The descendants of Cain (Gen 4:17-4:24)

Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch.  He built a city, and named it Enoch after his son, Enoch.” 

All of a sudden, the wandering Cain has a wife, who is nameless.  Where did she come from?  Where did he get a wife?   She is either his mother Eve, or his unnamed sister from Adam and Eve, or his niece from Abel, but there is no mention of Abel’s descendants.  Cain could have had sex with some animals as part of some evolutionary movement.  Okay, it’s a story.  Let’s leave it at that and stop trying to be literal.  Obviously other females were involved, but where did they come from?  The first city is named Enoch after his son, probably in the land of Nod.

 “To Enoch was born Irad.  Irad was the father of Mehujael.  Mehujael was the father of Methushael.  Methushael was the father of Lamech.” 

Anyway, we are into genealogy, and there is a lot of this in Genesis.  The first born males are usually listed.  Although there are more people called Enoch in biblical literature, this is the only mention of his three descendents, Irad, Mehujael, and Methushael.  After six generations, the story gets a little more complicated.  There must have been a lot of incest or family sex, since there is never any mention of other families.

 “Lamech took two wives.  The name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah.  Adah bore Jabal.  He was the ancestor of those who dwell in tents and have livestock.  His brother’s name was Jubal.  He was ancestor of all those who play the lyre and pipe. Zillah bore Tubalcain, who made all kinds of bronze and iron tools. The sister of Tubalcain was Naamah.”

 Lamech gets special attention since he had two wives, Adah and Zillah.  See, the Mormons have a point. Adah had two sons, Jabal, who represents the wandering style of living in tents with livestock, and Jubal the musician.  Neither of these names ever appears again. Now Zillah had a son and daughter.  The son Tubalcain worked with metals, while his sister was called Naamah, the first named female after Eve.

“Lamech said to his wives: ‘Adah and Zillah hear my voice.  You wives of Lamech, listen to what I say.  I have killed a man for wounding me, a young man for striking me. If Cain is avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech is seventy-sevenfold.’”

Lamech killed a man who wounded him saying and chanting that as the descendant of Cain, he would have vengeance “seventy-sevenfold,” not just seven times.  Violence was a way of life.

One thought on “The descendants of Cain (Gen 4:17-4:24)

  1. […] The descendants of Cain (Gen 4:17-4:24) (efinne1540.wordpress.com) […]

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