Saturday, October 30, 2010

Friday, October 29, 2010

Outline of Genesis 4


Below is a list of the pages on Priceless Eternity which cover Genesis 4. To view a larger listing of pages on other parts of Scripture go to the Scripture Index.

Genesis 4
Summary of Genesis 4 Genesis 4 is unique because it contains one of the only descriptions of the pre-flood world. Man was cursed and cast out of the garden— Genesis 4 is the first glimpse of life outside that paradise...

Genesis 4
The Cave Men of Genesis Those who hold to an evolutionary view of history have done an amazing job promoting the absurd idea of the "cave man". They enjoy imagining pre-human (and for the most part unintelligent) creatures who spoke with grunts— whose greatest accomplishment was the invention of fire...

Genesis 4:1-2
Cain and Abel: Two Routes There is more to Cain and Abel than a climatic murder. The account of these two brothers also provides teaching on offerings, anger, discipline, sin, and repentance. But in addition to this, the account of Cain and Abel provides the first glimpse of humanity after the fall. A glimpse which...

Genesis 4:3-5
Cain and Abel: An Offering After the the birth of Cain and Abel, an unrecorded part of history passed. During this time, Cain and Abel grew from infancy to maturity— Eve likely gave birth to more children. But the sinfulness of humanity did not disappear during this time...

Genesis 4:5-7
Cain and Abel: Anger Improper anger directed at another human is the foundation of murder. Jesus said, everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, 'You good-for-nothing,' shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says...

Genesis 4:8
Cain and Abel: Murder After God rejected Cain's offering and warned him of the dangers of sin, Cain grew angry and his countenance fell. Once God had finished speaking to Cain...

Genesis 4:9
Cain and Abel: Sarcastic Reply Cain had failed to quench his anger, which led him to murder his brother... Prior to the murder, Cain deserved death (for All Men Are Guilty). Cain was kept alive only because of the mercy of God. He rejected God. He did not seek to give his best offering...

Genesis 4:10-12
Cain and Abel: Cursed God questioned Cain concerning the location of Abel. When Cain failed to provide an honest answer, God asserted his omniscience (all-knowingness). He demonstrated that He knew exactly what Cain had done. God replies to Cain's lie...

Genesis 4:13-16
Cain and Abel: Mark of Mercy Cain received mercy after mercy. God was patient with Cain, but Cain refused to repent. Thus God cursed Cain (which could be seen as yet another act of mercy, for God would have been perfectly just to simply end Cain's life). But after the curse, Cain still refused to repent— he did not even...

Genesis 4:17
Who Was Cain's Wife? Who was Cain's wife? It is a question often posed to Christians, usually in an attempt to stump them. But the question has a very simple answer... yet some people attempt to avoid the easy answer because it seems... well, too obvious. Some people propose that Adam and Eve were...

Genesis 4:17-18
The City of Enoch The first city mentioned in Scripture was constructed by an unrepentant murderer. Cain named the city after his son, Enoch (note that this is not the Enoch in Genesis 5:24 who walked with God...

Genesis 4:19
What Does the Bible Say About Polygamy? (Part 1) (Part 2) (Part 3) (Part 4) In entering into marriage with two women, Lamech was setting himself against God. At creation, God had laid out that marriage was to be between one man and one woman. Any other combination is a perversion of marriage...

Genesis 4:20
The Father of Those Who Dwell in Tents and Have Livestock - Jabal Jabal was not the first to merely possess livestock. Earlier in Genesis 4, Scripture states that Abel was a keeper of flocks (Genesis 4:2). Clearly, men as early as Abel made a living by keeping certain animals...

Genesis 4:21
The Father of Musical Instruments - Jubal What would life be like without music? Life without digital music is hard enough to imagine, but what would life be like if you had never heard a single musical instrument? Throughout history, and especially in the past hundred years...

Genesis 4:22
The Forger of All Implements of Bronze and Iron - Tubal-cain Not only was Tubal-cain the forger of all implements of bronze, but he was also the forger of all implements of iron— an amazing feat. It also seems likely that he was a major contributer to the invention of forgery— but if he was not the inventor, he greatly advanced...

Genesis 4:23-24
Lamech's Song After a few verses describing the accomplishment's of Jabal, Jubal, and Tubal-cain, the subject refocuses on Lamech. Immediately, the reader should be reminded of Lamech's sinful polygamous relationship...

Genesis 4:25
When Was Seth Born? There is some question as to when the birth of Seth took place. Is the account of Seth's birth in chronological order with the previous passage (Genesis 4:17-24)? Was Seth born after Lamech's three famous sons (Jabal, Jubal, and Tubal-cain)? Or did Seth's birth occur...

Genesis 4:25
The Birth of Seth This is the last verse in Scripture which directly quotes the mother of all the living (Genesis 3:20). Eve's words show her recognition of God's sovereignty. There are many statements which Eve could have made— she could have boasted and...

Genesis 4:26
Righteous Men of the Pre-Flood World To fully realize the significance of Genesis 4:26, the history prior to it must be taken into consideration. In the garden, man sinned and the world plunged into chaos. The fall brought a curse upon mankind. Rather than looking upon such tragic events and ceasing from sin, men multiplied their transgressions. Hypocrisy and...

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Quote of the Day #32 - George Whitefield

A quote from George Whitefield, a well known preacher from the 18th century:
It is a poor sermon that gives no offense; that neither makes the hearer displeased with himself nor with the preacher.
~George Whitefield

Related Posts:
Quote of the Day #33 - John MacArthur
Quote of the Day #29 - Charles Spurgeon
Quote of the Day #30 - Paul Washer
Quote of the Day #31 - Leonard Ravenhill
Quote Index

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Summary of Genesis 4

Genesis 4 is unique because it contains one of the only descriptions of the pre-flood world. Man was cursed and cast out of the garden— Genesis 4 is the first glimpse of life outside that paradise.

It quickly becomes evident that man did not learn from the first sin in the garden. Man's nature had become corrupt— and it didn't take long for man to demonstrate his wickedness.

Hypocrisy brewed. Cain sought to deceive God with a half-hearted offering. His anger grew and he murdered Abel, his own brother. But God, by His grace, was merciful. He gave Cain the opportunity to repent, but Cain refused.

After the murder, the first family was divided— Cain left his home for the land of Nod. He constructed the first mentioned city in Scripture and named it after his son Enoch. Enoch became the father of Irad, who became the father of Mehujael, who became the father of Methushael, who became the father of Lamech.



Lamech entered into a polygamous relationship with Adah and Zillah. Through these two wives, Lamech became the father of three famous sons. All of them are noted for their various accomplishments, but none of them are mentioned for being righteous men who sought after God. Jabal was the father of those who dwell in tents and have livestock, Jubal was the father of those who play the lyre and the pipe, and Tubal-cain was the forger of all implements of bronze and iron.

Genesis 4 also contains the second recorded death in human history. In two short verses, Lamech explains to his wives that he killed a man for striking (and wounding) him. Once Lamech is finished giving his short explanation of the killing, the account of Cain's descendants is brought to an abrupt end.

Eve gives birth to another son— Seth, the second man in Christ's lineage. Thus Genesis 4 ends with a glimmer of hope. In the midst of all the pain— in the midst of all the death and immorality— in the midst of all of this, Genesis 4 closes with the following statement: Then men began to call upon the name of the LORD. (Genesis 4:26)

Related Posts:
Summary of Genesis 5
Outline of Genesis 4
Summary of Genesis 6
Scripture Index

Monday, October 25, 2010

Righteous Men of the Pre-Flood World - Genesis 4:26

To fully realize the significance of Genesis 4:26, the history prior to it must be taken into consideration. In the garden, man sinned and the world plunged into chaos. The fall brought a curse upon mankind. Rather than looking upon such tragic events and ceasing from sin, men multiplied their transgressions. Hypocrisy and hatred. Murder. Polygamy and pride. Men believed Satan instead of God.

Nearly all of Genesis 4 is an account of the wickedness of man after the fall, but just when it seems that man might never again seek God, Eve bore another son. Seth was born, and he became the replacement for the righteous Abel. Suddenly, a glimmer of hope arose:
To Seth, to him also a son was born; and he called his name Enosh Then men began to call upon the name of the LORD. (Genesis 4:26)
The pre-flood world was plagued with violence, and in the midst of all the pain— in the midst of all the death and immorality— in the midst of all of this, Scripture states: Then men began to call upon the name of the LORD.

Abel was not the last man to give a heartfelt offering to God. Eve was not the last woman to bow in submission to the sovereignty of God. There were others who also began to realize that sin could never satisfy. Rather than pursuing the passing things of the world, these men called upon the name of the LORD. They realized that they could not do it on their own— that hope in a dark and depraved world could only be found through God— and God alone.

Related Posts:
The Genealogy Introduced - Genesis 5:1-2
The Birth of Seth - Genesis 4:25
Summary of Genesis 4
Enoch: A Prophet in the Pre-Flood World - Genesis 5:21-24
Noah Found Favor In The Eyes Of The LORD (Part 1) - Genesis 6:8

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Birth of Seth - Genesis 4:25

Just as Eve's response to Cain's birth is recorded in Scripture (Genesis 4:1), so Eve's response to Seth's birth is also recorded in Scripture:
Adam had relations with his wife again; and she gave birth to a son, and named him Seth, for, she said, "God has appointed me another offspring in place of Abel, for Cain killed him." (Genesis 4:25)
This is the last verse in Scripture which directly quotes the mother of all the living (Genesis 3:20). Eve's words show her recognition of God's sovereignty. There are many statements which Eve could have made— she could have boasted and proclaimed, "I have bore another offspring," but instead Eve said, "God has appointed me another offspring". If only every man was just as quick to recognize that every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above! (James 1:17)

After the fall, Eve's words are quoted twice, but Adam is not quoted at all. Simply put, the book of Genesis contains no clear evidence that Adam returned to God. Unlike Adam, Eve makes two short statements in Genesis 4 which seem to indicate that she returned to God— at Cain's birth she recognized that she was dependent upon God, and at Seth's birth she recognized God's sovereignty.

Abel (the righteous one) had been killed by Cain, so Eve saw Seth as a replacement for Abel. In the midst of a divided family, Eve bowed in submission to the sovereignty of her Creator. Little did Eve realize that her sin which brought havoc upon the universe would find its redemption through a descendant of Seth.

Related Posts:
Righteous Men of the Pre-Flood World - Genesis 4:26
When Was Seth Born? - Genesis 4:25
Cain and Abel: Two Routes - Genesis 4:1-2
The Fall: No Repentance - The Christian Worldview
The Fall: Merciful Curses - The Christian Worldview

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Quote of the Day #29 - Charles Spurgeon

A quote from Charles Spurgeon:
A man is very far gone in guilt when he reads grace the wrong way upwards, and
infers, from the longsuffering of the Lord, that he may continue in sin.
~Charles Spurgeon (2932.185)

Related Posts:
Quote of the Day #30 - Paul Washer
Quote of the Day #26 - Paul Washer
Quote of the Day #27 - Leonard Ravenhill
Quote of the Day #28 - John MacArthur
Quote Index

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

When Was Seth Born? - Genesis 4:25

The record of Cain's genealogy is halted— Eve has given birth to another son:
Adam had relations with his wife again; and she gave birth to a son, and named him Seth, for, she said, "God has appointed me another offspring in place of Abel, for Cain killed him." (Genesis 4:25)
Since Seth was Abel's replacement, it is reasonable to assume that Seth was the first son that Eve bore since Abel. There is, however, some question as to when the birth of Seth took place. Is the account of Seth's birth in chronological order with the previous passage (Genesis 4:17-24)? Was Seth born after Lamech's three famous sons (Jabal, Jubal, and Tubal-cain)? Or did Seth's birth occur around the time when Cain's son Enoch was born?

No definite answer can be given. If the account of Seth's birth is in chronological order with the account of Cain's descendants, then no more than 130 years could have elapsed between the the creation of Adam and the birth of Lamech's famous sons (it is definitely known that Adam was 130 years old when became the father of Seth (Genesis 5:3)— if the people mentioned in the account of Cain's early descendants were born before Seth, then all of Cain's lineage mentioned in Genesis 4:17-22 must have been born within 130 years of the creation of Adam).

Several generations of people were born (originating from Cain) in the passage prior to the account of Seth's birth (see The City of Enoch for more information on Cain's descendants). It is important to piece the years together in order to demonstrate the plausibility of only 130 years elapsing between Adam's creation and the birth of Lamech's famous sons. If Adam was 5 years of age when he gave birth to Cain— and if 20 years passed between the birth of each of Cain's descendants— and if it took an additional 25 years for Lamech to become the father his three famous sons— then when these years are added together, the number of elapsed years is equal to 130 (which is equal to the number of years Seth was born after creation). Below is a diagram which should restore your sanity if none of the above numbers made sense (take note that the blue numbers represent the amount of time since creation — for instance, according to this diagram Enoch was born 25 years after creation).
And so while it is certainly possible to know when Seth was born (130 years from creation), it is not possible to determine how many years elapsed in Genesis 4:17-22. However, it has been demonstrated that if Seth's birth is in chronological order with the previous passage, then it is possible for all of the people in Cain's genealogy to have been born within 130 years of creation. Whether Seth was born after Lamech's sons or not— clearly both scenarios are plausible.

Related Posts:
The Birth of Seth - Genesis 4:25
Righteous Men of the Pre-Flood World - Genesis 4:26
Lamech's Song - Genesis 4:23-24
The Genealogy Introduced - Genesis 5:1-2
Enoch: A Prophet in the Pre-Flood World - Genesis 5:21-24

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Quote of the Day #28 - John MacArthur

A quote from a sermon preached on Romans 12:1-2 by John MacArthur:
Having concluded eleven chapters of profound and thrilling doctrine that defines what God has done for every believer, Paul does not say, "Now here's what you need to get." He says, "Now here's what you need to give." The key to powerful living is not getting something more, but giving all we have. And I'm somewhat admittedly frustrated by that particular idea that is so prevalent in Christianity that what you need to be successful in living the Christian life is to get something...when the real issue is to give.
~John MacArthur (The Believer's Supreme Act of Spiritual Worship - 9/9/1984)

Related Posts:
Quote of the Day #29 - Charles Spurgeon
Quote of the Day #25 - Leonard Ravenhill
Quote of the Day #26 - Paul Washer
Quote of the Day #27 - Leonard Ravenhill
Quote Index

Monday, October 18, 2010

Lamech's Song - Genesis 4:23-24

After a few verses describing the accomplishments of Jabal, Jubal, and Tubal-cain, the subject refocuses on Lamech. Immediately, the reader should be reminded of Lamech's sinful polygamous relationship (for a more thorough discussion of polygamy click here):
Lamech said to his wives,
"Adah and Zillah,
Listen to my voice,
You wives of Lamech,
Give heed to my speech, (Genesis 4:23)
Lamech begins by firmly instructing his wives to give heed to his speech. He has recently done something which his wives must know about:
For I have killed a man for wounding me;
And a boy for striking me; (Genesis 4:23)
This is the second recorded death in all of human history. And similar to the first death, this death was the result of another man's violent actions. However, Lamech appears to have killed for better reasons than Cain— for Cain killed his brother in anger, but Lamech killed because his victim struck him and wounded him. Lamech seems to have killed in self-defense (although there is a possibility that Lamech killed out of revenge). Lamech continues his song:
If Cain is avenged sevenfold,
Then Lamech seventy-sevenfold." (Genesis 4:24)
This demonstrates that God had fulfilled his promise to Cain. The mark which God had put on Cain was visible to men— whoever killed Cain, vengeance would be taken upon the killer seven-fold (Genesis 4:15). Knowing this, Lamech concluded that if anyone killed him, vengeance would be taken upon that person seventy-sevenfold. Lamech saw himself as more valuable than Cain (for Lamech reasoned that if he was killed by another, his killer should suffer more).

Some commentators suggest that the man Lamech killed was Cain. However, there is no direct Scriptural evidence in support of this. All that can be definitely known is that Lamech killed a man. And as was stated previously concerning the issue of polygamy, simply because Scripture does not directly condemn Lamech's actions, this does necessarily mean his actions were morally acceptable (see A Characteristic of Narratives - Hermeneutics).

Related Posts:
When Was Seth Born? - Genesis 4:25
The Forger of All Implements of Bronze and Iron - Tubal-cain - Genesis 4:22
The City of Enoch - Genesis 4:17-19
What Does the Bible Say About Polygamy? (Part 1)
State of the World (3130 BC): Noah's Father (Lamech) Is Born - Genesis 5:25

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Cave Men of Genesis - Genesis 4

Those who hold to an evolutionary view of history have done an amazing job promoting the absurd idea of the "cave man". They enjoy imagining pre-human (and for the most part unintelligent) creatures who spoke with grunts— whose greatest accomplishment was the invention of fire.

But the "cave men" of Genesis were quite different from the fantasies of modern day bible-bashing historians. In fact, the cave men of Genesis were nothing like the cave men which the media often portrays.

First, the cave men of Genesis probably didn't live in caves. Adam and Eve, the first two humans, lived in a garden. Cain didn't live in a cave. Instead, he built the City of Enoch. Jabal was no caveman either. He was intelligent enough to build a portable tent so that he could move throughout the country with his livestock (wait... cavemen could manage livestock?).

Second, the caveless men of Genesis were perfectly capable of speaking fluent language. The "gift of language" was clearly present in the garden of Eden. Adam would have had a hard time giving names to the animals if he was incapable of processing a language (Genesis 2:20). Also, when God asked Adam, "Where are you?" (Genesis 3:9), Adam understood the question and responded with... (you guessed it) words.

As for the invention of fire, it seems men were more eager to do other things— such as Jubal, who became the father of all those who play the lyre and the pipe. Which came first, the lyre or fire? Jubal's brother, Tubal-cain, became an expert at forging with bronze and iron... which sort of presupposes knowledge of fire.

The idea that humans are evolving into more intelligent beings is simply not true according to Scripture. The men in the early chapters of Genesis, biologically speaking, were just as capable as humans are today (if not more capable due to their much longer life expectancy). While the technology of today is superior to the technology of the past, it is also important to remember that today's technology is the outcome of thousands of years of human research and innovation. The caveless men of Genesis weren't stupid, they just didn't have as much history to look back and build upon— they had to start from scratch.

Related Posts:
The Forger of All Implements of Bronze and Iron - Tubal-cain - Genesis 4:22
The Father of Musical Instruments - Jubal - Genesis 4:21
The Father of Those Who Dwell in Tents and Have Livestock - Jabal - Genesis 4:20
The City of Enoch - Genesis 4:17-19
Cain and Abel: Two Routes - Genesis 4:1-2

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Quote of the Day #26 - Paul Washer

A quote from Paul Washer:
"You see, the Bible really is true. And truth really is the only thing you have, and it doesn't really make a whole lot of sense to call yourself a Christian and yet live as a pagan. And there are as many pagan practices in our Christian families as there are in the world."
-Paul Washer

Related Posts:
Quote of the Day #27 - Leonard Ravenhill
Quote of the Day #23 - Charles Spurgeon
Quote of the Day #24 - John Piper
Quote of the Day #25 - Leonard Ravenhill
Quote Index

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Forger of All Implements of Bronze and Iron - Tubal-cain - Genesis 4:22

In order of occurrence, Tubal-cain is the last son of Lamech mentioned in Scripture. While Lamech's first two sons (Jabal and Jubal) came through Adah, Tubal-Cain came through Lamech's other wife, Zillah:
As for Zillah, she also gave birth to Tubal-cain, the forger of all implements of bronze and iron; and the sister of Tubal-cain was Naamah. (Genesis 4:22)
Not only was Tubal-cain the forger of all implements of bronze, but he was also the forger of all implements of iron— an amazing feat. It also seems likely that he was a major contributer to the invention of forgery— but if he was not the inventor, he greatly advanced the usefulness of the trade.

In this verse, the word implements seems to be used because of the many different items that can be forged from bronze and iron. While many useful tools were likely created from these two materials, the materials were also likely used to improve and upgrade weaponry— for it would be absurd to think that there was no war prior to the flood (see The Pre-Flood World: Filled With Violence). Of the very first two brothers, did not one slay the other?

As for Tubal-cain's sister, Naamah, nothing else is mentioned of her in Scripture. Commentators suggest a number of ideas on the subject— everything from the idea that Naamah was Noah's wife to the idea that Naamah was a wicked woman who led the world astray. John Wesley seems to sum it up best in his commentary when he states, "Why Naahmah is particularly named, we know not; probably they did, who lived when Moses wrote".

Related Posts:
Lamech's Song - Genesis 4:23-24
The Father of Musical Instruments - Jubal - Genesis 4:21
The Pre-Flood World: Filled With Violence (Part 1) - Genesis 6:11-13
Cain and Abel: Two Routes - Genesis 4:1-2
What Does the Bible Say About Polygamy? (Part 1) - Genesis 4:19

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Father of Musical Instruments - Jubal - Genesis 4:21

A world without musical instruments— that was the world that Jubal grew up in. Evidently, Jubal was not satisfied with such a world. And so, he sought to improve it— and improve it he did. To merely call Jubal's inventions successful would be an understatement. The inventions of Jubal had an enduring impact on the world— an impact that can still be seen to this very day.

Throughout history, a variety of types and styles of music have been invented. Almost all of these genres can be traced back to two types of instruments: string instruments and wind instruments.
His brother's name was Jubal; he was the father of all those who play the lyre and pipe. (Genesis 4:21)
To imagine a world without musical instruments is a difficult task... No guitar, no piano, no flute— nothing. However, before Jubal, this was the state of the world. Doubtless the world was not devoid of all music— for if men had not yet learned to use their voices to create melodies, there was still the music of nature— the chirping of the birds, the rushing rivers, the wisp and whistle of the wind...

But then Jubal came on the scene. He wasn't just a famous musician like Bach or Beethoven, but he was the father of all musicians who use string or wind instruments. The son of Lamech and Adah, Jubal (like his brother Jabal) became a master in his trade. He invented (or at least popularized) two foundational musical instruments. Not only did Jubal become skilled at playing the lyre, a string instrument, but he also became skilled at playing the pipe, a wind instrument. In short, Jubal is the father of the basic elements which make up music to this day.

Related Posts:
The Forger of All Implements of Bronze and Iron - Tubal-cain - Genesis 4:22
The Father of Those Who Dwell in Tents and Have Livestock - Jabal - Genesis 4:20
The City of Enoch - Genesis 4:17-19
Cain and Abel: Two Routes - Genesis 4:1-2
What Does the Bible Say About Polygamy? (Part 1) - Genesis 4:19

Sunday, October 10, 2010

A Jet Tour Through Revelation - John MacArthur - Sermon Sunday

In about an hour, this sermon will take you on a "jet tour" through the book of Revelation. The sermon's quick pace will keep your attention because, as John MacArthur states in the opening of this sermon, "no book in Scripture reveals the glory of God and Christ in any more splendor than does this book and yet no book has been more misunderstood and misinterpreted and neglected than this book".

To listen to (or read) the sermon click here.

Related Posts:
Prayer Causes Things to Happen - John Piper - Sermon Sunday
Cut Off Goliath's Head - Bob Jennings - Sermon Sunday
A Vision For Missions - Paul Washer - Sermon Sunday
Christ is Worth Trading Everything For - Tim Conway - Sermon Sunday
The Few - Piper, Washer, Ravenhill, Conway, Leiter - Sermon Sunday

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Quote of the Day #24 - John Piper

A quote from John Piper on prayer:
When James 4:2 says, You do not have because you do not ask— that does not mean, you would have anyway even if you didn't ask because I got a plan. The verse doesn't mean the opposite of what it says! It says— you have not because you ask not. That means prayer causes things to happen that wouldn't happen if you didn't pray. This is why this a staggeringly glorious privilege! To be taken by the Sovereign God of the universe who runs all things according to His infinite wisdom and fold it into His causality— This is breathtaking.
~John Piper (quote taken from: Prayer Causes Things to Happen)

Related Posts:
Quote of the Day #25 - Leonard Ravenhill
Quote of the Day #21 - John Bunyan
Quote of the Day #22 - Paul Washer
Quote of the Day #23 - Charles Spurgeon
Quote Index

Friday, October 08, 2010

The Father of Those Who Dwell in Tents and Have Livestock - Jabal - Genesis 4:20

Lamech chose to practice polygamy and thus he knowingly plunged deeper into rebellion against God. Fortunately, none of Lamech's sons are mentioned in order to attribute a great crime to their names (but neither are they mentioned for their righteousness). Rather, they are noted for their extraordinary contributions to human society.

Adah, Lamech's first wife (or at least the first in order), bore Jabal:
Adah gave birth to Jabal; he was the father of those who dwell in tents and have livestock. (Genesis 4:20)
Earlier in Genesis 4, Scripture states that Abel was a keeper of flocks (Genesis 4:2). Men as early as Abel made a living by keeping certain animals. What then is Jabal famous for? Clearly, he is not merely the father of those who possess livestock.

Rather, Jabal was the father of all those who dwell in tents and have livestock. Jabal was the first to improve the skill by dwelling in a portable habitat. He became an expert in combining these two skills to make a living.

Jabal's lifestyle must have been highly appealing to others, thus some of the earliest humans must have mimicked this new mode of living. However, it would be unwise to assume that all of human society maintained this primitive lifestyle up until the flood. Some humans also lived in more permanent habitats (such as The City of Enoch).

As human technology continued to develop, the variety of jobs and skills continued to grow. Jabal's brother, Jubal, was another man who made key contributions to the advancement of human culture and technology— a contribution which is clearly seen even to this day.

Related Posts:
The Father of Musical Instruments - Jubal - Genesis 4:21
The City of Enoch - Genesis 4:17-19
Cain and Abel: Two Routes - Genesis 4:1-2
What Does the Bible Say About Polygamy? (Part 1) - Genesis 4:19
Cain and Abel: Murder - Genesis 4:8

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Quote of the Day #23 - Charles Spurgeon

A very blunt quote from Charles Spurgeon:
The deceitful adulteration of doctrine is attended by a falsification of experience. Men are now told that they were born good, or were made so by their infant baptism, and so that great sentence, "Ye must be born again," is deprived of its force. Repentance is ignored, faith is a drug in the market as compared with "honest doubt," and mourning for sin and communion with God are dispensed with, to make way for entertainments, and Socialism, and politics of varying shades. A new creature in Christ Jesus is looked upon as a sour invention of bigoted Puritans.
~Charles Spurgeon (No Compromise)

Note that Spurgeon preached this sermon in 1888. Truth is always relevant.

Related Posts:
Quote of the Day #24
Quote of the Day #20 - Charles Spurgeon
Quote of the Day #21 - John Bunyan
Quote of the Day #22 - Paul Washer
Quote Index

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

What Does the Bible Say About Polygamy? (Part 4) - Genesis 4:19


This is the fourth part in a four part series, to go to part one click here.

Another example of the sinfulness of polygamy can be found in 1 Corinthians. In chapter seven, Paul writes extensively on the subject of marriage. One of the assumptions in his instruction is that marriage is between one man and one woman. Whenever a singular man is mentioned, Paul uses the phraseology, his wife (as opposed to his wives). For someone attempting to legitimize polygamy, the following few verses from 1 Corinthians 7 would be difficult to explain away:
The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. (1 Corinthians 7:4-5)
First, notice the definite articles in front of husband and wife: the wife, the husband. The instruction in this passage is directed towards one husband and one wife.

The command in this passage is clear: the wife has authority over her husband's body and the husband has authority over his wife's body. But when polygamy is practiced, it is impossible for such a command to be followed (in certain circumstances).

If the husband wished to devote himself to prayer for a time and one of his wives agreed, but the other disagreed, then a contradiction would occur. According to this passage, the husband would be required to deprive himself for a short time and also not deprive himself for a short time. Clearly, this command would be impossible to follow under such circumstances. If polygamy was an acceptable practice, Paul would have had to have added an exception to this passage stating: if a man has multiple wives, the wives have shared authority over their husband's body.

To state that the the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does, results in another contradiction. If there are two wives and at some point one wife's authority contradicts the other wife's authority, then it would be false to state that the wife has authority over her husband's body. Rather, each wife shares authority.

Clearly, when a person practices polygamy, he not only immediately enters into disobedience because of the nature of the practice, but he also enters into disobedience because he is not able to properly follow (in every circumstance) what Scripture commands.

Furthermore (as mentioned concerning Abraham in Part 3), simply because Paul did not specifically condemn polygamy, this does not validate the practice.  Evidently the Corinthian church had not grown to such a state of corruption that it was allowing its members to practice polygamy— thus Paul had no need to specifically mention the subject.

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Related Posts:
A Characteristic of Narratives - Hermeneutics
What Does the Bible Say About Polygamy? (Part 1) - Genesis 4:19
The First Marriage - The Christian Worldview
Who Was Cain's Wife? - Genesis 4:17

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Quote of the Day #22 - Paul Washer

A quote from Paul Washer:
We live today basically in the Roman Empire. Can't you see that? We have around us an empire of flesh and muscle and hair. And it'll all rot in the tomb- rot in the tomb. The wealth and the glamor and the glitter and all the things in which people are investing their lives will all rot. But the one who does the will of God will abide forever.
~Paul Washer

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Quote of the Day #23 - Charles Spurgeon
Quote of the Day #19 - Jonathan Edwards
Quote of the Day #20 - Charles Spurgeon
Quote of the Day #21 - John Bunyan
Quote Index

Monday, October 04, 2010

What Does the Bible Say About Polygamy? (Part 3) - Genesis 4:19


This is the third part in a four part series, to go to part one click here.

Many will point out that when polygamy is mentioned in Scripture, it tends to simply be stated. While it is not explicitly supported, neither is it condemned. A good example of this is found in Genesis 16:3:
After Abram had lived ten years in the land of Canaan, Abram's wife Sarai took Hagar the Egyptian, her maid, and gave her to her husband Abram as his wife. (Genesis 16:3)
It is important to realize that this verse is part of a larger narrative (written by Moses). Moses was simply recording, through God's guidance, some of the earlier events of human history. While Scripture does not explicitly state that Abraham was in disobedience, this does not prove that Abraham's actions were acceptable to God.  When a narrative does not specifically condemn an action, this does not prove that the action is morally acceptable to God (for a better understanding of this statement read A Characteristic of Narratives - Hermeneutics).

But perhaps some may think I am avoiding the main question: Why didn't God directly condemn Abraham for practicing polygamy? (After all, God directly showed Abraham that he was in sin for lying about his wife.)

Men are not able to fully understand why God does one thing and not another thing. It may seem like a cop-out answer, and perhaps it is. But, as humans, we often question the mercy of God. Why did God allow Cain to live? And ultimately, why did God send Christ? Why the gospel? Why would God choose to love wicked men?

Anytime the Why question is asked, the reasoning behind one of God's actions is being questioned. While there is nothing inherently wrong with asking Why?— oftentimes Scripture does not specifically answer this question. Of course, the simple response to the Why question is that it happened that way (and not another way) for God's glory— but frequently, that is the only absolute response that can be given.

When the question Why is asked, oftentimes the only possible (specific) response is to speculate. Hours can be spent asking why God created the world in six days rather than ten days. Hours can be spent pondering why God chose to speak to Moses through a burning bush instead of some other plant. Hours can be spent speculating over why God did one thing and not another— but ultimately the specifics behind such questions cannot always be answered.

Why did God directly condemn Abraham for lying and not directly condemn him (in Scripture) for practicing polygamy? Perhaps the question will be answered in eternity. But for now, all that is known (absolutely) is that God was merciful to Abraham, as He is to many today.

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Related Posts:
A Characteristic of Narratives - Hermeneutics
The First Marriage - The Christian Worldview
Who Was Cain's Wife? - Genesis 4:17

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Quote of the Day #21 - John Bunyan

In this quote from Pilgrim's Progress, Good-Will is addressing Christian:
Look before thee; dost thou see this narrow way? THAT is the way thou must go; it was cast up by the patriarchs, prophets, Christ, and his apostles; and it is as straight as a rule can make it. This is the way thou must go.
~John Bunyan (Pilgrim's Progress)

Related Posts:
Quote of the Day #22 - Paul Washer
The Gospel (Part 1 of ∞) - The Christian Worldview
Quote of the Day #19 - Jonathan Edwards
Quote of the Day #20 - Charles Spurgeon
Quote Index

Friday, October 01, 2010

What Does the Bible Say About Polygamy? (Part 2) - Genesis 4:19


This is the second part in a four part series, to go to part one click here.

In the New Testament, Jesus affirmed that at the very beginning God had established marriage to be between one man and one woman. When the Pharisees came up to Jesus and questioned him regarding the legality of divorce, Jesus responded by quoting from the second chapter of Genesis (Matthew 19:4-Genesis 1:27, Matthew 19:5-Genesis 2:24). He also added, What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate. (Matthew 19:6) Later in the passage, Jesus stated under what circumstance divorce is permissible:
"And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery." (Matthew 19:9)
When a man and a woman marry they become one flesh (Matthew 19:5). If a man divorces for an illegitimate reason and marries another woman, he commits adultery because, in God's eyes, he is still one flesh with his former wife. Is it possible for a man to be one flesh with more than one woman at once?

Someone may attempt to argue that it is possible for a man to be one flesh with two women separately— that it is possible for a man to be one flesh with one woman, but also one flesh with another woman. The contradiction in such reasoning is plain. When a man marries his first wife, he becomes one flesh with her. They are no longer two, but one flesh. It takes an entire man and an entire woman to become one flesh.

Imagine two magnets being attracted to one another. One magnet represents a man, the other a woman. These magnets join together to form a single united magnet. The two magnets are no longer two separate magnets, but are a single magnet.

Now imagine that a third magnet (another woman) draws near to this single magnet. The first magnet (the man) becomes attracted to the third magnet. However, the first magnet is still attracted to the second magnet. And so the first magnet cuts itself in half so that it can also join together with the third magnet. Would it be accurate to say that the entire first magnet was "one magnet" with both the second magnet and also the third magnet? No! Rather, the first magnet attempted to give part of itself to the second magnet, and part of itself to the third magnet. And what was the result? That the magnet was no longer truly "one magnet" with either of the magnets. Clearly this illustration disproves the idea that a man can be one flesh with two women separately.

But perhaps someone may attempt to argue that while a man cannot be one flesh with two women separately, the three can together be one flesh. Just as Adam and Eve were no longer two, but one flesh, so a man and two wives could also together be one flesh. An illustration with the same three magnets in this scenario would look something like this: the first magnet would not have cut itself in half; it would not have divided itself between the second and third magnets. Rather, the three magnets would have all been joined together; all three magnets together would have been "one magnet".

This argument, however, is also faulty. What if, like the first magnet, a man became one flesh together with two other women? What would be the result? The man would be one flesh with one woman, and one flesh with the other woman... But the one woman would also be one flesh with the other woman! Such a relationship would clearly be sinful. If the three are one flesh together, then there can be no separation of genders.

When polygamy occurs, man tries to separate what God put together. Is it possible for a man to break this bond? The answer to this must be no, or at least, a man cannot break the bond himself (this bond can be broken by God in the case of a legitimate divorce). Scripture speaks of Abraham being married both to Sarah and to Hagar. It seems from this that while God saw Abraham as one flesh with only Sarah, Abraham had tried to break this bond. Abraham artificially joined with Hagar, but they were not truly seen as one flesh in God's eyes. This relationship must have corrupted Abraham's true marriage with Sarah to a certain extent.

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Related Posts:
The First Marriage - The Christian Worldview
Who Was Cain's Wife? - Genesis 4:17
The City of Enoch - Genesis 4:17-19