(4:8) "Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him."
Because God liked Abel's animal sacrifice more than Cain's vegetables, Cain killed his brother
Abel in a fit of religious jealousy.
(4:9) "Am I my brother's keeper?"
Quoted by President Obama at the 2012 National Prayer Breakfast, implying that
the answer is, "Yes, we are our brother's keeper," although Cain probably meant something more like, "I don't know,
it's not my day to watch him."
(4:11-12, 16-17) "A fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth."
As a punishment for killing Abel, God says Cain will be "a fugitive and a vagabond."
Yet in just a few verses (4:16-17) Cain will settle down, marry, have a son, and
build a city. This is not the activity one would expect from a fugitive and a vagabond.
What became of Cain?
(4:14) "From thy face shall I be hid."
Does God know and see everything?
(4:14) "Every one that findeth me shall slay me."
Cain is worried after killing Abel and says, "Every one who finds me shall slay me." This is a strange concern
since there were only two other humans alive at the time -- his parents!
(4:15) "The LORD set a mark on Cain, lest any finding him should kill him."
But God is worried, too. He says whoever kills Cain will be punished sevenfold (whatever that means). Just to make sure, though,
God puts a mark on Cain so no one will kill him. Good idea. But it contradicts the law given in Gen.9:6 that says whoever kills shall be killed.
Does God approve of capital punishment?
Until the 1978 revelation to Mormon President, Spencer W. Kimball, black men were not allowed to hold the priesthood.
This was based, in part, on Genesis 4:15, where God placed a mark on Cain after he had killed his brother Abel.
Joseph Smith and later LDS leaders interpreted the "mark upon Cain" to be turning of Cain's skin (and that of all his descendents) black.
It should be noted, however, that Mormons were not alone in this interpretation of Gen.4:15. Many Protestant denominations
at the time Joseph Smith founded the LDS Church (1830) had the same racist understanding of the "mark of Cain."
(4:16) "And Cain went out from the presence of
Does God know everything?.
(4:17) "And Cain knew his wife."
That's nice, but where the hell did she come from? "The Bible doesn't mention any of Cain's sisters. Well, maybe he married his mom,
or maybe God pulled another creation over in the next county. In any case, Cain and the mysterious Mrs. Cain have a son (another blue cigar!).
His name is Enoch and he builds a city (population 3).
Although the Bible doesn't say where Mrs. Cain came from, Joseph Smith provided the answer
in "The Inspired
Version" of the Bible, which was his very own "translation". Here's what it says: "And it came to pass, that Cain took one of his brother's daughters to wife, and they loved Satan more than
God." – Gen.5:13
So according to Joseph Smith (and he ought to know!) Cain married one
of his nieces. He doesn't say, though, which of Cain's brothers was Mrs. Cain's father.
Another answer is provided by the Pre-Adamite theory.
(4:19) "And Lamech took him two wives."
Lamech is the first of a long line of biblical men with more
than one wife.
Is polygamy OK?
What the Bible says about polygamy
(4:23-24) "If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy and sevenfold."
Lamech kills a man and claims that since Cain's murderer would be punished sevenfold, whoever murders him will be
punished seventy-seven fold. That sounds fair.
"Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son."
Way to go Adam!
(4:26) "And to Seth ... was born a son."
Where'd he find his wife?