Contemporary English Version
Cain Murders Abel
Abel became a sheep farmer, but Cain farmed the land. 3 One day, Cain gave part of his harvest to the Lord, 4 and Abel also gave an offering to the Lord. He killed the first-born lamb from one of his sheep and gave the Lord the best parts of it. The Lord was pleased with Abel and his offering, 5 but not with Cain and his offering. This made Cain so angry that he could not hide his feelings.
6 The Lord said to Cain:
What’s wrong with you? Why do you have such an angry look on your face? 7 If you had done the right thing, you would be smiling.[c] But you did the wrong thing, and now sin is waiting to attack you like a lion. Sin wants to destroy you, but don’t let it!
8 Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go for a walk.”[d] And when they were out in a field, Cain killed him.
9 Afterwards the Lord asked Cain, “Where is Abel?”
“How should I know?” he answered. “Am I supposed to look after my brother?”
10 Then the Lord said:
Why have you done this terrible thing? You killed your own brother, and his blood flowed onto the ground. Now his blood is calling out for me to punish you. 11 And so, I’ll put you under a curse. Because you killed Abel and made his blood run out on the ground, you will never be able to farm the land again. 12 If you try to farm the land, it won’t produce anything for you. From now on, you’ll be without a home, and you’ll spend the rest of your life wandering from place to place.
13 “This punishment is too hard!” Cain said. 14 “You’re making me leave my home and live far from you.[e] I will have to wander about without a home, and just anyone could kill me.”
15 “No!”[f] the Lord answered. “Anyone who kills you will be punished seven times worse than I am punishing you.” So the Lord put a mark on Cain to warn everyone not to kill him. 16 But Cain had to go far from the Lord and live in the Land of Wandering,[g] which is east of Eden.
More and More People
17 Later, Cain and his wife had a son named Enoch. At the time Cain was building a town, and so he named it Enoch after his son. 18 Then Enoch had a son named Irad, who had a son named Mehujael, who had a son named Methushael, who had a son named Lamech.
19 Lamech married Adah, then Zillah. 20-21 Lamech and Adah had two sons, Jabal and Jubal. Their son Jabal was the first to live in tents and raise sheep and goats. Jubal was the first to play harps and flutes.
22 Lamech and Zillah had a son named Tubal Cain who made tools out of bronze and iron. They also had a daughter, whose name was Naamah.
23 One day, Lamech said to his two wives, “A young man wounded me, and I killed him. 24 Anyone who tries to get even with me will be punished ten times more than anyone who tries to get even with Cain.”
25 Adam and his wife had another son. They named him Seth, because they said, “God has given[h] us a son to take the place of Abel, who was killed by his brother Cain.” 26 Later, Seth had a son and named him Enosh.
About this time people started worshiping the Lord.[i]
Descendants of Adam
5 1-2 God created men and women to be like himself. He gave them his blessing and called them human beings. This is a list of the descendants of Adam, the first man:
3-4 When Adam was one hundred thirty, he had a son who was just like him, and he named him Seth. Adam had more children 5 and died at the age of nine hundred thirty.
6 When Seth was one hundred five, he had a son named Enosh. 7 Seth had more children 8 and died at the age of nine hundred twelve.
9 When Enosh was ninety, he had a son named Kenan. 10 Enosh had more children 11 and died at the age of nine hundred five.
12 When Kenan was seventy, he had a son named Mahalalel. 13 Kenan had more children 14 and died at the age of nine hundred ten.
15 When Mahalalel was sixty-five, he had a son named Jared. 16 Mahalalel had more children 17 and died at the age of eight hundred ninety-five.
18 When Jared was one hundred sixty-two, he had a son named Enoch. 19 Jared had more children 20 and died at the age of nine hundred sixty-two.
21 When Enoch was sixty-five, he had a son named Methuselah, 22 and during the next three hundred years he had more children. Enoch truly loved God, 23-24 and God took him away at the age of three hundred sixty-five.
25 When Methuselah was one hundred eighty-seven, he had a son named Lamech. 26 Methuselah had more children 27 and died at the age of nine hundred sixty-nine.
28 When Lamech was one hundred eighty-two, he had a son. 29 Lamech said, “I’ll name him Noah because he will give us comfort,[j] as we struggle hard to make a living on this land that the Lord has put under a curse.” 30 Lamech had more children 31 and died at the age of seven hundred seventy-seven.
32 After Noah was five hundred years old, he had three sons and named them Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
The Lord Will Send a Flood
6 1-2 More and more people were born, until finally they spread all over the earth. Some of their daughters were so beautiful that supernatural beings[k] came down and married the ones they wanted. 3 Then the Lord said, “I won’t let my life-giving breath remain in anyone forever.[l] No one will live for more than one hundred twenty years.”[m]
4 The children of the supernatural beings who had married these women became famous heroes and warriors. They were called Nephilim and lived on the earth at that time and even later.
5 The Lord saw how bad the people on earth were and that everything they thought and planned was evil. 6 He was very sorry that he had made them, 7 and he said, “I’ll destroy every living creature on earth! I’ll wipe out people, animals, birds, and reptiles. I’m sorry I ever made them.”
8 But the Lord was pleased with Noah, 9 and this is the story about him. Noah was the only person who lived right and obeyed God. 10 He had three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
11-12 God knew that everyone was terribly cruel and violent. 13 So he told Noah:
Cruelty and violence have spread everywhere. Now I’m going to destroy the whole earth and all its people. 14 Get some good lumber and build a boat. Put rooms in it and cover it with tar inside and out. 15 Make it four hundred fifty feet long, seventy-five feet wide, and forty-five feet high. 16 Build a roof[n] on the boat and leave a space of about eighteen inches between the roof and the sides.[o] Make the boat three stories high and put a door on one side.
17 I’m going to send a flood that will destroy everything that breathes! Nothing will be left alive. 18 But I solemnly promise that you, your wife, your sons, and your daughters-in-law will be kept safe in the boat.[p]
19-20 Bring into the boat with you a male and a female of every kind of animal and bird, as well as a male and a female of every reptile. I don’t want them to be destroyed. 21 Store up enough food both for yourself and for them.
22 Noah did everything the Lord told him to do.
7 The Lord told Noah:
Take your whole family with you into the boat, because you are the only one on this earth who pleases me. 2 Take seven pairs of every kind of animal that can be used for sacrifice[q] and one pair of all others. 3 Also take seven pairs of every kind of bird with you. Do this so there will always be animals and birds on the earth. 4 Seven days from now I will send rain that will last for forty days and nights, and I will destroy all other living creatures I have made.
5-7 Noah was six hundred years old when he went into the boat to escape the flood, and he did everything the Lord had told him to do. His wife, his sons, and his daughters-in-law all went inside with him. 8-9 He obeyed God and took a male and a female of each kind of animal and bird into the boat with him. 10 Seven days later a flood began to cover the earth.
11-12 Noah was six hundred years old when the water under the earth started gushing out everywhere. The sky opened like windows, and rain poured down for forty days and nights. All this began on the seventeenth day of the second month of the year. 13 On that day Noah and his wife went into the boat with their three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, and their wives. 14 They took along every kind of animal, tame and wild, including the birds. 15 Noah took a male and a female of every living creature with him, 16 just as God had told him to do. And when they were all in the boat, God closed the door.
17-18 For forty days the rain poured down without stopping. And the water became deeper and deeper, until the boat started floating high above the ground. 19-20 Finally, the mighty flood was so deep that even the highest mountain peaks were almost twenty-five feet below the surface of the water. 21 Not a bird, animal, reptile, or human was left alive anywhere on earth. 22-23 The Lord destroyed everything that breathed. Nothing was left alive except Noah and the others in the boat. 24 A hundred fifty days later, the water started going down.
- 4.1 Adam: See the note at 3.20.
- 4.1 Cain. . . got: In Hebrew “Cain” sounds like “got.”
- 4.7 you would be smiling: Or “I would have accepted your offering.”
- 4.8 Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s walk”: Most ancient translations; Hebrew “Cain spoke to his brother Abel.”
- 4.14 live. . . you: At this time it was believed that the Lord was with his people only in their own land.
- 4.15 No: Three ancient translations; Hebrew “Very well!”
- 4.16 Wandering: The Hebrew text has “Nod,” which means “wandering.”
- 4.25 Seth. . . given: In Hebrew “Seth” sounds like “given.”
- 4.26 worshiping the Lord: Or “worshiping in the name of the Lord.”
- 5.29 Noah. . . comfort: In Hebrew “Noah” sounds like “comfort.”
- 6.1,2 supernatural beings: Or “angels.”
- 6.3 I won’t. . . forever: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
- 6.3 No one. . . years: Or “In fact, they will all be destroyed in about one hundred years” (that is, at the time of the flood).
- 6.16 roof: Or “window.”
- 6.16 leave. . . sides: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
- 6.18 boat: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 18.
- 7.2 animal. . . for sacrifice: Hebrew “clean animals.” Animals that could be used for sacrifice were called “clean,” and animals that could not be used were called “unclean.”