Woo Hoo Week Five, Ladies!
Welcome back! We are almost halfway through our study of the first eleven chapters of Genesis.
In the previous chapter, we dealt with a sad time in the history of man. Sin entered into a perfect creation and corrupted everything God had made good. Not only was man corrupted by sin, but the natural world received its (sin’s) curse, as well.
In verse one, we read of the gift of life; an offspring had been born. Eve said, “I have gotten a man from the Lord.” Cain, the eldest son of Adam and Eve, was the first child born to mankind. Note what Eve says, “I have gotten a man from the Lord.” Do you sense her hope? Eve remembered the words God had spoken against the serpent for his part in the Fall.
Let’s read those words again: “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.” As she held her newborn son those words must have passed through her mind, since she was so proud she had received a man child from God. Eve may have thought it was through Cain who the Seed, the Redeemer of mankind, would be born. Although she was incorrect, she understood one day God would send a Redeemer to the world. (And I forgot to mention last week that the phrase, “you shall bruise His heel,” is a foreshadowing of the Crucifixion of Christ. As a person nailed to a cross would push up to get a breath, the friction of the heel against the wooden cross would bruise that person’s heel. Satan thought he had won when Christ was crucified, but we know the Cross and subsequent Resurrection of Christ, sealed Satan’s fate. Satan was not—and is—not God.)
In verse 2, we read Eve had another son, Abel. A lot of time passes in this one verse, because we are given the occupations of the brothers. Abel was a shepherd, and Cain was a farmer. At some point in time, Cain brought to God an offering full of crops he had grown. Abel also bought an offering. The place of the offerings was likely near where the cherubim stood guard over the tree of life, but we don’t know with any certainty, however.
It is important to note here this question. How did they know to bring an offering to the LORD? I believe it was through the example of their father, Adam. Adam had been introduced to the practice of blood sacrifice when God sacrificed an animal or animals as a means of providing sufficient clothing for Adam and Eve. We aren’t told Adam sacrificed between Genesis 3 and 4, but how would the brothers know to do so unless they were told or shown by example? One of the results of the Fall of Man is death. Death is a consequence that not only humans, but animals, will experience, in fact, all of Creation experiences death. We have a constant cycle of new birth and death whether it be in the vegetation, the animals, or in humanity. Sin caused death.
Verse 3 tells us that Abel brought a different sacrifice from his brother, Cain. Abel brought his firstlings (or firstborn, and best) of his flock of sheep. It also notes he brought the fat too. The writer of Genesis made certain to note the LORD’s respect of Abel, and of his offering. However, in verse 4, we read the response of the LORD to Cain’s offering. God did not respect Cain nor his offering.
Exactly what type of offering this was, we don’t know. Up to this point in man’s history, the Law had not been given, so it could be God may have accepted grain, animal and/or other offerings. We can, however, read other verses in the Bible to get a clearer understanding of what is happening here. (Note that Scripture interprets Scripture. Scripture can helps us gain a better understanding of what is presented in another verse of Scripture.)
Let’s look at Hebrews 11:4. In the first part of this verse it reads: “By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain…” This is our commentary on Genesis 4:3-5. Abel’s offering was what God wanted. God wasn’t pleased with Cain’s offering. God is sovereign, and He also knows the heart of man (Acts 15:8). God knew who Cain was. Cain couldn’t hide what was in his heart which is true for all of us.
We don’t know what happened to signify the rejection of Cain’s offering, but we do know how Cain responded. Cain’s response is an indicator of his heart. He was angry, and his countenance failed. Cain, as the older brother, could have been upset due to the fact his younger brother’s offering was accepted when his was not. Cain’s pride was hurt which is indicated by his countenance falling.
God lovingly gives Cain a warning in verses 6-7.
So the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.”
God questions him about his anger and his fallen countenance. He lovingly answers those questions for Cain like a father would do for a son. If Cain did well, he would be accepted. God warned him when he doesn’t do well, sin lies in wait for him. God tells Cain sin desires to capture him and control him. We would do well to heed God’s warning as well. Right?
In verse 7, God gives Cain a complete lesson on sin and its desire to control and ruin. God also gives Cain a clear message: we choose to let sin control us instead of us controlling it. Cain was not letting God be God in his (Cain’s) life. Cain was his own god. Abel, however, was allowing God to be God, hence the acceptance of his offering.
When we give sin root in our life, sin will control us.
In verse 8, Cain goes and talks with his brother, Abel, at some point. We are not given any indication of what Cain talked about with his brother. However, it isn’t hard to assume it most likely was related to the offerings and to the jealousy growing in Cain’s heart toward his brother. The jealousy and hatred had so exponentially coiled itself around Cain’s heart that one day, while they were in the field, Cain killed his brother. The sin (hate) in Cain’s heart drove him to be the first murderer in humankind.
Cain let sin control him and, in the process, he took another life. Cain’s dead heart was revealed in his actions.
In verse 9, did God not know where Abel was? God knew. But what Cain says to God in this verse indicates more about Cain’s character. Cain was not only a prideful, jealous, angry and murderous man, but he also was deceitfully wicked and spiteful. Cain, who had probably been taught the ways of God from his birth, as well as, the Fall of Man, arrogantly tells God he didn’t care about where his brother was. Cain had eliminated his competition.
In verse 10, God, however, tells Cain He knew where Abel was and what Cain had done to his brother. God says Abel’s blood cried to Him from the ground. (Cain had possibly buried his brother.) God then continues with a curse against Cain. Makes me wonder, what if Cain had admitted to God what he had done to Abel, could his fate had been a bit different? We’ll never know, will we? What we do see here (vv. 11-12) is: As the Judge, God requires consequences for sin. Since Cain had left his brother’s dead body in the field and had killed Abel with premeditation rooted in his heart, Cain would be forced to wander the land as a fugitive and vagabond. Cain would no longer be able to live on land he tilled. The ground simply would cease to produce a yield for him.
Then we see Cain say to the LORD in verses 13-14, “My punishment is greater than I can bear! Surely You have driven me out this day from the face of the ground; I shall be hidden from Your face; I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond on the earth, and it will happen that anyone who finds me will kill me.”
Cain was complaining to God and afraid of what his new outlook was to be. The punishment of banishment as a vagabond and a fugitive was more than he could comprehend. Cain had not stopped long enough to consider there would be consequences for his grievous sin of murder. He reacted out of jealousy and hate. Cain knew he would have to leave his family unit, and the land he loved to farm, but also God would no longer be available to him. He mentions his fear of others who would find him and take his life. Who were those people, if the Bible only mentions Adam, Eve, Cain, and Abel (who is now dead)?
We do know Adam and Eve have more children (see Gen. 4:25, Gen. 5:4). However, we do not know what age the brothers were at this point in history, but they were likely adults. If Scripture tells us in Genesis 3:16 God would greatly multiply Eve’s (and all women, for that matter) conception, although they aren’t mentioned other than the Scripture pointed out above, it is more than likely Cain and Able were not the only offspring at this time. They (possibly sisters, brothers, nieces, nephews, etc.) had to have existed since Cain was afraid of someone, but there is no way of knowing who or how many people were on the earth. Who knows, maybe Cain was afraid his father and mother would seek revenge for Abel’s death. However, there were other unnamed people because in verse 17 Cain has a wife. His wife had to be his sister since it is very unlikely other non-Adamic family units existed at this time.
So, God, even in His punishment towards Cain, extends mercy in verse 15. God protects Cain even as he banishes him. He places some sort of mark on Cain that signifies if anyone kills Cain, God would take vengeance sevenfold upon his murderer.
In verses 16-24, we learn about Cain’s descendants. Cain’s descendent would be ungodly since verse 16 indicates Cain went out from God’s presence. The farther one was from Eden the farther one was from God. Cain dwelled in the land of Nod which is located east of the land of Eden. Nod in Hebrew means wandering.
Cain and his wife had at least one child that we know of. His name was Enoch. We are told in verse 17 Cain built a city and he called it Enoch after his son. We are also given the name of Enoch’s son Irad. Then Cain’s greats are listed, but only following one another, and not several lines of lineage. They are as follows: Irad begot Mehujael, and Mehujael begot Methushael, and Methushael begot Lamech (v.18).
After Lamech’s name is mentioned we are given more detailed information. Lamech, the first polygamist in Scripture, marries two wives: Adah and Zillah. Adah as at least two sons, Jabal and Jubal. Jabal is noted to be the father of those who dwell in tents and have livestock. He and his offspring are likely nomads. Jabal is the father of musicians who play the harp and flute.
To Zillah is born Tubal-Cain and his sister, Naamah. Tubal-Cain is a metallurgist working with bronze and iron, however, we do not know anything else about his sister, Naamah.
In verse 23, Lamech’s brags to his two wives about his ability to defend himself, if necessary. The Kiel and Delitzsch Bible Commentary of the Old Testament states this about this passage: “whoever inflicts a wound or stripe on me, whether man or youth, I will put to death; and for every injury done to my person, I will take ten times more vengeance than that with which God promised to avenge the murder of my ancestor Cain.” Depending on what commentary one uses, some have said that Lamech killed someone with an implement that Tubal-Cain crafted and was bragging about it to his wives in song. I’m not one hundred percent certain, but what I do know is, Lamech was a very arrogant and godless man, and this ends the information we have about the line of Cain. His descendants did not know or honor God in what they did, but they relied instead on their own abilities and skilled trades.
Finally, in verses 25-26, we read of another son born to Adam and Eve. Eve recognized that Seth was a replacement for the line of Abel who had been the original godly line from which the Seed to save humanity would have come. Satan had, through the sin of Cain, snuffed out the godly line of Abel. Satan’s schemes did not surprise God. God always contends with the schemes of Satan to destroy God’s plan and purpose. God always prevails. Always! I like how Got Questions states it: “There is always a Seth to replace Abel.” No matter how the “destroyer” tries to usurp God’s divine will, God wins. God is Sovereign. Satan is not. Remember that! Believe it!
And what good news, Seth’s line continued with the birth of Enosh, of whom the godly line would ultimately bring the Redeemer, the promised Seed (v.26). I love how Genesis 4 ends: “Then men began to call upon the name of the LORD.” This is what has long-lasting significance, not advances in civilization as was mentioned in Cain’s line. What matters to God is that He is high and lifted up, not man. Mankind of Seth’s line began to call upon the name of the LORD to proclaim and worship Him.
What a beautiful legacy.
Homework assignment for this week:
Scripture Reading: Genesis 5
Suggested Scripture memorization:
“In the day that God created man, He made him in the likeness of God. He created them male and female, and blessed them and called them Mankind in the day they were created.” Genesis 5:1b-2, NKJV
1.Whose genealogy was this?
2.What does this text tell us about God created humanity?
3.How old was Adam when Seth was born?
4.Did Adam have other sons and daughters?
5.How long did Adam live?
6.How old was Seth when Enosh was born?
7.Did Seth have other children?
8.How long did Seth live?
9.How old was Enosh when his wife had Cainan?
10.Are you seeing any pattern? What are the pattern(s)?
11.Did Enosh have more children? At what age did he die?
12.How old was Cainan when he begot Mahaleel? Any more children born to Cainan? How old was Cainan when he died?
13.Mahaleel was how old when Jared was born? Were more children born after Jared? How old was Mahaleel when he died?
14.Who was Jared’s son? How old was Jared at his son’s birth? Were more children born after Jared’s first born?
15.What was Jared’s age at his death?
16.At age 65 Enoch became the father of whom? What does Scripture tell us about Enoch after Methuselah was born? Are any of the previous men in Adam’s lineage described in this way?
17.Other sons and daughters were born to Enoch, but we learn something even more significant about him than just his faithful walk with God. What do we learn about Enoch? Why is this fact so significant?
18.Methuselah becomes a father at what age? What is his son’s name? How long does Methuselah live? Do you know what is significant about his age at his death?
19.Lamech has a son at 182 years of age, what is his son’s name?
20.What does Lamech say specifically about his son’s name? What does this mean?
21.After Noah was born, Lamech has other sons and daughters, at what age does Lamech die?
24.Verse 32 tells us Noah is how old? List the names of his sons.
25.Who was the last great great…. grandson Adam probably knew? (See if you can figure it out.)
For Further Investigation:
Cain and Abel’s Offerings:
Cain and Abel:
Cain was afraid: