Genesis 4:26—Did worship of God begin here or earlier?

Problem: According to this verse, people did not begin “to call on the name of the Lord” until the days of Enosh, the third son of Adam and Eve. Yet their first son, Abel, brought an acceptable sacrifice to the Lord before this time (Gen. 4:3–4).

Solution: The meaning of “call upon the name of the Lord” (in Gen. 4:26) is not clear. And what is not clear cannot be taken to contradict what is clear, namely, that Abel worshiped God before Enosh did. It is possible that calling on the Lord implied a regular, more solemn, and/or public worship of the Lord, or prayer (cf. Rom. 10:13) that was not practiced earlier. At any rate, there is no contradiction here, since it does not say that Abel or anyone else “called on the Lord” before this time—whatever it may mean.

See All Problems

This excerpt is from When Critics Ask: A Popular Handbook on Bible Difficulties (Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1992). © 2014 Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Click here to purchase this book.