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An Argument of the Book of Genesis

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MESSAGE STATEMENT:1

After God’s word irrupts with the blessing of creation, mankind fell under the deception of the serpent and god initiated necessary judgment but promised to reestablish his rule on earth over evil through man and began to accomplish that through the line of Adam, Seth, Noah, Shem, Abraham, Isaac, AND Jacob.

I. THE CREATION OF THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH: In six days God through His sovereign word brought about order & form and fullness & harmony to the earth and the universe, then He blessed and set apart the seventh day for rest because on it He ceased from all His work of creation 1:1-2:3

A. Introduction to Creation: God, through his Spirit created the entire universe out of a dark, formless, and empty chaos 1:1-2

1. Summary Statement: In the beginning God created the universe (the heavens and the earth) 1:1

2. Circumstances--Description of the Chaos: The earth was in a chaotic state (formless and empty) covered with darkness and the Spirit of God was moving over the earth 1:2

B. Development of Creation: In the course of six days God brought about order & form and fullness & harmony to the earth and the universe through His creative word 1:3-31

1. First Three Days: In three days God brought about order & form to the earth through His sovereign and creative word 1:3-14

a. Day One---Light: God created light through His sovereign word and divided it from the darkness 1:3-5

b. Day Two--Firmament: God created the sky through His sovereign word and separated the waters above and below it 1:6-8

c. Day Three---Land & Vegetation: God created the masses of land and seas through His sovereign word and brought about the vegetation in order on the land 1:9-13

2. Second Three Days: In three more days God brought about fullness and harmony withing the created universe through His sovereign and creative word 1:14-31

a. Day Four--Light Bearers: God created through His sovereign word light bearers in the heavens to govern the temporal order of life (days, seasons, years) on the earth 1:14-19

b. Day Five--Creatures of Water & Air: God filled the sea and the air by creating animal life through His sovereign word and commanding them with His blessing to multiply 1:20-23

c. Day Six--The Clamax of Creation--Man: God created through His sovereign word animal life for the land and human life to rule in His image over creation and commanded them with His blessing to multiply 1:24-31

C. The Goal of Creation--Rest: God blessed and set apart the seventh day of Creation for rest because on it He ceased from all His work of creation 2:1-3

1. Seventh Day--Creation Completed: By the seventh day of creation God had completed His work of creation 2:1-2a

2. Rest: God blessed and set apart the seventh day because on it He ceased His work 1:2b-3

II. WHAT BECAME OF THE CREATION OF THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH:2 God’s good creation of the man and woman fell to the effects of evil as Adam and Eve rebelled under the temptation of the servant, and their descendants through Cain spread murder and looked for life apart from God in culture, but hope was found in God’s promise of deliverance and the line of Seth through Adam who prompted the worship of the Lord 2:4---4:26

A. The Creation of Man and Woman in the Garden:3 In this section describing what became of God’s good creation Moses describes the Lord God’s ( <yhOa hzhy ) creation of the man with a capacity to serve and obey Him in the garden where he was placed, and the creation of the woman as a corresponding helper to perfect creation and as a design for all marriage in society 2:4-25

1. Title: This is the record (tôledôt) of what became of God’s good creation 2:4

2. Creation of the Man: Before the earth was cultivated and flourishing the Lord God ( <yhOa hzhy ) formed the man with the capacity to serve him 2:5-7

a. Circumstances: The earth was uncultivated and unproductive for lack of any rain and any man, but the soil was being watered by a mist 2:5-6

b. Creation: The Lord God (<yhOa hzhy ) formed the man out of the dust from the ground and imparted His life giving breath to him 2:7

3. Placement in the Garden: Into a bountiful garden environment the Lord God (<yhOa hzhy ) placed the man as God’s own spiritual servant (vice-regent) and gave him a commandment that he might enjoy life 2:8-17

a. Provision: The Lord God (<yhOa hzhy ) prepared a garden in Eden with all that the heart could desire 2:8-14

1) Trees of Life and Knowledge: In the garden that God planted was the tree of life as well as the tree of the knowledge of good and evil 5:8-9

2) Source of Life: The garden was the source of life to the rich and productive regions of the world 2:10-14

b. Prohibition: The Lord God (<yhOa hzhy ) placed man in the garden to serve Him and to obey the commandment 2:15-17

1) God placed the man in the setting of the garden to serve Him 2:15

2) God gave the man His first commandment that the man might enjoy life and not die 2:16-17

4. Creation of the Woman: Because there was no corresponding partner for the man in the service of God, the Lord God (<yhOa hzhy ) provided the woman, thereby perfecting creation4 2:18-23

a. Circumstances: The man’s condition of being alone, intensified by his observation of the animal world, was not good5 2:18-20

1) God’s Determination: The Lord God (<yhOa hzhy ) determined to make a corresponding helper to complete man 2:18

2) Man’s Awareness: The Lord God (<yhOa hzhy ) made man aware of his loneliness when He began to exercise his dominion (as vice-regent) over the animals 2:19-20

b. Creation: The Lord God (<yhOa hzhy ) created a woman from the life of the man to be his corresponding partner in the service of God 2:21-23

1) Formation of Eve: Out of the sleeping man the Lord God (<yhOa hzhy ) formed Eve to correspond to him physically and spiritually 2:221-22a

2) Presentation of Eve: To the delight of the man the Lord God (<yhOa hzhy ) presented her as the man’s new partner 2:22b-23

5. Epilogue--Foundation of Marriage: Moses proclaims that this act of creation is the foundation of marriage in society--one man and one woman united in one life without fear of exploitation 2:24-25

B. After the man and woman fell from the serpent’s crafty confrontation they reluctantly confessed to the Lord God and He decreed righteous judgments against them which also promised of future deliverance, and made gracious provisions for them 3:1-24

1. The Temptation and the Fall: Through a crafty confrontation with the serpent the woman was drawn into rebellion against the Lord by eating of the forbidden fruit and giving to her husband 3:1-7

a. Prologue--Natures Compared: The humans were unashamedly naked (2:25), but the serpent was the craftiest of all God’s creatures 3:1a

b. Discussion About God’s Prohibition: The serpent engaged the woman in a discussion about the prohibition of God’s Word 3:1b-3

1) Questioning: The serpent questioned the woman about God’s ( <yhOa ) commandment 3:1b

2) Response: The woman explained what God ( <yhOa) had said, but in the process made several significant changes 3:2-3

a) Disparaged Privileges: The woman disparaged the privileges God had given 3:2-3a

b) Added to Prohibition: The woman added to the prohibition 2:3b

c) Minimized Penalty: The woman minimized the penalty for disobedience 2:3c

c. Denial of God’s Word: The serpent denied the penalty for sin, raising doubts about the integrity of God ( <yhOa) giving the commandment 3:4-5

1) Denied the Word: The serpent boldly denied God’s word 3:4

2) Questioned God’s Integrity: The serpent cast doubt on the integrity of God 3:5

d. Disobedience of the Lord: When the woman concentrated on the forbidden tree with all its appeal to her senses, she disobeyed the Lord and ate from the tree and gave to her husband to eat 3:6

1) Drawing into Sin: The appeal of the forbidden fruit to the senses was sufficient to draw the woman into sin 3:6a

a) Practical: The fruit was good for food

b) Aesthetic: The fruit was pleasing to look at

c) Spiritual: The fruit would make one wise

2) The Sin: The woman ate and gave also to her husband to eat 3:6b

e. Aftermath--Knowledge of Sin: The man and the woman suffered the consequences of their disobedience, namely, the knowledge of sin 3:7

2. The Oracles of God at the Fall: After receiving a reluctant confession from the man and the woman, the Lord God decreed righteous judgments on the serpent, woman and man which promised future deliverance, and made gracious provisions for the man and woman 3:8-24

a. Call to Confession: The Lord God (<yhOa hzhy ) called Adam and Eve to confess their disobedience, but they delayed their confession with attempts to vindicate themselves 3:8-13

1) The Hiding: Adam and Eve, ashamed of their nakedness and afraid of God, hid in the midst of the trees 3:8

2) Adam’s Confession: In response to the Lord’s interrogation, Adam eventually confessed that he ate, but only after blaming God for giving him the woman 3:9-12

3) Eve’s Confession: In response to the Lord’s interrogation, Eve also confessed, but only after shifiting the blame to the serpent 3:13

b. Righteous Decrees: The Lord God decreed righteous judgments--on the serpent, the woman, and the man--which also promised future relief and ultimate victory 3:14-19

1) Curse on the Serpent: In His curse on the serpent, God declared that there would be perpetual conflict between good and evil until the seed of the woman triumphed 3:14--15

2) Oracle to the Woman: In the oracle for the woman, god declared that there would be increased pain in childbirth and male domination in life 3:16

3) Oracle to the Man: In the oracle for the man, God declared that there would be a curse on the earth, making human survival a painful experience that would end only through death 3:17-19

c. Gracious Provision: The Lord God provided skins to cover the nakedness of the man and his wife and prevented them from living forever in their sinful condition 3:20-24

1) Adam’s Faith: Adam demonstrated their faith in the Lord’s words by naming his wife Eve 3:20

2) God’s Provision: God made provision for their sin and shame by providing animal skins to clothe them 5:21

3) God’s Prevention: God prevented their living on under the curse by driving them out of the garden and hindering their return 3:22-24

C. The Far Reaching Developments of the Fall in Civilization: The far reaching effects of the fall were that Cain murdered his brother able and the line of Cain in creased in its murder of others, but hope was found in God’s gracious protection of Cain and the line of Seth through Adam which prompted the worship the Lord 4:1-26

1. The Story of Cain and Abel: In spite of God’s warning against sin, Cain murdered his brother, Abel, because his brother’s offering was accepted and his was not, denied responsibility for the crime, and protested the severity of the punishment prompting God to provide protection for him 4:1-16

a. Cain’s Anger: When Cain’s offering was not accepted but Abel’s was, Cain became very angry 4:1-5

1) The Participants: Cain and Abel were born to Eve; the firstborn--considered a provision from the Lord--became a tiller of the ground and the second, a shepherd of the sheep 4:1-2

a) The Births: Eve gave birth to Cain and Abel, the birth of Cain being considered a provision of the Lord 4:1-2a

b) Their Tasks: Abel became a shepherd of the sheep, but Cain a tiller of the ground 4:2b

2) The Occasion: Cain and Abel brought sacrifices to the Lord, Abel’s being accepted but Cain’s rejected--a rejection that enraged Cain 4:3-5

a) The Offering: Cain brought an offering, but Abel brought the best he had 4:3-4a

b) Responses: When Abel and his offering were preferred over Cain and his offering , Cain was enraged 4:4b-5

b. Cain’s Murder: In spite of the Lord’s warning to master sin, Cain murdered his brother 4:6-8

1) Interrogation: The Lord interrogated Cain about his anger and advised him to do that which was right 4:6-8

2) Murder: Cain deliberately killed his brother in the field 4:8

c. Cain’s Denial: When the Lord questioned Cain about the murder of his brother, Cain denied any knowledge of it and any responsibility for his brother 4:9

d. Cain’s Protest: When the Lord established the punishment for the crime, Cain protested the severity of it, drawing a gracious protection from the Lord 4:10-15

1) Cain Banished: The Lord banished Cain from the fertile land 4:10-12

2) Cain Protested: Cain protested the severity of the punishment, fearing blood revenge 4:13-14

3) God’s Provision: The Lord graciously provided protection for the murder 4:15

e. Epilogue: Cain fled from the presence of the Lord 4:16

2. The Beginning of Civilization: In contrast to Cain’s descendants, who, while altering the instructions of God and disdaining the value of life, produced cities, music, and all kinds of implements for the good life, the descendants of Adam through Seth primarily promoted the worship of the Lord 4:17-26

a. The Family of Cain: The family of Cain altered the institutions of God and disdained the value of life but at the same time produced cities, music and all types of implements for the good life (apart from God) 4:17-24

1) The Line of Cain: Cain fathered Enoch, after whom he named a city and through whom the line developed to Lamech 4:17-18

a) Birth: Cain knew his wife and fathered Enoch 4:17a

b) Memorial: Cain built a city and named it after his son 4:17b

c) Descendants: Enoch continued the line of descendants toward Lamech 4:18

2) The Evil of Lamech: Lamech, who through two wives fathered those who produced all kinds of implements for the enjoyment and convenience of life, exulted over killing a youth 4:19-24

a) Marriage: Altering God’s institution of marriage, Lamech took two wives and fathered those who produced cultural things 4:19-22

b) Murder: Disdaining the value of life, Lamech exulted in his prowess of killing a youth and his expectation of greater vengeance than Cain 4:23-24

b. The Family of Adam through Seth: The family of Adam through Seth preserved the worship of the Lord God through birth and proclamation 4:25-26

1) Birth: Adam knew his wife and fathered a son 4:25a

2) Memorial: Seth was named to commemorate God’s provision of the son 4:25b

3) Descendants: Seth continued the line of Enosh, at which time people began to proclaim the name of the Lord 4:26

III. WHAT BECAME OF ADAM:6 As the curse worked itself out in the human race through Seth who was born of Adam and Eve whom God had created, the effects of the curse was increasingly felt through death and an overstepping of the bounds by superhumans until the Lord determined to destroy all living creatures, but hope was seen in Enoch, whom God took, and the grace which Noah found in the Lord’s sight 5:1--6:8

A. The Outworking of the Curse in the Human Race--The Genealogy from Adam to Noah:7 After God created man and woman in His image and with his blessing the human race, living under the curse, multiplied continually and died just as regularly--with the exception of Enoch who walked with God--all of which prompted a hope for relief from the curse 5:1-32

1. Title: This is what became (tôledôt) of Adam 5:1a

2. Adam to Seth: After 130 years, Adam, who was created in God’s image and blessed by God, fathered Seth in his image and then died at the age of 930 years 5:1b-5

a. Creation: God made human beings as His image and blessed them 5:1b-2

b. Development: Adam fathered Seth after his image and then died 5:3-5

3. Seth to Enosh: After 105 years, Seth fathered Enosh and then died at the age of 912 years 5:6-8

4. Enosh to Kenan: After 90 years, Enosh fathered Kenan and then died at the age of 905 years 5:9-11

5. Kenan to Mehalalel: After 70 years, Kenan fathered Mehalalel and then died at the age of 910 years 5:12-14

6. Mahalalel to Jared: After 65 years, Mahalalel fathered Jared and then died at the age of 895 5:15-17

7. Jared to Enoch: After 162 years, Jared fathered Enoch and then died at the age of 962 years 5:18-20

8. Enoch to Methusalah: After 65 years, Enoch fathered Methuselah and then walked with God for 300 years until God took him 4:21-24

a. Enoch Fathered Methuselah: Enoch fathered Methuselah at age 65 5:21

b. Enoch Walked with God: After the birth of Methuselah, Enoch walked with God for 300 years 5:22-23

c. God Took Enoch: Because Enoch walked with God, He took him 5:24

9. Methuselah to Lamech: After 187 years, Methuselah fathered Lamech and then died at the age of 969 years 5:25-27

10. Lamech to Noah: After 182 years, Lamech fathered Noah, hoping for comfort from the curse, and then died at the age of 777 years 5:28-31

11. Noah to Shem, Ham, and Japheth 5:32

B. God’s Grief over the Wickedness of Humankind--The Great Wickedness:8 In response to the wickedness on the earth, in which superhuman beings overstepped their bounds and humankind’s thoughts and deeds were completely evil, the Lord God determined to destroy all living creatures except the recipients of grace 6:1-8

1. The Overstepping of Superhuman Beings: When superhuman beings overstepped their bounds by taking as wives all the women they wanted, giving rise to the appearance of ancient heroes, the Lord warned that He would withdraw his protection 6:1-4

a. Wickedness: Superhuman beings, seeing the beauty of human women, took them as wives9 6:1-2

b. Oracle: The divine Lord placed a limit on his protection of human life 6:3

c. Qualification: The Nephilim, the ancient heroes, appeared on earth after the marriages10 6:4

2. God’s Determination to Destroy: When the Lord saw how grievously wicked humankind was, He determined to destroy all living creatures from the earth except Noah, who found grace 6:5-8

a. Wickedness: All of men’s and women’s thoughts and actions were evil all the time 6:5

b. Oracle: Because the Lord was grieved over humankind, He determined to destroy all living creatures 6:6-7

1) Emotional: The Lord was grievously pained by human kind 6:6

2) Volitional: The Lord determined to destroy all living creatures from the earth 6:7

c. Qualification: Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord 6:8

IV. WHAT BECAME OF NOAH:11 Because humankind was corrupt the Lord destroyed the world with a devastating flood but He graciously saved creation and established a new order through Noah proclaiming His high regard for life through a prohibition against murder and promising never to destroy the earth again through water whereupon Noah proclaimed the continuance of hope through Shem with Japheth and the sons of Ham (Canaan) under him 6:9--9:29

A. The Judgment of the Flood:12 Because the race was corrupt and filled with violence, the Lord destroyed it and its world with a devastating flood but used Noah, his righteous servant, to save creation and establish a new order after the judgment of the flood 6:9--8:22

1. Title: This is what became (tôledôt) of Noah 6:9a

2. The Commission of Noah to Build the Ark: God instructed Noah, His righteous servant, to prepare the ark, because a great flood would destroy the corrupt, violent race 6:9b-22

a. Noah’s Character: Noah was a righteous in a world that was characterized by evil 6:9b-12

1) Righteous: Noah was righteous and walked with God 6:9b-10

2) Corrupt: The entire human race was corrupt and filled with violence 6:11-12

b. God’s Commission: God instructed Noah to prepare an ark to save himself and his family and every creature because the entire world was to be destroyed by a flood 6:13-22

1) Forewarning: God forewarned Noah of the destruction to come 6:13

2) Instructing: God Instructed Noah to build the ark 6:14-21

3) Obedience: Noah did as the Lord had commanded him 6:22

3. Destruction by a Great Flood: After Noah, his family, and the animals entered the ark, the Lord destroyed the entire earth and all its inhabitants by a great flood 7:1-24

a. Entered the Ark: In obedience to the Lord’s instructions, Noah, his family and the animals entered the ark 7:1-9

b. Destruction: The Lord brought a great flood on the earth, and every living thing was destroyed 7:10-24

1) Shut in the Ark: Those who entered the ark on the day the flood began were shut in safely by the Lord 7:10-16

2) All on the Earth Died; The waters prevailed over the whole earth, so that every living thing died 7:17-24

4. After the Flood: When the flood receded and the earth was once again inhabitable, Noah obediently emptied the ark and faithfully offered a sacrifice that God accepted 8:1-22

a. Ending the Flood: God began to restore the world by ending the storm and eliminating its effect 8:1-5

1) Remembered Noah: God remembered Noah 8:1a

2) Restored the Earth: God began to restore the earth 8:1b-5

b. Noah Waited: Noah waited until the earth was inhabitable before leaving the ark 8:6-19

1) Test Conditions: Noah tested the new environment by releasing birds 8:6-12

2) Emptied the Ark: Noah emptied the ark after he saw the condition of the earth 8:13-19

c. Offered a Sacrifice: The Lord accepted Noah’s sacrifice of the clean animals and withdrew His curse of the flood 8:20-22

1) Sacrificed: Noah sacrificed a pleasing sacrifice to the Lord 8:20

2) The Lord’s Resolve: The Lord resolved not to judge the evil race in this manner again 8:21-22

B. The Covenant of God Through Noah: Demonstrating His high regard for life, God established a new order with the blessing of fruitfulness and the prohibition of taking another person’s life and promised by covenant never to destroy every living creature again by such a flood--the rainbow being the reminder of this gracious covenant 9:1-17

1. Establishment of a New Order: God established the new order by blessing Noah as he had Adam and by instructing humankind that, rather than destroy human life, they must populate the earth and preserve life 9:1-7

a. Exhortation: God began the new order by blessing Noah as He had Adam and by allowing people to eat meat without blood 9:1-4

1) Fill the Earth: Human beings were to be fruitful and multiply 9:1

2) Provision: Human beings were allowed to eat of every living thing 9:2-3

3) Prohibition: Human beings were not to eat animals alive, that is, with the blood in them 9:4

b. Prohibition: God prohibited people from shedding human blood, for humans were in the image of God 9:5-6

1) Punished by God: Any violation of the law of shedding blood would be punished by God 9:5

2) Image of God: Anyone who shed the blood of another person would be put to death, for humans were in the image of God 9:6

c. Exhortation to Fill the Earth: God restated His instructions for humankind to fill the earth 9:7

2. Covenant Promise: God promised with an unconditional, enduring covenant that He would never again destroy the world with such a flood and sealed His promise with the sign of the bow (rainbow) 9:8-17

a. Sermon: God promised with a covenant that He would never again destroy the world with such a flood 9:8-11

b. Sign: God sealed his covenant with the sign of the rainbow, reminding Himself and the race of the covenant promise 9:12-16

c. Reiteration: God reiterated the sign of the covenant of peace 9:17

C. The Oracle of Noah--the Curse on Canaan:13 Noah cursed Canaan, the descendant of Ham, with slavery but blessed Shem and Japheth because, when he had become intoxicated and had lain naked in his tent, Ham had responded with disrespect, whereas Shem and Japheth had respectfully covered their father’s nakedness 9:18-29

1. Prologue: The entire earth was populated by those who descended from Shem, Ham, and Japheth--Ham being the father of Canaan 9:18-19

2. Event: In response to Noah’s intoxication and nakedness, Ham acted with disrespect, but Shem and Japheth acted with reverence in covering their father 9:20-23

a. Noah’s Behavior: After planting a vineyard, Noah became drunk and lay naked in his tent 9:20-21

b. The Sons’ Response: Ham Acted with disrespect, but his brothers covered their father’s nakedness 9:22-23

3. Oracle: Upon learning what Ham had done, Noah pronounced an oracle, cursing Canaan with abject slavery and blessing Shem and Japheth 9:24-27

a. Noah’s Knowledge: Waking from the wine, Noah learned how his youngest son had acted 9:24

b. Noah’s Oracle: Noah proclaimed that Canaan, the son of Ham, would be cursed with slavery to Shem and Japheth

1) Canaan: Canaan, the son of Ham, would be cursed with abject slavery 9:25

2) Shem: The Lord, the God of Shem, would be blessed so that Shem would be served by Canaan 9:26

3) Japheth: Japheth would be enlarged and settle in Shem’s tents causing Canaan to serve him 9:27

4. Epilogue:14 Noah lived 350 years after the flood and died at the age of 950 years 9:28-29

V. WHAT BECAME OF SHEM, HAM AND JAPHETH:15 All of the nations of the world descended from Shem, Ham and Japheth among whom were the Canaanite tribes and the eastern powers, but they did not scatter in obedience to the Lord’s command but as a result of the Lord’s judgment upon their rebellious apostasy in the fourth generation 10:1--11:9

A. The Table of Nations:16 From Shem, Ham, and Japheth descended all the nations of the world in their lands and according to their languages, among whom were the Canaanite tribes, who occupied the land of Canaan, and the eastern powers, who derived from Nimrod of the Hamitic line 10:1-32

1. Title: This is what became (tôledôt) of Shem, Ham, and Japheth after the flood 10:1

2. Descendants of Japheth: The descendants of Japheth settled in the north and west and became the founders of the Greek and Scythian tribes 10:2-5

3. Descendants of Ham: The descendants of Ham settled in the area of Egypt and Canaan, and from these tribes came the founders of the great cities of the east 10:6-20

a. Descendant of Ham: The descendants of Ham were Cush, Mizraim, Put, and Canaan 10:6

b. Descendants of Cush: The descendants of Cush were the people of the arabian peninsula 10:7

c. Expansion: Nimrod founded the great cities of the east 10:8-12

d. Descendants of Mizraim: The Descendants of Mizraim were the tribes of northern Africa 10:13-14

e. Expansion: Canaan produced the Canaanite tribes (cliché list) in the land promised to Israel 10:15-20

4. Descendants of Shem: The descendants of Shem, the ancestor of Eber, settled in the eastern lands and in the region of the Persian Gulf 10:21-31

a. The descendants of Shem were Elam, Asshur, Arphaxad, Lud, and Aram 10:21-22

b. Tribes: The descendants of Shem formed the major tribes of the eastern gulf regions 10:23-31

5. Colophon: These were the divisions of the nations 10:32

B. The Dispersion of the Nations:17 When the human race settled together to preserve their unity and develop their fame by building a grandiose city-tower, the Lord interrupted their collective apostasy and scattered them across the face of the earth by confusing the language that united them 11:1-9

1. Prologue: The human race was united by one language 11:1

2. Human Endeavor: Migrating to the land of Shinar, the people resolved to build a grandiose city and tower to preserve their identity and their unity 11:2-4

a. Event: The people migrated to, and settled in, Shinar’s fertile valley 11:2

b. Resolution: The people resolved to make bricks and build a city and a tower so that they might preserve their name and their unity 11:3-4

1) Ingenuity: They resolved to make bricks out of the materials available to them 11:3

2) Ambition: They resolved to develop a tower-city to make a name for themselves and to prevent scattering 11:4

a) Purpose: They wished to preserve their name 11:4a

b) Fear: They did not want to be scattered abroad 11:4b

3. The Lord’s intervention: Investigating the enterprise of the human race and knowing the dangerous potential of their unified pride, the Lord confounded their speech and scattered them abroad 11:5-8

a. Event: The Lord descended to investigate their building 11:5

b. Resolution: Knowing their potential was dangerously evil, the Lord resolved to scatter them across the face of the earth 11:6-8

1) Observation: The Lord concluded that nothing would be withheld from their designs 11:6

2) Resolution: The Lord resolved to destroy their unity 11:7

3) Solution: The Lord scattered them across the face of the earth so that their project ceased 11:8

4. Epilogue: The human race was disunited and scattered by the Lord’s making a babble of their one language at Babel 11:9

VI. WHAT BECAME OF SHEM:18 Having just traced the disobedient families of the earth coming from Noah’s sons through a horizontal genealogy, this vertical genealogy traces the line of blessing through Shem, the son of Noah, to Abram, the descendant of Shem 11:10-26

A. Shem to Aprachshad: Shem was 100 years old when be became the father of Aprachshad then he lived 500 more years and had other sons and daughters 11:10-11

B. Arpachshad to Shelah: Arpachshad was 35 years old when he became the father of Shelah, then he lived 403 more years and had other sons and daughters 11:12-13

C. Shelah to Eber: Shelah was 30 years old when he became the father of Eber, then he lived 403 more years and had other sons and daughters 11:14-15

D. Eber to Peleg: Eber was 34 years old when he became the father of Peleg, then he lived 430 more years and had other sons and daughters 11:16-17

E. Peleg to Reu: Peleg was 30 years old when he became the father of Reu, then he lived 209 years more and had other sons and daughters 11:18-19

F. Reu to Serug: Rue was 32 years old when he became the father of Serug, then he lived 207 more years and had other sons and daughters 11:20-21

G. Serug to Nahor: Serug was 30 years old when he became the father of Nahor, then he lived 200 more years and had other sons and daughters 11:22-23

H. Nahor to Terah: Nahor was 29 years old when he became the father of Terah, then he lived 119 more years and had other sons and daughters 11:24-25

I. Terah: Terah was 70 years old when he became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran 11:26

VII. WHAT BECAME OF TERAH:19 In the development of Terah’s line his son, Abraham, receives the promise from God that he will give him a new land, make him a great nation and make him a blessing to all by forsaking his homeland and coming to the land of promise whereupon he places the promise at risk through manipulation to protect it, but the Lord is faith to protect and confirms it many times until finally Abraham is able to trust it (Isaac) with God whereupon Abraham transfers the promise to Isaac 11:27--25:11

A. Title: This is what became (tôledôt) of Terah 11:27a

B. Transition--The Record of Terah’s Obedience: After Terah gave birth to Abram, Nahor and Haran (the father of Lot), Haran died, Abram married barren Sarai and Nahor married Milchah, and Terah took them out from Ur of the Chaldeans in order to enter the land of Canaan and went as far as Haran where they settled and Terah died at the age of 205 years 11:27-32

1. The Birth of Abram and His Brothers: Terah became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran (who became the father of Lot) 11:27a

2. The Death of Haran: Haran died in the presence of his father Terah in the land of his birth--Ur of the Chaldeans 11:28

3. The Marriages of the Two Surviving Sons: Abram married Sarai, who was barren, and Nahor married Milcah, the daughter of Haran, the father of Michah and Ischar 11:29-30

4. Pilgrimage of the Family--Including Lot: Terah took Abram, Lot (the son of Haran) and Sarah (his daughter-in-law) out from Ur of the Chaldeans in order to enter the land of Canaan and went as far as Haran where they settled and Terah died at the age of 205 years 11:31-32

C. The Record of Abram’s Obedience: Abram obeyed the commandment of the Lord to forsake his homeland for the promise of a new land, a new nation, and personal greatness, by journeying to the land of Canaan, and to be a blessing by making proclamation of his new-found faith through worship 11:27--12:9

1. Call: The Lord Called Abram to forsake his homeland for the promise of a new land, a new nation, and personal greatness, and to be the means of blessing for the world 12:1-3

a. Leave: Abram was to leave his homeland for the promised land 12:1

b. Blessing: God promised Abram great personal blessing in order that he might be a blessing 12:2

c. Blessing: The people of the world would be blessed if they shared in Abram’s blessing 12:3

2. Obedience: Although advanced in years, Abram journeyed to the land of the Canaanites with his wife, his nephew, his possessions, and his proselytes 12:4-6

a. Obeyed: Abram obeyed the Lord and went to Canaan, even though he was seventy-five years old 12:4

b. Those with Him: Abram took his wife, his nephew, his possessions, and the proselytes he made at Haran 12:5

c. Entered Canaan: Abram entered the land of the Canaanites and stopped at a shrine near Shechem 12:6

3. Confirmation: The Lord appeared to Abram and promised to give the land to his descendants 12:7a

4. Obedience: Although he had to journey on toward the South, Abram made proclamation to his faith in the Lord at his altars 12:7b-9

a. Made an Altar: In response to the Lord’s appearance, Abram made an altar 12:7b

b. Made Another Altar: When Abram settled between Bethel and Ai, he made another altar and made proclamation of the Lord by name 12:8

c. Journeyed South: Abram continually journeyed on toward the South 12:9

D. The Sojourn in Egypt to Protect the Promise: When Abram passed his wife off as his sister, fearing that otherwise the Egyptians would kill him for her, he jeopardized the promise of blessing by losing his wife to Pharaoh, but the Lord intervened with plagues to deliver him and his wife from Egypt 12:10-20

1. Protection in Egypt: When Abram traveled to Egypt to escape the famine (and thus protect the promise), he feared that the Egyptians would kill him for Sarai and so asked her to say that she was his sister 12:10-13

a. Sojourn: Abram went to sojourn in Egypt because of the famine 12:10

b. Self-Protection: Recognizing that Sarai was very beautiful and fearing that the Egyptians might kill him to get her, Abram told her to say she was his sister 12:11-13

2. Sarai Taken: When Pharaoh’s officials praised Sarai’s beauty to him, she was taken into Pharaoh’s harem, and Abram was paid generously for her 12:14-16

a. Sarai Taken: The princes praised the woman to Pharaoh, who took her into the harem 12:14-15

b. Abram Paid: Pharaoh paid Abram a generous dowry for Sarai 12:16

3. The Lord’s Intervention: When the Lord intervened by inflicting Pharaoh’s household with plagues, Pharaoh rebuked Abram for his deception and expelled him from Egypt 12:17-20

a. Pharaoh’s House Plagued: In order to prevent sexual defilement, the Lord plagued the house of Pharaoh 12:17

b. Sarai Returned and Abram Expelled: Pharaoh rebuked Abram, returned Sarai and expelled them from his country 12:18-20

E. Faith in the Promise: Abram demonstrates faith in the promise by magnanimously giving Lot his choice of the land which God had promised to him, by moving as a military power to deliver Lot from the kings of the north, and by receiving the King of Salem’s blessing while refusing to tarnish God’s blessing by not receiving the offer of the king of Sodom 13:1--15:6

1. Faith’s Solution to Strife: When a strife about the land broke out between the herdsmen of Abram and the herdsmen of Lot after they returned to the place where the altar had been built at first, Abram settled the dispute by magnanimously giving Lot his choice of the best land--which was inhabited by wicked sinners--and in return received the reaffirmation of God’s promise 13:1-18

a. Strife Over the Land: When Abram and his family returned to Bethel, where he head fist built an altar, a strive broke out between Lot’s herdsmen and Abram’s herdsmen over the land 13:1-7

1) Return from Egypt: Abram journeyed back to the place of his altar, but now he was very wealthy 13:1-4

a) Returned Wealthy: Abram returned to the land a wealthy man 13:1-2

b) Returned to Bethel: Abram returned to the altar at Bethel and proclaimed his faith 13:3-4

2) Land Could Not Sustain: Lot, who journeyed with Abram, was also very wealthy, so that the land could not sustain them both 13:5-6

a) Lot Was Wealthy: Lot was also very wealthy 13:5

b) Land Could Not Sustain: The land could not bear all of Abram’s and Lot’s possessions 13:6

c) Strife Broke Out: A strive broke out between the herdsmen of Abram and Lot, among the Canaanites who dwelt in the land 13:7

3) Settlement: Abram settled the strife by offering the first choice of the land to Lot, who chose the beautiful Jordan valley 13:8-13

a) Stopped the Quarrel: Abram stopped the quarrel because they were relatives, offering Lot his choice of all the land 13:8-9

b) Lot’s Choice: Lot chose the region of the Jordan valley because--before the Lord destroyed it--it was well watered and beautiful 13:10-11

c) Lot’s Settlement: Lot settled near Sodom--where wicked sinners lived--but Abram stayed in Canaan 13:12-13

4) The Lord’s Affirmation to Abram: The Lord reaffirmed his promise of the Land and of innumerable descendants to inhabit it and invited Abram to investigate his land 13:14-18

a) Reaffirmed the Promises: God reaffirmed the promises to Abram 13:14-16

b) Invitation to Investigate: God invited Abram to investigate his land 13:17

c) Settlement of Abram: Abram settled near Hebron and built an altar 13:18

2. The Rescue of Lot from the Invaders: When powerful eastern kings swept through the land, destroying and plundering the cities of the Jordan and taking Lot captive, Abram and his federation of retainers pursued and defeated the invaders in a surprise night attack, rescuing Lot and the possessions 14:1-16

a. The Military Campaign: In an effort to put down rebellion, powerful eastern kings invaded the Jordan valley, defeating all the military forces in the region, plundering the Jordanian kings, and taking Lot captive 14:1-12

1) Invasion of the Eastern Kings: The eastern kings, in an effort to put down rebellion, invaded the Jordan valley and defeated all the powers in their way 14:1-7

a) Summary Statement: Four kings waged war against five kings 14:1-3

b) Effect: Four Kings swept through the region to put down the rebellion 14:4-7

2) Defeat of the Jordanian Kings: The eastern kings defeated the Jordanian kings and plundered their towns, taking Lot captive 14:8-12

a) The Jordanian Kings Fight: The kings of the region of the Jordan set the battle in Siddim against the invading kings 14:8-9

b) The Jordanian Kings Fell: The Jordanian kings fell in battle at Siddim and fled to the mountains 14:10

c) Invading Kings Plundered: The invading kings plundered the goods from the city and took Lot captive 14:11-12

b. Victory of Abram: Upon hearing of the invasion and the capture of Lot, Abram mustered his trained men and, together with his allies, pursued and defeated the invaders in a night attack, rescuing Lot and all the possessions 14:13-16

1) Learned of Lot’s Capture: Abram, while dwelling in Hebron with his allies, learned of the capture of Lot from one of the fugitives 14:13

2) Pursued the Enemies: Upon hearing the report, Abram mustered his trained men and pursued the enemies to Hobah, winning a surprise attack at night 14:14-15

3) Brought Back Goods and People: Abram brought back all the goods and all the people--including Lot 14:16

3. Melchizedek and Sodom Meet Abram--The Untarnished Blessing: When Abram was blessed by the king of Salem, Melchizedek, and then offered riches by the king of Sodom, Abram swore that he would take nothing from the king of Sodom, lest the blessing should be tarnished 14:17-24

a. Meeting of Two Kings: Abram met two kings after his military victory, one offering him the blessing of the Most high God, and the other offering him a deal 14:17-21

1) King of Sodom: The king of Sodom came out to meet Abram after the battle 14:17

2) King of Salem: The king of Salem came out to meet Abram after the battle and brought him bread and wine 14:18

3) King of Salem Blessed: The King of Salem blessed Abram and God and then received a tithe 14:19-20

4) King of Sodom Made a Deal: The king of Sodom offered Abram wealth in exchange for the people 14:21

b. Abram Refused: Abram swore before the Most High Lord God, who blessed him with victory, that he would take nothing that belonged to the king of Sodom, lest Sodom take the credit 14:22-24

1) Oath: Abram swore to take nothing that belonged to Sodom 14:22

2) Motive: Abram wished to avoid allowing Sodom to take the credit for the blessing, although his allies could take what they wished 14:23-24

F. The Lord Secures and Confirms the Promise: The Lord secured and confirmed his covenant with Abram through specific promises to give him innumerable descendants, through a symbolic ratification of the covenant, through promising to bless Abram’s seed through Hagar in spite of Abram’s unbelief, by confirming the covenant by the rite of circumcision as the sign of obedient faith and by the change of names for Abram and Sarai to Abraham and Sarah 15:7--17:17

1. YHWH’s Secure Covenant: In response to Abram’s request for confirmation of his faith, the Lord specifically promised to give him innumerable descendants; and in response to Abram’s request for assurance of the promise, the Lord solemnly and symbolically ratified the covenant in the midst of thick darkness that signified the enslavement that would precede the fulfillment 15:1-21

a. First Dialogue--Direct Word of Confirmation from the Lord: In response to Abram’s request and complaint, the Lord specifically promised that one from his loins would receive his inheritance and begin an innumerable seed 15:1-5

1) Oracle: The Lord declared his protection and provision for Abram 15:1

2) Lament: Abram expressed his concern that the promise had not been fulfilled and that his servant was about to inherit his estate 15:2-3

3) Assurance: The Lord declared that Abram’s own son would be his heir and that his descendants would be innumerable 15:4-5

b. Conclusion and Transition--Report of Abram’s Faith and Righteousness: Abram’s faith in the Lord made him acceptable to God 15:6

c. Second Dialogue--Divine Guarantee of the Promise: In response to Abram’s request, the Lord instructed Abram to prepare the animals for the ratifying of the covenant 15:7-21

1) Prepare the Animals: In response to Abram’s request, the Lord instructed Abram to prepare the animals for the Ratifying of the covenant 15:7-11

a) The Lord’s Speech--Self-Revelation and Promise of Land: the Lord identified himself and reiterated the promise 15:7

b) Abram’s Speech--Request for Assurance of the Promise: Abram requested some evidence to assure him of the fulfillment of the promise 15:8

c) The Lord’s Speech--Instruction: The Lord instructed Abram to prepare the animals for the ceremony 15:9-11

(1) Instruction for Abram 15:9

(2) Obedience of Abram 15:10-11

2) The Lord’s Speech--Assurance of the Promises: Even though Abram’s descendants will be enslaved four hundred years, the Lord assured Abram that he would die in peace, and that the promises will come true through a ratification of the covenant 15:12-21

a) Cycle One--Circumstances and Promise: In the midst of Abram’s horrifying thick darkness, the Lord revealed that, before his descendants inherited the land, they would be enslaved four hundred years but that Abram himself would die in peace 15:12-16

(1) Circumstances: The Lord prepared Abram for the revelation of the oppression 15:12

(2) Promise--Enslaved: The Lord disclosed that the seed of Abram would be enslaved and oppressed for four hundred years before receiving the promises 15:13-14

(3) Promise--Peace: The Lord assured Abram that he would die in peace 15:15

(4) Promise--Return: The Lord explained that he would return the seed to the land to execute justice on the sinful Amorites 15:16

b) Cycle Two--Circumstances and Promise: In the darkness the Lord symbolically ratified the covenant promises with the firepot and blazing torch, assuring Abram of the ultimate fulfillment of the promise 15:17-21

(1) Circumstance: The Lord guaranteed the certainty of the promises by unilaterally ratifying the covenant 15:17

(2) Promise: The Lord clarified the promise by naming the boundaries of the land and the dispossessed people 15:18-21

2. Ishmael--The Rebuke of Weak Faith: When Sarai and Abram generated tremendous complications by their attempt to obtain an heir through the social customs of the day--complications that caused Hagar to flee to the wilderness--the Lord showed himself faithful by responding to Hagar’s affliction, providing for her needs, and promising her progeny through Abram’s son, Ishmael 16:1-16

a. Prologue: Sarai, the wife of Abram, was barren, but she had an Egyptian handmaid named Hagar 16:1

b. Human Faithlessness: Sarai and Abram carried out their own plan to obtain an heir through the social customs of the day, but succeeded only in complicating matters with a conflict 16:2-6

1) Sarai’s Plan: When Sarai was blaming the Lord for her bareness, she instructed Abram to take Hagar as a wife, whereupon he agreed and Hagar conceived 16:2-4a

a) Instruction to Abram: Sarai, blaming the Lord for her bareness, instructed Abram to take the maid as a wife 16:2a

b) Abram’s Obedience: Abram obeyed his wife and accepted Hagar from her 16:2b-3

c) Hagar’s Conception: Hagar conceived 16:4a

2) Sarai’s Tension: Blaming her husband for the tension between her and Hagar, Sarai called for judgment whereupon Abram complied and Hagar fled 16:4b-6

a) Call for Judgment: Sarai, blaming her husband for the tension between Hagar and herself, called for judgment 16:4b-5

b) Abram Complied: Abram complied with his wife’s wishes 16:6a

c) Hagar Fled: Hagar fled when she was treated harshly 16:6b

c. Divine Faithfulness: The angel of the Lord found Hagar in the wilderness, instructed her to return, and promised to bless her with Ishmael and his descendants, thus prompting Hagar to commemorate the spot where God heard her affliction and saw her need 16:7-14

1) Hagar Found and Instructed: The angel of the Lord found Hagar in the wilderness and instructed her to return 16:7-9

a) Found Hagar: The angel found Hagar and interrogated her about her dilemma 16:7-8a

b) Hagar Explained: Hagar explained that she was fleeing form Sarai 16:8b

c) Instruction to Return: The angel instructed her to return to her mistress 16:9

2) Prophecy: The angel of the Lord foretold Hagar’s progeny through Ishmael 16:10-12

a) Many Descendants: The angel promised many descendants from Hagar 16:10

b) Announced Birth: The angel announced the birth of her son Ishmael 16:11

c) Predicted Destiny: The angel predicted the destiny of her sons’s tribe 16:12

3) Hagar’s Response: Hagar responded in faith to this gracious visitation by calling on the Lord and naming the well to commemorate the deliverance 16:13-14

d. Epilogue: Hagar, the handmaid of Sarai, bore Ishmael to Abram when he was eight-six years old 16:15-16

3. The Pledge of the Promise and the Sign of the Covenant: The Lord confirmed his covenant with Abram by establishing the rite of circumcision as the sign of obedient faith and attested to its promises by changing his name to Abraham to comply with the ordinance of circumcision 17:1-27

a. Confirmation of the Covenant: When the Lord appeared to Abram to confirm the covenant, he called for a life of faithful obedience and changed the patriarch’s name to Abraham as a pledge of the promise 17:1-8

1) Preparation for Confirmation: The Lord, appearing as El Shadday, called for a life of obedient faith as he prepared to confirm the promises of the covenant 17:1-2

a) Narrative Framework: The Lord appeared to Abram 17:1a

b) Preamble: The Lord revealed himself as El Shadday and called for a perfect walk as a basis for receiving the promises 17:1b-2

2) Abram’s Response: Abram fell on his face before the Lord 17:3a

3) Promises Confirmed: The Lord, reiterating his promises to Abram, changed the patriarch’s name to Abraham as a pledge 17:3b-8

a) Name Change: The Lord named Abram Abraham because he would become the father of a multitude of nations 17:3b-5

b) Promises: The Lord reiterated the covenantal promises of fruitfulness and inheritance 17:6-8

b. Sign of the Covenant: the Lord instituted the rite of circumcision as the sign of the covenant 17:9-14

1) Identified: The Lord identified the sign of the covenant 17:9-11

2) Regulations: The Lord specified the regulations concerning the sign of the covenant 17:12-13

3) Warning: The Lord set the consequences for disobedience 17:14

c. Pledge of the Covenant: The Lord changed Sarai’s name to Sarah as a pledge that the seed would come from her and would not be Ishmael, even through he too would be blessed 17:15-22

1) Name Change: The Lord changed Sarai’s name to Sarah as a pledge that she would be fruitful 17:15-17

a) Renamed: The Lord renamed Sarai Sarah 17:15

b) Promise: The Lord promised that she would be blessed as the mother of nations and kings 17:16

c) Laughter: Abraham laughed over the prospects 17:17

2) Promises: In response to Abraham’s plea for Ishmael, the Lord promised to bless him too but affirmed that the promise would come through Isaac 17:18-21

a) Abraham’s Plea: Abraham pleaded for Ishmael 17:18

b) God’s Promise--Isaac: The Lord promised that Sarah would bear a son, Isaac, who would be the heir 17:19

c) God’s Promise--Ishmael: The Lord promised to bless Ishmael with abundant fruitfulness, including twelve princes, but reserved the covenant for Isaac 17:20-21

3) Narrative Framework: The Lord withdrew after speaking 17:22

d. Abraham’s Obedience: Abraham obeyed the Lord’s instructions to circumcise every male in his household, being circumcised himself on the same day as Ishmael, his son 17:23-37

G. Abraham Intercedes for the Promise: When the Lord comes to announce the fulfillment of the promise, Abraham demonstrates his faith through hospitality and pleads with the Lord on behalf of the righteous in Sodom, whereupon the Lord judges wicked Sodom, but delivers Lot and his daughters who subsequently engage in incest and produce the progenitors of the Moabites and Ammonites 18:1--19:38

1. God’s Marvelous Work for His Covenant People--The Three Visitors: After sharing a meal prepared by the household of Abraham, the Lord announced the fulfillment of the promise, declaring in rebuke of Sarah’s laughter, that nothing is too hard for the Lord 18:1-15

a. The Lord and Communal Meal: The Lord appeared to Abraham at Mamre and shared a communal meal prepared by the patriarch and his household 18:1-8

1) Visitors Appeared: Three visitors appeared at Mamre and received rest and refreshment from Abraham 18:1-5

a) Narrative Introduction: The Lord appeared to Abraham 18:1

b) Report of the Reception of the Guests: Abraham received the three visitors and persuaded them to rest with him 18:2-5

2) Visitors and Meal: The three visitors enjoyed a meal prepared hastily by Abraham and his household 18:6-8

b. Announcement: The Lord announced the time of the fulfillment of the promise, declaring, in rebuke of Sarah’s laughter, that nothing was too hard for the Lord 18:9-15

1) Interrogation and Annunciation: The Lord announced that the fulfillment of the promise was imminent 18:9-12

a) Interrogation: The Lord inquired about Sarah, and Abraham responded 18:9

b) Announcement: The Lord announced that the birth was imminent, but Sarah laughed over the prospects 18:10-12

2) Rebuke and Annunciation: The Lord Rebuked Sarah for laughing and reiterated the annunciation 18:13-14

a) Rebuke: The Lord rebuked Sarah for laughing 18:13

b) Annunciation: The Lord reiterated the annunciation, declaring that nothing was too hard for the Lord 18:14

3) Denial and Rebuke: In response to Sarah’s denial that she laughed, the Lord affirmed that she did indeed laugh 18:15

2. The Intercession of Abraham before the Righteous Judge: After contemplating the reasons for telling Abraham of his plans for Sodom, the Lord announced that he was about to investigate the wickedness of Sodom that cried out for judgment, an announcement that prompted Abraham to intercede for the city for the sake of the righteous 18:16-33

a. Divine Speeches: After the visitation at Mamre, the Lord contemplated the reasons for telling Abraham about his investigation of the wickedness of Sodom 18:16-21

1) Narrative Transition: After the visitation, Abraham escorted the three men on their way 18:16

2) Soliloquy: The Lord contemplated the reasons for telling Abraham of his plans for Sodom 18:17-19

a) Means of Blessing: Abraham would be the means of blessing for the world 18:18

b) Teacher of Righteousness: Abraham would be a teacher of righteousness 18:19

3) Announcement: the Lord declared that he was about to investigate the great sin of Sodom that cried out for judgment 18:20-21

b. Negotiation: Questioning God about the justice of destroying the righteous with the wicked, Abraham interceded for the city for the sake of the righteous in it, prompting the concession that it would not be destroyed if there were ten righteous people there 18:22-33

1) Questioned: Abraham questioned the Lord’s justice in destroying the righteous with the wicked 18:22-25

2) Interceded: Abraham interceded for Sodom for the sake of the righteous, drawing the concession form the Lord that the city would be spared if there were at least ten righteous people there 18:26-32

3) Returned: Abraham returned to his place when the Lord departed 18:33

3. The Judgment of Sodom: When the Lord destroyed the cities of the plain with fire and brimstone, he delivered Lot by means of two angels who had to protect themselves from the wicked people of the city, drag the reluctant Lot from the doomed place, and agree to give him a little town in the hills--a place that subsequently proved to be the birthplace of the ancestors of the Moabites and Ammonites 19:1-38

a. Angels in Sodom: When the angels visited Lot in Sodom, they repelled the threat from the wicked townspeople by striking them with blindness and warned Lot to gather his family and flee from the doomed city 19:1-14

1) Visitation: The angels visited Lot, who received them with hospitality 19:1-3

2) Protection: The angels prevented the wickedness of the townspeople by striking them with blindness 19:4-11

a) Challenge: The men of the town wanted Lot to give them the visitors in order that they might know them 19:4-5

b) Counteroffer: Lot offered his two virgin daughters in their place 19:6-8

c) Renewed Challenge: The men of the town ridiculed Lot’s hypocrisy and pressed harder for the men 19:9

d) Prevention: The angels struck the men with blindness 19:10-11

3) Announcement: The angels announced their mission to Sodom and warned Lot to flee with his family 19:12-14

a) Warning: The angels announced the destruction of the city and warned Lot to flee 19:12-13

b) Rebuke: Lot appeared to his sons-in-law to be a hypocrite and a mocker 19:14

b. Taking of Lot: When the angels dragged the hesitating Lot from the doomed city, they agreed to spare the little town of Zoar for him 19:15-22

1) Dragging of Lot: The angels had to drag Lot out of the city when he hesitated at their exhortation to flee 19:15-16

2) Saving of Zoar: The angels granted Lot the little town of Zoar when he negotiated for the concession before fleeing for his life 19:17-22

c. Judgment on Sodom: When the Lord destroyed the cities with fire and brimstone--and Lot’s wife who looked back--he spared Lot for the sake of Abraham 19:23-29

1) Destruction of Cities: The Lord destroyed the cities and everything in them with a great conflagration 19:23-25

2) Destruction of Lot’s Wife: Lot’s wife perished when she looked back to the city 19:26

3) Deliverance of Lot: The Lord delivered Lot for Abraham’s sake 19:27-29

a) Abraham Saw: Abraham saw the great destruction from far away 19:27-28

b) Lord Remembered: the Lord remembered Abraham and delivered Lot 19:29

d. Epilogue: The daughters of Lot, thinking that they were the last survivors on earth, arranged to be impregnated by their father and consequently produced the ancestors of the Moabites and Ammonites, Israel’s perennial enemies 19:30-38

1) Setting: Lot and his two daughters left Zoar to dwell in the cave because they were afraid 19:30

2) Scheme: The daughters of Lot, realizing that there were no husbands, succeeded in becoming impregnated by their father 19:31-36

3) Significance: The sons that were born to them were the ancestors of the Moabites and the Ammonites 19:37-38

H. Abraham Schemes to Protect the Promise--God Protects the Marriage: When Abimelech took Sarah in to his harem because of Abraham’s deception, God intervened to preserve Sarah’s purity, warning Abimelech to restore the woman to her husband, make restitution for the offense, and ask for intercession from Abraham the prophet 20:1-18

1. Complication: Abimelech took Sarah into his household when Abraham said she was his sister 20:1-2

2. Intervention: God alerted Abimelech in a dream that he had taken another man’s wife and, acknowledging the integrity of Abimelech’s actions, instructed him to restore her to her husband 20:3-7

a. Accusation: God informed Abimelech that he was under the sentence of death because he had taken another man’s wife 20:3

b. Self-Defense: Abimelech protested that he had acted with integrity in the matter 20:4-5

c. Instruction: Acknowledging Abimelech’s integrity and stating that he had prevented him from sinning, God instructed the king to restore the woman to her husband and ask him to intercede for him 20:6-7

1) Integrity: God had prevented “Abimelech from sinning because he knew that the man had acted in integrity 20:6

2) Restore: God instructed Abimelech to restore the woman to Abraham, who would pray for the king 20:7a

3) Warning: God warned that, if Abimelech did not restore her, he would surely die 20:7b

3. Vindication: Abimelech immediately obeyed God’s instruction by restoring Sarah to her husband and making restitution to this couple who had brought him into great danger 20:8-16

a. Narrative Transition: Abimelech reported this message to his household 20:8

b. Accusation: Abimelech remonstrated with Abraham over the deception that brought a great sin on him and his nation 20:9-10

c. Self-Defense: Abraham explained his fear of death at their hands, adding that Sarah was indeed his half-sister 20:11-13

d. Restitution: Abimelech restored Sarah to Abraham, making payment for the offense and granting permission to life in the land 20:14-16

1) Payment: Abimelech gave Abraham a large payment to make restitution for taking Sarah 20:14

2) Permission: Abimelech gave Abraham permission to dwell in the land 20:15

3) Payment: Abimelech gave payment of silver for Sarah and explained it in a rebuke to her 20:16

4. Intercession: Abraham interceded for the house of Abimelech, so that the divine judgment was withdrawn 20:17-18

I. The Promise Is Born: When the Lord fulfilled his word by providing Isaac, the child of promise, Abraham and Sarah responded by obediently circumcising him, praising the Lord, protecting him by casting out Ishmael, and making a covenant at Beersheba with Abimelech which allowed them to serve God in the land of promise 21:1-34

1. The Fulfillment of the Promise (Isaac) and the Removal of the Threat (Ishmael): When the Lord fulfilled his Word by providing Isaac, the child of promise, Abraham and Sarah responded with obedience and praise, but Ishmael became a threat to the promised heir, prompting his expulsion into the wilderness, where God provided for him and his mother 21:1-21

a. The Provision of Isaac: The Lord provided the child of promise to Abraham and to Sarah, who responded in faith by naming him Isaac, circumcising him according to the covenant, and praising God for this amazing fulfillment 21:1-7

1) Child: The Lord fulfilled his promise by providing the child for Sarah and Abraham in their old age 21:1-2

2) Obedience: Abraham obeyed God’s Word by naming the child Isaac and by circumcising him 21: 3-5

3) Rejoicing: Sarah rejoiced over Isaac, God’s gift of laughter to her 21:6-7

b. The Expulsion of Ishmael: God approved of Sarah’s instinct to protect the child of promise by expelling Ishmael and Hagar and then provided for the outcasts when they were in distress in the wilderness 21:8-19

1) First Crisis: Sarah realized that Ishmael posed a threat for the true heir 21:8-9

2) Resolution: With God’s approval, Abraham and Sarah decided to send away the slave woman and her son 21:10-13

a) Sarah’s Speech: Sarah told Abraham to send them away 21:10

b) Abraham’s Response: The matter grieved Abraham 21:11

c) God’s Oracle: God approved the plan to protect Isaac, promising to fulfill his promises to Ishmael 21:12-13

3) Second Crisis: When Hagar and Ishmael were sent out into the wilderness, they soon came to the point of perishing 21:14-16

4) Resolution: God rescued Hagar and Ishmael in the wilderness 21:17-19

a) God’s Oracle: God exhorted Hagar not to fear, for he had heard the cry and would fulfill his promise to Ishmael 21:17-18

b) God’s Provision: God directed them to water 21:19

c. Epilogue: God was with Ishmael, and he prospered in the wilderness 21:20-21

2. The Covenant at Beersheba: When Abraham prospered under the blessing of God, he agreed to make a treaty with Abimelech at Beersheba for peaceful coexistence, thereby enabling him to serve God in the Land of Promise 21:22-34

a. Agreement: Abraham, who prospered under the blessing of God , agreed to make a treaty with Abimelech 21:22-24

1) Request: Abimelech recognized that God was with Abraham and so asked for a treaty 21:22-23

2) Response: Abraham agreed to make a treaty 21:24

b. Previous Problem: Abraham accused Abimelech of stealing his well, but Abimelech exonerated himself before the covenant was made 21:25-27

1) Complaint: Abraham charged that Abimelech’s servants took his well 21:25

2) Response: Abimelech protested that he knew nothing about it

c. Solidifying One’s Right: Abraham solidified his right to the well by making an oath for the covenant 21:28-30

1) Preparation: Abraham set seven animals apart from the rest 21:28

2) Response: Abimelech inquired about the significance of the animals 21:29

3) Oath: Abraham explained that they were for a testimony that he had the rights to his well 21:30

d. Naming the Place: Abraham concluded the agreement with Abimelech by naming the place Beersheba and by planting a tree at the spot where he would worship God 21:31-34

1) Commemorative Naming: He named the place Beersheba because they swore in agreement 29:31

2) Peaceful Coexistence: Abimelech and his people returned to their home after the covenant was made 21:32

3) Established Worship: Abraham planted a tree and proclaimed the name of the Lord, the everlasting God, in the land of his sojournings

J. Promise is God’s not Abraham’s--The Sacrifice of Isaac: In obedience to the command of the Lord, Abraham took his beloved son to the land of Moriah in order to sacrifice him to the Lord, but because of Abraham’s obedience the angel of the Lord restrained him from making the sacrifice and swore to bless him, all of which prompted the patriarch to commemorate the place of sacrifice as “the Lord will provide” 22:1-19

1. Prologue: The narrator explains that the ordeal to follow was a test from God 22:1a

2. Ordeal: God commanded Abraham to offer his only and beloved son as a sacrifice on one of the mountains of Moriah 22:1b-2

a. Call: God called to Abraham 22:1b

b. Instruction: God commanded Abraham to offer his son and offer him as a sacrifice on one of the mountains of Moriah 22:2

3. Obedience: Abraham responded to God’s instructions in obedient faith by journeying to the place of worship and preparing Isaac for the sacrifice 22:3-10

a. Travel: Abraham traveled to the place that God had told him and took Isaac along up to the mountain to worship 22:3-5

1) Report: Abraham and his company traveled three days to the place that God had said 22:3-4

2) Speech: Abraham instructed the servants to wait while he and Isaac went up to worship 22:5

b. Preparation: Abraham prepared to offer Isaac on the mountain as a sacrifice to God 22:6-10

1) Report: Abraham and Isaac went together up the mountain 22:6

2) Dialogue: In response to the question of Isaac about the animal, Abraham explained that God would provide the animal 22:7-8

3) Report: Abraham bound Isaac as the sacrifice and prepared to slay him on the altar 22:9-10

4. Resolution: The angel of the Lord prevented Abraham from killing his son when the angel saw that he feared God, prompting the patriarch to sacrifice an animal instead of his son and to name the place in commemoration of the provision of the Lord, after which he received a solemn promise of God’s blessing 22:11-18

a. Call: The angel of the Lord called Abraham 22:11

b. Instruction: The angel of the Lord instructed Abraham not to kill his son, because he had demonstrated that he did fear God 22:12

c. Report: Abraham responded to the divine intervention by sacrificing a ram that the Lord had provided and by commemorating the place with the name “the Lord provides”--to which a proverb was added 22:13-14

1) Offering: Abraham offered the ram instead of his sin 22:13

2) Naming: Abraham named the place, “the Lord provides” 22:14a

3) Proverb: A proverb was added to this incident: “In the mount of the Lord it will be seen” 22:14b

d. Blessing: The angel of the Lord swore to fulfill the promises to Abraham and his seed because he did not withhold his son from God 22:15-18

5. Epilogue: Abraham and his company returned to Beersheba 22:19

K. Abraham Commits Himself to God’s Promise: Even though Abraham receives word from his brother that God has greatly blessed him with twelve sons, he does not leave the land but demonstrates his intention to remain in the place that God has promised by buying the cave of Machpelah as a burial site for Sarah upon her death 22:20--23

1. The Descendants of Nahor--A Telegram from Home:20 After Abraham had gone to offer his son Isaac he received word from home that his brother, Nahor, had borne twelve children, eight through his wife Milcah, and four through his concubine, Reumah 22:20-24

a. Setting: Abraham received word from his brother, Nahor, after he had gone to offer Isaac 22:20a

b. Blessing to Nahor through Milchah: Abraham learned that the wife of his brother Nahor, Milcah, had borne eight children to him: 22:20b-23

1) Uz was Nahor’s first-born

2) Buz was Nahor’s second-born

3) Kemuel, the father of Aram, was Nahor’s third-born

4) Other children were Chesed, Hazo, Pildash, Jidlaph, and Bethuel (who became the father of Rebekah)21

c. Blessing to Nahor through Reumah: Abraham learned that Reumah, Hahor’s concubine, also bore him four children--Tebah, Gaham, Tahash, and Maacah 22:24

2. The Purchase of the Cave of Machpelah: When Sarah, the wife of Abraham, Died, Abraham purchased a family burial site in the land of Canaan from its owners, demonstrating his intention to remain in the place that God had promised 23:1-20

a. Mourning: Abraham mourned over the death of Sarah his wife 23:1-2

1) Death Report: Sarah died at the age of 127 23:1-2a

2) Mourning: Abraham mourned for Sarah his wife 23:2b

b. Securing a Family Burial Plot: After obtaining permission to purchase a family burial spot in the land of Canaan, and after negotiating with the owners for the precise area, Abraham secured the field and the cave at Machpelah for a possession 23:3-8

1) Permission: Abraham received permission from the Hittites who owned the land to bury his dead in the best grave they had 23:3-6

2) Agreement: Abraham obtained Ephron’s agreement to sell the cave of Machpelah to him in which to bury his dead 23:7-11

3) Legal Procedure: Abraham legally acquired the field and the cave of Machpelah for four hundred shekels 23:12-18

a) Urging to Sell: Abraham urged Ephron to sell him the territory 23:12-13

b) Agreement: Ephron agreed to sell it for four hundred shekels 23:14-15

c) Purchase: Abraham purchased the territory from Ephron in the presence of all those who were sitting in the gate 23:16-18

c. Burial: Abraham buried Sarah in the cave in the land of Canaan--his newly acquired possession 23:19-20

d. Abraham Transfers the Promise to Isaac: Abraham prepares to transfer the blessing to Isaac by sending his servant under God’s providential guidance to acquire Rebekah to be Isaac’s wife from the descendants of Shem and by sending away his concubines whereupon he gives the family inheritance to Isaac before he dies and the Lord confirms it by blessing Isaac 24--25:11

3. Preparation--The Choosing of a Bride for Isaac: Entrusted with the responsibility of finding a bride for Isaac and trusting the Lord’s covenantal faithfulness to prosper his way, the servant of Abraham faithfully and resolutely carried out his task under the providential guidance of the Lord, so that he acquired Rebekah to be Isaac’s wife 24:1-67

a. Entrusting a Servant: Abraham solemnly entrusted the responsibility of finding a wife for his son to his servant 24:1-9

1) Introduction: Abraham was old and enjoyed the blessing of God 24:1

2) Commission: Abraham solemnly entrusted the finding of a wife for Isaac to his obedient servant 24:2-8

3) Oath: The servant took the oath 24:9

b. Finding Rebekah: When the faithful servant arrived in the land of the relatives, he prayed for a sign of God’s guidance and then praised God for sending Rebekah as the chosen one 24:10-27

1) Introduction: In the region of the relatives, the servant settled down by a well 24:10-11

2) Prayer: The servant prayed that the Lord would show his faithful love by sending out a young girl to give him drink and to water his camels 24:12-14

3) Resolution: The Lord sent out Rebekah to the well as the answer to the servant’s prayer, for she showed kindness and kinship 24:15-25

4) Worship: The servant acknowledged the Lord’s faithfulness in leading him to his place 24:26-27

c. Securing Rebekah: When the servant was welcomed into Laban’s household, he faithfully discharged his duty to secure Rebekah as Isaac’s wife before enjoying their hospitality ,recounting in the process how the Lord had led him there 24:28-60

1) Introduction The girl hurried to tell her family 24:28-29

2) Complication: Laban extended hospitality to the servant so that he might rest and receive refreshment 24:30-33a

3) Resolution: The servant refused to accept hospitality until he had discharged his duty to acquire a wife for Isaac 24:22b-53

4) Complication: Laban and Rebekah’s mother stalled over the time of departure 24:54-55

5) Resolution: The servant’s perseverance and the girl’s willingness to go resolved the complication 24:56-60

d. The Return with Rebekah: Rebekah returned with the servant and became Isaac’s wife 24:61-67

1) Introduction: They journeyed with the servant back to the land 24:61

2) Meeting: Rebekah met Isaac when he was out in the field meditating 24:62-65

3) Culmination: Rebekah became the wife of Isaac through the providential dealings of the Lord 24:66-67

4. Transfer--Abraham’s Death and Isaac’s Inheritance: Before he died, Abraham ensured that the covenantal blessing would belong to Isaac by sending away his concubine’s sons; after he died, the Lord confirmed this decision by blessing Isaac 25:1-11

a. Father Many Nations: After Sarah’s death Abraham fathered sons who became ancestors of several Arabian tribes, thus fulfilling the promise that he would be the father of many nations22 25:1-4

b. Protecting Isaac: Abraham gave the family inheritance to Isaac, but he gave gifts to the sons of the concubines and sent them away 25:5-6

c. Death of Abraham: Abraham died in peace, enriched by the Lord’s blessing, and was buried by Isaac and Ishmael in the cave of Machpelah 25:7-10

d. Blessing of Isaac: After the Abraham’s death, the Lord blessed Isaac as he dwelt in Beer Lahai Roi 25:11

VIII. WHAT BECAME OF ISHMAEL:23 Ishmael, the son of Abraham through Hagar, became a large people with twelve princes over tribes before he died at 137 years of age and his people settled from Havilah to Shur which is east of Egypt as one goes toward Assyria in defiance of all his relatives (Israel) 25:12-18

A. Title: This is what became (tôledôt) of Ishmael 25:12a

B. Identification: Ishmael was Abraham’s son whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah’s maid, bore to Abraham 25:12b

C. Descendants: The descendants of Israel are shown to be many--twelve princes and tribes 25:13-16

1. Preview: The following are the names of the sons of Ishmael in order of their birth 25:13a

2. First-Born: Nebaioth was the first-born of Ishmael 25:13b

3. Other Sons: Other sons of Ishmael were Kedar,Adbeel, Mibsam, Mishma, Dunah, Massa, Hadad, Tema, Jetur, Naphish, Kedemah 25:13c-15

4. Summary: The sons of Ishmael have been presented by their villages and their camps equalling twelve princes according to their tribes 16

D. Death of Ishmael: Ishmael lived for 137 years and then died and was gathered to his people who settled from Havilah to Shur which is east of Egypt as one goes toward Assyria in defiance of all his relatives (Israel) 25:17-18

IX. WHAT BECAME OF ISAAC: Through inner, outer, and then inner encounters of deception which God must overrule Jacob, the descendant of Isaac, becomes the heir of the Abrahamic Promise giving birth to twelve sons and worshiping God in the Promised Land 25:19--35:29

A. Title: This is what became (tôledôt) of Isaac 25:19a

B. The First Cycle--In the Land (Jacob and Esau): Although the oracle of promise was passed on to the younger son of Isaac, Jacob and his descendants, it was transferred through Isaac, the proper channel, under the deception and manipulation of Jacob who fled from his angry and profane brother Esau, but was promised blessing by the Lord at Bethel 25:19--28:22

1. The Creation and Election of the Seed--The Birth of Esau and Jacob: After twenty years of barrenness, God answered Isaac’s prayers and gave Rebekah two sons, Esau and Jacob, declaring that two nations would come from them and that the elder would serve the younger 25:19-26

a. Prologue: Isaac, the son of Abraham, was forty years old when he married Rebekah, a relative form his father’s homeland 25:19b-20

b. Rebekah Becomes Pregnant: In response to Isaac’s diligent prayer concerning his wife’s barrenness, the Lord enabled Rebekah to become pregnant 25:21

c. An Oracle: In response to Rebekah’s inquiry concerning the turmoil in her womb, the Lord revealed that her two sons, like the two nations that would come from them, would struggle against each other and that the elder would serve the younger 25:22-23

d. Birth of the Twins: When the twins were born, the first was named Esau because of his appearance, and the second was named Jacob because of his activity 25:24-26a

e. Epilogue: Isaac was sixty years old when the boys were born 25:26a

2. The Sale of the Birthright--The Manipulation of Jacob: Without regard for the benefits of the firstborn, Esau, the cunning hunter, swore to sell the birthright to the crafty Jacob for a meal of red stuff, a description that was appropriate to his nature 25:27-34

a. Nature of the Sons: Esau became a cunning hunter and the favorite of his father, who enjoyed wild game, but Jacob became an even-tempered man, loved by Rebekah 25:27-28

b. Esau’s Choice: When Esau came in from the open country famished and found Jacob preparing red soup, he greedily asked for some ‘red stuff’ to eat--the designation of which food was appropriate to his character and that of his descendants 25:29-30

c. Esau’s Pledge: Esau swore to give Jacob his birthright in exchange for the red soup 25:31-33

1) Jacob’s Hunt: Jacob forced Esau to sell him his birthright before he would give him the soup 25:31

2) Esau’s Response: Esau considered his birthright worthless at this point 25:32

3) Jacob’s Insistence: Jacob forced Esau to confirm the sale 25:33

d. Esau’s Disdain for the Birthright: Having sworn to relinquish his birthright, Esau gulped down the food and left, thus demonstrating his disdain for the birthright 25:34

3. Continuity through Isaac:24 Isaac shows himself to be the seed of blessing through Abraham in that God renewed the Abrahamic covenant with him, protected Rebekah from Abimelech as He had Sarah, and prospered him in the land 26:1-23

a. The Preservation of the Faith through Isaac: When God prevented Isaac from leaving the land promised to Abraham, his obedient father, God renewed the covenant with him but then had to protect Rebekah from Abimelech when Isaac lied about her 26:1-11

1) Exhortation to Remain in Land: The Lord prevented Isaac from abandoning the land in the famine, by confirming to him the covenant promises he had made with his father, Abraham 1-6

a) Narrative Introduction: When a famine began, Isaac left Canaan and went to Abimelech, king of the Philistines, at Gerar 26:1

b) Theophany: The Lord appeared to Isaac and commanded him not to leave Canaan, in order that the Lord might confirm the covenant made with Abraham his father 26:2-5

c) Obedience: Isaac Obeyed the Lord by remaining in Gerar 26:6

2) Deceit by Isaac: After Isaac deceived the men of Gerar about his wife’s true identity, Abimelech discovered the deceit, rebuked Isaac for putting his people in moral jeopardy, and forewarned his people not to touch them 26:7-11

a) The Plot: Isaac hid the true identity of Rebekah by representing her as his sister because he feared a personal attack 21:7

b) The Detection: After a long time Abimelech discovered the deceit when he saw Isaac engaging in conjugal play with Rebekah 21:8

c) The Rebuke: Abimelech confronted Isaac and rebuked him for his deceit 21:9-10

d) The Resolution: Abimelech commanded his people not to harm Isaac or Rebekah, on the penalty of death 21:11

b. The Blessing of Water in the Wilderness: The Lord confirmed his promise to bless Abraham’s seed by providing crops, flocks, servants, and especially water in the wilderness wells that Isaac dug, in spite of the unjust opposition from Gerar, ultimately enabling him to dwell in peace in Beersheba 26:12-33

1) Blessing and Opposition: The Lord’s abundant blessing on Isaac brought opposition from the men of Gerar, hindering him from living peacefully among the people of Gerar 26:12-16

a) Envied Isaac: The Philistines envied Isaac because of the great prosperity that the Lord gave him 26:12-14

b) Stopped Up Well: The Philistines had stopped up all the wells that were dug in the days of Abraham 26:15

c) Drove Isaac Away: The Philistines drove Isaac away because he was becoming mightier than they 26:16

2) Opposition and Blessing: Isaac’s attempts to reclaim the wells of his father met strong opposition until he moved from Gerar river basin and dug an uncontested well 27:17-22

a) Reopening Wells: Isaac attempted to settle in the Gerar valley but met with conflict over the water rights 26:17-21

b) Uncontested Well: After leaving the Gerar basin, Isaac opened an uncontested well and named it Room because the Lord had given them a place 26:22

3) Confirmation of Faith: Isaac’s faith in the Lord’s promise at Beersheba was confirmed by an oath of peace with his enemies and the discovery of another well of water 26:23-33

a) Appearance of the Lord: The Lord appeared to Isaac at Beersheba to renew the promise of blessing, prompting Isaac to worship the Lord and make preparations to dwell there 26:23-25

b) Oath of Peace: The people of Gerar obtained an oath of peace form Isaac because they recognized that the Lord was with him 26:26-31

c) Naming of Well: When his servants found water that same day, Isaac named the well Oath--the event from which the city of Beersheba in part derived its name 26:32-33

4. The Deception for the Blessing: In swift reaction to Isaac’s disobedient plans to bless Esau, the disqualified son, Jacob, in conspiracy with Rebekah, deceptively took the blessing by passing himself off as his brother, an act that resulted in the bitter anger of Esau, who could only be given a lesser blessing and who therefore planned to kill Jacob, and the flight of the deceiver--albeit with his father’s blessing 26:34--28:9

a. Prologue: Esau continued to show his disregard for the divine oracle and for his parents by marrying into the Canaanite line 26:34-35

b. Deception within the Family (Cause): In disobedience Isaac prepared to bless his older son Esau, prompting Rebekah and Jacob to take matters into their own hands by deceiving Isaac for the blessing 27:1-29

1) Scene One--The Disobedience of Isaac and Esau: Believing that he was about to die, Isaac prepared to bless his older son, contrary to the oracle, but Rebekah overheard the plan 27:1-5

2) Scene Two--The Deception of Rebekah and Jacob: Having found out about Isaac’s plans, Rebekah and Jacob conspired to gain the blessing through deception 27:6-17

3) Scene Three--The Theft of the Blessing: Impersonating Esau, Jacob passed Isaac’s tests and received the blessing of the firstborn 27:18-29

c. Distress Within the Family (Effect): When Esau, filled with bitter anxiety over being tricked out of the blessing, plotted to kill his younger brother, Rebekah persuaded Isaac to send Jacob away to get a wife in Paddan Aram 27:30--28:5

1) Scene Four--The distress of Isaac and Esau: After Esau returned with the game, he and his father were distressed to learn that Jacob had deceptively taken the blessing, leaving only an antiblessing for his brother 27:30-40

2) Scene Five--The Distress of Rebekah and Jacob: As a result of the stolen blessing Esau threatened to kill Jacob, prompting Rebekah to advise him to leave for a while 27:41-45

3) Scene Six--The giving of the Blessing: Isaac sent Jacob to Paddan Aram to get a wife, giving him the full Abrahamic blessing 27:46--28:5

d. Epilogue: Esau, realizing his error and his parents, remarried into the line of Ishmael 28:6-9

5. Transition--The Vision at Bethel: After the Lord appeared at the top of an angel-filled stairway, restating the Abrahamic promises and further promising to bless and protect him, Jacob fearfully acknowledged God’s presence and then at dawn set up the stone as a memorial, named the place Bethel, and vowed that, if God did indeed bless and protect him, he would worship him in that place 28:10-22

a. Promises from the Lord: Appearing in a dream at the top of an angel filled stairway to the weary traveler Jacob, who had stopped at an unnamed place, the Lord confirmed the Abrahamic promises to him and promised to bless and protect him during his journey 28:10-15

1) Stopping at an Unnamed Place: On his journey from Beersheba to Haran, Jacob stopped at sundown at an unnamed place and, after preparing a stone for his sleeping place, went to sleep 28:10-11

2) Lord’s Appearance: Appearing to Jacob in a dream, the Lord confirmed the Abrahamic promises to him and further promised to bless and protect him on his journey 28:12-15

b. Jacob’s Response: Awakening from his dream, Jacob fearfully acknowledged the Lord’s presence; at dawn he set up the stone as a memorial named the place Bethel, and vowed that, if God did indeed bless and protect him, he would worship him in that place 28:16-22

1) Acknowledged The Lord’s Presence: Awakening from his dream, Jacob fearfully acknowledged the Lord’s presence in that holy place 26:16-17

2) Set Up a Memorial: Arising at dawn, Jacob set up the stone as a memorial, poured oil on its top, and named the place Bethel 28:18-19

3) Vowed: Jacob vowed that , if the Lord did indeed bless and protect him, then he would worship the Lord in that place 28:20-22

C. The Second Cycle--Outside of the Land (Jacob and Laban): When Jacob entered Paddan Aram he married Leah and Rachel, had twelve sons, and prospered, but all under the deception of Laban who in the end had to allow Jacob to return to the land 29:1--31:55

1. Jacob’s Marriages and Laban’s Deception: After meeting Rachel at the well, where, in spite of its strictly regulated use and the reluctance of the shepherds to accommodate him, he moved the stone and watered the flocks, and after serving Laban seven years for Rachel, Jacob was deceived by Laban into marrying Leah, the firstborn, and had to serve another seven years for Rachel 29:1-30

a. Travel: Encouraged by God’s blessing, Jacob traveled until he came to a well where three flocks were waiting to be watered 29:1-3

b. Coming of Rachel: Jacob learned from the shepherds that his journey was almost over and that his cousin Rachel was coming with her flock 29:4-6

c. Removing the Stone: Jacob failed to get the shepherds to remove the stone and water the sheep, and so when Rachel arrived he removed the stone himself, watered the sheep, and in an emotional outburst, kissed her 29:7-11

d. Revealed Identity: Jacob revealed his identity to Rachel and was warmly welcomed into the house of Laban 29:12-14

2. Deception of Jacob: After serving Laban seven years for Rachel, Jacob was deceived by Laban and found himself married to Leah, the first born, and was able to marry Rachel only when he agreed to serve seven more years 29:15-30

a. Agreement; After being welcomed into Laban’s household, Jacob agreed to serve seven years for Rachel, whom he loved 29:15-19

b. Deceived: After completing the seven years of service, Jacob claimed his bride but was deceived into marrying Leah and had to serve seven more years for Rachel 29:20-30

3. The Mishandling of God’s Blessing--The Contest of Childbearing: God formed the family of Jacob, the founders of the tribes of Israel, in fulfillment of his promises at Bethel, even though Jacob and his wives lived in envy and friction over how God chose to bless them 29:31--30:24

a. Leah and Fours Sons: God responded to Leah’s plight with the births of four sons, all the while withholding the blessing from Rachel because of Jacob’s unfair treatment of Leah 29:31-35

1) Opening of Leah’s Womb: God took notes of Leah’s plight and opened her womb but withheld the blessing form Rachel 29:31

2) Fours Sons: God gave four sons to Leah, who responded appropriately in faith 29:32-35a

3) Cease Bearing: Leah ceased bearing children 29:35c

b. Rachel’s Competition through Bilhah: Filled with envy over her sister’s fruitfulness, Rachel complained to Jacob and then competed with Leah by bearing children through Bilhah, which she correctly recognized as God’s blessing 30:1-8

1) Complaint: Rachel complained of her barrenness to Jacob 30:1-2

2) Competition: Rachel competed with Leah by giving her maid, Bilhah, to Jacob to bear children for her 30:3-8

c. Leah’s Counter-Competition through Zilpah: Responding to Rachel’s use of her maid, Leah continued the competition by giving her maid, Zilpah, to Jacob and finding success in the births of two more children 30:9-13

1) Maid to Jacob: Leah gave Jacob her maid 30::9

2) Two Sons: Leah received two sons through Zilpah and expressed pleasure in her success 30:10-13

d. Continued Competition--Leah Blessed: Rachel and Leah both expressed their discontent and continued to seek to outdo each other in having children; God responded to Leah by granting her two more sons and a daughter 30:14-21

1) Discontent: Rachel and Leah expressed their discontent and arranged for the acquisition of Jacob with the mandrakes 30:14-15

2) Blessing of Leah: God blessed Leah with three more children 30:16-23

e. Rachel Blessed: God remembered Rachel and ended her barrenness with the birth of Joseph--which prompted her to pray for another son 30:22-24

4. The Blessing of Prosperity: When Jacob agreed to continue serving Laban in exchange for the odd-colored animals of the flock, God sovereignly overruled both the deceit of Laban and the devices of Jacob in order to bless the patriarch 30:25-43

a. Agreement: When Jacob completed his service for Laban’s daughters but realized that he had gained little substance for his family, he agreed to serve longer in exchange for the odd-colored animals 30:25-34

1) Desire to Leave: When Jacob wished to leave with the women and children for whom he had labored, Laban desired that he stay--so that Laban could continue to enjoy God’s blessing 30:25-28

2) Laban’s Agreement: When Jacob complained that God had blessed Laban abundantly but that he had nothing, Laban agreed to pay his wages 30:29-31a

3) Jacob’s Plan: When Jacob set forth his plan to work for the odd-colored animals of the flock, Laban agreed 30:31b-34

b. Jacob’s Manipulation: Desiring to outwit the deceitful Laban, Jacob employed questionable breeding practices in order to produce odd-colored animals for himself 30:35-43

1) Removal of Odd-Colored Animals: Laban cleverly removed all the odd-colored animals from the flock and placed them a good distance away 30:35-36

2) Questionable Breeding Habits: Jacob employed questionable breeding practices to produce the animals for himself 30:37-42

3) Blessing: Jacob became more and more prosperous 30:41-42

5. Jacob’s flight from Laban and God’s Protection: Motivated by Laban’s resentment and encouraged by the agreement of his wives, Jacob obeyed the Lord’s command to leave for Canaan; and when angrily accused by Laban, who overtook them in Gilead, Jacob defended his record of faithful service and accused Laban of deceitful practices thereby silencing Laban and prompting him to press for a peace treaty at the border 31:1-55

a. Departure: Because of mounting resentment from Laban’s family and in obedience to the Lord’s command, Jacob and his family departed secretly for the land of Canaan 31:1-21

1) Decision to Return: Jacob decided to return when he perceived the mounting resentment and received the call from the Lord 31:1-3

2) Agreement of Wives: Jacob’s wives wholeheartedly agreed to leave with Jacob when they heard his speech, acknowledging that Laban had mistreated Jacob and robbed them of their dowries 31:4-16

3) Secret Departure: Jacob and his family secretly stole away from Laban to return to Canaan--and Rachel stole Laban’s gods 31:17-21

b. Laban’s Response: After hotly pursuing Jacob to Gilead and being warned in a dream not to harm him, Laban was unable to prove his accusations, but Jacob defended his record of faithful service and accused Laban of treachery, leaving Laban only to negotiate for a treaty 31:22-55

1) Laban’s Pursuit: Laban hotly pursued Jacob to Gilead but was warned in a dream not to interfere with Jacob’s migration 31:22-25

2) Laban’s Judicial Encounter: Laban’s attempt to engage Jacob in a judicial encounter backfired when Jacob successfully defended himself and brought his counterclaim 31:26-42

3) Negotiation of a Peace Treaty: Jacob and Laban negotiated a piece treaty at Galeed, swearing before God not to approach the other for harmful purposes 31:43-54

4) Departure of Laban: Laban departed in peach 31:55

D. The Third Cycle--In the Land (Jacob and Esau): As Jacob re-enters the Promised Land he learns again about the evil of deception in his meeting of Isaac and the revenge of his sons; whereupon he returns to Bethel to receive the confirmation of the promises, the completion of his family and where he endures the deaths of Deborah, Rachel and Isaac as well as the presumptuous sin of Reuben 32:1--35:29

1. Meeting Esau: Jacob met Esau through preparing an unnecessary gift as an attempt to appease him, through a fight with the Lord which overtly affirmed that God is the one who fights his battles (Israel), and by experiencing a peaceful reconciliation with his brother as an example of God’s fighting 32:1--33:20

a. An Unnecessary Gift as an Attempt at Appeasement: In spite of the vision of the messengers of God, when Jacob learned from his messengers that Esau and 400 men were coming to meet him, he divided his people into two camps as a precaution; even though he prayed earnestly for the Lords deliverance, he sought to pacify his brother’s anger with a gift of 550 animals 32:1-21

1) Messengers of God: The Messengers of God met Jacob in the way, prompting him to name the place to commemorate the vision 32:1-2

2) Jacob’s Fearful Division: Jacob then sent messengers to his brother Esau but, upon hearing that Esau was coming with four hundred men, divided his camp out of fear 32:3-8

3) Jacob’s Prayer: Jacob then prayed earnestly for deliverance from Esau, reminding God of his promises and expressing his own unworthiness 32:9-12

4) Jacob’s Manipulative Gifts: Hoping to pacify his brother, Jacob sent a gift of 550 animals with his servants, who were to present them to Esau 32:13-21

b. The Fight with YHWH--Jacob at the Jabbok, Israel at Peniel: After wrestling Jacob all night at the river Jabbok without prevailing over him, the Lord dislocated the patriarch’s hip and blessed him by changing his name to Israel, prompting Jacob to name the place Peniel to commemorate his seeing God face to face and being delivered (the incident was also commemorated in Israel’s dietary laws) 32:22-32

1) The Preparation: After Jacob sent all his family and possessions across the river, he was left alone 32:22-34a

2) Fight: After wrestling with Jacob until daybreak and being unable to defeat him, a “man” touched and dislocated his hip 32:24b-25

3) The Conversation: When Jacob clung to the man for a blessing, Jacob had his name changed to Israel but was unable to discover the name of the one who blessed him 32:26-29

4) The Evaluation and Conclusion: Jacob evaluated the event by naming the place Peniel because he saw God face to face and was delivered and then crossed over Peniel as the sun rose upon him, but he was limping 32:30-31

5) Editorial Note: The children of Israel did not eat the sinew of the hip because it was touched in the struggle 32:32

c. The Peaceful Reconciliation with Esau: Although Jacob was prepared to sacrifice part of his family in conflict with Esau and although he treated his brother as his lord, Esau magnanimously welcomed his brother home, reluctantly received Jacob’s gift, and offered to accompany them all to Seir--an offer that Jacob deceitfully ignored as he traveled to Succoth and settled down there 33:1-20

1) The Meeting: Jacob anxiously prepared for the meeting with his brother, but Esau enthusiastically and joyfully welcomed him and reluctantly accepted the large gift that Jacob had sent 33:1-11

a) Esau: In spite of Jacob’s division of his family in the face of danger and his acts of obeisance to his brother, Esau warmly embraced his brother 33:1-7

b) Jacob: In spite of Esau’s protests, Jacob pressed his brother to accept the gift that he had sent along, asserting that God had both blessed him and delivered him 33:8-11

2) Jacob’s Deception: Jacob agreed to follow his brother back to Seir at a slower pace, but then turned and went to Succoth 33:12-17

3) Epilogue: Jacob returned to Canaan, bought land at Shechem and established an altar there 33:18-20

2. The Defilement of Dinah from the Pagans: After Dinah was defiled by the uncircumcised Shechem, the sons of Jacob gained revenge by deceitfully inducing the Shechemites to accept circumcision as the condition of the marriage, thus enabling them to slaughter the incapacitated males of the city 34:1-31

a. Dinah’s Rape: When Dinah went to see the Canaanite women, she was raped by Shechem, the son of Hamor, the Hivite prince 34:1-3

b. Deceptive Intermarriage: When Hamor and Shechem bargained for the intermarriage of the people of Jacob and the people of Shechem, Jacob’s sons deceitfully induced the Shechemites to accept circumcision as the condition for intermarriage 34:4-24

c. Evil of Simeon and Levi: Simeon and Levi ruthlessly destroyed all the incapacitated males of the city, delivered their sister Dinah, and plundered the city, causing Jacob to fear for their lives 34:25-31

3. The Return of Jacob to Bethel: Reminded of his commitment, Jacob returned to the land to worship at Bethel, where he received the confirmation of the promises from the Lord and the completion of his family through the birth of Benjamin; but in the process he had to endure the deaths of Deborah, Rachel, and Isaac, as well as the presumptuous sins of Reuben 35:1-29

a. Return to Bethel: In obedience to God’s reminder of his unfulfilled vow, Jacob returned to Bethel, where he consecrated his family to worship the Lord and mourn the death of Deborah 35:1-8

b. Confirmation of the Promises: In response to Jacob’s compliance, God confirmed the promises of the covenant to him 35:9-15

c. Completion of Family: When Jacob returned to the Promised Land, his family was completed with the birth of Benjamin (the twelfth son), but he had to endure the deaths of Rachel and Isaac and the sin of Reuben 35:16-29

X. WHAT BECAME OF ESAU:25 Through this genealogy Esau is shown to be a great and powerful warlord conquering nations--Esau is Edom, but Jacob has only 12 sons, no kings, tribes, or land to speak of confirming that worldly greatness is swifter than spiritual greatness which requires a long process of refining 36:1--37:1

A. Title: This is what became (tôledôt) of Esau who is Edom: 31:1a

B. The Blessing of Esau: Esau is a great and powerful warlord conquering nations 36:1-43

1. Three Wives and Five Sons: Esau had 3 major wives26--Adah, Oholibamah and Basemath--and five sons in Canaan before he moved to Seir: 36:1-8

a. Of these wives he had five sons: Eliphaz from the first, Ruel from the second, and three from the third: Jeush, Jolam, and Korah

b. He had all of these in Canaan before he moved to Seir

2. Father of the Edomites: Esau was the father of the Edomites in Seir 36:9-19

a. Sons and Grandsons: The sons of Esau also had sons, five from Eliphas and Amalek by a concubine, four from Ruel. Thus Esau had five sons and ten “grandsons”

b. Chiefs: Thirteen (omitting Eliphaz and Reuel) are called “chiefs”

3. Esau and the Edomites: Esau is overlord of the sons of Seir the Horite in the land: 36:20-29

a. The are the aboriginal Edomites (Horites) conquered by Esau (cf. Deut. 2:12)

b. There are seven sons who became “chiefs,” and from these seven come twenty-one sons or daughters (tribes)

4. The kings of Edom 36:31-327

a. There eight names in this line of kings

b. The organization of the clans in Edom must have paralleled that of Israel, ultimately choosing a king from one of the tribes and carrying a line of succession

5. The chiefs from Esau (40-43)

a. Lists the chiefs who came of Esau according to their families, after their places, by their names

b. Eleven names are entered: they seem to be districts

C. Jacob by contrast: Jacob lived in the land of Canaan where his father sojourned 37:1

D. XWHAT BECAME OF JACOB: Although Joseph, Jacob’s son, was severely tested, he showed himself to be the faithful wise ruler whom God was able to use to preserve the line of blessing and to bring them down to Egypt where the prophecies could be fulfilled after the death of the patriarchs 37:2--50:26

E. Title: This is what became of (tôledôt) Jacob 37:2a

F. Cycle One--The Testing of Joseph:28 Through severe tests by Joseph’s family, employers, and cell-mates, Joseph is revealed to be a man of integrity, unlike Judah, whom God and man can trust and God thus exalts him to rulership with Pharaoh over Egypt 37:2b--41

1. Election and Rejection of Joseph:29 Although Joseph was chosen by Jacob and God to be the leader of his brothers, his brothers rejected him and sold him into slavery, but he was alive and well in Egypt 37:2b-36

a. Election--The Sovereign Choice of the Wise Leader: When Joseph faithfully brought back the bad report about his bothers, his father demonstrated his love for this son of his old age by giving him preferential treatment, but his brothers hated him; and when the Lord confirmed Joseph’s selection for leadership through two dreams, his father was perplexed, but his brothers hated him all the more 37:2b-11

1) The Favor of Joseph: Joseph, while tending the family flock with his brothers, brought back an evil report about their activity, for which he enjoyed preferential treatment from his father but endured hatred from his brothers 37:2b-4

2) God’s Confirmation: Joseph reported two dreams that symbolically revealed he would rise to prominence over his family, causing his father to rebuke him and his brothers to hate him all the more 37:5-11

a) First Dream: Joseph reported having a dream that symbolically (using sheaves) foretold his rise to prominence 37:5-8

b) Second Dream: Joseph reported another dream that reiterated symbolically (using sun, moon, and stars) that he would rise to prominence over his family 37:9-11

b. Rejection--The Selling of the Chosen into Bondage: When Jacob sent Joseph to check on the welfare of his brothers, his brothers plotted to kill him and end his dreams but decided rather to sell him and deceive their father into thinking an evil beast devoured him; in spite of the painful success of their plan, however, Joseph was alive and well in Egypt 37:12-36

1) Faithful Servant: Joseph, in obedience to Israel’s request, went to inquire of the welfare of his brothers in Shechem and, with the help of a certain man, found them in Dothan 37:12-17

2) Brothers’ Conspiracy: Joseph’s brothers conspired to kill him when they saw him coming but ended up selling him into slavery instead at the advice of Judah 37:18-28

3) Results: Jacob and his entire family suffered as a result of the deeds and the deception of the brothers 37:29-35

4) Epilogue: Joseph was sold to Potiphar in Egypt 37:36

2. Interlude--Rebuke of Judah--The Triumph of a Just Cause in a Corrupt Family:30 When Judah failed to ensure the levirate rights of his daughter-in-law, Tamar, she deceived him into having sexual intercourse with her by playing a prostitute and thereby championed her right to be the mother of Judah’s children, the younger of which displaced the older in an unusual birth 38:1-30

a. Faithless of Judah and His Sons: The faithlessness of Judah and his sons to God and his earthly program led to the near destruction of Judah’s family 38:1-11

b. Deception of Tamar: When Tamar realized that Judah had no intention of giving Shelah to her as a husband, she deceived him by acting like a prostitute and thereby conceived his child 38:12-23

c. The Righteousness of Tamar: When Judah discovered that Tamar was pregnant, he order her to be burned to death; but when she proved that he was the father, he admitted that she was in the right 38:24-26

d. Birth of Judah and Tamar: Tamar gave birth to twins, and although Zerah’s hand appeared first, Perez was actually born first 38:27-30

3. Faithfulness and Suffering:31 Under abundant blessing and unjust suffering Joseph showed himself to be a man of integrity who refused to sin against God and his master and who continued to be God’s servant by speaking forth God’s interpretation of dreams 39:1--40:23

a. Faithfulness--How the Wise man Resists Temptation: While enjoying the Lord’s abundant blessing upon him in Potiphar’s house, Joseph repeatedly refused the seductive attempts of his master’s wife, testifying that he could not sin against God and do wickedly against his master; and when he was imprisoned because of her false accusation, he once again enjoyed the Lord’s abundant blessing 39:1-23

1) Blessing in Potiphar’s House: After Joseph had been brought to Egypt and purchased by Potiphar, the Lord prospered everything he did and blessed Potiphar’s possessions when Joseph was put in charge of them 39:1-6

2) Resistance of Temptation and False Accusation: in the light of God’s blessing on him, Joseph repeatedly refused the seductive attempts of Potiphar’s wife, only to be falsely accused by her to the servants and to her husband 39:7-20

3) The Lord’s Blessing: The Lord was with Joseph in prison and dealt with him in loyal love, causing him to prosper, so that the warden put everything in his care 39:21-23

b. Suffering--Joseph in Prison--An Unwavering Faith:32 When Pharaoh’s cupbearer and baker had disturbing dreams in prison, Joseph accurately foretold the cupbearer’s restoration and the baker’s execution, but his request to be remembered was quickly forgotten 40

1) Meeting: Pharaoh’s cupbearer and baker were sent to Joseph’s prison for gravely offending their king 40:1-4

2) Dreams: when the cupbearer and the baker had disturbing dreams, Joseph interpreted their dreams, foretelling the cupbearer’s restoration to his post and the baker’s execution 40:5-19

3) Fulfillment and Forgetfulness: The dreams were fulfilled three days later, when Pharaoh granted amnesty to the cupbearer but executed the baker, just as Joseph had foretold; but the cupbearer forgot to mention Joseph to Pharaoh 40:20-23

4. Fulfillment of Destiny--How God Controls Nations to Accomplish His Program:33 After Joseph faithfully interpreted the two dreams of Pharaoh, God elevated Joseph to power and demonstrated his sovereignty in controlling the economic life of Egypt as he worked to accomplish his will for Israel through Joseph’s preparation for the years of famine 41:1-57

a. The Occasion: Pharaoh had two dreams that greatly troubled him and could hind no wise man to interpret them 41:1-8

b. The Explanation: After the cupbearer remembered Joseph’s abilities and told Pharaoh about them, Joseph interpreted the dreams of Pharaoh, explaining that interpretations came from God, and then advised Pharaoh regarding what he should do 41:9-36

1) Remembrance: The cupbearer remembered Joseph and related to Pharaoh what had happened in the prison 41:9-13

2) Sending for Joseph: Pharaoh sent for Joseph from the dungeon in order to have him interpret his dreams 41:14-24

3) Interpretation: Joseph interpreted the dreams of Pharaoh 41:25-32

4) Adviser: Joseph advised Pharaoh regarding how to plan for the famine 41:33-36

c. The Elevation of Joseph: Recognizing that God’s hand was on Joseph, Pharaoh appointed Joseph to the office of vizier over Egypt, providing him with a wife, who bore Ephraim and Manasseh, and gave him authority over the economy of the land 41:37-57

1) Administrator: Joseph became the administrator over Pharaoh’s house 41:37-45

2) Minister of Agriculture: Joseph served as minister of agriculture over Egypt 41:46-49

3) Bore Sons: Asenath bore Joseph two sons 41:50-52

4) Famine: Seven years of famine came upon Egypt 41:53-57

G. Cycle Two--Testing of the Brothers:34 Through a series of three tests Joseph examines his brothers to see if they are any more loyal to the family than they were with him, and upon the realization that they are in that Judah offers his life for the sake of his father Jacob, Joseph reveals himself to them explaining that it was God’s will that he be in Egypt and is warmly united with them 42:1--45:15

1. First Test (to set up the second)--The Awakening of Conscience:35 by putting his brothers into prison as spies when they came to Egypt for grain and by keeping Simeon hostage while the others returned to bring Benjamin back, Joseph awakened his brothers’ guilty consciences 42:35

a. Jacob’s Sending of His Sons to Egypt: When the family of Israel was out of grain, Jacob sent his sons down to Egypt to buy grain but did not send Benjamin 42:1-5

b. Joseph’s Test to Prove Truthfulness: Joseph tested his brothers when they came before him, accusing them of being spies, putting them in prison, and holding Simeon while the others returned to get Benjamin to prove that they were truthful men 42:6-26

1) Test: Joseph accused his brothers of being spies and put them in prison until one could go and get Benjamin, but then he let them go while one remained in prison until they brought Benjamin 42:6-20

2) Confession: The brothers confessed their guilt over the way they had treated Joseph, who, having understood their words, was overcome with emotion 42:21-26

c. Return to Canaan: As the brothers returned to Jacob in Canaan, they were dismayed to find money in their sacks; Jacob, upon hearing of the events, refused to permit Benjamin to return with them to Egypt 42:37-38

2. Second Test (to set up the third)--The Testing for Jealousy:36 After an impassioned dialogue with Jacob about taking Benjamin, the brothers brought Benjamin to Egypt; when they attempted to repay the money from their sacks, they received gracious and peaceful treatment from Joseph, which included lavish favoritism of Benjamin over the elder brothers 43:1-34

a. Setting: In an impassioned conversation with Jacob, the brothers, with Judah as their spokesman, gained permission to take Benjamin to Egypt in order to buy more grain 43:1-15

b. The Second Meeting of the Brothers: In a tense and emotional meeting the brothers offered their explanation of the money, only to find a peaceful and gracious response by the steward and Joseph 43:16-30

c. Joseph’s Second Test: In a prepared banquet for his brothers, Joseph seated the men in the order of their births and favored Benjamin over the others with extra servings 43:31-34

3. Third Test (consummation)--The Testing for Loyalty:37 Having forced the brothers to bring Benjamin down to Egypt, Joseph tested their concern for him by framing the lad and blaming him for taking the cup, all of which prompted the brothers’ acknowledgment that God was finding out their sin against Joseph, and Judah’s intercessory plea on Benjamin’s behalf 44:1-34

a. The Test and Initial Response: When Joseph tested his brothers’ concern for Benjamin, the brothers acknowledged that God had found out their iniquity in the evil done to Joseph 44:1-17

1) Test: Joseph tested them by placing his silver cup in Benjamin’s sack and accusing the brothers of stealing it 44:1-6

2) Defensive Response: Joseph’s test elicited a defensive and unified response from the brothers 44:7-13

3) Exposure of Hearts: Joseph’s test both prompted the brothers to acknowledge that God had found out their iniquity and examined the brothers’ concern for Benjamin by declaring him to be a slave 44:14-17

b. Judah’s Plea: Judah’s intercessory pleas on behalf of his brother Benjamin demonstrated his concern for his father and therefore the favorite son 44:18-34

1) Intercessor: Judah approached Joseph as the intercessor and recalled their first meeting with him 44:18-23

2) Father’s Concern: Judah recounted how they had told their father that they could not return to Egypt without Benjamin and reported Jacob’s anxiety over his favorite son 44:24-26

3) Substitution: Judah explained that Jacob would die in sorrow if Benjamin did not return and offered himself as a slave in Benjamin’s place 44:30-34

4. Aftermath:38 In a burst of unrestrainable emotion, Joseph revealed his identity to his brothers, assuring them that it was God’s sovereign purpose in sending him to Egypt and instructing them to bring his father to Egypt, and then was warmly united with his brothers 45:1-15

a. Joseph’s Emotional Revelation of Himself: When Joseph could no longer restrain himself, he revealed his identity to his brothers and assured them that it was God’s sovereign purpose to send him to Egypt in order to preserve the family 45:1-8

b. Joseph’s Instructions: Joseph instructed his brothers to inform his father of all his glory in Egypt and to bring Jacob to Egypt so that the whole family could dwell in security with ample provision 45:9-13

c. Reconciliation: Joseph reunited himself with his brothers 45:14-15

H. Transitional Chapters to Exodus: The time of the patriarchs of Israel closed with Jacob moving to Egypt with God’s approval to be united with his son, with Joseph wisely making provisions for Israel and Egypt, with Jacob affirming the certainty and future of God’s promises and with Joseph confirming the promises by burying his father in the land and comforting his brothers before he died 45:16--50:26

1. The Moving of Israel to Egypt: When the brothers brought news of Joseph’s survival and prosperity in Egypt, Israel went to be reunited with his son and to dwell in the land of Egypt, having been encouraged to go by the Lord, who assured him of the promises in a night vision 45:16--46:30

a. Israel Decides to See Joseph: After the brothers returned to Canaan to tell of Joseph’s survival and prosperity in Egypt, Israel decided to journey to Egypt to see his beloved son 45:16-28

b. God Confirms Israel: When Israel stopped on the way to worship at Beersheba, the Lord God spoke to him in a night vision, sanctioning his departure, confirming the promises, and assuring him of the Lord’s continued presence and blessing on the family 46:1-7

c. Settlement in Egypt: All of the descendant of Israel’s household, some seventy in all, settled in the land of Egypt 46:8-27

d. Reunification: Israel came to Egypt, where he was reunited with his exalted son, Joseph 46:28-30

2. By Wisdom Kings Reign: Joseph acted wisely in presenting his family to Pharaoh so that they received the best of the land of Pharaoh, whom Jacob blessed in return; and then by wisdom Joseph bought almost all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh while saving the lives of the Egyptians and preserving Israel’s prosperity in Goshen 46:31--47:27

a. Provision for Jacob’s Family: Through Joseph’s wise planning, Pharaoh provided land and food for Jacob’s family in Egypt in the midst of a famine 46:31--47:1

b. Provision for Egypt and Pharaoh: Joseph ruled wisely when he saved the lives of the Egyptians by providing food for them in exchange for their money, livestock, land, and lives, thus acquiring almost all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh 47:13-27

3. Faith That Has Learned the Ways of God: Jacob believed that God’s promises to him were certain, even after death, and so he worshiped God, proving his faith by demanding to be buried in the Land of Promise; Jacob also believed that God sovereignly gave his blessing contrary to human expectations, proving his faith by blessing the younger Ephraim over the older Manaaseh 47:28--48:22

a. Place of Burial: Near the end of his life, Jacob by faith made Joseph swear to bury him in the cave of Machpelah and not in Egypt 47:28-31

b. Giving of the Birthright: On his deathbed, Jacob gave the birthright to Joseph by raising Manaaseh and Ephraim to the status of firstborn sons 48:1-7

c. Exaltation of the Younger: In confirming the birthright through the blessing, Jacob by faith exalted the younger Ephraim over the older Manaaseh 48:8-20

d. Double Portion: Believing that God would bring them back to the land, Jacob stated that he had just given the double portion of the birthright to Joseph 48:21-22

4. The Shaping of Destiny: In blessing his sons, Jacob foretold what would befall each of them and their descendants in the latter days, he disqualified Reuben for the birthright because of sin and Simeon and Levi because of violence, but gave kingship to Judah and extensive blessing to Joseph, while briefly declaring the other sons’ fortune in life 49:1-28

a. Prologue: Jacob called his sons together so that he could tell them what would befall them in the latter days 49:1-2

b. Reuben: Reuben lost the birthright because he acted presumptuously in the struggle for succession 49:3-4

c. Simeon and Levi: Simeon and Levi would be dispersed because of their fierce and unjustified anger 49:5-7

d. Judah: Judah would receive the kingship and anticipate a time of abundance because he would act in a valiant and praiseworthy manner 49:8-12

e. Zebulun: Zebulun would dwell by the sea and be a haven for ships 49:13

f. Issachar: Issachar would prefer ease and luxury to the hard work and freedom for which he was equipped 49:14-15

g. Dan: Dan, although small, would help his brothers against oppression 49:16-18

h. Gad: Gad would be raided by marauding bands but would fight back 49:19

i. Asher: Asher’s land would be so fertile that he could delivers delicacies to royalty 49:20

j. Naphtali: Naphtali would be a swift messenger with a message of victory 49:21

k. Joseph: Joseph would prosper abundantly and, when fiercely attacked by his enemies, would be successful because of the help of the God of his father--a blessing that gave Joseph a position above the others 49:22-26

l. Benjamin: Benjamin will be successful and share his substance 49:27

m. Epilogue: This is Jacob’s blessing on the twelve tribes 49:28

5. Deaths and Unfulfilled Promises: In compliance with the instruction of Jacob, Joseph gained permission from Pharaoh to bury his father in the Land of Promise; and in response to his brothers’ fears, Joseph assured them of his favor in spite of their past actions, promising before he died, that God’s promises would be fulfilled 49:29--50:26

a. Burial of Jacob: Joseph, in compliance with his father’s instructions, gained permission from Pharaoh to bury the patriarch in the land of Canaan 49:29--50:14

b. Assurance to Brothers: Joseph, in response to his brother’s fears of retaliation for their past sins, assured them of his kindness to them and of God’s purposes 50:15-21

c. Death of Joseph: Joseph, after a full and prosperous life, died in faith that the promises would be fulfilled 50:22-26


1 This argument is developed with slight adaptation from Allen P. Ross' work Creation and Blessing: A Guide to the Study and Exposition of Genesis (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1988), from personal study, and from notes taken in Allen P. Ross' course 117 Exegesis in the Pentateuch: Genesis (DTS, Fall, 1982).

2 Although the sweep of creation is once again recalled, this passages is more concerned with the successive development of creation. It begins with a closer description of the creation of Adam and Eve (2) and then traces sin and the curse to the expansion of sin in the descendants--the fall (3), the murder of Abel (4:1-15), the development of sin within civilization (4:16-24). There is a ray of hope in the midst of this great decline (4:25, 26).

3 This is a mirror of chapter one--title (4), chaos (5-6), creation (7).

4 It was necessary for man to be in relationship to fully express the image of God.

5 This is the only part of creation which is identified as being not good. Man must be in relationship as God exists in relationship. Here God exposes man to his need.

6 This is once again a downward movement in the genealogy from Adam to Noah. It begins again with the reiteration of the bliss of creation (5:1-2) and ends with God's displeasure over man's existence (6:5-7). The effects of sin on mankind are constantly reiterated with the phrase and he died. Genesis 6:1-8 is the climax. In the midst of man's despair God provides hope through Enoch 5:21--24.

7 This unit links the history of the early people from Adam to Noah through Seth confirming God's promise (3:15). It shows that the result of the curse is that man dies even through civilization prospers (4:20-22). It also demonstrates that God values individual's lives since they are named.

8 This is still a part of the Toledot begun in 5:1 emphasizing the advance of sin in all aspects of creation: (1) from two men--Cain and Abel, (2) to more men--Deswcendants of Cain [esp. Lamech], (3) to man men--the sons of God and the women of men. This section shows how wicked the race had become and precedes a severe judgment (the Flood) because here, sin is severe.

9 This was probably an attempt to achieve immortality through immorality.

10 The terms Nephilim and mighty men (6:4) refer to violent rulers--great princes (cf. Gen 10:8-10; Numbers 13:33. Giants comes form the LXX and the Vulgate.

11 This is the third of the toledot sections. Once gain this is a section of judgment and blessing--a microcosm of the book as a whole. It opens with Noah finding grace (6:9ff). It closes with Noah lying drunk in his tent and Canaan being cursed (9:20-28). Even though there is judgment upon the world through the flood, blessing comes through Noah when through God's grace it is as though the race begins anew. At this point there are many comparisons to Genesis 1--2. Blessing now becomes more prominent in its antithetical position to cursing throughout the rest of the book.

12 Ross notes the following chiastic structure of the flood narrative (Creation and Blessing, 191).

Title: These are the generation of Noah.

Introduction: Noah's righteousness and Noah's sons 6:9-10

A God resolves to destroy the corrupt race 6:11-13

B Noah builds an ark according to God's instructions 6:14-22

C The Lord commands the remnant to enter the ark 7:1-9

D The flood beings 7:10-16

E The flook prevails 7:10-16

F God remembers Noah 8:1

E' The flood receeds

D' The earth dries 8:6-14

C' God commands the remnant to leave the ark 8:5-19

B' Noah builds an altar 8:20

A' The Lord resolves not to destroy humankind 8:21-22.

13 One major purpose of this final section of the Toledot begun in 6:9 is to show that man has not changed at all in his basic essence. Noah, with an opportunity to start a new creation, lies drunk in his tent and his son's descendants are cursed. Another purpose is to show the nation Israel, which is being led by Moses into Canaan (the land of the Canaanites) that the Canaanites were cursed by God long ago in antiquity and therefore they should have confidence as the line of blessing through Shem.

14 Even though Noah found grace and walked with God and brought rest from the curse, the curse overtakes him--a sinner (cf. 6:9; 9:20, 29). It is as though hope was extended temporarily from the genealogy of chapter five, but now this strand dies. Hope is extended through the prophetic work--the oracle on Shem. So too hope is one day realized through the living word--Jesus Christ (John 1:1).

15 There are two major units in this toledot: (1) the table of nations [10:1-32] and (2)the dispersion of the nations [11:1-9]. These units are not in chronological order but thematic order (cf. Gen 1--2). This toledot moves from Noah's world-wide oracle to the nations as a whole. The emphasis is upon man's bent toward evil, but it sets the scene for blessing in the next toledot. The question which arises from this section is, What is the answer to man's constant decay?

16 This table of nations has the following purposes: (1) it clarifies those people who have a part in the blessings and cursings of Noah, (2) it lays the foundation for the blessing of Abraham, a descendant of Shem, (3) it shows that people are spread out across the face of the earth as God desired (cf. 9:1). However, this dispersion did not occur in obedience as 11:1-9 will demonstrate. Only God will be able to unite this factious, warring people. And (4) it provides a world view for the nation Israel that God will move nations to make room for His seed--Israel, Messiah, Christ, ultimately.

17 This is still part of the toledot begun in 10:1. Since the nations are already spread in 10:1-32, this section is ordered thematically and not chronologically. The movement is general to specific--effect to cause. This happens elsewhere in Genesis (e.g., 1--2; 37--39). Chapter 10 describes the different families of the earth and now chapter 11 describes how the families became different and spread across the earth. Thematically, man is pictured as once again being rebellious and thus under the hand of God for discipline. The exact chronology is only hinted at in 10:25 were during the time of Peleg (division) the earth was divided (e.g., four generations after Noah. The structure of the passage emphasizes the complete undoing of man's evil intents with YHWH coming down rather than man coming up (J.P. Fokkelman, Narrative Art in Genesis, 22):

A There is unity 1

B They settle in Shinar 2

C They plan materials 3a

D They prepare materials 3b

E They plan to build a great city and tower 4a

F They desire to have fame and be unified

* YHWH CAME DOWN TO SEE 5a

F' The people are unified for evil 6

E' The people built a city and tower 5b

D' God plans to go down 7a

C' God plans to destroy their tool of unity 7b

B' God scattered them 8

A' There is disunity 9

18 The purposes of this genealogy are as follows: (1) it shows the importance of the call of Abram in God's international and spiritual plans, (2) it connects the continuance of God's plan begun at creation. The selection of Abram is not arbitrary but a divine choice from antiquity, (3) it demonstrates that Noah's oracle is true and will be true since blessing comes through Shem, (4) it shows how God moves the nations--through a man of His choosing--not necessarily a nation which is already great, (5) to bring about hope from the desperate state of man in 11:9, and (6) it fits the artistic structure of the book of general to specific (e.g., families of the earth through Noah's sons to how they become scattered to tracing the line of blessing--God breaking into our world.

19 Another way to arrange this unit is around the promise to Abraham (Ross, Creation and Blessing, 81-82).

I. Call of Abram 12:1-9

II. Development of the Promise--Focus on the Land 12:10--15:21

A. Threat 12:10-20

B. Separation 13

C. Rescue of Lot 14

D. Enactment of the Covenant 15

III. Development of the Promise--Focus on the Seed 16-21

A. Threat 16

B. Separation 17

C. Rescue of Lot 18--19

D. Repeated Threat 20

E. Fulfillment of the Covenant 21

IV. Test of Abraham 22:1-19

V. Epilogue--The transfer of the promise 22:20--25:11

A. Transition 22:20-24

B. Land 23

C. Seed 24

D. Dominion 25:1-11

20 This potentially devastating report comes right after Abraham's great victory. At home in Padan Aram there has been great blessing. Here Abraham has only one son and he almost killed him. Will he return or stay in the land?

21 Even in this difficult word is God's provision for the future of Abraham and the promises, but Abraham does not know this at this time.

22 Genesis 17:3-5.

23 Before the line of blessing may be dealt with, Moses will unfold what became of Abraham's other seed, Ishmael. What happened to Ishmael since he was not in the promise? God still kept his promise to him (cf. 13; 17:20).

24 This next unit continues after the line is set for the recipient of the blessing by switching to the blesser (Isaac) in order to emphasize that he has all to offer (in the upcoming blessing of chapter 27) that Abraham did since he follows in Abraham's steps and God rescues him as He did Abraham.

25 The narrator wraps up the history of Jacob and now Esau before going on to the next stage of blessing.

26 These names cannot be harmonized with his previous wives (27). He seems to have had several wives, some more important than others (like Jacob).

27 The point is comparative 36:31.

28 After God elects Joseph to administer His program in exile, two rounds of testing reveal that Joseph is faithful.

29 Through dreams God elects the faithful Joseph to be the ruler, but he is envied, hated, and sold into slavery by his brothers. There is the evil destruction of life through jealousy (cf. Cain), and deception of the father with the blood of the kid (cf. chapter 27). Joseph is also the faithful servant of the father prefiguring his faithful service in Egypt.

30 Through a series of unusual circumstances, evil is judged and righteousness triumphs, showing in Judah that the program of election cannot be set aside.

31 Through another period of testing Joseph shows himself to be faithful.

32 This chapter probably has a chiastic structure (Ross, Creation and Blessing, 631):

A Meeting 1-4

B Inquiry 5-8

C Dream Explanation 9-11, 12-13

D Request

C' Dream explanation 16-18, 18-19

B' Fulfillment 20-22

A Forgetting 23

33 Having remained faithful in spite of envy, hatred, temptation, and enslavement, Joseph rises to power (cf. the end of chapter 38).

34 Wheras Joseph's tests were designed to demonstrate his faithfulness, the testing of the brothers was necessitated by past unfaithfulness. The point was that participation in God's program of blessing cannot permit evil (i.e., acts and attitudes that destroy life).

35 Joseph accuses them of spying (what they had done to him) and demands Benjamin as proof of their truthfulness. Joseph then puts money in their sacks and imprisons one of them (as they had done to him) to raise their consciousness about evil.

Ross notes a chiasmus in Genesis 42:7-24 (Creation and Blessing, 649).

A Joseph knew his brothers and remembered 7-9a

B Joseph accused them of being spies, but they explained 9b-13

C Joseph set out a test to prove they were honest 14-16

D Joseph put them in prison 17

C' Joseph set out a test to prove they were honest 18-20

B' Brothers confessed, and Reuben accused them of their fault 21-22

A' Joseph understood and wept 23-24

36 The question being answered is will they preserve life? Joseph gives them all good things but shows favoritism to Benjamin, causing envy in the brothers.

37 Now Joseph puts the cup in Benjamin's sack to give them the opportunity to abandon their brother, as they had abandoned him. Good triumphs over evil now, as Judah magnanimously stands for Benjamin (he had learned much in chapter 38).

38 Joseph reveals himself to his brother and explains the work of God in delivering his people.

Related Topics: Introductions, Arguments, Outlines