Genesis 4:23
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.

Berean Study Bible
Then Lamech said to his wives: “Adah and Zillah, hear my voice; wives of Lamech, listen to my speech. For I have slain 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;

New King James Version
Then Lamech said to his wives: “Adah and Zillah, hear my voice; Wives of Lamech, listen to my speech! For I have killed a man for wounding me, Even a young man for hurting 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.

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.

Contemporary English Version
One day, Lamech said to his two wives, "A young man wounded me, and I killed him.

Good News Translation
Lamech said to his wives, "Adah and Zillah, listen to me: I have killed a young man because he struck me.

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.

New Heart 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.

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.

JPS Tanakh 1917
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;

New American Standard 1977
And 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;

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:

Brenton Septuagint Translation
And Lamech said to his wives, Ada and Sella, Hear my voice, ye wives of Lamech, consider my words, because I have slain a man to my sorrow and a youth to my grief.

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;
Study Bible
The Descendants of Cain
22Zillah also gave birth to Tubal-cain, a forger of every implement of bronze and iron. And the sister of Tubal-cain was Naamah. 23Then Lamech said to his wives: “Adah and Zillah, hear my voice; wives of Lamech, listen to my speech. For I have slain a man for wounding me, a young man for striking me. 24If Cain is avenged sevenfold, then Lamech seventy-sevenfold.”…
Cross References
Genesis 4:22
Zillah also gave birth to Tubal-cain, a forger of every implement of bronze and iron. And the sister of Tubal-cain was Naamah.

Exodus 20:13
You shall not murder.

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

Deuteronomy 32:35
Vengeance is Mine; I will repay. In due time their foot will slip; for their day of disaster is near, and their doom is coming quickly.

Psalm 94:1
O LORD, God of vengeance, O God of vengeance, 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; hearken unto me, thou son of Zippor:

Judges 9:7
And when they told it to Jotham, he went and stood in the top of mount Gerizim, and lifted up his voice, and cried, and said unto them, Hearken unto me, ye men of Shechem, that God may hearken unto you.

to my hurt.







Lexicon
Then Lamech
לֶ֜מֶךְ (le·meḵ)
Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 3929: Lamech -- a descendant of Cain, also a descendant of Seth

said
וַיֹּ֨אמֶר (way·yō·mer)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Consecutive imperfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 559: To utter, say

to his wives:
לְנָשָׁ֗יו (lə·nā·šāw)
Preposition-l | Noun - feminine plural construct | third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 802: Woman, wife, female

“Adah
עָדָ֤ה (‘ā·ḏāh)
Noun - proper - feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 5711: Adah -- two non-Israelite women

and Zillah,
וְצִלָּה֙ (wə·ṣil·lāh)
Conjunctive waw | Noun - proper - feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 6741: Zillah -- wife of Lamech

hear
שְׁמַ֣עַן (šə·ma·‘an)
Verb - Qal - Imperative - feminine plural
Strong's Hebrew 8085: To hear intelligently

my voice;
קוֹלִ֔י (qō·w·lî)
Noun - masculine singular construct | first person common singular
Strong's Hebrew 6963: A voice, sound

wives
נְשֵׁ֣י (nə·šê)
Noun - feminine plural construct
Strong's Hebrew 802: Woman, wife, female

of Lamech,
לֶ֔מֶךְ (le·meḵ)
Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 3929: Lamech -- a descendant of Cain, also a descendant of Seth

listen
הַאְזֵ֖נָּה (ha’·zên·nāh)
Verb - Hifil - Imperative - feminine plural
Strong's Hebrew 238: To broaden out the ear, to listen

to my speech.
אִמְרָתִ֑י (’im·rā·ṯî)
Noun - feminine singular construct | first person common singular
Strong's Hebrew 565: Utterance, speech, word

For
כִּ֣י (kî)
Conjunction
Strong's Hebrew 3588: A relative conjunction

I
אִ֤ישׁ (’îš)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 582: Man, mankind

have slain [a man]
הָרַ֙גְתִּי֙ (hā·raḡ·tî)
Verb - Qal - Perfect - first person common singular
Strong's Hebrew 2026: To smite with deadly intent

for wounding me,
לְפִצְעִ֔י (lə·p̄iṣ·‘î)
Preposition-l | Noun - masculine singular construct | first person common singular
Strong's Hebrew 6482: A bruise, wound

a young man
וְיֶ֖לֶד (wə·ye·leḏ)
Conjunctive waw | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 3206: Something born, a lad, offspring

for striking me.
לְחַבֻּרָתִֽי׃ (lə·ḥab·bu·rā·ṯî)
Preposition-l | Noun - feminine singular construct | first person common singular
Strong's Hebrew 2250: A stripe, blow
(23, 24) Lamech said . . . --Following quickly upon music, we have poetry, but it is in praise of ferocity, and gives utterance to the pride of one who, by means of the weapons forged by his son, had taken violent revenge for an attack made upon him. Many commentators, however, regard the poem as hypothetical. "Were any one to wound me, I would with these weapons slay him." It would thus be a song of exultation over the armour which Tubal-cain had invented. It more probably records a fact, and is intended to show that, side by side with progress in the material arts, moral degradation was going on. Cain's own act is spoken of, not as a sin to be ashamed of, but as a deed of ancient heroism: not comparable, however, with the glory of Lamech, whose wrath shall be ten-fold. The poetry is vigorous, and marked by that parallelism which subsequently became the distinguishing quality of Hebrew verse. It should be translated:--

"Adah and Zillah, hear my voice,

Ye wives of Lemech. give ear unto my rede.

For I have slain a man for wounding me:

Even a young man for bruising me.

Truly Cain shall be avenged sevenfold,

And Lemech seventy and sevenfold."

It is remarkable that both of the words used for the attack upon Lamech refer to such wounds as might be given by a blow with the fist, while his word means to pierce, or run through with a sharp weapon. "Young man" is literally child, but see on Genesis 21:14.

With this boastful poem in praise of armed violence and bloodshed, joined with indications of luxury and a life of pleasure, the narrator closes the history of the race of Cain.

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," etc. (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. 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.
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