Genesis 4:17
And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch: and he builded a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son, Enoch.
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(17) Cain knew his wife.—As Jehovah had told Eve that He would “greatly multiply her conception” (Genesis 3:16), we cannot doubt but that a numerous offspring had grown up in the 130 years that intervened between the birth of Cain and that of Seth, the substitute for Abel. As a rule, only the eldest son is mentioned in the genealogies, and Abel’s birth is chronicled chiefly because of his tragical end, leading to the enactment of the merciful law which followed and to the sundering of the human race. One of Adam’s daughters apparently clave unto her brother, in spite of the solemn decree of banishment passed upon him, probably, by his father, and followed him in his wanderings as his wife, and bare him a son, whom they called “Enoch.” Now this name, in Hebrew Chanoch, is of the utmost importance in estimating Cain’s character. It means train in Proverbs 22:6 (“Train up a child”), but is used in Deuteronomy 20:5 of the dedication of a house; and thus Cain also calls his city “Enoch,” dedicated. But in old times the ideas of training and dedication were closely allied, because teaching generally took the form of initiation into sacred rites, and one so initiated was regarded as a consecrated person. Though, then, the wife may have had most to do with giving the name, yet we see in it a purpose that the child should be a trained and consecrated man; and Cain must have now put off those fierce and violent habits which had led him into so terrible a crime. We may add that this prepares our minds for the rapid advance of the Cainites in the arts of civilisation, and for the very remarkable step next taken by Cain.

He builded a city.—Heb., was building, that is, began to build a city. There was not as yet population enough for a city, but Cain, as his offspring increased, determined that they should dwell together, under training, in some dedicated common abode. He probably selected some fit spot for the acropolis, or citadel, to be the centre of his village; and as training is probably the earlier, and dedication the later meaning, Cain appears as a wise ruler, like Nimrod subsequently, rather than as a religious man. His purpose was much the same as that of the builders of the Tower of Babel, who wanted to keep mankind together that they might form a powerful community. It is worth notice that in the line of Seth, the name of the seventh and noblest of that race, is also Enoch, whose training was a close walk with God.

4:16-18 Cain cast off all fear of God, and attended no more on God's ordinances. Hypocritical professors, who dissemble and trifle with God, are justly left to themselves to do something grossly scandalous. So they throw off that form of godliness to which they have been a reproach, and of which they deny the power. Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and we never find that he came into it again, to his comfort. The land Cain dwelt in was called the land of Nod, which means, 'shaking,' or 'trembling,' and so shows the restlessness and uneasiness of his own spirit, or 'the land of a vagabond:' they that depart from God cannot find rest any where else. Those on earth who looked for the heavenly city, chose to dwell in tabernacles or tents; but Cain, as not minding that city, built one on earth. Thus all who are cursed of God seek their settlement and satisfaction here below. - XIX. The Line of Cain

17. חניך chenôk, Chanok, "initiation, instruction."

18. עירד ‛ı̂yrād, 'Irad, "fleet as the wild ass, citizen." מחוּיאל mechûya'el, Mechujael, "smitten of 'El, or life of 'El." מתוּשׁאל metûshā'ēl, Methushael, "man of 'El, or man asked." למך lāmek, Lemek, "man of prayer, youth."

19. עדה 'ādâh, 'Adah, "beauty." צלה tsı̂lâh, Tsillah, "shade or tinkling."

20. יבל yābāl, Jabal, "stream, leader of cattle, produce, the walker or wanderer." אהל 'ohel plural: אהלים 'ohālı̂ym for אהלים 'ăhālı̂ym "tent, awning, covering" of goats' hair over the poles or timbers which constituted the original booth," סכה sŭkâh.

21. יוּבל yûbāl, Jubal, "player on an instrument?"

22. תוּבל־קין tûbal-qayı̂n, Tubal-qain, "brass-smith?" The scion or son of the lance. <נעמה na‛ămâh, Na'amah, "pleasant, lovely."

Mankind is now formally divided into two branches - those who still abide in the presence of God, and those who have fled to a distance from him. Distinguishing names will soon be given to these according to their outward profession and practice Genesis 6:1. The awful distinction according to the inward state of the feelings has been already given in the terms, the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent.

Genesis 4:17

Cain is not unaccompanied in his banishment. A wife, at least, is the partner of his exile. And soon a son is born to him. He was building a city at the time of this birth. The city is a keep or fort, enclosed with a wall for the defense of all who dwell within. The building of the city is the erection of this wall or barricade. Here we find the motive of fear and self-defense still ruling Cain. His hand has been imbrued in a brother's blood, and he expects every man's hand will be against him.

He calls his son Henok (Enoch), and his city after the name of his son. The same word is employed as a name in the lines of Seth Genesis 5:18, of Midian Genesis 25:4, and of Reuben Genesis 46:9. It signifies dedication or initiation, and, in the present case, seems to indicate a new beginning of social existence, or a consciousness of initiative or inventive power, which necessity and self-reliance called forth particularly in himself and his family. It appears, from the flocks kept by Habel, the fear of persons meeting and slaying the murderer, the marriage and family of Cain, and the beginning of a city, that a considerble time had elapsed since the fall. The wife of Cain was of necessity his sister, though this was forbidden in after times, for wise and holy reasons, when the necessity no longer existed.

17-22. builded a city—It has been in cities that the human race has ever made the greatest social progress; and several of Cain's descendants distinguished themselves by their inventive genius in the arts. circ. 3875

Cain knew his wife; of which phrase see Poole on "Genesis 4:1".

He built a city; partly to divert his troubled mind with business and pleasure, and partly for his own security against the enemies and evils which his guilty conscience made him fear, notwithstanding the assurance which God had given him. And this he did as soon as he was in capacity for it, either by the increase of his own posterity, or by the accession of other degenerate sons of Adam to him, who either being banished, or having departed from the church, willingly associated themselves with their brethren in iniquity.

After the name of his son, Enoch; not after his own name, which he knew to be infamous and hateful.

And Cain knew his wife,.... Who this woman was is not certain, nor whether it was his first wife or not; whether his sister, or one that descended from Adam by another of his sons, since this was about the one hundred and thirtieth year of the creation. At first indeed Cain could marry no other than his sister; but whether he married Abel's twin sister, or his own twin sister, is disputed; the Jews say (g), that Cain's twin sister was not a beautiful woman, and therefore he said, I will kill my brother and take his wife: on the other hand, the Arabic writers say (h), that Adam would have had Cain married Abel's twin sister, whom they call Awin; and Abel have married Cain's twin sister, whom they call Azron; but Cain would not, because his own sister was the handsomest; and this they take to be the occasion of the quarrel, which issued in the murder of Abel.

And she conceived and bare Enoch; which signifies "trained up", not in the true religion, and in the ways of God and godliness, as one of this name descending from Seth was, who is said to walk with God; but in the practices of his father Cain, and in a wicked course of life:

and he builded a city: for a settlement on earth, thinking of nothing but this world, and the things of it; or to secure himself from being slain by men; or it may be for his amusement, to divert his thoughts from the melancholy scene always presented to his mind, by being thus employed; and his posterity growing numerous, he took this method to keep them together, and that they might be able to defend themselves from the assaults of others. Some render the words, "he was building a city" (i); as if he did not live to finish it; but it looks as if it was finished by him, by what follows:

and called the name of the city, after the name of his son, Enoch: not after his own name, which was odious and infamous, but after his son's name, to show his affection to him, and that his name might be continued in ages to come; see Psalm 49:11. This was the first city that was built, that we read of. Sir Walter Raleigh conjectures (k) that the Henochii or Heniochi of Pliny, Ptolemy, and other writers, took their name from this city of Henoch, or from the country where it stood, when it was repeopled after the flood, since these people were due east from the garden of Eden. (For Cain to marry his sister or any other close relation was not harmful as it is today. There would be few if any genetic disorders at this time. However, as time past, the human race accumulated more and more genetic defects, so by the time of Moses, the laws against incest, as given in Leviticus 18:1, were necessary. These laws helped prevent deformed children. Ed.)

(g) Pirke Eliezer, c. 21. (h) Abulpharag. Hist. Dynast. p. 4. Patricides apud Selden, de Jure Nat. & Gent. l. 3. c. 2. & l. 5. c. 9. (i) "et fuit aedificans", Montanus, Drusius; "era aedificans". Fagius; so Ainsworth; "studebat aedificare", Junius & Tremellius. (k) History of the World, par. 1. B. 1. c. 5. sect. 2. p. 43.

And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch: and he builded a {p} city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son, Enoch.

(p) Thinking by this to be safe, and to have less reason to fear God's judgments against him.

17. his wife] On the question, Who was Cain’s wife? see note at the beginning of the chapter. If the narrative be homogeneous, she must have been either a daughter of Eve, or of a family of whose contemporaneous origin and existence this narrative in Genesis gives no account. But the compilation of our primitive story from different sources necessarily leaves many questions unanswered. No attempt is made to remove this and similar obvious inconsistencies.

Enoch] Heb. Ḥănôkh = “dedication”: the same name occurs in Genesis 4:18; see note. It is also the name of a Midianite clan, Genesis 25:4; 1 Chronicles 1:33; and of a Reubenite clan, Genesis 46:9; Exodus 6:14.

builded a city] It seems strange that we should have the mention of a city at a time when the inhabitants of the world were so few. But the purpose of this section is evidently to trace back to the Cainites, in the antediluvian period, the origin of early institutions. To the Hebrew the “city,” that is to say, a town community, represented the nucleus of civilized life, and hence the building of a city is ascribed to the father of the line from which emanated the various callings of civilization. It is needless to say that this tradition is devoid of scientific value for any enquiry into the progress of civilization in prehistoric times. Its interest lies in the record of the belief, that urban life could be dated back into the most primitive age. The site of the city is not indicated.

17–24. The Descendants of Cain: The Genealogy of the Cainites. (J.)

See the Special Note on “the Antediluvian Patriarchs,” see below. The traditions preserved in this section probably belong to a different J source from that of the verses immediately preceding. This will explain how it is that Cain, who has just been condemned to a nomad life and has withdrawn into the land of “Wandering” (Nod), is in Genesis 4:17 described as the founder of a city, and as the ancestor of men who originated the industries and callings of civilization.


According to chap. 5 (P), the interval of time between the work of Creation (Genesis 1:1 to Genesis 2:4 a) and the visitation of the Flood (Genesis 6:9 ff.) is occupied by a list of ten Patriarchs.

The chronological scheme of P, according to the Hebrew text, makes this period to consist of 1656 years (in the Samaritan text, it is 1307 years; in the LXX, 2242). The description given of the ten Patriarchs is precise and formal. It is limited in each case to the bare formulae narrating facts respecting (i) the age of the Patriarch at the birth of his firstborn, (ii) the number of his remaining years, and the fact that he was the father of other children, (iii) his age at the time of his death.

The account which is thus given furnishes an explanation of the great population of the earth which is overthrown in the Flood. The chapter, however, contains no mention of the growing wickedness of the race. And it does not appear that P takes any account of the Narrative of the Fall (chap. 3 J). Budde, indeed (Urgesch. 93–103), contends that the names of the Patriarchs are intended to symbolize the condition of their age, the names Jared (= descent), Methuselah (= the man of the weapon, or the man of violence) denoting its deterioration.

The ten names represented the history of the human race before the Flood. The distribution of these ten names over the period of 1656 years implies a minute and elaborate calculation by the chronologists and chroniclers, whose work has been employed in P.

I. Ten Babylonian Kings

It is impossible to resist the conclusion that there is some sort of connexion between the ten Antediluvian Patriarchs of Genesis 5 and the ten kings before the Flood in the Babylonian Legends. The names of the ten kings are as follows:

(A. According to Berossus.)  (B. According to cuneiform inscriptions.)

1. Alôrus.  1.   Arûru.

2.   Alaparos.  2.   Adapa.

3.   Amêlôn.  3.   Amêlu (= Man, ? = Enosh).

4.   Ammenôn.  4.   Ummanu (= Master-crafts-man, ? = Kenan).

5.   Megalâros.

6.   Daônos.

7.   Euedôrachos.

8. Amempsinos.  7.   Enmeduranki (?=Enoch).

8. Amel-Sin (= Man of the god Sin, ? = Methuselah).

9. Ôtiartes.  9.   Ubara-Jutu.

10 .  Xisûthros.  10.   Ḥasisatra (?=Noah).

In this list there may possibly be discerned some points of correspondence with the Hebrew. (a) In No. 3 Amelu (= Man) may be translated in Enosh=Man. (b) In (4) Ummanu (= Workman), in Kenan; and in (8) Amel-Sin (Man of Sin), in Methuselah (= Man of Shelah). (c) No. 7, Enmeduranki (king of Sippar, the city of the Sun-god, Shamash), who was the friend of the gods Ramman and Shamash, looks as if he must stand in some close relation to Enoch, whose life was 365 years and who walked with God. (d) The 10th in the list, Xisuthros or Ḥasisatra, the Ut-napishtim of the Epic, is the hero of the Babylonian Flood, and corresponds to Noah in the Hebrew list.

In the Babylonian list, the ten kings are assigned a period of 432,000 years.

II. Sethite and Cainite Genealogies

It is important to compare the two lists of the Sethite (P) and Cainite (J) Genealogies.

Sethite (chap. 5).  Cainite (chap. Genesis 4:17-24).

1.   Adam  1.   Adam

2.   Seth  

3.   Enosh  

4.   Kenan  2.   Cain

5.   Mahalalel  3.   Mehujael

6.   Jared  4.   Irad

7.  Enoch  5.   Enoch

8.   Methuselah  6.   Methushael

9.   Lamech  7.   Lamech

10.   Noah  " Jabal, Jubal, Tubal-Cain.

" Shem, Ham, Japheth.  


(a) The general resemblance in the names is very striking. (b) One list contains the perfect number ten, the other the perfect number seven. (c) Each list concludes in a family of three sons. We have to deal either with two variants of the same tradition; or with two distinct traditions, in which the same stock of primitive legendary names is found very closely repeated.

III. Different Chronologies

The Chronology of the Antediluvian Patriarchs varies in the three principal sources for the text, (1) the Massoretic (Hebrew), (2) the Samaritan, (3) the Septuagint. They are presented in the following Table.

  Massoretic Text  Samaritan  LXX  Year (Anno Mundi) of Death

  Firstborn  Remainder  Total  Firstborn  Remainder  Total  Firstborn  Remainder  Total  Mass. Text  Samaritan  LXX  

1.  Adam  130  800  930  130  800  930  230  700  930  930  930  930  

2.  Seth  105  807  912  105  807  912  205  707  912  1042  1042  1141  

3.  Enosh  90  815  905  90  815  905  190  715  905  1140  1140  1342  

4.  Kenan  70  840  910  70  840  910  170  740  910  1235  1235  1534  

5.  Mahalalel  65  830  895  65  830  895  165  730  895  1290  1290  1696  

6.  Jered  162  800  962  62  785  847  62  785  847  1422  1307  1923  

7.  Enoch  65  300  365  65  300  365  165  200  365  987  887  1484  

8. Methuselah  187  782  969  67  653  720  167*  802*  969  1656  1307  2256  

9.  Lamech  182  595  777  53  600  653  188  565  753  1651  1307  2204  

10.  Noah  500      500      500            

Till the Flood  100      100      100            

Year of the Flood  1656      1307      2242            

These different figures are not due to errors in the text. They seem to arise from the adoption of differing systems for the calculation of the chronology.

It has commonly been supposed that the Hebrew figures (1656) are part of a scheme which calculated 2666 years to have been the interval between the Creation and the Exodus, and that 2666 years represented two-thirds of a cycle of 4000 years.

The 2666 years are computed as follows:

1656  Creation to Flood

290  Flood to birth of Abraham

100  To birth of Isaac (Genesis 21:5)

60  To birth of Jacob (Genesis 25:26)

130  To Jacob’s descent into Egypt (Genesis 47:9-28)

430  Sojourn in Egypt (Exodus 12:40)


The Samaritan figure of 1307 is part of a system which calculated 3007 years to intervene between the Creation and the entrance into Canaan. The calculation was as follows:

Creation to Flood  =  1307  years

Flood to birth of Abraham  =  940  years

Birth of Abraham to descent into Egypt  =  290  years

Sojourn in Egypt  =  430  years

Wandering in Wilderness  =  40  years

    3007  years

Skinner (in loc.) points out, that, if the calculation be made in round numbers=3000, the entire period may then be divided into three decreasing periods of 1300, 940, 760 years, of which the second exceeds the third by 180 years, and the first exceeds the second by twice 180 years (2x180) = 360 years.

The LXX figure of 2240 is the equivalent of the Samaritan calculation from the Creation to the Flood (1300 years) + the Samaritan calculation from the Flood to the birth of Abraham (940 years). But whether this be the result of accident or design, it is impossible to say.

IV. Longevity of Patriarchs

The Hebrew tradition evidently assumed that human vitality, in the era immediately following upon the Creation, was at its highest point, and that, in consequence, immense longevity was to be expected in the lives of the Antediluvian Patriarchs.

The immense duration of life assigned to these ten Patriarchs has always been the occasion of difficulty. Attempts have been made to explain away the figures. (a) It has been suggested that the names of the Patriarchs represent dynasties. But the mention of the first-born and of other children obviously refers to personal history. Nor does the transference of these enormous figures to the duration of dynasties greatly diminish the improbability of their literal historicity. (b) It has been suggested that the Hebrew word for “year” (shânah) is used in this chapter to denote a shorter period of time. But this arbitrary solution is devoid of any evidence in its favour. Familiar Hebrew words, like “years” in this chapter, or like “day” in chapter 1, must not be supposed, because of our difficulties in interpretation, to require new meanings.

There is no reason not to interpret the statements respecting the longevity of the ten Antediluvian Patriarchs quite literally. The account of them belongs to the domain of primitive tradition. It would be strange, if the primitive unverifiable tradition were not accompanied by the exaggerations which popular legend weaves around prehistoric names.

It is instructive to compare the ages of the Antediluvian and Postdiluvian Patriarchs with those of the famous Israelites of more historic times.

Adam, the first of the Antediluvians, lived  930 years

Seth, the second of the Antediluvians, lived  912 years

Noah, the tenth of the Antediluvians, lived  950 years

Shem, the first of the Post-diluvians, lived  600 years

Arpachshad, the second of the Post-diluvians, lived  408 years

Terah, the tenth of the Post-diluvians, lived  205 years

Abraham  lived  175 years

Isaac  lived  180 years

Jacob  lived  147 years

Joseph  lived  110 years

Moses  lived  120 years

Joshua  lived  110 years

David reigned  40 years  

Solomon reigned  40 years  

Rehoboam lived  58 years  (2 Chronicles 12:13)

Hezekiah lived  54 years  (2 Chronicles 29:1)

Manasseh lived  67 years  (2 Chronicles 33:1)

It is clear that this descending scale, in the duration of life, corresponds to the stages of transition from legend to history.

There is no evidence to shew that the earlier phases of civilization were more favourable to longevity than the later.

Verse 17. - Domiciled in Nod, whither, impelled by woman's love, his wife had accompanied him, the unhappy fugitive began to seek, if not to find, relief from the gnawing agonies of remorse in the endearments of conjugal felicity and the occupations of secular industry. And Cain knew his wife. Who must have been his sister, and married before the death of Abel, as "after that event it can scarcely be supposed, that any woman would be willing to connect herself with such a miserable fratricide" (Bush). Though afterwards forbidden, the tendency of Divine legislation on the subject of marriage being always in the direction of enlarging rather than restricting the circle of prohibited relationships, the union of brothers and sisters at the first was clearly indispensable, if the race was to multiply outwards from a common stock. "Even in much later times, and among very civilized nations, such alliances were not considered incestuous. The Athenian law made it compulsory to marry the sister if she had not found a husband at a certain age. Abraham married his half-sister, Sarah; and the legislator Moses himself was the offspring of-a matrimony which he later interdicted as unholy" (Kalisch). And she conceived. For even from the unbelieving and unthankful, the disobedient and the repro. bate, God's providential mercies are not entirely withheld (Psalm 145:9; Matthew 5:45). And bare Enoch. Chanoch, "dedicated," "initiated," from chanach, to instruct (Proverbs 22:6) and to consecrate (Deuteronomy 20:5; 1 Kings 8:63). Candlish detects in the name the impious pride of the first murderer; with more charity, Keil and Kalisch see a promise of the renovation of his life. The latter thinks that Cain called his son "Initiated" or "Instructed" to intimate that he intended to instruct him from his early years in the duties of virtue, and his city "Dedicated" to signify that he now recognized that "the firstling of his social prosperity belongs to God." If Luther's conjecture be correct, that the child received its name from its mother, it will touchingly express that young mother's hope that the child whom God had sent might be an augury of blessing for their saddened home, and her resolution both to consecrate him from his youth to God and to instruct him in God's fear and worship. And he builded. Literally, was building, i.e. began to build, "but never finished, leading still a runagate life, and so often constrained to leave the work, as the giants did who built the tower of Babel" (Willet). A city. Vater, Hartmann, and Bohlen discover in the city-building of Cain "a main proof of the mythical contents of the narrative," an advanced state of civilization "utterly unsuitable to so early a period;" but ancient tradition (Phoenician, Egyptian, and Hellenic) is unanimous in ascribing to the first men the invention of agriculture and the arts, with the discovery of metals, the origin of music, &c. (vide Havernick's 'Intro.,' § 16). Of course the עִיר which Cain erected was not a city according to modern ideas, but a keep or fort, enclosed with a wall for the defense of those who dwelt within (Murphy). It was the first step in the direction of civilization, and Kalisch notes it as a deep trait in the Biblical account that the origin of cities is ascribed not to the nomad, but to the agriculturist. Impelled by the necessities of his occupation to have a fixed residence, he would likewise in course of time be constrained by the multiplication of his household to insure their protection and comfort. It is possible also that his attempt to found a city may have been dictated by a desire to bid defiance to the curse which doomed him to a wandering life; to create for his family and himself a new point of interest outside the holy circle of Eden, and to find an outlet for those energies and powers of which, as an early progenitor of the race, he must have been conscious, and in the restless activity of which oblivion for his misery could alone be found. If so, it explains the action which is next recorded of him, that he called the name of the city after the name of his son, Enoch. I.e. he consecrated it to the realization of these his sinful hopes and schemes. Genesis 4:17The family of the Cainites. - 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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