Genesis Segment 06 (3:20-4:26)

(Gen 3:20) And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.

This occurred immediately after the couple sinned and just before they were ejected from the Garden of Eden.

The word translated Eve, chawa, means life giver. The world says that we all evolved from primordial soup and that happened simply by chance. Yet the Bible tells us that all humans are descendants of Eve. In current science, there is a theory that all humans descend from a single common ancestor known as Mitochondrial Eve. Of course the idea is that this “Eve” evolved from a lower life form into a pre-human life form, from which all humans evolved. Not so. According to the Bible, Eve was the first woman and she was created by God. There was no evolution involved. She was created and she mated with Adam, the first human man, who was created by God, resulting in offspring, from which all of us have descended. This resulted in the population of the earth.

It is certainly possible for one couple to have had enough offspring to populate the world, because population grows exponentially. For example, if the population had doubled every 150 years (the actual rate is 40 years) the current population would be over 8 billion today. Factoring in the flood, which occurred 4500 years ago, the current population is just about where it should be.

(Gen 3:21) Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.

Adam and Eve were naked except for the fig leaves (Gen 3:7). Thus, God provided clothing for them. In order to provide clothing made from animal skin, blood had to be spilled; animals had to be killed. This was the first blood sacrifice. Here, animals were slain in order to clothe Adam and Eve. This was done to cover their nakedness or atone for the shame of their nakedness. That is because nakedness was considered to be shameful and the word atone is a synonym of the word cover. This was likely the reason men offered animal sacrifices. They did so long before the law was given, for we find Abel bringing a blood sacrifice to God in Gen 4:4.

(Gen 3:22) And the LORD God said, “Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:”

Who is “Us”? The answer to that question lies in the first phrase: “And the LORD God said”. The words, Lord God are Yehovah Elohim. Yehovah, (there is no “J” in Hebrew) is the covenant name of God: I AM. Elohim is the plural of Eloah, which means God. The word, elohim, usually means gods, but it is also used for The One True or Supreme God, or the Godhead. Why is it plural? Because God manifests Himself in three persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Therefore, Elohim, used here in conjunction with Yehovah means I AM THE SUPREME GOD, which is the Trinity. God, the Father speaks to the other two persons of the Supreme God or Godhead and to the heavenly hosts. He tells the Word and the Holy Spirit that Adam now knows good and evil and could partake of the Tree of Life, which is a type of Jesus. Now that Adam had sinned and learned good and evil, it would be unthinkable for him to receive eternal life. That could only happen after the resurrection of Christ. The word elohim can also refer to the entire Heavenly host, which includes archangels, angels, cherubim and seraphim. In Psalm 8:5 we see that angels are called elohim. Hebrew lexicons tell us that one definition of the word elohim is angels. Thus, God the Father speaks to the other two persons of the Godhead and to the entire Heavenly host.

(Gen 3:23) Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.

Adam was formed from the dust of the adamah (Gen 2:7), or ground, and now, instead of eating the fruit in the Garden, he must till that very ground from which he was formed. This fulfilled the Word of the LORD in Gen 3:17-19.

(Gen 3:24) So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

The word rendered “east” is a word that also means the front of a thing. It can also mean the beginning. The sun rises in the east at the beginning or the front of the day. Hence the word east evolved to mean the front or beginning of a thing. The Septuagint does not use the word for east here. It says that the cherubim were placed at the entrance (the way) to the Tree of Life. This tells us that the Jews of the second century BC considered this to be the entrance to the Garden, and not a point of the compass.

The door of the Tabernacle and later the Temple faced east. The people gathered to the east of the Tabernacle/Temple to worship God, to offer their sacrifices, and to hear the priest expound the Word of God. Adam, Eve, and their children could not enter the Garden, but could still come to the east or entrance of the Garden to meet with God. Thus the angels stood in the way of the tree of life, which was the Holy of Holies for Adam and Eve. That is the reason that Cherubim were placed in the holy of holies over the Ark of the Covenant to guard it just like they guarded the entrance to the Garden of Eden. The Ark was the place of Atonement, just as the Tree of Life symbolized Christ and His atoning work at Calvary.  The flaming, turning sword shows the difficulty in gaining access to the Tree of Life. Only through Christ’s redemptive work may we approach that Tree. Christ’s death split the curtain in front of the Holy of Holies allowing us access to that Place; thus the flaming sword was removed by Christ.

(Gen 4:1) And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD.

Cain is quayin in the Hebrew. Quayin means a lance or a spear. From its root, qana, and from the context, it means to acquire or to get. Notice that Eve knew where Cain came from. Babies are gifts from God. Only God could make a baby in its mother’s womb. She knew Cain came from God, even though she had had a union with her husband. Physically the baby grew in Eve’s womb guided by the DNA that God created. Even so, babies are still a gift from God. Please note that the Scripture is very specific here in saying that Eve conceived when she and Adam copulated. Cain is of Adam’s seed, and not of the seed of the serpent as some claim.

(Gen 4:2) And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.

The Hebrew for ‘again’ is yacaph, which can mean “to conceive again.” It can also mean “to add or augment, to continue.” Thus some claim the verse means that Abel and Cain were twins. This is either a gross misunderstanding or deliberate misreading of the context. The context is that Adam and Eve copulated and produced Abel. Additionally we must consider the figure of speech here; it is the use of a conjunction between each word, phrase, or clause, which is known by the transliterated Greek word πολυσυνδετον, or polysyndeton. This a rhetorical device that is used to emphasize a point, or to set that point apart as an individual point and not a corollary to the last point. Note the succession of conjunctions (and, but, etc.) in the verses. These conjunctions delineate each topic and separate it from the last topic. Thus, Adam and Eve then copulated another time, after the birth of Cain, and this time Abel was conceived. Abel was a cattle herder and Cain a farmer.

(Gen 4:3-4) And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. {4} 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:

 The sacrifice Cain brought before the LORD was a minchah, which is basically an offering of some type. It could have been money, food, grain, etc.; any type of bloodless gift is covered by this term. God’s rejection of Cain’s acceptance of Abel’s offering had nothing to do with blood sacrifice. This gift offering or meat (that is, grain or meal) offering (as it is called in the Law, Lev. 2:1) was not a blood sacrifice. Notice that God makes a point of telling us that Abel brought the first-fruit of his increase. Cain simply brought of the fruit of his increase. I believe that the reason why God had no respect for Cain’s offering is that Cain just brought some of his increase instead of the first-fruit. Cain’s offering was not sincere, but a casual and careless offering. God does not want our casual or second best offerings; he wants our first and best. He gave us His first and best offering, Jesus Christ, and that is what he expects from us. Yes, God’s sacrifice applies to Adam and his descendants. It was retroactive. See 1 Peter 3:18-20.

 (Gen 4:5-6) But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. {6} And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?

Cain became angry and the look on his face fell when God accepted Abel’s offering but rejected his offering. By asking the question God asked, we know that Cain was fully aware of what an acceptable offering was. Since Cain knew his offering was only second best, he should not have been wroth when it was not accepted. The implication of the question was why Cain was wroth when he already knew his offering was unacceptable. He had no reason to believe God would accept the offering. Cain became jealous of Abel, not because of anything Abel did, but what Cain did not do. This jealousy was self imposed because Cain did not want to admit to any wrongdoing, and that angered him.  Therefore he projected his anger upon Abel. Jealousy is one of the worst of emotions. Bad things can happen because of jealousy. The Devil had Cain’s full attention here. He stuck in the knife of jealousy and twisted it.

(Gen 4:7a) 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.

If Cain had done what he knew to be right, his offering would have been accepted. But he did wrong and did not want to admit it. How many guilty criminals always profess their innocence? Probably many.

On the surface, this verse means that if you allow it, sin will rule over you, causing you to sin. Here is the most literal way of translating the verse: “If you do well, exaltation. And if not you do well, at the door sin is crouching [or lurking]; and toward you its desire [is]. But you should rule over it.” (From Green’s Interlinear Bible.) We note that Paul, in his Epistle to the Romans, personifies sin. See Rom 7:8-13. He says that sin deceived him and worked all kinds of evil in him. He treats sin like a person that is overbearing and very difficult to argue with. He goes on to say, in Rom 7:25, that Christ has delivered him from the personified sin in his flesh, which he called his body of death. Thus, Cain, instead of doing well in God’s eyes, allowed sin to conquer him.

 (Gen 4:8) And 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.

What Cain said to Abel was: “Let us go into the field.” We know this because these words are recorded in several ancient translations: the Samaritan Pentateuch, the Septuagint (LXX), the Syriac, the Vulgate, the Targum and other manuscripts. So Cain enticed Abel into the field and unexpectedly attacked Abel and killed him. Abel followed Cain out into a discreet open area with no knowledge of Cain’s intentions. Otherwise, Abel would not have put himself in such a precarious position. We know from the offering Abel brought that he had faith in the Lord. Therefore, he was saved and thus is now in Heaven. The writer of Hebrews assures us that pre-Christian folks were also saved by their faith in God. Hence Abel was saved (Heb 11:4).

(Gen 4:9) And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper?

Cain hid his act by going out away from others with his brother. It is likely that he also hid the body, as many murderers of the past have done. But God knew what had happened. As usual, in the interest of justice, God allowed Cain a chance to repent. God usually gives us a chance to repent, but not always, so it is best to repent as soon as you sin. Cain did not repent; in fact, he lied to God. Many sermons have been built around the words “am I my brother’s keeper?” Yes, according to the Word of God, we are to care for the needy among us.

This just shows that Cain was unrepentant and uncaring about his brother. He was shirking any responsibility. That is just what happened in the Garden with his parents. Adam blamed Eve and Eve blamed the Serpent. Cain is saying, “It’s not my fault”, which is a common malady among mankind.

(Gen 4:10) And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground.

This is another source of many a good sermon. The word for blood is dahm and here it is the plural, dahmy. Hence, it not only denotes Abel’s blood, but also his “bloods” or his posterity. Abel was cut off and so were any of his would be offspring. Blood symbolizes life, and Abel’s life, now ended, cried out to God for vengeance.

(Gen 4:11-12) And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand; {12} 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.

Adam’s punishment for his sin was that the ground would yield food, but only with difficulty. Adam would have to work very hard to get a yield from the ground. Since Abel’s blood cried out from the ground to God, Cain would not be able to get a living from the ground. Cain and his posterity would never be able to be farmers or husbandmen, because the ground would yield nothing for them. They would have to wander around and find their living where they could. It would not be easy.

 (Gen 4:13-14) And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment is greater than I can bear. {14} 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.

Cain was able to kill his brother and hide his act, but he was unwilling to bear his just punishment. At least his life was not taken for he did not receive capital punishment. Here the word earth is adamah, which could have been translated “land” or “country.” The phrase would then read, “thou hast driven me out this day from the face of this land.” That clarifies this passage. Cain was driven out of the land of his father, the land east of Eden. Cain adds that he would be hid from God’s face. God never said Cain would be hid from God’s face. Cain simply assumed this was so. The phrase “a fugitive and a vagabond” literally nearly means he would wander up and down in the earth or world. Compare this with what Satan said in Job 1:7; that he had been walking up and down in the earth. Cain was also worried that the other people on the earth would kill him in vengeance for what he did to his brother Abel. What other people? They were the other offspring of Adam and Eve and their children’s children, etc.

This begs the question, “How many others were there in the world at that time?” We don’t know how long it was before Abel slew Cain. It may have been when Adam was 500 years old (he lived 800 years). We do know that Adam was 130 when Eve gave birth to Seth. The Bible is silent on how many others Eve gave birth to and when they were born. Scripture only tells us that she and Adam had other children (Gen 5:4). We then must extrapolate that Cain killed Abel after many other children had been born to Adam and Eve and after several generations there was a large population on the earth. People lived several hundred years in that age and would have been able to produce thousands of children in a few hundred years.

 (Gen 4:15-16) 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. {16} And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.

The decree that no one would harm Cain must have been made known to the entire world, or Cain’s mark would have meant nothing to them. It is not possible to know what the actual mark was. It is plain, though, that the mark was readily identifiable, both from the context and the definition of the word. Mark is ‘owth in Hebrew. It means a signal (lit. or fig.), as a flag, beacon, monument, omen, prodigy, evidence, etc. Nod means vagrancy or wandering. As we discussed before, the east could simply have been the entrance to the Garden. It was further away from Eden than the land Adam occupied. It certainly could have been toward the east as a compass point as well.  

(Gen 4:17-18) 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 son, Enoch. {18} And unto Enoch was born Irad: and Irad begat Mehujael: and Mehujael begat Methusael: and Methusael begat Lamech.

This is the beginning of Cain’s generations, which are a part of the “Generations of the Heavens and of the Earth,” of Genesis 2:4. Cain’s generations are completely separate from the generations of Adam, Seth, and of Noah. Cain became a part of the rest of the Earth away from Adam. Cain married a woman who was a descendant of Adam, so perhaps there were others in the land of Nod before Cain arrived. But Cain could also have started the population in Nod with just him and his wife. At any rate his part of the world became very populous. Since Cain was banished from Adam, he and his offspring stayed away from Adam’s. They were separate people.

Read Genesis 4:17-24 for the progeny of Cain. Note that Cain built a city that he named after his first son, Enoch. This was a man-centered development, thus named after a man, Cain’s son, and it was not God-centered. Jabel was a family that dwelt in tents; Jubal was the father of a family of musicians; Tubalcain was a metal smith; and Lamech apparently murdered someone. 

(Gen 4:25) 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.

We now change course and come back to Adam’s family. This does not mean that Seth was not born until after all those generations of Cain took place. It just means that Cain was the firstborn of Adam and his generations were explained first. After all, these words were transmitted orally until Moses wrote them down. Since that was so, the easiest way to remember the stories is to keep them in order.

 Gen 4:26  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.

There are two schools of thought about the phrase, “then began men to call upon the name of the LORD.” One is that this was a pagan idea. E.W. Bullinger, in his notes in the Companion Bible, states that this verse should read, “began to call upon [their gods] by the name of Jehovah,” or “began profanely to call upon the name of the Lord”.

The reasoning goes like this:

Enos means mortal, hence frail, weakly, or sickly. The word translated “began” is actually chalal which means “to profane.” The phrase actually reads, “then men called profanely on the name of the LORD.” This was when the corruption of True Yehovah-Worship began. The verse implies, as does the name, that Enos (or Enosh, the sons of men) actually started this profaning of the name of Yehovah. The margin of the Authorized Version says they began to call themselves by the name of Yehovah. Many ancient Israelite commentaries show that men began to call their gods, or idols, by the name of Yehovah. The majority of ancient commentators suggest that they began to call the stars and idols their gods and began to worship them (instead of Yehovah). This would bolster the evidence that all religion started with monotheism, the worship of the One True God, which was corrupted into polytheism.

Bullinger cites several ancient references in support of his belief:

The Targum of Onkelos explains it: “then in his days the sons of men desisted from praying in the Name of the Lord.”

The Targum of Jonathan says: “That was the generation in whose days they began to err, and to make themselves idols, and surnamed their idols by the Name of the Word of the Lord.”

Kimchi, Rashi, and other ancient Jewish commentators agree with this.  Rashi says: “Then was there profanation in calling on the Name of the Lord.”

                —The Companion Bible, Appendix #21

The second school of thought is that men began to worship God at this time. The caveat is that Adam worshipped God as did Abel and Cain. It is prudent to believe that men worshipped God all along, so what is different here? This phrase could be rendered, “then began men to call themselves by the name of the LORD,” which is similar to Christians calling themselves by the Name of their Savior. This is supposed to be in juxtaposition to the progeny of Cain, who worshipped pagan gods which is probably why they built a city by the name of Cain’s firstborn son. That would seem to indicate that the Cainites wanted nothing to do with worshipping the one true God. Thus the children of Seth distinguished between the worship of the true God and the pagan gods of the Cainites by calling themselves a name like “Yehovah’s Worshippers,” or some other similar device. Those are the two schools of thought.

There is another possibility and a simple one. Perhaps men had worshipped God all along, but now began to worship Him by Name, where they had only worshiped Him generically before, probably because everyone knew Who was being worshipped. Now perhaps because pagan worship had begun, they began to distinguish Whom they worshipped. Again this is possibly put here to distinguish the true worshippers of God from the pagans.

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