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*Scripture verses covered in this section's commentary are noted in italics

Genesis 4:16-19 meaning

Verses covered in this passage:

  • Genesis 4:16
  • Genesis 4:17
  • Genesis 4:18
  • Genesis 4:19

Cain moves to the land of Nod. He starts a family and builds a city. His wife gives birth to Enoch and Cain names the city after the baby. More descendants of Cain are born. 

Just as his parents had been expelled from the presence of God in the garden, so now Cain was expelled from tilling the land, to undertake a nomadic life in the east. Cain settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden.

Cain took a wife and she conceived, giving birth to Enoch. The origins of Cain’s wife have been debated for centuries. Genesis 5:4 tells us that Adam had other sons and daughters too. Given the longevity of life during this time, it is possible that the wife was either one of Adam’s daughters or granddaughters. We are all descended from Adam and Eve. It seems reasonable to presume that the human gene pool was close to being pure, given that God declared His creation as good. So intermarriage would not have the same genetic risks as today.

Cain built a city. He could no longer farm the land, so he labored to build a city for his descendants.

The name of Enoch means “dedicated one.” Through Enoch, Cain’s lineage begins. Enoch had a son and named him Irad. Irad was the father of Mehujael. He had a son named Methushael, and Methushael was the father of Lamech.

Lamech departed from God’s plan and took for himself two wives, thus becoming the first polygamist identified in the Bible.

Biblical Text

16 Then Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden. 17 Cain had relations with his wife and she conceived, and gave birth to Enoch; and he built a city, and called the name of the city Enoch, after the name of his son. 18 Now to Enoch was born Irad, and Irad became the father of Mehujael, and Mehujael became the father of Methushael, and Methushael became the father of Lamech. 19 Lamech took to himself two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other, Zillah.




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