Communities

Writing
Writing
Codidact Meta
Codidact Meta
The Great Outdoors
The Great Outdoors
Photography & Video
Photography & Video
Scientific Speculation
Scientific Speculation
Cooking
Cooking
Electrical Engineering
Electrical Engineering
Judaism
Judaism
Languages & Linguistics
Languages & Linguistics
Software Development
Software Development
Mathematics
Mathematics
Christianity
Christianity
Code Golf
Code Golf
Music
Music
Physics
Physics
Linux Systems
Linux Systems
Power Users
Power Users
Tabletop RPGs
Tabletop RPGs

Dashboard
Notifications
Mark all as read
Q&A

In Genesis 4:14, who is Cain refering to when he says "whoever finds me will kill me."?

+4
−0

I remember having a discussion with someone in my church about the book of Genesis and re-reading about Cain and Abel made me scratch my head. When Cain murdered Abel, God put a mark on Cain as punishment.

What really confuses me, however, is when in Genesis 4:14 (NIV), it says "... Today you are driving me from the land, and I will be hidden from your presence; I will be a restless wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.' "

However, at this point of the Bible, this is some years after Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden of Eden I presume.

Who exactly is Cain referring to when he says "whoever"? If Adam, Eve, Cain, and Abel were the only known humans around at this time, who exactly would Cain be referring to?

Why does this post require moderator attention?
You might want to add some details to your flag.
Why should this post be closed?

0 comment threads

2 answers

+4
−0

[This answer is from a Young Earth Creationist perspective, taking the first chapters of Genesis fairly literally compared to some other perspectives. It's informed by what I've heard over the years about Cain and the early history of humanity. I've put some resources at the end about Cain from groups with similar perspectives to the one I present here.]

The short of it is that by the time this happened, there were definitely more than the four humans you mentioned around. (I mean, the verse you're asking about would itself be evidence for that, right?) Adam and Eve had other children than just Cain, Abel, and Seth (see Genesis 5:4), it's just that we don't know the names of most of their children and most of them don't feature in the story. The start of Genesis 4 jumps straight from the births of Cain and Abel to them keeping flocks and working the soil, but presumably they weren't farmers as soon as they were newborns. So in this time between them being born and when the story starting at Genesis 4:3 starts, there were other children who had been born (and perhaps some of them even had children of their own as we don't know exactly how much time passed before Abel was murdered). Maybe some of them may have already been living over in Nod or at least they had spread out a bit.

The common related question that often confuses people is where Cain's wife came from, but I think that's answered by this too: Cain was probably married (to another of Adam and Eve's children, yes) and brought his wife with him to Nod. (They just didn't have children, or at least didn't have his son Enoch, until after they moved to Nod.) Or maybe he wasn't married until after he moved, but regardless there were certainly other people around at the time of Cain's big move.

Seth was born after Abel died (Genesis 4:25), and Adam did see Seth as some sort of special replacement for Abel. But it doesn't look to me that Seth was the thirdborn child, because there clearly were other people around the earth at this time. Seth wasn't born until Adam was 130 years old (Genesis 5:3), and Adam and Eve were told to fill the earth with offspring (Genesis 1:28) and in that well over a hundred years of having children they had probably done a decent job of doing so. There could have been quite a lot of people around by this time.

Related resources:

Why does this post require moderator attention?
You might want to add some details to your flag.

0 comment threads

+2
−0

Adam, Eve, Cain, and Abel are not necessarily the only humans around, just the only ones mentioned so far, and if you read the entire chapter, it mentions Cain had a wife. So it's known that Adam and Eve had other children (daughters), but they aren't mentioned other than that.

However, we don't know if Cain had a wife or sister at that point in time when Cain said that to God, but even if they are the only ones so far, they still knew God's command in Genesis 1:28:

And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

So Cain knew that there would be many descendants to fill the earth, and he was afraid that he would be killed, because everyone new descendant born would eventually be told that Cain murdered Abel. Also, they lived much longer back then (Adam lived 930 years, Genesis 5:5).

Why does this post require moderator attention?
You might want to add some details to your flag.

0 comment threads

Sign up to answer this question »

This community is part of the Codidact network. We have other communities too — take a look!

You can also join us in chat!

Want to advertise this community? Use our templates!