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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What language did Joseph speak in Egypt?

What language did Joseph speak in Egypt? How did he learn it? Was there a common language like Aramaic? In Genesis 39 part of his ability to find favor must have been the ability to communicate ...
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3k views

What is the meaning of 'the Sun and the Moon' in Joseph's dream?

And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it to his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed yet a dream: and, behold, the sun and the moon and eleven stars made obeisance to me. And he told it to ...
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613 views

Did God make an idol?

In the Decalogue God forbids the making and or worshiping of images in the form of anything in the created order. And God spoke all these words: “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of ...
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2answers
370 views

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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52 views

What would “bless” mean in this context of Genesis 47?

So in this very short exchange between Jacob and Pharaoh, I'm just simply curious about what is meant by this word blessed. Should I interpret this as just a courteous greeting or take it as Jacob ...
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111 views

How did Yaakov hear about Dinah?

Genesis 34 tells about Shechem's rape of Dinah and the events that follow. 34:5 says that Yaakov heard ( שָׁמַע) about this (and didn't act immediately). He didn't hear it from Dinah because she ...
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277 views

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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817 views

Interpretation of Dan being a serpent?

Genesis 49 says that Dan will provide justice for Israel and be a serpent along the roadside, a viper that will bite at the horses heel: 'Dan shall judge his people as one of the tribes of Israel. ...
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75 views

Can “avenge” be substituted for “require” in Genesis 9:5?

Genesis 9:5 begins: "And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. (NIV) "Surely I will require your lifeblood;" (NASB) "And surely your blood of your lives will I require;" (KJV) ...
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885 views

How does Pharaoh know to summon Abram?

In the first story about Abram after his calling, he goes down to Egypt because of a famine and Pharaoh takes Abram's wife Sarai into his household. As a result God inflicts Pharaoh with plagues. ...
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651 views

Is this translation of Genesis 1:1 accurate?

This questions aims to evaluate an argument oulined on this blog by Robert Holmstedt: In a nutshell, the interpretation and translation of the first complex word, בְּרֵאשִׁית, in the Masoretic ...
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Does Genesis say where evil came from? [closed]

The first hint of evil in the Tanakh seems to come in Genesis 3:1 (NJPS): Now the serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild beasts that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really ...
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Adam created after the seventh day?

(Gen 2:2) "Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended His work which he had done; and he rested on the seventh day from all His work which ...
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Why is Elohim translated as God rather than gods in Genesis 1:1?

I mean Elohim is a plural form of God. So the correct translation would be gods. Now, perhaps the word elohim is followed by singular words and hence the word Elohim must mean plural. So what? That ...
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486 views

How credible is the theory that Enki and Ninhursag influenced Genesis 2 and 3?

How credible is the theory that the Sumerian story of Enki and Ninhursag influenced or inspired Genesis 2 and 3? the literature created by the Sumerians left its deep imprint on the Hebrews, and ...
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4answers
198 views

The God of Bethel?

Genesis 31:13 seems to create difficulties in translation. Most English Bibles translate the Masoretic text as saying "God of Bethel", as shown here: Genesis 31:13 (KJV): I am the God of Bethel, ...
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2answers
370 views

What is meant by “clean” and “unclean” animals in Genesis 7?

Genesis 7 orders Noah to take "clean" and "unclean" animals with him into the Ark, but this is way before people received kosher laws on what animals could be eaten. So what is meant here by clean and ...
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2answers
136 views

What is the meaning of Abraham's name?

Genesis 17:5 (NIV) states: No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations. The edition of the Bible that I'm reading has a footnote ...
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325 views

Angel “marriages”, rebellious angels, and Genesis-Jude intertextual connections

While the time of production of Genesis and Jude is separated by hundreds of years, it remains possible that there are literary, inter-textual connections between them. I am interested to know whether ...
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284 views

Was Enoch taken because he was righteous? Genesis 5:24

Genesis 5:24 reads: Enoch walked faithfully with God; then He was no more, because God took him away. Is this stating that Enoch was the only righteous man apart from Noah at this time? What ...
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755 views

Is God male and female?

Reading Genesis I'm a little bit confused about these verses: Genesis 1:26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and ...
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Why does Jacob say “because I saw God face to face”? (Gen 32:30)

After Jacob wrestles with the angel, he names the place Peniel, "because I have seen God face to face." (Gen 32:30). Why does he say that he has seen God face to face? He has only seen an angel, ...
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3answers
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Who is Iscah in Genesis?

Gen. 11:29 states: And Abram and Nahor took themselves wives; the name of Abram's was Sarai, and the name of Nahor's wife was Milcah, the daughter of Haran, the father of Milcah and the father of ...
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410 views

According to Genesis, where do the birds fly?

Genesis 1:20 reads: וַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֱלֹהִ֔ים יִשְׁרְצ֣וּ הַמַּ֔יִם שֶׁ֖רֶץ נֶ֣פֶשׁ חַיָּ֑ה וְעֹוף֙ יְעֹופֵ֣ף עַל־הָאָ֔רֶץ עַל־פְּנֵ֖י רְקִ֥יעַ הַשָּׁמָֽיִם׃ (WLC) Which translates as: And God ...
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Genesis 2:10 - Why are the verbs and the participle translated into English past tense?

The Hebrew text of Gen. 2:10 states, וְנָהָר יֹצֵא מֵעֵדֶן לְהַשְׁקוֹת אֶת הַגָּן וּמִשָּׁם יִפָּרֵד וְהָיָה לְאַרְבָּעָה רָאשִׁים Several words capture my attention: יֹצֵא which is conjugated ...
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319 views

How do we know the usage of the term Adonai in Genesis 15:2?

In Genesis 15:2, Abram uses the term Adonai when addressing the Lord. It is my understanding that this word is an emphatic of Adon, which means Father. What do we know about the cultural and/or ...
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193 views

Is “stars” the object of “made” or “rule” in Genesis 1:16?

Genesis 1:16 says (according to the Complete Jewish Bible translation) "God made the two great lights — the larger light to rule the day and the smaller light to rule the night — and the stars." My ...
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231 views

Whom did Cain marry according to Genesis? [duplicate]

According to Genesis, God created Adam and Eve. They disobeyed God and as a result, they were driven out from heaven. They had two sons, Cain and Abel. Cain killed Abel and God punishes Cain. ...
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What does the reference to “us” mean in Genesis? [duplicate]

What does it mean in Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image...? Why does it seem to sound plural?
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1answer
314 views

Was Ishmael a teenager or a child when he and Hagar were sent away by Sarah?

When Sarah sent Hagar and Ishmael away in Genesis 21, Ishmael is referred to several times as a child: 15When the water in the skin was gone, she put the child under one of the bushes. 16Then she ...
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1answer
392 views

Is there an implied connection between Abraham's circumcision and his fertility?

God establishes a covenant between Himself and Abram while simultaneously instituting the practice of circumcision in Genesis 17:3-14 (NJPS): Abram threw himself on his face; and God spoke to him ...
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855 views

What do we learn from the different usages of “aman” and “batach” in the OT?

aman (Strong's H539) and batach (Strong's H982) are both used in the OT to imply some level of trust in God. And he believed (aman:H539) in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness. (...
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62 views

Is Jacob depicted as “a quiet man” in Genesis 25:27?

Genesis 25:27 describes the distinction between Esau and his brother Jacob: וַֽיִּגְדְּלוּ֙ הַנְּעָרִ֔ים וַיְהִ֣י עֵשָׂ֗ו אִ֛ישׁ יֹדֵ֥עַ צַ֖יִד אִ֣ישׁ שָׂדֶ֑ה וְיַעֲקֹב֙ אִ֣ישׁ תָּ֔ם יֹשֵׁ֖ב ...
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166 views

What was the reason for Tamar and Judah's story?

Genesis CH 38 - Tamar is the widow of Judah's first son. God saw how wicked Judah's first two son were and put them to death. Then Judah was scared of giving his youngest son to Tamar because his fate ...
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437 views

The Correct Meaning of Genesis 6:3 - Also Flesh or Is Flesh?

This is a translational issue which the meaning changes greatly on, depending on how it is rendered. For a Christian reader this matter of spirit or flesh (or both) would be highly relevant. Some ...
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158 views

Is there special meaning to the punishment of being turned into a pillar of salt?

As Lot leaves Sodom the angels warn him (Genesis 19:17): And as they brought them out, one said, "Escape for your life. Do not look back or stop anywhere in the valley. Escape to the hills, lest ...
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200 views

Does base-10 numbering in Genesis 4:24 argue against the Wiseman hypothesis?

This question is a bit esoteric. Looking at numbers in the Bible I noticed this story about one of Cain's decedents: And Lamech said to his wives, “Adah and Zillah, hear my voice; O wives of ...
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1answer
59 views

What would “angel” mean in the context of Genesis 48?

And he blessed Joseph and said, “The God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, the God who has been my shepherd all my life long to this day, the angel who has redeemed me from all ...
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What is the purpose of the phrase “all swarming creatures that swarm on the earth” in Genesis 7:21?

Genesis 7:21 reads: וַיִּגְוַ֞ע כָּל־בָּשָׂ֣ר ׀ הָרֹמֵ֣שׂ עַל־הָאָ֗רֶץ בָּעֹ֤וף וּבַבְּהֵמָה֙ וּבַ֣חַיָּ֔ה וּבְכָל־הַשֶּׁ֖רֶץ הַשֹּׁרֵ֣ץ עַל־הָאָ֑רֶץ וְכֹ֖ל הָאָדָֽם׃ (WLC) The ESV translation ...
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199 views

What is the meaning of “He is to thee a covering of the eyes”(Gen. 20:16)?

Gen. 20:16 records Abimelech's speech to Sarah, "And to Sarah he said, Behold, I have given your brother a thousand pieces of silver: behold, he is to you a covering of the eyes, to all that ...
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1answer
86 views

Were verses 15-18 a later addition to Genesis 22?

I recently learned that many scholars think that verses 15-18 of Genesis 22 were a later addition to the text. These verses comprise the second angelic monologue after his initial instruction to spare ...
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984 views

Did Noah take two doves, or fourteen?

Continuing the response to the meta call for contradiction. In Genesis 6:18 we read the following: And I will make my covenant with you: and those that come on the ark, you and your sons and your ...
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What was life like in Eden before the fall?

This question is partly in response to this question. It's clear from Genesis 2 and 3 that life in Eden was simple (2:15) and innocent (2:24). We know that Adam didn't have to work for his bread (3:...
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148 views

Why did God appear as a firepot and torch to Abram?

So the Lord said to him, “Bring me a heifer, a goat and a ram, each three years old, along with a dove and a young pigeon.” Abram brought all these to him, cut them in two and arranged the halves ...
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166 views

What was Noah instructed to make in Genesis 6:16?

Genesis 6:16a: A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above; (KJV) I don’t know what the second part means,1 but I understand "window." Several other English ...
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How would Jacob have offered a tithe?

In Genesis 28:22 Jacob makes a vow including a promise to give God a tenth (tithe) of whatever God gives to Jacob. Earlier we see Abraham give his tenth to the high priest of Salem, Melchizedek. And ...
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912 views

What does it mean in Genesis 2:2,3 when it says God rested?

Gen 2:2,3 (ESV) And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it ...
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1answer
2k views

Why is Sarah the only woman with an age mentioned in Genesis?

Abraham's wife Sarah is the only female in Genesis for whom an age is ever mentioned. We can read the span of her life (127 years per Genesis 23:1). However, even in advance of when she became ...
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125 views

Why does Abraham plant a tree?

In Genesis 21:33, the text states, Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beer Sheba. This is in the context of a treaty regarding a well in Beer Sheba, but it seems at first glance to have no ...
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Were Shem, Ham and Japheth Triplets?

Genesis 5:32 "Noah was five hundred years old, and Noah became the father of Shem, Ham, and Japheth." When considering the Genealogies of Genesis 5, it becomes evident that the standard form of ...