New International Version

Genesis 4

Cain and Abel

1Adam[a] made love to his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain.[b] She said, “With the help of the Lord I have brought forth[c] a man.” Later she gave birth to his brother Abel.

Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.

Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”

Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.”[d] While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.

Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?”

“I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?”

10 The Lord said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground. 11 Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. 12 When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth.”

13 Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is more than I can bear. 14 Today you are driving me from the land, and I will be hidden from your presence; I will be a restless wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.”

15 But the Lord said to him, “Not so[e]; anyone who kills Cain will suffer vengeance seven times over.” Then the Lord put a mark on Cain so that no one who found him would kill him. 16 So Cain went out from the Lord’s presence and lived in the land of Nod,[f] east of Eden.

17 Cain made love to his wife, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Enoch. Cain was then building a city, and he named it after his son Enoch. 18 To Enoch was born Irad, and Irad was the father of Mehujael, and Mehujael was the father of Methushael, and Methushael was the father of Lamech.

19 Lamech married two women, one named Adah and the other Zillah. 20 Adah gave birth to Jabal; he was the father of those who live in tents and raise livestock. 21 His brother’s name was Jubal; he was the father of all who play stringed instruments and pipes. 22 Zillah also had a son, Tubal-Cain, who forged all kinds of tools out of[g] bronze and iron. Tubal-Cain’s sister was Naamah.

23 Lamech said to his wives,

“Adah and Zillah, listen to me;
    wives of Lamech, hear my words.
I have killed a man for wounding me,
    a young man for injuring me.
24 If Cain is avenged seven times,
    then Lamech seventy-seven times.”

25 Adam made love to his wife again, and she gave birth to a son and named him Seth,[h] saying, “God has granted me another child in place of Abel, since Cain killed him.” 26 Seth also had a son, and he named him Enosh.

At that time people began to call on[i] the name of the Lord.

Footnotes

  1. Genesis 4:1 Or The man
  2. Genesis 4:1 Cain sounds like the Hebrew for brought forth or acquired.
  3. Genesis 4:1 Or have acquired
  4. Genesis 4:8 Samaritan Pentateuch, Septuagint, Vulgate and Syriac; Masoretic Text does not have “Let’s go out to the field.”
  5. Genesis 4:15 Septuagint, Vulgate and Syriac; Hebrew Very well
  6. Genesis 4:16 Nod means wandering (see verses 12 and 14).
  7. Genesis 4:22 Or who instructed all who work in
  8. Genesis 4:25 Seth probably means granted.
  9. Genesis 4:26 Or to proclaim

New International Reader's Version

Genesis 4

Cain and Abel

1Adam loved his wife Eve and slept with her. She became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, “With the Lord’s help I have had a baby boy.” Later she gave birth to his brother Abel.

Abel took care of sheep. Cain farmed the land. After some time, Cain gathered some things he had grown. He brought them as an offering to the Lord. And Abel also brought an offering. He brought the fattest parts of some animals from his flock. They were the first animals born to their mothers. The Lord was pleased with Abel and his offering. But he wasn’t pleased with Cain and his offering. So Cain became very angry, and his face was sad.

Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why are you looking so sad? Do what is right and then you will be accepted. If you don’t do what is right, sin is waiting at your door to grab you. It desires to control you. But you must rule over it.”

Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.” So they went out. There Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.

Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?”

“I don’t know,” Cain replied. “Am I supposed to take care of my brother?”

10 The Lord said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood is crying out to me from the ground. 11 So I am putting a curse on you. I am driving you away from this ground. It has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. 12 When you farm the land, it will not produce its crops for you anymore. You will be a restless person who wanders around on the earth.”

13 Cain said to the Lord, “You are punishing me more than I can take. 14 Today you are driving me away from the land. I will be hidden from you. I’ll be a restless person who wanders around on the earth. Anyone who finds me will kill me.”

15 But the Lord said to him, “No. Anyone who kills you will be paid back seven times.” The Lord put a mark on Cain. Then anyone who found him wouldn’t kill him. 16 So Cain went away from the Lord. He lived in the land of Nod. It was east of Eden.

17 Cain loved his wife and slept with her. She became pregnant and gave birth to Enoch. At that time Cain was building a city. He named it after his son Enoch. 18 Enoch had a son named Irad. Irad was the father of Mehujael. Mehujael was the father of Methushael. And Methushael was the father of Lamech.

19 Lamech married two women. One was named Adah, and the other was named Zillah. 20 Adah gave birth to Jabal. He was the father of people who live in tents and raise livestock. 21 His brother’s name was Jubal. He was the father of everyone who plays stringed instruments and wind instruments. 22 Zillah also had a son. His name was Tubal-Cain. He made all kinds of tools out of bronze and iron. Tubal-Cain’s sister was Naamah.

23 Lamech said to his wives,

“Adah and Zillah, listen to me!
    You wives of Lamech, hear my words!
I have killed a man because he wounded me.
    I have killed a young man because he hurt me.
24 Anyone who would have killed Cain would have been paid back seven times.
    But anyone who hurts me will be paid back 77 times.”

25 Adam slept with his wife again. She gave birth to a son and named him Seth. She said, “God has given me another child. He will take the place of Abel, because Cain killed him.” 26 Seth also had a son and named him Enosh.

Then people began to call on the name of the Lord.