Genesis 4



1 And man knew Eve his wife, and she conceived, and gave·​·birth·​·to Cain, and she said, I have gotten* a man, Jehovah*.

2 And she added to bring·​·forth* his brother, Abel; and Abel was a shepherd of the flock, and Cain was a tiller of the ground.

3 And it was at the end of days, and Cain brought of the fruit of the ground a gift·​·offering to Jehovah.

4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstborn from his flock, and from its fat. And Jehovah had·​·regard to Abel, and to his gift·​·offering;

5 and to Cain and to his gift·​·offering He had not regard, and Cain was very incensed, and his faces fell.

6 And Jehovah said to Cain, Why art thou incensed? and why are thy faces fallen?

7 If thou doest·​·well, is there not an uplifting? And if thou doest· not ·well, sin coucheth at the entrance; and to thee is his* desire, and thou rulest over him.

8 And Cain talked to Abel his brother; and it was when they were in the field, that Cain rose·​·up against Abel his brother, and killed him.

9 And Jehovah said to Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not; am I the keeper of my brother?

10 And He said, What hast thou done? The voice of the bloods* of thy brother cries to Me from the ground.

11 And now art thou cursed from the ground, which has gaped·​·open with her mouth to take the bloods of thy brother from thy hand.

12 When thou tillest the ground, it shall not add to give to thee its power; a vagabond and a fugitive shalt thou be in the earth.

13 And Cain said to Jehovah, My iniquity is greater than can be borne away*.

14 Behold, Thou hast driven· me ·out today from upon the faces of the ground; and from Thy faces shall I be hidden, and I shall be a vagabond and a fugitive in the earth; and it shall be that everyone who finds me shall kill me.

15 And Jehovah said to him, Therefore if anyone kills Cain, sevenfold he shall be avenged. And Jehovah set on Cain a sign to all who find him not to smite him.

16 And Cain went·​·out from the faces of Jehovah, and dwelt in the land of Nod, toward·​·the·​·east of Eden.

17 And Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and gave·​·birth·​·to Enoch; and it came·​·to·​·pass that he was building a city, and called the name of the city according·​·to the name of his son, Enoch.

18 And to Enoch was born Irad; and Irad begot Mehujael; and Mehijael begot Methushael; and Methushael begot Lamech.

19 And Lamech took to him two wives; the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the second, Zillah.

20 And Adah gave·​·birth to Jabal; he was the father of the dweller in tents, and of livestock.

21 And the name of his brother was Jubal; he was the father of all who handle the harp and organ*.

22 And Zillah, she also gave·​·birth·​·to Tubal-cain, an instructor of every artificer in bronze and iron; and the sister of Tubal-cain was Naamah.

23 And Lamech said to his wives, Adah and Zillah, Hear my voice, ye wives of Lamech, and give·​·ear·​·to what· I ·say, for I have killed a man for my wounding, and a child for my bruising.

24 If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, then Lamech seventy and sevenfold.

25 And man knew his wife yet again*, and she gave·​·birth·​·to a son, and she called his name Seth; for God has put another seed for me instead of Abel; for Cain killed him.

26 And to Seth, to him also there was·​·born a son; and he called his name Enosh; then began they to call upon the name of Jehovah.


Exploring the Meaning of Genesis 4      

Napsal(a) Emanuel Swedenborg

Here are some excerpts from Swedenborg's "Arcana Coelestia" that help explain the inner meaning of this chapter:

AC 324. Doctrines separated from the church, or heresies, are here treated of; and a new church that was afterwards raised up, called "Enosh."

AC 325. The Most Ancient Church had faith in the Lord through love; but there arose some who separated faith from love. The doctrine of faith separated from love was called "Cain;" and charity, which is love toward the neighbor, was called "Abel" (verses 1, 2).

AC 326. The worship of each is described, that of faith separated from love, by the "offering of Cain;" and that of charity, by the "offering of Abel" (verses 3, 4). That worship from charity was acceptable, but not worship from separated faith (verses 4, 5).

AC 327. That the state of those who were of separated faith became evil, is described by Cain‘s "anger being kindled, and his countenance falling" (verses 5, 6).

AC 328. And that the quality of the faith is known from the charity; and that charity wishes to be with faith, if faith is not made the principal, and is not exalted above charity (verse 7).

AC 329. That charity was extinguished in those who separated faith, and set it before charity, is described by Cain slaying his brother Abel" (verses 8, 9).

AC 330. Charity extinguished is called the "voice of bloods" (verse 10); perverted doctrine, the "curse from the ground" (verse 11); the falsity and evil originating thence, the "fugitive and wanderer in the earth" (verse 12). And as they had averted themselves from the Lord, they were in danger of eternal death (verses 13, 14). But as it was through faith that charity would afterwards be implanted, faith was made inviolable, and this is signified by the "mark set upon Cain" (verse 15). And its removal from its former position is denoted by "Cain dwelling toward the east of Eden" (verse 16).

AC 331. The amplification of this heresy is called "Enoch" (verse 17).

AC 332. The heresies that sprang from this one are also called by their names, in the last of which, called "Lamech," there was nothing of faith remaining (verse 18).

AC 333. A new church then arose, which is meant by "Adah and Zillah," and is described by their sons "Jabal," Jubal," and "Tubal-Cain;" the celestial things of the church by "Jabal," the spiritual by "Jubal," and the natural by "Tubal-Cain" (verses 19-22).

AC 334. That this church arose when everything of faith and charity was extinguished, and had violence done to it, which was in the highest degree sacrilegious, is described (verses 23, 24).

AC 335. A summary of the subject is given: that after faith, signified by "Cain," had extinguished charity, a new faith was given by the Lord, whereby charity was implanted. This faith is called "Seth" (verse 25).

AC 336. The charity implanted by faith is called "Enosh," or another "man" (homo), which is the name of that church (verse 26).

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Thanks to the Kempton Project for the permission to use this New Church translation of the Word.