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Still Waters: The Family of Cain

Genesis 4:16-24 “And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden. 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. And unto Enoch was born Irad: and Irad begat Mehujael: and Mehujael begat Methusael: and Methusael begat Lamech. And Lamech took unto him two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah. And Adah bare Jabal: he was the father of such as dwell in tents, and of such as have cattle. And his brother's name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ. And Zillah, she also bare Tubalcain, an instructer of every artificer in brass and iron: and the sister of Tubalcain was Naamah. 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. If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy and sevenfold.”

Some have sought to cast doubt on the integrity of the Scritpure by questioning where Cain could have gotten a wife. The answer is quite simple. In the early days of humanity, the human form was genetically pure. This purity was possibly part of the reason for the extremely long lives that early mankind enjoyed. Because of this genetic purity, it was possible for siblings to marry, and, in fact, it was necessary. We read that Adam and Eve had many sons and daughters. (Genesis 5:4) Cain either married a sister or a niece. As human genetics became less pure, God forbid the practice of sibling marriage. You will recall that Abraham married his half sister, but by the time the law was given, the practice was forbidden. See Leviticus 18:9,11; 20:17; Deuteronomy 27:22.

Here we find the beginnings of civilization apart from God. Cain’s descendants were not raised in the fear and admonition of the Lord, and this resulted in a godless world that ever drifted further and further away from God. Note what Paul wrote in Romans 2:21-23; “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.” Along with this godlessness, the sanctity of marriage was also marred beginning with Lamech, who took to himself two wives, which was never in the plan of God from the beginning. There was also cruelty and wickedness as revealed in the situation with Lamech who told his wives, “I have slain a man to my wounding,” which implies that his actions were in self-defense. The sad fact is that this was an indication of how violent, depraved and far removed from God society had gotten through Cain’s descendants. Truly, “Cain went out from the presence of the Lord.” Sadly, this describes the vast majority of humanity in our world today.

Some of Cain’s descendants were nomads, dwelling in tents, keeping cattle. Others were artisans, metal workers and craftsmen. While these occupations were noteworthy, revealing that these children of Cain were industrious and intelligent, they were not known as having been worshippers of God. The greatest wisdom and ability in this world that is void of an understanding of, and love for God is utter vanity. This is revealed clearly in the Book of Ecclesiastes. Cain’s family was in the process of gaining the world, and yet losing their souls. (Matthew 16:26)


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