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Every piece of information that is found in the Book of Genesis came before Moses was born: from the Creation account to Jacob’s funeral and Joseph’s remaining time in Egypt, up unto his death at one hundred and ten years old. So, how did Moses receive this information? Moses was an inspired Bible author, moved along by the Holy Spirit so that it could have come by divine revelation. Divine revelation is the only answer for all information about events that came before the creation of man, be it Moses or another. (Gen. 1:1-27; 2:7-8) However, this information and the remaining details could have been transmitted to Moses through oral tradition. We must remember that pre-flood and many post-flood people lived many hundreds of years because they were closer to perfection. The information could have been handed off from Adam to Moses through just five human connections: Methuselah, Shem, Isaac, Levi, and Amram. A third option is that Moses received much of Genesis’s information from existing writings or documents. The Hebrew (תּוֹלֵדוֹת toledoth) frequently occurs in the Book of Genesis, rendered in the Updated American Standard Version as “the history of” but by others as the generation of … The Greek word genesis is used in the Greek Septuagint (LXX) to render the Hebrew term toledoth, which generally has a similar meaning, denoting the history in numerous places within the Book of Genesis, which is usually rendered “generations” in the Book of Genesis (ASV, ESV, LEB, NASB), but it is better rendered as “histories” or “origins.” It is used as a heading to set up the historical account that is to follow. (Gen. 2:4; 5:1; 6:9; 10:1; 11:10, 27; 25:12, 19; 36:1, 9; 37:2) For example, in the ASV, ESV, LEB at Genesis 2:4, “the generations of the heavens and the earth” would hardly be meaningful, whereas the UASV “the history of the heavens and of the earth” is meaningful. Andrew E. Steinmann commenting on Genesis 5:1-2, says that “these verses begin with the second tôlĕdôt formula. It varies from the others by mentioning a record (NT, TNK) or written account (GW, NIV). Traditionally translated ‘book’, the word refers to any written record.”
THE NET BIBLE NOTES: The Hebrew phrase אֵלֶּה תּוֹלְדֹת (’elle tolédot) is traditionally translated as “these are the generations of” because the noun was derived from the verb “beget.” Its usage, however, shows that it introduces more than genealogies; it begins a narrative that traces what became of the entity or individual mentioned in the heading. In fact, a good paraphrase of this heading would be: “This is what became of the heavens and the earth,” for what follows is not another account of creation but a tracing of events from creation through the fall and judgment (the section extends from 2:4 through 4:26). See M. H. Woudstra, “The Toledot of the Book of Genesis and Their Redemptive-Historical Significance,” CTJ 5 (1970): 184–89. sn The expression this is the account of is an important title used throughout the Book of Genesis, serving as the organizing principle of the work. It is always a heading, introducing the subject matter that is to come. From the starting point of the title, the narrative traces the genealogy or the records or the particulars involved. Although some would make the heading in 2:4 a summary of creation (1:1–2:3), that goes against the usage in the book. As a heading, it introduces the theme of the next section, the particulars of this creation that God made.
So, some have understood that the many occurrences of toledoth in Genesis are references to historical documents that already existed and were being added to, which would eventually be handed off to Moses. Then, under inspiration, Moses would take most of the information that would be a part of what we would come to know as the Book of Genesis. They believe that Adam, Noah, Shem, Terah, Ishmael, Isaac, Esau, and Jacob either participated in writing these ‘histories’ or possessed such documents. Of course, we are left in the dark about how these documents came into the possession of Moses. This hypothesis hits a massive snag when we consider that two of these suggested writers or holders of the documents were unfaithful and not followers of God. Are we to believe that Ishmael and Esau were sources of much of the information used in Genesis?
It is altogether far more likely that the expression “the history of” is merely an introductory phrase, functioning in a way that fits perfectly with a particular need to divide off the various divisions of the long overall history. Matthew uses a similar expression to introduce his Gospel account.—Matthew 1:1.
Therefore, we have no concrete conclusion on the primary source from which Moses received the information he would use in Genesis. The more likely scenario is that the information did not just come from one source. The information may have been received by all three: direct revelation, oral transmission, and written records. The critical thing to remember is that the Holy Spirit guided Moses so that he wrote by divine inspiration.—2 Peter 1:21.
 Andrew E. Steinmann, Genesis: An Introduction and Commentary, ed. David G. Firth, vol. 1, The Tyndale Commentary Series (London: Inter-Varsity Press, 2019), 80.
 Biblical Studies Press, The NET Bible First Edition Notes (Biblical Studies Press, 2006), Ge 2:4.