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Genesis 4:6 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— And Jehovah said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— Then the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen?
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— And the LORD said to Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— And Jehovah said to Cain, Why art thou angry, and why is thy countenance fallen?
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— So then Yahweh said unto Cain,—Wherefore hath it angered thee, and wherefore hath thy countenance fallen?
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— And Jehovah saith unto Cain, 'Why hast thou displeasure? and why hath thy countenance fallen?
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— And the Lord said to him: Why art thou angry? and why is thy countenance fallen?
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— And the LORD said vnto Cain, Why art thou wroth? And why is thy countenance fallen?
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— And the Lord God said to Cain, Why art thou become very sorrowful and why is thy countenance fallen?
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— And Yahweh said unto Qayin, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
And Yhw יָהוֶה 3068
{3068} Prime
From H1961; (the) self Existent or eternal; Jehovah, Jewish national name of God.
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.
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.
Why x4100
(4100) Complement
A primitive particle; properly interrogitive what? (including how?, why? and when?); but also exclamations like what! (including how!), or indefinitely what (including whatever, and even relatively that which); often used with prefixes in various adverbial or conjugational senses.
art thou wroth? 2734
{2734} Prime
A primitive root (compare H2787); to glow or grow warm; figuratively (usually) to blaze up, of anger, zeal, jealousy.
<8804> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 12562
and why x4100
(4100) Complement
A primitive particle; properly interrogitive what? (including how?, why? and when?); but also exclamations like what! (including how!), or indefinitely what (including whatever, and even relatively that which); often used with prefixes in various adverbial or conjugational senses.
is thy countenance 6440
{6440} Prime
Plural (but always used as a singular) of an unused noun (פָּנֶה paneh, {paw-neh'}; from H6437); the face (as the part that turns); used in a great variety of applications (literally and figuratively); also (with prepositional prefix) as a preposition (before, etc.).
fallen? 5307
{5307} Prime
A primitive root; to fall, in a great variety of applications (intransitively or causatively, literally or figuratively).
<8804> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 12562
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

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Matthew Henry's Commentary

Genesis 4:6-7

_ _ God is here reasoning with Cain, to convince him of the sin and folly of his anger and discontent, and to bring him into a good temper again, that further mischief might be prevented. It is an instance of God's patience and condescending goodness that he would deal thus tenderly with so bad a man, in so bad an affair. He is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. Thus the father of the prodigal argued the case with the elder son (Luke 15:28, etc.), and God with those Israelites who said, The way of the Lord is not equal, Ezekiel 18:25.

_ _ I. God puts Cain himself upon enquiring into the cause of his discontent, and considering whether it were indeed a just cause: Why is thy countenance fallen? Observe, 1. That God takes notice of all our sinful passions and discontents. There is not an angry look, an envious look, nor a fretful look, that escapes his observing eye. 2. That most of our sinful heats and disquietudes would soon vanish before a strict and impartial enquiry into the cause of them. “Why am I wroth? Is there a real cause, a just cause, a proportionable cause for it? Why am I so soon angry? Why so very angry, and so implacable?”

_ _ II. To reduce Cain to his right mind again, it is here made evident to him,

_ _ 1. That he had no reason to be angry at God, for that he had proceeded according to the settled and invariable rules of government suited to a state of probation. He sets before men life and death, the blessing and the curse, and then renders to them according to their works, and differences them according as they difference themselves — so shall their doom be. The rules are just, and therefore his ways, according to those rules, must needs be equal, and he will be justified when he speaks.

_ _ (1.) God sets before Cain life and a blessing: “If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? No doubt thou shalt, nay, thou knowest thou shalt;” either, [1.] “If thou hadst done well, as thy brother did, thou shouldst have been accepted, as he was.” God is no respecter of persons, hates nothing that he had made, denies his favour to none but those who have forfeited it, and is an enemy to none but those who by sin have made him their enemy: so that if we come short of acceptance with him we must thank ourselves, the fault is wholly our own; if we had done our duty, we should not have missed of his mercy. This will justify God in the destruction of sinners, and will aggravate their ruin; there is not a damned sinner in hell, but, if he had done well, as he might have done, had been a glorious saint in heaven. Every mouth will shortly be stopped with this. Or, [2.] “If now thou do well, if thou repent of thy sin, reform thy heart and life, and bring thy sacrifice in a better manner, if thou not only do that which is good but do it well, thou shalt yet be accepted, thy sin shall be pardoned, thy comfort and honour restored, and all shall be well.” See here the effect of a Mediator's interposal between God and man; we do not stand upon the footing of the first covenant, which left no room for repentance, but God had come upon new terms with us. Though we have offended, if we repent and return, we shall find mercy. See how early the gospel was preached, and the benefit of it here offered even to one of the chief of sinners.

_ _ (2.) He sets before him death and a curse: But if not well, that is, “Seeing thou didst not do well, didst not offer in faith and in a right manner, sin lies at the door,” that is, “sin was imputed to thee, and thou wast frowned upon and rejected as a sinner. So high a charge had not been laid at thy door, if thou hadst not brought it upon thyself, by not doing well.” Or, as it is commonly taken, “If now thou wilt not do well, if thou persist in this wrath, and, instead of humbling thyself before God, harden thyself against him, sin lies at the door,” that is, [1.] Further sin. “Now that anger is in thy heart, murder is at the door.” The way of sin is down-hill, and men go from bad to worse. Those who do not sacrifice well, but are careless and remiss in their devotion to God, expose themselves to the worst temptations; and perhaps the most scandalous sin lies at the door. Those who do not keep God's ordinances are in danger of committing all abominations, Leviticus 18:30. Or, [2.] The punishment of sin. So near akin are sin and punishment that the same word in Hebrew signifies both. If sin be harboured in the house, the curse waits at the door, like a bailiff, ready to arrest the sinner whenever he looks out. It lies as if it slept, but it lies at the door where it will be soon awaked, and then it will appear that the damnation slumbered not. Sin will find thee out, Numbers 32:23. Yet some choose to understand this also as an intimation of mercy. “If thou doest not well, sin (that is, the sin-offering), lies at the door, and thou mayest take the benefit of it.” The same word signifies sin and a sacrifice for sin. “Though thou hast not done well, yet do not despair; the remedy is at hand; the propitiation is not far to seek; lay hold on it, and the iniquity of thy holy things shall be forgiven thee.” Christ, the great sin-offering, is said to stand at the door, Revelation 3:20. And those well deserve to perish in their sins that will not go to the door for an interest in the sin-offering. All this considered, Cain had no reason to be angry at God, but at himself only.

_ _ 2. That he had no reason to be angry at his brother: “Unto thee shall be his desire, he shall continue his respect to thee as an elder brother, and thou, as the first-born, shalt rule over him as much as ever.” God's acceptance of Abel's offering did not transfer the birth-right to him (which Cain was jealous of), nor put upon him that excellency of dignity and of power which is said to belong to it, Genesis 49:3. God did not so intend it; Abel did not so interpret it; there was no danger of its being improved to Cain's prejudice; why then should he be so much exasperated? Observe here, (1.) That the difference which God's grace makes does not alter the distinctions which God's providence makes, but preserves them, and obliges us to do the duty which results from them: believing servants must be obedient to unbelieving masters. Dominion is not founded in grace, nor will religion warrant disloyalty or disrespect in any relation. (2.) That the jealousies which civil powers have sometimes conceived of the true worshippers of God as dangerous to their government, enemies to Caesar, and hurtful to kings and provinces (on which suspicion persecutors have grounded their rage against them) are very unjust and unreasonable. Whatever may be the case with some who call themselves Christians, it is certain that Christians indeed are the best subjects, and the quiet in the land; their desire is towards their governors, and these shall rule over them.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

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Geneva Bible Translation Notes

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Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance

1 Chronicles 13:11-13 And David was displeased, because the LORD had made a breach upon Uzza: wherefore that place is called Perezuzza to this day. ... So David brought not the ark [home] to himself to the city of David, but carried it aside into the house of Obededom the Gittite.
Job 5:2 For wrath killeth the foolish man, and envy slayeth the silly one.
Isaiah 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
Jeremiah 2:5 Thus saith the LORD, What iniquity have your fathers found in me, that they are gone far from me, and have walked after vanity, and are become vain?
Jeremiah 2:31 O generation, see ye the word of the LORD. Have I been a wilderness unto Israel? a land of darkness? wherefore say my people, We are lords; we will come no more unto thee?
John 4:1-4 When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John, ... And he must needs go through Samaria.
John 4:8-11 (For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.) ... The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water?
Micah 6:3-5 O my people, what have I done unto thee? and wherein have I wearied thee? testify against me. ... O my people, remember now what Balak king of Moab consulted, and what Balaam the son of Beor answered him from Shittim unto Gilgal; that ye may know the righteousness of the LORD.
Matthew 20:15 Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good?
Luke 15:31-32 And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. ... It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.
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1Ch 13:11. Jb 5:2. Is 1:18. Jr 2:5, 31. Mi 6:3. Mt 20:15. Lk 15:31. Jn 4:1, 8.

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