Genesis 4:17-4:26 – Structure and Formula

Structure and Formula

Overall Structure

  • A – 4:17                      Opening setting
    • a – 4:17a                      Cayin knew his wife, she bore Enoch
    • b – 4:17bα                   Built a city
    • c – 4:17bβ                   Called the name of the son
  • B – 4:19                       Lamech took two wives
    • a – 4:19b                     Names of the wives, Adah and Zillah
    • b – 4:20-21                  Bore Jabal and Jubal, founder of peaceful tradesman
    • c – 4:22                       Bore Tubal-Cayin (Connection to Cayin), Naamah (beauty)
  • B’–4:23                       Lamech said to his two wives
    • a’ – 4:23a                     Names of the wives, Adah and Zillah
    • b’- 4:23b                     Killed a young man for wounding him
    • c’ – 4:24                      Reference to protection of Cayin and magnified protection
  • A’ – 4:25-26                Closing setting
    • a’ – 4:25                      Adam knew his wife, she bore Seth
    • b’ – 4:25b-26a             God has given a son, he bore another son
    • c’ – 4:26b                    Called the name of the LORD

Observations from this Structure

  1. AA’ –Contrast between the family of Cayin and the family of Seth
    1. Self-Promotion versus Submission to God,
    2. Emphasis on the city Cayin built.
    3. Emphasis on the proclamation of his Cayin’s son’s name
    4. The acknowledgement of the son as given by God and the calling upon the Name of the LORD
  2. BB’ – Connection between Lamech and Cayin
    1. Shows that the curse upon Cayin (or the sin within Cayin) extended generations.

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