Chapter 4

1Now the man knew his wife Eve, and she conceived and bore Cain, and she said, "I have acquired a man with the Lord."   אוְהָ֣אָדָ֔ם יָדַ֖ע אֶת־חַוָּ֣ה אִשְׁתּ֑וֹ וַתַּ֨הַר֙ וַתֵּ֣לֶד אֶת־קַ֔יִן וַתֹּ֕אמֶר קָנִ֥יתִי אִ֖ישׁ אֶת־יְהֹוָֽה:
Now the man knew: [This took place], prior to the above episode, before he sinned and was banished from the Garden of Eden. Also the conception and the birth [took place before], for if it were written: וַיֵּדַע אָדָם it would mean that after he had been banished, he had sons. — [from Sanh. 38b]   וְהָאָדָם יָדַע: כְּבָר קֹדֶם הָעִנְיָן שֶׁל מַעְלָה, קֹדֶם שֶׁחָטָא וְנִטְרַד מִגַּן עֵדֶן, וְכֵן הַהֵרָיוֹן וְהַלֵּדָה, שֶׁאִם כָּתַב וַיֵּדַע אָדָם, נִשְׁמָע שֶׁלְּאַחַר שֶׁנִּטְרַד הָיוּ לוֹ בָנִים:
Cain: Heb. קַיִן, based on קָנִיתִי, I acquired.   קַיִן: עַל שֵׁם קָנִיתִי:
with the Lord: Heb. אֶת יהוה, like עִם יהוה, with the Lord. When He created me and my husband, He alone created us, but with this one, we are partners with Him. — [from Gen. Rabbah 22:2, Mid. Tadshei, Niddah 31a]   אֶת־ה': כְּמוֹ עִם ה', כְּשֶׁבָּרָא אוֹתִי וְאֶת אִישִׁי, הוּא לְבַדּוֹ בְּרָאָנוּ אֲבָל בָּזֶה שֻׁתָּפִים אָנוּ עִמּוֹ (נדה ל"א):
Cain… his brother Abel: Heb. אֶת קַיִן אֶת אָחִיו אֶת הָבֶל. The word אֶת is repeated three times to suggest additional things. This teaches that a twin sister was born with Cain, and with Abel were born two. Therefore, it is said: וַתֹּסֶף, and she continued, or added. — [from Gen. Rabbah 22:2, 3]   אֶת־קַיִן אֶת־אחיו אֶת־הבל: ג' אֶתִים רִבּוּיִים הֵם, מְלַמֵּד, שֶׁתְּאוֹמָה נוֹלְדָה עִם קַיִן, וְעִם הֶבֶל נוֹלְדוּ שְׁתַּיִם, לְכָךְ נֶאֱמַר וַתֹּסֶף (בראשית רבה):
2And she continued to bear his brother Abel, and Abel was a shepherd of flocks, and Cain was a tiller of the soil.   בוַתֹּ֣סֶף לָלֶ֔דֶת אֶת־אָחִ֖יו אֶת־הָ֑בֶל וַֽיְהִי־הֶ֨בֶל֙ רֹ֣עֵה צֹ֔אן וְקַ֕יִן הָיָ֖ה עֹבֵ֥ד אֲדָמָֽה:
a shepherd of flocks: Since the ground was cursed, he refrained from working it.   רֹעֵה צֹאן: לְפִי שֶׁנִּתְקַלְּלָה הָאֲדָמָה פֵּרֵשׁ לוֹ מֵעֲבוֹדָתָהּ:
3Now it came to pass at the end of days, that Cain brought of the fruit of the soil an offering to the Lord.   גוַיְהִ֖י מִקֵּ֣ץ יָמִ֑ים וַיָּבֵ֨א קַ֜יִן מִפְּרִ֧י הָֽאֲדָמָ֛ה מִנְחָ֖ה לַֽיהֹוָֽה:
of the fruit of the soil: of the most inferior (Gen. Rabbah 22:5), and there is an Aggadah that states that it was flaxseed (Mid. Tan. Bereishith 9, Targum Jonathan). (Another explanation: of the fruit - from whatever came to his hand, not the best and not the choicest.)   מִפְּרִי הָֽאֲדָמָה: מִן הַגָּרוּעַ, וְיֵשׁ אַגָּדָה שֶׁאוֹמֶרֶת זֶרַע פִּשְׁתָּן הָיָה. (דבר אחר: מפרי, מאיזה שבא לידו, לא טוב ולא מבחר):
4And Abel he too brought of the firstborn of his flocks and of their fattest, and the Lord turned to Abel and to his offering.   דוְהֶ֨בֶל הֵבִ֥יא גַם־ה֛וּא מִבְּכֹר֥וֹת צֹאנ֖וֹ וּמֵֽחֶלְבֵהֶ֑ן וַיִּ֣שַׁע יְהֹוָ֔ה אֶל־הֶ֖בֶל וְאֶל־מִנְחָתֽוֹ:
turned: Heb. וַיִּשַׁע, and he turned. Likewise, (verse 5): “וְאֶל מִנְחָתוֹ לֹא שָׁעָה” means: [And to his offering] He did not turn. Similarly, (Exod. 5:9): וְאַל יִשְׁעוּ means: and let them not turn. Similarly, (Job 14:6): שְׁעֵה מֵעָלָיו means: turn away from him.   וַיִּשַׁע: וַיִּפֶן, וְכֵן וְאֶל מִנְחָתוֹ לֹא שָׁעָה – לֹא פָנָה, וְכֵן וְלֹא יִשְׁעֶה (ישעיהו י"ז) – לֹא יִפְנֶה, וְכֵן שְׁעֵה מֵעָלָיו (איוב י"ד) פְּנֵה מֵעָלָיו:
and…turned: Fire descended and consumed his offering. — [from Song Zuta 6:2, Sefer Hayashar]   וַיִּשַׁע: יָרְדָה אֵשׁ וְלִחֲכָה מִנְחָתוֹ:
5But to Cain and to his offering He did not turn, and it annoyed Cain exceedingly, and his countenance fell.   הוְאֶל־קַ֥יִן וְאֶל־מִנְחָת֖וֹ לֹ֣א שָׁעָ֑ה וַיִּ֤חַר לְקַ֨יִן֙ מְאֹ֔ד וַיִּפְּל֖וּ פָּנָֽיו:
6And the Lord said to Cain, "Why are you annoyed, and why has your countenance fallen?   ווַיֹּ֥אמֶר יְהֹוָ֖ה אֶל־קָ֑יִן לָ֚מָּה חָ֣רָה לָ֔ךְ וְלָ֖מָּה נָֽפְל֥וּ פָנֶֽיךָ:
7Is it not so that if you improve, it will be forgiven you? If you do not improve, however, at the entrance, sin is lying, and to you is its longing, but you can rule over it."   זהֲל֤וֹא אִם־תֵּיטִיב֙ שְׂאֵ֔ת וְאִם֙ לֹ֣א תֵיטִ֔יב לַפֶּ֖תַח חַטָּ֣את רֹבֵ֑ץ וְאֵלֶ֨יךָ֙ תְּשׁ֣וּקָת֔וֹ וְאַתָּ֖ה תִּמְשָׁל־בּֽוֹ:
Is it not so that if you improve: Its explanation is as the Targum renders it [i.e., if you improve your deeds.]   הלא אִם־תֵּיטִיב: כְּתַרְגּוּמוֹ פֵּרוּשׁוֹ:
at the entrance sin is lying: At the entrance of your grave, your sin is preserved.   לַפֶּתַח חַטָּאת רובץ: לְפֶתַח קִבְרְךָ חֶטְאֲךָ שָׁמוּר:
and to you is it’s longing: [The longing] of sin- i.e., the evil inclination-which constantly longs and lusts to cause you to stumble.   וְאֵלֶיךָ תְּשׁוּקָתוֹ: שֶׁל חַטָּאת הוּא יֵצֶר הָרָע, תָּמִיד שׁוֹקֵק וּמִתְאַוֶּה לְהַכְשִׁילְךָ:
but you can rule over it: If you wish, you will overpower it. — [from Sifrei Ekev 45, Kidd. 30b]   וְאַתָּה תִּמְשָׁל־בּֽוֹ: אִם תִּרְצֶה תִּתְגַּבֵּר עָלָיו:
8And Cain spoke to 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.   חוַיֹּ֥אמֶר קַ֖יִן אֶל־הֶ֣בֶל אָחִ֑יו וַֽיְהִי֙ בִּֽהְיוֹתָ֣ם בַּשָּׂדֶ֔ה וַיָּ֥קָם קַ֛יִן אֶל־הֶ֥בֶל אָחִ֖יו וַיַּֽהַרְגֵֽהוּ:
And Cain spoke: He entered with him into words of quarrel and contention, to find a pretext to kill him. There are Aggadic interpretations on this matter, but this is the plain meaning of the verse.   וַיֹּאמֶר קַיִן אֶל־הֶבֶל: נִכְנַס עִמּוֹ בְּדִבְרֵי רִיב וּמַצָּה לְהִתְעוֹלֵל עָלָיו לְהָרְגוֹ. וְיֵשׁ בָּזֶה מִדְרְשֵׁי אַגָּדָה, אַךְ זֶה יִשּׁוּבוֹ שֶׁל מִקְרָא:
9And the Lord said to Cain, "Where is Abel your brother?" And he said, "I do not know. Am I my brother's keeper?"   טוַיֹּ֤אמֶר יְהֹוָה֙ אֶל־קַ֔יִן אֵ֖י הֶ֣בֶל אָחִ֑יךָ וַיֹּ֨אמֶר֙ לֹ֣א יָדַ֔עְתִּי הֲשֹׁמֵ֥ר אָחִ֖י אָנֹֽכִי:
Where is Abel your brother: To enter with him into mild words, perhaps he would repent and say, “I killed him, and I sinned against You.” See above 3:9.   אֵי הֶבֶל אָחִיךָ: לְכָּנֵס עִמּוֹ בְּדִבְרֵי נַחַת, אוּלַי יָשׁוּב וְיֹאמַר: אֲנִי הֲרַגְתִּיו וְחָטָאתִי לְךָ:
I do not know: He acted as if he could deceive the Most High. — [from Tanchuma Buber, Bereishith 25, Gen. Rabbah 22:9]   לֹא יָדַעְתִּי: נַעֲשָׂה כְּגוֹנֵב דַּעַת הָעֶלְיוֹנָה:
Am I my brother’s keeper: Heb. הֲשֹׁמֵר. This is a question asked in astonishment, as is every “hey” prefix vowelized with a “chataf pattach.”   השומר אָחִי: לְשׁוֹן תֵּמַהּ הוּא, וְכֵן כָּל הֵ"א הַנְּקוּדָה בַּחֲטַף פַּתָּח:
10And He said, "What have you done? Hark! Your brother's blood cries out to Me from the earth.   יוַיֹּ֖אמֶר מֶ֣ה עָשִׂ֑יתָ ק֚וֹל דְּמֵ֣י אָחִ֔יךָ צֹֽעֲקִ֥ים אֵלַ֖י מִן־הָֽאֲדָמָֽה:
Your brother’s blood: Heb. דְּמֵי, the plural form. His blood and the blood of his descendants. Another explanation: He inflicted many wounds upon him because he did not know from where his soul would depart. — [from Sanh. 37]   דְּמֵי אָחִיךָ: דָּמוֹ וְדַם זַרְעִיּוֹתָיו. דָּבָר אַחֵר, שֶׁעָשָׂה בוֹ פְּצָעִים הַרְבֵּה, שֶׁלֹּא הָיָה יוֹדֵעַ מֵהֵיכָן נַפְשׁוֹ יוֹצְאָה (סנהדרין ל"ז):
11And now, you are cursed even more than the ground, which opened its mouth to take your brother's blood from your hand.   יאוְעַתָּ֖ה אָר֣וּר אָ֑תָּה מִן־הָֽאֲדָמָה֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר פָּֽצְתָ֣ה אֶת־פִּ֔יהָ לָקַ֛חַת אֶת־דְּמֵ֥י אָחִ֖יךָ מִיָּדֶֽךָ:
even more than the ground: Even more than it [the earth] was already cursed for its iniquity, and also with this it continued to sin. — [from Gen. Rabbah 5:9; Mechilta Beshallach, Massechta d’Shirah , ch. 9] As stated above (1:11), the iniquity was its failure to produce trees with the taste of the fruit.   אָרוּר אָתָּה מִן־הָֽאֲדָמָה: יוֹתֵר מִמַּה שֶּׁנִּתְקַלְּלָה הִיא כְּבָר בַּעֲוֹנָהּ, וְגַם בָּזוֹ הוֹסִיפָה לַחֲטֹא,
which opened its mouth to take your brother’s blood, etc: And behold, I am adding to it a curse concerning you, that “it will not continue to give [you] its strength.” [In some editions, this is all one paragraph from “more than the ground.”]   אֲשֶׁר פָּֽצְתָה אֶת־פִּיהָ לָקַחַת אֶת־דְּמֵי אָחִיךָ וגו': וְהִנְּנִי מוֹסִיף לָהּ קְלָלָה אֶצְלְךָ, לֹא תֹסֵף תֵּת כֹּחָהּ:
12When 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."   יבכִּ֤י תַֽעֲבֹד֙ אֶת־הָ֣אֲדָמָ֔ה לֹֽא־תֹסֵ֥ף תֵּֽת־כֹּחָ֖הּ לָ֑ךְ נָ֥ע וָנָ֖ד תִּֽהְיֶ֥ה בָאָֽרֶץ:
a wanderer and an exile: You have no permission to dwell in one place. —   נָע וָנָד: אֵין לְךָ רְשׁוּת לָדוּר בְּמָקוֹם אֶחָד:
13And Cain said to the Lord, "Is my iniquity too great to bear?   יגוַיֹּ֥אמֶר קַ֖יִן אֶל־יְהֹוָ֑ה גָּד֥וֹל עֲוֹנִ֖י מִנְּשֽׂוֹא:
Is my iniquity too great to bear: This is a question. You bear the upper worlds and the lower worlds, and my iniquity is impossible for You to bear?- [from Tanchuma Buber, Bereishith 25; Gen. Rabbah 22:11; Targum Jonathan and Yerusahlmi]   עֲוֹנִי מִנְּשֽׂוֹא: בִּתְמִיהָ, אַתָּה טוֹעֵן עֶלְיוֹנִים וְתַחְתּוֹנִים, וַעֲוֹנִי אִי אֶפְשָׁר לִטְעֹן? (בראשית רבה)
14Behold 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."   ידהֵן֩ גֵּרַ֨שְׁתָּ אֹתִ֜י הַיּ֗וֹם מֵעַל֙ פְּנֵ֣י הָֽאֲדָמָ֔ה וּמִפָּנֶ֖יךָ אֶסָּתֵ֑ר וְהָיִ֜יתִי נָ֤ע וָנָד֙ בָּאָ֔רֶץ וְהָיָ֥ה כָל־מֹֽצְאִ֖י יַֽהַרְגֵֽנִי:
15And the Lord said to him, "Therefore, whoever kills Cain, vengeance will be wrought upon him sevenfold," and the Lord placed a mark on Cain that no one who find him slay him.   טווַיֹּ֧אמֶר ל֣וֹ יְהֹוָ֗ה לָכֵן֙ כָּל־הֹרֵ֣ג קַ֔יִן שִׁבְעָתַ֖יִם יֻקָּ֑ם וַיָּ֨שֶׂם יְהֹוָ֤ה לְקַ֨יִן֙ א֔וֹת לְבִלְתִּ֥י הַכּֽוֹת־אֹת֖וֹ כָּל־מֹֽצְאֽוֹ:
Therefore, whoever kills Cain…!: This is one of the verses that speak briefly and hint but do not [fully] explain.“Therefore, whoever kills Cain” is a threat. So shall be done to him, or such-and-such shall be his punishment, but it does not delineate his punishment. — [from Gen. Rabbah 22:12]   לָכֵן כָּל־הורג קַיִן: זֶה אֶחָד מִן הַמִּקְרָאוֹת שֶׁקִּצְּרוּ דִּבְרֵיהֶם וְרָמְזוּ וְלֹא פֵרְשׁוּ, לָכֵן כָּל הֹרֵג קַיִן לְשׁוֹן גְּעָרָה, כֹּה יֵעָשֶׂה לוֹ, כָּךְ וְכָךְ עָנְשׁוֹ וְלֹא פֵּרֵשׁ עָנְשׁוֹ:
vengeance will be wrought upon him sevenfold: I do not wish to wreak vengeance upon Cain now. At the end of seven generations, I will wreak My vengeance upon him, for Lemech, one of his grandchildren, will rise up and slay him. And the words שִׁבְעָתַיִם יֻקָם at the end of the verse, (after seven generations, vengeance will be wrought upon him)-refers to the avenging of Abel from Cain (Tan. Bereishith 11). This teaches that the beginning of the verse is an expression of a threat, that no creature should harm him. Similarly, (II Sam. 5:8): “And David said: Whoever smites the Jebusites and reaches the tower,” but it does not explain what would be done for him, but the verse spoke by hinting: [meaning] “Whoever smites the Jebusites and reaches the tower,” and reaches the gate and conquers it, “and the blind, etc.,” [meaning] and he will smite them too [i.e., the blind and the lame], because the blind and the lame said, “David shall not come into the midst of the house.” He who smites these, I will make into a chief and an officer. Here (II Sam.) he spoke briefly, but in I Chronicles (11:6), he explained [at length]: “He will become a chief and an officer.”   שִׁבְעָתַיִם יֻקָּם: אֵינִי רוֹצֶה לְהִנָּקֵם מִקַּיִן עַכְשָׁו, לְסוֹף שִׁבְעָה דוֹרוֹת אֲנִי נוֹקֵם נִקְמָתִי מִמֶּנּוּ, שֶׁיַּעֲמֹד לֶמֶךְ מִבְּנֵי בָּנָיו וְיַהַרְגֵהוּ, וְסוֹף הַמִּקְרָא שֶׁאָמַר שִׁבְעָתַיִם יֻקָּם, וְהִיא נִקְמַת הֶבֶל מִקַּיִן, לִמְּדָנוּ שֶׁתְּחִלַּת מִקְרָא לְשׁוֹן גְּעָרָה הִיא, שֶׁלֹּא תְהֵא בְרִיָּה מַזִּיקַתּוּ, וְכַיּוֹצֵא בוֹ וַיֹּאמֶר דָּוִד כָּל מַכֵּה יְבֻסִי וְיִגַּע בַּצִּנּוֹר (שמואל ב ה'), וְלֹא פֵּרֵשׁ מַה יֵּעָשֶׂה לוֹ, אֲבָל דִּבֵּר הַכָּתוּב בְּרֶמֶז כָּל מַכֵּה יְבֻסִי וְיִגַּע בַּצִּנּוֹר וְיִקְרַב אֶל הַשַּׁעַר וְיִכְבְּשֶׁנּוּ וְאֶת הָעִוְרִים וגו', וְגַם אוֹתָם יַכֶּה עַל אֲשֶׁר אָמְרוּ הָעִוֵּר וְהַפִּסֵּחַ לֹא יָבֹא דָוִד אֶל תּוֹךְ הַבַּיִת – הַמַּכֶּה אֶת אֵלּוּ אֲנִי אֶעֱשֶׂנּוּ רֹאשׁ וְשַׂר, כָּאן קִצֵּר דְּבָרָיו, וּבְדִבְרֵי הַיָּמִים פֵּרֵשׁ יִהְיֶה לְרֹאשׁ וּלְשָׂר:
and the Lord placed a mark on Cain: He engraved a letter of His Name on his forehead. [Other editions (of Rashi)]: Another explanation:   וַיָּשֶׂם ה' לְקַיִן אוֹת: חָקַק לוֹ אוֹת מִשְּׁמוֹ בְּמִצְחוֹ. ס"א דָּבָר אַחֵר:
whoever finds me will kill me: This refers to the cattle and the beasts, but there were yet no humans in existence whom he should fear, only his father and mother, and he did not fear that they would kill him. But he said, “Until now, my fear was upon all the beasts, as it is written (Gen. 9:2): ‘And your fear, etc.,’ but now, because of this iniquity, the beasts will not fear me, and they will kill me.” Immediately,“and the Lord gave Cain a sign.” He restored his fear upon everyone- [as in ed. Guadalajara, 1476].   כָּל מוֹצְאִי יַהַרְגֵנִי: הַבְּהֵמוֹת וְהַחַיּוֹת, אֲבָל בְּנֵי אָדָם עֲדַיִן לֹא הָיוּ שֶׁיִּירָא מֵהֶם, רַק אָבִיו וְאִמּוֹ, וּמֵהֶם לֹא הָיָה יָרֵא שֶׁיַּהַרְגוּהוּ, אֶלָּא אָמַר עַד עַכְשָׁו הָיָה פַּחְדָּתִי עַל כָּל הַחַיּוֹת כְּמוֹ שֶׁכָּתוּב וּמוֹרַאֲכֶם וְגוֹ', וְעַכְשָׁו בִּשְׁבִיל עָוֹן זֶה לֹא יִירְאוּ מִמֶּנִּי הַחַיּוֹת וְיַהַרְגוּנִי, מִיָּד וַיָּשֶׂם ה' לְקַיִן אוֹת – הֶחֱזִיר אֶת מוֹרָאוֹ עַל הַחַיּוֹת:
16And Cain went forth from before the Lord, and he dwelt in the land of the wanderers, to the east of Eden.   טזוַיֵּ֥צֵא קַ֖יִן מִלִּפְנֵ֣י יְהֹוָ֑ה וַיֵּ֥שֶׁב בְּאֶֽרֶץ־נ֖וֹד קִדְמַת־עֵֽדֶן:
And Cain went forth: He went out with humility, as if to deceive the Most High. — [from Gen. Rabbah 22:13]   וַיֵּצֵא קַיִן: יָצָא בְהַכְנָעָה כְּגוֹנֵב דַּעַת הָעֶלְיוֹנָה:
in the land of the wanderers: Heb. בְּאֶרֶץ נוֹד, in the land where all the exiles wander.   בְּאֶֽרֶץ־נוֹד: בָּאֶרֶץ שֶׁכָּל הַגּוֹלִים נָדִים שָׁם:
to the east of Eden: There his father was exiled when he was driven out of the Garden of Eden, as it is said (3:24) “and He stationed at the east of the Garden of Eden, etc., to guard” the way of approach to the Garden, from which we can learn that Adam was there. And we find that the easterly direction always offers asylum for murderers, as it is said (Deut. 4:41): “Then Moses separated, etc. [three cities of refuge] in the direction of the sunrise” - [Mid. Devarim Rabbah, Lieberman, p.60; Tan. Buber ad loc.]. Another explanation: בְּאֶרֶץ נוֹד means that wherever he went, the earth would quake beneath him, and the people would say, “Go away from him; this is the one who killed his brother” [Mid. Tan., Bereishith 9].   קִדְמַת־עֵֽדֶן: שָׁם גָּלָה אָבִיו כְּשֶׁגֹּרַשׁ מִגַּן עֵדֶן, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר וַיַּשְׁכֵּן מִקֶּדֶם לְגַן עֵדֶן אֶת שְׁמִירַת דֶּרֶךְ מְבוֹא הַגָּן, שֶׁיֵּשׁ לִלְמֹד שֶׁהָיָה אָדָם שָׁם, וּמָצִינוּ רוּחַ מִזְרָחִית קוֹלֶטֶת בְּכָל מָקוֹם אֶת הָרוֹצְחִים שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר אָז יַבְדִּיל מֹשֶׁה וְגוֹמֵר, מִזְרְחָה שָׁמֶשׁ (דברים ד'), דָּבָר אַחֵר בְּאֶרֶץ נוֹד, כָּל מָקוֹם שֶׁהוֹלֵךְ הָיְתָה הָאָרֶץ מִזְדַּעְזְעָה תַּחְתָּיו, וְהַבְּרִיּוֹת אוֹמְרִים סוּרוּ מֵעָלָיו, זֶהוּ שֶׁהָרַג אֶת אָחִיו:
17And Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch, and he was building a city, and he called the city after the name of his son, Enoch.   יזוַיֵּ֤דַע קַ֨יִן֙ אֶת־אִשְׁתּ֔וֹ וַתַּ֖הַר וַתֵּ֣לֶד אֶת־חֲנ֑וֹךְ וַֽיְהִי֙ בֹּ֣נֶה עִ֔יר וַיִּקְרָא֙ שֵׁ֣ם הָעִ֔יר כְּשֵׁ֖ם בְּנ֥וֹ חֲנֽוֹךְ:
and he was: [i.e.,] Cain built a city, and he named the city in memory of his son Enoch.   וַֽיְהִי קַיִן בונה עִיר וַיִּקְרָא שֵׁם הָעִיר: לְזֵכֶר בְּנוֹ חֲנוֹךְ:
18And Irad was born to Enoch, and Irad begot Mehujael, and Mehijael begot Methushael, and Methushael begot Lemech.   יחוַיִּוָּלֵ֤ד לַֽחֲנוֹךְ֙ אֶת־עִירָ֔ד וְעִירָ֕ד יָלַ֖ד אֶת־מְחֽוּיָאֵ֑ל וּמְחִיָּיאֵ֗ל יָלַד֙ אֶת־מְת֣וּשָׁאֵ֔ל וּמְתֽוּשָׁאֵ֖ל יָלַ֥ד אֶת־לָֽמֶךְ:
and Irad begot: Heb. יָלַד In some places, it says regarding the male הוֹלִיד, and in some places it says יָלַד, because the verb ילד can be used to express two meanings: the giving birth by the woman, nestre in Old French (naître in modern French), and the man’s begetting, anjandrer in Old French (engendrer in modern French). When it says הוֹלִיד in the הִפְעִיל conjugation (causative), it speaks of the woman’s giving birth, i.e., so-and-so caused his wife to bear a son or a daughter. When it says יָלַד, it speaks of the man’s begetting, and that is anjandrer in Old French.   וְעִירָד יָלַד: יֵשׁ מָקוֹם שֶׁהוּא אוֹמֵר בְּזָכָר הוֹלִיד וְיֵשׁ מָקוֹם שֶׁהוּא אוֹמֵר יָלַד, שֶׁהַלֵּדָה מְשַׁמֶּשֶׁת שְׁתֵּי לְשׁוֹנוֹת, לֵדַת הָאִשָּׁה ניש"טרא בְּלַעַז וּזְרִיעַת תּוֹלְדוֹת הָאִישׁ אינזי"ראר בְּלַעַז. כְּשֶׁהוּא אוֹמֵר הוֹלִיד בִּלְשׁוֹן הִפְעִיל, מְדַבֵּר בְּלֵדַת הָאִשָּׁה – פְּלוֹנִי הוֹלִיד אֶת אִשְׁתּוֹ בֵּן אוֹ בַת, כְּשֶׁהוּא אוֹמֵר יָלַד, מְדַבֵּר בִּזְרִיעַת הָאִישׁ:
19And Lemech took himself two wives; one was named Adah, and the other was named Zillah.   יטוַיִּקַּח־ל֥וֹ לֶ֖מֶךְ שְׁתֵּ֣י נָשִׁ֑ים שֵׁ֤ם הָֽאַחַת֙ עָדָ֔ה וְשֵׁ֥ם הַשֵּׁנִ֖ית צִלָּֽה:
And Lemech took himself two wives: It was not necessary to elaborate on all this, but it did so to teach us from the end of the section that the Holy One, blessed be He, kept His promise when He said, “vengeance will be wrought upon Cain sevenfold,” and Lemech arose after he had begotten sons and raised the seventh generation, and he slew Cain. This is what is meant by [Lemech’s statement] “for have I slain a man by my wounding, etc.” - [from sources quoted on verse 23]   וַיִּקַּח־לוֹ לֶמֶךְ: לֹא הָיָה לוֹ לְפָרֵשׁ כָּל זֶה, אֶלָּא לְלַמְּדֵנוּ מִסּוֹף הָעִנְיָן, שֶׁקִּיֵּם הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא הַבְטָחָתוֹ שֶׁאָמַר שִׁבְעָתַיִם יֻקַּם קָיִן, עָמַד לֶמֶךְ לְאַחַר שֶׁהוֹלִיד בָּנִים וְעָשָׂה דּוֹר שְׁבִיעִי וְהָרַג אֶת קַיִן, זֶהוּ שֶׁאָמַר כִּי אִישׁ הָרַגְתִּי לְפִצְעִי וְגוֹמֵר:
two wives: So was the custom of the generation of the Flood, one [wife] for propagation and one for marital relations. The one who was for marital relations would be given a potion of roots to drink, so that she should become sterile (in some editions, the following does not appear), and he would adorn her like a bride and feed her delicacies, but her companion was neglected and was mourning like a widow. This is what Job explained (24:21): “He feeds the barren woman who will not bear, but he does not adorn the widow.” [This is] as explained in the Aggadah of Chelek (Sanh. ch. 10) (not found in our edition, but in Gen. Rabbah 23:2).   שְׁתֵּי נָשִׁים: כָּךְ הָיָה דַּרְכָּן שֶׁל דּוֹר הַמַּבּוּל אַחַת לִפְרִיָּה וּרְבִיָּה וְאַחַת לְתַשְׁמִישׁ, זוֹ שֶׁהִיא לְתַשְׁמִישׁ מַשְׁקָהּ כּוֹס שֶׁל עִקָּרִין כְּדֵי שֶׁתֵּעָקֵר וּמְקֻשֶּׁטֶת כְּכַלָּה וּמַאֲכִילָהּ מַעֲדַנִּים, וַחֲבֶרְתָּהּ נְזוּפָה וַאֲבֵלָה כְּאַלְמָנָה, וְזֶהוּ שֶׁפֵּרֵשׁ אִיּוֹב רֹעֶה עֲקָרָה לֹא תֵלֵד וְאַלְמָנָה לֹא יְיֵטִיב (איוב כ"ד), כְּמוֹ שֶׁמְּפֹרָשׁ בְּאַגָּדַת חֵלֶק (וּבּבְּרֵאשִׁית רַבָּה):
Adah: She was the one for propagation, called so because she was despicable to him and removed from him. עָדָה is the Aramaic translation of סוּרָה, turn away.   עָדָה: הִיא שֶׁל פְּרִיָּה וּרְבִיָּה עַל שֵׁם שֶׁמְּגֻנָּה עָלָיו וּמוּסֶרֶת מֵאֶצְלוֹ, עָדָה תַּרְגּוּם שֶׁל סוּרָה:
Zillah: She was the one for marital relations. [so named] because she would always sit in his shadow (בְּצִלּוֹ). These are the words of Aggadah in Genesis Rabbah.   צִלָּֽה: הִיא שֶׁל תַּשְׁמִישׁ, עַל שֵׁם שֶׁיּוֹשֶׁבֶת תָּמִיד בְּצִלּוֹ, דִּבְרֵי אַגָּדָה הֵם בּבְּרֵאשִׁית רַבָּה:
20Now Adah bore Jabal; he was the father of those who dwell in tents and have cattle.   כוַתֵּ֥לֶד עָדָ֖ה אֶת־יָבָ֑ל ה֣וּא הָיָ֔ה אֲבִ֕י ישֵׁ֥ב אֹ֖הֶל וּמִקְנֶֽה:
the father of those who dwell in tents and have cattle: He was the first to pasture animals in uncultivated places and dwell in tents, one month here and one month here for the sake of his flocks. When the pasture in this place was depleted, he went and pitched his tent elsewhere (Targumim). According to the Midrash Aggadah (Gen. Rabbah 23:3), he would build houses for idol worship, as it is said (Ezek. 8:3), "The image of jealousy that provokes (God to) jealousy (הַקִּנְאָה הַמַּקְנֶה). And so did his brother grasp the lyre and the flute to sing to pagan deities. (Bereishith Rabbathi, p. 49)   אֲבִי ישֵׁב אֹהֶל וּמִקְנֶֽה: הוּא הָיָה הָרִאשׁוֹן לְרוֹעֵי בְהֵמוֹת בַּמִּדְבָּרוֹת, יוֹשֵׁב אֹהָלִים חֹדֶשׁ כָּאן וְחֹדֶשׁ כָּאן בִּשְׁבִיל מִרְעֵה צֹאנוֹ, וּכְשֶׁכָּלֶה הַמִּרְעֶה בְּמָקוֹם זֶה הוֹלֵךְ וְתוֹקֵעַ אָהֳלוֹ בְּמָקוֹם אַחֵר. וּמִדְרַשׁ אַגָּדָה בּוֹנֶה בָתִּים לַעֲבוֹדָה זָרָה, כְּמָה דְּאַתְּ אָמַר סֵמֶל הַקִּנְאָה הַמַּקְנֶה (יחזקאל ח'), וְכֵן אָחִיו תּוֹפֵשׂ כִּנּוֹר וְעוּגָב לְזַמֵּר לַעֲבוֹדָה זָרָה:
21And his brother's name was Jubal; he was the father of all who grasp a lyre and a flute.   כאוְשֵׁ֥ם אָחִ֖יו יוּבָ֑ל ה֣וּא הָיָ֔ה אֲבִ֕י כָּל־תֹּפֵ֥שׂ כִּנּ֖וֹר וְעוּגָֽב:
22And Zillah she too bore Tubal-cain, who sharpened all tools that cut copper and iron, and Tubal-cain's sister was Na'amah.   כבוְצִלָּ֣ה גַם־הִ֗וא יָֽלְדָה֙ אֶת־תּ֣וּבַל קַ֔יִן לֹטֵ֕שׁ כָּל־חֹרֵ֥שׁ נְח֖שֶׁת וּבַרְזֶ֑ל וַֽאֲח֥וֹת תּֽוּבַל־קַ֖יִן נַֽעֲמָֽה:
Tubal-cain: He refined the craft of Cain. Tubal is related to the word תַּבְלִין (spices). He “spiced” and “refined” Cain’s craft to make weapons for murderers- [from Gen. Rabbah 23:3].   תּוּבַל קַיִן: תּוֹבֵל אֻמָּנֻתוֹ שֶׁל קַיִן, תּוּבָל לְשׁוֹן תַּבְלִין, תִּבֵּל וְהִתְקִין אֻמָּנוּתוֹ שֶׁל קַיִן לַעֲשׂוֹת כְּלֵי זַיִן לָרוֹצְחִים:
who sharpened all tools that cut copper and iron: Heb. לֹטֵשׁ. He sharpened the tools [for working with] copper and iron, like (Job 16:9): “sharpens (יִלְטוֹשׁ) his eyes upon me.” חֹרֵשׁ is not an expression of פּוֹעֶל (a noun) but an expression of פּוֹעֵל (a verb), because it is vowelized with a small “kamatz” (i.e., a tzeireh) and the final syllable is accented, i.e., he sharpens and burnishes all implements of the craft of copper and iron.   לֹטֵשׁ כָּל־חֹרֵשׁ נְחשֶׁת וּבַרְזֶל: מְחַדֵּד אֻמָּנוּת נְחֹשֶׁת וּבַרְזֶל כְּמוֹ יִלְטֹשׁ עֵינָיו לִי (איוב ט"ז). חוֹרֵשׁ אֵינוֹ לְשׁוֹן פֹּעֶל אֶלָּא לְשׁוֹן פּוֹעֵל, שֶׁהֲרֵי נָקוּד קָמָץ קָטָן וְטַעְמוֹ לְמַטָּה, כְּלוֹמַר, מְחַדֵּד וּמְצַחְצֵחַ כָּל כְּלֵי אֻמָּנוּת נְחֹשֶׁת וּבַרְזֶל:
Na’amah: She was Noah’s wife. (Genesis Rabbah 23:3)   נַֽעֲמָֽה: הִיא אִשְׁתּוֹ שֶׁל נֹחַ:
23Now Lemech said to his wives, "Adah and Zillah, hearken to my voice; wives of Lemech, incline your ears to my words, for I have slain a man by wounding (him) and a child by bruising (him).   כגוַיֹּ֨אמֶר לֶ֜מֶךְ לְנָשָׁ֗יו עָדָ֤ה וְצִלָּה֙ שְׁמַ֣עַן קוֹלִ֔י נְשֵׁ֣י לֶ֔מֶךְ הַֽאֲזֵ֖נָּה אִמְרָתִ֑י כִּ֣י אִ֤ישׁ הָרַ֨גְתִּי֙ לְפִצְעִ֔י וְיֶ֖לֶד לְחַבֻּֽרָתִֽי:
hearken to my voice: For his wives separated from being intimate with him because he had slain Cain and Tubal-cain, his (Lemech’s) son. [The story was] that Lemech was blind, and Tubal-cain was leading him. He spotted Cain, who appeared to him as an animal, and he told his father to draw the bow, and he killed him. As soon as he learned that it was his grandfather Cain, he clapped his hands together [in anguish] and clapped his son between them and killed him. So his wives separated from him, and he attempted to appease them.   שְׁמַעַן קוֹלִי: שֶׁהָיוּ פּוֹרְשׁוֹת מִמֶּנּוּ מִתַּשְׁמִישׁ, לְפִי שֶׁהָרַג אֶת קַיִן וְאֶת תּוּבַל קַיִן בְּנוֹ, שֶׁהָיָה לֶמֶךְ סוּמָא וְתוּבַל קַיִן מוֹשְׁכוֹ, וְרָאָה אֶת קַיִן וְנִדְמָה לוֹ כְּחַיָּה וְאָמַר לְאָבִיו לִמְשֹׁךְ בַּקֶּשֶׁת וַהֲרָגוֹ, וְכֵיוָן שֶׁיָּדַע שֶׁהוּא קַיִן זְקֵנוֹ הִכָּה כַּף אֶל כַּף וְסָפַק אֶת בְּנוֹ בֵינֵיהֶם וַהֲרָגוֹ, וְהָיוּ נָשָׁיו פּוֹרְשׁוֹת מִמֶּנּוּ וְהוּא מְפַיְּסָן:
hearken to my voice: to hearken to me to agree to live with me, for was the man I killed, killed because of my wounding? Did I wound him intentionally, that the wound should be attributed to my name? And the child I killed, was he killed by my bruising, i.e., on account of my [intentional] bruising? This is a question. Did I not do it inadvertently and not intentionally? This is not my wound, and this is not my bruise. פֶּצַע is a wound inflicted by a sword or an arrow, machadure in Old French.   שְׁמַעַן קוֹלִי: לְהִשָּׁמַע לִי לְתַשְׁמִישׁ, וְכִי אִישׁ אֲשֶׁר הָרַגְתִּי לְפִצְעִי הוּא נֶהֱרַג, וְכִי אֲנִי פְצַעְתִּיו מֵזִיד שֶׁיְּהֵא הַפֶּצַע קָרוּי עַל שְׁמִי? וְיֶלֶד אֲשֶׁר הָרַגְתִּי, לְחַבֻּרָתִי נֶהֱרַג? כְּלוֹמַר, עַל יְדֵי חַבֻּרָתִי? בִּתְמִיהָ, וַהֲלֹא שׁוֹגֵג אֲנִי וְלֹא מֵזִיד, לֹא זֶהוּ פִּצְעִי וְלֹא זֶהוּ חַבֻּרָתִי פֶּצַע מַכַּת חֶרֶב אוֹ חֵץ מקא"דורה בְּלַעַז:
24If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, then for Lemech it shall be seventy seven fold."   כדכִּ֥י שִׁבְעָתַ֖יִם יֻקַּם־קָ֑יִן וְלֶ֖מֶךְ שִׁבְעִ֥ים וְשִׁבְעָֽה:
If Cain be avenged sevenfold: Cain, who killed intentionally, was given an extension until seven generations. How much more should I, who have killed unintentionally, be given many times seven.   כִּי שִׁבְעָתַיִם יֻקַּם־קָיִן: קַיִן שֶׁהָרַג מֵזִיד נִתְלָה לוֹ עַד שִׁבְעָה דוֹרוֹת, אֲנִי שֶׁהָרַגְתִּי שׁוֹגֵג לֹא כָּל שֶׁכֵּן שֶׁיִּתָּלֶה לִי שְׁבִיעִיּוֹת הַרְבֵּה:
seventy-seven fold: Heb. שִׁבְעִים וְשִׁבְעָה An expression meaning many sevens is used here. So did Rabbi Tanchuma explain it. [This does not appear in extant editions of Tanchuma, but in Yalkut Shim’oni it is quoted from Tanchuma]. In Midrash Genesis Rabbah (23:4): Lemech did not kill anyone, but his wives separated from him after they had fulfilled [the commandment of] propagation, because a decree had been issued to destroy Cain’s seed after seven generations. They said, “Why should we give birth in vain? Tomorrow, the Flood will come and inundate everything!” He answered them, “Have I slain a man for whom I should be wounded? Did I slay Abel, who was a man in stature and a child in years, that my seed should be annihilated for that iniquity? If Cain, who killed, was given an extension of seven generations, I, who did not slay- how much more so should I be given an extension of many sevens!” Now this is an absurd deduction from a minor to a major case, [because] if so, the Holy One, blessed be He, could not exact His debt nor fulfill His word.   שִׁבְעִים וְשִׁבְעָֽה: לְשׁוֹן רִבּוּי שְׁבִיעִיּוֹת אָחַז לוֹ, כָּךְ דָּרַשׁ רַבִּי תַּנְחוּמָא. וּמִדְרַשׁ בְּרֵאשִׁית רַבָּה לֹא הָרַג לֶמֶךְ כְּלוּם, וְנָשָׁיו פּוֹרְשׁוֹת מִמֶּנּוּ מִשֶּׁקִיְּמוּ פְּרִיָה וּרְבִיָּה, לְפִי שֶׁנִּגְזְרָה גְּזֵרָה לְכַלּוֹת זַרְעוֹ שֶׁל קַיִן לְאַחַר שִׁבְעָה דוֹרוֹת, אָמְרוּ מָה אָנוּ יוֹלְדוֹת לַבֶּהָלָה? לְמָחָר הַמַּבּוּל בָּא וְשׁוֹטֵף אֶת הַכֹּל וְהוּא אוֹמֵר לָהֶן וְכִי אִישׁ הָרַגְתִּי לְפִצְעִי? וְכִי אֲנִי הָרַגְתִּי אֶת הֶבֶל, שֶׁהָיָה אִישׁ בְּקוֹמָה וְיֶלֶד בַּשָּׁנִים, שֶׁיְּהֵא זַרְעִי כָּלֶה בְּאוֹתוֹ עָוֹן? וּמַה קַּיִן שֶׁהָרַג נִתְלָה לוֹ שִׁבְעָה דוֹרוֹת, אֲנִי שֶׁלֹּא הָרַגְתִּי, לֹא כָּל שֶׁכֵּן שֶׁיִּתָּלוּ לִי שְׁבִיעִיּוֹת הַרְבֵּה? וְזֶהוּ קַל וָחֹמֶר שֶׁל שְׁטוּת, אִם כֵּן אֵין הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא גּוֹבֶה אֶת חוֹבוֹ וּמְקַיֵּם אֶת דְּבָרוֹ:
25And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son, and she named him Seth, for God has given me other seed, instead of Abel, for Cain slew him.   כהוַיֵּ֨דַע אָדָ֥ם עוֹד֙ אֶת־אִשְׁתּ֔וֹ וַתֵּ֣לֶד בֵּ֔ן וַתִּקְרָ֥א אֶת־שְׁמ֖וֹ שֵׁ֑ת כִּ֣י שָׁת־לִ֤י אֱלֹהִים֙ זֶ֣רַע אַחֵ֔ר תַּ֣חַת הֶ֔בֶל כִּ֥י הֲרָג֖וֹ קָֽיִן:
And Adam knew, etc.: Lemech came to the first man (Adam) and complained about his wives. He (Adam) said to them, “Is it for you to be so strict concerning the decree of the Omnipresent? You perform your commandments, and He will do His.” They [the wives] said to him, “Correct yourself first. Haven’t you separated from your wife already 130 years since death was decreed because of you?” Immediately, “And Adam knew, etc.” What is the meaning of עוֹד [again]? This is to say that his desire [for Eve] was increased above his previous desire [Genesis Rabbah 23:4: 5]. See also Eruvin 18b.   וַיֵּדַע אָדָם וְגוֹ': בָּא לוֹ לֶמֶךְ אֵצֶל אָדָם הָרִאשׁוֹן וְקָבַל עַל נָשָׁיו, אָמַר לָהֶם: וְכִי עֲלֵיכֶם לְדַקְדֵּק עַל גְּזֵרָתוֹ שֶׁל מָקוֹם? אַתֶּם עֲשׂוּ מִצְוַתְכֶם וְהוּא יַעֲשֶׂה אֶת שֶׁלּוֹ. אָמְרוּ לוֹ: קְשֹׁט עַצְמְךָ תְּחִלָּה, וַהֲלֹא פָּרַשְׁתָּ מֵאִשְׁתְּךָ זֶה מֵאָה וּשְׁלֹשִׁים שָׁנָה מִשֶּׁנִּקְנְסָה מִיתָה עַל יָדְךָ: מִיָּד וַיֵּדַע אָדָם וְגוֹמֵר. וּמַהוּ עוֹד, לְלַמֵּד שֶׁנִּתּוֹסְפָה לוֹ תַאֲוָה עַל תַּאֲוָתוֹ (בראשית רבה):
26And to Seth also to him a son was born, and he named him Enosh; then it became common to call by the name of the Lord.   כווּלְשֵׁ֤ת גַּם־הוּא֙ יֻלַּד־בֵּ֔ן וַיִּקְרָ֥א אֶת־שְׁמ֖וֹ אֱנ֑וֹשׁ אָ֣ז הוּחַ֔ל לִקְרֹ֖א בְּשֵׁ֥ם יְהֹוָֽה:
then it became common: Heb. הוּחַל, is an expression of חוּלִין profaneness: to name people and idols with the name of the Holy One, blessed be He, to make them idols and to call them deities. — [from Gen. Rabbah 23:7; Baraitha of 49 Methods, quoted in Yalkut Shimoni]   אָז הוּחַל: לְשׁוֹן חֻלִּין, לִקְרֹא אֶת שְׁמוֹת הָאָדָם וְאֶת שְׁמוֹת הָעֲצַבִּים בִּשְׁמוֹ שֶׁל הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא לַעֲשׂוֹתָן עֲבוֹדָה זָרָה וְלִקְרוֹתָן אֱלֹהוּת: