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Genesis Chapter 4

1 The man knew Eve his wife. She conceived, and gave birth to Cain, and said, "I have gotten a man with the LORD's help."

2 Again she gave birth, to Cain's brother Abel. Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.

3 As time passed, Cain brought an offering to the LORD from the fruit of the ground.

4 Abel also brought some of the firstborn of his flock and of its fat. The LORD respected Abel and his offering,

5 but he didn't respect Cain and his offering. Cain was very angry, and the expression on his face fell.

6 The LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry? Why has the expression of your face fallen?

7 If you do well, won't it be lifted up? If you don't do well, sin crouches at the door. Its desire is for you, but you are to rule over it."

8 Cain said to Abel, his brother, "Let's go into the field." While they were in the field, Cain rose up against Abel, his brother, and killed him.

9 The LORD said to Cain, "Where is Abel, your brother?" He said, "I don't know. Am I my brother's keeper?"

10 The LORD said, "What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood cries to me from the ground.

11 Now you are cursed because of the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand.

12 From now on, when you till the ground, it won't yield its strength to you. You will be a fugitive and a wanderer in the earth."

13 Cain said to the LORD, "My punishment is greater than I can bear.

14 Behold, you have driven me out today from the surface of the ground. I will be hidden from your face, and I will be a fugitive and a wanderer in the earth. Whoever finds me will kill me."

15 The LORD said to him, "Therefore whoever slays Cain, vengeance will be taken on him sevenfold." The LORD appointed a sign for Cain, so that anyone finding him would not strike him.

16 Cain left the LORD's presence, and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden.

17 Cain knew his wife. She conceived, and gave birth to Enoch. He built a city, and named the city after the name of his son, Enoch.

18 Irad was born to Enoch. Irad became the father of Mehujael. Mehujael became the father of Methushael. Methushael became the father of Lamech.

19 Lamech took two wives: the name of the first one was Adah, and the name of the second one was Zillah.

20 Adah gave birth to Jabal, who was the father of those who dwell in tents and have livestock.

21 His brother's name was Jubal, who was the father of all who handle the harp and pipe.

22 Zillah also gave birth to Tubal Cain, the forger of every cutting instrument of bronze and iron. Tubal Cain's sister was Naamah.

23 Lamech said to his wives, "Adah and Zillah, hear my voice. You wives of Lamech, listen to my speech, for I have slain a man for wounding me, a young man for bruising me.

24 If Cain will be avenged seven times, truly Lamech seventy-seven times."

25 Adam knew his wife again. She gave birth to a son, and named him Seth, saying, "for God has given me another child instead of Abel, for Cain killed him."

26 A son was also born to Seth, and he named him Enosh. At that time men began to call on the LORD's name.


Verse 1 (knew)
or, lay with, or, had relations with
Verse 1 (conceived)
or, became pregnant

Version: World English Bible

Genesis Chapter 4 Guide

The degeneration of the first man and woman was transmitted, the firstborn being manifestly an inheritor of the fallen nature of his parents. His mother named him Cain, intimating a hope that the seed had come which should bruise the head of the serpent. How little she knew of the nature of her own sin. Thus from the beginning sin manifested a wayward rebelliousness which ever tends to break the heart of fatherhood and motherhood; and experimentally some of the consciousness of the pain of God over their own sin would be revealed to these first parents. Abel means vanity, and suggests the disappointment which had come to Eve.

Sin is seen at once, breaking up the family ideal in the story of Cain and Abel. Death, the penalty of sin, is first executed by the hand of a sinner.

Jehovah intervenes, dealing with Cain in strict justice. His going out from the presence of God was a wilful severance of himself from the divine government and from response to its claims.

The chapter records with perfect fidelity the story of human progress, notwithstanding its godlessness. Here begins a history which continues until this hour-marriage, and children, and the building of a city without God. The origin of colonization and commerce is seen in Jabal, who "was the father of such as dwell in tents and have cattle." The initiation of what we may speak of as the fine arts was revealed in Jubal, "the father of all such as handle the harp and pipe." Here, too, we find the beginning of mechanical skill, as Tubal-cain was "the forger of every cutting instrument of brass and iron." In Lamech we have the portrait of a man at the pinnacle of such success. He repeated Cain's sin, but now evidently without any remorse, for in poetic language he is heard defending himself and boasting in his safety.

A third son is born to Adam and Eve, Seth; and the new line commences. Through Abel there is no succession. The posterity of Cain will ultimately be swept away in the Flood. Through Seth the seed of the woman will be preserved toward the ultimate victory.

From "An Exposition of the Whole Bible" by G. Campbell Morgan.