SEV Biblia, Chapter 4:23 Â¶ Y dijo Lamec a sus mujeres: Ada y Zila, oíd mi voz; mujeres de Lamec, escuchad mi dicho: Que varón mataré por mi herida, y un joven por mi golpe;
Clarke's Bible Commentary - Genesis 4:23 Verse 23. And Lamech said unto his wives] The speech of Lamech to his wives is in hemistichs in the original, and consequently, as nothing of this kind occurs before this time, it is very probably the oldest piece of poetry in the world.
The following is, as nearly as possible, a literal translation:
""And Lamech said unto his wives, Adah and Tsillah, hear ye my voice; Wives of Lamech, hearken to my speech; For I have slain a man for wounding me, And a young man for having bruised me. If Cain shall be avenged seven-fold, Also Lamech seventy and seven.""
It is supposed that Lamech had slain a man in his own defense, and that his wives being alarmed lest the kindred of the deceased should seek his life in return, to quiet their fears he makes this speech, in which he endeavours to prove that there was no room for fear on this account; for if the slayer of the wilful murderer, Cain, should suffer a seven- fold punishment, surely he, who should kill Lamech for having slain a man in self-defense, might expect a seventy-seven- fold punishment.
This speech is very dark, and has given rise to a great variety of very strange conjectures. Dr. Shuckford supposes there is an ellipsis of some preceding speech or circumstance which, if known, would cast a light on the subject. In the antediluvian times, the nearest of kin to a murdered person had a right to revenge his death by taking away the life of the murderer. This, as we have already seen, appears to have contributed not a little to Cain's horror, ver. 14. Now we may suppose that the descendants of Cain were in continual alarms, lest some of the other family should attempt to avenge the death of Hebel on them, as they were not permitted to do it on Cain; and that in order to dismiss those fears, Lamech, the seventh descendant from Adam, spoke to this effect to his wives: ""Why should you render yourselves miserable by such ill-founded fears? We have slain no person; we have not done the least wrong to our brethren of the other family; surely then reason should dictate to you that they have no right to injure us. It is true that Cain, one of our ancestors, killed his brother Hebel; but God, willing to pardon his sin, and give him space to repent, threatened to punish those with a seven-fold punishment who should dare to kill him. If this be so, then those who should have the boldness to kill any of us who are innocent, may expect a punishment still more rigorous. For if Cain should be avenged seven-fold on the person who should slay him, surely Lamech or any of his innocent family should be avenged seventy- seven-fold on those who should injure them."" The Targums give nearly the same meaning, and it makes a good sense; but who can say it is the true sense? If the words be read interrogatively, as they certainly may, the sense will be much clearer, and some of the difficulties will be removed:
""Have I slain a man, that I should be wounded? Or a young man, that I should be bruised?""
But even this still supposes some previous reason or conversation. I shall not trouble my readers with a ridiculous Jewish fable, followed by St. Jerome, of Lamech having killed Cain by accident, &c.; and after what I have already said, I must leave the passage, I fear, among those which are inscrutable.
Matthew Henry Commentary Verses 19-24 - One of Cain's wicked race is the first recorded, as having broken the law of marriage. Hitherto, one man had but one wife at a time; but Lamech took two. Wordly things, are the only things that carnal, wicke people set their hearts upon, and are most clever and industriou about. So it was with this race of Cain. Here was a father of shepherds, and a father of musicians, but not a father of the faithful Here is one to teach about brass and iron, but none to teach the goo knowledge of the Lord: here are devices how to be rich, and how to be mighty, and how to be merry; but nothing of God, of his fear an service. Present things fill the heads of most. Lamech had enemies whom he had provoked. He draws a comparison betwixt himself and his ancestor Cain; and flatters himself that he is much less criminal. He seems to abuse the patience of God in sparing Cain, into a encouragement to expect that he may sin unpunished.
Original Hebrew ויאמר 559 למך 3929 לנשׁיו 802 עדה 5711 וצלה 6741 שׁמען 8085 קולי 6963 נשׁי 802 למך 3929 האזנה 238 אמרתי 565 כי 3588 אישׁ 582 הרגתי 2026 לפצעי 6482 וילד 3206 לחברתי׃ 2250