Sunday, May 21, 2017
SOME THINGS ARE BEYOND MY COMPREHENSION
The other day, one of my nieces asked me to explain how Cain, after he was banished for killing Abel, his brother, went to live in a land called Nod, and there, he married a woman. To be quite honest, I didn't know the answer. So today, I want to look at the passage to see if I can figure it out. The passage is found in Genesis 4:16-17, which says: "And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden. And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch: and he builded a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son, Enoch."
First of all, I want to know what "the land of Nod" means. According to Young's Analytical Concordance, the Hebrew word is נוֹד (Nowd), which occurs only once in the Bible, means "land of wandering." In other words, it was not a nation, but was much like the forty year wilderness journey of the Jews. I have often thought of the Garden of Eden as being located somewhere in Israel, and since the "land of Nod" was east of Eden, that could put Cain's wandering in the same place Israel would wander more than two millennia later.
Secondly, from where did Cain find his wife? I have always thought he married one of Adam's female children, because Genesis 5:4-5 states: "And the days of Adam after he had begotten Seth were eight hundred years: and he begat sons and daughters: and all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died." But my daughter is sure that when God created man in Genesis 1:26-27, he created mankind, not Adam and Eve. That sort of makes sense if we take the description of the creation of Adam and Eve found in Genesis 2 as describing two special individuals who were to take care of the garden (Gen. 2:5). It would also explain why Cain built a city (Gen. 4:15).
However, that cannot be the answer, in that, Genesis 3:20 says, "And Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living." Obviously, if Eve was to be labeled as such, there could not have been multitudes of humans created in Genesis 1:26-27. That also means that Chapter Two is a detailed description of how God created Adam in Chapter One.
Finally, in answer to the though that God had to have created many humans, mammals, birds, and sea creatures, He began replenishing the earth with a single pair of all the animals following the flood. I also believe that Adam was the first man because it is through his sin, that all mankind face death; if there were others at the time of Adam's life, they would not be his offspring, and hence, would not be under the curse of death.
I have been studying the Bible since I accepted God's free gift of eternal life forty-six years ago, and the longer I study it, the greater my amazement at how little I know! I cannot wait until Jesus comes for me, and I will know, even as I am known (1 Cor. 13:12; 1 Jn. 3:2)! God bless you as you serve the Lord with gladness, and meditate on His Word day and night!