“From now on you must circumcise every baby boy when he is eight days old, including slaves born in your homes and slaves bought from foreigners. This will show that there is a covenant between you and me. ” Genesis 17:11 “Early the next morning Abraham gave Hagar some food and a leather bag full of water. He put the child on her back and sent her away. She left and wandered about in the wilderness of Beersheba. ” Genesis 21:14 “Take your son,” God said, “your only son, Isaac, whom you love so much, and go to the land of Moriah.
There on a mountain that I will show you, offer him as a sacrifice to me. ” Early the next morning Abraham cut some wood for the sacrifice, loaded his donkey, and took Isaac and two servants with him. They started out for the place that God had told him about. ” Genesis 22:2-3 “I want you to make a vow in the name of the LORD, the God of heaven and earth, that you will not choose a wife for my son from the people here in Canaan. You must go back to the country where I was born and get a wife for my son Isaac from among my relatives. ” Genesis 24:3-4 “I knelt down and worshiped the LORD.
I praised the LORD, the God of my master Abraham, who had led me straight to my master’s relative, where I found his daughter for my master’s son. ” Genesis 24:48 “Jacob answered, “First make a vow that you will give me your rights. ” Esau made the vow and gave his rights to Jacob. Then Jacob gave him some bread and some of the soup. He ate and drank and then got up and left. That was all Esau cared about his rights as the first-born son. ” Genesis 25:33-34 “The LORD blessed Sarah, as he had promised, and she became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham when he was old.
The boy was born at the time God had said he would be born. Abraham named him Isaac, and when Isaac was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him, as God had commanded. Abraham was a hundred years old when Isaac was born. ” Genesis 21:1-5 “That same night Jacob got up, took his two wives, his two concubines, and his eleven children, and crossed the Jabbok River. ” Genesis 32:26 “For his first son Er, Judah got a wife whose name was Tamar. Er’s conduct was evil, and it displeased the LORD, so the LORD killed him. Then Judah said to Er’s brother Onan, “Go and sleep with your brother’s widow.
Fulfill your obligation to her as her husband’s brother, so that your brother may have descendants. ” Genesis 38:6-8 “They saw him in the distance, and before he reached them, they plotted against him and decided to kill him. They said to one another, “Here comes that dreamer. Come on now, let’s kill him and throw his body into one of the dry wells. We can say that a wild animal killed him. Then we will see what becomes of his dreams. ” Genesis 37:18-20 “Then Joseph gave orders to embalm his father’s body. It took forty days, the normal time for embalming.
The Egyptians mourned for him seventy days. Genesis 50:2-3 “The king said to Joseph, “God has shown you all this, so it is obvious that you have greater wisdom and insight than anyone else. I will put you in charge of my country, and all my people will obey your orders. Your authority will be second only to mine. I now appoint you governor over all Egypt. ” The king removed from his finger the ring engraved with the royal seal and put it on Joseph’s finger. He put a fine linen robe on him, and placed a gold chain around his neck.
He gave him the second royal chariot to ride in, and his guard of honor went ahead of him and cried out, “Make way! Make way! ” And so Joseph was appointed governor over all Egypt. The king said to him, “I am the king—and no one in all Egypt shall so much as lift a hand or a foot without your permission. ” Genesis 41:39-44 “He put up an altar there and named it for El, the God of Israel. Gen 33:20 “Abram was a very rich man, with sheep, goats, and cattle, as well as silver and gold. ” Gen 13:2 “When he was about to cross the border into Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, “You are a beautiful woman.
When the Egyptians see you, they will assume that you are my wife, and so they will kill me and let you live. Tell them that you are my sister; then because of you they will let me live and treat me well. ” When he crossed the border into Egypt, the Egyptians did see that his wife was beautiful. Some of the court officials saw her and told the king how beautiful she was; so she was taken to his palace. Because of her the king treated Abram well and gave him flocks of sheep and goats, cattle, donkeys, slaves, and camels. ” Genesis 12:11
“Laban said to Jacob, “You shouldn’t work for me for nothing just because you are my relative. How much pay do you want? ” Laban had two daughters; the older was named Leah, and the younger Rachel. Leah had lovely eyes, but Rachel was shapely and beautiful. Jacob was in love with Rachel, so he said, “I will work seven years for you, if you will let me marry Rachel. ” Laban answered, “I would rather give her to you than to anyone else; stay here with me. ” Jacob worked seven years so that he could have Rachel, and the time seemed like only a few days to him, because he loved her.
” Genesis 29:15-20 “Abram’s wife Sarai had not borne him any children. But she had an Egyptian slave woman named Hagar, and so she said to Abram, “The LORD has kept me from having children. Why don’t you sleep with my slave? Perhaps she can have a child for me. ” Abram agreed with what Sarai said. So she gave Hagar to him to be his concubine. (This happened after Abram had lived in Canaan for ten years. ) Abram had intercourse with Hagar, and she became pregnant. When she found out that she was pregnant, she became proud and despised Sarai. Genesis 16:1-4
Why it is Culturally Significant The various quotes from the book of Genesis can be said to an introduction to the Jewish culture. In the book of Genesis, we are made to see a glimpse of the way of life, the belief system and the norms that operate among the people that were soon t be called the nation of Israel. The practices of the people generally showed respect for God, respect for our fellowman, dedication to kinship and lifestyle patterned after the will of their creator. In the quotes above, one can deduce a lot from the culture of the Jewish people.
Because the book is an introduction of what to come, we are being introduced to the Jewish culture vis-a-vis the Egyptian culture. The Jewish culture, as we see it in Genesis, is founded on the principle of trust in God and belief in God. It is this principle that embodies their actions and gives a direction to whatever they wan to do. Another thing that is significant about the culture in Genesis is that it is based on covenant. At various occasions in the book, we see a covenant relationship between God – Man and between Man – Man.
This shows respect for their words and the value they place on promise and integrity. Furthermore, another significance that can be seen in the quotes above is the value that relationships play in the Jewish culture. Throughout the book, there is a sense of kinship and family bound among the Jews. Even when the other person is not in line, the culture teaches that we are one family and we should cover for the mistakes of our kinsman. An example is that of Abraham and Lot, and Joseph with his brothers.
In addition to this, the culture in the book of Genesis shows the role and importance of destiny, choice and the place of precision of the word of God in the life of the people. It also shows the importance of a father’s blessing in the life of the son and the part that prophesy and covenant plays in the life of the people. How is it Different from Our Culture Although it might be argued that the establishment of our country s founded on the very principle of the Judeo-Christian beliefs and doctrines, there are some obvious difference in our culture today and that which is seen in the book of Genesis.
An explanation to this might be the evolution of man and societies generally. As seen in Genesis, people were allowed to own slaves. This is in opposition to the American culture with is founded on liberty and freedom. In addition to this, the American culture does not incorporate polygamy unlike what we see in Genesis. Also, the idea of Judah’s transferring Er’s wife to the younger brothers when he died is not applicable to the American culture. The culture of sacrificing might be found in the American culture but not to the extent of sacrificing a human being.
Furthermore, another thing that caught my fancy in the book of Genesis that is alien to the American culture is the birth of Isaac even when both Abraham and Sarah have passed their reproductive age. Apart from this, the American society is not a patriarchal society where the man rules and women are seen as the “weaker vessels”. Also, the manner in which marriage is recorded in the book of Genesis is quite different from what applies to the American culture. The practice of parents looking for a wife for the son or vise versa is strange to the American culture.
As the book of Genesis records it, marriage is preferred between relatives, even as close as cousins. This can be seen in the union of Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca and Jacob and Leah and Rachel. Summarily, I discovered that unlike the Bible culture portrayed in the book of Genesis, The American culture does not give room for pre-destination and prophesy. It is part of the American belief and culture that we can be whatever we want to be. Reference: Good News Bible (1994); The Book of Genesis. United Bible Societies.