by Angelo Papi  
Last update: July 13, 2021; "Nations under Persia?"  

I borrow a keyword (Knowledge-line) from M. Minsky to suggest a path to explore this hypertext according to my research line.

My proposal about Cain's name is that it may be explained through Hittite kaina-, "in-law", namely "adopted son".

This would allow understanding what is meant with the expression "sons of God" (Gn 6:2), because only adoption is compatible with Biblical monotheism and the absence of a mother goddess in Genesis.

"Let his days be a hundred and twenty years" (Gn 6:4). This command seems to be the key to understand the actual cultural scaffolding needed to interpret the Fall narrative. The limit of 120 years is so precise to impose an Egyptian blueprint to connect elements apparently "out of order" from the exegetical perspective.

The 120 years as fixed lifespan limit correspond to the number of days decanal stars were supposed to "work" (Krauss 2018 [1]: 138). This ancient astronomical conception refers to decans, that is "members of the set of stars which rise and set (as distinct from the northern circumpolar stars which remain above the horizon and do not set)" (Symons 2014 [2]: 92).

This astronomical framework may provide the key to interpret what Adam says to explain the second name he gives to his woman, namely "Eve": "she was the mother of all living" (Gn 3:20). As the decanal stars are called "the living" because they rise and set, that is they "live" for 120 days and then "die", they have been a longstanding model for human life too, because these stars were thought to influence "conditions for the living on earth" (Symons 2014 [2]: 112).

This astronomical paradigm seems to work as negative presupposition in Genesis, because it represents what the two "workers" - such Adam and Eve were meant to be in the garden - should not fancy to become. "The decans are workers, they note the passing of hours, and they are traveling [...] on the same path as the sun." (Symons 2014 [2]: 110). An aspect of what the serpent calls "knowledge of good and evil" may be the "opening of the eyes" according to the Egyptian sacred rites, which involved iron instruments. A widespread conviction in ANE religions is that stars are made of iron. An idea that invites to take into consideration the other overlooked aspect of the mysterious wisdom promised by the serpent: the military prowess. Besides, it is noteworthy that the decanal stars, which were at first named "sons of Horus", will be later called "serpents of the horizon" and it cannot be a case that in Genesis it is a serpent to promise a widening of knowledge, allowing the first men to "be like ’Elohim" (Gn 3:5).


  • Iron is a symbol of immortality in ANE, and as such unique humans as kings deserve to become iron as soon as they die.
  • Stars are made of iron and meteorites in Egypt are considered as the "iron bones of Seth".
  • Eve is created out of an Adam's bone, and her descent is connected to Cilicia, an ancient producer of iron tips.
  • Eve is forged out a rib, sikkat in Babylon, where iron tips (sikkat) were imported in the 6th century B.C.
  1. Achilles, before the conquest of Troy,
    • sacks the cities of the Cilicians, who lived near Mt. Ida, close to the Homeric Lycians.
      These are neither Classical Lycians nor LBA Lukka.
  2. A closer look to the name of Lamech, which may be read as *Luq "Lykos?", brings him closer to the Homeric Lycians.

In fact, he married

  1. Adah, who bore to him two children, whose occupations are typically Cilician:
      • Jabal as *Jawala- "herdsman" (?);
      • Jubal as *Juwala- "lamenter" (?).
  1. Zillah, who bore to him two children:
    1. Tubal-Cain
      "the instructor of every worker in bronze and iron" (Gn 4:22).
      If marrying Adah Lamech got closer to Cilicia,
      then his second marriage with Zillah took him even further in a geographical sense,
      because Tubal (Thobel, LXX) should be the same as Tabal, a region east of Cilicia.
      As Zillah is likely to be the Hittite goddess Anzili, who corresponds to Ishtar,
      then Tubal is in the right place, because we know from the Nabonidus stele in Harran that
      Ishtar, is the "lady of battle, without whom hostility and peace exist not in the land, and a weapon is not forged" (Gadd 1958 [3]: 59; Pettinato 1988 [4]: 232).
    2. Naamah.

  1. Krauss, R., Egyptian Calendars and Astronomy, in The Cambridge History of Science: Volume 1: Ancient Science, A. Jones and L. Taub, Editors. 2018, Cambridge University Press: Cambridge. p. 131-143.
  2. Symons, S., Contexts and elements of decanal star lists in Ancient Egypt, in Traditions of Written Knowledge in Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. Proceedings of Two Workshops Held at Goethe-University, Frankfurt/Main in December 2011 and May 2012, D. Bawanypeck and A. Imhausen, Editors. 2014, Ugarit-Verlag: Münster. p. 91-122.
  3. Gadd, C.J., The Harran Inscriptions of Nabonidus. Anatolian Studies, 1958: p. 35-92.
  4. Pettinato, G., Babilonia. Centro dell'universo. 1988, Milano: Rusconi.