« PreviousContinue »
8 And Cain talked with Abel his brother concerning the
different regard shown to their respective offerings :* and it came to pass, when they were in the field together, that Cain
in a fit of resentment rose up against Abel his brother, and 9 slew him. And on Iris return from the field the LORD said un.
to Cain, Where [is] Abel thy brother? And so hardened was
he in his sin, that he said, I know not : [Am] I my brother's 10 keeper? didst thou ever give me any charge of him ? And he
said again to Cain in an awful manner, What hast thou done ?
the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the 11 ground for vengeance. And it shall be avenged : even now
Eart] thou cursed from the earth, sentenced to a perpetual bana ishment from that part of it which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand, into a more barren country ; When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength so freely as hitherto ; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth ; cast out from God's presence, and the society of thy kindred and acquaintance, and wandering from one country to
another, by reason of thy trouble and perplexity of conscience. 13 And Cain said unto the LORD, my punishment [is] greater
than I can bear ; or, my iniquity is greater than that it may be 14 forgiven. Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the
face of the earth, my native soil, where I have dwelt with my parents und kindred ; and from thy face shall I be hid ; I shall be always hiding myself from thee, skulking in holes and corners by reason of my guilty conscience ; 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 attempt to slay me as the public
enemy of mankind, and as one devoted by thee to destruction.t 15 And the LORD said unto him, Therefore, to prevent this, I
ordain, that whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him seven fold. And the LORD set a mark upon Cain, Jest any finding him should kill him ; some visible token, either
the pralsy, or a ghastly look, or the like) to make him a living 16 monument of his wrath against murder.t And Cain went out
from the presence of the Lord, and dwelt in the land of Nod, that is, the land of vagabonds, ( so called on Cain's account which lies on the east of Eden.
And Cain knew his wife, who accompanied him with others of his family ; and she conceived and bare Enoch : and after many years evandering, and having a numerous pirogeny, God
* Cremuner's version is, And Cuin spake unto Abel his brother, Let us go forth: which words are found in the Samaritan Text. See kenniccit's remarks.
+ The world being now near one hundred and thirty years old, the inhabitants might be considerable. Puisten computes them at upwards of four thousand, others at a great deal more.
f A late ingenious author hith given the most natural sense of these words, which hosei Vuh may be rendered thus, God appointed to Cain a signer tcken, to assure him that no one should kill him. So the word is rendered, Gem. ix, 13. Shnckford's Comiect. Vol.i.
permitted him to settle, and he builded a city, and called the 18 name of the city, after the name of his son, Enoch. And unto
Enoch was born Irad: and Irad begat Mehujael : and Me
hujael begat Methusael : and Methusael begat Lamech. 19 And Lamech, who was one of wicked Cain's posterity, was
the first who violated the original law of marriage by polygamy, for he took unto him two wives : the name of the one (was] Adah, and the name of the other Zillah. God was pleased to tolerate this under the Old Testament ; but Christ, in Matthew
xix. 8. fully showed the evil of it, and restored marriage to its 20 first institution. And Adah bare Jabal : he was the father of
such as dwell in tents, and (of such as háve] cattle ; the first
inventor of tent making, and of the art of tending and ordering 21 cattle. And his brother's name (was) Jubal : he was the
father of all such as handle the harp and organ, having invent
ed some kind of musical instruments, and taught the use of 22 them. And Zillah, the other wife of Lamech, she also bare
Tubalcain, an instructor of every artificer in brass and iron, that is, instruments for war or for husbandry : and the sister
of Tubalcain (was] Naamah, who, the Jews say, found out 23 the way of carding, spinning, and weaving wool. And Lamech
said unto his wives, Adah, and Zillah, who seem to have been afraid that, since weapons were grown 80 common, Lamech, who was probably a man of a turbulent spirit, would be slain ; in order to calm their fears he says, Hear my voice; ye wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech, and be under no painful ap. prehensions on my account : for do you imagine I have slain a
man to my own wounding, and a young man to my own hurt?* 24 No. If Cain therefore, who murdered his own brother for his
piety, shall be avenged seven fold, truly Lamech seventy and seven fold ; God will bring ten fold destruction on the man that hurts me.
Moses, having thus briefly mentioned Chin's posterity, returns 25 to mention another branch of Adam's family. And Adam
knew his wife again ; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth, which signifies, appointed or substitute : For God, [said she,] hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom
Cain slew, and who shall be the root of that holy family in which -26 the church shall be established. And to Seth, to him also, that is,
to Seth himself, there was born a son ; and he called his name Enos, that is, sorrowful ; to note the sadness of those times by reason of the wickedness thereof: then began men to call upon the name of the LORD, to separate themselves from the profane society of the wicked, and to worship God in a more public, solemn, and pure manner, than had been done by Cain and his profane posterity. And here began the distinction of the sons of
God, and the sons and daughters of men, * The words are rendered by Bishop Lowth, I have slain a man for having wounded me, and a young man for hacing bruised me. Louil's Prelect. p. 52.
1. T Tis reasonable that God should have our best, that he should
I be presented with our first and noblest sacrifices. He deserves it, he claims it. But let us remember,
2. That real piety is necessary to car acceptance with him. Abel's sacrifice was preferred, because he was bumble and pious, and offered it in faith. If we are destitute of inward and real religion, God will turn away his ear from our prayer, and even our sacrifice will be an abomination to him: to row, and not perform our vows, is to offer the sacrifice of fools. If any man be a true worshipper of God, and dueth his will, him he heareth always, and him he accepte.
3. See the danger of indulging malignant passions : Cain was wroth with God and his brother. He ought to have rejoiced that his brother's sacrifice was accepted, and to have grieved that his own was not. But his envy and anger preyed upon him, and hurried him on to commit this horrid murder. Let us guard against every sally of passion : ask ourselves when it begins to rise, as God doth Cain, " Why am I wroth? do I well to be angry?" Those who are of an hasty temper should learn caution by such a melancholy story as this. Anger resteth in the bosom of fools only, and produces the most dismal effects. Let us not suffor the least resentment to harlour in our bosom. We are shocked at Cain ; but reinember, every one that hateth his brother is a murderer.
4. We are not to judge of good and evil by the present appearance of things. Righteous Abel was subject to wicked Cain. Abel was slain by his brother; and why slow he him ? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's good. This good man's days soon came to an end ; but this providence was overruled to be an early intimation of the immortality of the soul, and the rewards of a future state. Wait till the day of retribution, and the scene will be changed; all this regular confusion in the ways of God's providence will have a wise, a glorious, and a merciful end.
5. See here the terror of an evil conscience ; what a dreadful thing a distracted mind is! See the fatal effects of sin. Cain was full of despairing thoughts, but showed nothing of humility, no hope of mercy. What dreadful hardness of heart must sin have produced, that after having seen God and conversed with him, he should continue impenitent. A wounded spirit is a terrible thing. To prevent it, let us guard against the ways of Cain ; and herein let us exercise ourselves, to maintain a conscience void of offence Coward God and man.
6. How vain are all arts and sciences, and the ornaments of life, where real religion is wanting! The descendants of Cain aliscovered several valuable and noble inventions ; but still they themselves were wicked, and walked in his footsteps. These in. ventions were of the Lord, and these were their portion. A miserable portion indeed! Let us choose our lot among God's servants, those who in sincerity call on his name. Let us love his worship, make religion the one thing needful; then we may hope to enjoy peace of conscience, free from disquieting fears and alarms ; and shall at length obtain eternal redemption, through that blood of sprinkling, which speaketh better things than the blood of Abel.
1 am ; the history of Adam's creation, and the catalogue of his posterity till the flood, who were the progenitors of Christ.
In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God 2 made he him ; Male and female created he them; and
blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created. This repetition is intended to remind us what a glorious creature man was at first, and how shamefully he
evas fallen : it intimates, that Adam, which signifies, red earth, 3 was the proper name of the whole species. And Adam lived
an hundred and thirty years, and, after several other children, he begat (a son) in his own likeness, after his image ; not the likeness of God, but of Adam ; yet he was a pious son, in opposition to others who were wicked ; a proper representation
of his father, and well supplied the place of Abel ; and, agreea. 4 ble to his wife's desire, he called his name Seth : And the
days of Adam after he had begotten Seth were eight hundred 5 years : and he begat other sons and daughters : And all
the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years : and he died ; 80 that the original threatening was literally ex
ecuted, though at a very distant period.* 6 And Seth lived an hundred and five years, and begat Enos : 7 And Seth lived after he begat Enos eight bundred and seven 8 years, and begat sons and daughters : And all the days of
Seth were nine hundred and twelve years : and he died. 9 And Enos lived ninety years, and begat Cainan : And 10 Enos lived after he begat Cainan eight hundred and fifteen 11 years, and begat sons and daughters : And all the days of
Enos were nine hundred and five years : And he died. 12 And Cainan lived seventy years, and begat Mahalaleel :
• The extraordinary longevity of men in those first ages of the world, appears not at all incredible, considering how requisite this was for peopling the earth, and how probable it is that the human constitution was then proportionally strong
13 And Cainan lived after he begat Mahalaleel eight hundred 14 and forty years, and begat sons and daughters : And all the
days of Cainan were nine hundred and ten years : and he
died. 15 And Mahalaleel lived sixty and five years, and begat Jared : 16 And Mahalaleel lived after he begat Jared eight hundred and 17 thirty years, and begat sons and daughters : And all the days'
of Mahalaleel were eight hundred ninety and five years : and
he died. 18 And Jared lived an hundred sixty and two years, and he
begat Enoch ; who is mentioned with distinguished honour in
the New Testament, Jude v. 14, as the seventh from Adam and 19 a prophet of God: And Jared lived after he begat Enoch 20 eight hundred years, and begat sons and daughters : And all
the days of Jared were nine hundred sixty and two years ;
and he died. 21 And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuse22 lah :* And Enoch walked with God, in a course of singular
piety, after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat a great number of sons and daughters. This shows that
the conjugal life in its purity may stand with the strictest rules 23 of holiness. And all the days of Enoch were three hundred 24 sixty and five years : And Enach walked with God. It is
said of all the others, that they lived, but of him, that he walked with God: maintaining to the last an intimate communion with him, and a conscientious obedience to him ; and this was so highly pleasing to God, that he was translated that he should not see death ; (Heb. xi. 5.) and he (was] not found when sought ; for God took him immediately to heaven, both body und soul, to be a testimony of the future happiness of both. This was probably done in a public manner, on some solemn occasion ; by which God testified his regard to his singular priety, and com. forted the hearts of good and pious men with the hopes of future happiness, when those great calamities, of which he prophesied,
should come, 25 And Methuselah lived an hundred eighty and seven years,
and þegat Lamech ; ( not that Lamech mentioned ch. iv. 23,
for he was one of Cain's posterity, but this was one of Seth's :) 26 And Methuselah lived after he begat Lamech seven hundred 27 eighty and two years, and begat sons and daughters : And all
the days of Methuselah were nine hundred sixty and nine years, the longest life that ever any man lived : and he died,
just before the flood. 28 And Lamech lived an hundred eighty and two years, and 29 begat a son : And he called his name Noah, which signifies,
This is a prophetical name, and signifies, He dieth, and water is sent furth, Fob v. 10. And so it will intimate, that Enoch, toreseeing the deluge, gave his son this name ; by which he proved himself a prophet, as well as a preacher of righteousness : and it is re. markable, that this Methuselah died the very year in which the flood came. Edit.