Genesis 4

Cain Murders Abel

1 Adam knew his wife Eve intimately, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain. She said, "I have had a male child with the Lord's help."[a]
2 Then she also gave birth to his brother Abel. Now Abel became a shepherd of a flock, but Cain cultivated the land.
3 In the course of time Cain presented some of the land's produce as an offering to the Lord.[b]
4 And Abel also presented [an offering]-some of the firstborn of his flock and their fat portions. The Lord had regard for Abel and his offering,
5 but He did not have regard for Cain and his offering. Cain was furious, and he was downcast.[c]
6 Then the Lord said to Cain, "Why are you furious? And why are you downcast?[d]
7 If you do right, won't you be accepted? But if you do not do right, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must master it."
8 Cain said to his brother Abel, "Let's go out to the field."[e] And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.
9 Then the Lord said to Cain, "Where is your brother Abel?" "I don't know," he replied. "Am I my brother's guardian?"
10 Then He said, "What have you done? Your brother's blood cries out to Me from the ground!
11 So now you are cursed [with alienation] from the ground that opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood you have shed.[f]
12 If you work the land, it will never again give you its yield. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth."[g]
13 But Cain answered the Lord, "My punishment[h] is too great to bear!
14 Since You are banishing me today from the soil, and I must hide myself from Your presence and become a restless wanderer on the earth, whoever finds me will kill me."[i]
15 Then the Lord replied to him, "In that case,[j] whoever kills Cain will suffer vengeance seven times over."[k] And He placed a mark[l] on Cain so that whoever found him would not kill him.
16 Then Cain went out from the Lord's presence and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden.

The Line of Cain

17 Cain knew his wife intimately, 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.
18 Irad was born to Enoch, Irad fathered Mehujael, Mehujael fathered Methushael, and Methushael fathered Lamech.
19 Lamech took two wives for himself, one named Adah and the other named Zillah.
20 Adah bore Jabal; he was the father of the nomadic herdsmen.[m]
21 His brother was named Jubal; he was the father of all who play the lyre and the flute.
22 Zillah bore Tubal-cain, who made all kinds of bronze and iron tools. Tubal-cain's sister was Naamah.
23 Lamech 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 boy for striking me.
24 If Cain is to be avenged seven times over, then for Lamech it will be seventy-seven times!
25 Adam knew his wife intimately again, and she gave birth to a son and named him Seth, for [she said,] "God has given[n] me another child in place of Abel, since Cain killed him."
26 A son was born to Seth also, and he named him Enosh. At that time people began to call on the name of[o] the Lord.

Images for Genesis 4

Footnotes 15

  • [a]. Lit the Lord
  • [b]. Ex 23:19; 34:26; Neh 10:35
  • [c]. Lit and his face fell
  • [d]. Lit why has your face fallen
  • [e]. Sam, LXX, Syr, Vg; MT omits Let's go out to the field
  • [f]. Lit blood from your hand
  • [g]. Dt 28:16-18; Isa 26:21
  • [h]. Or sin
  • [i]. Nm 35:26-27
  • [j]. LXX, Syr, Vg read Not so!
  • [k]. Or suffer severely
  • [l]. Ex 9:4; Rv 13:16-17
  • [m]. Lit the dweller of tent and livestock
  • [n]. The Hb word translated given sounds like the name Seth.
  • [o]. Or to worship, or to proclaim or invoke the name of

Genesis 4 Commentaries

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