Contact Us

Adam's Children

Adam's Children

 Email

Cain and Abel

The first human beings to be born were Cain and Abel, the two children of Adam and Eve.

Cain’s Jealousy

Cain, the first-born, was plowed the fields, and Abel became a shepherd.

Cain was always busy, he labored to get food from the earth, which refused to grow on its own accord as it used to in the days before Adam and Eve’s sin. Abel, however, spent much of his time thinking about his parents’ mistake, and of ways of making amends for it.

In a spirit of repentance and gratitude Abel brought some of his best young lambs as an offering to G‑d. Cain saw this, and he, too, wanted to offer something to G‑d. He, therefore, selected the most exquisite first fruits of the year as his offering. But Cain’s offering was not accepted by G‑d because he did not give it wholeheartedly and of his own free will, as Abel did. When Cain observed that G‑d did not care for his offering, he became angry at his brother and decided to kill him.

Cain’s Warned

G‑d, the All-seeing, the All-merciful, rebuked him gently. He asked him why he was angry, and why his tolerance was fallen. If his offering was not accepted, should he not take it as a sure sign that he had not done well? He ought to take heed, or repentance would come too late.

The Murder of Abel

Cain discussed this with his brother. While they were in the midst of talking over what is right and what is wrong, Cain rose against his brother and killed him. When G‑d asked him where Abel was, he answered, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?”

Cain’s Punishment

G‑d said to Cain, “What have you done? Your brother's blood cries out to Me from the earth. And now, you are cursed even more than the ground, which opened its mouth to take your brother's blood from your hand. When you till the soil, it will not continue to give its strength to you; you shall be a wanderer and an exile in the land.”

Cain’s Repentance

Cain was sorry for doing his evil deed and he prayed to G‑d to make his punishment lighter: "Behold You have driven me today off the face of the earth, and I shall be hidden from before You, and I will be a wanderer and an exile in the land, and it will be that whoever finds me will kill me." Cain's desperate plea was heard. G‑d assured Cain that nobody would kill him until the seventh generation. And a sign appeared on Cain’s forehead to serve as a warning that nobody should kill him.

Cain’s Children

Cain wandered all over the earth, till he finally settled in Nod, “the land of wandering,” east of Eden. He had many, many children. They multiplied and were powerful One of the last descendants of Cain was Yabal, the first man to live in a tent and to raise cattle. Another descendant was Yubal, who was the first to play the lyre and the flute. Another was Tubal-Cain, who was the first man to make tools out of metal. Tubal-Cain had a sister Naamah.

Cain’s Death

Tubal-Cain’s father, the sixth generation from Cain, was Lemech. Lemech grew old and became blind. One day Tubal-Cain, his youngest son, led him out into the fields to hunt for food. Far off, Tubal-Cain saw something moving that looked like a monstrous animal. He advised the blind Lemech to aim his arrow towards it, and Lemech shot. When they got closer, they discovered to their great sorrow that they had killed Cain.

From Our People by Jacob Isaacs published and copyrighted by Kehot Publication Society 1946-1948
 Email
Join the Discussion
Sort By:
25 Comments
1000 characters remaining
Heatherlyn Bevard Sacramento July 15, 2016

When Cain killed Abel God exiled him made him a wanderer he told God but somebody gonna kill me so God put a mark on him who's he worried about how many people are there? Reply

Anonymous June 3, 2015

The number of children that Adam and Eve had are found in Josephus. It is based on Jewish tradition and other histories. Remember that a lot of written history has been lost to the vagaries of time and man's destruction. Reply

Juda AZ January 2, 2015

56 children... Before asking Rabbis for their names, perhaps you know where this claim that they had 56 children comes from? it is not mentioned in the article, nor have I seen it anywhere in traditional Jewish writings? Reply

Mervyn Kersh London UK December 28, 2014

Still waiting for the "official line" for answers to the above questions?
Who said that Adam and Eve has 56 children? My history Book says that they had children all the days of their lives. Why do people add on bits which distort the original texts? Reply

Bet Dallas, Texas December 10, 2014

Their siblings... Has any rabbi ever recorded all 56 names of Eve's children sired by Adam? I would like to know where to look, please. Reply

mervyn Kersh London UK November 14, 2014

Bereshit begins "In the beginning" and then describes the situation from there. What it does not say is the beginning of what. Perhaps it was the beginning of an era. Nothing has a beginning from nothing. Matter changes but comes from something else.
We are told that water covered the earth so there was water before the "beginning"
Since the water covered the earth so the earth was already there. We know that meteors or comets can flood the earth with water so probably that is why the existing world was lost under the floods just as, later, in the time of Noah, the world was flooded and civilisation destroyed.
Even during Biblical times there were natural catastrophes so there is no reason to
doubt that that was what happened before Genesis. The "giants" described by people all over the world as living with their ancestors, may well have been remnants of past humans.

A fascinating subject. Reply

Habba Cebu, Philippines November 10, 2014

Monstrous Animal Why would would, of all things, Tubal-cain mistaken Cain to be "a monstrous animal"? Was it something about his appearance? Was it related to the mark given to him by Hashem? Reply

Kate Gladstone Albany, NY May 6, 2014

But the Bib,ex mentions Cain bringing an offering before (not after) it mentions Abel doing that. Why decide that Cain offered second, when his offering is mentioned first? Reply

Mervyn Kersh London- January 22, 2014

Nobody knows what the "mark of Cain" was. We are not told in Genesis. I still want to now how anybody else would have known what that mark meant and how they would have understood that they must not harm Cain.

Any intelligent suggestions? Reply

j January 15, 2014

y why did chain wait 7 generations? Reply

Col Tri state November 20, 2013

A monstrous animal Do we know anything about Tabal-Cain's relationship with Cain? Did he really see a monstrous animal? Or did he take blind Lamech along with him hunting, so no blame would be had? Reply

Anonymous Pennsylvania October 5, 2013

Are Noach's sons triplets? Reply

Anonymous London UK July 17, 2013

Forget the Midrash - keep to Bereshit. Keep to the known facts. Reply

Anonymous July 14, 2013

I am waiting for your attempt to answer the above questions.
My sole genuine source is the Chumash, not explanations invented many centuries later.
Reply

Rochel Chein for chabad.org July 9, 2013

Re: reincarnation Most souls are reincarnated many times, as rehabilitation for their sins, in order to fulfill additional mitzvot, or benefit others. See here for more on this topic. Korach and Yitro are both mentioned as reincarnations of Cain. Reply

Anonymous June 20, 2013

reincarnation Is it possible that Cain is roaming the earth even today and would Hashem's name still be on his forehead? Reply

Alex Heller dawson, yukon via chabadofwesthills.com December 6, 2011

Cain's Wife How come Cain married, if the only other people around were Adam and Eve? Reply

JAMES CHARUKA GABORONE, BOTSWANA October 4, 2011

How can a blind person aim using a bow and arrow? Reply

Mervyn S. Kersh London, UK November 30, 2010

Adam and Cain Adam and Eve had more than Cain, Abel and Seth as children. "They had children all the days of their lives". Ch 5:4 Reply

Chananya Yomtov Gombo November 30, 2010

Yo Anon in London You sure ask a lot of questions. Here are some of my responses:

The people who would kill Cain were his own children and the kids of his kid brother Seth. In fact, Cain was ultimately killed by his grandson (as we just read in the article—it is in the Midrash, I believe).

The mark of Cain is a mystery. No one in our times actually knows what it was.

All the apologists like to think that there were others before Man. Except that the Bible clearly does not agree with them. Too bad, because it is so tempting to explain away all the stuff in the Bible that we do not understand.

Yup, wile Abraham did come to the realization that there is just one invisible G-d, he was certainly not the only one—or even the first. There were the likes of Noah, Shem and Eber who were also in on the secret. Reply

About the Publisher
Kehot Publication Society
Kehot Publication Society and Merkos Publications, the publishing divisions of the Lubavitch movement have brought Torah education to nearly every Jewish community in the world. More than 100,000,000 volumes have been disseminated to date in over 12 languages, both for newcomer as well as for those well versed in Torah knowledge.
Related Topics