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.


Young Abraham

Genesis 10-11:26 gives a very brief history of mankind from the time of Noah until the time of Abram, who will later be re-named Abraham. Although it is easy to skim through this section, it provides a background of nations that will be helpful to know through the rest of the Old Testament and up to today’s time.

By the end of Genesis 11, we learn that Abram is the son of Terah, and they have moved from Ur to Haran. Abram is married to his half-sister, Sarai, and they are unable to have children. Abram’s nephew, Lot, is living with them. Terah dies at the age of 205.

Upon Terah’s death, God tells Abram to take everything and everybody and move to a country that will be revealed in due time, and in return, God promises to make Abram into a great nation, bless him, make his name great, and bless all people through him. At age seventy-five, Abram takes everything and everybody and heads to Canaan, approximately the land of modern Israel and Palestine.

After a brief stay in Egypt, Abram and Lot arrive in Canaan with many animals and possessions. They agree to split up in order to preserve family peace. Lot chooses to live on the plain near Sodom and Gomorrah. One time, Lot gets kidnapped and Abram has to rescue him. This provides the setting for Abram to meet the mysterious priest and king, Melchizedek.

The Lord takes the occasion to convert his previous promise to Abram into a one-sided covenant through a very elaborate ceremony. As part of this covenant, God names all of the country that will be given to Abram’s descendants.

Primary Scriptures:
Genesis 10-20
Story Summary:
God calls Abraham, gives him a promise; birth of Ishmael; fall of Lot
Ur, Harran, and Canaan
Abraham’s birth is probably 2200 – 2000 BC