Genesis 4

Chapter 4

4:1  And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD.

Cain

Cain ("acquisition") is a type of the mere man of the earth. His religion was destitute of any adequate sense of sin, or need of atonement. This religious type is described in 2Pe 2. Seven things are said of him:

(1) he worships in self-will (2) is angry with God (3) refuses to bring a sin offering (4) murders his brother (5) lies to God (6) becomes a vagabond (7) is, nevertheless, the object of the divine solicitude.

4:2  And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.

Abel

Abel ("exhalation," or, "that which ascends") is a type of the spiritual man. His sacrifice, in which atoning blood was shed Hebrews 9:22 was therefore at once his confession of sin and the expression of his faith in the interposition of a substitute Hebrews 11:4

4:3  And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD.

Cain

Cain ("acquisition") is a type of the mere man of the earth. His religion was destitute of any adequate sense of sin, or need of atonement. This religious type is described in 2Pe 2. Seven things are said of him:

(1) he worships in self-will

(2) is angry with God

(3) refuses to bring a sin offering

(4) murders his brother

(5) lies to God

(6) becomes a vagabond

(7) is, nevertheless, the object of the divine solicitude.

4:4  And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering:

Abel

Abel ("exhalation," or, "that which ascends") is a type of the spiritual man. His sacrifice, in which atoning blood was shed Hebrews 9:22 was therefore at once his confession of sin and the expression of his faith in the interposition of a substitute Hebrews 11:4 .

flock

Type of Christ, the Lamb of God, the most constant type of the suffering Messiah--"the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world" John 1:29 .

A lamb fitly symbolizes the unresisting innocency and harmlessness of the Lord Jesus Isaiah 53:7 ; Luke 23:9 ; Matthew 26:53 Matthew 26:54 . This type is brought into prominence by contrast with Cain's bloodless offering of the fruit of his own works, and proclaims, in the very infancy of the race, the primal truth that "without shedding of blood is no remission" ; Hebrews 9:22 ; 11:4 .

4:7  If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted ? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.

sin

Or, sin-offering. In Hebrew the same word is used for "sin," and "sin- offering," thus emphasizing in a remarkable way the complete identification of the believer's sin with his sin offering (cf) John 3:14 ; 2 Corinthians 5:21 .

Here both meanings are brought together. "Sin lieth at the door," but so also "a sin-offering croucheth at the tent door." It is "where sin abounded" that "grace did much more abound" Romans 5:20 .

Abel's offering implies a previous instruction (cf) Genesis 3:21 for it was "by faith" Hebrews 11:4 and faith is taking God at His word; so that Cain's unbloody offering was a refusal of the divine way. But Jehovah made a last appeal to Cain Genesis 4:7 even yet to bring the required offering.

4:15  And the LORD said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the LORD set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him.

mark

i.e. for Cain's protection. The law of Genesis 9:6 was not yet enacted.

4:16  And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.

Nod

Lit. wandering.

4:17  And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch: and he builded a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son, Enoch.

builded a city

The first civilization, that which perished in the judgment of the Flood, was Cainitic in origin, character, and destiny. Every element of material civilization is mentioned in verses Genesis 4:16-22, city and pastoral life, and the development of arts and manufactures. Enoch, after whom the first city was named, means "teacher." The el termination of the names of Enoch's son and grandson shows that for a time the knowledge of Elohim was preserved, but this soon disappears Romans 1:21-23 . Adah means "pleasure," or "adornment"; Zillah, to "hide"; Lamech, "conqueror," or "wild man." (Cf) Romans 1:21-25 . (See Scofield "Genesis 6:4") . The Cainitic civilization may have been as splendid as that of Greece or Rome, but the divine judgment is according to the moral state, not the material. Genesis 6:5-7 .

4:23  And Lamech said unto his wives, Adah and Zillah, Hear my voice; ye wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech: for I have slain a man to my wounding, and a young man to my hurt.

to my wounding

Or, who wounded me. Cain had slain an unoffending man and yet was protected by Jehovah; how much more Lamech, who had slain in self-defence.

4:25  And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth: For God, said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew.

Seth

i.e. Sheth = appointed.

4:26  And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the LORD.

Enos i.e. mortal.

call upon the name Or, call themselves by the name of Jehovah. Contra. Genesis 12:8 ; 26:25 .

Read Genesis 4