|Cain Kills Abel
1 "Now the man had relations [knew] with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain, and she said, “I have gotten a manchild with the help of the LORD.”
2 Again, she gave birth to his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of flocks, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.
3 So it came about in the course of time that Cain brought an offering to the LORD of the fruit of the ground."
|In Gen. 3:20, "the woman" was named Eve. Now Adam and Eve have relations resulting in the birth of Cain. This is the first use of "knowing" his wife referring to marital intercourse in the Bible. The word yada means a melding together, caring, understanding, teaching. Thus it is used for this purpose in some versions of the Bible (KJV).
Eve first gave birth to Cain. Eve makes a point to say that she had a boy from the Lord. This certainly says that Eve had a relationship with the Lord. She was now experiencing pain in childbirth; however, she was thankful to have a boy to be fruitful and multiply. However, girls come later. Abel, born second, was a powerful man of faith. Even in the New Testament he is referenced as a man of faith and righteousness (Heb. 11:4; Matt. 23:35; Luke 11:50-51). The significant thing to remember is that Abel was the keeper of the flocks and Cain was the tiller of the fields. These were both very respectable trades. They were both needed to survive. They needed the fields for food and they needed the flocks for clothing and warmth. Also, there were now needs for sacrifices.
At this point, Cain brought an offering to the Lord. This was from the growths in the ground and fields. These were the items that Cain grew with his sweat.
4 "Abel, on his part also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And the LORD had regard for Abel and for his offering;
5 but for Cain and for his offering He had no regard. So Cain became very angry and his countenance fell.
6 Then the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry ["wroth" - (KJV)]? And why has your countenance fallen?
7 “If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.”
8 Cain told Abel his brother. And it came about when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him."
|Now Abel also brought the firstlings of the flock and their fat portions. Now it appears that for some reason God showed preference ("had respect") to Abel's offerings to Cain's offerings. God had no respect (KJV) or regard for Cain's offering. Sometimes you will see that God has "no respect" for sinners. That is he has no preference; all sins and people who sin are equal in His sight. In this case, God HAS RESPECT, which means He DOES show preference. WHY? Wouldn't you get rather disturbed when your boss or "maker" thought your gift was better than someone else's? I would, I know. But, perhaps there is a very good reason that God treats Cain in this way.
Now we can assume that Adam and Eve were as good as they could, under the curse circumstances. They brought Cain and Abel up into the same home with the same parents and, assumedly, the same house rules. So what would cause Cain and Abel to have the different personalities and characteristics? Adam and Eve had other children (Gen. 5:4) so, hopefully, they turned out better. Most likely, this was not the first time that offerings were made. If that were so, the offerings were probably acceptable previously. It is not stated in the Bible whether they were instructed by God and had to give the offerings or not. However, it is very likely that God did instruct them. Therefore, it appears that Cain did not follow instructions. Cain probably had to obtain a sacrificial animal from Abel every time It could be Cain was getting fed up with depending on Abel for everything. Instead, Cain brought in some of his own wares. This belief of sacrificing an animal worked a hardship on Cain for he had no extra animals which he could sacrifice. He was not happy about the arrangement. It appears, "HIS HEART WAS NOT IN THE RIGHT PLACE".
Now God asks Cain why he is unhappy. Why did his "countenance" (The appearance conveyed by a person's face) fall or why do you look "down in the mouth". Now the next verses are very key. God knows that there is quite a potential for some bad things to happen with Cain. So, his words lead me to believe that he is warning Cain to gain control of himself. God says that if you do better the next time, you can again raise your head ("countenance" again) to feel better. BUT, if you do not do better the next time, sin (the first time mentioned in the Bible) will enter your life. Sin desires to control Cain. God said Cain must "master" himself (i.e. self-control). But, as history has told, Cain did not heed the warning of God. That's pretty serious. I believe in the time of Adam and Eve, God was not hard to understand. I believe he was very clear; therefore, Cain understood.
It appears that Cain counseled with his brother Abel. He probably started to become heated and Cain rose up and killed Abel. I am not sure of Cain's feelings afterward. It does not appear he was in a repentant spirit. The next verses deal with God's admonishment of Cain.
|Return to Genesis Home||Email to Bill|