Genesis 4:15
"Not so!" replied the LORD. "If anyone slays Cain, then Cain will be avenged sevenfold." And the LORD placed a mark on Cain, so that no one who found him would kill him.
A Sign Given to CainM. Dods, D. D.Genesis 4:15
Cain's Preservation by GodH. Bonar, D. D.Genesis 4:15
God's Dealings with CainM. M. Kalisch, Ph. D.Genesis 4:15
God's Mode of Dealing with CainProf. J. G. Murphy.Genesis 4:15
Marks of CrimeM. M. Kalisch, Ph. D.Genesis 4:15
Marks on ConscienceJohn Bate.Genesis 4:15
The Mark Upon CainG. Gilfillan.Genesis 4:15
Antiquity of HusbandryBishop Babington.Genesis 4:1-16
Cain and AbelG. R. Leavitt.Genesis 4:1-16
Cain and AbelGenesis 4:1-16
Cain and AbelEssex RemembrancerGenesis 4:1-16
Cain and AbelM. Dods, D. D.Genesis 4:1-16
Cain and AbelI. Williams, B. D.Genesis 4:1-16
Cain and AbelA. Jukes.Genesis 4:1-16
Domestic LifeJ. S. Exell, M. A.Genesis 4:1-16
Formal Worship an Immense CurseHomilistGenesis 4:1-16
Lessons from the History of CainG. Gilfillan.Genesis 4:1-16
Naming of ChildrenBishop Babington.Genesis 4:1-16
The Best OfferingGenesis 4:1-16
The First Age of the ConflictJ. M. Gibson.Genesis 4:1-16
The First Patriarchal Form of the New DispensationR. S. Candlish, D. D.Genesis 4:1-16
The Religion of Nature, and the Religion of the GospelD. Evans.Genesis 4:1-16
The Story of Cain and AbelD. Rhys Jenkins.Genesis 4:1-16
The True and False Worshipper of GodJ. S. Exell, M. A.Genesis 4:1-16
The Two OfferingsH. Bonar, D. D.Genesis 4:1-16
The Two SacrificesF. D. Maurice, M. A.Genesis 4:1-16
Two Kinds of OfferingsBishop Babington.Genesis 4:1-16
The Condemnation and Judgment of the First MurdererR.A. Redford Genesis 4:9-15

How terrible this question to the murderer! He thought, perhaps, his act was hidden, and strove to put it out of mind. Perhaps did not anticipate effect of his stroke; but now brought face to face with his sin. "Where is Abel?" He knew not. He knew where the body lay; but that was not Abel. Had sent him whence he could not call him back. "Where is thy brother?" is God's word to each of us. It expresses the great law that we are responsible for each other's welfare. "Am I my brother's keeper?" some would ask. Assuredly yes. God has knit men together so that all our life through we require each other's help; and we cannot avoid influencing each other. And has created a bond of brotherhood (cf. Acts 17:26), which follows from our calling him "Father." What doing for good of mankind? Not to do good is to do harm; not to save is to kill. Love of Christ works (Romans 10:1; 2 Corinthians 5:14).

I. WE ARE CALLED TO CARE FOR THOSE AFAR OFF. "Who is my neighbor?" We might answer, Who is not thy neighbor? Everywhere our brethren. Thousands passing away daily. Abel, a vapor, the character of human life (Psalm 103:15). Whither are they going? And we know the way of salvation. Light is given to no one for himself only (Matthew 5:13, 14). We are to hold it forth; to be as lights in the world (Philippians 2:15). It is God's will thus to spread his kingdom. Are we answering the call? Test yourselves (cf. 1 John 3:17). Deliver us from blood-guiltiness, O God. Thank God, the question speaks to us of living men. There are fields still to be reaped. The heathen, our brethren, claim a brother's help. How many varieties of Cain's answer: - You cannot reclaim savages; you just make them hypocrites; we must look at home first. And the lost masses at home are our brethren. Oh, it is in vain to help them; they will drink; they hate religion; they only think what they can get from those who visit them. Test these objections. Single out in thought one soul; compare his case with yours. You have instruction, ordinances, influences; and he the darkness of heathenism, or surroundings of vice. Yet Christ died for that soul. Can you let it depart without some effort, or even earnest prayer?

II. WE ARE CALLED TO CARE FOR THOSE AROUND US. For their sake, watchfulness and self-restraint (cf. Romans 14:15). We teach more by what we do than by what we say. The loving life teaches love; the selfish, ungodliness. Inconsistencies of Christians hinder Christ's cause. What art thou at home? Is thy life pointing heavenward? "None of us liveth to himself." "Where is thy brother?" - M.

The Lord set a mark upon Cain.
What this mark was we cannot tell. It might be his name affixed by the pen of the lightning in red characters upon his brow, or it might simply be the stain of his brother's blood left by his own fingers, which he had raised up while yet wet and reeking to cover his forehead, rendered miraculously indelible; or it might be some general aspect of grief and guilt, which told too plainly that he had become the first murderer; or, perhaps, it was written on his brow, "Kill not this man, murderer as he is, lest thou thyself be punished."

(G. Gilfillan.)

Render — "Gave a sign to Cain." It is difficult to conceive of any visible mark which should warn men not to touch Cain, and a mark which should merely identify him would of course be rather a danger than a benefit. An interesting parallel occurs in the "Laws of Men," which enjoin branding as a punishment of certain crimes: —Let them wander over the earth
Branded with indelible marks,
They shall be abandoned by father and mother,
Treated by none with affection:
Received by none with respect.

(M. Dods, D. D.)

But why is God so anxious to preserve Cain from death, and to give him the assurance of this security? Some reasons are obvious, besides those which run us up directly to the sovereignty of God.

1. God's desire is to manifest the riches of His grace, and the extent of His forbearance, and that He has no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but wishes by His long suffering to lead him to repentance.

2. Death would not have answered God's end at all. It was needful that Cain should be preserved alive as an awful monument of sin, a warning against the shedding of man's blood.

3. Cain was spared, too, because of this partial repentance. God accepted Ahab's repentance (1 Kings 21:29), poor and hollow as it was; so does He Cain's; for He is gracious and merciful, looking for the first and faintest sign of a sinner's turning to Himself, willing to meet him at once without upbraiding, and putting the best possible construction on all he says and does. To what length is not the grace of our God able to gel Sin abounds, but grace superabounds. How desirous is Jehovah not to curse, but to bless; not to smite, but to heal; not to destroy, but to save.

(H. Bonar, D. D.)

This passage unfolds to us a mode of dealing with the first murderer which is at first sight somewhat difficult to be understood. But we are to bear in mind that the sentence of death has been already pronounced upon man, and therefore stood over Adam and all his posterity, Cain among the rest. To pronounce the same sentence therefore upon him for a new crime would have been weak and unmeaning. Besides, the great crime of crimes was disobedience to the Divine will, and any particular form of crime added to that was comparatively unimportant. Wrong done to a creature even of the deepest dye was not to be compared in point of guilt with wrong done to the Creator. The grave element in the criminality of every social wrong is its practical disregard of the authority of the Most High. Moreover, every other sin to the end of time is but the development of that first act of disobedience to the mandate of heaven by which man fell, and accordingly every penalty is summed up in that death which is the judicial consequence of the first act of rebellion against heaven. We are also to best in mind that God still held the sword of justice in His own immediate hands, and had not delegated His authority to any human tribunal. No man was, therefore, clothed with any right from heaven to call Cain to account for the crime he had committed. To fall upon him with the high hand in a wilful act of private revenge, would be taking the law into one's own hands, and therefore a misdemeanour against the majesty of heaven, which the Judge of all could not allow to pass unpunished. It is plain that no man has an inherent right to inflict the sanction of a broken law on the transgressor. This right originally belongs only to the Creator, and derivatively only to those whom He has entrusted with the dispensation of civil government according to established laws.

(Prof. J. G. Murphy.)

We may ask, with some degree of surprise, why God granted this uncommon indulgence to a murderer, who had insidiously killed his own brother? Did not God Himself give the distinct precept: "He who sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed?" Why was it necessary to take such anxious precautions to save a life forfeited according to human and Divine rights? We hesitate to speak with decision where the text is entirely silent. But we may venture the supposition that, if Cain's blood was to be "shed by man," it would also have been by the hand of a brother, for no other man existed; the firstborn of Adam's strength, and the pride of his mother, would have perished by a cold law of retaliation; the avenging of the crime would, in the result, have been as horrible as the crime itself; and the human family, just called into being, would have perpetrated self-destruction in its first generations. It was thus necessary that God should Himself exercise the duty of punishment, and dispense a chastisement commensurate with the unnatural and fatal offence. A long, laborious life in exile, with the fear of sanguinary retribution perpetually impending, was deemed equivalent to death; and the lamentations of Cain, when he heard the verdict of his flight, prove the bitterness of his pangs. And this is the other side of a profound Biblical idea which we have above pointed out. As the early death of Abel was no curse, so was the long life of Cain no blessing. He was permitted to protract an existence, veiled by the gloom of the past, and uncheered by any hope of the future. No earthly boon, not even long life, the greatest of all, is, in itself, either a pledge of happiness, or a mark of the Divine favour.

(M. M. Kalisch, Ph. D.)

Whatever was the mark which Cain carried upon his person after that murderous deed, there is no doubt that the mark on his conscience was more deep, more tormenting, more irremovable. Men who sin in these days often carry a mark upon them by which others know them to be sinners; but could you read the inner man you would see stronger marks there, by which they themselves know and feel that they are sinners more sensibly than you see it.

(John Bate.)

We may find, in this part of our narrative, the important practical and philosophical truth, that the traces of crime are indelibly visible in the person of the criminal; the "human form divine" is degraded and corrupted by vice; it loses that sublime dignity with which a pure and noble soul never fails to impress it; the shy look, the uncertain step, the sinister reserve, the lurking passion, these and many other symptoms of the highest interest for the physiognomist, mark the outcast of society, and make the man conspicuous upon whose conscience weighs the burden of an enormous misdeed.

(M. M. Kalisch, Ph. D.)

Abel, Adah, Adam, Cain, Enoch, Enos, Enosh, Eve, Irad, Jabal, Jubal, Lamech, Mehujael, Methusael, Naamah, Seth, Tubal, Tubalcain, Zillah
Tigris-Euphrates Region
Anyone, Appointed, Cain, Death, Finding, Kill, Kills, Lest, Mark, None, Required, Revenged, Setteth, Seven, Sevenfold, Seven-fold, Sign, Slay, Slayer, Slayeth, Slays, Smite, Strike, Suffer, Token, Truly, Vengeance
1. The birth, occupation, and offerings of Cain and Abel.
8. Cain murders his brother Abel.
11. The curse of Cain.
17. Has a son called Enoch, and builds a city, which he calls after his name.
18. His descendants, with Lamech and his two wives.
25. The birth of Seth,
26. and Enos.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Genesis 4:15

     1653   numbers, 6-10
     5061   sanctity of life
     5495   revenge, and retaliation
     7346   death penalty

Genesis 4:3-16

     5082   Adam, significance

Genesis 4:8-16

     5377   law, Ten Commandments
     7318   blood, symbol of guilt

Genesis 4:9-15

     1443   revelation, OT
     5548   speech, divine

Genesis 4:10-16

     5483   punishment

What Crouches at the Door
'If thou doest not well, sin croucheth at the door: and unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.'--GENESIS iv. 7 (R. V.). These early narratives clothe great moral and spiritual truths in picturesque forms, through which it is difficult for us to pierce. In the world's childhood God spoke to men as to children, because there were no words then framed which would express what we call abstract conceptions. They had to be shown by pictures. But these early men, simple and childlike
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Parental Duties Considered and Urged.
"And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the Spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed." Some general observations on the importance of education, especially parental education, were made in the preceding discourse. We are now to consider the ways and means by which parents, are to seek a godly seed. Only general directions can here be given. Much will be left to the discretion of those concerned. Some of the principal parental duties are, Dedication of their children
Andrew Lee et al—Sermons on Various Important Subjects

The Blessings of Noah Upon Shem and Japheth. (Gen. Ix. 18-27. )
Ver. 20. "And Noah began and became an husbandman, and planted vineyards."--This does not imply that Noah was the first who began to till the ground, and, more especially, to cultivate the vine; for Cain, too, was a tiller of the ground, Gen. iv. 2. The sense rather is, that Noah, after the flood, again took up this calling. Moreover, the remark has not an independent import; it serves only to prepare the way for the communication of the subsequent account of Noah's drunkenness. By this remark,
Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg—Christology of the Old Testament

Cain and Abel. Gen 4:3-8
CAIN and ABEL. Gen 4:3-8 When Adam fell he quickly lost God's image, which he once possessed: See All our nature since could boast In Cain, his first-born Son, expressed! The sacrifice the Lord ordained In type of the Redeemer's blood, Self-righteous reas'ning Cain disdained, And thought his own first-fruits as good. Yet rage and envy filled his mind, When, with a fallen, downcast look, He saw his brother favor find, Who GOD's appointed method took. By Cain's own hand, good Abel died, Because
John Newton—Olney Hymns

Letter xxiv (Circa A. D. 1126) to Oger, Regular Canon
To Oger, Regular Canon [34] Bernard blames him for his resignation of his pastoral charge, although made from the love of a calm and pious life. None the less, he instructs him how, after becoming a private person, he ought to live in community. To Brother Oger, the Canon, Brother Bernard, monk but sinner, wishes that he may walk worthily of God even to the end, and embraces him with the fullest affection. 1. If I seem to have been too slow in replying to your letter, ascribe it to my not having
Saint Bernard of Clairvaux—Some Letters of Saint Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux

Letter xxxv. From Pope Damasus.
Damasus addresses five questions to Jerome with a request for information concerning them. They are: 1. What is the meaning of the words "Whosoever slayeth Cain vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold"? (Gen. iv. 5.) 2. If God has made all things good, how comes it that He gives charge to Noah concerning unclean animals, and says to Peter, "What God hath cleansed that call not thou common"? (Acts x. 15.) 3. How is Gen. xv. 16, "in the fourth generation they shall come hither again," to be reconciled
St. Jerome—The Principal Works of St. Jerome

Letter xxxvi. To Pope Damasus.
Jerome's reply to the foregoing. For the second and fourth questions he refers Damasus to the writings of Tertullian, Novatian, and Origen. The remaining three he deals with in detail. Gen. iv. 15, he understands to mean "the slayer of Cain shall complete the sevenfold vengeance which is to be wreaked upon him." Exodus xiii. 18, he proposes to reconcile with Gen. xv. 16, by supposing that in the one place the tribe of Levi is referred to, in the other the tribe of Judah. He suggests, however, that
St. Jerome—The Principal Works of St. Jerome

How the Kindly-Disposed and the Envious are to be Admonished.
(Admonition 11.) Differently to be admonished are the kindly-disposed and the envious. For the kindly-disposed are to be admonished so to rejoice in what is good in others as to desire to have the like as their own; so to praise with affection the deeds of their neighbours as also to multiply them by imitation, lest in this stadium of the present life they assist at the contest of others as eager backers, but inert spectators, and remain without a prize after the contest, in that they toiled not
Leo the Great—Writings of Leo the Great

Epistle cxxii. To Rechared, King of the visigoths .
To Rechared, King of the Visigoths [82] . Gregory to Rechared, &c. I cannot express in words, most excellent son, how much I am delighted with thy work and thy life. For on hearing of the power of a new miracle in our days, to wit that the whole nation of the Goths has through thy Excellency been brought over from the error of Arian heresy to the firmness of a right faith, one is disposed to exclaim with the prophet, This is the change wrought by the right hand of the Most High (Ps. lxxvi. 11 [83]
Saint Gregory the Great—the Epistles of Saint Gregory the Great

The Growth of the Old Testament Prophetic Histories
[Sidenote: Analogies between the influences that produced the two Testaments] Very similar influences were at work in producing and shaping both the Old and the New Testaments; only in the history of the older Scriptures still other forces can be distinguished. Moreover, the Old Testament contains a much greater variety of literature. It is also significant that, while some of the New Testament books began to be canonized less than a century after they were written, there is clear evidence that
Charles Foster Kent—The Origin & Permanent Value of the Old Testament

Second Sunday after Trinity Exhortation to Brotherly Love.
Text: 1 John 3, 13-18. 13 Marvel not, brethren, if the world hateth you. 14 We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not abideth in death. 15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. 16 Hereby know we love, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17 But whoso hath the world's goods, and beholdeth his brother in need, and shutteth
Martin Luther—Epistle Sermons, Vol. III

Extracts No. vii.
[In this number the objector gives the whole ground of his objections, and the reasons for his doubts: which he states as follows, viz. "1. Mankind, in all ages of the world, have been, and still are prone to superstition. "2. It cannot be denied, but that a part of mankind at least, have believed, and still are believing in miracles and revelation, which are spurious. "3. The facts on which religion is predicated are unlike every thing of which we have any positive knowledge." Under the first
Hosea Ballou—A Series of Letters In Defence of Divine Revelation

The Faith of Abraham.
"By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed to go out unto a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he became a sojourner in the land of promise, as in a land not his own, dwelling in tents, with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: for he looked for the city which hath the foundations, whose Builder and Maker is God. By faith even Sarah herself received power to conceive seed when she was past age, since she
Thomas Charles Edwards—The Expositor's Bible: The Epistle to the Hebrews

The Earliest Chapters in Divine Revelation
[Sidenote: The nature of inspiration] Since the days of the Greek philosophers the subject of inspiration and revelation has been fertile theme for discussion and dispute among scholars and theologians. Many different theories have been advanced, and ultimately abandoned as untenable. In its simplest meaning and use, inspiration describes the personal influence of one individual upon the mind and spirit of another. Thus we often say, "That man inspired me." What we are or do under the influence
Charles Foster Kent—The Origin & Permanent Value of the Old Testament

And thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, too little to be among the thousands of Judah
"And thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, too little to be among the thousands of Judah, out of thee shall come forth unto Me (one) [Pg 480] to be Ruler in Israel; and His goings forth are the times of old, the days of eternity." The close connection of this verse with what immediately precedes (Caspari is wrong in considering iv. 9-14 as an episode) is evident, not only from the [Hebrew: v] copulative, and from the analogy of the near relation of the announcement of salvation to the prophecy of disaster
Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg—Christology of the Old Testament

The Sixth Commandment
Thou shalt not kill.' Exod 20: 13. In this commandment is a sin forbidden, which is murder, Thou shalt not kill,' and a duty implied, which is, to preserve our own life, and the life of others. The sin forbidden is murder: Thou shalt not kill.' Here two things are to be understood, the not injuring another, nor ourselves. I. The not injuring another. [1] We must not injure another in his name. A good name is a precious balsam.' It is a great cruelty to murder a man in his name. We injure others in
Thomas Watson—The Ten Commandments

Third Sunday Before Lent
Text: First Corinthians 9, 24-27; 10, 1-5. 24 Know ye not that they that run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? Even so run; that ye may attain. 25 And every man that striveth in the games exerciseth self-control in all things. Now they do it to receive a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. 26 I therefore so run, as not uncertainly; so fight I, as not beating the air: 27 but I buffet my body, and bring it into bondage: lest by any means, after that I have preached to others,
Martin Luther—Epistle Sermons, Vol. II

Li. Dining with a Pharisee, Jesus Denounces that Sect.
^C Luke XI. 37-54. ^c 37 Now as he spake, a Pharisee asketh him to dine with him: and he went in, and sat down to meat. [The repast to which Jesus was invited was a morning meal, usually eaten between ten and eleven o'clock. The principal meal of the day was eaten in the evening. Jesus dined with all classes, with publicans and Pharisees, with friends and enemies.] 38 And when the Pharisee saw it, he marvelled that he had not first bathed himself before dinner. [The Pharisee marveled at this because
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

Epistle xxxix. To Eulogius, Patriarch of Alexandria.
To Eulogius, Patriarch of Alexandria. Gregory to Eulogius, &c. As cold water to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country (Prov. xxv. 25). But what can be good news to me, so far as concerns the behoof of holy Church, but to hear of the health and safety of your to me most sweet Holiness, who, from your perception of the light of truth, both illuminate the same Church with the word of preaching, and mould it to a better way by the example of your manners? As often, too, as I recall in
Saint Gregory the Great—the Epistles of Saint Gregory the Great

Adam's Sin
Q-15: WHAT WAS THE SIN WHEREBY OUR FIRST PARENTS FELL FROM THE ESTATE WHEREIN THEY WERE CREATED? A: That sin was eating the forbidden fruit. 'She took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also to her husband.' Gen 3:3. Here is implied, 1. That our first parents fell from their estate of innocence. 2. The sin by which they fell, was eating the forbidden fruit. I. Our first parents fell from their glorious state of innocence. God made man upright, but they have sought out many inventions.' Eccl
Thomas Watson—A Body of Divinity

Blessed are they that Mourn
Blessed are they that mourn. Matthew 5:4 Here are eight steps leading to true blessedness. They may be compared to Jacob's Ladder, the top whereof reached to heaven. We have already gone over one step, and now let us proceed to the second: Blessed are they that mourn'. We must go through the valley of tears to paradise. Mourning were a sad and unpleasant subject to treat on, were it not that it has blessedness going before, and comfort coming after. Mourning is put here for repentance. It implies
Thomas Watson—The Beatitudes: An Exposition of Matthew 5:1-12

The Unity of God
Q-5: ARE THERE MORE GODS THAN ONE? A: There is but one only, the living and true God. That there is a God has been proved; and those that will not believe the verity of his essence, shall feel the severity of his wrath. Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord.' Deut 6:6. He is the only God.' Deut 4:49. Know therefore this day, and consider it in thy heart, that the Lord he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath, there is none else.' A just God and a Saviour; there is none beside
Thomas Watson—A Body of Divinity

Tiglath-Pileser iii. And the Organisation of the Assyrian Empire from 745 to 722 B. C.
TIGLATH-PILESER III. AND THE ORGANISATION OF THE ASSYRIAN EMPIRE FROM 745 to 722 B.C. FAILURE OF URARTU AND RE-CONQUEST Of SYRIA--EGYPT AGAIN UNITED UNDER ETHIOPIAN AUSPICES--PIONKHI--THE DOWNFALL OF DAMASCUS, OF BABYLON, AND OF ISRAEL. Assyria and its neighbours at the accession of Tiglath-pileser III.: progress of the Aramaeans in the basin of the Middle Tigris--Urartu and its expansion into the north of Syria--Damascus and Israel--Vengeance of Israel on Damascus--Jeroboam II.--Civilisation
G. Maspero—History Of Egypt, Chaldaea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, V 7

The Old Testament opens very impressively. In measured and dignified language it introduces the story of Israel's origin and settlement upon the land of Canaan (Gen.--Josh.) by the story of creation, i.-ii. 4a, and thus suggests, at the very beginning, the far-reaching purpose and the world-wide significance of the people and religion of Israel. The narrative has not travelled far till it becomes apparent that its dominant interests are to be religious and moral; for, after a pictorial sketch of
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

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