Genesis 4:16

Society without the Lord. The banished Cain and his descendants.

I. MULTIPLICATION apart from Divine order is no blessing.

II. CIVILIZATION without religion is a chaos of conflicting forces, producing violence, bloodshed, working out its own ruin. Compare France in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Arts of life may grow from a mere natural root. Music, mechanical skill, scientific discovery, and invention, in themselves contain no moral life. Luxury turns to corruption, and so to misery.

III. RELIGION IS THE BASIS OF SOCIAL PROSPERITY. It is the true defense against the "inhumanity of man." Lamech, with his artificial protection against violent revenge, suggests the true safety in the presence of the Lord and observance of his commandments. - R.

Cain went out from the presence of the Lord.

1. Here the future of the cursed life has some relief. Cain had his wife to share his sorrow, and, for all we know, to help him in it. The domestic relationship is a great relief and comfort to a sad life. When all goes wrong without, it can find a refuge at home.

2. The children of a cursed life are placed at a moral disadvantage. They are the offspring of a God-forsaken parent. It is awful to commence life under these conditions.

II. THAT A GOD-FORSAKEN MAN IS LIKELY VERY SOON TO SEEK SATISFACTION IN EARTHLY EMPLOYMENTS AND THINGS. Cain built a city. This would find occupation for his energies. It would tend to divest his mind of his wicked past. It would enrich his poverty. It might become the home of his posterity.

III. THAT OFTEN A GOD-FORSAKEN MAN IS DISPOSED TO TRY TO BUILD A RIVAL TO THE CHURCH FROM WHENCE HE HAS BEEN DRIVEN. If he has been driven from God, he will engage his energies to build a city for Satan. In this work some wicked men are active. And today the city of evil is of vast dimensions, is thickly populated, but is weak in its foundation, and will ultimately be swept away by the prayerful effort of the Church, and the wrath of God..


1. Earth cannot give the soul a true substitute for God.

2. Family relationship is unsanctified without Him.

3. Cities are useless without Him.

(J. S. Exell, M. A.)

It is an awful thought, that of the lost, to the sound of the dead march, "Depart, ye cursed, into everlasting fire," flocking away from the judgment seat. But scarcely inferior in horror is the sight of Cain going out from the presence of the Lord. He goes out alone, save for his poor weeping wife, for children as yet he had none. He goes out in silence, without venturing to utter one word of remonstrance or regret. He goes out withered and accursed, although not utterly crushed. He goes out bearing, and showing that he is conscious of bearing, his character burnt and branded on his brow. He goes out, preserved indeed, but preserved as the criminal on the scaffold is preserved from the guns of the soldiery and the missiles of the crowd, that he may abide the executioner's axe, or feel the hangman's gripe. He goes out alone, but you see in him the representative of the giant race of transgressors, who are yet in his loins as he goes forth. He goes out into a thinly peopled earth, but into an earth where he knows that every man is aware of his crime, and would kill him but for a mark which identifies and renders infamous while it secures him. He goes forth into the young world, a region as silent as it is vast; but hark! as he leaves the presence of the Lord a peal of harsh thunder behind proclaims the departure of the murderer, and worse than this still, the trembling hollows of his ear (like the sea shell by the sound of the deep) are filled with the cry, which he feels is forever his music, "Cain, Cain, where is thy brother?"

(G. Gilfillan.)

Like Judas from the presence of Jesus, so does Cain go out from the face of God, from the place where the visible glory of God, the Shekinah, had its abode. Partly troubled at his banishment, and partly relieved at getting away from the near presence of the Holy One, he goes forth, a banished criminal, whose foot must no longer be permitted to profane the sacred circle of Eden; an excommunicated man, who must no longer worship with the Church of God, round the primeval altar. He goes out, not like Abraham to the land of promise, the land flowing with milk and honey, but to the land of the threatening, the land where no divine presence was seen and on which no glory shone, and where no bright cherubim foreshadowed redemption, and proclaimed restoration to paradise, and the tree of life. He goes out to an unknown and untrodden land; a land which, from his own character as "the wanderer," received in after days the name of Nod. He goes out, the flaming sword behind him, driving him out of his native seat, and forbidding his return. A banished man, an excommunicated worshipper (the sentence of excommunication pronounced by God Himself) — one "delivered over to Satan" (1 Timothy 1:20), he takes up his abode in the land of Nod. There he "sits down," not as if at rest, for what had he to do with rest? Can the cloud rest? Can the sea rest? Can the guilty conscience rest? He sits down in Nod, but not to rest, only to drown his restlessness in schemes of labour. He went towards the rising sun. He and his posterity spread eastward, just as Seth and his posterity spread westward.

(H. Bonar, D. D.)

The land of Nod.

Cain settled "in the land of Nod, in the east of Eden." It is evident that the name Nod expresses the nature and character of the locality; it signifies flight or exile; and the same root means, sometimes, grief and mourning. Nod is, therefore, the land of misery and exile. But, although this appellative signification of Nod is clear, it is not less certain that the historian intended to describe thereby a distinct country. He designates its position in the east of Eden, and he mentions a town which Cain built in that land of flight, Nod is, therefore, as little as Eden itself, a mere abstraction, or a fictitious name, invented for the embodiment of a myth. But, as it is only described by its relative position to Eden, its situation is, naturally, as disputed as that of paradise itself. It has been placed in Susiana, Lydia, and Arabia; in Nysa and China; in the mountains of the Caucasus and the vast steppes in the east of Cashmere; in Tartary, in Parthia, or any part of India. However, it appears that the whole extent of Asia eastward of Eden, was comprised under the name of Nod. Cain was expelled to the east of paradise, where the cherubim with their flaming swords forever prevented the access; we are, thus, expressly reminded that the murderer who with one audacious step ascended the whole climax of crime, was removed far from the seat of blessedness and innocence.

(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
Cain, Dwelleth, Dwelt, East, Eden, Face, Living-place, Lord's, Moving, Nod, Presence, Settled
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 4:16

     4821   east
     6606   access to God

Genesis 4:3-16

     5082   Adam, significance

Genesis 4:8-16

     5377   law, Ten Commandments
     7318   blood, symbol of guilt

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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