Genesis  ◦   Chapter 4

1Adam, in love, physically joined with his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, “I have gotten a man! I hope it is the One the Lord has promised.”

2Later she gave birth to his brother Abel. Abel was a shepherd, and Cain was a farmer.3After some time, Cain brought the fruit of his labor to offer to the Lord, attempting to earn favor or pay for salvation.4But Abel knew he needed the Lord to heal his heart, so he brought the fat (symbolizing the infection of sin) from some of the firstborn of his flock (which symbolized Jesus – the Firstborn – burning out sin). The Lord was pleased that Abel understood, opened his heart, and participated in God’s healing plan;

5but the Lord was not pleased with Cain, who did not open his heart for healing but instead attempted to offer God a payment for salvation. So, filled with pride, Cain became angry and scowled with dejection.

6The Lord gently said to Cain, “Why do you choose to be angry? Why do you choose to be dejected? 7Don’t you know that if you do what is right – what is in harmony with my design for life and my healing plan – you would be happy? But if you choose to break my design for life, then you open the door of your heart for sin (fear and selfishness) to dwell there. It desires to control you, but if you trust me, you can overcome it.”

8But Cain had words with his brother Abel, and while they were in a field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.

9The Lord, giving Cain the opportunity to confess, asked him, “Where is your brother Abel?” But Cain answered, “I don’t have any idea. Is it my job to watch over my brother?”

10So the Lord said, “Oh, Cain, do you know what you have done, and how you have damaged yourself? Your brother’s blood, soaking the ground, is evidence which testifies to me what you have done. 11Because you loved your ability to farm more than you loved your brother, your ability to grow crops is hereby cursed. You will no longer be able to grow anything from the ground which drank up the blood of your brother whom you murdered. 12When you try to grow crops, the ground will not produce anything for you. Holding to your lies, you will restlessly wander the earth.”

13Cain, refusing to repent, complained to the Lord: “My punishment is more than I can bear! 14See what you’re doing to me? You’re driving me from the land and from your presence; you’re making me a homeless wanderer on the earth! And whoever finds me will kill me.”

15So the Lord said to him, “Not so. If anyone kills Cain, they will suffer the full (sevenfold) vengeance that murder brings.” Then the Lord gave Cain a sign to reassure him that no one would kill him.

16Still, Cain walked away from the Lord and wandered east of Eden, settling in Nod.

17Cain had sex with his wife and she became pregnant and gave birth to Enoch. Cain built a city and named the city Enoch in honor of his son. 18Enoch had a son named Irad, and Irad was the father of Mehujael, and Mehujael was the father of Methushael; and Methushael was the father of Lamech.

19Lamech walked further away from the Creator God’s design and married two women: one named Adah (which means the adorned) and the other Zillah (which means the sensual).20Adah gave birth to Jabal, and he was the first person to live in tents and raise livestock. 21Jabal’s brother was Jubal, and he was the first person to play the harp and flute.

22Zillah gave birth to a son Tubal-Cain, who forged all kinds of tools from bronze and iron. Tubal-Cain’s sister was Naamah. 23Lamech said to his wives, “Adah and Zillah, listen to me; hear me my wives: I have killed a man for attacking me – a young man for wounding me.24So if Cain is avenged sevenfold, then Lamech deserves seventy-sevenfold.”

25Adam, in love, again physically joined with his wife, and she gave birth to a son and named him Seth, saying, “God has granted me another child, who will take the place of Abel in God’s plan, since Cain killed him.” 26Seth had a son he named Enosh, and his descendants began to proclaim the truth about the Creator God’s character and methods of love.