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
1And Adam had relations with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain.#4:1 Cain sounds like the Hebrew for acquired or brought forth.
“With the help of the Lord I have brought forth a man,” she said.
2Later she gave birth to Cain’s brother Abel.
Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, while Cain was a tiller of the soil. 3So in the course of time, Cain brought some of the fruit of the soil as an offering to the Lord, 4while Abel brought the best portions of the firstborn of his flock.
And the Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, 5but He had no regard for Cain and his offering. So Cain became very angry, and his countenance fell.
6“Why are you angry,” said the Lord to Cain, “and why has your countenance fallen? 7If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you refuse to do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires you,#4:7 Or it desires to control you but you must master it.”
8Then Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let us go out to the field.” #4:8 SP, LXX, Syriac, and Vulgate; Hebrew Then Cain spoke to his brother Abel. And while they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him.
9And the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?”
“I do not know!” he answered. “Am I my brother’s keeper?”
10“What have you done?” replied the Lord. “The voice of your brother’s blood cries out to Me from the ground. 11Now you are cursed and banished from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. 12When you till the ground, it will no longer yield its produce to you. You will be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth.”
13But Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment #4:13 Or guilt or sin is greater than I can bear. 14Behold, this day You have driven me from the face of the earth, and from Your face I will be hidden; I will be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.”
15“Not so!”#4:15 LXX, Vulgate, and Syriac; Hebrew “Very well!” or “Therefore:” replied the Lord. “If anyone slays Cain, then Cain will be avenged sevenfold.” And the Lord placed a mark on Cain, so that no one who found him would kill him.
16So Cain went out from the presence of the Lord and settled in the land of Nod,#4:16 Nod means wandering. east of Eden.
The Descendants of Cain
17And Cain had relations with his wife, and she conceived and gave birth to Enoch. Then Cain built a city and named it after his son Enoch.
18Now to Enoch was born Irad, and Irad was the father of Mehujael, and Mehujael was the father of Methusael, and Methusael was the father of Lamech. 19And Lamech married two women, one named Adah and the other Zillah.
20Adah gave birth to Jabal; he was the father of those who dwell in tents and raise livestock. 21And his brother’s name was Jubal; he was the father of all who play the harp and flute.
22And Zillah gave birth to Tubal-cain, a forger of every implement of bronze and iron. And the sister of Tubal-cain was Naamah.
23Then Lamech said to his wives:
“Adah and Zillah, hear my voice;
wives of Lamech, listen to my speech.
For I have slain a man for wounding me,
a young man for striking me.
24If Cain is avenged sevenfold,
then Lamech seventy-sevenfold.”#4:24 Hebrew; LXX can be translated as either seventy times seven or seventy-sevenfold; see also Matthew 18:22.
Seth and Enosh
25And Adam again had relations with his wife, and she gave birth to a son and named him Seth,#4:25 Seth probably means granted or appointed. saying, “God has granted me another seed in place of Abel, since Cain killed him.”
26And to Seth also a son was born, and he called him Enosh.
At that time men began to call upon #4:26 Or to proclaim; some translators to invoke or to call themselves by or to profane the name of the Lord.
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