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Genesis 4:13 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— And Cain said unto Jehovah, My punishment is greater than I can bear.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment [is] greater than I can bear.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— Cain said to the LORD, “My punishment is too great to bear!
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— And Cain said to the LORD, My punishment [is] greater than I can bear.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— And Cain said to Jehovah, My punishment is too great to be borne.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— And Cain said unto Yahweh—Greater is my punishment than I can bear.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— And Cain saith unto Jehovah, 'Greater is my punishment than to be borne;
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— And Cain said to the Lord: My iniquity is greater than that I may deserve pardon.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— And Cain said vnto the LORD, My punishment [is] greater, then I can beare.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— And Cain said to the Lord God, My crime [is] too great for me to be forgiven.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— And Qayin said unto Yahweh, My punishment [is] greater than I can bear.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
And Kayin קַיִן 7014
{7014} Prime
The same as H7013 (with a play upon the affinity to H7069); Kajin, the name of the first child, also of a place in Palestine, and of an Oriental tribe.
said 559
{0559} Prime
A primitive root; to say (used with great latitude).
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
unto x413
(0413) Complement
(Used only in the shortened constructive form (the second form)); a primitive particle, properly denoting motion towards, but occasionally used of a quiescent position, that is, near, with or among; often in general, to.
Yhw יָהוֶה, 3068
{3068} Prime
From H1961; (the) self Existent or eternal; Jehovah, Jewish national name of God.
My punishment 5771
{5771} Prime
From H5753; perversity, that is, (moral) evil.
[is] greater 1419
{1419} Prime
From H1431; great (in any sense); hence older; also insolent.
than I can bear. 5375
{5375} Prime
A primitive root; to lift, in a great variety of applications, literally and figuratively, absolutely and relatively.
<8800> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Infinitive (See H8812)
Count - 4888
(4480) Complement
For H4482; properly a part of; hence (prepositionally), from or out of in many senses.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Genesis 4:13-14

_ _ And Cain said ... My punishment is greater than I can bear — What an overwhelming sense of misery; but no sign of penitence, nor cry for pardon.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Genesis 4:13-15

_ _ We have here a further account of the proceedings against Cain.

_ _ I. Here is Cain's complaint of the sentence passed upon him, as hard and severe. Some make him to speak the language of despair, and read it, My iniquity is greater than that it may be forgiven; and so what he says is a reproach and affront to the mercy of God, which those only shall have the benefit of that hope in it. There is forgiveness with the God of pardons for the greatest sins and sinners; but those forfeit it who despair of it. Just now Cain made nothing of his sin, but now he is in the other extreme: Satan drives his vassals from presumption to despair. We cannot think too ill of sin, provided we do not think it unpardonable. But Cain seems rather to speak the language of indignation: My punishment is greater than I can bear; and so what he says is a reproach and affront to the justice of God, and a complaint, not of the greatness of his sin, but of the extremity of his punishment, as if this were disproportionable to his merits. Instead of justifying God in the sentence, he condemns him, not accepting the punishment of his iniquity, but quarrelling with it. Note, Impenitent unhumbled hearts are therefore not reclaimed by God's rebukes because they think themselves wronged by them; and it is an evidence of great hardness to be more concerned about our sufferings than about our sins. Pharaoh's care was concerning this death only, not this sin (Exodus 10:17); so was Cain's here. He is a living man, and yet complains of the punishment of his sin, Lamentations 3:39. He thinks himself rigorously dealt with when really he is favourably treated; and he cries out of wrong when he has more reason to wonder that he is out of hell. Woe unto him that thus strives with his Maker, and enters into judgment with his Judge. Now, to justify this complaint, Cain descants upon the sentence. 1. He sees himself excluded by it from the favour of his God, and concludes that, being cursed, he is hidden from God's face, which is indeed the true nature of God's curse; damned sinners find it so, to whom it is said, Depart from me you cursed. Those are cursed indeed that are forever shut out from God's love and care and from all hopes of his grace. 2. He sees himself expelled from all the comforts of this life, and concludes that, being a fugitive, he is, in effect, driven out this day from the face of the earth. As good have no place on earth as not have a settled place. Better rest in the grave than not rest at all. 3. He sees himself excommunicated by it, and cut off from the church, and forbidden to attend on public ordinances. His hands being full of blood, he must bring no more vain oblations, Isaiah 1:13, Isaiah 1:15. Perhaps this he means when he complains that he is driven out from the face of the earth; for being shut out of the church, which none had yet deserted, he was hidden from God's face, being not admitted to come with the sons of God to present himself before the Lord. 4. He seen himself exposed by it to the hatred and ill-will of all mankind: It shall come to pass that every one that finds me shall slay me. Wherever he wanders, he goes in peril of his life, at least he thinks so; and, like a man in debt, thinks every one he meets a bailiff. There were none alive but his near relations; yet even of them he is justly afraid who had himself been so barbarous to his brother. Some read it, Whatsoever finds me shall slay me; not only, “Whosoever among men,” but, “Whatsoever among all the creatures.” Seeing himself thrown out of God's protection, he sees the whole creation armed against him. Note, Unpardoned guilt fills men with continual terrors, Proverbs 28:1; Job 15:20, Job 15:21; Psalms 53:5. It is better to fear and not sin than to sin and then fear. Dr. Lightfoot thinks this word of Cain should be read as a wish: Now, therefore, let it be that any that find me may kill me. Being bitter in soul, he longs for death, but it comes not (Job 3:20-22), as those under spiritual torments do, Revelation 9:5, Revelation 9:6.

_ _ II. Here is God's confirmation of the sentence; for when he judges he will overcome, Genesis 4:15. Observe, 1. How Cain is protected in wrath by this declaration, notified, we may suppose, to all that little world which was then in being: Whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him seven-fold, because thereby the sentence he was under (that he should be a fugitive and a vagabond) would be defeated. Condemned prisoners are under the special protection of the law; those that are appointed sacrifices to public justice must not be sacrificed to private revenge. God having said in Cain's case, Vengeance is mine, I will repay, it would have been a daring usurpation for any man to take the sword out of God's hand, a contempt put upon an express declaration of God's mind, and therefore avenged seven-fold. Note, God has wise and holy ends in protecting and prolonging the lives even of very wicked men. God deals with some according to that prayer, Slay them not, lest my people forget; scatter them by thy power, Psalms 59:11. Had Cain been slain immediately, he would have been forgotten (Ecclesiastes 8:10); but now he lives a more fearful and lasting monument of God's justice, hanged in chains, as it were. 2. How he is marked in wrath: The Lord set a mark upon Cain, to distinguish him from the rest of mankind and to notify that he was the man that murdered his brother, whom nobody must hurt, but every body must hoot at. God stigmatized him (as some malefactors are burnt in the cheek), and put upon him such a visible and indelible mark of infamy and disgrace as would make all wise people shun him, so that he could not be otherwise than a fugitive and a vagabond, and the off-scouring of all things.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

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Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Genesis 4:13

And Cain said unto the LORD, (m) My punishment [is] greater than I can bear.

(m) He burdens God as a cruel judge because he punished him so severely.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
My punishment is greater than I can bear. or, Mine iniquity is greater than that it may be forgiven.
Job 15:22 He believeth not that he shall return out of darkness, and he is waited for of the sword.
Revelation 16:9 And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory.
Revelation 16:11 And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds.
Revelation 16:21 And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, [every stone] about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.
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Jb 15:22. Rv 16:9, 11, 21.

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