It was a serpent, not a Savior — which Eve pressed to her joyful bosom!
(Thomas Guthrie, 1803-1873)
"I have gotten a man with the help of the Lord!" Genesis 4:1
Most expositors think that Eve imagined Cain to be the promised seed that would bruise the head of the serpent. (Adam Clarke's Commentary)
Many suppose that Eve thought that this son was the promised seed, and that therefore she thus triumphed in him, as her words may be read, "I have gotten a man, the Lord!" (Matthew Henry's Commentary)
Eve cherished the hope that she herself would be the mother of the Messiah. Wrung with remorse for her incalculable crime, and eager to see its misery and mischief undone — she grasped at the fulfillment of the promise, but only to be disappointed — to catch only a mocking shadow. It is a common saying, What we eagerly desire — we easily believe.
Our poor mother Eve, hailing in her first-born, the promised seed, clasped Cain to her beating bosom. "I have gotten," she exclaimed, "the man" — the promised man, "from the Lord!" Never was mother so bitterly disappointed! Never more false was the bright happy vision that has floated round many an infant's cradle! It was a serpent, not a Savior — which Eve pressed to her joyful bosom!
Here, in this quiet bower where Eve is singing her boy asleep, he who cruelly shed man's blood to kill — is mistaken for Him who generously shed His own blood to save!