First: Last time we were left at how God drove Cain out from his home and set a mark on him. Cain had settled down in the eastern side of Eden (that place did still exist!) where he founded the first town in the world. This time we’ll also discuss the question that is often asked: where Cain got his wife.
Verses 4:17-24 Cain’s descendants are listed for seven generations. Founding a town at this early point may seem unrealistic. Nevertheless, it is calculated that if Cain’s every male descendant got six children, the patriarch of the family got more than 100 000 descendants when he turned 400 years old!
• What kind of observations can you make of Cain’s family?
• Which parts of the culture originate in Cain’s descendants?
• What does it show that a family that is cursed by God, can be this talented?
• There was blood revenge, because in those days there were no police authorities and people could not defend themselves and their families in any other way. Compare verse 15 with 23-24. What did revenge mean to Cain’s family?
• Jesus altered Lemek’s words so that he tells his followers to forgive 70x7 times (Matt.18:22). How well have you been able to obey this command?
Verses 4:25-26. We remember that people became mortal only after the Fall of Man.
• How were Adam and Eve able to bear the consequences of their sins, when one of their sons had killed the other and then gone into exile? What did they think about their own fall?
• Adam and Eve had to live by themselves probably for quite a long time; they were already 130 years old, when Seth was born (5:3). What was their comfort in those years of loneliness?
• What could comfort today’s parents when they regret their sins and neglects they have done in raising their children?
• What did Seth’s birth mean to his parents?
• The end of the verse 26 is considered to mean the beginning of regular church services. What does this verse tell about the service of Adam’s family, what was it like?
• Why did Adam’s family start church services especially at that time?
• Adam was created in the likeness of God, but Seth was like his father (1,3). What does this mean?
• Where did Cain get his wife?
• Was Adam’s and Eve’s life happy or unhappy? Explain why.
Verses 5:7-20. You don’t need to read this. Instead, the leader lists the names and the ages of the first ten ancestors. See the list below.
• Why did people live that long in those days? Think about possible reasons.
• Why do there have to be genealogies in the Bible?
• In the New Testament there are two genealogies. Luke repeats those first ten ancestors mentioned before. Why did Luke want to list Jesus’ ancestors till the beginning of the world?
• Luke ended his genealogy by stating that Adam was the son of God. What did he mean by that? (Luke 3:38)
Verses 5:21-24 are about the 8th ancestor, Enoch, who reached less than half of the other ancestors' ages. The New Testament tells about him: By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, “and was not found, because God had taken him”, for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God. (Hebr. 11:5)
• How did Enoch’s life and death differ from his ancestors’ lives and deaths? (What does it mean that Enoch did not see death?)
• What was the contents of Enoch’s faith?
• Why did this man, who pleased God the most, lived the shortest life of all the ancestors?
• In the Epistle of Jude we find out that Enoch was also a prophet.
Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also saying: “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousand 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.” Jude 1:14-15
What does this prophecy reveal about Enoch himself and about the seven ancestors before him?
Verses 5:28-32. We’ll go through them next time.
Verses 6:1-4. There are two ways to explain these extraordinary verses:
1. The fallen angels got involved with people, and their offspring were destroyed during the Flood.
2. “The sons of God” mean God’s children i.e. Seth’s family and “daughters of men” mean Cain’s family. According to Jesus those people, to whom the word of God came, really can be called “gods” (John.10:35).
• Which of the explanations above do you find more reliable? Why?
• What kind of problems will there be in a marriage, where the other one is a believer and the other is not?
• What happens if all the believing families disappear from some nation?
• Also verse 3 can be interpreted in two ways: 1) The age of a man was determined 120 years. (Though patriarchs lived longer than that.) 2) The Flood would happen after 120 years. Which of these two explanations do you find more reliable? Why?
• Note, that there were still giants more than three meters tall during the days of Moses and even David (4. Moos. 13:34). How it might have affected the relations between people when some people were much bigger than others?
Finally: This is the first genealogy in the Bible. Cain's family ends in the Flood, but Seth’s family lives on until Jesus and us (Luke 3:23-38 and Matt. 1:1-17). In fact, Jesus’ genealogy is the red thread of all the genealogies in the Bible.
Seven ancestors lived more than 900 years. The oldest of them was Methuselah, who was 969 years old, when he died. The youngest, Enoch, died at the age of 365 years. Four of the ancestors became fathers when they were under a hundred years old, five of them, when they were between one and two hundred years old, but Noah didn’t become a father until he was 500 years old.
The ancestors’ lifetimes: Adam 930 years, Seth 912 years, Enosh 905 years, Cainan 910 years, Mahalalel 895 years, Jared 962 years, Enoch 365 years, Methuselah 969 years, Lamech 777 years and Noah 950 years.