Genesis Chapter 4 Continued
Genesis 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”, an unknown location.
This portrays the direction of fallen and unsaved humanity into exile from God, without hope in the world, “wandering aimlessly” about.
This was the only mention of Nod in the Bible. The Bible is not very informative about Nod. I do know that to be in the presence of God, and be sent forth away from Him would have to be very close to hell. The only physical description we have of this place is that it was on the east of Eden.
Genesis 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.”
“Cain knew his wife”: Cain’s wife obviously was one of Adam’s later daughters (5:4). By Moses’ time, this kind of close marriage was forbidden (Lev. 18:7-17), because of genetic decay.
“Enoch”: His name means “initiation,” and was symbolic of the new city where Cain would try to mitigate his curse.
You could relate Cain’s being sent away from the presence of God with someone who has been removed from the church; sent out into the world. God had banished Cain to a life of wandering. Cain decides not to wander, but to settle down and build a city.
Cain’s wife was there to comfort him. She bore him a son in exile. It seems Cain was interested in making a name for himself here on the earth, since in all probability, he assumed he would have no future in heaven.
There are some very strange similarities in the names of the sons of Cain and the sons of Seth. If you will look with me at the line of names in chapter 4, the genealogy reads thus: Adam, Cain, Enoch, Irad, Mehujael, Mathusael, and Lamech.
In chapter 5, the genealogy of Seth is: Adam, Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahalaleel, Jared, Enoch, Methuselah, and Lamech. These names are so similar, if we are not careful we will confuse the two. The only explanation, that I can find, is that they named their children similar names.
As we look at Cain’s children in the verses that follow, it seems none of his ancestors walked closely with God.
Genesis 4:18 “And unto Enoch was born Irad: and Irad begat Mehujael: and Mehujael begat Methusael: and Methusael begat Lamech.”
This was undoubtedly not the Enoch who was the 7th from Adam through Seth. This Enoch here seemed to be the ancestor of some earthly controlled people, as we will see in the following verses.
Genesis 4:19 “And Lamech took unto him two wives: the name of the one [was] Adah, and the name of the other Zillah.”
“Two wives”: No reason is given on Lamech’s part for the first recorded instance of bigamy. He led the Cainites in open rebellion against God (2:24), by his violation of marriage law.
Genesis 4:20 “And Adah bare Jabal: he was the father of such as dwell in tents, and [of such as have] cattle.”
“Jabal”: He invented tents and the nomadic life of herdsmen so common in the Middle East and elsewhere.
You can see here the wanderer that God told Cain he would be.
Genesis 4:21 “And his brother’s name [was] Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ.”
“Jubal”: He invented both stringed and wind instruments.
Many Christians say music should not be played in the church because Jubal was not a good man. We must look to David (who was the beloved of God) to know that music is not only permissible, but desirable in church.
Genesis 4:22 “And Zillah, she also bare Tubal-cain, an instructor of every artificer in brass and iron: and the sister of Tubal-cain [was] Naamah.”
“Tubal-cain”: He invented metallurgy.
As I said before, this family of Cain was turned toward things of the world, and Tubal-cain was no exception. This family, feeling estranged from God, was really caught up in fulfilling life in this world, without looking for an everlasting life in heaven.
The spirit of Cain was a spirit of rebellion against God (worldliness). He was leaving out the spiritual and the divine to please the carnal.
Verses 23-24: Lamech killed someone in self-defense. He told his wives that they need not fear any harm coming to them for the killing because if anyone tried to retaliate, he would retaliate and kill them. He thought that if God promised 7-fold vengeance on anyone killing Cain, He would give 77-fold vengeance on anyone attacking Lamech.
Genesis 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.”
“Lamech said”: These verses express the culmination of centuries of ungodly living among the descendants of Cain. Cain had desired to establish a name for himself (6:4; 10:9; 11:4); he built a city and named it after his son. His descendants were involved in polygamy, as well as purely humanitarian pursuits.
Now Lamech had taken the law into his own hands and had killed someone in revenge. The judicial office had degenerated into a vengeful tyranny in this heir of the dynasty’s murderous founder.
The song expresses Lamech’s overweening pride and his refusal and disdain for customary retribution is skillfully reinforced by the poet through a clever manipulation of poetic convention by which a smaller is placed before a large one in parallel structure for distinct emphasis.
This sets the background for why God sends the flood in chapters 6 to 9, where He says “violence” fills the earth (6:13).
You see. Lamech was following in the footsteps of his ancestor Cain. Selfishness, greed, and worldliness cause a person to commit all types of sin.
Dual marriages, and even murder, as we see here from Lamech, occur when a person is interested in fulfilling lust of the flesh. Not regarding God or the future life, living only for the here and now, could be the basic cause of murder.
Genesis 4:24 “If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy and sevenfold.”
Lamech was calling his own protection here, not the protection of God.
In all of Cain’s descendants, Moses did not go into detail about their lives. It is as if their lives were so selfish and hideous that he wanted to forget them as quickly as possible. In the next chapter, we will read about men with the very same names, who are godly descendants of Adam through Seth.
We will also see in their genealogy that Moses told of their length of days, as well as their pleasing God. A good tree produces good fruit, but an evil tree produces evil fruit, Cain was evil; Seth pleased God.
Genesis 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”: With Cain removed as the older brother and heir of the family blessing, and with Abel dead, God graciously gave Adam and Eve a godly son through whom the seed of redemption (3:15), would be passed all the way to Jesus Christ (Luke 3:38).
Against this dark picture of man apart from God, there is a brief testimony that God has a remnant of people who are trusting Him.
“Knew”: Compare the use of this word in verse 1 with the meaning of “Appointed.” Seth’s name in Hebrew is pronounced “shet”; for God “appointed (“shat”) him, a play on words. Eve is acknowledging that God has provided a son in the place of the slain Abel.
The name “Seth” means set, placed, or appointed. God had appointed a gift of love to Adam and Eve to soften the hurt of the loss of Abel. Eve recognized God’s work in replacing Abel with Seth. Through this son, the promise of the deliver would come. She would believe this was the appointed one given to her from God to comfort her.
Genesis 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”: The word comes from the word for man which means “weak” or “sickly,” denoting man’s frailty. It is translated “desperately wicked” in reference to the heart of man (Jer. 17:19).
“Call upon the name of the LORD”: As men realized their inherent sinfulness with no human means to appease God’s righteous indignation and wrath over their multiplied iniquities, they turned to God for mercy and grace in hopes of a restored personal relationship.
This is a testimony that the religious worship of the community of faith was organized from their public worship of God, together (verses 2-4, indicating individual worship too).
And it is significant that they know the name of Yahweh (Lord), before the events of (Exodus 6:3). The liberal interpretation says they learned the name for the first time during the Exodus period.
The nature of mankind is to worship. The nature of mankind tells us there is a supreme being to worship.
Prayer is talking to God. It is natural to look up and try to communicate with the Supreme Being. Everyone has void in their lives until they can fill that void with God. Men try to attain great wealth and power, thinking this will fill their need, but they are just as empty after they have attained wealth or power as they were before.
Mankind has an inner need to worship. You may go to the jungle where the cannibals live, and you will find, that in their own primitive way, they are trying to find God to worship. Even presidents and kings, that seem to have everything anyone could want, are still empty within, until they come to have a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
In our society today, our young people are searching for something real. Most of them that fall into the trap of false religion are truly searching for God. They are just looking in the wrong places.
Most of these false religions require great sacrifice (which the young are willing to do in search for the supreme being). If we can just introduce them to Jesus quick enough, they can fill the void in their lives with Jesus Christ. Nothing else will satisfy.
This third generation from Adam was an early beginning for man’s search for God and eternal life. God searched for man in Adam’s time. This is the first instance of man seeking God.
Genesis Chapter 4 Continued Questions
1. When Cain left the presence of the Lord, where did he dwell?
2. In relation to Eden, where was it?
3. To be out of the presence of God is to be close to where?
4. What was Cain’s son’s name?
5. What was the name of the city Cain built?
6. In verse 18, who was Enoch’s son?
7. Adah bare whom?
8. Jubal did what for a living?
9. Who was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ?
10. Who was the mother of Tubal-cain?
11. The spirit of Cain was a spirit of what?
12. What were the names of Lamech’s wives?
13. What sin did Lamech commit that his ancestor Cain committed?
14. What three things cause a person to commit all types of sin?
15. In verse 24, if Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech how many?
16. The wicked descendants started with whom?
17. What was the name of the son, God gave Eve to replace Abel?
18. What was the name of his son?
19. The nature of mankind is to what?
20. Prayer is what?
21. When did man begin to call on the name of the Lord?
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