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By James Fratzia,  July 2015

Genesis 4:17-25

17 Cain made love to his wife, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Enoch. Cain was then building a city, and he named it after his son Enoch. 18 To Enoch was born Irad, and Irad was the father of Mehujael, and Mehujael was the father of Methushael, and Methushael was the father of Lamech.

19 Lamech married two women, one named Adah and the other Zillah. 20 Adah gave birth to Jabal; he was the father of those who live in tents and raise livestock. 21 His brother’s name was Jubal; he was the father of all who play stringed instruments and pipes. 22 Zillah also had a son, Tubal-Cain, who forgedall kinds of tools out of[who instruct all who work in] bronze and iron. Tubal-Cain’s sister was Naamah.

23 Lamech said to his wives,

“Adah and Zillah, listen to me;
wives of Lamech, hear my words.
I have killed a man for wounding me,
a young man for injuring me.
24 If Cain is avenged seven times,
then Lamech seventy-seven times.”

25 Adam made love to his wife again, and she gave birth to a son and named him Seth,[probably means “granted”] saying, “God has granted me another child in place of Abel, since Cain killed him.” 26 Seth also had a son, and he named him Enosh. At that time people began to call on[to proclaim] the name of the Lord.

Who is Lamech?

It is not known what Lamech means[2]. The genealogy given in Genesis 5 makes it clear that the Lamech in Genesis 4 is not Noah’s father in Genesis 5:25,28-31. The Lamech in Genesis 5 is a descendent of Seth, Adam and Eve’s 3rd son introduced in Genesis 4:25-26. The Lamech in Genesis 4, is a descendent of Cain, Adam and Eve’s first son, who murdered his younger brother Abel in Genesis 4:8. Cain “who was of the evil one”, 1 John 3:12. That is, spiritually of the seed of the nachash (serpent) in the garden of Eden.

Lamech married two women. There is a lot of rabbinical teaching and midrash tradition about these women, probably because the meaning of their names can be derived from ancient Semitic linguistics. Adah is means the deposed one, implying that Lamech spurned her in favour of Zillah. Zillah means she shaded herself’ or ‘was in shadowtraditionally behind her husband, probably manipulating behind the scenes. The Midrash regards Adah as having been treated as a slave, tyrannised by her husband, who was at the beck and call of his mistress, Zillah.

The names of his sons Jabal, Jubal, and Tubal rhyme.  They have the same Semitic root in Hebrew and Phoenecian – ‘to bring forth’, or ‘to carry’. Interestingly, it is from Cain’s line that we see the first mention of civilisation Cain made love to his wife, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Enoch. Cain was then building a city, and he named it after his son Enoch” (Genesis 4:17).

Diversification and specialisation, which are key ingredients for civilisation, are demonstrated amongst Lamech’s sons – animal husbandry, the development of music and musical instruments, metallurgy and tool-making.  The bulk of Rabbinical teaching argues Lamech’s daughter Naamah was a singer – a sort of priestess to idols, though this is not stated in the Bible. Her name may also mean “beautiful” or ‘sings beautifully’.

Lamech typifies the supreme warrior who easily overcomes his foe. He boasts how he avenged himself by killing a young man who ‘wounded/injured’ him. One can speculate whether his martial prowess was enhanced by a metal weapon (eg a sword) provided by his son Tubal-Cain, the protection by God of Cain from killing, or some other advantage. But the point made in scripture is that Lamech killed the man and now boasts of it to his wives. His self-exultation is confronting, as is his self-justification. Was if a physical injury, or something else which prompted him to kill the man. Some translations suggest the young man ‘struck’ him or ‘bruised’ him. Was he looking for an excuse to try out a new weapon, or was he genuinely defending himself?

Though Lamech’s argument may sound reasonable on the surface, say in a human court, God subsequently reveals to the reader of the Bible the following problems which Lamech is almost certainly demonstrating :

Exodus 20:13 “You shall not murder.”

Leviticus 19:18 “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD”.

Deuteronomy 32:35 It is mine to avenge; I will repay. In due time their foot will slip; their day of disaster is near and their doom rushes upon them.”

Psalm 94:1  The LORD is a God who avenges. O God who avenges, shine forth.

‘A ‘superior’ human amongst ‘wild’ humanity?

The simple facts suggest an unfair contest, one that Lamech would always win.

Why do I say this?  It is not just the context, but it is the context. Was Lamech a ‘superior’ human (perhaps in intellect, martial prowess, technology and/or body) killing an ‘inferior’ human?

This is difficult for many theologians, but the possibility is prompted by asking where did Lamech get his wives? Where did Cain get his wife? Most Christian theologians argue that his wives are also descendants from Adam and Eve. The scripture doesn’t mention these female descendants, yet does mention Lamech’s daughter Naamah. This has always worried me. Are these wives from an ‘inferior’ humanity (perhaps to be found outside of the Garden)? Who inhabited the city that Lamech’s forefather was building in Genesis 4:17? An alternative meaning of Tubal-Cain in Genesis 4:22 is that he “instructed all those who worked in bronze and iron. Were they the ‘lesser’ and previously ‘wild’, human inhabitants of Cain’s city?

Wild Human Theory

To most Christians this ‘wild human’ theory 1 sounds far-fetched and heretical. Furthermore, one needs to remember that the traditional understanding that Genesis does not mention any other human ‘creatures’ may not be adequate. For example, I note the following :

  1. The Semitic term ‘adam‘ could mean ‘Adam‘ the specific first man God created, or it could be a more generic term meaning all creatures identified as man. I suppose grammatically this could be distinguished by the presence of otherwise of an article. This may be baggage from my scientific background, but could not the term ‘adam‘ play the same role as the word ‘homo’ in scientific nomenclature. For example, the only man in existence today is homo sapiens, but modern science suggests that  30,000 years ago there was at least one other human species in the middle east and europe (homo neanderthalis). It may even be a lesser homo sapiens.
  2. One needs to recall as a matter of hermaneutical principle that exegesis from an absence of explicit text is generally suspect. Yet it seems possible to me that Scripture may be using the term adam in these two ways in the first 6 chapterss of Genesis.
  3. When God says “Let as make man in our image” (Genesis 1:27) in his declaration to the heavenly assembly, could he be referring to an already extant ‘wild‘ and ‘inferior‘ human biological species (a ‘kind’ called adam), created outside the Garden from the same earth with, and counted amongst, the animal species. Could God be making a marvellous statement that He will take a recognisable ‘animal’ species adam(even an early Homo Sapiens species) created and present in the ‘wilderness’ outside the Garden, imbue an unique special individual breeding pair (Adam, and then Eve) with His spirit/breath, and thereby re-create a superior man in God’s ‘image’. Such a humanity would be fit to have fellowship with God and in the Garden and capable to subdue, populate and rule the physical creation as God’s representative? A superior man yet animal enough to be able to breed with other adam. 
  4. Furthermore, Genesis 2 twice appears to say something almost identicle in relation to the Garden (of Eden) – “there He put the man whom He had formed” (Genesis 2:8), and ” God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. (Genesis 2:15). This is intriguing for a number of reasons.

Firstly, he obviously took man from outside of the garden and put him into it.  

Secondly, the duplication seems redundant, unless it is deliberately revealing something.

Thirdly, ask the question, “When does God actually describe man to be in his image?”. Man is made in God’s image after the woman is created. And this occurs after God takes the man he has created and put him in the Garden – “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” (Genesis 1:27). My simple conclusion from this observation is that prior to being put in the Garden and the creation of Eve, ‘wild’ man was biologically man but was not in the image of God. Perhaps the scientific surrogate for this Biblical event is a species-specific human trait that exists only in humans today such as the emergence of conscious language, with various expressions such as speech.

In the absence of an explicit statement to say that ‘wild’ humanity existed as animals in the wilderness outside the Garden, biological ‘wild’ women ‘animals’ could have existed with ‘wild’ male ‘animal’ men outside the Garden. I therefore do not find it surprising that outside the Garden, Cain fears being killed in revenge for Abel’s death (presumably by men who were outside the Garden – “anyone who finds me will kill me.” (Genesis 4:13)). It seems to me it is the ‘wild’ humanity he fears.

5. Reference to the “nephilim/giants” in Genesis 6:4 may be an explicit reference to another kind of human “creature”.

6. Since there is a command to humanity by God to be fruitful and multiply, the offense at the interbreeding between the “sons of God” and the “daughters of men” by God in Genesis 1:3 implies they are different kinds of human creature.

Avenged seventy seven times

What is wrong with Lamech’s argument about being avenged seventy seven time? Lamech misunderstands divine kindness to Cain. Lamech approaches the issue of vengeance as if God owes Lamech. Perhaps because he claims some familial right as Cain’s descendent or because Lamech feels he can second guess God’s response to human pursuit of vengeance is to protect the murderer, or because he believes God is bound to follow precedent – as a legal principle. He doesn’t seem to recognise that a compassionate God may have simply been responding to Cain’s distress. He coldly boasts of his immunity from reprisal implying that God is his debtor, somehow (almost legally) required to show him even more protection which Lamech feels he deserves, perhaps because he sees himself as a much greater man than his ancestor Cain. There is no law which binds God. God is above the law as law-giver and perfect judge in all matters. Lamech’s attitude is one of legal precedence overriding justice. It might work in human legal systems, but not in God’s justice.

Tantalisingly, his boast of deserving protection may have given Lamech an advantage in killing the young man, because perhaps the young man avoided killing Lamech out of fear of God. Furthermore, it is a coward’s warning to anyone who might revenge the young man, that if they do so, God will punish them. Lastly, it represents the psychopath’s sense and exulatation in impunity from any consequences from doing harm to others.

Is Lamech a “son of God”?

At first glance this is an odd question to consider. However, there is the context to consider in understanding the narrative concerning Lamech.

Who are the ‘sons of God‘?

The Bible talks of the ‘sons of God’ in Genesis 6:1-2 “when human beings began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of humans were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose.  

I can think of at least 5 possibilities:

1. Some interpreters claim that in the Old Testament, the phrase “sons of God” (beney elohim) always refers only to ‘divine’ ‘beings’ and/or ‘angels’ (this is more of a ‘functional’ term). The argument then becomes that the “sons of God” were fallen angels who procreated with human females2. Consequently the offspring are unusually powerful. In support :

1. This is consistent with Jewish interpretation during the second Temple and Intertestamental periods, most Rabbinical views and early Church Fathers until Augustine. Job 1:6; 2:1 ;38:7 support their claim that “sons of God” refers to divine beings and/or angels.

2.It is certainly reasonable to argue that all divine beings are elohim with God himself being the unique uncreated almighty elohim presiding over them in a ‘heavenly assembly’ as described in Psalm 82, Psalm 89 & Job 1. 

3.However, the phrase is used in Hosea 1:10 to refers to humans. Admittedly, Hosea used the singular form of the word “God,”El, whereas the writer of Genesis 6 used the plural form, elohim. It raises the possibility that humans intrinsically share something with divine beings which makes them “sons of God” (beney elohim)  – perhaps this is part of being ‘made in God’s image’.

4.Some use Jude 6–7 to argue that the “sons of God” were unfallen or heavenly beings and/or angels who then fell because they had sexual relations with female humans (adam).  A comparison is made between the angels improper conduct and the immorality when they pursued “strange flesh” of Sodom and Gomorrah which included men wishing to have sex with the angel of the Lord. Apocryphal books, such as the Book of Enoch (quoted in the NT), refer to such beings. They then produced hybrid offspring who were mighty men’, ‘men of renown’. There is no dispute with the notion that some of the elohim (divine beings) rebelled. 2 Peter 2:4-8 refers to the judgement upon angels when they sinned”, angels “who did not keep their own domain”.

5.This view adequately accounts for why the offspring were “giants” or heroes of old, men of renown.” And it does have a strong contextual, grammatical, and historical basis.

This argument however has significant problems :

 1. The Second Temple/Intertestamental thinking of Judaism does not necessarily reflect the thinking behind the writer of Genesis which occurred many hundreds of years earlier. The immediate antedeluvian textual context should have maximum weight, not the non-unanimous  thoughts of Jews hundreds of years later. Cain, Abel, Noah etc were not Jews.

2. The passages in Jude and 2 Peter do not necessarily refer to this period. ‘Angelic’ or heavenly being sin seems to me is present from the time Satan approaches Eve in the garden. Heavenly beings actually appear subject to standards of behaviour for which they can be judged. Perhaps they were created under law and humanity were not, which is the death mechanism Satan tried to get Eve to accept by saying “you will know good and evil” by ignoring God’s warning and eating the forbidden fruit. Why is it not possible that they lost access to heaven – thrown down to earth at that time to battle with the ‘seed‘ of Eve.

3. The nature of revelation is such that it is progressive. That is, things not understood at the time of reception of the revelation become clearer later. This validates exegesis that includes later Scripture.

4. I believe the Biblical evidence is that the term ‘sons of God’ can apply to both humans and/or ‘heavenly’ beings.

It seems to me that ‘divine’ beings cannot have offspring-producing sex with humans, let alone marry them. Jesus makes this clear with unambiguous reference to sex – γαμοῦσιν οὔτε γαμίζονται in Matthew 22:30, Mark 12:25. Sex in this case implies offspring. Admittedly, “angels in heaven”  is not referring to ‘fallen’ angels, who do not care about God’s created order and actively seek ways to disrupt God’s plan, but nowhere does Scripture describe angels or demons becoming flesh. Angels are described as ‘ministering spirits’, and demons only possess the demonised.

Even if they could have physical sexual relations, the assumption that divine beings and/or angels can have sexual relations and produce offspring with female humans is problematic. It is not the sex that is the problem because a number of possibilities make it possible, Genesis 32:24 in light of Hosea 12:3-4, Genesis 18:1-8, Acts 5:19. It is the production of offspring that is problematic. Though Satan (and other heavenly beings) are ‘spirit’ who can take on physical form, they I also don’t see evidence in Scripture that he can ‘create’ life as God does – they can only alter or corrupt what God has made. The production of hybrid spiritual-physical offspring  in this view is unlikely.

It assumes divine beings have a physical sex (male).

As we move through the Biblical narrative, God appears to have a progressive abandonment of the descendants of Adam & Eve due to their rebellion. As this occurs God redefines who are his people – and thereby redefines his human ‘sons‘.  This is not explicit until the new Testament. Though all the nations are His, God wipes almost all out in the flood, then disperses them at Babel under the power of various earth-bound heavenly beings, then he choses individuals to be His people, then a family, then one ethnic  and political group (Israel in Exodus 4:23 and their King in Psalm 2:7), then adds to and redefines this group as the followers of Jesus who are all called “sons of God.” The identity of the “sons of God” therefore, even if one accepts direct creation by God as a criterion for identification, changes and develops as one moves through Scripture.

5.Lastly, it is also possible that the sons of God is referring to rebellious spiritual beings who only metaphorically have sex with the daughters of men, by inspiring rebellious humans in the line of Adam to take women to satisfy the lust of the rebellious spiritual beings and/or to produce ‘hybrids’ who serve the plans of rebellious spiritual beings amongst humanity (the “men of renown”/ and or the “nephilim/giants”3.

2. A common interpretation is that “sons of God” refers to the descendents of Seth, while the “daughters of men” refers to the descendents of Cain. In other words, the righteous line of Seth intermarried with the unrighteous line of Cain resulting in corruption prompting the flood. The meaning of Naamah’s name, the reference to Noah’s wife callNaamah, and the fact that the sons of God saw that the daughter’s of mean were beautiful is often used to make the connection.

I’ve always found this argument difficult by asking the question, “Why should the sons of God be limited to Seth’s ‘righteous’ line only?” Was the calibre of antediluvian humanity as simple as some sort of righteousness based on genetic lineage? If Cain married his sister, was she also unrighteous, genetically. Was unrighteousness an inherited trait? This is hard to believe. I would expect the genetics of both lines to be the same and I can’t see any good evidence anywhere in Scripture that righteousness is based on genetics, pedigree or lineage.

Furthermore, it seems unlikely that the only remaining member of this righteous line is Noah at the time of the flood, in view of the longevity of the antediluvians. When God grieves at having made mankind, it seems more logical that this included seth’s line too. Furthermore, the sin in Genesis 6:1-3 would reasonably include Seth’s line (in the absence of other evidence).

3. Therefore, if both Cain and Seth’s lineage in this antediluvian era is of the line of Adam, then so is Lamech. Could it be that all of Adam’s genetic descendants are sons of God’ – perhaps designated as such because man is made in God’s image? As ‘sons of Adam, might they not be endowed with creativity, intelligence, and strength resulting in biological superiority as well? It is clear that Lamech typifies that he in Cain’s line was not righteous but why should it be concluded that Seth’s line be considered all righteous. Maybe some were righteous and some were not in both lines. It seems reasonable that some of Seth’s line were unrighteous.

At this point it seems to me that there is a direct link between Lamech’s story in Genesis 4 and the account preceding the flood in Genesis 6, interrupted simply by the genealogy in Genesis 5. Could it be that Lamech (like Cain) is an example of a son of God”seeing that the daughters of men (adam in Hebrew) were beautiful and married any of them they chose. Unfortunately, this creates a foundational problem for many Christian theologians – the possibility of humans who are not in the image of God – not descendents of Adam and Eve – coexisting with, and perhaps pre-existing, Adam’s lineage.

This allows the possibility that Lamech as a “son of God” is biologically superior to non-sons (other humans not of the line of Adam). Then, in the manner of Lamech overcoming the ‘young man (adam)’, could not any of the vastly superiorsons of God’ (from either Cain or Seth’s line) effectively pick and chose from the humans who are not ‘sons‘? Science may provide illumination at this point. There is ample evidence from studies of the human genome that our species bred with at least two other ‘sufficiently human’ species in pre-history  4.The “sons of God” presumably were less in number than the non-sons because we are told that “man (adam) began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them. By this time the descendents of Seth would be also be many, and it may be that many were ‘unrighteous’ and copied Cain and Lamech and chose wives from this pool?”

If so, God had a problem with their interbreeding. The hybrids were definitely superior to the beast-like “wild” humanity from which their mothers came, though possibly deficient as ‘sons of God’. This is certainly scientifically possible and documented to have occured in non-humans recently[3]. There may be a clue in God’s creation of Eve from Adam. Perhaps this represents an expectation of inbreeding within Adam’s line, continued in the geneology of Seth down to Noah but breached by those ‘sons of God’ who copied Lamech? It may be that these humans were best thought of as animals who were not in the image of God, who did not share something with the divine elohim but who were otherwise sufficiently human biologically to breed with Adam’s offspring. Not very smart, not creative, not physically as strong or fit as those created in God’s “image“. Though superior to the “wild” “daughters of men”, they were no longer divine “image-bearers”.

In some translations it is likely that ‘giants’ (Nephilim) Genesis 6:4 are not the hybrid offspring. Note however, that the Septuagint explicitly identifies these giants as hybrid offspring. Nevertheless, the passage in most modern translations  simply implies the ‘giants’ (Nephilim) were there, perhaps as observers or encouragers of the production of these hybrids. They were there afterwards too, and disruptors of God’s plan for humanity (foe example, the Israelites fear entering the promised land under Moses because their spies identified ‘giants). These and other giants/large-stature humans encountered post-flood are not necessarily related to the pre-flood giants.

4. Another possible definition for the sons of God is that to be a ‘son‘ of God, one must be directly created by God. In this case, created spiritual beings are sons of God’ and so are Adam and Eve. But their genetic descendants, though in God’simage,are not sons of God’. There are a number of things to note here :

  • Jesus is the only ‘begotten‘ son of God. That is, he is unique and uncreated. In the same way, God the unique, transcendent, uncreated, all powerful all knowing Creator,  is still an elohim,  like created spiritual beings. The term  sons of Godhere does not apply to Jesus.
  • In the New testament, those who become Christians by divine ‘re-creation‘ are called  sons of God’. They are ‘reborn‘ by God’s will.
  • The nation Israel is directly ‘created’ by God through the covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and called God’s ‘son‘ in the Old Testament.
  • Men began to ‘call upon the name of the Lord‘ after Cain killed Abel, and Adam and Eve produced Seth. Could these ‘men’ be equated to born again Christian converts in the New Testament, and therefore, validly be called  sons of God? Are they directly re-created by God as well? In that case, is Genesis 6:1-2 referring to faithful  sons of God’? That seems unlikely.
  • If the term  sons of God’ can be ascribed functionally to those who rule (ideally under God’s sovereignty), whether in the spiritual realm or on earth, then the genetic line of Adam call all be correctly described as  sons of God point 3. above remains valid. The alternative is that the  sons of God’ were not human and did actually breed with human women or that they did so metaphorically through humans to produce unacceptable hybrids and/or “nephilim”!

5. Many any models of ‘kingship’ in the ancient near East attributed divine qualities or origins to the king or powerful human rulers. They could be called sons of Godbut this really doesn’t account for the superiority of the hybrids.

I prefer option 3. In my view, the descendants of Adam & Eve are  sons of God and so is Lamech. Genesis 1-6 is describing the adversarial relationship between the “seed of Satan and the “seed of Eve which God stated would occur in Genesis 3. This nature of the “seed‘ is identifiable by the allegiance ‘heavenly’ and ‘human’ beings demonstrate to God, not by genetics.

Why is this passage here – Lamech’s Legacy

It helps us understand the purpose of the Flood

I believe the account of Cain and Lamech theologically and anthropologically links the account of the creation of Adam & Eve with the procession of Noah’s offspring after the flood (Genesis 6:5). Genesis 6:1-2 expresses the sinfulness of the the ‘sons of God’ which threatens to “fill the earth” with hybrids, rather than divine “image-bearers”. Is Lamech, and his forefather’s Cain acquisition of the ‘daughter’s of men’ to create hybrid humans an example of this wickeness? I suspect this is at least one reason for the Lamech passage. This makes humanity’s increase in numbers in Genesis 6:1 a description of a result contrary to God’s intent for humanity, something commentators have not really noticed.

It also helps us understand the flood in Genesis 6.

What does God accomplish through the flood? It is not the destruction of sin because it continues afterwards. It is not the destruction of the “giants (or Nephilim) who were on the earth in those days (Genesis 6:4) because they continued “after that”.

Was the flood a terrible failure? There is a clue in the description of Noah in Genesis 6:9 as ‘unblemished’. Traditionally, this could simply be a description of his righteous character. But it may also be a description that his lineage does not include the breeding of the ‘sons of God’ with the ‘daughters of men’ in Genesis 6:2. His lineage excludes the hybrids and is preserved through the flood, despite the sinful nature that is preserved with it. But the hybrids which moved God to act, and the ‘wild’ humans with whom the’sons’ bred (and no longer “image-bearers), are destroyed by the flood, and God achieves his purpose.

From this point onwards, all humanity are descendants of Adam & Eve, who, despite their sinful nature inherited from Adam are also paradoxically carrying the glorious “image” of their creator – something which distinguishes them from animals, allows them to interact with God spiritually, and which makes them accountable for their sin.

2. It helps us understand some elements of the “sinful nature”

These elements are expressed over and over throughout the remainder of the Bible:

  1. It leads to death of others, such as the young man
  2. Sinfulness and creativity, both artistic and technological, are not mutually exclusive.
  3. It leads to subjugation of others
    1. it is implied in Enosh’s construction of a city (presumably with a Son of God supreme over simpler humans)
    2. In the polygamous treatment of the women
    3. I believe implicit in his boast is also a threat of violence to the women – to rule them with beatings or even kill them.
  4. It is proud and boastful and self-aggrandising.
  5. It is self-justifying
  6. It treats God as a debtor, who owes something to man
  7. It relates to God legalistically, and relates to others legalistically.
  8. It is ultimately psychopathic, appearing to misuse interpersonal vulnerabilities to his own advantage, instead of helping.

3. It sheds a light on the nature of “polygamy”

Lamech introduces polygamy. Polygamy doesn’t really go well in the Bible which has numerous examples of polygamy and it’s effects. For example,

  1. Abraham and Hagar, Jacob with the two sisters Leah and Rachel then their servants Bilhah and Zilpah,
  2. David (despite Deuteronomy 17:17),
  3. Solomon and his wives.

Lamech’s polygamy sheds light on some of the dynamics involved in the exploitation of women by men. Pursuit of polygamy is a reflection of departure from the institution of monogamous marriage by God. The Mosaic law appears to seek to remediate the effects of polygamy by protecting an unfavoured wife (Deuteronomy 21:15).  In 500 BC God speaks of this widespread practise (Malachi 2:14-16). And Jesus confirms that recognition of the practise in Mosaic Law is to minimise the effect of sin (Matthew 19:8). Polygamous marriage is ultimately a reflection of a human heart in rebellion against God.

4. It reveals the possibility of civilisation with injustice

This includes dynastic domination, the self-justification of tyrants, the use of legalism to avoid justice, the organisation of labour, and the coexistence of the arts with injustice. This starts with Cain. An alternative Septuagint translation of Genesis 4:7 reveals that Cain’s desire is to dominate his brother Abel and that he did not need to kill him to achieve this[1]. Murder, and self-justified violence by tyrants, is inherent in such civilisation.

Now this looks like the world we inhabit today.

5. It demonstrates the reality of the struggle betweenthe “seed” of Eve and the “seed” of Satan

In it’s various forms this afflicts human experience throughout history. It permeates every organisation, society, civilisation and endeavour. At it’s worst is murder with impunity, whether individual murders, wars or entire genocides. For this to end, Satan has to be defeated and all human rebellion against God destroyed

6. It explains the decreasing human lifespan after the incredible initial  longevity of the antediluvians

There are two reasons for this decrease in life-span. The first is that God is “grieved” (Genesis 6:6)  by the way man has exercised his freedom and will wihdraw His general protection of Adam and Eve’s offspring, initially demonstrated with Cain, and refocus it on Noah andhis family. Secondly, in his fore-knowledge of the consequences of breeding with the “daughters of men”, God allows the protected genome of Adam and Eve to be rapidly corrupted biologically from the incorporation and transmission of faulty genetic material. Essentially, God allows Adam and Eve’s offspring to experience the consequences of their sinful choices. This Biblical principle is demonstrated repeatedly in scripture. So God makes this plain when he states prophetically My Spirit shall not strive/contend with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.” (Genesis 6:4).



Lamech is typical of human beings today. He is the quintessential fallen male.

by James Fratzia,   June 2015


About the Author

James Fratzia

He's not the Messiah - he's just a very naughty boy!



[1] Hast thou not sinned if thou hast brought it rightly, but not rightly divided it? be still, to thee shall be his submission, and thou shalt rule over him.

[2] Despite extensive review by Hebrew scholars. Ancient names frequently reveal imortant information. This makes Lamech even more mysterious

[3]A recent article in the Economist magazine describes a superior species rapidly arising from a mixture of wolves, coyotes, and dogs.

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  2. Michael S. Heiser, The Unseen Realm; 2015 Lexham Press
  3. The Bible has many examples where humans have sexual intercourse then attribute the pregnancy to God – Genesis 18:9-14, Genesis 21:1-2, Genesis 25:21, Genesis 29:32-35, Genesis 30:16-24, 1 Samuel 1:19-20, Psalm 17:14, Psalm 127:3, Isaiah 44,2,24. It is not that God is having sex, but that the sex is inspired by God to achieve a specific procreation in the lives of those people.
  4. Genetic map reveals impact of interbreeding with ancient Denisovans and Neanderthals. “Modern humans interbred with Denisovans 100 generations after they bred with Neanderthals” Report in ABC SCIENCE BY BIANCA NOGRADY on a recent article in  Current Biology
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