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Cain and Abel

Now Adam knew[a] Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain. And she said, “I have given birth to a man with the help of Yahweh.” Then she bore[b] his brother Abel. And Abel became a keeper of sheep, and Cain became a tiller of the ground. And in the course of time[c] Cain brought an offering from the fruit of the ground to Yahweh, and Abel also brought an offering from the choicest firstlings of his flock.[d] And Yahweh looked with favor to Abel and to his offering, but to Cain and to his offering he did not look with favor. And Cain became very angry, and his face fell. And Yahweh said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why is your face fallen? If you do well will I not accept you?[e] But if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. And its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.”

Then[f] Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let us go out into the field.”[g] And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him. Then[h] Yahweh said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” And he said, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?” 10 And he said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying out to me from the ground. 11 So now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive the blood of your brother from your hand. 12 When you till the ground it shall no longer yield its strength to you.[i] You shall be a wanderer and a fugitive on the earth.” 13 And Cain said to Yahweh, “My punishment is greater than I can bear. 14 Look, you have driven me out today from the face of the ground, and from your face I must hide. I will be a wanderer and a fugitive on the earth, and it will happen that whoever finds me will kill me.” 15 Then[j] Yahweh said to him, “Therefore, whoever kills Cain will be avenged sevenfold.” Then[k] Yahweh put a sign on Cain so that whoever found him would not kill him. 16 And Cain went out from the presence of Yahweh, and he settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden.

17 And Cain knew[l] his wife, and she conceived and gave birth to Enoch. And when he built a city he named the city after his son, Enoch.[m] 18 And to Enoch was born Irad, and Irad fathered Mehujael, and Mehujael fathered Methushael, and Methushael fathered Lamech. 19 And Lamech took to himself two wives.[n] The name of the first was Adah, and the name of the second was Zillah. 20 And Adah gave birth to Jabal; he was the father of those who live in tents and those who have livestock. 21 And the name of his brother was Jubal; he was the father of all who play stringed instruments and wind instruments. 22 Then[o] Zillah also gave birth to Tubal-Cain who forged all kinds of tools of bronze and iron. And the sister of Tubal-Cain was Naamah.

23 Then[p] Lamech said to his wives,

“Adah and Zillah, listen to my voice;
    O wives of Lamech, hear my words.
I have killed a man for wounding me,
    Even a young man for injuring me.
24 If Cain is avenged sevenfold,
    Then Lamech will be avenged seventy and seven times.

25 Then[q] Adam knew[r] his wife again, and she gave birth to a son. And she called his name Seth, for she said “God has appointed to me another child in the place of Abel, because Cain killed him.” 26 And as for Seth, he also fathered a son, and he called his name Enosh. At that time he[s] began to call on the name of Yahweh.


  1. Genesis 4:1 Or “had intercourse with”
  2. Genesis 4:2 Literally “And she added to bear”
  3. Genesis 4:3 Literally “it came to pass at the end of days”
  4. Genesis 4:4 Literally “from the firstlings of his flock and from their fat”
  5. Genesis 4:7 Literally “a lifting up”; this is an abbreviation of the Hebrew idiom “to lift up the face,” which means “to accept or regard with favor”
  6. Genesis 4:8 Or “And”
  7. Genesis 4:8 This phrase is not present in the Hebrew; it is supplied in other versions Samaritan, Septuagint, Syriac, Vulgate
  8. Genesis 4:9 Or “And”
  9. Genesis 4:12 Literally “it shall not add to give its strength to you”
  10. Genesis 4:15 Or “And”
  11. Genesis 4:15 Or “And”
  12. Genesis 4:17 Or “had intercourse with”
  13. Genesis 4:17 Literally “he called the name of the city as the name of his son, Enoch”
  14. Genesis 4:19 Or “women”
  15. Genesis 4:22 Or “And”
  16. Genesis 4:23 Or “And”
  17. Genesis 4:25 Or “And”
  18. Genesis 4:25 Or “had intercourse with”
  19. Genesis 4:26 Or “humankind,” if the 3ms form is considered collective