Genesis 4: 1-24 Now the man had relations with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave
birth to Cain, and she said, “I have gotten a manchild with the help of the Lord.” 2 Again, she gave birth to his brother Abel. And
Abel was a keeper of flocks, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. 3 So it came about in the course of time that Cain
brought an offering to the Lord of
the fruit of the ground. 4 Abel, on
his part also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions.
And the Lord had regard for Abel and for his offering; 5 but for Cain and for his offering He had no
regard. So Cain became very angry and his countenance fell. 6 Then the Lord said
to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? 7 If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is
crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.”
8 Cain told Abel his brother. And it came
about when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother
and killed him.
the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?”
And he said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?” 10 He
said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to Me
from the ground. 11 Now you are
cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s
blood from your hand. 12 When you
cultivate the ground, it will no longer yield its strength to you; you will be
a vagrant and a wanderer on the earth.” 13
Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is too
great to bear! 14 Behold, You have
driven me this day from the face of the ground; and from Your face I will be
hidden, and I will be a vagrant and a wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds
me will kill me.” 15 So the Lord said to him, “Therefore whoever kills Cain, vengeance will
be taken on him sevenfold.” And the Lord
appointed a sign for Cain, so that no one finding him would slay him.
Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and settled in the land of Nod,
east of Eden.
had relations with his wife and she conceived, and gave birth to Enoch; and he
built a city, and called the name of the city Enoch, after the name of his son. 18 Now
to Enoch was born Irad, and Irad became the father of Mehujael, and Mehujael
became the father of Methushael, and Methushael became the father of Lamech.
19 Lamech took to himself two wives: the
name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other, Zillah. 20 Adah gave birth to Jabal; he was the father of
those who dwell in tents and have
livestock. 21 His brother’s name was
Jubal; he was the father of all those who play the lyre and pipe. 22 As for Zillah, she also gave birth to
Tubal-cain, the forger of all implements of bronze and iron; and the sister of
Tubal-cain was Naamah.
said to his wives, “Adah and Zillah, Listen to my voice, You wives of Lamech, Give
heed to my speech, For I have killed a man for
wounding me; And a boy for striking me; 24 If Cain is avenged sevenfold, Then Lamech seventy-sevenfold.”
In Genesis 3:15
that two offspring would emerge and be at enmity until the serpent’s offspring
or seed was finally destroyed by the woman’s offspring. Now in Genesis 4 we’ll
see two seeds from Eve: Cain and Abel. Two children living in the same
environment and experiencing the same training, yet God said Abel’s sacrifice
and works were righteous, but Cain belonged to the evil one.
From their professions we see agriculture and the domestication of animals
were practiced among the earliest humans.
Hebrews 11:4 By faith Abel brought
God a better offering than Cain did. By faith he was commended as righteous,
when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith Abel still speaks, even
though he is dead.
1 John 3:12 Do not be like Cain,
who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder
him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous.
Cain seemed to have an underlying
attitude of deep resentment against God in every circumstance he found himself
in. As he toiled against the cursed ground maybe he thought about the stories
his parents told him about Eden.
Maybe he blamed the fact that his work was so hard on his mom, or dad or God!
You can tell he felt he was unjustly treated and blamed someone else for his
unhappiness. And because Abel apparently was thankful to God for what he did
have, Cain hated Abel. And of course the straw that broke the camel’s back was
God accepting Abel’s sacrifice and not Cain’s.
Romans 1:21 tells us that sin begins in not glorifying God as God
and not being thankful. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave
thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were
You can hear Cain’s attitude in
Genesis 4. When asked where his brother was, he said, “I don’t know. Am I my brother’s keeper?”
We know Abel’s attitude was
completely different because God was looking at their hearts when they brought
their offerings, not the gifts. Hebrews
13:15 talks about a sacrifice of praise. When we’re going through tough times
or something we think is unfair we have to be careful not to let it make us
bitter. Bitterness and resentment lead to bigger sins. God knows it’s not easy
for us to still praise Him and thank Him in these circumstances, that’s why He
calls it a sacrifice. But it pleases Him!
This is meant to be a lesson to us.
And it’s not the first time we’ve heard it in the Bible. Eve focused on what
she didn’t have too. And it caused her to sin also. We live in an age where we
know what everyone else has. We hear about all the great things they’re doing.
(Or at least what they want us to know they have and what they are doing.) And
it’s easy to compare our lives to others. But we need to learn this lesson from
the book of Genesis. Do not focus on what you don’t have. It will lead you down
a path of bitterness and anger. Be grateful for what you do!
God gave Cain a chance to be free
of his resentment and jealousy before it reached the point of no return when He
asked Him, “Why
are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? 7 If you
do well, will not your countenance
be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its
desire is for you, but you must master it.” He was giving him a
chance to confess his sin. God would have forgiven him.
But Cain’s sin multiplied. First, there was the inward
bitterness, the wrong offering, his resentment against God, and anger against
his brother. Then he deliberately rejected God’s offered way of escape. And
then Cain committed murder. And went off to be separate from God forever. And
where Cain said, “my punishment is too great too bear” he wasn’t sorry for his
sin he was sorry he got punished!
Genesis 4:16 – 24 traces the godless line of Cain, noting on
the one hand the tremendous development of civilization during this time, (talking
about fathers of iron and bronze and players of lyres and pipes) but on the
other the moral degradation, violence and rebellion against God. And for all
Lamech’s boasting we never hear of him or his line in the Bible again.
But we have a bright spot in Seth.
Genesis 4: 25-26 25 Adam had
relations with his wife again; and she gave birth to a son, and named him Seth,
for, she said, “God has
appointed me another offspring in place of Abel, for Cain killed him.” 26 To
Seth, to him also a son was born; and he called his name Enosh. Then men began to call upon the name of
From Seth eventually came Noah who
was preserved from the judgment of the Flood and finally Jesus.
Labels: book of Genesis, Cain and Abel, Genesis