The First Book of Moses, Called Genesis

Chapter 4

The birth, occupation, and offering of Cain and Abel, 1-7. Cain murders his brother Abel, 8-10. The curse of Cain, 11-16. He has a son named Enoch and builds a city, which he calls after his name, 17. His descendants, with Lamech and his two wives, 18-24. The birth of Seth, 25, and Enos, 26.

1 And Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, and said, "I have gotten a man from the LORD." 2 And she again bore his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. 3 And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought from the fruit of the ground an offering to the LORD. 4 And Abel, he also brought some of the first-born of his flock and some of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect for Abel and for his offering, 5 But for Cain and for his offering he did not have respect. And Cain was very angry and his countenance fell. 6 And the LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? 7 If you do well, shall you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire shall be for you, and you must rule over it." 8 And Cain talked with Abel his brother. And it came to pass when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and slew him.

9 And the LORD said to Cain, "Where is Abel your brother?" And he said, "I do not know. Am I my brother's keeper?" 10 And he said, "What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood cries to me from the ground. 11 And now you are cursed from the earth which has opened her mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand. 12 When you till the ground, it shall not from now on yield to you its strength. A fugitive and a vagabond you shall be in the earth." 13 And Cain said to the LORD, "My punishment is greater than I can bear. 14 Behold, you have driven me this day from the face of the earth, and from your face I shall be hid. And I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth. And it will come to pass, that everyone who finds me will slay me." 15 And the LORD said to him, "Therefore, whoever slays Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him seven-fold." And the LORD set a mark upon Cain, lest anyone finding him should kill him.

16 And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD and dwelt in the land of Nod, east of Eden.

17 And Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch. And he built a city and called the name of the city after the name of his son, Enoch. 18 And to Enoch was born Irad; and Irad begot Mehujael; and Mehujael begot Methusael; and Methusael begot Lamech. 19 And Lamech took for himself two wives: the name of one was Adah and the name of the other Zillah. 20 And Adah bore Jabal. He was the father of those who dwell in tents and of those who have cattle. 21 And his brother's name was Jubal. He was the father of all those who handle the harp and pipe. 22 And Zillah, she also bore Tubalcain, a forger of every cutting instrument of brass and iron. And the sister of Tubalcain was Naamah.

23 And Lamech said to his wives,

"Adah and Zillah, hear my voice./
Wives of Lamech, listen to my speech./
For I have slain a man for wounding me,/
even a young man for hurting me.

24 If Cain shall be avenged seven-fold,/
truly Lamech seventy-seven-fold."

25 And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and called his name Seth, for she said, "God has appointed me another child instead of Abel, whom Cain slew." 26 And to Seth, to him there was also born a son, and he called his name Enos. Then men began to call upon the name of the LORD.


Matthew Henry Commentary - Genesis, Chapter 4[➚]


[v.7] - This verse varies in the Septuagint, but it may give a little insight as to why Cain's offerings were not accepted. The beginning of this verse reads, "Have you not sinned if you have brought it rightly, but not rightly divided it?" According to this, Cain brought his sacrifice, but did not rightly divide it (see Genesis 15:10, 17). This was the custom of people entering into a covenant. The sacrifice was to be divided and they were to pass between the divided pieces (Matthew Poole Commentary on Genesis 15:17).

[v.8] - Again, the Septuagint varies in this verse and also may provide a little more insight into this encounter between Cain and Abel. The Hebrew text mentions that Cain and Abel were talking and then were in the field together. The Septuagint, however, adds one more detail. It says, "And Cain said to Abel his brother, 'Let us go out into the field.'" So, according to the Septuagint, Cain invited Abel into the field where he would kill him.

[v.26] -LXX: "And Seth had a son, and he called his name Enos. He hoped to call on the name of the Lord God."