Genesis 4:12
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
When you work the ground, it shall no longer yield to you its strength. You shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth.”

King James Bible
When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.

American Standard Version
when thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee its strength; a fugitive and a wanderer shalt thou be in the earth.

Douay-Rheims Bible
When thou shalt till it, it shall not yield to thee its fruit: a fugitive and vagabond shalt thou be upon the earth.

English Revised Version
when thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a wanderer shalt thou be in the earth.

Webster's Bible Translation
When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield to thee its strength: A fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.

Genesis 4:12 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

"And now (sc., because thou hast done this) be cursed from the earth." From: i.e., either away from the earth, driven forth so that it shall no longer afford a quiet resting-place (Gerlach, Delitzsch, etc.), or out of the earth, through its withdrawing its strength, and thus securing the fulfilment of perpetual wandering (Baumgarten, etc.). It is difficult to choose between the two; but the clause, "which hath opened her mouth," etc. seems rather to favour the latter. Because the earth has been compelled to drink innocent blood, it rebels against the murderer, and when he tills it, withdraws its strength, so that the soil yields no produce; just as the land of Canaan is said to have spued out the Canaanites, on account of their abominations (Leviticus 18:28). In any case, the idea that "the soil, through drinking innocent blood, became an accomplice in the sin of murder," has no biblical support, and is not confirmed by Isaiah 26:21 or Numbers 35:33. The suffering of irrational creatures through the sin of man is very different from their participating in his sin. "A fugitive and vagabond (ונד נע, i.e., banished and homeless) shalt thou be in the earth." Cain is so affected by this curse, that his obduracy is turned into despair, "My sin," he says in Genesis 4:13, "is greater than can be borne." עון נשׁא signifies to take away and bear sin or guilt, and is used with reference both to God and man. God takes guilt away by forgiving it (Exodus 34:7); man carries it away and bears it, by enduring its punishment (cf. Numbers 5:31). Luther, following the ancient versions, has adopted the first meaning; but the context sustains the second: for Cain afterwards complains, not of the greatness of the sin, but only of the severity of the punishment. "Behold, Thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth, and from Thy face shall I be hid;...and it shall come to pass that every one that findeth me shall slay me." The adamah, from the face of which the curse of Jehovah had driven Cain, was Eden (cf. Genesis 4:16), where he had carried on his agricultural pursuits, and where God had revealed His face, i.e., His presence, to the men after their expulsion from the garden; so that henceforth Cain had to wander about upon the wide world, homeless and far from the presence of God, and was afraid lest any one who found him might slay him. By "every one that findeth me" we are not to understand omnis creatura, as though Cain had excited the hostility of all creatures, but every man; not in the sense, however, of such as existed apart from the family of Adam, but such as were aware of his crime, and knew him to be a murderer. For Cain is evidently afraid of revenge on the part of relatives of the slain, that is to say, of descendants of Adam, who were either already in existence, or yet to be born. Though Adam might not at this time have had "many grandsons and great-grandson," yet according to Genesis 4:17 and Genesis 5:4, he had undoubtedly other children, who might increase in number, and sooner or later might avenge Abel's death. For, that blood shed demands blood in return, "is a principle of equity written in the heart of every man; and that Cain should see that earth full of avengers is just like a murderer, who sees avenging spirits (Ἐρινύες) ready to torture him on every hand."

Genesis 4:12 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

it.

Genesis 3:17,18 And to Adam he said, Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten of the tree, of which I commanded you, saying...

Leviticus 26:20 And your strength shall be spent in vain: for your land shall not yield her increase...

Deuteronomy 28:23,24 And your heaven that is over your head shall be brass, and the earth that is under you shall be iron...

Romans 8:20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who has subjected the same in hope,

a fugitive.

Genesis 4:14 Behold, you have driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from your face shall I be hid...

Leviticus 26:36 And on them that are left alive of you I will send a faintness into their hearts in the lands of their enemies...

Deuteronomy 28:65,66 And among these nations shall you find no ease, neither shall the sole of your foot have rest...

Psalm 109:10 Let his children be continually vagabonds, and beg: let them seek their bread also out of their desolate places.

Jeremiah 20:3,4 And it came to pass on the morrow, that Pashur brought forth Jeremiah out of the stocks. Then said Jeremiah to him...

Hosea 9:17 My God will cast them away, because they did not listen to him: and they shall be wanderers among the nations.

Cross References
Genesis 4:13
Cain said to the LORD, "My punishment is greater than I can bear.

Leviticus 26:17
I will set my face against you, and you shall be struck down before your enemies. Those who hate you shall rule over you, and you shall flee when none pursues you.

Leviticus 26:36
And as for those of you who are left, I will send faintness into their hearts in the lands of their enemies. The sound of a driven leaf shall put them to flight, and they shall flee as one flees from the sword, and they shall fall when none pursues.

Deuteronomy 28:15
"But if you will not obey the voice of the LORD your God or be careful to do all his commandments and his statutes that I command you today, then all these curses shall come upon you and overtake you.

Psalm 109:10
May his children wander about and beg, seeking food far from the ruins they inhabit!

Joel 1:10
The fields are destroyed, the ground mourns, because the grain is destroyed, the wine dries up, the oil languishes.

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