Genesis 4:16

16 Then Cain went away from the presence of the LORD and settled in the land of Nod,[a] east of Eden.

Genesis 4:16 Meaning and Commentary

Genesis 4:16

And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord
Either from the place where the Lord was talking with him; or from the place where his glorious Majesty usually resided, where was some visible token of his presence, some stream of light and glory which showed him to be there, and which was at the east of the garden of Eden; from whence Cain was obliged to go, not being suffered to appear any more before God, or among his worshippers: there was a place near Tripoli in Syria, near where Mount Lebanon ends, called (proswpon tou yeou) , "the face of God", made mention of by Polybius {e}, and Strabo F6: and was near those parts where some place the garden of Eden; and it is possible might have its name from some tradition that this was the place where the face of God was seen, or his presence enjoyed by our first parents after their ejection from Eden, and from whence Cain went forth:

and dwelt in the land of Nod;
so called, not before he went there, but from his wandering up and down in it; continuing in no one place in it, as well as his mind was restless and uneasy; Jarchi mentions another reason of its name, that in every place where he went the earth shook under him, and men said, Depart from him, this is he that slew his brother:

on the east of Eden;
further east from the place where his father Adam and his other children dwelt; not being allowed to continue any longer with them, or converse with them, after he had been guilty of so horrid a crime.


F5 Hist. l. 5. p. 260.
F6 Geograph. l. 16. p. 519.

Genesis 4:16 In-Context

14 Behold, you have driven me today away from the ground, and from your face I shall be hidden. I shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me."
15 Then the LORD said to him, "Not so! If anyone kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold." And the LORD put a mark on Cain, lest any who found him should attack him.
16 Then Cain went away from the presence of the LORD and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden.
17 Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch. When he built a city, he called the name of the city after the name of his son, Enoch.
18 To Enoch was born Irad, and Irad fathered Mehujael, and Mehujael fathered Methushael, and Methushael fathered Lamech.

Footnotes 1

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.