|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
4:19-24 One of Cain's wicked race is the first recorded, as having broken the law of marriage. Hitherto, one man had but one wife at a time; but Lamech took two. Wordly things, are the only things that carnal, wicked people set their hearts upon, and are most clever and industrious about. So it was with this race of Cain. Here was a father of shepherds, and a father of musicians, but not a father of the faithful. Here is one to teach about brass and iron, but none to teach the good knowledge of the Lord: here are devices how to be rich, and how to be mighty, and how to be merry; but nothing of God, of his fear and service. Present things fill the heads of most. Lamech had enemies, whom he had provoked. He draws a comparison betwixt himself and his ancestor Cain; and flatters himself that he is much less criminal. He seems to abuse the patience of God in sparing Cain, into an encouragement to expect that he may sin unpunished.
Verse 21. - And his brother's name was Jubal. Player on an instrument, the musician. Cf. jobel, an onomatopoetic word signifying jubilum, a joyful sound. Cf. Greek, ὀλολύζειν ἀλαλάζειν; Latin, ululare; Swedish, iolen; Dutch, ioelen; German, juchen (Geseuius). He was the father of all such as handle the harp. The kinnor, a stringed instrument, played on by the plectrum according to Josephus ('Ant.,' 7, 12, 3), but in David's time by the hand (1 Samuel 16:23; 1 Samuel 18:10; 1 Samuel 19:9), corresponding to the modern lyre. Cf. κινύρα κιννύρα, cithara; German, knarren; so named either from its tremulous, stridulous sound (Gesenius), or from its bent, arched form (Furst). And the organ. 'Ugabh, from a root signifying to breathe or blow (Gesenius), or to make a lovely sound (Furst); hence generally a wind instrument - tibia, ftstula, syrinx; the shepherd's reed or bagpipe (Keil); the pipe or flute (Onkelos); the organon, i.e. an instrument composed of many pipes (Jerome). Kalisch discovers a fitness in the invention of musical instruments by the brother of a nomadic herdsman, as it is "in the happy leisure of this occupation that music is generally first exercised and appreciated." Murphy sees an indication of the easy circumstances of the line of Cain; Candlish, "an instance of the high cultivation which a people may often possess who are altogether irreligious and ungodly;" Bonar, a token of their deepening depravity - "it is to shut God out that these Cainites devise the harp and the organ."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And his brother's name was Jubal,.... This was another son of Lamech by Adah, and his name differs only in one letter from his brother's:
he was the father of all such that handle the harp and organ: he was the inventor of instrumental music, both of stringed instruments, such as were touched by the fingers, or struck with a quill, as the "harp"; and of wind instruments, such as were blown, as the "organ", which seems not to be the same we call so, being a late invention; but however a pleasant instrument, as its name signifies. Jubal is thought by some to be the same with Apollo, to whom with the Greeks the invention of the harp is ascribed; and some have been of opinion, that the jubilee trumpet was so called from Jubal, Leviticus 25:9. Sanchoniatho (r) makes Chrysor or Vulcan, the same with Tubalcain, the brother of Jubal, to exercise himself in eloquence, songs and divination, confounding or mistaking the employment of the two brothers. The Arabs have such a notion of the Cainites being the inventors of music, that they commonly call a singing girl "Cainah" (s); and the Arabic writers (t) make Jubal to be the first inventor of music, and that the beasts and birds gathered together to hear him; the same that is said of Orpheus.
(r) Apud Euseb. Praepar. Evangel. l. 1. p. 35. (s) Abulpharag. Hist. Dynast. p. 9. (t) Elmacinus, p. 8. apud Hottinger. Smegma, p. 232.
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