Genesis Chapter 4

At this point in the book of Genesis, Adam and Eve have fallen from the state of paradise in the Garden of Eden. They were cast out and into the world, where they were to experience death and the hardships and toils of life. The story of Adam and Eve continues:

1 And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the Lord.
2 And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.
3 And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord.
4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering:
5 But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.
6 And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?
7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.
8 And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.

Cain and Able were among many sons and daughters of Adam and Eve. We learn from the book of Moses, that Able was a righteous son who followed the word of the Lord, but Cain was a follower of Satan. (see Moses 5) Able followed the commandment of the Lord to make an offering of the firstling of the flock. Cain made the choice to mock the commandment of the Lord, by offering fruit of the ground. Since the offering was meant to be in similitude of the sacrifice of the Son of God, an offering of anything less then a perfect firstling of the flock was a complete mockery of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Cain had done this because of the influence of Satan in his life.

The Lord is ready, willing, and bound to give us blessings if we follow his commandments. It really is that simple. Cain could not see that he would find favor in the sight of the Lord, if he followed the commandments. Instead he was filled with anger towards his brother, because Able had the flocks which caused him to gain favor from the Lord. The Lord taught Cain that if he did not follow the commandments, he would be sinning and falling under the control of Satan. In his wrath, Cain lured Able and killed him.

9 And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper?
10 And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground.
11 And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand;
12 When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.
13 And Cain said unto the Lord, My punishment is greater than I can bear.
14 Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me.
15 And the Lord said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the Lord set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him.

The Lord, who knows everything we do and feel, knew what Cain had done. He was given the opportunity to confess for himself, but he did not. Instead, he asked if he was his brother’s keeper. This feeling of not be responsible for having a care for those around us, especially our family, is complete selfishness. We do not need to be overbearing and controlling in the lives of others, but we are their keepers in the sense that we need to have enough charity to care for how they are doing and what their lives are like. Cain did not have charity towards others, but only cared for his own welfare.

We have a right to blessings from the Lord, when we follow His commandments. Likewise, we have a right to cursings from the Lord, when we do not follow His commandments. This is because He is the Lord and ruler of us all. We are in debt to Him for our very lives and existence. Our lives are more precious than any earthly gift, because they are a gift from the Lord. He is the creator and we are expected to follow His ways when we are made known of them. Cain had been taught by his parents, Adam and Eve. He used the gift of agency, which we all have been given, and chose to do that which was awful in the sight of God. Because of this thing, he was cursed. His curse would mean that he would not be able to continually work with the earth to produce his foods and such, but rather, he would be forced to be a vagabond and live without the many blessings he was enjoying. Cain complained to the Lord that the punishment was too much for him. In Moses, we read further that he also explained his falling into temptation of Satan because of wanting the flocks of his brother (see Moses 5 – linked above). This was his way of excusing his actions. This will never work to keep us from the punishments of the Lord.

The footnote of verse 13 says the words “My punishment is greater than I can bear” means “My iniquity is too great to be forgiven.” This tells me that Cain knew full well that what he had done was terrible and was aware of the unforgiving nature of committing the murder of another person. He knew that because he was being forced to suffer that others would fear and hate him. To keep others from suffering the fate of Cain because of their fear or hatred, Cain was marked to set him apart. This mark was a mark of their skin color. We learn this in Moses 7:22 which reads, “And Enoch also beheld the residue of the people which were the sons of Adam; and they were a mixture of all the seed of Adam save it was the seed of Cain, for the seed of Cain were black, and had not place among them.” This marking kept Cain and his seed separated from the covenant and righteous people of the Lord.

16 And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.
17 And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch: and he builded a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son, Enoch.
18 And unto Enoch was born Irad: and Irad begat Mehujael: and Mehujael begat Methusael: and Methusael begat Lamech.
19 And Lamech took unto him two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah.
20 And Adah bare Jabal: he was the father of such as dwell in tents, and of such as have cattle.
21 And his brother’s name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ.
22 And Zillah, she also bare Tubal-cain, an instructer of every artificer in brass and iron: and the sister of Tubal-cain was Naamah.
23 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.
24 If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy and sevenfold.

Cain was separated physically and spiritually from the Lord, because of his sin. When we live lives of sin and iniquity, we are also separated from the Lord. Life will go on, but the blessings available for us, will be kept from us until we repent and turn to the Lord. Cain’s lineage continued. A footnote for verse 17 tells us that this Enoch is different from the righteous leader of Zion. It’s good to recognize that these were not the same people because there is a clear difference in righteousness between them. The descendants of Cain continued in sin and transgression, including Lamech who also killed a man and feared for his life.

25 And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth: For God, said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew.
26 And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the Lord.

On the other hand, Adams righteous lineage continued when he had another son named Seth and a grandson named Enos, who were both good men who relied on the Lord in their lives. I am very grateful for the knowledge that there is opposition in all things, as well as the gift of agency. I am glad that I can choose how to live, and glad to know that there are consequences, both good and bad, to my choices. There were people who lived lives of righteousness and those who did not, just as these two types exist today. I am so grateful to have so many influences for good in my life, and to have the gospel and a knowledge and love for the Savior.


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I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I love the scriptures, but I am not a scriptorian. I've been told that I'm too "deep" for some, but if you are willing, I'd love to have others join me in my quest for a greater understanding of the gospel. Please feel free to leave me comments and hopefully we can help each other to learn.


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