Bible Study Notes on Genesis 4 – 20160927

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Bible Study Notes

Genesis 4:2  “…she bore again…”
Commentary suggests Cain and Abel may have been twins.  Not specified.  No time is given so no way to know how much time passes between events.  But enough for Cain to become a farmer and Abel a sheepherder.  During this time, I’m sure Eve is producing many more children.  In fact, since they lived so long, she could have been producing many children.

3  “…in the process of time…”
At some point.

3-5  “…Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground…Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat…the LORD respected Abel…He did not respect Cain”
By this time, I’m sure both boys had been taught that God required a blood sacrifice.  Abel brought one, but Cain brought what he had grown.  Appears that although Cain was showing some reverence by bringing an offering, he insisted on doing it his way by disobeying what God required.  God did not respect his offering.

6-7  “…Why are you angry?…If you do well, will you not be accepted?…”
Cain became angry that God didn’t accept his offering.  God lays it out plainly.  Why should Cain be angry that he wasn’t accepted when he knew he wasn’t offering what God required.  He had no excuse for his behavior and no right to become angry over the consequences.

8  “…Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him”
Cain insists on doing things his way and becomes angry when he is caught.  Even though everything is his fault, his narcissism won’t allow him to blame himself, so he must find someone else to blame.  Since he can’t really blame God, he attacks the one who received the acceptance he thought belonged to him.  Unfortunately, it sounds too typical.

9  “…I do not know.  Am I my brother’s keeper?”
Sin has completely blinded him to reality.  He lies to Almighty God, then tries to worm his way out of any responsibility.

12  “When you till the ground, it shall no longer yield its strength to you…”
His punishment is directed at his vocation.  He can no longer be a farmer.

13  “…My punishment is greater than I can bear!”
Still only thinking of himself.  No remorse for the fact that he has killed his own brother.

15  “…set a mark on Cain…”
The mark of Cain.  Not specified what the mark was.

16-17  “…Cain went out from the presence of the LORD and dwelt in the land of Nod…Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch…”
People have all kinds of problems with this verse.  Where did the other people come from, and who did Cain marry.  I’ve heard it suggested that after creating Adam and Eve, God created a bunch of other people.  Best to stick with God’s word instead of trying to make it fit our narrative.  Obviously Cain married either a sister, niece, or great niece of some sort.  Since they lived for so long, several generations could have been born and reproduced before this point.  Cain mentioned that people might try to harm him so there must have already been a good number of people around.  The Bible doesn’t mention a prohibition against familial marriage until much later.  Abraham and Sarah apparently shared one parent.  Since the human race was young, the gene pool would be clear of any mutations that might be reproduced if the parents were closely related.  Here is a good example of why we must not attempt to interpret the scripture according to our personal bias or try to make it say what we want.  The truth is there, we must find it.

16-24  “…Cain went out…Lamech took for himself two wives…I have killed a man for wounding me…”
Cain’s ungodly line.  He went out from God’s presence to live on his own and began his own family.  Lamech is the first record of man breaking God’s marriage law.  And he killed someone and bragged about it.  Man is on his way to great ungodliness.

22  “…an instructor of every craftsman in bronze and iron…”
The world wants to place early man in caves with not enough intelligence to come in out of the rain.  But the scripture teaches otherwise.  We don’t know how many breakthroughs in tool making came about during this time, nor if God took a direct hand in teaching the skills.  Here is the first mention of man fashioning bronze and iron to his advantage.  The flood will occur around 1500 to 2000 years after creation so it apparently didn’t take mankind long to learn many skills.

25  “…Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and named him Seth…”
Exact time unknown, but obviously after Abel’s death.

26  “…men began to call on the name of the LORD”
Perhaps men began to be more reverent toward God having wandered from Him since the fall.  Commentaries also suggest that the descendents of Seth may have been called by the name of God as in sons of God, those who chose to follow Him.  This was opposed to the descendents of Cain who left God’s presence and became the sons of men.  As there were undoubtedly many other lines of folks, it’s unclear how many of them followed God and how many did not.  We do know that by the time Noah came along, most of mankind had ceased from following God and were evil continually.  Sad commentary on the affairs of men and how he corrupts himself when left to himself.  Totally dispels the idea that mankind can evolve and become greater on his own.  The scripture tells us that the last days will be just as the days of Noah with regard to the actions of the population.  A look at current news bears that out.

I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word.  May it accomplish what He desires.  Please feel free to comment or post questions.  Thanks for reading!

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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