Read Genesis 4:10-17.
1. Reread verses 11-15. Discuss the following:
· God’s judgment upon Cain—
· God’s mercy to Cain—
2. Read verses 16-17 again. Discuss the changes that then took place in Cain’s life as a result of God’s judgment upon him. [Note: Just as the location of Eden before the Flood is unknown, the location of Nod is also unknown. The name Nod just means “wandering, exile.”]
3. The Hebrew word translated “city” in verse 17 refers to any permanent settlement. [Note: It is logical to conclude that Adam and his clan were already building a permanent settlement in their homeland by this time.] How might this activity have been Cain’s attempt to circumvent God’s judgment upon him (see Genesis 4:11-12)?
4. What else could he (Cain) have done?
Historical Insight: Where Did Cain Get His Wife? This is a question that has plagued scoffers for years. The scripture does not say he found a wife in Nod nor does it prevent him from having already been married before he murdered Abel. Since Adam and Eve had sons and daughters (Genesis 5:4), and since God had not prohibited marriage between close family members (not until the time of Moses), it is reasonable to conclude that Cain married a sister or a niece. According to the historian Josephus, Jewish tradition held that Adam and Eve had 56 sons and daughters. Considering their lifespan of >900 years and their perfect physical condition, it is not impossible to believe.
The remaining portion of Genesis 4 gives a most intriguing, even tantalizing, picture of life in the antediluvian (pre-Flood) world. This is almost the only information we have about that first human civilization, which was later so completely destroyed by the great Flood. Archeological excavations deal almost entirely with post-Flood deposits. Other than semi-legendary recollections of the world’s first “golden age,” the brief Biblical record is still the only fully reliable account we have of that first age. (Taken from The Genesis Record, page 142)
Read Genesis 4:18-24.
5. Notice the type of heritage that Cain passed down to his descendants, particularly Lamech who is in the seventh generation from Cain. Comment on Lamech’s activities and attitudes towards others, himself and God. [Note: the word translated “killed” in verse 23 means “to slay, slaughter” and is the same word used of Cain’s murder of Abel.]
6. What aspects of civilization, culture and intellectual achievement BEFORE THE FLOOD are found in the following verses? Comment about ALL the skills involved in each. Be specific!!
· 4:20 [Livestock possibly included horses, donkeys, camels, sheep, goats.]—
· 4:22 [Think through the phrase “all kinds of tools.”]—
· 5:1 [Note: The word translated “book” means “written account.”]—
7. Are these the works of primitive, uncivilized, slow-witted “cave-men” humans?
Read Genesis 4:25-26; 5:1-5.
8. After the murder of Abel, God provided another son for Adam and Eve, and another line of descendants began. Compare 5:1 with 5:3. What could be the meaning of Adam’s statement about having a son in his likeness?
Focus on the Meaning: “At that time men began to call on the name of the Lord.” (Genesis 4:26) To “call” on God’s name is to summon His aid. “Calling” in this sense constitutes a prayer prompted by recognized need and directed to One who is ABLE and WILLING to respond. Often this Hebrew verb represents sustained communication as when God called to Adam in Genesis 3:9. It may also mean “to proclaim” or “to announce.” This is not the beginning of prayer, since communication between God and man existed since the Garden of Eden; nor is it an indication of the beginning of formal worship, since formal worship began at least as early as the offerings of Cain and Abel. (Vines Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words)
9. To help us understand the possible meaning of this phrase, refer to some or all of the following scriptures where calling upon the name of the Lord is mentioned:
· Genesis 12:8—
· I Kings 18:24—
· Joel 2:32 (quoted in Acts 2:21)—
· I Corinthians 1:2—
10. God’s name represents His character, His attributes, and His nature. “Calling” on Him to summon His aid involves recognition of who God is. Review Genesis chapters 1-4. What has God revealed about Himself to Adam, Eve and their descendants thus far?
Read Genesis 5:6-32.
11. What is known about Seth’s descendant Enoch? Read Genesis 5:18-23; Hebrews 11:5-6, and Jude 14-15 (a sample of Enoch’s preaching) to derive your answer.
Historical Insight: Assuming there are no “gaps” in these chronological genealogies (a possibility which cannot be ruled out completely, but one for which there is no internal evidence), and that the years are not anything other than normal years (the Jewish year was 360 days), there seems to have been 1656 years from the creation of Adam to the Flood. The record is perfectly natural and straightforward and is obviously intended to give both the necessary genealogical data to denote the promised lineage and also the only reliable chronological framework we have for the antediluvian (pre-Flood) period of history. Taking the recorded ages at face value, it is interesting to note that Adam lived until Lamech, the father of Noah was fifty-six years old. Most likely the oldest of the living patriarchs maintained the primary responsibility for preserving and promulgating God’s Word to his contemporaries.
The scriptures indicate that the antediluvians (those who lived before the Flood) lived to very great ages (averaging 912 years!) and that most families were quite large. The antediluvian world was substantially different from our own. Perhaps a vapor canopy did exist, filtering out harmful forms of radiation from outer space which are a chief cause of genetic mutations and other deteriorative activity in living flesh. Also, not much time had passed since the perfectly created human body began to be plagued by such mutations that became hereditary. As we study Genesis further, it will be noticed that life spans begin a slow and steady decline after the Flood, showing evidently that they were connected with the pre-Flood atmosphere and environment. All in all, there is no reason whatever not to take this list in Genesis 5 as sober history in every way. The names are repeated as well in I Chronicles 1:1-4 and Luke 3:36-38. This confirms that they were accepted as historical by the later Biblical writers, of both Old and New Testaments. (Adapted from The Genesis Record, Dr. Henry Morris, pp. 153-155)
So, what is the point of including the selective genealogies in Genesis? Perhaps to show the contrast in heritage between men who focus on pleasing themselves AS OPPOSED TO men who focus on pleasing God. [For information about the long life spans of Genesis 5, see “Creation Answers: The Lost World” after the next lesson.]
12. In Biblical times a name usually represented a person’s character. God’s name represents His character, His attributes, and His nature. The issue for us is one of TRUST. Our heavenly Father longs for us to know more of who He is, that we might more fully TRUST in His name and call upon Him. Discuss the following verses, applying them to you personally.
· Psalm 145:18—
· Proverbs 3:5-6—
· Isaiah 50:10—
13.If you were fortunate enough to have a relative who prayed or is praying for you and shared the gospel with you, spend some time thanking God for that person.
14.Do you realize the value in praying for your husband and children? Spend time praying for them each day this week.
· Some interpreters of this passage may conclude that the above evidences of culture and civilization are the by-products of a godless people, such as Cain’s descendants, since the activities are described in Cain’s lineage rather than in Seth’s. On the other hand, God has gifted mankind with the abilities needed to do these things and even given directions to godly men in scripture to perform similar works of “civilized” behavior. Use cross-references, a concordance, etc. to research this topic. Examples are Exodus 25; 1 Kings 5-8; Deuteronomy 3:6-25; Matthew 25:14-28.