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Genesis 4

4
Chapter 4
Cain and Abel
1Adam had sex with his wife, Eve. She became pregnant. She gave birth to Cain. She said, ‘With the Lord's help, I have given birth to a son.’ #4:1 Eve knew that God has authority over life and death.
2Some time later, Eve gave birth to Cain's brother. She called him Abel. When they had grown to become men, Abel took care of sheep. Cain worked on the land as a farmer.
3Some time passed. Then one day Cain brought to God some of the fruits that he had grown. He offered those fruits as a gift to the Lord. 4But Abel brought to God some of the first lambs that his sheep had given birth to. He brought pieces of fat from the best of his lambs to offer them to God. Abel and his gift pleased the Lord. #4:4 Abel chose the firstborn young animals to give to God. He killed them, and then he gave God the fat pieces. This is the best part of the meat from the animal. 5But God was not happy with Cain and his gift. So Cain became very angry. His face looked sad. #4:5 Cain was angry because God was not happy with him and his gift. Cain did not try to learn what God really wants as a gift. Instead, Cain showed God that he was angry.
6Then the Lord said to Cain, ‘Why are you angry? Why do you look sad? 7If you do what is right, I will accept you. But if you do not do the right thing, sin will be very near to you. It will be like a wild animal at your door that is ready to eat you. But you must become its master.’ #4:7 God told Cain that, if he continued to do wrong things, sin would destroy him. When Adam and Eve went against God in the garden of Eden, sin started its work. Now people want to do bad things. God told Cain that he must have authority over sin. He must stop himself from doing wrong things. Then God will accept Cain.
Cain kills Abel
8One day Cain said to his brother Abel, ‘Let us go out to the field.’
While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel. He killed Abel.
9Then the Lord said to Cain, ‘Where is Abel, your brother?’ Cain replied, ‘I do not know where he is. Must I always keep my brother safe?’
10Then the Lord God said, ‘Why have you done this bad thing? Now your brother's blood is lying there on the ground. That is like his voice which is shouting to me for help. 11The ground received your brother's blood when you killed him. As a result, the ground no longer accepts you. It has brought a curse on you. 12When you try to dig the ground, no plants will grow in it for your food. You will travel from place to place. You will not have your own home.’ #4:12 God's question to Cain is like the question that he asked Adam and Eve. That was when they hid in the garden. God knew that Cain had killed Abel. He wanted Cain to say that he is sorry. But Cain was not sorry that he had killed his brother.
13Cain said to the Lord, ‘That punishment is too much! It will give me too much pain. 14Now you are making me leave my home here on the land. I will be far away from where you are. I will be a traveller without a home. If someone sees me, they will kill me.’
15But the Lord said to Cain, ‘No. I will not let anyone kill you. If anyone kills Cain, I will punish that person seven times more than I have punished you.’
Then the Lord put a special mark on Cain. This was to tell other people that they must not kill Cain.
16Cain went away from the Lord. He went to live in the land called Nod, which is east of Eden.
The descendants of Cain
17Cain had sex with his wife. She became pregnant and she gave birth to Enoch. Cain started to build a city. He called the city Enoch because that was his son's name. 18Enoch became the father of Irad. Irad became the father of Mehujael. Mehujael became the father of Methushael. Methushael became the father of Lamech.
19Lamech married two women. One was called Adah, and the other was called Zillah. 20Adah gave birth to Jabal. Jabal became the father of people who live in tents and they take care of livestock. #4:20 In Old Testament times, tents were made of animal skins. You can take tents down and move them. Then you put them back up in another place.
21Jabal had a brother called Jubal. Jubal became the father of people who make music with harps and flutes.
22Zillah gave birth to a son. His name was Tubal-Cain. He used bronze and iron to make tools. Tubal-Cain had a sister. Her name was Naamah.
23Lamech said to his two wives,
‘Adah and Zillah, listen to me!
My wives, hear my words!
A man attacked me, so I killed him.
Yes, I killed a young man because he hurt me.
24If someone kills Cain, God will punish that person seven times more.
But if someone attacks me, I will punish that person 77 times more!’ #4:24 Because Adam and Eve went against God, sin started its work. As time passed, sin became worse. Lamech is proud because he killed the young man. He wants to tell people what he has done. He does not think that he has done something wrong.
The birth of Seth
25Adam again had sex with his wife, Eve. She gave birth to another son. She called him Seth. Eve said, ‘God has given me another child to take the place of Abel, because Cain killed Abel.’ 26Later Seth had a son and he called him Enosh.
At that time, people began to use the name of the Lord to worship him.
4
The First Family
1Adam had sexual relations with his wife Eve. She became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Cain.#4:1 Cain This name is like the Hebrew word meaning “make” or “get.” Eve said, “With the Lord’s help, I have made a man!”
2Eve gave birth again to Cain’s brother Abel. Abel became a shepherd, and Cain became a farmer.
The First Murder
3-4At harvest time,#4:3-4 At harvest time Literally, “at the end of days.” Cain brought a gift to the Lord. He brought some of the food that he grew from the ground, but Abel brought some animals from his flock. He chose some of his best sheep and brought the best parts from them.#4:3-4 He chose … from them Literally, “He brought some of his firstborn sheep, especially their fat.”
The Lord accepted Abel and his gift. 5But he did not accept Cain and his offering. Cain was sad because of this, and he became very angry. 6The Lord asked Cain, “Why are you angry? Why does your face look sad? 7You know that if you do what is right, I will accept you. But if you don’t, sin is ready to attack you. That sin will want to control you, but you must control it.”#4:7 But if you … control it Or “But if you don’t do right, sin is crouching at your door. It wants you, but you must rule over it.”
8Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.”#4:8 Let’s go … field This sentence is found in the ancient versions but not in the standard Hebrew text. So they went to the field. Then Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.
9Later, the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?”
Cain answered, “I don’t know. Is it my job to watch over my brother?”
10-11Then the Lord said, “What have you done? You killed your brother and the ground opened up to take his blood from your hands. Now his blood is shouting to me from the ground. So you will be cursed from this ground. 12Now when you work the soil, the ground will not help your plants grow. You will not have a home in this land. You will wander from place to place.”
13Then Cain said to the Lord, “This punishment is more than I can bear! 14You are forcing me to leave the land, and I will not be able to be near you or have a home! Now I must wander from place to place, and anyone I meet could kill me.”
15Then the Lord said to Cain, “No, if anyone kills you, I will punish that person much, much more.” Then the Lord put a mark on Cain to show that no one should kill him.
Cain’s Family
16Cain went away from the Lord and lived in the land of Nod.#4:16 Nod This name means “wandering.”
17Cain had sexual relations with his wife. She became pregnant and gave birth to a son named Enoch. Cain built a city and gave the city the same name as his son Enoch.
18Enoch had a son named Irad. Irad had a son named Mehujael. Mehujael had a son named Methushael. And Methushael had a son named Lamech.
19Lamech married two women. One wife was named Adah, and the other was named Zillah. 20Adah gave birth to Jabal. Jabal was the father#4:20 father This probably means that this man invented these things or was the first one to use them. of people who live in tents and earn their living by keeping cattle. 21Jabal was Jubal’s brother. Jubal was the father of people who play the harp and flute. 22Zillah gave birth to Tubal-Cain. Tubal-Cain was the father of people who work with bronze and iron. The sister of Tubal-Cain was named Naamah.
23Lamech said to his wives,
“Adah and Zillah, hear my voice!
You wives of Lamech, listen to me.
A man hurt me, so I killed him.
I even killed a child for hitting me.
24The punishment for killing Cain was very bad.
But the punishment for killing me will be many times worse!”
Adam and Eve Have a New Son
25Adam again had sexual relations with his wife, and she gave birth to another son. She named him Seth.#4:25 Seth This is like a Hebrew word meaning “to give.” Eve said, “God has given me another son. Cain killed Abel, but now I have Seth.” 26Seth also had a son. He named him Enosh. At that time people began to pray to the Lord.#4:26 people … the Lord Literally, “people began calling on the name YAHWEH.”