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.



Abraham gets very old and has no grandchildren. His son, Isaac, through whom his descendants will be numbered, is single. They live in Canaan, surrounded by people who do not believe in God. So, Abraham sends his trusted servant, whose name is unknown, back to Abraham’s home country to find a bride for Isaac, specifying that the bride must be from his own clan and his father’s family.

Through prayer, the faithful servant is led to Rebecca, the granddaughter of Isaac’s aunt. Through the giving of gifts and negotiation with Rebecca’s brother and mother, the servant receives permission to take Rebecca back to Isaac. Rebecca’s brother, Laban, will come back in the story many decades later.

Lucky Isaac! He receives Rebecca and comes to love her. Through virtually no effort of his own, at the age of forty he ends up with an awesome wife!

The Bible reveals that Abraham marries Keturah after Sarah dies. Through her, Abraham has many other children. While alive, he gave these children gifts, but then sent them away. At his death, Abraham leaves everything to Isaac…nothing to the others or to Ishmael. Isaac was his sole heir!

The Bible has a lot to tell about Isaac’s father and Isaac’s children, but little about Isaac. Genesis 26 seems to be almost a summary of his life. There is a famine in Canaan, but Isaac stays because of God’s command; just like his father, Isaac worries about getting killed by men who want his beautiful wife, so he lies about her, gets caught, and ends up being rich, moving around the countryside getting older and richer.

Primary Scriptures:
Genesis 27-27
Story Summary:
Isaac and Rebecca; births of Esau and Jacob; final blessings of Isaac
Isaac’s birth is probably 2100 - 1900 BC