Cain Murders Abel
1The man was intimate with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain. She said, “I have had a male child with the Lord’s help.”#4:1 Lit the Lord 2She also gave birth to his brother Abel. Now Abel became a shepherd of flocks, but Cain worked the ground. 3In the course of time Cain presented some of the land’s produce as an offering to the Lord.#Ex 23:19; 34:26; Neh 10:35 4And Abel also presented an offering — some of the firstborn of his flock and their fat portions.#Ex 13:12; Nm 18:17; Pr 3:9 The Lord had regard for Abel and his offering,#Heb 11:4 5but he did not have regard for Cain and his offering. Cain was furious, and he looked despondent.
6Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you furious?#Jnh 4:4 And why do you look despondent? 7If you do what is right, won’t you be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.”#Gn 3:16
8Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.”#4:8 Sam, LXX, Syr, Vg; MT omits “Let’s go out to the field.” And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.#Mt 23:35; Lk 11:51; 1Jn 3:12–15; Jd 11
9Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?”
“I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s guardian?”
10Then he said, “What have you done? Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground!#Nm 35:33; Dt 21:1–9; Heb 12:24; Rv 6:9–10 11So now you are cursed, alienated from the ground that opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood you have shed.#4:11 Lit blood from your hand 12If you work the ground, it will never again give you its yield. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth.”#Dt 28:16–18; Is 26:21
13But Cain answered the Lord, “My punishment#4:13 Or sin is too great to bear! 14Since you are banishing me today from the face of the earth, and I must hide from your presence and become a restless wanderer on the earth, whoever finds me will kill me.”#Nm 35:26–27
15Then the Lord replied to him, “In that case,#4:15 LXX, Syr, Vg read “Not so!” whoever kills Cain will suffer vengeance seven times over.” And he placed a mark#Ex 9:4; Ezk 9:4,6; Rv 13:16–17 on Cain so that whoever found him would not kill him. 16Then Cain went out from the Lord’s presence and lived in the land of Nod,#4:16 Lit Wandering east of Eden.
The Line of Cain
17Cain was intimate with his wife, and she conceived and gave birth to Enoch. Then Cain became the builder of a city, and he named the city Enoch after his son. 18Irad was born to Enoch, Irad fathered Mehujael, Mehujael fathered Methushael, and Methushael fathered Lamech. 19Lamech took two wives for himself, one named Adah and the other named Zillah. 20Adah bore Jabal; he was the first#4:20 Lit father of the nomadic herdsmen. 21His brother was named Jubal; he was the first#4:21 Lit father of all who play the lyre and the flute. 22Zillah bore Tubal-cain, who made all kinds of bronze and iron tools. Tubal-cain’s sister was Naamah.
23Lamech said to his wives:
Adah and Zillah, hear my voice;
wives of Lamech, pay attention to my words.
For I killed a man for wounding me,
a young man for striking me.
24If Cain is to be avenged seven times over,
then for Lamech it will be seventy-seven times!
25Adam was intimate with his wife again, and she gave birth to a son and named him Seth, for she said, “God has given#4:25 The Hb word for given sounds like the name “Seth.” me another offspring#4:25 Lit seed in place of Abel, since Cain killed him.” 26A son was born to Seth#Lk 3:38 also, and he named him Enosh. At that time people began to call on the name of the Lord.#Gn 12:8; 26:25; 1Kg 18:24; Ps 116:17; Jl 2:32; Zph 3:9; 1Co 1:2
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Cain murders Abel
1Adam#4.1 Adam: See the note at 3.20. and Eve had a son. Then Eve said, “I'll name him Cain because I got#4.1 Cain…got: In Hebrew “Cain” sounds like “got”. him with the help of the LORD.” 2Later she had another son and named him Abel.
Abel became a sheep farmer, but Cain farmed the land. 3One day, Cain gave part of his harvest to the LORD, 4and Abel also gave an offering to the LORD. He killed the firstborn lamb from one of his sheep and gave the LORD the best parts of it. The LORD was pleased with Abel and his offering,#He 11.4. 5but not with Cain and his offering. This made Cain so angry that he could not hide his feelings.
6The LORD said to Cain:
What's wrong with you? Why do you have such an angry look on your face? 7If you had done the right thing, you would be smiling.#4.7 you would be smiling: Or “I would have accepted your offering.” But you did the wrong thing, and now sin is waiting to attack you like a lion. Sin wants to destroy you, but don't let it!
8Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let's go for a walk.”#4.8 Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let's…walk.”: Most ancient translations; Hebrew “Cain spoke to his brother Abel.” And when they were out in a field, Cain killed him.#Mt 23.35; Lk 11.51; 1 Jn 3.12.
9Afterwards the LORD asked Cain, “Where is Abel?”
“How should I know?” he answered. “Am I supposed to look after my brother?”
10Then the LORD said:#He 12.24.
Why have you done this terrible thing? You killed your own brother, and his blood flowed on to the ground. Now his blood is calling out for me to punish you. 11And so, I'll put you under a curse. Because you killed Abel and made his blood run out on the ground, you will never be able to farm the land again. 12If you try to farm the land, it won't produce anything for you. From now on, you'll be without a home, and you'll spend the rest of your life wandering from place to place.
13“This punishment is too hard!” Cain said. 14“You're making me leave my home and live far from you.#4.14 live…you: At this time it was believed that the Lord was with his people only in their own land. I will have to wander about without a home, and anyone could kill me.”
15“No!”#4.15 No: Three ancient translations; Hebrew “Very well!” the LORD answered. “Anyone who kills you will be punished seven times worse than I am punishing you.” So the LORD put a mark on Cain to warn everyone not to kill him. 16But Cain had to go far from the LORD and live in the Land of Wandering,#4.16 Wandering: The Hebrew text has “Nod”, which means “wandering”. which is east of Eden.
Descendants of Adam before the flood
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17Later, Cain and his wife had a son named Enoch. At the time Cain was building a town, and so he named it Enoch after his son. 18Then Enoch had a son named Irad, who had a son named Mehujael, who had a son named Methushael, who had a son named Lamech.
19Lamech married Adah, then Zillah. 20-21Lamech and Adah had two sons, Jabal and Jubal. Their son Jabal was the first to live in tents and raise sheep and goats. Jubal was the first to play harps and flutes.
22Lamech and Zillah had a son named Tubal Cain who made tools out of bronze and iron. They also had a daughter, whose name was Naamah.
23One day, Lamech said to his two wives, “A young man wounded me, and I killed him. 24Anyone who tries to get even with me will be punished ten times more than anyone who tries to get even with Cain.”
25Adam and his wife had another son. They named him Seth, because they said, “God has given#4.25 Seth…given: In Hebrew “Seth” sounds like “given”. us a son to take the place of Abel, who was killed by his brother Cain.” 26Later, Seth had a son and named him Enosh.
About this time people started worshipping the LORD.#4.26 worshipping the LORD: Or “worshipping in the name of the LORD.”
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