The Toledot Structure Of Genesis: Hope Of Promise -- By: Jared M. August

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 174:695 (Jul 2017)
Article: The Toledot Structure Of Genesis: Hope Of Promise
Author: Jared M. August

The Toledot Structure Of Genesis: Hope Of Promise

Jared M. August

Jared M. August is a PhD student at Baptist Bible Seminary, Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania.


The toledot structure of Genesis has sparked considerable debate. However, in light of the recent developments in which five of the toledot are viewed as primary headings and five are viewed as subheadings, it has become increasingly evident that the author of Genesis included this structure to provide direction and unity for the entire book. This study builds on this fivefold division by demonstrating that the author intentionally chose specific individuals to receive a toledot. In each primary toledot section, a promise is given concerning a specific individual, and in the following toledot section, the promise is realized.


Within the book of Genesis, the phrase אֵלֶּה תֹּולְדֹת (“these are the generations of”) or זֶה סֵפֶר תֹּולְדֹת (“this is the account of the generations of”) is used ten times, each of which seems to signify the direction of the storyline (2:4; 5:1; 6:9; 10:1; 11:10, 27; 25:12, 19; 36:1, [9]; 37:2).1 Recently, several scholars have advanced the thesis that within these ten toledot are five

primary or main toledot headings.2 According to this assertion, the main headings are Genesis 2:4; 5:1; 6:9; 11:10; and 37:2. The subheadings are 10:1; 11:27; 25:12, 19; and 36:1, (9).

In large part, this development stems from Matthew T...

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