And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand;
When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.
And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment is greater than I can bear.
Cain receives punishment from God, or does he? I’ve thought about this bible passage over the years and one thing seemed perplexing to me. If Cain was cursed and made to be a vagabond how is it 3 verses later, he builds a city and names it after his son Enoch?
In Webster’s dictionary, a vagabond is defined as to stroll about to wander from place to place, such a person who is lazy, without a place to settle, a wanderer.
But vagabond in Hebrew has a different meaning, it comes from the Hebrew word, nood, it does mean to wander and to flee, but it also means to bemoan, to express grief over to lament, to mourn.
Cain expresses no concern over the earth cursing him by making him till the ground harder his concern is being a vagabond and that other men will kill him. He’s facing, a life of torment for what he did to his brother.
God was letting Cain know what the consequences of his actions were, guilt for life. Cain worried that other men would kill him, so God sealed his forehead with a mark of protection.
When we sin, the enemy does his absolute best to make sure we never forget it. But we have an advocate Jesus Christ, who was crowned with a crown of thorns and beaten over his head with a reed. The reed was a symbol of grace, symbolically taking the guilt of our sin.
Cain’s mark was temporary, like credit card debt, and Jesus was the payment in full.
Philippians 3:1 reminds us that we can be forgiven and place our past behind, Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead…
He is: Elohay-Selichot
The God Who is Ready to Forgive