4 And Adam knew Eve as his wife, and she became pregnant and bore Cain; and she said, I have gotten and gained a man with the help of the Lord.
2 And [next] she gave birth to his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.
3 And in the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground.
4 And Abel brought of the firstborn of his flock and of the fat portions. And the Lord had respect and regard for Abel and for his offering,
5 But for [a]Cain and his offering He had no respect or regard. So Cain was exceedingly angry and indignant, and he looked sad and depressed.
6 And the Lord said to Cain, Why are you angry? And why do you look sad and depressed and dejected?
7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin crouches at your door; its desire is for you, but you must master it.
8 And Cain said to his brother, [b]Let us go out to the field. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him.
9 And the Lord said to Cain, Where is Abel your brother? And he said, I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?
10 And [the Lord] said, What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to Me from the ground.
11 And now you are cursed by reason of the earth, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s [shed] blood from your hand.
12 When you till the ground, it shall no longer yield to you its strength; you shall be a fugitive and a vagabond on the earth [in perpetual exile, a degraded outcast].
13 Then Cain said to the Lord, My punishment is [c]greater than I can bear.
14 Behold, You have driven me out this day from the face of the land, and from Your face I will be hidden; and I will be a fugitive and a vagabond and a wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.
15 And the Lord said to him, [d]Therefore, if anyone kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the Lord set a [e]mark or sign upon Cain, lest anyone finding him should kill him.
16 So Cain went away from the presence of the Lord and dwelt in the land of Nod [wandering], east of Eden.
17 And Cain’s wife [one of Adam’s offspring] became pregnant and bore Enoch; and Cain built a [f]city and named it after his son Enoch.
18 To Enoch was born Irad, and Irad was the father of Mehujael, and Mehujael the father of Methusael, and Methusael the father of Lamech.
19 And Lamech took two wives; the name of the one was Adah and of the other was Zillah.
20 Adah bore Jabal; he was the father of those who dwell in tents and have cattle and purchase possessions.
21 His brother’s name was Jubal; he was the father of all those who play the lyre and pipe.
22 Zillah bore Tubal-cain; he was the forger of all [cutting] instruments of bronze and iron. The sister of Tubal-cain was Naamah.
23 Lamech said to his wives, Adah and Zillah, Hear my voice; you wives of Lamech, listen to what I say; for I have slain a man [merely] for wounding me, and a young man [only] for striking and bruising me.
24 If Cain is avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech [will be avenged] seventy-sevenfold.
25 And Adam’s wife again became pregnant, and she bore a son and called his name Seth. For God, she said, has appointed for me another child instead of Abel, for Cain slew him.
26 And to Seth also a son was born, whom he named Enosh. At that time men began to call [upon God] by the name of the Lord.
Genesis 4:5In bringing the offering he did, Cain denied that he was a sinful creature under the sentence of divine condemnation. He insisted on approaching God on the ground of personal worthiness. Instead of accepting God’s way, he offered to God the fruits of the ground which God had cursed. He presented the product of his own toil, the work of his own hands, and God refused to receive it (Arthur W. Pink, Gleanings in Genesis).
Genesis 4:8The Hebrew omits this clause, but various other texts show that it was originally included.
Genesis 4:13Some ancient versions read, “too great to be forgiven!”
Genesis 4:15Many commentators believe this sign not to have been like a brand on the forehead, but something awesome about Cain’s appearance that made people dread and avoid him.
Genesis 4:17C.H. Dodd (cited by Adam Clarke, The Holy Bible with A Commentary) shows that it would have been possible for Adam and Eve, in the more than 100 years he estimates may have elapsed since their union, to have had over 32,000 descendants at the time Cain went to Nod, all of them having sprung from Cain and Abel, who married their sisters.
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