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“What hast thou done?”

In previous studies we have looked at a vital matter – the very existence of God. (We are often asked – where did God come from? This is a futile question, for God has always been and no man can answer the question. Those who laugh at this may as well shut up, for everything must have a beginning… except God. If He had a beginning, this would show us that something or someone preceded Him! And so the question carries on ad infinitum! The question also ignores the fact that His very name, Jehovah, means ‘self-existing One’.).

As Jewish scholars say, “The concept of prayer is based on the conviction that God exists, hears, and answers.” They add “In a sense it is a corollary… that man was created ‘in the image of God’, which implies, inter alia, fellowship with God.” I would emphasise that without a full acceptance of the very existence of God, none of us has a faith at all. And none of us can function properly as Believers. I again ask – do YOU believe God actually exists? If you DO, then why do you not obey Him?

If we do not believe in the actual existence of God, a personal God Who responds and interacts with us, then our belief is merely a notion, a vague idea. Just as some are ‘in love with the idea of love’, so some ‘believe God’ in a romantic or vague way. Arminianists have this vagueness that is not based on actual belief. That is why they allow their emotions to rule Biblical precept, by saying that all men may be saved and can choose Christ as Saviour if they so wish. They cannot tolerate the fact that God is above and beyond all human understanding. He only gives us partial understanding suitable for our finite minds to take in.

Such men cannot accept that God would deliberately choose some to heaven and the rest to damnation. But, that is what scripture tells us, and I believe it. I may not like it at times, but it is what God says. And not to accept what God says is an admission of not believing in His existence, for if Arminianists truly believed God exists, they would not tamper with His word or deny what He has plainly said. This is because God is not just a God of love – He is a God of wrath, a wrath so terrible as to make all men quake and fall in fear! (“God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?” Numbers 23:19)

Where is this rightful fear in Arminianists? They do not have it, because they think they can make God do their bidding. And this is only possible by not believing in a factual God.

This may be so today, but in the days of Adam and Eve belief in God was tangible and real, for God spoke to them directly and had even walked with them. In this text, we also find that God spoke directly to Cain. This directness is missing from modern men’s lives. Not because God does not speak directly, but because men do not truly believe God exists! God’s direct word to us is found in abundance in scripture. Yet. He also speaks to us as individuals, one-to-one, through others, through literature, through circumstances and even – dare I say it to reformed men – in our own hearts and minds.

In my own life I have heard the audible voice of God, twice. Both times I was instructed to do a particular thing I either did not want to do, or thought was impossible. And when I listened and obeyed, the things I thought impossible came about. Reformed Christians refuse to believe these things, but they occur, and have occurred in history. How can I deny what actually happened to me, in my own life? At other times I have had similar contact with God, but ‘in my head’, similar to an all-pervading thought that is almost like an actual voice known through my ears. And I accept these revelations because I believe God actually exists!

God spoke to Cain and though he had sin already in his heart, or at least the propensity for it, he still recognised that God actually existed. He had no option, for his mother and father spoke with God, and God spoke with him. God was as real to Cain as our own families are to us today. Yet, this knowledge and acceptance of a very real God did not stop Cain from committing not just sin, but sin of the worst kind. What this reveals to us is the power of sin. Once we give in to the temptation of sin (giving the notion our time and attention) we fall under its spell and can fall into the darkest of pits known to men.

For the unsaved, sin is a natural and constant companion, even when they do what they consider to be ‘good’. They cannot help sinning, though there are certain barriers to excesses set up by God for the good of all society – law, social conscience, fear of being found out, and so on – and for the good of His people. That is, conscience and society’s laws.

For those who are saved, sin is still ‘natural’ but is entered into only if it is chosen, or when we have a lack of knowledge. Once we know something is sin we must stop it – and only a saved person is able to stop entering into sin. Thus it was with Cain, but he walked the wrong path and suffered the consequences. We see in Cain the embryonic stage of sin. His parents had already sinned, but there is no mention of further enactments. They had been put out of the Garden of Eden. Now, Cain was to be put out from his home.

Sin has consequences, sometimes direct and sometimes not until the end of time. And one sin is not to believe God actually exists. If Adam and Eve, who walked and talked with God, could fall into sin, so can we. If Cain talked with God and communed directly with Him, and yet he still sinned… do not think that we, whose bodies and minds have been affected by millennia of sins and defiance, can easily avoid sin!

Sin is potent and ever present. Satan and his envoys are waiting for every opportunity to cause us to fall. Throughout history he has engineered events and people so that they defy Almighty God. Arminianism belongs to that same category, through unbelief in God’s real existence. It is to be found in abundance in charismaticism, which boasts a belief in the ‘supernatural’, but a ‘supernatural’ not of God. This is yet another form of unbelief in the existence of God.

So, beware what you claim to believe in! If you truly believe in God’s existence you will do everything He has said. Unlike Cain, you will know your own inability to combat evil and will stay close to God’s side. And this action, too, depends on you believing in God’s actual existence. Again, I ask you to think very hard about it – do you truly and honestly believe God exists? Then, do what He says and believe His word. It is the command of Christ, too!

Verses 1&2

  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.”

Hebrew thinkers acknowledge that this chapter is very much truncated, containing a bare minimum of information. It is not up to us to conjecture, but we may ponder on what little we have. Adam ‘knew his wife’, Eve. That is, they had sexual relations, from yada`, meaning to ‘know by experience’. From this activity Eve conceived, hareh, became pregnant. The nine months are not spoken of and the next statement is that Eve bore Cain, yalad, brought forth. The word includes the idea of travail (as promised by God).

Cain, or Qayin, is often translated as ‘possession’, but it more correctly means ‘smith’ (as in metal-smith, etc). His mother said “I have gotten a man from the LORD.” She acknowledged in this statement that God actually exists – Jehovah, ‘the existing One’, and acknowledged that although Adam was used for the purpose, children come from God. The word ‘gotten’ includes all this: qanah… to get, to create, to acquire, of God originating something. She says that she had been given a man, a male. We are not sure if this is an emphatic statement or simply one of acceptance – I have got a son. There were now (possibly) three human beings on earth. Cain was the first human being to acquire a navel.

How long after we do not know, but Eve was again (yacaph – to add) pregnant, this time with another son, Abel or Hebel, ‘breath’. We must remember that Adam and Eve were fully mature adults when they were created, so these conceptions could theoretically have been brought about either in the Garden of Eden or just after the expulsion. The text does not say.

Note, also, the Hebrew way of recording these things. It is possible that Adam and Eve had other children either before they had Cain, or between Cain and Abel. That is, females. This might explain why Eve should exclaim that in Cain she had a male child. The two sons grew up in the usual time we know today (this is assumed as there is no information to the contrary) and the next statement jumps some years to the occupations of both sons. We are told that Abel was a ‘keeper of sheep’. That is, he was either a shepherd or a cattleman, as the word for ‘sheep’ tells us – tso’n, meaning sheep, or goats, or small cattle. The word usually refers to sheep but can equally apply to other small animals.

We can see from this text that there were already domesticated animals, probably created to be domestic by nature and provision. Thus, it is possible that Abel tended to both sheep or goats and small cattle, such as cows. (What are ‘big’ cattle, then? To us, today, cows are some of the biggest cattle we know. This might be a reference to much bigger animals, such as elephants, or even dinosaurs.)

We may ask why he tended to sheep or cattle. We already know that God killed an animal so that He could make clothing of skins for Adam and Eve. Abel tended sheep for a reason – possibly to provide wool, possibly more skins, and possibly for food. We cannot tell from the text, but each is a reasonable guess. If Abel tended to these animals for clothing also, then it follows that he possibly also slaughtered them.

Cain had his own job – that of ‘tilling the ground.’ A ‘tiller’ was literally someone who worked or served, `abad. He ‘worked’ the land as a farmer; prepared it, shaped it, caused things to grow. As sin brought in weeds, etc., Cain had to ensure the crops were not tainted by these unfruitful growths. There is also a hint that the word means to work for another, possibly for his parents, though he had to work anyway in order to get food. Maybe the crops included both vegetables and fruit, as well as early forms of wheat, etc.

Verses 3-7

  1. “And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD.

  2. 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:

  3. But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.

  4. And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?

  5. 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.”

“In process of time” Cain and Abel offered examples of their labours to God. We are not told why they should do this, so we do not know if this is what their parents did, or if God commanded it, or if it was a natural way to respond to God. We do not know, then, if these were the first spiritual offerings, or not.

The ‘time’, yowm, here means a period, e.g. harvest time, one of the ‘seasons;’ instituted by God Himself. The words ‘in process’, quets, simply states that the two sons made their offerings ‘at the end’ of a specific time, which again suggests a defined season. We are not told if this was the sons’ first such season, or not. If it was not, then we can deduce that Cain’s previous offerings were acceptable.

Cain “brought of the fruit of the ground” to God as an offering. Now, we are told that Abel tended sheep or cattle, and that Cain tended the ground. If this had always been their tasks (whether allotted by God or parents, or chosen), then we can further deduce that:

(a) Cain had grown food through a number of seasons but had not offered anything to God, or, (b) that this was his very first season (so he had sinned with his first harvest), or, (c) that he had offered to God before, but that this time there was something about the offering that offended God. One of these scenarios had to apply.

The ‘offering’, minchah, from an unused root meaning to apportion or bestow, is interpreted as a tribute, offering, oblation, or sacrifice. It can also mean a grain-offering, which probably applies in this case. We are not told how this was made. Was it placed on a stone altar? On the ground? Burnt? Made into gruel?

Abel also made an offering, of his flock’s ‘firstlings’, b@kowrah ‘right of the first born’. That is, the first to be born at that time or, more correctly bakar – the first one to be born to a particular animal. We are also told that he presented the “fat thereof” and this tells us that Abel did slaughter his animals, for ‘fat’ is cheleb, meaning the choicest or best parts. Of course, we could say that ‘fat’ and ‘firstlings’ simply means that Abel offered the choicest animals to God. But, as ‘fat’ follows the phrase “and of”, we may safely assume that Abel offered both live and dead flesh. What then? There was, possibly, a fire to burn or cook the flesh. This is not implied by the text itself, but is implied by later Hebrew acts of sacrifice and offering.

God had ‘respect’ for Abel’s offering. That is, he looked at it, or beheld it, sha`ah. This is interesting, because we are told that God cannot look at sin, or have it in His presence. The acceptance of Abel’s offering was shown in God simply deigning to look at it, meaning that it was not sinful but was acceptable.

But, in verse 5, we find that God did not even look at Cain’s offering and so did not accept it. We are not told how the brothers knew one offering was acceptable and the other was not. Perhaps God told them in words? Perhaps, if both offerings were placed on an altar, one was consumed and the other was not? We do not know. But, they did know that God was displeased with Cain’s offering, however this was expressed by God.

In the book of Hebrews (11:4) we see that Abel’s offering was ‘in faith’, implying that Cain’s was not. In 1 John 3:12 we see that Cain was ‘of that wicked one’, who ‘ran greedily… for reward.’ (Jude 1:11). It seems, then, that what God objected to was mainly his character and sin.

The Genesis text does not elaborate on why God rejected Cain’s offering, but these later texts suggest that sin was already in his heart. Cain’s sin is linked to that of Balaam the prophet, who was sent by God to king Balak. Sadly, Balaam was later responsible for giving bad counsel to Israel, bringing God’s wrath upon them and, in 2 Peter 2:15, we are told that Balaam “loved the wages of unrighteousness”. In the Revelation we are shown that Balaam’s ‘doctrine’ taught the Israelites to eat what was prohibited by God.

As the sin of Balaam is so closely linked with that of Cain we can only presume that it was the same in nature and that within Cain was the seed of a coming rebellion. Indeed, it is seen in his instant reaction: he was “very wroth”, charah, furious! He was burning with anger, and it showed on his face, which “fell”, naphal, cast down. God’s response indicates that this kind of reaction is not worthy, especially of God’s people. That is why God asked Cain “Why has your face dropped? And why are you so angry?”

One fellow, when faced with an alleged sin of his, immediately became hostile toward the brethren. Instead of stopping to think, he began to accuse everyone else of all kinds of sin, refusing counsel. In itself, this kind of reaction suggests that he was guilty of the sin he was alleged to have committed, for a guilty man without repentance will often try to deflect his guilt by casting the spotlight onto someone else. But, even if not guilty, his response was wrong and so, if not guilty of the alleged offence, he became guilty by his response anyway! Though this was explained, he could not understand (or could not), and chose to cut himself off from the brethren rather than deal with it properly.

Cain, by his reaction, made things very much worse! The proper course to take, was to stop and think and to simply ask God what to do. Instead, he became very angry. God asked him why (verse 6) and added, “If you do what is right, will I not accept you? But if you do not, then sin is already very near to you and shall rule you just as you rule it.” The words “doest well” are early forms of ‘righteousness’, yatab – to be pleasing, to do good. If Cain did what was pleasing to God, then he would be accepted, s@’eth, elevated and dignified, exalted; nasa’, lifted up, supported and sustained.

If Cain did not do what pleased God, then sin would ‘lie at his door’… chatta’ah, sin, sin-offering, a condition of sin; chata’, to miss the way or mark, to go wrong, to incur guilt. Thus, this condition is the same as that found in the New Testament, both incurring God’s wrath and judgement. In Temple days (both Hebrew and pagan), prostitutes would often stretch out in the doorway of the building, to tempt worshippers, just as a dog can stretch out before the doorway, to attack visitors or to protect the inhabitant.

This was the case when Eli was too old to watch over things and his evil sons ruled. Such a meaning is found here, too, though as a figure, for the word ‘desire’, t@shuwqah, means the longing of a man for a woman, or, of a beast that will devour. The term, used metaphorically here, means that a craving for sin is already near to Cain, ready to devour him even as he thinks he is guiding the desire of his own accord. How many of us think we control our desires, when, in reality, Satan watches and waits to discover what is our weakest point, and then he attacks it without mercy until we fall!

God was therefore telling Cain that if he chose not to follow the right path, of pleasing God, then he would fall foul of his own desires, which will eventually devour him. This happened to be the case, as later events prove. Very often I warn people of the consequences of their actions. Many ignore the warnings and continue in their sinful activities or beliefs. Thus, they stand condemned by their own selves, though claiming to follow God. The warnings also apply to myself, for I am just as prone to sin as they are.

It is why I now rely solely on scripture. Only today, before writing this study, I received a communication from a respected preacher. He ‘explained’ why I was wrong about predestination and election, and why I was wrong to say that God chooses who will be saved and so no man can make such a choice for himself. The man claims to be a Calvinist, yet he rejects predestination. I gave scripture, but he gives quotes from other men and philosophy. This is a man who is well-known, but yet he is in error. His desire is stretched out before the door and will turn on him later. He thinks he controls his heart and mind, but he does not – sin controls him.

Verses 8-12

  1. “And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel

  2. his brother, and slew him.

  3. And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper?

  4. And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground.

  5. And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand;

  6. 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.”

Sometime later (same day, next day, or later than that?), Cain talked with Abel. We do not know what they talked about, but it might have been about God’s rejection of Cain’s offering. After that discussion, whether the same day or some other day, when both were out in a field, something happened. This field could have been one of Cain’s cultivated fields, or a plain where beasts roamed; either can apply to sadeh.

Cain ‘rose up against’ Abel, quwm; arose in a hostile sense, or came upon the scene. The qualifying word is ‘against’, ‘el. This speaks of movement toward someone with hostile intent, as the word ‘slew’ explains, harag – to slay, murder, destroy, kill.

Just as God had walked in the Garden and asked where Adam was, so He now calls upon Cain to tell him where his brother was. Obviously, God knew what had happened, so the question was rhetorical.

Cain’s response was again very wrong. Knowing the power of God and His omnipotence, Cain lied to God! God asked him “Where is your brother?” Cain replied, “I don’t know! Am I his guard?” Thus, Cain was saying that Abel could be anywhere; he was not Abel’s guard so why should he know where he is?

(Note: This phrase “Am I my brother’s keeper?” is often used wrongly by Christians, to mean we should watch over our brethren. Whilst the sentiment is true, it is not the meaning in this text, which is used more as sarcasm).

God, knowing all along what had happened, asked Cain “What have you done?” and follows his question with the answer – Cain was buried, dead. “The voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground!” Behind this is the fact of God’s vengeance and also of society’s duty to judge murderers, a duty that was to be formalised much later. It shows us that the blood of the innocent ‘cried out’ to God for Him to deal with it. Today, He has appointed magistrates and judges to act on His behalf. Sadly, they do not, and so murderers are allowed to live, in defiance of God’s holy laws.

We might ask why God did not, then, put Cain to death immediately. The answer is probably one of holy protocol: that God had not previously issued a warning about murder and so did not exact the penalty described later in scripture, death.

God passes a sentence on Cain: “From now art thou cursed from the earth”. That is, with immediate effect, `attah, ‘now!’ Behind this is a root word meaning ‘in perpetuity’ or forever, `ad, but it can also be traced to `adah, meaning to remove. Again, we have qualifying statements that provide the meaning – to be thrown off his land and to roam the earth.

He was cursed by God, ‘arar, and this is similar in meaning to the cursing (anathema) by God of all who proclaim a false gospel. We must remember that once cursed, a man has no opportunity to regain a godly position, which is why all of us must be careful not to incur God’s wrath. We must always follow the path of righteousness, even if, at times, we fail. To follow the right path and to fail is very different from following the wrong path, failing constantly and deliberately.

Cain’s parents knew how God worked and what He wanted; they probably warned their children, who themselves talked with God personally. Instead of being humble and repenting when challenged by God over his offering, Cain simmered in rage and killed his brother out of jealousy. For him there was no turning back and God did not give him the opportunity to do so. He was now cursed. The curse was not just referring to his spiritual state, but also to his physical state and role as a tiller of the ground.

From now on, he could work very hard to produce food, but the ground would not yield the produce he once had as a matter of course. This is a very clear indication that if we disobey, God can and does remove His presence and even adds to our burdens by introducing stumbling blocks in our lives. It is He Who gives us good and benefits – we cannot earn them and cannot produce them ourselves. In a very real way this is a sign of His sovereignty. Not only does He give us breath, He also gives us good things to enable us to live. This is a shadow of predestination and election.

As he experiences failure and poor results from his labours in the future, Cain would resort to roaming the earth to find whatever comfort he could, just like a tramp, or a fugitive and vagabond. A fugitive, nuwa`, is one who wanders, tossed about by his circumstances, ‘caused to wander’. A vagabond is similar, nuwd, wandering, experiencing grief and misery. Today, we have many vagabonds who roam the land seeking help and money on street corners, usually through faults of their own. As we see here, they are so because of God’s judgement, thus sympathy is misplaced. (Few roam through no fault of their own, but those who are genuine may be helped with impunity).

Verses 13-16

  1. “And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment is greater than I can bear.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.”

In my later line of work I came across many who, in their younger days, say that they smoke because “it is the only enjoyment I have”. I warned that their attitude will change later, but when it is too late and they have cancer or a chronic disease that saps them of the will to live. Those who readily sin today will find this out to their cost, later. God will not be mocked and will crush them in their own lifetimes, or, if unsaved, later in hell.

Immediately, Cain recognised the enormity of his error and cried out to God, but, as we have already established, once a man is cursed, there is no way back for him. God means what He says and cannot change His mind! Cain cried out that his punishment was too great to bear. In this he was making a true assessment, for no man can bear it when God utters His judgement. Cain had to live in this world knowing that God would never again bless him. Christians must beware: do not sin constantly and deliberately, even ‘privately’, for God sees all and will judge you, causing mental or physical (or both) misery, or distancing from Him.

Cain continues: ‘You have driven me from my home and you have made me to wander this earth with no comfort to rely on, for I am even hidden from your face. I fear that as I wander someone will kill me.’

This statement could not have applied to the time he was judged by God, for there were so few people born. Even if Adam and Eve had daughters we do not know about, there were still only two sons – and one of those was dead, leaving just two men on the whole earth. It is likely, then, that Cain was uttering a future possibility, for by the time Adam was very old, there were thousands if not millions on the earth, any of which could kill Cain.

Even though God had given His judgement, He promised to protect Cain and would crush any killer of Cain with a judgement seven times worse. To make good His promise, God placed a mark on Cain, to protect him. The ‘mark, ‘owth, was a sign or distinguishing mark, but it might equally have been simply God’s hand upon his life. The term ‘mark of Cain’ is often used to mean that someone is doomed by some kind of seal upon him. But, the opposite is meant by this mark – it was there to protect Cain, not to bring him to ruin.

After that, Cain walked away from God’s presence. This probably meant he was talking face-to-face with God, as the words suggest. He kept walking until he came to the ‘land of Nod’, which was east of Eden. We do not know where this land of Nod (Nowd) was, but it means ‘wandering’. Thus, it might not have been a name of a place, but a description of Cain’s searching for a place to stay. This is certainly suggested by the root, nowd, meaning the wandering of an aimless fugitive (rooted in nuwd – to take flight).

Verses 17-22

  1. “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

  2. son, Enoch.

  3. And unto Enoch was born Irad: and Irad begat Mehujael: and Mehujael begat Methusael: and Methusael begat Lamech.

  4. And Lamech took unto him two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah.

  5. And Adah bare Jabal: he was the father of such as dwell in tents, and of such as have cattle.

  6. And his brother's name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ.

  7. And Zillah, she also bare Tubal-cain, an instructer of every artificer in brass and iron: and the sister of Tubal-cain was Naamah.”

As we have noted before, the strict chronology of the texts is no longer apparent. So, when the next verse tells us that “Cain knew his wife” we should not infer that there were sufficient women around immediately. No time scale is given at all.

Bear in mind that Adam was 130 when Cain was born, so if there were any daughters born before that they would already be on the earth. Also, Adam lived for many centuries. So, Cain having a wife is not impossible, but is actual fact. Yes, I know that any wife had to be, by definition, a blood relative, the closeness depending on who the woman was a daughter of. She could have been Cain’s sister, or his first cousin. At that time there was no prohibition in marriage, so there was no sin in marrying even a sister. Also, we do not know how old he was when he married, so the blood-ties might already have been more distant.

We are told that Cain’s wife ‘bare Enoch’. Again, there is no time-scale given, and no indication if Enoch was the firstborn child or the firstborn male. Enoch, Chanowk (‘dedicated’) was the eldest son of Cain. His name can be traced to chanak, meaning to train-up or to dedicate, which seems appropriate in this case.

Cain “builded a city” and named it after Enoch. We should not automatically assume that this meant he completed a city, or that ‘city’ meant a huge place. The word for ‘builded’, banah, can also mean to establish, or to ‘build a house’ (a dynasty or family). A ‘city’, `iyr, can mean a big city, or a town of any size. Thus, the term could simply mean that Cain began to build a place where they could live. And, if he had found a woman to marry, it is likely that there were other men around, too, to assist in the building. So, we can see that the task could easily be accomplished.

Of course, the city could have been completed after a long period, and it is this completed place that is called a city. (On occasions, Hebrew writers retraced the steps of history and name places that, at the time, did not exist. That is, they inserted the names of places that would come into being in the future, just so readers would be able to identify them easier. However, as scripture is God-breathed, the information of future names would have been given to Moses).

When Enoch grew, he also married and his eldest son was named Irad (‘fleet’). Nothing is known of this person. His eldest son was named Mehujael, M@chuwya’el (‘smitten by God’). Of interest is that in earlier times names were often indicative of actual character or future status or activities. In this name we have two roots, one macha, meaning to be wiped out, and the other, ‘el, which can mean a god, or someone who is god-like, or even a false god.

Mehujael’s eldest son was Methusael, M@thuwsha’el (‘who is of God’). His eldest son was Lamech, Lemek (‘powerful’).

Lamech had two wives at the same time. Although in the Old Testament, for some reason, we cannot see polygamy condemned or punished by God, adultery, throughout the Bible definitely was condemned and recognised widely as forbidden. When God talks of spiritual betrothal it is a singular one man one woman relationship (Hosea 2:19-20). However, Jesus Christ reaffirmed in the (Matthew 19: 4-7) ‘two shall become one’ principle of marriage in Genesis 2:24, and this reaffirmation has to be God’s plan for mankind from the beginning.

Once more we find that there was no prohibition on multiple wives at this time, so there was no sin. This time we have names – Adah and Zillah. `Adah (‘ornament’) was the mother of Jabal and Jubal. Zillah, Tsillah (‘shade’) was the mother of Jubal-Cain and Naamah.

Jabal (Yabal, ‘stream of water’) began a tribe that lived in tents, possibly nomads, who had cattle, again referring to animals like cows, sheep, goats, etc. Jubal (Yuwbal, ‘stream’), his brother, invented musical instruments and heralded the start of people playing them, here mentioning harps and organs. Though ‘harp’ refers to the plucking of strings (the word, kinnowr, is from an unused root meaning to twang) of a lyre, we do not know what the instrument really looked like). By the organ is probably meant a reed-pipe, flute, or panpipe, from a word meaning ‘breathing’, hence a wind instrument. No doubt there were other instruments used for keeping time or rhythm, such a drums, but these are not mentioned.

Tubalcain (Tuwbal Qayin, meaning not known) invented metal working and taught others in the craft. ‘Articifer’ is choresh, or metal craftsman, and includes the meaning of ‘to engrave’, charash. The metals of brass and iron are particularly mentioned. ‘Brass’, n@chosheth, refers to copper ore and bronze (which is an alloy). ‘Iron’, barzel, came from iron ore and made furniture, utensils, tools and weapons. Namaah was the sister of Tubalcain. If her name was accurate, she was a beautiful girl, for her name means ‘loveliness’.

This tells us something very interesting, because it says that within the first 500-1000 years of the creation of everything, men invented ways to smelt ore and use it for metal work. They could even mix alloys. This completely demolishes the claims of historians who say that these inventions came after millions of years. It is quite possible that these inventions were lost during the Flood and so had to be re-invented later.

Verses 23-26

  1. “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.

  2. If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy and sevenfold.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.”

At some time, Lamech killed a man. Note that he did not refer to him as his ‘brother’, which tells us there must have been many people on the earth at this time. He told his wives and was in great fear of judgement from God. He rightly posed the question: if anyone who killed Cain would be avenged seven times, surely God would avenge Lamech’s victim ten times more? He had killed a young man to his own wounding and hurt; that is, by his own actions he invited God’s wrath upon his own head.

Lamech had done wrong, but he had a keen sense of God’s presence and anger, unlike so many in our modern churches, who think nothing of sinning and continuing in sin. Lamech knew God would judge him for what he had done, and was afraid. Where is such fear today?

As we have already said, this portion of scripture is very much truncated, and so we jump again from this revelation by Lamech to Adam. Remember that Adam was still very much alive. He and Eve had another son named Seth (Sheth, ‘compensation’). Eve named her son like this because she thought God had compensated her for the loss of Abel.

Seth went on to have a boy named Enos.(‘Enowsh, ‘man’). Up until that time men had an ad hoc relationship with God. We know this because the people visited by God personally are named. It does not mean God did not visit anyone else, but if He did it was not considered important enough to include in the canon of scripture.

About the time that Seth was born (as the word ‘then’, ‘az, signifies), “then men began to call upon the name of the LORD.” They started to call out to God, qara’ – actively seeking God, by crying out for help, and possibly proclaiming Him. In the folds of history we know that we find the Flood soon after this time. Thus, it seems that soon after men began to cry out to God, evil began to proliferate. Apparently, then, Satan took control and made sure that this early desire after God was crushed by a growth in all manner of evils, necessitating the destruction of the whole earth by God’s Flood.

That time will be upon us again, very soon. We could measure the destruction by the Flood in hundreds, not thousands of years, after the start of increasing evil. Today, we have a growth in evil that has flourished remarkably, and so we might be the forerunners of those who will be caught up in the sky, still alive, when Christ comes again! Then, He will destroy the cosmos with fire before creating a new one.


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Bible Theology Ministries - PO Box 415, Swansea, SA5 8YH
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