Bible Commentaries
Genesis 4

Gaebelein's Annotated BibleGaebelein's Annotated

Verses 1-26


After the Fall and the Two Seeds

1. Cain and Abel (Genesis 4:1-2 )

2. Their offerings (Genesis 4:3-5 )

3. The divine remonstrance (Genesis 4:6-7 )

4. Abel slain by his brother (Genesis 4:8 )

5. Cain’s judgment (Genesis 4:9-16 )

6. Cain and his offspring and the progress of the world (Genesis 4:17-24 )

7. Seth in place of Abel (Genesis 4:25-26 )

This chapter is filled with many lessons. Here are types of the Seed of the Woman, Christ. Christ as the Good Shepherd, the death of Christ, the shedding of blood, the atonement, righteousness by faith, the self-righteousness of the sinner and his rejection are here indicated. We find in this chapter types of the Jewish nation and their blood-guiltiness as well as the record of the progressing civilization of that age.

Eve’s first son was Cain (acquired of Jehovah). This tells of her faith; she believed her first born was the promised seed. Cain, however, is the type of the natural man, the flesh, the offspring of the serpent. The second son born was Abel (vapor).

Cain’s offering and worship was that of the natural, self-righteous man, who needs no blood, but trusts in his character and good works. Cain did not believe in what Jehovah Elohim had declared concerning sin, the penalty of sin; and he did not believe in the prediction of Genesis 3:15 . God had cursed the ground, but Cain brought of the fruit of the ground. Today the masses of professing Christians “go in the way of Cain” (Jude 1:10-11 ).

Abel’s offering consisted of the firstlings of the flock. He believed himself a sinner who had deserved death. He believed in substitutionary sacrifice (Hebrews 11:4 ).

Abel is a type of Christ. Abel was a shepherd. There is no report of evil about him. He was hated by his brother without a cause. Abel died On account of his brother’s sin.

Cain, who hated his brother Abel, foreshadows the Jew, who rejected Christ and delivered Him into the hands of the Gentiles and shed innocent blood. As Cain had blood-guiltiness upon himself, the blood of his brother Abel, so there is blood-guiltiness upon the Jewish race. “His blood be upon us and our children,” was their demand. Cain’s judgment is typical of the punishment which came upon the Jewish people. Like Cain, they were driven from Him; became wanderers over the face of the earth; bearing a mark, everybody is against them. Cain went with his wife (one of his sisters) to the land of Nod. He built a city. His hope was in earthly things. The progress of the Cainites is given. Polygamy began with Lamech. Jubal became inventor of harp and pipe. Tubal-Cain was the worker in brass and iron. Then there is a song of defiance celebrating murder. The age advanced in civilization, inventions, making the earth under the curse attractive; on the other hand, lust, violence, vice, and crime increased. But Cain’s seed was also religious following Cain’s worship. The name of El (God) appears in some of Cain’s offspring.

The third son of Adam was Seth. From him springs the Seed. Seth is the type of Christ risen from the dead. Abel, the first, died; Seth, the second, lives. “Then people began to call at the name of Jehovah.” True worship is only possible in the Second Man, Christ risen from the dead.

Bibliographical Information
Gaebelein, Arno Clemens. "Commentary on Genesis 4". "Gaebelein's Annotated Bible". 1913-1922.