The largest units in Scripture are books of the Bible. Biblical books were written for different purposes and in different settings. Some served as prophetic messages; others were compilations, like the Psalms. There are historical books like 1 and 2 Kings, and there are letters to various churches, such as those written by Paul and others.
As we seek to understand a book’s meaning and message, it is important to begin with authorship and setting. Many books of the Bible are assigned authors. The first five books of the Old Testament are identified as having been authored by Moses (Josh. 8:31, 32; 1 Kings 2:3; 2 Kings 14:6; 2 Kings 21:8; Ezra 6:18; Neh. 13:1; Dan. 9:11-13; Mal. 4:4). This is confirmed by Jesus (Mark 12:26; John 5:46-47; John 7:19) and the Apostles (Acts 3:22, Rom. 10:5). In other cases, some biblical authors are not identified. (For example, the authors of the books Esther and Ruth as well as the authors of many of the historical books like Samuel and Chronicles are not identified.)
Read Genesis 15:1-5 and Genesis 22:17-18. What significance is it to us that Moses wrote the book of Genesis?
Exodus through Deuteronomy were written by Moses after, of course, the Exodus. But because Genesis is foundational as a history of God’s acts from Creation to the patriarchal period, it is logical that this book was written before the Exodus.
“As the years rolled on, and he [Moses] wandered with his flocks in solitary places, pondering upon the oppressed condition of his people, he recounted the dealings of God with his fathers and the promises that were the heritage of the chosen nation, and his prayers for Israel ascended by day and by night. Heavenly angels shed their light around him. Here, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, he wrote the book of Genesis”. — Ellen G. White, Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 251.
With the book of Genesis, we are told not only about our origins but about the plan of salvation, or the means by which God will redeem fallen humanity. This plan becomes even more apparent with the covenant that God makes with Abraham, which involves His promise to establish through him a great nation to be made up of “descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore” (Gen. 22:17, NKJV).
|What other great truths have we been taught through the book of Genesis, truths about which we might otherwise not know? What does this teach us about how important the Word of God is to our faith?|