Barry Newman's Blog

July 25, 2011

Science and Genesis 4: 1 – 26 (part VII)

Filed under: Genesis,Science — barrynewman @ 11:49 pm

Genesis 4: 17 – 24 – Cain’s descendants

“Cain made love to his wife, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Enoch. Cain was then building a city, and he named it after his son Enoch. To Enoch was born Irad, and Irad was the father of Mehujael, and Mehujael was the father of Methushael, and Methushael was the father of Lamech.

Lamech married two women, one named Adah and the other Zillah. Adah gave birth to Jabal; he was the father of those who live in tents and raise livestock. His brother’s name was Jubal; he was the father of all who play stringed instruments and pipes. Zillah also had a son, Tubal-Cain, who forged all kinds of tools out of bronze and iron. Tubal-Cain’s sister was Naamah.

Lamech said to his wives,

‘Adah and Zillah, listen to me;
wives of Lamech, hear my words.
I have killed a man for wounding me,
a young man for injuring me.
If Cain is avenged seven times,
then Lamech seventy-seven times.’”  (NIV)

Cain’s genealogical line

The wife of Cain somewhat mysteriously appears without any indication as to her origins and she is not given a name.  Except for the bearing of the child Enoch (not to be confused with the Enoch of Seth’s line), Cain’s wife would appear to be of little significance, except that like Eve she is a life giver.  Lamech’s two wives also receive a mention in this connection.  Their names are however given, perhaps a general reflection of the detail that is given to Lamech.  The matter of the origin of Cain’s wife will be briefly referred to later.

From Adam to Lamech through Cain’s line, there are seven generations: Adam – Cain – Enoch – Irad – Mehujael (smitten of God) – Methushael (man who is of God) – Lamech.  Some consider that these seven generations have a later parallel with the seven generations from Adam to Enoch through Seth’s line: Adam – Seth – Enosh – Kenan – Mahalalel – Jared – Enoch.  This Enoch receives special attention as does Lamech.  However the amount of material devoted to Lamech far surpasses that given to Enoch so perhaps not too much should be made by way of comparison.  What is of significance is that though Cain’s line is associated with early civilisation, it comes to an end. Seth’s is the more important, leading to Noah, the righteous man.  According to the account, it was only Noah along with members of his family who under the merciful hand of God, having survived a devastating flood, gave rise to a new humanity.

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