Abel has no posterity. He bears the unfortunate title of the first person to commit murder. 6The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your countenance fallen?7If you do well, will you not be accepted? Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. Story-wise the two are separated by the flood of Noah and have nothing to do with each other. This was originated by the popular fantasy of interpreting the shadows on the Moon as a face. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. But his soul prompted him to kill his brother: he killed him and became one of the losers. HAW Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament and NOBSE Study Bible Name List translate the name Cain with Spear but NOBSE adds Smith, possibly because of the similarity with the verb קין (qyn) or because of the name Tubal-cain, who was a smith.  This can be seen with Jubilees 4 which narrates that Cain settled down and married his sister Awan, who bore his first son, the first Enoch, approximately 196 years after the creation of Adam. The narrative never explicitly states Cain's motive for murdering his brother, nor God's reason for rejecting Cain's sacrifice, nor details on the identity of Cain's wife. "A glossary; or collection of words, phrases, names and allusions to customs, proverbs, etc., which have been thought to require illustration in the works of English authors, particularly of Shakespeare, and his contemporaries", "Luther Strode Returns In April's 'The Legacy of Luther Strode, The Creation of the World and Other Business, Doraemon: Nobita's Diary on the Creation of the World, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Cain&oldid=983617709, Articles with weasel words from December 2018, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, The expression "Cain-coloured beard" (Cain and, A "Mark of Cain" is featured in the TV series, Cain appears as the ultimate antagonist of the comic book series, In the third season of the television series, This page was last edited on 15 October 2020, at 07:45. What this truth might be is to be discussed by the poets among us, but it may very well have to do with very early forms of government. For other names that have to do with spears, and are thus most probably politically charged, see our articles on the names Quirinius and Pilate. [v]And He said, "What have you done? A West Semitic language, in which most of the Hebrew Bible is written except for parts of Daniel and Ezra. Although his remonstrance against the severity of his sentence displays no genuine contrition, still Yahweh in pity appoints a "sign" for his protection. The problem of where Cain found a wife has troubled readers since antiquity—and both Jewish and Christian interpreters have tried to fill this gap. Pamela Barmash is professor of Hebrew Bible and biblical Hebrew at Washington University in St. Louis and served as director of Jewish, Islamic and Near Eastern Studies there. , According to Genesis 4:1–16, Cain treacherously murdered his brother Abel, lied about the murder to God, and as a result was cursed and marked for life. , A treatise on Christian Hermeticism, Meditations on the Tarot: A Journey into Christian Hermeticism, describes the biblical account of Cain and Abel as a myth, in that it expresses, in a form narrated for a particular case, an "eternal" idea. There are such clear similarities between the stories of Cain and Abel and that of Romulus and Remus that it seems obvious that these two accounts share a common ancestor, or at least express the same fundamental human truth. Orr, James, M.A., D.D. Rather, Cain is depicted as a man of emotional subtlety and nuance. Yet Cain does kill Abel, and an unusual feature of v. 8 prompts us to reflect on Cain’s motive. God originally decrees that Cain, a farmer, will become alienated from the soil and not be able to farm any longer and that he will have to wander the earth. Cain and Abel: The Prodigal Sons of Psychoanalysis? He does not drink. "He [Abel] does not eat.  Another parallel is Enlil Chooses the Farmer-God, in which the shepherd-god Emesh and the farmer-god Enten bring their dispute over which of them is better to the chief god Enlil, who rules in favor of Enten (the farmer). And the Lord said to him, Therefore, whoever kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. According to Midrashic tradition, Cain and Abel each had twin sisters; each was to marry the other's. The ground is also the only subject of an active verb in the verse that states, "It opens its mouth to take the blood." Some traditional interpretations consider Cain to be the originator of evil, violence, or greed. ©Copyright 2019, Society of Biblical Literature ", The Creation of the World and Other Business, Doraemon: Nobita's Diary on the Creation of the World, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Cain_and_Abel&oldid=984888854, Articles about multiple people in the Bible, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles with unsourced statements from January 2020, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 22 October 2020, at 18:19. 4:8 – "Let us go out to the field" does not appear in the, 4:9 – the phrase traditionally translated "am I my brother's keeper?" The Bible condemns Cain’s killing of Abel and explores Cain’s inner life in order to illuminate what motivated him to commit such a heinous act. Cain, a farmer, became enraged when the Lord accepted the offering of his brother Abel, a shepherd, in preference to his own. For other uses, see, sfn error: no target: CITEREFSchwartzLoebel-FriedGinsburg2004 (, sfn error: no target: CITEREFLuttikhuizen2003 (, harvnb error: no target: CITEREFByron2011 (. Cities for the Levites1In the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho, the Lord spoke to Moses, saying:2Command the Israelites to give, from the inheritance th ... View more, Laws concerning the Cities of Refuge1When the Lord your God has cut off the nations whose land the Lord your God is giving you, and you have dispossessed them ... View more. A restless wanderer shall you be on the earth." ", There were other, minor traditions concerning Cain and Abel, of both older and newer date. The narrative’s interest in Cain’s inner life reflects the concern of biblical law with the state of mind and motivations of the killer because biblical law makes a distinction between intentional and accidental killing based on the killer’s intentions. Most of these questions find their answers in one consideration: the narrative is not exhaustively complete and is not intended to be so. The Franks (hence France) were not only well-armed but quite literally "frank and free", and so, we may conclude, were the Saxons, whose name came from seax, denoting a knife or sword.  Cain, the firstborn, was a farmer, and his brother Abel was a shepherd. Gen. 4. Cain and Abel are traditional English renderings of the Hebrew names. It is also unclear why God then admonishes Cain with a warning about sin. These very early "circles of elders" became known as spear-carriers — hence the word "curia", from the Sabine word for spear, and "to franchise", from franca, an old Germanic word for spear. Cain (qyn) is thought to be cognate to the mid-1st millennium BCE South Arabian word qyn, meaning 'metalsmith'. After killing Abel, Cain was cursed to be a restless wanderer away from God’s presence and was unable to work the ground as he had before, since the ground would no longer yield him crops (Genesis 4:11–12). He murdered Abel and was banished by the Lord from the settled country. , The story appears in the Quran, in Surah 5, verses 27 to 31:. , In an alternate translation of Genesis 4:17, endorsed by a minority of modern commentators, Cain's son Enoch builds a city and names it after his son, Irad. In the vain attempt to conceal his crime Cain adds falsehood to his other sins. He murdered Abel and was banished by the Lord from the settled country. Thus, according to some interpreters, Cain was half-human and half-angelic, one of the Nephilim.  Just how late is a matter for dispute: the history may be as late as the Hellenistic period (first decades of the 4th century BCE), but the high level of Babylonian myth behind its stories has led others to date it to the Babylonian exile (6th century BCE). "International Standard Bible Encyclopedia". Cain's posterity never makes it past the flood of Noah. New Heart English Bible Cain said to Abel, his brother, "Let's go into the field." Cain feared that in his exile he could be killed by anyone, so the Lord gave him a sign for his protection and a promise that if he were killed, he would be avenged sevenfold. The incompleteness and the difficulties left unsolved do not allow this assumption to be made. It shows us how brothers can become mortal enemies through the very fact that they worship the same God in the same way.  Christian exegesis of the "evil one" in 1 John 3:10–12 have also led some commentators, like Tertullian, to agree that Cain was the son of the devil or some fallen angel. The biblical story of Cain killing Abel raises questions about why Cain killed Abel, reflecting the concern of biblical law to determine the intentions and state of mind of a killer. Instead, he argues, the city symbolizes an unrighteous philosophy. If you raise your hand to kill me, I will not raise mine to kill you. If you till the soil, it will no longer give you strength. Whoever God blessed would marry Aclima. God accepted Abel's offering and rejected Cain's—an indication that Abel was more righteous than Cain, and thus worthier of Aclima. And Cain went out from the Lord's presence and dwelled in the land of Nod east of Eden. That's the sort of person upon whose shoulders the government will ultimately come to rest (Isaiah 9:6), and that will be a government that will never come to an end or ever be challenged. God does not directly confront Cain about Abel’s death, but rather asks Cain indirectly about his brother’s whereabouts. ", Freud's theory of fratricide is explained by the Oedipus or Electra complex through Carl Jung's supplementation. And it happened in the course of time that Cain brought from the fruit of the soil an offering to the Lord. , One popular theory regarding the name of Cain connects it to the verb "kana" (קנה qnh), meaning "to get" and used by Eve in Genesis 4:1 when she says after bearing Cain, "I have gotten a man from the Lord." 24then the congregation shall judge between the slayer and the avenger of blood, in accordance with these ordinances;25and the congregation shall rescue the sla ... View more, 6But if the distance is too great, the avenger of blood in hot anger might pursue and overtake and put the killer to death, although a death sentence was not de ... View more.
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