Land of Nod
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The Land of Nod (Hebrew: eretz-Nod, ארץ נוד) is a place in the Book of Genesis of the Hebrew Bible, located "on the east of Eden" (qidmat-‘Eden), where Cain was exiled by God after Cain had murdered his brother Abel. According to Genesis 4:16:
And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.
"Nod" (נוד) is the Hebrew root of the verb "to wander" (לנדוד). Therefore to dwell in the land of Nod is usually taken to mean that one takes up a wandering life. Genesis 4:17 relates that after arriving in the Land of Nod, Cain's wife bore him a son, Enoch, in whose name he built the first city.
Places named "Land of Nod"
Popular culture references
The Land of Nod also refers to the mythical land of sleep, a pun on Land of Nod (Gen. 4:16). To "go off to the land of Nod" plays with the phrase to "nod off", meaning to go to sleep. The first recorded use of the phrase to mean "sleep" comes from Jonathan Swift in his Complete Collection of Polite and Ingenious Conversation (1737) and Gulliver's Travels. A later instance of this usage appears in the poem The Land of Nod by Robert Louis Stevenson from the A Child's Garden of Verses and Underwoods (1885) collection.
In the World of Darkness role-playing setting by White Wolf Game Studio, the land of Nod is the home in exile of Caine, the first vampire. God's curse upon Caine is interpreted as transforming him and his line into vampires.
The biblical quote is mentioned in the Command & Conquer video game, and is thought to be the origin of the name for the Brotherhood of Nod, as the group's charismatic leader is also known only as Kane. Kane's command center, known as the Temple of Nod, also houses a coffin bearing the name Abel upon its surface, and the preserved body of his most trusted officer, Seth (in reference to the biblical Seth), whom Kane shot in the head after Seth's attempted coup d'état. Their relationship is never explained; however, upon introducing himself to the player, Seth states that he is "Seth. Just Seth. From God, to Kane, to Seth."
Twelfth Night, a symphonic progressive rockband with Geoff Mann, made an album in 1981 called Smiling at Grief, including the song called "East of Eden". A second version was recorded in 1982 on the album Fact and Fiction.
Billy Thorpe closed his album Children of the Sun ... Revisited with the song "East of Eden's Gate."
Contemporary Christian Music and country music artist Susan Ashton, in her debut album Wakened by the Wind, released a song called "The Land of Nod." It warned against being too comfortable slumbering in exile.
Canadian indie band Stars mentions the Land of Nod in the title track to their album The Comeback EP: "Just got back from the land of Nod..."
Tom Waits mentions the land of Nod in his song "Singapore" from the 1985 album Rain Dogs: "We sail tonight for Singapore, we're all as mad as hatters here I've fallen for a tawny Moor, took off to the land of Nod..."
Musician/cartoonist Sean Hartter refers to "Nod" as a place with his "The Man From Nod"  electronic/live music project. Here "Nod" is meant to be a wilderness of jumbled ideas and disjointed notions, the opposite of Eden...much more like the state of a dreaming mind.
The German rock group Unloved uses the phrase "heading nod" in the corresponding song from the 2006 album Killersongs as a metaphor for dealing with unpardonable guilt. Nod becomes not a certain land but a state of self-forgiveness ("It only remains for me to leave, a ridiculous 'sorry' on my lips. it only remains for me to live, telling, I didn't mean it").
Dave Matthews made popular a song written by Daniel Lanois called "The Maker". In it is a reference to the Land of Nod otherwise called East of Eden: "Brother John, have you seen the homeless daughters standing here with broken wings. I have seen the flaming swords there over east of Eden".
East of Eden was a British rock band from the 1960s/1970s.
American hardcore punk act Trash Talk released a single titled "East of Eden" in 2009.
Scottish rock band Big Country included a song "East of Eden" on their album titled Steeltown.
Australian Black Metal band Lustration included the song "3061 BC Land of Nod Somewhere East of Eden" on their 2012 album Psymbolik.
In the United Kingdom and some parts of the United States, the phrase "to go off to the land of Nod" refers colloquially to falling asleep.
- Genesis 4:16, King James Version
- Asimov, Isaac (1981). Asimov's guide to the Bible : the Old and New Testaments (Reprint [der Ausg.] in 2 vol. 1968 - 1969. ed.). New York: Wings Books. ISBN 0-517-34582-X.
- Trepanier, Elisa. "Windham, ME Road Map" (PDF). Elisa Trepanier.
- "Land of Nod, Headley Down, GU35 8 map". Bing maps.
- "Land of Nod | Define Land of Nod at Dictionary.com". Dictionary.reference.com. Retrieved 2012-05-07.
- "The Land of Nod". Everything2.com. 2001-03-04. Retrieved 2012-05-07.
- "18. The Land of Nod. Stevenson, Robert Louis. 1913. A Childs Garden of Verses and Underwoods". Bartleby.com. Retrieved 2012-05-07.
- "Songs by the MAN FROM NOD, Citizen of". Acidplanet.com. Retrieved 2012-05-07.
- "Leave Your Sleep | Read | The Land of Nod". Nataliemerchant.com. Retrieved 2012-05-07.
- "Books Of Blood: The Coming Of Tan Feat. El Lyrics - Jedi Mind Tricks". Sing365.com. Retrieved 2012-05-07.