|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
4:8-15 Malice in the heart ends in murder by the hands. Cain slew Abel, his own brother, his own mother's son, whom he ought to have loved; his younger brother, whom he ought to have protected; a good brother, who had never done him any wrong. What fatal effects were these of our first parents' sin, and how must their hearts have been filled with anguish! Observe the pride, unbelief, and impenitence of Cain. He denies the crime, as if he could conceal it from God. He tries to cover a deliberate murder with a deliberate lie. Murder is a crying sin. Blood calls for blood, the blood of the murdered for the blood of the murderer. Who knows the extent and weight of a Divine curse, how far it reaches, how deep it pierces? Only in Christ are believers saved from it, and inherit the blessing. Cain was cursed from the earth. He found his punishment there where he chose his portion, and set his heart. Every creature is to us what God makes it, a comfort or a cross, a blessing or a curse. The wickedness of the wicked brings a curse upon all they do, and all they have. Cain complains not of his sin, but of his punishment. It shows great hardness of heart to be more concerned about our sufferings than our sins. God has wise and holy ends in prolonging the lives even of very wicked men. It is in vain to inquire what was the mark set upon Cain. It was doubtless known, both as a brand of infamy on Cain, and a token from God that they should not kill him. Abel, being dead, yet speaketh. He tells the heinous guilt of murder, and warns us to stifle the first risings of wrath, and teaches us that persecution must be expected by the righteous. Also, that there is a future state, and an eternal recompence to be enjoyed, through faith in Christ and his atoning sacrifice. And he tells us the excellency of faith in the atoning sacrifice and blood of the Lamb of God. Cain slew his brother, because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous, 1Jo 3:12. In consequence of the enmity put between the Seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent, the war broke out, which has been waged ever since. In this war we are all concerned, none are neuter; our Captain has declared, He that is not with me is against me. Let us decidedly, yet in meekness, support the cause of truth and righteousness against Satan.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth,.... Not from being upon the earth, or had chased him out of the world as a wicked man is at death, but from a quiet settlement in it, and from society and converse with the inhabitants of it; and especially he was driven from that part of it, where he was born and brought up, and which he had been employed in manuring; where his parents dwelt, and other relations, friends, and acquaintance: and to be banished into a strange country, uninhabited, and at a distance from those he had familiarly lived with, was a sore punishment of him:
and from, thy face shall I be hid; not from his omniscience and omnipresence, for there is no such thing as being hid from the all seeing eye of God, or flying from his presence, which is everywhere; but from his favour and good will, and the outward tokens of it, as well as from the place where his Shechinah or divine Majesty was; and which was the place of public worship, and where good men met and worshipped God, and offered sacrifice to him: and from the place of divine worship and the ordinances of it, and the church of God and communion with it, an hypocrite does not choose to be debarred:
and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; as was threatened him; see Gill on Genesis 4:12,
and it shall come to pass, that everyone that findeth me shall slay me; that is, some one, the first that should meet him, for he could be slain but by one; so odious he knew he should be to everyone, being under such marks of the divine displeasure, that his life would be in danger by whomsoever he should be found: and this being near an hundred and thirty years after the creation of man, see Genesis 4:25 Genesis 5:3 there might in this time be a large number of men on earth; Adam and Eve procreating children immediately after the fall, and very probably many more besides Cain and Abel, and those very fruitful, bringing many at a birth and often, and few or none dying, the increase must be very great; and we read quickly after this of a city being built, Genesis 4:17. Cain seems to be more afraid of a corporeal death than to have any concern about his soul, and the eternal welfare of it, or to be in dread and fear of an eternal death, or wrath to come; though some think the words should be rendered in a prayer (x), "let it be that anyone that findeth me may kill me"; being weary of life under the horrors of a guilty conscience.
(x) Lightfoot, vol. 1. p. 3,
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
14. every one that findeth me shall slay me—This shows that the population of the world was now considerably increased.
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