The History of Cain & Abel (4:1-8)
The Government of God over Cain: Cain’s Curse (4:9-15)
The Generations of Cain: The World (4:16-24)
Characteristics of the world. Throughout scripture we find the subject of the world and worldliness; the character of being like the world. The world is set in direct opposition to Christ. Even “the things of the world” should be shunned by the believer (1 John 2:15). Read more… If we trace the subject of “the world”, we will find that the world really begins with Cain. In the generations of Cain we find a number of things that characterize the world.
Adah and Zillah, hear my voice,Ye wives of Lemech, listen to my speech.For I have slain a man for my wound,and a youth for my bruise.24 If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold;Lemech seventy and seven fold.
The Generations of Seth: A Remnant Appointed (4:25-26)
- Cain was a wicked person; but, as appearance went, he was doing what was right in paying what he owed to God. But really it was bringing the sign of the curse; it was going to God as if nothing had happened; it was the most perfect hardness of heart, because, if I come to God at all, why have I such toil and labour? why give the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul, except I am away from God, and something as happened? — Darby, J.N. Hints on the Book of Genesis.
- Should it be “sin,” or “sin-offering,” lieth at the door? I am disposed to think it a sin-offering; only that the sin-offering is never mentioned historically until we come to Leviticus, under Moses. It is in this kind of way, “If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and unto thee shall the desire of thy younger brother be, and thou shalt rule over him; but if thou failest to do well, there is a remedy, and therefore thou oughtest not to be wroth,” “Lieth at the door” means crouching. It is not the expression, “It is at your door,” as we say; and therefore I was inclined to take it, “If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted?” (“and if thou doest not well,” there is a remedy, in parenthesis) “and unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.” I have no quarrel with the other view, because sin did lie at his door. — Darby, J.N. Hints on the Book of Genesis.
- It was Dr. John Lightfoot who first, as far as I am aware, suggested “sin offering” here rather than “sin,” as preferred in the ancient and most modern versions. Many since that great Hebraist have followed in his wake, notably Abp. Magee in his well-known work on the Atonement, who argues from the admitted and peculiar form of the connected verb (couching) as strongly confirming an animal ready for offering, and not the sin calling for it, which he regards as, to say the least of it, “a bold image.” Then he summons to his aid the grammatical fact of the substantive, which is feminine, with a verb of the masculine, which he follows Parkhurst in thinking perfectly consistent with the supposition of a sin offering, the victim, and not the thing “sin.” This however is a slender proof, for in the passages cited the words stand as subject and predicate, and therefore do not require sameness of gender, as anyone can see by examination not only of Hebrew, but of Greek and Latin and perhaps almost all if not all languages. There is no doubt that, besides the primary sense of sin, the word admits of the secondary meanings of sin suffering (i.e., punishment) and sin offering… It is a question of context, as we may observe in ver. 13 of our chapter, where the Sept. gives aitia, a charge, fault, or crime; as the Auth. and Rev. Versions have “punishment” in the text, “iniquity” in the margin. It is therefore legitimate to conceive that a sin offering may be meant in ver. 7, especially as Jehovah uttered the words, though it was reserved to the law to define and demand them in due time, for by law is full knowledge or acknowledgment of sin… The question is whether Jehovah simply charges home the conviction of sin on the wrong-doer, or intimates a sacrificial means of getting cleared, according to the proposed correction. In this case a burnt offering would not be in place, since it is generally expressive of man’s actual state in approaching God, not a specific bearing away of positive and personal wrong-doing as is here implied. Even if certainly thus, what believer can doubt that the mind of Jehovah has in these words Christ and His cross before Him? What grace in bringing sin to the door! — Kelly, William. In the Beginning. New Edition, Revised 1894.
- Kelly, William. In the Beginning. New Edition, Revised 1894.
- Darby, J.N. Hints on the Book of Genesis.