Tradition has it that Moses wrote the book of Genesis. Moses would have relied on the eyewitness accounts and written accounts of what had happened in the history of the world and in the founding of the Jewish nation, and he wrote it down in a unified book.
Meaning of Genesis
Genesis means “the beginning”. Genesis is just that — an account of the beginning of the world: God’s creation of the universe, our world, land, sea, plants, birds, fish, animals and human beings in the form of one man and one woman, Adam and Eve.
God gave Adam and Eve one command, warning them that disobedience would result in their separation from God, death. They disobeyed and they were separated from God – and banished from the garden that God had given them. He told them that their lives would be filled with suffering, but also promised that one day, a redeemer would come.
After these main events, which fills the first 3 chapters of the book, there is a brief history of the world – the flood, which covered the whole earth, the introduction of different languages in the world, resulting in different nations.
Father of the Jewish nation
In chapter 12 God calls a man, Abram, and he becomes the father of the Jewish nation. God has a special place for the Jews in world history, and from this point in the Bible, nearly everything in the Old Testament is about the Jewish nation. God promised to bless Abram, who later became Abraham, and make of him a great nation. He was promised a son, who would inherit God’s promise of blessing. When Abraham was already 100 years old, this promise was finally fulfilled. Isaac had two sons, Esau and Jacob. Jacob inherited the God’s promise of blessing.
Joseph in Egypt
Jacob had 12 sons who became the 12 tribes of Israel. Jacob’s favorite son was Joseph. His brothers hated him, sold him as a slave to Egypt to try and get rid of him. But God saved Joseph, and he was eventually appointed 2nd ruler in Egypt. The whole earth was affected by a famine, but God used Joseph, in Egypt, to provide for the Egyptians. Jacob, sent his sons to buy food from Egypt, and as a result, Joseph and the family were reunited. Jacob and the whole family went to Egypt to live. God had prophesied this, and that they would become slaves, which happened indeed. This is recorded in the next book of the Bible, Exodus.