Book of Genesis - Structure

Structure

Genesis appears to be structured around the recurring phrase elleh toledot, meaning "these are the generations," with the first use of the phrase referring to the "generations of heaven and earth" and the remainder marking individuals—Noah, the "sons of Noah", Shem, etc., down to Jacob. It is not clear, however, what this meant to the original authors, and most modern commentators divide it into two parts based on subject matter, a "primeval history" (chapters 1–11) and a "patriarchal history" (chapters 12–50). While the first is far shorter than the second, it sets out the basic themes and provides an interpretive key for understanding the entire book. The "primeval history" has a symmetrical structure hinged around chapter 6–9, the flood story, with the events before the flood mirrored by the events after. The "patriarchal history" recounts the events of the major patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to whom God reveals himself and to whom the promise of descendants and land is made, while the story of Joseph serves to take the Israelites into Egypt in preparation for the next book, Exodus.

Read more about this topic:  Book Of Genesis

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Famous quotes containing the word structure:

    A special feature of the structure of our book is the monstrous but perfectly organic part that eavesdropping plays in it.
    Vladimir Nabokov (1899–1977)

    Vashtar: So it’s finished. A structure to house one man and the greatest treasure of all time.
    Senta: And a structure that will last for all time.
    Vashtar: Only history will tell that.
    Senta: Sire, will he not be remembered?
    Vashtar: Yes, he’ll be remembered. The pyramid’ll keep his memory alive. In that he built better than he knew.
    William Faulkner (1897–1962)

    The verbal poetical texture of Shakespeare is the greatest the world has known, and is immensely superior to the structure of his plays as plays. With Shakespeare it is the metaphor that is the thing, not the play.
    Vladimir Nabokov (1899–1977)