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16 Unto the woman he said, I will 18 Thorns also and thistles shall greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy it + bring forth to thee; and thou + Heb, cause conception; in sorrow thou shalt shalt eat the herb of the field;
bring forth children; and thy desire 19 In the sweat of thy face shalt ! Or, subject shall be || to thy husband, and he thou eat bread, till thou return unto shall e rule over thee.
the ground; for out of it wast thou 17 And unto Adam he said, Be- taken: for dust thou art, and unto cause thou hast hearkened unto the dust shalt thou return. voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of 20 And Adam called his wife's the tree, of which I commanded thee, name + Eve; because she was the Heb; saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: mother of all living. cursed is the ground for thy sake ; 21 Unto Adam also and to his
to thy hus-
woman shall destroy thy power, 1 John iii. 8; John xii. sion, 1, the ground is cursed : and 2dly, mankind is 31; Rev. xii. 7, 8, 10; Heb. ii. 14; 1 Cor. xv. 55, 56, condemned to labour for bread, that is, for necessary 57. “ Thou shalt bruise his heel;” that is, thou shalt food. Compare Gen. xviii. 5, and xxviii. 20. Bp. Kidder. persecute the woman's seed, but thou shalt not be able - for thy sake ;] Because of thy sin ; which shall to destroy. Bp. Kidder.
be punished partly by the barrenness of the earth, in its God in the midst of judgment remembers mercy; and being “cursed,” or not bringing forth fruit so plentihere promises a deliverance, the seed of a woman, (not fully, nor so easily as it did. Bp. Patrick. of a man,) who should break the head of the serpent, 18. Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to the devil, by whom our first parents had been led into thee;] The word " thorns" seems to be put for all sin and misery ; at the same time that the promised seed noxious plants, shrubs, &c. by which the labours of the should receive some damage from the serpent, though husbandman are impeded, and which are only fit for not in any principal part. So that Jesus Christ was burning. Our word“ thistle” does not denote the plant appointed from the beginning to sufferings. Bp. Wilson. or plants, meant by the Hebrew word, which signifies
Though this promise was not fulfilled till four thou- something of a prickly kind. The word in the Greek sand years after, yet the benefits commenced from this version is the same as in Heb. vi. 8, where it is rendered very time: which was before God had rejected Cain and · briers." We are not to suppose that thorns and briers preferred Seth to him; and long before any restriction were now for the first time created : but they now bewas made to Noah's family, or Shem's, who derived came vexatious; as they grew more abundantly and from him; that all the world might look upon the Mes vigorously, perhaps from favourable seasons; and as siah as a common benefit to all the sons of Adam. Bps. man was expelled from his garden to till the land, where Patrick and Wilson.
they were native, and consequently most prolifick and it shall bruise thy head,] “ It,” that is, the seed troublesome. Script. illustr. Expos. Ind. of the woman, which is Christ, as our translation rightly and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;] Be conexpounds it. But the Latin Vulgate renders it, “ Ipsa tent with such things as the common field produces, conteret caput tuum,"
,”? “ She shall bruise thy head," as instead of the delicious fruits of Paradise. Bp. Patrick. if a woman should do it: which the Papists interpreting God made this earth amiable and sweet, and the world of the Virgin Mary, ascribe to her this great victory and a scene of happiness to a creature that was to continue triumph over sin and Satan ; and are taught to say in in it: but when sin introduced death, God in his goodtheir addresses to her, “Adoro et benedico sanctissimos ness“ cursed the earth” by a diminution of its excelpedes tuos, quibus antiqui serpentis caput calcâsti:” “Ilence, to make the world less desirable to a creature who adore and bless thy most holy feet, whereby thou hast was so soon to leave it. Dr. Delaney. bruised the head of the old serpent.” Bp. Beveridge. God condemned man to toil and misery, that he might
16.— I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy con- look for rest somewhere else than on earth. Bp. Wilson. ception ;] That is, “ thy sorrow in thy conception:" a 19. In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread,] As figure of speech not unusual in Scripture. See Ps. cxvi. some of God's curses (such is his goodness) are promises 1; Jer. xxix. 11. Jos. Mede.
as well as curses; as is that of the "enmity," between the The sentence upon womankind consists, 1, in her woman's seed and the serpent's ; so some of God's sorrow and pain in conceiving and bringing forth chil curses (such is his justice) are precepts as well as curses ; dren; it being observed that brute creatures bring forth as is that of the woman's subjection to the man. This their young with far less pain, difficulty, and danger of eating our bread in the sweat of our face is all the than women do; 2dly, in her more helpless condition, three : it is a curse; it is a promise ; it is a precept. by reason of which she would need to have recourse to It is a curse ; in that God will not suffer the earth to her husband, and be more subject to him and his cor- afford us bread, without our sweat. It is a promise ; in rupt will ; for whom at first she was designed for a that God assureth us, we shall have bread for our sweat. meet-help. Compare 1 Cor. xiv. 34 ; 1 Tim. ii. 11, 12; And it is a precept too, in that God enjoineth us, if we 1 Pet. iii. 6. Bp. Kidder.
will have bread, to sweat for it. Bp. Sanderson. All thy desire shall be to thy husband,] That is, it Adam's children are bound to labour; for that which shall be subject to him : so the phrase is used, chap. iv. was said unto Adam, “ In the sweat of thy face shalt 7. Bp. Patrick. By a just retribution, the woman's thou eat bread,” is likewise said unto us. Bp. Latimer. desire of gratifying her appetites is punished with the 20. And Adam called his wife's name Eve :] He had pains of child-birth; and her ambition to vie with gods before called her “woman” as her common name, or a in knowledge, or to be exalted, with her subjection to name for her and all her sex, because she was taken out her husband, and her submission to his will. Dr. Hales. of man : and now he called her Eve, because he had
17. And unto Adam he said,] For Adam's transgres- found she was still to be “the mother of all living."
Their first clothing :
CHAP. III, IV.
and casting out of Paradise. wife did the Lord God make coats of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming c Before of skins, and clothed them.
sword which turned every way, to
CHA P. IV.
Abel. 8 The murder of Abel. 11 The curse
of Cain. 17 Enoch the first city. 19 La23 Therefore the Lord God sent
mech and his two wives. 25 The birth of
Selh, 26 and Enos.
and she conceived, and bare 24 So he drove out the man; and Cain, and said, I have gotten a man he placed at the east of the garden from the Lord.
Or, as some interpret it, because in her fall, (and his of our reach, unless Jesus Christ give us power to eat consequent upon hers,) all men being become mortal, of the tree of life. Bp. Wilson. in her seed all men were to be made alive. This naming This “ flaming sword,” or as it may be rendered by of his wife then may be looked upon as an act of faith, an usual figure of speech, sword. like or pointed flame, is exercised by Adam upon the words of God just delivered generally considered as a sensible symbol of the Divine in the sentence on the serpent. Dr. Kennicott. Presence : resembling perhaps the flame, that appeared
God in the promise of a Redeemer did a particular to Moses in the bush, Exod. ii. 2, or that afterwards kindness to Adam : for he having been seduced by his rested on the heads of the Apostles at the day of Pentewife to eat the forbidden fruit, it might have occasioned cost, in the form of “fiery tongues,' or tongue-like a breach between them, had not God taken care to pre- flames, Acts ii. 3. And it was here “placed” or stavent it, by making this gracious promise to depend upon tioned between two cherubim, or glorious angels, achis union with his wife ; from whom, he assures them, cording to the ancient Jewish interpretation, furnishing One should descend, who should repair their losses. probably the archetype of the Shechinah, first in the taBesides, although the fore-mentioned promise was suf- bernacle in the wilderness, and afterwards in Solomon's ficient to induce them to live together as man and wife, temple. Dr. Hales. yet it seems not enough to have taken away all grounds The garden of Eden was the emblem of the Church for man (namely Adam or any of his male posterity) re upon earth. Man was not made in this Paradise, but proaching woman, (namely Eve or any of her female placed there, after he was formed out of the earth, chap. posterity,) as having been the occasion of human misery. ii. 8 ; so we are not of the Church by nature, but by Wherefore, to prevent this, the promised Redeemer is grace. By nature we are all framed out of the same styled peculiarly the woman's seed, forasmuch as He was common and corrupt mass of nan generation; which to be born of a woman, without the concurrence of a made David say, “I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin man. So that the means of our having a Redeemer did my mother conceive me. But by the grace of God would be owing to the woman alone of the two, not at we are taken at Baptism out of that state of pollution, all to the man, immediately, or in respect of the birth and planted within the pale of his own garden the of Christ himself; whereas the occasion of our misery Church : here we are sanctified and cleansed ; was owing indeed first, but not only, to the woman, but enter into covenant with God. But as Adam, on his also to the man jointly, though in the second place. Dr. breach of covenant, was expelled from the garden of Allix, Bp. Patrick, Dr. Wells.
Eden, to “till the ground from whence he was taken," 21. — did the Lord God make coals of skins,] This is so shall we be ejected out of the communion of saints, not to be understood literally. God is frequently said and Church of the living God, if wilfully we break our to do that which is done by his order and approbation. solemn vow, and do not return to God by a true repentDr. Kennicott.
ance, founded on a lively faith in his mercy through It is probable that they were the skins of beasts slain Jesus Christ. Wogan. in sacrifice, which was then first instituted in ratification of the gracious covenant, just made by God with our Chap. IV. The portion of Scripture at the beginning first parents; and which was intended the better to re- of this chapter, contains a very remarkable history, in present to them their guilt, and that the promised Seed which the first man that ever was born, is represented should vanquish the devil, and redeem them by shedding as a murderer; and the first person that ever died, as his blood. Bp. Patrick.
murdered. These were the sad effects of Adam's coats of skins,] Skins have been worn as cloth- transgression. The guilt of it was manifested in his ing by many nations; the Tartars, the Hungarians, the first-born, and its mischievous consequences in his Laplanders, the Finlanders, the Russians, still wear skins second. Bp. Conybeare. or furs; the ancient heroes of Greece and of Asia co Ver. 1. - Cain,] A name emphatically signifying vered themselves with the spoils of lions, of tigers, and possession, and given him, either to express the satiswild animals; while the ancient Germans wore short faction they had in seeing the general promise of their coats of sheep-skins. A skin in its natural state is an living yet longer, and propagating their kind, actually effectual defence against both heat and cold; and for fulfilled; or else from the earnest expectation they had, duration nothing surpasses it. Script. illuslr. Expos. that this son was to be the promised Seed, the Messiah Ind.
and Saviour of mankind. Pyle. 22. - as one of us,] See note on chap. i. 26.
I have gotten a mun from the Lord.] As the 24.
- to keep the way of the tree of life,] To shew us man, by the first sentence he uttered after God's prothat eternal life is not to be obtained by us, it being out I mise of a Redeemer, expressed his faith in the promise,
a Hebr. 11. 4.
The birth and occupation
of Cain and Abel. 2 And she again bare his brother of the fat thereof. And the LORD
+ Abel. And Abel was t a keeper had a respect unto Abel and to his + Heb Hebel. of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the offering: ground.
5 But unto Cain and to his offer3 And + in process of time it came ing he had not respect. And Cain end of days. to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit was very wroth, and his countenance
of the ground an offering unto the fell.
6 And the LORD said unto Cain, 4 And Abel, he also brought of Why art thou wroth ? and why is thy + Heb. sheep, the firstlings of his + flock and countenance fallen?
and his expectation of life and redemption by the “Seed fruit of the ground;" and of the other, that he“ brought of the woman,” (chap. ii. 20;) so likewise did the of the firstlings of his flock, and of the fat thereof.” If woman herself, in the first speech which is recorded of this were truly the case, the sacrifice of Abel was thereher, when, upon the birth of Cain, she expressed herself fore more acceptable than Cain's, because it expressed in this manner, “ I have gotten a man from the Lord.” a more grateful sense of the Divine goodness. Dr. Berriman.
To this may be added, that probably the general 2. — she again bare his brother Abel.] But gives no course of Cain's life was vicious and immoral; and the reason of his name, which signifies vanity. Nor is it very offering up of his sacrifices was not attended with said who gave him his name; whether his parents at that devotion which was necessary. The conjecture his birth, or others after he was murdered. It seems, proposed may receive some confirmation from observing however, that his parents made no account of him, in what the Apostle to the Hebrews tells us, (Heb. xi. 4,) comparison with the first-born; because they did not • By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent place in him their hope of the promised Seed; as they sacrifice than Cain; by which he obtained witness that did in Cain. Bp. Patrick, Dr. Wells.
he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts.” And St. 3. — in process of time] That is, at the return of John more fully declares, (i John iii. 12,) That Cain some set and solemn time of Divine worship. Bp. “was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And Kidder.
wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were 4. — Abel,—brought of the firstlings &c.] Thereby evil, and his brother's righteous." Bp. Conybeare. instructing us, as the law afterwards did the children of - the Lord had respect &c.] It is probable that Israel, that we ought not to appear before the Lord God testified his acceptance of Abel's sacrifice by fire “empty,” or to offer to Him of that “which cost us coming from heaven; traces of which we meet with in nothing." The prime of our years, the flower of our Gen. xv. 17, and very many examples of it in afterstrength, the best of our substance, the first fruits of our times : when Moses offered the first great burnt-offerincrease, should be dedicated and devoted to Him, who ings according to the law, Lev. ix. 24; when Gideon makes us all we are, and gives us all we have. So shall the offered upon the rock, Judg. vi. 21 ; when David stayed benedictions of Heaven descend upon all things around the plague, 1 Chron. xxi. 26; and Solomon consecrated us, and upon ourselves in the use of them. Bp. Horne. the temple, 2 Chron. vii. 1; and when Elijah contended
And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his with the worshippers of Baal, 1 Kings xvii. 38, &c. offering:] First to his person, (his faith and purity of Whence the Israelites, wishing all prosperity to their mind,) and then to his external service. Bp. Wilson. king, pray that God would “accept” (in the Hebrew,
Why had Almighty God respect to Abel's offering, turn into ashes) “his burnt sacrifice,” Psalm xx. 3. and not to Cain's? To me the reason seems plainly Bp. Patrick. Hereby it was declared, that the innocent this, that Cain offered only of the fruit of the ground, was taken for the guilty; and the sacrifice sustained the which had no respect to Christ, but only to God as the vengeance, that must otherwise have been inflicted on Creator of the world; whereas Abel offered the first- the sinner. Bp. Horne. lings of his flock, and the fat thereof, which was a 5. - And Cain was very wroth,] He was highly inbloody sacrifice, typifying the death of Christ, "the censed against Abel; instead of making severe reflexions Lamb slain from the beginning of the world ;” and so on himself, and considering what had provoked God to exercised his faith in the promised Messiah. And there slight his sacrifice; that so he might amend it and profore the Apostle saith, “By faith Abel offered unto God cure his favour. Bp. Patrick. a more excellent sacrifice than Cain," Heb. xi. 4. By his countenance fell.] Became not only dejected faith, that is, by believing the promise, which God had through grief, but lowering and cloudy, as of one made to mankind in Christ; and manifested his faith by meditating revenge. Bp. Patrick. offering such a sacrifice, as represented the death of 6. And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? Christ; by whom therefore his sacrifice was well pleas- &c.] The judgments of God are intended by Him to ing and acceptable to God. Bp. Beveridge.
lead us to repentance. In the very midst of judgment In this particular the righteous Abel is a constant and He thinketh upon mercy; and the punishments which useful monitor to every Christian, who comes into the are inflicted in this life, are graciously intended for our presence of his heavenly Father, to come with the com- advantage in another. Happy would it have been for memoration, as he did with the prefiguration, of the body Cain, had he made a proper use of his misfortunes. But and blood of Christ his Saviour. And let the one stir it seems a mad passion blinded him. He went on to up at least as lively a faith in those who live since the add sin to sin, and to cut off the very possibility of remanifestation of the Messiah in the flesh, as the other pentance. And yet numerous as his offences had been, did in those who lived before it. Bp. Horne.
and great as the present provocation was, the Divine It is not improbable (and it seems to be suggested in mercy was still the greater. God was pleased to conthe history itself) that there was a main difference in descend so far, as to expostulate the matter with him: this; namely, that Cain offered the vile and refuse, and “Why,” said He, "art thou wroth ?” &c. One might Abel the most precious, part of his treasures. Thus it have imagined, this would have corrected his extravais said of the one, that he “brought (barely) of the gance. So gracious a representation of the case must
The murder of Abel.
Cain is cursed. 7 If thou doest well, shalt thou 9 | And the LORD said unto Cain,
not || be accepted ? and if thou doest Where is Abel thy brother? And he about 3875. Or, have the not well, sin lieth at the door. And said, I know not: Am I my brother's
|| unto thee shall be his desire, and keeper ?
10 And he said, What hast thou
they were in the field, that Cain rose ground. Matt. 23. 35. up against Abel his brother, and 11 And now art thou cursed from
the earth, which hath opened her
b Wisdom 10. 3.
1 John 3. 12. blew him.
be sufficient to allay his present heat; or, if it were not And it is vain to hope, that he, who hath a contempt of attended with this effect, it must render him the more religion, will retain the sentiments of humanity. We inexcusable. Bp. Conybeare.
may in this example see the gradual progress of sin. 7. If thou doest well, &c.] We may consider these The first crime mentioned was a disregard of sacred words, either as setting forth the true reason of Cain's matters: this was followed by envy, and murmuring misfortunes; or else as directing him what use and im- against God: and at last finished by the impious and provement he ought to make of them. In the former inhuman murder of his brother : a crime, at which naview, they represent the unreasonableness of his present ture starts : and the very mention of which is enough to anger against his brother. All the disappointments he fill every ingenuous mind with horror. Bp. Conybeare. met with are here charged home upon himself. “ If thou Let every Christian take care, that he fall not after the doest” thy duty, "shalt thou not be accepted ?” and similitude of this transgression. It is a determined case receive the same marks of approbation which have been that, “whosoever hateth his brother, is a murderer:' vouchsafed unto thy brother? But, “if thou doest not it is an unquestionable truth, that he, who envieth his well, sin” (that is, the punishment of sin) will constantly brother, will soon hate him: and it is no less certain, attend thee.--In the other view, they are a direction how that “the spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy.” he ought to behave for the future; and a kind of pro- How earnestly and fervently then ought we to pray, as mise, that his past sins should be forgiven him on his our excellent Church enjoins us to do, that “from envy, repentance. To what purpose is it to disquiet thyself; hatred, and malice, and all uncharitableness” our “good and by thy impatience to aggravate the evils which Lord” would vouchsafe to “deliver us!" Bp. Horne. thou endurest? Rather consider, that they are the 9. And the Lord said unto Cain, &c.] See note on punishments of thy crimes; and know, that as sin hath chap. iii. 9. been the occasion of thy calamities, so repentance must - And he said, I know not : Am I my brother's be their cure. If thou reformest, “shalt thou not be keeper ?] I can give no account of him. Was he comaccepted?” But if thou persistest in the same course mitted like a little child to my care; to look after him, of provocations, expect to suffer a greater train of evils. and see that he took no harm? Bp. Patrick. Bp. Conybeare.
Thus adding both falsehood and insolence to all his sin lieth at the door.) Thy punishment is not other crimes; and in a manner, defying the Deity in his far off. “Your sin will find you out,” Numb. xxxii. own more immediate presence. Bp. Conybeare. 23. “Sin,” is sometimes put for its reward or punish For this complication of crimes, envy, which led him ment, as well as for the sacrifice, by which it is atoned. to murder his brother, and then to attempt to hide it by Numb. xii. 11; 2 Cor. v. 21; Levit. iv. 24. And it a lie, and by an insolent rebellious answer to God, Cain may be said to “lie at the door," when it is near at is styled in the New Testament, a child “ of that wicked hand, Matt. xxiv. 33 ; James v. 9. Bp. Kidder. The one, 1 John iii. 12, as imitating his works, who through word rendered "sin” may be rendered - a sin-offering.” envy seduced our first parents, and was a liar" and a The sense then is, “ If thou doest not well,” or, “if thou“ murderer" from the beginning. Dr. Halos. didst not well," "a sin-offering lieth (that is, croucheth) 10. And he said, What hast thou done? &c.] Though at the door,” in readiness to be sacrificed, as an atone- there should be no living witness of thy guilt, beside ment for thy offence. Dr. Kennicott, Dr. Hales. thyself, yet thine own conscience cannot but accuse thee,
- unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule and the Almighty Judge of heaven and earth is Himself over him.] He is still thy younger brother, and shall a spectator of thy crimes. In vain is it to hope for imbe subject to thee, (see chap. ii. 16,) and thou shalt be punity. The innocent blood, which thou hast shed, his superiour, and retain the privilege of thy birth-right. I crieth aloud for vengeance, and hath entered into the Bp. Patrick.
ears of the Lord of Hosts. These words are connected with the clause, “ If thou Though God doth not, in the present age of the doest well,” and not with the words which immediately world, discover Himself in so astonishing a manner as go before. See an example to the same purpose, chap. formerly, still He is not unconcerned in human affairs. x. 12. Bp. Kidder.
Those crimes of men, which are committed with the That which aggravated Cain's guilt was, that God utmost secrecy, are generally brought to light by the Himself was pleased to argue with him before he com- conduct of Providence. Sin will either discover itself
, mitted the horrid fact, in order to deter him from it. or be discovered. The blood of an Abel will cry aloud And is not this the very case of all sinners? Does not from the earth : and almighty vengeance will pursue the God, by his ministers and by his word, warn them murderer. Bp. Conybeare. and set before them the danger and dreadful conse 11. And now art thou cursed from the earth, &c.] I quences of sin ? And yet it makes no impression pass a sentence upon thee of perpetual banishment from upon a heart set upon wickedness, as Cain's was. Bp. this country, which hath drunk in the blood of thy Wilson.
brother. Hitherto Adam and his children had lived 8.- Cain — slew him.] Thus his impiety at length together: but now Cain was banished into a region, far ended in murder. One sin draws on another; a disre- off from his father, who dwelt in the neighbourhood of gard to God naturally shews itself in hatred to mån. I Paradise. Bp. Patrick.
The punishment of Cain.
Enoch the first city. mouth to receive thy brother's blood 15 And the LORD said unto him,
CHRIST about 3875, from thy hand;
Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, about 3875. 12 When thou tillest the ground, vengeance shall be taken on him it shall not henceforth yield unto thee sevenfold. And the Lord set a mark her strength; a fugitive and a vaga- upon Cain, lest any finding him bond shalt thou be in the earth. should kill him.
13 And Cain said unto the LORD, 16 I And Cain went out from the | От, My || My punishment is greater than I presence of the Lord, and dwelt in iniquity is greater than can bear.
the land of Nod, on the east of Eden. be forgiven.
14 Behold, thou hast driven me 17 And Cain knew his wife, and out this day from the face of the she conceived, and bare + Enoch : + leb. earth; and from thy face shall I be and he builded a city, and called the Chanoch. hid ; and I shall be a fugitive and a name of the city, after the name of vagabond in the earth ; and it shall his son, Enoch. come to pass, that every one that 18 And unto Enoch was born findeth me shall slay me.
Irad: and Irad begat Mehujael: and
that it may
12.- her strength ;] That is, her fruit or increase, 15. — Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, &c.] Or, as which speaks the strength of the earth, Joel ii. 22. Bp. the word we translate “ therefore” may be rendered, Kidder.
“not so;” it shall not be as thou suspectest. Or the — a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the word may signify “surely :” so that the sense will be, earth.] In that strange country thou shalt have no rest; Take it for a certain truth, that if any man slay Cain, but wander and down unquietly, and not know where &c. Bp. Patrick. to settle. Bp. Patrick.
sevenfold.] The number seven is an indication 13.- My punishment is greater than I can bear.] This of an indeterminate, but great number; signifying as is too heavy a punishment; for I sink under the weight much as, he shall endure many punishments. God inof it. Others interpret it, as appears by the margin of tended that the life of Cain should be prolonged in a our Bible, “My sin is unpardonable; or too great to be miserable state, as an example of his vengeance; to forgiven.' Thus he, who at first was not so sensible of deter others from committing the like sin. Bp. Patrick. his sin as to confess it, now thinks it to no purpose to - And the Lord set a mark upon Cain,] What this beg for mercy. Bp. Patrick.
mark was is not agreed by interpreters. Probably it Cain, when he had slain his righteous brother, and might be such an one as at once answered the purposes God had laid a judgment upon him for it, complained of punishment, and secured him from human vengeof the burden of it, as if the Lord had dealt hardly with ance. We may therefore fairly suppose, that it conhim, in laying more upon him than he was able to bear. sisted in a certain horrour of countenance, occasioned Solomon noteth it as a fault common among men, when by the inward horrour of his mind, which proved, at the by their own sinful folly they have pulled misery upon same time, the sign and punishment of his guilt. This themselves, then to murmur against God, and complain must affect every spectator with a very lively concern : of his providence. “The foolishness of man perverteth it must deter men from the commission of the like sin ; his way, and his heart fretteth against the Lord,” Prov. and make the wretched Cain a living warning to the xix. 3. Bp. Sanderson.
world. Bp. Conybeare. 14. driven me - from the face of the earth ;] Ba “ Set a mark;” or, as the Seventy say,
“ God set a nished me from my own native country, ver. 11. Bp. sign or wonder to Cain ;” that is, he wrought a miracle Patrick. From the land, where he then was; not the to convince him, or satisfy him, that whoever met him earth, in the largest sense, for in this he was to be a should not kill him. The murder of Abel was not long fugitive and a vagabond. Bp. Kidder.
before the birth of Seth, (see ver. 25,) which was about and from thy face shall I be hid :] And more the year of the world 130. So that at that time the than that, I am banished from thy blessed presence, earth was greatly peopled. Bp. Wilson. ver. 16, and shall not have the liberty to come before 16. -- from the presence of the Lord,] It is the opithy glorious majesty. Bp. Patrick.
nion of many commentators that there was a Divine every one that findeth me shall slay me.] By the Glory, called by the Jews the Schechinad, which apusual progress of guilt, Cain adds to his former sins peared from the beginning; the sight of which Cain that of despair, for he does not attempt to supplicate never after this time enjoyed, but was banished from it. mercy from God; and terror, lest he should find no And God withdrawing his gracious presence from him, mercy from man. Dr. Hales.
he was also forsaken by God, and put out of his special He was not only burdened with the sense of present protection. Bp. Patrick. evil, but suspicious of what was farther yet to come. In the persons of these two brothers, whose history Every crime naturally suggests to us some punishment is recorded as an example “for our admonition,” are attending it: but the horror of blood, shed unjustly, characterized the two opposite spirits, that have ever will make men suspect the danger even of their own since divided the world between them, and will continue lives. And in truth it is no wonder that the common to do so, till the consummation of all things; that is to enemies of mankind should expect to be treated as say, the humble, obedient, and suffering spirit of faith; enemies; and imagine, that the rest of the world will and the haughty, rebellious, and persecuting spirit of be apt to purchase their own security at their expense. infidelity. He who would be remembered with the A life, forfeited in this manner, must, according to the children of God, must copy the example of Abel: he common course of things, be in continual danger: and who chooses to have his portion with the seed of the fears, thus grounded, will supply the room of that evil one, may go.“ in the way of Cain.” Bp. Horne. punishment which is feared. Bp. Conybeare.
the land of Nod,] Or of exile, to which Cain re