Restored English Translation of Genesis: Chapter 4

G’day!  The next installment in my Restored English Translation (RET) of the Bible.  Today is Beresheet (Genesis) chapter 4.  As usual, I have the Hebrew names and the Aleph Tavs and a Hebrew name glossary at the end.

One thing different you may notice is different about this translation is verse 16.  Most translations read “And Qayin [Cain] went out from the presence of YAHUAH, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.” (Cepher translation)  However, the word “Nod” is not a place name; it’s simply a word meaning “wandering” (Strong’s #H5113/112 [same word]).  Therefore, it should simply be translated as “lived in the land of wandering”, somewhere east of the Garden of Eden.  Some love to point to (the traditional translation of) this passage as “proof” that Cain couldn’t have married his sister, because he went off to a distant and married someone else, and that therefore Adam and Eve weren’t the only people around.  Others use the same reasoning to “prove” that the Bible has contradictions.  However, as the true Hebrew reading makes obvious, we are simply not told how far away he travelled, or that he married afterwards (although Don Esposito’s Hebraic Roots Bible intentionally inserts the words “and married” into the text, which are not in ANY manuscript).  Even if he did marry afterwards, that doesn’t prove anything.  Adam and Eve no doubt had a number of children, and many of them would have started spreading out by then.  The RET restores the original reading of “lived in the land of wandering, east of Eden” (although I like The Message//REMIX‘s paraphrase “no-man’s land”).

Another thing you will notice is verse 8.  In most translations we read, “And Qayin talked with Hevel [Abel]  his brother; and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Qayin rose up against Hevel his brother, and slew him.”  In actuality, the verse in the Masoretic Text and Dead Sea Scrolls is rather awkward; it literally reads “And Kayin said to Hevel his brother and it happened when they were in the field”, clearly missing something.  However, the Greek Septuagint, the Aramaic Peshitta, and the Samaritan Pentateuch all include the phrase “Let us go out to the field” as the words spoken by Cain, which was clearly in the original text.

1 And the human had sexual relations with את Chavah his wife; and she conceived and bore את Kayin, and said, “I have gotten a man by את YEHOVAH.” 2 And she continued to bear את his brother את Hevel. And Hevel was a keeper of sheep, but Kayin was a tiller of the ground. 3 And in the end of days it happened that Kayin brought of the fruit an offering unto YEHOVAH. 4 And Hevel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and from their fat. And YEHOVAH looked to Hevel and his offering; 5 but He did not look to Kayin and his offering. And Kayin’s anger greatly glowed, and his face fell. 6 And YEHOVAH said to Kayin, “Why does your anger glow greatly and why has your face fallen? 7 If you do well, is there not acceptance? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. And its desire is toward you, but you should rule over it.” 8 And Kayin said to Hevel his brother, “Let us go into the field.” And it happened, when they were in the field, that Kayin rose up against Hevel his brother and killed him. 9 And YEHOVAH said to Kayin, “Where is Hevel your brother?” And he answered, “I don’t know. Am I my brother’s guardian?” 10 And He said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood cries to Me from the ground. 11 And now you are cursed more than the ground which opened את its mouths to receive את blood of your brother’s from your hand. 12 When you till את the ground, it shall not again give its strength to you; you will by a vagabond and a fugitive on the earth.” 13 And Kayin said to YEHOVAH, “My punishment is greater than I can bear. 14 Behold, You have driven me out this day from the face of the earth and from Your face, and I shall be a vagabond and a fugitive on the earth. And it will be that anyone who finds me shall kill me.” 15 And YEHOVAH said to him, “If anyone kills Kayin, he shall be avenged sevenfold.” And YEHOVAH set a mark on Kayin, that anyone who finds him should not kill him. 16 And Kayin went out from the presence of YEHOVAH and lived in the land of wandering, east of Eden. 17 And had sexual relations Kayin with את his wife, and she conceived and gave birth to את Chanok. And he built a city, and called the name of the city after the name of his son, Chanok. 18 And was born to Chanok את Irad. And Irad fathered את Mechuyael, and Mechuyael fathered את Metushael, and Metushael fathered את Lemek. 19 And Lemek took two wives to himself; the name of the first was Adah, and the name of the other was Tsillah. 20 And Adah bore את Yaval; he was the father of those living in tents and raising livestock. 21 And his brother’s name was Yuval; he was the father of all those playing the harp and organ. 22 And Tsillah also, she bore את Tubal-Kayin, a hammerer of every engraving tool of bronze and iron. And Tubal-Kayin’s sister was Na’amah. 23 And Lemek said to his wives Adah and Tsillah, “Hear my voice, you wives of Lemek, listen to my words. For I have killed a man because of my wound, and a young man because of my hurt. 24 For Kayin is avenged sevenfold, and Lemek seventy-seven.” 25 And Adam has sex again with את his wife, and she bore a son and she called את his name Shet, “For ELOHIM has appointed to me another child in place of Hevel, because Kayin killed him.” 26 And also to Shet was born a son, and he called את his name Enosh. Then it was begun to call on the name of YEHOVAH.
Chavah – Eve
Kayin – Cain
YEHOVAH – The Lord
Hevel – Abel
Chanok – Enoch
Mechuyael – Mehujael
Metushael – Methusael
Lemek – Lamech
Tsillah – Zillah
Yaval – Jabal
Yuval – Jubal
Tubal-Kayin – Tubal-Cain
Na’amah – Naamah
Shet – Seth
Enosh – Enos

5 thoughts on “Restored English Translation of Genesis: Chapter 4

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