And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelled in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Cain went out from the presence of the Lord.—See Note on Genesis 3:8. Adam and his family probably worshipped with their faces towards the Paradise, and Cain, on migrating from the whole land of Eden, regarded himself as beyond the range of the vision of God. (See Note on Genesis 4:14.)
The land of Nod.—i.e., of wandering. Knobel supposes it was China, but this is too remote. Read without vowels, the word becomes India. All that is certain is that Cain emigrated into Eastern Asia, and as none of Noah’s descendants, in the table of nations in Genesis 10, are described as having travelled eastward, many with Philippson and Knobel regard the Mongol race as the offspring of Cain.
Genesis 4:16. And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and dwelt on the east of Eden — Somewhere distant from the place where Adam and his religions family resided: distinguishing himself and his accursed generation from the holy seed; in the land of Nod — That is, of shaking or trembling, because of the continual restlessness of his spirit. Those that depart from God cannot find rest anywhere else. When Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, he never rested after. land of Nod—of flight or exile—thought by many to have been Arabia-Petræa—which was cursed to sterility on his account. and dwelt in the land of Nod; so called, not before he went there, but from his wandering up and down in it; continuing in no one place in it, as well as his mind was restless and uneasy; Jarchi mentions another reason of its name, that in every place where he went the earth shook under him, and men said, Depart from him, this is he that slew his brother: on the east of Eden; further east from the place where his father Adam and his other children dwelt; not being allowed to continue any longer with them, or converse with them, after he had been guilty of so horrid a crime.
land of Nod—of flight or exile—thought by many to have been Arabia-Petræa—which was cursed to sterility on his account.
and dwelt in the land of Nod; so called, not before he went there, but from his wandering up and down in it; continuing in no one place in it, as well as his mind was restless and uneasy; Jarchi mentions another reason of its name, that in every place where he went the earth shook under him, and men said, Depart from him, this is he that slew his brother:
on the east of Eden; further east from the place where his father Adam and his other children dwelt; not being allowed to continue any longer with them, or converse with them, after he had been guilty of so horrid a crime.And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)16. from the presence of] Cf. 14, “from thy face.” Cain going out “from the presence of” Jehovah, quits the land in which that presence was revealed. Jonah in fleeing from Palestine fled “from the presence of the Lord” (Jonah 1:3).
in the land of Nod] That is, Wandering, cf. the word “wanderer” (nâd) in Genesis 4:12; Genesis 4:14. This region cannot be identified; it serves as a vague designation for all the country in the unknown East, which was thought to be inhabited only by nomads.
on the east of] This rendering, like the Lat. ad orientalem plagam, is preferable to that of the marg. in front of (LXX κατέναντι). See notes on Genesis 2:14 and Genesis 3:24.Verse 16. - And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord. Not simply ended his interview and prepared to emigrate from the abode of his youth (Kalisch); but, more especially, withdrew from the neighborhood of the cherubim (v/de on ver. 14). And dwelt in the land of Nod. The geographical situation of Nod (Knobel, China?) cannot be determined further than that it was on the east of Eden, and its name, Nod, or wandering (cf. vers. 12, 14; Psalm 56:8), was clearly derived from Cain s fugitive and vagabond life (vide Michaelis, 'Suppl,' p. 1612; and cf. Furst, 'Lex.,' sub voce), "which showeth, as Josephus well conjectureth, that Cain was not amended by his punishment, but waxed worse and worse, giving himself to rapine, robbery, oppression, deceit" (Willet).
Genesis 4:16. The geographical situation of the land of Nod, in the front of Eden (קדמת, see Genesis 2:14), where Cain settled after his departure from the place or the land of the revealed presence of God (cf. Jonah 1:3), cannot be determined. The name Nod denotes a land of flight and banishment, in contrast with Eden, the land of delight, where Jehovah walked with men. There Cain knew his wife. The text assumes it as self-evident that she accompanied him in his exile; also, that she was a daughter of Adam, and consequently a sister of Cain. The marriage of brothers and sisters was inevitable in the case of the children of the first men, if the human race was actually to descend from a single pair, and may therefore be justified in the face of the Mosaic prohibition of such marriages, on the ground that the sons and daughters of Adam represented not merely the family but the genus, and that it was not till after the rise of several families that the bands of fraternal and conjugal love became distinct from one another, and assumed fixed and mutually exclusive forms, the violation of which is sin. (Comp. Leviticus 18.) His son he named Hanoch (consecration), because he regarded his birth as a pledge of the renovation of his life. For this reason he also gave the same name to the city which he built, inasmuch as its erection was another phase in the development of his family. The construction of a city by Cain will cease to surprise us, if we consider that at the commencement of its erection, centuries had already passed since the creation of man, and Cain's descendants may by this time have increased considerably in numbers; also, that עיר does not necessarily presuppose a large town, but simply an enclosed space with fortified dwellings, in contradistinction to the isolated tents of shepherds; and lastly, that the words בנה ויהי, "he was building," merely indicate the commencement and progress of the building, but not its termination. It appears more surprising that Cain, who was to be a fugitive and a vagabond upon the earth, should have established himself in the land of Nod. This cannot be fully explained, either on the ground that he carried on the pursuits of agriculture, which lead to settled abodes, or that he strove against the curse. In addition to both the facts referred to, there is also the circumstance, that the curse, "the ground shall not yield to thee her strength," was so mollified by the grace of God, that Cain and his descendants were enabled to obtain sufficient food in the land of his settlement, though it was by dint of hard work and strenuous effort; unless, indeed, we follow Luther and understand the curse, that he should be a fugitive upon the earth, as relating to his expulsion from Eden, and his removal ad incertum locum et opus, non addita ulla vel promissione vel mandato, sicut avis quae in libero caelo incerta vagatur. The fact that Cain undertook the erection of a city, is also significant. Even if we do not regard this city as "the first foundation-stone of the kingdom of the world, in which the spirit of the beast bears sway," we cannot fail to detect the desire to neutralize the curse of banishment, and create for his family a point of unity, as a compensation for the loss of unity in fellowship with God, as well as the inclination of the family of Cain for that which was earthly.
The powerful development of the worldly mind and of ungodliness among the Cainites was openly displayed in Lamech, in the sixth generation. Of the intermediate links, the names only are given. (On the use of the passive with the accusative of the object in the clause "to Hanoch was born (they bore) Irad," see Ges. 143, 1.) Some of these names resemble those of the Sethite genealogy, viz., Irad and Jared, Mehujael and Mahalaleel, Methusael and Methuselah, also Cain and Cainan; and the names Enoch and Lamech occur in both families. But neither the recurrence of similar names, nor even of the same names, warrants the conclusion that the two genealogical tables are simply different forms of one primary legend. For the names, though similar in sound, are very different in meaning. Irad probably signifies the townsman, Jared, descent, or that which has descended; Mehujael, smitten of God, and Mahalaleel, praise of God; Methusael, man of prayer, and Methuselah, man of the sword or of increase. The repetition of the two names Enoch and Lamech even loses all significance, when we consider the different places which they occupy in the respective lines, and observe also that in the case of these very names, the more precise descriptions which are given so thoroughly establish the difference of character in the two individuals, as to preclude the possibility of their being the same, not to mention the fact, that in the later history the same names frequently occur in totally different families; e.g., Korah in the families of Levi (Exodus 6:21) and Esau (Genesis 36:5); Hanoch in those of Reuben (Genesis 46:9) and Midian (Genesis 25:4); Kenaz in those of Judah (Numbers 32:12) and Esau (Genesis 36:11). The identity and similarity of names can prove nothing more than that the two branches of the human race did not keep entirely apart from each other; a fact established by their subsequently intermarrying. - Lamech took two wives, and thus was the first to prepare the way for polygamy, by which the ethical aspect of marriage, as ordained by God, was turned into the lust of the eye and lust of the flesh. The names of the women are indicative of sensual attractions: Adah, the adorned; and Zillah, either the shady or the tinkling. His three sons are the authors of inventions which show how the mind and efforts of the Cainites were directed towards the beautifying and perfecting of the earthly life. Jabal (probably equals jebul, produce) became the father of such as dwelt in tents, i.e., of nomads who lived in tents and with their flocks, getting their living by a pastoral occupation, and possibly also introducing the use of animal food, in disregard of the divine command (Genesis 1:29). Jubal (sound), the father of all such as handle the harp and pipe, i.e., the inventors of stringed and wind instruments. כּנּור a guitar or harp; עוּגב the shepherd's reed or bagpipe. Tubal-Cain, "hammering all kinds of cutting things (the verb is to be construed as neuter) in brass and iron;" the inventor therefore of all kinds of edge-tools for working in metals: so that Cain, from קין to forge, is probably to be regarded as the surname which Tubal received on account of his inventions. The meaning of Tubal is obscure; for the Persian Tupal, iron-scoria, can throw no light upon it, as it must be a much later word. The allusion to the sister of Tubal-Cain is evidently to be attributed to her name, Naamah, the lovely, or graceful, since it reflects the worldly mind of the Cainites. In the arts, which owed their origin to Lamech's sons, this disposition reached its culminating point; and it appears in the form of pride and defiant arrogance in the song in which Lamech celebrates the inventions of Tubal-Cain (Genesis 4:23, Genesis 4:24): "Adah and Zillah, hear my voice; ye wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech: Men I slay for my wound, and young men for my stripes. For sevenfold is Cain avenged, and Lamech seven and seventy-fold." The perfect הרגתּי is expressive not of a deed accomplished, but of confident assurance (Ges. 126, 4; Ewald, 135c); and the suffixes in חבּרתי and פּצעי are to be taken in a passive sense. The idea is this: whoever inflicts a wound or stripe on me, whether man or youth, I will put to death; and for every injury done to my person, I will take ten times more vengeance than that with which God promised to avenge the murder of my ancestor Cain. In this song, which contains in its rhythm, its strophic arrangement of the thoughts, and its poetic diction, the germ of the later poetry, we may detect "that Titanic arrogance, of which the Bible says that its power is its god (Habakkuk 1:11), and that it carries its god, viz., its sword, in its hand (Job 12:6)" (Delitzsch). - According to these accounts, the principal arts and manufactures were invented by the Cainites, and carried out in an ungodly spirit; but they are not therefore to be attributed to the curse which rested upon the family. They have their roots rather in the mental powers with which man was endowed for the sovereignty and subjugation of the earth, but which, like all the other powers and tendencies of his nature, were pervaded by sin, and desecrated in its service. Hence these inventions have become the common property of humanity, because they not only may promote its intended development, but are to be applied and consecrated to this purpose for the glory of God.
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