Genesis 4:23
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Lamech said to his wives, "Adah and Zillah, listen to me; wives of Lamech, hear my words. I have killed a man for wounding me, a young man for injuring me.

New Living Translation
One day Lamech said to his wives, "Adah and Zillah, hear my voice; listen to me, you wives of Lamech. I have killed a man who attacked me, a young man who wounded me.

English Standard Version
Lamech said to his wives: “Adah and Zillah, hear my voice; you wives of Lamech, listen to what I say: I have killed a man for wounding me, a young man for striking me.

New American Standard Bible
Lamech said to his wives, "Adah and Zillah, Listen to my voice, You wives of Lamech, Give heed to my speech, For I have killed a man for wounding me; And a boy for striking me;

King James Bible
And Lamech said unto his wives, Adah and Zillah, Hear my voice; ye wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech: for I have slain a man to my wounding, and a young man to my hurt.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Lamech said to his wives: Adah and Zillah, hear my voice; wives of Lamech, pay attention to my words. For I killed a man for wounding me, a young man for striking me.

International Standard Version
Lamech told his wives, "Adah and Zillah, listen to what I have to say: You wives of Lamech, hear what I'm announcing! I've killed a man for wounding me, a young man for bruising me.

NET Bible
Lamech said to his wives, "Adah and Zillah! Listen to me! You wives of Lamech, hear my words! I have killed a man for wounding me, a young man for hurting me.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Lamech said to his wives, "Adah and Zillah, listen to me! Wives of Lamech, hear what I say! I killed a man for bruising me, a young man for wounding me.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And Lamech said unto his wives, Adah and Zillah, Hear my voice; ye wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech, for I shall slay a man for my wound and a young man for my hurt;

King James 2000 Bible
And Lamech said unto his wives, Adah and Zillah, Hear my voice; you wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech: for I have slain a man for wounding me, and a young man for hurting me.

American King James Version
And Lamech said to his wives, Adah and Zillah, Hear my voice; you wives of Lamech, listen to my speech: for I have slain a man to my wounding, and a young man to my hurt.

American Standard Version
And Lamech said unto his wives: Adah and Zillah, hear my voice; Ye wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech: For I have slain a man for wounding me, And a young man for bruising me:

Douay-Rheims Bible
And Lamech said to his wives Ada and Sell: Hear my voice, ye wives of Lamech, hearken to my speech: for I have slain a man to the wounding of myself, and a stripling to my own bruising.

Darby Bible Translation
And Lemech said to his wives: Adah and Zillah, hear my voice, Ye wives of Lemech, listen to my speech. For I have slain a man for my wound, and a youth for my bruise.

English Revised Version
And Lamech said unto his wives: Adah and Zillah, hear my voice; Ye wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech: For I have slain a man for wounding me, And a young man for bruising me:

Webster's Bible Translation
And Lamech said to his wives, Adah and Zillah, Hear my voice, ye wives of Lamech, hearken to my speech: for I have slain a man to my wounding, and a young man to my hurt.

World English Bible
Lamech said to his wives, "Adah and Zillah, hear my voice. You wives of Lamech, listen to my speech, for I have slain a man for wounding me, a young man for bruising me.

Young's Literal Translation
And Lamech saith to his wives: -- 'Adah and Zillah, hear my voice; Wives of Lamech, give ear to my saying: For a man I have slain for my wound, Even a young man for my hurt;
Parallel Commentaries
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.

Pulpit Commentary

Verses 23, 24. - And Lamech said unto his wives. The words have an archaic simplicity which bespeak a high antiquity (vide Havernick's 'Introd.,' p. 105), naturally fall into that peculiar form of parallelism which is a well-known characteristic of Hebrew poetry, and on this account, as well as from the subject, have been aptly denominated The Song of the Sword (Ewald, p. 267).

Adah and gillah, Hear my voice;
Ye wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech:
For I have slain a mum to my wounding (for my wound),
And a young man to my hurt (because of my strife).
If (for) Cain shall be avenged sevenfold,
Truly (and) Lamech seventy and sevenfold.
Origen wrote two whole books of his commentary on Genesis on this song, and at last pronounced it inexplicable. The chief difficulty in its exegesis concerns the sense in which the words כִּי הָרַגְתִּי are to be taken.

1. If the verb be rendered as a preterit (LXX., Vulgate, Syriac, Kalisch, Murphy, Alford, Jamieson, Luther), then Lamech is represented as informing his wives that in self-defense he has slain a young man who wounded him (not two men, as some read), but that there is no reason to apprehend danger on that account; for if God had promised to avenge Cain sevenfold, should any one kill him, he, being not a willful murderer, but at worst a culpable homicide, would be avenged seventy and sevenfold.

2. If the verb be regarded as a future (Aben Ezra, Calvin, Kiel, Speaker's. "The preterit stands for the future... (4) In protestations and assurances in which the mind of the speaker views the action as already accomplished, being as good as done" - Gesenius, 'Hebrews Gram.,'§ 126), then the father of Tubal-cain is depicted as exulting in the weapons which his son's genius had invented, and with boastful arrogance threatening death to the first man that should injure him, impiously asserting that by means of these same weapons he would exact upon his adversary a vengeance ten times greater than that which had been threatened against the murderer of Cain. Considering the character of the speaker and the spirit of the times, it is probable that this is the correct interpretation.

3. A third interpretation proposes to understand the words of Lamech hypothetically, as thus: - "If I should slay a man, then," &c. (Lunge, Bush); but this does not materially differ from the first, only putting the case conditionally, which the first asserts categorically.

4. A fourth gives to כִּי the force of a question (vide Stanley Leathes, ' Hebrews Gram.,' p. 202), and imagines Lamech to be assuring his wives, who are supposed to have been apprehensive of some evil befalling their husband through the use of Tubal-cain's dangerous weapons, that there was no cause for their anxieties and alarms, as he had not slain a man, that he should be wounded, or a young man, that he should be hurt; but this interpretation, it may be fairly urged, is too strained to be even probably correct.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

And Lamech said unto his wives, Adah and Zillah,.... Confessing what he had done, or boasting what he would do should he be attacked; or in order to make his wives easy, who might fear from his fierceness and cruelty; and the murders he had committed, or on account of Abel's murder, Genesis 4:15 that either the judgments of God would fall upon him and them, or some man or other would dispatch him and his; wherefore calling them together, he thus bespeaks them:

hear my voice, ye wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech; this he said in an imperious manner to them, demanding their attention and regard, and as glorying in, instead of being ashamed of his polygamy, and in a blustering way, as neither fearing God nor man; or rather speaking comfortably to them, to remove their fears:

for I have slain a man to my wounding, and a young man to my hurt; which, as some say, were his great-grandfather Cain, and his son Tubalcain: according to a tradition of the Jews (i), it was after this manner; Cain being old, and blind, and weary, sat in a thicket among the trees to rest himself; when Lamech, who was blind also, and led by Tubalcain hunting, who seeing Cain, and taking him for a wild beast, bid Lamech draw his bow, which he did, and killed him; but coming nearer, and finding it was Cain, was wroth and angry, and slew the young man: the Arabic writers (k) tell the story with a little variation, and"Lamech being in a wood with one of his sons, and hearing a noise in it, supposing it to be a wild beast, cast a stone, which fell upon Cain, and killed him ignorantly; and the lad that led him said, what hast thou done? thou hast killed Cain; at which being very sorrowful after the manner of penitents, he smote his hands together, and the lad standing before him, he struck his head with both his hands, and killed him unawares; and coming to his wives, Adah and Zillah, said to them, hear my word, he that slew Abel shall be avenged sevenfold, but Lamech seventy times seven, who killed a man with a cast of a stone, and a young man by clapping of his hands.''And our version, and others, imply, that he killed both a man, and a young man, or some one person or more, and that he was sorry for it, made confession of it; it was to the wounding and grief of his soul, which does not so well agree with one of the wicked race of Cain: wherefore the words may be rendered, "though I have slain a man" (l), that is nothing to you, you are not accountable for it, nor have any thing to fear coming upon you by reason of that; it is to my own wounding, damage, and hurt, if to any, and not to you. Some versions render it, "I would slay a man", &c. (m) any man, young or old, that should attack me; I fear no man: if any man wounds me, or offers to do me any hurt, I would slay him at once; I doubt not but I should be more than a match for him, be he who he will that shall set upon me, and kill him; though I might receive some slight wound, or some little hurt in the engagement, and therefore you need not be afraid of any man's hurting me. The Arabic version reads interrogatively, "have I killed a man &c.?" and so some others (n), I have not; with which agree the Targums of Onkelos and Jonathan,"I have not killed a man;''for which he or his posterity should be punished, as they interpreted it; and therefore his wives had no need to fear any ill should befall him or them, or that the murder of Abel should be avenged on them, this being the seventh generation in which it was to be avenged, Genesis 4:15 wherefore it follows,

(i) R. Gedaliah, Shalshaleth Hakabala, fol. 74. 2. Jarchi in loc. (k) Elmacinus, p. 7. apud Hottinger. Smegma Oriental. l. 1. c. 8. p. 224, 225. (l) So the particle is sometimes used; see Nold. Part. Ebr. Concord. p. 399. (m) "interficerem", Vatablus; "certe ausim interficere", Piscator; "sane occiderem, ant occiderim", Muis, Rivet. (n) "An virum inferfeci?" De Dieu.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

23, 24. Lamech said unto his wives—This speech is in a poetical form, probably the fragment of an old poem, transmitted to the time of Moses. It seems to indicate that Lamech had slain a man in self-defense, and its drift is to assure his wives, by the preservation of Cain, that an unintentional homicide, as he was, could be in no danger.

Genesis 4:23 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Descendants of Cain
22As for Zillah, she also gave birth to Tubal-cain, the forger of all implements of bronze and iron; and the sister of Tubal-cain was Naamah. 23Lamech said to his wives, "Adah and Zillah, Listen to my voice, You wives of Lamech, Give heed to my speech, For I have killed a man for wounding me; And a boy for striking me; 24If Cain is avenged sevenfold, Then Lamech seventy-sevenfold."
Cross References
Genesis 4:22
Zillah also had a son, Tubal-Cain, who forged all kinds of tools out of bronze and iron. Tubal-Cain's sister was Naamah.

Exodus 20:13
"You shall not murder.

Leviticus 19:18
"'Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.

Deuteronomy 32:35
It is mine to avenge; I will repay. In due time their foot will slip; their day of disaster is near and their doom rushes upon them."

Psalm 94:1
The LORD is a God who avenges. O God who avenges, shine forth.
Treasury of Scripture

And Lamech said to his wives, Adah and Zillah, Hear my voice; you wives of Lamech, listen to my speech: for I have slain a man to my wounding, and a young man to my hurt.

hear.

Numbers 23:18 And he took up his parable, and said, Rise up, Balak, and hear; listen …

Judges 9:7 And when they told it to Jotham, he went and stood in the top of …

to my hurt. or, in my hurt.

Jump to Previous
Adah Attention Blow Boy Bruise Bruising Death Ear Hear Hearken Heed Hurt Injuring Killed Lamech Slain Speech Striking Voice Wives Words Wound Wounding Young Youth Zillah
Jump to Next
Adah Attention Blow Boy Bruise Bruising Death Ear Hear Hearken Heed Hurt Injuring Killed Lamech Slain Speech Striking Voice Wives Words Wound Wounding Young Youth Zillah
Links
Genesis 4:23 NIV
Genesis 4:23 NLT
Genesis 4:23 ESV
Genesis 4:23 NASB
Genesis 4:23 KJV

Genesis 4:23 Bible Apps
Genesis 4:23 Bible Suite
Genesis 4:23 Biblia Paralela
Genesis 4:23 Chinese Bible
Genesis 4:23 French Bible
Genesis 4:23 German Bible

Alphabetical: a Adah and boy for Give have hear heed his I injuring killed Lamech listen man me my of said speech striking to voice wives words wounding You young Zillah

OT Law: Genesis 4:23 Lamech said to his wives Adah (Gen. Ge Gn) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools

Bible Hub
Genesis 4:22
Top of Page
Top of Page