Welcome back, everyone. Hope Church, the church I attend on Sunday mornings, has started a year-long study of the whole Bible titled This is the Story. As an exercise, I began writing a summary of the entire Bible, but a half-hour of typing only got me through Genesis. To that end, here is part one of three.
Thanks to my supporters on Patreon, who have made this series possible. Pledge to my Patreon, where you can read part two right now! You can also read my new Duolingo-inspired absurdist comic series, Yossi and Tal, currently a Patreon exclusive.
Anyway, here’s Genesis.
It started when God created the universe: the earth, the things around the earth, and the living things on the earth. Most notably, he created human beings in his image. Everything was great, but then the snake told the humans to do what God didn’t want them to, and the humans went and did what God didn’t want them to. God punished them with shame, death, childbirth, and agricultural labor, and the humans started making more humans.
Even at this point, God promised that the offspring of the first woman would beat the snake. The snake would bite him on the heel, but he would crush the snake’s head. But we’ll get back to that.
The humans did some more things that God didn’t want them to. It got so bad that God picked one man, Noah, and his family, who were all actually reasonably decent, and he killed all the other humans with a massive flood. That was the last time God ever did that. Then Noah got drunk, and his youngest son walked in on him while he was hammered and naked, and apparently the youngest son wasn’t very respectful about it, because Noah cursed him, declaring that his children would have to serve the other brothers’ children.
A couple generations later, humans were doing evil again, trying to build a tower to the sky so they could be on par with God. For their hubris, God punished them with languages.
But there was this one guy, Abram, that God called to leave his homeland, and Abram complied. God promised to give him a huge nation’s worth of descendants and to bless all the humans through him, and he changed his name to Abraham. Abraham and his wife, Sarah, couldn’t have children, so Abraham took matters into his own hands and had a kid with his wife’s servant, Hagar. There were some complications because of that, but God still loved Hagar and the other kid, Ishmael. He took care of them, and over the generations, Ishmael birthed a nation of his own.
God finally gave Abraham and Sarah a kid, Isaac. Then he told Abraham to sacrifice Isaac for him, like the evil people do for their gods, but at the last moment one of God’s messengers said, “Good job, you passed God’s test, now here’s a ram that you can sacrifice instead.” Isaac married a lady from Abraham’s homeland named Rebecca, and they had twins, Esau and Jacob. They didn’t exactly get along for awhile, but eventually they kinda patched things up.
Jacob was the younger son, but he got to be the heir because he tricked his brother and his old man. Jacob had two wives, and he also had children with their two servants, for a total of twelve sons. His favorite son was Joseph, which made the ten oldest brothers so jealous that they detained him in a pit and sold him into slavery, and then Jacob had his final son Benjamin. God took Joseph, as a slave in Egypt, through a series of turns that led to him becoming Pharaoh’s right-hand man, so that when a famine hit the land, the foresight God gave Joseph allowed him to provide food for everyone.
He was also able to provide for his brothers when they came to Egypt to buy food. Joseph kinda messed with his brothers before he let them know he was their brother, but eventually he came out with it and they reconciled because everyone had had time to mature. Joseph brought the whole family to Egypt, where they prospered under God’s provision. But they weren’t in the land God had promised to Abraham.
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Welcome back !