Thursday, January 27, 2011

Genesis 4:17-19

Good morning, dear friends!

In today's verses, we see the ongoing "fruit" of Cain's defiance. As we look at the line of Cain, the names are very illuminating, since their meanings clearly reflect an attitude. I was thinking this morning how working with children makes teachers very aware of how names affect kids. There are certain names you would never want your children or grandchildren to have because of the former students and their behaviors that you associate with them. Pretty much any boy whose names starts with a "J" is going to be a rascal! :) And we've certainly seen an evolution of names. Don and I went on a cruise two years ago where all of the names of the passengers (who were mostly in their 50's and 60's) were Bob, Dave, John, Don, Nancy, Susan, Carol, Diane, etc. Names you NEVER hear anymore (just like Ethel and Mabel in our grandparent's generation). Now you can barely pronounce the names: Caeden, Jaeden, Hayden, Aiden, Kayle, Usama, Parastoo, Shae, Alanni, etc. So, in this list of the progeny of Cain, who had no book of baby names to refer to, it is interesting to note the meanings.

But first, Jon Courson writes that a question arises immediately from the first part of verse 17: "Cain lay with his wife..." He says he has had more people ask him, "Where did Cain get his wife?" He laments that they don't instead ask like the Philippian jailer in Acts 16, "What must I do to be saved?" We'll see later that Adam lived to be 930 years old, so he and Eve probably had many more children, so Cain's wife must have been related. There is much detail the Bible leaves out (or we would not be able to lift it to read it), but all matters dealing with salvation and those things which God WANTS us to know are in here. I have a feeling that when we meet Him face to face, we will not care a bit about where Cain found his wife! :)

Apparently God wants us to pay attention to these names, however! The first child of Cain is named Enoch (comes from the Hebrew word, hanak, which is a verb meaning "to dedicate or begin"). This is NOT the same Enoch who is known for walking with God. I'm wondering if Cain's purpose was to begin his own life away from God, because the rest of the names indicate that kind of independence from God. Enoch's son is Irad, meaning "fugitive" or "wild ass." Irad "begat" "Mehujael," which Jon Courson says means, "Blot out that Yah is El," or "wipe out the name of God."

Mehujael has a son named, Methusael, which seems to be a mocking name meaning, "They are dead who are of God," or "Those who believe in God are dead." The next name given here is Methusael's son, Lamech, which means "poor and lowly." Now, who gives their children these kinds of names??? They surely became self-fulfilling prophecies! It's like naming your daughter "Bambi" and wondering why she's a pole dancer instead of a CEO of a corporation!

We're told Lamech took two wives, the first example of polygamy. We were told in Genesis 2 that a man should "leave and cleave." How do you "cleave" to TWO wives? Anyway, even the names of the wives are instructive about Cain's line. Adah means "ornament" (anyone thinking "trophy wife?"), and Zillah can mean either "seductress" or "shabbiness." Now THAT I find interesting!! Makes me completely speculate that he was seduced into taking the second wife, who then became shabby, because I have seen this happen so many times when men leave the first wife for the younger gal. She eventually becomes a hag! :) God is just...

We'll leave the sons of Lamech for tomorrow! Thinking about the legacy of Cain's rebellion is mind-boggling! Off to work!

No comments:

Post a Comment