Cain knew his [a]wife [one of Adam’s descendants] and she conceived and gave birth to Enoch; and Cain built a city and named it Enoch, after the name of his son. 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. And Lamech took for himself two wives; the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other, Zillah. Adah gave birth to Jabal; he became the father of those [nomadic herdsmen] who live in tents and have cattle and raise livestock. His brother’s name was Jubal; he became the father of all those [musicians] who play the lyre and flute. Zillah gave birth to Tubal-cain, the smith (craftsman) and teacher of every artisan in instruments of bronze and iron. The sister of Tubal-cain was Naamah.
Lamech said to his wives,
“Adah and Zillah,
Hear my voice;
You wives of Lamech,
Listen to what I say;
For I have killed a man [merely] for wounding me,
And a boy [only] for striking (bruising) me.
“If Cain is avenged sevenfold [as the Lord said he would be],
Then Lamech [will be avenged] [b]seventy-sevenfold.”
Adam knew [Eve as] his wife again; and she gave birth to a son, and named him Seth, for [she said], “God has granted another child for me in place of Abel, because Cain killed him.” To Seth, also, a son was born, whom he named Enosh (mortal man, mankind). At that [same] time men began to call on the name of the Lord [in worship through prayer, praise, and thanksgiving].
- Genesis 4:17 The simplest explanation for the origin of Cain’s wife is that she was one of his sisters, whom Scripture does not mention specifically, but implies (5:4). It is also possible that she was a niece or more distant relative descended from the original family, but in any case it is evident that the unrecorded children of Adam and Eve married each other. This was possible because the human gene pool was at its purest with Adam and Eve, so at some point their children could begin families of their own.
- Genesis 4:24 Lamech arrogantly declares to his wives that if someone kills him, he will be entitled to far greater vengeance since he merely retaliated for harm suffered, while Cain’s murder of Abel was by comparison unprovoked.
Descendants of Adam
This is the book (the written record, the history) of the generations of [the descendants of] Adam. When God created man, He made him in the likeness of God [not physical, but a spiritual personality and moral likeness]. He created them male and female, and blessed them and named them [a]Mankind at the time they were created.
When Adam had lived a hundred and thirty years, he [b]became the father of a son in his own likeness, according to his image, and named him Seth. After he became the father of Seth, Adam lived eight hundred years and had other sons and daughters. So Adam lived nine hundred and thirty years in all, and he died.
When Seth was a hundred and five years old, he became the father of Enosh. Seth lived eight hundred and seven years after the birth of Enosh, and he had other sons and daughters. So Seth lived nine hundred and twelve years, and he died.
When Enosh was ninety years old, he became the father of Kenan. Enosh lived eight hundred and fifteen years after the birth of Kenan and had other sons and daughters. So Enosh lived nine hundred and five years, and he died.
When Kenan was seventy years old, he became the father of Mahalalel. Kenan lived eight hundred and forty years after the birth of Mahalalel and had other sons and daughters. So Kenan lived nine hundred and ten years, and he died.
When Mahalalel was sixty-five years old, he became the father of Jared. Mahalalel lived eight hundred and thirty years after the birth of Jared and had other sons and daughters. So Mahalalel lived eight hundred and ninety-five years, and he died.
When Jared was a hundred and sixty-two years old, he became the father of Enoch. Jared lived eight hundred years after the birth of Enoch and had other sons and daughters. So Jared lived nine hundred and sixty-two years, and he died.
When Enoch was sixty-five years old, he became the father of Methuselah. Enoch walked [in habitual fellowship] with God three hundred years after the birth of Methuselah and had other sons and daughters. So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. And [in reverent fear and obedience] Enoch walked with God; and he was not [found among men], because God took him [away to be home with Him].
When Methuselah was a hundred and eighty-seven years old, he became the father of Lamech. Methuselah lived seven hundred and eighty-two years after the birth of Lamech and had other sons and daughters. So Methuselah lived nine hundred and sixty-nine years, and he died.
When Lamech was a hundred and eighty-two years old, he became the father of a son. He named him Noah, saying, “This one shall bring us rest and comfort from our work and from the [dreadful] toil of our hands because of the ground which the Lord cursed.” Lamech lived five hundred and ninety-five years after the birth of Noah and had other sons and daughters. So all the days of Lamech were seven hundred and seventy-seven years, and he died.
After Noah was five hundred years old, he became the father of Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
The Corruption of Mankind
Now it happened, when men began to multiply on the face of the land, and daughters were born to them, that the [a]sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful and desirable; and they took wives for themselves, whomever they chose and desired. Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not strive and remain with man forever, because he is indeed flesh [sinful, corrupt—given over to sensual appetites]; nevertheless his days shall yet be [b]a hundred and twenty years.” There were Nephilim (men of stature, notorious men) on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God lived with the daughters of men, and they gave birth to their children. These were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown (great reputation, fame).
The Lord saw that the wickedness (depravity) of man was great on the earth, and that every imagination or intent of the thoughts of his heart were only evil continually. The Lord [c]regretted that He had made mankind on the earth, and He was [deeply] grieved in His heart. So the Lord said, “I will destroy (annihilate) mankind whom I have created from the surface of the earth—not only man, but the animals and the crawling things and the birds of the air—because it [deeply] grieves Me [to see mankind’s sin] and I regret that I have made them.” But Noah found favor and grace in the eyes of the Lord.
These are the records of the generations (family history) of Noah. Noah was a righteous man [one who was just and had right standing with God], blameless in his [evil] generation; Noah walked (lived) [in habitual fellowship] with God. Now Noah became the father of three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
The [population of the] earth was corrupt [absolutely depraved—spiritually and morally putrid] in God’s sight, and the land was filled with violence [desecration, infringement, outrage, assault, and lust for power]. God looked on the earth and saw how debased and degenerate it was, for all humanity had corrupted their way on the earth and lost their true direction.
God said to Noah, “I intend to make an end of all that lives, for through men the land is filled with violence; and behold, I am about to [d]destroy them together with the land. Make yourself an [e]ark of [f]gopher wood; make in it rooms (stalls, pens, coops, nests, cages, compartments) and [g]coat it inside and out with pitch (bitumen). This is the way you are to make it: the length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, its width fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits (450’ x 75’ x 45’). You shall make a [h]window [for light and ventilation] for the ark, and finish it to at least a cubit (eighteen inches) from the top—and set the [entry] door of the ark in its side; and you shall make it with lower, second and third decks. For behold, I, even I, will bring a flood of waters on the earth, to destroy all life under the heavens in which there is the breath and spirit of life; everything that is on the land shall die. But I will establish My covenant (solemn promise, formal agreement) with you; and you shall come into the ark—you and your [three] sons and your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. And of every living thing [found on land], you shall bring two of every kind into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female. Of fowls and birds according to their kind, of animals according to their kind, of every crawling thing of the ground according to its kind—two of every kind shall come to you to keep them alive. Also take with you every kind of food that is edible, and you shall collect and store it; and it shall be food for you and for them.” So Noah did this; according to all that God commanded him, that is what he did.
- Genesis 6:2 This phrase has been interpreted as a reference to: (a) royalty or rulers possessed by fallen angels, (b) the descendants of Seth who called upon the Lord (see 4:26), or (c) fallen angels (cf Job 1:6).
- Genesis 6:3 This may refer to the time given man to repent before the flood, or to the normative human life span after the flood.
- Genesis 6:6 The expressions of regret and grief seen here do not mean that God acknowledged the creation of man as a mistake on His part. God is omniscient, knowing all things (Ps 139:16) and He knew that mankind would come into sin and wickedness. God grieved over the sin of man because it was appropriate for Him to do so.
- Genesis 6:13 Enoch (the descendant of Seth, not Cain) had warned these people (Jude 14, 15); Noah had preached righteousness to them (2 Pet 2:5); and God’s Spirit had been struggling with them (Gen 6:3). Yet they had rejected God.
- Genesis 6:14 The word “ark” comes from a Latin word (arca) for a box or chest. The design of the ark matched its purpose, which was not to travel through the water efficiently, but to be stable and have the greatest possible capacity for cargo. Also, such a vessel could be constructed relatively quickly, because there would be no need to form the wood used for the hull into efficient curves to maximize speed.
- Genesis 6:14 The type of wood is unknown. The name of the wood is a transliteration—not a translation—of the Hebrew, with no connection to the English word “gopher.”
- Genesis 6:14 This prevented water from seeping into the ark through the seams between the wooden planks, and may also have served to protect the wood from becoming saturated with water. Coating the ark with pitch on the outside as well as the inside was very practical. One of the worst jobs on the old wooden ships was to re-coat the inside bottom of the hull when water had seeped in, because the crewman had to quickly pave hot pitch on the hull under the water, which cooled the pitch as he worked and made the job all the more difficult—thus the nautical saying, “the devil (referring to the seam in the hull planking) to pay (i.e. pave with pitch).” The problem was eliminated or minimized on the ark, but Noah, due to his complete inexperience with sea-going vessels, would not even have known about the potential problem himself. It was imperative for him to have absolute faith in God, and to follow God’s directions word for word.
- Genesis 6:16 Or roof.