What does Genesis 4:21 teach us about music?

Having finished reading the Bible yesterday, I began reading it again today and read Genesis 1-4. Genesis 4:21 is the earliest recorded instance of human musical activity on the earth:

Genesis 4:21 And his brother's name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ.

What truths does this verse teach us about music?

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Dave White's picture

RajeshG wrote:

Wrong again. You were not "more than warm!" I had no intent (and still do not have) to discuss any possible applications to rock music in this discussion. 

That article was written more than 4 years ago, and I stand by everything that I said in that article. That article is part of a series of articles that I wrote at that time based on my intensive studies of the subject back then.

My intent, in this discussion, however, was and still is not to steer the discussion in that direction but to explore other directions that are more closely related to the context of the verse at various levels.

Based on my recent rereading through Genesis (and now Exodus), God has redirected my thoughts to study this passage again to see what profit can be derived from it. That is what this discussion is about.

You can choose either to contribute to the discussion edifyingly or to behave in unedifying ways that do not contribute to the discussion. Either way, people like you and tactics like yours are not going to dissuade me in any way from seeking further to have edifying, in-depth discussions on SI on topics concerning the Bible and music.

Who exactly are "people like [me]"? What are my "tactics?"

(I've been a S/I member for years!)

 

RajeshG's picture

Dave White wrote:

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

You can choose either to contribute to the discussion edifyingly or to behave in unedifying ways that do not contribute to the discussion. Either way, people like you and tactics like yours are not going to dissuade me in any way from seeking further to have edifying, in-depth discussions on SI on topics concerning the Bible and music.

 

 

Who exactly are "people like [me]"? What are my "tactics?"

(I've been a S/I member for years!)

There are several people who have posted things like this (https://sharperiron.org/comment/108680#comment-108680) on various threads of mine.

I do not care at all for such posts and find them highly unedifying and tactics that are unworthy of those who profess to be followers of Jesus Christ.

 

Dave White's picture

RajeshG wrote:

 

Dave White wrote:

 

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

You can choose either to contribute to the discussion edifyingly or to behave in unedifying ways that do not contribute to the discussion. Either way, people like you and tactics like yours are not going to dissuade me in any way from seeking further to have edifying, in-depth discussions on SI on topics concerning the Bible and music.

 

 

Who exactly are "people like [me]"? What are my "tactics?"

(I've been a S/I member for years!)

 

 

There are several people who have posted things like this (https://sharperiron.org/comment/108680#comment-108680) on various threads of mine.

I do not care at all for such posts and find them highly unedifying and tactics that are unworthy of those who profess to be followers of Jesus Christ.

 

Isn't it up to the moderators ... ? I've seen you likewise try to shame others with this tactic: "highly unedifying and tactics that are unworthy of those who profess to be followers of Jesus Christ."

I find it offensive!

RajeshG's picture

Reading in Exodus 20 this morning, I found myself connecting the following statements with the issue of how we are to understand the spiritual states of those who we read about in the line of Cain:

Exodus 20:5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; 6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

Cain was a profoundly wicked man who did not love God and keep His commandments. Based on what God has revealed in Exodus 20:5-6, it seems to me that we would have biblical basis to understand that God visited Cain's iniquity upon those of his children to the third and fourth generation who hated God.

Methusael (Gen. 4:18) was the fourth generation from Cain: Cain > Enoch > Irad > Mehujael > Methusael. Because we do not have any indication that any of Cain's named descendants repented and turned to God, I think that Exodus 20:5-6 provides us with further biblical basis for holding that they were all ungodly.

In seeming support of this understanding, Methusael fathered Lamech, who was an openly and profoundly wicked man. Lamech was in the 5th generation after Cain:

Cain > Enoch > Irad > Mehujael > Methusael > Lamech > Jubal

Because Lamech was a profoundly wicked man who did not love God and keep His commandments, God visited his iniquity on those of his descendants to the third and fourth generation who hated God.

On this reading, God would have visited Lamech's iniquity on Jubal unless Jubal was a man who loved God and kept His commandments. We have no basis to hold that Jubal loved God and kept His commandments so this line of reasoning supports holding that Jubal was an ungodly man who experienced God's visiting his father Lamech's iniquity on him.

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

We have no basis to hold that Jubal loved God and kept His commandments so this line of reasoning supports holding that Jubal was an ungodly man who experienced God's visiting his father Lamech's iniquity on him.

Yes, i think we have adequately covered the fact that Cain's line, including jubal, was wicked. So perhaps you could answer something I asked earlier in the thread. I wrote "Let's assume that he was 10 times more wicked than Cain. Would knowing how wicked he was tell us anything about music? We have the information that he was the father of those who play certain instruments, but does that information become significant in some way by the knowledge that Jubal was wicked?"

I think I would personally add a seventh point to the six things you listed at the start of the thread, in things the verse odes NOT teach us. 7. Genesis 4:21 does not teach us anything about the style, genre, or lyrics of the music produced by Jubal.

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

We have no basis to hold that Jubal loved God and kept His commandments so this line of reasoning supports holding that Jubal was an ungodly man who experienced God's visiting his father Lamech's iniquity on him.

 

Yes, i think we have adequately covered the fact that Cain's line, including jubal, was wicked. So perhaps you could answer something I asked earlier in the thread. I wrote "Let's assume that he was 10 times more wicked than Cain. Would knowing how wicked he was tell us anything about music? We have the information that he was the father of those who play certain instruments, but does that information become significant in some way by the knowledge that Jubal was wicked?"

 

I think I would personally add a seventh point to the six things you listed at the start of the thread, in things the verse odes NOT teach us. 7. Genesis 4:21 does not teach us anything about the style, genre, or lyrics of the music produced by Jubal.

I am not at the point in my studies of the passages involved where I am ready to discuss directly the matter of whether Jubal's being a wicked man teaches us anything about music. There's more ground that needs to be carefully examined, at least for me.

I disagree with your 7th point that Genesis 4:21 does not teach us anything about the style(s)/genre(s) of music that Jubal and others played on those instruments. One thing that Genesis 4:21 does teach us is that it was Jubal (not God) who was the originator of whatever style(s) or genre(s) of music that he produced with those instruments, especially because the verse stresses that he was the one who pioneered in some way the playing of those instruments.

 

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

I disagree with your 7th point that Genesis 4:21 does not teach us anything about the style(s)/genre(s) of music that Jubal and others played on those instruments. One thing that Genesis 4:21 does teach us is that it was Jubal (not God) who was the originator of whatever style(s) or genre(s) of music that he produced with those instruments, especially because the verse stresses that he was the one who pioneered in some way the playing of those instruments.

I'll have to disagree with your disagreement. The pioneering of a particular instrument does not tell us he pioneered a style or genre. The people could have been singing in a particular style or genre long before they had instrumental accompaniment . That's why I said the verse about instruments doesn't tell us about the style or genre. It's simply not in the verse or in the surrounding context. God Himself may have originated the style or genre in which people were singing long before the instrumental accompaniment. I can't say for sure because the verse doesn't tell us, but it also doesn't tell us that Jubal was the originator of any style or genre.

I do think that the creativity need to pioneer a musical instrument would have to have come from God. I don't think creativity can come from the devil. The devil is a destroyer, not a creator.

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

I disagree with your 7th point that Genesis 4:21 does not teach us anything about the style(s)/genre(s) of music that Jubal and others played on those instruments. One thing that Genesis 4:21 does teach us is that it was Jubal (not God) who was the originator of whatever style(s) or genre(s) of music that he produced with those instruments, especially because the verse stresses that he was the one who pioneered in some way the playing of those instruments.

 

I'll have to disagree with your disagreement. The pioneering of a particular instrument does not tell us he pioneered a style or genre. The people could have been singing in a particular style or genre long before they had instrumental accompaniment . That's why I said the verse about instruments doesn't tell us about the style or genre. It's simply not in the verse or in the surrounding context. God Himself may have originated the style or genre in which people were singing long before the instrumental accompaniment. I can't say for sure because the verse doesn't tell us, but it also doesn't tell us that Jubal was the originator of any style or genre.

 

I do think that the creativity need to pioneer a musical instrument would have to have come from God. I don't think creativity can come from the devil. The devil is a destroyer, not a creator.

Did you read the full article on my blog from which only an excerpt was copied in an earlier comment? If not, you missed vital context to that excerpt that pertains directly to these comments of yours.

Larry's picture

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Joe Whalen's picture

I wonder if "What does Genesis 4:21 Teach us About Music" is the wrong question for us to ask of this passage.

Moses, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, is employing a pattern.  That pattern is easy to see as follows:  He tells his readers about a man, and then gives one fact about that man.  

In v. 20, he tells his readers about Jabal, who "was the father of all those who live in tents and raise livestock."

In v. 21, he tell his readers about Jubal, who "was the father of all who play the harp and flute."

in v. 22, he tells his readers about Zillah's son, Tubal-Cain, who "forged all kinds of tools out of bronze and iron."

Paying attention to the text, I'm sure we can agree that Moses is not teaching about music at all any more than he is teaching his readers about nomads (those who live in tents and raise livestock) or stone masons and carpenters (those who use tools of bronze and iron).

If we want to see what Moses says about music, we'll have to find a text in the Bible where Moses, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, tells us about music.  In Genesis 4 he isn't telling us about music; he is telling us about specific humans.

pvawter's picture

Joe Whalen wrote:

I wonder if "What does Genesis 4:21 Teach us About Music" is the wrong question for us to ask of this passage.

Moses, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, is employing a pattern.  That pattern is easy to see as follows:  He tells his readers about a man, and then gives one fact about that man.  

In v. 20, he tells his readers about Jabal, who "was the father of all those who live in tents and raise livestock."

In v. 21, he tell his readers about Jubal, who "was the father of all who play the harp and flute."

in v. 22, he tells his readers about Zillah's son, Tubal-Cain, who "forged all kinds of tools out of bronze and iron."

Paying attention to the text, I'm sure we can agree that Moses is not teaching about music at all any more than he is teaching his readers about nomads (those who live in tents and raise livestock) or stone masons and carpenters (those who use tools of bronze and iron).

If we want to see what Moses says about music, we'll have to find a text in the Bible where Moses, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, tells us about music.  In Genesis 4 he isn't telling us about music; he is telling us about specific humans.

Yeah, but were Jabal's tents made with mixed fibers? And did he ever plow with an ox and a donkey in the same yoke? These are important questions!

Great point, Joe. There are a lot of things the Bible doesn't say, and we need to interpret based on what it does say.

RajeshG's picture

Joe Whalen wrote:

I wonder if "What does Genesis 4:21 Teach us About Music" is the wrong question for us to ask of this passage.

Moses, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, is employing a pattern.  That pattern is easy to see as follows:  He tells his readers about a man, and then gives one fact about that man.  

In v. 20, he tells his readers about Jabal, who "was the father of all those who live in tents and raise livestock."

In v. 21, he tell his readers about Jubal, who "was the father of all who play the harp and flute."

in v. 22, he tells his readers about Zillah's son, Tubal-Cain, who "forged all kinds of tools out of bronze and iron."

Paying attention to the text, I'm sure we can agree that Moses is not teaching about music at all any more than he is teaching his readers about nomads (those who live in tents and raise livestock) or stone masons and carpenters (those who use tools of bronze and iron).

If we want to see what Moses says about music, we'll have to find a text in the Bible where Moses, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, tells us about music.  In Genesis 4 he isn't telling us about music; he is telling us about specific humans.

No, in Genesis 4:21, God is telling us about both humans and music. Without this revelation, you would not have any ability to say anything definitively about humans having musical instruments prior to the Flood. You can dispute what we are to make of the revelation about music in Genesis 4:21, but you cannot legitimately deny that it is revelation about music and be biblical.

To understand what the Bible reveals about any subject, we must comprehensively account for every reference to the subject. In many cases, we must even account for what passages reveal that do not even directly mention the subject but have implicit relevance.

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

 

Kevin Miller wrote:

I'll have to disagree with your disagreement. The pioneering of a particular instrument does not tell us he pioneered a style or genre. The people could have been singing in a particular style or genre long before they had instrumental accompaniment . That's why I said the verse about instruments doesn't tell us about the style or genre. It's simply not in the verse or in the surrounding context. God Himself may have originated the style or genre in which people were singing long before the instrumental accompaniment. I can't say for sure because the verse doesn't tell us, but it also doesn't tell us that Jubal was the originator of any style or genre.

 

I do think that the creativity need to pioneer a musical instrument would have to have come from God. I don't think creativity can come from the devil. The devil is a destroyer, not a creator.

 

Did you read the full article on my blog from which only an excerpt was copied in an earlier comment? If not, you missed vital context to that excerpt that pertains directly to these comments of yours.

No, I didn't even click on the link, and I still haven't. We've been having a  conversation in this thread about the verse, and I figured if you wanted to direct me to some understanding that you have, you would mention it in this thread. When the except was posted, you said, "Based on my recent rereading through Genesis (and now Exodus), God has redirected my thoughts to study this passage again to see what profit can be derived from it." Based on that, I certainly wasn't going to go back and interact with what you wrote over 4 years ago. This is the "fresh and renewed" discussion.

So do you have a current response to my comments, or do I need to go cherry-pick something from the blog post to respond to?

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

I'll have to disagree with your disagreement. The pioneering of a particular instrument does not tell us he pioneered a style or genre. The people could have been singing in a particular style or genre long before they had instrumental accompaniment . That's why I said the verse about instruments doesn't tell us about the style or genre. It's simply not in the verse or in the surrounding context. God Himself may have originated the style or genre in which people were singing long before the instrumental accompaniment. I can't say for sure because the verse doesn't tell us, but it also doesn't tell us that Jubal was the originator of any style or genre.

I do think that the creativity need to pioneer a musical instrument would have to have come from God. I don't think creativity can come from the devil. The devil is a destroyer, not a creator.

You are assuming something that cannot be defended. There is no mention of singing in the passage. They may have been singing some of the time accompanied by those instruments, but there is no basis in the passage to make the discussion about using the instruments to accompany previously existing singing styles or genres.

As the verse stands, the discussion has to be about what did Jubal pioneer in how he and others played those instruments.

Your second paragraph about creativity, etc. would make a good starting thought for another thread. In any case, you are asserting something in that statement without providing any biblical basis for your assertion. Do you have any Bible to support your assertion that what Jubal pioneered in what he played on those instruments had to come from God?

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

No, I didn't even click on the link, and I still haven't. We've been having a  conversation in this thread about the verse, and I figured if you wanted to direct me to some understanding that you have, you would mention it in this thread. When the except was posted, you said, "Based on my recent rereading through Genesis (and now Exodus), God has redirected my thoughts to study this passage again to see what profit can be derived from it." Based on that, I certainly wasn't going to go back and interact with what you wrote over 4 years ago. This is the "fresh and renewed" discussion.

So do you have a current response to my comments, or do I need to go cherry-pick something from the blog post to respond to?


 

I just responded to your comments in another comment. As for the blog article, it addresses the issue of whether it is legitimate to say that God is the One who created Jubal's musical styles.

RajeshG's picture

After going out from the presence of the Lord, settling in a different place, marrying, and fathering a son, Cain built a city:

Genesis 4:17 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.

What are we make of Cain's building this city?

Earlier, after Cain had murdered his brother Abel, God confronted him and then cursed him after he lied to God and further refused to repent (Gen. 4:9). God then punished Cain by pronouncing his punishment that included the following: 

Genesis 4:12 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.

Cain complained that his punishment was excessive (Gen. 4:13) and then remarked of his understanding of that punishment to entail the following:

Genesis 4:14 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 . . .

Cain understood that his punishment included his being consigned to be "a vagrant and a wanderer on the earth" (4:14; NAU), yet we read that he went and built a city.

Was his building that city an act of rebellion and defiance of God's consigning him to be a fugitive/vagrant and a vagabond/wanderer on the earth? If so, Genesis 4:17 is not primarily or even at all a neutral or even positive statement about Cain's advancing civilization--it is foremost a record of his further rebellion against God and defiance of Him.

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

You are assuming something that cannot be defended. There is no mention of singing in the passage. They may have been singing some of the time accompanied by those instruments, but there is no basis in the passage to make the discussion about using the instruments to accompany previously existing singing styles or genres.

I don't consider myself to be assuming something. On the contrary, I specifically used a "could have been" statement to challenge the assumption that you had made. You had said " One thing that Genesis 4:21 does teach us is that it was Jubal (not God) who was the originator of whatever style(s) or genre(s) of music that he produced with those instruments." Since the verse does not mention style or genre, you can't really make an assumption about WHO originated any particular style or genre. In the first post of the thread, you listed, as one of the things that the verse does NOT teach, that "Jubal invented the harp and the organ." You said he may have invented them, but the verse doesn't teach it. I agree. So why are you then saying that the verse teaches that Jubal originated a style or genre? He may have done so, but the verse doesn't teach it.

That is all I was trying to point out by presenting the possibility that singing styles may have existed before instrumentation. That does seem like a logical possibility, doesn't it? After all, people would have had voices before they would have had instruments. We just don't know, however, because the verse doesn't teach it.

Quote:
As the verse stands, the discussion has to be about what did Jubal pioneer in how he and others played those instruments.

That is a good question. What does it mean to be "the father of" something? The first possibility is strictly biological. The verse could be saying that all of Cain's other descendants were tone deaf, but Jubal and his line had an ear for music and were the only ones who could play the instruments. This doesn't reference any style or genre, but simply describes physical capability. I tried learning the cornet in sixth grade, but I had to quit because I couldn't tell one note from another and could never play the same note consistently.

Or, being "the father of" could be broader than just his own descendants and could reference a teaching aspect. If you wanted to learn how to play the instrument, you would go to the person who understood the mechanics of producing sound so well that he could explain it to others. He would have been the ultimate authority figure to answer any questions about the instruments, from the construction to the producing of sound. This again does not reference style or genre, although as an authority on the instrument, Jubal would have known how to play any and all styles with ease.

Notice that by underlining "could," I am not making any assumptions that either possibility has to be the correct one. I just don't see how you can limit the meaning to be that of originating a style or genre. Could be, but the verse doesn't say.

Quote:
Your second paragraph about creativity, etc. would make a good starting thought for another thread. In any case, you are asserting something in that statement without providing any biblical basis for your assertion. Do you have any Bible to support your assertion that what Jubal pioneered in what he played on those instruments had to come from God?

Why are some people more musically talented than others? Is it due strictly to effort, or has God given some people the ears that distinguish sound better than others? We have an example in Exodus 31:3-5 of God giving an individual artistic skills. Now, that person was filled with the Spirit to have a wide variety of different skills, but I think those verses give a strong indication that God is the originator of artistic skill. Even unsaved people can have artistic skill, and I can't think of any passages in which Satan gives artistic skill to people.

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

After going out from the presence of the Lord, settling in a different place, marrying, and fathering a son, Cain built a city:

Genesis 4:17 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.

What are we make of Cain's building this city?

Does the passage even say that Cain lived in the city he built? By naming the city after his son, it sounds like he built it for his wife and son. Any further descendants would have added to the population of the city, but we don't have a clear indication from the verses that Cain lived there. The Bible tells us that Cain was going to be a vagabond, so I'm inclined to believe that what God said would happen to Cain actually did happen to Cain.

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

After going out from the presence of the Lord, settling in a different place, marrying, and fathering a son, Cain built a city:

Genesis 4:17 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.

What are we make of Cain's building this city?

 

Does the passage even say that Cain lived in the city he built? By naming the city after his son, it sounds like he built it for his wife and son. Any further descendants would have added to the population of the city, but we don't have a clear indication from the verses that Cain lived there. The Bible tells us that Cain was going to be a vagabond, so I'm inclined to believe that what God said would happen to Cain actually did happen to Cain.


 

The NAU and ESV have "settled" in 4:16, which would be the opposite of being a fugitive, vagabond, etc. If 4:16 represents his rebelling further against God, his building a city in 4:17 would fit his increasingly doing so. Your suggestion that he built it for his wife and son but did not dwell there himself is a possibility.

RajeshG's picture

The Spirit's presentation of the line of Cain reveals a progressive degeneracy in his line.

1. Cain had one wife; Lamech had two wives

2. Cain murdered one person; Lamech murdered two people

3. Cain lied about his murdering his brother by saying that he did not know where his brother was; Lamech boasted of his murdering two people

4. God ordained that anyone who would slay Cain would reap a 7-fold vengeance on him; Lamech asserted that he would be avenged 77-fold

Given how profoundly wicked of a man Cain was, this progressive degeneracy in his line points to Lamech being even far more wicked than Cain.

Cain was of the devil; the greatly intensifed wickedness of Lamech points to his being more so.

If this line of reasoning is correct, it would seem that it would have important implications for what we are to think of who Jubal would have been and what he and those he influenced did in their lives.

Joe Whalen's picture

RajeshG wrote:

The Spirit's presentation of the line of Cain reveals a progressive degeneracy in his line.

1. Cain had one wife; Lamech had two wives

2. Cain murdered one person; Lamech murdered two people

3. Cain lied about his murdering his brother by saying that he did not know where his brother was; Lamech boasted of his murdering two people

4. God ordained that anyone who would slay Cain would reap a 7-fold vengeance on him; Lamech asserted that he would be avenged 77-fold

Given how profoundly wicked of a man Cain was, this progressive degeneracy in his line points to Lamech being even far more wicked than Cain.

Cain was of the devil; the greatly intensifed wickedness of Lamech points to his being more so.

If this line of reasoning is correct, it would seem that it would have important implications for what we are to think of who Jubal would have been and what he and those he influenced did in their lives.

Why do you only mention Jubal?  As I pointed out from the Holy Spirit inspired text, Moses gave his readers information about more than just Jubal.  In the previous verse (20) Moses told his audience of Jabal, who "was the father of those who live in tents and raise livestock."  In the verse immediately following v. 21, Moses told of another of Cain's descendants, informing his reader that Tubal-Cain "forged all kinds of tools out of bronze and iron."

If, as you wrote, it "seems that it would have important implications for what we are to think of who Jubal would have been and what he and those he influenced did in their lives," then does that also apply to both Jabal and Tubal-Cain?

If so, how so?  if not, why not?

RajeshG's picture

Joe Whalen wrote:

Why do you only mention Jubal?  As I pointed out from the Holy Spirit inspired text, Moses gave his readers information about more than just Jubal.  In the previous verse (20) Moses told his audience of Jabal, who "was the father of those who live in tents and raise livestock."  In the verse immediately following v. 21, Moses told of another of Cain's descendants, informing his reader that Tubal-Cain "forged all kinds of tools out of bronze and iron."

If, as you wrote, it "seems that it would have important implications for what we are to think of who Jubal would have been and what he and those he influenced did in their lives," then does that also apply to both Jabal and Tubal-Cain?

If so, how so?  if not, why not?

I never said that it does not apply to the others. I do not have any answers at this time for how it applies to the others. I have not been talking about them because the spheres of human activity that they were involved with are not the subject of my thread.

Joe Whalen's picture

OK

RajeshG's picture

A comparison of the genealogical record of Cain's line with that of Seth's line reveals a number of noteworthy differences. One that is especially worth noting is that the record of Cain's line abruptly ends with information about Lamech and his children, Jabal, Jubal, Tubal-Cain, and Naamah (Gen. 4:20-22). These children of his were in the sixth recorded generation after Cain:

Cain > Enoch > Irad > Mehujael > Methusael > Lamech > Jabal, Jubal, Tubal-Cain, Naamah

By striking contrast, the record of Seth's line (Gen. 5) provides genealogical information for 9 generations after Seth:

Seth > Enosh > Cainan > Mahalaleel > Jared > Enoch > Methuselah > Lamech > Noah > Shem, Ham, Japheth

Furthermore, the contrast could hardly have been greater between those who were in the 5th generations in their respective lines:

Lamech (Cain's line) vs. Enoch (Seth's line)

What are we to make of the Spirit's abruptly ending the genealogical information that He chose to provide of Cain's line with Lamech's offspring? Why are we not given any information about the descendants of Jubal and his siblings? Does this abrupt ending imply anything further about what we are to understand about the ungodliness of Jubal and his siblings?

Jay's picture

The only Person that can answer those questions is God Himself, Rajesh.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

RajeshG's picture

It is true that God is the only One who knows with certainty the answers to those questions, but He also wants us to search out what He has revealed to us and seek illumination from Him:

Deuteronomy 29:29 The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.

Proverbs 25:2 It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.

Proverbs 2:1 My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; 2 So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; 3 Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; 4 If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; 5 Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God. 6 For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.

I have had many instances in my life where through continued study, prayer, meditation, and interaction with others, God has given me significant understanding of passages that I never had before even though I had read and studied those passages on several or even many previous occasions.

Joe Whalen's picture

RajeshG wrote:

A comparison of the genealogical record of Cain's line with that of Seth's line reveals a number of noteworthy differences. One that is especially worth noting is that the record of Cain's line abruptly ends with information about Lamech and his children, Jabal, Jubal, Tubal-Cain, and Naamah (Gen. 4:20-22). These children of his were in the sixth recorded generation after Cain:

Cain > Enoch > Irad > Mehujael > Methusael > Lamech > Jabal, Jubal, Tubal-Cain, Naamah

By striking contrast, the record of Seth's line (Gen. 5) provides genealogical information for 9 generations after Seth:

Seth > Enosh > Cainan > Mahalaleel > Jared > Enoch > Methuselah > Lamech > Noah > Shem, Ham, Japheth

Furthermore, the contrast could hardly have been greater between those who were in the 5th generations in their respective lines:

Lamech (Cain's line) vs. Enoch (Seth's line)

What are we to make of the Spirit's abruptly ending the genealogical information that He chose to provide of Cain's line with Lamech's offspring? Why are we not given any information about the descendants of Jubal and his siblings? Does this abrupt ending imply anything further about what we are to understand about the ungodliness of Jubal and his siblings?

The reality is we are not qualified to answer questions the text doesn't answer.  A better way to go is to stick with what it does say, whether we like what it says or not.

The text does not say that Jabal and his being the father of those who live in tents and raise livestock was ungodly (v. 20).  God, through Moses, does not say that Jabal was ungodly.

The text does not say that Tubal-Cain and his forging of implements of bronze and iron was ungodly (v. 22).   God, through Moses, does not say that Tubal-Cain was ungodly.

Finally, the text does not say that Jubal and his being the father of all those who play the lyre and pipe was ungodly (v. 21).  God, through Moses, does not say that Jubal was ungodly.  The text simply does not say that Jubal was ungodly.

Rajesh, friend, may I kindly point out something?  You are reading something into the text that is just not there.  God, through Moses, could have easily said that Jubal was ungodly.  But He doesn't.  

Can you see that you are reading your presupposition into the text?

RajeshG's picture

Joe Whalen wrote:

The reality is we are not qualified to answer questions the text doesn't answer.  A better way to go is to stick with what it does say, whether we like what it says or not.

The text does not say that Jabal and his being the father of those who live in tents and raise livestock was ungodly (v. 20).  God, through Moses does not say that Jabal was ungodly.

The text does not say that Tubal-Cain and his forging of implements of bronze and iron was ungodly (v. 22).   God, through Moses does not say that Tubal-Cain was ungodly.

Finally, the text does not say that Jubal and his being the father of all those who play the lyre and pipe was ungodly (v. 21).  The text does not say that Jubal was ungodly.

Rajes, brother, you are reading something into the text that is just not there.  God, through Moses, could have easily said that Jubal was ungodly.  God didn't; you did.  Why is that?

Joe, have you only read a few parts of this thread? I have presented multiple reasons from the context of these verses to argue that every named person in the line of Cain was ungodly.

Indisputably, Cain was a demonically influenced man who was very wicked. Based on Exodus 20:5-6, we can be confident that God visited his iniquity on the succeeding 4 generations unless each of them personally repented and turned from their sins in genuine faith on the true God. There is not even the slightest hint or basis that any of the named people in Cain's line ever did that.

Lamech, the father of Jubal and his siblings, was a profoundly wicked man. Based on Exodus 20:5-6, we can be confident that God visited his iniquity on Jubal and his siblings unless each of them personally repented and turned from their sins in genuine faith on the true God. There is not even the slightest hint or basis that any of the named people in Cain's line ever did that.

By His placing Genesis 4:26 after the genealogy of Cain, the Spirit signifies that what 4:26 says did not apply to any of the named descendants of Cain.

Now, it's your turn. In strong contrast with the record of Seth's line, why does the record of Cain's line end with Jubal's generation and what are the implications of that fact?

Joe Whalen's picture

RajeshG wrote:

 

Joe Whalen wrote:

 

The reality is we are not qualified to answer questions the text doesn't answer.  A better way to go is to stick with what it does say, whether we like what it says or not.

The text does not say that Jabal and his being the father of those who live in tents and raise livestock was ungodly (v. 20).  God, through Moses does not say that Jabal was ungodly.

The text does not say that Tubal-Cain and his forging of implements of bronze and iron was ungodly (v. 22).   God, through Moses does not say that Tubal-Cain was ungodly.

Finally, the text does not say that Jubal and his being the father of all those who play the lyre and pipe was ungodly (v. 21).  The text does not say that Jubal was ungodly.

Rajes, brother, you are reading something into the text that is just not there.  God, through Moses, could have easily said that Jubal was ungodly.  God didn't; you did.  Why is that?

 

 

Joe, have you only read a few parts of this thread? I have presented multiple reasons from the context of these verses to argue that every named person in the line of Cain was ungodly.

Indisputably, Cain was a demonically influenced man who was very wicked. Based on Exodus 20:5-6, we can be confident that God visited his iniquity on the succeeding 4 generations unless each of them personally repented and turned from their sins in genuine faith on the true God. There is not even the slightest hint or basis that any of the named people in Cain's line ever did that.

Lamech, the father of Jubal and his siblings, was a profoundly wicked man. Based on Exodus 20:5-6, we can be confident that God visited his iniquity on Jubal and his siblings unless each of them personally repented and turned from their sins in genuine faith on the true God. There is not even the slightest hint or basis that any of the named people in Cain's line ever did that.

By His placing Genesis 4:26 after the genealogy of Cain, the Spirit signifies that what 4:26 says did not apply to any of the named descendants of Cain.

Now, it's your turn. In strong contrast with the record of Seth's line, why does the record of Cain's line end with Jubal's generation and what are the implications of that fact?

Rajesh, my friend, thank you for the response.  As kindly as I can, will you please take a step back and take another look at Genesis 4?  You are reading into it what just is not there.

RajeshG's picture

Joe Whalen wrote:

Rajesh, my friend, thank you for the response.  As kindly as I can, will you please take a step back and take another look at Genesis 4?  You are reading into it what just is not there.

Joe, I have read Genesis 4 numerous times. It seems that you choose to deny the force of multiple, contextual/theological bases to conclude that we must either be agnostic about the spiritual states of Jubal and his siblings or we must hold that they were godly unless the text explicitly says that they were not.

I reject both of those interpretations. We will just have to leave it there.

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