Headed by Peter Gabriel, who left the band in 1975 after recording The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, Genesis was a phenomenally talented progressive rock band. Phil Collins stayed behind the drum set, and Peter dressed up in costume, spun phenomenal stories, played flute, and sang unlike any other poet. Selling England by the Pound, Foxtrot, and Nursery Crimes are among the more intoxicating albums known to any prog rock fan.

The first book of the Old Testament, also known as The First Book of Moses.
Chapters: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50

Next book: Exodus

King James Bible

The first book of the Pentateuch. There's a lot packed into a few pages!

It begins with the creation story "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth" (Genesis 1:1). Next comes the creation of Adam and Eve and their fall "ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil" the serpent tells Eve (Genesis 3:5). Next comes the story of Cain and Abel (Genesis 4). After a furious round of begating comes the story of Noah and the flood (Genesis 7 and 8). The Tower of Babel story is told very briefly (Genesis 11:1-9).

The story then focusses on the sons of Abraham, who become God's chosen people (Genesis 12 onward). The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah occurs: "Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven" (Genesis 19:24), and in the same chapter a drunken Lot commits incest with his daughters (Genesis 19:30-38).

More excitement: God tells Abraham to sacrifice his only son Isaac on a mountain, as a test. Abraham almost does but at the last second God sends an angel to intervene and allows Abraham to sacrifice a ram instead (Genesis 22).

Isaac grows, and his wife bears twins who are foretold to found two competing nations. When Isaac is on his deathbed, the sons of Isaac compete for his blessing, Jacob steals it from his brother Esau. (Genesis 27). Their lifelong conflict fills the last half of the book.

Whew. Next: Exodus
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
Book: Genesis
Chapters: 1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · 6 · 7 · 8 · 9 · 10 · 11 · 12 · 13 · 14 · 15 · 16 · 17 · 18 · 19 · 20 · 21 · 22 · 23 · 24 · 25 · 26 · 27 · 28 · 29 · 30 · 31 · 32 · 33 · 34 · 35 · 36 · 37 · 38 · 39 · 40 · 41 · 42 · 43 · 44 · 45 · 46 · 47 · 48 · 49 · 50 ·

Genesis is a name taken from the Greek, and signifies "the
Book of Generation or production;" it is properly So called, as
containing an account of the origin of all things. There is No
other history So old. There is nothing in the most ancient Book
which exists that contradicts it; while many things recorded By
the oldest Heathen writers, or to be traced in the customs of
different nations, confirm what is related in the Book of
The best of times, the worst of times: Genesis is arguably the most popular of the progressive rock giants, but it's considered by those same fans to be one of the lamest pop-schmaltz acts on radio. They helped lead the British vanguard that popularized progressive rock in the 1970s, alongside acts like Yes and Emerson, Lake and Palmer.

Genesis remains among the most popular of the "classic" prog rock acts, thanks to some gorgeous songwriting often packed with dense, swirling chords. Many fans prefer the earlier albums when Peter Gabriel still lent his stage presence to the band. For others including me, Tony Banks' keyboard pieces are a particular highlight -- the relentless pitter-patter opening for "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway," the lightly dancing synth solos of "The Cinema Show."

Phil Collins is accused of turning Genesis into popsters rather than prog rockers -- "Collins-ization," if you will. But Banks and Rutherford did their share, too. Even before Mike and the Mechanics, Rutherford had tried a straight-rock approach with his solo albums (Acting Very Strange, e.g.). And Banks got increasingly poppy over the years with embarrassing attempts at reaching Collins-like airplay. His stiff, non-rhyming songs seem to work well under Genesis' umbrella but fall flat on his solo albums. 'Course, I still think Phil Collins sucks, and Tony Banks rules, but I'm just trying to be accurate here. :)

For brevity's sake, I'm hitting mostly highlights here, hoping that most anecdotes and enhancements can be noded under the individual album titles. I'm including only major LPs here; most notable omission is the EP, Spot the Pigeon, which came after Seconds Out. I'll probably be updating and re-editing this thing for the rest of my E2 life, so feel free to /msg any corrections.

Gabriel - Phillips - Banks - Rutherford

Genesis met as school mates in England, and they'd gotten together in hopes of becoming a songwriting team -- like Rogers and Hart but with more people. The band itself was considered a temporary vehicle ... one that ended up lasting 30 years.

Genesis was fronted by 19-year-old Peter Gabriel on vocals and Anthony Phillips on guitar, with Tony Banks on keyboards and Mike Rutherford on bass. Songs were credited to the entire band -- "All by all" is how future albums listed the writing credits.

    From Genesis to Revelation: 1969. We know them as prog-rockers, but Genesis wanted to be a pop act from Day One. Their first album, produced by Jonathan King, featured lots of two-minute gems with production reminiscent of early Moody Blues. The band had no regular drummer at this point; Chris Stewart played on their first singles, and John Silver did the honors for this first album.

    Trespass: 1970. A 90-degree turn into longer song forms. Lots of soft, pastoral stuff here, showing the influence of Anthony Phillips, who was doing quite a bit of the songwriting even though tracks were credited to the whole group. Yet another new drummer: John Mayhew. The highlight of Trespass is the closing track, "The Knife," clocking in at 9 minutes and gleaming with the sinister edge that would become Gabriel's best on-stage trait.

At this point, trouble hit. Anthony Phillips had never been comfortable on stage, and the problem was getting worse. Unable to continue performing, he bowed out of the band, a move that would leave Banks and Rutherford to shoulder the bulk of the songwriting.

Auditions for a guitarist turned up Steve Hackett, then sporting a spooky moustache and goatee. He liked the new sounds the band was producing; there were tracks where he couldn't tell what was guitar and what was keyboard, and that intrigued him. The band also auditioned for a steady drummer, having used studio musicians up until now. The part was landed by none other than Phil Collins.

Gabriel - Banks - Rutherford - Hackett - Collins

When people scream for "the old stuff" at concerts, these are the albums they want. During these years, Genesis would become famous for an elaborate stage show, spurred by Peter Gabriel's strong personality and love of the stage, and highlighted by his bizarre costumes -- you can see one on the cover of Genesis Live.

Gabriel would also sometimes play a bass drum on stage, but he wasn't very good, and the off-time thudding was impossible to ignore. The others made him give it up.

    Nursery Cryme came out in 1971 and introduced the proggier elements that would make the band famous; it opens with "The Musical Box," a 10-minute suite that would become a band hallmark ... but not as much as the tracks on...

    Foxtrot, the band's 1972 offering. With "Watcher of the Skies" and the seminal 23-minute "Supper's Ready."

    Genesis Live: 1973.

    Selling England by the Pound: 1974. Includes "I Know What I Like," a catchy tune with a radio-friendly length. Hackett came up with the original riff for it. Also includes live favorite "The Cinema Show."

    The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway: 1975. Peter Gabriel's swan song with the band, and also his magnum opus, a double album's worth of surreal visions and rhymes culled from dreams. The other four band members jammed to produce the music for the songs, which would then be handed to Gabriel for lyricizing.

    That was typical; Gabriel wrote almost no music for Genesis. You can tell the lyrics he contributed, because they rhyme manically (see "Supper's Ready" and "The Battle of Epping Forest") but the music itself was Banks' and Rutherford's purview.

    The Lamb was accompanied by an ambitious tour, where the entire album was played while Gabriel went through several of his now-famous costume changes. One problem was that the second half of the album is a bit weaker, so that the live show lost momentum after the first half.

During this time, Genesis albums were hitting the Top 10 in England like clockwork. But they still got very little recognition (and less radio play) in America.

Banks - Rutherford - Hackett - Collins

Including unsolicited demo tapes, more than 400 vocalists reportedly tried out for Gabriel's spot in the band. Nick Lowe was reportedly one of them.

With Gabriel gone, Genesis became Tony Banks' group. Not really, but he admits his ego got pretty large. And there's no question he took the bulk of the songwriting, producing some awesome material in the process.

If Gabriel's lyrics were characterized by rhyme and flow, Banks' are just as recognizable for their lack of both. Somehow they work, and in the best cases you don't even notice it ("Squonk" and "Dance on a Volcano" work for me), but the worst cases feel stiff and academic.

    A Trick of the Tail: 1976.

    Wind and Wuthering: 1977. Produced Genesis' first top 100 single in America: "Your Own Special Way," by Rutherford. But for me, the highlight is "One for the Vine," a 10-minute Banks song that shows off the complex, multi-phased style of composing he preferred (and would soon abandon). It's a gorgeous song with a moving keyboard solo.

Like Gabriel, Hackett would leave at the apex of his contributions. Wind saw him contribute quite a bit of songwriting, but so much of his stuff was rejected, particularly his beloved instrumental "Please Don't Touch," that Hackett decided he'd had enough. Frustrated, he left for a solo career. Collins would later remark that Hackett could have stayed on while doing solo projects on the side (Hackett had released a solo album in 1975, after all), but Hackett apparently didn't consider that an option.

    Seconds out (1977) is a double live album, the last record with Hackett. Notable for having Bill Bruford sitting in on drums so that Collins could take lead vocal duties. The cover shows the Varilights, a complex and dynamic lighting system that would become a band trademark for the next decade or more. The 8-minute "I Know What I Like" on here includes Collins' tamborine-juggling act, which you obviously can't see but was spectacular, if the crowd is any indication.

    The songs are all well done, but Gabriel himself summed it up best after seeing his old mates in concert. Speaking to Phil Collins, he said: "You sing 'The Carpet Crawlers' better than I do. But you don't sing it like I do."

Collins - Rutherford - Banks

    The aptly named ... And Then There Were Three was released in 1978, with Rutherford taking over the guitar parts. The album is moody and drab; Collins has said he doesn't like the overall feel.

    Banks and Rutherford still handled most of the songwriting, but this album also reintroduced group writing, as all three contributed to "Ballad of Big" and "Follow You Follow Me." The latter would become Genesis' first Top 40 single in the United States.

    Duke in 1979 pushed Genesis over the edge into a bona fide U.S. hitmaker. Radio went gaga over "Misunderstanding" -- the first song credited to Phil alone -- and the 13/4 danceability of "Turn It On Again." Songs got much shorter by this point, with only the closing tracks "Duke's Travels/Duke's End" resembling the epic works of the past.

Collins had cut his hair by now and would record his first solo album around this time, cementing his migration towards pop-star territory and away from his Brand X fusion side.

    Abacab: 1981. A massive hit for FM radio, at least in the area where I lived. This is the point where I first started listening seriously to them.

    Songwriting was mostly credited to the trio. Banks and Rutherford got two solo songs apiece, including what I consider Banks' last great (semi-) epic, "Me and Sarah Jane." "No Reply at All" was apparently top 10 in the U.S., but the songs with staying power (and MTV attention) were "Abacab" and "Man on the Corner."

By now, the live show was rounded out with Chester Thompson on drums and Daryl Stuermer on bass. (Thompson had actually joined around 1977 when Bill Bruford left.) Both had a jazz/fusion background that would add to the band's pop sound to come, bringing them closer to Billy Joel than ELP. The quintet is featured on Three Sides Live (1982), the U.S. version of which features five unreleased studio tracks. Of those, "Paperlate" got moderate airplay.

    Genesis: 1983. Features the 11-minute "Home by the Sea/Second Home by the Sea" to satisfy progsters, and the awfully bland "That's All," with awful moon-June-spoon lyrics but some nice snare-drum touches from Collins. Songwriting is back to the "all by all" format completely. "That's All" and "Taking It All Too Hard" became soft-rock smashes. "Illegal Alien" and "Just a Job To Do" got airplay but are forgotten by now.

    Invisible Touch: 1986. Cursory "long" song: "The Last Domino" ... otherwise, very radio-friendly pop. Hits included the repetitious repetitious repetitous "Tonight Tonight Tonight," later used in a beer ad. This would be followed by a long hiatus, with Phil now a bona fide superstar and Rutherford hitting top-10 glory with Mike and the Mechanics.

    We Can't Dance: 1991. "Driving the Last Spike" was the cursory "long" song -- written by Collins, surprisingly. Right after this release, Collins started mumbling about leaving the band, and eventually did.

    A two-CD set called The Way We Walk documents the band's last tour. Cleverly recognizing the dichotomy among Genesis fans, Atlantic divided the CDs into "The Shorts" (modern hits) and "The Longs" (more of the older, complex stuff ... and some modern hits that happen to be a little long).

Rutherford - Banks

With Collins gone, Banks and Rutherford made one shot as a duo, recruiting 27-year-old Ray Wilson to take over vocals. He strikes me a less bitter, less violent, less dripping-with-alcohol version of Fish and seemed like a good fit -- too bad the resulting album had such bland songwriting:

    Calling All Stations: 1997. The band got a raw deal with this release, because it came on the heels of a Phil Collins record. When Phil's record flopped, Atlantic feared that Genesis' day was done, and the label pulled all U.S. promo for Stations, canceling a proposed tour and not even releasing a video. Genesis did tour Europe, and I presume the video was shown there as well.

But the wind was out of the sails at this point, and Banks and Rutherford officially dissolved Genesis in 1998.

The five "original" members (minus Phillips) played on stage in 1982; it had been a Genesis + Gabriel show, but Hackett joined for the encore pieces, "I Know What I Like" and "The Knife." Another reunion show was held in 1988, and the full band -- including Phillips and Silver -- got together in 1998 for a dinner and photo shoot, publicity for the Genesis Archive: 1967-1975 box set. Rumors of a reunion continue to crop up from time to time, the latest being that Gabriel will tour with Rutherford and Banks.

The band is officially dissolved right now (August 2001), but that just sets them up for a madly hyped reunion a la Steely Dan, right? A fan can always dream.

Source: Lots of personal memory, most of it drawn from The Book of Genesis, an excellent bio with tons of pictures. It's a must for any fan, if you can find a copy. Once I find my misplaced copy, I'll add publishing info here.

You can find a helpful Genesis timeline at http://home.att.net/~los.endos/genesis/calendar.htm

And you can learn some of those awesome Banks keyboard parts at "Watcher of the Scores:" http://plaza20.mbn.or.jp/~hisao_chida/scores/scores.html

The Bible begins with the creation of heaven and earth in the book of Genesis. From chaos and nothingness, a divine being called God forms light and darkness, water and land, plants, stars and animals. God creates Adam, the first man, in the Garden of Eden, and from one of Adam’s ribs God creates Eve, the first woman. Why does God do this? What sort of being is He? Though as human beings, confined to this earth of His, we might like to think of Him as a benevolent and omnipotent Creator deity, He isn’t. The Bible, particularly in the book of Genesis, indicates that God is fallible, cruel, and extraterrestrial.

There are many things that point to God’s cruelty, and plenty of inconsistencies in the way the Christian church explains the actions of God. Throughout the Bible God is said to be the ultimate incarnation of good, His love for mankind supposedly demonstrated by his gift to earth of His only Son, Jesus Christ. But, God being eternal, Jesus being immortal, and Jesus being part of God, how is this really a sacrifice? It is only a sacrifice on the part of God to human understanding. The death of a son is something that humans, mortal and separate, understand as permanent and terrible. To God, it is not sacrifice but beautiful and part of the way of things: the death of Jesus is merely a return of one part of God to another. So, the idea of God’s great sacrifice is actually a great and fundamental lie, used to cause innocent human beings to feel guilty and indebted to God.

God treats with severity those who do not obey His commands. To Adam, in Gen 2:17, He says, “…of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat.” When Eve and then Adam disobey His word and they do eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge, His reaction is harsh and merciless: “Unto the woman He said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children…. And unto Adam He said….cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee…” (Gen 3:16-18) It is clear that God intended the world to be a hostile place to the “fallen” man. In this way is man blamed for his situation: it is all in reprimand to his transgression. Cursed, gifted with pain and toil, and denied the fruit of the tree of eternal life: Thus are Adam and Eve punished for their attempt to know and then perhaps decide for themselves the validity of God’s power. As an ultimate result, billions of people on earth have suffered for thousands of years—all of human history a mire of pain, because of the sin of two people.

Why these cruelties toward what seemed at first to be God’s pet project? What is faith but blind belief and obedience? Is it a benevolent being that would demand this of a race that supposedly has free will? On the contrary, in the face of what He conceives to be human pride, God even declares Himself merciless: “This evil people, which refuse to hear my words….I will dash them one against the other…saith the LORD: I will not pity, nor spare, nor have mercy, but destroy them.” (Jeremiah 13:10, 14) 1

The seemingly irrational despotic reactions of God aside, there is also the issue of His omnipotence with which to contend. If He is truly all-knowing, then He would have to have known that Adam and Eve would transgress if given the chance. If what makes humans so interesting for Him is their free will, then why does He damn them for exercising it? An all-seeing, all-powerful God would have had the choice to keep Adam and Eve away from the tree of knowledge. He did not choose to do this. Instead, he left them there with the tree, unguarded and innocent. The argument that he was “testing their faith” has no credibility—-an all-knowing being has no need for tests when a simple glimpse into the future would suffice. No logical explanation for this particular cruelty presents itself.

The question of the extent of God’s power and the range and nature of His sight is not a new one. Supposedly, God is a being with limitless power to create and destroy as He chooses, and with the ability to see all that has happened and all that will be. Taken literally, the creation of everything as described quickly and matter-of-factly in chapter one of Genesis is a series of great miracles, and utterly impossible by human standards. Indeed, in Genesis 1:3-5, God creates the Day itself, and the Night, bringing out of an inconceivable Nothingness things of which we cannot even envision a beginning or end. Human logic seems to have no place in these verses: trees and plants cannot spring up overnight; living animals cannot simply appear; great mountains and rivers take decades to form.

Impossible for any being to do, much less alone, and thus awe-inspiring-—but did God do it alone? If it seems impossible, it probably is. Gen 2:1 states: “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.” According to P. Cooke, the word “host” is taken from “tsaba,” which literally means an army. The word “them” was added. Cooke also claims that this army is spoken of nearly 300 times from the creation to Armageddon with God as its leader. 2 It is impossible to tell how large the army of God actually was or is, but the references at various points in scripture to hosts of angels or beings place the number reasonably in the tens of thousands or even millions. Call them angels or what you will; this is quite possibly an entire alien race. (bibleufo.com refers to this race as the Elohiym, from "sons of God" or B'nai haElohim in Hebrew.)

The process of Creation is an astounding thing, and in large part what is so arresting about it is the speed at which the Creation is to have taken place. If we assume that thousands of beings, all working under the supreme God’s command, were present and involved during Creation, this lifts some of the absurdity from the idea of a world created in six days. However, we must also examine Time and what is means to God. The extraterrestrials that created earth are obviously different from humans on many levels, and there are references in the Bible to the near irrelevance of Time to them. For example, Psalms 90:4 states, “For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.” The church tells us that God is simply eternal. Perhaps what this really means is that these alien beings are not subject to Time in the same way that we are. That the Elohiym created the world in six earth-days loses any significance once it is clear that scripture refers to the human conception of Time.

There are a few small sections of Genesis that indicate the extraterrestrial nature of God and his “host” or “vast array” (Gen 2:1). Cain and Abel were the first offspring of Adam and Eve. Though the first couple were to beget many more children later on, at this point it is logical to assume that Cain, Abel, Adam and Eve were then the only four people on earth. It is impossible for other people, let alone women, to have existed. However, Gen 4:17 says that, “Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch…” (emphasis mine). Where did she come from? We have already established that she cannot be human.

Further evidence that she is an extraterrestrial being is offered in the next chapter. Book five of Genesis is concerned with the descendants of Adam, giving a repetitive list of his lineage. The list takes the following form: a man is mentioned, and his age, and then the children he had, and finally the phrase, “And he died.” This goes on for roughly 30 verses. However, in the middle of all this, the highly schematic phrasing changes: “And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methu’selah three hundred years and begat sons and daughters….and Enoch walked with God: and he was no longer there, for God took him.” (Gen 5:22, 24) But for these lines, the form does not change.

Why the clear change in phrasing, and why only regarding Enoch, son of Cain? The obvious theory is this: that Enoch was the first begotten son of a human and an extraterrestrial being, and that this passage records not his death, but his abduction: God, that is, the Elohiym, “took him,” most likely to study the product of a joining of an alien and a human.

Apparently the results were satisfactory. The following passage depicts the startling routine abduction of and coupling with human women by aliens, both before the great Flood and afterward: “When men began to multiply on earth and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw how beautiful the daughters of man were, and so they took for their wives as many of them as they chose…. At that time the Nephilim appeared on earth (as well as later), after the sons of heaven had intercourse with the daughters of man, who bore them sons. They were the heroes of old, the men of renown.” (Gen 6:1-4; all emphasis mine.)

The term “sons of God” (translated above from the Hebrew) always refers to angels. G. Malone notes, “this passage from Genesis is debated because of the disturbing nature of this topic. Many competent and prominent Bible scholars of today believe the "sons of God" are of human lineage,” that is “sons of Seth.” So, Genesis 6, quite a Biblical oddity, depicts the coupling of angel or alien men with human women. The product of these unions? A strange hybrid called the “Nephilim.” This interpretation cannot easily be dismissed, as strange as it sounds; the writer of this passage took care to oppose the terms “sons of Elohim” (a term used consistently in the Old Testament for “angels”) and the term “daughters of man.” To apply the terms in any broader sense has no textual basis. It is abundantly clear that humans are not the only beings discussed.

Genesis gives us the story of human creation. It also gives us clues to the relationship between the extraterrestrial race that was responsible for that creation, and the subsequent relations between our species and theirs. This deliberate crossbreeding with a superior species could lead to an explanation of our evolution, as part of our creators’ endeavor to build a race of beings that began from nothing and will eventually equal the Elohiym, if only humans can surpass their cruelty. In short, Genesis is our key to understanding the fallible and extraterrestrial nature of our elusive God.

1 http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com/jer/13.html#14
2 http://www.bibleufo.com/anomcreation.htm

E2 Modern Biblical Commentary
The Book of Genesis

Genesis begins the Bible, and it begins with God. This book was written by Moses for the people of Israel around 1430 BC, with the intended purpose of recording God's creation of the world and his desire to create a people set aside to worship him.

Genesis is about beginnings. It's about the origin of the Universe. It's about the nature of God who is at the root of all things. It is about the birth of mankind, mankind's subsequent discovery of evil, and the beginning of that great conflict between good and evil that exists between and within all human beings.

An Overview of Genesis

The Story of Creation (Genesis 1 and 2)
The classic Biblical tale of creation opens Genesis. The overriding spiritual theme is that because humankind is the special creation of God, we have dignity and worth.

The Story of Adam and Eve (Genesis 2 through 5)
Adam and Eve are the first humans, created by the hand of God. After committing the first sin of eating the forbidden fruit, the two are cast out of Eden. They have two children, Cain and Abel. Cain kills Abel and is banished for this. Basically, the point here is to illustrate the truly destructive power of sin; because of sin, Adam and Eve lost everything that they had, and later even lost a son.

The Story of Noah (Genesis 6 through 11)
Noah is told by God to build an ark and place in the ark two of every species. After Noah does this, God brings a flood that covers the world, washing away all of the evil people. After the flood, God shows Noah a rainbow which is the symbol of His promise to never destroy the world by water again. In essence, God protected Noah because Noah believed in God.

The Story of Abraham (Genesis 12 through 25)
God orders Abraham through a long series of trials, but Abraham passes every one, even when God orders Abraham to kill his own son, Isaac. Abraham is an example of how to lead a life of faith in that he followed his belief without question through thick and thin.

The Story of Isaac (Genesis 25 through 28)
Isaac was willing to be sacrificed and didn't flinch when his father was about to kill him. He also gladly accepted a wife that was chosen for him by God. Isaac was able to put his faith before his other needs.

The Story of Jacob (Genesis 28 through 36)
Isaac's son, Jacob, lives a life in the service of God, but Jacob makes a great number of mistakes along the way. God was able to change Jacob's life for the better, despite the human inadequacies of Jacob.

The Story of Joseph (Genesis 36 through 50)
Joseph, one of the twelve sons of Jacob, is sold into slavery in Egypt and later is jailed on a whim. After many trials, Joseph winds up ruling the country. The story of Joseph is one of perseverence; one can use setbacks to build character, and one can turn their defeats into victory with the help of God.

Themes of Genesis

Beginnings & Origins
Genesis describes the beginnings of most of the important themes in life: the universe, Earth, all living things, humanity, sin, and faith. The idea is that all of these things are creations of God and that He made the world a complex and beautiful place.

Disobedience & Sin
People are always facing a great number of choices in life. Being human, sometimes we make the wrong choices. Working to consistently make the right choices, through personal improvement and faith, leads to a better life.

God makes several promises to help and protect humanity. In Genesis, these are referred to as covenants; most notably is the covenant he makes with Noah after the landing of the Ark. God has kept the covenants stated in Genesis, thus demonstrating the wonder and power of a promise kept.

Prosperity goes beyond mere material wealth; true prosperity comes from living a life of personal improvement and faith. With the help of God, inner prosperity is attainable for all people.

A large portion of Genesis is devoted to the classical definition of Israel. Israel is a nation of dedicated people who were to keep His ways alive in the world, proclaim His word to the peoples of the world, and prepare the world for the coming of Jesus. Although God literally sets aside land for his people, the idea of Israel today (aside from it being an actual political region in the Middle East) is more of a state of mind; believers in God and His message are all a part of Israel.

Significant People in Genesis

Adam was the first man; he was thrown from the Garden of Eden along with Eve.
Cain and Abel were two children of Adam and Eve; Cain became the first murderer by killing Abel.
Noah was told by God to build a great ship, which he and his family used to survive the flood.
Abraham went through a great many trials set by God, including attempting to sacrifice his son, Isaac, and the infertility of his wife Sarah.
Jacob, Isaac's son, went through many trials before discovering God's path.
Joseph was imprisoned and sold into slavery in Egypt, but he grew in character and in faith and one day ruled Egypt.

Significant Places in Genesis

Mount Ararat, somewhere in the Ararat mountain range in what is today Turkey and Iran, is where Noah's ark landed after the flood.
Babel, in modern-day Iraq near Baghdad, is where people built a tower trying to reach heaven as a monument to mankind.
Ur, in modern-day southeast Iraq, is where Abraham was born.
Haran, along the border of what is today Syria and Turkey, is a city where Abraham and his family lived for many years.
Sechem, Hebron, and Beersheba are all cities near the border of modern-day Jordan and Israel where Abraham lived out his later years, and Isaac and Joseph spent much of their lives.
Bethel, in modern-day Jordan, is where Jacob went through many of his trials in life, making a great many mistakes along his life's journey.
Egypt is where Joseph underwent many sufferings, eventually becoming ruler of the land. Egypt will play a huge role in the next book, Exodus.

The E2 Modern Biblical Commentary is an ongoing project that is intended to provide modern commentary and insight into the Bible and serve as a modern supplement to the Matthew Henry commentary, both as introduction for new readers and for points of reflection for experienced readers. See tes's homenode for more details. Send tes messages if you would like to see changes or additions.

The Genesis mission is a current NASA initiative to collect particles ejected from the sun and return the tiny sample to Earth. Launched August 8, 2001, the Genesis spacecraft is currently orbiting around LaGrange Point 1 (L1), an area of steady gravitation between the Earth and the sun. It will continue to collect solar particles until September 2004, when it will return to Earth and deploy a recovery capsule containing the precious payload. Genesis is the fourth mission of NASA's ambitious Discovery Program.

Whispers from the Early Solar System

Before the solar system became the cut and dry single-star planetary system it is today, it was a giant rotating disk of stardust called the solar nebula. Eventually, gravity pulled the innermost material into a giant star, while the outer bits spun together to create the planets, comets, and asteroids. But such variation exists among the planets that planetary scientists believe the composition of the original solar nebula was not uniform. Initial results from spectral analysis, meteorite inspection, and robotic missions support the high variation of matter in the dawn of the solar system. However, researchers have never been able to analyze actual particles from the sun to confirm this theory.

An Eccentric Journey and Acrobatic Finish

NASA launched the spacecraft from Earth in August 2001. It spent 2.7 months traveling to its destination of L1, where in November 2001 it successffully performed a Lissajous Orbit Insertion (LOI), a risky figure-eight maneuver. Here, it began a 29.3 month collection phase in a halo orbit around L1. In early April 2004, the Genesis spacecraft will complete the collection phase of the mission and begin its journey back to Earth. It will spend 5.3 months circling past the Earth towards L2, where it will loop around on the final leg towards Earth. In September 2004, the spacecraft will eject its payload that will reenter the Earth's atmosphere over the Utah Test and Training Range where a helicopter will attempt to seize the capsule's parachute in mid-air, a maneuver perfected by NASA for the secret Corona program in the 1960s. Scientists will spend three years analyzing the tiny particles in hopes of uncovering secrets of the early solar system.

Kiss and Tell

Genesis is tough enough to kiss the sun and live to tell the story. Actually, the spacecraft will fly far enough away from the Earth's magnetosphere to be able to come in contact with solar particles before the magnetic influence jettisons the particles safely out of Earth's way. After insertion of the spacecraft around L1, the pocket-watch-like craft opens to reveal its innards of instrumentation. Genesis features three circular collector arrays, two solar wind monitors, and a concentrator. The "high-purity" surface of the collector arrays will collect tiny amounts of solar wind ions in wafers of silicon, aluminum, gold/platinum, diamond, and germanium. When the collection phase of the mission is complete, the craft will close and seal these collector arrays in preparation for reentry. The mirror concentrator will concentrate solar wind onto Chemical Vapor Deposit (CVD), a super-clean plate made from diamond and silicon carbide. Oxygen is the primary target of the concentrator. The solar wind monitors are not designed to collect matter, but will measure the amount of solar wind and make other navigational measurements.

Solar Material Collected

  • ~10^20 Ions
  • ~0.4 milligrams

Critical Mission Dates

  • August 8, 2001 - Launch
  • October 21, 2001 - Collection phase begins
  • November 16, 2001 - Insertion around L1
  • April 2, 2004 - Collection phase ends
  • May 2, 2004 - Earth flyby on way to L2
  • September 8, 2004 - Payload arrival at Earth / Science analysis phase begins
  • September 8, 2007 - Science analysis phase ends


Other NASA Discovery Program Missions
·Mars Pathfinder·
·Lunar Prospector·
·Deep Impact·

Gen"e*sis (?), n. [L., from Gr. , fr. the root of to beget, be born; akin to L. genus birth, race. See Gender.]


The act of producing, or giving birth or origin to anything; the process or mode of originating; production; formation; origination.

The origin and genasis of poor Sterling's club. Carlyle.


The first book of the Old Testament; -- so called by the Greek translators, from its containing the history of the creation of the world and of the human race.

3. Geom.

Same as Generation.


© Webster 1913.

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