4 1Adam slept with Eve his wife. She conceived and had Cain. She said, “I’ve gotten a man, with God’s help!” 2Then she had another baby, Abel. Abel was a herdsman and Cain a farmer. 3Time passed. Cain brought an offering to God from the produce of his farm. 4Abel also brought an offering, but from the firstborn animals of his herd, choice cuts of meat. God liked Abel and his offering, 5but Cain and his offering didn’t get his approval. Cain lost his temper and went into a sulk. 6God spoke to Cain: “Why this tantrum? Why the sulking? 7If you do well, won’t you be accepted? And if you don’t do well, sin is lying in wait for you, ready to pounce; it’s out to get you, you’ve got to master it.” 8Cain had words with his brother. They were out in the field; Cain came at Abel his brother and killed him. 9God said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “How should I know? Am I his babysitter?” 10God said, “What have you done! The voice of your brother’s blood is calling to me from the ground. 11From now on you’ll get nothing but curses from this ground; you’ll be driven from this ground that has opened its arms to receive the blood of your murdered brother. 12You’ll farm this ground, but it will no longer give you its best. You’ll be a homeless wanderer on Earth.” 13Cain said to God, “My punishment is too much. I can’t take it! 14You’ve thrown me off the land and I can never again face you. I’m a homeless wanderer on Earth and whoever finds me will kill me.” 15God told him, “No. Anyone who kills Cain will pay for it seven times over.” God put a mark on Cain to protect him so that no one who met him would kill him. 16Cain left the presence of God and lived in No–Man’s–Land, east of Eden. 17Cain slept with his wife. She conceived and had Enoch. He then built a city and named it after his son, Enoch. 18Enoch had Irad, Irad had Mehujael, Mehujael had Methushael, Methushael had Lamech. 19Lamech married two wives, Adah and Zillah. 20Adah gave birth to Jabal, the ancestor of all who live in tents and herd cattle. 21His brother’s name was Jubal, the ancestor of all who play the lyre and flute. 22Zillah gave birth to Tubal–Cain, who worked at the forge making bronze and iron tools. Tubal–Cain’s sister was Naamah. 23Lamech said to his wives, Adah and Zillah, listen to me; you wives of Lamech, hear me out: I killed a man for wounding me, a young man who attacked me. 24If Cain is avenged seven times, for Lamech it’s seventy–seven! 25Adam slept with his wife again. She had a son whom she named Seth. She said, “God has given me another child in place of Abel whom Cain killed.” 26And then Seth had a son whom he named Enosh. That’s when men and women began praying and worshiping in the name of God.
The Message® / © 2002 Eugene H. Peterson About