Home > Content Index > People in the Bible > Old Testament Individuals > Tubal-Cain

Who was Tubal-Cain in the Bible?

Question: "Who was Tubal-Cain in the Bible?"

Tubal-Cain (“Tubalcain” in the KJV) is the name of a pre-flood descendant of Cain. Tubal-Cain was the son of Lamech and Zillah. His half-brothers were Jubal and Jabal; his sister’s name was Naamah. The two elements of his name mean “producer” and “smith,” and he is associated with the origin of metal working.

“Lamech married two women, one named Adah and the other Zillah. Adah gave birth to Jabal; he was the father of those who live in tents and raise livestock. His brother’s name was Jubal; he was the father of all who play stringed instruments and pipes. Zillah also had a son, Tubal-cain, who forged all kinds of tools out of bronze and iron” (Genesis 4:19–22).

These verses say that Lamech and his wives produced four children. Each of their sons is listed with a cultural accomplishment. Jabal raised lifestock, Jubal played musical instruments, and Tubal-Cain forged tools out of bronze and iron. The reference here may be to copper and iron. It seems that Tubal-Cain was the world’s first coppersmith.

What can we learn from this section of Scripture? We learn that God used the disobedient descendants of Cain to significantly impact history through their discoveries, inventions, art, and industry. The cultural contributions of Tubal-Cain are an illustration of the grace of God at work.

Recommended Resource: Holman Old Testament Commentary, Volume 1: Genesis by Kenneth Gangel

More insights from your Bible study - Get Started with Logos Bible Software for Free!

Related Topics:

Who was Cain’s wife? Was Cain’s wife his sister?

Who was Adah in the Bible?

What/where was the land of Nod in the Bible?

Who was Cain in the Bible?

Why wasn’t Cain’s punishment death (Genesis 4:14)?

Return to:

Questions about People in the Bible

Who was Tubal-Cain in the Bible?

Share this page on:

Find Out How to...

Statement of Faith
The Gospel
Crucial Questions
Content Index
Top 20 Questions

Question of the Week

Preferred Bible Version:


Subscribe to our Question of the Week

Get our Questions of the Week delivered right to your inbox!