Genesis 4:11 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 4:11, NIV: "Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand."

Genesis 4:11, ESV: "And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand."

Genesis 4:11, KJV: "And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand;"

Genesis 4:11, NASB: "Now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand."

Genesis 4:11, NLT: "Now you are cursed and banished from the ground, which has swallowed your brother's blood."

Genesis 4:11, CSB: "So now you are cursed, alienated from the ground that opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood you have shed."

What does Genesis 4:11 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

When Adam sinned, God pronounced a curse on the land on which Adam would have to work (Genesis 3:17–19). Here, as well, God pronounces a curse on both Cain and on the ground in response to Cain's sin and rebellion.

The beginning of this curse is that Cain, himself, would be "cursed from the ground." Cain had murdered his brother in the field. The ground had received Abel's blood. In a form of poetic justice, the ground would no longer give back to Cain any crops. Cain's days of working the ground to make a living for himself were over. This punishment fits the crime on several levels. It was Cain's offering—presumably inferior—of crops which displeased God in the first place (Genesis 4:3–5). Cain's choice not to obey, but to dig deeper into sin, resulted in him losing everything.

Losing his livelihood was a threat to Cain's continued existence, but it isn't the end of his curse.