God has granted me another child in place of Abel, since Cain killed him.
As a consequence of falling for the serpent’s (satan’s) lies not only were Adam and Eve driven out of the Garden of Eden but any thought of a return was dashed as the way in was guarded buy a cherubim with a flaming sword to guard the way to the tree of life. Here was a sign of God’s mercy for had they eaten from the tree of life the implication is that they would have lived for ever and that life would have been in separation from God. (More of that on another day!)
The first thing recorded for us of events outside Eden is the birth of Cain, indicating that the mandate given to Adam and Eve to ‘be fruitful and increase in number’ was still on course and emphasised again by the birth of a brother Abel. But then another awful consequence of disobedience shows itself as the first murder is committed. Cain the murderer is banished to ‘be a restless wanderer on the earth’ (4.12) but even then human reproduction continues from the line of the banished Cain.
The mixture of offspring is both positive and negative as animal husbandry v.20 music v.21 and the manufacture of tools v.22 but alongside this polygamy v.19 and boasting in violence.v.23
The future doesn’t look bright. But then comes one of those glorious statements that are so easy to overlook.
‘Adam lay with his wife gain and she gave birth to a son and named him Seth, saying “God has granted me another child in place of Abel…”’
‘God has granted….’ One of the earliest threats to the line from which the serpent bruiser would come is thus neutralised and the line of Seth gives hope!
There is further hope in the closing words of the chapter
‘At that time men began to call on the name of the LORD’
Hope is kept alive!