Christ in All the Scriptures
by A.M. Hodgkin
II. Christ in the Pentateuch
1. Genesis --
Genesis is, in many respects, the most important book in the Bible. Almost all the truths of God's revelation are contained here in germ.
 
''In the beginning God.'' The very first word gives God His right place.
 
''In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth... And God said-- Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness'' (Gen 1:1,26). Here we have the verbs created and said in the singular, the name of God in its plural form-- Elohim-- and the plural pronoun Us. [Compare the following passages:]
Thus, in the beginning of all things, we see our everlasting Saviour, the Son of God, ''whom He hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also He made the worlds'' (Heb 1:2).
 
Genesis is ''the book of beginnings,'' as the name implies.
  1. The beginning of Creation--
    The account of creation reveals the unity, power, and personality of God.
    It denies atheism-- in the beginning God.
    It denies polytheism-- one God, not many.
    It denies pantheism-- God is before all things and apart from them.
    It denies materialism-- matter is not God.
    It denies the eternity of matter-- in the beginning God created it.
    It denies fatalism-- God, here as everywhere, acts in the freedom of His Eternal Being.
    '' 'In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.' In that simple statement, we have the Bible declaration of the origin of the material universe; and it is one in which faith finds reasonable foundation. Interpretation of method may vary, but the essential truth abides. In its dignified and sublime statement, reason may rest as it cannot possibly do in any theory which leaves God out of the question and then finally declares that the first cause was more or less the result of accident, or the existence of laws without mind, or of order without thought.'' [The Analyzed Bible, G. Campbell Morgan, DD]
     
    ''As time goes on and thoughtful men come to know about the truth of this marvellous universe in which we dwell, they approach closer and closer to Moses' record. Never, perhaps in the history of scientific investigation, did Genesis 1 stand out so solidly and triumphantly as now.'' [Outline Studies in the Books of the Old Testament, W.G. Moorehead, DD]
     
    If the harmony is not yet seen to be complete, it is because we have still so much to learn. The theories of Science are continually changing and may clash with Scripture, the ascertained facts never do. In the same way our interpretations of the Bible may clash with Science because we may not interpret it aright, but the Divine record in Scripture will one day be seen to agree absolutely with the Divine record in nature. Meanwhile, it is remarkable how one scientific discovery after another is proving the accuracy of the Scripture statements, clothed as they are in exquisitely simple language.
     
    For instance, Herbert Spencer speaks of five factors as ''the most general forms into which the manifestations of the Unknowable are re-divisible.'' These five forms are Space, Time, Matter, Motion, Force. The Holy Spirit has given us these five manifestations of God's creative power in the first two verses of the Bible:
    In the beginningTime
    God created the heavensSpace
    and the earthMatter
    and the Spirit of GodForce
    moved...Motion
     
    ''Through faith, we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God; so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear'' (Heb 11:3).
     
    Thus, God prepared our planet to become the home of man, and, above all, the scene of His supreme revelation of redemption through Christ Jesus.
     
    Genesis gives us --
  2. The beginning of the Human Race (1:26,27; 2:7). The outline of the divisions of the race, as given in the tenth chapter of Genesis, is in harmony with [modern] theories of ethnology.
  3. The origin of the Sabbath.
  4. The origin of Marriage and Family (relationships which are foundational to society).--
  5. The beginning of Sin and Death-- We are introduced at the very beginning to man's great enemy, the devil, and his true character is revealed-- subtilty and deceit.
    The result of the Fall of our first parents is manifest in Cain's hatred of his brother, ending in murder. ''And wherefore [why] slew he him? Because his own works were evil and his brother's righteous'' (1Joh 3:12) ''This Cain-spirit is seen in the whole line of unbelievers unto this day. It refuses to obey God itself, and hates those who do. Cain hated Abel. Ishmael hated Isaac. Esau hated Jacob. The children of Jacob hated Joseph, and this Cain-spirit hates all who seek salvation through that One offering.'' [In the Volume of the Book, Dr. Pentecost]
         The enmity of the human heart to God found its culmination in the Cross. All the world was then united. ''The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against His Christ. For of a truth, against Thy Holy Child Jesus, whom Thou hast anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together'' (Acts 4:26,27).
         The inscription over the Cross was written in Greek and Latin and Hebrew-- the three great languages of the day, the language of the Gentile nations, the language of the Gentile rulers, and the language of the chosen people-- as if to involve the whole world in the guilt. It was also a prophecy of the universal dominion of the King of kings.
  6. The beginning of Grace, as shown in the promise of a Redeemer, in the institution of sacrifice, and in God's Covenant.
    As the redemption of man-- the restoration of God's image which man had lost in the Fall-- is the great object of God's revelation in the Bible, we find its beginning here in Genesis.
          The first two chapters of the Bible speak of man's innocence, what he was before the Fall. The last two chapters of the Bible speak of man's holiness, what he shall become; sin is not mentioned in them, except the fact that it is absolutely excluded from the Holy City. All the chapters in between-- the whole book right through-- speak of the conflict between God and sin.'' (C.L.Maynard)
  7. The beginning of the Chosen Race-- Genesis shows us the utter failure of man.
    Adam failed. God gave the race a new start in Noah. But the new race failed, and ended in universal idolatry. Then God called Abram, and from this time He deals with mankind through the chosen race. But the chosen race failed, and in the end of the Old Testament history, we see Him dealing only with the faithful remnant. [The whole world was in need of salvation from sin. God chose Israel as the nation through which He would send the Saviour into the world.]
 
The Book of Genesis falls naturally into two parts:
  1. Chapters 1-11, a very brief but comprehensive history of the world from
    the creation to the confusion of tongues.
  2. Chapters 12-50, the history of Abraham and his family,
    to the death of his great-grandson Joseph.
 
[In Genesis there are two distinct streams of revelation concerning Christ.]--
I. Prophecies--
II. Types--
In Genesis, we have individual men who are types [pictures, illustrations] of Christ.
 
Coming to other types [where 'things' or 'events' illustrate the work of Christ]--
 
Furthermore, we have in Genesis appearances of Jehovah Himself in human form, under the name of the Angel of Jehovah. Surely, this is none other than Christ Himself, God manifest in the flesh, who said, ''Before Abraham was, I AM.''

For a verse by verse study of the book of Genesis, see the Book Notes on Genesis.

Return to the Table of Contents for Christ in All the Scriptures.

For another brief look at this book of the Bible,
see the related chapter in OT Reflections of Christ, by Paul Van Gorder.

Go to The Book opening page.