Death was a concept not yet introduced to the world in Genesis 4. At least not in the physical sense. For all we know our remote ancestors thought that death equaled thorns in the earth and pain in childbirth. That’s it.
Thorns + pain = death. Not so bad. We can live with death.
Now, unless Eve or any of her granddaughters had suffered a miscarriage or one of their kids was killed in an accident, which neither instance is recorded in Scripture, no person before them had ever ceased to breathe. But an ugly reminder kept looming in the back of their minds: upon the sentence for their crime, God said that they would return to the ground from which they came. So far, thorns and pain didn’t result in that.
“So what then,” they must have wondered, “would be the cause of that?” Was God just being symbolic? I’m sure they noticed a change in the animal’s behaviors when darkness fell over the earth with that juicy crunch of fruit. The lion no longer slept with the lamb but hunted it. What went through their minds when they saw a spider catch a fly in its web the first time and proceeded to suck its blood?
But that was how animals died: they ate each other. The human race is unique, they would have rightfully reasoned; clearly we are separated from the animal kingdom in many ways. Adam knew that, because he was unwilling to take any of them as his bride.
In this article by adoptingjames, the topic of death is explored. Death is not a popular topic really, but this is a great article on it.
If we really know the Lord our God, then death really has no meaning anyway. We will merely be passing out of one existence, and into another.
To finish reading this article, please head on over to http://adoptingjames.wordpress.com/2012/04/26/the-birth-of-death/ While you are there, why not check out the rest of the site, be sure to let them know you were there!