Read Genesis 4:17-24. What was Cain’s legacy, and how did Cain’s crime open the way for the increasing wickedness of humankind?
Cain’s great-great-great-grandson, Lamech, refers to Cain’s crime in the context of his own. This comparison between the crime of Cain and the crime of Lamech is instructive. While Cain keeps silent about his only recorded crime, Lamech seems to be boasting about his, expressing it in a song (Genesis 4:23-24). While Cain asks for God’s mercy, Lamech is not recorded as asking for it. While Cain is avenged seven times by God, Lamech believes that he will be avenged seventy-seven times (see Genesis 4:24), a hint that he’s very much aware of his guilt.
Also, Cain is monogamous (Genesis 4:17); Lamech introduces polygamy, for the Scripture says specifically that he “took for himself two wives” (Genesis 4:19, NKJV). This intensification and exaltation of evil will definitely affect the next generations of Cainites.
Following immediately this episode of evil in the Cainite family, the biblical text records a new event that counters the Cainite trend. “Adam knew his wife” (Genesis 4:25), and the result is the birth of Seth, whose name is given by Eve to indicate that God had put “another seed” in the place of Abel.
In fact, the history of the name Seth precedes Abel. The name Seth is derived from the Hebrew verb ’ashit, “I will put” (Genesis 3:15), which introduces the Messianic prophecy. The Messianic seed will be passed on in the Sethite line. The biblical text gives, then, the record of the Messianic line beginning with Seth (Genesis 5:3-4), and including Enoch (), Methuselah, and ending with Noah (Genesis 6:8).
The phrase “sons of God” (Genesis 6:2) refers to the line of Seth because they are designed to preserve the image of God (Genesis 5:1, Genesis 5:4). On the other hand, the “daughters of men” (Genesis 6:2) seems to have a negative connotation, contrasting the offspring of those in the image of God to those in the image of men. And it is under the influence of these “daughters of men” that the sons of God “took wives for themselves of all whom they chose” (Genesis 6:2, NKJV), indicating the wrong direction humanity was heading.
|Read Genesis 6:1-5. What a powerful testimony to the corruption of sin! Why must we do all that we can in God’s power to eradicate sin from our lives?|