4:1 And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she a conceived, and bare
Cain, and said, I have gotten a man b from the LORD.
(a) Man's nature, the estate of marriage, and God's blessing
were not utterly abolished through sin, but the quality
or condition of it was changed.
(b) That is, according to the Lord's promise, as some read
(Ge 3:15), "To the Lord" rejoicing for the son she
had born, whom she would offer to the Lord as the first
fruits of her birth.
4:3 And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of
the fruit of the ground an c offering unto the LORD.
(c) This declares that the father instructed his children in
the knowledge of God, and also how God gave them
sacrifices to signify their salvation, though they were
destitute of the ordinance of the tree of life.
4:7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be e accepted? and if
thou doest not well, sin lieth at the f door. And unto
thee [shall be] his g desire, and thou shalt rule over
(e) Both you and your sacrifice shall be acceptable to me.
(f) Sin will still torment your conscience.
(g) The dignity of the first born is given to Cain over
4:9 And the LORD said unto Cain, Where [is] Abel thy brother?
And he said, I know not: h [Am] I my brother's keeper?
(h) This is the nature of the reprobate when they are rebuke
for their hypocrisy, even to neglect God and outrage
4:10 And he said, What hast thou done? the i voice of thy
brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground.
(i) God avenges the wrongs against his saints, though no
one complains: for the iniquity itself cries for vengeance.
4:11 And now [art] thou cursed k from the earth, which hath
opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy
(k) The earth will be a witness against you, which
mercifully received the blood you most cruelly shed.
4:12 When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield
unto thee her strength; a l fugitive and a vagabond shalt
thou be in the earth.
(l) You will never have rest for your heart will be in
continual fear and worry.
4:13 And Cain said unto the LORD, m My punishment [is] greater
than I can bear.
(m) He burdens God as a cruel judge because he punished him
4:15 And the LORD said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth
Cain, n vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And
the LORD set a o mark upon Cain, lest any finding him
should kill him.
(n) Not for the love he had for Cain, but to suppress
(o) Which was some visible sign of God's judgment, that
others should fear by it.
4:17 And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch:
and he builded a p city, and called the name of the city,
after the name of his son, Enoch.
(p) Thinking by this to be safe, and to have less reason to
fear God's judgments against him.
4:19 And Lamech took unto him q two wives: the name of the one
[was] Adah, and the name of the other Zillah.
(q) The lawful institution of marriage, which is, that two
should be one flesh, was first corrupted in the house
of Cain by Lamech.
4:23 And Lamech said unto his wives, Adah and Zillah, Hear my
voice; ye wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech: r for
I have slain a man to my wounding, and a young man to my
(r) His wives seeing that all men hated him for his
cruelty, were afraid, therefore he brags that there is
none strong enough to resist, even though he was
4:24 If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech s
seventy and sevenfold.
(s) He mocked at God's tolerance in Cain jesting as though
God would allow no one to punish him and yet give him
permission to murder others.
4:26 And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he
called his name Enos: then began men to t call upon the
name of the LORD.
(t) In these days God began to move the hearts of the godly
to restore religion, which had been suppressed by the
wicked for a long time.