Notes: Genesis 4-5

Notes for January 3, 2008

Why are my children so bad? They’re just like their father.

Genesis 4

1-2: When Cain was born, the happy mother said, “I have gotten a man from the Lord.” Indeed, children are a gift from God (Psalm 127:3); and parents are to teach their children about God (Ephesians 6:4; Deuteronomy 6:7).
3-4: Adam and Eve seem to have been faithful in that responsibility; for we find both Cain the farmer and Abel the shepherd bringing offerings to the Lord.
3: “In process of time”. Are we to understand the usual weekly sacrifice, an annual sacrifice, or some other occasion?

NOTE: Whenever you find “LORD” in all capital letters in the King James Bible, remember that the Hebrew word thus translated is “Jehovah”. This typographical convention, although not inspired of God, is useful to readers of the English Bible.

4-5: The LORD accepted Abel and his offering, but He had no regard for Cain or his offering.
Both came “in process of time.”
Both came to the LORD.
Both came independently and without coercion.
Both brought the fruit of their labors.
Why then the disparity?
Hebrews 11: 4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaks.
Without faith, it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6), and whatever is not of faith is sin (Romans 14:23). It doesn’t matter whether we follow the outward teachings of religion completely, if our actions are not because have heard God commanding us to do them and we have believed Him, then our actions are in vain. Faith comes by hearing the word of God (Romans 10:17).
5-7: God spoke to Cain about the matter and encouraged him to repent and to do right. And, if Cain would be right with God, then Cain, the older brother, would maintain his firstborn rights. Otherwise, God said, sin will enter.
8: Apparently, Cain chose not to follow the Lord’s instruction, for we find that one day, as the brothers were in the field talking, Cain killed Abel. How many murders have been committed because of religious jealousy?
9-10: What have you done? What a convicting question from the mouth of God!
11-12: The criminal’s curse
13-14: The criminal’s complaint. Why would he be afraid that someone might kill him? Did ancient society have laws against murder? (Not until Genesis 9:5-6) do we find God granting Man the responsibility of capital punishment.)
14: To be cast out from the presence of God. What is hell?
15: Cain carried a mark to indicate that he was under the curse of God and that men might not take matters into their own hands.
17: Cain’s 3rd son and grandson were both named Enoch; and neither of them was the prophet Enoch who was translated to God (Genesis 5).
17-22: The genealogy of Cain is enumerated; but soon forgotten. This record does however speak of nomadic herdsmen, musicians, and craftsmen. Even today some people groups are known for their talents or abilities. What are you known for?
23-24: When Adam and Eve sinned, they were ashamed and attempted to hide from God (as though a sinner might actually hide from God! [ Psalm 139]). And not too many generations later we find their descendants not only without shame, but we actually find men boasting of their sin! Little has changed since then.
25-26: Seth is born; and declared to be a replacement seed (KJV: offspring) for Abel. Do you not see how the seed of the woman promised in Genesis 3:15 would have come through Abel, but now the Messiah is to be born of the family of Seth. It is not the “seed of Abraham” alone that should inspire us, but also the “seed of the woman”, the “seed of Seth”.
26: And with the continuation of the promised seed through Seth, we find that men began to call upon the name of the Lord. In what sense can it be said that men “began” to call upon the name of the Lord? Perhaps we find the spread of true religion, or perhaps we find men joining together to call upon the Lord.

Genesis 5

From Adam to Noah


Age at Son’s Birth
Years after Son’s Birth
Age at Death
1. Adam 130 Seth 800 930
2. Seth 105 Enos 807 912
3. Enos 90 Cainan 815 905
4. Cainan 70 Mahalaleel 840 910
5. Mahalaleel 65 Jared 830 895
6. Jared 162 Enoch 800 962
7. Enoch 65 Methuselah 300 365*
8. Methuselah 187 Lamech 782 969
9. Lamech 182 Noah 595 777
10. Noah 500 Shem Ham Japeth    


*Enoch never died (Genesis 5:24)

1: This genealogy of Adam begins by reminding us that Adam was made in the likeness of God. And Seth, the seed through whom Messiah would come, was begotten in that same likeness. Of Cain’s descendants we learned that they were builders, artisans and musicians.  Which would you rather be: in the line of Christ, or a famous architect, educator, politician, athlete, artist, or entertainer?

22: Why did Enoch choose the name "Methuselah" for his son? The name means something like "when he dies, something happens". If you compare this chart with the time indicators of Genesis 6 you will see that Methuselah died the year of the flood!

24: Enoch walked with God.  Can two walk together unless they are agreed (Amos 3:3)? Do you walk with God?  Do you agree with God concerning Christ, your sin, God’s providence and salvation by grace?

24: One day God took Enoch from the earth, and Enoch was seen no more. Hebrews 11:5 says that Enoch was translated that he should not see death. And before his departure from this world, Enoch had this testimony, that he pleased God. How did he get to this enviable position of pleasing God and walking with God and not seeing death?  By faith!  Without faith, it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). He who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. This kind of faith is not something that one turns on Sunday morning and turns off Sunday afternoon.

27: Methuselah lived 969 years. (One preacher said that since 1000 years is as a day to the Lord (2 Peter 3:8), then Methuselah was only a day old. He further proposed that with 1000 years being a day to the Lord, then Adam really did die the "day" that he ate the forbidden fruit.)

29: Lamech expected his son Noah (meaning: rest or comfort) to bring comfort to his people who tilled soil and the sin-cursed ground. I doubt he was looking forward to Noah’s discovering new agricultural methods.

Math question:  How many generations of his descendants would it have been possible for Adam to witness and to witness to?