Cain and Abel
1Adam had sex with his wife, Eve. She became pregnant. She gave birth to Cain. She said, ‘With the Lord's help, I have given birth to a son.’ #4:1 Eve knew that God has authority over life and death.
2Some time later, Eve gave birth to Cain's brother. She called him Abel. When they had grown to become men, Abel took care of sheep. Cain worked on the land as a farmer.
3One day, it was time for the harvest. Cain brought to the Lord some of his crops as an offering. 4But Abel brought to God some of the first lambs that his sheep had given birth to. He brought pieces of fat from the best of his lambs to offer them to God. Abel and his gift pleased the Lord. #4:4 Abel chose the firstborn young animals to give to God. He killed them, and then he gave God the fat pieces. This is the best part of the meat from the animal. 5But God was not pleased with Cain and his gift. So Cain became very angry. His face looked sad. #4:5 Cain was angry because God was not happy with him and his gift. Cain did not try to learn what God really wanted as a gift. Instead, Cain showed God that he was angry.
6Then the Lord said to Cain, ‘Why are you angry? Why do you look sad? 7If you do what is right, I will accept you. But if you do not do the right thing, sin will be very near to you. It will be like a wild animal at your door that is ready to eat you. But you must become its master.’ #4:7 God told Cain that, if he continued to do wrong things, sin would destroy him. God told Cain that he must turn away from his sins. Then he would accept Cain.
Cain kills Abel
8One day Cain said to his brother Abel, ‘We should go out to the fields.’ While they were in the fields, Cain attacked his brother Abel. He killed Abel.
9Then the Lord said to Cain, ‘Where is Abel, your brother?’ Cain replied, ‘I do not know where he is. Must I always keep my brother safe?’
10Then the Lord God said, ‘Why have you done this bad thing? Now your brother's blood is lying there on the ground. That is like his voice which is shouting to me for help. 11The ground received your brother's blood when you killed him. As a result, the ground no longer accepts you. It has brought a curse on you. 12When you work hard to dig the ground, no plants will grow in it for your food. You will travel from place to place. You will not have your own home.’ #4:12 God's question to Cain is like the question that he asked Adam and Eve. That was when they hid in the garden. God knew that Cain had killed Abel. He wanted Cain to say that he is sorry. But Cain was not sorry that he had killed his brother.
13Cain said to the Lord, ‘That punishment is too much! It will give me too much pain. 14Now you are making me leave my home here on the land. I will be far away from where you are. I will be a traveller without a home. If someone sees me, they will kill me.’
15But the Lord said to Cain, ‘No! If anyone kills Cain, I will punish that person seven times more than I have punished you.’
Then the Lord put a special mark on Cain. This was to tell other people that they must not kill Cain.
16Cain went away from the Lord. He went to live in the land called Nod, which is east of Eden.
The descendants of Cain
17Cain had sex with his wife. She became pregnant and she gave birth to Enoch. Cain started to build a city. He called the city Enoch because that was his son's name. 18Enoch became the father of Irad. Irad became the father of Mehujael. Mehujael became the father of Methushael. Methushael became the father of Lamech.
19Lamech married two women. One was called Adah. The other was called Zillah. 20Adah gave birth to Jabal. Jabal became the father of people who live in tents and they take care of animals.
21Jabal had a brother called Jubal. Jubal became the father of people who make music with harps and flutes.
22Zillah gave birth to a son. His name was Tubal-Cain. He used bronze and iron to make tools. Tubal-Cain had a sister. Her name was Naamah.
23Lamech said to his two wives,
‘Adah and Zillah, listen to me!
My wives, hear my words!
A man attacked me, so I killed him.
Yes, I killed a young man because he hurt me.
24If someone kills Cain, God will punish that person seven times more.
But if someone attacks me, I will punish that person 77 times more!’ #4:24 Lamech is proud because he killed the young man. He wants to tell people what he has done. He does not think that he has done anything wrong. This shows that sin has become much worse in the world.
The birth of Seth
25Adam again had sex with his wife, Eve. She gave birth to another son. She called him Seth. Eve said, ‘God has given me another child to take the place of Abel, because Cain killed Abel.’ 26Later Seth had a son and he called him Enosh.
At that time, people began to use the name of the Lord to worship him.
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Cain and Abel
1Adam#4:1 Or The man made love to his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain.#4:1 Cain sounds like the Hebrew for brought forth or acquired. She said, ‘With the help of the Lord I have brought forth#4:1 Or have acquired a man.’ 2Later she gave birth to his brother Abel.
Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. 3In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. 4But Abel also brought an offering – fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favour on Abel and his offering, 5but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favour. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.
6Then the Lord said to Cain, ‘Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.’
8Now Cain said to his brother Abel, ‘Let’s go out to the field.’#4:8 Samaritan Pentateuch, Septuagint, Vulgate and Syriac; Masoretic Text does not have ‘Let’s go out to the field.’ While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.
9Then the Lord said to Cain, ‘Where is your brother Abel?’
‘I don’t know,’ he replied. ‘Am I my brother’s keeper?’
10The Lord said, ‘What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground. 11Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. 12When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth.’
13Cain said to the Lord, ‘My punishment is more than I can bear. 14Today you are driving me from the land, and I will be hidden from your presence; I will be a restless wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.’
15But the Lord said to him, ‘Not so#4:15 Septuagint, Vulgate and Syriac; Hebrew Very well; anyone who kills Cain will suffer vengeance seven times over.’ Then the Lord put a mark on Cain so that no-one who found him would kill him. 16So Cain went out from the Lord’s presence and lived in the land of Nod,#4:16 Nod means wandering (see verses 12 and 14). east of Eden.
17Cain made love to his wife, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Enoch. Cain was then building a city, and he named it after his son Enoch. 18To Enoch was born Irad, and Irad was the father of Mehujael, and Mehujael was the father of Methushael, and Methushael was the father of Lamech.
19Lamech married two women, one named Adah and the other Zillah. 20Adah gave birth to Jabal; he was the father of those who live in tents and raise livestock. 21His brother’s name was Jubal; he was the father of all who play stringed instruments and pipes. 22Zillah also had a son, Tubal-Cain, who forged all kinds of tools out of#4:22 Or who instructed all who work in bronze and iron. Tubal-Cain’s sister was Naamah.
23Lamech said to his wives,
‘Adah and Zillah, listen to me;
wives of Lamech, hear my words.
I have killed a man for wounding me,
a young man for injuring me.
24If Cain is avenged seven times,
then Lamech seventy-seven times.’
25Adam made love to his wife again, and she gave birth to a son and named him Seth,#4:25 Seth probably means granted. saying, ‘God has granted me another child in place of Abel, since Cain killed him.’ 26Seth also had a son, and he named him Enosh.
At that time people began to call on#4:26 Or to proclaim the name of the Lord.
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