Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Genesis 4

The story gets more gripping with the first murder!

Genesis Chapter 4

1And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD.
2And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.
3And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD.
4And 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:
5But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.

Why is it that God was unsatisfied with Cain's offering?  I know I have heard it preached that Cain did not offer God the best of his harvest, however that is not stated.  Is it supposed that since God had no respect for Cain's offering there must have been something wrong with it? If that was the case, why not tell Cain that?  "Seriously Cain, you need to offer up something better." 

6And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?

Shouldn't God know the answer to this question? 

7If 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.

I had a teacher in grad school that did not inform her students of her expectations for homework.  This verse reminds me of that.  What is meant by "well?"  God is obviously setting the standard, but what is it? 

8And 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.

That must have been some talk.  So from the past few verses we are supposed to gather that Cain was jealous of Abel because Abel was favored by God.  Cain then killed his brother because of some dispute or the jealousy.  A google search indicates that there is more to this story in later books, so we will just have to wait on the edge of our seats!

9And the LORD said unto Cain, Where [is] Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: [Am] I my brother's keeper?
10And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground.
11And now [art] thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand;
12When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.

God's second judgment.  In his first, he cast mankind out of paradise.  For his second act, he took away Cain's livelihood.  Is he merciful for letting him live?

13And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment [is] greater than I can bear.
14Behold, 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.
15And 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.

Why spare Cain?  I feel like this must be some kind of moral lesson, but I don't understand what it would be.  Perhaps just that Cain should suffer with guilt and remorse for the rest of his days? 

16And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.
17And 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.

Where did this wife appear from?  The bible mainly details the male lineage, so are we to assume that Cain's wife is his sister?  Or has God been out creating other humans?  Apologists let it be known that OF COURSE Cain was related to his wife in some way, whether it be a sister or niece.  This same page has an excerpt from the Scopes Monkey Trial which I found funny.

Q—Did you ever discover where Cain got his wife?
A—No, sir; I leave the agnostics to hunt for her.
Q—You have never found out?
A—I have never tried to find.
Q—You have never tried to find?
Q—The Bible says he got one doesn’t it? Were there other people on the earth at that time?
A—I cannot say.
Q—You cannot say. Did that ever enter your consideration?
A—Never bothered me.
Q—There were no others recorded, but Cain got a wife.
A—That is what the Bible says.
Q—Where she came from you do not know.

18And unto Enoch was born Irad: and Irad begat Mehujael: and Mehujael begat Methusael: and Methusael begat Lamech.
19And Lamech took unto him two wives: the name of the one [was] Adah, and the name of the other Zillah.
20And Adah bare Jabal: he was the father of such as dwell in tents, and [of such as have] cattle.
21And his brother's name [was] Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ.
22And Zillah, she also bare Tubalcain, an instructer of every artificer in brass and iron: and the sister of Tubalcain [was] Naamah.
23And 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.
24If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy and sevenfold.

This is the genealogy for Cain.  His great-great-great grandson Lamech was the first polygamist.  And also a murderer. 

25And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare (sic) a son, and called his name Seth: For God, [said she], hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew.
26And 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.
4:26 supposedly tells of the beginning of worship.