Genesis Bible Study Resources

by | Jul 21, 2020 | 02 Library, Resources by Book

Genesis Bible Study Resources

Study questions, maps, charts, key words, history, background, outlines, and links to help you study the Old Testament book of Genesis.

Jump to: Background; ** Maps; ** Key Words; ** Encyclopedias; ** Commentaries; ** Articles; ** GotQuestions ** Next **

Genesis Basics

  • Title: The Hebrew bereshith refers to “in the beginning”. The name Genesis means “origin” and refers to beginnings.
  • Author: Moses, probably written around 1400 BC while in the wilderness
  • Abraham’s family tree
  • Genesis is not a scientific document. (You don’t read Shakespeare to learn English history.)

Genesis Literary Structure

  1. Introduction – Gen 1:1-2:3
  2. “The account of the heavens and the earth” – Gen 2:4-4:26
  3. “The written account of Adam’s line” – Gen 5:1-6:8
  4. “The account of Noah” – Gen 6:9-9:29
  5. “The account of Shem, Ham and Japheth” – Gen 10:1-11:9
  6. “The account of Shem” – Gen 11:10-26
  7. “The account of Terah” – Gen 11:27-25:11
  8. “The account of Abraham’s son Ishmael” – Gen 25:12-18
  9. “The account of Abraham’s son Isaac” – Gen 25-19-35:29
  10. “The account of Esau” – Gen 36:1-37:1
  11. “The account of Jacob” – Gen 37:2-50:26

Genesis Thematic Structure

Primal History

  1. Creation – Gen 1:1-2:3
  2. Adam and Eve in Eden – Gen 2:4-25
  3. The fall and its consequences – Gen 3:1-24
  4. The rapid “progress” of sin – Gen 4:1-16
  5. Two genealogies – Gen 4:17-5:32
  6. The extent of sin before the fall- Gen 6:1-8
  7. The great flood – Gen 6:9-9:29
  8. The spread of the nations – Gen 10:1-11:26

Patriarchal History

  1. The life of Abraham – Gen 11:27-25:11
  2. The descendants of Ishmael – Gen 25:12-18
  3. The life of Jacob – Gen 25L19-35:29
  4. The descendants of Esau – Gen 36:1-37:1
  5. The life of Joseph – Gen 37:2-50:26

Genre: Understanding Narrative

Section 1: Background

Background & Outlines

Chart: Bible History at a glance

Blue Letter Bible: Old Testament Timeline

Jensen’s Survey of the Old Testament

Bible Atlas: Egypt

Bible Atlas: Sinai

Bible Atlas: Mount Horeb/Sinai

Introduction to the Pentateuch

Ray C Stedman: Overview of the Book

John MacArthur: Author, Date, Background

ESV Introduction to Genesis

ESV The Global Message of Genesis

NIV: Introduction to Genesis

Biblehub: Timeline of Genesis

Hebrew Calendar

Genesis quotes in the NT

Pentateuch at a glance

Ligonier: Introduction to Genesis

Ligonier: Introduction to the Pentateuch

JVernon McGee: Genesis Notes & Outline

William Orr: 39 Keys to the OT – Genesis

Charles Swindoll: Book of Genesis Overview

James van dine: Analysis of Genesis

David Malick ( An Introduction to Genesis

David Malick: An Argument of the Book of Genesis

Section 2: Maps

Maps from Holman Bible Atlas

The Face of the Ancient Near East

The Ancient Near East

Biblical Regions

Modern States and the Ancient Near East

Mesopotamia: Homeland of Abraham

Egypt: Land of Bondage

Syria and Lebanon

International Routes, The King’s Highway

Geography and Trade Routes of the Middle East

Natural Regions of Palestine

National Regions of Ancient Palestine

Physical Geography of Palestine

Topography of Palestine

Cross Sectional Views of Longitudinal Zones

Northern Coastal Plains

Plain of Dor, Plain of Sharon, Samaria, et al.

Philistine Plain, Shephelah, Judah, and the Dead Sea

Arabah, Negeb, Wildernesses of Zin and Paran

The Old City of Jerusalem Today

Modern Political Divisions of Ancient Palestine

Climate Patterns of Ancient Palestine

Before Abraham

Selected Neolithic and Chalcolithic Settlements

The Table of Nations_(1)

The Table of Nations_(2)

Ancient Near East in the 3rd Millennium

The World of the Patriarchs

Ancient Near East in the Time of the Patriarchs

The Land of Canaan from Abraham to Moses

Palestine in the Middle Bronze Age

The Migration of Abraham

Abraham in Canaan

Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob

Travels of Jacob

The Journeys of Joseph

ESV Charts & Maps

Genealogies of Genesis

Genealogies: Age at Fatherhood and Death

Chronology of Noah’s Time in Ark

Generations of Genesis

Garden of Eden

Table of Nations

Abram Travels to Canaan

Jacob Returns to Canaan

Egypt at the Time of Joseph

ESV Maps

Section 3: Key Words

Key Words of Genesis

God said (89x) – Gen 1:3; Gen 1:6; Gen 1:9; Gen 1:11; Gen 1:14; Gen 1:20; Gen 1:24; Gen 1:26; Gen 1:28; Gen 1:29; Gen 2:18; Gen 3:1; Gen 3:3; Gen 3:9; Gen 3:13; Gen 3:14; Gen 3:22; Gen 4:25; Gen 6:13; Gen 9:1; Gen 9:12; Gen 9:17; Gen 9:26; Gen 14:19; Gen 14:22; Gen 15:2; Gen 15:8; Gen 15:13; Gen 16:13; Gen 17:1; Gen 17:9; Gen 17:15; Gen 17:18; Gen 17:19; Gen 17:23; Gen 20:3; Gen 20:6; Gen 20:11; Gen 20:13; Gen 21:6; Gen 21:12; Gen 21:17; Gen 22:1; Gen 22:8; Gen 22:12; Gen 24:12; Gen 24:27; Gen 24:42; Gen 26:24; Gen 27:20; Gen 28:13; Gen 28:17; Gen 30:2; Gen 30:6; Gen 30:18; Gen 30:20; Gen 30:23; Gen 31:5; Gen 31:11; Gen 31:16; Gen 31:24; Gen 32:2; Gen 32:9; Gen 32:28; Gen 32:30; Gen 33:5; Gen 33:10; Gen 35:1; Gen 35:10; Gen 35:11; Gen 40:8; Gen 41:25; Gen 41:39; Gen 41:51; Gen 41:52; Gen 42:18; Gen 42:28; Gen 43:23; Gen 43:29; Gen 44:16; Gen 46:2; Gen 46:3; Gen 48:3; Gen 48:9; Gen 48:11; Gen 48:15; Gen 48:21; Gen 50:19; Gen 50:24;

God commanded (4x) – Gen 2:16; Gen 6:22; Gen 7:9; Gen 7:16; Gen 21:4.

generations (14x) – Strong’s H8435 – Gen 5:1; Gen 6:9; Gen 9:12; Gen 10:1; Gen 11:10; Gen 11:27; Gen 17:7; Gen 17:9; Gen 17:12; Gen 25:12; Gen 25:19; Gen 36:1; Gen 36:9; Gen 37:2.

covenant (23x) – Strong’s H1285 in Gen 6:18; Gen 9:9; Gen 9:11; Gen 9:12; Gen 9:13; Gen 9:15; Gen 9:16; Gen 9:17; Gen 15:18; Gen 17:2; Gen 17:4; Gen 17:7; Gen 17:9; Gen 17:10; Gen 17:11; Gen 17:13; Gen 17:14; Gen 17:19; Gen 17:21; Gen 21:27; Gen 21:32; Gen 26:28; Gen 31:44.

circumcised (15x) – Strong’s H4135 in Gen 17:10; Gen 17:11; Gen 17:12; Gen 17:13; Gen 17:14; Gen 17:23; Gen 17:24; Gen 17:25; Gen 17:26; Gen 17:27; Gen 21:4; Gen 34:15; Gen 34:17; Gen 34:22; Gen 34:24.

altar (11x) – Strong’s H4196 – Gen 8:20; Gen 12:7; Gen 12:8; Gen 13:4; Gen 13:18; Gen 22:9; Gen 26:25; Gen 33:20; Gen 35:1; Gen 35:3; Gen 35:7.

Section 4: Encyclopedias

Dictionaries & Encyclopedias


Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology: Genesis, Theology Of

American Tract Society: Genesis

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary: Genesis

Easton’s Bible Dictionary: Genesis

Fausset Bible Dictionary: Genesis, the Book of

Holman Bible Dictionary: Genesis

Hastings’ Dictionary of the Bible: Genesis

Morrish Bible Dictionary: Genesis, Book of

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: Genesis

McClintock and Strong: Genesis

The Nuttall Encyclopedia: Genesis

The Jewish Encyclopedia: Genesis, the Book Of

Abraham, Abram

Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology: Abraham

American Tract Society: Abraham

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary: Abraham

Easton’s Bible Dictionary: Abraham

Fausset Bible Dictionary: Abraham

Holman Bible Dictionary: Abraham

Hastings’ Dictionary of the Bible: Abraham

Morrish Bible Dictionary: Abraham

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: Abraham

McClintock and Strong: Abraham

The Nuttall Encyclopedia: Abraham

The Jewish Encyclopedia: Abraham

Abraham means “Father of a great multitude” – Hitchcock’s Bible Names

Abram means “high father” – Hitchcock’s Bible Names


Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology: Jacob

American Tract Society: Jacob

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary: Jacob

Easton’s Bible Dictionary: Jacob

Fausset Bible Dictionary: Jacob

Holman Bible Dictionary: Jacob

Hastings’ Dictionary of the Bible: Jacob

Morrish Bible Dictionary: Jacob

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia:  Jacob (1); Jacob (2)

McClintock and Strong: Jacob

The Nuttall Encyclopedia: Jacob

The Jewish Encyclopedia: Jacob


Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology:

American Tract Society: Joseph

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary: Joseph the Son of Jacob

Easton’s Bible Dictionary: Joseph

Fausset Bible Dictionary: Joseph

Holman Bible Dictionary: Joseph

Hastings’ Dictionary of the Bible: Joseph

Morrish Bible Dictionary: Joseph

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: Joseph (1); Joseph (2)

McClintock and Strong: Joseph

The Nuttall Encyclopedia: Joseph

The Jewish Encyclopedia: Joseph

Section 5: Commentaries

Commentaries Top 5 Commentaries: Genesis

Tim Challies Best Commentaries: Genesis

Commentary Reviews: Genesis

Biblehub Commentaries: Genesis

 NICOT – Victor P. Hamilton

 WBC – Gordon J. Wenham

Calvin’s Commentary on the Bible: Genesis

Matthew Henry: Genesis

Albert Barnes Notes: Genesis

Reformation Study Bible Notes: Genesis

Geneva Study Bible: Genesis

Precept Austin Commentaries & Sermons: Genesis

Section 6: Articles

Institute for Creation Research

List of links that have “Genesis” in the article including:

Genesis: Real, Reliable, Historical

Does Genesis Matter to the Gospel?

Genesis and Climate Change

Is Genesis 1–11 Actual History?

Genesis Is History, Not Poetry: Exposing Hidden Assumptions about What Hebrew Poetry Is and Is Not

The Draining Floodwaters: Geologic Evidence Reflects the Genesis Text

The Flood of Noah and the Flood of Gilgamesh 

Preaching Genesis

Time and Creation

Men and Dinosaurs Coexisted

Dinosaurs and Dragon Legends

Evolutionists Can’t Fill the Hexapod Gap

Archive of Back to Genesis Articles


Alfred Edersheim: Genesis – The World Before the Flood, and The History of the Patriarchs

Daniel Estes: Genesis – Looking For Abraham’s City (Bibliotheca Sacra, 1990)

Walter Kaiser: The Promised Land: A Biblical-Historical View (Bibliotheca Sacra, 1981)

Bruce Waltke: Genesis 4 Cain and His Offering (WTJ, 1986)

The Skull Crushing Seed of the Woman: Inner-Biblical Interpretation of Genesis 3:15 James Hamilton 

Ailing, Charles. “Joseph in Egypt” Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6

Interpretation of Genesis: Journal of Ev Theo Soc13.4, 1970 G Van Groningen

Bullmore, Michael A. “The Four Most Important Biblical Passages For A Christian Environmentalism” Trinity Journal 19 (1998)

Grounds, Vernon C. “God’s Perspective on Man,” Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation

Kline, Meredith.  “Because It Had not Rained,”  Westminster Theological Journal 20

Hasel, G. F.  “The Significance of the Cosmology in Gen 1 in Relation to Ancient near Eastern Parallels,”  Andrews University Seminary Studies

Estes, Daniel J. “Looking for Abraham’s City,” Bibliotheca Sacra 147

Dilling, David R. “The Atonement and Human Sacrifice,” Grace Theological Journal 5 

Phillips, Perry G. “Did Animals Die before the Fall?” Perspectives in Science and Christian Faith

Rooker, Mark F. “Genesis 1:1-3: Creation or Re-Creation? Pt 1 Bib Sac 149 (Part 2

Sailhamer, John. “Exegetical Notes: Genesis 1:1-2:4a,” TrinityJournal 5.1 (1984)

 Seely, Paul H. “The Firmament and the Water Above”  WTJ 5

Hummel, Charles E. “Interpreting Genesis One,”  Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation 

 Davidson, Richard  Theology of Sexuality in the Beginning  Ge 1-2  & Genesis 3

 Merrill, Eugene H. “Covenant and the Kingdom: Genesis 1-3 as Foundation for Biblical Theology,” Criswell Theological Review 1.2

Feinberg, Charles Lee. “The Image of God,” Bibliotheca Sacra 129 

Futato, Mark D. “Because It Had Not Rained:  A Study  WTJ 60.1 – Part 1

Futato, Mark D. “Because It Had Not Rained:  A Study  WTJ 60.1 – Part 2

Spencer, Dante – Protoevangelium of Genesis 3:15 

Busenitz, Irvin A.  “Woman’s Desire for Man:  Ge 3:16 Reconsidered  Grace Theological Journal 7.2 

Foh, Susan T. “What is the Woman’s Desire?” WTJ 37 (1974/75) 376-83.

Cole, Timothy J. “Enoch, a Man Who Walked with God” BibSac 148 

Newman, Robert. “The Ancient Exegesis of Genesis 6:2, 4 Grace Theo J

Ross, Allen P. “Studies in the Book of Genesis. Part 1: The Curse of Canaan. Bib Sac 137 (1980) 223-40

Ross, Allen P. “The Table of Nations in Genesis 10—Its Content:  Part 3 Studies in the Book of Genesis,”  Bib Sac 138 (1980) 22-34

Seely, Paul H.  “The Date f he Tower of Babel and Some Theo Implications,” WTJ

Ross, Allen P. “The Dispersion of the Nations in Gen 11:1-9” Bib Sacra 138 (1981) 119-38. 

Rotenberry, Paul. “Blessing in the Old Testament, a Study of Gen. 12:3  Restoration Quaterly

Lawlor, John I. “The Test of Abraham Genesis 22:1-19” Grace Theo J 1.1

Marrs, Rick R. “Sacrificing our Future (Genesis 22),” Restoration Quarterly

Ross, Allen P. “Jacob’s Vision: The Founding of Bethel. Bib Sacra 142 (1985) 224-37

 Ross, Allen P. “Jacob at the Jabbok, Israel at Peniel Bib Sacra 142 (1985) 338-54

Mathewson, S. D. “An Exegetical Study of Gen 38,” Bibliotheca Sacra 146

Curtis, Edward M.  “Genesis 38: Its Context(s) and Function,” Criswell Theological Review 5.2 (1991) 247-57.  

JStafford Wright: How Moses Compiled Genesis: A Suggestion

John Ankerberg, John Weldon

Biblical Archaeology – Silencing the Critics – Pt 1 – short summary series

Biblical Archaeology – Silencing the Critics – Pt 2

Biblical Archaeology – Silencing the Critics – Pt 3

The Discovery of the Sin Cities of Sodom and Gomorrah Pt 1 

The Discovery of the Sin Cities of Sodom and Gomorrah Pt 2 

Section 7: Got Questions

Treat these like any commentary: read carefully and critically.

Book of Genesis – Bible Survey

What is the tablet theory of Genesis authorship, and is it biblical?

Does Genesis chapter 1 literally mean 24 hour days?

Why did God say, “Let there be light,” during creation?

Why is a day measured from evening to morning in Genesis 1?

What is the Gap Theory? Did anything happen in between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2?

What is the canopy theory?

How could there be light on the first day of Creation if the sun was not created until the fourth day?

Why are there two different Creation accounts in Genesis chapters 1-2?

What happened on each of the days of Creation?

Why does the Bible describe the moon as a light?

Why did God rest on the seventh day of creation (Genesis 2:2)?

Why did God make man out of the dust of the earth (Genesis 2:7)?

What is the biblical Creation story?

How do beliefs about creation impact the rest of theology?

What is the meaning of the Hebrew word adamah?

What is the breath of life?

Were Adam and Eve saved? How many children did Adam and Eve have? When were Adam and Eve created?

Who was Eve in the Bible?

What does it mean that God gave humanity dominion over the animals?

Why weren’t Adam and Eve created at the same time (Genesis 2)?

What does it mean that it is not good for a man to be alone (Genesis 2:18)?

Why did God use Adam’s rib to create Eve?

What does it mean that a wife is supposed to be a helpmeet / help meet?

How was the woman a helper suitable for the man (Genesis 2:18)?

What did God mean when He told Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply?

Did God create other people in addition to Adam and Eve?

What is a toledot?

Was Satan the serpent in Genesis chapter 3?

Was Adam with Eve when she spoke to the serpent (Genesis 3:6)?

What is the meaning of the tree of life?

Was Adam and Eve’s sin really about eating a piece of forbidden fruit?

Did God literally and visibly walk in the garden (Genesis 3:8)?

How is a woman’s desire for her husband a curse (Genesis 3:16)?

Did Adam and Eve know what death was when God commanded them not to eat from the tree of knowledge?

Why didn’t Adam and Eve immediately die for their sin (Genesis 3)?

Why did God punish women with pain in childbirth (Genesis 3:16)?

Is it wrong to reduce birth pains by taking pain relievers?

What is the Adamic covenant?

What is the protoevangelium?

What does Genesis 3:15 mean that “he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel”?

Did we all inherit sin from Adam and Eve?

How did the Fall affect humanity?

What is the location of the Garden of Eden?

Why did God put the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden?

Why didn’t Adam and Eve find it strange that a serpent was talking to them?

How did the knowledge of good and evil make man like God (Genesis 3:22)?

Why was it wrong for Adam and Eve to know good and evil (Genesis 3:22)?

Why did God have the cherubim guard just the east side of Eden (Genesis 3:24)?

Why did God accept Abel’s offering, but reject Cain’s offering? Why did Cain then kill Abel?

Who was Cain’s wife?

Who was Cain afraid of after he killed Abel?

What was the mark that God put on Cain (Genesis 4:15)?

Why wasn’t Cain’s punishment death (Genesis 4:14)?

Am I my brother’s keeper?

How did Cain die? What happened to Cain?

Why did people in Genesis live such long lives?

Who was the oldest man in the Bible?

Why did Lamech think Noah would bring comfort (Genesis 5:29)?

Who are the sons of God and daughters of men in Genesis 6:1-4?

Who / what were the Nephilim?

What is the definition of antediluvian?

Who was Noah in the Bible?

What was it like in the days of Noah?

Why did God send the flood when He knew sin would continue after the flood?

Why did God also destroy animals in the Flood (Genesis 6-8)?

Were fish and sea creatures also destroyed during the Flood (Genesis 6-8)?

Was Noah’s flood global?

Had it ever rained before the Flood in Noah’s day?

Did the Bible copy the Flood account from other myths and legends?

How long did it take Noah to build the ark? How long was Noah on the ark?

What is gopher wood?

Why did Noah release a raven? Why did he later release a dove (Genesis 8)?

How did Noah fit all the animals on the ark?

What made some animals clean and others unclean (Genesis 7)?

Would the discovery of Noah’s Ark be important?

What is the Noahic Covenant?

Why did God prohibit eating meat with blood in it (Genesis 9:4)?

Why did God mandate capital punishment for murder (Genesis 9:6)?

Why did Noah get drunk after the flood?

Why did Noah curse Ham / Canaan?

What does it mean to uncover nakedness in the Bible?

Who were the sons of Noah, and what happened to them and their descendants?

In what way was the earth divided in Peleg’s time?

What happened at the Tower of Babel?

What is the Table of Nations?

What is the biblical account of Shem, Ham, and Japheth?

Who were the Rephaim?

Who was Chedorlaomer / Kedorlaomer?

Who was Melchizedek?

Why was a burial place so important in the Bible?

Who was Abraham in the Bible?

What was Abraham’s religion before God called him?

What is the blessing of Abraham?

Why was Abraham promised land that belonged to others (Genesis 12)?

What is the story of Abraham and Lot?

Why did God punish Pharaoh for Abram’s lie (Genesis 12:17)?

How many wives did Abraham have?

How many sons did Abraham have?

What is the Abrahamic Covenant?

Who was Sarah in the Bible?

How long did Abraham and Sarah have to wait for Isaac?

What was a blood covenant (Genesis 15:9-21)?

Why did God send the Israelites to Egypt for 400 years (Genesis 15:13)?

What does it mean that “the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure” (Genesis 15:16)?

What is the land that God promised to Israel?

Who were the three men who visited Abraham in Genesis 18?

Why did Abraham bargain with God in regard to Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 18)?

What is the significance of a city gate in the Bible?

What was the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah?

Why was Lot’s wife turned into a pillar of salt?

Why did Lot offer up his daughters to be gang raped? Why did God allow Lot’s daughters to later have sex with their father?

What were Admah and Zeboiim in the Bible?

Who was Isaac in the Bible?

What was the significance of weaning a child in the Bible (Genesis 21:8)?

What is the story of Sarah and Hagar?

Why did Abraham banish Ishmael (Genesis 21:14)?

Who are the descendants of Ishmael?

Why did oaths involve putting a hand under someone’s thigh (Genesis 24:9)?

Why did God command Abraham to sacrifice Isaac?

How old was Isaac when Abraham almost sacrificed him?

What is the significance of the cave of Machpelah?

Who was Jacob in the Bible?

Why is Jacob called Jacob and Israel alternately in the book of Genesis?

What was the story of Jacob and Esau?

Why was a father’s blessing so highly valued in the Old Testament?

What is the difference between a blessing and a birthright (Genesis 25)?

What is Jacob’s Ladder?

What is the significance of Peniel in the Bible?

How could Jacob not notice he married Leah instead of Rachel?

What is the story of Jacob, Leah, and Rachel?

What was the purpose of a dowry (Genesis 31:15)?

Did Jacob placing branches in front of his flock really result in the offspring being speckled and spotted?

What is the birth order of Jacob’s thirteen children?

Why did people keep family idols in the Bible?

What is the meaning of Jacob wrestling with God?

What are the mandrakes mentioned in the Bible?

Who was Joseph in the Bible?

Why did Jacob give Joseph a coat of many colors?

What is the significance of a scarlet thread?

What is the story of Joseph and his brothers?

What is the story of Joseph and Potiphar?

What can we learn from the account of Potiphar’s wife?

How long was Joseph in prison?

Who were the priests of On? Was Joseph wrong to marry the daughter of a pagan priest (Genesis 41)?

Was Joseph the same person as Imhotep in Egyptian history?

Why did Pharaoh give Joseph so much power?

What is the meaning of Zaphenath-Paneah in Genesis 41:45?

What kind of divination did Joseph do in Genesis 44:5, 15?

What are the twelve tribes of Israel?

Were Jacob’s prophecies about his sons fulfilled?

Who/what is the Lion of the tribe of Judah?

What does it mean that the scepter will not depart from Judah (Genesis 49:10)?

Section 8: Next

Next: Exodus

Series: Resources by Book

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