|New International Version (©2011)|
But the LORD said to him, "Not so; anyone who kills Cain will suffer vengeance seven times over." Then the LORD put a mark on Cain so that no one who found him would kill him.
New Living Translation (©2007)
The LORD replied, "No, for I will give a sevenfold punishment to anyone who kills you." Then the LORD put a mark on Cain to warn anyone who might try to kill him.
English Standard Version (©2001)
Then the LORD said to him, “Not so! If anyone kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.” And the LORD put a mark on Cain, lest any who found him should attack him.
New American Standard Bible (©1995)
So the LORD said to him, "Therefore whoever kills Cain, vengeance will be taken on him sevenfold." And the LORD appointed a sign for Cain, so that no one finding him would slay him.
King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
And the LORD said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the LORD set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him.
Holman Christian Standard Bible (©2009)
Then the LORD replied to him, "In that case, whoever kills Cain will suffer vengeance seven times over." And He placed a mark on Cain so that whoever found him would not kill him.
International Standard Version (©2012)
The LORD told him, "This won't happen, because whoever kills you will suffer seven times the vengeance." Then the LORD placed a sign on Cain so that no one finding him would kill him.
NET Bible (©2006)
But the LORD said to him, "All right then, if anyone kills Cain, Cain will be avenged seven times as much." Then the LORD put a special mark on Cain so that no one who found him would strike him down.
GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995)
So the LORD said to him, "Not so! Anyone who kills Cain will suffer vengeance seven times over." The LORD gave Cain a sign so that anyone meeting him would not kill him.
King James 2000 Bible (©2003)
And the LORD said unto him, Therefore whosoever slays Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the LORD set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him.
American King James Version
And the LORD said to him, Therefore whoever slays Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the LORD set a mark on Cain, lest any finding him should kill him.
American Standard Version
And Jehovah said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And Jehovah appointed a sign for Cain, lest any finding him should smite him.
And the Lord said to him: No, it shall not be so: but whosoever shall kill Cain, shall be punished sevenfold. And the Lord set a mark upon Cain, that whosoever found him should not kill him.
Darby Bible Translation
And Jehovah said to him, Therefore, whoever slayeth Cain, it shall be revenged sevenfold. And Jehovah set a mark on Cain, lest any finding him should smite him.
English Revised Version
And the LORD said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the LORD appointed a sign for Cain, lest any finding him should smite him.
Webster's Bible Translation
And the LORD said to him, Therefore whoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him seven-fold. And the LORD set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him.
World English Bible
Yahweh said to him, "Therefore whoever slays Cain, vengeance will be taken on him sevenfold." Yahweh appointed a sign for Cain, lest any finding him should strike him.
Young's Literal Translation
And Jehovah saith to him, 'Therefore -- of any slayer of Cain sevenfold it is required;' and Jehovah setteth to Cain a token that none finding him doth slay him.
|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.
Verse 15. - The condemned fratricide's apprehensions were allayed by a special act of grace. And the Lord said unto him, Therefore (the LXX., Symm., Theodotion, Vulgate, Syriac, Dathius, translate Not so - οὐχ οὔτως, nequaquam, reading לאֹ כֵו instead of לָכֵן) whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. I.e. fully, sevenfold vengeance - complete vengeance (cf. Leviticus 26:28). In the case of Cain's murderer there was to be no such mitigation of the penalty as in the case of Cain himself; on the contrary, he would be visited more severely than Cain, as being guilty not alone of homicide, but of transgressing the Divine commandment which said that Cain was to live (Willet). As to why this special privilege was granted to Cain, it was not because "the early death of the pious Abel was in reality no punishment, but the highest boon (Kalisch), nor because banishment from God s presence was the greatest possible punishment, "having in itself the significance of a social human death" (Lange), nor because it was needful to spare life for the increase of posterity (Rosenmüller); but perhaps -
1. To show that "Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord."
2. To prove the riches of the Divine clemency to sinful men.
3. To serve as a warning against the crime of murder. To this probably there is a reference in the concluding clause. And the Lord set a mark upon - gave a sign to (LXX.) - Cain, lest any finding him should kill him. Commentators are divided as to whether this was a visible sign to repress avengers (the Rabbis, Luther, Calvin, Piscator, &c.), or an inward assurance to Cain himself that he should not be destroyed (Aben Ezra, Dathe, Rosenmüller, Gesemus, Tuch, Kalisch, Delitzsch). In support of the former it is urged that an external badge would be more likely to repel assailants; while in favor of the latter it is pleaded that of seventy-six times in which oth occurs in the Old Testament, in seventy-five it is translated sign. If there was a visible mark upon the fugitive, it is impossible to say what it was; that it was a shaking (LXX.), or a continual fleeing from place to place (Lyra), or a horn in the head (Rabbis), a peculiar kind of dress (Clericus), are mere conceits. But, whatever it was, it was not a sign of Cain's forgiveness (Josephus), only a pledge of God's protection; Cf. the Divine prophetic sentence against the Jewish Cain (Psalm 59:11).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And the Lord said unto him,.... In order to satisfy him, and make him easy in this respect, that: he need not fear an immediate or bodily death, which was showing him great clemency and lenity; or in answer to his begging for death, "therefore", or as some render the word, taking them for two, "not so" (y); it shall not be that whoever finds thee shall slay thee, thou needest not be afraid of that; nor shall thy request be granted, that thou mightest be slain by the first man that meets thee: it was the will of God, that though Cain deserved to die, yet that he should not die immediately, but live a long miserable life, that it might be a terror to others not to commit the like crime; though rather the particle should be rendered "verily, surely, of a truth" (z); so it will certainly be, it may be depended on:
whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold; seven times more than on Cain; that is, he shall be exceedingly punished; vengeance shall be taken on him in a very visible manner, to a very great degree; the Targums of Onkelos and Jonathan are"unto or through seven generations;''the meaning of which is, that the slayer of Cain should not only be punished in his own person, but in his posterity, even unto seven generations; and not as Jarchi and Aben Ezra interpret it, that God deferred his vengeance on Cain unto seven generations, and at the end of them took vengeance on him by Lamech, one of his own posterity, by whom he is supposed by that Jewish writer to be slain:
and the Lord set a mark upon Cain; about which there is a variety of sentiments (a): some say it was a horn in his forehead: others, a leprosy in his face; others, a wild ghastly look; others, a shaking and trembling in all his limbs; and others, that there was an earthquake wherever he stepped: and others will have it, that the dog which guarded Abel's flock was given him to accompany him in his travels, by which sign it might be known that he was not to be attacked, or to direct him from taking any dangerous road: some say it was a letter imprinted on his forehead, either taken out of the great and glorious name of God, as the Targum of Jonathan, or out of his own name, as Jarchi; others the mark or sign of the covenant of circumcision (b): but as the word is often used for a sign or miracle, perhaps the better rendering and sense of the words may be, "and the Lord put", or "gave a sign" (c); that is, he wrought a miracle before him to assure him, that "whoever found him should not kill him": so that this was not a mark or sign to others, to direct or point out to them that they should not kill him, or to deter them from it; but was a sign or miracle confirming him in this, that no one should kill him; agreeably to which is the note of Aben Ezra,"it is right in my eyes that God made a sign (or wrought a miracle) for him, until he believed;''by which he was assured that his life would be secure, go where he would; even that no one should "strike" (d) him, as the word is, much less kill him.
(y) "quasi" , Sept. "nequaquam ita fiet", V. L. (z) "In veritate, certe", Vatablus; "profecto, utique", De Dieu. (a) See Bayle's General Diet. art. "Cain". (b) Tikkune Zohar, correct. 69. fol. 115. 1. & 117. 1. 2. (c) , "sed et posuit Kaino miraculum (in confirmationem) quod non caesurus esset ipsum quisque", &c, Schmidt. (d) , "ne percuteret eum", Pagninus; "ad non percutiendum eum", Montanus.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
15. whosoever slayeth Cain—By a special act of divine forbearance, the life of Cain was to be spared in the then small state of the human race.
set a mark—not any visible mark or brand on his forehead, but some sign or token of assurance that his life would be preserved. This sign is thought by the best writers to have been a wild ferocity of aspect that rendered him an object of universal horror and avoidance.
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