Cain and Abel
1Adam4:1 Or The man made love to his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain.4:1 Cain sounds like the Hebrew for brought forth or acquired. She said, ‘With the help of the Lord I have brought forth4:1 Or have acquired a man.’ 2Later she gave birth to his brother Abel.
Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. 3In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. 4But Abel also brought an offering – fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favour on Abel and his offering, 5but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favour. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.
6Then the Lord said to Cain, ‘Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7If 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.’
8Now Cain said to his brother Abel, ‘Let’s go out to the field.’4:8 Samaritan Pentateuch, Septuagint, Vulgate and Syriac; Masoretic Text does not have ‘Let’s go out to the field.’ While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.
9Then the Lord said to Cain, ‘Where is your brother Abel?’
‘I don’t know,’ he replied. ‘Am I my brother’s keeper?’
10The Lord said, ‘What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground. 11Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. 12When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth.’
13Cain said to the Lord, ‘My punishment is more than I can bear. 14Today 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.’
15But the Lord said to him, ‘Not so4:15 Septuagint, Vulgate and Syriac; Hebrew Very well; 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. 16So Cain went out from the Lord’s presence and lived in the land of Nod,4:16 Nod means wandering (see verses 12 and 14). east of Eden.
17Cain 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. 18To 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.
19Lamech married two women, one named Adah and the other Zillah. 20Adah gave birth to Jabal; he was the father of those who live in tents and raise livestock. 21His brother’s name was Jubal; he was the father of all who play stringed instruments and pipes. 22Zillah also had a son, Tubal-Cain, who forged all kinds of tools out of4:22 Or who instructed all who work in bronze and iron. Tubal-Cain’s sister was Naamah.
23Lamech 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.
24If Cain is avenged seven times,
then Lamech seventy-seven times.’
25Adam made love to his wife again, and she gave birth to a son and named him Seth,4:25 Seth probably means granted. saying, ‘God has granted me another child in place of Abel, since Cain killed him.’ 26Seth also had a son, and he named him Enosh.
At that time people began to call on4:26 Or to proclaim the name of the Lord.