The Books of the Bible Covenant History | Page 3

2 | Invitation to Genesis that have been preserved in a variety of forms. It contains several family lists, as well as poetic passages of varying lengths. It also includes explanations of how people and places got their names, such as Beer-sheba (“the well of the oath”) or Israel (“he struggles with God”). It incorporates the records of legal proceedings—such as Abraham’s purchase of a burial cave—and of military campaigns. The book also includes numerous stories that tell how particular things came to be (for example, “Why is there a bow in the sky after it rains?”). It weaves all of these materials together to document the origins of humanity, the cause of its distress, and the beginnings of the plan that God set in motion to restore order and harmony in the world he created. It’s traditionally believed that Genesis and the other “books of Moses” (Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy) were written or compiled by Moses, the leader who brought the people of Israel out of Egypt. This is helpful to keep in mind when the Bible itself, or later tradition, refers to the Book of Moses or the Law of Moses. These books were eventually worked into the continuous story that runs through the first quarter of the Bible.