The Berean Expositor
Volume 8 - Page 54 of 141
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Fundamentals of Dispensational Truth.
Cain and Abel.--The two Seeds.
pp. 3-9
The names given by Eve to the two sons whose birth is recorded in the opening of
Gen. 4: provide a fair insight into the frame of mind, and the modifications wrought by
experience, of the first man and woman.
They had been expelled from the garden planted by God; the ground upon which they
stood, and from which they wrung a living by the sweat of the face, spoke to them
continually of the curse which had settled upon it. The sorrows of their new experiences,
however, were lustred by hope. Had not God said that the woman's seed should bruise
the serpent's head? Did He not set before them the wonderful symbol of a restored and
redeemed creation when He caused the cherubim to tabernacle at the east of the garden?
In view of this we can understand in measure the fulness of hope and desire that
possessed the breast of those first parents, and the reason why they named their infant son
Cain. Cain in the Hebrew language means "acquisition", the verbal form occurs in
Gen. 25: 10 and Exod. 15: 16 as "purchase"; in Gen. 33: 19, 39: 1 as "buy";
in Neh. 5: 8 it is "redeem",  in Isa. 11: 11 it is "recover", and in Gen. 4: 1 and
Prov. 4: 5 it is "get". It will be seen that the word, while indicating acquisition, does
not convey any idea as to how the acquisition is made; it may be as a gift, or as a
purchase, it may be by power or by redemption. Cain was looked upon by his parents as
an acquisition; the A.V. reads, "I have gotten a man from the Lord", the Hebrew `ish `eth
Jehovah, is literally, "a man, even Jehovah". This rendering suggests the reason why the
name Cain was given. Adam and Eve felt sure that this man-child born to them was none
other than the "seed of the woman" promised in the earlier chapter; how mistaken they
were events were to prove. Scripture indeed tells us that instead of being the promised
seed of the woman, Cain "was of that wicked one", in other words, he was rather "the
seed of the serpent". It is important to notice that the good, or the types of good, do not
come first. Cain comes before Abel, Ishmael before Isaac, Esau before Jacob, Reuben
and the others before Joseph, "that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is
natural, and afterwards that which is spiritual". Cain is one of the great foreshadowings
in this book of beginnings. Jude, writing of the last days, says, "Woe unto them! for they
have gone in the way of Cain". John in his first epistle likens Cain to the world, "we
should love one another, not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his
brother. . . . marvel not, my brethren if the world hate you". Not only so, a strong
division is made between the two seeds, Cain was "of that wicked one", "he that
committeth sin is of the devil", "in this are the children of God manifest, and the children
of the devil". In our Lord's day there were those who were "the offspring of vipers", and
all down the age, from Cain onwards, the two seeds have run their course together.
Satan, as the god of this age, and the prince of this world, by those who are his children,
persecutes and seeks to destroy those who are God's children. The Lord Himself has
ordained the "enmity" (Gen. 3: 15), therefore whosoever is a friend of the world
constitutes himself an enemy of God. The presence and purpose of Cain is repeated in