Genesis 4

Now that the first couple, gendered and mortal, live East of Eden, they know one another, and she conceives and bears.  First Kayin, then Hevel – and the first pair of siblings produces the first fratricide.   

The distinction between farmer and shepherd is introduced as a fundamental difference between cultural identities.  God Yahweh likes Hevel the shepherd’s choice fat, and Kayin’s envy is an opportunity for sin, murderous.   

The paternal Jahweh God asks Kayin about Hevel, who resists disclosure and denies agency.  The cursed ground now curses Kayin to no yield, forcing him to exile, nomadic refugee status, a former farmer alienated from homeland. 

Kayin haggles, fearing that others will murder him.  (The myths don’t try to reconcile where the other humans come from, just tell of these ancestors.)  God prohibits murder even of the vulnerable wanderer, with vengeance due murder. 

So the first couple lived East of Eden, labouring for birth and yield, and one son was buried and the other exiled.  The surviving son cannot even labour for yield from the ground, exiled to the desert lands of Nod. 

Kayin’s wife conceives and bears, and Kayin builds a city for the first son Enoch, and calls the city Enoch.  We now have urban culture to add to shepherds and farmers. Four generations follow, to Lamech, where the narrative resumes. 

From Adah and Zillah come 3 sons and a daughter, ancestors of more specific subcultures: nomadic keepers of livestock, making of music, and metalworking.  This is an introduction to toledot generations of more than individual bloodlines. 

Lamech, 4th generation from Kayin, urbanite, patriarch of these newer subcultures, escalates the prohibition of murder with quid pro quo vengeance to a multiplied threat of vendetta, exponential tribal reprisals for lesser offences.   

Meanwhile, back at the farm, but outside the gates of the garden, Seth is born.  His son, Enosh, ‘mortal’, offers another toledot to the morally ambiguous urbanites issuing from Kayin.  Crucially, this people begins to worship Jahweh. 

These are the bridges from the first humans to Noah.  These are the antideluvians, from before the flood.  One more day, then we enter that story cycle, but don’t rush yet!