Genealogies Continued…Cain’s Family: Genesis 4.17.24

Answer
This is a continuation of the previous question from the August 9, 2005 entry.

The text does not say anything about Cain’s marriage. It assumes that the marriage had taken place. His wife is not named but was most likely one of the other daughters of Adam mentioned in Genesis 5.4 (see above). Cain’s fear of being killed did not occur. The grace of God, provided by the sign, worked. His descendants were many. The genealogy continues from 4.2. The family tree suggests that God was not visiting the iniquities of the fathers upon the children (Ex. 20.5) at this point in the story of humankind. The lineage of Cain was not caused to suffer because of Cain.

Cain and his oldest son Enoch built a city, perhaps as some have suggested, in defiance of God’s judgment. However, nowhere in the text does God condemn Cain or show his displeasure for Cain’s endeavors. What may be the case is that God had lifted the punishment that was given to Cain. He was then free to establish roots again. While he may be aiming at providing a solution for the predicament that he got himself into, he cannot repair it by himself but only because of the grace of God. The lineage of Cain displays an important function. They are the links that God used to populate the world and create societal industry. It is in this story that we find the first breakdown of a monogamous marriage. Lamech had two wives. God does not respond to this violation of Genesis 2.24. The event is simply recorded. Others follow in the steps of Enoch and the Old Testament records the unpleasant suffering and shattering experiences, which are built on this breaking of God’s desire. The domestic struggles that pursue were devastating. Lamech and his two wives produced four children: three sons, Jabal, Jubal, Tubal- cain, and one daughter, Naaman (a word which means gorgeous). Each son produces some cultural accomplishment. Jabal was a shepherd. Jubal was a musician. Tubal- cain was a metallurgist. This is the grace of God at work in a fallen world.

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