The first-born of the human race, Ge 4:1, and the first murderer. See ABEL. His crime was committed against the warnings of God, and he despised the call of God to confession and penitence, Ge 4:6-9. The punishment inflicted upon him included an increase of physical wants and hardships, distress of conscience, banishment from society, and loss of God's manifested presence and favor, Ge 4:16. But God mingled mercy with judgment; and appointed for Cain some sign that he should not suffer the death penalty he had incurred at the hand of man, thus signifying that God only was his judge. He withdrew into the land of Nod, east of Eden, and built a city that he named Enoch, after one of his sons.
a possession; a spear.
(1.) The first-born son of Adam and Eve (Ge 4). He became a tiller of the ground, as his brother Abel followed the pursuits of pastoral life. He was "a sullen, self-willed, haughty, vindictive man; wanting the religious element in his character, and defiant even in his attitude towards God." It came to pass "in process of time" (marg. "at the end of days"), i.e., probably on the Sabbath, that the two brothers presented their offerings to the Lord. Abel's offering was of the "firstlings of his flock and of the fat," while Cain's was "of the fruit of the ground." Abel's sacrifice was "more excellent" (Heb 11:4) than Cain's, and was accepted by God. On this account Cain was "very wroth," and cherished feelings of murderous hatred against his brother, and was at length guilty of the desperate outrage of putting him to death (1Jo 3:12). For this crime he was expelled from Eden, and henceforth led the life of an exile, bearing upon him some mark which God had set upon him in answer to his own cry for mercy, so that thereby he might be protected from the wrath of his fellow-men; or it may be that God only gave him some sign to assure him that he would not be slain (Ge 4:15). Doomed to be a wanderer and a fugitive in the earth, he went forth into the "land of Nod", i.e., the land of "exile", which is said to have been in the "east of Eden," and there he built a city, the first we read of, and called it after his son's name, Enoch. His descendants are enumerated to the sixth generation. They gradually degenerated in their moral and spiritual condition till they became wholly corrupt before God. This corruption prevailed, and at length the Deluge was sent by God to prevent the final triumph of evil. (See Abel.)
(2.) A town of the Kenites, a branch of the Midianites (Jos 15:57), on the east edge of the mountain above Engedi; probably the "nest in a rock" mentioned by Balaam (Nu 24:21). It is identified with the modern Yekin, 3 miles south-east of Hebron.
The first son of Adam and Eve. Ignoring the fall, he approached God in his own person, and with the fruit of his own toil from the ground that had been cursed. God could accept neither him nor his offerings: life had been forfeited, and man must approach God through the death and excellency of a victim which God could accept. Cain's anger was kindled because of the acceptance of Abel and his offering, and he slew his brother, notwithstanding that God had reasoned with him respecting his anger. God cursed him from the earth, and set a mark upon him that no avenger of blood should slay him. Cain went out from the presence of God
(possession). Gen. 4. He was the eldest son of Adam and Eve; he followed the business of agriculture. In a fit of jealousy, roused by the rejection of his own sacrifice and the acceptance of Abel's, he committed the crime of murder, for which he was expelled from Eden, and led the life of an exile. He settled in the land of Nod, and built a city, which he named after his son Enoch. His descendants are enumerated together with the inventions for which they were remarkable. (B.C. 4000.)
CAIN, the eldest son of Adam and Eve. He was the first man who had been a child, and the first man born of woman. For his history, as connected with that of Abel, see Abel. The curse pronounced upon Cain, on account of his fratricide, is thus expressed: "And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is thy brother Abel? And he said, I know not: am I my brother's keeper? And God said, What hast thou done? The voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground. And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand. When thou tillest it, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee its strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth. And Cain said unto the Lord, My punishment is greater than I can bear. Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth," meaning, probably, from his own native district, and from the presence of his kindred, "and from thy face shall I be hid;" by which he probably intended the divine glory, or Shekinah, whose appearance sanctified the place of primitive worship, and was the pledge of acceptance and protection. The mark set upon Cain "lest any one finding him should kill him," has been variously interpreted. Some have supposed at a change in the colour of his skin, others a certain horror of countenance. The LXX. understood the passage to mean, that the Lord gave him a sign, to assure him that his life should be preserved. Whatever it was, its object was not to aggravate, but to mitigate, his punishment, which may intimate that Cain had manifested repentance. Cain, being thus banished from the presence of the Lord, retired into the land of Nod, lying east from the province of Eden. While he dwelt in this country, which is generally understood to be Susiana, or Chusistan, he had a son, whom he named Enoch, in memory of whom he built a city of the same name. This is all we learn from Scripture concerning Cain.