Dave Burnette's Commentary

Genesis Chapter 4

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Moses
Date Penned: (1450-1410 BC)
Overview: To Record God's Creation and Identify His Plan (c 1-22)
Theme: The Story of Adam (c 3-5)
Message: Cain and Abel (v 1-26)

Genesis 4 Commentary

(4:1) God's Design for Marriage - The word "knew" means "had sexual intercourse with" and is the perfect description of what sexual union means-oneness and total knowledge of the other person. Sexual intercourse is the most intimate of acts, sealing a social, physical, and spiritual
relationship. That is why God has reserved it for a man and a woman in marriage alone.

(4:2) Sin Complicates Life -  No longer was everything provided for Adam and Eve as it had been in the Garden of Eden, where their daily tasks had been refreshing and delightful. Now they had to struggle against the elements in order to provide food, clothing, and shelter for
themselves and their family. Cain became a farmer, while Abel was a shepherd. In parts of the Middle East today, these ancient occupations are still practiced much as they were in Cain and Abel's time.

(4:3-5) God Accepts Cain's Offering - Looking ahead we see the importance of the animal offering. Abel responded in his flesh to something he did not understand. If Cain had acknowledged that God is God maybe he could have averted the judgment to come.

(4:6-7) Cain Responds Poorly -  How do you react when someone suggests you have done something wrong? Do you move to correct the mistake or deny that you need to correct it? After Cain's sacrifice was rejected, God gave him the chance to right his wrong and try again. God
even encouraged him to do this! But Cain refused, and the rest of his life is a startling example of what happens to those who refuse to admit their mistakes. The next time someone suggests you are wrong, take an honest look at yourself and choose God's
way instead of Cain's.

(4:8-10) Cain Commits Murder -  This is the first murder taking a life by shedding human blood. Blood represents life (Leviticus.17:10-14). If blood is removed from a living creature, it will die. Because God created life, only God should take life away.  Adam and Eve's disobedience brought sin into the human race. They may have thought their sin-eating a piece of fruit-wasn't very bad, but notice how quickly their sinful nature developed in their children. Simple disobedience quickly degenerated into outright murder. Adam and Eve acted only against God, but Cain acted against both God and another person. A small sin has a way of growing out of control. Let God help you with your "little" sins before they turn into tragedies.

(4:21-14) God Judges Cain - Cain was severely punished for this murder. God judges all sins and punishes appropriately, not out of vengeance, but because he desires to correct us and restore our fellowship with him. When you're corrected, don't resent it. Instead, renew
your fellowship with God.

(4:15) The expression "vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold" means that the person's punishment would be complete, thorough, and much worse than that received by Cain for his sin.

(4:19-26) Sins Path - Unfortunately, when left to themselves, people tend to get worse instead of better. This short summary of Lamech's family shows us the variety of talent and ability God gives humans. It also presents the continuous development of sin as time
passes. Another killing occurred, presumably in self-defense. Violence was on the rise. Two distinct groups were emerging: (1) those who showed indifference to sin and evil, and (2) those who called upon the Lord-the descendants of Seth (4:26). Seth
would take Abel's place as leader of a line of God's faithful people.

Dave Burnette's Life Application

Sins Progression

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter, making application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. There are many applications we can make from each day's text. Today we Continue in the book of Genesis with Chapter 4, and in today's text, we see the Progression of Sin as the Sin of Adam and Eve has now found its way to their children of Cain and Able. In today's text, we see that the Lord accepted the offering of Abel while Cain's offering was not, and as a result, his rebellion and jealousy of Cain's heart come to pass as He kills his brother Able. In applying God's Word, we see the progression of sin as the parents' sin is now exposed in the Heart of Cain. The same rebellion of Adam and Eve has found itself in a new generation. Today, we see the same progression of sin in our lives. We see that the sins of our parents tend to be our weaknesses. How about you? Do you know the progression of sin in your life? We are sinners, and all must come to salvation, but if we are wise, we will see that the weaknesses of our parents could be our weaknesses. Let us learn from our text today to see the progression of sin as it relates to our lives and our responsibility to repent of sin so it will not be a weakness of future generations. 


Genesis 4

Genesis 4

 1And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD.

 2And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.

 3And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD.

 4And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering:

 5But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.

 6And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?

 7If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.

 8And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.

 9And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper?

 10And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground.

 11And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand;

 12When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.

 13And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment is greater than I can bear.

 14Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me.

 15And the LORD said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the LORD set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him.

 16And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.

 17And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch: and he builded a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son, Enoch.

 18And unto Enoch was born Irad: and Irad begat Mehujael: and Mehujael begat Methusael: and Methusael begat Lamech.

 19And Lamech took unto him two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah.

 20And Adah bare Jabal: he was the father of such as dwell in tents, and of such as have cattle.

 21And his brother's name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ.

 22And Zillah, she also bare Tubalcain, an instructer of every artificer in brass and iron: and the sister of Tubalcain was Naamah.

 23And Lamech said unto his wives, Adah and Zillah, Hear my voice; ye wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech: for I have slain a man to my wounding, and a young man to my hurt.

 24If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy and sevenfold.

 25And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth: For God, said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew.

 26And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the LORD.