Genesis 4:19 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 4:19, NIV: "Lamech married two women, one named Adah and the other Zillah."

Genesis 4:19, ESV: "And Lamech took two wives. The name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah."

Genesis 4:19, KJV: "And Lamech took unto him two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah."

Genesis 4:19, NASB: "Lamech took two wives for himself: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other, Zillah."

Genesis 4:19, NLT: "Lamech married two women. The first was named Adah, and the second was Zillah."

Genesis 4:19, CSB: "Lamech took two wives for himself, one named Adah and the other named Zillah."

What does Genesis 4:19 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

After tracing the generations from Cain to Lamech, the story slows down to give us a close look at Lamech and his family. The Bible gives no explicit reason for this, but it seems to be focused on the spiritual flaws in Lamech and his family.

For starters, Lamech took two wives, Adah and Zillah. Marrying multiple women was common throughout history, including the history of God's people Israel, but this is the first mention of it in Scripture. Many scholars see Lamech's choice to marry two women as a rebellion against God's design for marriage as described in Genesis 2:24.

In later verses, Lamech will brag about killing another man. This was not self-defense—the Hebrew word Lamech uses is the same used to describe Cain's killing of Abel. Not only will Lamech boast about his crime, he will claim even greater immunity than Cain. This blatantly evil, anti-God attitude sets the stage for the upcoming story of Noah, and God's judgment on a depraved society.