Genesis (Part 17)

This is “Part 1″ of Dr. Jeannie’s overview of the Old Testament.

Questions to think about during this lesson…

  • Sometimes the Bible refers to the people as Hebrews… sometimes as Israelites… and sometimes as Jews. Why?
  • The land also has many different names. What are some of them?
  • The term “Israel” means at least six different things. What are they?
  • Between what dates is it believed that Abraham lived?
  • Why is the land of Canaan called “the Promised Land”?
  • Where do the 12 tribes of Israel take their names from?
  • Who is Joseph and how does he end up in Egypt?
  • How do Joseph’s brothers and father (Jacob) end up in Egypt?
  • How do the Hebrews become slaves in Egypt?
  • How long are they enslaved in Egypt… and who leads them out of Egypt in a movement we call the Exodus?
  • Where does Moses lead the Hebrews?
  • Why do the Hebrews wander in the wilderness for 40 years?
We’re always looking for ideas to get the most out of Dr. Jeannie’s lessons. With this in mind, the following questions were provided by Marianna Sayeg from the Bible study group at St. Mary’s Orthodox Church in Cambridge, MA. These questions are related to both Genesis (Part 16) and Genesis (Part 17).

Review Questions:

  1. Noah’s drunkenness. Why was this excusable? Why was Ham’s action so evil? Why was Canaan punished rather than Ham? What is the spiritual moral of this story?
  2. Why did God intervene to prevent the completion of the Tower of Babel?
  3. Terminology. Under what context is it appropriate to use the term “Hebrews” vs. “Israelites” vs. “Jews” to describe the people of the covenant? What are the possible meanings of “Israel”? How is henotheism distinct from monotheism?
  4. What was God’s covenant with Abraham? How/why do the Hebrews make the move to Egypt? Once they are freed from slavery, why are they cursed to wander the desert for 40 years?
  5. What problems do the Hebrews continue to encounter once they reclaim Canaan?

Discussion Questions:

  1. Out of all the people in the world, why were Abraham and his descendants chosen to be God’s people? Why was everyone else cast aside? Were they really that wicked?
  2. Why wouldn’t God direct the Hebrews to convert the Canannites rather than obliterate them?
  3. If one righteous man (Noah) is reason enough to preserve humanity from the flood, why aren’t two faithful spies out of 12 enough to save Israel from 40 years in the wilderness?

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