What Happens To Cain?

The Family Of Cain

Cain Wandering


 God kept His Word and protected Cain as he wandered. The land Cain dwelt in was called the land of Nod, which means, ‘shaking,’ or ‘trembling,’ and so shows the restlessness and uneasiness of his own spirit, or ‘the land of a vagabond:’ they that depart from God cannot find rest anywhere else.


So Cain left the Lord’s presence and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden.

Genesis 4:16
New Living Translation (NLT)

Cain separated himself from all his relatives, probably in shame or fear of retribution or both. We see the same thing happening today.


Those who live ungodly lives don’t want to be around people who are living godly. Their own consciences convict them, and they seek only those who validate their own values in an attempt to quiet their consciences.


Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and we never find that he came into it again, to his comfort.


One day he found a place that seemed right for him to settle down, and he decided to build a city. The earth wouldn’t yield its strength to Cain’s labor as a farmer, but Cain could labor and build on the earth and succeed. However, Cain never ceased to be a fugitive, for the name of the land where he settled means “wandering.” His citizenship wasn’t in heaven (Phil. 3:20-21), nor did he have any hope to reach the heavenly city (Heb. 11:9-16). The only heaven Cain knew was his city on earth.


The Descendants of Cain

Cain had sexual relations with his wife, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Enoch. Then Cain founded a city, which he named Enoch, after his son.

Genesis 4:17
New Living Translation (NLT)


The Book of Genesis does not answer the oft-repeated question:



Where did Cain get his wife? Was Cain a married man before he wandered from Eden, or did he find a wife during his travels? Did he tell her he had murdered his brother?


We don’t know, but surely he had to explain the mark God had put on him. It does make it clear that many other sons and daughters were born to Adam and Eve. It also presents the lapse of many years (maybe hundreds of years) before Cain’s marriage experience.


It was normal for Cain to seek a wife, for he not only wanted to build a city, but he also wanted to build a family. How else could his name be remembered but in his descendants? Cain didn’t know that his name and foul deeds would be written in the Word of God for everybody to read.


Cain’s wife bore him a son whom he named Enoch, which is related to the Hebrew word for “consecrated.” Cain named his city after his son, but we aren’t told to whom or to what the city was consecrated. Six generations of Cain’s descendants are named, some of whom were famous.


And this is how their family progressed:

    Enoch’s son was Irad
    Irad was the father of Mehujael
    Mehujael was the father of Methushael
    Methushael was the father of Lamech


Genesis 4:18
The Voice (VOICE)

The name Irad means “fugitive”. This name reflects Enoch’s feelings about himself and his family.


The name Mehujael means, “smitten of God”, likewise reflecting the shame and suffering caused by Cain’s sin. The sin of Cain affected his descendants; so does ours.


The name Methusael means, “man who (is) of God” . The name Lamech can mean “powerful.” This name was also used in the godly lineage of Seth (Genesis 5:25).


When you put Cain’s family tree next to that of Seth (Genesis Chap. 5), you can’t help but notice the similarity in names.


  • You have Enoch, and Enosh
  • Mehujael and Mahalael
  • Methushael and Methuselah
  • Lamech and Lamech


What does this similarity in names mean?


Perhaps it’s God’s way of telling us that the godless line of Cain (which is still with us) does its best to imitate the godly line of Seth. After all, Satan is the counterfeiter. He can imitate the names of the true believers, but he can’t produce the believers.


One of Cain’s wicked race is the first recorded, as having broken the law of marriage. This was the first person mentioned in Scripture who had more than one wife.


Lamech married two women. The first was named Adah, and the second was Zillah. Adah gave birth to Jabal, who was the first of those who raise livestock and live in tents.  His brother’s name was Jubal, the first of all who play the harp and flute.  Lamech’s other wife, Zillah, gave birth to a son named Tubal-cain. He became an expert in forging tools of bronze and iron. Tubal-cain had a sister named Naamah.

Genesis 4:19-22
New Living Translation (NLT)



According to Strong’s Concordance, the name Adah means, “ornament,” and the name Zillah means “shade.”


Cain’s Lamech has three sons (Jabal, Jubal, and Tubal-Cain), and Noah has three sons (Shem, Ham, and Japheth).


The people in the city of Enoch had varied occupations. Some followed Jabal and took care of livestock. Others learned from Jabal’s brother Jubal and devoted themselves to making and playing musical instruments. The followers of Tubal-Cain were metalworkers, which suggest the manufacture of farm implements, building tools, and personal weapons. Cain lived in a society that was rich in culture as well as in industry and food production. In the city of Enoch, they had everything but God.


One day Lamech said to his wives,

“Adah and Zillah, hear my voice;
listen to me, you wives of Lamech.
I have killed a man who attacked me,
a young man who wounded me.


Genesis 4:23
New Living Translation (NLT)



Lamech was the first bigamist; he was also a boastful man and a killer. Why or how the young man wounded him, we don’t know; but why should a young man be killed because he caused a wound?


If someone who kills Cain is punished seven times,
then the one who kills me will be punished seventy-seven times!”


Genesis 4:24
New Living Translation (NLT)


Because Lamech killed this young man in self-defense he thought he was more righteous than Cain when he murdered Abel. Therefore, he supposed that if the Lord would avenge Cain sevenfold for anyone who harmed him, and then Lamech should get an even better deal. The only thing that was wrong with that logic was that God didn’t say that. Lamech was the one who said it. He was making the mistake of comparing himself with others, which isn’t wise (2 Corinthians 10:12).


Lamech’s mentioning of Cain’s protection indicates that Cain’s story was passed from generation to generation. It also suggests that Lamech thought that God’s protection extended to him as well. If God would avenge a murderer like Cain, then surely He would avenge Lamech for “protecting himself.” Note that Lamech wants God’s protection, but he doesn’t mention God’s name.


Cain’s family tree ends with the family of Lamech, an arrogant murderer whose three sons manufactured things for this world. Seth’s line ends with Noah (“rest”) whose three sons gave the world a new beginning after the Flood. The world of that day probably admired Cain’s achievements; God wiped them off the face of the earth.


There’s an Enoch in both genealogies, but Cain’s Enoch didn’t walk with God and one day disappear and go to heaven!


 “What’s in a name?” Nothing, if you don’t know and belong to the Lord!


“And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:17, nkjv).



Andrew Wommack’s Living Commentary
Bible Exposition Commentary – Be Basic
Matthew Henry Concise Bible Commentary
The Wycliffe Bible Commentary


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