Genesis 4:20

And Adah bare Jabal: he was the father of such as dwell in tents, and of such as have cattle.

And Adah bare Jabal,.... According to Hillerus {m}, this name, and Jubal and Tubal, after mentioned, all signify a river; why Lamech should call all his sons by names signifying the same thing, is not easy to say.

he was the father of such as dwelt in tents, and of such as have cattle: not in a proper sense the father of them, though his posterity might succeed him in the same business; but he was the first author and inventor of tents or movable habitations, which could be carried from place to place, for the convenience of pasturage for cattle: he was not the first that had cattle in his possession, or that first fed and kept them, for Abel, the son of Adam, was a keeper of sheep; but he was the first that found out the use of tents, and the pitching of them to abide in at proper places, so long as the pasturage lasted, and then to remove elsewhere; as we find in later times the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob did, and as the Scenitae and Nomades among the Arabs, and who retain the same method of keeping cattle to this day; and so the words may be rendered according to Bochart {n} and Noldius {o},

"he was the father of such that dwell in tents "with" cattle.''

Heidegger {p} thinks this Jabal to be the same with Pales, the god of shepherds {q}, to whom the Palilia were sacred with the Heathens; and that from Jabal may be formed "Bal", leaving out the "jod", as is sometimes done, and by adding the termination, it will be "Bales", and by changing the letters of the same organ, "Pales".

{m} Onomastic. Sacr. p. 35, 45, 349.
{n} Hierozoic. par. 1. l. 2. c. 44. col. 466.
{o} Ebr. Part. Concord. p. 273. No. 1196.
{p} Hist. Patriarch. Exercit. 6. sect. 11.
{q} Vid. Servium & Probum in Virgil. Georgic. l. 3. ver. 1.