Genesis 4 and 5 (NRSV)
Now as we are coming into summer, Old Testament minor prophets and New Testament theological doctrine seem perhaps a bit heavy, demand too much thinking. So let’s go back to the great foundational stories of our faith — Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph. Let’s go back to Genesis! I encourage you to read the accounts of these Bible characters with new eyes, looking for the goodness of God, the presence of Christ, and the working of the Holy Spirit. And let’s also praise the Lord for the examples to stir our faith within this “cloud of witnesses.”
And again, for subscribers — to get the full picture, click on the book and chapter at the top of your opened DWELLING (today it says 814.) Genesis 4 and 5) and that will bring you to our homepage, which makes it easier for you to read and see the pictures and get to the links and comment!
Cain Murders Abel
Now the man knew his wife Eve,
This is the first specific mention of sex in the Bible. The term “knew” or “to know” is a polite way of saying they had sexual relations and the term is used often in the Bible in this sense (Genesis 4:17, 4:25, 38:26, Judges 11:39, 1 Samuel 1:19).
There is power in this way of referring to sex. It shows the high, interpersonal terms in which the Bible sees the sexual relationship. Most terms and phrases people use for sex today are either coarse or violent, but the Bible sees sex as a means of knowing one another in a committed relationship. “Knew” indicates an act that contributes to the bond of unity and the building up of a one-flesh relationship.
We have no reason to believe Adam and Eve did not have sex before this. Adam and Eve were certainly capable of sexual relations before the fall, because there is nothing inherently impure or unclean in sex.
and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have produced a man with the help of the Lord.” 2Next she bore his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a tiller of the ground.
3In the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground, 4and Abel for his part brought of the firstlings of his flock, their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering, 5but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell.
6The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your countenance fallen? 7If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is lurking at the door; its desire is for you, but you must master it.”
The Hebrew verb translated as “must master” (verse 7) means more than any one English translation is able to show. This verb may also be translated “can master,” “shall master,” or “must master.” Thus, God’s statement to Cain about mastering sin is a command, an invitation, and a promise.
–from Genesis, by Linda B. Hinton
8Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let us go out to the field.” And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel, and killed him.
9Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?”
He said, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?”
10And the Lord said, “What have you done? Listen; your brother’s blood is crying out to me from the ground! 11And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. 12When you till the ground, it will no longer yield to you its strength; you will be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth.”
1 John 2:11 (New International Version)
Whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness; he does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded him.
13Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is greater than I can bear! 14Today you have driven me away from the soil, and I shall be hidden from your face; I shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth, and anyone who meets me may kill me.”
15Then the Lord said to him, “Not so! Whoever kills Cain will suffer a sevenfold vengeance.” And the Lord put a mark on Cain, so that no one who came upon him would kill him. 16Then Cain went away from the presence of the Lord, and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden.
Hebrews 11:4 (Contemporary English Version)
Because Abel had faith, he offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. God was pleased with him and his gift, and even though Abel is now dead, his faith still speaks for him.
“He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” recorded by Neil Diamond.
Beginnings of Civilization
17Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch; and he built a city, and named it Enoch after his son Enoch. 18To Enoch was born Irad; and Irad was the father of Mehujael, and Mehujael the father of Methushael, and Methushael the father of Lamech.
19Lamech took two wives; the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah. 20Adah bore Jabal; he was the ancestor of those who live in tents and have livestock.
21His brother’s name was Jubal; he was the ancestor of all those who play the lyre and pipe.
22Zillah bore Tubal-cain, who made all kinds of bronze and iron tools.
The sister of Tubal-cain was Naamah.
23Lamech said to his wives: “Adah and Zillah, hear my voice; you wives of Lamech, listen to what I say: I have killed a man for wounding me, a young man for striking me. 24If Cain is avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy-sevenfold.”
25Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and named him Seth, for she said, “God has appointed for me another child instead of Abel, because Cain killed him.” 26To Seth also a son was born, and he named him Enosh.
At that time people began to invoke the name of the Lord.
Adam’s Descendants to Noah and His Sons
The point is not how long they lived. The point is that they all died.
5) This is the list of the descendants of Adam. When God created humankind, he made them in the likeness of God. 2Male and female he created them, and he blessed them and named them “Humankind” when they were created.
3When Adam had lived 130 years, he became the father of a son in his likeness, according to his image, and named him Seth. 4The days of Adam after he became the father of Seth were 800 years; and he had other sons and daughters. 5Thus all the days that Adam lived were 930 years; and he died.
6When Seth had lived 105 years, he became the father of Enosh. 7Seth lived after the birth of Enosh 807 years, and had other sons and daughters. 8Thus all the days of Seth were 912 years; and he died.
9When Enosh had lived 90 years, he became the father of Kenan. 10Enosh lived after the birth of Kenan 815 years, and had other sons and daughters. 11Thus all the days of Enosh were 905 years; and he died.
12When Kenan had lived 70, he became the father of Mahalalel. 13Kenan lived after the birth of Mahalalel 840 years, and had other sons and daughters. 14Thus all the days of Kenan were 910 years; and he died.
15When Mahalalel had lived 65 years, he became the father of Jared. 16Mahalalel lived after the birth of Jared 830 years, and had other sons and daughters. 17Thus all the days of Mahalalel were 895 years; and he died.
18When Jared had lived 162 years he became the father of Enoch. 19Jared lived after the birth of Enoch 800 years, and had other sons and daughters. 20Thus all the days of Jared were 962 years; and he died.
21When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah. 22Enoch walked with God after the birth of Methuselah 300 years, and had other sons and daughters. 23Thus all the days of Enoch were 365 years. 24Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him.
Micah 6:8 (English Standard Version)
He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the LORD require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?
25When Methuselah had lived 187 years, he became the father of Lamech. 26Methuselah lived after the birth of Lamech 782 years, and had other sons and daughters. 27Thus all the days of Methuselah were 969 years; and he died.
28When Lamech had lived 182 years, he became the father of a son; 29he named him Noah, saying, “Out of the ground that the Lord has cursed this one shall bring us relief from our work and from the toil of our hands.” 30Lamech lived after the birth of Noah 595 years, and had other sons and daughters. 31Thus all the days of Lamech were 777 years; and he died.
32After Noah was 500 years old, Noah became the father of Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
Cowards die many times before their deaths;
The valiant never taste of death but once.
Of all the wonders that I yet have heard.
It seems to me most strange that men should fear;
Seeing that death, a necessary end,
Will come when it will come.
–from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, Act 2, Scene 2
Simple Secrets of the Kingdom
Study 4 – The Trouble with Man
This study shows us that we do hear other voices in the world. The voice of the Bible is the voice of reality. The serpent’s lies begin with “if” or “what if.” When we listen to and follow the voice of the serpent (the devil) we are cut off from the Word of life. Click here for AUDIO or VIDEO.
The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.