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Genesis 1-3 Matthew 1 (Easy-to-Read Version)

Genesis 1-3

The Beginning of the World

God created the sky and the earth. At first, the earth was completely empty. There was nothing on the earth. Darkness covered the ocean, and God’s Spirit moved over[a] the water.

The First Day—Light

Then God said, “Let there be light!” And light began to shine.[b] He saw the light, and he knew that it was good. Then he separated the light from the darkness. God named the light “day,” and he named the darkness “night.”

There was evening, and then there was morning. This was the first day.

The Second Day—Sky

Then God said, “Let there be a space[c] to separate the water into two parts!” So God made the space and separated the water. Some of the water was above it, and some of the water was below it. God named that space “sky.” There was evening, and then there was morning. This was the second day.

The Third Day—Dry Land and Plants

Then God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered together so that the dry land will appear.” And it happened. 10 God named the dry land “earth,” and he named the water that was gathered together “seas.” And God saw that this was good.

11 Then God said, “Let the earth grow grass, plants that make grain, and fruit trees. The fruit trees will make fruit with seeds in it. And each plant will make its own kind of seed. Let these plants grow on the earth.” And it happened. 12 The earth grew grass and plants that made grain. And it grew trees that made fruit with seeds in it. Every plant made its own kind of seeds. And God saw that this was good.

13 There was evening, and then there was morning. This was the third day.

The Fourth Day—Sun, Moon, and Stars

14 Then God said, “Let there be lights in the sky. These lights will separate the days from the nights. They will be used for signs to show when special meetings[d] begin and to show the days and years. 15 They will be in the sky to shine light on the earth.” And it happened.

16 So God made the two large lights. He made the larger light to rule during the day and the smaller light to rule during the night. He also made the stars. 17 God put these lights in the sky to shine on the earth. 18 He put them in the sky to rule over the day and over the night. They separated the light from the darkness. And God saw that this was good.

19 There was evening, and then there was morning. This was the fourth day.

The Fifth Day—Fish and Birds

20 Then God said, “Let the water be filled with many living things, and let there be birds to fly in the air over the earth.” 21 So God created the large sea animals.[e] He created all the many living things in the sea and every kind of bird that flies in the air. And God saw that this was good.

22 God blessed all the living things in the sea and told them to have many babies and fill the seas. And he blessed the birds on land and told them to have many more babies.

23 There was evening, and then there was morning. This was the fifth day.

The Sixth Day—Land Animals and People

24 Then God said, “Let the earth produce many kinds of living things. Let there be many different kinds of animals. Let there be large animals and small crawling animals of every kind. And let all these animals produce more animals.” And all these things happened.

25 So God made every kind of animal. He made the wild animals, the tame animals, and all the small crawling things. And God saw that this was good.

26 Then God said, “Now let’s make humans[f] who will be like us.[g] They will rule over all the fish in the sea and the birds in the air. They will rule over all the large animals and all the little things that crawl on the earth.”

27 So God created humans in his own image. He created them to be like himself.[h] He created them male and female. 28 God blessed them and said to them, “Have many children. Fill the earth and take control of it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the air. Rule over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

29 God said, “I am giving you all the grain bearing plants and all the fruit trees. These trees make fruit with seeds in it. This grain and fruit will be your food. 30 And I am giving all the green plants to the animals. These green plants will be their food. Every animal on earth, every bird in the air, and all the little things that crawl on the earth will eat that food.” And all these things happened.

31 God looked at everything he had made. And he saw that everything was very good.

There was evening, and then there was morning. This was the sixth day.

The Seventh Day—Rest

So the earth, the sky, and everything in them were finished. God finished the work he was doing, so on the seventh day he rested from his work. God blessed the seventh day and made it a holy day. He made it special because on that day he rested from all the work he did while creating the world.

The First Man and the Garden of Eden

This is the story about the creation of the sky and the earth. This is what happened when the Lord God made the earth and the sky. This was before there were plants on the earth. Nothing was growing in the fields because the Lord God had not yet made it rain on the earth, and there was no one to care for the plants.

So water[i] came up from the earth and spread over the ground. Then the Lord God took dust from the ground and made a man.[j] He breathed the breath of life into the man’s nose, and the man became a living thing. Then the Lord God planted a garden in the East,[k] in a place named Eden. He put the man he made in that garden. Then the Lord God caused all the beautiful trees that were good for food to grow in the garden. In the middle of the garden, he put the tree of life and the tree that gives knowledge about good and evil.

10 A river flowed from Eden and watered the garden. The river then separated and became four smaller rivers. 11 The name of the first river was Pishon. This river flowed around the entire country of Havilah.[l] 12 (There is gold in that country, and that gold is pure. A kind of expensive perfume and onyx are also found there.) 13 The name of the second river was Gihon. This river flowed around the whole land of Cush.[m] 14 The name of the third river was Tigris. This river flowed east of Assyria. The fourth river was the Euphrates.

15 The Lord God put the man in the Garden of Eden to work the soil and take care of the garden. 16 The Lord God gave him this command: “You may eat from any tree in the garden. 17 But you must not eat from the tree that gives knowledge about good and evil. If you eat fruit from that tree, on that day you will certainly die!”

A Companion for Adam

18 Then the Lord God said, “I see that it is not good for the man to be alone. I will make the companion he needs, one just right for him.”

19 The Lord God used dust from the ground and made every animal in the fields and every bird in the air. He brought all these animals to the man, and the man gave them all a name. 20 The man gave names to all the tame animals, to all the birds in the air, and to all the wild animals. He saw many animals and birds, but he could not find a companion that was right for him. 21 So the Lord God caused the man to sleep very deeply. While he was asleep, God took one of the ribs from the man’s body. Then he closed the man’s skin where the rib had been. 22 The Lord God used the rib from the man to make a woman. Then he brought the woman to the man. 23 And the man said,

“Finally! One like me,
    with bones from my bones
    and a body from my body.
She was taken out of a man,
    so I will call her ‘woman.’”

24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife. In this way two people become one.

25 The man and his wife were naked, but they were not ashamed.

The Beginning of Sin

The snake was the most clever of all the wild animals that the Lord God had made. The snake spoke to the woman and said, “Woman, did God really tell you that you must not eat from any tree in the garden?”

The woman answered the snake, “No, we can eat fruit from the trees in the garden. But there is one tree we must not eat from. God told us, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden. You must not even touch that tree, or you will die.’”

But the snake said to the woman, “You will not die. God knows that if you eat the fruit from that tree you will learn about good and evil, and then you will be like God!”

The woman could see that the tree was beautiful and the fruit looked so good to eat. She also liked the idea that it would make her wise. So she took some of the fruit from the tree and ate it. Her husband was there with her, so she gave him some of the fruit, and he ate it.

Then it was as if their eyes opened, and they saw things differently. They saw that they were naked. So they got some fig leaves, sewed them together, and wore them for clothes.

During the cool part of the day, the Lord God was walking in the garden. The man and the woman heard him, and they hid among the trees in the garden. The Lord God called to the man and said, “Where are you?”

10 The man said, “I heard you walking in the garden, and I was afraid. I was naked, so I hid.”

11 God said to the man, “Who told you that you were naked? Did you eat fruit from that special tree? I told you not to eat from that tree!”

12 The man said, “The woman you put here with me gave me fruit from that tree. So I ate it.”

13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What have you done?”

She said, “The snake tricked me, so I ate the fruit.”

14 So the Lord God said to the snake,

“You did this very bad thing,
    so bad things will happen to you.
It will be worse for you
    than for any other animal.
You must crawl on your belly
    and eat dust all the days of your life.
15 I will make you and the woman enemies to each other.
    Your children and her children will be enemies.
You will bite her child’s foot,
    but he will crush your head.”

16 Then God said to the woman,

“I will cause you to have much trouble
    when you are pregnant.
And when you give birth to children,
    you will have much pain.
You will want your husband very much,
    but he will rule over you.”[n]

17 Then God said to the man,

“I commanded you not to eat from that tree.
    But you listened to your wife and ate from it.
So I will curse the ground because of you.
    You will have to work hard all your life for the food the ground produces.
18 The ground will grow thorns and weeds for you.
    And you will have to eat the plants that grow wild in the fields.[o]
19 You will work hard for your food,
    until your face is covered with sweat.
You will work hard until the day you die,
    and then you will become dust again.
I used dust to make you,
    and when you die, you will become dust again.”

20 Adam[p] named his wife Eve.[q] He gave her this name because Eve would be the mother of everyone who ever lived.

21 The Lord God used animal skins and made some clothes for the man and his wife. Then he put the clothes on them.

22 The Lord God said, “Look, the man has become like us—he knows about good and evil. And now the man might take the fruit from the tree of life. If the man eats that fruit, he will live forever.”

23 So the Lord God forced the man out of the Garden of Eden to work the ground he was made from. 24 God forced the man to leave the garden. Then he put Cherub angels and a sword of fire at the entrance to the garden to protect it. The sword flashed around and around, guarding the way to the tree of life.

Footnotes:

  1. Genesis 1:2 moved over The Hebrew word means “to fly over” or “to swoop down,” like a bird flying over its nest to protect its babies.
  2. Genesis 1:3 Or “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. While the earth had no special shape, and darkness covered the ocean, and God’s Spirit hovered over the water, God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.” Or “When God began to create the sky and the earth, while the earth was completely empty, and darkness covered the ocean, and a powerful wind blew over the water, God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.”
  3. Genesis 1:6 space Or “firmament.” The Hebrew word can refer to a piece of metal that has been hammered into the shape of a bowl.
  4. Genesis 1:14 special meetings The Israelites used the sun and moon to decide when the months and years began. Many Israelite festivals and special meetings began at the time of the new moon or full moon.
  5. Genesis 1:21 large sea animals Or “sea monsters.”
  6. Genesis 1:26 humans The Hebrew word means “man,” “people,” or the name “Adam.” It is like the word meaning “earth” or “red clay.”
  7. Genesis 1:26 Now let’s make … like us Or “Now let’s make humans in our image and in our likeness.”
  8. Genesis 1:27 So God created humans … himself Or “So God created them in his image. In the image of God he created them.” Compare Gen. 5:1, 3.
  9. Genesis 2:6 water Or “a mist.”
  10. Genesis 2:7 man The Hebrew word means “man,” “people,” or the name “Adam.” It is like the word meaning “earth” or “red clay.”
  11. Genesis 2:8 East This usually means the area between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers as far east as the Persian Gulf.
  12. Genesis 2:11 Havilah The land along the west coast of the Arabian peninsula and possibly, the part of Africa south of Ethiopia.
  13. Genesis 2:13 Cush Usually this means Ethiopia, but here, it probably refers to the area north and east of the Tigris River.
  14. Genesis 3:16 You will … over you Or “You will want to rule your husband, but he will rule over you.” In Hebrew this is like the last part of Gen. 4:7.
  15. Genesis 3:18 See Gen. 1:28-29.
  16. Genesis 3:20 Adam This name means “man” or “people.” It is like the word meaning “earth” or “red clay.”
  17. Genesis 3:20 Eve This name is like the Hebrew word meaning “life.”
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Matthew 1

The Family History of Jesus the Messiah

This is the family history of Jesus the Messiah. He came from the family of David, who was from the family of Abraham.

Abraham was the father of Isaac.

Isaac was the father of Jacob.

Jacob was the father of Judah and his brothers.

Judah was the father of Perez and Zerah. (Their mother was Tamar.)

Perez was the father of Hezron.

Hezron was the father of Ram.

Ram was the father of Amminadab.

Amminadab was the father of Nahshon.

Nahshon was the father of Salmon.

Salmon was the father of Boaz. (His mother was Rahab.)

Boaz was the father of Obed. (His mother was Ruth.)

Obed was the father of Jesse.

Jesse was the father of King David.

David was the father of Solomon. (His mother had been Uriah’s wife.)

Solomon was the father of Rehoboam.

Rehoboam was the father of Abijah.

Abijah was the father of Asa.

Asa was the father of Jehoshaphat.

Jehoshaphat was the father of Jehoram.

Jehoram was the father of Uzziah.

Uzziah was the father of Jotham.

Jotham was the father of Ahaz.

Ahaz was the father of Hezekiah.

10 Hezekiah was the father of Manasseh.

Manasseh was the father of Amon.

Amon was the father of Josiah.

11 Josiah was the grandfather of Jehoiachin[a] and his brothers, who lived during the time that the people were taken away to Babylon.

12 After they were taken to Babylon:

Jehoiachin was the father of Shealtiel.

Shealtiel was the grandfather of Zerubbabel.

13 Zerubbabel was the father of Abiud.

Abiud was the father of Eliakim.

Eliakim was the father of Azor.

14 Azor was the father of Zadok.

Zadok was the father of Achim.

Achim was the father of Eliud.

15 Eliud was the father of Eleazar.

Eleazar was the father of Matthan.

Matthan was the father of Jacob.

16 Jacob was the father of Joseph.

Joseph was the husband of Mary,

and Mary was the mother of Jesus, who is called the Messiah.

17 So there were fourteen generations from Abraham to David. There were also fourteen generations from David until the people were taken away to Babylon. And there were fourteen more from the time the people were taken to Babylon until the Messiah was born.

The Birth of Jesus the Messiah

18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah happened. His mother Mary was engaged to marry Joseph. But before they married, he learned that she was expecting a baby. (She was pregnant by the power of the Holy Spirit.) 19 Mary’s husband, Joseph, was a good man. He did not want to cause her public disgrace, so he planned to divorce her secretly.

20 But after Joseph thought about this, an angel from the Lord came to him in a dream. The angel said, “Joseph, son of David, don’t be afraid to accept Mary to be your wife. The baby inside her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son. You will name him Jesus.[b] Give him that name because he will save his people from their sins.”

22 All this happened to make clear the full meaning of what the Lord said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will be pregnant and will give birth to a son. They will name him Immanuel.”[c] (Immanuel means “God with us.”)

24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the Lord’s angel told him to do. He married Mary. 25 But Joseph did not have sexual relations with her until her son was born. And he named him Jesus.

Footnotes:

  1. Matthew 1:11 Jehoiachin Literally, “Jechoniah,” another name for Jehoiachin.
  2. Matthew 1:21 Jesus The name Jesus means “the Lord (Yahweh) saves.”
  3. Matthew 1:23 Quote from Isa. 7:14.
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Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Copyright © 2006 by Bible League International

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