Lamech’s wife Adah bore him two children. His second wife also bore two children: a boy and a girl. Genesis 4:22 says, “Zillah also bore Tubal-Cain; he was the forger of all instruments of bronze and iron. The sister of Tubal-Cain was Naamah.” God has given us the ability to do and accomplish much in this world. Jubal’s music can be something praised or condemned by God. It depends on the intent of the wielder. This is true of all human technology. Paul Johnson explains this well. He writes, “These cultural skills (the production of food, the arts, and technology) should be and can be devoted to the highest interests of human life, and to the glory of God. However, civilization’s advances apart from God have untold potential for evil. Nuclear technology, for example, is a double-edged sword. Today thousands of lives are being saved by diagnostic procedures only possible through nuclear medicine. What a boon it has been and will become. The potential for good is staggering. However, in a flash an H-bomb could kill more people than nuclear medicine could save in a generation—and maim generations to follow. Oppenheimer’s quotation of the Bhagavad Gita at Alamogordo as he watched the initial explosion of the neutron bomb comes to mind: ‘the radiance of a thousand suns … I am become as death, the destroyer of the worlds.’ A microchip can be used to help you find your dog or to guide a smart bomb through your bedroom window.”[1]

Unfortunately, when we look closely at Tubal-Cain’s situation, we see the danger. Matthews writes, “Tubal-Cain’s metallurgy probably included weapons as well as agricultural tools. Bearing his ancestor’s name, ‘Cain,’ and his descent from murderous Lamech suggest that his craft could be used for ill. With the appendage of ‘Cain,’ the grim side of his craft comes to mind first. Cain’s family is a microcosm: its pattern of technical prowess and moral failure is that of humanity.”[2]

As far as Naamah is concerned, there are numerous ancient myths about her. According to the Jewish Encyclopedia, “The cabalists have as a third queen of the demons… ‘Na‘amah,’ the sister of Tubal Cain.”[3] Since her three brothers were all credited as the “father” of various crafts, she was not left out. One source says, “Naamah is affirmed by them to have invented the spinning of wool and making of cloth. In the Targum of pseudo-Jonathan, Naamah is commemorated as the “mistress of lamenters and singers;” and in the Samaritan Version, her name is given as Zalkipha. According to others she was distinguished merely by her beauty”[4], But the most interesting and most frequent story about her is that she became Noah’s wife. One web article refers to an ancient Jewish midrash that suggested this. It says, “According to the midrash known as Genesis Rabbah (c. 300–500 C.E.), a collection of ancient rabbinical interpretations of Genesis, she was Naamah, the daughter of Lamech and sister of Tubal-Cain (Genesis 4:22).”[5] Carasik gives us a much more thorough understanding of what Genesis Rabbah says. He writes, “Why was she called Naamah? Because everything she did was sweet and pleasant. (Which the name means). The point of this midrash is that she was well known in her time as a righteous woman who produced righteous children; this is why the text mentions her. If that is so, then Cain does have some slight remnant on earth. Certainly, if she was not the woman who bore Noah’s three sons there would be no obvious reason to mention her.”[6] Utley found a list of 103 suggestions for the identity of Noah’s wife, so it is not wise to take any of them too seriously. Pilch looks at current attempts to fill in unknown facts not mentioned in the Bible with human speculations. He calls it “pious imagination.” He adds, “The popularity of Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ and Ron Howard’s translation to film of Dan Brown’s novel The Da Vinci Code attest to the unfailing fertility of pious imagination to flesh out sketchy, high context information, whether in the Bible or in other sources.”[7]

[1] Hughes, R. Kent. 2004. Genesis: Beginning and Blessing. Preaching the Word. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

[2] Mathews, K. A. 1996. Genesis 1-11:26. Vol. 1A. The New American Commentary. Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[3] Singer, Isidore, ed. 1901–1906. In The Jewish Encyclopedia: A Descriptive Record of the History, Religion, Literature, and Customs of the Jewish People from the Earliest Times to the Present Day, 12 Volumes, 4:518. New York; London: Funk & Wagnalls.

[4] M’Clintock, John, and James Strong. 1894. “Na’ämah.” In Cyclopædia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature, 6:815. New York: Harper & Brothers, Publishers.


[6] Carasik, Michael, ed. 2018. Genesis: Introduction and Commentary. Translated by Michael Carasik. The Commentators’ Bible. Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication Society.

[7] Pilch, John J. 2012. A Cultural Handbook to the Bible. William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company: Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, U.K.