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Genesis Chapter 4
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Cain and Abel
4:1 The man knew his wife Eve. She conceived and gave birth to Cain. She said, 'I have gained a man with God.'
4:2 She gave birth again, this time to his brother Abel. Abel became a shepherd, while Cain was a worker of the soil.
4:3 An era ended. Cain brought some of his crops as an offering to God.
4:4 Abel also offered some of the firstborn of his flock, from the fattest ones. God paid heed to Abel and his offering,
4:5 but to Cain and his offering, He paid no heed. Cain became very furious and depressed.
4:6 God said to Cain, 'Why are you so furious? Why are you depressed?
4:7 If you do good, will there not be special privilege? And if you do not do good, sin is crouching at the door. It lusts after you, but you can dominate it.'
4:8 Cain said [something] to his brother Abel. Then, when they happened to be in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel, and killed him.
4:9 God asked Cain, 'Where is your brother Abel?'

'I do not know,' replied [Cain]. 'Am I my brother's keeper?'

4:10 God said, 'What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood is screaming to Me from the ground.
4:11 Now you are cursed from the ground that opened its mouth to take your brother's blood from your hand.
4:12 When you work the ground, it will no longer give you of its strength. You will be restless and isolated in the world.
4:13 Cain said, 'My sin is too great to bear!
4:14 Behold, today You have banished me from the face of the earth, and I am to be hidden from Your face. I am to be restless and isolated in the world, and whoever finds me will kill me.'
4:15 God said to him, 'Indeed! Whoever kills Cain will be punished seven times as much.' God placed a mark on Cain so that whoever would find him would not kill him.
4:16 Cain went out from before God's presence. He settled in the land of Nod, to the east of Eden.
4:17 Cain knew his wife. She conceived and gave birth to Enoch. [Cain] was building a city, and he named the city Enoch, after his son.
4:18 Enoch had a son Irad. Irad had a son Mechuyael. Mechuyael had a son Methushael. Methushael had a son Lemekh.
4:19 Lemekh married two women. The first one's name was Adah, and the second one's name was Tzillah.
4:20 Adah gave birth to Yaval. He was the ancestor of all those who live in tents and keep herds.
4:21 His brother's name was Yuval. He was the ancestor of all who play the harp and flute.
4:22 Tzillah also had a son, Tuval Cain, a maker of all copper and iron implements. Tuval Cain's sister was Naamah.
4:23 Lemekh said to his wives, 'Adah and Tzillah, hear my voice; wives of Lemekh, listen to my speech. I have killed a man by wounding [him], and a child by bruising [him].
4:24 If Cain shall be revenged seven times, then for Lemekh it shall be seventy-seven times.'
4:25 Adam knew his wife again, and she gave birth to a son. She named him Seth - 'Because God has granted (shath) me other offspring in place of Abel, whom Cain had killed.'
4:26 A son was also born to Seth, and [Seth] named him Enosh. It was then initiated to pray with God's name.


  Mentioned after they ate from the Tree of Knowledge. Rashi notes that Cain and Abel were born before the sin.

  Literally 'bought.' In Hebrew this is kanah, from which the name Cain (Kayin in Hebrew) is derived.

  Hevel in Hebrew, literally a breath or vanity. He was called this because he never lived to have children (Midrash HaGadol; cf. Ramban).

An era ended
  Literally, 'It was the end of days.' It is significant that this same expression is used to denote the Messianic era, when the present era will end. It possibly refers to the expulsion from Eden, whereupon a new era began, see note on Genesis 4:1. Most sources render this, 'in the course of time.'

from the fattest ones
  (Zevachim 116a; Radak). Or 'from their fats.'

  (Hirsch). Literally, 'his face fell.'

  Nad in Hebrew, from nadah, to be isolated or banished (cf. Hirsch). Others, 'a wanderer,' from nadad.

My sin...
  (Ralbag). Or, 'My punishment is too great...' (Ibn Ezra; Chizzkuni); or, 'Is my sin then too great to forgive?' (Rashi; Chizzkuni).

  (cf. Rashi). La-khen in Hebrew, literally 'to yes.' the word is usually translated as 'therefore.'

seven times as much
  Or, 'Do not dare kill Cain! He will be punished after seven [generations]' (Rashi). Indeed, Cain was killed after seven generations by Tuval Cain (see note on Genesis 4:23).

  Hebrew for isolation or wandering, see note on Genesis 4:12.

  Chanokh in Hebrew, from the root chanakh, to train or to educate.

a maker...
  (Targum). Hirsch has, 'who sharpened everything that cuts copper and iron.' (See Radak, Sherashim, s.v. Latash, Charash).

  According to some traditions, she was Noah's wife. In the Midrash, however, this is disputed, and other ancient sources state that Noah married his niece, Amzarach, daughter of Rakh'el (Sefer HaYov'loth 4:33). (Regarding Sefer HaYov'loth, see Bibliography.)

I have killed...
  According to traditions, Lemekh had just killed Cain and Tuval Cain.

  Sheth in Hebrew, from the Hebrew shath, 'placing' or 'granting.'

  (Targum). Literally, 'call in the name of God.' Others have, 'to profane God's name,' indicating the rise of idolatry (Rashi).

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