Civilization

Genesis 4:16‑24  •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 13
Civilization is the artificial and polished life which arises from the elaborate development of skill, in which the faculties of men have been exercised, and in which men are associated, by common recognized rules, and where the mental faculties are in play, and can act reflectively on themselves, in contrast with men individually, or collectively acting from natural impulses and passions, and, at least in a greater degree, by means which nature affords. For the faculties exist in the savage, and the impulses and passions remain in the civilized, and, if let loose, unrestrained by common recognized rules, can use the means acquired by civilization to satisfy them, as in revolution, war, etc.
Consequently in civilized society men are more dependent on each other, and more closely united; in savage life more personally free, and individualized, though man is naturally social, if not gregarious, for social is different from gregarious—supposing mind and speech.
As known in the world, civilization supposes the fall, but so indeed does barbarism, though in a different way; in fact civilization began, on man's being driven out from God, in Cain's family; Gen. 4:16-2416And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden. 17And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch: and he builded a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son, Enoch. 18And unto Enoch was born Irad: and Irad begat Mehujael: and Mehujael begat Methusael: and Methusael begat Lamech. 19And Lamech took unto him two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah. 20And Adah bare Jabal: he was the father of such as dwell in tents, and of such as have cattle. 21And his brother's name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ. 22And Zillah, she also bare Tubal-cain, an instructor of every artificer in brass and iron: and the sister of Tubal-cain was Naamah. 23And Lamech said unto his wives, Adah and Zillah, Hear my voice; ye wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech: for I have slain a man to my wounding, and a young man to my hurt. 24If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy and sevenfold. (Genesis 4:16‑24). Adam in Paradise had no basis of civilization, the simplicity of his life in innocence gave no occasion for it; what the effect of Gen. 1:2828And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. (Genesis 1:28) might have been, supposing Adam had remained unfallen, can be only supposition. Barbarism was the natural effect of Adam's state when he had lost God, and civilization is the effort to make, by the development of human faculties and the resources the earth furnished, the world pleasant without Him. What could a naked creature, thrown upon his own resources outside Paradise, be but a barbarian?—though the hunting state was a lower state when alone, and the means of life, but connected with natural energy as in Nimrod—though God had sent him out to till the ground, and clothed him with skins, not utter barbarism, but little more, only peaceful.
If we begin again with Noah, we get something more—barbarism was that into which men sank.
The earliest record language gives is a keeper of cattle; “daughter” means "one who milks the cows."