Genesis 4 – Mystery of Lamech and the Slain

At the end of Genesis 4 we are introduced to Lamech and his two wives, who bear him sons who are the progenitors of skilled trades within this Middle Eastern culture.

Cryptically we are also introduced to what looks and sounds like a song or poem that Lamech spoke to his wives:

Adah and Zillah, hear my voice; Ye wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech: For I have slain a man for wounding me, and a young man for bruising me: If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, Truly Lamech seventy and seven fold.

So what in the world did Lamech do? Whatever the man and young man did to him, he worsened the situation by killing them both. Then the book goes on to explain the birth of the 3rd son (we think) of Adam and Eve: Seth. But what’s this song of Lamech all about? Who were the man and young man he had slain?

Lamech.jpg
Lamech and his two wives. Who is the man slain on the ground?

The Bible in its current form doesn’t discuss, but there is a text that does: The Book of Jasher.

So, modern Christians, what do you do when you come across a cryptic verse in the Bible with little to zero explanation? Do you ponder on it, ignore it, or write it off? If there are texts that not only explain this mystery but add to the story of Genesis in total, would you be willing to read it?

I know for some, the answer is a resounding “NO!” for the Bible in it’s current form is supposed to be some divinely collated tome, without imperfection, and whole and complete as could possibly be.

For those with a more open mind, the story of Lamech mirrors the story of Cain, so much that, even as Lamech admits in his song that it mirrors Cain, it circles back to Cain in a way you wouldn’t possibly think.

Should it also be noted that this would be the 3rd murder mentioned in the Bible, but it’s not attributed to Satan or any part of DSL?

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Genesis 4 – Cain/Abel, Curse of Cain, Cain’s wife?

Genesis 4:1 “…I have gotten a man with the help of Jehovah.” Ok, is she referring to getting a man (Adam)? Or is she referring to a “man” being born to her who was named Cain? With really zero information about how/why they became so, Abel is said to be a keeper of sheep (pastoralist) and Cain a tiller of the ground (agriculturalist). Jehovah favors Abel’s offerings over Cain’s, Cain becomes angry, and he is scolded by Jehovah. He is told that if he does well, his offering will be lifted, but if he does not, then it is a sin, which he is told he does rule over the sin. Cain confronts his brother in the field and slays him.

Cain and Abel
A rendition of the slaying of Abel and the discovery by Jehovah

Jehovah curses Cain to walk the earth as a wanderer and a vagabond, and the earth will not yield to him. Cain, in anguish, says the curse is too much to bear and that all who meet him will want to slay him.

Genesis 4:14 “… and it will come to pass, that whosoever findeth me will slay me.”

Ok, supposedly Cain is the 3rd person to have been created, so then who is he referring to when he says “whosoever”? Is he referring to other people who wander the earth, people not addressed in this particular Jehovah creation? Could he be referring to the beings that God in Genesis 1 refers to when he says “we”?

Cain is still Jehovah’s creation so he puts a curse on anyone who would slay him will receive vengeance 7 fold, and Jehovah appoints a sign for Cain so that anyone who finds him will not kill him. So just what was this “sign”? I hear it often called the “mark of Cain” but it’s not described. Was it an actual sign worn over his neck? Was it a mark on his body, face, or other that would make it apparent to anyone not to slay the wearer?

Cain leaves Jehovah, goes to the land of Nod, east of Eden, and with his wife, conceives his first son Enoch.

Ok, so where did his wife come from? Was she already on the earth just in a different part? Those who believe Adam and Eve were the first two people on earth would just then say “oh well Adam and Eve must have had daughters.” But the Bible does not mention any daughters! Again, it does not even mention that Adam and Eve were the first on earth, only that they were put into the Garden to tend to it. We just ASSUME they were the first.

Mysteries that are just not covered in the text. I believe they are key to our understanding of what the stories of the Bible truly tell. Creation was good in Book 1, but the Creation of Book 2 to this point on is chaotic, bloody, and imperfect and leads to more questions that just aren’t answered in these texts.

So what happens when there are no definitive answers? We come up with our own. “Well Adam and Eve had daughters so that explains where the wives came from.” The Bible does not say that. “Adam and Eve were the first man and woman on Earth”. The Bible does not say that.

When we make up our own answers and conclusions, and the person next to us makes up their own, then we source the divisiveness that has separated individuals, families, congregations and churches since the first “church” was created.