Skip to content

Book of Genesis

The following are summaries and outlines for the Book of Genesis.

Book of Genesis Summary

Genesis is the book of origins or beginnings. It is a record of creation (the universe, earth and man), humanity’s fall from grace, the story of Noah’s flood and the tower of Babel.

The second part relates the story of God’s plan to redeem both man and the world beginning with a covenant with Abraham.

The rest of Genesis relates the lives of the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph, ending with the people of God living in Egypt.



The English word Genesis is of Greek origin and means "birth", "genealogy" or "history of origin". The Hebrew title of the book is Bereshith and means "In the beginning" from the first words of the book. This was common practice in ancient times.
The English title, Genesis, is Greek in origin and comes from the word geneseos, which appears in the pre-Christian Greek translation (Septuagint) of 2:4; 5:1. Depending on its context, the word can mean "birth," "genealogy," or "history of origin."


Author and Date of Writing

The agreed upon author was Moses and it is assumed he wrote Genesis and the rest of the Pentateuch after Israel's exodus between 1446 to c. 1406 B.C.

He very likely wrote all of the books of the Pentateuch after his call to lead the people out of Egypt, as recounted in Exodus 3.
This would have been in his last 40 years of life, during the wilderness

Genesis Outline

I. Entrance of sin on earth, Chapters 1—11

A. CREATION, Chapters 1, 2

  1. Heaven and Earth, Genesis 1:1
  2. Earth became waste and void, Genesis 1:2
  3. Re-creation, Genesis 1:3-31 — Genesis 2:1-25
    1. First Day — light,  Gen 1:3-5
    2. Second Day — air spaces (firmament),  Gen 1:6-8
    3. Fourth Day — sun, moon, stars appear, Gen 1:14-19
    4. Fifth Day — animal life (biology), Gen 1:20-23
    5. Sixth Day — fertility of creation and creation of man, Gen 1:24-31
    6. Seventh Day — sabbath, Gen 2:1-3
    7. Adam and Eve in Eden, Gen 2:4-25

B. FALL, Chapters 3, 4

  1. The Fall – Root of sin — doubting and disobeying God, Gen. 3:1-24
  2. Cain and Abel, Gen. 4:1-17
  3. Enoch, Lamech, Seth and Enosh, Gen. 4:18-26

C. FLOOD, Chapters 5-9

  1. Book of generations of Adam — through Seth — beginning of man’s history — obituary notices, Gen 5:1-31  See Patriarch’s Timeline
  2. Pre-Flood Civilization — cause of flood and construction of ark, Gen 6:1-22
  3. Judgment of flood, Gen 7:1-24
    1. The rising of the waters, Gen. 7:11-24
    2. The receding of the waters, Gen 8:1-19
  4. Post-Flood civilization — after the flood, Gen 8:1-22
    1. A new promise, Gen. 8:20-22
  5. Post-Flood life — new beginning, Gen 9:1-28
    1. Renewed Benediction and new ordiances, Gen. 9:1-7
    2. A new relationship, promise and Rainbow, Gen. 9:8-17
    3. Sons of Noah and Noah’s sin, Gen. 9:18-23
    4. A final word, Gen. 9:24-29

II. Preparation for the coming of the Redeemer of all mankind,
    Chapters 12-50

A. ABRAHAM (faith), Chapters 12-23

  1. God’s call and promise to Abram — his response by lapse of faith, Gen 12:1-20
    1. Abram’s  Call, Gen 12:1-9
    2. Abram in Egypt, Gen. 12:10-20
  2. Abram returns to land from Egypt — separates from Lot — God then appears the third time to Abram, Gen 13:1-18
    1. Abram and Lot Separate, Gen. 13:1-13
    2. The Lord gives Abram the land of Canaan, Gen. 13:14-18
  3. First war — Abram delivers Lot; first priest — Abram blessed by Melchizedek, Gen 14:1-24
  4. The Lord’s Covenant With Abram, Gen 15:1-21
  5. Unbelief of Sarai and Abram — birth of Ishmael, Gen 16:1-16
  6. God makes covenant with Abraham (Abram becomes Abraham) — confirms promise to Abraham about a son, Gen 17:1-27
  7. God reveals coming destruction of Sodom to Abraham — Abraham intercedes on behalf of inhabitants, Gen 18:1-33
  8. Angels warn Lot — Lot leaves Sodom — God destroys cities of the plain, Gen 19:1-38
  9. Abraham repeats sin at Gerar about relationship of Sarah, Gen 20:1-18
  10. Birth of Isaac — Hagar and Ishmael cast out — Abraham at Beer-sheba, Gen 21:1-34
  11. God commands Abraham to offer Isaac — restrains him — reconfirms covenant with Abraham, Gen 22:1-24
  12. Death of Sarah — Abraham purchases Machpelah cave for burial place, Gen 23:1-20

B. ISAAC (the beloved son), Chapters 24-26

  1. Abraham sends servant for bride for Isaac — Rebekah returns with him — becomes Isaac’s bride, Gen 24:1-67
  2. Death of Abraham — birth of Esau and Jacob (twins) to Isaac and Rebekah — Esau sells birthright to Jacob, Gen 25:1-34
  3. God confirms covenant to Isaac — Isaac misrepresents relationship with Rebekah — Isaac digs well in Gerar, Gen 26:1-34

C. JACOB, Chapters 27-36

  1. Jacob and Rebekah connive to get blessing intended for Esau, Gen 27:1-46
  2. Jacob leaves home — at Bethel God appears to him — confirms Abrahamic covenant, Gen 28:1-22
  3. Jacob arrives in Haran — meets Rachel and Uncle Laban — serves for Rachel — deceived into marrying Leah, Gen 29:1-35
  4. Birth of sons of Jacob — Jacob prepares to leave Laban — Jacob’s bargain pays off, Gen 30:1-43
  5. Jacob flees from Haran — Laban overtakes him — Jacob and Laban make Mizpah covenant, Gen 31:1-55
  6. Crisis in life of Jacob: at Peniel a Man wrestles with him — Jacob’s name changed to Israel, Gen 32:1-32
  7. Jacob meets Esau — Jacob journeys to Shalem, Gen 33:1-20
  8. Scandal in Jacob’s family: Dinah defiled — brothers avenge by slaying men of Hamor, Gen 34:1-31
  9. Jacob returns to Bethel — Rachel dies at Bethlehem — Isaac dies at Hebron, Gen 35:1-29
  10. Family of Esau which becomes nation of Edom, Gen 36:1-43

D. JOSEPH (suffering and glory), Chapters 37-50

  1. Jacob dwells in Canaan — Joseph sold into slavery, Gen 37:1-36
  2. Sin and shame of Judah, Gen 38:1-30
  3. Humiliation in Egypt, Gen 39, 40
    1. Overseer in house of Potiphar — tempted then framed by wife of Potiphar — imprisoned, Gen 39:1-23
    2. Joseph in prison interprets dreams of baker and butler, Gen 40:1-23
  4. Rise to Power in Egypt, Gen 41-48
    1. Joseph interprets dreams of Pharaoh — made overseer of Egypt — marries Asenath — birth of Manasseh and Ephraim, Gen 41:1-57
    2. Jacob sends 10 sons to Egypt for corn — audience with Joseph — leave Simeon as hostage — return home with corn and refunded money, Gen 42:1-38
    3. Jacob sends sons (Benjamin included) again to Egypt — entertained in Joseph’s home (does not reveal his identity), Gen 43:1-34
    4. Joseph sends brothers home — arrested by steward — cup found in Benjamin’s sack, — Judah pleads for Benjamin, Gen 44:1-34
    5. Joseph reveals identity — tender reunion with brothers — invites Jacob and all family to Egypt, Gen 45:1-28
    6. Jacob with family (70) move to Egypt — Jacob and Joseph reunited, Gen 46:1-34
    7. Jacob and brothers dwell in Goshen — presented to Pharaoh — famine forces Egyptians to sell land to Joseph for Pharaoh — Joseph swears he will bury Jacob in Canaan, Gen 47:1-31
    8. Jacob on deathbed blesses Joseph’s sons, Gen 48:1-22
  5. Death and burial of Jacob and Joseph, Gen 49, 50
    1. Jacob gives deathbed blessing and prophecy for 12 sons, Gen 49:1-33
    2. Death and burial of Jacob in Canaan — death and burial of Joseph in Egypt, Gen 50:1-26

Outline adapted from: By Dr. J. Vernon McGee © Thru the Bible Radio Network,