Genesis 4
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Listen to this chapter in Hebrew:

1  Now the man knew his wife Chava, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have gained a male child with the help of Hashem.”

א  וְהָאָדָם יָדַע אֶת־חַוָּה אִשְׁתּוֹ וַתַּהַר וַתֵּלֶד אֶת־קַיִן וַתֹּאמֶר קָנִיתִי אִישׁ אֶת־יְהוָה׃

2  She then bore his brother Abel. Abel became a keeper of sheep, and Cain became a tiller of the soil.

ב  וַתֹּסֶף לָלֶדֶת אֶת־אָחִיו אֶת־הָבֶל וַיְהִי־הֶבֶל רֹעֵה צֹאן וְקַיִן הָיָה עֹבֵד אֲדָמָה׃

3  In the course of time, Cain brought an offering to Hashem from the fruit of the soil;

ג  וַיְהִי מִקֵּץ יָמִים וַיָּבֵא קַיִן מִפְּרִי הָאֲדָמָה מִנְחָה לַיהוָה׃

4  and Abel, for his part, brought the choicest of the firstlings of his flock. Hashem paid heed to Abel and his offering,

ד  וְהֶבֶל הֵבִיא גַם־הוּא מִבְּכֹרוֹת צֹאנוֹ וּמֵחֶלְבֵהֶן וַיִּשַׁע יְהוָה אֶל־הֶבֶל וְאֶל־מִנְחָתוֹ׃

5  but to Cain and his offering He paid no heed. Cain was much distressed and his face fell.

ה  וְאֶל־קַיִן וְאֶל־מִנְחָתוֹ לֹא שָׁעָה וַיִּחַר לְקַיִן מְאֹד וַיִּפְּלוּ פָּנָיו׃

6  And Hashem said to Cain, “Why are you distressed, And why is your face fallen?

ו  וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֶל־קָיִן לָמָּה חָרָה לָךְ וְלָמָּה נָפְלוּ פָנֶיךָ׃

7  Surely, if you do right, There is uplift. But if you do not do right Sin couches at the door; Its urge is toward you, Yet you can be its master.”

ז  הֲלוֹא אִם־תֵּיטִיב שְׂאֵת וְאִם לֹא תֵיטִיב לַפֶּתַח חַטָּאת רֹבֵץ וְאֵלֶיךָ תְּשׁוּקָתוֹ וְאַתָּה תִּמְשָׁל־בּוֹ׃

8  Cain said to his brother Abel and when they were in the field, Cain set upon his brother Abel and killed him.

ח  וַיֹּאמֶר קַיִן אֶל־הֶבֶל אָחִיו וַיְהִי בִּהְיוֹתָם בַּשָּׂדֶה וַיָּקָם קַיִן אֶל־הֶבֶל אָחִיו וַיַּהַרְגֵהוּ׃

9  Hashem said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” And he said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?”

ט  וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֶל־קַיִן אֵי הֶבֶל אָחִיךָ וַיֹּאמֶר לֹא יָדַעְתִּי הֲשֹׁמֵר אָחִי אָנֹכִי׃

10  Then He said, “What have you done? Hark, your brother’s blood cries out to Me from the ground!

י  וַיֹּאמֶר מֶה עָשִׂיתָ קוֹל דְּמֵי אָחִיךָ צֹעֲקִים אֵלַי מִן־הָאֲדָמָה׃

11  Therefore, you shall be more cursed than the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand.

יא  וְעַתָּה אָרוּר אָתָּה מִן־הָאֲדָמָה אֲשֶׁר פָּצְתָה אֶת־פִּיהָ לָקַחַת אֶת־דְּמֵי אָחִיךָ מִיָּדֶךָ׃

12  If you till the soil, it shall no longer yield its strength to you. You shall become a ceaseless wanderer on earth.”

KEE ta-a-VOD et HA-a-da-MAH lo to-SAYF tayt ko-KHAH LAKH NA va-NAD tih-YEH va-A-retz

יב  כִּי תַעֲבֹד אֶת־הָאֲדָמָה לֹא־תֹסֵף תֵּת־כֹּחָהּ לָךְ נָע וָנָד תִּהְיֶה בָאָרֶץ׃

4:12   You shall become a ceaseless wanderer on earth

The Hebrew for ‘ceaseless wanderer’ in this verse is na v’nad (נע ונד). Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch distinguishes the word na (נע) from nad (נד). Na refers to a wanderer who can find no physical resting place on Earth, whereas a nad is a wanderer whose connection to mankind has been severed. Cain’s punishment isolated him from the land as well as from all of mankind; he was cursed with an inability to find a homeland or a society, and subsequently his sin was too much to bear. The privilege of living in a homeland among a society of people who share a common lineage is no small matter. The return of Jewish sovereignty to its biblical homeland in our time, after thousands of years of exile, is truly a mark of God’s hand in this world.Comment

13  Cain said to Hashem, “My punishment is too great to bear!

יג  וַיֹּאמֶר קַיִן אֶל־יְהוָה גָּדוֹל עֲוֺנִי מִנְּשֹׂא׃

14  Since You have banished me this day from the soil, and I must avoid Your presence and become a restless wanderer on earth—anyone who meets me may kill me!”

יד  הֵן גֵּרַשְׁתָּ אֹתִי הַיּוֹם מֵעַל פְּנֵי הָאֲדָמָה וּמִפָּנֶיךָ אֶסָּתֵר וְהָיִיתִי נָע וָנָד בָּאָרֶץ וְהָיָה כָל־מֹצְאִי יַהַרְגֵנִי׃

15  Hashem said to him, “I promise, if anyone kills Cain, sevenfold vengeance shall be taken on him.” And Hashem put a mark on Cain, lest anyone who met him should kill him.

טו  וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ יְהוָה לָכֵן כָּל־הֹרֵג קַיִן שִׁבְעָתַיִם יֻקָּם וַיָּשֶׂם יְהוָה לְקַיִן אוֹת לְבִלְתִּי הַכּוֹת־אֹתוֹ כָּל־מֹצְאוֹ׃

16  Cain left the presence of Hashem and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden.

טז  וַיֵּצֵא קַיִן מִלִּפְנֵי יְהוָה וַיֵּשֶׁב בְּאֶרֶץ־נוֹד קִדְמַת־עֵדֶן׃

17  Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Chanoch. And he then founded a city, and named the city after his son Chanoch.

יז  וַיֵּדַע קַיִן אֶת־אִשְׁתּוֹ וַתַּהַר וַתֵּלֶד אֶת־חֲנוֹךְ וַיְהִי בֹּנֶה עִיר וַיִּקְרָא שֵׁם הָעִיר כְּשֵׁם בְּנוֹ חֲנוֹךְ׃

18  To Chanoch was born Irad, and Irad begot Mehujael, and Mehujael begot Methusael, and Methusael begot Lemech.

יח  וַיִּוָּלֵד לַחֲנוֹךְ אֶת־עִירָד וְעִירָד יָלַד אֶת־מְחוּיָאֵל וּמְחִיּיָאֵל יָלַד אֶת־מְתוּשָׁאֵל וּמְתוּשָׁאֵל יָלַד אֶת־לָמֶךְ׃

19  Lemech took to himself two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other was Zillah.

יט  וַיִּקַּח־לוֹ לֶמֶךְ שְׁתֵּי נָשִׁים שֵׁם הָאַחַת עָדָה וְשֵׁם הַשֵּׁנִית צִלָּה׃

20  Adah bore Jabal; he was the ancestor of those who dwell in tents and amidst herds.

כ  וַתֵּלֶד עָדָה אֶת־יָבָל הוּא הָיָה אֲבִי יֹשֵׁב אֹהֶל וּמִקְנֶה׃

21  And the name of his brother was Jubal; he was the ancestor of all who play the lyre and the pipe.

כא  וְשֵׁם אָחִיו יוּבָל הוּא הָיָה אֲבִי כָּל־תֹּפֵשׂ כִּנּוֹר וְעוּגָב׃

22  As for Zillah, she bore Tubal-cain, who forged all implements of copper and iron. And the sister of Tubal-cain was Naamah.

כב  וְצִלָּה גַם־הִוא יָלְדָה אֶת־תּוּבַל קַיִן לֹטֵשׁ כָּל־חֹרֵשׁ נְחֹשֶׁת וּבַרְזֶל וַאֲחוֹת תּוּבַל־קַיִן נַעֲמָה׃

23  And Lemech said to his wives, “Adah and Zillah, hear my voice; O wives of Lemech, give ear to my speech. I have slain a man for wounding me, a lad for bruising me.

כג  וַיֹּאמֶר לֶמֶךְ לְנָשָׁיו עָדָה וְצִלָּה שְׁמַעַן קוֹלִי נְשֵׁי לֶמֶךְ הַאְזֵנָּה אִמְרָתִי כִּי אִישׁ הָרַגְתִּי לְפִצְעִי וְיֶלֶד לְחַבֻּרָתִי׃

24  If Cain is avenged sevenfold, Then Lemech seventy-sevenfold.”

כד  כִּי שִׁבְעָתַיִם יֻקַּם־קָיִן וְלֶמֶךְ שִׁבְעִים וְשִׁבְעָה׃

25  Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and named him Shet, meaning, “Hashem has provided me with another offspring in place of Abel,” for Cain had killed him.

כה  וַיֵּדַע אָדָם עוֹד אֶת־אִשְׁתּוֹ וַתֵּלֶד בֵּן וַתִּקְרָא אֶת־שְׁמוֹ שֵׁת כִּי שָׁת־לִי אֱלֹהִים זֶרַע אַחֵר תַּחַת הֶבֶל כִּי הֲרָגוֹ קָיִן׃

26  And to Shet, in turn, a son was born, and he named him Enosh. It was then that men began to invoke Hashem by name.

 

כו  וּלְשֵׁת גַּם־הוּא יֻלַּד־בֵּן וַיִּקְרָא אֶת־שְׁמוֹ אֱנוֹשׁ אָז הוּחַל לִקְרֹא בְּשֵׁם יְהוָה׃

Please login to get access to the quiz
Genesis 3
Genesis 5

Comments ( 16 )

The comments below do not necessarily reflect the beliefs and opinions of The Israel Bibleā„¢.

  • God was pleased with Chava – Eve as she brought forth sons, for continuation of the world for God’s Glory. Kayin was tiller of the ground while Hevel was keeper of sheep. I see favoritism by God because His purpose was to cleanse with Blood. Therefore God preferred Hevel’s offering which was the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof, while Kayin’s offering of the fruit of the ground God did not respect. Maybe God’s purpose was the Blood being the produce of life and not the produce of Earth. Thus Kayin was offended and became angry which resulted in jealousy, ending up in killing of the accepted one – Hevel. For the 2nd time God showed His disapprove towards mankind and punishment was that again he was thrown out of society this time, and Caine cried out for Mercy to God saying “My punishment is greater than I can bear” and he went out from the Presence of God and lived in the land of Nod on the east of Eden. Man has since been a fugitive and wanderer and Samson one of the last judges too shows this. History repeats and the process of purifying goes on.

    • Very good point but I would still like to hear from the Rabbi’s why the offering of Kayin was not acceptable. Actually, I would like to hear from the Father on this. For me, this is a bit of a conundrum.

      • I share your feelings in this matter. Here is a possibility for consideration. Abel’s offering was the best of something he did not toil to make. Hashem made the animal. Abel only cared for it. Even though the seed was made by Hashem, Cain had to toil to create the final product. That labor was not a sin, but was inferior as a sacrifice to Elohim. It’s like the Altar of the Temple. It can’t be made of stones hewn by man. Only those made by Hashem and unaltered in any way by man makes an acceptable Altar. Those are just my thoughts. Like you, I’m still praying for deeper revelations.

      • I, like others, agree with you. This seems, on the most basic level, so unfair. Even if God requires the blood sacrifice that ultimately is fulfilled in the Messiah, my conundrum involves what Kayin was expected to do – if he tilled the ground, where would he get the sacrifice? It seems that this is where the Israelis tended to go off in "buying" the blood sacrifices that were not really sacrifices to them – just a purchase.

        Either way, with respect to my God who is beyond my understanding, please help us understand your ways.

    • I think Hashem really likes first of all for Him as thank giving.Adam give from first,but KAYIN in process of time…

    • We can not blame the Creator Almighty for our weaknesses. Kayin's offering was not right and he knew how to make it right that is to follow his brother's way. Instead he kill his brother because of jealousy and pride. The situation is all around us among ourselves we are Kayin and we are about to fall like him if we allow ourselves to not look what is right in the sight of YHWH. If we knew the Messiah and what he did for us all that we may humble ourselves and follow him. Instead we are more ready to kill our brother!

  • I am reminded by the rabbi’s commentary above of the lyrics to a song that was popular in the 1960s. “There was a boy, a very strange enchanted boy, and he did wander very far over land and sea”. At the end of his wandering, at the end of the song, we are told the greatest thing the boy ever learned was just to love and be loved in return. It seems that Cain never learned this repentance. The Jewish People, however, who also have wandered, have ceased to wander and may be well on the way to becoming an example to the nations of the lessons of repentance and love

  • For all that Cain was virtually exiled, from his seed came one of my favourite men Enoch. This was the first time God showed that he would take what seemed to be unclean and use it as he built the Nation of Israel. We live in a world where success is often the goal, winning is all, where weakness is looked down on. But here we see God taking a man who had killed and his seed becoming an important feature/a stepping stone, so to speak, in the lineage of David.
    *
    One day we will see the full picture, like that of a tapestry, now we see the knots and ties and the changing of colours, but not the full and perfect picture. Hashem sees all and intertwines all that are important in his master design.

  • What is the significant of Verses 23 and 24 where Lamech tells his wives: If Kayin shall be avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy and sevenfold.

  • Perhaps it's simpler than the fruit of the ground verses the blood. Perhaps Kayin's sacrifice was not the best of what he had to offer? He may have had abundance, but instead of sorting thru his abundance to find the best without blemish, he just grabbed a bunch of his produce and offered that?

  • Wouldn't it be the words:"My punishment is greater than I can bear", Cain uttered to HaShem. Wasn't his thinking of HaShem too small, too small his idea of the love of our G-d. Moreover , Chawa's thoughts about her son Hevel were as if he was to be the promised Massiach (Gen.3:15). Then maybe Jealousy played a distinct role in the thinking of Cain. And also his words can be read in a different perspective: his sin was greater than could be forgiven, than he could bear. He killed Massiach !

  • I always believe that scripture should interpret scripture. In Chapter 2 verse 21 says Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife Eve, and clothed them. This scripture tells us that God killed a life to cover the nakedness of man. Kayin gave offering from the ground which was cursed.
    God looked favorable on Hevel's offering cos it was a blood offering. The same blood offering given by God to cover the nakedness of man.

Post a Reply

 

Genesis 4

Skip to toolbar