“And Adah bare Jabal: he was the father of such as dwell in tents, and of such as have cattle. And his brother's name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ. And Zillah, she also bare Tubalcain, an instructer of every artificer in brass and iron: and the sister of Tubalcain was Naamah” (Genesis:4:20-22).
What was the world like before the Flood? It is almost impossible to say. We know, from Genesis:6:5 that “the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” Even so, we know that there were some people who worshiped the Lord—probably descendants of Adam’s son Seth (Genesis:4:26). We are also given a tiny insight into this unusual family of Lamech, the murderous, polygamous descendant of Cain. Lamech had four children, three of which (all sons) had important cultural implications.
- Jabal was the first of all nomadic hunters and herdsmen. Humanity did not have God’s permission to eat meat, until after the Flood. If Jabal was catching and rearing animals for food, as I suspect he was, then he was breaking God’s specific command on this matter.
- Jubal was a musician. He was the first to play on the “lyre and pipe”. This probably represents all stringed and wind instruments. Although many passages in the Bible extol the virtues and usefulness of music, especially when praising God, the presence of music in this wicked family reminds us that often today, music is used for evil.
- Tubal-Cain was the first person to work metals, such as bronze and iron.
These three pieces of technology combined do not tell us a great deal, but they do suggest that there was a considerable amount of technology before the Flood. Perhaps legends about a “lost Atlantis” are true, to the extent that there was a land lost beneath the Floodwaters; but it was an entire world, not just a mythical continent.