This content from Chapter 4 not included with previous Study Guide:
- Now the man had relations with his wife, Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain, and she said, “I have gotten a manchild with the help of the Lord.”
“had relations” The Hebrew verb “yada” is (literally) “knew,” which includes a broad range of meaning from “know” in the ordinary sense, all the way to “sexual intimacy.” This means that sexual relations between a man and his wife is not an instinctual animal act, but a physical expression of marital intimacy.
By the way, sex is a gift of God for married people. It is not an expression of human corruption, but a pleasure that enhances its original purposes. The corruption of sex is when God’s gift is taken outside of His boundaries and is engaged in solely for recreation as its end, and not its benefit inside marriage. Everything God gave us in creation is good; what man does with God’s gifts due to his corrupted nature is to pervert them.
Eve’s statement (4:1) after delivering Cain was, “With the help of the Lord I have brought forth (Hebrew can mean “acquired or created”) a man.
The prepositional phrase “with the help of the Lord” is accentuated. By inserting this statement on the part of Eve, Moses seems to tell us that in some manner not described to us in this compressed narration of events, that the Lord, merciful, gracious, ever compassionate, after spelling out the consequences of human transgression, reached out to them and restored them to His fellowship, after symbolically covering them physically and spiritually with the skins of animals that had to be sacrificed for the purpose. I take it that Adam and Eve were at that point reconciled to God in repentance and faith.
So here Eve acknowledges God as the One who helped her conceive and give birth.
New content from today’s program:
7 “But if you do not do what is right, sin (like a lion lying in ambush) is crouching at the door; it desires to have you (dominate and devour you), but [if there is any hope for you in conquering this threat], you must [recognize the peril] and rule it [check it] before it rules you.”
Sin was running loose in Cain’s life. It was unleashed in the Garden. Now it was running free and roaming about like a hungry lion seeking whoever it may devour. Such a threat demands defensive action; otherwise it will rule us rather than be ruled by us. If Cain turned his heart to God, and rejected sin as his master, God would have saved him and sustained him.
By the way, the language of 4:7 is similar to God’s words to Eve in 3:16b, “Yet your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”