Genesis Chapter 4

Genesis is the Bible’s first book of law. Genesis, Chapter’s 1 to 11, are also called the “primeval history” because these chapters provide us with the earliest discussion of the creation of the humanity. Chapter 4’s Bible verse describes inherent sin and how it exists in all of us.

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Cain and Abel

Chapter 4 depicts the tragic story of the brothers, Cain and Abel. Cain and Abel were twins born of Adam and Eve. Abel was a sheep herder; Cain was a farmer. Over time, Cain and Abel began presenting offerings to God. The Lord was pleased with Abel’s offerings. However, he was dissatisfied with Cain’s offerings. Cain responded angrily to God’s criticisms. God warned Cain of the dire consequences of hatred, anger, and sin. In spite of God’s warning, Cain killed his brother Abel. He was overcome by sin and ultimately upset and shocked their family.

God’s Response to Abel

When God found out Cain had killed Abel, he was furious and so he punished Cain by placing a curse on him. The soil which Cain worked would be fruitless and would from then on would not harvest crops. When Cain became upset by the curse which was set upon him, God made it so he could not kill anyone else.

Cain’s New City

Chapter 4 describes the creation of a new, iniquitous society: a city of Cain’s descendants. Cain named it “Nod” and it was located to the East of Eden. Cain’s city was full of selfishness, violence, and corruption. Genesis 4 to 11 tells us of the emergence of Humanity’s sin on Earth. The Bible’s Chapter 4 also presents the lives Abel and Seth, men born of Adam and Eve.

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Genesis Chapter 4 (King James Version)

1 And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten 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.

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 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.

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 him.

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 Tubalcain, an instructer 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.

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3 responses to “Genesis Chapter 4”

  1. Sam Thomas says:

    Cain and Abel were not twin brothers…

  2. Darrell Hickd says:

    I have a question for you. In Genesis, chat 4 verses 11-15. It states that anyone meeting Cain shall not kill him, because of the mark on his forehead from God protecting him from anyone who should kill him. In the translation from Google citing the same chap. and verses states that the mark was placed on Cain’s forehead was to ensure that he would not kill anyone else. Which translation is correct?

  3. Jub V. says:


    To be in more detail, the bible in chapter 4 verse 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 him.”
    In the previous verse, Cain expressed his fear over God’s punishment. The murder of his brother would leave him able to be hurt by being killed himself, likely in revenge. God, who is about to kick out Cain from His presence, shows that He is still kind–and decided to stop people from looking (for) revenge. So He promises Cain that He will take revenge–times seven!–on anyone who kills Cain.
    To seal the deal, and fight off all would-be attackers, God put a mark on Cain. We don’t know what this mark looked like, or if it was even visual. All we know is that it communicated loudly and clearly to all who met Cain that God would take revenge on anyone who killed the murderer of Abel.
    Why would God do such a thing? Why not let Cain get what’s coming to him? Later, God will build into the Law procedures both for bringing justice on (people who commit crimes) and for helping murderers find safe place from those who would look (for) revenge. It seems God’s purpose here is focused on preventing the never-ending cycle of revenge to which humans are prone. For now, God simply insists on being the one to take revenge on terribly unfair treatment. In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul will show/tell about that this is still a role God demands to play today (Romans 12:19).

    Your welcome.

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