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A Fugitive and a Vagabond Shalt Thou Be in the Earth

Seven Verses from Genesis 4:12-18 King James Version (KJV)

12 When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.

13 And Cain said unto the Lord, My punishment is greater than I can bear.

14 Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me.

15 And the Lord said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the Lord set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him.

16 And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.

17 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.

What the seven are saying:

These seven verses continued the narrative of some of the consequences mankind had of being influenced by the serpent (the knowledge of the tree of good and evil). Cain, the son of Adam and Eve, slew his brother, Abel and did not regard it as anything. He moved on with his life despite the evil he’d done.

When asked about it, he lied to the LORD and asked somewhat pompously if he was supposed to keep his brother?! Obviously, the Sovereign LORD of Hosts was not happy with the events and this is where these seven verses take their core.

The LORD told Cain when he would work the ground, it would not yield or produce in her full strength. In addition, he would become a fugitive and vagabond in the earth. From who (would he be a fugitive and vagabond), we could ask? His additional brothers and sisters, and from evil spirits (demons) who’d been dispensed to the earth; many to the harassing of humans.*

More Than You Can Bear

When Cain heard his sentence, he believed it was more than he could bear. However, Paul wrote to the Corinthians that the Almighty is faithful and would never suffer anyone more than they were able to bear. Cain took the punishment the wrong way.

He acknowledged that the LORD had driven him away from the Almighty’s presence. Cain understood the LORD’s face would be hidden from him. He also knew without the LORD’s covering, one’s life is an open game for the enemy (Job 1:10).

What Cain forgot is the abundance of the LORD’s mercy. The reply of the LORD shows the level of mercy the Almighty truly has. He responded to Cain’s worry by cursing anyone who took vengeance on Cain.

To the Land of Nod

He in fact said (and we paraphrase), ‘Anyone who kills Cain, vengeance will be taken out of him seven times’! Cain was marked so that anyone who found him would know not to lay their hands upon him. Cain then left the presence of the LORD, staying in the land of Nod, which is on the east of Eden.

In the process of time, Cain had a wife and they had a son named Enoch. Cain built a city and named it after his son, Enoch. Enoch grew and had children and his children had children. There was Irad, Enoch’s son, Mehujael, Methusael, and Lamech. Seven verses!


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  1. Thanks so much to have connected with you. I am in a bible study in one year. I am very happy to be getting suport from you. May God bless you as we walk together.

    • Thank you Benjamin, may the Creator enrich us all.

      Min Koko

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