וְהָ֣אָדָ֔ם יָדַ֖ע אֶת־חַוָּ֣ה אִשְׁתּ֑וֹ וַתַּ֙הַר֙ וַתֵּ֣לֶד אֶת־קַ֔יִן וַתֹּ֕אמֶר קָנִ֥יתִי אִ֖ישׁ אֶת־יְהוָֽה׃
Now Adam knew Eva his wife, and she conceived and birthed Cayin, and she said, “I have obtained a man, YHWH.”
Paraphrase: Now in course of time, Adam and Eve had a son who Eve named Cain. She chose this name because the name Cain sounds very much like the word for “I have obtained;” and on this occasion, Eve believed she had obtained a man from YHWH Himself.
Note the obvious similarity between קַיִן and קָנִיתִי.
How are we to understand אִישׁ אֶת־יְהוָה׃? Wenham says this is a “very strange” construction. Lightfoot understands אִישׁ here to be in apposition to יְהוָֽה, “I have obtained a man who is YHWH.” source Fairbairn calls this translation “arbitrary and incredible.” source Hofmann notes that the translation “with the help of Jehovah” is not consistent with the typical meaning of אֶת. He prefers the translation “in presence of Jehovah” and explains the meaning as “Eve looked upon the birth of her son as an event happening in presence of Jehovah, in reference to Him, and is right in this; it is a step in advance in her relation to Him.” source Perhaps אֶת is not the object marker word, but rather is the preposition “with.” Fairbairn argues for this. Whatever the case may be, Edersheim writes:
Apparently she connected the birth of her son with the immediate fulfilment of the promise concerning the Seed, who was to bruise the head of the serpent. This expectation was, if we may be allowed the comparison, as natural on her part as that of the immediate return of our Lord by some of the early Christians. It also showed how deeply this hope had sunk into her heart, how lively was her faith in the fulfilment of the promise, and how ardent her longing for it. source
וַתֹּ֣סֶף לָלֶ֔דֶת אֶת־אָחִ֖יו אֶת־הָ֑בֶל וַֽיְהִי־הֶ֙בֶל֙ רֹ֣עֵה צֹ֔אן וְקַ֕יִן הָיָ֖ה עֹבֵ֥ד אֲדָמָֽה׃
And she conceived again his brother, Havel, and it was Havel a shepherd of sheep, and Cayin was a worker of the land.
Paraphrase: Some time later, Eve again gave birth to son, she named him Abel. Now these two brothers grew up and began to work. Abel became a shepherd and kept sheep while Cain planted crops and worked the land.
וַֽיְהִ֖י מִקֵּ֣ץ יָמִ֑ים וַיָּבֵ֨א קַ֜יִן מִפְּרִ֧י הָֽאֲדָמָ֛ה מִנְחָ֖ה לַֽיהוָֽה׃
And it was at the end of days, that Cayin brought fruit of the land as an offering to YHWH.
Paraphrase: As time passed, Cain decided to take some of his crop and to offer it up to YHWH as an offering.
וְהֶ֨בֶל הֵבִ֥יא גַם־ה֛וּא מִבְּכֹר֥וֹת צֹאנ֖וֹ וּמֵֽחֶלְבֵהֶ֑ן וַיִּ֣שַׁע יְהוָ֔ה אֶל־הֶ֖בֶל וְאֶל־מִנְחָתֽוֹ׃
And Havel also brought from the firstborn of his flock, even the choicest, and YHWH looked on Havel and on his offering.
Paraphrase: Abel also decided to offer up to YHWH an offering. He chose from the firstborn of his herd and only the very best animals he had. Then YHWH was pleased with Abel and his offering, for it was a sweet smelling aroma. (Lev 1:9)
Later, God commanded Israel to give to him the firstborn of their flocks and herds. (Exodus 13:12)
וְאֶל־קַ֥יִן וְאֶל־מִנְחָת֖וֹ לֹ֣א שָׁעָ֑ה וַיִּ֤חַר לְקַ֙יִן֙ מְאֹ֔ד וַֽיִּפְּל֖וּ פָּנָֽיו׃
And and on Cayin and on his offering, He did not look, and it was burning to Cayin greatly and his face fell.
Paraphrase: On Cain’s offering, however, God was not pleased. When he learned this, Cain was outraged and was bitterly disappointed.
וַיֹּ֥אמֶר יְהוָ֖ה אֶל־קָ֑יִן לָ֚מָּה חָ֣רָה לָ֔ךְ וְלָ֖מָּה נָפְל֥וּ פָנֶֽיךָ׃
And YHWH said to Cayin, “Why is it burning to you? and why is your face fallen?”
Paraphrase: Then YHWH asked Cain, “What are you so angry about? Why all this disappointment?
הֲל֤וֹא אִם־תֵּיטִיב֙ שְׂאֵ֔ת וְאִם֙ לֹ֣א תֵיטִ֔יב לַפֶּ֖תַח חַטָּ֣את רֹבֵ֑ץ וְאֵלֶ֙יךָ֙ תְּשׁ֣וּקָת֔וֹ וְאַתָּ֖ה תִּמְשָׁל־בּֽוֹ׃
Is it not if you cause good to be, to lift up? and if you do not cause good to be, sin is laying at the door, and its desire is towards you, and you will rule over it.
Paraphrase: Certainly, you should know by now how things work in My kingdom. There are only two options; either you identify with those who follow the serpent, or you take your place with those who are of the seed of the woman. These are the only two options. Now those who identify with the seed of the woman will show this by their faith and confidence in Me (Hebrews 11:4) and by doing good. On these, I look with favor and give them the promise of a complete victory over the serpent. These walk through life with their head held high knowing that they are on the winning side. On the other hand, are those who identify with the serpent and his followers. These are in a most dangerous position. Think of their situation like this. Just outside the door of their tent, there is a most dreadful beast prowling about. Once this beast finds the door of their tent, he crouches down waiting for that perfect moment when he can pounce on his unsuspecting prey and tear it to pieces. Now this terrible beast is sin, and Cain, take careful note of this. If you don’t put sin to death in your life and learn to master it, then sin will take over your life and ruin you completely.”
Pink holds that אִם־תֵּיטִיב שְׂאֵת means that Cain would retain the right of primogeniture. source
וַיֹּ֥אמֶר קַ֖יִן אֶל־הֶ֣בֶל אָחִ֑יו וַֽיְהִי֙ בִּהְיוֹתָ֣ם בַּשָּׂדֶ֔ה וַיָּ֥קָם קַ֛יִן אֶל־הֶ֥בֶל אָחִ֖יו וַיַּהַרְגֵֽהוּ׃
And Cayin spoke to Havel, his brother. And it was, when they were in the field, and Cayin got up to Havel, his brother, and killed him.
Paraphrase: From this point on, Cain hated Abel, his brother and began to plot his murder. To this end, Cain one day invited Abel to join him in the field. Abel agreed; but when they were alone in the field, Cain went up to him and struck him down, and he died.
What did Cain say to Abel? The LXX has: “καὶ εἶπεν Καιν πρὸς Αβελ τὸν ἀδελφὸν αὐτοῦ διέλθωμεν εἰς τὸ πεδίον καὶ ἐγένετο…” This certainly implies murder of the first degree.
וַיֹּ֤אמֶר יְהוָה֙ אֶל־קַ֔יִן אֵ֖י הֶ֣בֶל אָחִ֑יךָ וַיֹּ֙אמֶר֙ לֹ֣א יָדַ֔עְתִּי הֲשֹׁמֵ֥ר אָחִ֖י אָנֹֽכִי׃
Is it no
וַיֹּ֖אמֶר מֶ֣ה עָשִׂ֑יתָ ק֚וֹל דְּמֵ֣י אָחִ֔יךָ צֹעֲקִ֥ים אֵלַ֖י מִן־הָֽאֲדָמָֽה׃
וְעַתָּ֖ה אָר֣וּר אָ֑תָּה מִן־הָֽאֲדָמָה֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר פָּצְתָ֣ה אֶת־פִּ֔יהָ לָקַ֛חַת אֶת־דְּמֵ֥י אָחִ֖יךָ מִיָּדֶֽךָ׃
Gen 4:12 כִּ֤י תַֽעֲבֹד֙ אֶת־הָ֣אֲדָמָ֔ה לֹֽא־תֹסֵ֥ף תֵּת־כֹּחָ֖הּ לָ֑ךְ נָ֥ע וָנָ֖ד תִּֽהְיֶ֥ה בָאָֽרֶץ׃
Gen 4:13 וַיֹּ֥אמֶר קַ֖יִן אֶל־יְהוָ֑ה גָּד֥וֹל עֲוֺנִ֖י מִנְּשֹֽׂא׃
Gen 4:14 הֵן֩ גֵּרַ֨שְׁתָּ אֹתִ֜י הַיּ֗וֹם מֵעַל֙ פְּנֵ֣י הָֽאֲדָמָ֔ה וּמִפָּנֶ֖יךָ אֶסָּתֵ֑ר וְהָיִ֜יתִי נָ֤ע וָנָד֙ בָּאָ֔רֶץ וְהָיָ֥ה כָל־מֹצְאִ֖י יַֽהַרְגֵֽנִי׃
Gen 4:15 וַיֹּ֧אמֶר ל֣וֹ יְהוָ֗ה לָכֵן֙ כָּל־הֹרֵ֣ג קַ֔יִן שִׁבְעָתַ֖יִם יֻקָּ֑ם וַיָּ֨שֶׂם יְהוָ֤ה לְקַ֙יִן֙ א֔וֹת לְבִלְתִּ֥י הַכּוֹת־אֹת֖וֹ כָּל־מֹצְאֽוֹ׃
Gen 4:16 וַיֵּ֥צֵא קַ֖יִן מִלִּפְנֵ֣י יְהוָ֑ה וַיֵּ֥שֶׁב בְּאֶֽרֶץ־נ֖וֹד קִדְמַת־עֵֽדֶן׃
Gen 4:17 וַיֵּ֤דַע קַ֙יִן֙ אֶת־אִשְׁתּ֔וֹ וַתַּ֖הַר וַתֵּ֣לֶד אֶת־חֲנ֑וֹךְ וַֽיְהִי֙ בֹּ֣נֶה עִ֔יר וַיִּקְרָא֙ שֵׁ֣ם הָעִ֔יר כְּשֵׁ֖ם בְּנ֥וֹ חֲנֽוֹךְ׃
Gen 4:18 וַיִּוָּלֵ֤ד לַֽחֲנוֹךְ֙ אֶת־עִירָ֔ד וְעִירָ֕ד יָלַ֖ד אֶת־מְחֽוּיָאֵ֑ל וּמְחִיּיָאֵ֗ל יָלַד֙ אֶת־מְת֣וּשָׁאֵ֔ל וּמְתוּשָׁאֵ֖ל יָלַ֥ד אֶת־לָֽמֶךְ׃
Gen 4:19 וַיִּֽקַּֽח־ל֥וֹ לֶ֖מֶךְ שְׁתֵּ֣י נָשִׁ֑ים שֵׁ֤ם הָֽאַחַת֙ עָדָ֔ה וְשֵׁ֥ם הַשֵּׁנִ֖ית צִלָּֽה׃
Gen 4:20 וַתֵּ֥לֶד עָדָ֖ה אֶת־יָבָ֑ל ה֣וּא הָיָ֔ה אֲבִ֕י יֹשֵׁ֥ב אֹ֖הֶל וּמִקְנֶֽה׃
Gen 4:21 וְשֵׁ֥ם אָחִ֖יו יוּבָ֑ל ה֣וּא הָיָ֔ה אֲבִ֕י כָּל־תֹּפֵ֥שׂ כִּנּ֖וֹר וְעוּגָֽב׃
Gen 4:22 וְצִלָּ֣ה גַם־הִ֗וא יָֽלְדָה֙ אֶת־תּ֣וּבַל קַ֔יִן לֹטֵ֕שׁ כָּל־חֹרֵ֥שׁ נְחֹ֖שֶׁת וּבַרְזֶ֑ל וַֽאֲח֥וֹת תּֽוּבַל־קַ֖יִן נַֽעֲמָֽה׃
Gen 4:23 וַיֹּ֨אמֶר לֶ֜מֶךְ לְנָשָׁ֗יו עָדָ֤ה וְצִלָּה֙ שְׁמַ֣עַן קוֹלִ֔י נְשֵׁ֣י לֶ֔מֶךְ הַאְזֵ֖נָּה אִמְרָתִ֑י כִּ֣י אִ֤ישׁ הָרַ֙גְתִּי֙ לְפִצְעִ֔י וְיֶ֖לֶד לְחַבֻּרָתִֽי׃
Gen 4:24 כִּ֥י שִׁבְעָתַ֖יִם יֻקַּם־קָ֑יִן וְלֶ֖מֶךְ שִׁבְעִ֥ים וְשִׁבְעָֽה׃
Gen 4:25 וַיֵּ֨דַע אָדָ֥ם עוֹד֙ אֶת־אִשְׁתּ֔וֹ וַתֵּ֣לֶד בֵּ֔ן וַתִּקְרָ֥א אֶת־שְׁמ֖וֹ שֵׁ֑ת כִּ֣י שָֽׁת־לִ֤י אֱלֹהִים֙ זֶ֣רַע אַחֵ֔ר תַּ֣חַת הֶ֔בֶל כִּ֥י הֲרָג֖וֹ קָֽיִן׃
Gen 4:26 וּלְשֵׁ֤ת גַּם־הוּא֙ יֻלַּד־בֵּ֔ן וַיִּקְרָ֥א אֶת־שְׁמ֖וֹ אֱנ֑וֹשׁ אָ֣ז הוּחַ֔ל לִקְרֹ֖א בְּשֵׁ֥ם יְהוָֽה׃פ