Exposition of Genesis, 2 volumes.
Henry M. Morris, The Genesis Record.
Dr. Morris is not only a good Bible student, but a scientist and an expert in the field of
Creation Science. His book is a highly recommended study.
A. W. Pink, Gleanings in Genesis.

Mr. Pink is very interesting, but he often goes overboard in the application of Biblical