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The First Book of the Bible (Photo by Shutterstock).

In the beginning...

The Book of Genesis, also known as the Book of Beginnings, is the first of the 66 books of the Christian Bible.

Overview

The book of Genesis, also known as the First Book of the Bible, is the first book of the Torah and sacred scriptures, chronicling the beginning of human history, including its fall and the beginning of Israel, with the book ending with Joseph, great-grandson of Abraham, ruling Egypt, with his brothers staying in the lands of Egypt. After that, the book of Exodus begins, which narrates the slavery of the Hebrews at the hands of the Egyptians.

Key characters

  • The Serpent - Responsible for the coming of evil to Earth
  • Adam - The First Man
  • Eve - The First Woman
  • Yahweh - The Creator
  • Abraham - Founder of the Abrahamic Religions

Myths and Legends

Creation

The book of Genesis begins by narrating the creation of the Universe. In the first chapters we have the presentation of the main character, God, who is mentioned as the creator of Heaven and Earth. This idea was a little new at the time, as contrary to common beliefs that placed chaos as the primordial source of life, with life starting directly or indirectly from it, in Genesis 1:1 it already states that the world was created by Elohim. The author of Genesis was also bold and pretentious in not adding a specific narrator to the Genesis story, leaving the narrator anonymous. Yet, it is later mentioned who was the narrator behind the Genesis narrative, as well as the rest of the Bible, who was Lady Wisdom, who was used by Elohim to create the world.

Furthermore, usually the authors of myths used to put in their epic and mythological poems something like a mystical or legendary struggle between order and chaos, where order overthrows chaos giving rise to creation. Nevertheless, in the book of Genesis, the author instead of creating a battle between order and chaos, the author placed nothingness as the opponent of the creative word of Elohim. The Genesis narrative goes on to detail how Elohim creates the universe through the creative word with each passing day, starting with creating light on the first day and separating it from the night.

On the second day, God created Heaven, forming a firmament between heaven and earth. On the third day, God created vegetation. On the fourth day, God created the Sun, Moon and Stars. On the fifth day, God created the aquatic and aerial animals. On the sixth day, God created the land animals and, finally, Adam and Eve (or Lilith), in His image and likeness. And on the seventh day, God rested. Those were the Seven Days of Creation.

Quotes

Gallery

Trivia

  • Taking the Genesis narrative literally, the age of the Earth and the universe would be around 6,026 years, with its birth occurring in the year 4,004 BCE.
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