Bookstore Glossary Library Links News Publications Timeline Virtual Israel Experience
Anti-Semitism Biography History Holocaust Israel Israel Education Myths & Facts Politics Religion Travel US & Israel Vital Stats Women
donate subscribe Contact About Home


Tubal-Cain(Heb. תּוּבַל־קַיִן), son of *Lamech. Genesis 4:22 states that "Zillah bore Tubal-Cain, who forged implements of copper and iron; Tubal-Cain had a sister Naamah." Various attempts have been made to identify Tubal-Cain as the name of an ancient tribe somewhere in the Near East. S. Mowinckel, however, followed by W.F. Albright, understands Tubal as a generic name for smith, derived from ybl, "to bring, produce." The second element of the name is universally connected with the Arabic qāyin, Aramaic qaināyā (qaināʾah), "smith, metalworker." In later times, Tubal-Cain was confused with the Tubal of Genesis 10:2, for example, and mistakenly identified with the Tuscans, well-known smiths of the ancient world. A. Dillmann pointed to the parallel between Tubal-Cain and his beautiful sister Naamah and the Greek smith-god, Hephaestus, and his sister Aphrodite.


S. Mowinckel, The Two Sources of Pre-deuteronomic Primeval History in Genesis, 1–11 (1937), 81–82; W.F. Albright, in: JBL, 58 (1939), 95–96. IN THE AGGADAH: Ginzberg, Legends, index; I. Ḥasida, Ishei ha-Tanakh (1964), 430.

Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.