Why Is Cain’s Line Called Rebellious?

Q. In a previous article you wrote:

“I believe it was always the Lord’s intention that we remain an agrarian society. Building cities, inventing labor saving devices, and pursuing activities associated with leisure and self fulfillment all came through the rebellious line of Cain.”

Where is it written that Cain’s line was rebellious? After Cain’s banishment, Genesis 4 does not appear to pass moral judgment his decedents or on their activities: Where did the negative characterization of Cain’s line originate?

A. Cain himself rebelled against God. The seventh man from Adam in Cain’s line was Lamech, whose name comes from a root meaning “despairing.” (Compare him with Enoch, the 7th in Seth’s line.) Lamech had three sons; Jabal a livestock breeder, Jubal a musician, Tubal-cain a toolmaker, and a daughter Naamah. We’re not given Naamah’s vocation, but her name comes from a root meaning pleasure. (Maybe she founded “the Oldest Profession.”) From these children came animal husbandry, manufacturing, the arts and music, and entertainment. In just 7 generations we see a recognizable civilization; cities in which to live, leisure and entertainment, and industry.

I’m convinced this early civilization was the result of Cain’s efforts to find a way around the curse the Lord had pronounced on him. Since the ground would no longer yield crops, he and his descendants turned to livestock for their sustenance, wearing their skins and eating their meat, and banded together in cities for protection.

So, the story of Cain’s line is the story of unregenerate man. Exalting himself in defiance of God’s commandments (Gen. 4:23-24), using God given talents to build an Earth centered civilization in an attempt to glorify himself and defeat God’s plan. Due to man’s sin nature (ever notice how cities are always more sinful than rural areas?) Cain’s line attracted many converts while Seth’s dwindled to a small remnant.

Asking why God would allow such a thing can be said of every rebellious act of man since the Creation, and the answer is always the same. God gave man the power of choice. He can either obey and receive the blessing or disobey and suffer the consequences, as God so clearly reminded Cain (Gen. 4:6-7). And while all these so-called talents from Cain’s line have been used in the glorification of God, they have more often been used to promote great evil.

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