The Book of Genesis: Part 2 (TNK 102) Genesis Chapters 18-50
Taught by Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum
This course is a verse-by-verse study of Genesis Chapter 18 through Chapter 50. It is the second of two online courses on Genesis, and thus completes the study of this foundational book. No biblical content is skipped over so every chapter and verse will be covered. Few if any Bible colleges have an entire course on Genesis, let alone two full courses. This is another reason our courses stand out; we take the time needed to really teach the Scriptures.
As with all our courses, it is taught from a Messianic Jewish perspective, so students will gain fresh insights as Hebraic cultural, historical, rabbinic, and linguistic insights are incorporated into the course. Students do not need to know Hebrew to take this course. Students will grow in wisdom and knowledge as they journey through the rest of this essential book of the Bible.
- Level: Associate’s
- Discipline: The Tanakh: Old Testament Biblical Studies
- Course Title: The Book of Genesis, Part Two
- Course Code: TNK 102
- Prerequisites Recommended: The Book of Genesis Part One (TNK 101)
- Instructor: Dr. Fruchtenbaum
- Length: Five Units: 23 Segments, 12.5 hours of video lectures
- Course Cost: $99 (excluding textbooks)
- Audit Cost: $49 (excluding textbooks)
The video above is the first video segment for this course; there are 23 video segments for this course. Some video segments are short (8min.) some are long (60 min.), most are about 23 min.
Meet Your Instructor
Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum
Master of Theology degree from Dallas, Ph.D. from New York University
Arnold Fruchtenbaum was born in 1943 in Siberia, Russia after his Jewish father — falsely accused of being a Nazi spy when he fled Poland from Hitler — was released from a Communist prison. With the help of the Israeli underground in 1947, the Fruchtenbaum family escaped from behind the Iron Curtain to Germany, where they were confined to British Displaced Persons’ camps.
I. Course Outline
- Our courses are structured around Units and within each Unit there are Segments.
- At the end of each Unit there is a Unit Exam.
- Below is the course outline for this course, Genesis, Part Two:
Unit 1: Genesis Chapters 18-22
Unit 1 Exam
Unit 2: Genesis Chapters 23-25
Unit 2 Exam
Unit 3: Genesis Chapters 26-31
Unit 3 Exam
Unit 4: Genesis Chapters 32 to 37
Unit 4 Exam
Unit 5: Genesis Chapters 38-45
Unit 5 Exam
Unit 6: Genesis Chapters 46-50
Unit 6 Exam
II. Course Learning Objectives
- There are Course Learning Objectives for each Segment of the course.
- So, for this course, (Genesis, Part Two) there are 23 Segments, thus 23 separate sets of learning objectives.
For example, here are the Learning Objectives for Segment #1
Segment #1 Learning Objectives
After studying this segment, students should be able to:
- Explain how the language in Gen 18:3 indicates that one of the “men” who visited Abraham at the oaks of Mamre was God in visible form
- Identify the significant aspects of the meal that Abraham prepared, served, and participated in, with the men who visited him
- List the Hebrew wordplays in Gen 18-19 and describe their meaning and significance
- State the reasons God provided when He revealed the coming destruction of Sodom to Abraham
- Explain Abraham’s goal in interceding for Sodom, including why he ceased his intercession when he did
- Summarize the consequences of Lot’s choosing to identify with Sodom
- Compare the results of Abraham’s prayers with those of Lot and evaluate how these concepts apply to believers today
- Describe what took place in the overthrow of the cities of the plain, including which cities were destroyed, what provoked their destruction, and what the Bible tells us about their future
- List the nations that were born as a result of Lot’s choice to dwell in Sodom
- Effectively use Genesis 18 in answering questions or objections from unsaved Jewish people about the deity of the Messiah Yeshua
III. Required Textbooks and
- For each of the 23 Segments you will see this heading which lists the required reading for that particular Segment.
- Students can do this required reading before or after watching the Segment video lecture.
- The required textbook for Genesis, Part Two is: Ariel’s Bible Commentary. The Book of Genesis: Exposition from a Messianic Jewish Perspective by Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum,
Note: Textbooks can be ordered directly through Ariel Ministries; feel free to purchase an electronic copy or hard copy of the book. Please contact the Ariel home office if you have questions about book orders: Tel: (210) 344-7707 or (877) 242-7435 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Here is the link for the hardback version: https://www.ariel.org/books/commentary-series-the-book-of-genesis
IV. Optional Reading
- You will also see this heading, Optional Reading, for each of the 23 Segments for this course.
- Optional reading is not required but it is recommended. Optional reading items are helpful but keep in mind that Ariel Ministries does not necessarily endorse all the content or doctrines in the optional readings in this course. For an example of this part of the curriculum, here is the Optional Reading for Segment #1
For example of this part of the curriculum, here is the
Optional Reading for Segment #1:
Segment #1 Optional Reading
- Michael L. Brown, Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus: Theological Objections, vol. 2 (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2000). See especially Objection 3.2, “If you claim that Jesus is God then you are guilty of making God into a man. You are an idol worshiper!” p. 14ff).
- W. H. Griffith Thomas, Genesis: A Devotional Commentary. 1946. Reprint ed. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans,1973 (esp. pp. 161-162).
- Bruce Waltke, Genesis: A Commentary. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2001 (pp. 276-77).
- Gordon Wenham, Genesis 15—50. Word Biblical Commentary series. Waco: Word Books, 1994.
V. Study Questions
- Again, there are custom study questions for each segment of the 23 segments to this course.
- Study questions do not need to be answered by the student. These are only listed to assist students in preparing for the Unit Exams or for students to test their own knowledge and recall.
Below is a sample of the Study Questions for this course,
Genesis Part Two, Segment #1:
Segment #1 Study Questions*
- What does the text tell us about the type of lifestyle Abraham was leading at the time God and His angels visited him by the oaks of Mamre?
- How does Gen 18:3 indicate that one of the three men who visited Abraham was God in visible form? How did the Rabbis attempt to explain this away?
- How did Abraham’s behavior in providing hospitality to the men compare with the cultural norms of the time? How can we know this?
- What was significant about Abraham’s meal with his guests, both in relation to what was served, and what the event itself signified?
- How did the promise made to Sarah in 18:10 establish that it was God Himself doing the speaking, rather than an angel speaking on God’s behalf?
- Sarah laughed when God promised her that she would bear a son. Why did she laugh and how does this related to the unconditional promise made to her by God? What implications does this have for the covenants God has made with Israel?
- What is the meaning of the Hebrew word “pele” in 18:14? How is this word translated and where in the New Testament do we find similar language?
- What were the reasons that God chose to give Abraham the revelation of Sodom’s destruction? What were God’s purposes in doing so?
- What are the Hebrew word plays in Gen 18-19 that are mentioned in our textbook? Explain each one.
- Why did God “journey” to Sodom prior to destroying it? What does this tell us about God and about His judgments?
- Why did Abraham stop interceding for Sodom after God agreed to spare the city if ten righteous could be found in it?
- What observations can be made about Abraham’s prayer of intercession for Sodom?
- What was Lot’s social position in Sodom, and how do we know this?
- What were some of the consequences of Lot’s choosing to identify with Sodom rather than with Abraham?
- Were Lot’s actions in attempting to protect his guests particularly godly? Why or why not?
- What did the men of Sodom intend to do with the guests in Lot’s home? How does Scripture make this clear?
- How many of Lot’s family members were saved from the overthrow of Sodom? How many perished? Explain this all detail.
- What can we learn about prayer by comparing Abraham’s intercession for Sodom with Lot’s intercession for Zoar?
- Gen 19:24-25 mentions two “Jehovahs.” What is the significance of this language?
- Which cities of the plain did God overthrow?
- How is Lot’s being saved from Sodom connected to the Abrahamic Covenant?
- What were the consequences of Lot’s choice to settle in Sodom?
- What does Lot’s daughters’ plan to establish his posterity tell us about the influence that living in Sodom had on them?
- Which two nations were born as a result of Lot’s daughters’ “decision”?
VI. Spiritual Growth: Implications and Applications
- There is a unique Spiritual Growth Implications and Applications feature for each Segment of the 23 Segments.
- These are an important part of our courses because they help students to internalize application points which foster growth in character formation.
- There are a variety of approaches used with vary with each Segment. Sometimes this involves journaling, praying through a passage of Scripture, insights on Jewish outreach and discipleship, a little additional reading (we provide the content at no extra cost), and sometimes some Bible memorization/meditation on short passages. Students taking our courses for credit are required to complete the Spiritual Growth assignments, however students who are auditing our courses do not need to do these assignments.
- When a written assignment is required, such as a journal or prayer, students must complete these, but they are not turned-in for grading or credit. We expect students to complete these assignments, using the honor system.
- For student journal assignments you can use a Word doc on your computer or a handwritten journal or notebook; whichever you prefer is fine (again these will not be collected, turned-in or graded).
- However, when there is a Bible memory passage that is assigned and also required, then the Bible memory passage will be included in the Unit Exam. Bible memory verses for this course are based on the NASB (1995) version of the Bible; per Dr. Fruchtenbaum’s instructions. He uses the ASV in teaching but requested that the NASB be used for the Bible memory passages for this course.
Here is an example from Segment #1 of this Genesis Part Two Course:
Segment #1 Spiritual Growth: Implications and Applications Assignment*
Genesis chapter 18 can be used in witnessing to unsaved Jewish people about the deity of Messiah Yeshua, should that objection come up in discussions. Take some time and read through the following excerpt from Volume #2 of Michael L. Brown’s series, Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus: Theological Objections. Genesis 18 is a key chapter in answering objection 3.2: “If you claim that Jesus is God then you are guilty of making God into a man. You are an idol worshiper!” (p.14ff). Please be aware that there will some questions on your Unit Exam from this reading below.
“The question of the deity of Jesus—is he or is he not God—is one of the most important issues a traditional Jew and a Jewish follower of Jesus can possibly discuss. Emotions run high over this, and misunderstanding is the rule not the exception. The objections raised here are sometimes crude, such as, “Your god wore diapers. Our God sits enthroned in heaven.” At other times, they are more sophisticated, such as, “You say, ‘Jesus is God,’ the Bible says, ‘God is not a man’ (Num. 23:19), therefore, your faith is contrary to the Bible.” There is even a Rabbinic precedent for this argument that claims that Numbers 23:19 was uttered “because Balaam foresaw that a certain man would lead mortals astray by claiming to be God” (See Bilalik and Ravnitzky, Book of Legends, 519, #120). How can we respond to these objections in a rational and honest way?
… At the end of Genesis 17, we read how Abraham and his entire household were circumcised in obedience to the command of the Lord. Genesis 18:1–2 says, “The Lord [Hebrew, YHWH] appeared to him by the terebinths of Mamre; he was sitting at the entrance of the tent as the day grew hot. Looking up, he saw three men standing near him” (NJPSV).
According to the Talmud (b. Bava Mesia 86b), God himself was paying Abraham a personal sick call, checking on him after the ordeal of circumcision. Here is the expanded translation of Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz (the actual words of the Talmud are in bold). We read that Abraham went out:
and saw the Holy One, blessed be He, standing at the door of his tent, as the verse says, “And the Lord appeared to him by the terebinths of Mamre.” This is what the verse is referring to when it says (Gen 18:3): “And he said, ‘O Lord, if now I have found favor in Your sight, do not, I pray you, pass by Your servant.’ ” In this verse Abraham was speaking to God Himself (and so addressed Him as Lord and referred to himself as His servant). When God saw that Abraham was busy tying and untying the bandages of his circumcision, He said to Himself, “It is not fitting that I stay here while Abraham is taking care of His wound.” He was about to remove His presence when Abraham pleaded with Him to stay a little longer. And this is also what the verse refers to when it says (Genesis 18:2): “And he raised his eyes and looked, and, behold, three men stood by him; and when he saw them, he ran to meet them”
[Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, The Talmud: The Steinsaltz Edition, vol. 6, Tractate Bava Metzia, Part VI (New York: Random House, 1992), 159.]
Now, here we have a biblical text that indisputably says that the Lord—Hebrew, YHWH—appeared to Abraham, and the Talmud even relates in story form how Abraham actually saw “the Holy One, blessed be He,” addressing him as Lord. Yet, just a few words later, this very same biblical text says that Abraham looked up and saw three men, the Talmud giving the impression that God himself appeared to Abraham, only to be replaced by these men.
Who were the three men? Some Christian teachers, quite naturally, have suggested that the three men represented the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, but this cannot work for a number of reasons. First, it would mean that Abraham actually saw God the Father, something that would be contrary to Scripture; second, the Bible—Old Testament or New Testament—never pictures God as three separate people; third, as we will see, the context is against this trinitarian reading, since it is only one of the three “men” who is addressed as Lord.
According to the Talmud, the three men were the angels Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, each with his own special task. Michael came to give Sarah the good news that she would soon have a son, Raphael came to heal Abraham, and Gabriel went to overthrow the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah (although the Talmud says that Michael went along with Gabriel so as to rescue Lot). But there are problems with this view too. First, the text nowhere says that these angels replaced or represented the Lord. Instead, the Bible says that the Lord appeared to Abraham, that he saw three men, and that he addressed one of them both as Lord (ʾadonai) and as YHWH. Second, the context indicates clearly that two of the men went on to Sodom—where they are identified as angels—and that Abraham stayed before YHWH, with whom he had an extended dialogue. To be faithful to the Scriptures, we must say that the Lord, with two angels, appeared to Abraham, and all three appeared as human beings who spoke, ate, and drank with Abraham and Sarah.
Let’s watch the text unfold. In verse 3, we read that Abraham said, “ʾadonai, if it please you, do not go on past your servant.” According to the traditional Jewish punctuation, and as understood by the Talmud and many Rabbinic commentators, ʾadonai here means Lord, indicating that Abraham already understood who one of his guests was. Other traditional commentators suggest that this is unlikely, changing the vowels to read ʾadoni, “my lord,” as if Abraham simply addressed the apparent leader of the group without knowing who he was. Which view is correct? It really doesn’t matter if we keep reading. One of these “men” is YHWH himself!
The text states that Abraham hurried to Sarah, told her to start cooking, and then ran to the herd to get a calf to slaughter. After preparing the meal, Abraham watched as the men ate:
They said to him, “Where is your wife Sarah?” And he replied, “There, in the tent.” Then one said, “I will return to you next year, and your wife Sarah shall have a son!” Sarah was listening at the entrance of the tent, which was behind him. Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in years; Sarah had stopped having the periods of women. And Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “Now that I am withered, am I to have enjoyment—with my husband so old?” Then the Lord [YHWH] said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Shall I in truth bear a child, old as I am?’ Is anything too wondrous for the Lord [YHWH]? I will return to you at this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son.” Sarah lied, saying, “I did not laugh,” for she was frightened. But He replied, “You did laugh” (Genesis 18:9–15 NJPSV).
There is only one honest way to read these verses. One of these three men was the Lord. Notice carefully: One of them promises to return next year so that Sarah will have a son; she laughs out loud when she hears this seemingly impossible promise; the Lord then addresses Abraham, asking him why his wife laughed and doubted his promise that he would graciously visit her the coming year; Sarah heard what he said, denying that she laughed; then he replied to her. There is absolutely no way around it. Abraham, Sarah, and the Lord were all there together.
And, as if we needed any more proof, here is the clincher. Verse 16 states that “the men set out from there and looked down toward Sodom, Abraham walking with them to see them off” (NJPSV), explaining in the next verses that the Lord then filled Abraham in on what he was about to do. This brings us to verse 22, “The men went on from there to Sodom, while Abraham remained standing before the Lord” (NJPSV), to whom he intercedes on behalf of Sodom through verse 32. So, the men went on to Sodom while the Lord remained with Abraham.
Now brace yourself for the last verse of chapter 18 and the first verse of chapter 19: “When the Lord had finished speaking to Abraham, He departed; and Abraham returned to his place. The two angels arrived in Sodom in the evening, as Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom” (NJPSV). The Scripture tells us that the Lord appeared to Abraham, then it says that Abraham saw three men by his tent, then it identifies one of those three as the Lord, who holds a conversation with Abraham and Sarah. The Bible then says that Abraham walked with the men as they went on their way to Sodom, that the Lord then informed Abraham of his intentions to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, that the men (i.e., the other two men) continued on to Sodom while Abraham stayed and talked with the Lord, and that when they were done, the Lord left and Abraham went home, and that two angels then arrived in Sodom. I’ll say it again: One of those three men was YHWH, the Lord.
The awesome and exciting thing about this text is that it explicitly tells us that Abraham and Sarah talked with the Lord, that he appeared in human form to them, dusty feet and all (see Gen. 18:4), and that he even sat down and ate their food. Yet all the while he remained God in heaven!
I wonder what our critics would do with this passage if it was not in the Hebrew Bible but rather in the New Testament Scriptures alone. They certainly would try to attack it as crass, asking us if God gained any weight when he ate and if he had to relieve himself when he was finished. After all, those are the kind of objections we hear when we talk about Jesus the Messiah being the Son of God in the flesh.
The fact is, Genesis 18 clearly and indisputably teaches that God can come to earth in human form for a period of time if he so desires. And if he could do this for a few hours, in temporary human form, he could do this for a few years, in permanent human form. This is what theologians call the incarnation, God coming down to earth as a man in the person of his Son. And it is only when we recognize the Son—the exact representation of God, and yet God himself—that we can explain how God remained the Lord in heaven while also appearing as the Lord on earth in Genesis 18. Even if you study all the Rabbinic commentaries you want, you won’t find another explanation that works” (pp. 31-35).
[Michael L. Brown, Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus: Theological Objections, vol. 2 (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2000), Objection 3.2]
VII. Course Exams
- There are no mid-term or final exams, no term papers, no major projects, presentations, or quizzes.
- There are, however Unit Exams for all of our courses. Unit Exams are open-note, open-book, and open-Bible.
- The exams are based on multiple-choice, true-false, and fill-in-the-blank type of questions.
- The exams are on the website as well, graded automatically. Take as long as you need to complete the exams and exams can be taken as many times as needed.
- Students can save answers and close the exam and finish at a later time if desired. Students taking courses for credit are required to take the exams but students who audit our courses can skip or by-pass all the exams.
- This course, Genesis Part Two is comprised of six Unit Exams. Each Unit Exam is to be completed after the required reading and assignments in the preceding Segments.
The typical Unit Exam has about 100 questions (some have more some less).
Here are a few questions from the Unit One Exam:
Sample Unit #1 Exam Questions:
Segment #1 Exam Questions
The Overthrow of the Cities of the Plain (Chapters 18-19)
- In Gen 18:1, the fact that Abraham “sat in the tent door” shows that he was no longer living the life of a nomad and a sojourner.
- In Gen 18:3, why did Abraham use the term “Adonai” in his salutation to the three men who appeared to him?
- Because he was only addressing the chief of the three men
- He was speaking to an angel, pressing him to wait until he had attended to his guests
- He recognized one of the three to be God Himself and used the divine title of Adonai, literally, “My Lords”
- The text is unclear as to why
- Which of the following is not an example of how Abraham exceeded the minimum requirements of hospitality for his three visitors?
- Abraham personally chose the calf that was to be slaughtered, and he made sure the best one was picked
- Abraham asked Sarah to knead three measures of meal for cakes, and three measures, and this was a very large quantity for only three men
- Abraham gave his guests a lot more than merely “a morsel of bread”
- Abraham asked his most trusted servant to serve the men their food
- Abraham served his guests milk and meat together, which is forbidden by rabbinic law today. Because the rabbis believed that the Law of Moses always existed, they tried to find a way to get around this, and came up with two options. Which of the following is not one of those options?
- The calf was what is called a “ben pakkua,” a calf found in the womb of a slaughtered mother, and so it did not require ritual slaughter; and thus the laws of milk and meat did not apply
- The meat was not boiled in milk before being eaten, so in this instance the Law of Moses was not violated
- Abraham first served butter and milk as soon as it was prepared; then he served the meat, which was permitted after the milk products – but not vice versa
- All of the above are correct
- Abraham’s eating a meal with the men in Gen 18:8 carries the implication of a _______ ________, similar to those made in 26:28-31 and Exodus 24:1-11.
- Covenantal Meal
- Celebratory Feast
- Passover Seder
- Wedding Supper
- Which of the following is a way that Scripture makes it clear that God was the One speaking in Gen 18:10a?
- In Gen 17:21, God Himself was doing the speaking when He promised Abraham: “and, lo, Sarah your wife shall have a son”
- The promise given in this verse was fulfilled in Gen 21:1, which clearly states that God was the One Who made this promise
- There is the use of I, the singular pronoun. Although three people are present, the use of the singular pronoun shows only One, the LORD Himself, is speaking
- All of the above are correct
- Grades on Unit Exams are calculated into percentages (100% = perfect score), regardless of the number of questions on an exam.
- The final grade is automatically calculated, also using percentages, based on all of the combined totals from all ten Unit Exams.
IX. Communication and Contact Information
- Because our courses are pre-recorded, self-paced, with open-enrollment, there is no direct personal one-on-one student-to-teacher or teacher-to-student communication.
- If you have customer service type of questions related to the online courses, please click on the “Contact Us” link on the Ariel Online Courses homepage or you can email the Director of Online Studies at: Administrator@ArielCourses.com
- Please do not send questions related to course content to the course instructor or professor. Please do not call the Ariel home office regarding the Ariel Online Courses. Instead, please use the “Contact Us” link on the Ariel Online Courses homepage or the email: Administrator@ArielCourses.com
- We will promptly respond to your questions, generally within 48 hours (except on weekends or holidays). All communication with Ariel Online Courses will be through email, there is no telephone customer service for matters pertaining to Ariel Online Courses.
X. Course Records
- If you complete the “My Profile” section on the Ariel Online Courses homepage, we can keep an official record for your progress including the courses you complete and your grades. Please sure to complete this information.
- “My Profile”
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© 2019 by Ariel Ministries
Unit 2: Genesis Chapters 23-25
4. The Family of Nahor (22:20-24), The Death and Burial of Sarah (23:1-20)
5. A Wife for Isaac (24:1-67)
6. Abraham and Keturah (25:1-6) and the Death of Abraham (25:7-11)
7. The Toldot of Ishmael (25:12-18), The Toldot of Isaac (25:19 35:29), The Birth of Esau and Jacob to the Selling of the Birthright (25:27-34)
- 4. The Family of Nahor (22:20-24), The Death and Burial of Sarah (23:1-20)
- 5. A Wife for Isaac (24:1-67)
- 6. Abraham and Keturah (25:1-6) and the Death of Abraham (25:7-11)
- 7. The Toldot of Ishmael (25:12-18), The Toldot of Isaac (25:19 35:29), The Birth of Esau and Jacob to the Selling of the Birthright (25:27-34)
Unit 6: Genesis Chapters 46-50
20. The Sojourn to Egypt (46:1 47:12)
21. Course of the Famine (47:13-26), Jacob n Egypt (47:27-31), and The Blessing on Ephraim and Manasseh (48:1-22)
22. Jacob’s Prophecy Regarding His Sons (49:128)
23. Death and Burial of Jacob (49:29 50:14), The Brothers’ Fear and Joseph’s Reassurance (50:15-21), Joseph’s Death (50:22-26)
- 20. The Sojourn to Egypt (46:1 47:12)
- 21. Course of the Famine (47:13-26), Jacob n Egypt (47:27-31), and The Blessing on Ephraim and Manasseh (48:1-22)
- 22. Jacob’s Prophecy Regarding His Sons (49:128)
- 23. Death and Burial of Jacob (49:29 50:14), The Brothers’ Fear and Joseph’s Reassurance (50:15-21), Joseph’s Death (50:22-26)