Genesis 4: 23-26….Bigamy plus.

Lamech said to his wives:
“Adah and Zillah, hear my voice;
you wives of Lamech, listen to what I say:
I have killed a man for wounding me,
a young man for striking me.
If Cain’s revenge is sevenfold,
then Lamech’s is seventy-sevenfold.”
And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and called his name Seth, for she said, “God has appointed for me another offspring instead of Abel, for Cain killed him.” To Seth also a son was born, and he called his name Enosh. At that time people began to call upon the name of the LORD.

Comment: I suspect that most people skip over these verses and fail to see much significance in them It has two segments to it and I cannot see that the second half follows after the first, time wise. I suspect it is a record of something that happened years before. Lamech has four generations between Cain and him – that is he was a grand-grand-something-grandchild.. Adam and Eve are presented as having Seth as a replacement for Abel (Cain’s younger brother.) The population was beginning to grow. In the passage we have

  • The first recorded instance of bigamy.
  • What sounds like a killing in self-defence and a claim that as God had protected Cain for a wilful murder he was doubly safe for a death in self defence. (The meaning of seven combined with seventy-seven is an Hebraic expression for completeness.)
  • What does ‘people began to call upon the name of the LORD.‘ mean? I’m not sure. Maybe you can think of more meanings but I can postulate three. a) they began to pray – I think this unlikely as God had spent time one on one talking with Adam and Eve. b) some were like Cain (rejecting God’s way) others were like Abel (following God’s way) and this second group began to see themselves as God’s people. c) it was a sarcastic comment by the ‘godless’ to denigrate those who sought to follow God – that is they used it as a sneering term for the ‘good’ ones. Like the word ‘Christian’ started as an insult to Jesus’ followers. There are phrases or sometimes even passages in the Bible which I find hard to understand. I see them as true statements but have to accept my limitations of understanding. This changes nothing in my belief in the Bible as the Word of God.

PS. Joseph and Mary couldn’t buy a plane or bus ticket I wonder how they planned to make the 150 Km trip?

Prayer: Please, open my eyes to see what You want me to understand in Your Word.

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