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What's the meaning of the phrase 'The land of Nod'?
  1. “Ask a Priest: Where Did Those People in Genesis 4 Come From?” - RC Spirituality
  2. What's the meaning of the phrase 'The land of Nod'?
  3. land of Nod
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It is mentioned right at the beginning of the Bible and is located 'East of Eden' and it is where Cain dwelt after being cast out by God after Cain's murder of his brother Abel. The name Nod was chosen with a purpose.

“Ask a Priest: Where Did Those People in Genesis 4 Come From?” - RC Spirituality

The implication is that Cain, being in disgrace, was sent to wander aimlessly. And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.

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Nodding, as in the brief inclination of the head, has been in use as a verb in English since at least the 14th century; Geoffery Chaucer recorded it in The Manciple's Tale , circa Dun is in the mire! Is there no man, then, who, for prayer or hire, Will wake our comrade who's so far behind? A thief might easily rob him and bind. When a person reads about Nod in Genesis 4, he often pictures a land where a large group of people already were dwelling by the time Cain arrived.

Furthermore, many believe that it was in this land that Cain found his wife. Based upon these assumptions, some even claim that God must have specially created other humans besides Adam and Eve, otherwise there would not have been a land of Nod, nor would Cain have been able to find a wife there.

Land of NOD

Are these assumptions and conclusions correct? What can be said about these matters?

What's the meaning of the phrase 'The land of Nod'?

People often use prolepsis for the sake of convenience, so that the reader or audience can better understand what is being communicated. We may see a special on television about when President George W. Bush was a boy, but the fact is, George W. Bush was not President of the United States when he was a child. From time to time, even the Bible uses this kind of language.

John merely spoke about it as having already happened because when he wrote his gospel account this event was generally known. However, when Moses wrote of this name hundreds of years later, he was free to use it even when writing about a time before the name actually was given. When Moses used the name Nod in Genesis 4, the reader must understand the land probably was not given that name until sometime after Cain moved there. Thus, the land of Nod almost certainly was not an area filled with people whom Cain would eventually befriend.

It would become that in time; nevertheless, it probably was not such a place upon his arrival. But, someone might ask, did Cain not find his wife in the land of Nod? Scripture does not teach the above premises, nor does it ever hint that God specially created others than Adam and Eve. In fact, the Bible teaches the very opposite when it explicitly states that Adam was the first man 1 Corinthians and that Eve would be the mother of all living Genesis , emp.

It seems clear that there could have been no other people on the Earth contemporaneous with them except, of course, their own children. Even though some allege that God specially created other people in addition to Adam and Eve during the creation week, such cannot be defended logically in light of what Scripture teaches.

Now Cain dwelt in the land of trembling, in keeping with what God had appointed for him after he killed Abel his brother. Pseudo-Philo, L. Clement of Alexandria, Strom. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Land of Nod disambiguation. Genesis 4. New York: Wings Books. In the Hebrew version we read that Cain lived in the land of Nod.

This led some interpreters to understand the Land of Nod as the 'land of shaking. Scholars seem in agreement that this is a play on the Biblical place-name grounded in the use of the verb 'nod' in the sense 'sleep' first in the early seventeenth century, according to the OED. But we have now seen that 'Land of Nod' as 'Land of the sleepers' goes back centuries and more, and to Graeco-Hebrew etymologies.

land of Nod

What are we to think? Or has our Onomastic etymology influenced the English usage? I leave the question to students of the history of the English language. First, it demonstrates that Cain has not learned the lessons of his previous crime and his greed has developed to the point that he now marks off property that he has obtained so that it might not be stolen back from him.

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Second, the founding of a fortified city not only adds to the protection of his property it also concentrates his power by causing his family to live in one place. In the end, Josephus's Cain is still a greedy grasper who, rather than repenting from his original crimes, has actually managed to perfect them. Thus, the building of a city becomes a lasting monument to Cain's ongoing evil activity.

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Whoever indeed forsakes God, who abandons understanding, whose thinking is continually 'in the land of Nod' dwells there today also, that is, that person remains in wicked unsettlement of heart and in commotion of mind.