corner graphic

Bible Commentaries

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures

Genesis 4

 

 

Verses 1-26

The Story of Cain and Abel - Genesis 4:1-26 tells us of the story of how Cain slew Abel and of how God gave Adam and Eve another son named Seth to carry the seed of redemption to mankind.

Cain's Punishment - In Genesis 4:9-16 we have the account of God's punishment upon Cain for the murder of his brother Abel. Cain was sentenced by God to become a fugitive and a vagabond upon the earth. In other words, he would no longer have a place of rest. As we study the three writings of Song of Solomon , which are Proverbs , Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon , we find that they are each structured as a journey into rest. These books teach us how to find rest in this life as well as entering into Heaven, our eternal resting place. It is interesting to note that the next story that follows is that of Noah, whose name means, "rest"; for God was judging the world in order to restore it to a place of rest.

What seems unusual in this story is that it appears God did not implement the proper degree of punishment for premeditated murder; rather, God sends him away to another land to live, and marks him to protect his life from those who may take vengeance upon him. The reason God did this is because the law was not yet instituted upon earth, so that Cain did not violate the law ( Romans 5:13). Therefore, the penalty of his sin was not required of him.

Romans 5:13, "(For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law."

In contrast, Andrew Wommack notes that under the Law of Moses, the first person who committed a sin punishable by death was picking up sticks on the Sabbath. Moses consulted the Lord and was told to stone him to death, which the children of Israel did ( Numbers 15:32-36). 101] Thus, sin was judged differently in these two dispensations.

101] Andrew Wommack, "The War is Over," (Andrew Wommack Ministries, Colorado Springs, Colorado), on Trinity Broadcasting Network (Santa Ana, California), television program.

The Story of Lamech - Genesis 4:17-24 gives us Cain's genealogy. The primary figure in this genealogy is a man called Lamech, who killed a man. Lamech reflects back on Cain's murder of Abel to justify himself, so that this brief story reveals how Cain's sin affected his descendants.

Genesis 4:1 And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD.

Genesis 4:1 — "And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain" - Word Study on "Cain" - Gesenius says the Hebrew word "Cain" ( קַיִן) (H 7014) means, "possession, acquired." Josephus (Antiquities 121) and Philo of Alexandria (Treatise on the First-born Child of Prayer of Manasseh , Cain 15) 102] give the meaning as "a possession." Easton says the name means "a possession, a spear." PTW translates his name with a similar word "acquired, a spear." This definition matches the Hebrew verb ( קָנָה) (H 7069) used in this verse, which means, "to get, acquire, possess."

102] Philo Judaes, A Treatise on the Cheribum; and On the Flaming Sword; and On the First-born Child of Prayer of Manasseh , Cain, in The Works of Philo Judaes, by C. D. Young, vol 1 (London: Henry G. Bohn, 1854), 188.

Genesis 4:1 — "and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD" - Word Study on "I have gotten" - BDB says the Hebrew word "I have gotten" ( קָנָה) (H 7069) means, "to get, acquire, create, buy, possess." The name "Cain" means, "acquired," which is derived from this primitive root verb.

Comment- Note a similar statement in Psalm 127:3, "Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward."

Genesis 4:2 And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.

Genesis 4:2Word Study on "Abel" - Gesenius says the Hebrew word "Abel" ( הֶבֶל) (H 1893) means, "breath, breathing," or "exhalation, vapour, mist, darkness." BDB says it means "breath." Easton says that the name means "vanity." Josephus gives the meaning, "sorrow" (Antiquities 121). Philo of Alexandria says that it means "referring to God" (A Treatise on the Sacrifices of Abel and Cain 1). 103]

103] Philo Judaes, A Treatise on the Sacrifices of Abel and Cain, in The Works of Philo Judaes, by C. D. Young, vol 1 (London: Henry G. Bohn, 1854), 207.

Genesis 4:3 And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD.

Genesis 4:4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering:

Genesis 4:4 — "And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering" - Word Study on "respect" - Gesenius says the Hebrew word "respect" ( שָׁעָה) (H 8159) means, "to regard." BDB says this word is means, "to look at or to, regard, gaze at or about." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 15 times in the Old Testament being translated in the KJV as "look 5, respect 3, dismay 2, turn 1, regard 1, spare 1, be dim 1, depart 1." Holladay gives us the translation "to look with favor at."

Comments- In the same way that God took notice of Abel's offering, He also regards our prayers because of the sacrifice made. The offering was an important part of this event. We come to the throne of grace because of the sacrificial offering of the blood of Jesus Christ, of which the Lord has respect.

Genesis 4:4Comments- Where did Abel understand the importance of a blood sacrifice in the covering of sins? Perhaps it was because he was taught the story of how God slew an animal and covered the nakedness of Adam and Eve. There, it was necessary for an animal to be sacrificed and blood to be shed in order to cover the sin of Adam and Eve. The fig leaves that they choose to cover their sin were not sufficient in God"s eyes.

Genesis 4:4Comments- Several characteristics of Abel"s sacrifice were:

1) He shed blood ( Hebrews 9:22) as covering for sin.

2) He brought firstlings - Like first fruits or a tithe to God.

3) "the fat thereof" - The best part of the animal was given to God.

Hebrews 9:22, "And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission."

Genesis 4:4Comments- Just as the Mosaic Law required that the Israelites tithed a tenth, the best, to the Levites, and the Levites in turn offered a tenth of this tithe, their best, so also Abel offered the firstlings of the flock and the best of the firstling, which was the fat. We could say that they were tithing out of the tithe, so to speak, or giving the best of the best.

Genesis 4:5 But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.

Genesis 4:3-5Comments- Cain and Abel's Sacrifice - Genesis 4:3-5 teaches us that Adam and Eve taught their sons to make sacrifices, which these patriarchs evidently practiced before and after the murder of Abel.

God Rejects Cain's Sacrifice - We read in Genesis 4:3-5 that God rejected Cain's sacrifice of the fruit of the ground. Perhaps Cain"s sacrifice was rejected because he did not shed blood, and perhaps also because Cain"s heart was not right. However, we see in the Mosaic Law that God did in fact accept offerings from the fruit of the ground, for some of the sacrifices that God commanded were grain offerings ( Leviticus 17:11, Hebrews 9:22).

Leviticus 17:11, "For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul."

Hebrews 9:22, "And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission."

We can find examples of God coming down and consuming sacrifices as He did for Moses at the dedication of the Tabernacle ( Leviticus 9:24), for Manoah, the father of Samson ( Judges 13:19-20), for King David at the threshing floor of Ornan ( 1 Chronicles 21:26), for Solomon at the dedication of the Temple ( 2 Chronicles 7:1) and for Elijah on Mount Carmel ( 1 Kings 18:38) as a way of receiving their sacrifices. In addition, during the time of Moses, God consumed the children of Israel with fire as a form of judgment ( Numbers 11:1-2; Numbers 16:35). In addition, Genesis 15:17 tells us that a smoking furnace and a burning lamp passed through Abraham's sacrifice.

Scripture References- Note similar verses:

Proverbs 21:27, "The sacrifice of the wicked is abomination: how much more, when he bringeth it with a wicked mind?"

Proverbs 15:8, "The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD: but the prayer of the upright is his delight."

The book of Hebrews also refers to this story of Cain and Abel's sacrifice ( Hebrews 11:4).

Hebrews 11:4, "By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh."

Genesis 4:6 And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?

Genesis 4:7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.

Genesis 4:7 — "If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted" - Comments - What God accepts is an act of faith demonstrating our devotion to Him. Cain did not demonstrate his faith and devotion to God through this sacrifice.

Genesis 4:7 — "and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door" - Comments- The phrase "sin lieth at the door" is used here figuratively of sin attempting to enter our physical sense gates, primarily of our seeing and our hearing. Satan was attempting to gain entrance into Cain's heart by placing evil thoughts into his mind. Satan must enter his mind through his ears and his eyes, which are the "doors" of our mind.

Genesis 4:7 — "unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him" - Comments- The RSV says, "its desire is for you, but you must master it." God is telling Cain to resist sin's temptation. He is not to give place to the devil, but rather, to overcome him ( Ephesians 4:26-27).

Ephesians 4:26-27, "Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil."

Genesis 4:7Comments- Note how Paul describes this same struggle with sin in Romans 7:7-14.

Genesis 4:6-7Comments - God's Love Manifested in Dealing with Cain- In God's love, He was trying to tell Cain how to correct his mistake and restore himself to a right standing with God. God never stopped loving Cain, even in his sin.

Genesis 4:8 And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.

Genesis 4:8Comments- Cain was serving Satan when he slew his brother. Cain did not master sin; instead he gave place to Satan ( 1 John 3:12, Jude 1:11).

1 John 3:12, "Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother"s righteous."

Jude 1:11, "Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core."

Genesis 4:8Comments- One Jewish tradition says that Cain killed his brother Abel by crushing his head.

"Then Cain, the hard-hearted, and cruel murderer, took a large stone, and beat his brother"s head with it, until his brains oozed out, and he wallowed in his blood, before him." (The First Book of Adam and Eve 179) 104]

104] The Book of Adam and Eve: Also Called The Conflict of Adam and Eve With Satan, trans. S. C. Malan (London: Williams and Norgate, 1882), 101.

Since Cain was moved by Satan to commit this wicked Acts , we see how Satan was trying to crush the head of the seed of woman. One Bible teacher suggests that Satan was trying to reverse the curse of Genesis 3:15 that was placed upon him which says, "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." In other words, Satan was trying to crush the head of the woman's seed before he crushed his head.

Genesis 4:8Comments- F. F. Bruce tells us that the literal translation of Genesis 4:8 in the Masoretic text reads, "And Cain said to Abel his brother." 105] It does not go on to tell us what he said. In an attempt to smooth out this awkward phrase, the KJV reads, "And Cain talked with Abel his brother," so that nothing needs to follow within this text. However, many ancient readings of this verse, such as the LXX, add a phrase telling us what Cain said to his brother. For example the LXX reads, "And Cain said to Abel his brother, Let us go out into the plain; and it came to pass that when they were in the plain Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him." (Brenton) Therefore, some scholars believe that the LXX shows a more accurate translation of the original Hebrew text than does the Masoretic reading used by the KJV.

105] F. F. Bruce, The Books and the Parchments (Old Tappan, New Jersey: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1963), 157.

Genesis 4:9 And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother"s keeper?

Genesis 4:9Comments- God certainly knew where Abel was at this time. Abel was the first person to go to Heaven, and for perhaps hundreds of years he was the only person in Heaven.

Genesis 4:10 And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother"s blood crieth unto me from the ground.

Genesis 4:10 — "the voice of thy brother"s blood crieth unto me from the ground" - Comments- Abel's blood was crying out from the ground. What was it saying when it cried out? It was asking for justice, blood for blood. It was asking for a suitable sacrifice for the sin committed. Note:

"And in the first (year) of the third jubilee, Cain slew Abel because (God) accepted the sacrifice of Abel, and did not accept the offering of Cain. And he slew him in the field: and his blood cried from the ground to heaven, complaining because he had slain him." (The Book of Jubilees 42-4)

Genesis 4:11 And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother"s blood from thy hand;

Genesis 4:11Comments- Both the Serpent and Cain now have a curse placed upon them. When Adam and Eve fell in the Garden the Lord did not curse them directly because they acknowledged their sins, although it was a weak and immature confession. God did increase their sorrow in childbearing and in their daily chore of tilling the earth. But Cain would not acknowledge his sin and repent before the Lord. Therefore, the Lord punished Cain by placing a curse upon him. It was in this state of unrepentance that Cain "went out from the presence of the LORD" ( Genesis 4:16).

Genesis 4:12 When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.

Genesis 4:12 — "a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth" - Word Studies on "a fugitive" -BDB says the Hebrew word "fugitive" ( נוּעַ) (H 5128) is word means, "to wave, quiver, vibrate, swing, stagger, tremble, be unstable, to totter, go tottering, a vagabond (participle), (Niphal) to be tossed about or around, (Hiphil), to toss about, to shake, cause to totter, to shake, disturb, to cause to wander." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 42times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as "shake 6, wander 6, move 6, promoted 3, fugitive 2, sift 2, stagger 2, wag 2, misc 13."

Word Studies on "a vagabond" - BDB says the Hebrew word "vagabond" ( נוּד) (H 5110) means, "to shake, waver, wander, move to and fro, flutter, show grief, have compassion on." The Enhanced Strong says this word is used 24times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as "bemoan 7, remove 5, vagabond 2, flee 1, get 1, mourn 1, move 1, pity 1, shaken 1, skippedst 1, sorry 1, wag 1, wandering 1."

Comments- It is important to note that Cain will be banished to the land of Nod [Hebrew "nowd" ( נוד) (H 5113)], which is a derivative of the same verb נוּד (H 5110), used in Genesis 4:12 and translated "vagabond."

Genesis 4:13 And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment is greater than I can bear.

Genesis 4:14 Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me.

Genesis 4:15 And the LORD said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the LORD set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him.

Genesis 4:15 — "the LORD set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him" - Word Study on "a mark" -BDB says the Hebrew word "mark" ( אֹות) (H 226) means, "sign, signal, a distinguishing Mark , banner, remembrance, miraculous sign, omen, warning, token, ensign, standard, miracle, proof." The Enhanced Strong says this word is used 79 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as "sign(s) 60, token(s) 14, ensign(s) 2, miracles 2, Mark 1."

Comments- The Lord once told Benny Hinn that He sets a mark upon those who are intercessors and that this mark gave intercessors divine protection. Benny Hinn found Ezekiel 9:4 as Scriptural evidence to what the Lord told him. 106] This verse gives a description of what an intercessor does.

106] Benny Hinn, This is Your Day (Irving, Texas), on Trinity Broadcasting Network (Santa Ana, California), television program.

Ezekiel 9:4, "And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof."

Also note that the Lord set a mark upon Cain, so that no one would kill him. It is therefore logical to conclude that this mark may have not been apparent physically, but was a spiritual mark that gave angelic protection against demonic forces, just at with the intercessors mentioned in Ezekiel 9:4.

Job understood the significance of this mark:

Job 7:20, "I have sinned; what shall I do unto thee, O thou preserver of men? why hast thou set me as a mark against thee, so that I am a burden to myself?"

Job 10:14, "If I sin, then thou markest me, and thou wilt not acquit me from mine iniquity."

Jeremiah also makes a reference to a mark:

Lamentations 3:12, "He hath bent his bow, and set me as a mark for the arrow."

Also, in the book of Revelation , the Lord again sets a seal on the forehead of his saints in order to give them divine protection from angelic warfare:

Revelation 7:3, "Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads."

Revelation 9:4, "And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads."

In the book of Revelation , Satan tries to counterfeit this mark with the mark of the beast. However, it becomes a mark of destruction by God.

Revelation 13:16, "And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:"

However, we do find in The First Book of Adam and Eve that this mark that was placed upon Cain was the fact that he continually trembled and quaked. This mark was intended to bring Cain to repentance. Thus, from that point onward, Cain found no rest.

"Then God said unto Cain, Cursed be the earth that has drunk the blood of Abel thy brother; and thou, be thou trembling and shaking; and this will be a sign unto thee, that whosoever finds thee, shall kill thee…And He said to him, ‘Where is thy brother?'; To which he answered and said, ‘I know not.'; Then the Creator said to him, ‘Be trembling and quaking.' Then Cain trembled and became terrified; and through this sign did God make him an example before all the creation, as the murderer of his brother. Also did God bring trembling and terror upon him, that he might see the peace in which he was at first, and see also the trembling and terror he endured at the last; so that he might humble himself before God, and repent of his sin, and seek the peace he enjoyed at first." (The First Book of Adam and Eve ) 107]

107] The First Book of Adam and Eve: Also Called The Conflict of Adam and Eve With Satan, trans. S. C. Malan (London: Williams and Norgate, 1882), 102-3.

Genesis 4:16 And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.

Genesis 4:16Word Study on "Nod" - Gesenius says the Hebrew word "Nod" ( נוד) (H 5113) means, "flight, exile." Strong says it means, "vagrancy." PTW says it means, "vagabond." This proper name is used only one time in the Old Testament. Strong says it is a derivative of the primitive root נוּד (H 5110), which means, "to wander, flee, disappear." This root verb is used earlier in Genesis 4:14 and is translated as "vagabond." Scholars are not able to identify the location of the place called "Nod."

Genesis 4:17 And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch: and he builded a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his Song of Solomon , Enoch.

Genesis 4:17 — "And Cain knew his wife" - Comments- One of the often-asked questions in Scriptures Isaiah , "Where did Cain get his wife?" The most obvious answer is that he married his sister. The Book of Jubilees (49) says, "And Cain took Awan his sister to be his wife and she bare him Enoch at the close of the fourth jubilee." Thus, Jewish tradition says Cain took his sister to be his wife.

Genesis 4:17 — "and called the name of the city, after the name of his Song of Solomon , Enoch" - — Word Study on "Enoch" - Gesenius and Strong say the Hebrew word "Enoch" ( חֲנוךְ) (H 2585) means, "initiated." The Enhanced Strong says this word is used 16 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as "Enoch 9, Hanoch 5, Henoch 2." Although there were other individuals by the name of Enoch in the Scriptures, Enoch, the son of Cain, is only referred to in Genesis 4:17-18 and nowhere else in the Scriptures.

Comments- I have observed a similar custom among the India community in Uganda of naming a business enterprise after one of their children The Indian man who opens a business often names it after his eldest daughter.

Genesis 4:18 And unto Enoch was born Irad: and Irad begat Mehujael: and Mehujael begat Methusael: and Methusael begat Lamech.

Genesis 4:18Word Study on "Irad" - Strong says the Hebrew name "Irad" ( עִירָא) (H 5897) means, "fugitive." PTW says the name means, "fleet." This name is used two times in the Old Testament, being found only in Genesis 4:18.

Genesis 4:18Word Study on "Mehujael" - Strong says the Hebrew name "Mehujael" ( מְחוּיָאֵל) (H 4232) means "smitten by God." This name is used two times in the Old Testament, being found only in Genesis 4:18.

Genesis 4:18Word Study on "Methusael" - Strong says the Hebrew name "Methusael" ( מְתוּשָׁאֵל) (H 4967) means, "who is of God." This name is used two times in the Old Testament, being found only in Genesis 4:18.

Genesis 4:18Word Study on "Lamech" - BDB says the Hebrew name "Lamech" ( לֶמֶךְ) (H 3929) means, "powerful." PTW says the name means, "strong youth, overthrower." Although the father of Noah was also named "Lamech," this person named "Lamech" as the son of Methusael is only mentioned in this passage of Genesis 4:18-24, being mentioned 5 times.

Genesis 4:19 And Lamech took unto him two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah.

Genesis 4:19Word Study on "Adah" - Strong says the Hebrew name "Adah" ( עָדָה) (H 5711) means, "ornament." PTW says her name means, "pleasure, beauty." Adah was the first of Lamech's two wives and the mother of Jabel and Jubal. Although we find the wife of Esau being called by the same name, this wife of Lamech is only mentioned in this passage in Genesis 4:19-23, being mentioned nowhere else in Scripture.

Genesis 4:19Word Study on "Zillah" - BDB says the Hebrew name "Zillah" ( צִלָּה) (H 6741) means, "shade." PTW says the name means, "protection, screen." This individual is mentioned only in this passage, being found nowhere else in Scripture.

Genesis 4:19Comments- Lamech, the son of Methusael, is known as the first polygamist. This act of polygamy is very possibly the underlying cause of his slaying a Prayer of Manasseh , for the spirit of adultery and murder often work hand in hand. This observation is supported by looking at modern cultures that practice polygamy, such as those found in the Middle East and Africa.

Genesis 4:20 And Adah bare Jabal: he was the father of such as dwell in tents, and of such as have cattle.

Genesis 4:20Word Study on "Jabal" - BDB says the Hebrew name "Jabal" ( יָבָל) (H 2989) means, "stream of water." His name is mentioned only one time in the Scriptures.

Genesis 4:20Word Study on "tents" - BDB says the Hebrew word "tent" ( אֹהֶל) (H 168) means, "a tent, nomad"s tent, and thus symbolic of wilderness life, transience, dwelling, home, habitation, the sacred tent of Jehovah (the tabernacle)." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 345 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as "tabernacle(s) 198, tent(s) 141, dwelling 2, place(s) 2, covering 1, home 1."

Genesis 4:20Comments- Jabal appears to have been the individual who first domesticated cattle for man's use. He probably invented the tent as a means of providing temporary shelter for his herdsmen. We know that Cain built a city, so we must assume that most people during this time lived in simple houses made of clay or stone or wood. Thus, the invention of a tent could have been a new idea.

Genesis 4:21 And his brother"s name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ.

Genesis 4:21Word Study on "Jubal" - Strong says the Hebrew word "Jubal" ( יוּבַל) (H 3106) means, "stream." His name is mentioned only one time in the Scriptures.

Genesis 4:21Comments- Jubal appears to have been the individual who first invented musical instruments.

Genesis 4:22 And Zillah, she also bare Tubalcain, an instructer of every artificer in brass and iron: and the sister of Tubalcain was Naamah.

Genesis 4:22Word Study on "Tubalcain" - Strong says the Hebrew name "Tubalcain" ( תּוּבַל קַיִן) (H 8423) means, "offspring of Cain." BDB says it means, "thou will be brought of Cain." However, according to Genesis 4:1 the name "Cain" means, "acquired" because she had acquired him from the Lord.

Genesis 4:1, "And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD."

Genesis 4:22Word Study on "Naamah" - Strong says the Hebrew name "Naamah" Hebrew ( נַעֲמָה) (H 5279) means, "pleasantness." BDB says it means, "lovliness." This was the sister of Tubalcain.

Genesis 4:23 And Lamech said unto his wives, Adah and Zillah, Hear my voice; ye wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech: for I have slain a man to my wounding, and a young man to my hurt.

Genesis 4:23 — "for I have slain a man to my wounding, and a young man to my hurt" - Word Study on "slain" - Gesenius says the word "slain" ( הָרַג) (H 2026) means, "to kill." Strong says it means, "to smite with deadly intent."

Word Study on "wounding" - Gesenius and Strong say the Hebrew word "wounding" ( פֶּצַע) (H 6482) means, "a wound." The phrase "to my wounding"

Word Study on "hurt" - Gesenius says the Hebrew word "hurt" ( חַבּוּרָה) (H 2250) means, "a stripe or bruise, the mark of strokes on the skin." Strong says it means, "bound (with stripes), i.e. a weal (or black-and-blue mark itself)."

Comments- The phrase "to my wounding" ( לְפִצְעִ֔י) parallels "to my hurt" ( לְחַבֻּרָתִֽי). Such double statements are characteristic of Hebrew poetry.

Genesis 4:24 If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy and sevenfold.

Genesis 4:24Scripture References - Note a similar reference to sevenfold judgment in Genesis 4:15, "And the LORD said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the LORD set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him."

Genesis 4:23-24Comments - The Song of Lamech- Genesis 4:23-24 contains the first poetry in the Scriptures, structured as three pairs of parallel Hebrew verses, also called three distitches, in which the second phrase repeats the first phrase.

Various Interpretations of the Passage- In his speech to his two wives, Lamech tell them that he slew a man. There are a number of interpretations of this passage of Scripture regarding what he communicates to his wives.

(1) Lamech Slays a Man in Self-Defense- One popular view interprets Lamech to have killed an individual in self-defense, giving the verb ( הָרַג) (H 2026) a perfect tense, so that song reads, "I have slain a Prayer of Manasseh ," and the phrases "to my wounding" and "to my hurt" are translated "for wounding me" and "for hurting me." Lamech believes if Cain murdered Abel with intent, then Lamech's accidental murder should invoke much more of God's protective favour.

In his speech Lamech was concerned that someone, perhaps a relative of the slain individual, would seek to kill Lamech as an act of retribution. Thus, Genesis 4:24 reveals that there were ancient laws of retribution long before The Code of Hammurabi (c 2000 B.C.) or the Mosaic Law (c 1500 B.C.).

Andrew Wommack says that Lamech attempts to use God's leniency upon Cain to justify his own sinful act. Because the Law of Moses was not yet instituted, God did not bring judgment upon Cain. 108] Later generations would fall into moral depravity until destroyed by the Flood because God was not bringing immediate judgment. The story of Lamech testifies to man's progressive depravity.

108] Andrew Wommack, "The War is Over," (Andrew Wommack Ministries, Colorado Springs, Colorado), on Trinity Broadcasting Network (Santa Ana, California), television program.

Lamech said, "For I have slain a man to my wounding, and a young man to my hurt. If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy and sevenfold." He may have meant that he killed a man accidentally and did not lay in wait as did Cain. If the laws of retribution were applied to Cain, how much more would they be applied to Lamech being innocent of any evil. However, The Book of Jubilees (431-32) gives a different account of Cain's death by saying that his house of stones fell upon him so that he died.

(2) Lamech Boasts in His Strength - Some scholars interpret Lamech's speech as a prideful boast in his own strength, giving the verb ( הָרַג) (H 2026) a future tense, so that the song says, "I will slay the man who wounds men, and the young man who hurts me." 109]

109] Milton S. Terry and Fales H. Newhall Commentary on the Old Testament, vol 1, ed. Daniel D. Whedon (New York: Eaton and Mains, 1889), in The Wesleyan Heritage Library Commentary (Wesleyan Heritage Publications, 2002), 126.

The Relationship of Polygamy and Murder- It is interesting to note the fact that Lamech, the first polygamist in the Scriptures ( Genesis 4:23), also committed an act of murder. We can also note that King David committed an act of murder because of his pursuit of polygamy. We can also note that the religion of Islam, which emphasizes polygamy as a part of hits religious tenets of faith is also characterized as a religion of war and terror and murder. We can note that the African nations are known for their polygamy as well as their internal wars. Thus, there seems to be a relationship between polygamy, or adultery, and the spirit of murder.

In the lineage of Cain we see the spirit of adultery and murder manifest in the life of Lamech, one of Cain's descendants. These two spirits often work together. We can compare the story of Lamech to King David, who had many wives, committed adultery with Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah, and murdered her husband.

It is interesting to compare David and Lamech's lifestyle of polygamy and murder and with the testimony of Jack Hayford when he was a young minister. His testimony includes a temptation towards adultery followed by thoughts of murder. As a young minister working at the headquarters of the Four Square Church, he found himself becoming close friends with a female co-worker, even though he was married. After some time a mature co-worker noticed this unhealthy friendship. Hayford tells of his emotional experience, how he both loved his wife and yet, felt affections for this new lady. He tells how he entertained the thoughts of his wife dying. As he struggled with his heart and the Spirit of God, he felt tremendous conviction, but did not know what to do. He was feeling thoughts of adultery, followed by thoughts of leaving his wife, which was a spirit of murder. Because of the intercession of others and the work on the Holy Spirit, he came to himself, approached his supervisor and arranged for a separation between himself and this female co-worker. At that point he approached his wife and revealed this persona' struggle with her. Years later, he began to share this testimony from the pulpit and found that it was a frequent struggle with many church leaders and laymen. 110] We find these same two spirits at work in the life of David and Lamech; for they both committed adultery, followed by murder.

110] Jack Hayford, The Anatomy of Adultery (Ventura, California: Regal Books, 2004).


Verse 25-26

Epilogue to the Genealogy of the Heavens and the Earth- The Generations of the Heavens and the Earth ( Genesis 2:4 to Genesis 4:26) concludes with God giving Adam and Eve a son to replace Abel. The significance of this son named Seth is that he is used to carry the redemptive seed of the Messiah to its fruition in Christ Jesus; thus, the closing statement, "Then men began to call upon the name of the Lord." The following genealogy of Adam ( Genesis 5:1-32) reveals that this redemptive seed is carried to Noah, at which time God destroys the rest of mankind because human depravity degenerated beyond hope of redemption.

Genesis 4:25 And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a Song of Solomon , and called his name Seth: For God, said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew.

Genesis 4:25Word Study on "Seth" - Strong says the Hebrew word "Seth" ( שֵׁת) (H 8352) means, "put, or substituted." Eve gave Seth this name because she saw that God had appointed her with, or compensated her with, another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain killed. Strong says this name comes from the primitive verb ( שִׁית) (H 7896), which means, "to place, or to appoint." This same Hebrew verb is used in Genesis 4:25 and is translated "hath appointed," because God appointed another Prayer of Manasseh -child to take the place of Abel.

Comments- The Second Book of Adam and Eve interprets the name "Seth" to mean "God has heard my prayer and delivered me," and "power and strength."

"But when Adam came and saw the child"s good looks, his beauty, and his perfect figure, he rejoiced over him, and was comforted for Abel. Then he named the child Seth, that means, ‘that God has heard my prayer, and has delivered me out of my affliction.' But it means also ‘power and strength.'" (The Second Book of Adam and Eve, 22) 111]

111] The Book of Adam and Eve: Also Called The Conflict of Adam and Eve With Satan, trans. S. C. Malan (London: Williams and Norgate, 1882), 106.

Genesis 4:25Word Study on "hath appointed" - Strong says the Hebrew word "hath appointed" ( שִׁית) (H 7896) is a primitive verb meaning, "to place, or to appoint." From this verb comes the name "Seth" ( שֵׁת) (H 8352), which means, "put, or substituted, or appointed" (Strong).

Genesis 4:26 And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the LORD.

Genesis 4:26 — "And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos" - Word Study on "Enos" - Gesenius says the Hebrew word "Enos" ( אֳנוֹשׁ) (H 583) means, "a Prayer of Manasseh , multitude." Strong says it means, "a mortal, a Prayer of Manasseh ," and comes from ( אָנַשׁ) (H 605), which means, "to be frail, feeble," and figuratively, "melancholy." BDB says it means, " Prayer of Manasseh , mankind." The Enhanced Strong says this name is found 7 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as "Enos 6, Enosh 1."

Genesis 4:26 — "then began men to call upon the name of the Lord" - Comments- The opening chapters of Genesis reveal Adam's fellowship with God, walking with Him in the cool of the day, and sacrifices offered to Him after the Fall, and God speaking with Cain when he sinned; thus, mankind was designed to have a relationship with God. The statement in Genesis 4:26 that men began to call upon the Lord may imply that Cain"s descendants did not worship YHWH and that Seth began a new seed of righteousness upon the earth. The next section, which gives the genealogy of Adam ( Genesis 5:1 to Genesis 6:8), reveals a lineage of righteous men that led up to Noah. This lineage stands in stark contrast to the degenerating moral condition of mankind that brought divine judgment in the form of the Flood.

Genesis 4:26Comments - In contrast to the genealogy of Cain, whose descendant Lamech killed a man ( Genesis 4:17-24), following the sins of his fathers, Seth's descendants begin to call upon the Lord. We see this in the next genealogy of Shem in which his descendant Enoch walked with God, and we see it in the genealogy of Noah, who was a righteous man. Thus, mankind branched into two different moral characters, one of corruption, and one of righteousness. The seed of righteousness came through the descendants of Seth. The Genealogy of the Heavens and the Earth began with Adam tending the Garden and retreating to fellowship with God in the cool of the day. This genealogy concludes with man endeavouring to restore his fellowship with God after the Fall by calling upon the name of the Lord.

 


Copyright Statement
These files are copyrighted by the author, Gary Everett. Used by Permission.
No distribution beyond personal use without permission.

Bibliography Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Genesis 4:4". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ghe/genesis-4.html. 2013.

Commentary Navigator
Search This Commentary
Enter query in the box below
To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology