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Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)
1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
SCOFIELD REFERENCE NOTES
(Old Scofield 1917 Edition)
A Panoramic View of the Bible (See also THE PENTATEUCH, Book Introduction, and Notes associated with Genesis 1:1)
The Bible, incomparably the most widely circulated of books, at once provokes and baffles study. Even the non-believer in its authority rightly feels that it is unintelligent to remain in almost total ignorance of the most famous and ancient of books. And yet most, even of sincere believers, soon retire from any serious effort to master the content of the sacred writings. The reason is not far to seek. It is found in the fact that no particular portion of Scripture is to be intelligently comprehended apart from some conception of its place in the whole. For the Bible story and message is like a picture wrought out in mosaics: each book, chapter, verse, and even word forms a necessary part, and has its own appointed place. It is, therefore, indispensable to any interesting and fruitful study of the Bible that a general knowledge of it be gained.
First. The Bible is one book. Seven great marks attest this unity.
(1) From Genesis the Bible bears witness to one God. Wherever he speaks or acts he is consistent with himself, and with the total revelation concerning him.
(2) The Bible forms one continuous story - the story of humanity in relation to God.
(3) The Bible hazards the most unlikely predictions concerning the future, and, when the centuries have brought round the appointed time, records their fulfilment.
(4) The Bible is a progressive unfolding of truth. Nothing is told all at once, and once for all. The law is, "first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn." Without the possibility of collusion, often with centuries between, one writer of Scripture takes up an earlier revelation, adds to it, lays down the pen, and in due time another man moved by the Holy Spirit, and another, and another, add new details till the whole is complete.
(5) From beginning to end the Bible testifies to one redemption.
(6) From beginning to end the Bible has one great theme -the person and work of the Christ.
(7) And, finally, these writers, some forty-four in number, writing through twenty centuries, have produced a perfect harmony of doctrine in progressive unfolding. This is, to every candid mind, the unanswerable proof of the divine inspiration of the Bible.
Second. The Bible is a book of books. Sixty-six books make up the one Book. Considered with reference to the unity of the one book the separate books may be regarded as chapters. But that is but one side of the truth, for each of the sixty-six books is complete in itself, and has its own theme and analysis. In the present edition of the Bible these are fully shown in the introductions and divisions. It is therefore of the utmost moment that the books be studied in the light of their distinctive themes. Genesis, for instance, is the book of beginnings--the seed-plot of the whole Bible. Matthew is the book of the King, & etc.
Third. The books of the Bible fall into groups. Speaking broadly there are five great divisions in the Scriptures, and these may be con- veniently fixed in the memory by five key-words, Christ being the one theme (Lk 24:25-27).
In other words, the Old Testament is the preparation for Christ; in the Gospels he is manifested to the world; in the Acts he is preached and his Gospel is propagated in the world; in the Epistles his Gospel is explained; and in the Revelation all the purposes of God in and through Christ are consummated. And these groups of books in turn fall into groups. This is especially true of the Old Testament, which is in four well defined groups. Over these may be written as memory aids:
Song of Solomon
Again care should be taken not to overlook, in these general groupings, the distinctive messages of the several books composing them. Thus, while redemption is the general theme of the Pentateuch, telling as it does the story of the redemption of Israel out of bondage and into "a good land and large," each of the five books has its own distinctive part in the whole. Genesis is the book of beginnings, and explains the origin of Israel. Exodus tells the story of the deliverance of Israel; Leviticus of the worship of Israel as delivered people; Numbers the wanderings and failures of the delivered people, and Deuteronomy warns and instructs that people in view of their approaching entrance upon their inheritance.
The Poetical books record the spiritual experiences of the redeemed people in the varied scenes and events through which the providence of God led them. The prophets were inspired preachers, and the prophetical books consist of sermons with brief connecting and explanatory passages. Two prophetical books, Ezekiel and Daniel, have a different character and are apocalyptic, largely.
Fourth. The Bible tells the Human Story. Beginning, logically, with the creation of the earth and man, the story of the race sprung from the first human pair continues through the first eleven chapters of Genesis. With the twelfth chapter begins the history of Abraham and of the nation of which Abraham was the ancestor. It is that nation, Israel, with which the Bible narrative is thereafter chiefly concerned from the eleventh chapter of Genesis to the second chapter of the Acts of the Apostles. The Gentiles are mentioned, but only in connection with Israel. But it is made increasingly clear that Israel Song fills the scene only because entrusted with the accomplishment of great world-wide purposes (Dt 7:7).
The appointed mission of Israel was,
(1) to be a witness to the unity of God in the midst of idolatry (Dt 6:5 Is 43:10);
(2) to illustrate to the nations the greater blessedness of serving the one true God (Dt 33:26-29 1Chr 17:20,21 Ps 102:15);
(3) to receive and preserve the Divine revelation (Rom 3.1,2); and
(4) to produce the Messiah, earth's Saviour and Lord (Rom 9:4). The prophets foretell a glorious future for Israel under the reign of Christ.
The biblical story of Israel, past, present, and future, falls into seven distinct periods:
(1) From the call of Abram (Gen 12) to the Exodus (Ex. 1-20);
(2) From the Exodus to the death of Joshua (Ex 21 to Josh 24);
(3) from the death of Joshua to the establishment of the Hebrew monarchy under Saul;
(4) the period of the kings from Saul to the Captivities;
(5) the period of the Captivities;
(6) the restored commonwealth from the end of the Babylonian captivity of Judah, to the destruction of Jerusalem, A.D. 70;
(7) the present dispersion.
The Gospels record the appearance in human history and within the Hebrew nation of the promised Messiah, Jesus Christ, and tell the wonderful story of his manifestation to Israel, his rejection by that people, his crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension.
The Acts of the Apostles record the descent of the Holy Spirit, and the beginning of a new thing in human history, the Church. The division of the race now becomes threefold--the Jew, the Gentile, and the Church of God. Just as Israel is in the foreground from the call of Abram to the resurrection of Christ, Song now the Church fills the scene from the second chapter of the Acts to the fourth chapter of the Revelation. The remaining chapters of that book complete the story of humanity and the final triumph of Christ.
Fifth. The Central Theme of the Bible is Christ. It is this manifestation of Jesus Christ, his Person as "God manifest in the flesh" (1Tim 3.16), his sacrificial death, and his resurrection, which constitute the Gospel. Unto this all preceding Scripture leads, from this all following Scripture proceeds. The Gospel is preached in the Acts and explained in the Epistles. Christ, Son of God, Son of man, Son of Abraham, Son of David, thus binds the many books into one Book. Seed of the woman (Gen 3:15) he is the ultimate destroyer of Satan and his works; Seed of Abraham he is the world blesser; Seed of David he is Israel's King. "Desire of all Nations." Exalted to the right hand of God he is "head over all to the Church, which is his body," while to Israel and the nations the promise of his return forms the one and only rational expectation that humanity will yet fulfil itself. Meanwhile the Church looks momentarily for the fulfilment of his special promise: "I will come again and receive you unto myself" (Jn 14:1-3). To him the Holy Spirit throughout this Gospel age bears testimony. The last book of all, the Consummation book, is "The Revelation of Jesus Christ" (Rev 1:1).
The five books ascribed to Moses have a peculiar place in the structure of the Bible, and an order which is undeniably the order of the experience of the people of God in all ages. Genesis is the book of origins--of the beginning of life, and of ruin through sin. Its first word, "In the beginning God," is in striking contrast with the end, "In a coffin in Egypt." Exodus is the book of redemption, the first need of a ruined race. Leviticus is the book of worship and communion, the proper exercise of the redeemed. Numbers speaks of the experiences of a pilgrim people, the redeemed passing through a hostile scene to a promised inheritance. Deuteronomy, retrospective and prospective, is a book of instruction for the redeemed about to enter that inheritance.
That Babylonian and Assyrian monuments contain records bearing a grotesque resemblance to the majestic account of the creation and of the Flood is true, as also that these antedate Moses. But this confirms rather than invalidates inspiration of the Mosaic account. Some tradition of creation and the Flood would inevitably be handed down in the ancient cradle of the race. Such a tradition, following the order of all tradition, would take on grotesque and mythological features, and these abound in the Babylonian records. Of necessity, therefore, the first task of inspiration would be to supplant the often absurd and childish traditions with a revelation of the true history, and such a history we find in words of matchless grandeur, and in a order which, rightly understood, is absolutely scientific.
In the Pentateuch, therefore, we have a true and logical introduction to the entire Bible; and, in type, an epitome of the divine revelation.
SCOFIELD REFERENCE NOTES (Old Scofield 1917 Edition)
The First Book of Moses called GENESIS
GENESIS is the book of beginnings. It records not only the beginning of the heavens and the earth, and of plant, animal, and human life, but also of all human institutions and relationships. Typically, it speaks of the new birth, the new creation, where all was chaos and ruin.
With Genesis begins also that progressive self-revelation of God which culminates in Christ. The three primary names of Deity, Elohim, Jehovah, and Adonai, and the five most important of the compound names, occur in Genesis; and that in an ordered progression which could not be changed without confusion.
The problem of sin as affecting man's condition in the earth and his relation to God, and the divine solution of that problem are here in essence. Of the eight great covenants which condition human life and the divine redemption, four, the Edenic, Adamic, Noahic, and Abrahamic Covenants are in this book; and these are the fundamental covenants to which the other four, the Mosaic, Palestinian, Davidic, and New Covenants, are related chiefly as adding detail or development.
Genesis enters into the very structure of the New Testament, in which it is quoted above sixty times in seventeen books. In a profound sense, therefore, the roots of all subsequent revelation are planted deep in Genesis, and whoever would truly comprehend that revelation must begin here. The inspiration of Genesis and it character as a divine revelation are authenticated by the testimony of Christ Mt 19:4-6 24:37-39 Mk 10:4-9 Lk 11:49-51 17:26-29,32 Jn 1:5 7:21-23 8:44,56.
Genesis is in five chief divisions:
I. Creation (1. 1-2.25)
II. The fall and redemption (3. 1-4, 7).
III. The Diverse Seeds, Cain and Seth, to the Flood (4.8-7.24).
IV. The Flood to Babel (8.1-11.9).
V. From the call of Abram to the death of Joseph (11:10-50:26).
The events recorded in Genesis cover a period of 2,315 years (Ussher).
THE ORIGINAL CREATION
Elohim (sometimes El or Elah), English form "God," the first of the three primary names of Deity, is a uni-plural noun formed from El=strength, or the strong one, and Alah, to swear, to bind oneself by an oath, Song implying faithfulness. This uni-plurality implied in the name is directly asserted in Gen 1:26 (plurality), Gen 1:27 (unity) see also Gen 3:22. The Trinity is latent in Elohim. As meaning primarily the Strong One it is fitly used in the first chapter of Genesis. Used in the OT about 2500 times.
See Scofield Note: "Gen 2:4"
See Scofield Note: "Gen 2:7"
See Scofield Note: "Gen 14:18"
See Scofield Note: "Gen 15:2"
See Scofield Note: "Gen 17.1"
See Scofield Note: "Gen 21:33"
See Scofield Note: "1Sam 1:3"
Deity (names of) Gen 2:4, 7 (Gen 1:1; Mal 3:18)
But three creative acts of God are recorded in this chapter:
(1) heavens and the earth, v.1;
(2) animal life, v.21; and
(3) human life, vs. 26,27. Gen 1:1,21,26,27.
The first creative act refers to the dateless past, and gives scope for all the geologic ages.
2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
Earth made waste and empty by judgment (Jer 4:23-26)
 without form and void
Jer 4:23-27 Isa 24:1 45:18 clearly indicate that the earth had undergone a cataclysmic change as the result of divine judgment. The face of the earth bears everywhere the marks of such a catastrophe. There are not wanting indications which connect it with a previous testing and fall of angels.
See Ezek 28:12-15 Isa 14:9-14 which certainly go beyond the kings of Tyre and Babylon.
Margin the Spirit
Holy Spirit, Gen 6:3. (Gen 1:2; Mal 2:15)
Job 26:13. Ps 104:30.
3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
The new beginning - the first day: light diffused
 Let there be light
Neither here nor in verses 14-18 is an original creative act implied. A different word is used. The sense is, made to appear; made visible. The sun and moon were created "in the beginning." The "light" of course came from the sun, but the vapour diffused the light. Later the sun appeared in an unclouded sky.
4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
The word "day" is used in Scripture in three ways:
(1) that part of the solar day of twenty-four hours which is light Gen 1:5,14 Jn 9:4 11:9.
(2) such a day, set apart for some distinctive purpose, as, "day of atonement" (Lev 23.27); "day of judgment" Mt 10:15.
(3) a period of time, long or short, during which certain revealed purposes of God are to be accomplished, as "day of the Lord."
The use of "evening" and "morning" may be held to limit "day" to the solar day; but the frequent parabolic use of natural phenomena may warrant the conclusion that each creative "day" was a period of time marked off by a beginning and ending.
6 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
The second day: vapor above, water below
Lit. expanse (i.e. of waters beneath, of vapour above).
7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.
8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.
i.e. the expanse above, the "heaven" of the clouds. Gen 7:11 8:2.
9 And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.
The third day: land and sea; plant life appears.
10 And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.
11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.
 bring forth grass
It is by no means necessary to suppose that the life-germ of seeds perished in the catastrophic judgment which overthrew the primitive order. With the restoration of dry land and light the earth would "bring forth" as described. It was "animal" life which perished, the traces of which remain as fossils. Relegate fossils to the primitive creation, and no conflict of science with the Genesis cosmogony remains.
12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
13 And the evening and the morning were the third day.
14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:
The fourth day: the sun, moon and stars become visible
Margin Let there be lights
15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.
16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.
 greater light
The "greater light" is a type of Christ, the "Sun of righteousness" Mal 4:2. He will take this character at His second advent. Morally the world is now in the state between Gen 1:3-16 Eph 6:12 Acts 26:18 1Pet 2:9. The sun is not seen, but there is light. Christ is that light Jn 1:4,5,9 but "shineth in darkness," comprehended only by faith. As "Son of righteousness" He will dispel all darkness. Dispensationally the Church is in place as the "lesser light," the moon, reflecting the light of the unseen sun. The stars Gen 1:16 are individual believers who are "lights" Phil 2:15,16 Jn 1:5.
A type is a divinely purposed illustration of some truth. It may be:
(1) a person Rom 5:14
(2) an event 1Cor 10:11
(3) a thing Heb 10:20
(4) an institution Heb 9:11
(5) a ceremonial 1Cor 5:7
Types occur most frequently in the Pentateuch, but are found, more sparingly, elsewhere. The antitype, or fulfilment of the type, is found, usually, in the New Testament.
The word does not imply a creative act; vs. Gen 1:14-18 are declarative of function merely.
17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,
i.e. the "heaven" of the stars; e.g. Gen 15:5 Lk 23:43.
18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.
19 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
20 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.
The fifth day: the second creative act - animal life. (See Gen 2:19)]
21 And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
 every living creature
The second clause, "every living creature," as distinguished from fishes merely, is taken up again in verse 24, showing that in the second creative act all animal life is included.
22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.
23 And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.
24 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.
The sixth day: (1) the fecundity of the earth after the creative work of the fifth day.
 living creature
"Creature," Heb. nephesh, trans. soul in Gen 2.7 and usually. In itself nephesh, or soul, implies self-conscious life, as distinguished from plants, which have unconscious life. In the sense of self-conscious life animals also have "soul." See verses Gen 1:26,27 2:7,21-23. See Scofield Note: "Gen 1:26".
25 And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
The sixth day: (2) the creation of man (described Gen 2:7, 21-23)
 make man in our image
Man. Gen 1:26,27, gives the general, Gen 2:7,21-23 the particular account of the creation of man. The revealed facts are:
(1) Man was created not evolved. This is
(a) expressly declared, and the declaration is confirmed by Christ Mt 19:14 Mk 10:6,
(b) "an enormous gulf, a divergence practically infinite" (Huxley) between the lowest man and the highest beast, confirms it;
(c) the highest beast has no trace of God-consciousness--the religious nature;
(d) science and discovery have done nothing to bridge that "gulf."
(2) That man was made in the "image and likeness" of God. This image is found chiefly in man's tri-unity, and in his moral nature. Man is "spirit and soul and body" 1Th 5:23.
"Spirit" is that part of man which "knows" 1Cor 2:11 and which allies him to the spiritual creation and gives him God-consciousness. "Soul" in itself implies self-consciousness life, as distinguished from plants, which have unconscious life. In that sense animals also have "soul" Gen 1:24. But the "soul" of man has a vaster content than "soul" as applied to beast life. It is the seat of emotions, desires, affections Ps 42:1-6. The "heart" is, in Scripture usage, nearly synonymous with "soul." Because the natural man is, characteristically, the soulual or physical man, "soul" is often used as synonymous with the individual, e.g. Gen 12:5. The body, separable from spirit and soul, and susceptible to death, is nevertheless an integral part of man, as the resurrection shows Jn 5:28,29 1Cor 15:47-50 Rev 20:11-13. It is the seat of the senses (the means by which the spirit and soul have world-consciousness) and of the fallen Adamic nature. Rom 7:23,24.
Kingdom (O.T.). vs.Gen 1:26-28; Gen 9:6. (Gen 1:26; Zech 12:8)
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
The First Dispensation: Innocency (Gen 1:28 - 3:13). The First, or Edenic Covenant: conditioned the life of the unfallen man. Add Gen 2:8-17.)
A dispensation is a period of time during which man is tested in respect of obedience to some specific revelation of the will of God. Seven such dispensations are distinguished in Scripture. See Scofield Note: "Gen 1:28", note .
 And God blessed them
The First Dispensation: Innocency. Man was created in innocency, placed in a perfect environment, subjected to an absolutely simple test, and warned of the consequence of disobedience. The woman fell through pride; the man deliberately. 1Tim 2:14 God restored His sinning creatures, but the dispensation of innocency ended in the judgment of the Expulsion Gen 3:24 See, for the other dispensations;
Conscience See Scofield Note: "Gen 3:23"
Human Government See Scofield Note: "Gen 8:21"
Promise See Scofield Note: "Gen 12:1"
Law See Scofield Note: "Ex 19:8"
Grace See Scofield Note: "Jn 1:17"
Kingdom See Scofield Note: "Eph 1:10"
 Be fruitful
The Edenic Covenant, the first of the eight great covenants of Scripture which condition life and salvation, and about which all Scripture crystallizes, has seven elements. The man and woman in Eden were responsible:
(1) To replenish the earth with a new order--man;
(2) to subdue the earth to human uses;
(3) to have dominion over the animal creation;
(4) to eat herbs and fruits;
(5) to till and keep the garden;
(6) to abstain from eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil;
(7) the penalty--death. See, for the other seven covenants:
ADAMIC See Scofield Note: "Gen 3:14"
NOAHIC See Scofield Note: "Gen 9:1"
ABRAHAMIC See Scofield Note: "Gen 15:18"
MOSAIC See Scofield Note: "Ex 19:25"
PALESTINIAN See Scofield Note: "Dt 30:3"
DAVIDIC See Scofield Note: "2Sam 7:16"
NEW See Scofield Note: "Heb 8:8"
29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.
31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.