Design By Humans

Monday, 12 March 2012

Genesis 4. Population explosion, all in a city that God can't see.

Genesis 4

1 And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD.

    Did she get a man from the LORD or did she get a baby from sexual intercourse? There is no mention of making a body from dust or of the breathing of life into it just that Adam 'knew' his wife and she had a baby. No LORD required.

2 And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.

    She's had another baby, I'm guessing intercourse was involved again. No LORD mentioned this time, I suspect she was less surprised by the second birth. Evidently at the very least fourteen years have passed between the beginning of this line and it's end, Cain and Abel are grown up and productive. One question that arises is... with a total population of four, how many sheep would you need to keep? I'd postulate that if there are only four of you on the whole earth that a hunter gatherer lifestyle would be more efficient than farming 

3 And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD.

    Did he bring his wares to Eden or has the LORD taken to making forays out into the cursed land that he has tossed Adam and Eve out to. Why is Cain even taking offerings to the LORD? Didn't the LORD lie to his father Adam about the nature of the trees in Eden? Didn't Adam tell Cain that eating the crops from the land was the punishment given to Adam by the LORD, clearly the LORD doesn't like ground fruit for him to think it a worthy punishment.

4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering:

    I'm still confused why either of these sons of Adam decided that the Liar of Eden is a worthy recipient for their offerings.

5 But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.

    What did Cain expect, the LORD clearly does not like vegetables, it says so in Genesis 2.

6 And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?

    It seems that the LORD lacks empathy and is poorly equipped to understand that if you don't like someones gift they are likely to get upset.

7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.

    I can't make sense of this line, accepted by whom? Cain did well at farming and was not accepted by the LORD. What does sin have to do with offering crops to someone? Who shall who rule over?

8 And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.

    What? I didn't see that coming. Perhaps the last line tells us why Cain was compelled to kill his brother. I'm guessing that the approval of the LORD was such a great thing to Cain that his jealousy caused him to kill his brother but that seems quite insane and if that is the case I still can't fathom why they care so much what the LORD thinks.

 9 And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper?


    This is the second example of the LORD god being unable to find someone. Why does Cain lie anyway, given the nature of this LORD I'd have assumed that offering Abel's body to the LORD would have been met with favour, or at least have been preferable to vegetables.

 10 And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground.
    The LORD has a feeling that Abel is dead, either that or the blood was actually crying?

 11 And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand;

    I'm guessing Land means something like country in this instance because if it means land in general then the next few parts don't make sense.   

 12 When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.

    God damns him to be an unsuccessful farmer, Well since god issued farming as a punishment to Adam and isn't partial to the product of farming, I don't see what God intends to achieve here.

 13 And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment is greater than I can bear.

    Really? What is so great about this punishment, could Cain not take up tending sheep now that the land beneath him will be unfarmable?

 14 Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me.

    Oh. God has banished him from earth? And here again we see that it is possible to be hidden from God. Oh and who are these people that might find him? His Mum and Dad? maybe these other people are Cherubim, we know that they exist now, or possibly the other gods?

 15 And the LORD said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the LORD set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him.

    Whoever these others are God sees that it is necessary to mark Cain to protect him from them. I'm not certain how vengeance can be exacted sevenfold if the crime is murder.

 16 And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.

    The land of Nod: Outside of the presence of the LORD. God is not in Nod, does not go to Nod and cannot see Nod. also since Cain was banished from the face of the earth, is Nod not on the face of the Earth?

 17 And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch: and he builded a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son, Enoch.

    Where did Cain get a wife? Possible wives at this point are; His Mother, a female god (if such a thing exists), a female cherubim (if such a thing exists) or, and this is a stretch, if God offered an animal to Adam for companionship perhaps Cain took a fancy to an animal. At best it's not clear. Are we to believe that Cain, his wife (who is potentially his mother) and his infant son built an entire city?

 18 And unto Enoch was born Irad: and Irad begat Mehujael: and Mehujael begat Methusael: and Methusael begat Lamech.

    Here we step over some uninteresting generations to get to Lamech. At this point I'm going to guess that there are more people around now, in fact I'll imagine an average of 6 children per couple per generation, That's probably a bit too much but it puts the total population of the world (Living in the City of Enoch, in the land of Nod, outside of Gods view) at this point in time at about 730

 19 And Lamech took unto him two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah.

    Righto.

20 And Adah bare Jabal: he was the father of such as dwell in tents, and of such as have cattle.

    Right, I think that this means that Jabal decided to leave the City of Enoch and live a nomadic lifestyle and keep some cows, I guess he took a wife since he is also a father.
   
 21 And his brother's name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ.

    and Jubal started a tribe containing all of the musicians? I guess there are no musicians that aren't from his tribe.

 22 And Zillah, she also bare Tubalcain, an instructer of every artificer in brass and iron: and the sister of Tubalcain was Naamah.

    Tubalcain, at last a metallurgist... with a sister.

 23 And Lamech said unto his wives, Adah and Zillah, Hear my voice; ye wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech: for I have slain a man to my wounding, and a young man to my hurt.

    Lamech has killed a man, a young man at that and most likely a close relative.

 24 If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy and sevenfold.

    OK, I'm guessing that this last line is from God, Is god the protector of murderers? If someone were to harm Cain after he killed his brother God protected him from being killed with the threat of vengeance on his killer and now he is doing the same for Lamech?

 25 And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth: For God, said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew.

    Six generations have passed which I guess could be as little as 72  to 100 years so I guess it's not impossible. It seems that Eve hasn't figured out the connection between being 'known' by Adam and her having a baby as for some reason she has credited God again.

 26 And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the LORD.

    Seth's child Enos is born and after that, for no reason I can fathom men begin to pray to the LORD, a god who walks around, often can't find people and protects murderers.


So what have we learned from Genesis 4?


Well, so so much.


  • Adam and Eve have some children, Eve is so surprised by the first birth that she thinks God did it and her third birth is so late in life that senility might explain her conviction that God did it, she does not however implicate god in her second pregnancy.
  • Cain kills Abel because God doesn't like vegetables
  • God promises to avenge Cain if anyone should kill him, God apparently has a soft spot for murderers
  • God banishes Cain from the face of the earth but Cain only goes to Nod, God apparently doesn't notice that Cain has only gone to Nod because he can't see that far
  • Cain takes a wife that despite a few outlying possibilities was most likely his mother and has a son.
  • Cain's son Enoch builds a city called Enoch... A Whole city? really, that's some fast work.
  • A few generations pass culminating in Lamech, who kills a young man. God seems to like him even better than Cain.
  • Adam and Eve become geriatric grandparents to Enos, this seems to spark a wave of people praying to god who doesn't appear to have done anything noteworthy since lying to Adam.




Next: Genesis 5: Begattin'!! And Enoch takes a long walk.

3 comments:

  1. Re: your comments on 4:25 - I remember reading something (can't remember source) where these girls in inner-city Detroit didn't realize the connection between sex and pregnancy. Also reminds me of this: http://www.cracked.com/video_18444_stuff-that-must-have-happened-first-marriage.html

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    1. It's a real shame about those inner-city detroit girls, Unfortunately that kind of ignorance is likely only to increase if the religious-right manage to pull all sex-ed from schools. It favours religions who want to increase their numbers to promote pregnancy in young girls and the surest way to do this is to take away their choice by not giving them the educational tools to prevent pregnancy.

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  2. > If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy and sevenfold.

    How far does this geometric progression continue? Abel's avengement suddenly seems very paltry.

    > God banishes Cain from the face of the earth but Cain only goes to Nod

    Perhaps Nod is in "the waters" above or below the firmament? That would fulfil the requirement.

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