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On Genesis, Part 5: Truth and Consequences
Discussing Genesis chapter 3 and The Mourning After, which is a pun in reference to the consequences of the deceiving of Eve and the subsequent fall of Adam and the circumstances which they would suffer for their sin, we had seen three explicit statements which all acknowledge the fact that at the time when their punishment was announced, Eve had already been pregnant. These statements are found in verse 15 and the reference to the two seeds, in verse 16 where Yahweh God had then informed Eve of the sorrow of her conception, indicating that she had already conceived, and finally in verse 20 where we read that “Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.” In this last statement it is absolutely manifest that Adam must have understood the significance of the earlier statements made to both the Serpent and Eve, and therefore he had also acknowledged the fact that she had already conceived, for which reason he chose for her a name signifying that she was “the mother of all living.”
Perhaps one of the greatest barriers to a proper understanding of Scripture, or maybe what has really been the greatest historical psyop, are the chapter and verse divisions which were added to our Bibles in the 13th century. Although men have divided the Bible into sections in one scheme or another for centuries before that, and at least as early as the 4th century, the familiar chapter divisions are often not very well placed, and many of the verse divisions are nonsense, as they often even split sentences. Then the result of these artificial divisions is that countless Christians read one verse of Scripture, they draw conclusions from that one verse by which they then govern their very lives, and as they do so they generally ignore the wider context in which those particular verses are found. Often their conclusions are ignorant of, or even contrary to, what the Scripture is actually teaching, and even more ominously, they are contrary to the commandments of God. (The vision of Peter in Acts chapter 10 is a prominent example, since it actually has nothing to do with clean and unclean food.)
One of the more significant of the verses which are most frequently taken out of context in this manner is found here in the opening passage of Genesis chapter 4. Without even considering Genesis chapter 3, many readers and even many Bible commentators assume that it is this verse which first records Eve’s having conceived of a child, in spite of the fact that such an interpretation directly contradicts the three verses in the preceding chapter which already acknowledged that she had conceived, and that as a result of her transgression that she bore the seed of both the Serpent and her own, which is that of her husband.
So while there may be other ways to translate this first verse of Genesis chapter 4 which would not lead a reader astray, many modern translations ignore what has already been expressed in Genesis chapter 3, where they offer elaborations on the text here that make it seem as if Eve had only conceived at this point in the narrative. But although the wording of the King James Version is plain and does not elaborate on the original Hebrew, and many other more traditional translations are similar, it nevertheless leaves the reader with that same impression, where it reads:
1 And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the Lord.
The particle conjunctions in the Hebrew in the opening clause of this passage may be translated in a manner wherein this text more readily agrees with what has already been acknowledged in Genesis chapter 3. For example, merely rendering the conjunction which precedes the phrase “she conceived”, which is ו or vav, as that rather than as and would be sufficient and it would not be improper. However that point seems to be refuted in verse 17 of this chapter, where we read “And Cain knew his wife, and she conceived, and bare Enoch”, where except for the names, the Hebrew text is nearly identical to that of this passage. However it is clear in Genesis chapter 3 that Eve had already conceived, so just because Adam knew his wife does not mean that he was the father of both of the male children which she was about to bear. This passage is reflecting on what had already happened, as Eve had already conceived, and it cannot be interpreted in a manner that erases what has already been made manifest in chapter 3.
As we have already described, early Christians such as the authors of the apocryphal 4 Maccabees and the Protoevangelium of James, as well as the authors of our New Testament scriptures, had all acknowledged that the Serpent was the father of Cain and that it was the Serpent who had taken Eve’s virginity, of which Paul had made an allegory in 2 Corinthians chapter 11. In his first epistle, John had clearly implied that Cain was a child of the “wicked one”, yet it cannot be said that Cain had any other type of relationship with the Serpent by which he may be called his son. Neither may we justly assume that the writers of these passages had neglected to read the Hebrew text of Genesis 4:1, so we cannot imagine that they understood it to mean that Adam was the natural father of Cain. From this point in Scripture, there is no place where it indicates that Cain was fathered by Adam, and Cain is excluded from all of the records of Adam’s descendants.
However this verse also contains a gloss, on account of which it may be asserted that the entire verse is corrupted, and therefore it cannot be properly understood. While those claims are not necessary to uphold our interpretation in relation to the first portion of the verse, 4:1a, on account of the gloss in 4:1b there are early alternative translations which lend further support to our overall position on this verse.
As our friend Clifton Emahiser had observed many years ago, The Interpreter’s Bible,which is a twelve volume commentary made under the collaboration of 36 consulting editors and 124 additional academic contributors, makes the following observation on this verse, in volume 1 on page 517: “Cain seems originally to have been the ancestor of the Kenites … The meaning of the name is ‘metalworker’ or ‘smith’; here, however, it is represented as a derivation of a word meaning ‘acquire,’ ‘get’ — one of the popular etymologies frequent in Genesis — hence the mother’s words I have gotten a man. From the Lord (KJV) is a rendering, following the LXX and Vulgate, of ’eth Yahweh, which is literally, ‘with Yahweh’, and so unintelligible here (the help of [RSV] is not in the Hebrew). It seems probable that ’eth should be ’ōth — so, ‘the mark of Yahweh’ — and that the words are a gloss …” Here it is noted that the Revised Standard Version added the words “the help of” to its text in this passage, and so does the New American Standard Bible.
Yet although it is evident that ‘eth is a gloss, they are only conjecturing as to their solution that it should be ’ōth, which they cannot prove and which is also nonsense, and it is quite probable that there was a greater corruption in this verse than the one word. The Interpreter’s One-Volume Commentary On The Bible, edited by Charles M. Laymon, makes the following comment on this passage, on page 6: “... under circumstances which are obscure (vs. 1b can scarcely be translated, still less understood). His younger brother was named Abel, which suggests the Hebrew word for breath.”
Now, to discuss those early alternative translations which we have mentioned here, the Hexapla of Origen, who was a Christian scholar of the 3rd century AD, placed the Hebrew Scripture alongside various other and older Greek translations of the Bible all side-by-side in columns. The versions included the Greek translations of Aquila of Sinope, Symmachus the Ebionite, and Theodotian (all from the 2nd century AD) along with a recension of the Septuagint. The Hexapla shows that there were many variant readings in the Hebrew versions of Genesis 4:1, which help to elucidate the problems that the earliest translators had with this verse. This is found in a fragment of Genesis chapter 4 from Volume 1, page 17 of Origenis Hexaplorum, an edition of the existing fragments of Origen's Hexapla by Fridericus Field of Trinity College, published at Oxford's Clarendon Press in 1875. Evidently, Field had added available passages from the Old Latin to his text, or worked from a later manuscript of the Hexapla which had added them. (See Field’s Hexapla, Volume 1, Volume 2)
Exhibited in this fragment are the various translations of part of the text of Genesis 4:1 into Greek. Since the entire preface to this work is in Latin, of which I am not proficient, I have not yet been able to ascertain exactly why the entire first half of the verse is wanting, however the Hexapla did not survive to us completely, and this is a volume of fragments. The original author reproduced the Hebrew text at the beginning of each passage or sentence, then the Latin was included, and then all of the readings from each of several various Greek translations. Translating the Latin and the various Greek interpretations of the Hebrew into English, the following readings are found (all translations are my own, with possible variations included in brackets):
Latin: “I got a man to help Yahweh” The name Yahweh is spelled in Latin as Jova.
First Greek reading: “I have acquired a man through [by] God.” The definite article indicates "the God", or a particular God, so we capitalized the word. This is the precise same reading of the clause which is found in the Greek of the Septuagint.
Second Greek reading: "The Hebrew and Syriac: I have acquired a man with [by] a god.” Since there is no definite article, it may be interpreted as indicating no particular god, so since it is wanting in Greek, in English an indefinite article must be added. This notation seems to be Origen’s own translation into Greek from his Hebrew and Aramaic sources.
Third Greek reading: “I have acquired a man with a lord.” Again, there is no definite article, so there is no definite Lord which is intended, and in English we have added an indefinite article.
Fourth Greek reading: “I have acquired a man, a lord.” Since each of the two nouns here are singular and in the accusative case with no prepositions, then they are both the object of the verb, and therefore they refer to the same object, a man who is a lord.
These variant readings demonstrate that no matter what the Hebrew manuscripts they were working with had contained, that unless they all had manuscripts with variant readings, the ancient translators of Genesis 4:1 struggled to interpret the verse. If they did not struggle, then they must have all had manuscripts with variant readings, and in any case, we cannot trust with any degree of certainty the readings which are now extant. So while we cannot assume that the Hebrew from which they were translating was consistent, that also supports the fact that the gloss in our extant copies was caused by an early corruption of the original text. However Origen himself had said, in his Commentary of the Gospel of Matthew, that the purpose of the Hexapla was “… due to discrepancies between the manuscripts of the Old Testament…” Therefore, Eve did not necessarily state that the man which she had acquired was from Yahweh, and it is not insisted here that Adam was its father. As we had seen in Genesis chapter 3, Cain was certainly not of Yahweh, and neither was he of Adam.
Additional witnesses to variant readings are found in the Aramaic Targums, and while these targums are not necessarily from the most authoritative sources, they are not necessarily a product of purely Jewish corruptions. So, for example, in The Targum Of Palestine, which is commonly titled The Targum of Jonathan Ben Uzziel, and the date of which is debated even among Jews, on the Book of Genesis, for Genesis 4:1, we read: “IV. And Adam knew Hava [Eve] his wife, who had desired the Angel; and she conceived, and bare Kain; and she said, I have acquired a man, the Angel of the Lord.” So even if this is dismissed as conjecture, it nevertheless shows that in antiquity, men did not understand Genesis 4:1 in the same manner as it is understood by denominational Christians today.
Several times we have mentioned the Protoevangelium of James, an apocryphal work which is esteemed by scholars to have been written in the middle of the 2nd century, long before most of the Talmud. But for its content, I would consider it to be an early Roman Catholic work, and it is certainly not authentic Scripture. However it does reflect what at least some early Christians, who lived before the 5th century AD, had thought about Genesis chapters 3 and 4. There, speaking of Joseph after he realized that Mary, a virgin whom he had betrothed, was with child, it reads in chapter 10:
1 And when her sixth month was come, Joseph returned from his building houses abroad, which was his trade, and entering into the house, found the Virgin grown big: 2 Then smiting upon his face, he said, With what face can I look up to the Lord my God? or, what shall I say concerning this young woman? 3 For I received her a Virgin out of the temple of the Lord my God, and have not preserved her such! 4 Who has thus deceived me? Who has committed this evil in my house, and seducing the Virgin from me, hath defiled her? 5 Is not the history of Adam exactly accomplished in me? 6 For in the very instant of his glory, the serpent came and found Eve alone, and seduced her. 7 Just after the same manner it has happened to me.
In that work, Joseph of Nazareth, finding that Mary was already pregnant by the Holy Spirit when he had not yet consummated his marriage to her, is depicted as having exclaimed “Is the history of Adam repeated in me?” The allegory clearly indicates that the author of the work believed that Eve’s first child was from someone other than Adam, just as the Christ was born of God and not from of Joseph.
So there are certain Christian works which question the common versions of Genesis 4:1, and these writings are even earlier than certain Jewish works, such as the Aramaic targums, which do that same thing. Therefore we have several ancient sources and several ways of showing that there are problems with this verse as it is generally understood from either the modern Septuagint or the Masoretic Text. First, the verse contains a gloss in its second half, the translations of which may also raise questions about the understanding or even the veracity of the first half. Then there is a collection of early writings, both Christian and Jewish, which offer challenges to the conventional understanding of the first half, which in turn give credibility to certain of the ancient Greek translations of the second half. But in any event, we cannot be compelled to accept as fact that Cain was the son of Adam, as he certainly was not, and there is no other Scripture which stands as a second witness.
Commencing with Genesis chapter 4 and verse 2:
2 And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.
Notice that it does not state that Adam knew his wife again, but rather, only that Eve ‘again bare his brother Abel.” Adam, and first also the Serpent, had already each known Eve in the transgression. The Hebrew word translated as bare, an archaic form of the English word bore as a past tense of bear, is ילד or yalad, which in reference to children is often translated as to beget when it is used of men, but to bear when it is used of women.
Ostensibly, if perhaps Cain and Abel were twins, then Adam could not have known which or either of the two sons were his, unless they were somehow different in their appearance. But in any event, Adam, having accepted Eve in her transgression where it is said in Genesis chapter 3 that “she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat”, becomes responsible for her sons whether or not he was actually their father. Then since Cain was born first, even if he were merely adopted he would nevertheless be considered the elder of the two sons.
It is apparent, however, that Adam was the father of Abel, and therefore Abel was named after a word which means breath, which seems to signify that he was a child of the spirit. In turn, the name Cain, קין or qayin (Strong’s # 7014), is related to another and very similar word in a Hebrew wordplay in verse 1, which is the verb קנה or qanah (Strong’s # 7069), which, among other things, may mean to acquire, to procure or to get. Interestingly, there are other words with similar spellings which mean to be jealous, or to have envy.
Here Abel is called the brother of Cain, even if they had different fathers, as there is no word for half-brother in either Hebrew or Greek. In Greek, the word for brother is ἀδελφός, which is derived from the word δελφύς or womb, and technically a brother is one who had come from the same womb. But in Hebrew, throughout Scripture there are many examples of half-brothers or half-sisters who are simply called brother or sister, with no other qualifying adjective, whether they were of the same father or the same mother (e.g. Deuteronomy 27:22). Furthermore, Abel was a shepherd, so we see that animal husbandry was an aspect of Adam’s life as well as tilling the ground, in which Cain would engage.
3 And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord.
There is no concept of time expressed in the narrative in these chapters. The events described in Genesis chapter 3 may have unfolded over days, weeks, or even months. The process of time here would be at least 20 years, which is when a man came of age to go to war (e.g. Numbers 1:3), or even thirty years, the age at which a man may begin to perform the functions of a priest (e.g. Numbers 4:3), although of course the law had not yet been given to men at this time. In any event, we may at least expect both Cain and Abel to have come of age by this time, old enough to work for themselves, and around the same time whether or not they were twins. However the description of Eve’s conception in Genesis chapter 3, and especially the text of Genesis 3:15, certainly does seem to indicate that they were twins.
So the possibility that Cain and Abel were twins is nearly certain, if not explicit in the text. There are many modern examples of women who have been pregnant and have given birth to twins from two fathers at the same time, a phenomenon which is called heteropaternal superfecundation. But even the ancients knew that this is possible. In an ancient Greek poem, The Shield of Heracles, commonly attributed to the poet Hesiod who is dated to have lived as early as the 8th century but no later than the end of the 7th century BC, there is a story of the birth of Heracles, the son of Zeus, and a twin half-brother named Iphicles, the son of Amphitryon, who was born from the same mother at the same time of a mortal father. 
[1 Hesiod, Shield of Heracles, lines 27-56, published in Hesiod, Homeric Hymns, Epic Cycle, Homerica. Translated by H. G. Evelyn-White for the Loeb Classical Library, volume 57, Harvard University Press, 1914-2000, p. 223.]
4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering:
Although he had shared a womb with Cain, Abel was nevertheless esteemed to be righteous in the eyes of Yahweh, which is evident in the words of Christ Himself as they are recorded in Matthew chapter 23. There Christ had informed His adversaries that the blood of all of the righteous would come upon their race, “35… from the blood of the righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharios who had been murdered between the temple and the altar.” By these words we should also perceive that Cain was of the same race as that of the Edomite Judaeans whom Christ was addressing, and that he could not have had the same father as Abel.
There is no reason which is given for the bringing of these offerings, although it may be safely conjectured that they are merely offerings of the first fruits of their labors. Some claims have been made that these are sin offerings, but that cannot be true. The law requiring sin offerings was never given until Sinai, and while sin is mentioned occasionally, no offerings for sin are mentioned until Exodus chapter 29 where the requirements for sin offerings are first described in the law. Furthermore, Paul of Tarsus had explained in Romans chapter 5 that “13 … until the law sin was in the Society; but sin was not accounted, there not being law; 14 but death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned resembling the transgression of Adam…” and therefore these could not have been sin offerings. Since sin was not accounted without law, there was no necessity for a sin offering.
Here, while there is no priesthood which is explicitly mentioned in these early chapters of Genesis, both Cain and Abel seem to have been acting in the capacity of a family priest. But there is a priesthood which is revealed in the words of Peter, in chapter 2 of his second epistle where we read in part, speaking of the acts of Yahweh God in the flood of Noah, that “5 … He did not spare of the old society but He had kept Noah, the eighth proclaimer of righteousness…” While many translations have rendered this passage quite poorly, not understanding what had been written, there is no doubt in the Greek text that Peter had described Noah as “the eighth proclaimer of righteousness” (ἀλλὰ ὄγδοον νῶε δικαιοσύνης κήρυκα ἐφύλαξεν).
The only manner by which Noah may have been the eighth proclaimer of righteousness is that a family priesthood is passed down through the eldest living male of the family. All of the patriarchs before Noah had many sons and daughters, so Noah certainly was not the eighth man, and neither was he the eighth in the line of patriarchs. However an examination of the succession of the patriarchs in Genesis chapter 5 reveals that Enoch, having been taken by Yahweh, was survived by his father Jared, and Methusaleh, who lived an especially long time, actually outlived his son Lamech, who was the father of Noah. The patriarchs to the time of the flood were Adam, Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahalaleel, Jared, Enoch Methuselah, Lamech, and Noah, which are ten. But if neither Enoch nor Lamech were the oldest living males of this line during their lifetimes, then Noah is the eighth of those oldest living males, then Peter called him the “eighth proclaimer of righteousness” because that is how he referred to the patriarch who held the role of the family priest, a tradition which is later evident in Numbers chapter 3 (3:12-13) and alluded to by Paul in Hebrews chapter 12 (12:23).
The relevant passage from Numbers chapter 3 reads: “12 And I, behold, I have taken the Levites from among the children of Israel instead of all the firstborn that openeth the matrix among the children of Israel: therefore the Levites shall be mine; 13 Because all the firstborn are mine; for on the day that I smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt I hallowed unto me all the firstborn in Israel, both man and beast: mine shall they be: I am the Lord.” So we see that the Levites, having been given a priesthood in place of the firstborn, reveals the tradition that up to that time the firstborn had been the family priest.
In Hebrews chapter 11, Paul of Tarsus seems to indicate that there was a rivalry between Cain and Abel, where he wrote: “4 By faith Abel offered to Yahweh a better sacrifice than Cain, through which he was accredited to be righteous, having testified of Yahweh by his gifts, and being slain because of it he still speaks.” So here it may be apparent that Abel is vying with Cain for that position of family priest, because merely by sacrificing Paul said that Abel was offering a testimony. So if that testimony was not that he should have the office of family priest, why then did Abel even make a sacrifice?
Now it is further apparent, that Yahweh had already determined who would be worthy of the honor:
5 But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.
There is no other reason that Cain’s offering should have been rejected, which was of the fruits of his own labors just as that of Abel. No acts of apostasy, sin or disobedience were ascribed to Cain up to this point. Yahweh God is not an arbitrary or a hypocritical judge, as Peter was recorded as having said, in Acts chapter 10 (10:34) that “Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons.” There are claims that Cain was merely a follower of the devil, but that is an obvious fallacy, since there is no record of any contact between Cain and the Serpent, or with any others beyond his own immediate family. Furthermore, here Cain is described as having been angry and disappointed, as he was seeking to please God with his offering. So he was not following the devil, but rather, he was apparently trying to follow God.
This situation evokes the words of Yahshua Christ recorded in Matthew chapter 7 where He said: “21 Not all who say to Me ‘Prince, Prince!’ shall enter into the kingdom of the heavens, but he doing the will of My Father who is in the heavens. 22 Many shall say to Me in that day ‘Prince, Prince, have we not prophesied in Your name, and cast out demons in Your name, and have done many works of power in Your name?’ 23 And then shall I profess to them that ‘Never have I known you! Depart from Me, those who are working at lawlessness!’”
Therefore the only possible reason for the rejection of his sacrifice must be that Cain was not the legitimate son of Adam, but rather, he was a bastard, since he was the son of the serpent, and therefore he was not qualified to even make a sacrifice to Yahweh God. So just as Christ has said, Yahweh did not know Cain, so He did not accept his sacrifice. His rejection is therefore merely a consequence of the truth of his origin. If Yahweh commanded the children of Israel not to allow bastards into their congregation, then neither would He have bastards in His congregation. Nevertheless, even though Cain was rejected, now Yahweh challenges him:
6 And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? 7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.
First, the questions here elucidate the fact that Cain had no just reason to be angry or disappointed, as he should have had no expectation of acceptance. Secondly, it is evident in diverse places in Scripture that even the enemies of Yahweh God and Yahshua Christ, are challenged to do good, and wherever the results are apparent, they always fail. So, for example, we see in the words of John the Baptist as they are recorded in Luke chapter 3, that as certain of the Pharisees and Sadducees who would later oppose Christ had come to him, he said: “7 … Race of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8 Indeed you should make fruit worthy of repentance 9 and do not think to say among yourselves: ‘We have Abraham for a father’. For I say to you that Yahweh is able to raise up children for Abraham from these stones!”
Of course, John was not implying that Abraham was their father, but the Edomites of Judaea could make such a claim as well as the Israelites. However if indeed Yahweh God chose to raise up children to Abraham from stones, that would not make them recipients of the promises any more than the Edomites could have been recipients of the promises. Another challenge to do well was issued to them by Christ Himself, in John chapter 8 (8:39-40) where He told these same Pharisees and Sadducees that “39 … If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham. 40 But now ye seek to kill me… ” Just as Cain had sought to kill Abel.
However here Cain was told that “if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door.” But up to this point, a house has not even been mentioned, never mind a door. The Brown, Driver, Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon define the word פתח or petach (Strong’s # 6607) as an “opening, door, entrance” and then, as it is used in Micah chapter 5 (5:6) of entrances to a country, and in Hosea chapter 2 (2:15) metaphorically as a “door of hope.” So the door need not be a literal door. There is a phrase in Scripture translated as “openeth the matrix” which describes birth, and the word for openeth, פטר or petar (Strong’s # 6363), which is literally to create a fissure as it is used of the firstborn, and is similar to the word for door here in this verse.
The only entry through which Cain had come thus far, as is evident in the text, is the door of the womb. Cain, who was actually the son of the Serpent, was born into the world in sin, and therefore if he did not do well, the reason given for his not doing well is that “sin lieth at the door”, meaning that he would not do well because he was a bastard, and not a son. As Paul had written in Hebrews chapter 12, “7 You endure discipline; as sons Yahweh engages with you. For what is a son whom a father does not discipline? 8 But if you are without discipline, of which you all have become partakers, then you are bastards, and not sons.” That does not mean that bastards do not suffer hurt or even evil, but rather, they are not disciplined by hurt or evil, and Cain proved himself to be the first example here, where after his sacrifice was rejected, by which he was hurt, he was challenged to do good, and instead he immediately killed Abel his brother.
Later, in John chapter 10, Yahshua Christ used a word for door in much the same way as it appears here where He said: “1 Truly, truly I say to you, he not entering through the door into the pen of the sheep, but going up from another place, that man is a thief and a robber. 2 But he entering through the door is the shepherd of the sheep.” Then a little further on He declared that “Truly, truly I say to you that I am the door of the sheep!” He being one and the same as Yahweh, the God who had created Adam, He is the door of the sheep, but Cain entered into the world in deception and an act of rebellion on the part of the Serpent, which is the sin that “lieth at the door.”
Then, where Cain is told that if he does well, that “unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him” we see evidence substantiating our claims concerning the family priesthood. Once Adam accepted Eve in her transgression, he became responsible for her and her sin. So Cain was accounted the oldest son of Adam, even if he was not actually his son, and was therefore in place to inherit according to the position of firstborn, with all of the entitlements of the office. This is how the enemies of Christ are the princes of this world, as He Himself had called them in the Gospel of John (12:21, 14:30, 16:11) and as Paul of Tarsus had also explained in 1 Corinthians chapter 2 where he wrote that it was the “princes of this world” who had been responsible for the crucifixion. This is also how a certain devil could claim to control of all of the kingdoms of the world, and to be able to give that control to whomever he desired, as it is recorded in chapter 4 of the gospels of both Matthew and Luke.
Now as the narrative proceeds, it appears as if Cain had operated with the same subtilty for which his father was noted:
8 And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.
Once again, no time element is apparent in the narrative, but this may have happened days, weeks or even months after Cain’s sacrifice was rejected. Cain talked with his brother, so it is apparent that just as his father had deceived Eve, perhaps Cain also deceived Abel into feeling comfortable with him, while he had conspired to kill him after some time, where we read “and it came to pass”. As we may read in the poetry of Euripides, who lived and wrote in the 5th century BC, “The bastard is always regarded as an enemy to the true-born” . So the death of Abel is a further consequence of the truth.
As it is recorded in John chapter 8, Yahshua Christ had acknowledged His adversaries by telling them: “37 I know that you are offspring of Abraham, but you seek to kill Me because My Word has no place in you. 38 The things which I have seen from My Father I speak; so also you, the things which you have heard from your father you do.” So there Christ denied that these men had the same father as His own, meaning Yahweh. Therefore, knowing what He meant, they protested: “39 They replied and said to Him: ‘Our father is Abraham!’” Technically they were correct, that Abraham was their ancestor. But they were children of Esau and not of Israel, as the history of Judaea over the two centuries leading up to the time of Christ makes manifest. So being of Esau, they were also in part descended from Cain and the Nephilim, as Esau had married Canaanite women, mingled with and lived among the Canaanites, and Canaanites had already mingled with the Kenites, the descendants of Cain, and also the Rephaim and others of the Nephilim, which are the fallen angels.
So Yahshua responds and says to them: “If you are children of Abraham, you would have done the works of Abraham! 40 But now you seek to kill Me, a man whom has spoken to you the truth which I have heard from Yahweh. This Abraham has not done.” Just as Abel was innocent, but Cain slew him, likewise Cain’s descendants would treat Yahshua Christ in that same manner. Therefore He speaks to them further and says: “41 You do the works of your father!” So they protest once again, because they understood the implications of what He was telling them: “Then they said to Him: ‘We were not born of fornication! We have one father, God!’”
Now Christ responds again, where we read: “42 Yahshua said to them: ‘If Yahweh was your father you would have loved Me, for I have come from of Yahweh and am here. I have not come by Myself, but He has sent Me. 43 For what reason do you not perceive My speech? Because you are not able to hear My Word! 44 You are the sons of a father: the False Accuser [or Devil]! And you wish to do the desires of your father! He was a murderer from the beginning and did not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him! When he speaks a lie, he speaks from of his own devices, because he is a liar, and his father!’”
For a long time we struggled with the last phrase in verse 44 of John chapter 8, as every other translation reads the final pronoun as if its antecedent were the noun translated as liar, and many grammars of New Testament Greek staunchly defend that error. But the truth is that liar is not the subject, Cain is the subject, Cain is the subject throughout the entire verse, and he is the antecedent of that pronoun and of every other pronoun in the second half of the verse.
Cain was the only “murderer from the beginning”, as it is Cain who was responsible for the death of Abel here in the beginning. Where Christ had later ascribed the guilt to an entire race, then Cain must therefore also be a progenitor of that race so that it could be assigned that guilt . Cain is a liar, where he “talked with Abel his brother”, and Cain will lie again here where he deceptively asked “Am I my brother’s keeper?”. Cain’s father was a liar, as Cain’s father had lied to Eve in order to deceive her. Cain is also the devil, or False Accuser, of John 8:44, since it is he who the pronoun refers to as a “murderer from the beginning”, and Cain is a devil because his father was a devil. For that same reason, Christ referred to His adversaries as the “offspring of vipers”, using the word γέννημα, which means offspring, because their parents were vipers, and therefore they must have descended in part from the same Serpent .
Now Cain tells another lie, disguised as a question, which further exhibits the traits that he inherited from his natural father:
[2 Euripides, Hippolytus, lines 962-963. 3 Matthew 23:5; Luke 11:51. 4 Matthew 12:34, 23:33.]
9 And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper?
Of course, Yahweh God already knew what had happened to Abel, and not only long before it had happened, but also long before Abel was even born. However Cain and his behavior stand as the first example of a bastard, and of what Christ had said in Matthew chapter 7 where we read: “16 You shall know them from their fruits. Does anyone gather grapes from thorns or figs from thistles? 17 Thusly every good tree produces fine fruit, but the rotten tree produces evil fruit. 18 A good tree is not able to produce evil fruit, nor is a rotten tree to produce fine fruit. 19 Each tree not producing fine fruit is cut down and cast into the fire! 20 Indeed from their fruits you shall know them.” Cain, having slain his brother, and having lied even to Yahweh God, is therefore known by his fruit and becomes is apparent that his origin is with the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, the rotten tree, and not with the Tree of Life, as he is not Adam’s son. Being from of the rotten tree, he could not have done well under any circumstances, as “sin lieth at the door” and it is not his nature to do well, being a bastard.
In the first epistle of John, in chapter 5, it is apparent that if one loves God, then he is his brother’s keeper, as he also keeps the commandments of God, where we read: “1 Each believing that Yahshua is the Christ has been born from of Yahweh, and each loving He who engendered loves he having been engendered by Him [who are his brethren, since they were also born of God]. 2 By this we know that we should love the children of Yahweh [which includes looking out for them], when we would love Yahweh and we would keep His commandments. 3 For this is the love of Yahweh, that we should keep His commandments: and His commandments are not burdensome!”
That a man who loves his brethren is therefore his brother’s keeper is also apparent in the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats, in Matthew chapter 25, where we read in part: “37 Then the righteous shall respond to Him saying: ‘Master, when have we seen You hungry and nourished You, or thirsting and had given drink? 38 And when have we seen You a visitor and had taken You in, or naked and had clothed You? 39 And when have we seen You being sick or in prison and had come to You?’ 40 And replying the King shall say to them: ‘Truly I say to you, for whomever of the least of My brethren have you done one of these things, you have done them for Me!’” Later, the goats are all condemned because they had not done such things for the sheep.
10 And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground.
Paul of Tarsus had compared the blood of Christ to the blood of Abel, in Hebrews chapter 12 where he wrote telling his readers: “22 But you have approached Mount Sion and the city of Yahweh who lives, Jerusalem in the heavens, and to myriads of messengers, to a general gathering 23 and to an assembly of those of the birthright being registered in the heavens, and to Yahweh judge of all, and to the Spirits of those righteous having been perfected; 24 and to a mediator of a new covenant of Yahshua, and to the blood of sprinkling, speaking better than Abel.” Here Paul spoke of the birthright being registered in the heavens because with the fall of Adam his birthright was lost to the serpent. But Yahshua Christ, the rightful owner of the birthright since He is the progenitor of the race, can claim it back since He is living.
While Cain evidently had no further opportunity to reply, neither would there have been any necessity, so Yahweh tells him what he would suffer for his actions:
11 And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand; 12 When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.
Although Cain himself is depicted as seeing this as a punishment, it is not really a punishment as it is not equal to the crime according to the law, which came much later. Rather, as Yahweh had also done with the serpent, this seems to be only a refusal of privileges. The earth is Yahweh’s, and the fulness of it, so He chooses who may or who may not enjoy its bounties.
Now Cain responds:
13 And Cain said unto the Lord, My punishment is greater than I can bear.
There is a notable divergence in the texts here in the second part of this verse, where the Septuagint Greek, translated by Brenton, reads: “My crime is too great for me to be forgiven”, but where Brenton has crime the word αἰτία would be better translated as guilt, where the Hexapla attributes a reading of lawlessness in one manuscript instead of guilt. The Latin Vulgate agrees, as it appears in the Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition: “My iniquity is greater than that I may deserve pardon.”
Now Cain continues to lament:
14 Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; 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 slay me.
First, as we shall see later in Genesis, the fact that Cain had said “every one that findeth me shall slay me” reveals that Adam was not the first man, and that there certainly were men of other races here before Adam, races which we would consider to be branches on the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, since Yahweh God never took credit for having created them here on earth.
Secondly, in essence, Cain’s punishment is very much the same as that of the Serpent, and elucidates the fulfillment of the punishment of the serpent in his progeny, since Cain, not able to profit from the land, would eat dust as the Serpent was condemned to eating dust, which is to make his living from vile practices. That would also cause him to become a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth.
Much later, in Acts chapter 19, there are certain Judaeans who were exorcists, or sorcerers, making their living off such a vile practise, and they are described in this same manner, as “vagabond Jews”, as it is in the King James Version. But the Hebrew word for vagabond in these passages is נוד or nowd (Strong’s # 5110), which means to wander, and it appears again in a different form in verse 16. Likewise, the word for fugitive is very closely related and has practically the same meaning, נוע or nowa (Strong’s # 5128). Both words bear senses other than wander, such as shake, waver, or stagger, among other similar things. So in Brenton’s Septuagint translation Cain is portrayed as having said in part: “… I shall be groaning and trembling upon the earth”, whereas the Douay-Rheims translation of the Latin generally agrees with the King James Version. The word נוד or nowd appears once again in verse 16 as a noun where it is interpreted as a place name, the land of Nod.
Now Yahweh responds to Cain’s lamentation:
15 And the Lord said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the Lord set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him.
If Cain had been killed, then it is evident that the words which Yahweh had spoken to the Serpent could not have been fulfilled, where He said to him in Genesis chapter 3 that: “15 … I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” So here it is assured to him that he would not be killed, not for himself, but that Yahweh’s Own words would be fulfilled.
There is much speculation over the mark of Cain, and whether or not that represents any particular physical feature which may also be identifiable in his descendants. That we must reject, since not even the apostles could discern the nature of the Edomites from the Israelites in Judaea, and they marvelled that Christ could, as John professed in the closing verses of chapter 2 of his gospel, speaking of the people of Jerusalem: “24 But Yahshua Himself did not entrust Himself to them on account that He knowing everyone, 25 also therefore had no need that anyone testify concerning a man. Indeed He knew what was in a man.” Any peculiar physical features borne by the descendants of Cain today, among whom are both Jews and Arabs, must be for reasons other than their having this mark, and we are not told here that Cain’s descendants would bear such a mark as Cain himself.
16 And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.
The “land of Nod” is not a geographical country or region, but rather, as we have explained already, the word נוד or nowd (Strong’s # 5113 here) may mean wandering, among other things. In his Hebrew lexicon, Gesenius defined this word as a noun “flight, exile”, however the verb is defined primarily as to wander, to be a fugitive, among other similar meanings. 
Perhaps this may be conjecture, however the concept of wandering is often identified with sin or transgression in Scripture. This is evident in the use of the Greek word πλάνη, which is a straying or wandering, and related terms which are used to describe sinful and deceptive practices, error and transgression. So we would assert that Cain went not the the land of Nod, as if it were the name of some country or region, but to a land of sin and deception, of which sin is a form, because outside of the purview of Yahweh the earth is under the control of the rebellious fallen angels, which are the Nephilim or the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
This is the truth, and now looking at the world today, we may also know all the reasons for the evident consequences of what happened in Eden over seven thousand years ago. We
Yahweh willing , we shall resume at this point where we hope to finish chapter 4 in the weeks to come.
[5 Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon to the Old Testament, translated by Samuel Prideaux Tregelles, Baker Books, 1979, p. 647 5 ibid., p. 600. 6 ibid., p. 538.]