Who was the first fugitive and vagabond in the earth?
Cain the son of Adam was the first fugitive and vagabond in the earth. This was part of the sentence that God passed on him for the murder of his brother Abel. Prior to the fall of Adam and Eve, humans did not know how to kill another person:
(Gen 4:8 [KJV])
And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.
(Gen 4:9 [KJV])
And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper?
(Gen 4:10 [KJV])
And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground.
(Gen 4:11 [KJV])
And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand;
(Gen 4:12 [KJV])
When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.
(Gen 4:13 [KJV])
And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment is greater than I can bear.
(Gen 4:14 [KJV])
Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me.
(Gen 4:15 [KJV])
And the LORD said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the LORD set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him.
(Gen 4:16 [KJV])
And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.
God passed a very stiff sentence on Cain. It was so extreme that Cain found it unbearable. From the beginning, God set the pattern for the sentencing of people who kill with intent. This sin pattern for murdering another person soon manifested itself in Cain’s descendant Lamech.
“One of the first things that criminals and murderers do is to flee from the crime scene.”
Who is a fugitive?
I used blueletterbible.org and went to Genesis 4: 12. I discovered that nuwa` (H 5128) is the Hebrew word for fugitive. I then read the scriptures containing nuwa`and elicited its meaning based on usage. This allowed me to discover the characteristics of a fugitive. Applying the word usage to Cain, I discovered that as a fugitive, he:
- began to wander in the earth (Numbers 32: 13; Psalm 59: 15; Jeremiah 14: 10; Lamentations 2: 14; Amos 4: 8 & 12)
- Became a restless man (2 Samuel 15: 20)
- Lived in exile from the community of his immediate family (Job 28: 4)
- He became a reproach to his relatives and they shook their heads in astonishment at his actions in killing him (Psalm 109: 25; Lamentations 2: 15; Zephaniah 2: 15)
God exiled Cain as the maximum sentence that He could have given for the murder of his brother. God later established capital punishment as a means of restraint against the increase of heinous and violent criminal activity that polluted the earth with blood before the flood. Scriptures therefore reveal God as a hater of murder and as The Righteous Judge.
Who is a vagabond?
According to the usage of nuwd, the Hebrew word for vagabond, I learnt about the characterists of the vagabond Cain:
- Cain fled from the family home (Psalm 11: 1; Jeremiah 49: 20)
- He received no pity from others (Psalm 69: 20; Isaiah 51: 19)
- His relatives grieved because of his sin and because of his punishment (Job 42: 11)
- He wandered (Proverbs 26: 2)
- He mourned because he had peace and because God had punished him. Cain mourned because he would lose his relationship with God (Genesis 4: 14; Jeremiah 16: 5)
- Cain never saw his native country again (Jeremiah 22: 10)
- He had noone to comfort him (Nahum 3: 7)
- People wagged their heads at his shameful actions (Jeremiah 18: 16)
The scriptures reveal that God passed double punishment on Cain for the murder of his brother Abel. He is also revealed as The All Seeing, Righteous Judge.