Genesis 4:23

And Lamech said unto his wives, Adah and Zillah, Hear my voice; you wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech: for I have slain a man for wounding me, and a young man for hurting me.
All Commentaries on Genesis 4:23 Go To Genesis 4

John Chrysostom

AD 407
“Lamech said,” the text in fact goes on, “to his wives Ada and Sella, Listen to my voice, wives of Lamech, hearken to my words: I killed a man for wounding me, and a young man for striking me. On Cain fell sevenfold vengeance, but on Lamech seventy times sevenfold.” Apply your attention to the utmost. I beseech you, put aside all worldly thoughts and let us study these words with precision so that nothing may escape us, but rather we should proceed to their deepest meaning and be able to light upon the treasure concealed in these brief phrases. “Lamech said to his wives Ada and Sella,” the text says, “Listen to my voice, wives of Lamech, hearken to my words.” Consider at once, I ask you, from the outset how much benefit this man gained from the punishment inflicted on Cain. Not only does he not await accusation from someone else to the effect that he has been guilty of this sin or some worse one, but without anyone’s accusing him or censuring him he confesses his own guilt, admits his crimes and outlines to his wives the magnitude of his sin, as to fulfill the proverb of the inspired writer, “He who accuses himself at the beginning of the speech is in the right.” You see, confession is of the greatest efficacy for correction of faults. Thus the denial of guilt after the committing of sin proves worse than the sins themselves. This was the condition of that man who killed his brother and who when questioned by the loving God did not merely decline to confess his crime but even dared to lie to God and thus caused his life to be lengthened. Accordingly Lamech, when he fell into the same sins, arrived at the conclusion that denial would only lead to his receiving a severer punishment, and so he summoned his wives, without anyone’s accusing or charging him, and made a personal confession of his sins to them in his own words. By comparing what he had done to the crimes committed by Cain, he limited the punishment coming to him.
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Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation - 2 Peter 1:20

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