Genesis 4 – Skeptic's Annotated Bible answered

A response and reply to the notes on Genesis 4 in the Skeptic's Annotated Bible (SAB).

King James Version

SAB comment

My comment

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

(4:1) "And Adam knew his wife; and she conceived."
This is the first sexual intercourse mentioned in the Bible.
Really, should the oneness of man and wife be described as a sexual encounter? I'm sure this is not how the average married couple views and experiences this.
And if the author of the SAB realises this is the first sexual encounter, why is he trying to push the two seed theory as if the beliefs of a fringe cult had anything to do with Christianity? Guilt by association?

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

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

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

(4:3-5) "And the Lord had respect unto Abel."
God liked Abel's dead animals better than Cain's fruits and vegetables. Why? Well, no reason is given, but it probably had something to do with the amount of pain, blood, and gore involved.
Does God desire animal sacrifices?
Does God respect anyone?
Does the author of the SAB ever read an entire chapter before hitting his keyboard? This verse says two things: God has respect unto Able, first, and his offering, second. When Cain was wrong (verse 5), God explained what he should do in verse 7: “If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted?” So the issue was with how Cain sacrificed, not with what he offered: his heart was not in it. And the personal sacrifices that will be proscribed by Moses in Exodus are often not from animals, see for example Lev. 2:1, but of fruit of the land, like Cain's. So the link the author of the SAB has to animal sacrifices is utter nonsense. Both kinds of sacrifices were proscribed, each with their own meaning.
On respect, see Psalm 138:6.

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

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

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

(4:3-8) "Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him."
Because God liked Abel's animal sacrifice more than Cain's vegetables, Cain killed his brother Abel in a fit of religious jealousy.
I have no clue why the author of the SAB displays his sign of injustice. And I don't think “religious jealousy” has ever been recognised by a court. This was premeditated murder.
On animal versus vegetable sacrifices, see verse 4.

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

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

10 And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground.

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

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

(4:11-12, 16-17) "A fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth."
As a punishment for killing Abel, God says Cain will be "a fugitive and a vagabond." Yet in just a few verses (4:16-17) Cain will settle down, marry, have a son, and build a city. This is not the activity one would expect from a fugitive and a vagabond.
What became of Cain?
He was a fugitive in the sense that he had to flee from his own father and mother, and would never return. A fugitive also of his own conscience who would accuse him as the first murderer and that of his own brother, but he would never be able to flee from his conscience.
See also the response of LookingUntoJesus who says that the Bible never tells us how long he lived in the city he built.

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

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

(4:14) "From thy face shall I be hid."
Does God know and see everything?
(4:14) "Every one that findeth me shall slay me."
Cain is worried after killing Abel and says, "Every one who finds me shall slay me." This is a strange concern since there were only two other humans alive at the time -- his parents!
The meaning of “From thy face shall I be hid” means that he would be cast out from his Christian family and the public worship of God. Also Adam lived probably close to the Garden of Eden, where the guarding angel was a continual reminder of God's presence. But Cain would live no longer near to paradise, but would have to wander far away.
On how many people were alive: that is hard to tell. But it is likely Cain was already married, see verse 17, and he knew there would be more.

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

(4:15) "Lest any finding him should kill him."
But God is worried, too. [more]
Does God approve of capital punishment?
The Mark of Cain and Racism
It is not clear to me why the author of the SAB claims God was worried. God set a mark upon Cain as a sign to Cain that what he said, was true. The sign was for Cain's sake.
The author of the SAB also commits a logical fallacy in his contradiction that Cain should have been killed per the law in chapter 9:6. This law was not yet given. It came 1600 years after. How can Cain be guilty of a law that God had not given?
On capital punishment, yes, God approves and has commanded us to do so now, as per chapter 9:6.

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

(4:16) "And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD."
Does God know everything?.

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

(4:17) "And Cain knew his wife."
That's nice, but where the hell did she come from? [more]
The objection of the author of the SAB identifies the person who makes them immediately as someone who has never ever looked even into one commentary. Cain simply married his sister, see chapter 5:4, as there was no law forbidding it yet, and no genetical objection against such a union as there were no genetic faults yet. Read also “Who was Cain's wife?

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

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

(4:19) "And Lamech took him two wives."
Lamech is the first of a long line of biblical men with more than one wife.
Is polygamy OK?
What the Bible says about polygamy
Lamech was a Biblical man?? What nonsense is that. Not everything described in the Bible is a command to follow. The Bible describes many cases of evil. And that Lamech was the first to commit polygamy is a clear indication it is wrong, as Lamech was an evil man. So polygamy is not OK. And one only has to look at the fruit of such unions to see how evil they are.

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

21 And his brother’s name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ.

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

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

(4:23-24) "If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy and sevenfold."
Lamech kills a man and claims that since Cain's murderer would be punished sevenfold, whoever murders him will be punished seventy-seven fold. That sounds fair.
The author of the SAB finds it fair that someone who only hit Lamech got murdered by Lamech?? But then he also displays is injustice icon, so I'm not really sure what he means here. Anyway, Lamech was an evil person, and it was unjust what he did.

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

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

(4:25) "Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son."
Way to go Adam!
This description is really a danger for family values?? If only news on TV and the newspaper would endanger family values in the Biblical way, the world would be a far different place.

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

(4:26) "And to Seth ... was born a son."
Where'd he find his wife?
He married his sister as Adam also got daughters, see chapter 5:4.