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Genesis 4:23 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— And Lamech said unto his wives: Adah and Zillah, hear my voice; Ye wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech: For I have slain a man for wounding me, And a young man for bruising me:
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— And Lamech said unto his wives, Adah and Zillah, Hear my voice; ye wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech: for I have slain a man to my wounding, and a young man to my hurt.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— Lamech said to his wives, “Adah and Zillah, Listen to my voice, You wives of Lamech, Give heed to my speech, For I have killed a man for wounding me; And a boy for striking me;
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— And Lamech said to his wives, Adah and Zillah, Hear my voice, ye wives of Lamech, hearken to my speech: for I have slain a man to my wounding, and a young man to my hurt.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— And Lemech said to his wives: Adah and Zillah, hear my voice, Ye wives of Lemech, listen to my speech. For I have slain a man for my wound, and a youth for my bruise.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— Then said Lamech to his wives, Adah and Zillah! hear ye my voice, Ye wives of Lamech! give ear to my tale,—For, a man, have I slain, in dealing my wounds, Yea, a youth, in smiting my blows:
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— And Lamech saith to his wives:—'Adah and Zillah, hear my voice; Wives of Lamech, give ear [to] my saying: For a man I have slain for my wound, Even a young man for my hurt;
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— And Lamech said to his wives Ada and Sella: Hear my voice, ye wives of Lamech, hearken to my speech: for I have slain a man to the wounding of myself, and a stripling to my own bruising.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— And Lamech sayd vnto his wiues, Adah and Zillah, Heare my voyce, yee wiues of Lamech, hearken vnto my speech: for I haue slaine a man to my wounding, and a yong man to my hurt.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— And Lamech said to his wives, Adah{gr.Ada} and Sella, Hear my voice, ye wives of Lamech, consider my words, because I have slain a man to my sorrow and a youth to my grief.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— And Lemekh said unto his wives, Adah and Tzillah, Hear my voice; ye wives of Lemekh, hearken unto my speech: for I have slain a man to my wounding, and a young man to my hurt.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
And Lemeó לֶמֶך 3929
{3929} Prime
לֶמֶךְ
Lemek
{leh'-mek}
From an unused root of uncertain meaning; Lemek, the name of two antediluvian patriarchs.
said 559
{0559} Prime
אָמַר
'amar
{aw-mar'}
A primitive root; to say (used with great latitude).
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
unto his wives, 802
{0802} Prime
אִשָּׁה
'ishshah
{ish-shaw'}
The first form is the feminine of H0376 or H0582; the second form is an irregular plural; a woman (used in the same wide sense as H0582).
`─­Ó עָדָה 5711
{5711} Prime
עָדָה
`Adah
{aw-daw'}
From H5710; ornament; Adah, the name of two women.
and XillÓ צִלָּה, 6741
{6741} Prime
צִלָּה
Tsillah
{tsil-law'}
Feminine of H6738; Tsillah, an antediluvian woman.
Hear 8085
{8085} Prime
שָׁמַע
shama`
{shaw-mah'}
A primitive root; to hear intelligently (often with implication of attention, obedience, etc.; causatively to tell, etc.).
z8798
<8798> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperative (See H8810)
Count - 2847
my voice; 6963
{6963} Prime
קוֹל
qowl
{kole}
From an unused root meaning to call aloud; a voice or sound.
ye wives 802
{0802} Prime
אִשָּׁה
'ishshah
{ish-shaw'}
The first form is the feminine of H0376 or H0582; the second form is an irregular plural; a woman (used in the same wide sense as H0582).
of Lemeó לֶמֶך, 3929
{3929} Prime
לֶמֶךְ
Lemek
{leh'-mek}
From an unused root of uncertain meaning; Lemek, the name of two antediluvian patriarchs.
hearken 238
{0238} Prime
אָזַן
'azan
{aw-zan'}
A primitive root; probably to expand; but used only as a denominative from H0241; to broaden out the ear (with the hand), that is, (by implication) to listen.
z8685
<8685> Grammar
Stem - Hiphil (See H8818)
Mood - Imperative (See H8810)
Count - 731
unto my speech: 565
{0565} Prime
אִמְרָה
'imrah
{im-raw'}
The second form is the feminine of H0561, and meaning the same.
for x3588
(3588) Complement
כִּי
kiy
{kee}
A primitive particle (the full form of the prepositional prefix) indicating causal relations of all kinds, antecedent or consequent; (by implication) very widely used as a relative conjugation or adverb; often largely modified by other particles annexed.
I have slain 2026
{2026} Prime
הָרַג
harag
{haw-rag'}
A primitive root; to smite with deadly intent.
z8804
<8804> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 12562
a man 376
{0376} Prime
אִישׁ
'iysh
{eesh}
Contracted for H0582 (or perhaps rather from an unused root meaning to be extant); a man as an individual or a male person; often used as an adjunct to a more definite term (and in such cases frequently not expressed in translation.).
to my wounding, 6482
{6482} Prime
פֶּצַע
petsa`
{peh'-tsah}
From H6481; a wound.
and a young man 3206
{3206} Prime
יֶלֶד
yeled
{yeh'-led}
From H3205; something born, that is, a lad or offspring.
to my hurt. 2250
{2250} Prime
חַבּוּרָה
chabbuwrah
{khab-boo-raw'}
From H2266; properly bound (with stripes), that is, a weal (or black and blue mark itself).
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Genesis 4:23-24

_ _ Lamech said unto his wives — This speech is in a poetical form, probably the fragment of an old poem, transmitted to the time of Moses. It seems to indicate that Lamech had slain a man in self-defense, and its drift is to assure his wives, by the preservation of Cain, that an unintentional homicide, as he was, could be in no danger.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Genesis 4:23-24

_ _ By this speech of Lamech, which is here recorded, and probably was much talked of in those times, he further appears to have been a wicked man, as Cain's accursed race generally were. Observe, 1. How haughtily and imperiously he speaks to his wives, as one that expected a mighty regard and observance: Hear my voice, you wives of Lamech. No marvel that he who had broken one law of marriage, by taking two wives, broke another, which obliged him to be kind and tender to those he had taken, and to give honour to the wife as to the weaker vessel. Those are not always the most careful to do their own duty that are highest in their demands of respect from others, and most frequent in calling upon their relations to know their place and do their duty. 2. How bloody and barbarous he was to all about him: I have slain, or (as it is in the margin) I would slay a man in my wound, and a young man in my hurt. He owns himself a man of a fierce and cruel disposition, that would lay about him without mercy, and kill all that stood in his way; be it a man, or a young man, nay, though he himself were in danger to be wounded and hurt in the conflict. Some think, because (Genesis 4:24) he compares himself with Cain, that he had murdered some of the holy seed, the true worshippers of God, and that he acknowledged this to be the wounding of his conscience and the hurt of his soul; and yet that, like Cain, he continued impenitent, trembling and yet unhumbled. Or his wives, knowing what manner of spirit he was of, how apt both to give and to resent provocation, were afraid lest somebody or other would be the death of him. “Never fear,” says he, “I defy any man to set upon me; whosoever does, let me alone to make my part good with him; I will slay him, be he a man or a young man.” Note, It is a common thing for fierce and bloody men to glory in their shame (Philippians 3:19), as if it were both their safety and their honour that they care not how many lives are sacrificed to their angry resentments, nor how much they are hated, provided they may be feared. Oderint, dum metuantLet them hate, provided they fear. How impiously he presumes even upon God's protection in his wicked way, Genesis 4:24. He had heard that Cain should be avenged seven-fold (Genesis 4:15), that is, that if any man should dare to kill Cain he should be severely reckoned with and punished for so doing, though Cain deserved to die a thousand deaths for the murder of his brother, and hence he infers that if any one should kill him for the murders he had committed God would much more avenge his death. As if the special care God took to prolong and secure the life of Cain, for special reasons peculiar to his case (and indeed for his sorer punishment, as the beings of the damned are continued) were designed as a protection to all murderers. Thus Lamech perversely argues, “If God provided for the safety of Cain, much more for mine, who, though I have slain many, yet never slew my own brother, and upon no provocation, as he did.” Note, The reprieve of some sinners, and the patience God exercises towards them, are often abused to the hardening of others in the like sinful ways, Ecclesiastes 8:11. But, though justice strike some slowly, others cannot therefore be sure but that they may be taken away with a swift destruction. Or, if God should bear long with those who thus presume upon his forbearance, they do but hereby treasure up unto themselves wrath against the day of wrath.

_ _ Now this is all we have upon record in scripture concerning the family and posterity of cursed Cain, till we find them all cut off and perishing in the universal deluge.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Genesis 4:23

This passage is extremely obscure. We know not whom he slew, or on what occasion: neither what ground he had to be so confident of the Divine protection.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Genesis 4:23

And Lamech said unto his wives, Adah and Zillah, Hear my voice; ye wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech: (r) for I have slain a man to my wounding, and a young man to my hurt.

(r) His wives seeing that all men hated him for his cruelty, were afraid, therefore he brags that there is none strong enough to resist, even though he was already wounded.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
hear:

Numbers 23:18 And he took up his parable, and said, Rise up, Balak, and hear; hearken unto me, thou son of Zippor:
Judges 9:7 And when they told [it] to Jotham, he went and stood in the top of mount Gerizim, and lifted up his voice, and cried, and said unto them, Hearken unto me, ye men of Shechem, that God may hearken unto you.

I have slain a man to my wounding:
or, I would slay a man in my wound, etc.
Genesis 49:6 O my soul, come not thou into their secret; unto their assembly, mine honour, be not thou united: for in their anger they slew a man, and in their selfwill they digged down a wall.

to my hurt:
or, in my hurt
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Gn 49:6. Nu 23:18. Jg 9:7.

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