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From Creation to the Conquest of Canaan

by Michael J. Prival

Explaining the Bible from a modern historical perspective



Note to Parents, Teachers, and Other Readers

The purposes, outlook, and origins of this book.

Introduction: What Is Religion? What Is the Bible?

How Did Religion Get Started?

Where Did the Bible Come From?

What Is the Hebrew Bible?

What Is the Difference Between the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Bible?

Why Do We Study the Bible?

Time Line Overview of the Bible and Jewish History


Chapter I. Origins – Earth and People

I - 1. The Story of Creation

I - 2. Adam and Eve, the First People

I - 3. Cain, the Jealous Brother of Abel

I - 4. The Time When There Were Giants on the Earth

I - 5. Noah and the Great Flood

I - 6. The Tower of Babel


Chapter II. The First Israelites

II - 1. Abraham and Sarah, the Promise from God

II - 2. Abraham Smashes the Idols

II - 3. Abraham Avoids an Argument with Lot

II - 4. Abraham Argues with Yahweh

II - 5. Isaac Is Born to the Sound of Laughter

II - 6. Ishmael and Hagar Are Cast out of Abraham’s House

II - 7. God Tells Abraham to Kill His Son, Isaac

II - 8. Isaac Marries Rebekah

II - 9. Esau Sells His Birthright to His Brother, Jacob

II - 10. Jacob Tricks His Brother, Esau, and His Father, Isaac

II - 11. Jacob’s Ladder

II - 12. Jacob Gets Married – Twice

II - 13. Jacob Leaves Haran

II - 14. Jacob Wrestles with an Angel, Gets a New Name, and Meets his Brother Esau


Chapter III. Joseph in Egypt

III - 1. Joseph and His Brothers

III - 2. Joseph and Potiphar – and Potiphar’s Wife

III - 3. Joseph Explains Some Dreams

III - 4. Pharaoh Dreams and Joseph Becomes Ruler of Egypt

III - 5. Joseph Sees His Brothers Once Again

III - 6. Israel (Jacob) and His Sons All Settle in Egypt


Chapter IV. Freedom

IV - 1. Moses – from a Basket to Pharaoh’s House

IV - 2. Moses Burns Himself

IV - 3. Moses Rescues a Hebrew Man and Leaves Egypt

IV - 4. Yahweh Speaks to Moses from a Burning Bush

IV - 5. The Israelites Gain Their Freedom

IV - 6. The Waters Part! The Israelites Escape!


Chapter V. Wandering in the Wilderness

V - 1. Complaints and Miracles – Food, Water, and a Battle

V - 2. The Israelites Receive Ten Commandments

V - 3. Commandments, Commandments, and More Commandments

V - 4. Yahweh Prescribes Religious Rituals

                  V-4-i. Sacrifices at the Temple

                  V-4-ii. Some Laws and Rituals

                  V-4-iii. Food Rules

                  V-4-iv. Do Not Oppress the Stranger, Except Sometimes

                  V-4-v. Crime and Punishment

                  V-4-vi. Yahweh Will Reward the Israelites for Following His Commandments

V - 5. Moses Is Criticized for Marrying a Cushite

V - 6. The Israelites Anger Yahweh and He Announces Their Punishment

V - 7. The Rebellion of Korah the Levite

V - 8. Moses and Aaron Are Punished for Disobeying Yahweh


Chapter VI. Return to Canaan

VI - 1. Along the Road to Canaan, the Conquest Begins

VI - 2. From Moses to Joshua

VI - 3. Joshua Sends out Two Spies

VI - 4. Crossing over the Jordan and Conquering Jericho

VI - 5. The Israelites Settle in the Land of Canaan

Top of page

Next – Note to Parents, Teachers, and Other Readers


This book is available for purchase in spiral-bound form with illustrations.

Please send any comments you may have on this book to mprival@machar.org with the word “Bible” in the subject line.

Thanks very much.

Michael Prival


Copyright © 1995, 2014 by Michael J. Prival

Permission is hereby given for use of any portion or all of this book, with acknowledgment of the source, for educational purposes only. This work cannot be reproduced, in whole or in part, for any commercial purpose without permission of the author.