Genesis 4:16 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 4:16, NIV: "So Cain went out from the LORD's presence and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden."

Genesis 4:16, ESV: "Then Cain went away from the presence of the LORD and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden."

Genesis 4:16, KJV: "And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden."

Genesis 4:16, NASB: "Then Cain left the presence of the LORD, and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden."

Genesis 4:16, NLT: "So Cain left the LORD's presence and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden."

Genesis 4:16, CSB: "Then Cain went out from the LORD's presence and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden."

What does Genesis 4:16 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

In prior verses, Cain has murdered his brother and received God's punishment. This included a loss of his ability to farm, and exile from his family. After receiving God's promise to take vengeance on anyone who would kill him, Cain leaves. Specifically, he leaves God's presence. This phrasing is interesting, since it implies something more than just a physical action. Apparently, before the murder of Abel, Cain, and perhaps all humans enjoyed some special relationship with God. Now Cain has lost that. The rest of the Bible will demonstrate that sin often separates us from God, as well as from other people.

Cain wanders, according to the curse given by God. However, in what seems to be a direct defiance of God's punishment, he then settles down. Cain establishes a city (Genesis 4:17) to the east of the Garden of Eden in a land called Nod. In Hebrew, the word Nod means "wandering." This society is productive (Genesis 4:17–22), but seems prone to evil and depravity (Genesis 4:19, 23–24).