Genesis 4

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English: Darby Version

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1 And Man knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bore Cain, and said, I have acquired a man with Jehovah.

2 And she further bore his brother Abel. And Abel was a shepherd, but Cain was a husbandman.

3 And in process of time it came to pass that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering to Jehovah.

4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock, and of their fat. And Jehovah looked upon Abel, and on his offering;

5 and upon Cain, and on his offering, he did not look. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell.

6 And Jehovah said to Cain, Why art thou angry, and why is thy countenance fallen?

7 If thou doest well, will not [thy countenance] look up [with confidence]? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door; and unto thee [shall be] his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.

8 And Cain spoke to 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 Jehovah said to 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 is crying to me from the ground.

11 And now be thou cursed from the ground, which hath opened its mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand.

12 When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield thee its strength; a wanderer and fugitive shalt thou be on the earth.

13 And Cain said to Jehovah, My punishment is too great to be borne.

14 Behold, thou hast driven me this day from the face of the ground, and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a wanderer and fugitive on the earth; and it will come to pass, [that] every one who finds me will slay me.

15 And Jehovah said to him, Therefore, whoever slayeth Cain, it shall be revenged sevenfold. And Jehovah set a mark on Cain, lest any finding him should smite him.

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

17 And Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch. And he built a city; and he called the name of the city after the name of his son Enoch.

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

19 And Lemech took two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the second, Zillah.

20 And Adah bore Jabal: he was the father of those who dwell in tents, and [breed] cattle.

21 And his brother's name was Jubal: he was the father of those who handle the harp and pipe.

22 And Zillah, she also bore Tubal-Cain, the forger of every kind of tool of brass and iron. And the sister of Tubal-Cain was Naamah.

23 And Lemech said to his wives: 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 seven-fold; Lemech seventy and seven fold.

25 And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son, and called his name Seth: ... For God has appointed me another seed instead of Abel, because Cain has slain him.

26 And to Seth, to him also was born a son; and he called his name Enosh. Then people began to call on the name of Jehovah.

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Swedenborg

Haupterklärung(en) aus den Werken Swedenborgs:

Arcana Coelestia 324, 325, 326, 327, 328, 329, 330, ...

Apocalypse Explained 817

Sacred Scripture 103

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 405

True Christian Religion 279


Weitere Verweise Swedenborgs zu diesem Kapitel:

Arcana Coelestia 337, 346, 347, 348, 349, 485, 527, ...

True Christian Religion 466


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 427, 838

Spiritual Experiences 323, 4139

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Luke 3:38, 11:51

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Jude 1:11

Word/Phrase Explanations

man
"Man" is a tricky word to discuss, because the Hebrew of the Old Testament uses six different words that are generally translated as "man," with...

knew
Like so many common verbs, the meaning of "know" in the Bible is varied and dependent on context. And in some cases – when it...

Eve
The name 'Eve' comes from the Hebrew word ??? or 'Chava,' a form of the word for life, which is why she is called 'the...

wife
The Hebrew of the Old Testament has six different common words which are generally translated as "wife," which largely overlap but have different nuances. Swedenborg...

said
As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

acquired
Acquisition (Gen 12:5) means all things which are sensual truths or things of science which are the ground of thought in man. Acquisition and purchase...

Jehovah
The Lord, in the simplest terms, is love itself expressed as wisdom itself. In philosophic terms, love is the Lord's substance and wisdom is His...

Brother
There are two ways "brother" is used in the Bible, ways that are still reflected in modern language. One denotes an actual blood relationship; the...

Abel
Abel signifies charity or love, in Genesis 4:2. (Divine Providence 242, Arcana Coelestia 325, and 341). Abel signifies celestial love, which is loving the Lord....

Husbandman
'A husbandman,' as mentioned in Amos 5:16, signifies the man of the church, because 'field' signifies the church regarding the implantation of truth. 'A husbandman,'...

time
Time is an aspect of the physical world, but according to Swedenborg is not an aspect of the spiritual world. The same is true of...

came
As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “come” in the Bible is highly dependent on context – its meaning is determined largely by...

came to pass
The phrase “it came to pass,” often also translated as “it happened,” generally indicates the end of one spiritual state and the beginning of a...

Pass
'To pass,' as in Genesis 31:52, signifies flowing in. 'To pass the night,' as in Genesis 24:54, signifies having peace. 'To pass through,' as in...

fruit
In Zechariah 8:12, 'the vine shall give her fruit, and the ground her increase,' signifies that the spiritual affection of truth produces the good of...

ground
Is there any difference in meaning between “earth” and “ground”? At first it doesn’t seem so; both refer to the soil making up the land...

Flock
A flock, as in Genesis 26, denotes interior or rational good. A flock signifies those who are in spiritual good. A flock signifies natural interior...

Fat
Fat signifies the celestial principle. Fat things, full of marrow, signify goodnesses. Fat and blood signify interior goods and truths, and hence the Israelites, prior...

upon
'Upon' or 'over' signifies being within.

Look
To look,' as in Genesis 18:22, signifies thinking, because seeing denotes understanding. Look not back behind thee,' as in Genesis 19:17, means that Lot, who...

angry
Anger is an emotion so common to people that it requires no definition. However a couple of points of interest can be raised. 1) The...

fell
Like other common verbs, the meaning of "fall" is highly dependent on context in regular language, and is highly dependent on context in a spiritual...

Countenance fallen
A fallen countenance (Gen. 4:5) signifies that the interiors were changed.

Well
'A well,' as in Numbers 21:17-18, signifies the Word of the ancient church. 'A well,' or 'pit,' as in Luke 14:5, signifies falsity and the...

look up
'To look upwards' or 'forwards' signifies looking to celestial things, but 'to look downwards' or 'backwards' signifies looking towards bodily and earthly things, as in...

sin
In the Word three terms are used to mean bad things that are done. These three are transgression, iniquity, and sin, and they are here...

door
In a general sense, doors in the Bible represent the initial desires for good and concepts of truth that introduce people to new levels of...

over
Over' or 'upon' in the Word, signifies being within, because the highest part in successive order becomes inmost in simultaneous order. This is why the...

field
When we have a desire to be good people and to do good things, the natural first questions are "What does that mean?" "What should...

rose up
It is common in the Bible for people to "rise up," and it would be easy to pass over the phrase as simply describing a...

voice
In Genesis 27:22, 'voice' relates to truth, and 'hand,' to good. In Genesis 27:22, 'voice' relates to truth, and 'hand,' to good.

blood
The internal meaning of “blood” is a little tricky, because Swedenborg gives two meanings that seem quite different. In most cases, Swedenborg links blood with...

crying
As with most common verbs, the spiritual meaning of “crying” or “crying out” (meaning a shout or wail, not weeping) is highly dependent on context....

cursed
The Lord is love itself, and his love for us never wavers and never changes. What does waver and change is the degree to which...

mouth
In most cases, "mouth" in the Bible represents thought and logic, especially the kind of active, concrete thought that is connected with speech. The reason...

Strength
Strength' relates truth and falsity. Strength,' as in Luke 10:27, signifies the will and understanding extended to extremes. Strength,' as in Revelation 1:6, signifies divine...

Wanderer
'A wanderer' denotes not knowing truth and good.

Earth
"Earth" in the Bible can mean a person or a group of like-minded people as in a church. But it refers specifically to the external...

Punishment
Punishment' is the consummation of evil, because after punishment, reformation succeeds. This is why it says in Deuteronomy 25:3, 'that no more than forty stripes...

face
“The eyes are the windows of the soul.” That’s a sentiment with roots somewhere in murky antiquity, but one that has become hopelessly cliché because...

Every one
The phrase “Every one,” where it occurs in Genesis 20:7, signifies every thing or all things.

one
A company might have executives setting policy and strategy, engineers designing products, line workers building them, managers handling personnel and others handling various functions. They...

Slay
'To slay a man to his wounding,' means extinguishing faith, and 'to slay a young man to his hurt,' signifies extinguishing charity, as in Genesis...

Mark
'A mark' signifies an acknowledgment and a confession. To receive a mark on the right hand and on the forehead,' as in Revelation 13:16, signifies...

smite
To strike or smite, when used in the Bible, means to attack, harm or destroy, and is usually in reference to an attack on someone’s...

land of
'The land of Rameses,' as in Genesis 47:11, signifies the inmost of the spiritual principle in the natural mind.

Land
Land' in the Word, denotes the church, for the things which signify the church also signify the things relating to the church, for these constitute...

Nod
'The land of Nod,' as in Genesis 4:16, signifies a state destitute of goodness and truth. 'The land of Nod,' as in Genesis 4:16, signifies...

eden
According to the Writings, “Eden” by itself means love, in most cases the love that comes from the Lord and our love for the Lord,...

Enoch
Enoch (Gen. 5:18) signifies the seventh church from Adam, and which consisted of those who had framed doctrines out of the things which had been...

built
There are really two meanings for "build" in the Bible. When something is being built for the first time, or built in the most typical...

City
In the ancient world cities were very nearly nations unto themselves – they existed within walls, with their own laws and customs, generally centered on...

called
To call someone or summon someone in the Bible represents a desire for conjunction between higher and lower states of life. For instance, imagine someone...

name
It's easy to see that names are important in the Bible. Jehovah changed Abram and Sarai to Abraham and Sarah, changed Jacob to Israel and...

after
According to Swedenborg, time and space don’t exist in spiritual reality; they are purely natural things that exist only on the physical plane. This means...

son
Marriages in the Bible represent the union we all can have between the desire for good and the understanding of truth (or an understanding of...

born
In a general sense, being "born" in the Bible represents one spiritual state producing another, usually some form of love or affection producing or "giving...

Irad
'Irad,' the son of Enoch, in Genesis 4:18, signifies heretical doctrine derived from Cain.

begot
To beget or to be begotten is very similar in meaning to birth: It represents one spiritual state leading to the next spiritual state. "Beget,"...

Mehujael
'Mehujael' signifies heresies.

Adah
Adah represents the mother of the celestial things of faith.

second
The number "two" has two different meanings in the Bible. The number "two" has two different meanings in the Bible. In most cases "two" indicates...

Zillah
Zillah (Gen. 4) signifies the mother of the natural things of that new church which succeeded the church represented by Lamech.

Jabal
'Jabal, the father of people who dwell in tents, and of cattle,' as in Genesis 4:20, signifies doctrine concerning the holy things of love, and...

father
Father in the Word means what is most interior, and in those things that are following the Lord's order, it means what is good. In...

dwell
Many people were nomadic in Biblical times, especially the times of the Old Testament, and lived in tents that could be struck, moved and re-raised...

Tents
'Ohalim' or 'tabernacles' signify the holy part of what is good.

cattle
Animals in the Bible generally refer to spiritual activity, the things we actually do on a spiritual level. "Cattle," as typically used in the Bible,...

Jubal
'Jubal,' as in Genesis 4:21, signifies the doctrine of spiritual things in the new church which succeeded Lamech. Being 'the father of the harp and...

Tubal
'Tarshish, Pul, Lud, Tubal, and Javan,' as in Isaiah 66:19, signify varieties of external worship.

Tubal-Cain
'Tubal-Cain, an instructor of every artificer in brass and iron,' as in Genesis 4:22, signifies the doctrine of natural good and truth. Tubal-Cain is called...

Tool
'To form an idol with a graving tool,' as in Exodus 32:4, denotes from self-intelligence.

Brass
Brass and iron as in Isaiah 48:4 and Daniel 7:19 signify what is hard.

Iron
'Iron,' in Deuteronomy 8:9, signifies natural or rational truth. Iron' signifies natural truth, and consequently, the natural sense of the Word. At the same time,...

the sister of Tubal-Cain
Naamah, the sister of Tubal-Cain,' as in Genesis 4:22, signifies a new church of the doctrine of natural good, and truth from that church. Naamah,...

Sister
The Lord calls people who are in truth from the good of charity from Him 'sisters,' as in Matthew 12:50. 'Sister' denotes intellectual truth, when...

hear
Thanks to modern science, we now understand that hearing actually happens in the brain, not the ears. The ears collect vibrations in the air and...

Slain
'The slain' when referring to the Lord, as in Revelation 5, means the separation of everything from the divine. In denial of His divinity, He...

youth
'Tender of age' denotes the state of truths newly received not yet genuine.

bruise
'To tread down' or 'bruise,' as in Genesis 3:15, signifies depression. It has the same significance in Isaiah 26:5-6, and 28:2-3.

avenged
'To be avenged seventy and seven fold' denotes damnation.

Seven
The number 'seven' was considered holy, as is well known, because of the six days of creation, and the seventh, which is the celestial self,...

adam
Adam is one of the most crucial and most controversial figures in the Bible, dividing even the faithful into camps: those who believe he literally...

Seth
'Seth,' as in Genesis 4:25 , signifies a new faith which brings charity.

God
The Lord is love itself, expressed in the form of wisdom itself. Love, then, is His essence, His inmost. Wisdom - the loving understanding of...

Seed
'A seed' signifies love, and everyone who has love, as in Genesis 12:7. 8:15, 16. 'A seed' signifies faith grounded in charity. 'A seed' signifies...

began
In the Word, "beginning" in doesn't just mean the beginning of something in time. In the inner sense, it means the initial phase of a...

Resources for parents and teachers

The items listed here are provided courtesy of our friends at the General Church of the New Jerusalem. You can search/browse their whole library by following this link.


 Abel, Keeper of Sheep
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Cain and Abel
A New Church Bible story explanation for teaching Sunday school. Includes lesson materials for Primary (3-8 years), Junior (9-11 years), Intermediate (12-14 years), Senior (15-17 years) and Adults.
Teaching Support | Ages over 3

 My Brother's Keeper
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 Questions Asked by God
Article | Ages over 15

 The Fifth Commandment: You Shall Not Murder
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 The Lord’s Great Mercy
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 Two Brothers and Their Offerings
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14


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