Genesis 4

Cain and Abel
.1 ¶ And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD.
 2  And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.
.3 ¶ And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD.
.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:
 5  But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.
  1 - Cain Or Qayn. The name in Hebrew could have become qanah which means "to acquire" or "to possess." which describes his character. The name, Nabal, in the time of David meant "fool" which describes the man's character 1sa2525. Also see mr0614, re0301. Cain possessed his own concept of God. Abel cared about the quality of his sacrifice. See he1104 and verse 4 at the left.
  1 - Man from the Lord Literally, "I have received a man, the Lord." She no doubt hoped that this child would be the promised Seed ge0315.
  2 - His brother A "possession" of Cain. Compare verses 8 and 9. Cain also acquired (possessed) a mark v15 and a city. and a wife and a posterity through enoch v17. What did Abel possess? None of these things. He is not even said to be a brother. This is a powerful lesson for us. Our wealth is in heaven , mt0633, mt1626, lu1215-21.
  1&4 - Abel From Hebel meaning "breath, vapor, vanity." The faithful son essentially disappears. As in Ecclesiastes, all seems hopeless ec0102, ec1208. Scholars see a connection between this chapter and the book of Ecclesiastes. Hebel appears 38 times. 
  6 ¶ And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?
.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.
.8 ¶ And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.
  6 - Why ... wroth [angry] ? Adam and Eve certainly sinned but not while cherishing evil in Cain's pattern ge0309-13.
  7 - Lieth at the door The metaphor of a wild beast waiting to jump on its pray. In destroying Abel, Cain would ultimately destroy himself.
.9 ¶ And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper?
.10  And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground.
 11  And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand;
.12  When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.
  9 - Am I my brother's keeper? An excuse that did not impress God. We have been created as social beings as a channel of happiness. We are, indeed, our brother's keeper. Like the neighbor in the story Jesus told, the question comes, "Who is my brother?" And the response, "Anyone who needs my help." lu1029.
.13 ¶ And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment is greater than I can bear.
 14  Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me.
.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.
  13 - Greater than I can bear He was sorry for the consequences but showed no sign of repentance or sorrow for his sin.
  15 - Set a mark ... kill Why would God protect this wicked man? For the same reason He has allowed Satan to live. In order to leave no doubt in the any mind that He, God, was unfair and that things might have been different if the evil ones would have lived on. In the days of the end, Satan will show his full character and no one will doubt God's fairness, although the majority will choose that character. What a wonderful God we serve. We can trust that His promise of a peaceful heaven is real!
Passages referenced often include more than the one verse indicated in the link code.
.16 ¶ And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.
.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.
 18  And unto Enoch was born Irad: and Irad begat Mehujael: and Mehujael begat Methusael: and Methusael begat Lamech.
 19 ¶ And Lamech took unto him two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah.
 20  And Adah bare Jabal: he was the father of such as dwell in tents, and of such as have cattle.
  16 - Out from the presence And never to return as far as we can know. Judas also "went out." jn1330.
  16 - Land of Nod The name means "wandering," "flight," or "exile."
  17 - Cain knew his wife Adam and Eve had many children ge0504. Brothers and sisters would have married in fulfillment of the command to "be fruitful and multiply." See on ac1726. Soon, however, more distant relatives would have been available. We know that marriages of close relatives tend to produce children with more weaknesses. In early times, the human race was strong. Restrictions forbidding close marriages appear in le1806.
  17 - She bare Enoch But we thought Jared, not Cain, was Enoch's father ge0519. This name and Lamech appear in both the genealogy here and the one in chapter 5. This does not mean that they are the same two people. See the note below.
  17 - Builded a city Should read "began to build a city." Building a place where people lived close together offering more peer pressure toward the easy way of sin was contrary to the divine plan ge0128, ge0901.

 21  And his brother's name was Jubal: [See v 20 above] he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ.
.22  And Zillah, she also bare Tubalcain, an instructer of every artificer in brass and iron: and the sister of Tubalcain was Naamah.
 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.
 23  ...  I have slain a man for wounding me, a young man for striking me. (RSV)
.24  If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy and sevenfold.
  23 - Lamech said The meaning of Lamech's statement is unclear. It is in Hebrew poetic form (like ge0127). His comparison to Cain's sin in the next verse indicates that he, like Cain v8, had become angry and committed murder. The fact that he addressed his two wives may imply that he had killed his own sons! Such a sin would have been seventy and seven times the seven of Cain. Both would have "hurt" themselves cutting off part of their own family. 
  The seventy and sevenfold shows bold rebellion against the loving God who had given life and had created the world in six days and had rested on the seventh ge0201, ex2011.
  However we interpret the poem, Moses placed it appropriately in the text. It points to the growth and magnitude of evil. In contrast to this climax, the next verse quotes Eve's exclamation of joy for "another seed." The contrast is also between the implied sorrow and oppression of Adah and Zillah and the happiness of Eve. And the end of this stream of evil and sorrow is in contrast to the end of the genealogy of Seth in Noah who would be a comfort to his parents ge0529.
.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.
.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.
  25 - Seth From shith meaning "to place" or "the appointed one" giving the idea of a substitute. Compare ge2208, 1pe0224.
  25 - Seed Remembering the promise ge0315.
  26 - Call upon the name Indication of more systematic worship. The distinction between the righteous and the wicked was becoming more apparent. For the phrase see ps07906, ps11617, je1025, zp0309.

Repeated names do not mean corrupted genealogies
See verse 17 and the comments about Cain's son, Enoch.

   Enoch and Lamech in this chapter are not the same characters as those with these names in chapter 5. This is a reasonable conclusion in view of the many duplicate names found throughout the OT (Old Testament). We find duplicates in the NT as well. The John who baptized Jesus we call "John the Baptist" to avoid confusing him with the apostle John who, interestingly, recognized the baptizer simply as "John" jn0106. The name "Jesus" mt0121, is a form of "Joshua," a name used for two very prominent OT men of God, the leader who followed Moses nu2718, and the high priest in the time of Zechariah zc0301.
   Also the arrangement of the text argues against the two lists having evolved from an ancient legend. After The account of Cain's killing his brother Abel, in the first of this chapter, the spotlight stays on Cain who leaves and has descendants v16. Then, after the climax of evil in v24, we move back in time to begin the second genealogy, this time listing descendants of Seth.
   Immediately after the list of Seth's descendants, we see the contrast again identifying the two groups, this time as the sons of God and the daughters of men ge0601.
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