Actions Beyond Eden – Part 2
A picture of exiled society.
Life outside Eden isn’t looking to good so far. While we’ve seen the family of Adam and Eve develop during this time, that dynamic ended up horribly wrong with their son Cain murdering the other son Abel. So what about the rest of Cain’s life and what else does the story reveal?
Cain adapted. Remember: his green-thumb has been revoked as a consequence of his actions. He seems pretty handy in some way though, because the text says he went and built a city. Life begins to center around him. He becomes married and produces a child—he ends up with his own family. His children start having children and suddenly we have the Bible’s first focus on society and community. Maybe these prior flukes of Cain and his parents are just isolated events, right?
Some more knowing good and evil
Not so fast. The story turns towards a guy down in the family line named Lamech. Lamech gets two wives for himself! Hmm, well God sets the precedent of one man and one woman, but Lamech doesn’t see the need to agree with that (*not listening). He’s working in his own version of knowing good and evil and we know this because of the nod the author gives us with the same verb used for how Eve came after the fruit—took. Eve took, Adam took, Cain took his brothers life, now Lamech takes two people…
But he’s not done. Oh, no! He kills a man for physically harming him and he tells his “wives” about it proudly, like a poem and thinks what he’s accomplished is fantastic. So much so he pretty much says, “I deserve to be avenged way more than Cain does!”
At this point, people are continuing to progress with society, technology and such, but humanity hasn’t gotten better at listening to the Voice and now the issue seems to be compounding because of the shared ideas and experiences while in exile.
But there are at least some people who do want to listen…
We’ve one little detail before the genealogy text that follows; that Eve gave birth to yet another son, Seth who has descendants as well. It’s at this time, that people begin to call on the name of the God of this story, Yahweh (or YHWH for sticklers).