Genesis & Job

An ancient African proverb imparts wisdom about tackling huge projects: “How does one person eat a whole elephant? One bite at a time.” The Genesis & Job Series is the first bite of Eyewitness Bible Series in tackling the Old Testament.

The most casual reader soon recognizes the majority of the writings of the Old Testament have to do with the history of the Israelites (also known as Hebrews or Jews). Embedded in the Old Testament is a wealth of knowledge about God and his character, books of poetry and proverbs, and a host of prophecies.

In Bibles used by most Protestant Christians, the Old Testament consists of 39 writings, called books. The Eyewitness Bible Series groups these books into three different series:

  • Genesis & Job: Genesis describes the creation of Earth, gives the history of all mankind, and describes a brief history of the Israelite nation from its beginning until it moves to Egypt. All of Genesis is saturated with knowledge about God, his power, and his relationship with mankind. Job is a story of an ancient man, his struggles, and his dealings with God. Although nothing is absolutely clear concerning the time period of his life, it seems as if Job lived in the time before the Israelite nation existed.
  • Promised Land: Covers the time period from the Israelites being slaves in Egypt, their exodus to Canaan, and the conquering of Canaan. This series includes the Old Testament books of Exodus to Judges.
  • Prophets and Kings: Covers the time period from the first prophet and king until the last prophet. It describes the initial occupation of Canaan, the destruction of the Northern Kingdom, the exile of the Southern kingdom, and the return to Judah. With the exception of Job, this includes the Old Testament books of Ruthto Malachi.



The first five chapters of Genesis are truly amazing. They describe the beginning of everything, the creation of everything. Matter, light, mankind, civilization… everything.

Hebrews 11:6 gives an important clue to these chapters: “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Combined with Genesis 1, believers understand that God exists now and existed before there was anything. When God so chose, he created everything. This is a central tenet of the Bible: God created everything.

The creation of mankind is described in Genesis 1:26-31, 2:7, 2:21-25, and 5:1-2. Each of those passages lead to a host of interesting questions, but Genesis 2:7 may be the most intriguing and might help lead to better understanding of the other passages. What is the “breath of life?” Does that mean God took an inanimate body and caused it to start breathing? Or that God took a body without a spirit and gave it spiritual life? Does it make humans be in the image of God?

Genesis 3 gives the account of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Among other important topics, this chapter opens the door for an understanding of the nature of sin and the consequences of sinning. Many people believe the serpent in the story is Satan, which leads to another group of topics and questions.

Genesis 4 relates the story of Cain and Abel. One of the important aspects of this story is learning that people have the capability to resist sin and overcome it. On the other hand, resisting sin is not easy. The word picture in the story is that sin is like a devouring, wild animal lurking nearby, waiting to destroy.


Primary Scriptures:
Genesis 1-5
Story Summary:
The beginning of everything
Garden of Eden and nearby
Beginning - Creation of Everything