Genesis 4:22 Commentaries: As 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.
Genesis 4:22
And Zillah, she also bore Tubalcain, an instructor of every artificer in brass and iron: and the sister of Tubalcain was Naamah.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
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.The three names Jabal, Jubal, and Tubal are formed from root signifying to "flow, run, go forth," perhaps "blow," from which comes יובל yôbēl the "blast" or trumpet-note of joy and release. Accordingly, all sorts of going forth, that were suitable to the life of a nomad, seem to have distinguished this family. The addition of Cain to the name of Tubal may have been a memorial of his ancestor, or an indication of his pursuit. Tubal of the spear or lance may have been his familiar designation. The making of tents implies some skill in carpentry, and also in spinning and weaving. The working in brass and iron furnishes implements for war, hunting, or husbandry. The construction of musical instruments shows considerable refinement in carving and moulding wood. Naamah, the lovely, seems to be mentioned on account of her personal charms.19. Lamech took unto him two wives—This is the first transgression of the law of marriage on record, and the practice of polygamy, like all other breaches of God's institutions, has been a fruitful source of corruption and misery. Tubal-cain, whom (as the learned conceive, and the agreement of the name and function makes probable) the heathens worshipped by the name of Vulcan, the god of smiths; and his sister Naamah, by the name of Venus. He first taught men how to make arms, and other instruments of iron.

Naamah; so called from her beauty, which her name signifies. And Zillah, she also bare Tubalcain,.... Thought by many to be the same with Vulcan, his name and business agreeing; for the names are near in sound, Tubalcain may easily pass into Vulcan; and who, with the Heathens, was the god of the smiths, and the maker of Jupiter's thunderbolts, as this was an artificer in iron and brass, as follows: his name is compounded of two words, the latter of which was no doubt put into his name in memory of Cain his great ancestor; the former Josephus (u) reads Thobel, and says of him, that he exceeded all in strength, and had great skill in military affairs:

an instructor of every artificer in brass and iron; he taught men the way of melting metals, and of making armour and weapons of war, and other instruments, for various uses, out of them; and he seems to be the same with the Chrysor of Sanchoniatho; for he says (w) of them (Agreus and Halieus) were begotten two brothers, the inventors of iron, and of working of it: one of these, called Chrysor, is said to be Hephaestus or Vulcan; and Chrysor, as Bochartus (x) seems rightly to conjecture, is "Choresh-Ur, a worker in fire"; that, by means of fire, melted metals, and cast them into different forms, and for different uses; and one of these words is used in the text of Tubalcain; and so, according to Diodorus Siculus (y), Vulcan signifies fire, and was not only the inventor of fire, but he says he was the inventor of all works in iron, brass, gold, and silver, and of all other things wrought by fire, and of all other uses of fire, both by artificers and all other men, and therefore he was called by all "fire". Clemens of Alexandria (z) ascribes the invention of brass and iron to the Idaeans or priests of Cybele in Cyprus; and so Sophocles in Strabo (a):

and the sister of Tubalcain was Naamah; whose name signifies "pleasant", fair and beautiful; and is thought by some to be the Venus of the Heathens; the Arabic writers (b) say she was a most beautiful woman, and found out colours and painting; and by others Minerva; and Josephus (c) says she excelled in the knowledge of divine things; and Minerva is by the Greeks called Nemanoum (d). The Jews say (e) she was the wife of Noah; and some of them say (f) she was the wife of one Shimron, and the mother of the evil spirit Asmodeus, mentioned in Tobit, and of whom other demons were begotten: the Targuru of Jonathan adds,"she was the mistress of lamentation and songs;''but our Bishop Cumberland (g) conjectures, that she was the wife of Ham, was with him in the ark, and after the flood was the means of leading him into idolatry: what led him to this conjecture was, that he observed in Plutarch, that the wife of Cronus, the same with Ham, is by some called Nemaus, which brought Naamah to his mind. Josephus (h) makes the number of children Lamech had by his two wives to be seventy seven.

(u) Antiqu. l. 1. c. 2. sect. 2.((w) Ut supra. (Apud Euseb. Praepar. Evangel. l. 1. p. 35.) (x) Canaan, l. 2. c. 2. col. 706. (y) Bibliothec. l. 1. p. 11, 13. & l. 5. p. 341. (z) Stromat. l. 1. p. 307. Vid. Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 34. c. 1, 2.((a) Geograph. l. 10. p. 326. (b) Elmacinus, p. 8. apud Hottinger. Smegma Oriental. l. 1. C. 8. p. 232. (c) Antiqu. l. 1. c. 2. sect. 2.((d) Plutarch. de Jide. (e) Bereshit Rabba, sect. 23. fol. 20. 3. Jarchi in loc. Shalshalet Hakabala, fol. 1. 2. (f) R. Elias Levita in Tishbi, fol. 19, 21. (g) History of Sanchoniatho, p. 107. (h) Antiqu. l. 1. c. 2. sect. 2.

And Zillah, she also bare Tubalcain, an instructer of every artificer in brass and iron: and the sister of Tubalcain was Naamah.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
22. Tubal-cain] The double name is strange, and presumably means “Tubal of the family of Cain.” Tubal is traditionally supposed to have given his name to the people mentioned in Genesis 10:2 (see note). “Tubal” in Ezekiel 27:13; Ezekiel 32:26; Ezekiel 38:2; Ezekiel 39:1 is associated with Javan and Meshech as a community whose traffic included “vessels of brass.” The Assyrian inscriptions record a people called “Tabal,” apparently living to the S.E. of the Black Sea.

the forger] Heb. “the sharpener.” The expression is intended to denote the first smelter of metals. LXX τὸν Θόβελ, καὶ ἦν σφυροκόπος χαλκεὺς χαλκοῦ καὶ σιδήρου. Lat. Tubalcain qui fuit malleator et faber in cuncta opera aeris et ferri.

The R.V. marg. = A.V. “an instructor of every artificer,” is a conjectural rendering of an obscure passage, and does not follow the original.

22. brass] Better than copper. The metal, like the Gr. χαλκός, was probably our “bronze,” for which “brass” was the equivalent in all early English literature. “Brass” is an alloy of copper and zinc; “bronze” of copper and tin. Copper-mining (not “brass”) is referred to in Deuteronomy 8:9; Job 28:2. Our English word “bronze” is derived from “Brundusium.”

It should be noticed here (1) that Hebrew tradition realizes how important an epoch in the progress of civilization is marked by the discovery of the use of metals; (2) that in this verse the mention of bronze precedes that of iron; (3) that no knowledge is shewn of a stone age, which archaeology has demonstrated to have preceded.

Naamah] meaning “pleasant.” The mention of her name, concerning whom nothing else is recorded, implies the existence of legends or traditions which have disappeared. Perhaps she symbolized luxury, as Jubal symbolized art and Tubal-Cain industry. The juxtaposition of Naamah and Tubal-Cain reminds us of Venus and Vulcan, more especially as Naamah is said to have been the Phoenician title of the Semitic goddess Istar. It is the name borne by the mother of Rehoboam, an Ammonitess (1 Kings 14:31).Verse 22. - And Zillah, she also bare Tubal-cain. Worker in brass or iron;related to Persian, tupal, iron dross (Gesenius, Rodiger, Delitzsch). Keil and Furst think this Persian root cannot be regarded as the proper explanation of the name. Furst suggests that the tribe may have been originally named Tubal, and known as inventors of smith-work and agricultural implements, and that Cain may have been afterwards added to them to identify them as Cainites (vide 'Lex. sub hem.'). The name Tubal, like the previous names Jabal and Jubal, is connected with the root yabal, to flow, and probably was indicative of the general prosperity of the race. Their ancestor was specially distinguished as an instructor (literally, a whetter) of every artificer (instrument, LXX., Vulgate, Kalisch) in brass (more correctly copper) and iron בַּרְזֶל, according to Gesenius a quadrilateral from the Genesis בְּרַן, to transfix, with ל appended; according to Furst out of בָּזֶל, from בָּזַל, to be hard, by resolving the dagesh into r. And the sister of Tubal-cain was Naamah - the lovely. Considering. the general significance of names, we shall scarcely go astray if with Kalisch we find in the name of the sister of Tubal-cain, "the beautiful," as compared with that of Adam's wife, "the living," a growing symptom of the degeneracy of the times. Beauty, rather than helpfulness, was now become the chief attraction in woman. Men selected wives for their lovely forms and faces rather than for their loving and pious hearts. The reason for the introduction of Naamah s name into the narrative commentators generally are at a loss to discover. Ingiis with much ingenuity connects it with the tragedy which some see in the lines that follow. The 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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