The structure of Genesis

I don’t think my coming to faith was by any of the usual means, prompted, as it was, by the realisation that Genesis had a structure to it supported by archaeology. There’s nothing new in this – I came across it many years ago – but I thought it would be of interest as few people seem to know about it.
There are a number of phrases in Genesis known as toledoth statements, or colophons, which are ‘title’ sentences to the toledoths. The Hebrew term toledoth is generally translated generations in the King James Bible. We come across this several times in Genesis, marking major divisions in the Genesis record.
Here is a full list from the King James:

These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created…. (Gen. 2:4a)
This is the book of the generations of Adam.…. (Gen. 5:1a)
These are the generations of Noah: (Gen. 6:9a)
Now these are the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth: and unto them were sons born after the flood. (Gen. 10:1)
These are the families of the sons of Noah, after their generations, in their nations: (Gen. 10:32a)
These are the generations of Shem: (Gen. 11:10a)
Now these are the generations of Terah: (Gen. 11:27a)
Now these are the generations of Ishmael, Abraham’s son, whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah’s handmaid, bare unto Abraham: (Gen. 25:12)
And these are the generations of Isaac, Abraham’s son: (Gen. 25:19a)
Now these are the generations of Esau, who is Edom. (Gen. 36:1)
And these are the generations of Esau the father of the Edomites in mount Seir: (Gen. 36:9)
These are the generations of Jacob. (Gen. 37:2a)

There is some discussion over the placing of some of the colophons, but there is no doubt there is a structure in Genesis supporting the fact that Moses compiled Genesis from records in his possession.
More information is readily available on the Internet by searching ‘toledoth’.

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