->''"In the beginning"''...

The first book of Literature/TheBible. In the Jewish tradition, it is the first book of the Torah and known as ''Bereshit'' ("In the beginning"; books of the Torah are known in Hebrew by their first word in that language). Literally everything begins here. From the story of how God created the world, the first peoples and finally the patriarchs of the Israelites.

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!! ''Genesis'' contains the following tropes (note, so many of them are TropeNamers, there's no point in noting the fact!):

* AdamAndEvePlot: God's instructions to the first people are: "Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth". [[UnbuiltTrope Unbuilt, however]] as they are originally responsible for being kicked out of Paradise and causing all later generations to fall into sin.
* AlcoholicParent: After the flood, Noah plants a vineyard and gets so drunk he winds up passing out naked. His son Ham thinks this is hilarious and calls his brothers to come see. They respectfully cover him with a blanket instead, walking backwards so they won't have to see their dad naked. For this, Noah curses Ham's son Canaan to be a "servant of servants" of his relations. Why Canaan and not Ham himself? Nobody's quite sure, although it's pretty clear that the ''real'' point is justifying the Hebrews' enmity towards the Canaanites.[[note]]Unfortunately, Noah's curse--which isn't even a real curse, because it's basically a hung-over father cussing out his idiot son rather than God imposing punishment--came to be called the "Curse of Ham" and used to justify slavery, because supposedly Ham was dark-skinned and the ancestor of Black people -- ignoring that the curse was narrowed to Ham's only '''non'''-African son, his other three sons free of the curse.[[/note]]
* ArsonMurderAndJaywalking: When Joseph invites his brothers into his palace for a meal, they're afraid he will attack them, seize them as slaves, and...take their donkeys?
* ArtisticLicensePaleontology: The Book of Genesis[[note]]if one interprets it literally rather than symbolically[[/note]] and modern paleontology do not agree when it comes to the Creation account and the Flood.
* BeautyEqualsGoodness: Played straight with the matriarchs [[GrandmaWhatMassiveHotnessYouHave Sarah]], Rebecca and Rachel. Averted with the patriarchs with the exception of Joseph, whose physical beauty is mentioned.
* BedTrick: Jacob's wedding.
* BrokeYourArmPunchingOutCthulhu: Jacob may have pinned the Angel of the Lord, but he walks with a permanent limp afterward.
* CainAndAbel: The TropeMaker.
* CassandraTruth: When Lot tells his family about God's plan to destroy their town, his soon-to-be sons-in-law laugh at him, thinking he's joking.
* CatchPhrase: "What is this deed that you have done?" is commonly used to mean "WhatTheHellHero" or "YouMonster".
* ClaimedByTheSupernatural: The Mark of Cain.
* TheClan: The twelve tribes of Israel descended from Abraham and Isaac, who had their own clans. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are the three [[ThePatriarch patriarchs]] of the Hebrew people.
* CliffHanger: Will the Israelites permanently settle in Egypt or go back to their homeland? [[spoiler: They went to the latter the hard way]].
* CircumcisionAngst:
** It had to be a painful week the day the custom was commanded to Abraham.
** Invoked by Simeon and Levi, who claim they will let Dinah marry the prince who raped her if every man from that village is circumcised. They agree, and for three days the village is defenseless, making it [[KickThemWhileTheyAreDown incredibly easy to take revenge]].
* CompletelyUnnecessaryTranslator: Joseph. While there were probably many people for whom the translator proved indispensable, one case where he wasn't needed at all was when Joseph's own brothers showed up. He used the service anyway, as a means of hiding his identity.
* ContinuitySnarl: The first and second chapters are mutually-exclusive versions of the same events. It only gets worse from there. The flood story takes it to the next level by having several different timelines that randomly change; it lasts either 40 days, 150 days, seven months, or ten months depending on the verse. Genesis 8:13 and 8:14 are actually the same statement (the date the world had dried) with different numbers. All of this is equally canon.
** The verb used in 8:13 (חרב/''charav'') is actually different than that used in 8:14 (יבש/''yabesh''). The former can be translated more specifically as 'free of water', while the latter is stronger, implying being completely 'dried up' or 'withered'.
* CurseOfBabel / TowerOfBabel
* CycleOfRevenge: What the mark of Cain was supposed to prevent.
* DeathByChildbirth: Rachel dies when she has Benjamin.
* DeathFakedForYou: After the brothers sell Joseph to Egypt, they "explain" Joseph's sudden disappearance to their dad by dipping his robe in blood and making it look like he was attacked by wild animals.
* DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu: Jacob wrestles all night with an angel and suffers no more than an injured hip. Better yet, the angel is hinted pretty strongly to be a manifestation of God Himself. Jacob is aghast when he realizes, but God gives him a blessing.
* DisproportionateRetribution: Jacob thinks his sons' reaction to the rape of Dinah is this. See CircumcisionAngst (above) and RapeAndRevenge (below).
* TheDrunkenSailor: Noah might qualify as the UrExample. First he sails the Ark, then after the flood, he proceeds to plant a vineyard and get dead drunk.
* TheEndOfTheBeginning: The conclusion to the story of Joseph. On one hand, the family of the patriarchs is now re-united, which is a refreshing development after generations of SiblingRivalry. On the other hand, the Israelites are settled in a foreign land, which is not the promised land. See CliffHanger above. How long will this last?
* TheExile: Adam and Eve are banished from the Garden of Eden as the final part of their punishment.
* FalseRapeAccusation: Potiphar's wife accuses Joseph of trying to rape her (when in fact it was the other way around).
* FamousAncestor: Chapter 10 is called "The Table of Nations" and it traces the lineage of many Middle Eastern peoples back to Noah's sons.
* FatalFlaw
** Adam's ignorance.
** Eve's greed.
** Cain's anger.
** Abel's self-righteousness.
** Abraham & Sarah's need for a child.
** Rebekah's need to make God's prophecies come true.
** Esau's hunger.
** Jacob's deceit.
** Joseph's pride.
* FlamingSword / EverythingsBetterWithSpinning: The flaming, whirling (in some translations) sword that was placed at the entrance to the Garden of Eden to prevent Adam and Eve from getting back in.
* FoodAsBribe: Jacob was able to get his brother Esau to sell his birthright for a bowl of stew.
* {{Forgiveness}}: a minor instance of this is when Jacob and Esau reconcile. Arguably ''the'' forgiveness story in the Genesis is that of Joseph and his brothers.
* {{Foreshadowing}}:
** Noah cursed Canaan right after the flood.
** The fact that Esau and Jacob struggle with each other while still in their mother's womb is a sign of their SiblingRivalry in the future and the conflict between the tribes descended of them.
** Joseph's dreams that his brothers and parents will bow down before him signals his future role as the saviour of the entire clan.
** The order in which Perez and Zerah are born.
** The blessings given by each patriarch to their sons/grandsons foreshadow the prominence that their respective tribes will gain.
* GirlInABox: According to para-text legend, Abraham placed Sarah in a box so the Egyptians wouldn't kill him to take her (because of her beauty).
* GivingThemTheStrip: This is how Joseph struggles free from Potiphar's wife after she tries to seduce him forcefully. It does make it difficult for him to explain why (a) she is claiming that he tried to rape her and (b) [[NotWhatItLooksLike she has his clothes to prove it]].
* GoodIsNotSoft: In Genesis 12:3, God says to Abraham that He will bless those who bless him and curse those who curse him.
* GuileHero: This seems to be something of a family trait for Abraham and his descendants.
** Abraham tries to deceive the Egyptians about his relationship with Sarah, which leads to an IdiotBall and a WhatTheHellHero response from the Egyptians. [[LikeFatherLikeSon Pattern repeat by his successor Isaac]].
** Rebecca is the [[ManBehindTheMan MasterMind]] behind securing the greater blessing for her favourite son, Jacob.
** Jacob thoroughly deserves his reputation as "[[MeaningfulName The Deceiver]]" with respect to his treatment of Esau and Laban, the latter being a ManipulativeBastard himself.
** Rachel (who is Rebecca's niece and Laban's daughter and therefore shares some of the same guileful gene pool as Jacob) outsmarts her father and successfully removes his household idols.
** Joseph, being the son of Jacob and Rachel, tops the list by successfully carrying out an elaborate XanatosGambit to reunite the family (see below), and also saves an entire nation from a famine in the process.
* HalfHumanHybrid: {{Nephilim}}, though that is debated by some.
* HeroOfAnotherStory:
** Ishmael, Abraham's son with his Egyptian slave Hagar, becomes the ancestor of a numerous progeny, the so-called Ishmaelites, which include most Semitic tribes other than Israel.
** Whereas Genesis 37 - 50 focuses mainly on Joseph, Chapter 38 shows Judah with his own story to tell. It's Judah's descendants who go on to become the most important.
* HopeSpot: After learning that God plans to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah for their wickedness, Abraham is able to bargain God down to sparing them if there are at least ten righteous men there for the sake of Lot and his family. It isn't enough.
* HowWeGotHere: Tradition holds that the narrator is Moses, and that Genesis was written during the Exodus to record Israel's history leading up to that time.
* IncestIsRelative:
** [[DoubleStandardRapeFemaleOnMale Lot and his daughters]].
** Abraham's wife, Sarah, is later revealed to be also his half-sister. This is used as an excuse on multiple occasions to pretend Sarah is just "his sister" so certain powerful men won't kill Abraham to get her. (It only ends in trouble both times.)
** Some attempts to answer the question "where did Cain get his wife?" allude to this possibility.
* ImprovisedClothes: The fig leaves Adam and Eve make into loincloths when they eat the fruit and realize they're naked and feel ashamed for it.
* INeverSaidItWasPoison: When questioned as to why he was hiding in the Garden, Adam responds that it was because he was ashamed of his nudity. God then responds, "Who told you that you were naked?! You have eaten, then, of the tree that I have commanded you not to eat from."
* InnocentFanserviceGirl: Well, couple. Adam and Eve are naked when they're first created, but they have no concept of "naked," and are unashamed. It's only after they eat the fruit that they become aware of their nudity, and start to feel...well, naked.
* JewsLoveToArgue: Abraham [[TropeMaker makes the trope]] by haggling with God Himself in a bid to spare Sodom and Gomorrah for Lot's sake.
* JustSoStory:
** The creation story, naturally.
** The story of the Fall explains that, as a consequence, snakes lost their legs and have to crawl on their stomachs, men have to till the soil to produce food, and women have pain in childbirth.
** The explanation given by the Tower of Babel story for all the world's different languages and dialects: God disrupted their communication [[LostInTranslation so they wouldn't understand one another]].
** The Flood gives the origin of [[RainbowMotif rainbows]] as a sign of God's promise not to drown the earth again.
* KneelBeforeFrodo: Joseph's brothers bow down before him four times. The first three times, they do not realise that it is Joseph. The fourth and final time, they bow before him fully aware of his identity and in reverence. Technically, only the fourth exemplifies the trope.
* KnightTemplarBigBrother: Dinah's brothers (Simeon and Levi, anyway) avenge their sister by [[ILied going back on their word]] -- they kill the man who raped her '''and''' wipe out his '''entire''' clan [[KickThemWhileTheyAreDown while the clan is down]] and [[CircumcisionAngst not feeling that well...]]!
* LastMinuteBabyNaming: Happens a lot, most memorably with Jacob's sons.
* LawOfInverseFertility: Sarah is infertile for most of her adult life, while her maidservant gets pregnant by sleeping with Abraham ''once''. Rebekah ''does'' eventually conceive, but not without divine intervention...and it almost kills her. [[HollywoodHomely Leah]] pumps out six sons and a daughter, while her sister [[TheBeautifulElite Rachel]] struggles to conceive, only [[DeathByChildbirth to be killed]] by the second time.
* LongLived: Everyone before TheGreatFlood. Adam lived to 930; Methuselah lived to 969. Post-flood, Shem lived to 602.
* MandatoryMotherhood:
** God's command of humanity to "be fruitful and multiply".
** Onan was killed by God for refusing to have a child with Tamar, his dead brother's wife, as per the laws of levirate marriage (in short, he was required to marry his brother's wife and their first son would be his brother's, to continue on his brother's family line). Of course, he told her he ''would'' (thus avoiding public shaming and being cast out of his family) and then performed ''coitus interruptus'' to prevent it (i.e. probably in the course of having sex with her regularly nonetheless), so he was arguably sort of an AssholeVictim.
** The reason Sarah, Rachel, and Leah give [[ChosenConceptionPartner concubines]] to their husbands as a means to have children when they get slammed by the LawOfInverseFertility: this was, in fact, commanded under the Code of Hammurabi, which was the law of the land at that point. (Marriage back then was seen as a way to strengthen sociopolitical alliances, increase socioeconomic status, and [[HeirClubForMen carry on one's lineage]]; [[MarryForLove love and companionship]] came later.)
* ManlyTears: Joseph in particular is prone to this.
* MatzoFever: [[MrsRobinson Potiphar's wife]] really likes Joseph. She ''really'' [[IsThatWhatTheyreCallingItNow likes]] him. She wants to [[YiddishAsASecondLanguage schtup]] him.
* MeaningfulEcho: The phrase "Am I in the place of God?" is first uttered by Jacob out of frustration, when Rachel says she must have a child by him or she will die. One generation later, their son, Joseph, uses almost exactly the same phrase but under happier circumstances, while reassuring his brothers that he has forgiven them and that they have nothing to fear from him.
* MeaningfulRename:
** Abram and Sarai are renamed Abraham and Sarah by divine advice.
** Jacob becomes Israel after wrestling with an angel.
* MenActWomenAre: The men are described in terms of their attributes. The women are typically described in terms of beauty.
* MisplacedRetribution: After Ham laughes at the sight of his father Noah naked. When the latter wakes up, he curses Ham's son Canaan.
* {{Nephilim}}: The first of the Bible's two mentions of them, born of mortal women and the "sons of God." (They are angels, according to extra-canonical texts.)
* NeverMyFault: Adam and Eve. God confronts Adam and Eve with the eating from the Tree Of Knowledge. Adam blames Eve (and God for creating her in the first place), and Eve blames the serpent.
* NoDoubtTheYearsHaveChangedMe: Joseph's brothers are unable to recognise him after twenty years of separation. It's not surprising, considering that they last saw him as the AnnoyingYoungerSibling whom they [[MadeASlave sold to slavery]], and now he's the [[TheGoodChancellor Vizier of Egypt]] and Pharaoh's NumberTwo.
* NoNudityTaboo: Adam and Eve started out in this state. It doesn't last long.
* OnceUponATime: In the beginning...
* OurGiantsAreBigger: Nephilim
* OutOfCharacterMoment: [[InUniverse A perceived one, anyway.]] When God reveals his plan to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, which would destroy the wicked and the just alike, Abraham claims such ruthlessness is very much unlike God. After some argue, God agrees to spare the cities if there's at least 10 believers there (nope).
* PalsWithJesus:
** Several characters are on speaking terms with God, but Enoch is probably one of the few who can claim to be a friend.
-->''Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away''.
** Abraham and God seem pretty friendly as well.
* ParentalFavoritism: A recurring theme, one that sets the stage for much of the drama.
* PerpetualStorm: TheGreatFlood was caused a storm which lasted for 40 days, followed by 150 days of flooding and 220 days of drying out.
* {{Polyamory}}: Almost every man from Abraham's time and onwards, except for Isaac and Joseph.
* PleaseSpareHimMyLiege: Because it is LostInTranslation, most people don't realize that ''God'' of all people does this at one point. When Abraham is about to sacrifice his son Isaac, God implores him to let him go and sacrifice a ram instead. In Hebrew, there are two ways to formulate a negative sentence: One of them is the so-called Prohibitive, the other the Vetitive. The former is used when a person talks down to somebody, i.e. is in a superior position. The latter is used when somebody tries to persuade their superior. With one sole other exception every other negative sentence of God in the Tanakh is formulated as a Prohibitive (for example, the Ten Commandments are formulated in a way that makes it very clear that anybody who violates them will suffer a FateWorseThanDeath), but when God asks (not orders, but ''asks'') Abraham to put down the dagger, it feels the same way as a soldier talking to his commanding officer...
* PriestKing: Salem in Canaan had priest-king Melchizedek, noted for giving food and blessing to Abraham and Sarah. He is also noted for acknowledging the Abrahamic {{God}}, although it's not entirely clear whether Melchizedek was a ''true'' monotheist or merely worshipped {{God}} as the chief deity of a larger pantheon.
* PsychicDreamsForEveryone: In Joseph's story, Joseph, the Pharaoh, the pharaoh's baker and the pharaoh's chief butler all have [[DreamingOfThingsToCome prophetic dreams]]. It's implied that God is sending those dreams, hence why Joseph (who is favored by God) is able to interpret them.
* RapeAndRevenge:
** Jacob's daughter is raped by a Canaanite prince, and two brothers of hers [[KnightTemplar destroy every man in the prince's village]] for it. (Jacob was not impressed.)
* RevengeBeforeReason: Cain was marked to prevent this. Later one of his descendants killed again, showing the mark thing didn't work.
** Jacob's sons Simeon and Levi did this to an entire clan.
* ReplacementGoldfish: Seth who was born after Abel's death. Eventually all humans share him as an ancestor though Noah.
* RuleOfThree:
** God appears to Abram with two of his agents.
** Noah has three sons, who are the ancestors of all people that live after the Flood.
* SacredHospitality: As far as Lot is concerned, the safety of his guests is more important to him ''than that of his own daughters'' (fortunately for them, [[OurAngelsAreDifferent his guests]] intervened).
* SadlyMythtaken: The ForbiddenFruit is not actually mentioned as being an apple. (Indeed, apples are not native to the Fertile Crescent, and would most likely have been unfamiliar to the original writers/storytellers.) That was a VisualPun that came about when the story was translated into Latin, because the words for "evil" and "apple" are similar.
* SecretTestOfCharacter: Abraham is told to sacrifice his son in order to prove his faith.
* SelfFulfillingProphecy: Joseph's dreams that he will rule over his brothers.
* SensitiveGuyAndManlyMan: Jacob is the Sensitive Guy who tends to sheep while Esau is the Manly Man who hunts for his food.
* SiblingRivalry: A running theme in the Genesis. It begins with CainAndAbel, continues through JacobAndEsau and even ventures into the domain of TheGloriousWarOfSisterlyRivalry with Rachel and Leah. Joseph's relationship and his brothers headed down the same track, until Joseph broke with the trend and forgave his brothers, thereby reuniting the family.
* SignatureItemClue:
** Potiphar's wife gets hold of Joseph's cloak as he [[GivingThemTheStrip runs away from her]]. She later produces the cloak to support her claim that he tried to rape her.
** Joseph's brothers distress his coat to use as a visual aid in their story that he died.
** Tamar takes Judah's staff and cloak as tribute for payment when she is disguised as a prostitute, so that she can later produce them as evidence that he's the father of her baby.
* SoiledCityOnAHill: The world before TheGreatFlood, and Sodom and Gomorrah.
* SomethingCompletelyDifferent: The story of Judah's involvement with Tamar is told right in the middle of the Joseph narrative, which carries on afterwards as if nothing happened.
* SupportingHarem: Jacob's family, with Rachel as the lead, and Leah and the two concubines as the supporters.
* TakenForGranite: Lot's wife, with salt.
* TheTrickster: Abraham and all his descendants.
* TheUnderworld: All characters expect to "go down to Sheol" after death. The words "go ''down''" suggests that Sheol is conceived of as a somewhat depressing afterlife, and there's apparently no difference in the fate of good and bad people. The concept of "Sheol" changes over the course of the Old Testament to resemble the modern Christian concept of "Heaven" more closely.
* ViceCity: Sodom and Gomorrah.
* WhatTheHellHero:
** God to Adam and Eve, when he finds out they had eaten the Forbidden Fruit.
** Pharaoh to Abram, when he learns that the woman he's taken to his harem is actually Abram's wife and not just his sister, as he'd claimed.
** Abimelech to Isaac, when the latter tries to play the same trick on the Philistines in relation to his wife Rebecca.
** Esau to Jacob (although not face-to-face), for deceitfully taking the blessing their father had meant for Esau.
** Jacob to a 17-year-old Joseph, for going around telling everyone about his dream that his brothers and parents will all bow down before him.
** Jacob to his other sons when they lay siege to a larger and more powerful city-state to avenge the rape of their little sister, because he's worried that other tribes and nations around them will begin a CycleOfRevenge.
* WoundedGazelleGambit: Potiphar's wife uses the garment that Joseph left behind while [[GivingThemTheStrip giving her the strip]] as evidence that he tried to rape her.
* XanatosGambit: Joseph plays one when he demands that the brothers give up Benjamin to be his slave and themselves return to Canaan safely. That way, he ensures that either he gets to keep Benjamin with him (if his brothers treat Benjamin like a dispensable family member, as they treated Joseph years ago), or his brothers show a sufficient CharacterArc by refusing to leave Benjamin in Egypt, in which case he reconciles with ''all'' of them and brings his entire clan over to Egypt. Luckily for the Israelites, the latter plan eventuates.
* YouCantGoHomeAgain:
** The Garden of Eden is forever closed for Adam and Eve and their descendants after they have been expelled from it.
** Jacob never saw his parents again after stealing Esau's inheritance.
* {{Yandere}}: Potphar's wife to Joseph.
* YoungestChildWins: A recurring theme.
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