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Bible Commentaries
Genesis 4

Bullinger's Companion Bible NotesBullinger's Companion Notes

Verse 1

Cain = acquisi t i o n.

a man. Hebrew. 'ish . (See App-14 .) Literally "a man, even Jehovah". Revised Version "with the help of", in italics. Hebrew. 'ish 'eth Jehovah. Compare Luke 2:11 .

Verse 2

Abel = = transitoriness.

Verse 3

in process of time. Hebrew. at [ the ] end of days. The time as well as place and offering probably appointed.

ground. The product of the curse. Compare Genesis 3:17 .

offering, &c. = a sacrifice unto Jehovah. Most religious, but his own "way" (Jude 1:11 ); but not first-fruits as Abel's. Heb, minchah. See App-48 .

LORD = Jehovah. Note, the sacrifices both brought to Jehovah as the covenant God; not to Elohim, the Creator. See App-4 .

Verse 4

brought: "by faith", Hebrews 11:4 , which came by hearing the word of God (Romans 10:17 ).

firstlings . . . and the fat. &c. Figure of speech Hendiadys, App-6 = "the firstlings, and the fattest ones too. "

respect: by accepting it by fire Divinely sent. Leviticus 9:24 .Judges 6:21 . 1 Kings 18:38 . 1 Chronicles 21:26 . 2 Chronicles 7:1 ; and compare Psalms 20:3 , and Hebrew . Genesis 11:4 . had respect. his offering. Figure of speech Antimetabole ( App-6 ) his offerings had not respect

Verse 6

Why. ? Figure of speech Erotesis for emph. ( App-6 ).

Verse 7

if. The Hebrew Accent ( Pashta ) puts the emphasis on the 1st "well" and on this 2nd "if", to mark the solemn and Important alternative.

sin = sin offering. Hebrew. chata. See App-43 . The word "offering" is actually added in Exodus 30:10 . Leviticus 4:3 , Leviticus 6:25 ; Leviticus 8:2 .Psalms 40:6 . Compare 2 Corinthians 5:21 .Ephesians 5:2 .

lieth. Lieth is mase. Sin offering is feminine. So that the Hebrew reads "at the entrance [a male] is lying, a sin offering".

shall be. Supply "is" instead.

and thou shalt rule. Compare Genesis 3:16 .

Verse 8

talked = said. Hebrew = ( amar ) to say, which must be followed by the words spoken (not so dabar, which means to speak absolutely). What Cain said is preserved in the Samaritan Pentateuch, Septuagint, Syriac, Vulgate, Targum of Jerome, and manuscripts, "Let us go into the field. " Manuscripts which have not the words, have a hiatus.

slew: 1 John 3:12 . "Religion" is and ever has been the greatest cause of blood-shedding.

Verse 10

blood. Hebrew "bloods", denoting his posterity Matthew 23:35 .

Verse 11

from the earth. The Hebrew accent athnach. after "cursed" suggests "more than the ground' (Genesis 3:17 ).

Verse 12

strength = Metonymy (of the Cause). Strength put for that which it produces.

Verse 13

punishment = iniquity. Hebrew. 'aven. See App-44 . For "my punishment", &c, read "Is mine iniquity too great to be forgiven? "with Septuagint, Vulgate, Syriac, Arabic, Targum of Onkelos, Samaritan Pentateuch, and Greek and Latin Fathers.

Verse 14

earth. Hebrew ground.

hid. Compare note on Genesis 3:8 . every one = any one.

Verse 15

Therefore = not so (with Septuagint) This is emphasized by the Hebrew accent ( Pasha ).

upon = set a sign for Cain, i.e. gave him a pledge; same word as Genesis 1:14 ; Genesis 9:12 , Genesis 9:13 , Genesis 9:17 (token). See also Exodus 4:8 , Exodus 4:9 , Exodus 4:17 , Exodus 4:28 , Exodus 4:30 ; Exodus 12:13 .Ezekiel 20:12 .

Verse 16

presence, &c , i.e. the Tabernacle placed by God for His worship (Genesis 3:24 ), whither offerings were brought (Genesis 4:3 , Genesis 4:4 ).

Nod = wandering. Compare Genesis 4:12 = the Manda of the Cuneiform Inscriptions = the land of the Nomads.

Verse 17

Enoch = Teaching or Initiation. Cain's posterity (verses: Genesis 4:16-24 ) comes in "the Generations of the heavens and the earth" (see Structure, p. 5). See App-20 . This seed was begotten after the slaying of Abel.

city. A city has been discovered beneath the brick platform on which Nipur, in South Babylonia, was built. This verse shows there were people on earth other than Adam's children, or Cain married his full sister.

Verse 18

Irad = city of witness.

Lamech = powerful, 7th from Adam in Cain's line.

Verse 19

two. The first polygamist.

Verse 20

Jabal = flowing.

and = the Figure of speech Zeugma. ( App-6 .) Supplied here by the italics.

Verse 21

Jubal = joyful sound.

organ. Hebrew. 'ugab. The well-known "Pan's pipe".

Verse 22

Tubal-cain = flowing from Cain.

Verse 23

Hear . . . hearken. Refers to Genesis 3:17 . Lamech was in greater danger than Adam. Adam had only one wife, Lamech had two. Hear my voice, emph. on "my".

I have = continuous present. May be rendered thus: "I can kill a man for wounding me, And a young man for hurting me. "

Verse 24

Lamech. Supply Ellipsis ( App-6 ), "shall he avenged".

Verse 25

Seth = substituted. Figure of speech Paronomasia . Sheth (Seth) . . . Sheth (appointed).

God = Elohim.

seed = son, by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Cause).

Verse 26

Enos = trail, incurable.

began. See notes on next page.

began. Not began to worship: for Abel worshipped, and others, doubtless, long before. But here: "began to call upon [their gods] by the name of Jehovah, "or "began profanely to call upon the name of the Lord" (see App-21 ). Enos, though the son of Seth, is included here because he went in "the way of Cain".

Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Genesis 4". "Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bul/genesis-4.html. 1909-1922.
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