Genesis 4:16–24

416 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.

18 And unto Enoch was born Irad: and Irad begat Mehujael: and Mehujael begat Methusael: and Methusael begat Lamech.

19 And Lamech took unto him two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah.

20 And Adah bare Jabal: he was the father of such as dwell in tents, and of such as have cattle. And his brother’s name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ.

22 And Zillah, she also bare Tubalcain, an instructer of every artificer in brass and iron: and the sister of Tubalcain was Naamah.

23 And Lamech said unto his wives, Adah and Zillah, Hear my voice; ye wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech: for I have slain a man to my wounding, and a young man to my hurt. If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy and sevenfold.

’Adam and Eve* are already East of Eden. Cain’s land of Nod or Wandering may coincide with his parents and it may be even further east.

With the building of a city named after Cain’s son, Enoch, we come to a genealogy that wraps up the journey of Exile through Cain’s line. In its seventh generation we are introduced to key components of what we call civilization.

Jabel reestablishes animal husbandry, last seen with Abel. Surrounding the city, outside the walls, the resources of wandering nomads support the city. Within the city, Jubal entertains. Tubal-Cain begins technological tools that lead from copper and iron down to steel and carbon fibers. Naamah is conviviality herself.

Food, entertainment, technology, and a pleasant community—we are off and running as a self-sufficient unity that rolls on, providing its own meaning and persistence—attempting a place of safety past the fear of death.

A sign of this city, its progress beyond mere multiplication, is in Lamech’s boast that G*D may have protected Cain with a mark signifying a seven-fold retribution, but, through his own strength over man (the powerful) and boy (the weak), he can promise ten times seven, plus yet another seven retributions. We’ve run into the same sort of extension past G*D’s word with the lead up to nakedness after ingesting good and no-good.

A similar extension comes with Lamech responding to his existential loneliness by going beyond the “making” of Mother Eve* to the taking of two, count them, two, wives known only for their offspring and making those children his. Lamech is in charge in ways beyond either ’adam or Cain.

We might as well anticipate a next consequence that exceeds an exile. Time will tell.

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