my punishment is greater than I can bear; thus complaining of the mercy of God, as if he acted a cruel part, inflicting on him more than he could endure; and arraigning his justice, as if it was more than he deserved, or ought in equity to be laid on him; whereas it was abundantly less than the demerit of his sin, for his punishment was but a temporal one; for, excepting the horrors and terrors of his guilty conscience, it was no other than a heavier curse on the land he tilled, and banishment from his native place, and being a fugitive and wanderer in other countries; and if such a punishment is intolerable, what must the torments of hell be? the worm that never dies? the fire that is never quenched? and the wrath of God, which is a consuming fire, and burns to the lowest hell? some render the words, "my sin is greater than can be forgiven" (u); as despairing of the mercy of God, having no faith in the promised seed, and in the pardon of sin through his atonement, blood, and sacrifice; or, "is my sin greater than can be forgiven" (w)? is there no forgiveness of it? is it the unpardonable sin? but Cain seems not to be so much concerned about sin, and the pardon of it, as about his temporal punishment for it; wherefore the first sense seems best, and best agrees with what follows.
(u) "major est iniquitas mea, quam ut veniam merear", V. L. "iniqutas mea? major est quam ut remittatur", Tigurine version, Fagius; "quam ut remittat, sub. Deus mihi", Vatablus; so the Targum of Onkelos, Sept. Syr. & Ar. (w) "Ergone majus est delictum meum, quam ut remittatur"; Schmidt.