Adam and Eve start populating the earth in chapter four. First, Eve bears Cain and later she has Abel. Don’t you know she was smacking her head with each painful contraction, thinking, Stupid Eve! All this misery for one lousy bite of fruit!

Abel grows up to be a shepherd and Cain becomes a farmer. The Bible says 3Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. 4But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock, and goes on to say God was pleased with Abel’s gift, but not Cain’s. Now at first blush it seems like God just prefers a good steak over veggies until I realized that He’s not in the business of being petty. It wasn’t what Cain brought, but the condition of his heart that God was displeased with and that bad attitude was only the beginning.

One would think humankind would sort of ease into the whole sinning thing. But mortal number three jumps right in with both feet. Anger, jealousy, lying, and the big one – murder. And not, “oops, I only meant to scare or hurt you,” murder, either. Here’s a great argument for nature over nurture, don’t you think? Cain lures Abel out to the field and then kills him because he was angry that God liked Abel’s offering better.

God asks Cain where his brother is, a rhetorical question because, you know. He’s God. He knows everything. But Cain doesn’t catch on to this so he lies and gives God a snotty answer. Do you think he believed for a second he could possibly get away with offing his brother? Why else would he lie to God? Well anyway, he doesn’t get away with it and is cursed with no more farming and wandering the earth.

He then has the audacity to whine to God about his punishment! I can’t bear this punishment. You’re driving me from the land. I’ll be hidden from your presence. I will be a restless wanderer. Whoever finds me will kill me. Wah, wah, wah. Dude! You killed your brother! Let’s add selfishness to his list of character flaws. But God is merciful and marks Cain so that no one will kill him lest they suffer vengeance seven times over. I guess God wasn’t into smiting yet.

Wait a minute. Back up a tad. Right there. Do you see that? “…whoever finds me…” That would indicate there are more people than just three people on the earth. In fact, as you read on you find out that Cain goes to the land of Nod, east of Eden, and has a wife. Where did these people come from? I’ve heard different theories, but I’d like to hear yours.

A six generation genealogy of Cain’s family is given and the writer thinks it’s worth mentioning that his great, great, great grandson, Lamech, kills a young man just for wounding him. Verse 24 says, “If Cain is avenged seven times, then Lamech seventy-seven times.” Forget God’s justice. He just took care of the situation himself. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, does it?

At the end of the chapter, Eve gives birth to a third son, Seth, to carry on the family line. Seth fathered Enosh and at that time men began to call on the name of the Lord. At least Seth’s family seemed to get it.

 

Let’s Chat

  1. Did Cain think God didn’t know he’d killed Abel?
  2. Where did the other people come from?

Discuss.

 

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