Questions to Consider
1. Briefly review Lesson 5 (link above).
2. What do we know about Adam and Eve’s life after their expulsion from the Garden? (4:1-2,25) What do Eve’s statements about Cain’s birth (1) and Seth’s birth (25) tell us about her ongoing relationship with and attitude toward God? What does Adam say about God in chapter 4?
3. Examine 4:2-7. When, in Old Testament history, were the laws about offerings (what to offer, what was acceptable or unacceptable) given by God? How were Cain and Abel to know what kind of offering would be acceptable to God? Considering the character of God and His remarks in verses 6-7, did He arbitrarily and capriciously reject Cain’s offering and accept Abel’s? What, then, might we safely surmise about Cain and Abel’s knowledge of making offerings to God?
4. Who was Cain angry with? (5-8) Did Cain have reason to be angry at God? At Abel? At himself? What did God tell Cain about his anger? (6-7) Do human beings ever have a righteous reason to be angry with God? Think about the latter part of verse 7 (“And if you do not do well…”) What does this mean? How does it apply to your heart and life?
5. Read 4:8-16. What was the root sin (pride, jealousy, hatred, etc.) of Cain’s heart that eventually led him to kill Abel? Can you list all of the sins (in thought, word, and deed) that Cain committed in verses 3-10? Describe how a sinful attitude of heart can “snowball” as it did in Cain’s case. What does this teach us about killing sinful thoughts and attitudes before they lead to more sin?
6. We nearly always focus on Cain and his sin when we read the story of Cain and Abel, but who else did Cain’s sin impact? (4:1-2,14-15,25) How do you think it affected Eve to lose one son at the hand of the other? Do you know someone who has lost a child or sibling to a violent crime like this one? What are some ways you could minister to that person?
7. When, in Old Testament history, did God first give the law prohibiting murder? Was murder a sin prior to God giving that law? How does this help us to understand that God’s moral law (laws about right and wrong) is transcendent and still binding on Christians today, though the Old Testament ceremonial laws governing temple worship, and the civil law which governed the Old Testament nation of Israel, were fulfilled in Christ and no longer required of Christians?
8. Examine Cain’s words in 4:13-14. Does he sound repentant over his sin? Is Cain exhibiting a godly grief or a worldly grief? What is the difference and how does this apply to your own repentance from sin? How did God show grace to Cain? (15-16)
9. In your own words, summarize the remainder of Cain’s life and descendants in 4:16-24.
10. What does verse 26 mean when it says, “At that time people began to call upon the name of the Lord.”?
11. Compare God’s command to Adam and Eve in Genesis 1:28 to the information in Genesis 5. Why would it have been important to the fulfillment of Genesis 1:28 for people to a) live so long, and b) be able to have children at such old ages?
12. What is the final statement God makes about every father in chapter 5 (ex: verses 5, 8, 11, etc.) except Enoch? (21-24) What happened to Enoch, and why? How does the repeated phrase “and he died” drive home and demonstrated the fulfillment of God’s promise in Genesis 2:16-17?
13. In what ways do Genesis 4 and 5 point us ahead to Christ?
Where did Cain get his wife? It’s one of those biblical questions that can be challenging. If you’d like to study up on this topic, here are some helpful resources:
Who was Cain’s wife? Was Cain’s wife his sister? at Got Questions
Who Was Cain’s Wife? at Answers in Genesis
Where Did Cain Get His Wife? at CARM
Suggested Memory Verse
This is the book of the generations of Adam. When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God. Male and female he created them, and he blessed them and named them Man when they were created.