Thru The Word Ministries
Genesis 3-5



1 - Now the serpent was crafty more than any beast of the field that Yahweh Elohim had made. And he said to the woman, "Yea, did God say you shall not eat of any tree of the garden?" Biblically speaking we’ve now traveled from the highest mountaintop to the deepest, darkest recesses of the valley in terms of how far man has come (or gone) since his creation. Think of it: it has only taken just over a chapter for man to rebel and overthrow the ultimate purpose God has for his life. Notice it says the serpent was "crafty" or "cunning"; either of those two words are applicable in this case. He had to work to deceive the woman, in other words. Adam and Eve were initially very trusting of the Lord. But now the serpent becomes involved. This is because the Lord allows him to become involved. As mentioned earlier we have here a test of man’s love for and loyalty to his Creator. This is what makes this beyond a doubt the saddest chapter in all the Bible. To know that God the Creator did everything He could and gave all He had, man still was of the belief that somehow it was not enough. And such remains the case today. God, in order to redeem man gave all He could possibly give in the form of His only begotten Son. Yet man in all his so-called wisdom tells himself that his own provision and resources are sufficient. Now in this case it began with the serpent/devil convincing Eve to doubt the Word of God. Guess what? The devil is still convincing people that even though God has spoken, it is all right to question Him.

2 - And the woman said to the serpent, "From the fruit of the trees in the garden we may eat.

3 - "But of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden God has said, ‘You shall absolutely not eat from it, nor shall you touch it lest you both die.’"
Eve’s somewhat embellished account is still incorrect no matter how you slice it. First of all she made a conscious decision to have a conversation with the serpent, which turned out to be the devil. A good, appropriate Scripture verse to have in mind for such an occasion would Jude 9: "The Lord rebuke you." Jesus’ words I think would be most appropriate for us in such an instance:

Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offense unto Me: for thou savorest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.  Matthew 16:23

Second of all, the description/terminology was somewhat altered, wouldn’t you agree? The "tree of the knowledge of good and evil" (2:17) was termed "the tree that is in the midst of the garden" by Eve. If you think about it, however, Eve had not even been created by God at this point. God gave instructions to Adam as to what was to happen, what was to be eaten, and what it would be called. It was the next verse (18) before Eve and her formation was even brought up. So something happened here: either Eve had a rather severe memory lapse and forgot half of what Adam instructed her in regard to the tree, or Adam failed to properly communicate Yahweh’s intentions to her.

Actually I would submit a third possibility which is based on the original point above. Eve began a quest to placate the devil. That’s why the example of Jesus’ life and ministry is so very crucial for us to examine. If you believe you have what it takes to take on the devil on your own, please reconsider on the basis of this passage. Again both the man and woman were trusting of God. Some would use the word ‘naïve’ and say that Adam and Eve had not really thought it all through; that if they would’ve only done so, they would have seen no real harm in what they were doing, etc., ad nauseum. Yet that was exactly the mistake they made. In turn, Eve subtracted from and added to the Word which Yahweh had spoken unto them. That’s why it’s always important to "submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you" (James 4:7). In the end they had allowed the devil to influence their thinking. And his thinking is ‘stinking thinking’. Observe…

4 - And the serpent said to the woman, "You absolutely shall not die!

5 - "For God knows that in the day you both eat from it, then your eyes will be opened and you shall become as gods, knowing good and evil." "Don’t worry," Satan says. "What you’ve been told will happen to you only applies to others. It’s all relative. Go ahead; you’ll see!" And this can be applied to any number of sins in our world today. But isn’t it possible that the one sin that came immediately to mind is the one God is dealing with you about through His Holy Spirit?

6 - And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food and that it was desirable to the eyes, and the tree desirable to make wise, then she took of the fruit and ate, and also gave to her husband, and he ate.
Dr. McGee has made the observation that there are some of the belief the fruit of the tree was poisonous. I concur with him that the fruit was in fact good … very good. Not only did it have the look and the taste, but everything the devil said it would have. As usual, however, he didn’t tell the whole story. For instance, he didn’t share with Eve that the moment she ate of it her fellowship with Yahweh would be broken. He also failed to share that the entire world would be changed and would remain so as long as planet Earth would be in existence. This would be because sin had now entered the world and man’s nature had now been corrupted. This is how Satan tempts each of us today. His game plan remains the same: it‘s all about "…the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life" (1 John 2:16). What a sorry mess - for them, and us! How do we know? By reading on …

7 - Then the eyes of them both were opened and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed together leaves of the fig tree, and made for themselves loin coverings.
The first portion of the verse tells us in the vernacular, "They had done been had!" The act itself combined with the knowledge of the will of God produced guilt on top of guilt within their minds and hearts. Where there once was no such thing as guilt or danger. The opening of their eyes was not a physical one, but spiritual. It was as a result of this, as Albert Barnes puts it,

that a new aspect was presented by things on the commission of the first offence. As soon as the transgression is actually over, the sense of the wrongfulness of the act rushes on the mind. The displeasure of the great Being whose command has been disobeyed, the irretrievable loss which follows sin, the shame of being looked upon by the bystanders as a guilty thing, crowd upon the view. All nature, every single creature, seems now a witness of their guilt and shame, a condemning judge, an agent of the divine vengeance. Such is the knowledge of good and evil they have acquired by their fall from obedience - such is the opening of the eye which has requited their wrong-doing. What a different scene had once presented itself to the eyes of innocence! All had been friendly. All nature had bowed in willing obedience to the lords of the earth. Neither the sense nor the reality of danger had ever disturbed the tranquility of their pure minds.1

As much as we may not like or want to admit it, the same remains true today. The conscience still remains the active agent by which each of us are convicted of sin. That conviction can take place before or after the sin has occurred. The upside for the believer is that we have the ministry of the Holy Spirit as He resides on the inside of us. The Spirit is there to convict of sin prior to the act (John 16:7-8). You might ask, "But what about the unbeliever? They’re under conviction at the same point too, right?" The Holy Spirit is with the unbeliever (not within) for the sole purpose of convicting him/her that they are lost and without Christ … nothing else! The believer is different, however. Since the Spirit has taken up residence within their heart (lit., ‘tabernacled’; see John 1:14) the believer has the distinct ability to know and distinguish sin so he may have opportunity to turn away, thereby avoiding personal heartache and live victoriously, which brings glory to God. This is the glorious aspect of the life of the believer under the New Covenant. We have this life available to us in spite of this account involving our first parents. More on that in a bit.

8 - And they heard the sound of Yahweh Elohim walking to and fro in the garden in the wind of the day, and the man hid himself and his wife from the face of Yahweh Elohim in the midst of the trees of the garden.
This was a familiar sound to the first man and woman. They both had heard the sound several times before, except now the sound brought fear and dread to their hearts instead of joy. He comes to them in the "wind" during the day, which probably denotes a time in the late day. Many of us have used the phrase, "…in the cool of the evening." Many of us think of that as being the time of the day known as dusk or shortly before. But most importantly let’s notice the word used; the Hebrew is ruhach, which is also the word for ‘breath’ or ‘spirit’. It’s also used in biblical Hebrew to denote the Holy Spirit. When His presence comes upon our hearts, we become convicted as did Adam and Eve at this point. Speaking of His presence, we see the Hebrew paneh is rendered "face." Another and perhaps better rendering would be ‘presence’. Both ruhach and paneh appear in the same verse courtesy of the Psalmist: "Whither shall I go from Thy Spirit? or whither shall I flee from Thy presence?" (Psalm 139:7). He asks a rhetorical question of which the understood answer is, "nowhere." In our introductory study we pointed out that Genesis is the book of firsts or beginnings. Adam and Eve were the first to find out they could run but not hide from the presence of the Lord, nor can any of us. They tried to hide in the middle portion among as much foliage and vegetation as possible, but to no avail.

9 - And Yahweh Elohim called to Adam and said to him, "Where [are]

10 - And he said, "I heard Your voice in the garden and was afraid because I was naked and I hid myself." Whether Yahweh appeared in human form or only His voice was ‘visible’, it was powerful enough to bring conviction to the heart of Adam. Not because He was condescending or harsh, but spoke with the broken heart of a loving Father. Adam realizes his disobedience toward God and knew he wanted to be apart from Him. He doesn’t want to spend time with the Father but instead wants to "hide himself." When we are allowed to proceed on with our plans, programs, strategies, and selfish ways in general, it is because He is probably going to let us fall flat on our faces, as it were, in order to show us how nothing we are without Him.

11 - And He said, "Who declared to you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree from which I commanded you not to eat?"
Here his Maker gives every opportunity to agree with Him (i.e., confess) concerning the condition of his heart. Notice his real condition …

12 - Then the man said, "The woman that you gave [to be] with me, she gave to me from the tree and I ate."
The Blame Game is in full effect … and has been ever since.

13 - And Yahweh Elohim said to the woman, "What is this you have done?" And the woman said, "The serpent deceived me and I ate." According to Wiersbe it could be possibly argued the woman responded, "The serpent you gave me deceived me …" This reminds me of The Family Circus, where the dad or mom would find something missing or broken and they would ask any or all of their kids who was guilty. If you frequent the funny papers you saw the kids all respond with the words, "Not Me!" Then off to the side you’d see the ‘invisible’ gremlin with a little smirk on his face and across his front were the words … you guessed it … "Not Me." We don’t really know who is guilty (or so we tell ourselves or others), we just know that it isn’t ourselves. So! … instead of facing up and ‘fessing up, they‘re only succeeding at passing the buck. Truly the more things change, the more they stay the same. Hopefully you don’t believe that’s the end of it.

14 - And Yahweh Elohim said to the serpent, "Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all the animals and more than every living thing of the land. On your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life.
How did the serpent appear to Eve? That will always be one of the questions of the ages. The answer will continue to evade man for the rest of his days, at least on this side of heaven. The general consensus is that the serpent was brilliantly beautiful. Whether the serpent made himself that way, was made that way by Satan (2 Corinthians 11:14), or by God Himself (a long shot, I know), we know he has been reduced to a cursed thing by his Creator. God’s description of how the serpent will spend the rest of his days does not refer to a diet of dust, so to speak.

15 - "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He shall bruise your head and you shall bruise His heel."
First we realize man has a need for a Savior and then God makes provision for the Savior with the first promise of Messiah in this verse. "He" is purposely in upper case in this sentence with reference to Christ. Notice also how He will come into the world: through "her offspring." God does not refer to the offspring of the serpent, but the descendants of Satan that will now enter into the world through the descendants of Adam and Eve, all of which will be born into sin thanks to their inherited nature. Satan is now of the belief that there will be more than enough of them to do his bidding here on earth. With the polarization of the serpent and the woman there is automatically a prophetic word as to the coming relationship between Satan and Messiah. That is, both the serpent and the woman are "types" of what/who is to come.

16 - To the woman He said, "I will abundantly multiply your toil in your pregnancy, and in pain you will bring forth descendants; and your longing will be for your husband, and he will rule over you."
Very possibly the most blessed event in all of life is not without toil, struggle, pain, and turmoil in general. Not to mention the woman has the desire to be led by her husband. Men, the Word of God is clear on this issue: you are the spiritual head of your household, like it or not. There are times when I’m not thrilled at the prospects either, truth be known. Yet here is our God pronouncing judgment on the woman by saying she will be subservient to the man. Notice He says nothing about how the man is to lord it over the woman. In other words, no bullies allowed.

17 - And to Adam He said, "Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten from the tree that I commanded you saying, ‘You are not to eat from it,’ cursed is the ground for your sake; in toil you shall eat of it all [the] days of your life.
Disobedience brings the earth into, you might say, a state of self-destruction at this point. "For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now" (Romans 8:22). For this reason, man has to work much harder than he did before in order to produce sustenance for his survival. This, in God’s economy, will serve as a consistent reminder of man’s rebellion and disobedience toward his Creator. The next two verses should serve as a good ‘for instance’ as to this fact.

18 - "And thorns and thistles it shall bring forth to you, and you shall eat the herb of the field.
In other words not everything the ground brings forth will be edible, nor will it be good for much of anything else. Thorns and thistles, at least in this context, I believe refer to what Jesus uses as an illustration in John 15:6, how they are what "men gather … and cast them into the fire, and they are burned." They are pretty much good for nothing. Yet man will now encounter such from his cultivation of the ground. Some of it will be good while others of it will serve only as waste.

19 - "In the sweat of your face you will eat food until you return to the ground, because out of it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return."
In our vernacular we say that we make a living "by the sweat of our brow." That is what God is saying here to Adam as to the consequences of his disobedience of His commands. Man gains life, then loses life. Until then he struggles by the sweat of his brow to survive. How burdensome this has been for so many. I get tired just thinking and writing about it! This makes me greatly pity the man who believes that life is only about "just getting by." This to me is the sign of an unregenerate man. In other words one doesn’t have to live this way. Jesus said, "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly" (John 10:10). This is Messiah’s admonition to man to enjoy all that He has to offer, for without it man is only marking time before he returns to dust. Just because it’s common in our society doesn’t make the thought of it very sad to the believer who has chosen to experience "life … to the full." If that’s you today thank the Lord He has enabled you by His Spirit to life His life.

20 - And Adam called his wife’s name ‘Eve’, because she was the mother of all living.
The name ‘Eve’ means "life" or "living." Later on in this book we will see from the text the literal outgrowth of this name she has been given combined with the promise of what would come of the offspring of the woman in verse fifteen.

21 - And Yahweh Elohim made for Adam and his wife tunics of skin and clothed them.
God now intervenes for the couple by making provision for them. Just because they have disobeyed it does not mean that God has forsaken them. Far from it! Likewise He has not forsaken any of us. Have we forsaken Him? Yes indeed, but none of us have been forsaken by Him (2 Timothy 2:13). True to His character, He does away with the inadequate provision they’ve made for themselves and gives to them something so much better. This is the way our Lord works in the lives of all who will come to Him with humble hearts. He dresses each of us in a way we never could ourselves.

The "tunics of skin" referred to here are commented on more than adequately by Dr. Henry Morris. While in the process of obtaining their new wardrobe,

…Perhaps they silently and sorrowfully watched as God selected two of their animal friends, probably two sheep, and slew them there, shedding the innocent blood before their eyes. They learned, in type, that an "atonement" (or "covering") could only be provided by God and through the shedding of blood on the altar (note Leviticus 17:11). We do not know, of course, but it may well be that this experience also taught them that the woman’s promised Seed must eventually shed His own blood in the awful conflict that was coming, before the full atonement could be provided. In any case, they were soon to experience the reality of this conflict in the tragic history of their first two sons.2

Through the above commentary we are put in a very precarious place when we begin to realize all that it took for Yahweh to provide for you and I as He has. And, to reiterate, it is only He that can bring it all about. As Adam and Eve were in their physical state, we are clothed with righteousness that can only come from God. As Paul stated,

For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked.  2 Corinthians 5:2-3

And there are the words of the hymn writer:

When He shall come with trumpet sound, oh may I then in Him be found; Dressed in His righteousness alone, faultless to stand before the throne.3

22 - Then Yahweh Elohim said, "Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he stretch forth his hand and shall take also from the tree of life, and shall eat and live forever, …"
Here we are, back to the use of the term "Us" to describe what has befallen "the man." What began as a relationship between God and man has denigrated to where God can no longer relate to the man on a level as personal as before, so He has to resort to relating to Himself. Man, He declares, will take matters into his own hands even more since he is now the recipient of his newfound knowledge, so it is up to Yahweh Elohim to act on behalf of man. God, true to His nature, intervenes once again on our behalf in order that we will not be the complete ruination of ourselves. Once the man eats from the tree of life, he will then live forever in the cesspool of his sin and will never have relief from it. Loving us too much, Yahweh Elohim does the right thing by us. This is something each of us need to be reminded of the next time we are at a funeral or are in view of a funeral procession. We don’t need to view it as an awful thing, but as a reminder of the graciousness and mercy of God that He has not permitted us to live on and on in the sinful nature that is our flesh, physically speaking. For the believer this is most welcome news. We then get to spend eternity with God in heaven. Paul said that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8). For the unbeliever this means eternal separation from God in a real and literal hell and the lost opportunity to be reconciled to God (2 Corinthians 5:20). On which side of the equation are you today? If you are on the wrong side, you can make it right today. You do so by realizing you are a sinner in wrong standing before God with the knowledge that He can make you right. Just pray, asking Him to forgive you of your sin. At that moment you are pardoned past, present, and future. Then make Him Lord of your life by asking Him to guide you into truth … His truth. He promises you He will (John 16:13; Jeremiah 29:13). Ask for His help daily to enable you to live your life in a manner that is pleasing to Him. Jesus Christ stands ready to forgive if only you will humble yourself and allow Him to do what only He can do.

The use of the ellipsis shows the thought trailing off, followed by the resulting action in the next verse.

23 - Then Yahweh Elohim sent him away from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. Man is now banished from the Paradise originally afforded him by his Creator. After man was lavishly provided for by Yahweh, he spurned it all in order to satisfy his selfish desires. Man now begins working for what he needs by the sweat of his brow. Or, in the words of an advertising campaign of bygone days, "He earrrrrrrrned it."

24 - So He drove out the man, and caused to dwell at the east of the garden of Eden the cherubim and a flaming sword turning every way to guard the way to the tree of life.
There is no way man will ever have access to the tree of life because God, as previously stated, is acting in His sovereignty to keep man from living forever in his sinful nature against his will. Instead, God will go on to provide something much, much better.

And by the way, what are these "cherubim" and this "flaming sword"? David Guzik shares with us how the Bible tells us in three different places that cherubim represent the glory and presence of God … Isaiah 6, Daniel 10, and Revelation 4.

When cherubim are represented on earth (such as in the tabernacle, Exodus 25:10-22), they mark a meeting place with God. Though Adam and Eve and their descendants were prevented from eating the fruit of the tree of life (by God’s mercy), they could still come there to meet God. This was their "holy of holies."4

Here we see God’s continued provision as a result of His infinite mercy and deep contrition toward those who have wandered from Him. Adam and Eve were banished from the garden, but not from access to His matchless grace.


1 - And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived and bore Cain and said, "I have gotten the man from Yahweh." Eve knew not only the pain Yahweh promised her associated with bringing a child into the world, but now she knew firsthand the faithfulness of God in giving her a son. But this son may be a bit overrated in Eve’s eyes. Understand that God had already promised how the Redeemer Messiah would come from her. Yet in God’s economy that particular child was actually centuries away. With Eve having no Old Testament prophecies to refer to, she was of the belief that this was the One prophesied to her by Yahweh. If there was any doubt as to the sin nature of this one called Cain and how unlike the Messiah he would grow up to be, we find out more as our sad tale continues.

2 - Then again she bore, [being] his brother Abel. And Abel became one tending the sheep, but Cain had become one working the ground.
Now Cain’s brother comes on to the scene. The one they named Abel we see right off served as a type of Christ. He became one who tended to the sheep in a literal sense. Jesus Christ, the Great Shepherd, would serve as One who tended to "all we like sheep [who] have gone astray" (Isaiah 53:6). Cain, as has been established, worked the ground any way he could to survive. This brings about a possible interesting scenario. If these two brothers were born of the same mother and father with the oldest one living like an outlaw and the younger as a type of Christ, might it stand to reason that sibling rivalry would come to play at some point? Think about it: if the elder is serving the younger, wouldn’t that create a measure of tension? That could be exactly what was happening at the point when our scene begins to unfold.

3 - And it came about after some time that Cain brought fruit from the ground as an offering to Yahweh.
Here’s a question. Was this the initial offering that Cain brought to Yahweh? I am one who would respond to that question in the negative. Going back to our commentary on the previous verse, we established that the older had been serving the younger. Imagine how much the friction had been building over time between the brothers. Imagine Cain complaining in his heart and grumbling in his spirit day after day. "Wait a minute! I was here first. What makes him more special than me? Just you wait and see. Things will be different once I turn the tables on him." I think you’re starting to get the idea.

4 - And Abel himself also brought from the firstborn of his flock and from the fat of it. And Yahweh had regard for Abel and for his gift. The shepherd of the sheep offers his offering from the heart. Not only does he offer the first of his flock, but the best ("fat") of it. We see Yahweh’s regard for Abel and his gift in the Old Testament, but we also see it in the New Testament as well: 

By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.  Hebrews 11:4

It was by faith that Abel gave his offering. So it isn’t unusual for us to find two verses later that 

...without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.  Hebrews 11:6

Today we do not offer to Him the fat of lambs, but rather ourselves.  

 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.  Romans 12:1

The first step for us in this process under the New Covenant (Hebrews 9-10) is to be reconciled unto God (2 Corinthians 5:20). There is a certain young man in our story that appears to be having a struggle with doing what’s right by the LORD, however.

5 - But to Cain and to his offering He had not regard. Then Cain became very angry and his countenance fell. Does Yahweh have regard for the offering that is your life? I hope to goodness the answer to that question is yes. If it is not, I fear that you and I can fall victim to this and, like Cain, become "very angry" toward the LORD.

6 - Then Yahweh said to Cain, "Why are you angry and why has your countenance fallen?

7 - "If you do well, will I not be inclined to do you good? And if you do not do well, sin is lying in the doorway. And to you shall be his longing, but you should rule it." The word rabatz is here rendered "lying" with the actual meaning being "to lie down." Baumgartner and Koehler give the literal rendering in this context as meaning "sin is a lurker" or "sin lurks." And isn’t the last sentence in the verse interesting? Yahweh confirms that Cain will continue to serve his younger brother. See again His admonition to Cain: "…but you should rule it." Or in our vernacular today, "Deal with it!" "Get over it!" "Get over yourself!" Truly, alongside Yahweh each of us are less than nothing. What we believe to be the right thing and what God says is right can oftentimes be at opposite ends of the spectrum. When that is the case, who then is right? Go ahead. Take a wild guess!

8 - And Cain was saying something to Abel his brother; and it came to be when they were in the field that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him.
The plot thickens as Cain creates a diversion, if you will. He got him away from everything and everyone before committing the first murder. That way no one would see him or it and then he wouldn’t be held accountable. Right? Take another wild guess!

9 - And Yahweh said to Cain, "Where is Abel your brother?" And he said, "I do not know. Am I keeper of my brother?"
Cain abdicates responsibility for his brother’s whereabouts before Yahweh Himself. But not before he lies to Yahweh and says he doesn’t know of his whereabouts. But Yahweh is not asking this of Cain in an attempt to obtain information, just as He did not ask Cain’s father where he was in the Garden of Eden because He could not see or tell. Yahweh did both and did them way before He approached Cain.

10 - And He said, "What have you done? The voice of the blood of your brother is crying out to Me from the ground.
This is the predecessor, it would seem, to the portion of the Levitical law stating how if one takes a possession from a fellow Israelite that is essential to his survival, surely Yahweh will see and hear the cry of the victim and will avenge Himself on the one pillaged.

11 - "And now you are bound with a curse from the ground that has opened up its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand.

12 - "When you work the ground it will not give increase to you according to her strength. You will be a homeless wanderer on the earth."
Cain is told he will not exactly be the greatest, most successful farmer the world will ever know. All attempted light-heartedness aside, this is proof positive that the God of the universe is just and righteous in all that He does as it concerns the affairs of mankind. You don’t believe it’s right that Hitler murdered millions of Jews? Well, where is Hitler and his regime today? Sometimes we simply need to give time for Yahweh to act.

13 - And Cain said, "My punishment is greater than I can bear!

14 - "Behold, you have driven me out this day from upon the face of the earth, and I shall be hidden from Your presence. And I shall be a wanderer and homeless on the earth. And it shall be that anyone finding me will kill me."
It now begins to sink in with Cain exactly what has happened to him as the result of his desire to even the score.

15 - And Yahweh said to him, "Therefore anyone killing Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold." And Yahweh put on Cain a sign to not smite him [should] anyone be finding him.
"Sign" as opposed to "mark" in the AV. What is this "sign?" Here again, speculation runs more than rampant. Everything from Cain receiving the original "mark of the beast" to Cain being made a black man has been postulated. All of them are ludicrous because we simply do not know, especially based on the internal evidence. How important is it that we know? Obviously none at all, otherwise God would have made provision by way of the writers of His Word to inform us. Therefore we can say with all authority that we do not know what the "sign" is because in God’s sovereignty it is not important enough for us to know. We merely know the fact of the matter and either we’re good with that or we’re not. I choose to be satisfied with the biblical account. How about you?

16 - Then Cain went out from the presence of Yahweh, and he dwelt in the land of Nod east of Eden.
After Yahweh was finished pronouncing sentence on Cain, he was in effect banished from Eden and went out to the land of Nod (pronounced ‘node‘). If you have any information as to the whereabouts of Nod please let me know, but in my research I’ve not been able to determine exactly where Nod is or was. I do know, however, that the Arabic form of the word is nawa, which means "to wander about." So I will conclude that Nod is not a place but a culture or a state of being. He fulfills the prophecy of Yahweh from only four verses back.

17 - Then Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch; and he became one building a city, and he called the name of the city as the name of his son, Enoch.
Here we have the start of civilization as we know it … for better or worse. It has been said that cities are one of the major problems in the world today. Vices of every kind tend to gather, assimilate, and multiply in the city. Perhaps that is why people migrate to the cities. Birds of a feather really do flock together.

18 - And to Enoch was born Irad, and Irad begat Mehuyael; and Mehuyael begat Methushael; and Methushael begat Lemech.

19 - And Lemech took two wives unto himself; the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the second, Zilah.
Did we not say at the beginning of our study that Genesis is the book of beginnings? Polygamy is included in that list as well. Meanings of the names differ depending on who’s translating. The best I can gather is that Adah means "ornament" or "adornment". McGee says it can also mean "pleasure". I gather from the context that she was a looker. Zillah, on the other hand, means either "shadow" (as in protection, i.e. "shade") or possibly "clinking" or "tinkling". The context speaks of someone who is a little too made up, if you know what I mean. It sounds as if there might be a little friction between these two. There are other examples of polygamy that speak to this as well in the biblical account we will see as we go along, Lord willing.

20 - And Adah bore Yabal; he became father of [those] dwelling in a tent and [having] cattle.
Now we begin to learn how certain people lived and that they began taking up certain occupations. Yabal served as a livestock farmer and lived out in the field along with his livestock.

21 - And the name of his brother [was] Yubal; and he became father of all using the harp and the flute.
Here we have the brothers Yabal and Yubal. Don’t you know they had to be listening pretty carefully when their parents called for them. He "became father" or became the teacher of everyone who used the harp and the flute because he created them. As a maker of these musical instruments, if anyone was going to use them they had to go through Yubal. These were musical instruments that were made to give off a pleasing, aesthetic sound. Why else would so many want to learn to use them? We don’t know how many learned from Yubal but we know there were enough for him to be mentioned as the "father" of all who came to use them.

22 - Now Zilah, she also bore Tubal-cain, an artisan of all implements of copper and iron; and the sister of Tubal-cain, Naamah.
Tubal-cain made implements that would go toward helping to build business and industry, not to mention cities in general.

23 - And Lemech said to his wives Adah and Zilah, "Hearken to my voice, wives of Lemech; hear my speech because I have killed a man for wounding me, and a youth for striking me.

24 - "If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, then Lemech seventy and sevenfold."
Three words come to mind: not very intelligent. This braggart (the nicest word I know for him) doesn’t exactly have a way with words, does he? Here’s a man who commits murder then brags about it for all to hear, it would seem. He said this to his wives and shares with them in his own unique way that he can and will mete out a greater punishment than God did in regard to Cain. What a tragically depraved society that has come to pass. Truly not an evolution but a devolution to this point.

25 - And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son, and she called his name Seth, "because Elohim has granted to me another descendant instead of Abel that Cain killed."

26 - And in regard to Seth, he also had a son born to him; and he called his name Enosh. At that time man began to call on the name of Yahweh.
Something happened in this culture at this time that prompted men to desire worship of and fellowship with Yahweh. I interpret this as being on an individual as well as a corporate level. Commentators have referred to this as a spiritual resurgence or a revival. At the very least I see this as the advent of public worship of Yahweh; something greatly needed especially in lieu of the cultural devolution referred to above.  


1 - This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day God created man, in the likeness of God He made him. And so begins the genealogy list that comprises the immediate descendants of Adam. Keep in mind what is going on here, that we do not have a comprehensive genealogy or history of every descendant of every father since Adam, nor do we have something added to the Bible that is boring, uninteresting, etc. Rather, in a general sense we have genealogical line blessed by Yahweh and traced from Adam to Abraham. Later we will see where the line is traced through to David, and then to Christ. For now though, we will see that the line actually begins with Seth. If you are of the belief this genealogy business is drier than dust, I dare you to hang in there.

2 - Male and female He created them and blessed them, and called their name Mankind in the day they were created.
They were blessed by God … in spite of themselves. And look at what both male and female were called: "Mankind." Sorry, fans of political correctness, but while this may be a problem for you, it is not a problem for God, who created man from the beginning. This is the same God that performed the wedding ceremony that brought them together. Adam and Eve are referred to as "man," which is the Hebrew adam. Once that was done, the two became one.

3 - And Adam lived one hundred and thirty years, and begat in his likeness according to his image, and called his name Seth.
The account states Adam lived on the earth 130 years. And doesn’t this beg the question: How old was Adam actually when he had lived 130 years? We know God created him as a fully mature human being, but in what portion of the life cycle was Adam when he actually came to be on the earth? I don’t know and neither do you, but from the account we know he had lived on the earth 130 years. If there are any questions about or problems with that, they’ll just have to wait until heaven to be resolved, I guess.

Notice the difference also in how Adam and Seth came to be. We saw where Adam was created in the image of God, but that Seth was begotten in the likeness of Adam. The name Seth, in case you were wondering, means "appointed."

4 - And the days of Adam after Seth was begotten were eight hundred years; and he begat sons and daughters.

5 - So all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years, and he died. As this portion of the biblical account gets underway I’m reminded of the introductory words of the long-running TV soap opera: "As the sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives." Man is no longer created, but born into the world. He lives for a few years (in God’s economy), he brings other offspring into the world, and then he dies. He returns to the dust from which he came. It sounds sad, but it actually is happy when we refer back to the earlier account stating how God will no longer allow man to live forever in his sinful state. We’ll see the cycle perpetuate itself here for the next several verses with one glowing exception.

6 - And Seth lived five hundred and thirty years, and he begat Enosh.

7 - And Seth lived after he begot Enosh eight hundred and seven years, and he begat sons and daughters.

8 - And all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years, and he died.

9 - And Enosh lived ninety years and he begat Kenan.

10 - And Enosh lived after he begot Kenan eight hundred and fifteen years, and he begat sons and daughters.

11 - So all the days of Enosh were nine hundred and five years, and he died.
The name Enosh means "subject to death." After 905 years, I think I would be as well.

12 - And Kenan lived seventy years, and he begot Mahaleel.

13 - And Kenan lived after he had begotten Mahaleel eight hundred and forty years, and he begat sons and daughters.

14 - And all the days of Kenan were nine hundred and ten years, and he died.
Kenan means "one who is full of sorrow."

15 - And Mahaleel lived sixty five years and he begat Yered.
Mahaleel means "from the presence of God." Yered means "one comes down."

16 - And Mahaleel lived after he had begotten Yered eight hundred and thirty years, and he begat sons and daughters.

17 - So all the days of Mahaleel were eight hundred and ninety five years, and he died.

18 - And Yered lived a hundred and sixty two years, and he begat Enoch.

19 - And Yered lived after he had begotten Enoch eight hundred years, and he begat sons and daughters.

20 - So all the days of Yered were nine hundred and sixty two years, and he died.

21 - And Enoch lived sixty five years, and he begat Methuselah.
Enter: Our Hero! Yes, our spiritual hero breaks us out of the doldrums of birth, life, offspring, death. Over and over we see this pattern in our genealogical account. It’s enough to make one want to stay in bed all day! Yet God brings one to bear that not only breaks the cycle, that not only gives hope, but gives the reason for the hope. Enoch’s father died as did his father before him. Yet there is a difference. From the wording in the account, it appears as if Methuselah made the difference. Dr. McGee has said in his commentary on this passage that if a baby doesn’t make a difference in one’s life then nothing will. I’m inclined to agree but notice, if you will, what happens once this child is born.

22 - And Enoch walked with God after he had begotten Methuselah three hundred years, and he begat sons and daughters.
It appears as if Methuselah somehow motivated Enoch to "walk" with God. This is the first instance of man not just having fellowship with God, but enjoying it. That’s the only real word that comes to mind when this account is brought to mind. Methuselah wasn’t the only one in the line of Enoch, but he certainly was the most important as we will see.

23 - So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty five years.

24 - And Enoch walked with God; then he was not, for God took him.
What happened? First of all, the name Enoch is said to mean "dedicated." These are the verses that tell us to Who. If you’ve heard the story before feel free to move on, but it’s like the story the little girl told when her mom asked her what she learned in Sunday School that day. She said she learned about Enoch. She then told of how God came by Enoch’s house every day and asked him to go for a walk with Him. Day after day Enoch went for a walk with God. They talked and shared and shared and talked. They enjoyed being with each other so much. Then there was the day God came to see Enoch and pretty much insisted that he walk with Him, for He had so much to share. They had been out walking and talking so long and at once Enoch realized how late it was. He told God, "My, it has gotten to be so late in the day! I must start making my way back home." Without missing a beat, God said to him, "I have an idea, Enoch. You’re much closer to my home than yours. Why don’t you just come on home with me?" And Enoch went home with God to live with Him forever.

If you can find a better explanation than that for what happened to Enoch I’d love to hear it, but I believe that hits the nail on the head pretty well.

25 - And Methuselah lived a hundred and eighty seven years, and he begat Lemech.

26 - And Methuselah lived after he had begotten Lemech seven hundred and eighty two years, and he begat sons and daughters.

27 - So all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred and sixty nine years, and he died. And we believe we have long life spans in our day! Why 969 years? So that God could extend His mercy, as we say, "to the nth degree." He is "not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9). We will see this truth personified beginning in the next chapter. For now, though, let’s ponder one central truth directly related to this.

When Enoch brought forth ("had begotten") Methuselah it changed his life according to our interpretation of the text. Was it because Enoch saw something supernatural in Methuselah? Did Enoch have some type of revealed spiritual insight concerning this child? When a child came into the world, the Hebrew culture placed a great deal of stock in the name of the child. What the child was named would serve as a prophecy of sorts as to what this child will go on to become or do in life. In more recent days much light has been shed on an Old Testament character by the name of Jabez. In 1 Chronicles 4 we see that he was brought into the world by way of hard labor. His name meant "pain." So everywhere Jabez went he was perceived as a "pain." His name reflected the condition of the moment, but because this was true in the culture of Hebrew names he was a bother of sorts everywhere he went, so his name served also to be more than a little prophetic.

This brings us back to Methuselah, whose name literally translated means ‘once dead, judgment’. Why would Enoch name this particular child in such a manner? I don’t mean to sound as if I’m reading too much into the text and I don’t believe I am. This is just good exegesis that allows one to see the full meaning associated with this particular passage that we wouldn’t be able to see any other way. To get into the minds and hearts of the people being written about is essential to any real and proper interpretation of Scripture.

Why did Methuselah live as long as he did? This was the act of a holy, righteous, sovereign God "not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." So what? Well, what happened the same year Methuselah died? The flood! God was not willing, but man brought the judgment of God on himself. How else could a holy, righteous, sovereign God respond?

So Methuselah’s name served as a prophetic warning to those of his day that God was in the business of reigning sovereignly over the affairs of man … whether man liked it or not. This will not set well with many of this day, but God is still holy and righteous and sovereign. He will judge in spite of the fact that man thinks he is getting away with anything outside of the will of God. The good news is that the words of 2 Peter 3:9 are still applicable. There is time to repent - that is, to change your direction - if necessary. That is true of you as an individual and we as a nation and world. This made possible only by Jesus Christ who gave His life that we may be made right in Him. Bless the LORD for holding open the door that leads to repentance and new life in Him!

28 - And Lemech lived a hundred and eighty two years, and he begat a son.

29 - And he called his name Noah, for he said, "This [one] will comfort us from our labors and toil of our hands, because of the ground that Yahweh has cursed." Noah sounds like the Hebrew word for "rest." The rendering here is "comfort," but why he is one that will bring comfort I’m not sure. It could mean he was the firstborn among the line. It could mean that he was a son in a long line of daughters who customarily did not work out in the fields. It could be that he had other brothers but were sickly and couldn’t work in the fields. I believe the first of those is correct but if you believe otherwise, fine. We do know the work was hard and that the family patriarch needed all the help he could muster to keep food on the table.

30 - And Lemech lived after he had begotten Noah five hundred and ninety five years, and he begat sons and daughters.

31 - So all the days of Lemech were seven hundred and seventy seven years, and he died.
Are there gaps in the genealogy or are there not? That is the question … supposedly. Some say there are none, others say there are a few minor gaps, others there are some major gaps. The ones who believe there are major gaps base it on the genealogy that opens the New Testament in Matthew 1. True, there are fourteen generations broken down three ways according to that portion of history for the purpose of relating the genealogy to the faithfulness of Yahweh. Whatever the structure of our present passage, our genealogical trail leads straight into the heart of the redemptive history of man with God as the author.

To help "tie a bow" in the section of our study, I afford you the opportunity to meditate on Pastor Jon Courson’s commentary on this chapter. This to me says it all.

Perhaps you wonder if it was really necessary to devote an entire chapter of the Word to a list of men who begat and died. But look at the names again: The Man appointed to death, sorrowful. From the presence of God, One comes down, dedicated. Dying, He shall send to the poor and lowly, rest and comfort.

I must have read Genesis 5 a hundred times before I realized that the entire gospel message is embedded in what seems to be a boring genealogy. Such is the wonder of the Word5


32 - And Noah was five hundred years old, and Noah begat Shem, Ham, and Yepeth. We are now beginning to see the results of the genealogy that traces the line of godly heritage first from Adam to Noah. This will lead us to the pivotal events of the next chapter that describe in vivid detail God’s awesome judgment of man on the earth.


1Albert Barnes, Albert Barnes' Notes on the Bible: Genesis, excerpted

2Henry M. Morris, The Genesis Record: A Scientific and Devotional
        Commentary on the Book of Beginnings
(Grand Rapids: Baker
        Book House: 1976), 130. 

3Edward Mote and William Bradbury, The Solid Rock, Public Domain. 


5Jon Courson, Jon Courson's Application Commentary - Volume One: 
(Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2005).