I am taking an interest in Genesis chapter 4 verses 16-24, through to Chapter 5. Today, Tubal-cain.
Last time I gave the illustration of the famous swimmer Dawn Fraser who won Olympic Gold in the same 100 metres event at three successive Olympics, more than that one aspect of her life. So too in the Genesis chapter 4 we read of people and where one aspect of their life's contribution is highlighted.
Tubal-cain's father was Lamech whose father was Methusael, who was the fourth generation from Cain. In other words from Cain we read that he had a son named Enoch. Enoch's son was named Irad. Irad's son was named Mehujael and his son was Methusadel who was Lamech's father and then came Jabal the first son, followed by Jubal the second son and then Tubal-cain.
In Chapter 4 verse 19 we read that Lamech took two wives, one's name was Adah (who bore Jabal and Jubal) and the other Zillah (who bore Tubal-cain). This was the first instance of polygamy in the Bible, (taking more than one wife) which was a wickedness that finally led to the whole scale wickedness of man in which the Flood was bought to destroy.
What is said about Tubal-cain?
"An instructor of every artificer in brass and iron." Genesis 4 verse 22.
There are a whole range of ideas as to what extent this might refer.
I rather like the idea put forward by a number of writers that Tubal-cain was
a) the father of teaching
b) the father of brass instrumentation
c) pioneer of iron and brass technology
d) pioneer of the engineering workshop
e) the forerunner of heavy industry
One wag said his parents were the pioneers of the high-hyphenated name! What it certainly implies is that Tubal-cain was an historical figure who was wonderfully blessed with creative gifts and talents in relation to brass and iron which over time grew into a wide variety of artefacts and industry in which we are still beneficiaries.
Moreover Tubal-cain used he gifts wisely and to full advantage, for himself, his immediate community and the wider society. Brass and iron remains a vital part of society.
It also illustrates that God takes each person according to their own integrity, in this case (Lamech taking more than one wife Genesis 2 verse 24). This provides great hope for all those born into situations in which they had no say. God truly honours each individual.
The Genesis story therefore in this capsule of time, has a specific purpose to instruct and benefit us all today. Next we'll be looking at Naamah.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children. Dr Tronson writes a daily article for Christian Today Australia (since 2008) and in November 2016 established Christian Today New Zealand.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html