Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. II:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
City of God: Chapter 17
Chapter 17.—Of the Two Fathers and Leaders Who Sprang from One Progenitor.
Since, then, Adam was the father of both lines,—the father, that is to say, both of the line which belonged to the earthly, and of that which belonged to the heavenly city,—when Abel was slain, and by his death exhibited a marvellous mystery, there were henceforth two lines proceeding from two fathers, Cain and Seth, and in those sons of theirs, whom it behoved to register, the tokens of these two cities began to appear more distinctly. For Cain begat Enoch, in whose name he built a city, an earthly one, which was not from home in this world, but rested satisfied with its temporal peace and happiness. Cain, too, means “possession;” wherefore at his birth either his father or mother said,” I have gotten a man through God.” Then Enoch means “dedication;” for the earthly city is dedicated in this world in which it is built, for in this world it finds the end towards which it aims and aspires. Further, Seth signifies “resurrection,” and Enos his son signifies “man,” not as Adam, which also signifies man, but is used in Hebrew indifferently for man and woman, as it is written, “Male and female created He them, and blessed them, and called their name Adam,” 821 leaving no room to doubt that though the woman was distinctively called Eve, yet the name Adam, meaning man, was common to both. But Enos means man in so restricted a sense, that Hebrew linguists tell us it cannot be applied to woman: it is the equivalent of the “child of the resurrection,” when they neither marry nor are given in marriage. 822 For there shall be no generation in that place to which regeneration shall have brought us. Wherefore I think it not immaterial to observe that in those generations which are propagated from him who is called Seth, although daughters as well as sons are said to have been begotten, no woman is expressly registered by name; but in those which sprang from Cain at the very termination to which the line runs, the last person named as begotten is a woman. p. 299 For we read, “Methusael begat Lamech. And Lamech took unto him two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah. And Adah bare Jabal: he was the father of the shepherds that dwell in tents. And his brothers name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ. And Zillah, she also bare Tubal-cain, an instructor of every artificer in brass and iron: and the sister of Tubal-cain was Naamah.” 823 Here terminate all the generations of Cain, being eight in number, including Adam,—to wit, seven from Adam to Lamech, who married two wives, and whose children, among whom a woman also is named, form the eighth generation. Whereby it is elegantly signified that the earthly city shall to its termination have carnal generations proceeding from the intercourse of males and females. And therefore the wives themselves of the man who is the last named father of Cains line, are registered in their own names,—a practice nowhere followed before the deluge save in Eves case. Now as Cain, signifying possession, the founder of the earthly city, and his son Enoch, meaning dedication, in whose name it was founded, indicate that this city is earthly both in its beginning and in its end,—a city in which nothing more is hoped for than can be seen in this world,—so Seth, meaning resurrection, and being the father of generations registered apart from the others, we must consider what this sacred history says of his son.
Luke 20:35, 36.299:823
Next: Chapter 18
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