We didn’t want to leave the Garden. We pleaded with the Lord to be allowed to stay, but in the end He had to drive us out against our will, saying that in future we should have to sow, plant, and cultivate to provide ourselves with food. The transition was devastating, and it took time to acclimatise ourselves to a new existence.
Once we settled down we thought about the Lord’s words. He said that our son would overcome the Covering Cherub, and this meant starting a family. Our first two children were girls, but our third was a boy. I remember Eve calling to me, saying, “I have acquired a man-child from the Lord!” She was excited, and because he was “acquired” she named him Qayin, meaning the acquired one. But that was not all. He was the elder of twins, and she went on to give birth to a second son. Clearly he would be of far less importance than Qayin, who was to overcome the Cherub, so she named him Hevel, the one having a transitory nature, here today, gone tomorrow, in contrast to his special brother.
And so Eve nurtured our sons, whilst I gave myself to tending sheep, goats, and cows, as well as planting and harvesting. The boys grew up and often there was rivalry between them. They were always at cross purposes, and their sisters tried to calm them. My wife always took Qayin’s part, believing he had to grow up to know his God-appointed purpose. But as I look back now from the viewpoint of losing Hevel, and facing life without my firstborn son, now a murderer and fugitive, I can see that we made a great mistake. We had fostered pride in Qayin, and paid less attention to poor Hevel, who indeed turned out to be “here today, gone tomorrow.”
But what did the Lord mean, when He said, “The seed of the woman will overcome the Cherub”? Wasn’t Qayin the seed? And what about the promise? Was there no longer any hope that in the future God would rectify the problem that arose in the Garden?
A group of four Cherubim were stationed at the entrance to the Garden, preventing us from going back there. It was through them that we had to learn that God’s promise had not fallen through, and so we came together once again, and another son was born to us, and Eve called him Seth, meaning “substitute” for the loss of Qayin. But it was obvious that Seth was not the “seed” to overcome the Covering Cherub. And so the promise, although sure, was pushed off into the future, how far ahead we had no idea.