The story of Kayin and Hevel 4 – Man must be protected from on high

We find Kayin pleading with God in the hope to receive a less hard punishment or protection so that he would not be killed out of revenge.

In the previous chapters of the Book of the beginning, we came to read that Adham and Chavah got children, who also got children. One of those children was their third son who was given by Chavah the name Sheth, “for God has ‘appointed’ or ‘granted another’ (Hebr. Sheth) seed for me instead of Hevel””

“Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son. She called his name: Shet/Granted-One, meaning: God has granted me another seed in place of Hevel, for Kayin killed him.
To Shet as well a son was born; he called his name: Enosh/Mortal. ¶ At that time they first called out the name of YHWH.”
(Genesis 4:25–26 SB)

“Adam lived thirty and a hundred years, and then he begot one in his likeness, according to his image, and called his name Shet.
And Adam’s days after he begot Shet were eight hundred years, and he begot sons and daughters.”
(Genesis 5:3–4 SB)

Kayin his child Enosh got Irad who founded Eridu, the first city built before the Flood according to the Sumerian King Lis. Children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren spread out and created more populated areas and cities. When Kayin had to wander, he would always be confronted by some of those people.

“Kayin said to YHWH: My iniquity is too great to be borne!
Here, you drive me away today from the face of the ground, and from your face I must conceal myself, I must be wavering and wandering on earth— now it will be: whoever comes upon me will kill me!”
(Genesis 4:13–14 SB)

We find Kayin pleading with God.

““My punishment is greater than I can bear.”
(Genesis 4:13 ESV)

“Is my transgression too great [for You] to bear, to forgive?” You bear the upper and lower worlds alike. Is it impossible for You to forgive my transgression?

According to Kimhi Kayin was not repentant, just arguing for a lighter sentence. We have the impression that Kayin finds the punishment too harsh and knows God can forgive his averah or transgression.

Nahmanides writes:

Cain is confessing. “It’s true! My sin is too great to be forgiven! For ‘You are righteous, O LORD; Your rulings are just’ [Ps. 119:137], even though You have punished me so severely.”

Kayin indicating that the punishment he received from God is too hard to bear, hopes that it will be possible to obtain credit or a reduction of sentence by the Grace of God. A midrash sees Kayin as the first penitent and attributes his pardon to his repentance (Gen. Rab. 22:13).

Nahmanides finds that:

Cain is, therefore, admitting his great guilt and accepting his punishment, but begging to be protected from a punishment greater than he was given. “As a wanderer, I cannot build a house with walls to protect me, so even wild animals may kill me, for Your protection has departed from me.” He admits that man is not so superior that he can escape danger by his own power; he must be protected from on high.

Kayin can not escape his penalty and shall be the first fugitive and wanderer on the earth. but Jehovah added a protection for him. The Elohim put an ot or mark (sign) on Kayin, lest any who found him should attack him. After that assurance, Kayin went away from the presence of the Adonai and settled in the land of Nod* (wandering), east of Eden.

“YHWH said to him: No, therefore, whoever kills Kayin, sevenfold will it be avenged! So YHWH set a sign for Kayin, so that whoever came upon him would not strike him down.
Kayin went out from the face of YHWH and settled in the land of Nod/Wandering, east of Eden.”
(Genesis 4:15–16 SB)



The land east of Eden, “Land of Nod”, its name may be a pun: a place of “wandering” for the perpetual wanderer. Tough do not forget Adham and the mannin Chavah were also been exiled when they were kicked out of the Gan Eden. Since that is where the “ever-turning sword” (3:24) was stationed, it is evident that Adham was expelled in that direction. We find that murderers are always sent east: “Moses set aside three cities on the east side of the Jordan” (Deut. 4:41).



The story of Kayin and Hevel 1 – Intention of action and sin crouching at the doorway

The story of Kayin and Hevel 2 – Jealousy and Kayin’s problem to handle

The story of Kayin and Hevel 3 – The consequences of Bloodshed


Additional reading

  1. From nothingness to a growing group of followers of Jeshua 2 To Please God
  2. Bereshith 5: Adam’s Descendants to Noah #3 From Seth to Kenan
  3. Bereshith 4:6-16 The Punishment of Kayin
  4. Necessity of a revelation of creation 5 Getting understanding by Word of God 3 – Genealogy of mankind
  5. Man being in exile



  1. The First Family
  2. From Perfect to Broken
  3. Scriptural Analysis- Genesis 4:13-15
  4. Scriptural Analysis- Genesis 4:17, 23, 25-26
  5. Genesis 4: Wait! There were towns?
  6. Murderers at heart (Genesis 4)
  7. Lessons from the story of Cain and Abel
  8. Does Experience Equal Truth?
  9. Genesis Chapters 4 and 5
  10. Podcast | SamSword – the Forum: The Sons of Adam: Seth’s Descendants
  11. Purposes of Work in Genesis
  12. The God That Never Quits!

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