The first book of the Hebrew Bible which covers events from Creation to the start of Israel's sojourn in Egypt.

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At what point did Abraham know he was talking to God in Genesis 18?

At the start of the story in Genesis 18, Abraham does not seem to know who the three men are: Looking up, he saw three men standing near him. As soon as he saw them, he ran from the entrance of ...
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523 views

What is the Fear/fear of Isaac?

The ESV renders Genesis 31:42 like so (emphasis mine): If the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac, had not been on my side, surely now you would have sent me away ...
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Who was Nimrod?

In the middle of an otherwise repetitive genealogy in Genesis 10, one man is especially singled out: Cush was the father of Nimrod, who became a mighty warrior on the earth. He was a mighty hunter ...
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What is the “Water” of Genesis 1:2?

We read in the creation account: The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.—Genesis 1:2 ...
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How big were the nomadic clans of the patriarchs?

According to the book Genesis, 70 people came down with Jacob to dwell in Egypt after contact was made with Joseph: And the sons of Joseph who were born to him in Egypt were two souls; all the ...
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Why is Jacob renamed Israel twice?

Why does Jacob get renamed to Israel on two separate occasions? The first time Jacob is renamed Israel is by the "angel/divine being" when they finish "fighting". This is in Genesis 32:25. The ...
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Is there any significance to the shift between cardinal and ordinal numbers in Genesis 1?

Genesis 1:5 uses a cardinal number "one" to describe the first day - יֹ֥ום אֶחָֽד - whereas all of the following days are modified by ordinals (WLC): 1:8 - יֹ֥ום שֵׁנִֽי 1:13 - יֹ֥ום שְׁלִישִֽׁי ...
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Abraham's faith accounted to him for righteousness

In Gen. 15:6 it says "he(Abram) believed in the Lord, and He counted it to him for righteousness." My question is, how was this passage understood historically (in the OT/Hebrew Bible)? There are ...
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The meaning of “stranger and sojourner” in Genesis 23:4 and Leviticus 25:23

In Genesis 23:4 Abraham is in conversation with the residents of Heth and says: "I am a stranger and a sojourner with you. Give me a possession for a burying place with you, that I may bury my ...
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In Genesis 3, does the serpent's curse include a demotion?

In Genesis 1, three broad categories of creatures are brought into being before the creation of man: 24And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds—livestock ...
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Is “breath of life” in Genesis 2:7 is the same as spirit?

And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. Genesis 2:7 (KJV) What is the meaning of "breath of life" ...
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What is the relationship between the “Adversary” in Job and the serpent in Genesis?

An individual named the Adversary appears in Job 1:6-12 (NJPS): One day the divine beings presented themselves before the Lord, and the Adversary came along with them. The Lord said to the ...
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Why does God say he only revealed his name, Yahweh, to Moses?

Responding the the meta call for contradiction In Exodus 6:2 we find the following quote: And God spoke to Moses and said to him I am Yahweh. And I showed to Abraham, to Isaac, and to ...
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Before the Tower of Babel did all speak Hebrew as the original human language?

I find it fascinating that rabbinic literature suggests that Hebrew was the original human language. I have seen Christian authors also argue the same. For example, from the Jewish Encyclopedia: ...
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How to save Paul from the Galatians 3 “seed” vs “seeds” argument blunder?

Galatians 3:16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. How does one rescue Paul from the ...
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530 views

Does the Bible say the Earth is flat?

I have found so much gossip on the Net and no Biblical verses that clearly support the 'flat earth' notion. I know Job spoke of the 'circle of the Earth' and other very interesting aspects of the ...
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What does “invoke the name of the LORD” mean in Genesis?

The phrase "call upon the name of the LORD" turns up occasionally in Genesis: Genesis 12:8 (ESV) 8  From there he moved to the hill country on the east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with ...
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What is the historical basis for viewing Genesis 3:15 as the 'protoevangelium'?

Genesis 3:15 is referred to by Christian theologians as the protoevangelium (first proclamation of the [Christian] gospel). The text reads: Hebrew (MT): וְאֵיבָ֣ה׀ אָשִׁ֗ית בֵּֽינְךָ֙ וּבֵ֣ין ...
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When does the first day of Genesis 1 begin?

This may sound like a silly question at first, but I honestly can't decide for myself. I've always assumed that where the text says "And there was evening, and there was morning—the *n*th day" that ...
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Does Genesis contain a “death sandwich”?

Recently David Musgrave of Amridge University and Gordon Rugg of Keele University presented research that suggests the entire book of Genesis contains an inclusio on the words "life" and "death". ...
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Based on Genesis 4:26, upon whom did Adam call?

According to Genesis 4:26, 26 To Seth also a son was born, and he called his name Enosh. At that time people began to call upon the name of the Lord. The seeming sensus plenoir would thus be ...
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What does Genesis 3:16 literally say?

I've noticed that sometimes words are repeated in the hebrew text. Gen 3:16 אֶֽל־ H413 to הָ·אִשָּׁ֣ה H802 Unto the woman אָמַ֗ר H559 he said הַרְבָּ֤ה H7235 I will greatly אַרְבֶּה֙ H7235 ...
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Where does the extra information about Melchizedek come from in Hebrews 7?

The Genesis account of Abraham's encounter with Melchizedek leaves us with powerful few details about his life, yet later on the author of Hebrews clearly uses his priestly work as a type of Christ, ...
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What is the significance of the author of Genesis using two different designations for God?

In Genesis 4:25; 6:3,6-8, 9-22; 7:1, 9, 16a/b; 8:1-19, 20-22, we see the author using two designations for God, “Yahweh”, and “Elohim”. What is the significance, if any, of the author bouncing back ...
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What does 'Dominon' mean in Genesis?

"And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and ...
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Hebrew Text Indicative of a Local or Global Flood?

I am trying to look for hints in the text of Genesis regarding Noah's account. There has been plenty of debate on whether the flood described is local or global. The usual line of thought is that the ...
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Just how overpriced was Efron's burial cave anyway?

In Genesis 23 Avraham pays 400 shekels to Efron for a burial cave for Sarah (and, later, other family members). This seems to be an enormous amount of money and Rashi suggests it's even worse than it ...
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Different versings of Genesis 32

Christian versions of the Bible seem to have a different versing scheme than Jewish ones for Genesis chapter 32. What is the first verse in the Hebrew versions is the last verse of 31 in the Jewish ...
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What is the significance of Methuselah's name?

I've heard that Methuselah's name was given to him by Enoch in response to a prophecy concerning the flood. Since he seems to have died in the year of the flood (according to the Masoretic and ...
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In Genesis 20:13, why is elohim with a plural verb translated God rather than gods?

Genesis 20:13 (ESV) And when God caused me to wander… (WLC): ויהי כאשר התעו אתי אלהימ Another question asked about the translation of אלהימ (‘elohim) using the singular God. The answers ...
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Why did the Masoretes take away 100 (or 50) years from the age of the fathers at their first sons' dates of birth?

The Septuagint (along with the Samaritan Pentateuch) and Flavius Josephus in his Jewish Antiquities allow for about 6 to 7 hundred more years from our days back to the Flood (which accordingly would ...
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Cain's lineage vs. Adam's

Are the writers of Genesis trying to compare Cain's (Genesis 4:6) and Adam's lineages (Genesis 5) to show the difference between a community that follows God and a community that moves away from God? ...
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What is the name of Joseph's Tribe

In the list of 12 Jewish tribes, which corresponds to Joseph? Out of the 12 tribe names, nothing is similar to the name Joseph. For example, in 1 Chronicles 12:23-39 the divisions in David's forces ...
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539 views

Is “wept on his neck” a Hebrew idiom?

In a number of places, the English Standard Version uses a phrase like "wept on his neck," e.g. Then he fell upon his brother Benjamin's neck and wept, and Benjamin wept upon his neck. —Genesis ...
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Were the Nephilim in Genesis 6 aliens?

Could Genesis 6:1-4 be talking about aliens? (ESV): When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were ...
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How did mankind's way of relating to God change in Genesis 4:26?

At the end of Chapter 4 of Genesis there is a statement in verse 26, "It was then that men began to invoke the Lord by name." Other translations have "call on the name" or "worship the LORD by name". ...
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What was the authorial intent of Genesis 1?

The first chapter of Genesis is one of the most hotly debated passages of Scripture -- even amongst Biblical scholars. It is often at the center of debates about the age of the earth, the accuracy of ...
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How are we to take the fact that Lot offered his daughters for rape?

In Genesis two angels visited Sodom and Gomorrah to check what's what. The residents of the town wanted to rape the angels (who had visited the most virtuous man in the town, Lot). Lot to protect the ...
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Was the tower of Babel a ziggurat?

I've read a couple commentators who depend fairly heavily in their interpretations of the tower of Babel narrative on the assumption that the tower being built was a ziggurat; but I'm not sure how ...
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What does “bless” [ברך] mean?

יברך and ברך are translated as bless/ing all over the Bible but translated as kneel/ing in Gen 24:11, 2 Chr 6:13 ברך is translated as knee in Isa 45:23 What does the word ברך, translated as "bless" ...
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Can we use “linguistic fingerprints” to identify different authors of the Bible?

I read, what was to me, quite an interesting blog post about different authors' contributing to different parts of the bible measured by analysing "linguistic fingerprints": For millions of Jews ...
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Numeral system in the time of the Genesis

Genesis 41:49 (King James Version) And Joseph gathered corn as the sand of the sea, very much, until he left numbering; for it was without number. Without being a perfect equivalent, this ...
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How does the Genesis account of the Tower of Babel compare with other traditions about the tower?

I'm aware there are number of accounts of the Tower of Babel in Midrash, from the Islamic traditions, Kabalah, Josephus and the Jubilees. For the most part, these accounts seem to derive from ...
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What is the meaning of the paseq in Genesis 1.5?

Genesis 1:5: וַיִּקְרָ֨א אֱלֹהִ֤ים ׀ לָאֹור֙ יֹ֔ום וְלַחֹ֖שֶׁךְ קָ֣רָא לָ֑יְלָה וַֽיְהִי־עֶ֥רֶב וַֽיְהִי־בֹ֖קֶר יֹ֥ום אֶחָֽד׃ (WLC) God called [paseq] the light Day, and the darkness he ...
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Assessments of the evidence for the “Gap Theory” reading of Genesis 1:1-2?

Ever since the emergence of an understanding of "geological time" in the 18th Century, there has been a perceived tension with the six-day account of creation in Genesis 1 -- at least, if those "days" ...
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What does it mean when God separated light from darkness?

Genesis 1:4 NIV God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God separated the light from the darkness. I don't get this part. Does it mean that light and ...
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Natural disaster at Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 19:24?

In Genesis 19:24, it states: Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven; Does this passage suggest that the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah ...
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374 views

Is the ESV rendering “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever” in Genesis 6:3 accurate?

I am reading through Genesis in the ESV for the first time and was struck by some unfamiliar wording in Genesis 6:3. It reads: "My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days ...
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What is the likely way in which ancient Hebrews would have understood “raqiya” in Gen 1:6?

In Genesis 1:6, the word "firmament" (Hebrew: raqiya) is referring to what we call the sky. It separates the waters below (oceans, lakes, rivers, etc) from the waters above (where the rain comes ...
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What are the “generations” in Genesis 2:4?

Genesis 2:4: These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens.(ESV) (BHS) אֵ֣לֶּה תֹולְדֹ֧ות ...