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The Book of Genesis

  • The Holy Bible
  • Biblia, byblos were the words from which it came from
  • Old Testament and New Testament
  • The Word of God - it is believed that it is the word of god and it is considered to be a revelation
  • Torah - this is the old testament in the jewish faith
  • Best-seller, most read - it was translated into many different languages but it was first written in ancient Hebrew. However, it may be written in Cuneiform first instead.
  • Authors
    • It is the first book of the Pentateuch - there are five books total
    • It was written anonymously - it is possible that the author was Moses
    • Moses? - perhaps he was the author but it is not known. It happened before his time and so it is based on eyewitness accounts
    • It is thought to have first been written in ancient Hebrew
  • When was it written?
    • Genesis - beginning, birth
    • 1446 BCE to 1406 BCE
    • Israel's departure and redemption from Egypt
  • Other
    • The most important event to transpire is the creation of the world and it is also the first
  • Setting
    • The fertile Crescent
    • Eden
    • Mt. Ararat
    • Canaan - this are is now Egypt/Palestine
    • Goshen
  • Important People
    • Adam
    • Eve
    • Noah
    • Abraham - this is the patriarchal figure of the faith
    • Isaac - the son of Abraham
    • Jacob
    • Joseph - is the son of Jacob
  • Literary Devices
    • Repetition of the number 7
    • Chiasm
    • Merism - noting opposites to signify the whole (good/evil)
    • Repetition of Phrases - it was good in the beginning, etc
    • Symbolism - the rainbow a symbol for God's promise
    • Written as historical narrative with some poetic aspects
    • Toledot - this is the format in which it is told - it is told by generations
  • Themes
    • Relationship between Man and God
    • Good vs Evil
    • Divine Judgement
    • Faith is imperative
    • Creation → Fall → Redemption - > Reward
  • What to Look For
    • Motifs
    • Humans created from dust
    • Flood mythos
    • Serpent
    • Temptress
    • Other elements/archetypes that are still present in literature today
  • Notes
    • Beresheit
    • the name for the first section for the torah (in English it is called the Genesis). It is also the first word, which is in the beginning
    • 1800 BCE
    • a clan leaves the city of Ur
    • cousins, second cousins, everyone basically - roughly 200 people
    • they leave Ur and they become nomadic pastoralists - they did not really want to be a part of agriculture
    • The first written reference to these people are from the Egyptians - called them the Hebrews (Habiru)
    • They came to Egypt to escape the famine in their homeland
    • This is patriarchal and therefore we must have an older male who is in charge
    • We will call this person Abraham
    • Their religion is polythestic and they have three gods
    • El - the sky god
    • Ashtaroth - the earth mother (Ishtar - same god)
    • Their son Baal who is the sun god
    • All of the males in the clan workship El and only El (Abraham dictates this)
    • You can not go from polytheistic to monotheistic in an instant and have it surivive so it has to happen over a long period of time
    • First Commandment
    • It says that they will have no other gods before me (this is a remnant of the polytheism). Then across time it develops into monotheism
    • In a polythestic culture, you probably worship one deity more than the others and then when that does not work, you are going to switch. In monotheism, you have to accept what is said. Polythestic cultures did not really have their gods loving their people (the people were their to worship their gods)
    • The Hebrew people developed a personal relationship with their deities
    • They developed this very close relationship with God and this then transfers to Christianity and Islam
    • Christianity does not split off of Judaism for a while
    • Abraham and Sarah
    • Sarah tells her slave that she will sleep with her husband to make a baby and this is very mean
    • The name of the slave is Hagar - she does become pregnant
    • The name of the son is Ismail (Ishmael)
    • After, Sarah becomes pregnant and has a son named Isaac
    • Isaac is the favorite son and therefore all descendants come from Isaac
    • Islam views Ismail as the favorite son and therefore traces descendent from the Ismail
    • The Torah as written in Hebrew is mathematically perfect
    • The Korah as written in its original language is poetically perfect
    • Hebrew Alphabet
    • 1Aleph
    • 2Bet
    • 3Gimel
    • 4Daled
    • 5He
    • 6Vav
    • 7Zayin
    • 8Heth
    • 9Teth
    • 10Yud
    • 20Kaph
    • 30Lamed
    • 40Mem
    • 50Nun
    • 60Samech
    • 70Ayin
    • 80Pe
    • 90Tasde
    • 100Qoph
    • 200Reish
    • 300Shin
    • 400Taw
    • There are 22 basic symbols
    • Father - Aba = 4
    • Mother - Ema = 42
    • Child - yelled = 46

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