The author begins this book with a genealogy. Actually, a whole lot of genealogies. Hey, there's nothing like nine chapters of obscure and ancient names to grab a reader's attention.
But seriously though, these genealogies are pretty important and this one has some interesting highlights.
There's Adam (the first man). And Noah (remember him with the ark?).
Noah's sons make up the people of some of Israel's enemies. Ham is the father of the Canaanites and Philistines for example.
Noah's other son, Shem, turns out to be the great-great-great-a lot-of-greats-grandfather of Abraham. God made the first covenant with him, so he's kind of a big deal.
Abraham has a son named Isaac who has a son named Israel (also known as Jacob). Israel has 12 sons who would go on to form the 12 tribes of Israel, which is also a perfect name for a band.
And don't forget the Edomites. Since they are Israel's closest neighbors, the author goes into a little background on them.
So after reading all of that, what are we supposed to learn? Other than the fact that thousands year-old Hebrew names are real tongue twisters.
Well, this genealogy is all about unity. After all, every single person that exists on earth came from one person—Adam. That means we're all connected. Awww.
As a side note, if you take a peek at Genesis, you can see the author is taking some liberties with his genealogy here. He's left out some people (sorry, Cain and Abel) and he's misspelled some other names. Someone get this guy a copy editor.