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Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: Don Smith :: Portraits of Christ

Don Smith :: Gen 4-5; Two Humanities

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Snapshots of Christ in Genesis 4-5
“Two Humanities”

Historians know very little about life before the flood.

  • What we do know is found in Genesis chapters one through five.
  • Moses sets the stage of history by describing creation, as well as the fall.
  • The first mention of the Gospel is made in Genesis 3:15.
  • Here we are told, through a veiled prophetic promise, that God would bring deliverance to fallen humanity through the seed of the Woman.
  • The Woman is Israel, the mother of the chosen seed.
  • A son would be born who would be fatally bruised on the heel by the serpent.
  • In reprisal the son would rise to crush the serpent’s head in utter defeat.

Who is the Promised Seed?

  • Historically, the church has believed Christ fulfilled this promise by his crucifixion and resurrection.
  • In Luke 24:44-48 Jesus said to His disciples, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.” And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures. Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.”
  • Jesus is the promised deliverer.
  • Jesus came to fulfill the promise of God in the Scriptures.
  • Moses wrote Genesis to show the beginning of the struggle between God’s seed and the serpent’s seed.
  • The serpent’s seed is all unsaved humanity, who acts as the serpent’s agent to inflict his enmity upon Christ and His church.
  • The serpent’s enmity is unquenchable.
  • He has an utter disregard for the sanctity of human life, especially for the life of Christ’s Church.

Let me suggest six characteristics of the Woman’s seed prior to the flood.

  • The godly seed understood that acceptance with God was only found through faith in a blood sacrifice.
  • The saints of old attempted to worship the right God correctly, rather than succumb to the idolatrous practices of the culture surrounding it.
  • In an age that idealized power, God’s people acknowledged their weakness and called on the name of the Lord for strength.
  • Their unique walk with God set them apart from their wicked self-indulgent contemporaries.
  • They were often the object of the serpent’s enmity …facing threat and persecution for their obedience to God.
  • The Lord, however, protected, propagated and preserved the godly seed so that the promise of the Deliverer would later be fulfilled by Jesus Christ.

Does any of this sound familiar? Has anything really changed?

  • If we are tempted to think our day is the most difficult to live in —think again.
  • The days before the Great Flood may best be compared to our own.
  • Jesus said, “As it was in the days of Noah so shall it be in the last days.”
  • In quick review let’s pick up the story of the two Seeds we’ve been investigating in Genesis.

In Genesis 4:1-2, we trace the two seeds or two humanities represented in two brothers.

  1. Eve gave her firstborn son the name of Cain.
    • Cain’s name means “brought forth” or “acquisition” or “here he is.”
    • Eve’s words give us a clue to her expectation of a kinsman redeemer.
    • One translation reads, “I have brought forth a man, from the Lord.”
    • Another legitimate translation of this phrase is “I have brought forth a man, even Jehovah.”
    • Here the emphasis would be Eve’s understanding from Genesis 3:15 that it would take Jehovah God incarnate to crush the serpent’s head.
    • If this translation is accurate, then Eve thought her Deliverer had come.
    • Before the flood, the godly seed longed for the Promised One to come deliver them from the curse of sin and the power of the serpent.
    • Cain is further identified as a tiller of the ground or a farmer.
  2. Eve’s second son was named Abel, which means “breath” or “weakness.”
    • Abel’s life is fleeting, yet honoring to God.
  3. The two brothers presented two very different sacrifices. (Genesis 4:3-4)
    • Cain’s offering was of the fruit from the ground he tilled.
    • Abel’s offering was of the firstborn from his flock, most likely a lamb.
    • It was a sweet aroma to God because it was a foreshadow of God’s pleasure in the sacrifice of the Lamb of God, His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ.
  4. The Lord, however, did not respect Cain or his offering. But why?
    • In Genesis 4:5 we learn that it wasn’t just the kind of sacrifice he offered, but God also rejected the man and his motives for his sacrifice.
    • 1 John 3:11-12 gives us a New Testament clue to Cain’s heart. “For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another, not as Cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brother’s righteous.”
    • There was something desperately wrong with Cain’s heart and sacrifice.
  5. The Lord respected Abel and his sacrifice. (Genesis 4:4)
    • He found acceptance with God because he came with the right motivation as well as the right sacrifice, a blood sacrifice.
    • Hebrews 9:22 tells us why this was necessary—“Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin.”
    • Hebrews 11:4 also gives us an even deeper insight to the man—“By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks.”
    • Even before the flood, man could only find acceptance with God on the basis of faith and obedience to offer Him a blood sacrifice.
  6. Cain reacted with anger towards God, as well as his brother. (Genesis 4:5)
    • Cain was angry that his sacrifice was unacceptable, and his brother offered a sacrifice that was acceptable.
  7. In verse six we find the Lord coming to Cain and not Cain coming to the Lord.
    • Our God has always been the Pursuer of sinners.
    • The Lord questioned Cain to remind him that his own way was not acceptable.
  8. The Lord offered Cain acceptance, but only on the basis of faith in the sufficiency of God’s prescribed blood sacrifice to atone for his sin. (Genesis 4:6-7)
    • Cain stubbornly rejected God’s grace.
    • The Lord warned Cain that unless he did what was right, sin would not only crouch on the doorstep of his heart; but it would eventually take residence in him like a wild beast if he didn’t master it.
  9. Cain’s rebellion resulted in the premeditated murder of his brother Abel. It says he, “killed Abel.” (Genesis 4:8)
    • Abel is considered in the Bible as a righteous martyr for his faith.
    • In Matthew 23:34-35, Jesus gave Israel this example: “I send you prophets, wise men, and scribes; some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city …that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Brachia, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.”
    • Men and women of faith, like Abel, have suffered martyrdom to this day.
    • Their blood cries out for God’s justice.
  10. Once again the Lord came to Cain. (Genesis 4:9-10)
    • However, this time He came to judge sin.
    • Abel’s blood cried out for justice.
    • Martyred saints in heaven also cry out in Revelation 6:10 for justice. “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?”
    • Only the blood of Christ can satisfy God’s just wrath on sin.
    • Hebrews 12:24 says that the blood of Christ cries out for God’s wrath satisfied for sinners to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.
  11. The Lord’s judgment is leveled against Cain. (Genesis 4:11-12)
    • It included a curse on the soil, as well as vain labor.
    • He became like many to day —a fugitive fleeing from the presence and wrath of God.
  12. However, God made provision for Cain’s preservation. (Genesis 4:13-16)
    • Cain felt banishment from the face and presence of God, which was greater than he could bear.
    • Was this a reference to the sacred site in Eden, alluded to in Genesis 3:24?
    • Cain could not imagine being hidden from the face of God.
    • He also feared other men would seek blood vengeance on him.
    • Therefore, the Lord gave a sign to Cain that would protect him from such retaliation.
    • The sign appears not to be a sign “on” Cain but a sign “to” or “with” him.
    • The sign of Cain may have been a place or city of refuge to escape his pursuers.
  13. Adam had another son after living 130 years.
    • If the longevity of man was like that of Adam, who lived to the ripe old age of 930 years, it is mathematically possible for the earth’s population to have reached more than a million before he died.

“Two Seeds Through Two Brothers—Cain and Seth” (Genesis 4:17)

  • Moses’ record of these brothers is like men walking through two family grave plots, trying to learn their different histories by reading the epitaphs on their tombstones.
  1. Both families acknowledge Adam as their common fat her —he is the man.
  2. The tombstone of Adam’s first son has the name “Cain” engraved on it.
    • Jude 1:11 warns the early church against those who are similar to Cain. “Woe to them! For they have gone in the way of Cain.”
    • The church is always at risk following men who offer worship and salvation on man’s terms rather than on God’s terms. Adam and Eve’s son after the death of Abel was named “Seth,” which means “Appointed Seed.”
    • It was their way of acknowledging God’s faithfulness to a promised Deliverer.
    • We find his name in Christ’s genealogy in Luke 3:36-38.
    • There Jesus is listed as the son of Seth, the son of Adam and the Son of God.
    • Seth became the appointed Seed after the death of Abel.
    • He was born in a very perilous age when the godly seed began to call upon the name of the Lord for deliverance.
  3. Cain had a son named Enoch and at the age of 105 Seth had a son named Enosh which means, “mortal, vain, or temporal.”
  4. Cain’s son Enoch had a son named “Ira.” Seth’s son, “Enosh” had a son named “Keenan,” which means “sorrow or wanderer.”
  5. Then Cain’s seed was found in a son named Manual godly seed of Seth is next traced through a son named “Mahalalel,” meaning “The Blessed God.”
  6. Cain’s next descendent was “Maths.” Seth’s linage was traced through “Jared” whose name means “descended” (Like a Servant).
  7. The next in Cain’s lineage is a son named Lamech, which means “despairing.”
    • We begin to get a clearer picture of the despair brought about by the serpent’s seed.
    • In Genesis 4:23-24, we read of Lamech’s boastful pride and arrogance.
    • He sings a song defying God’s protection and boasts of murdering others, like his father Cain, who killed Abel.
    • He inflicted wounds on any who defied him —whether it be a boy or a man.
    • He promised to take vengeance out on all who threatened him.
    • Lamech also defied God’s ordained plan for marriage, by having two wives.
    • At this stage of life on planet earth, sin was so ingrained in the culture that it was like a house of cards ready to fall.
    • Judgment was sure to come.

Seth’s seed is found in Enoch, a godly man without peers in his generation.

  • His name means “teaching” or “consecrated one.”
  • We are not sure what happened to Enoch at the age of 65, when his son Methuselah was born, but Genesis 5:24 says he “Walked with God.”
  • Jude 1:14-16 gives us important information about him.
  • “Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, ‘Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him. These are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage.’”
  • Apparently God revealed to Enoch at Methuselah’s birth that judgment was coming upon all the earth.
  • He was recognized not only as a man whose life-style kept in step with God, but he was the first man to avert the curse of death. Hebrews 11:5 says, “God took him.” Enoch was the first raptured saint, and that was before the flood.
  1. Then Jabal, of Cain’s seed, was born from one of Lamech’s wives named Adah.
    • Jabal was a tent dweller who raised animal stock.
    • In fulfillment of Enoch’s end times prophecy, a son was born who was named Methuselah, which means “man of the javelin” or “His death shall bring it.”
    • And if you add up the 969 years of Adam, as well as his other sons, the flood came the year Methuselah died.
  2. Cain’s seed continued through a son named Jubal (Zillah) who was acknowledged as the one who fathered music.
    • At that same time, Methuselah had a son named Lamech, “the despairing.”
  3. The tenth and last generation before the flood was characterized by two humanities.
    • The serpent’s seed was represented by a son named, Tubal-Cain.
    • He was an instructor for crafting bronze and iron—perhaps for war or idolatry.
    • The Woman’s appointed seed was represented by a son named Noah.
    • Noah’s name means “rest or peace.”
    • The survival of humanity was promised to Noah and his family.
    • They were the only righteousness family left on the earth.
    • The serpent had successfully invaded and enslaved the rest of humanity.
    • The heart of man was continually consumed with evil.
    • Noah was a preacher of righteousness in a day when humanity turned a deaf ear to the prophet’s voice.
  4. Is it possible that the fate of the serpent’s seed is found in the names of Cain’s seed?
    • Here is the list of the meanings of names in a sentence: “Man is here teaching the wild (who shall be) smitten of God, by the man of God, bringing despair and wandering (while) playing music and forging weapons of iron.”
  5. Is it possible the Gospel is contained in the names mentioned in Seth’s lineage?
    • Here is the list of the meanings of names in a sentence: “Man (is) appointed mortal sorrow; (but) the Blessed God shall come down teaching (that) His death shall bring (the) despairing rest.”
Time Chart of the Generations from Adam to Noah and the year of the the Flood
Creation Flood*
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1000 11 12 13 14 15 16
Adam *130 930
  Seth *235 1042
  Enosh *325 1140
  Kenan *395 1235
   Mahalelel *466 1355
  Jared *628 1448
  Enoch *693 (300 Walked with God) 993 (Taken up)
    Methuselah *880 1662*
      Lamech *1062 1655
  Noah 1542/62 1662 (Flood)
  The Way of Cain The Appointed Seed (Luke 3:36-38)
1. Adam Adam-Man
2. Cain (Jude 1:11) Seth-Appointed
3. Enoch (City of Enoch) Enosh-Mortal
4. Irad Kenan-Sorrow
5. Mehujael Mahalelel-The Blessed God
6. Methushalel Jared-Descended (Like a Servant)
7. Lamech (Gen 4:23-24) Enoch-Teaching (Jude 1:14-16)
8. Jabal (Tent Dweller) Methuselah-Death Shall Bring
9. Jubal (Music Maker) Lamech-The Despairing
10. Tubal Cain (Metal Worker)   Noah-Rest
CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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