The attempt to reconstruct the cultural landscape of the first chapters of Genesis, taking into account an Anatolian milieu, has to consider a fundamental and yet unexplored element of the narrative, the end of the journey the Cainites had to undertake, after the expulsion from Eden. The hypothesis that Nod - the place they reached according to the Hebrew text - may be reconnected to history through the Hittite toponym Nata, needs further confirmations. The names assigned to Cain's descendants should be investigated, to check if they can justify a reliable connection to ancient Anatolia.

  1. "Adam" makes perfect sense in the Hebrew language, but it may in the Anatolian ones too, therefore we'd better apply to it the old hermeneutic circle principle (Schleiermacher). The question will be tackled in the specific entry.
  2. Cain moves to the land of Nod (LXX Naid). The Greek version of the Septuagint may be a late rendition of the Hittite Nata. The upati of Nata, the demesne of Nata belongs to the wider area called "Hulaya river land" in the Hittite sources. Though it is not possible to precisely locate either the land or the river, scholars agree about classical Lycaonia as geographical context. As for the name "Cain", what has been said above about "Adam" applies too and it will be discussed in its entry.
  3. Enoch builds a city, Irad, named after his son. This interpretation of the text (Gn 4:17-18) - favoured by Cassuto and other scholars, such as Sasson, Miller and Hess - may provide further impulse to this research and it will be studied in other related entries. The name Enoch can be explained within Semitic languages, but it will make more coherent sense when embedded in the wider Anatolian cultural context I will gradually introduce.
  4. Irad, according to the previous interpretation, should respond to a double bind: being at the same time a city and a personal name. Considered that the oscillation between the initial /i/ in the Hittite language and the initial /a/ in the Luwian language is well documented, there is more than a chance to find a correspondence with historical data. The consonantal Hebrew root, ird, is compatible with ard- in the Anatolian field, where interesting historical matches may be found.
  5. Maiel (LXX, TM Mehujael) is favoured here - together with Maviel according to the Vulgate - against the two alternative versions of the TM: Meḥujael - Meḥijael, because the name of this Cainite offers the fittest correspondence to a linguistic Anatolian background. In fact, it can be analysed as *Mai-el, according to a well-known pattern, where the suffix -el-, a typical Hittite unit to derive ethnonyms from toponyms, can be found in the name of Maiel's son too, Matušael. Though just a contemporary toponym, May (or Mai), near ancient Lystra in Lycaonia, is at hand, the supposition that Mai keeps track of an undocumented Anatolian toponym, seems not far-fetched. The oldest designation of Lydia or a part of what will be later called "Lydia", was Maionia, according to Homer. Maiel and Maionia may be considered specular from a linguistic standpoint, because the second one may be explained as *Mai-wann(i)-iya- where -wann(i)- is a well-known Luwian suffix, used to form ethnonyms. The Milyan equivalent of that suffix is -on- and as the Milyan and Luwian languages (Lycian B) belongs to the Luvic family, it is legitimate to guess that *Mai- was an ancient place. Thence the present ethnonym and the same analysis should be valid also for the following. As for the last part of *Mai-wann(i)-iya-, I will deal with this suffix in the entry Maiel.
  6. Matušael (Methushael, TM) and Μαθουσαλά (LXX). Applying to the son's name the same approach tried with the father's one, we get to an important conclusion, from the standpoint of the general hypothesis. If we interpret the name as Mat-Ušša-el, we remain in the same geographical area, because the land of Ussa is well-known territory in Hittite sources, which should be located around Konya, that is in later Lycaonia. Mat is the status constructus of matu, "country" in the Assyrian language, then Matušael would mean "the man from Ussa". We would then be authorized to read between the lines of the Cainite genealogy a special stress on their Lycaonian background and to advance further toward the following and last name in the list with a more daring attitude.
  7. Lamech (*Luq, Luqqa), marries Adah and Zillah. I will tackle the question of how Lamech may stay for Luqqa in the specific entry. At the moment, I want to stress a well-defined characteristic of the Cainites, their being nomads. Even if research on Anatolian nomadism before the vulgar era cannot rely on certainties, scholars agree to indicate a probable candidate: it is the people of Luqqa (Lukka). This historical region of Asia Minor, on the southwestern coast of Anatolia, called Luqqa in Hittite documents, opens the door to possible further discoveries, as long as one remains faithful to the spirit of Biblical literature, prone to puns, to erudite comparisons within the cultures of the Ancient Near East, which can give considerable impetus to the rereading of Genesis.