Read the Book of Genesis in Fifteen Minutes! Part 2: Chapters 12-50

By: Marco La Vecchia ’22

In the first addition of this series, I summed up the ever-important chapters in Genesis 1 through 11, which set up the entire bible. God created all things, and he created humans in his image. The humans fell and chose to succumb to temptation. The sin committed resulted in wickedness, confusion, and death to flood the world. This all led up to the last story we talked about, which was the scattering of the people in Babylon. From this scattering is where we are going to pick up. The author of chapter 12-50 follows the genealogy of one family all the way down to a man named Abram, later known as Abraham. 

The Book of Genesis 

Part 2: Chapters 12-50

by Marco La Vecchia ‘22

Openings of Book 12

Abraham is called by God to leave his home for Canaan. God foretells that Canaan will be Abraham’s one day, and it will be a great nation. God blesses Abraham in his family and promises that Abraham will be prosperous. God even vows to make Abraham’s, who was Abram at the time, name great. So why is this important, and why did God specifically  bless Abraham and his family? Genesis 12:3 states “and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” So God is going to bless all of humanity through Abraham, and remember that this is following the tower of babel story where the prideful humanity rebelliously tried to make themselves great. God’s plan here is to bless the world through the family of Abraham, which we now know as the People of Israel. 

The remaining book, the rest of book 12 through book 50, all surround the family of Abraham, which I will break up into three parts: Abraham himself, his sons Isaac and grandson Jacab, and Jacob’s twelve sons. Within these three sections there is a common flow, which is really prevalent throughout the entire bible, where God’s people fail to follow God’s will, but God brings them back on track and forgives humanity. 

Abraham (12-25)

God had promised Abraham that he would have a huge family, but Abraham denied even knowing his wife twice out of fear for his life because powerful people showed attraction to her. Then when he and his wife could not bear children, he agreed to sleep with Hagar, one of their servants. Of course none of this was part of God’s plan, but God did not turn his back. God makes a promise, a covenant, with Abraham saying that his family will be as grand as the number of stars in the sky. Despite Abraham having failed over and over trying to conceive a child and having no way of making children, he believed in God’s promise.  God further promised that Abraham will be a father of many nations. He then commands Abraham to give his family the sign of this promise. The sign would be circumcision. Circumcision is a reminder to Abraham’s family that their conceiving of children is a blessing and gift from God. Abraham then has lots of kids and dies at old age. 

Isaac and Jacab (25-36)

Isaac is the son of Abraham. When Isaac grows old, he becomes weak and blind. Isaac’s son Jacob tricks Isaac into giving him his older brother Esau’s inheritance. Jacob, the grandson of Abraham, then leaves the family and has four wifes. Isaac only loved one of his wifes: Rachel. Jacob, getting a taste of his own medicine, is then deceived by his uncle Laban, and Jacob is cheated out of many years of his life. 

Jacob, humbled, returns to his homeland where he is then illustrated wrestling with God. He demands from God the blessing of Abraham’s family. God is pleased with Jacob’s determination and blesses Jacob. He then changes his name to Israel, which translated means “one who has wrestled with God.” 

Jacob’s Sons (37-50)

Jacob has twelve son’s. He favors his second to youngest son Joseph. Joseph’s other eleven brothers become Jealous of Joseph, especially after Jacob gives him a particular jacket. Joseph’s ten older brothers then plan to kidnap and kill Joseph. They then decide to sell Joseph in Egypt as a slave. Joseph ends up in jail, and it seems that his life is over. God does not abandon his people once again. Through the power of God, Joseph gets out of jail and is promoted by the Pharaoh for saving Egypt from a famine. Joseph is now second in command over all of Egypt. However, his family loses their food supply. Joseph could have watched his brother that turned him over to slavery and tried to kill him starve to death but he decides to save his family. This goes parallel with God saving his people despite humans constantly stabbing him in the back. Despite sin, God always has a redemption plan. This is how God creates good out of evil. 

Overall Conclusion

Time and time again humans fall. Humans cause their own destruction. However, each time they fall, God picks them back up. This is true all the way to the beginning of Genesis. God is faithful to his people even when his people lack faith in him. Recall the promise God made that a savior will crush the head of evil as it bites at the savior’s ankle. Now hear what happened in the last books of Genesis. Jacob made a final blessing to his Son’s before he died. He blesses Judah in particular and says that a king will come from his line who will be the king of the nations. This foreshadows the coming of Christ, and it furthers God’s promise that he will rekindle the blessing he gave humanity in the garden. Jacob and Joseph die but their people remain in Egypt. Genesis ends with the promise of a savior only foreshadowed. 

 Come Back Next Edition of The Salesian Spectator to See if The Promise of a Savior will be Fulfilled in the Next Book