Summary: Genesis verse-by-verse
Last week we looked at the story of how Cain killed his brother and was then banished from the land. A horrible event in the history of the world that ruined both brother’s lives.
We ended our studies last week with Cain asking for mercy from God because he felt like others would now be coming after him to kill him and avenge Abel’s death. Others? What others? As a matter of fact, we’re also going to read about Cain and his wife. Wife? Others? I thought there was just Adam and Eve and their two sons Cain and Abel? Just who was Cain afraid of? Just where did Cain get a wife? Did God create other people in some other area of the world?
Well the Bible doesn’t record God doing any other creating of human beings. As a matter of fact, when God rested on the seventh day it was because He had completed creation. So there wasn’t another group of people that God had created.
Also, when Adam and Eve were created they were created as adults; Adults who almost immediately were married. They soon had their two sons. When the story of their sons Cain and Abel is picked up they’re pictured as adult men working the fields and working the animals.
Now, Adam and Eve surely continued to be together as man and woman and surely continued to have children – only they were having daughters instead of sons. (Adam and Eve don’t have another son until Adam’s 130 years old. We’ll read about that in a few minutes.)
So Cain, and Abel for that matter, would be marrying their sisters and having children through them. I happen to think that there’s a great chance that they were already married to their sisters before Cain killed Abel. I mean they were grown men. Why wouldn’t they get married? Also, maybe Cain was fearful of Abel’s children rising up in vengeance against him. And look at the beginning of tonight’s passage.
[Read Genesis 4:16-17a.]
Right after Cain leaves him and his wife get pregnant. There’s no mention of when they got married or where she came from. It looks like they might have already been married when Cain was banished but Cain took her with him.
And we must remember this, it’s not unusual for daughters to not be mentioned by name when a biblical character’s family is being recorded. Sometimes even sons names aren’t recorded in Scripture.
[Read Genesis 5:4.]
So, the other people that helped fill in the family gaps were the daughters and even granddaughters of Adam.
Now when you think about something like this, that Cain and Abel were marrying their sisters, the first reaction you have is – ugh! “I mean, you want me to marry my sister! Dad, we live in Eden – not Alabama!”
But remember, human genetics was very different thousands of years ago. Our genes today have suffered thousands of years of mutations and diseases and deficiencies. I know some people think we’re evolving into better humans physically – but it’s actually the opposite. If you marry your immediate family today your offspring will more than likely come out deformed or something. But back then, with a incredible small and perfect gene pool, offspring would come out just fine.
But you know what I say, “Thank God our gene pools are messed up today so we don’t have to marry our sisters!” I just can’t imagine.
But anyway, that’s how civilization got started. And in tonight’s passage we’re actually going to see two civilizations get started. One from Cain and one from Adam. Both had to start over because their original family, and original intended family heritage, had been destroyed by Cain’s sin. Adam and Eve no longer had any sons, Abel was dead, and Cain no longer had any parents. But Cain starts a new family and a new family heritage. And Adam starts a new family and a new family heritage.
I. Cain’s new family
[Read Genesis 4:16-22.]
So Cain leaves the presence of the Lord and settles in the land of Nod east of Eden. He starts to have children and his children start to have children and on and on. He actually builds a city there and names it after his first born son Enoch.
It actually looks like things are going pretty well for Cain. I mean, an advanced civilization is actually forming right there through the lineage of Cain.
1. City of Enoch, (first real city?)
2. Ranchers, (4:20)
3. Music, (4:21)
4. Metallurgy, (4:22)
Life is happening for Cain. His family is growing, civilization and culture is growing, and
nobody can lay a hand on him for what he did to Abel. But progress and success aren’t substitutes for what family and heritage is really all about. I mean, how many countries do we have in the world today that are progressive and successful with rich cultures and advanced civilizations yet their families are falling apart. The moral fiber is torn. Life is filled with entertainment and innovation yet it’s empty and futile.