Cain’s Aftermath: Cain’s Greatest Sin

This article discusses Cain’s sin of omission and how it impacts his pathway.



Cain now commits what might be his worst sin—Cain tells no one, including his own family, about God.  He leaves them pagan just as he finds them.  Cain sets up his own kingdom, but one without godly virtues.  His kingdom will continue the inheritance of rebellion.

Why is this omission Cain’s worst sin?  Scripture gives an account of why.  When Jesus counsels that those who do not believe in God can be forgiven and those who do not believe in him (Jesus) may also be forgiven, but those who interfere with the works of the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven (Mt. 12.32), what does he mean?  He means that those who know about God, then intentionally interfere with or destroy God’s work cannot be forgiven for such acts.  Just as Satan did and just as Cain does, both essentially become committed to a war against God’s works.


I Sam. 15.23, “For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry” [For rebellion is like the sin of sorcery, stubbornness like the crime of idolatry*]. 

*The Complete Jewish Study Bible


Why should this be so?  Unrighteous avenues to benefit or satisfy the self include rebellion and divinations.  Crimes against man and the spirit always source the rebellious Self, and divination (sorceries, potions, drugs) replaces seeking after God.  Divination short circuits the enlightenment into God, to be replaced with what may seem an answer but does not resemble true revelation, nor may it propose any element of good character.  Arrogance (stubbornness) much resembles a worshipping of the self.  Although Samuel is speaking to Saul (left), the above scripture describe Cain quite well.




There remains another matter concerning the sin of omission.  Essentially, the omission leaves a vacuum in thought.  When no action is taken, there is no remainder with which God can work.  Without attempting to accomplish the goal, even if misdirected, no correction can be made.   Thus, making an adjustment, stepping back, and with wisdom to rethink the situation is not possible.  All remains undone, and little can be resolved.

The above reasons explain why sins of omission can become so impactful.  Cain has left the daughters of men without recourse to God’s knowledge, inspiration, or a higher ethic, and it was certainly done with purpose.  Vacant, morally and ethically empty as he is, Cain seems intent on remaining satisfied with no action toward humankind’s betterment.

The attribute of rebellion can be attested as deadly to the soul.  It can lead to harsh decisions and violent actions.  Perhaps more than any other attribute, rebellion compounds upon itself, indulged in any number of ways—hatred may be case-specific, but rebellion becomes widespread.  Entering into marriage and work-life, and concerning Cain, rebellion becomes easily inherited by the following generation, known today as a generational curse.

Cain may have been banished, but he may have recanted his murderous nature and asked for forgiveness.  He may have done so at any time and changed his ways.  Now it is clear, and by willfully interfering in God’s work with others, he has despoiled God’s children, despoiled God’s plan, and continued to murder, and he has committed this great sin of omission—that of telling no one about God.  There can be no forgiveness for Cain.



Sons and Daughters


What of the sons of Lamech, of the seventh generation of Cain?  This part of scripture establishes the essential components of what will become the modern world: nomadic life, urban life, and industry, the creation of art beyond the making of trinkets, and the making of music beyond drums, and the sword will be wielded.



Both Jabal and Jubal are the children of Ada.  “Jabal erected tents, and loved the life of a shepherd,” from Josephus, and from Gen. 4.20, “He was the father of those who dwell in tents and have livestock.”  Jabal is accredited with initiating what is historically known as ‘tent people’, and advances the nomadic culture.  Many commentaries attribute Jabal as the person who creates the Bedouin culture.  Other scholars believe that the Bedouins already existed.  Regardless, Jabal’s contribution to nomadic life would not have been after the nature of Abraham, who followed after God, but would have been after the nature of Cain, godless or pagan.


Now into the seventh generation of Cain, and having arrived at Lamech, scripture indicates that Lamech continues to pursue violence and murder.  The history of this part of the world now enters into a realm of confusion and serial revenge.  Where before a certain ground shared open grazing, conflicts now ensue for land use.  As an oasis may have once been free-right, now a tribe claims the oasis as their own.  Suspicions may grow as tribes come into contact, tribal grudges erupt and death often follows.  Tribal wars based upon long-ago events become continuous.  There is no forgiveness here.

Gen. 9.6 attempts to resolve this issue of inherited tribal and family warfare.  “Whoever sheds human blood, by a human being will his own blood be shed.”  This is intended as a judicial prescription to stop revenge killings and the family feuds that almost always follow.  As part of the Noahide laws, blood remains sacred, and to God the taking of human life is anathema.  Under Cain’s heritage, men fell under a murderous malediction.  Even the sounds of music by Jubal, Jabal’s brother, are pleasant upon one occasion, but upon another, the pounding of drums heightens the warlike fever.


Culture or War?


However, serious questions remain concerning Cain’s exclusion of God.  A lack of godliness remains at the root of Cain’s civilization.  Concerning the city Cain built, named Enoch (Eridu), there might be a number of questions. Has the populous become discontent?  Is there urban friction?  What is the social order?  Who maintains the law, and how?

When the ovens operated in the city square of ancient cultic societies we can glimpse the possible corruption present in Eridu (Dan. 3.13-30, fiery furnace).  People guilty of severe crimes found themselves thrown in.  Tradesmen and shoppers moved roundabout the city square while the screams shattered the air.  A similar godless narrative runs throughout the later attempt to erect Nimrod’s* ziggurat.  It remains that Cain’s predatory nature continues to move as a spirit unabated across the land.  Cain’s civilization provides a template for the world.

*See Noahide Law/Nimrod


Tubal-Cain, ironmonger

Tubal-Cain, ironmonger

Tubal-Cain, warrior

Tubal-Cain, warrior

“But,” Josephus continues, “Tubul, one of the children by the other wife (Zillah)*, exceeded all men in strength, and was very expert and famous in martial performances.  He procured what tended to the pleasures for the body by that method; and first of all, invented the art of making brass.”  Tubul continues the tradition of Cain, yet with one important addition.  Tubul becomes the first ironmonger.  He makes weapons for war and conducts such wars.  War is now upon the land, widespread.

*Polygamy is shunned by God.  Adam and Eve is the model until the family of Cain in the seventh generation broke this tradition.  Under the three sons, many new industries begin, but the industry of faithfulness does not prosper.  In the seventh generation, all of the standards of God are torn.

As to Lamech himself: “skillful in divine revelation (divination?),” as Josephus writes, “That he knew he was going to be punished for Cain’s murder of his brother… even while Adam was still alive, it came to pass that the posterity of Cain becomes exceedingly wicked, every one successively dying, one after another, more wicked than the former.  They were intolerable in war, and vehement in robberies; and if anyone were slow to murder people…and doing injuries for gain,” such a man would be outcast from them.

Lamech being warned by angel from God. Note severe face of angel.
Note the severe face of the angel warning Lamech.

Seven is the holiest number in Judaism, for it represents perfection, the completed cycle, and points to a final judgment.  Josephus writes nothing more concerning Lamech.  But we now begin to see a world of war, dictators and kingdoms rising and falling, taxes, strife, theft, and the general pillaging that continues to this day.

Cain’s unwillingness to spread the word of God’s existence leads to calamitous circumstances throughout the land.  Of Tubal-Cain, nothing inhibits his behavior.  He understands no other behavior in the world but what he sees and thus pursues.  He perceives his mission as mighty, perhaps much like the ‘men of renown’ mentioned in Genesis 6.4.  The object is that without God all standards become corrupted.  The results of Cain’s sin of omission, the last and most devastating sin of Cain, enter the world at large.


If you have enjoyed this series, please comment.

God Bless!


One comment on “Cain’s Aftermath: Cain’s Greatest Sin

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