1: Introduction - Geosciences

1: Introduction - Geosciences

1: Introduction - Geosciences

Chapter 1 Introduction to Geology

After carefully reading this chapter, completing the exercises within it, and answering the questions at the end, you should be able to:

  • Explain what geology is, how it incorporates the other sciences, and how it is different from the other sciences
  • Discuss why we study Earth and what type of work geologists do
  • Define some of the properties of a mineral and explain the differences between minerals and rocks
  • Describe the nature of Earth’s interior and some of the processes that take place deep beneath our feet
  • Explain how those processes are related to plate tectonics and describe a few of the features that are characteristic of plate boundaries
  • Use the notation for geological time, gain an appreciation for the vastness of geological time, and describe how very slow geological processes can have enormous impacts over time

1. Introduction

Australia's Mineral Resource Assessment 2013 is a new product jointly compiled by Geoscience Australia and the Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics. It is intended to be a regular publication. Production of minerals relies on a series of stages that form a project pipeline. This report breaks the pipeline into four parts ¿¿¿ exploration, identification of resources, new mining and associated infrastructure projects and, finally, mineral production.

Australia is one of the world's leading exploration and mining nations and a major source of minerals and metals. Australia produces 43 elements and has known resources of another 13 elements. In addition to these 56 elements, Australia is prospective for another 9 elements. Figure 1.1 provides a snap shot of Australia's diverse inventory of commodities from exploration projects through to production.

Australia has the world's largest resources of gold, iron ore, lead, nickel, rutile, uranium, zinc and zircon as well as the second largest resources of bauxite, cobalt, copper, ilmenite, niobium, silver, tantalum and thorium. Australia's resources of black coal, brown coal, magnesite, tungsten, lithium, manganese ore, rare earths and vanadium are ranked in the top five in the world.

In 2012, Australia accounted for about 13% of global exploration expenditure, ranking it in the top five regions in the world for exploration expenditure. On a country-by-country basis, Australia has the second highest mineral exploration expenditure after Canada. Australia is one of the leading regions in the share of discoveries, with over 16% of the global discoveries in recent years (Table 1.1). Over the period from 2003 to 2012, Australia's exploration productivity, measured in terms of the ratio of exploration spend to the number of discoveries, was one of the best in the world (Table 1.1).

Figure 1.1 Periodic table of elements showing the status of production, development and exploration in Australia.

Table 1.1 Global mineral exploration spend and resource discoveries 2003 to 2012.
RegionExploration spend ($billion)Percentage of world exploration spendNumber of discoveriesPercentage of world discoveriesSpend/Discovery Ratio ($million)
Source: MinEx Consulting, Long-term outlook for the global exploration industry, July 2013.
Latin America2823%11823%237
China, Eastern Europe, former Soviet Union and Rest of the world2219%7715%286
United States of America98%204%450
Pacific and Southeast Asia65%234%260
Western Europe33%224%136

Exploration spending has risen sharply over the past decade but has recently started to fall back both globally and in Australia. Although exploration expenditure on greenfield areas has increased in the period since the global financial crisis of 2007¿¿¿08, a greater focus on expanding existing mines has resulted in a more rapid rise in exploration expenditure near known deposits and mines (brownfields). Thus, the share of exploration expenditure committed to greenfield (frontier) regions has declined in the past five years.

In response to this recent decline, the Council of Australian Government's Standing Council on Energy and Resources released the National Mineral Exploration Strategy 1 in 2012. The strategy's objective is to improve Australia's discovery rate, make Australia competitive in attracting mineral exploration investment and ensure the longevity of Australia's minerals industry and the country's continuing prosperity by addressing Australia's covered greenfields exploration challenge. The National Mineral Exploration Strategy includes a renewed commitment to generation and delivery of government-funded pre-competitive geoscience from all jurisdictions.

Additionally, the Australian Academy of Science has launched the national geoscience initiative, the UNCOVER program 2 , which is a collaborative network between the exploration industry, university research groups, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, government geoscience agencies and cooperative research centres. UNCOVER is focussed on four key research themes to bring competitive advantage to Australian mineral exploration:

  1. Characterising Australia's cover ¿¿¿ new knowledge to confidently explore beneath the cover.
  2. Investigating Australia's lithospheric architecture a whole-of-lithosphere architectural framework for mineral systems exploration.
  3. Resolving the 4D geodynamic and metallogenic evolution of Australia ¿¿¿ understanding ore deposit origins for better prediction.
  4. Characterising and detecting the distal footprints of ore deposits ¿¿¿ towards a toolkit for minerals exploration.

Mineral endowment and public policy factors affect exploration investment sentiment. The policy potential index (PPI) is assessed in the Fraser Institute's annual survey of mining companies. The PPI measures the overall policy attractiveness of the 96 jurisdictions in the 2012¿¿¿2013 survey, which is normalised to a maximum score of 100. All Australian states and the Northern Territory rank above 50 on the PPI, with Western Australia, South Australia, Northern Territory and Victoria in the top 25 (Table 1.2). In the survey's evaluation of the mineral potential of each jurisdiction, Western Australian and the Northern Territory were ranked 9th and 10th as an attractive destination for investment, respectively, with South Australia and Queensland, 20th and 25th (Table 1.2).

Table 1.2 How Australian states and the Northern Territory are ranked by a global survey of mining companies.
Australian JurisdictionPolicy Potential Index
(max. value = 100)
Policy Potential Index
Global Rank out of 96
Global Rank of Mineral
Potential out of 96
Source: Fraser Institute, Annual Survey of Mining Companies 2012¿¿¿2013.
New South Wales56.44446
Northern Territory68.52210
South Australia75.52020
Western Australia79.3159

Australia's minerals sector has a strong professional code of practice, the Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves (referred to as the JORC Code), which sets minimum standards for public reporting. The JORC Code provides a system for the classification of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves according to the levels of confidence in geological knowledge and technical and economic considerations for the purpose of informing investors or potential investors. The revised JORC Code (2012 Edition) 3 and the new Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) 4 Listing Rules strengthen the disclosure of reserves and resources information by ASX-listed mining and production companies.

The public reports of mineral resources under the JORC Code provide the foundational information for the annual assessment of the national mineral resources inventory. Australia's resources for most of the major commodities can sustain current rates of mine production for many decades. Australia's Economic Demonstrated Resources (EDR) for most major mineral commodities have increased as a result of new discoveries and incremental increases in resources at known deposits over the past three decades.

This increase in EDR has supported a substantial increase in the production of mineral commodities over the past decade. This period, often referred to as the 'mining boom' has delivered substantial economic benefits to Australia. In the period from 2003¿¿¿04 to 2012¿¿¿13, over 150 000 new jobs were created in the Australian mining sector and export revenues from mineral commodities have tripled to around $150 billion. Based on estimates from the Reserve Bank of Australia 5 , the Australian resources economy (including both minerals and petroleum products) accounted for around 18% of Australia's GDP in 2011¿¿¿12. With many identified resources yet to be fully developed, there is still significant potential for further growth in the Australian mining sector and the economic benefits it delivers.

Australia's mineral endowment (Figure 1.1) includes many of the elements regarded as 'critical' by other countries, reflecting a combination of risk of supply and the importance of a particular commodity to the country's economy and security 6 . Critical commodities are reflected in Australia's mineral production, resource and exploration. Australia's Mineral Resource Assessment 2013 presents a selection of commodities ¿¿¿ bauxite, coal, copper, gold, iron ore, nickel, rare earth elements and uranium ¿¿¿ that are of strategic importance to Australia.

1 Introduction

ggplot2 is an R package for producing statistical, or data, graphics. Unlike most other graphics packages, ggplot2 has an underlying grammar, based on the Grammar of Graphics, 1 that allows you to compose graphs by combining independent components. This makes ggplot2 powerful. Rather than being limited to sets of pre-defined graphics, you can create novel graphics that are tailored to your specific problem. While the idea of having to learn a grammar may sound overwhelming, ggplot2 is actually easy to learn: there is a simple set of core principles and there are very few special cases. The hard part is that it may take a little time to forget all the preconceptions that you bring over from using other graphics tools.

ggplot2 provides beautiful, hassle-free plots that take care of fiddly details like drawing legends. In fact, its carefully chosen defaults mean that you can produce publication-quality graphics in seconds. However, if you do have special formatting requirements, ggplot2’s comprehensive theming system makes it easy to do what you want. Ultimately, this means that rather than spending your time making your graph look pretty, you can instead focus on creating the graph that best reveals the message in your data.

ggplot2 is designed to work iteratively. You start with a layer that shows the raw data. Then you add layers of annotations and statistical summaries. This allows you to produce graphics using the same structured thinking that you would use to design an analysis. This reduces the distance between the plot in your head and the one on the page. This is especially helpful for students who have not yet developed the structured approach to analysis used by experts.

Learning the grammar will not only help you create graphics that you’re familiar with, but will also help you to create newer, better graphics. Without a grammar, there is no underlying theory, so most graphics packages are just a big collection of special cases. For example, in base R, if you design a new graphic, it’s composed of raw plot elements like lines and points so it’s hard to design new components that combine with existing plots. In ggplot2, the expressions used to create a new graphic are composed of higher-level elements, like representations of the raw data and statistical transformations, that can easily be combined with new datasets and other plots.

This book provides a hands-on introduction to ggplot2 with lots of example code and graphics. It also explains the grammar on which ggplot2 is based. Like other formal systems, ggplot2 is useful even when you don’t understand the underlying model. However, the more you learn about it, the more effectively you’ll be able to use ggplot2.

This book will introduce you to ggplot2 assuming that you’re a novice, unfamiliar with the grammar teach you the basics so that you can re-create plots you are already familiar with show you how to use the grammar to create new types of graphics and eventually turn you into an expert who can build new components to extend the grammar.

1.1. A Motivating Example¶

Before beginning writing, the authors of this book, like much of the work force, had to become caffeinated. We hopped in the car and started driving. Using an iPhone, Alex called out “Hey Siri”, awakening the phone’s voice recognition system. Then Mu commanded “directions to Blue Bottle coffee shop”. The phone quickly displayed the transcription of his command. It also recognized that we were asking for directions and launched the Maps application (app) to fulfill our request. Once launched, the Maps app identified a number of routes. Next to each route, the phone displayed a predicted transit time. While we fabricated this story for pedagogical convenience, it demonstrates that in the span of just a few seconds, our everyday interactions with a smart phone can engage several machine learning models.

Imagine just writing a program to respond to a wake word such as “Alexa”, “OK Google”, and “Hey Siri”. Try coding it up in a room by yourself with nothing but a computer and a code editor, as illustrated in Fig. 1.1.1 . How would you write such a program from first principles? Think about it… the problem is hard. Every second, the microphone will collect roughly 44000 samples. Each sample is a measurement of the amplitude of the sound wave. What rule could map reliably from a snippet of raw audio to confident predictions (< ext, ext>) on whether the snippet contains the wake word? If you are stuck, do not worry. We do not know how to write such a program from scratch either. That is why we use machine learning.

Fig. 1.1.1 Identify a wake word. ¶

Here is the trick. Often, even when we do not know how to tell a computer explicitly how to map from inputs to outputs, we are nonetheless capable of performing the cognitive feat ourselves. In other words, even if you do not know how to program a computer to recognize the word “Alexa”, you yourself are able to recognize it. Armed with this ability, we can collect a huge dataset containing examples of audio and label those that do and that do not contain the wake word. In the machine learning approach, we do not attempt to design a system explicitly to recognize wake words. Instead, we define a flexible program whose behavior is determined by a number of parameters. Then we use the dataset to determine the best possible set of parameters, those that improve the performance of our program with respect to some measure of performance on the task of interest.

You can think of the parameters as knobs that we can turn, manipulating the behavior of the program. Fixing the parameters, we call the program a model. The set of all distinct programs (input-output mappings) that we can produce just by manipulating the parameters is called a family of models. And the meta-program that uses our dataset to choose the parameters is called a learning algorithm.

Before we can go ahead and engage the learning algorithm, we have to define the problem precisely, pinning down the exact nature of the inputs and outputs, and choosing an appropriate model family. In this case, our model receives a snippet of audio as input, and the model generates a selection among (< ext, ext>) as output. If all goes according to plan the model’s guesses will typically be correct as to whether the snippet contains the wake word.

If we choose the right family of models, there should exist one setting of the knobs such that the model fires “yes” every time it hears the word “Alexa”. Because the exact choice of the wake word is arbitrary, we will probably need a model family sufficiently rich that, via another setting of the knobs, it could fire “yes” only upon hearing the word “Apricot”. We expect that the same model family should be suitable for “Alexa” recognition and “Apricot” recognition because they seem, intuitively, to be similar tasks. However, we might need a different family of models entirely if we want to deal with fundamentally different inputs or outputs, say if we wanted to map from images to captions, or from English sentences to Chinese sentences.

As you might guess, if we just set all of the knobs randomly, it is unlikely that our model will recognize “Alexa”, “Apricot”, or any other English word. In machine learning, the learning is the process by which we discover the right setting of the knobs coercing the desired behavior from our model. In other words, we train our model with data. As shown in Fig. 1.1.2 , the training process usually looks like the following:

Start off with a randomly initialized model that cannot do anything useful.

Grab some of your data (e.g., audio snippets and corresponding (< ext, ext>) labels).

Tweak the knobs so the model sucks less with respect to those examples.

Repeat Step 2 and 3 until the model is awesome.

Fig. 1.1.2 A typical training process. ¶

To summarize, rather than code up a wake word recognizer, we code up a program that can learn to recognize wake words, if we present it with a large labeled dataset. You can think of this act of determining a program’s behavior by presenting it with a dataset as programming with data. That is to say, we can “program” a cat detector by providing our machine learning system with many examples of cats and dogs. This way the detector will eventually learn to emit a very large positive number if it is a cat, a very large negative number if it is a dog, and something closer to zero if it is not sure, and this barely scratches the surface of what machine learning can do. Deep learning, which we will explain in greater detail later, is just one among many popular methods for solving machine learning problems.

1.3 What you won’t learn

There are some important topics that this book doesn’t cover. We believe it’s important to stay ruthlessly focused on the essentials so you can get up and running as quickly as possible. That means this book can’t cover every important topic.

1.3.1 Big data

This book proudly focuses on small, in-memory datasets. This is the right place to start because you can’t tackle big data unless you have experience with small data. The tools you learn in this book will easily handle hundreds of megabytes of data, and with a little care you can typically use them to work with 1-2 Gb of data. If you’re routinely working with larger data (10-100 Gb, say), you should learn more about data.table. This book doesn’t teach data.table because it has a very concise interface which makes it harder to learn since it offers fewer linguistic cues. But if you’re working with large data, the performance payoff is worth the extra effort required to learn it.

If your data is bigger than this, carefully consider if your big data problem might actually be a small data problem in disguise. While the complete data might be big, often the data needed to answer a specific question is small. You might be able to find a subset, subsample, or summary that fits in memory and still allows you to answer the question that you’re interested in. The challenge here is finding the right small data, which often requires a lot of iteration.

Another possibility is that your big data problem is actually a large number of small data problems. Each individual problem might fit in memory, but you have millions of them. For example, you might want to fit a model to each person in your dataset. That would be trivial if you had just 10 or 100 people, but instead you have a million. Fortunately each problem is independent of the others (a setup that is sometimes called embarrassingly parallel), so you just need a system (like Hadoop or Spark) that allows you to send different datasets to different computers for processing. Once you’ve figured out how to answer the question for a single subset using the tools described in this book, you learn new tools like sparklyr, rhipe, and ddr to solve it for the full dataset.

1.3.2 Python, Julia, and friends

In this book, you won’t learn anything about Python, Julia, or any other programming language useful for data science. This isn’t because we think these tools are bad. They’re not! And in practice, most data science teams use a mix of languages, often at least R and Python.

However, we strongly believe that it’s best to master one tool at a time. You will get better faster if you dive deep, rather than spreading yourself thinly over many topics. This doesn’t mean you should only know one thing, just that you’ll generally learn faster if you stick to one thing at a time. You should strive to learn new things throughout your career, but make sure your understanding is solid before you move on to the next interesting thing.

We think R is a great place to start your data science journey because it is an environment designed from the ground up to support data science. R is not just a programming language, but it is also an interactive environment for doing data science. To support interaction, R is a much more flexible language than many of its peers. This flexibility comes with its downsides, but the big upside is how easy it is to evolve tailored grammars for specific parts of the data science process. These mini languages help you think about problems as a data scientist, while supporting fluent interaction between your brain and the computer.

1.3.3 Non-rectangular data

This book focuses exclusively on rectangular data: collections of values that are each associated with a variable and an observation. There are lots of datasets that do not naturally fit in this paradigm, including images, sounds, trees, and text. But rectangular data frames are extremely common in science and industry, and we believe that they are a great place to start your data science journey.

1.3.4 Hypothesis confirmation

It’s possible to divide data analysis into two camps: hypothesis generation and hypothesis confirmation (sometimes called confirmatory analysis). The focus of this book is unabashedly on hypothesis generation, or data exploration. Here you’ll look deeply at the data and, in combination with your subject knowledge, generate many interesting hypotheses to help explain why the data behaves the way it does. You evaluate the hypotheses informally, using your scepticism to challenge the data in multiple ways.

The complement of hypothesis generation is hypothesis confirmation. Hypothesis confirmation is hard for two reasons:

You need a precise mathematical model in order to generate falsifiable predictions. This often requires considerable statistical sophistication.

You can only use an observation once to confirm a hypothesis. As soon as you use it more than once you’re back to doing exploratory analysis. This means to do hypothesis confirmation you need to “preregister” (write out in advance) your analysis plan, and not deviate from it even when you have seen the data. We’ll talk a little about some strategies you can use to make this easier in modelling.

It’s common to think about modelling as a tool for hypothesis confirmation, and visualisation as a tool for hypothesis generation. But that’s a false dichotomy: models are often used for exploration, and with a little care you can use visualisation for confirmation. The key difference is how often do you look at each observation: if you look only once, it’s confirmation if you look more than once, it’s exploration.

Module 1: Introduction: What is Research?

Research is a process to discover new knowledge. In the Code of Federal Regulations (45 CFR 46.102(d)) pertaining to the protection of human subjects research is defined as: “A systematic investigation (i.e., the gathering and analysis of information) designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge.” The National Academy of Sciences states that the object of research is to “extend human knowledge of the physical, biological, or social world beyond what is already known.” Research is different than other forms of discovering knowledge (like reading a book) because it uses a systematic process called the Scientific Method.

The Scientific Method consists of observing the world around you and creating a hypothesis about relationships in the world. A hypothesis is an informed and educated prediction or explanation about something. Part of the research process involves testing the hypothesis, and then examining the results of these tests as they relate to both the hypothesis and the world around you. When a researcher forms a hypothesis, this acts like a map through the research study. It tells the researcher which factors are important to study and how they might be related to each other or caused by a manipulation that the researcher introduces (e.g. a program, treatment or change in the environment). With this map, the researcher can interpret the information he/she collects and can make sound conclusions about the results.

Research can be done with human beings, animals, plants, other organisms and inorganic matter. When research is done with human beings and animals, it must follow specific rules about the treatment of humans and animals that have been created by the U.S. Federal Government. This ensures that humans and animals are treated with dignity and respect, and that the research causes minimal harm.

No matter what topic is being studied, the value of the research depends on how well it is designed and done. Therefore, one of the most important considerations in doing good research is to follow the design or plan that is developed by an experienced researcher who is called the Principal Investigator (PI). The PI is in charge of all aspects of the research and creates what is called a protocol (the research plan) that all people doing the research must follow. By doing so, the PI and the public can be sure that the results of the research are real and useful to other scientists.

1.4 Why efficiency?

Computers are always getting more powerful. Does this not reduce the need for efficient computing? The answer is simple: no. In an age of Big Data and stagnating computer clock speeds (see Chapter 8), computational bottlenecks are more likely than ever before to hamper your work. An efficient programmer can “solve more complex tasks, ask more ambitious questions, and include more sophisticated analyses in their research” (Visser et al. 2015) .

A concrete example illustrates the importance of efficiency in mission critical situations. Robin was working on a tight contract for the UK’s Department for Transport, to build the Propensity to Cycle Tool, an online application which had to be ready for national deployment in less than 4 months. For this work he developed the function, line2route() in the stplanr package, to generate routes via the API. Hundreds of thousands of routes were needed but, to his dismay, code slowed to a standstill after only a few thousand routes. This endangered the contract. After eliminating other issues and via code profiling (covered in section 7.2), it was found that the slowdown was due to a bug in line2route() : it suffered from the ‘vector growing problem’, discussed in Section 3.2.1.

The solution was simple. A single commit made line2route() more than ten times faster and substantially shorter. This potentially saved the project from failure. The moral of this story is that efficient programming is not merely a desirable skill: it can be essential.

There are many concepts and skills that are language agnostic. Much of the knowledge imparted in this book should be relevant to programming in other languages (and other technical activities beyond programming). There are strong reasons for focussing on efficiency in one language, however in R simply using replacement functions from a different package can greatly improve efficiency, as discussed in relation to reading in text files Chapter 5. This level of detail, with reproducible examples, would not be possible in a general purpose ‘efficient programming’ book. Skills for efficient working, that apply beyond R programming, are covered in the next section.

1. Introduction to Genesis

The English title comes from the Greek Septuagint translation of the Hebrew (3rd cent. B.C.) and means "origin, birth or generation." The Hebrew title is áøàùéú (from øÅàùÑÄéú [reshiyth /ray·sheeth/) taken from the opening word translated "in the beginning."

The earliest extant records universally attribute the book to Moses. Deuteronomy 1:8 2 Kings 13:23 and 1 Chronicles 1:1 allude to Genesis as part of the Law of Moses. (Cf. also Matt. 19:4-8 Luke 16:29-31 24:27 John 5:46-47 7:19, 23.)

Internally, the book is a literary whole, unified in thematic development. In addition, the story of Joseph reveals several evidences of Egyptian local color. (39:4 40:9-11 and 41:40 have all been illuminated by archaeological discoveries in Egypt.) Educated by the Egyptians, Moses could have written in several languages and scripts.

His first book serves as an incredible introduction not only to Exodus but also to the whole of the Bible. Mosaic authorship can be safely assumed. Increasing archaeological data has served to confirm Mosaic authorship and embarrass those who have argued against it. A case in point is the fact that it has now been demonstrated that writing was very old by 1500 B.C. instead of unknown as the critics had once claimed.

The exact date is not given, but Moses could have used any number of written or oral records and most likely wrote it in the wilderness of Sinai after the Exodus in 1445 B.C. (There is voluminous literature written regarding the date of the book. An early date is assumed here.) As Israel became a nation, they needed teaching on the origin, not only of the human race, but also of the nations they would face in Canaan (chap. 10). Especially did they need to know of the covenant made with Abraham, which, among other promises, gave them the land of the Canaanites. The prophecy given to Abraham (15:15-16) not only promised their return but also implied God's will to destroy the wicked inhabitants, whose time for judgment had come. The nation of Israel had, as it were, been born in the womb of Egypt. They needed to recognize their roots as being in the land to which they were going. This should have produced faith that as God had cared for the Patriarchs, so He would care for the nation. The book concludes with a further prediction of the national destiny by Joseph's request to return his bones to the land of their inheritance (50:25).

The book begins with basic material on the beginning of the earth, the birds, the fish, the animals and, finally, the crown of Creation--man. J. Sidlow Baxter has suggested that verse one provides a refutation of six principal false philosophies popular throughout history:

"In the beginning God"--that denies Atheism with its doctrine of no God.

"In the beginning God"--that denies Polytheism with its doctrine of many gods.

"In the beginning God created"--that denies Fatalism with its doctrine of chance.

"In the beginning God created--that denies Evolution with its doctrine of infinite becoming.

"God created heaven and earth"--that denies Pantheism which makes God and the universe identical.

"God created heaven and earth"--that denies Materialism which asserts the eternity of matter. (Baxter, Explore the Book, p. 34.)

More specifically, the book's theme revolves around how God chose one man out of all the nations, through whom He would make a nation to bless all nations. Chapters 1-11 (20%) cover over two thousand years of history from Creation to about 2135 B.C. (obviously this date is subject to debate, but is simply taking the literal date from the book itself. Obviously, other dating systems can be considered), when Abraham was born. Chapters 12-50 (80%) cover less than three hundred years. (Joseph died about 1837 B.C.) Thus, the book is selective, thematic history, not a broad "story of mankind."

In addition, the book was written to prepare Israel to understand their patriarchal roots and their divine destiny as possessors of the land of the Canaanites. Gene sis was thus written to build the faith of a "slave" people that they might become a mighty nation by depending upon God.

Contribution to the Bible

Genesis provides the foundation upon which the entire Bible is built. Without it, redemption's story would have no historical basis. It provides the plot of the biblical "drama" which climaxes in the book of Revelation. Scroggie says it well when he comments,

As to scope, GENESIS tells us the beginning of everything, except God. The beginning of the universe, of life, of man, of the sabbath, of covenants, of nomenclature, of marriage, of sin, of redemption, of death, of family life, of sacrifices, of nations, of government, of music, of literature, of art, of agriculture, of mechanics, of cities, and of languages indeed, of everything we know. As to its limits, it is only the beginning there is here no finality (Scroggie, Know Your Bible, p. 21).

Christ is the Seed of the woman (3:15), the Seed of Abraham (12:3) and the Shiloh descended from Judah (49:10). Christ is also the Life-giver in contrast to Adam who brought death (Rom. 5:12 1 Cor. 15:21-22). Christ is the ultimate object to whom the sacrifices point (Gen. 3:21John 1:29). In addition, the "sacrifice" of Isaac points to the death of Christ, who was the Lamb provided by God (Gen. 22). Christ is also prefigured in Melchizedek, to whom Abraham paid tithes (Gen. 14:18-20 Ps. 110:1 Heb. 7:1-17). Joseph's life is also at least an illustration of Christ. Both were the objects of their father's love both were hated and rejected by those closest to them both were sold for a price, condemned as innocent and raised from humiliation to blessing by the power of God.


[note to editors: the following uses the system promoted by the late Harold Hoehner. My intention was to convert these to the more common system using I, A etc). I have simply not had time to convert these in preparation for placing on the web. I don't mind leaving it but to the some people this format could be confusing?]

1A. Introduction--Creation 1

2A. The history of mankind up to Abraham 2-11

1B. The story of the heavens and the earth 2-4

1C. The garden and the people 2

2C. The fall and the curse 3

3C. The children and civilization 4

4B. The table of nations 10

3A. The history of Abraham and his descendants 12-50

1B. The story of Abraham 12-25a

7C. Abraham's intercession 18

14C. Abraham's remarriage and death 25a

2B. The story of Ishmael--rejected 25b

3B. The story of Isaac--chosen 25c-35

4C. Jacob's flight and dream 28

5C. Jacob's marriage and children 29-30

6C. Jacob's return to Canaan 31

7C. Jacob's peace with Esau 32-33

4B. The story of Esau-rejected 36

5B. The story of Jacob's sons--chosen 37-50

1C. Joseph's dreams and slavery in Egypt 37

3C. Joseph's purity and imprisonment 39

4C. The cupbearer and the baker 40

5C. Judah's elevation and the famine 41

6C. The arrival of Joseph's brothers 42

7C. The return of Joseph's brothers 43

8C. The testing of Joseph's brothers 44

9C. The reconciliation of Joseph's brothers 45

11C. Joseph's preservation of Egypt 47

12C. Jacob's blessing of Joseph 48

13C. Jacob's blessing of his sons 49

1B. The beginning of Creation 1:1-2

2B. The six days of Creation 1:3-31

2C. Day two--atmosphere and seas 1:6-8

3C. Day three--land and vegetation 1:9-13

4C. Day four--the lights for the earth 1:14-19

5C. Day five--water creatures and birds of the air 1:20-23

6C. Day six--land animals and man 1:24-31

2A. The history of mankind up to Abraham 2:4-11:26

1B. The story of the heavens and the earth 2:4-4:26

1C. The garden for man 2:4-14

2C. The first couple 2:15-25

2D. The suitable counterpart 2:18-25

5C. The consequences 3:20-24

1D. The exercise of faith 3:20

2D. The clothing by sacrifice 3:21

3D. The banishment from the garden 3:22-24

2D. Two approaches to God 4:3-4

4D. Grace extended by faith 4:6-7

5D. Grace refused by Cain 4:8-9

7D. Cainite civilization 4:16-24

8D. Sethite beginning 4:25-26

2B. The story of Adam 5:1-6:8

1C. The reign of death 5:1-32

2C. The setting for destruction 6:1-8

3B. The story of Noah 6:9-29

1C. The preparation of the ark 6:9-22

2C. The destruction by the Flood 7:1-8:19

1D. The preservation of the faithful 7:1-16

2D. The judgment upon the faithless 7:17-24

3D. The waiting for the word of God 8:1-17

4D. The exit of the saved 8:18-19

3C. The covenant with Noah 8:20-9:17

1D. The worship of the saved 8:20

2D. The divine promise 8:21-22

3D. The divine blessing 9:1

4D. The change in man's relation to animals 9:2-4

5D. The establishing of capital punishment 9:5-6

6D. The blessing repeated 9:7

7D. The universal covenant sign 9:8-17

4C. The conditions after the Flood 9:18-28

4B. The story of the sons of Noah 10:1-11:18

1C. The descendants of Japheth 10:2-5

2C. The descendants of Ham 10:6-20

3C. The descendants of Shem 10:21-32

4C. The division of tongues 11:1-9

5B. The story of Shem 11:10-26

3A. The history of Abraham and his descendants 11:27-50:26

1B. The story of Abraham 11:27-25:11

2C. Abraham before Isaac 12:1-20:18

1D. The promise to Abraham 12:1-3

2D. Abraham's traveling to Canaan 12:4-9

3D. Abraham's failure in Egypt 12:10-20

4D. Separation from Lot 13:1-18

6D. Abrahamic covenant confirmed 15:1-21

1E. The response of faith 15:1-6

2E. The unilateral covenant--land 15:7-21

7D. Hagar and Ishmael 16:1-16

8D. The covenant of circumcision-seed 17:1-27

9D. The three visitors who destroy Sodom 18:1-19:38

1E. A son promised to Sarah 18:1-15

2E. Abraham interceding for Sodom 18:16-33

3E. Angels inspecting Sodom 19:1-11

4E. Angels delivering Lot 19:12-22

5E. Sodom destroyed 19:23-29

6E. Lot and his daughters 19:30-38

10D. Abraham's failure in Gerar 20:1-18

3C. Abraham and Isaac 21:1-22:19

1D. The birth of Isaac 21:1-7

2D. The removal of Ishmael 21:8-21

3D. The treaty at Beersheba 21:22-34

4D. The offering of Isaac 22:1-19

4C. Abraham until death 22:20-25:11

1E. The promise of the servant 24:1-9

2E. The test by the servant 24:10-21

3E. The reception of the servant 24:22-33

4E. The story by the servant 24:34-49

5E. The success of the servant 24:50-61

6E. The bride for Isaac 24:62-67

4D. Abraham's marriage to Keturah 25:1-6

2B. The story of rejected Ishmael 25:12-18

3B. The story of chosen Isaac 25:19-35:29

1C. The birth of Esau and Jacob 25:19-26

2C. Birthright despised by Esau 25:27-34

3C. Isaac and Abimelech 26:1-35

1D. Failure in Gerar 26:1-11

2D. Philistine envy 26:12-22

3D. The Abrahamic covenant confirmed 26:23-25

4D. Philistine treaty 26:26-33

5D. Esau's Hittite marriages 26:34-35

4C. Jacob's deception 27:1-40

2D. The stolen blessing 27:14-29

5C. Jacob's flight 27:41-28:22

1D. Jacob meets Rachel 29:1-14

2D. Jacob marries Leah and Rachel 29:15-30

3D. Jacob's children 29:31-30:24

2E. Bilhah's (Rachel's servant) children 30:1-8

3E. Zilpah's (Leah's servant) children 30:9-13

5E. Rachel's child--Joseph 30:22-24

4D. Jacob's prosperity 30:25-43

1D. Jacob traveling to Canaan 31:1-53

4E. Laban and Jacob's covenant 31:36-53

2D. Jacob meets Esau 32:1-33:20

5E. Jacob's wrestling 32:22-32

6E. Jacob's reconciliation 33:1-20

8C. Dinah's compromise 34:1-31

9C. Jacob in Bethel and Mamre 35:1-29

4E. Covenant confirmed 35:9-15

2D. Rachel's death in childbirth--Benjamin 35:16-20

3D. Jacob in Migdal Eder 35:21-22

4D. Jacob's sons named 35:23-26

4B. The story of rejected Esau 36:1-43

2C. Esau's descendants 36:15-30

5B. The story of chosen Jacob and his sons 37:1-50:26

1C. Joseph introduced 37:1-36

2C. Judah's moral failure 38:1-30

1D. Er and Onan killed 38:1-10

3C. Joseph alone in Egypt 39:1-45:28

1D. Joseph's purity and imprisonment 39:1-23

2D. The dreams interpreted 40:1-23

4D. Joseph's exaltation 41:37-45

6D. The beginning of famine 41:53-57

7D. Joseph and his brothers 42:1-45:28

1E. The brothers going to Egypt 42:1-28

2E. The brothers returning to Canaan 42:29-38

3E. The second journey to Egypt 43:1-45:15

5F. The reconciliation 45:1-15

4E. The return to get Jacob 45:16-28

4C. Jacob going to Egypt 46:1-47:12

1D. The renewed covenant 46:1-4

2D. The family named 46:5-27

3D. The family settled 46:28-47:12

5C. Joseph, the savior of his family 47:13-50:21

1D. Joseph buying all Egypt 47:13-26

2D. Jacob blessing his family 47:27-49:33

1E. The promise to Jacob 47:27-31

2E. The blessing of Manasseh and Ephraim 48:1-22

3E. The blessing of the sons 49:1-28

4E. The death of Jacob 49:29-33

3D. Joseph burying Jacob 50:1-14

4D. Reconciliation complete 50:15-21

In a broad sense Genesis 1-11 is the introduction not only to the book of Genesis but also to the entire Bible. Within this broad sweep of human history (chaps. 1- 11) 1:1-2:3 forms the introduction to the ten-fold úÉåìÀãÉåú (toledoth meaning generataions or account), which comprises the book of Genesis. As the argument below shows, this word is repeated 10 times making a sort of chapter marker to the book by Moses)

This narrower preface (1:1-2:3) introduces the reader to the powerful Creator, who created the universe. The text itself is primarily concerned with the earth. The first three days of His creative activity (literal 24 hr. days) involved giving form to original formless earth (2:2). Day one saw the establishing of a light source which distinguishes day and night by earth's rotation (an implication). On day two God separated the atmosphere (with suspended water) from the liquid water upon the earth. It may also imply a vapor or ice canopy surrounding the earth. Day three saw the formation of dry land to produce vegetation and the seas, which would become home to the aquatic life forms.

Day four began the second three-day cycle, which served to correct the emptiness (1:2) of the earth. From the original light source God established our sun and moon. Then, almost as an "after-thought," Moses informed his readers that God made the stellar heavens, called stars, which include the solar system and myriads of galaxies, which are still being mapped. These celestial navigational signs established the seven day cycle of the lunar month as well as the solar year, both of which formed the basis of the calendar systems, ancient and modern. Day five saw God filling the water with living creatures and the air with fowl. They were commanded to propagate and fill their respective habitations with creatures after their kind. On the sixth day the land creatures were created, followed by the crown of God's earthly creation, man himself. Created in the image of God, man was to have dominion over all the creation. Both man and animals were to be vegetarians.

Of the Creation, God noted that it was good (day 1, day 3 twice, day 4, day 5 and day 6). In addition, He climaxed the entire Creation with the added statement, "It was very good."

The introduction concludes with a statement regarding God's having finished (rested from) all His creative activity. This seventh day was later given to Israel as a sign of her covenantal relationship with Yahweh (Exod. 20:8-11). Later, the writer to Hebrews used this day as a type of the faith-rest life made available by the death of Christ (Heb. 4).

The first toledoth (2:4-4:26) úÉåìÀãÉåú (toledoth) is a Hebrew word occurring 10 times in Genesis, translated as "story, history, account, or generations." Many scholars see the word as marking not only the inspired outline of Genesis but perhaps the different "records" used by Moses to compile his inspired account of man's beginnings.) reviews Creation but from the specific viewpoint of man. Details are given in this second account concerning man's environment (2:4-14), responsibility (2:15-17) and original aloneness. This "defect" was solved by the creation of woman (2:18-25).

As beautiful as this Creation account is, it does not explain how the present chaotic condition in creation and man came into being. This the author did next (chap. 3). The fledgling nation of Israel to whom Moses wrote needed to know not only their unique history as separate from the nations (chaps. 12-50) but also the universal presence of sin, which can only be accounted for by a universal curse as a result of man's failure in the Fall (chap. 3). The serpent, here introduced, clearly reveals characteristics beyond that of any animal, and the story implies some malevolent being who is opposed to God. In his getting the woman to focus on the forbidden fruit, God's motives and goodness were called into question the woman was deceived, ate and gave to her husband. Personal shame and the fear of God resulted but did not prevent God from seeking man out and bringing judgment upon all three individuals involved and, through them, affecting all sub sequent human history.

Adam responded in faith by naming his wife Eve because she would become the mother of all living. God clothed the couple with animal skins, thus setting the pattern for subsequent animal sacrifices, and the couple was expelled from the garden (chap. 3).

The Utopia for which man was created and of which he still often dreams cannot be in the present order of things. Man's preoccupation with immortality, demonstrated so forcefully by the Egyptian culture from which Israel had just escaped, cannot be reality as long as God keeps man from the "tree of life."

The plight of man on an international level is illustrated by the personal conflict of the initial progeny of Adam and Eve. Eve's high hopes for her firstborn (4:1) were dashed when he became a murderer after failing to receive divine approval of his offering (4:5). Cain became a wanderer and established the first civilization, which, before the Flood, had developed remarkable skills in music and industry (4:21-22).

Though men began to call on the name of the Lord in the days of Enosh (4:26), the second toledoth demonstrates the universality of death (5:1-32). It also shows the depraved conditions of the earth in the days of Noah (6:1- 8). God had the right to destroy man before his wickedness went any further. If the "sons of God" were angels (Job 1:6 2:1 38:7), then their intermarriage with human women created a race of half-angel/half-man "super-men," whose wickedness caused Yahweh great grief and pain (6:6). This also might account for the widespread tales of powerful divine-human beings whose incredible exploits were matched only by their depravity. (Examples are found in Greek mythology.)

The third toledoth (6:9-9:29) picks up this theme by pointing out Noah's walk with God and the fact that he was "unimpaired" (Hebrew) in his genealogy (i.e., had no angelic "blood" in his family) (6:9). Noah received specific instructions to build the ark, which apparently consumed 120 years (6:3). Because of his obedience to God Noah, along with his three sons and their wives, entered the ark and were alone preserved from the cataclsym of a world-wide Flood (chap. 7-8). Upon leaving the ark, Noah was given a divine covenant establishing the foundation for human government. It gave to society the divine responsibility to preserve the value of human life by establishing capital punishment for murderers, whether animals or men. Animals began to fear man. Both men and some animals became carnivorous. The covenant included God's promise to never again destroy the earth by water. A reminder of this covenant was and is the rainbow. Conditions on earth were different after the Flood as evidenced by Noah's drunken ness and the resultant curse on Canaan (chap. 9). These and other changes, such as the decrease in longevity, may be accounted for by the collapse of the canopy which may have provided a greatly increased oxygen density and pressure on earth.

The fourth toledoth (10:1-11:9) continues the story of Noah's sons and how the seventy nations familiar to Israel came into being. The peoples of the earth are all related. From among the nations, Israel was separated unto God. The various language groups arose from Nimrod's rebellion (10:8-12) because of which God sovereignly con fused the languages of men to force them to spread out over the entire earth.

The fifth toledoth (11:10-26) moves from the general nations of men to the specific account of Shem from whose line was chosen the patriarch Abram, father of the nation which was out in the desert at the time Moses wrote. From this broad sweep of human history covering several thousand years Moses was divinely inspired to emphasize one family and four individuals covering less than three hundred years. Upon this family the remaining five toledoth's focus.

The sixth toledoth (11:27-25:11) introduces the story of Abraham, the friend of God whose faith in Yahweh caused him to leave home and family to follow God to the land of Canaan. God had promised him a land, seed and blessing. In a similar way and in fulfillment of those promises Israel had been called of God to leave Egypt and by faith enter the same land over one half a millennium later.

Following a brief stay in Egypt, when he claimed Sarai was his sister (12:10-20), Abram separated from Lot by letting his nephew take the well-watered plains of Jordan. Again God intervened and promised Abram the land (chap. 13).

Abram proved himself to be a courageous man by his rescue of Lot from the kings who had captured him (chap. 14). This victory gave Abram a reminder of the necessity of submission to "God Most High" to whom he gave a tithe instead of accepting anything for himself.

At this time Abram was again given the promise of a son who would produce more descendants than the stars. His response of faith has become a standard model for all who will believe God (15:6). God also made a unilateral, unconditional covenant that the land would belong to Abraham's descendants after four hundred years of bondage in another country. It was further predicted that in the fourth generation they would return and take over the land of Canaan. Moses no doubt included these words to encourage a believing response among his own generation, who had just left Egypt (chap. 15).

Upon the insistence of Sarai, Abram took her Egyptian servant, Hagar, as a surrogate wife to produce a descendant. Hagar, however, became insolent to her mistress and left home only to be met by God's angel, who sent her back with the promise of a future for her son (chap. 16).

Thirteen years later Yahweh again appeared to Abram (meaning "exalted father"), changed his name to Abraham (meaning "father of a multitude") and gave him circumcision as a sign of the covenant. Sarai's name was changed to Sarah (meaning "princess"). The son she would bear was to be called Isaac (meaning "laughter") (chap. 17). Shortly thereafter Yahweh again appeared to Abraham with the announcement that the birth would be about a year away (18:1-15). As the three heavenly visitors prepared to leave, Yahweh informed Abraham of his plans to destroy Sodom. Abraham responded by interceding for the city, presumably concerned for his nephew Lot (18:16-33).

The angels arrived in Sodom, where they were rejected by the populace but accepted by Lot. After an attempt by the homosexuals of Sodom to rape the angelic visitors, the angels struck them blind and encouraged Lot to gather his family and flee the city before judgment fell. Lot was unsuccessful in getting any to leave except his wife and two daughters, but his wife lingered as daylight came and the judgment fell. She was turned into a pillar of salt for her tardiness (19:1-29). Lot and his daughters went to the city of Zoar, which was divinely spared, but later left to become hermits in a cave. The daughters felt all alone and seduced their father through drunkenness to commit incest. They became pregnant with the children who would become the forefathers of Israel's two enemies--the Moabites and Ammonites (19:30-38).

Abraham, though a godly man, was not without his faults. In Gerar he once again allowed his wife (now nearly 90) to be taken into a harem, where she was divinely protected. Abraham was publicly rebuked and was asked to intercede for Abimelech, whose household was thereby per mitted to once again bear children (20:1-18).

After this Sarah became pregnant and bore the promised son, Isaac. When Isaac was weaned, Ishmael was found mocking so he and his mother were sent away (21:1-21). Abraham then made a treaty with the Philistines and lived in their country for a number of years (21:22-34). The climax of Abraham's faith is seen in the beautifully prophetic story of the offering of Isaac. He obeyed a direct command of God because he believed that since all the promises of God centered on Isaac, God could even raise him from the dead (Heb. 11:17-19) (Gen. 22:1-19).

The story of Abraham is concluded by the final details of his life. This included the sons of his brother Nahor (22:20-24), the death of Sarah (who at 127 yrs. of age is the only woman in Genesis whose age is given) (23:1- 20), the bride for Isaac (24:1-67), Abraham's marriage to Keturah (25:1-6) and finally the death of Abraham himself (25:7-11). It is obvious from that lengthy account of Abraham that his personal story was very important to Moses, for he devoted more time to that one man than to all of the previous history combined.

The pattern for the toledoth in the second section of the book here begins with the rejected line of Ishmael (25:12-18). The story then focuses in more detail upon the chosen line of Isaac (25:19-35:29).

Isaac, too, had to wait for years before his prayer was heard and his wife became pregnant. This time God answered by sending twins. Again a choice was made both by God and by the two sons, who were to become two nations (Israel and Edom) that would be in constant conflict (25:19-26). The character of Esau is revealed by his despising the birthright (25:27-34).

Isaac showed he was similar to Abraham by his repetition of his father's failure by compromising Rebekah in saying she was his sister (26:1-11). The Philistines did not kill him for his wife, but they did become jealous and stole the wells he had reopened from his father's day (26:12-22). God responded by reaffirming the Abrahamic Covenant (26:23-25). The Philistines recognized the hand of God upon Isaac and made a treaty with him (26:26-33). At this time Esau displeased his parents by entering into marriages with Hittite women (26:34-35).

The story line then turns to Jacob, who, as the patriarch of the twelve tribes, showed as clearly as anyone the evidence of the grace of God in transforming his character. (Jacob means "trickster".) Rebekah dreamed up the plot by which Jacob tricked his old and nearly blind father into giving him the blessing and thereby faced the wrath of his brother Esau, who, while he had no spiritual concerns, did desire the firstborn rights of inheritance (27:1-40).

Fearing his brother's wrath after what seemed to be the imminent death of Isaac, Jacob was instructed by Rebekah to go to the region of Haran, where her family lived. It is significant that Rebekah never saw her son again. Isaac granted his blessing and instructed him to marry outside the Canaanites, specifically to marry one of the daughters of Laban. Esau responded by taking yet another wife, this time from the daughters of Ishmael (27:41-28:9). As for Jacob, he was reminded of the hand of God on his life through a dream. He promised to serve Yahweh as his God if he would be able to return safely with both food and clothes (neither of which he could be sure of at this juncture). This is how the Canaanite city of Luz got its name Bethel (meaning "house of God") (28:10-22).

Jacob's story does not give evidence of great spiritual depth or that he was deserving of special spiritual blessing. Rather, it illustrates the sovereign grace of God in choosing whom He will to accomplish His purposes. Jacob met the girl of his dreams (Rachel), served seven years for her hand in marriage but was given Leah, her older sister, instead. Laban had tricked the trickster but the story is not yet finished. Jacob was given Rachel also as a wife so that he served fourteen years total for his two wives. Then for the next six years, in spite of the changing agreements, the wealth of Laban was transferred to Jacob and his growing family of eleven sons and one daughter (29:1-30:43).

Jacob was then instructed through a dream to return to Canaan. Fearing his father-in-law's wrath and true to his nature, he covertly departed with his large entourage. Laban pursued, and, after overtaking them, it was brought to light that among Jacob's family there was an idolater-- namely his favorite wife, who remained undetected. In the ensuing covenant Jacob took a stone and set up a memorial pillar promising to care for Laban's daughters, and in return Laban pledged not to go past the pillar to harm Jacob (31:1-53).

Jacob then had to face the consequences of his former trickery against Esau. First, he had to come to the end of his self-will by wrestling with an angel from which altercation he was left permanently crippled but in the end was reconciled somewhat tenuously with Esau (32:1-33:20).

One of the reasons the sons of Jacob went into the womb of Egypt to be "birthed" four hundred years later as a nation under Moses was that they not be assimilated into the Canaanite culture. That dreadful possibility was demonstrated in the tragic rape of Dinah by Shechem, the son of Hamor, and the resultant treachery of Simeon and Levi (34:1-31).

In the midst of this trauma God again spoke to Jacob who, in obedience to the divine vision of twenty years before, requested all the idols of his clan, buried them and then went to Bethel, where he built an altar to God and was renamed Israel (meaning "he struggles with God). There the Abrahamic Covenant was reaffirmed (at about 1875 B.C.) (35:1-15).

As Jacob's family moved on from Bethel, Rachel died in giving birth to Jacob's twelfth son, Benjamin. The names of the twelve sons were then recalled, and Jacob had at last come home to his father Isaac in Mamre, where later he was buried by Esau and Jacob.

In keeping with the usual pattern, Moses then quickly told the story of Esau and his descendants (36:1- 43) before finishing the final part of Jacob's story. This story of chosen Jacob and his sons really focuses on the rejected son, who would one day deliver his family from famine. Thus, Joseph was introduced as a dreamer of dreams, who to his family seemed to be unconsciously elevating himself above his brothers and even his father (37:1-36).

The family jealousies came to a climax when Joseph was sent by his father to check on his brothers, who were grazing their father's flocks near Dothan. Upon seeing him, they angrily talked of killing him but finally settled on the plan of selling him as a slave to a caravan of Ishmaelites on their way to Egypt. Joseph was sold again to Potiphar, captain of Pharaoh's guard (37:1-16).

The story of Joseph is then interrupted as it was imperative for Moses to impress upon the children of Israel coming into Canaan that intermarriage with the Canaanites could lead to devastating results for the chosen people. It was in this light that Moses told of Judah's moral failure and how he shamefully became the father of his daughter-in-law's children. Strictly forbidden by the law of Moses, the history of such immoral behavior would serve as a check on Israel's pride (38:1-30).

The story then comes back to Joseph, who, alone in Egypt, rose to a prominent position in the household of one of Pharaoh's officials. He was unjustly accused of moral impurity and spent over two years in prison. He stood fast in his integrity (39:1-23), and two years after interpreting a dream for the cupbearer (40:1-23) of Pharaoh, he was called upon to interpret a dream for Pharaoh himself (41:1-36). He was then exalted to a position of authority second only to Pharaoh and prepared Egypt during the seven years of plenty for the seven years of famine to come (41:37-52).

When the famine came, it extended even into Canaan, and Joseph's brothers unknowingly came before him to buy food. Joseph devised a test to ascertain if the jealousy that forced him into slavery had somehow moderated with the passage of time. On the second visit Judah's moving defense of and willingness to become a substitute for Benjamin broke down all hostility, and healing came as the twelve brothers were reunited. Only now they were really united as God intended the nation to be (41:53-45:15).

The brothers returned to get Jacob, who agreed to go to Egypt but not before the covenant was renewed (1845 B.C.) and he received divine approval. Jacob saw his son Joseph, and the entire clan of seventy people settled in Goshen (46:1-47:12).

The famine then became so severe that, in the name of Pharaoh, Joseph bought all the land of Egypt except that belonging to the priests. This effectively gave the Israelites (who had just left Egypt as Moses wrote) every right to the wealth of Egypt (to say nothing of their wages) when they were given gifts as they departed (47:13- 26).

Jacob prepared for his death by asking Joseph to bury him in Canaan (47:27-31). Then, as the patriarch of the family, Jacob blessed the two sons of Joseph and gave them the first-born rights originally belonging to Reuben (1 Chron. 5:1-2) and died (49:29-33). Jacob was then buried in Canaan (50:1-14), but his death created a problem for the brothers of Joseph, who feared that Joseph's kindness had only been for the sake of their father. Joseph assured them that his faith was in the sovereignty of God, who used their wrong for the good of all of them. Thus, the family unity was preserved and stood as a powerful plea for unity to the large group who had come out of Egypt (50:15-21).

Joseph lived to 110 years of age and then died. He left instructions that when Israel left Egypt, they were to take his bones to the land of promise. Thus, the book which began with the creative activity of God (1:1) ends with the embalmed body of Joseph, Israel's deliverer, in a coffin in Egypt (50:22-26).

Chapter 1. Introduction

Wireshark is a network packet analyzer. A network packet analyzer presents captured packet data in as much detail as possible.

You could think of a network packet analyzer as a measuring device for examining what’s happening inside a network cable, just like an electrician uses a voltmeter for examining what’s happening inside an electric cable (but at a higher level, of course).

In the past, such tools were either very expensive, proprietary, or both. However, with the advent of Wireshark, that has changed. Wireshark is available for free, is open source, and is one of the best packet analyzers available today.

1.1.1. Some intended purposes

Here are some reasons people use Wireshark:

  • Network administrators use it to troubleshoot network problems
  • Network security engineers use it to examine security problems
  • QA engineers use it to verify network applications
  • Developers use it to debug protocol implementations
  • People use it to learn network protocol internals

Wireshark can also be helpful in many other situations.

1.1.2. Features

The following are some of the many features Wireshark provides:

  • Available for UNIX and Windows .
  • Capture live packet data from a network interface.
  • Open files containing packet data captured with tcpdump/WinDump, Wireshark, and many other packet capture programs.
  • Import packets from text files containing hex dumps of packet data.
  • Display packets with very detailed protocol information .
  • Save packet data captured.
  • Export some or all packets in a number of capture file formats.
  • Filter packets on many criteria.
  • Search for packets on many criteria.
  • Colorize packet display based on filters.
  • Create various statistics .
  • …​and a lot more!

However, to really appreciate its power you have to start using it.

Figure 1.1, “Wireshark captures packets and lets you examine their contents.” shows Wireshark having captured some packets and waiting for you to examine them.

Figure 1.1. Wireshark captures packets and lets you examine their contents.

1.1.3. Live capture from many different network media

Wireshark can capture traffic from many different network media types, including Ethernet, Wireless LAN, Bluetooth, USB, and more. The specific media types supported may be limited by several factors, including your hardware and operating system. An overview of the supported media types can be found at

1.1.4. Import files from many other capture programs

Wireshark can open packet captures from a large number of capture programs. For a list of input formats see Section 5.2.2, “Input File Formats”.

1.1.5. Export files for many other capture programs

Wireshark can save captured packets in many formats, including those used by other capture programs. For a list of output formats see Section 5.3.2, “Output File Formats”.

1.1.6. Many protocol dissectors

There are protocol dissectors (or decoders, as they are known in other products) for a great many protocols: see Appendix C, Protocols and Protocol Fields.

1.1.7. Open Source Software

Wireshark is an open source software project, and is released under the GNU General Public License (GPL). You can freely use Wireshark on any number of computers you like, without worrying about license keys or fees or such. In addition, all source code is freely available under the GPL. Because of that, it is very easy for people to add new protocols to Wireshark, either as plugins, or built into the source, and they often do!

1. Introduction to Ecclesiastes

2 Timothy 3:12-16 3:12 Now in fact all who want to live godly lives in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. 3:13 But evil people and charlatans will go from bad to worse, deceiving others and being deceived themselves. 3:14 You, however, must continue in the things you have learned and are confident about. You know who taught you 3:15 and how from infancy you have known the holy writings, which are able to give you wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 3:16 Every scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,

Ecclesiastes is inspired scripture. As we continue in this study today, there is one fact that is not up for debate. That fact is that Ecclesiastes is inspired scripture and therefore profitable. While many may debate the author, date, meaning, setting, and even its divine inspiration—we will not debate whether or not it is scripture and inspired.

Ecclesiastes is capable of being understood. Often a study of the book of Ecclesiastes can be a daunting task to undertake. At times it seems confusing, at times self contradictory, at other times completely hedonistic. A presupposition that must be stated and understood in this study is that the Word of God was written to be understood. God has revealed himself in a manner which is understandable.

While we establish that the task in front of us is possible, it does not follow that it is easy.

  • It was written by the wisest man in known history (outside of Christ).
  • It deals with some of the most difficult subjects in our lives.
  • It is written in a form uncommon to us (circular instead of linear).

Background to Ecclesiastes

Author / Date

The author of Ecclesiastes is a hotly debated subject and has been for some time, specifically the last 3 to 4 centuries. (18 th /19 th )

Often in the discussion concerning the author, the divine author is only assumed if even considered. While most would simply start with the presupposition that the divine author is God, it is important at times to make note of that presupposition. Whatever the outcome concerning the human authorship, there is no doubt that God breathed into a man this revelation for our profit.


Qoheleth occurs seven times in the book of Ecclesiastes (Eccl 1:1-2, 12 Eccl 7:27 Eccl 12:8-10) and nowhere else in biblical literature. As a noun, designating the speaker, it also gives the Hebrew name Qoheleth to the book itself.


Ekklesiastou is the Greek word used in the LXX which we find translated “Teacher.”

1:1 The words of the Teacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem:

1:12 I, the Teacher, have been king over Israel in Jerusalem.

12:9 Not only was the Teacher wise, but he also taught knowledge to the people

12:10 The Teacher sought to find delightful words, and to write accurately truthful sayings.

Non-Solomonic Authorship

1. Liberal view—the book was written by three men (preacher, wise man and skeptic)

2. Catholic view—musings or thoughts of a rational man attempting to reason himself to God. Man, if given enough data and evidence, can think himself into a corner where only God is.

3. Many more modern scholars [Margoliouth, Burkitt, Zimmerman (1945), Delitzch (late 1800’s)] thought the book was originally written in Aramaic and then translated in Hebrew. This thought dates the book in the third century BC. Obviously then the author would not be Solomon.

4. Some believe that it would have been unusual for Solomon to write 1:12 (I … was king over Israel) since Solomon was the king until the day he died.

5. Some believe that the book has a pseudonymous author. This position would state that the author wanted to offer the book a Solomonic feel, but was not truly written by Solomon.

6. There are a myriad of other extremely unconvincing arguments in favor of non-Solomonic authorship.

7. “Scott, for example, speaks for most in asserting the linguistic and historical evidence to indicate that Ecclesiastes was written in the late Persian or early Greek period. He bluntly states that claiming Solomon wrote Ecclesiastes is ‘like claiming that a book about Marxism in modern English idiom and spelling was written by Henry VIII.’” 1

Solomonic Authorship

1. Christians and Jews have traditionally (up to the 18 th and 19 th centuries) held that Solomon is the author of the book of Ecclesiastes. Much of this is based on the first verse . . . “the son of David, King in Jerusalem”

2. The natural reading of the book is going to lead one to strongly consider Solomon as the author.

3. 1:12 says that the speaker was king over Israel in Jerusalem. Solomon was the last king to rule in Jerusalem over all of Israel. Following Solomon’s rule the kingdom was divided and ruling in Jerusalem would have allowed one to only rule Judah.

4. 12:9 establishes that the author arranged many proverbs. We know that Solomon wrote many of the proverbs in the book of Proverbs.

5. While some want to deny Solomonic authorship due to 1:12, it would make sense that Solomon wrote from that perspective as an old man looking back on his life.

6. Becoming the teacher in this book allows Solomon to set aside the mantle of king and take on the mantle of sage or wise man. Therefore the wisdom of Ecclesiastes is the advice of a wise man not the pronouncement of a monarch.

To accept Solomonic authorship presently puts you in the camp of very few scholars. Of the many books referred to in this study, all but 2 strongly deny the possibility of Solomon being the author. The majority of reasons offered for non-Solomonic authorship seem weak at best, yet the vast majority seem to espouse those same reasons.

The rest of this study will be approached under the belief that Solomon was the human author of Ecclesiastes and therefore the date of the writing would be placed in the 900’s BC (no later than 931).


It must be understood that canonicity is not establishing what books are part of the canon, but merely acknowledging what books are already part of the canon. The books of scripture are given inherent authority by God and the church merely recognized that authority.

Reasons for rejection

Num 15:39 You must have this tassel so that you may look at it and remember all the commandments of the LORD and obey them and so that you do not follow after your own heart and your own eyes that lead you to unfaithfulness.

Ecc 11:9 Rejoice, young man, while you are young, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth. Follow the impulses of your heart and the desires of your eyes, but know that God will judge your motives and actions.

Pro 1:7 Fearing the LORD is the beginning of moral knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Ecc 7:16 So do not be excessively righteous or excessively wise otherwise you might be disappointed.

Ecc 2:12-16 2:12 Next, I decided to consider wisdom, as well as foolish behavior and ideas. For what more can the king’s successor do than what the king has already done? 2:13 I realized that wisdom is preferable to folly, just as light is preferable to darkness: 2:14 The wise man can see where he is going, but the fool walks in darkness. Yet I also realized that the same fate happens to them both. 2:15 So I thought to myself, “The fate of the fool will happen even to me! Then what did I gain by becoming so excessively wise?” So I lamented to myself, “The benefits of wisdom are ultimately meaningless!” 2:16 For the wise man, like the fool, will not be remembered for very long, because in the days to come, both will already have been forgotten. Alas, the wise man dies – just like the fool!

Ecc 2:2 I said of partying, “It is folly,” and of self-indulgent pleasure, “It accomplishes nothing!”

Ecc 7:3 Sorrow is better than laughter, because sober reflection is good for the heart.

Ecc 8:15 So I recommend the enjoyment of life, for there is nothing better on earth for a person to do except to eat, drink, and enjoy life. So joy will accompany him in his toil during the days of his life which God gives him on earth.


“The sages sought to store away the Book of Ecclesiastes, because they found words in it which tended to heresy.”

Jerome states “The Jews say that . . . this book seemed to fit to be consigned to oblivion, because it asserted the creatures of God to be vain, and preferred eating, drinking, and transitory pleasures to all things . . .” 2

Even though these concerns were held by many Jewish Rabbis, the book was still accepted as canonical, primarily due to the truth stated in the beginning and end of the book.

Reasons for Acceptance

1. The overwhelming majority of Jewish history acknowledges the canonicity of Ecclesiastes.

2. It seems to be only a recent phenomenon to reject the canonicity of Ecclesiastes. While it is true that some Jewish authorities desired to reject it due to its seeming contradictions, those authorities were outweighed by the many who acknowledged its canonicity.

3. By the first century AD, Josephus implies (“contains hymns to God”) that Ecclesiastes is part of the inspired canon.

4. Fragments of Ecclesiastes were found at Qumran.

5. Many of the early church fathers call it canonical (Melito of Sardis, Epiphanium, Origen, Jerome)

6. Accepting Solomonic authorship allows one to easily accept canonicity due to the many other accepted canonical writings of Solomon (Proverbs, Song of Solomon).

7. Its continued preservation seems to strongly support its canonicity.


Many, naturally, want to look at Ecclesiastes as a linear writing. It does not appear to fall into that category. While it does have some structure, it more or less freely moves between many topics. While it is freely moving, it is moving into a specific conclusive direction.

Garrett 3 offers a good outline of the book in the following . . .

2. On time and the World (1:3-11)

7. On Time and the World (3:1-15b)

18. On Wisdom and Death (6:10-7:4)

20. On Wisdom and Politics (7:7-9)

22. On Wisdom and Wealth (7:11-14)

23. On Wisdom and Religion (7:15-29)

29. On Death and Contentment (9:3-10)

34. On Death and Contentment (11:7-12:7)

While other beneficial outlines are offered the outline above displays well the manner in which the book seems to have been written. While Solomon was working toward a conclusive point, he did so in a cyclical manner. Even though he wrote in such a manner, much of our study will be linear.


12:1 So remember your Creator in the days of your youth – before the difficult days come, and the years draw near when you will say, “I have no pleasure in them . . . 12:9 Not only was the Teacher wise, but he also taught knowledge to the people he carefully evaluated and arranged many proverbs. 12:10 The Teacher sought to find delightful words, and to write accurately truthful sayings . . . 12:12 Be warned, my son . . . 12:13 Having heard everything, I have reached this conclusion: Fear God and keep his commandments, because this is the whole duty of man.

The wisdom that Solomon offers is most useful for the young. It appears that Solomon desired to teach young people these truths so that they could avoid the errors he made throughout his life.

While the hope is to offer wisdom to youth who have not already wasted their life away, the message is offered to the congregation. Any who might hear and heed ought to do so. “The Preacher sought to find delightful words and write them correctly.” As well the underlying truth of the book applies to every person.

1 Taken from Duane Guarett’s commentary on Ecclesiastes, pg. 256.

2 Both quotes are from Beckwith, The Old Testament Canon, p 287.

3 Outline taken from Duane Garrett’s commentary on Ecclesiastes, pg 269-270.