But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.
In the first part, we saw how God placed temptation in the way of Adam and Eve, and then punished them when they fell for it. I think that this was the first “dick move” God perpetrated on mankind. Over the coming books we will see how he refines this.
When I was at school, as soon as we knew the meaning of the word “knew” in the Bible, much hilarity ensued. Especially if someone used the word innocently. Simpler times. Anyway, Genesis 4:1 Adam knows Eve and she has a son and they call him Cain. He then knows her again and they have Abel. Abel is a shepherd and Cain is a farmer. They both work hard and present the Lord with their offerings: Abel gives a sheep because he is a sheep herder and Cain hands over the fruits of his work. Two men giving honestly and without malice. And the Lord, who apparently knows everything (including your inner most thoughts) goes absolutely crazy over Cain’s offering and, though I wasn’t there at the time, probably insults him. Dick move number 2 really, if we only count the whole of the Garden of Eden story as one big dick move. As God says:
4:6 And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?
4:7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.
So, Cain is a farmer and presents the offerings of a farmer and God seems to think this is a problem. Cain is showing his God what he has produced and this is thrown back at him. Well, thinks Cain, see how you like this! And he kills Abel. Which seems perfectly rational and reasonable. So God punishes Cain by driving him out of wherever they live and makes him go to the east to Nod. And to show Cain how furious he is with him, he makes it so no one can hurt him. That is Cain well and truly schooled!!
Somehow Cain finds and wife and he knows her and she gives birth to Enoch. So Cain builds a city and calls it Enoch. Which is a nice present for his first born. The question of where these other people come from has been raised numerous times elsewhere, so I won’t ask it here. But it is a worry. And who is the city of Enoch for?
The first of many lists is written so that we can see the line of descendants. Not going over it here as nobody ever cares about lists. They are probably in there so that someone can claim to be of the line of Cain and this is their way of showing it. Or something.
And while Cain and his sons are knowing their wives, Adam is back reacquainting himself with Eve. And Seth is born. And then Seth fathers Enos. I read somewhere that in the Judaic religion there are 2 Messiahs, a worldly one and a spiritual one. I wonder if this is the start of it, with Enos being the spiritual one and one of Cain’s descendants being the worldly one. I only ask because the final line in Chapter 4 is that after Enos is born, “then began men to call upon the name of the LORD”.
Genesis 5, big long list of who was who’s father. All of these people apparently did nothing of worth except to live long lives and then father sons. Who also lived long lives and fathered sons. And so on. But some bits are interesting, all the same. Mainly because they all came late to fatherhood and Cain and Abel have now been removed from the record. Adam, for example, was 130 when Seth was born and he live for another 800 years. This list appears to be a way to confirm that Noah (at the bottom of chapter 5) is a direct descendant of Adam (top of chapter 5). Something tells me that this was necessary – possibly a land claim or a title claim?
Speaking of Noah… According to chapter 6, there were giants on the Earth and (possibly) angels were off having sex and children with mortal women. It’s not made clear why, but all the people on Earth had lots of evil and wickedness in their heads. So God decided that the only fix was to kill everyone. In fact, he was so mad, he decided to kill everything – humans, animals, fish, insects, everything. But he decided to spare Noah and his family because they weren’t naughty. Skipping over the building of the ark, we get two different stories of which animals were put onto the ark:
Genesis 6:19-20 (my emphasis)
6:19 And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female.
6:20 Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive.
Genesis 7:2-3 (my emphasis)
7:2 Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female.
7:3 Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and the female; to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth.
These parts are right next to each other, but they are contradictory. Again, this is supposed to have been dictated by God, yet he seems a bit hazy on the details. By the end of chapter 7, the whole world is under water and Noah and family are floating around on the top. After almost a year, they land and Noah sacrifices one of every clean animal. Luckily they had 7 of each, so one was clearly a spare.
Afterwards, God makes a rainbow. Which is nice. In a move which should not surprise us now, and will not surprise us when other people do it, Noah does a dick move on his son Ham, who is now the ruler of Canaan. You see, Noah gets drunk on his own wine and falls asleep naked. His two sons, Shem and Japheth, see this and cover him with a blanket – walking backwards so as not to see their father’s naughty bits. Even though they saw that he was naked first. When Noah awakes, he instantly knows who was responsible for the blanket and decides that Canaan (in the person of Ham) should be their servant. Because Ham didn’t help you see, even though he may have had no idea that his pissed dad was a nudist. If any of this seems reasonable to you, please get help.
And at the end of chapter 9, Noah is 950 years old and then dies. And God promised not to kill everyone ever again.
Because Chapter 10 is just a list of the children of Ham, Shem and Japheth, we will not be reading it. So we’ll hit Genesis Chapter 11 next time.
- All the clean and unclean animals and birds in the whole world