genesis

beginning; origin; source
—The short story she wrote became the genesis for a later novel.

The first book in the Bible is named “Genesis.” It begins with the words

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Now the earth was without shape and empty, and darkness was over the surface of the watery deep, but the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the water. God said, “Let there be light.” And there was light! (Genesis 1:1-3)

The word genesis comes from a Greek word meaning “beginning, source, or generation.” It was first used as the title of the Bible’s first book when the Old Testament was translated into Latin. (The Bible is divided into two main sections, the Old and New Testaments, with testament meaning “covenant” or “agreement.”)

The first chapter of Genesis tells about God’s creation, including plants, animals, and, finally, the first man and woman:

God created humankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them,
male and female he created them.

God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply! Fill the earth and subdue it! Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and every creature that moves on the ground.” (Genesis 1:27, 28)

Be fruitful and multiply is a well-known phrase that simply means “to have children or offspring.”

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