Genesis 4:22

22 Zillah also had a son, Tubal-Cain, who forged all kinds of tools out of[a] bronze and iron. Tubal-Cain’s sister was Naamah.

Genesis 4:22 in Other Translations

22 And Zillah, she also bare Tubalcain, an instructer of every artificer in brass and iron: and the sister of Tubalcain was Naamah.
22 Zillah also bore Tubal-cain; he was the forger of all instruments of bronze and iron. The sister of Tubal-cain was Naamah.
22 Lamech’s other wife, Zillah, gave birth to a son named Tubal-cain. He became an expert in forging tools of bronze and iron. Tubal-cain had a sister named Naamah.
22 Zillah gave birth to Tubal-Cain, who worked at the forge making bronze and iron tools. Tubal-Cain's sister was Naamah.
22 Zillah bore Tubal-cain, who made all kinds of bronze and iron tools. Tubal-cain's sister was Naamah.

Genesis 4:22 Meaning and Commentary

Genesis 4:22

And Zillah, she also bare Tubalcain
Thought by many to be the same with Vulcan, his name and business agreeing; for the names are near in sound, Tubalcain may easily pass into Vulcan; and who, with the Heathens, was the god of the smiths, and the maker of Jupiter's thunderbolts, as this was an artificer in iron and brass, as follows: his name is compounded of two words, the latter of which was no doubt put into his name in memory of Cain his great ancestor; the former Josephus F21 reads Thobel, and says of him, that he exceeded all in strength, and had great skill in military affairs:

an instructor of every artificer in brass and iron;
he taught men the way of melting metals, and of making armour and weapons of war, and other instruments, for various uses, out of them; and he seems to be the same with the Chrysor of Sanchoniatho; for he says F23 of them (Agreus and Halieus) were begotten two brothers, the inventors of iron, and of working of it: one of these, called Chrysor, is said to be Hephaestus or Vulcan; and Chrysor, as Bochartus F24 seems rightly to conjecture, is (rwa-vrx) , "Choresh-Ur, a worker in fire"; that, by means of fire, melted metals, and cast them into different forms, and for different uses; and one of these words is used in the text of Tubalcain; and so, according to Diodorus Siculus F25, Vulcan signifies fire, and was not only the inventor of fire, but he says he was the inventor of all works in iron, brass, gold, and silver, and of all other things wrought by fire, and of all other uses of fire, both by artificers and all other men, and therefore he was called by all (pur) , "fire". Clemens of Alexandria F26 ascribes the invention of brass and iron to the Idaeans or priests of Cybele in Cyprus; and so Sophocles in Strabo F1:

and the sister of Tubalcain was Naamah;
whose name signifies "pleasant", fair and beautiful; and is thought by some to be the Venus of the Heathens; the Arabic writers F2 say she was a most beautiful woman, and found out colours and painting; and by others Minerva; and Josephus F3 says she excelled in the knowledge of divine things; and Minerva is by the Greeks called Nemanoum F4. The Jews say F5 she was the wife of Noah; and some of them say F6 she was the wife of one Shimron, and the mother of the evil spirit Asmodeus, mentioned in Tobit, and of whom other demons were begotten: the Targuru of Jonathan adds,

``she was the mistress of lamentation and songs;''

but our Bishop Cumberland F7 conjectures, that she was the wife of Ham, was with him in the ark, and after the flood was the means of leading him into idolatry: what led him to this conjecture was, that he observed in Plutarch, that the wife of Cronus, the same with Ham, is by some called Nemaus, which brought Naamah to his mind. Josephus F8 makes the number of children Lamech had by his two wives to be seventy seven.


F21 Antiqu. l. 1. c. 2. sect. 2.
F23 Ut supra. (Apud Euseb. Praepar. Evangel. l. 1. p. 35.)
F24 Canaan, l. 2. c. 2. col. 706.
F25 Bibliothec. l. 1. p. 11, 13. & l. 5. p. 341.
F26 Stromat. l. 1. p. 307. Vid. Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 34. c. 1, 2.
F1 Geograph. l. 10. p. 326.
F2 Elmacinus, p. 8. apud Hottinger. Smegma Oriental. l. 1. C. 8. p. 232.
F3 Antiqu. l. 1. c. 2. sect. 2.
F4 Plutarch. de Jide.
F5 Bereshit Rabba, sect. 23. fol. 20. 3. Jarchi in loc. Shalshalet Hakabala, fol. 1. 2.
F6 R. Elias Levita in Tishbi, fol. 19, 21.
F7 History of Sanchoniatho, p. 107.
F8 Antiqu. l. 1. c. 2. sect. 2.

Genesis 4:22 In-Context

20 Adah gave birth to Jabal; he was the father of those who live in tents and raise livestock.
21 His brother’s name was Jubal; he was the father of all who play stringed instruments and pipes.
22 Zillah also had a son, Tubal-Cain, who forged all kinds of tools out of bronze and iron. Tubal-Cain’s sister was Naamah.
23 Lamech said to his wives, “Adah and Zillah, listen to me; wives of Lamech, hear my words. I have killed a man for wounding me, a young man for injuring me.
24 If Cain is avenged seven times, then Lamech seventy-seven times.”

Cross References 1

  • 1. Exodus 35:35; 1 Samuel 13:19; 2 Kings 24:14

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Or "who instructed all who work in"
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