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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The First Family
1Adam had sexual relations with his wife Eve. She became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Cain.#4:1 Cain This name is like the Hebrew word meaning “make” or “get.” Eve said, “With the Lord’s help, I have made a man!”
2Eve gave birth again to Cain’s brother Abel. Abel became a shepherd, and Cain became a farmer.
The First Murder
3-4At harvest time,#4:3-4 At harvest time Literally, “at the end of days.” Cain brought a gift to the Lord. He brought some of the food that he grew from the ground, but Abel brought some animals from his flock. He chose some of his best sheep and brought the best parts from them.#4:3-4 He chose … from them Literally, “He brought some of his firstborn sheep, especially their fat.”
The Lord accepted Abel and his gift. 5But he did not accept Cain and his offering. Cain was sad because of this, and he became very angry. 6The Lord asked Cain, “Why are you angry? Why does your face look sad? 7You know that if you do what is right, I will accept you. But if you don’t, sin is ready to attack you. That sin will want to control you, but you must control it.”#4:7 But if you … control it Or “But if you don’t do right, sin is crouching at your door. It wants you, but you must rule over it.”
8Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.”#4:8 Let’s go … field This sentence is found in the ancient versions but not in the standard Hebrew text. So they went to the field. Then Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.
9Later, the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?”
Cain answered, “I don’t know. Is it my job to watch over my brother?”
10-11Then the Lord said, “What have you done? You killed your brother and the ground opened up to take his blood from your hands. Now his blood is shouting to me from the ground. So you will be cursed from this ground. 12Now when you work the soil, the ground will not help your plants grow. You will not have a home in this land. You will wander from place to place.”
13Then Cain said to the Lord, “This punishment is more than I can bear! 14You are forcing me to leave the land, and I will not be able to be near you or have a home! Now I must wander from place to place, and anyone I meet could kill me.”
15Then the Lord said to Cain, “No, if anyone kills you, I will punish that person much, much more.” Then the Lord put a mark on Cain to show that no one should kill him.
16Cain went away from the Lord and lived in the land of Nod.#4:16 Nod This name means “wandering.”
17Cain had sexual relations with his wife. She became pregnant and gave birth to a son named Enoch. Cain built a city and gave the city the same name as his son Enoch.
18Enoch had a son named Irad. Irad had a son named Mehujael. Mehujael had a son named Methushael. And Methushael had a son named Lamech.
19Lamech married two women. One wife was named Adah, and the other was named Zillah. 20Adah gave birth to Jabal. Jabal was the father#4:20 father This probably means that this man invented these things or was the first one to use them. of people who live in tents and earn their living by keeping cattle. 21Jabal was Jubal’s brother. Jubal was the father of people who play the harp and flute. 22Zillah gave birth to Tubal-Cain. Tubal-Cain was the father of people who work with bronze and iron. The sister of Tubal-Cain was named Naamah.
23Lamech said to his wives,
“Adah and Zillah, hear my voice!
You wives of Lamech, listen to me.
A man hurt me, so I killed him.
I even killed a child for hitting me.
24The punishment for killing Cain was very bad.
But the punishment for killing me will be many times worse!”
Adam and Eve Have a New Son
25Adam again had sexual relations with his wife, and she gave birth to another son. She named him Seth.#4:25 Seth This is like a Hebrew word meaning “to give.” Eve said, “God has given me another son. Cain killed Abel, but now I have Seth.” 26Seth also had a son. He named him Enosh. At that time people began to pray to the Lord.#4:26 people … the Lord Literally, “people began calling on the name YAHWEH.”
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