Genesis 4

Now the man knew Eve, knew as his wife, and so she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain,
Saying, “See, I have gotten a son with the help of the Lord.” Then she gave birth again.
Now this second son Abel, the brother of Cain, was to become a keeper of sheep.
While Cain (who was the first) would grow into a tiller of soil, from the ground would he reap.
Over the course of time, from the fruit of the soil, Cain gave an offering to the Lord.
As for Abel, he brought the best parts of his flock, a great gift that could not be ignored.
The Lord gave His respect to what Abel had offered, but not to the offering of Cain,
And so Cain was upset and despondent, and his visage fell in a state of disdain.

The Lord said to Cain, “Tell me, why are you upset? And why has your face fallen so low?
Is it not true, that if you intend only good that you will be uplifted from woe?
But if you do not mean to do good, then sin becomes a demon that lies at the door.
Its desire is towards you, although it is something that is possible to rule o’er.”

One day Cain said to Abel, his brother, that going out into the field would be good,
But when they arrived there, Cain rose up against Abel, his brother, killed him where he stood.
God asked Cain, “Where is Abel, your brother?” And Cain replied to the Lord God, “I don’t know.
Am I my brother’s keeper, who knows where he is?” God said, “What is this you have done? Lo!–
Hear the blood of your brother, it cries out to me from the soil. Thus you now shall be damned
By the soil which opened its mouth to receive the blood of your brother from your hand.
When you till the soil, the soil will no longer yield to you or to your hand yield its strength,
And you shall become a wavering wayfarer, one who will wander the earth at length.”
And Cain said to the Lord, “God, this punishment for my crime I cannot bear. For today,
You have driven me out from the face of the soil, and from Your face I must hide away.
Yes, to waywardly wander the earth is my fate, and soon any who meet me will kill me.”
But God said to him, “No, for whoever kills Cain shall have sevenfold vengeance on he.”
So God put a mark on Cain, to make all who might find him loath to kill him, and face God.
And Cain left the Lord’s face to go dwell in the wandering land east of Eden, called Nod.

So Cain knew his wife, she conceived and bore Enoch. Cain founded a city after that,
Which he named for his son Enoch, who fathered Irad, who eventually begat
Mehujael, who begat Methusael, who begat Lamech, who took himself two wives.
One named Adah, the other named Zillah. (Dawn and Dusk, many children did they provide).
Adah bore Jabal, the father of those who live in tents and those who sit amidst cattle.
While his brother Jubal was the father of those who played lyres and made pipe organs rattle.
And Zillah for her part bore Tubal-cain, who forged all blades of both iron and bronze.
Tubal-cain’s sister was called Naamah (and there you have listing of some family bonds).
Lamech said to his wives, “Adah and Zillah, hear my voice; wives of Lamech, give your ear
To my speech: I have killed a man for wounding me, and a lad for a few bruises mere.
If Cain is avenged sevenfold, Lamech then seventy-sevenfold, dealing out death!”
Adam knew his wife once again, she bore a son, and decided that she’d name him Seth,
Meaning, “God has provided me another seed in place of Abel,” whom Cain had slain.
And to Seth, a son was born, whom he named Enosh. Then men started to praise the Lord’s name.

Comments (3)

Rachel BarenblatOctober 20th, 2008 at 7:56 am

I love your description of Jubal. And the last line of this chapter is particularly fine, to my ear and eye; I like the way “Then men started to praise the Lord’s name” scans.

KaybeeOctober 21st, 2008 at 1:46 pm

Wow! What an interesting project! Would love to know how long it takes you, on average, to put a chapter into verse.

I, too, love words, but I must admit ‘perspicacity’ was a stretch for me — had to look it up (wisdom, insight). I can just see my friends now, when I use it in a conversation!

Keep up the good work!

Seth BrownOctober 22nd, 2008 at 12:23 am

Rachel: Thanks. I tried to let any descriptions of people the Torah gives shine through, since there are many places where no descriptions are given and you just get a list of names (such as, for example, next week’s…)

Kaybee: The time it took me to do a chapter varied wildly. Genesis 1 alone took me a few weeks, but I didn’t know what I was doing at the beginning. Conversely, as you’ll see next week, there wasn’t really much to do with Genesis 5, and though I don’t recall specifically, I can’t imagine it took more than half an hour. The whole megillah (well, five books of Moses, anyway) took me five years.

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