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Cain slayeth Abel; is sentenced by the Lord.
1 And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have got ten a man from the LORD.
2 And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.
3 And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD.
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:
5 But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.
doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.
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. 9 And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper?
10 And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground.
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. LECTURE 10.
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
Our warnings and assurances aggravate our sins.
In reading the book of Genesis, we are to remember that the history of many hundreds of years is comprised in a few chapters. And since so many things are necessarily omitted, we are not to suppose that each event recorded happened immediately after the one next before mentioned. Thus we have no means of knowing what other children Eve had borne at this period. But it appears plain that she entertained great hopes that Cain would be the promised seed; giving him the name Cain, which signifies possession, and saying, "I have gotten a man from the Lord." How often are we mistaken like this first mother of us all; and inclined to take that for gain, which in truth is loss!
"In process of time," probably at some season appointed for sacrifice, these two brothers brought their offerings unto the Lord. There can be little doubt that there was from the first an appointed place, as well as an appointed time; and moreover, that the head of each family was appointed as minister, to offer up the sacrifices which the worshippers brought. If we would know the reason why "the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering," and not to Cain and his, we may find it written in
the Epistle to the Hebrews, "By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain." This is a lesson, which Abel being dead "yet speaketh;" Heb. 11. 4; Believe in God. And if we would know wherefore Cain slew his brother Abel, this is set down in the first Epistle of St. John, "Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous." 1 John 3. 12. And therefore from Cain also we may learn to avoid jealousy and wrath.
And what an aggravation of Cain's guilt was this, that the Lord so earnestly remonstrated with him! "If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted?" Why not bring thy offering with faith like that of Abel, and then thou wilt be like him accepted. "And if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door," or rather it may seem to mean, a sin offering. There is an appointed sacrifice, which now thou mayest offer, significant of an offering hereafter to be made in atonement for all the sins of all men; whereby thy sin shall be covered; and thou shalt still as before have precedence of thy younger brother. Certainly a remonstrance such as this might have moved the most hardened heart. And yet "Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him." And is it not after the like gracious warnings and assurances that we also still continue to transgress? Has not God told us that by faith we may be justified, see Rom. 3. 28, and that "without faith it is impossible to please him?" Heb. 11. 6. Has He not declared that the Father gave the Son to be the "propitiation for our sins?" 1 John 2. 2. And yet after all this revealed, and repeated oftentimes in our ears, are there not many, who still hate their brethren? And is not he which hateth his brother a murderer? See 1 John 3. 15. Oh let us lay to heart how great is the guilt of murder, and we shall shrink from the least approach to hatred. "The voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground;" this was the Lord's reply to guilty Cain, who pretended not to know what evil he had done, and dared to ask, "Am I my brother's keeper?" To be cursed from the earth was his sentence, and besides this, that the earth should not yield to him her strength, but that he should be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth. He had been used to be a tiller of the ground. He might still sow, but he should no more reap. He must fly from place to place, goaded by the stings of conscience, and followed by the loud crying of a brother's blood. If we have ever approached to hating a brother, if we have ever dared to be at enmity with God, let us think what a fearful sentence has been hanging over our head; and let us have recourse for our pardon to that blood of Christ, which, as the apostle writes, "speaketh better things than that of Abel." Heb. 12. 24. That of Abel demands judgment against Cain. That of Christ still pleads unto the Father in behalf of those who nail Him to the cross, "Forgive them; for they know not what they do." Luke 23. 34.
The family of Cain, and that of Seth.
13 And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment is greater than I can bear.
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.
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
16 And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.
17 And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch and he builded a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son, Enoch.
18 And unto Enoch was born Irad and Irad begat Mehujael and Mehujael begat Methusael and Methusael begat Lamech.
19 And Lamech took unto him two wives the name of the one
was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah.
20 And Adah bare Jabal: he was the father of such as dwell in tents, and of such as have cattle. 21 And his brother's name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ.
22 And Zillah, she also bare Tubal-cain, an instructor of every artificer in brass and iron and the sister of Tubalcain was Naamah.
23 And Lamech said unto his wives, Adah and Zillah, Hear my voice; ye wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech: for I have slain a man to my wounding, and a young man to my hurt:
24 If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy and sevenfold.
25 And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth: for God, said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew.
26 And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the LORD.
How ready God is to forgive.
It was well that Cain felt the misery of being hid from the face of God, deprived of that spiritual communion which he had been hitherto privileged to enjoy. It was well for him to speak of this as one of the most severe parts of his punishment. To be a wanderer on the face of the earth, what is this, compared with being hid from the face of God? To be apprehensive of being slain by every one that findeth us, what is this, compared with being hid from the face of God? If we but enjoy his presence, if we are
favoured with the light of his countenance, then whether we have a home, or wander abroad, whether we live or die, we fear no harm, we are safe for evermore.
"And the Lord set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him." This was a token for Cain's own assurance, as well as a mark for the direction of others. And it was unto Cain himself that the Lord said, "Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold." It is to be hoped therefore that this our guilty brother had manifested some signs of repentance. And we may probably interpret the grief he felt at being shut out from the presence of the Lord, as a proof that he was in some sort penitent. And shall not we also be hence encouraged to repentance? If God spared Cain's life, suffered him to beget children, and to found a city, and to leave behind him a numerous race upon the earth, shall not we hence feel assured, that the Lord is longsuffering, and willeth not that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance? See 2 Pet. 3. 9. Truly we know nothing of his boundless love, if we doubt that He is ever ready for his Son's sake to give respite to the worst of sinners, so they do but really endeavour to repent. And we should be yet more mistaken as to the mercifulness of God, if we were to suppose that it holds out to us encouragement in sinning. No, the same Gospel which proclaims his goodness, declares that He is also just; and tells us of a day when they "who obey not the gospel of our Lord," however loudly they profess to believe it, "shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power." 2 Thess. 1. 9.
It is amongst the posterity of Cain that we first meet with the practice of polygamy, or a man's having more wives than one. In the same family were invented several of the arts which add greatly to the comfort and enjoyment of this present life. And from Lamech's justifying himself to his wives for having slain a man, who had first hurt or wounded him, it appears that whilst so much attention was paid to worldly joys, there was also in this family somewhat of worldly strife. How different was this condition of the children of Cain from the state of Seth, and his son Enos, and their family! "Then began men to call upon the name of the Lord." Or according to the other version in the margin of our Bibles, "Then began men to call themselves by the name of the Lord." As the disciples of Christ were called Christians, see Acts 11. 26, so in the earliest period of the world, the faithful servants of God were not ashamed to call themselves after the name of Jehovah. How much better like Seth and Enos to bear God's name, or to be employed in calling on Him, and worshipping Him, than with Lamech and his family to be studying how to multiply our comfort upon earth, or how to justify our offences! Behold how many are the advantages of godliness! Behold how great is God's love bestowed on us Christians, in allowing us to be called, and to be, his sons!
The book of the generations of Adam.
This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; 2 Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.
3 And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth: 4 And the days of Adam after he had begotten Seth were eight hundred years and he begat sons and daughters:
5 And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years and he died.
6 And Seth lived an hundred and five years, and begat Enos: 7 And Seth lived after he begat Enos eight hundred and seven years, and begat sons and daughters:
8 And all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years: and he died.
and five years, and begat Jared : 16 And Mahalaleel lived after he begat Jared eight hundred and thirty years, and begat sons and daughters:
17 And all the days of Mahalaleel were eight hundred ninety and five years: and he died.
18 And Jared lived an hundred sixty and two years, and he begat Enoch:
19 And Jared lived after he begat Enoch eight hundred years, and begat sons and daughters:
20 And all the days of Jared were nine hundred sixty and two years: and he died.
21 And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah:
22 And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters:
23 And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years:
24 And Enoch walked with 9 And Enos lived ninety years, God: and he was not; for God and begat Cainan :
10 And Enos lived after he begat Cainan eight hundred and fifteen years, and begat sons and daughters:
11 And all the days of Enos were nine hundred and five years and he died.
12 And Cainan lived seventy years, and begat Mahalaleel:
13 And Cainan lived after he begat Mahalaleel eight hundred and forty years, and begat sons and daughters:
14 And all the days of Cainan were nine hundred and ten years: and he died.
15 And Mahalaleel lived sixty
25 And Methuselah lived an hundred eighty and seven years, and begat Lamech :
26 And Methuselah lived after he begat Lamech seven hundred eighty and two years, and begat sons and daughters:
27 And all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred sixty and nine years: and he died.
28 And Lamech lived an hundred eighty and two years, and begat a son:
29 And he called his name Noah, saying, This same shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because