Cain Murders Abel
1The man was intimate with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain. She said, “I have had a male child with the Lord’s help.”#4:1 Lit the Lord 2She also gave birth to his brother Abel. Now Abel became a shepherd of flocks, but Cain worked the ground. 3In the course of time Cain presented some of the land’s produce as an offering to the Lord.#Ex 23:19; 34:26; Neh 10:35 4And Abel also presented an offering — some of the firstborn of his flock and their fat portions.#Ex 13:12; Nm 18:17; Pr 3:9 The Lord had regard for Abel and his offering,#Heb 11:4 5but he did not have regard for Cain and his offering. Cain was furious, and he looked despondent.
6Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you furious?#Jnh 4:4 And why do you look despondent? 7If you do what is right, won’t you be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.”#Gn 3:16
8Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.”#4:8 Sam, LXX, Syr, Vg; MT omits “Let’s go out to the field.” And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.#Mt 23:35; Lk 11:51; 1Jn 3:12–15; Jd 11
9Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?”
“I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s guardian?”
10Then he said, “What have you done? Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground!#Nm 35:33; Dt 21:1–9; Heb 12:24; Rv 6:9–10 11So now you are cursed, alienated from the ground that opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood you have shed.#4:11 Lit blood from your hand 12If you work the ground, it will never again give you its yield. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth.”#Dt 28:16–18; Is 26:21
13But Cain answered the Lord, “My punishment#4:13 Or sin is too great to bear! 14Since you are banishing me today from the face of the earth, and I must hide from your presence and become a restless wanderer on the earth, whoever finds me will kill me.”#Nm 35:26–27
15Then the Lord replied to him, “In that case,#4:15 LXX, Syr, Vg read “Not so!” whoever kills Cain will suffer vengeance seven times over.” And he placed a mark#Ex 9:4; Ezk 9:4,6; Rv 13:16–17 on Cain so that whoever found him would not kill him. 16Then Cain went out from the Lord’s presence and lived in the land of Nod,#4:16 Lit Wandering east of Eden.
The Line of Cain
17Cain was intimate with his wife, and she conceived and gave birth to Enoch. Then Cain became the builder of a city, and he named the city Enoch after his son. 18Irad was born to Enoch, Irad fathered Mehujael, Mehujael fathered Methushael, and Methushael fathered Lamech. 19Lamech took two wives for himself, one named Adah and the other named Zillah. 20Adah bore Jabal; he was the first#4:20 Lit father of the nomadic herdsmen. 21His brother was named Jubal; he was the first#4:21 Lit father of all who play the lyre and the flute. 22Zillah bore Tubal-cain, who made all kinds of bronze and iron tools. Tubal-cain’s sister was Naamah.
23Lamech said to his wives:
Adah and Zillah, hear my voice;
wives of Lamech, pay attention to my words.
For I killed a man for wounding me,
a young man for striking me.
24If Cain is to be avenged seven times over,
then for Lamech it will be seventy-seven times!
25Adam was intimate with his wife again, and she gave birth to a son and named him Seth, for she said, “God has given#4:25 The Hb word for given sounds like the name “Seth.” me another offspring#4:25 Lit seed in place of Abel, since Cain killed him.” 26A son was born to Seth#Lk 3:38 also, and he named him Enosh. At that time people began to call on the name of the Lord.#Gn 12:8; 26:25; 1Kg 18:24; Ps 116:17; Jl 2:32; Zph 3:9; 1Co 1:2