"Surely You have driven me out this day from the face of the ground; I shall be hidden from Your face; I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond on the earth, and it will happen that anyone who finds me will kill me. (16) Then Cain went out from the presence of the LORD and dwelt in the land of Nod on the east of Eden (17). And he built a city, and called the name of the city after the name of his son -- Enoch.

The land of Nod is a land of wandering according to the Hebrew meaning of the word Nod.


Original: נד נודּ

Transliteration: nôd nôd

Phonetic: node

BDB Definition:

1) wandering (of aimless fugitive)

According to Heb 11:9, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were normadic tent dwellers. This is because they were waiting for a city.

Hebrews:11.9 By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God


How is his prophetic punishment fulfilled if he is allowed to dwell in a city. How does Cain remain a Vagabond and a wanderer if he was the first to dwell in a city. He dwelt in a city before Adam or Seth.

  • Why do you assume that his wandering will last forever ?
    – Lucian
    Commented Nov 22, 2017 at 15:49
  • Because he disobeyed and did his own thing, just as he did when the LORD counseled him before he killed Abel. Commented Nov 22, 2017 at 17:47
  • Jerome just translates בְּאֶרֶץ נֹוד in Gn 4:16 with "And Cain went out from the face of the Lord, and dwelt as a fugitive on the earth, at the east side of Eden." As to your question, it answers itself: it doesn't say "Cain [will] remain" anything. We don't know how long he wandered until he built a city. We just don't. Commented Feb 9, 2018 at 23:59

2 Answers 2


He certainly gave Cain an opportunity to live on the earth and to have a family according to the command:

"be ye fruitful and multiply"

but Cain never did bear spiritual fruit. He had killed Abel, cutting off the seed of promise that would deliver them. God had heard the cry of Abel's posterity from the blood on the ground, that's why the lineage of the woman's Seed would not come through Cain.

So God gave Adam and Eve another Son named Seth through whom the seed of the woman would come. All that was of Adam was sinful by nature but not all committed a rebellious sin.

Therefore the seed was preserved through Noah's Son Shem. Though there were eight souls saved in the ark, all of Cain's lineage were destroyed in the flood including Cain.

All that dwelled and dwells on the earth today are descendants of Seth. Through this lineage came also the Seed of the woman, our LORD and Savior Jesus Christ.

  • Thanks Carl. But your answer was badly in need of editing. With one down vote, your access to this site would be diminished. So put more effort into your answers next time.
    – user20490
    Commented Jun 2, 2018 at 17:39
  • Welcome to the forum, Karl. This forum is different from most others in that it requires scriptural, linguistic, scholarly, or logical evidence to support each assertion. You've made several assertions in your post, which might make for a nice teaching, but without strong support it's not going to do well. Please look at some highly rated answers as examples. Again, welcome and best wishes,
    – Dieter
    Commented Jun 5, 2018 at 2:23

It seems that each time God speaks to him he goes off and does the opposite. Control your sinful Adamic nature Cain! Says God. Cain lets sin have dominion over him. He is his own worst enemy. God suggests he would become a wanderer and a fugitive. Well he does run away from his parents. Did he marry his sister as new earth creationists would claim? Then he would have had to wander back and find her, or she leave home to find her brother. Cain was not of a spiritual nature, but a very sharp cookie. His name probably means lance. He turns his hand to the building of a city. Possibly he felt that dwelling in tents would be insecure for a vulnerable fugitive and as usual, forgetting what God had said, that he had marked him to be left alone.

Cursed and no longer having the talent to grow crops, he turns his obviously considerable other inate skills to good use and builds a city.

The story of Cain raises more questions than it gives answers to. It certainly leans towards old earth creation.

Only the Lord knows the answers.

  • 1
    Thanks for taking the time to answer Tony. But your conclusion was self-defeating. If only the LORD knows the answer then there is no need for me to have asked the question.
    – user20490
    Commented Nov 24, 2017 at 14:32

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