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Genesis 4 Good News Translation (GNT)

Cain and Abel

Then Adam had intercourse with his wife, and she became pregnant. She bore a son and said, “By the Lord's help I have gotten a son.” So she named him Cain.[a] Later she gave birth to another son, Abel. Abel became a shepherd, but Cain was a farmer. After some time Cain brought some of his harvest and gave it as an offering to the Lord. Then Abel brought the first lamb born to one of his sheep, killed it, and gave the best parts of it as an offering. The Lord was pleased with Abel and his offering, but he rejected Cain and his offering. Cain became furious, and he scowled in anger. Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why that scowl on your face? If you had done the right thing, you would be smiling;[b] but because you have done evil, sin is crouching at your door. It wants to rule you, but you must overcome it.”

Then Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let's go out in the fields.”[c] When they were out in the fields, Cain turned on his brother and killed him.

The Lord asked Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?”

He answered, “I don't know. Am I supposed to take care of my brother?”

10 Then the Lord said, “Why have you done this terrible thing? Your brother's blood is crying out to me from the ground, like a voice calling for revenge. 11 You are placed under a curse and can no longer farm the soil. It has soaked up your brother's blood as if it had opened its mouth to receive it when you killed him. 12 If you try to grow crops, the soil will not produce anything; you will be a homeless wanderer on the earth.”

13 And Cain said to the Lord, “This punishment is too hard for me to bear. 14 You are driving me off the land and away from your presence. I will be a homeless wanderer on the earth, and anyone who finds me will kill me.”

15 But the Lord answered, “No. If anyone kills you, seven lives will be taken in revenge.” So the Lord put a mark on Cain to warn anyone who met him not to kill him. 16 And Cain went away from the Lord's presence and lived in a land called “Wandering,” which is east of Eden.

The Descendants of Cain

17 Cain and his wife had a son and named him Enoch. Then Cain built a city and named it after his son. 18 Enoch had a son named Irad, who was the father of Mehujael, and Mehujael had a son named Methushael, who was the father of Lamech. 19 Lamech had two wives, Adah and Zillah. 20 Adah gave birth to Jabal, who was the ancestor of those who raise livestock and live in tents. 21 His brother was Jubal, the ancestor of all musicians who play the harp and the flute. 22 Zillah gave birth to Tubal Cain, who made all kinds of tools[d] out of bronze and iron. The sister of Tubal Cain was Naamah.

23 Lamech said to his wives,

“Adah and Zillah, listen to me:
I have killed a young man because he struck me.
24 If seven lives are taken to pay for killing Cain,
Seventy-seven will be taken if anyone kills me.”

Seth and Enosh

25 Adam and his wife had another son. She said, “God has given me a son to replace Abel, whom Cain killed.” So she named him Seth.[e] 26 Seth had a son whom he named Enosh. It was then that people began using the Lord's holy name in worship.

Footnotes:

  1. Genesis 4:1 This name sounds like the Hebrew for “gotten.”
  2. Genesis 4:7 you would be smiling; or I would have accepted your offering.
  3. Genesis 4:8 Some ancient translations Let's go out in the fields; Hebrew does not have these words.
  4. Genesis 4:22 who made all kinds of tools; one ancient translation ancestor of all metalworkers.
  5. Genesis 4:25 This name sounds like the Hebrew for “has given.”
Good News Translation (GNT)

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

Genesis 4 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Cain Murders Abel

Now the man knew his wife Eve, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have produced[a] a man with the help of the Lord.” Next she bore his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a tiller of the ground. In the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground, and Abel for his part brought of the firstlings of his flock, their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering, but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell. The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is lurking at the door; its desire is for you, but you must master it.”

Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let us go out to the field.”[b] And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel, and killed him. Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?” 10 And the Lord said, “What have you done? Listen; your brother’s blood is crying out to me from the ground! 11 And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. 12 When you till the ground, it will no longer yield to you its strength; you will be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth.” 13 Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is greater than I can bear! 14 Today you have driven me away from the soil, and I shall be hidden from your face; I shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth, and anyone who meets me may kill me.” 15 Then the Lord said to him, “Not so![c] Whoever kills Cain will suffer a sevenfold vengeance.” And the Lord put a mark on Cain, so that no one who came upon him would kill him. 16 Then Cain went away from the presence of the Lord, and settled in the land of Nod,[d] east of Eden.

Beginnings of Civilization

17 Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch; and he built a city, and named it Enoch after his son Enoch. 18 To Enoch was born Irad; and Irad was the father of Mehujael, and Mehujael the father of Methushael, and Methushael the father of Lamech. 19 Lamech took two wives; the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah. 20 Adah bore Jabal; he was the ancestor of those who live in tents and have livestock. 21 His brother’s name was Jubal; he was the ancestor of all those who play the lyre and pipe. 22 Zillah bore Tubal-cain, who made all kinds of bronze and iron tools. The sister of Tubal-cain was Naamah.

23 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.
24 If Cain is avenged sevenfold,
    truly Lamech seventy-sevenfold.”

25 Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and named him Seth, for she said, “God has appointed[e] for me another child instead of Abel, because Cain killed him.” 26 To Seth also a son was born, and he named him Enosh. At that time people began to invoke the name of the Lord.

Footnotes:

  1. Genesis 4:1 The verb in Heb resembles the word for Cain
  2. Genesis 4:8 Sam Gk Syr Compare Vg: MT lacks Let us go out to the field
  3. Genesis 4:15 Gk Syr Vg: Heb Therefore
  4. Genesis 4:16 That is Wandering
  5. Genesis 4:25 The verb in Heb resembles the word for Seth
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Genesis 4 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

The man had sexual relations with Havah his wife; she conceived, gave birth to Kayin [acquisition] and said, “I have acquired a man from Adonai. In addition she gave birth to his brother Hevel. Hevel kept sheep, while Kayin worked the soil. In the course of time Kayin brought an offering to Adonai from the produce of the soil; and Hevel too brought from the firstborn of his sheep, including their fat. Adonai accepted Hevel and his offering but did not accept Kayin and his offering. Kayin was very angry, and his face fell. Adonai said to Kayin, “Why are you angry? Why so downcast? If you are doing what is good, shouldn’t you hold your head high? And if you don’t do what is good, sin is crouching at the door — it wants you, but you can rule over it.” Kayin had words with Hevel his brother; then one time, when they were in the field, Kayin turned on Hevel his brother and killed him.

Adonai said to Kayin, “Where is Hevel your brother?” And he replied, “I don’t know; am I my brother’s guardian?” 10 He said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying out to me from the ground! 11 Now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood at your hands. 12 When you farm the ground it will no longer yield its strength to you. You will be a fugitive, wandering the earth.” 13 Kayin said to Adonai, “My punishment is greater than I can bear. 14 You are banning me today from the land and from your presence. I will be a fugitive wandering the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.” 15 Adonai answered him, “Therefore, whoever kills Kayin will receive vengeance sevenfold,” and Adonai put a sign on Kayin, so that no one who found him would kill him. 16 So Kayin left the presence of Adonai and lived in the land of Nod [wandering], east of ‘Eden.

17 Kayin had sexual relations with his wife; she conceived and gave birth to Hanokh. Kayin built a city and named the city after his son Hanokh. 18 To Hanokh was born ‘Irad. ‘Irad fathered Mechuya’el, Mechuya’el fathered Metusha’el, and Metusha’el fathered Lemekh.

(S: v) 19 Lemekh took himself two wives; the name of the one was ‘Adah, while the name of the other was Tzilah. 20 ‘Adah gave birth to Yaval; he was the ancestor of those who live in tents and have cattle. 21 His brother’s name was Yuval; and he was the ancestor of all who play lyre and flute. 22 Tzilah gave birth to Tuval-Kayin, who forged all kinds of tools from brass and iron; the sister of Tuval-Kayin was Na‘amah. 23 Lemekh said to his wives,

“‘Adah and Tzilah, listen to me;
wives of Lemekh, hear what I say:
I killed a man for wounding me,
a young man who injured me.
24 If Kayin will be avenged sevenfold,
then Lemekh seventy-sevenfold!”

25 Adam again had sexual relations with his wife, and she gave birth to a son whom she named Shet [granted], “For God has granted me another seed in place of Hevel, since Kayin killed him.” 26 To Shet too was born a son, whom he called Enosh. That is when people began to call on the name of Adonai.

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved.

Genesis 4 The Message (MSG)

Adam slept with Eve his wife. She conceived and had Cain. She said, “I’ve gotten a man, with God’s help!”

Then she had another baby, Abel. Abel was a herdsman and Cain a farmer.

3-5 Time passed. Cain brought an offering to God from the produce of his farm. Abel also brought an offering, but from the firstborn animals of his herd, choice cuts of meat. God liked Abel and his offering, but Cain and his offering didn’t get his approval. Cain lost his temper and went into a sulk.

6-7 God spoke to Cain: “Why this tantrum? Why the sulking? If you do well, won’t you be accepted? And if you don’t do well, sin is lying in wait for you, ready to pounce; it’s out to get you, you’ve got to master it.”

Cain had words with his brother. They were out in the field; Cain came at Abel his brother and killed him.

God said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?”

He said, “How should I know? Am I his babysitter?”

10-12 God said, “What have you done! The voice of your brother’s blood is calling to me from the ground. From now on you’ll get nothing but curses from this ground; you’ll be driven from this ground that has opened its arms to receive the blood of your murdered brother. You’ll farm this ground, but it will no longer give you its best. You’ll be a homeless wanderer on Earth.”

13-14 Cain said to God, “My punishment is too much. I can’t take it! You’ve thrown me off the land and I can never again face you. I’m a homeless wanderer on Earth and whoever finds me will kill me.”

15 God told him, “No. Anyone who kills Cain will pay for it seven times over.” God put a mark on Cain to protect him so that no one who met him would kill him.

16 Cain left the presence of God and lived in No-Man’s-Land, east of Eden.

17-18 Cain slept with his wife. She conceived and had Enoch. He then built a city and named it after his son, Enoch.

Enoch had Irad,

Irad had Mehujael,

Mehujael had Methushael,

Methushael had Lamech.

19-22 Lamech married two wives, Adah and Zillah. Adah gave birth to Jabal, the ancestor of all who live in tents and herd cattle. His brother’s name was Jubal, the ancestor of all who play the lyre and flute. Zillah gave birth to Tubal-Cain, who worked at the forge making bronze and iron tools. Tubal-Cain’s sister was Naamah.

23-24     Lamech said to his wives,
Adah and Zillah, listen to me;
    you wives of Lamech, hear me out:
I killed a man for wounding me,
    a young man who attacked me.
If Cain is avenged seven times,
    for Lamech it’s seventy-seven!

25-26 Adam slept with his wife again. She had a son whom she named Seth. She said, “God has given me another child in place of Abel whom Cain killed.” And then Seth had a son whom he named Enosh.

That’s when men and women began praying and worshiping in the name of God.

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson

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