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FIRST BOOK OF THE TORAH GENESIS. THREE NARRATIVE CYCLES 1. Chapters 1-11: Primeval History 2. Chapters 12-36: Ancestral Stories 3. Chapters 37-50: Story.

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Presentation on theme: "FIRST BOOK OF THE TORAH GENESIS. THREE NARRATIVE CYCLES 1. Chapters 1-11: Primeval History 2. Chapters 12-36: Ancestral Stories 3. Chapters 37-50: Story."— Presentation transcript:

1 FIRST BOOK OF THE TORAH GENESIS

2 THREE NARRATIVE CYCLES 1. Chapters 1-11: Primeval History 2. Chapters 12-36: Ancestral Stories 3. Chapters 37-50: Story of Joseph

3 PRIMEVAL HISTORY The Deity seems ambivalent towards his creation, willing to destroy it

4 COVENANT WITH NOAH The “sign” of the covenant is the rainbow “I set my [rain] bow in the clouds and it shall be a sign of the Covenant between me and the earth. When I gather the clouds over the earth and the bow appears in the clouds, I will recall the Covenant between myself and you and every living creature of every kind.” Genesis 9:13-15

5 NOAH’S SONS Three Principle Branches of the Human Family known to Ancient Hebrews 1. Ham (from Ham come the Egyptians) 2. Shem (from Shem come the Semitic peoples) 3. Japheth (from Japheth come the Aegean people—Greeks)

6 TOWER OF BABEL Genesis 11 An etiological account It attempts to account for the many languages of humans It recalls human ambition and divine retribution as appeared in the expulsion from Eden

7 ANCESTRAL STORIES Chapters trace the stories of Abraham and Sarah, progenitors of future Israel, and their colorful descendants through four turbulent generations. It opens with God’s call to Abraham in Haran, and ends with his great-grandchildren—Joseph and his eleven brothers—settled in Egypt.

8 THE JOURNEY OF ABRAHAM AND HIS PROGENY OUTLINE THE GEOGRAPHY OF THE BIBLICAL WORLD

9 GENESIS 15:18-21 COVENANT WITH ABRAHAM Boundaries of the “Promised Land” “that day Yahweh made a Covenant with Abram in these terms: ‘To your descendants I give this land, from the wadi of Egypt to the Great River, the river Euphrates...”

10 PROMISED LAND COVENANT WITH ABRAHAM Scholars believe that because Israel’s frontiers did not reach that extent until the reigns of David and Solomon (1000 BCE) that this form of the promises cannot be dated to Abraham, but many centuries later.

11 TWELVE TRIBES OF ISRAEL Joseph and his eleven brothers are the eponymous founders of the twelve tribes Eponymous means ‘name giving’ The names of the Twelve Tribes come from Joseph and his brothers (Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph (later divided into Ephraim and Manassah), Benjamin, Gad, Ashur, Dan, Naphtali)

12 FROM CHAPTER 12 The rest of Genesis focuses on the ancestors of a single nation, Israel—as opposed to all of humankind From Chapter 12 there is a new phase in the divine- human relationship In primeval history, God and human relationship is adversarial By Genesis 12, Yahweh displays great flexibility with humans

13 COVENANT WITH ABRAHAM Genesis has four different versions of a covenant between God and Abraham Genesis 12:2-3 Genesis 15:1-21 Genesis 17: 1-22 Genesis 22:15-18

14 “SIGN” COVENANT WITH ABRAHAM Genesis 17:11 “You shall circumcise your foreskin, and this shall be the sign of the Covenant between myself and you.” The ritual was not widely observed until much later in Israel’s history. Moses was unaware of the practice. And before invading Canaan, Joshua ordered his troops to submit to mass circumcision, a practice with which they were apparently unfamiliar Joshua 5:2-7

15 REBEKAH MARRIES ISAAC Chapter 24 She follows the servant out of Mesopotamia to marry Isaac She gives birth to twins, first-born Esau, and Jacob She deceives Isaac into giving his blessing to Jacob She has a major role in Israel’s destiny

16 JACOB Jacob personifies the character of Israel: strengths and weaknesses, and a dynamic relationship with God He undergoes powerful life-changing experiences In one, Jacob encounters God at Bethel

17 THEOPHANY A visible or perceptible appearance of the Deity to humans In Genesis, appears more frequently to more individuals than in any other book of the Bible Chapter 28:10-22

18 WRESTLING WITH GOD Jacob is attacked in the night—the night before he is to encounter Esau Neither Jacob nor the assailant is successful In the dawn, Jacob recognizes his opponent at “I have seen God face to face...” 32:30 Henceforth, Jacob is Israel, the one who has “striven with God [El] and with humans, and has prevailed”

19 NEW IDENTITY Instead of being Jacob, the “supplanter” he his now Israel—like his name sake the nation, locked in a complex relationship with God


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