Cain Rejects God's Sovereignty
Comments for Study 5
Memory Verse 4:7
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I. Cain Rejects God's Sovereignty (4:1-7)
>1. What are the name's of the first two sons of Adam and Eve? What was the differences in their offerings? How did the Lord see their offerings? Why? (Heb. 11:4) What does this show about them? What does this show about God?
Genesis 4:1-2 "Adam lay with his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, "With the help of the LORD I have brought forth a man." Later she gave birth to his brother Abel. Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil."
* "Adam lay with his wife Eve" -Clearly Adam and Eve were married, husband and wife, in the eyes of God before Adam laid with Eve. Although the Bible does not record a marriage ceremony, here it indicates that they were married because the word "wife" is used and in chapters 2 and 3.
The key points to a marriage is when male and female agree that it is God's will for them to become husband and wife. The Bible does not record when the marriage ceremony began. The date of the first marriage ceremony is not important. What is important is that a ceremony takes place honoring what God has already blessed and established. Therefore now it is necessary that the ceremony of matrimony is preformed before God and the Church of God.
* "lay with...became pregnant" -Cain and Able were conceived in the usual way that children are conceived today. The only exception in the entire human race is Adam, Eve and Jesus. With Cain and Able there was no miracle birth or conception. However anyone can testify that the physical life process from conception to birth of all of us is indeed a miraculous event.
* "pregnant" -In Hebrew "hareh" or "hariy". Meaning "be with child" and "conceive".
Clearly God views human life to begin when we are conceived, not when we are "brought forth". When Cain was conceived, Eve is said "to be with child." Thus abortion is the killing of human life.
The unsaved and unlearned say that when a baby is in the womb it is only tissue of the mother; therefore getting rid of this tissue is not killing. However according to the Bible this thinking is wrong. In fact even before Christianity was introduced in some cultures (i.e. Korean and other Asian countries) a persons age is counted from the moment of conception, not birth as we do in America and other western nations.
* "gave birth" -In Hebrew "yalad". A prime root meaning; "to bear young; to beget; bear, birth, born, bring forth (children, young), be delivered, time of delivery, hatch, labor."
* "Cain" -The Hebrew word for this comes from two base words meaning: "a lance (as striking fast); brought for, to accrue, to procure (as in own and sell); metal smith."
Some say that Eve connected the birth of her son with the immediate fulfillment of the promise concerning the Seed, who was to bruise the head of the serpent. If so it shows her return to the LORD and how his words had now sunk into her heart.
* "With the help of the LORD" -Eve acknowledged God's hand in her delivery as well as the fact that God is the source of life (Acts 17:25). Obviously giving birth was not easy as God said it would be. Giving birth is work in today's age as it is in any age. This of course is because of Eve's sin which brought the curse recorded in chapter 3.
* "Later she gave birth to...Abel" -The author does not tell how much later nor does he imply that there were no other children in between Cain and Able. The stretch of time and a detailed history of the world is secondary in Genesis. Not even a complete biography of either Adam, Eve, Cain or Able is seem as important. What is important is to set before us a history of the kingdom of God. So Genesis (and the whole Bible) only describes such persons and events as is necessary for that purpose.
* "Abel" -The name means "breath" or "temporary" or "meaningless" (the translation of the same basic Hebrew word that is in Ecc. 1:2; 12:8) and hints at the shortness of Abel's life.
Luke 11:50-51 says Abel was a prophet, "Therefore this generation will be held responsible for the blood of all the prophets that has been shed since the beginning of the world, from the blood of Abel..."
* "Now" -This is obviously after an expanse of time. Cain and Able did not keep flocks nor work the soil directly after birth.
By excluding their childhoods we can say that their upbringing was not important to the outcome of this event. The event stands alone in each of their lives. Cain was accountable for his actions based upon the actions preformed at this time.
The fact that we are accountable for each act by itself does not go to say that a right life which nurtures the heart will not produce good fruit in a persons life, nor will a wrong life which kills the heart produce bad fruit. These facts are true. However, one thing we can learn from Cain was that he was accountable for the murder of his brother, without excuses for his past.
* "Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil" -Both Cain and Able did something to support themselves when they became old enough to do so. Neither was a free loafer.
Genesis 4:3-4a "In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the LORD. But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock."
* "In the course of time" -This phrase implies that Cain did not offer fruit right away. Perhaps he saw his brother offering and decided to do it as well.
* "fruits...fat" -Cain brought fruits, while Able brought fat. Most likely it did not matter what they brought as long as the heart was right.
Some have said that, God wanted animals to be offered as God had done showed when Adam and Eve sinned. They note that Cain could have purchased some animals from his brother to offer, but didn't because he did not really care to offer. Thus his faith was imperfect. Others say that the contrast is not between an offering of plant life and an offering of animal life, but between a careless, thoughtless offering and a choice, generous offering (Lev. 3:16).
In any case motivation and heart attitude are all-important, and God looked with favor on Abel and his offering because of Abel's faith as it says in Hebrews 11:4.
* "But" -implies a notable difference in their offerings in God's eyes. In fact Hebrews 12:24 tells me that Abel's offer spoke a word. Hebrews 12:24 says, "to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel."
* "firstborn of his flock" -This phrase seems to imply that Able gave his offering right away from the firstborn. He truly wanted to thank and acknowledge God. To give the firstborn is not easy; it takes faith. In any case offering the firstborn shows that Able recognized that all the productivity of the flock is from the LORD and all of it belongs to him.
* "some" -Neither sibling brought all they worked for. God doesn't want all as an offering, just some. Later, a tenth was laid down by God (Genesis 14:20 and Herb. 7:1-9; Lev. 27:30-32; Num. 18:26; Deut. 12:17, 14:22-26, 26:12; and 2 Chron. 31:5-6, Neh. 10:37-39, Malachi 3)
Genesis 4:4b-5a "The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor."
* "looked with favor" -God probably marked his acceptance by some outward and visible way.
The answer to why the LORD looked with favor is found in Hebrews 11:4. It says, "By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead."Able had faith and was thankful. This is what God looked for and had favor for. The heart is what matters to God in giving offerings. Obviously Cain had no regard for the Lord.
No doubt Cain and Able knew what was right and wrong. In our hearts mankind knows the difference between good and evil. This is because knowing good and evil was a result of Adam's disobedience in eating the apple (Gen. 3:5). The knowledge of good and evil is written on our hearts. Therefore the path of good and evil is up to us to chose. Cain choose the wrong way and attitude while Able choose what was right.
Philippians 4:6 says, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."
Romans 14:5-8. says, "One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone. If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord."
In conclusion from this passage it is clear that God blesses those who want to please him, who have a thanksgiving heart, and who have faith. God does not look with favor on those who don't. In all God is sovereign. He has the right to accept what is a right heart and what is not. Why? Because he knows how he meant it to be; that is from the beginning.
* The problem was not in the offerings, but in Cain's attitude. Therefore, I shouldn't compare with others, but examine my heart. Worldly people always say, "The grass is greener on the other side of the fence." But the Christian standard is Jesus.
* It is interesting to note that both Cain and Able came from the same parents, but each had different hearts. They are not the only example of this in the Bible; Jacob and Esau is another (Rom. 9:13).
>2. What does Cain's angry reaction show about his view of himself? What does it show about his view of God?
Genesis 4:5b "So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast."
* "So Cain was very angry" -Cain did not like or accept God's judgment. So he became angry. With his anger Cain shows that he thought that he was right and that God was wrong and perhaps even unfair. Knowing that his heart was wrong in the first place I can see that Cain's reaction to God was predictable.
Perhaps Cain's heart was not right because he saw the food as his own, not as God's gift to him. Many think what they have is their own because it is the work of their hands, or the work of their ancestors. If this is how Cain thought then it would explain why Cain did not like to offer it but did it anyway with a grudging heart. It would also explain that when God rejected his offering (the same one that he didn't want to give anyway) Cain would grow angry.
One thing is clear, in his heart Cain was selfish, proud, and not thankful. But what becomes even more clear is that he really did not know God. Nor did he not want to learn from what God was saying to him.
It can also be said that Cain did not have clear knowledge of himself. He did not think of why his offering wasn't good before God. In all Cain was in the dark.
Pride is in all of us. Pride is not evil. We should be proud of our heavenly Father. But we should not be proud of ourselves, the work of our hands, nor the work of our ancestors. We can appreciate then in Christ. But we should always recognize that all is a gift of God to be received with thanksgiving no matter how hard we worked for them.
* "angry" -Anger is a heart attitude. Cain's anger had the potential to do worse then what was now in his heart. This anger was built in self righteousness which is wrong. In fact it can be said that at this time Cain wanted to kill Able, but God held back the sin in Cain's heart so that Cain could think.
Romans 1:28-31, "Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless."
Matthew 5:21-22 says, "You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.' But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, 'Raca,' is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell."
And 1 John 3:15 says, "Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him."
In light of all this Jude's warning should be taken in verse 11 to not go the way of Cain.
* "his face was downcast" -Cain's face was a reflection of what was in his heart.
>3. How did the Lord counsel Cain? How does God's view and Cain's view differ? How does God's counsel show his love for Cain? What additional light does the word "crouching" tell us about Cain's problem? What can we learn about how to deal with sinful desires? What opportunity did God give Cain?
Genesis 4:6-7 "Then the LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it."
* "Then the LORD said to Cain" -In God speaking to Cain, God's great love is seen for in them it shows that God wanted to help Cain. God did not want Cain to fall into sin. God wanted Cain to repent of his bad heart attitude.
Also God's love is seen in the fact that God did not ignore Cain nor did he condemn and punish Cain. Instead, God gave him advise. God told Cain what he must do to please God. From these words I can see that God in his great love wants to bless and help all mankind, even those who have the potential to kill. I can see that if Cain and those who go in his way can change. And if they do God will accepted them.
At that same time I see that as with Adam, God now respected Cain's freedom of choice. And as with Adam God warned Cain of the consequences of his choices and actions.
* "Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast?" -God asked questions to Cain so that he would take a good look at himself. This was time for Cain to think about God. God gave time to Cain so that he would repent of his heart's evil intent.
* "If you do not do what is right, will you not be accepted" -Cain had not done what is right. But he could still do what is right if he changed his way.
* "crouching" -The Hebrew word for "crouching" is the same as an ancient Babylonian word referring to an evil demon crouching at the door of a building to threaten the people inside. Sin may thus be pictured here as just such a demon, waiting to pounce on Cain-it desires to have him. It suggests that he may already have been plotting his brother's murder. From this I can see that sin works and comes in a person with a wrong heart attitude. This is why James 4:7 says, "Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."
* "Sin is crouching" -Sin is personified here perhaps to reveal or say that the devil or evil spirits are behind sinful acts for they tempt us to do them.
* "you must mastering it" -Cain had trouble in mastering sin. Mastering sin is doing what is right when the time comes.
How can one master sin? If we take positive steps we can overcome temptation. James 4:7 gives me a clue. It says, "Resist to devil and he will flee." In other words resist the devil and submit to God and God's counsel.
Also I can master sin through Jesus, Bible study (with obedience), prayer, and repentance. With these weapons I can ask God to overcome jealousy which can lead to murder.
II. The First Murder (4:8-16)
>4. How did Cain receive God's counsel of love and opportunity? What was his motive in murdering Able? What does this suggest about the nature and cause of jealousy?
Genesis 4:8 "Now Cain said to his brother Abel, "Let's go out to the field." And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him."
* "Now Cain..." -Cain rejected God's counsel. He hardened his heart. His downcast face turned to murder.
* "Let's go out to the field" -The first murder was especially monstrous because it was committed with deliberate deceit and it was against a brother and a good man.
* "attacked...and killed him" -Why did Cain murder his brother? 1 John 3:12 gives part of the answer as well as a warning. It says, "Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother's were righteous."
I have broken this down more. Cain's motive in murdering Able was: 1) To get rid of his problem in his own way, 2) He was jealous, 3) He thought Cain was the source of his problem with God, 4) He thought if he got rid of Abel, then he would get rid of his problem, 5) Cain had no resurrection faith. He thought Able would be gone for good.
* Adam's disobedience spread through mankind and only got worse.
>5. Why did God ask the question in verse 9? What can we learn about God here? Was Cain really penitent and/or regretful about what he had done? What does his response to God show about his attitude toward God and toward his brother? In this passage do you see any change in his attitude?
Genesis 4:9 "Then the LORD said to Cain, "Where is your brother Abel?" "I don't know," he replied. "Am I my brother's keeper?"
* "Where is your brother Abel?" -God asked this see if Cain would confess (be with) his sin. God asked this for the same reasons God asked the questions in 3:11 and 3:13.
Again I see that God did not break his relationship with Cain right away even though he warned him of the consequences of his actions. Again God gave Cain a chance to change.
* "I don't know" -Cain had no respect for God. He hated his brother and God. He did not understand God nor did he have good fear of God. He didn't believe God's sovereignty in seeing and knowing all things.
False religions began with Cain because he did not come to know God, but made up in his mind what he thought God was doing to him.
Cain's bad attitude and disrespect only got worse. It took full control of him. He lacked self controlled. He became a rebellious man, full of sarcasm. Cain was what we now call a smart alec.
* "Am I my brother's keeper?" -Cain was self centered. Cain's attitude was not the attitude of love, like the love of the Good Shepherd. A shepherd shouldn't follow the sinful ways or he might think and become like Cain.
* Cain had a lack of responsibility for his sin. He did not feel bad about his brother's death nor did he think how his parents would feel. If a sin problem is not dealt with it will only grow to destroy a person and those around him.
Genesis 4:10-12 "The LORD said, "What have you done? Listen! Your brother's blood cries out to me from the ground. Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand. When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth."
* "What have you done?" -God is calling for Cain to recognize his sin and the actions of it.
* "Listen! Your brother's blood cries out to me" -Able was physically dead, but still alive. Hebrews 11:4 says, "By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead."
* "from the ground" -Thus showing to Cain that God knew that Abel was murdered in the field. Cain took him out there thinking no one would see his act. But God sees all.
* "Now you are under a curse" -God punishes those who deserve it.
* "a restless wanderer on the earth" -Estranged from his fellow man and finding even the ground inhospitable, he become a wanderer in the land of wandering. (Verse 16 says that he lived in the land of Nob which means, "wandering.")
A restless wanderer is a persons with no direction and no satisfaction.
>6. How did God punish Cain? What can we learn about God here? What was his inner and outer life to be like? What was Cain's response? What was God's purpose of putting the mark on his head? What can we learn about God's justice and mercy?
Genesis 4:13-14 "Cain said to the LORD, "My punishment is more than I can bear. Today you are driving me from the land, and I will be hidden from your presence; I will be a restless wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me."
* "My punishment is more than I can bear" -It seemed that way, but was not the case. Cain suffered less than he deserved for his murder of Abel. God had warned Cain earlier about his attitude. No human witnessed and punished Cain's crime. God noted it as He does all crime. Eventually all criminals must face God's judgment no matter how well they escape human punishment.
I note that Cain, when confronted with his crime and its resulting curse, responded not with remorse but with self-pity. His sin was virtually uninterrupted: impiety (3), anger (5), jealousy, deception and murder (8), falsehood (9) and self-seeking (13). The final result was alienation from God himself.
Sinful men try to coup with sin. They do not come to God but try to live with it.
* "I will be hidden from your presence" -Even Cain who acted against God did not want to be hidden from his presence. This says something about the right place of man and greatness and blessing of being in the presence of the LORD.
* "whoever finds me will kill me" -When we do wrong it is natural to expect others to do to us what we do to others.
* "whoever...anyone...no one." -These words seem to imply the presence of substantial numbers of people outside Cain's immediate family, but perhaps they only anticipate the future rapid growth of the race.
Genesis 4:15-16 "But the LORD said to him, "Not so; if anyone kills Cain, he will suffer vengeance seven times over." Then the LORD put a mark on Cain so that no one who found him would kill him. So Cain went out from the LORD'S presence and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden."
* "But the LORD said to him" -God understood Cain.
* "Not so" -God still cares for sinners. He protected Cain from murders and will protect others sinners. This is purely grace for we do not deserve. Of course God will slowly turn sinners over to their evil desires if we do not repent as I have said earlier in this lesson.
* "put a mark on Cain" -This mark had three purposes. It was a warning sign to protect him from an avenge. For the time being, the life of the murderer is spared. (For possible parallel see Eze. 9:4.) Second, so that he would feel protected. The mark helped Cain overcome vague fear. He feared that another would do the same to him as he had done to his brother, perhaps out of vengeance or to get even. So the mark was to ease Cain's fear. Lastly this mark was an indication of God's grace.
* "Nod" -Location unknown. "Nod" means "wandering."
* "east of Eden" -since we don't know where Eden is this doesn't mean much. However we do know that Eden is in the east according to chapter 2. But again, we do not know east of what. (See lesson 2.)
III. Cain's Descendants (4:17-24)
>7. Who were Cain's descendants? What were some of them known for? What does Lamech's family and life show about human culture without God? How did Lamech use God's word of grace and mercy to justify his sinful actions?
Genesis 4:17-22 "Cain lay with his wife, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Enoch. Cain was then building a city, and he named it after his son Enoch. To Enoch was born Irad, and Irad was the father of Mehujael, and Mehujael was the father of Methushael, and Methushael was the father of Lamech. Lamech married two women, one named Adah and the other Zillah. Adah gave birth to Jabal; he was the father of those who live in tents and raise livestock. His brother's name was Jubal; he was the father of all who play the harp and flute. Zillah also had a son, Tubal-Cain, who forged all kinds of tools out of bronze and iron. Tubal-Cain's sister was Naamah."
* "Cain...Enoch...Irad...Mehujael...Methushael...Lamech" -Together with that of Adam, these names add up to a total of seven, a number often signifying completeness (15). each of the six names listed here is paralleled by a similar or identical name in the genealogy of Seth in chapter 5 as follows:
The similarity between the two sets of names is striking and may suggest the selective nature of such genealogies. (See notes on Seth's dependence below.)
* "build a city...raise livestock...play the harp and flute...forged all kinds of tools out of bronze and iron" -Cain's descendent had high culture even though they didn't put God first. (See special note below comparing this to Seth's line.)
The rebellious line of Cain is portrayed as making great advances in various areas of civilization. Rather than being an indication of the evil nature of civilization, testimony is made of the great potential of all humans. Human accomplishment is not necessarily to be measured by the spiritually of a person. On the other hand many great accomplishments are prostituted by those who lack the spiritual character to use them properly and who turn them to evil purposes.
* "named it after his son" -Indicating settled proprietorship and enjoyment of the world as it was.
* "Jabal...Jubal...Tubal-Cain" -Lamech's three sons had similar names, each derived from a Hebrew verb meaning "to bring, carry, lead," and emphasizing activity. Tubal-Cain's name was especially appropriate, since "Cain" means "metal smith."
Genesis 4:23-24 "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. If Cain is avenged seven times, then Lamech seventy-seven times."
* "Lamech...killed a man" -Sin grew rapidly in the human race. Lamech killed a young man who had simply injured him. The poetic form of the text indicated the depravity of Lamech's character as he bragged about his sinful act. Similarly, we are often tempted to demand more justice than we are due. Both divine and civil law attempt to restrain our sinful impulses and dispense a balanced judgment.
* "to his wives" -Another sin of Lamech.
* "Listen to me...hear my words" -Sin is never a cause for bragging. It causes only God's wrath and judgment.
* "for wounding me" -Violent and wanton destruction of human life by one who proclaimed his complete independence from God by taking vengeance with his own hands. Deut 32:35 says, "It is mine to avenge; I will repay. In due time their foot will slip; their day of disaster is near and their doom rushes upon them." Lamech proudly claimed to be master of his own destiny, thinking that he and his sons, by their own achievements, would redeem themselves from the curse on the line of Cain. This titanic claim climaxes the catalog of sins that began with Cain's prideful selfishness at the beginning of the chapter.
* "If Cain...then Lamech" -All men can justify their sins. Most do. It is even possible to use God's word to justify ourselves. How then do we know what is right? Do it by faith according to the word of God with prayer and advice from God's leaders.
* "seventy-seven times" -Lamech's vicious announcement of personal revenge found its counterpoint in Jesus' response to Peter's question about forgiveness in Matt. 18:21-22. They say, "Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?" Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times."
* Cain's tendencies rapidly unfolded in his descendants, till in Lamech, it had already assumed such large proportions that Scripture deems it no longer necessary to mark its growth. Accordingly the separate record of the Canaanites ceases with Lamech and his children, and there is not further mention made of them in all the Bible.
IV. Seth's Descendants (4:25-5:32)
>8. How is Seth described? (5:3) What is his son credited for? (4:26) How is Enoch described? (5:21-24, Heb. 11:5) How are Seth's descendants like Cain's descendants? How are they different? What evidence is there of a spiritual remnant of God's people?
Genesis 4:25-26 "Adam lay with his wife again, and she gave birth to a son and named him Seth, saying, "God has granted me another child in place of Abel, since Cain killed him." Seth also had a son, and he named him Enosh. At that time men began to call on the name of the LORD.
* "again...another child" -Abel was dead, and Cain was alienated; so Adam and Eve were granted a third son to carry on the family line.
* "Seth" -Seth probably means "granted." (See note on 5:3.)
* "Enosh" -The name, like "Adam", means "man."
* "call" -Could also be translated "proclaim".
* "At that time men...LORD" -This along with 5:1-2 is the conclusion of this section and the beginning of the next. See note below "this is the account of."
* "call on the name of the LORD" -Later this would be said of Abram (12:8; 13:4) and Elijah (1 Kings 18:24). Hence Psalms 145:18 says, "The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth."
In each chase sacrifices are mentioned. So regular sacrifices seemed to begin with Enoch who imitated what God did when Adam and Eve sinned.
As the dim remembrance of a better state from which man had fallen, and of a hope of deliverance, had been preserved among all heathen of savages, so also had that of the necessity of sacrifices. Even the bloody rites, the cruel sacrifices of best-beloved children, what were they but a cry of despair in the felt need of reconciliation to God through sacrifice-the giving up of what was most dear? These are the terribly broken pillars of what once had been a temple; the terribly distorted traditions of truths once Divinely revealed. Blessed by God for the light of His Gospel, which has taught us "the way, the truth, and the life," even Him who is "the Lamb of God, which take away the sin of the world."
Genesis 5:1-2 "This is the written account of Adam's line. When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God. He created them male and female and blessed them. And when they were created, he called them "man."
* "This is the account of" -(See lesson 3 note "this is the account of.")
Genesis 5:3 "When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image; and he named him Seth."
* "his own likeness, in his own image" -As God created man in his own perfect image, so now sinful Adam has a son in his own imperfect image.
Genesis 5:4-20 "After Seth was born, Adam lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Adam lived 930 years, and then he died. When Seth had lived 105 years, he became the father of Enosh. And after he became the father of Enosh, Seth lived 807 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Seth lived 912 years, and then he died. When Enosh had lived 90 years, he became the father of Kenan. And after he became the father of Kenan, Enosh lived 815 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Enosh lived 905 years, and then he died. When Kenan had lived 70 years, he became the father of Mahalalel. And after he became the father of Mahalalel, Kenan lived 840 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Kenan lived 910 years, and then he died. When Mahalalel had lived 65 years, he became the father of Jared. And after he became the father of Jared, Mahalalel lived 830 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Mahalalel lived 895 years, and then he died. When Jared had lived 162 years, he became the father of Enoch. And after he became the father of Enoch, Jared lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Jared lived 962 years, and then he died."
* "Adam lived 930 years" -Whether the large numbers describing human longevity in the early chapter of Genesis are literal or have a conventional literary function-or both- is disputed among scholars.
Some believe that several of the numbers have symbolic significance, such as Enosh's 365 years (365 being the number of days in a year, thus a full life) and Lamech's 777 years (777 being an expansion and multiple of seven, the number of completeness; cf. the "seventy-seven times" of Lamech's namesake in 4:24). They also say that the fact that there are exactly ten names in the Genesis 5 list (as in the genealogy of 11:10-26) makes it likely that it includes gaps, the lengths of which may be summarized in the large numbers. These scholars point out that other ancient genealogies outside the Bible exhibit similarly large figures. For example, three kings in a Sumerian list (which also contains exactly ten names) are said to have reigned 72,000 years each-obviously exaggerated time spans.
Others take it literally. If so they would make a chart like the one I have made showing a comparison of the births and deaths of Seth's line. They say that the flood took place 1656 years after the creation of Adam.
* This are the spiritual remnant of God's people in the First Time of Men. For example Enoch walked with God and Lamech still knew the Lord and his word (5:28). God always works with a remnant. (Rom. 11:1-5) So Christians should not despair because we are few. God's will come to pass. His remnant will remain.
* "and then he died" -Repeated as a sad refrain throughout the chapter, the only exception being Enoch. The phrase is a stark reminder of God's judgment on sin resulting from Adam's fall.
Genesis 5:21-24 "When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah. And after he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Enoch lived 365 years. Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away."
* "Enoch" -Jude 1:14 says, "Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men: "See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones."
* "then he was not more because God took him away" -This is the first mention of life after death in the Bible.
The life after death meaning of this verse is confirmed in the New Testament. Hebrews 11:5 says, "By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away. For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God."
Why did God take him away? 1) He lived by bold faith in a time that it was hard to. 2) God wanted to show his favor to him.
Like 'Elijah, who was "taken" (2 Kings 2:10) to heaven, Enoch was taken away (Psalms 49:15; 73:24) to the presence of God without experiencing death.
Lamech, the seventh from Adam in the genealogy of Cain, was evil personified. But "Enoch, the seventh from Adam" in the genealogy of Seth, "was commended as one who pleased God."
Genesis 5:25-32 "When Methuselah had lived 187 years, he became the father of Lamech. And after he became the father of Lamech, Methuselah lived 782 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Methuselah lived 969 years, and then he died. When Lamech had lived 182 years, he had a son. He named him Noah and said, "He will comfort us in the labor and painful toil of our hands caused by the ground the LORD has cursed." After Noah was born, Lamech lived 595 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Lamech lived 777 years, and then he died. After Noah was 500 years old, he became the father of Shem, Ham and Japheth."
* Noah will be talked about in lesson 6.
* See the spreadsheet "Genesis Genealogy."
* Methuselah died in the year of the flood, maybe even in the flood.
* Lamech died 4 years before the flood.
* Methuselah and Lamech were the only two descendent of Seth besides Noah who were alive when God spoke to Noah.
>9. Make a chart comparing the births and deaths of Seth's descendants. What do you learn from this?
Similarities between the two peoples are:
How could people live so long? Maybe the ultraviolet rays were filtered out by the water above the atmosphere.
Differences between the two peoples are:
Cain's only knew worldly things.
Seth's also know spiritual things.
Cain's descendants only had occupations listed. Seth's descendants also are known for spiritual things, which was much more important.
* History according to secular definitions is limited to description of human activities and interpretation of human causes and motivations. Biblical history centers on divine motivation by focusing on promises God gives people and fulfills for them. The promise to Cain led to geographic and cultural expansion of the human race. It also led to history carried out without concern for God's presence. History thus has two types of subjects-those who move away from God and those who call on God. The interaction of the two form the basis for divine deliverance of His people.
Quote from Alfred Edersheim
After the fall the position of man towards God was entirely changed. In the garden of Eden man's hope of being confirmed in his estate and of advancing upwards depended on his perfect obedience. But man disobeyed and fell. Henceforth his hope for the future could no longer be derived from perfect obedience, which, indeed, in his fallen state was impossible. So to speak, the way of "doing" had been set before him, and it had ended, through sin, in death. God in His infinite grace now opened to man another path. He set before him the hoe of faith. The promise which God freely gave man was that of a Deliverer, who would bruise the head of the serpent, and destroy his works. Now, it was possible either to embrace this promise by faith, and in that case to cling to it and set his heart thereon, or else to refuse this hope and turn away from it. Here, then, at the very opening of the history of the kingdom, we have the two different ways which, as the worked and the kingdom o Go, have ever since divided men. If we further ask ourselves what those should do who rejected the hope of faith, how they would show it in their outward conduct, we answer, that they would naturally choose the world as it then was; and, satisfied therewith, try to establish themselves in the earth, claim it as their own, enjoy its pleasures and lusts, and cultivate its arts. On the other hand, one who embraced the promises would consider himself a pilgrim and a stranger in this earth, and both in heat and outward conduct show that he believed in, and waited for, the fulfillment of the promise. We need scarcely say that the one describes the history of Cain and of his race; the other that of Abel, and afterwards of Seth and of his descendants. For around these two -Cain and Seth- as their representatives, all the children of Adam would group themselves according to their spiritual tendencies.