The Way of Cain, Pt 2 – Genesis 4:17-26

The Way of Cain (Pt. 2)
Genesis 4:17-26
Hope In Christ Bible Church 9/16/18
It’s so encouraging to see you as a church, lovers of God, who show that as lovers of His Word.
You are to be commended for your hunger not only of God’s truth for greater information but for what it brings about: greater transformation.
Romans 15:4 tells us why it’s so good we are immersing ourselves in the book of Genesis: “For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”
So our great God and Father, we pray that you would glorify Yourself in this hour. Honor Your Word, soften hard hearts, comfort the weary, and strengthen the weak.
Turn our hearts longings away from our self and this world. Grow our affections to know and love and serve You with all our hearts, soul, mind and strength. And in so doing, may we come to enjoy the living hope that You pour out upon us in Christ. It’s in His wonderful name we pray, amen.
Would you please turn to Genesis 4?
There’s been so much talk in recent days within the evangelical community about social justice and racial reconciliation. Yet in reality the big issue that we must focus on is our relationship with God.
For from God’s perspective, there are only two races: the race to heaven and the race to hell.
There’s no middle ground. God separates us all into two groups. Either you belong to God and are heaven bound, or you belong to the god of this world and are hell bound.
They are polar opposites. It’s the difference between light and darkness, the blessing and the curse, life and death.
Two different paths, two different choices, and two different destinies.
God puts it this way in Deuteronomy 30:19 “I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants.”
In other words, make the right choice.
Jesus, calls us to do the same in Matthew 7:13–14 “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that
leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. 14 “For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.”
That narrow way is the way of faith. Faith that’s seen in a life that turns away from sin and autonomy from God and trusts in Him completely.
That ‘s the life Abel lived. And remember, though his blood ran into the ground, and though he is dead, his life of faith still speaks.
And friends, the witness left by Abel’s life and death points to whom? To Jesus. For the writer of Hebrews tell us Christ’s “sprinkled blood… speaks better than the blood of Abel!” Hebrews 12:24
It’s like this: Abel represents a believer who personally knows and lives for God
And Cain, stands for those on the wide road, the way of self-made religion and living at a distance from God.
Remember Cain presented an offering to God- it looked good but didn’t come from a heart of faith. That’s why God had no regard for what he offered.
And that’s why Cain explodes in anger, and in spite of God’s warning, murders his brother Abel.
After being cursed by God because of his sin, Cain then runs from the presence of the LORD.
Remember, he settles in the land called Nod which means “wandering.”
What an awful choice- refusing to get right with the Lord and choosing to live in sin.
That was Cain’s tragic mistake. But what resulted? What’s the fallout of a life that lives at a distance from God’s presence?
Look now with me as God tells us what became of Cain and his descendants. Then He shows us the great contrast in the life of the Sethites.
Let’s begin in Genesis 4:16 to catch the flow of the context: “Then Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden. Cain had relations with his wife and she conceived, and gave birth to Enoch; and he built a city, and called the name of the city Enoch, after the name of his son. 18 Now to Enoch was born Irad, and Irad became the father of Mehujael, and Mehujael became the father of Methushael, and Methushael became the father of Lamech.
19 Lamech took to himself two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other, Zillah. 20 Adah gave birth to Jabal; he was the father of those who dwell in tents and have livestock. 21 His brother’s name was Jubal; he was the father of all those who play the lyre and pipe. 22 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. 23 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; 24 If Cain is avenged sevenfold, Then Lamech seventy-sevenfold.” 25 Adam had relations with his wife again; and she gave birth to a son, and named him Seth, for, she said, “God has appointed me another offspring in place of Abel, for Cain killed him.” 26 To Seth, to him also a son was born; and he called his name Enosh. Then men began to call upon the name of the LORD. “
Here we see the forgetting of God by the Cainites and the following after God by the Sethites.
You might expect the story of Cain to end with a simplistic- “he wandered from the Lord, had a miserable life, died childless, and ended in hell.”
While that’s all true, it’s far more complex. For God walks us through his life and shows us four glimpses into his forgetting God.
First, his 1. Fame. Cain’s fame. 17-18
We are told that Cain had relations with his wife and gave birth to a boy they named “Enoch.”
While this is the same name, it’s a different person than the Enoch of Genesis 5:21 who was the son of Jared.
The name “Enoch” may signify “dedication.”
Yet it’s evident that neither Cain nor this son Enoch was dedicated to the Lord.
Here’s why: God had just told Cain the consequences of his sin.
The ground would be cursed and unproductive- even beyond what it was to Adam (v. 12).
Related to that, God told Cain, “You shall be a vagrant and wanderer on the earth.”
He was condemned by God to the life of a vagabond. But now, what’s Cain doing? He’s building a city.
You might be thinking, “a city?” How can there be enough people on earth for a city if there are only 3 generations of people thus far born?
Well, that word for city (ir), speaks of an enclosure around houses whether there be many or few.
What’s clear is this. Cain makes it his ambition to see this settlement built in disregard to God just telling him he would be a wanderer.
What’s more revealing about his building feat, is to whom he gives honor.
He doesn’t name him Immanuel (“God is with us”), Nathaniel- (“gift of God”), or Michael- (“who is like God?”) Nothing like that.
He names the city “Enoch.” Why “Enoch?”
Because that was the name of his son.
So people would say the name of the town, “Enoch”, and remember, “he was the son of Cain who built this place.”
We still have traces of that in familiar town names. Names like Jackson, Davidson. They remind us not only of the father but of his son. Cain, like so many dads in our day, saw himself in his son. Why you go to some ball games and the way some dads are yelling, you can tell there’s proud, vicarious living. It’s not just about the son but fathers projecting their egos through them.
Here’s the point. Cain’s ambition in the city building had nothing to do with God but everything to do with himself.
And that’s the way unbelievers live- doing what strokes their own pride, makes them look good, and caters to their creature comforts.
Yet Christian, God has caused us to live for a far greater purpose, a far greater city.
Think of Abraham. What did he have his sights set on as he followed God in faith? Not a city he built and named after his son.
Hebrews 11:10 tells us “he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.”
That’s the heavenly city all children of God must desire beyond anything this world may offer.
Mark this well: those who seek God’s eternal kingdom are those who belong to God. It’s a mark of genuine faith. And those who don’t seek God’s kingdom don’t belong to God.
Of those that seek His kingdom, God in Heb. 11:16 tells us, “is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them.”
That friends is the outlook we who belong to God are to embrace.
The wonderful weight of glory is not in this world and its possessions but the world to come.
“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.” Philippians 3:20
Therefore, reject all the world’s empty philosophies like “chase your dream,” “live for the moment,” “you deserve the best,” and “the more you have the happier you’ll be.”
Instead, let the eternal uplook change your present outlook. With the eyes of your soul wide-open to eternity, seek first God’s kingdom and His righteousness. And when you do, He will take care of the rest!
Now follow the 4 generations that come from Cain’s son Enoch:
Verse 18: “Now to Enoch was born Irad, and Irad became the father of Mehujael, and Mehujael became the father of Methushael, and Methushael became the father of Lamech.”
What’s the point of this and other genealogies in Scripture?
They teach us God sovereignly gives life, and through that, He’s accomplishing His plan of redemption.
Secondly, genealogies also show us this: God knows and cares about individuals!
Take for example the son of this Enoch named Irad. It’s the only time he’s mentioned in the Bible.
This Irad like the rest of his contemporaries, would have lived 800 or 900 years. We will see that next week.
Yet, finally, one day, Irad’s life came to an end. And here’s the only things that really matters- did he follow in the footsteps of faith of his great grandfather Adam or not?
If his life matched the meaning of his name “Irad” meaning “fugitive or runner”, then he followed in footsteps of wicked Cain his grandfather.
As you see names of various men and women in our study of the Bible, let them be an example to you. For they had one short life in this world. And from that the dye is cast for their eternal destiny.
Now Irad begins a little tradition. He gives his son a name ending in -el. We know that’s one of the common Hebrew names for God.
Mehujael. It may mean “God is the giver of life.”
And that boy grows up, gets married and names his son Methushael which seems to mean “man of God.”
Did those boys become godly men? Did they raise their children to love the God of Adam and Eve?
Well, there’s no evidence for that whatsoever.
And remember, your parents may have given you a great Bible name, “Paul, John, Stephen, Mary, Lydia… but that doesn’t somehow make you on bit closer to God.
This reminds us. You can even call yourself by the name “Christian”, you can identify with the church, yet remember: outward association doesn’t mean inward transformation.
Never forget, it’s not those who claim they belong to God who are necessarily saved.
It’s those whom God says belong to Him.
That’s all those He has chosen, He has saved who have surrendered their lives in faith to Christ.
It’s “to as many as received Him (Christ), to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.” John 1:12
Look now at the effects of the sin on the 2. Family 19
Verse 19 tells us, that “Lamech took to himself two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other, Zillah.”
What’s the problem here? The spread of sin has infected the marriage relationship. For here we see 2 wives with one husband when God had intended one.
Clearly, polygamy is a departure from God’s marital plan.
God brought one and only one wife to Adam. That was Eve. Then he declared, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.” Gen. 2:24
So Lamech disregards God’s wonderful design in marriage and takes two wives for himself.
Adah likely means “pretty” and Zillah may mean “shade.” So the lust of the flesh and craving personal ease may have driven Lamech to pursue these women as wives. In so doing, he dishonors God and he dishonors those women.
For he could not fully give himself to both wives. Remember what God later warns would happen to kings if they had multiple wives:
Deut. 17:17 “He shall not multiply wives for himself, or else his heart will turn away….”
The point is that multiple wives would turn a king’s heart away from the Lord. And they did.
So, it is whenever we compromise God’s standard for marriage, there are disastrous consequences. That includes spiritual and even physical consequences. You can’t violate God’s design and get away with it.
The Hollywood actors and actresses whose lives are marked by glamor, glitz, immorality, and illicit relationships… the media want you to think they’ve got the world by the tail.
But it’s one big train wreck. It’s a disaster.
Marilyn Monroe, Heath Ledger, Robin Williams and so many others have ended their own lives when they came up empty in chasing the lust of the flesh and world’s applause.
So hold fast, men and women, to God’s beautiful design for the family. Don’t let yourself swallow the lie that the world has the best and you’ve missed out.
Instead commit yourself to live in the center of God’s will whether you are single or married. And that means joyfully embracing His perfect plan for you.
If you are single, maximize your singleness for God’s glory. Make the most of the opportunities God has given you to honor Him and serve Him.
And if you are married, honor God by putting Him first in your relationship and family. That comes by fearing God and obeying His Word.
Men, this is the blessing that follows as you lead that way at home: Psalm 128:2–4 “When you shall eat of the fruit of your hands, You will be happy and it will be well with you. 3 Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine within your house, your children like olive plants around
your table. 4 Behold, for thus shall the man be blessed who fears the LORD.”
Forgetting God reveals itself through one’s selfish fame, sinful family and now, in one’s feats.
3. Feats 20-22
Let’s keep these names straight. To Adam’s son Enoch was born Irad.
Irad had a son named Mehujael and grandson, Methushael, and great grandson, Lamech.
Lamech then has two wives, Adah and Zillah.
And each of them has two children.
God tells us some fascinating things about them. The first, verse 20, “Adah gave birth to Jabal; he was the father of those who dwell in tents and have livestock.”
That boy’s name “Jabal.” It likely has the sense of “wanderer” which fits his nomadic lifestyle.
The idea of being “father” of those who live in tents and tend livestock incudes this- he was the originator and inventor of portable tent shelters.
We can imagine, Jabal would have made use of the ridge design, throwing material or animal skins sewn together over a suspended rope.
When it was time to move the flocks to greener fields, it would take only minutes to pack up his tent.
Such a simple and yet practical concept.
Armies and camping enthusiasts all over the world have been using tents ever since, thanks to Jabal. No, it’s thanks to God who gave Jabal the insight to make a tent!
What about the his brother? What was his contribution?
Verse 21: “And his brother’s name was Jubal; he was the father of all those who play the lyre and pipe.”
“Jubal” chose a different course. While his brother Jabal was out making tents, Jubal was at home making music.
We do well to see him as the earthly father or inventor of musical instruments. He invented 2 kinds- stringed instruments and wind instruments.
The lyre and pipe are mentioned here. They are the oldest musical instruments known in history. The lyre was a stringed instrument, resembled a hand- held harp. The player strummed its strings as one would a guitar. And the pipe, also called a “pan pipe” was a flute that consisted of tubes of various lengths. The length of each determined the note that sounded so that beautiful tones were heard. So, we see here clear evidence that early man was not sitting there banging rocks against a tree! Jubal with God-given creativity made these special instruments that produced a melodious sound. And so did King David. I Chronicles 23:5 describes the Levites “praising the LORD with the instruments (of music) which David made for giving praise.” II Chron. 7:6 Jubal not only made and played musical instruments. He may well have been the first to identify God-given rules of music and teach them. For just blowing in a flute pipe or plucking strings at random doesn’t produce music. You have to know and make use of what musicians call music theory, the laws of music from our creator! That incudes rhythm (or beat), the dynamics (loudness), the melody (the main tune), timber (tone color), pitch (high or low) and tempo (speed at which the piece is played). Friends, you need to realize. Music didn’t begin with Jubal. It began with God. For God loves music, and God is the giver of music. Yes, God is a musical God, and do you realize, God loves to sing? (which is a part of music). For Zephaniah 3:17 tells us God will rejoice over His people with shouts of joy, which is also translated “singing!” Now back to Jubal, the father of all who played the lyre and pipe. Here’s what’s astounding. This great inventor of these musical instruments who also played them- he leaves God out of it all. Yes, there’s absolutely no mention of him acknowledging and praising the Lord with his music. He fails to thank God for that great gift. Just like today. People love music, love to play instruments, love to listen to it… but it’s all about self and not about God.
Friends, don’t forget- the purpose and point of music is the glory of God. It’s a vehicle to praise Him and not entertain self. O listen to how the final psalm calls us to that: Psalm 150:3–6 “Praise Him with trumpet sound; Praise Him with harp and lyre. 4 Praise Him with timbrel and dancing; praise Him with stringed instruments and pipe. 5 Praise Him with loud cymbals; praise Him with resounding cymbals. 6 Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD!” Let me encourage you to love music and musical instruments not merely for your feelings but for God’ glory. If God has given you the capacity, learn to play an instrument with which to praise Him. And play that for Him! For some of you, that might mean dusting off that old horn in the attic or sitting down at the piano or with a guitar and learning to play with excellence as an act of worship to God. 😊 Lamech’s other wife, Zillah, we are told in verse 22, had 2 children. A girl named Naamah and a boy named Tubal-cain. That name sadly ties back to evil Cain. What does this man become known for? He was “the forger of all implements of bronze and iron.” This includes hammering and forming of iron from the earth into useful tools (and weapons). Remember the red flag of the former Soviet Union? On it was the yellow hammer symbolizing industrial workers and a sickle THAT stood for the hard-working farmers. That projected the ideology of godless communism: “We possess unlimited potential. We can make machines, work hard and are self-sufficient. We don’t need any so-called god to help us.” That’s living the lie of Lamech and his family. Preoccupation with hard work, cultural growth and prosperity. There are wonderful inventions, time savers, enjoyment of music all from the gracious hand of God. Yet what do people do? They enjoy the gift yet ignore the giver. Yes, they fail to acknowledge God in any of that. And in so doing they live empty and barren lives. Let this be a lesson for you, Christian.
God has given wonderful gifts- family, friends, marriage, the ability to work, music, recreation- but the point of all that is so that we will acknowledge that in our thanks and enjoy those for His glory. King Solomon scanned man’s life and concluded: “I know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and to do good in one’s lifetime; 13 moreover, that every man who eats and drinks sees good in all his labor—it is the gift of God.” Eccles. 3:12–13 Cain and his descendants forgot God in their fame, family, feats and in
4. Fights 23-24 One day evil Lamech composes a poem for his 2 wives, Adah and Zillah. It’s the first piece of poetry in the Bible. And guess what it’s about? Murder. Yes, Lamech tells his wives to listen carefully as he tells them what he did: “I have killed a man for wounding me, and a boy for striking me.” Lamech follows in the bloody steps of Cain. But he goes a step further. The Hebrew parallelism here emphasizes it’s one young man (not two) that somehow injured Lamech. The idea is that it was a minor offense. And brutal Lamech retaliates unmercifully by murdering the boy. Then so heartlessly, he boasts of that before his wives. He scoffs, “If Cain is avenged sevenfold, then Lamech seventy-sevenfold.” Friends, he’s gloating over his sin. He’s not asking God to protect him from others who want revenge. The sense rather is, “Everybody better stay clear of me. For my fist will protect me far better than God ever did for Cain.” No repentance. No pleading to God for mercy. Just gloating over sin. Sin sickened minds do the same in our day. They violently murder and then post videos showing the gore of what they have done. Be reminded, this is satanic, inspired by the one who was a murderer from the beginning. Yet these whose hands shed innocent blood, God says, are an abomination to Him (Prov. 6:17).
And He promises, unless they come to repentance as the murderous thief on the cross, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” Rev. 21:8
That’s not only the case for murderers. It the same for self-righteous religionist who trusts in Himself rather the grace of God.
That’s the awful result of living a life apart from God in this world. It’s that you end up living apart from Him forever.
Now the narrative changes. Against the dark background of sinful Cain and his family comes a bright ray of hope.
These, instead of forgetting God are marked by
B. Following God 25-26
So refreshing, so encouraging what we see here in verse 25. Notice what Eve says after she gives birth to her third son Seth: “God has appointed me another offspring in place of Abel, for Cain killed him.”
The spirit of this family, the Sethites, is completely different than the Cainites. For while the Cainites are godless, the Sethites are godly.
In the birth of their child, they recognize the gracious hand of God. They see how the loss of their firstborn through murder is now compensated by God in the birth of Seth.
But it’s much bigger than that, and Adam and Eve know it.
For when Eve exclaims “God has appointed me another offspring in place of Abel” she uses the word “seed.” It’s the same word God used (3:15) in promising that the seed of the woman would crush the head of the serpent!
By the way, the name “Seth” means “to place or to put” and may indicate Cain and Eve see God giving him as a substitute.
Why it this all so glorious?
Because we see in the birth of this son, Seth, that God’s redemptive plan is on track. And it could not be stopped by Cain, Lamech, or any satanic attack!
For the line of this son Seth continues to Noah, Abraham Isaac, Jacob and all the way to Jesus!
In spite of all the forces of evil, God always conquers.
And we beloved can be assured of that each day of our lives.
We should therefore, regardless of how bad it gets on the job, in a relationship or with health issues, be assured, in Christ we are more than conquerors.
His perfect plan in our lives for His glory will prevail.
And thus, our response should be the response of Seth’s family:
2. Faith! We are told in verse 26 that Seth had a son named Enosh. And then the next statement leaps off the page with living hope: ”Then men began to call upon the name of the LORD.”
That name “Enosh” means “weakness, frailty.”
Seth was vividly aware of the mortality of life. His oldest brother had murdered Abel.
So the name he gives his son, “Enosh” is a vivid reminder of the brevity and uncertainty of life.
Well, what do right-thinking people do when confronted with the ugliness of sin and its vile consequences?
How do the truth seekers respond when they realize they will not live long in this world?
They turn to God. They seek Him, they worship Him! And that’s what Seth’s family began to do.
With hearts of faith they follow after God.
That wonderful phrase, “to call upon the name of the LORD”, that’s looking to God with a heart of faith and worship. And the calling on the LORD also includes proclamation to those around of YHWH.
Deuteronomy 32:3 “For I proclaim the name of the LORD; ascribe greatness to our God!”
What a marked contrast. 2 ways that lead to 2 destines. And so too, we must choose which path we will choose.
Friends, don’t go the way of Cain. Don’t follow that disastrous destiny. Instead, choose the way of faith in God who keeps His promises.
And that’s only in Christ the Messiah who in His death gives us life!
And Christian, keep your eyes on Christ the object of your faith.
He will give you the strength and joy to stay the course and bring you to glory. Yes, resolve in His strength to trust His Word and follow His way.
An old country preacher (with broken English yet huge heart for God) once laid it all on the line when he said:
“Brethren, what eber de good God tell me to do in dis blessed book, dat I’m gwine to do. If I see in it that I must jump troo a stone wall, I’m gwine to jump at it. Goin’ troo it belongs to God—Jumpin’ at it belongs to me!”
Yes, choose the way of Seth, not Cain, and walk by obedient faith in God.
Gracious God…
EXTR NOTES
A. Forgetting God (Cain)
1. Fame 17-18
2. Family 19
3. Feats 20-22
4. Fights 23-24
B. Following God (Seth)
1. Faith 25
2. Focus (worship) 26
Conclusion
2 Thessalonians 1:9 These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power,
Applic
These details are included early in the Bible to help us understand the development of sin and its ugly consequences.
Yet it also shows us the development of the messianic seedline.
What becomes of a society that rebels against God and leaves the land of blessing in angry defiance of His laws and His sacrifices? In this case it prospers.
2 Thessalonians 1:9 These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power,
He’s living in outright disregard to God.
Just satisfied in the Psalm 17:14 From men with Your hand, O LORD, From men of the world, whose portion is in this life, And whose belly You fill with Your treasure; They are satisfied with children, And leave their abundance to their babes.
here and now.
Cain’s descendants
Normally, family trees celebrate life and the accomplishments of various generations of a family.
But Cain’s family tree represents the ending of life by two murderers: Cain and Lamech.
17 Cain had relations with his wife and she conceived, and gave birth to Enoch; and he built a city, and called the name of the city Enoch, after the name of his son.
Cain’s family began in Nod (v. 16). The name “Nod” (nôḏ) is related to the words for “restless wanderer” (nā‘ wānāḏ, v. 14). It was the land of fugitives from God. Here Cain fathered a child, Enoch, and named a city after him.
His son was Enoch, of the same name, but not of the same character, with that holy man that walked with God, ch. 5:22.
First city- houses enclosed by walls for protection, a simple fortress. A small settlement.
Notice, they don’t name the city to honor God!
Rather, this is a monument to Cain’s independent spirit from God.
I take this an rebellion against God’s curse on Cain.
It was self-idolizing.
Cain seems to look forward to a new beginning though his son.
He seeks to perpetuate his name through his son and so names the city after Enoch.
The original text tells us he was building a city- perhaps he died before completing it.
As a wanderer, he may never have settled down there.
The word speaks of an enclosure around houses whether many or few.
Remember, he was on the run and condemned by God as a wanderer.
The word city “ir” comes from a root word meaning to raise an alarm.
So Cain may have run to the city for refuge when anyone was pursuing him.
Two groups shared names…
From 17-24 we don’t hear about the Lord anymore.
God’s name is used 70x up to this point, and now there is silence.
Yet God’s children have their sights set on a far greater city.
Hebrews 11:10 for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.
Hebrews 11:16 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them.
Cain’s genealogy consists of 10 members over 7 generations.
18 Now to Enoch was born Irad, and Irad became the father of Mehujael, and Mehujael became the father of Methushael, and Methushael became the father of Lamech.
Mehujael may mean God is the giver of life.
Mehijael may mean God is the foundation of life.
And Methushael perhaps means “man of God.”
Sounds good but…
Tyrannical Lamech
Lamech is the epitome of Cain’s godless and corrupt family.
19 Lamech took to himself two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other, Zillah.
Here we see man moving away from God’s wonderful design.
First occurrence of polygamy
Deut. 21 points out how more than one wife may well produce a troubled marital life.
“If a man has two wives, the one loved and the other unloved, and both the loved and the unloved have borne him sons, if the firstborn son belongs to the unloved, then it shall be in the day he wills what he has to his sons, he cannot make the son of the loved the firstborn before the son of the unloved, who is the firstborn. “But he shall acknowledge the firstborn, the son of the unloved, by giving him a double portion of all that he has, for he is the beginning of his strength; to him belongs the right of the firstborn.
The spread of sin has infected marriage.
Polygamy is a departure from God’s marital plan.
Matthew 19:4–5 And He answered and said, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE,
5 and said, ‘FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH’?
Adah means ornament or pretty.
And Zillah may signify “shade” or “shelter.”
Each of these wives bear two children.
20 Adah gave birth to Jabal; he was the father of those who dwell in tents and have livestock.
Jabal likely has the sense of “wanderer” which fits the nomadic lifestyle of this man.
He’s the first one who is noted for living in tents.
“father describes him as the originator of the idea.
So if you like camping and sleeping in tents, you can date that all the way back to Jabal!
Bedouin
Different professions- all to be to the glory of God!
The names of Lamek’s children seem to be come from the same Hebrew word, “produce” which may point to their productiveness.
21 His brother’s name was Jubal; he was the father of all those who play the lyre and pipe. jubilee, music, Lamech’s second son by Adah, of the line of Cain. He was the inventor of “the harp” (Heb. kinnor, properly “lyre”) and “the organ” (Heb. ‘ugab, properly “mouth-organ” or Pan’s pipe) would have been a reed pipe
Jubal may speak of “sound.” Father designates him as the originator of musical instruments. Don’t forget King David— The pipe is used in Psalm 150:4 in worship of God
There’s cultural growth, prosperity, enjoyment and convenience.
It’s all the general grace of God.
Animal breeding, music, working with metals…
It’s hammering terrestrial iron, meteoric iron was worked into useable tools… and weapons.
Communism’s hammer and sickle.
This family of Lamech showed great cultural prosperity yet personal failure.
It’s a moral disaster.
Danger of affluence, accumulation, self-indulgence,self-gratification especially when that leaves in the shadow God and fellowship with Him.
22 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.
This is God’s common grace, allowing these people to make inventions and cultural developments to cope under the curse.
There’s city building, iron working, herding, music
That name Tubal probably means “smith” and point to metalworking skill.
Tubal-cain bears the name of his notorious father who was a murderer.
family line seems industrious with a good work ethic. There are great developments in technology, and the arts.
Yet there’s a conspicuous absence of awareness of God.
Namah means “pleasant.”
Great cultural development yet moral bankruptcy.
They are living as if they have no need of God.
The lie of atheism.
Here’s a self-sufficient society independent of God
there is no sense here of man being a brute beast, some cave-man.
Here we have the beginning of metallurgy.
Examples of ancient metals have been discovered that date back as far as the 3rd (iron) to the 5th (copper) millenia B.C.
Cain’s family is a microcosm of great technical advance but moral failure.
So here is a picture of an affluent society defying God and His laws, seeking pleasure and self-indulgence.
suggests that all human progress is somehow tainted by sin.
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 and sciences.
Song of revenge.
Compromise and indulgence
23 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;
Verses 23-24 caused considerable difficulties to ancient Bible students.
Origin devoted 2 whole books of his Genesis commentary to these 2 verses alone! His final conclusion was that these verses are inexplicable, just can’t be understood.
Many like to see this as “Lamech’s Sword Song.”
They see him as grabbing an iron sword made by his son and hauling off to kill.
Heinous murder
It’s not about a sword but about revenge.
This is a poem with beautiful Hebrew parallelism.
With all the human achievements, heart falls to deeper depths of sinfulness.
Lamech brags to his two wives.
Gory detail…
He glories in his gory shame
Here we see a heart of arrogance, independence, and hatred.
He’s trying to intimidate any followers.
Phil. 3:19
Murderers often are caught this way.
A slave of passion, he married two lovely wives, Adah (‘Jewel’) and Zillah (‘Melody’)
Along with music developed poetry.
Here we see a superb example of a Hebrew poem
There’s parallelism and rhyme
It’s not a threat but a boast.
Lamech boasted about the murder (the word killed in v. 23 is hāraḡ, “to slay, to slaughter,” the same word used of Cain’s murder of Abel, vv. 8,
This guy evidences the marks a despotic
He’s gloating over his cruelty.
Youth- can include a person up to 40 years old.
Lamech shares the violent traits of his forefather Adam.
So Adah and Zillah watch their children develop great skills in their respective vocations. Yet they listen with horror as their husband describes his brutal killing.
This hints at how Cain’s descendants face impending disaster.
He’s a heartless murderer.
He’s a precursor of Saddam Hussein.
A 16-year-old student died at a hospital Wednesday morning after she was stabbed by another student at Fitzgerald High School in Warren. Police said there was a fight between a 16-year-old girl and 17-year-old girl. The 17-year-old took out a kitchen-style knife and stabbed the 16-year-old twice in the chest.
The Butcher of Baghdad is dead. Saddam Hussein, the tyrant who ruled Iraq like a Mafia don, slaughtered his fellow citizens
There is Hebrew parallelism here…
Here we see a life of vindictiveness and violence.
He brags to his wives.
It’s a taunt song to his evil heart.
He unlike Cain wants no protection by God.
He is a law unto himself.
Applic. Living as if we don’t need God.
Here we see just 7 generations from Adam how civilization had descended to quickly into sin
With this last note of bravado, this family disappears from the scene. No more is heard of Cain after this.
Nothing good is every said of Cain in the rest of the Bible.
Lamech was the seventh from Adam on Cain’s side and was a man who displeased God, while Enoch was the seventh from Adam on Seth’s side (5:3–27) and walked with God and pleased God (Heb. 11:5). Note that the Cainite line even copied the names of the true believers in Seth’s line (Enoch—Enos; Irad—Jared; Mehujael—Mahalaleel;
Cain and his descendants were all eliminated by the time of Noah’s Flood so they likewise played no part in Christ’s family tree. Therefore, Genesis Chapter 5 mentions only those people through whom Christ was descended, therefore it has no need to mention either Cain or Abel from Chapter 4.
What’s his boast? That he is a brutal killer.
This is one of the most godless poems every written.
This shows what a godless culture achieves apart from God.
24 If Cain is avenged sevenfold, Then Lamech seventy-sevenfold.”
The idea is of unlimited retaliation.
Thus Lamech perversely argues, “If God provided for the safety of Cain, much more for mine, who, though I have slain many, yet never slew my own brother, and upon no provocation, as he did.” Note
The sense of Cain’s braggadocio seems to be, “My fist will do far more in protecting me then God ever did for Cain.”
Our Lord may well be referring to this in Mat. 18:21-22
Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to
him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.
Cain and his descendants stand as a warning to all who live at a distance from God in disregard to
Ecclesiastes 8:11 Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, therefore the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil.
His Word.
Escalation of violence
A godly remnant
Through thick and thin, God faithfully preserves His people and keeps His promises.
25 Adam had relations with his wife again; and she gave birth to a son, and named him Seth, for, she said, “God has appointed me another offspring in place of Abel, for Cain killed him.”
This group stands in marked contrast to the Cainites.
The fallout of Adam and Eve’s sin brought awful grief to them.
Here we see hope through the seed of the woman. God shows mercy in response to Cain and Abel’s loss of their righteous son Abel.
The narrative now flashes back to Adam and Eve.
Eve now knows that neither Cain nor Abel are the promised seed.
In this one sentence she refers to all three of her sons. Cain the murderer, Abel the murdered, and Seth the newborn.
Abel is dead, and Cain is living as a wicked seed of the serpent.
God shows His faithfulness to His Word in continuing the promised seed of the woman.
She sees that God gave this son since Cain killed her other son.
The bitter battle between the seed of the serpent and seed of the women would continue.
God’s redemptive plan was on track, not to be derailed by satanic attack.
After the Cainites follow the Sethites here all the way to and beyond Noah… and ultimately to Christ!
In spite of persecution and pressure, the seed of the woman would conquer.
Story of pressure on p. 492
1 John 3:8–10 the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil.
9 No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
10 By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother.
Praise God for His provisioun
God always has His remnant. And through these descendants He wil provide the promised seed who will destroy Satan.
Seth means “granted” and may express Eve’s faith that God would continue to grant grace in spite of death.
Eve has confidence in God.
26 To Seth, to him also a son was born; and he called his name Enosh. Then men began to call upon the name of the LORD.
Enosh means “weakness” or “frailty.”
Seth was vividly aware of the mortality of life. He knew his oldest brother had murdered Abel.
Enosh’s name was a vivid reminder of the brevity of life and mankind’s mortality.
What does the right-thinking person do when confronted with the unvarnished reality of the fact that they will not live long in this world?
They turn to God.
They seek Him, they worship Him!
What a sharp distinction between Cain’s descendants who have nothing to do with the Lord.
YHWH stands for the personal and faithful God.
Enoch with his peers called out to God in what may well be her regular and public worship.
Call upon- to pray and proclaim
The word is also used to declare the revelation of God.
Exodus 33:19 And He said, “I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the LORD before you; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion.”
Deuteronomy 32:3 “For I proclaim the name of the LORD; Ascribe greatness to our God!
They are making proclamation to others of God.
The Cainites turned away from God’s Word.
So the Sethites obeyed and proclaimed God’s Word.
Here is the first reference to the worship of YHWH.
This is the first great ray of hope since the death of Abel
An awareness of weakness causes us to fall out to God in desperation and dependence.
Here we see hope. There’s a bright contrast against the dark backdrop of sin.
There is hope for sinful man.
This is used as an umbrella phrase in Genesis to describe worship, praise, prayer and sacrifice.
Abraham- Genesis 12:8 Then he proceeded from there to the mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; and there he built an altar to the LORD and called upon the name of the LORD.
Gen. 21:33
We see the same of Hagar (16:13), Isaac (26:24-25),
Intro. vandalism
It originates from the behavior of a Germanic tribe, the Vandals, who invaded Western Europe
and destroyed the art and civilization in the sack of Rome in 455 A.D.
The real threat Is not in what some deviants will do to the society but what society is doing to turn an ever increasing number of its one’s respectable citizens into mindless wanton vandals.** A SOCIAL-PSYCHOLOGICAL ANALYSIS OF VANDALISM: MAKING SENSE OF SENSELESS VIOLENCE Philip G. Zimbardo As the most famous painting of all time, Leonardo’s 1503 portrait has attracted more than its fair share of deranged admirers: It’s been attacked on four separate occasions—including two assaults within the same year. In 1956, the lower half of the painting was doused in acid while on temporary loan to a museum in Southern France; at the end of that same year, a Bolivian national named Ugo Ungaza Villegas threw a rock at the painting, resulting in a chip that was later repaired. The Mona Lisa was subsequently ensconced behind bulletproof glass, but even that didn’t deterred attacks. In 1974, a handicapped woman upset by the museum’s lack of access for the disabled spray-painted the Mona Lisa while it was at the Tokyo National Museum; in 2009 at the The Louvre, a Russian woman mad at being denied French citizenship threw a mug at the painting—one that, conveniently enough, she’d purchased at the gift shop.
Cain’s disaster 1-16
Cain’s descendants 17-24
Calling on the Lord 25-26
1-16 Jealousy, murder
17-24 Sinful family line through Cain
25-26 Righteous family line through Seth