Genesis 4–6: Cain, Abel, and Pre-FloodEGP Blog post from January 2, 2013
The problem wasn’t that Cain brought a non-animal offering, but that he just brought “an offering” of what he had, while Abel brought from the first and best of what he had. God told Cain that if he would just bring God his first and best, his offering would be accepted, but if he chose to leave God with leftovers, his anger of rejection would turn into a strong temptation to sin that wouldn’t easily be mastered. In the end, Cain’s anger overcame him and he murdered his brother Abel. When confronted by God about his sin, there was no blame, no evidence of remorse, just denial and then a demand for protection. Interestingly, we also find out that further down Cain’s lineage, Lamech kills two people and (seemingly) self-proclaims an even stronger protection. This could be evidence of a familial spirit (an unclean spirit that “attaches” to a family in order to encourage similar sins).
Adam and Eve later gave birth to Seth, whose name means “substituted” (Sheth [H8352], pronounced shayth), but it also sounds like the word translated “lifted up” (saeth [H7613], pronounced seh-ayth’) in verse 7, neither of which mean he was Abel reincarnated or anything like that, but Seth’s lineage would become the ancestral line of Christ, who “substituted” Himself for our punishment of death by being “lifted up” on the cross.
Genesis 5 gives us the lineage from Adam to Noah and his sons. Some people say that the lineage might be missing some generations (and therefore years), because the words used for the descendants could be ambiguous (e.g., it usually means “son” but could mean “grandson” or further down). However, being that the all the ages at which these descendants were born were all given, this eliminates any large gaps in unaccounted for years (leaving only space for the length of each pregnancy). Also, we find out in Luke 3 that this is Jesus’s lineage.
Some believe that the “sons of God” mentioned in Genesis 6 were men from Seth’s lineage, the “daughters of men” were from Cain’s, and the Nephilim (giants) were the dinosaurs. There is no direct scriptural proof for them being from Seth’s lineage, but in the New Testament, those who follow God are often called “sons/children of God.” Others believe that the “sons of God” are angels (Job 1:6, Job 2:1) that bred with the human women, who then gave birth to literal giants and/or powerful people. This theory is explicitly supported in the “Book of Enoch” (which is referenced in Jude 1:14–15, 1 Peter 3:19–20, 2 Peter 2:4–5, but was not included in the canon of Scripture, and shouldn’t be confused with “The Book of the Secrets of Enoch”). Jesus, however, said that angels don’t marry (Matthew 22:30) and they seem to be asexual beings in no need of procreation. So perhaps this was some sort of cult act done during demonic possession, which is common throughout scipture (Deuteronomy 23:17, Hosea 4:14, etc.).
The point here is that the people were beyond repentance and were getting progressively worse. It is said that Noah “walked with God”, so, God told Noah to build a boat large enough to store his family, the animals and insects that will come to him in pairs, and the food to feed them all during the great flood. Noah faithfully did as instructed.
Tomorrow’s reading for the Bible in a year: Genesis 7–9