A Daily Genesis

Genesis 4:20-22

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[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 4:20 . . Adah bore Jabal; he was the ancestor of those who dwell in tents and amidst herds.[/B]

This is the Bible's very first mention of man-made portable shelters. Tents, teepees, wigwams, etc; make it possible to roam long distances in relative comfort while searching for foods and pastures. Abraham and Sarah were housed in portable shelters the whole time they lived in Canaan. With portable shelters, Enochville could be a very mobile community, staying in one place only long enough to deplete its natural resources before moving on to better diggings to invade, plunder, exploit, pollute, and depredate.

Jabal wasn't the father of animal husbandry as the passage seems to suggest. Abel was already tending flocks before Jabal was born (Gen 4:2). Dwelling "amidst" herds describes the lifestyle of North America's early plains Indians; whose livelihood depended a great deal upon wild buffalo. Though they followed the herds, the Sioux, Cheyenne, Arapaho, Kiowa, Crow, Blackfoot, Comanche, and Shoshone, et el; didn't actually raise any of their own buffalo like on a ranch.

Dwelling amidst herds is a nomadic way of life rather than one that's domesticated; hence the need for portable shelters; and the herds (e.g. deer, elk, wild goats, antelope, wildebeests, et al) would provide fabric for not only the tents, but also for shoes and clothing; which would need replacement quite often.

One of Lewis' and Clark's complaints, when they were passing through the Oregon territory, was that moccasins rotted off their feet in the Northwest's climate. Even without rot, the soles of moccasins are not all that resistant to wear. Buckskins, manufactured from Elk hide and/or deerskin, fared little better.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 4:21 . . And the name of his brother was Jubal; he was the ancestor of all who play the lyre and the pipe.[/B]

The word for "ancestor" is from [I]'ab [/I](awb); a primitive word which means father, in a literal and immediate, or figurative and remote application. In this particular case, 'ab wouldn't mean literal kin, but likely analogous to an inventor who is the first to introduce a new concept which then later becomes widely adopted.

The word for "lyre" is from [I]kinnowr[/I] (kin-nore') and means: to twang. So the actual instrument itself is difficult to identify. It could have been a harp. But then again, it may have even been something as simple as a string stretched between a washtub and a broom stick.

The interesting thing about an ancient twanging instrument is its string. How did the Cainites make them? Of what material? A stringed instrument is a pretty advanced musical tool and certainly not something you would expect to find among so primitive a people as the antediluvians.

The word for "pipe" is from [I]'uwgab[/I] (oo-gawb') and means: a reed-instrument of music.

A modern reed instrument is typically a woodwind that produces sound by vibrating a thin strip of wood against the mouthpiece; like clarinets and saxophones (hence the classification: woodwinds). But in that culture, it could very well have been something as simple as a tube whistle made from a single hollow section of plant stem; or several of those bundled together like a Pan flute.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 4:22a . . As for Zillah, she bore Tubal-cain, who forged all implements of copper and iron.[/B]

Copper, in its natural form, is too soft and pliable for practical purposes; but it's a classification of metals called work-hardening. In other words, by pounding or rolling cold copper, its mechanical properties can be greatly improved. It probably didn't take Mr[B].[/B] Tubal-cain long to figure that out.

Adding a little tin to copper produces bronze, which is much stronger and tougher than pure copper.

Copper's advantage in cooking is its natural heat conduction, which is very fast as compared to iron and/or steel. It's also an excellent conductor of electricity, but unless they were bottling lightening in those days, copper's electrical properties would have to wait for future exploitation.

Iron, though stronger and harder than copper, is relatively soft and pliable in its natural condition too; but with the addition of small amounts of carbon, it becomes steel, which is quite a bit tougher than natural iron. Whether Tubal-cain figured that out is difficult to know for sure.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 4:22b . . And the sister of Tubal-cain was Naamah.[/B]

Naamah is from [I]Na'amah[/I] (nah-am-aw') which means pleasant, amiable, or agreeable. A girl named Joy would probably fit that category.

Naamah was maybe Enochville's public affairs officer over at the local chamber of commerce. A prosperous community like Enochville could always use a friendly hostess, one who was good with the public. Naamah was the lady to see for information about the metal tools and implements on sale over at Tubal-cain's blacksmith shop, and about the musical instruments available over at Jubal's place. Jubal was the man to see for a tent; and with the hunters out there stalking game; there was always a supply of hides and leather goods at hand; and if there was trading with the Adams over in Eden, then there was no doubt imported produce available too.

So all in all, Enochville, though unproductive in agriculture, prospered through manufacturing and commerce instead; trading the goods and services of their industrial base for much needed produce; the same way that most urbanites still do even today. People in towns and cities typically don't support themselves directly from nature. They earn a medium of exchange in some sort of skill or profession, then trade it with merchants to buy the things they need to survive.

The technological, and cultural, level of early Man was very high. It's interesting that the identifying marks which evolutionary anthropologists use to denote the emergence of a stone age culture into a civilized society were evident in Cain's day-- animal husbandry, agriculture, trades, urbanization, music, and metallurgy. All these civilizational technologies emerged very early[B]:[/B] within just a few generations of Adam; rather than thousands upon thousands of years of human development. I'm not saying there were never any "stone-age" peoples. Obviously there were. But though Cain's community may have started out as cave men, by Noah's day they were past primitive conditions and actually pretty advanced.

It's too bad the Flood wiped early Man off the map. Who can tell what he might have accomplished had his progress not been interrupted (cf. Gen 11:6).

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