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Genesis 4:16-19

Verses covered in this passage:

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

Genesis is a book about many beginnings. The beginnings of the world, the human race, sin and redemption, and the nation of Israel to name a few. In fact, the word Genesis from the Greek means “origin,” and in Hebrew it means “beginning.” The book of Genesis contains the events of the flood, tower of Babel, Sodom and Gomorrah, and the lives of the Patriarchs.

In the beginning, God created everything by simply speaking, “God said…and it was so” (Genesis 1:6-7, 9, 11, 14-15). This is not a scientific technical account of creation, but it shows a loving God creating a universe and mankind to rule it and fellowship with God. Man was formed especially from the ground and given the breath of life from God. The woman was made from the man’s rib (Genesis 2:7).

After man fell into sin, things began to spin out of control quickly. Cain murdered his brother Abel and the human race became so violent that God decided to destroy them all with a flood. God saved one righteous man (Noah) and his family in an ark filled with animals to deliver the human race from extinction. God chose Abraham and blessed a special group of people named “Israel.” God began to unfold a plan of salvation from a coming famine by sending Joseph to rule in Egypt. The failure of man in every circumstance is met by the salvation of God. We fail, but the good news is God saves us.


Genesis chapter 4 begins the account of life and experience after being exiled from the garden of Eden. In it we see the first children born, the first murder, and the first glimpses of civilization begin to sprout. Adam and Eve have two sons, Cain and Abel. Cain kills his brother Abel due to his jealousy, and the effect of this sin starts the division between the godly and ungodly. However, the grace of God is manifested to Adam and Eve as their third son, Seth is born. Through Seth and his son, Enosh, the worship of God was restored. This chapter affirms to us how important it is for us to know God and follow His will.


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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