For the remaining verses in Genesis regarding the Can and Abel conflict, we still find an unrepentant man who is hard-hearted and self-absorbed. He shows no sign of remorse over the loss Abel, only that God will no longer see him and men will seek vengeance on him. He regrets the difficult path set out for him and the punishment he must endure.
And he is full of fear.
I do not think the blood of Abel literally spoke, but God personifies the blood of Abel and the earth. It is as if the earth has a soul and wherever Cain shall dwell, whatever section of the earth he shall try to till, it will know him and identify him as one who spills blood. He will be rejected.
Cain No Longer a Farmer
Cain was created to farm the soil and would spend the rest of his days unfulfilled.
When Cain cried out, “My punishment is greater than I can bear!” he was only thinking of himself. At no point in this passage of Cain and Abel do we read that he was sorry for what he had done or that he felt for Abel’s loved ones. He only regretted what he had lost.
From that point on, Cain would have to constantly be foraging for food and be on the move.
God Has Mercy on Cain
In His unceasing mercy, God heard Cain and placed a mark upon him that all humanity would have to respect. This mark had to be exceptionally distinctive. I personally suspect God increased the size of Cain incrementally until he became a giant. For my biblical insights and further reading on giants, stay tuned for upcoming blogs!
Scholars, of course, cannot agree on what the mark might have been. Whatever the mark was, it was two-fold. First, it revealed to all that vengeance belonged to God. Second, it was a sign of God’s great mercy.
God placed a sentence upon anyone who should try to seek vengeance. The fact that Yahweh says the retribution will be “seven-fold” indicates the wrath of God will be “total” upon that man. I also get a sense of urgency that His wrath would be swift.
East of Eden
Cain was banished to the desert and dwelt east of Eden. Ever since the banishment of Cain, the term “East of Eden” refers to a place away from the presence of the Lord. The land of Nod would be assumed to be a place of darkness and despair. A place of sin. In fact, it would be a city!
God meets us where we are. He doesn’t try to change and control us. But we read right here in Genesis 4 that the establishment of cities were never God’s idea. They started with a fallen man, Cain.
Cain’s Children First Artisans
There are a couple of more insights I would like to share regarding Cain. Not only did cities begin with Cain, Cain’s son Jubal, connected in fact with “jubilee,” is considered the “father” of music. Did his music lead humanity further from God? Cain’s son Tubal-Cain was the first craftsman and worked with bronze and iron. Could he have crafted the first idol amongst humanity?
See also that Lamech, included in the genealogy of Cain, took two wives, thus being the first known man to deviate from God’s plan of marriage by taking two wives!
All of these little insights can escape us if we pass over the passages in the Bible too quickly.
I would like to end today’s blog on an upbeat. Chapter 4 concludes with a son bore to Adam and Eve who took the righteous line of Abel, Seth. Through Seth’s son, Enoch, men began to commune with God. As men were living to be almost a thousand years old, during these generations, it would appear humanity was drawn away from God. Finally men were born who wanted to know their creator. So, what happened next?
Written by Jori Sams
Jori Sams is a Christian author and freelance writer with nearly 2000 published pieces on the Internet, with over 1500 being published by Yahoo. Her books are published through Writeious Books. When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her following the sun…