Intro and Genesis


It was in 1950 that a challenge was given to Rev. A. Donald Magaw to reopen the Port Monmouth Mission Community Church, which had been closed for about 30 years. For more than 44 years, he was the pastor of the church until God called him home in February 1994 after a long battle with cancer.

All of his life, he gave of himself and his meager finances to anyone in need. In order to support the family, he had a small print shop. When he went home to be with the Lord, he left his widow with a lot of memories, but not much else (not even enough insurance to pay for his funeral). He never sought to make money preaching or printing for the work of the Lord--in fact, he served as pastor all those years without being paid a salary, and at his print shop he printed for any Christian church for free.

Over the years, God blessed him and the church. The following notes are some guides that may be useful in understanding the Word of God.

The majority of these notes were written by the late Rev. A. Donald Magaw and have been compiled and edited by myself. These notes may be reproduced in part or in whole for the Glory of God, provided credit is given and absolutely no charge is made for their distribution and use. Please feel free to copy and distribute these notes for the glory of God. For information on receiving copies, contact the Pastor.

In His Service and Love,

Rev. Donald A. Magaw, Pastor

Port Monmouth Community Church
78 Main Street and Lydia Place
Port Monmouth, NJ 07758


Pastor’s home:

8 Vanada Drive
Neptune, NJ 07753


The Bible portrays Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world; God given, 2 Tim. 3:10-17; should be treasured, Deuteronomy 11:1-9; Josh. 1:8,9: should be kept, Psalm 119:9-18; a lamp, Psalm 119:105-117; food, Isaiah 55:1-11; Matthew 4:4; fulfilled, Luke 24:36-45; complete, Revelation 22:8-21.

Behind and beneath the Bible, above and beyond the Bible, is the God of the Bible. The Bible is God’s written revelation of His will to men. Its central theme is salvation through Jesus Christ. The Old Testament was written mostly in Hebrew (a few short passages in Aramaic). About 100 years before the Christian era the entire Old Testament was translated into Greek. The New Testament was written in the Greek languages. The word Bible comes from the Greek word biblios. The word testament means covenant or agreement. The Old Testament is the covenant God made with man about his salvation before Christ came. The New Testament is the agreement God made with man about his salvation after Christ came to earth.

In the Old Testament we find the covenant of law. In the New Testament we find the covenant of grace, which came through Jesus Christ. One led into the other (Galatians 3:17-25). The Old commences what the New completes. The Old Testament gathers around Sinai, the New Testament around Calvary. The Old is associated with Moses, The New with Christ (John 1:17).

The New Testament was written to reveal to us the character and teachings of Jesus Christ, the mediator of the New Covenant, by at least 8 men; 4 of whom, Matthew, John, Peter and Paul, were apostles; 2, Mark and Luke, were companions of the apostles; and 2, James and Jude, were brothers of Jesus. The books were written at various times during the second half of the century.

The Old Testament begins with God (Genesis 1:1). The New Testament begins with Christ (Matthew 1:1). From Adam to Abraham we have the history of the human race. From Abraham to Christ we have the history of the chosen race. From Christ on, we have the history of the church. The Old Testament is the foundation; the New Testament is the superstructure. A foundation is of no value unless a building is built upon it. A building is impossible unless there is a foundation. So the Old and the New Testament are essential to one another.

The Bible is one book, one history, and one story, His-story. Behind 10,000 events stands God, the builder of history, the maker of the ages. Eternity bounds the one side, eternity bounds the other side, and time is in between--Genesis, origins, Revelation, endings, and all the way between is God working things out. You can go down to the minutest detail everywhere and see there is one great purpose moving through the ages, the eternal design of the Almighty God to redeem a wrecked and ruined world.

The Bible is one book and you cannot take it in texts and expect to comprehend the magnificence of divine revelation. You must see it in its completeness. God has taken pains to give a progressive revelation and we should take pains to read it from beginning to end. Don’t suppose reading little scraps can ever be compensation for doing deep and consecutive work on the Bible itself. We must get back to the Book and then we will not tolerate such work. No part of any book of the Bible will give you the whole message of the book. Remember, the chapter divisions, and verse notations are “man-made,” to be used for reference only. Quite often, thoughts carry from one chapter to another.

The Word of God is alive and every part is necessary to perfection of the whole. The Bible is a whole and cannot be tampered with. To add anything to it or take anything away from it would mar its absolute perfection (Revelation 22:18,19). The canon of Scripture is closed. Other works throw valuable light upon it, but this stands unique, alone, and complete, and these parts all partake of the perfection of the whole.


The Biblical story is about God, man, sin, redemption, justification, sanctification. In two words, grace and glory. In one word--Jesus. Christ quotes from 22 Old Testament books: (Matthew 19; Mark 15; Luke 25; John 11; Hebrews, 85 (quotations and allusions); Revelation, 245.) Christ quoted the very passages most avoided by Bible critics--the flood, Lot, manna, brazen serpent, Jonah.

Number of verses--31,102; number of words--775,693; Middle chapter Psalm 117; Longest chapter, Psalm 119; Shortest chapter, Psalm 117. It is a curious fact that Ezra 7:21 contains all the letters of the alphabet except j. Middle verse, Psalm 103:12; Longest verse, Esther 8:9; Shortest verse, John 11:35; Longest book in the Old Testament, Psalms; Longest book in the New Testament, Luke.


The Old Testament is an account of a nation. (The Hebrew nation) The New Testament is an account of a Man. (The Son of Man). The nation was founded and nurtured of God in order to bring the Man into the world. (Genesis 12:1-3).

God Himself became a man so that we might know what to think about when we think of God. (John 1:14; 14:9). His appearance on the earth is the central event of all history. The Old Testament sets the stage for it. The New Testament describes it.

As a man Christ lived the most perfect life ever known. He was kind, tender, gentle, patient, and sympathetic. He loved people. He worked marvelous miracles to feed the hungry. Multitudes, weary, pain-ridden and heartsick, came to Him, and He gave them rest (Matthew 11:28-30). It is said that if all the deeds of human kindness that He did were written, the world would not contain the books. (John 21:25).

He died, --to take away the sin of the world, and to become the Savior of men.

Then: He rose from the dead. He is alive today. He is not merely a historical character, but a living Person,--the most important fact of history, and the most vital force in the world today. And He promised eternal life to all who come to Him.

The whole Bible is built around the story of Christ and His promise of everlasting life to men. It was written only that we might believe and understand, know and love and follow HIM.




Genesis is a Greek word, which means beginning or birth. The book records the beginning of all things. Verse one brings out the meaning of this name. The following list of beginnings is recorded in the book:

1) The beginning of the universe.
2) The beginning of the human race.
3) The beginning of sin.
4) The beginning of redemption.
5) The beginning of nations.
6) The beginning of the Hebrew nation.
7) The beginning of the life of faith and consecration.

Someone has said that the book of Genesis is quoted more than sixty times in seventeen books of the New Testament.

Genesis is in five divisions:

1. Chs. 1:1-2:25 Creation
2. Chs. 3:1-4:7 the fall and redemption
3. Chs. 4:8-7:24 the diverse seeds, Cain & Seth to the flood.
4. Chs. 8:1-11:9 the flood to Babble.
5. Chs. 11:10-50:26 from the call of Abram to the Death of Joseph

The events recorded in Genesis cover a period of 2,315 years (Usher).

The six days of creation fall into two groups as follows: --

1st day--light
2nd day--air, water
3rd day--land, plants
4th day--lights, heavenly bodies

5th day--birds, fish
6th day--animals, man


Ch. 1:26-2 7. Man was created, not evolved. This was confirmed by the Lord Jesus, Matthew 19:4.

The image and likeness of God in man can be described in two ways:

A. In his tri-unity of spirit, soul, body.

B. In his moral nature.

Through the fall the image has been marred so that man lost his knowledge of God by the state of Death which came to his spirit, (Ephesians 2:1) and his moral nature became sinful, thus making him sinful in his actions. Through the new birth Ephesians 4:24 he is spoken of as created in true holiness. Jesus, also in John 17:3, teaches that eternal life gives man an imparted knowledge of God.


The fall of man can be blamed on nothing else than deliberate disobedience. Adam lived in a perfect environment and was given one simple command by God, Ch. 2:15-17. Eve, who was formed later, v.18, was deceived by Satan, partook of the forbidden fruit, and gave to her husband who was with her: and he did eat.
 (Genesis 3:1-6).

The threefold temptation of man is met by all:

Ch. 3:6. Good for food; pleasant to the eyes; To be desired to make one wise.

Matthew 4:3-10 command that these stones be made bread; Cast thyself down; The kingdoms of this world and the glory of them

I John 2:16 lust of the flesh; Lust of the eyes; Pride of life

Adam failed through despising God’s word. Christ said, “it is written” and defeated the tempter. Man’s success or failure now is dependent upon whether he follows the example of the first Adam or the LAST ADAM. The God whose word he despised immediately undertook the redemption of man. Temptation comes that we might be proven in our faithfulness or otherwise, but like a wise parent, God knowing our weakness stands by to raise us from our fall. Sin demands punishment, and the three guilty parties were judged, but” the seed of the woman shall bruise thy head” is what God said to the serpent. From Isaiah 7:14 and Matthew 1:23 we see clearly that Christ was promised as the redeemer.

Genesis 3:21, 24, teaches us that by the shedding of blood sinful man was shown the way of approach to God, and his nakedness was covered with coats of skins, a type of the righteousness, which is offered to the one who presents the blood of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God. To check sin, and deliver man from developing into an undying monstrosity, God put him out of the garden, were he now approaches God in His manifestation in the Cherubim’s and the flaming sword.


With the birth of Cain and Abel and their attitude to God we have the religious cleavage of the human family. Two types of religion were introduced which exist in the world to this day, namely, sacrificial, or salvation through Divine sacrifice; and cultural, or salvation through man’s own efforts.

Adam had evidently taught his sons of the blood offering or Cain would not have been to blame for his rejection of the truth. Abel offered the blood and was accepted; Cain brought the fruit of his own works and was rejected. In Ch. 4:7, God showed him his error, but rather than repent and obey, he slew his brother Abel, and then he left God with the remark, my sin is greater then that it may be forgiven.

After the death of Abel, another son was born to Eve and she named him Seth. His seed began to call themselves by the name of the Lord, and thus we have a Godly line established once more in the earth. In Ch. 6:2-3, we find worldliness creeping in and the godly and ungodly intermarrying. Such a condition always chokes the seed of the word and sooner or later demands Divine action. With just one family remaining who honored God, the flood judgment is foretold.


We are told in Hebrews 11:7 that Noah believed the warning God gave him and by faith prepared an ark to the saving of his house. As he built, he preached, and as he preached so he built, so that by giving his testimony and acting his faith, on the one hand he obtained salvation, and on the other hand he condemned the world. True to prediction the flood came. It rained for forty days and forty nights, and the water remained on the earth for 150 days.

God withholds judgment until conditions simply demand it. We are told that the earth was filled with violence, Ch.6: 11. Whenever we see such a state of things in evidence in the last days we may look for another worldwide judgment, that is, the Great Tribulation, and the coming of the Lord.

After the flood, Noah and his family came forth out of the ark, and the race began again by worshiping God at an altar of burnt offering, Ch.8:20-21. God entered into a new covenant with Noah and gave the rainbow in the sky as a token never to again destroy the whole earth with a flood. The distant descendants of Noah in pride sought to make a name for them by building a city and a tower in the midst whose top would reach unto heaven. God saw their pride and caused the confusion of tongues by which man was scattered upon the face of the earth, and thereby weakened and hindered from fulfilling his foolish boast, Ch.11:1-9.

Noah’s three sons were through their descendants divided into earth’s peoples in the following manner:

Japheth--European and Indian {Indo-Germanic or Aryan race}

Shem-- Israelites, Arabs, Assyrians, Syrians, etc. {Semitic people}

Ham--African peoples and Canaanites.

The threefold prophecy of Noah given in Ch. 9:25-27 has been fulfilled quite literally down to the present time of world history. The curse upon Ham was human servitude. The Canaanite became subject to Israel, and the African of today is more or less in servitude.

Through Shem we have the seed of Israel from whom after the flesh Christ came, therefore Noah said, “Blessed be the Lord God of Shem.” All Bible revelation has come through this line also.

Japheth was to be enlarged. The ruling nations of the world are Japhetic, and they govern the most territory.



The first eleven chapters of Genesis form an introduction to the history of the Hebrews, and cover a period of about 2000 years. They give us the history of the human race and explain why a plan of redemption was made necessary. The remaining chapters tell us how God began to work out His plan through individuals who became the ancestors of the chosen people.

Abraham was a Chaldean shepherd who lived outside the city of Ur. In responding to the call of God he began to develop a life of faith. Throughout a period of fifty years, he was tested and by obedience obtained some wonderful and far-reaching promises.

At 75 years of age Abraham began following the Lord, Ch. 12:1-4. During a period of famine in the land of Canaan he became fearful and moved down to Egypt where he asked Sarah his wife to protect them both by posing as his sister. Trouble resulted and God finally got Abraham turned back to the Promised Land.

At the age of 85 God promised him a son and entered into a covenant with him according to the customs of those times, Ch.15. To Abraham was also revealed the coming bondage of Egypt. Sarah, Abraham’s wife, felt that time was rapidly passing and the promised son was so slow in coming and that something had better be done. She accordingly persuaded Abraham to take Hagar for a wife. This union resulted in the birth of Ishmael when Abraham was 86 years old, Ch.16:16.

In spite of all human plans God had not forgotten His promise. When Abraham was 99 years of age the Lord appeared to him again and set a definite time when the child of promise should be born, Ch. 17:1-7; 18:10-14. And in Ch.21:1-5, we read of the birth of Isaac when Abraham was 100 years old.

At the age of 125 years, God called upon Abraham to offer his only son Isaac as a burnt offering upon a mountain in the land of Moriah, Ch.22:1-2. He obeyed without a murmur, thus proving his faith in God, see Hebrews 11:17-19. The test was twofold. First, as to whether he would give God the first place in his affections, and second as to whether he could believe the Word of God in spite of changing circumstances.

The threefold blessing God gave to Abraham is worthy of note. It is as follows:

Temporal--a land, Ch. 15:7

Physical--a son, Ch. 17:19

Spiritual--a city which is to come, Hebrews 11:10.

In Romans 4:16-17 Abraham is called the father of us all who believe and in Gal. 3:13-14 we are taught that Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, and that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ. From this it is quite evident that the same threefold blessing in things temporal, physical and spiritual can now be claimed by those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.


Isaac, which means “he will laugh” was so named from the fact that his parents laughed at the thought of having a son at their age. The life of Isaac was quite uneventful. At the time of his being offered up his father he must have been sorely tested, but no doubt he learned a lesson of faith even as did his father Abraham.

The story of Eliezer seeking for a wife for Isaac who was of their own kindred is very interesting, and brings to us a double lesson. First, that as people of promise we must not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers, and second, that it is a beautiful type of how God has sent forth the Holy Spirit to prepare a bride for His son.

For many years Isaac and Rebekah were childless, but in course of time Esau and Jacob were born, and thus Isaac became a channel through which the Promise made to Abraham passed on its way to fulfillment.


The life story of Jacob is contained in Chapters 25 to 50 of the book of Genesis. It may be divided up as follows:

a. The prophecy made before His birth.

b. Obtaining the Birthright from Esau and the blessing from Isaac.

c. His exile from home

d. His return to Canaan and the changing of his name

e. His removal into Egypt.

The prophecy made before the birth of Jacob has a very great significance in the Word of God. The elder shall serve the younger, Ch. 25:23, literally it came to pass. Spiritually, it is a type of the old and new creation. In Adam all die, but in Christ all shall be made alive. We are by nature the children of Adam and therefore the firstborn after the flesh, but when we are born again which is later and therefore would make us younger, the flesh becomes subservient to the Spirit, and thus the elder serves the younger.

God never intended obtaining the birthright by private scheming, Ch. 25:29-34, but while bringing to pass His promise to Abraham, God allowed Jacob to take his own course, and eventually led him in through faith just as He did Abraham. God never excuses duplicity or any other sin, but He is able in His great wisdom to wait until we get into a hard place and come to an end of ourselves. Then He steps in and shows us the right way.

Esau is spoken of in Hebrews 12:16-17 as one who despised his birthright. If he had been alert to the advantages of his birth Jacob would have had less chance of success, but like many of our own day, Esau was too indifferent and fell very easily into the temptation.

As the years rolled on and Isaac began to age, Rebekah evidently feared that God’s promise to her ran a risk of not being fulfilled, Ch. 27:8. She therefore arranged with Jacob to deceive his father and by pretending he was Esau obtain the patriarchal blessing. Jacob was evidently glad to comply, and they both succeeded. The Bible says, “be sure you sin will find you out” and “whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap.” Both Rebekah and Jacob paid dearly for their act. The mother was deprived of her favorite son, and Jacob became an exile from home for some twenty years.

Jacob took as part of the bargain in the purchase of it included the following:

1) Abraham’s spiritual blessing.

2) Lordship over the rest of the family.

3) The inheritance of Canaan

4) A double portion of the family possessions

5) The right of the family priesthood

When Jacob left home to go to his uncle, Laban, Ch. 28:1-5, he slept the first night at a place, which he afterwards called Bethel. In a dream he saw a ladder reaching from earth to heaven, vs.10-15. Upon awaking Jacob perceived that God was with him and he made a promise to serve Him. Some think that Jacob showed his scheming nature when he promised to tithe to God if He would bless him, vs.20-22, but it would seem more fitting to say that since his God has come with him he could offer no less that he had been taught, and the Lord would bless accordingly.

After many years God moved Jacob’s heart to return to his homeland, Ch.31: 8. Upon arrival he got in touch with his brother, Esau and learned that he was coming to meet him with a band of 400 men. This greatly disturbed Jacob, Ch. 32:6-8. He began to pray that there would be no harm to come to his family. A bountiful present was prepared for Esau. Jacob’s wives and children were sent from him and he was left alone. That night the Angel of the lord wrestled with Jacob and finally the supplanter was conquered. God changed his name to Israel, vs.27-28, and from that time forward Jacob’s self-assertiveness is very much in the background.

At the age of 130, Jacob moved with his entire family into the land of Egypt, Ch.27: 9, and was nourished and cared for by his beloved son Joseph. After seventeen years of life in Egypt, v.28, Jacob called his sons around him and gave forth a remarkable prophecy of what would befall them in the last days, Ch.48: 1. To Judah he foretold of the coming of Shiloh or Christ, and at the close he gathered up his feet into the bed, and yielded up the ghost. V.33.


More is told about Joseph than any other patriarch. His history has a four-fold value:

1). The Historical Value. It answers the question, why did the Hebrews settle in Egypt?

2). The Providential Value. It reveals God over-ruling the evil, and causing truth and righteousness to triumph.

3). Its Spiritual Value. It gives us the story of a victorious life.

4). It’s Typical Value. Joseph in his sufferings and exaltation is a type of Christ.

When God promised the land of Canaan to Abraham and to his children after him He said that his seed would be a stranger in a strange land and would suffer affliction. We have seen how Jacob moved down into Egypt. This was preceded by the sad, yet wonderful, incidents in the life of Joseph. He was the elder of two sons born to Jacob by his favorite wife Rachel.

Because of two dreams Joseph dreamed his brethren hated him. In one dream Joseph saw his brother’s sheaves bow down to his sheaf, and in the other he saw the sun, and moon, and eleven stars make obedience to him, Ch.37: 5-9. The brothers resented the thought that there might be a day when Joseph would rule over them.

One day they seized upon Joseph and sold him into slavery, v.28. The boy was taken down to Egypt and later found himself in the house of Potiphar, a captain of Pharaoh’s guard, Ch.39: 1. Because of his excellent character Joseph was soon advanced until he became the head servant. When tempted, he resisted the advances of Potiphar’s wife. She gave an evil report of him and he was put into prison, v.20. There again for his faithfulness Joseph found favor and the keeper of the prison, vs.21-23, gave him considerable liberty. Through interpreting two dreams Joseph’s name was finally mentioned to Pharaoh who was disturbed in mind due to two dreams he had dreamed. Joseph was able to interpret them and foretold seven years of plenty and seven years of famine. Pharaoh exalted him to the position of Prime Minister and he became the savior of all Egypt, Ch.41: 37-45.

Owing to the great famine the land of Canaan also suffered. Jacob heard that there was corn in Egypt and sent ten of his sons to purchase some. Joseph recognized them but did not disclose his identity. He saw the time had come when his own dreams would be fulfilled, but tested the sincerity of his brethren first. At the second journey they made into Egypt, Joseph made himself known to them and finally sent for his father Jacob and all his large family to move into Egypt. There he sustained them until the day of his death