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Thread: The origin of sacrifice, its role in the first murder and why did Cain murder Abel?

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    The origin of sacrifice, its role in the first murder and why did Cain murder Abel?

    The origin of sacrifice, its role in the first murder and why did Cain murder Abel?

    Gen. 3-4

    I believe most Christian's would agree that God slaying two lambs to clothe Adam and Eve was the first animal sacrifice and was a sign to Adam and Eve. It seems to have worked as they no longer felt naked. End of Gen. 3:21

    The next sacrifice we learn about is in Gen 4:3. Abel slew a lamb for an offering.

    So what happened in between the first to the second sacrifice. The bible doesn't tell us.

    From Gen 3 to 4 , I get the sense that the practice of sacrifice was an event that was ongoing. From time to time there was an offering to the Lord.

    We do know that a period of time had passed between the two events, Gen 3 and Gen 4. Perhaps more than a couple decades. Plenty of time to have the process of sacrifice be well defined and established.

    We don't know if God gave any direction/signs about sacrifice other than the example to clothe Adam and Eve. Perhaps Adam discovered and or instigated the process of sacrifice on his own. If Adam did he must have felt the need to do so out of perhaps a sense of guilt from the tree of knowledge. I think it is more likely, much more palatable, much more pleasant, to believe that Adam initiated the practice of sacrifice. Had God instituted the practice it would be more of a commandment/law/rule and less of an offering.

    It does seem that Cain and Abel appear to be aware of the practice, in Gen. 4. as they did it voluntary. It seems doubtful that this was the first time Cain had been to an offering. I think it is likely that Cain knew what was expected of him, and probably had done at least the minimum on previous occasions.

    It is clear that a lamb was really what God and or Adam expected/ wanted / needed for the offering.

    So either Adam or God set forth the criteria for the sacrifice, Cain was aware of what was required. When his offering was not “respected” by God there was no punishment that we are told of.

    There are many different translations of Gen 4. In every translation his offering is not respected and in every translation his offering is always a fruit of the ground or of the soil.

    I don't believe that Cain “got very angry” with Abel out of jealousy over God's respect of Abel sacrifice.

    As to Cain's offering. Cain was a farmer, that is not a bad thing. Growing food is a good and honorable trade that he may have been very good at, we don't know. Cain had to know what was expected of him at the offering, a sacrificed lamb. All of the brothers that attended the offering would have known what was expected of them.

    What was expected of Cain, was not expected by Abel. Abel had no standing in Cain's life. Abel is just another participant. Abel was a younger brother. Cain was the firstborn, and would have significant standing over ALL his siblings. The lamb was expected by either Adam or the Lord or both. From what is generally taught from the Bible, Cain had no reason to be mad at his younger brother!

    A reason that Cain might be mad at Abel.

    The conventional wisdom gained from the text of Gen. 4 is the idea that Cain knowingly and intentionally brought fruit as an offering. I see it very differently.

    Cain was the firstborn son, he wasn't stupid, his IQ would be off the charts! He was most likely the leader of the siblings, he would set the example for the younger ones. He knew what was expected of him. He had to know that fruit was not acceptable as an offering. And Cain would most certainly know how and where to get a worthy sacrifice. He most likely would have to trade with a herdsmen. His goods, perhaps fruit for a lamb from a bother.

    If Cain had brought enough fruits from a tree he could have traded with his brother, had Abel refused to trade with his brother, Adam and maybe even God would have been angry with Abel, not Cain. Unless there is something else in the text that everyone is missing and there is.

    In Gen 4, the problem is the fruits are “of the ground” or “of the soil”. Fruit doesn't come from the soil or the ground. Fruit comes from a branch, a tree, a vine, a market or an orchard. Fruit of the soil is soiled fruit, fallen fruit, not considered clean and possibly even rotten or full of worms.

    If Cain went to Abel, again and again, using his standing as the firstborn, to barter low quality fallen, spoiled, soiled rotten fruit for a lamb and “in time” Abel finally said NO more. Ay, there the rub! (Hamlet) Finally we have a plausible reason as to why the eldest sibling is so so angry at a younger brother.

    In prose something like this . . .

    Abel says, NO, brother, I will not trade for fruit of the soil, I warned you! I have helped you time and time again with a lamb, but no more.
    Cain replies, Are you not your brothers keeper?
    Abel retorts, I am, but I am not my brother enabler!

    The sacrifice goes forward and Cain takes the spoiled and rotten fruit, that he wanted to trade for a lamb, to the altar and God is not pleased, nor is Adam and Cain blames his brother Abel for not battering as he had acquiesced many times before. Now Cain is furious with his younger brother!

    Did this happen, who knows? Maybe . . . or maybe not or probably not, but it makes more sense to me than Cain murders Abel out of jealousy over a routine sacrifice, that he didin't even get in trouble for. And it makes for a great story in my book “Killing Abel” My scenario rings to be much more plausible then the conventional wisdom . . . Conventional wisdom is generally neither.

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    You said, "I see it very differently".

    I'd say you don't see it at all and prefer making it up as you go along.
    I know Him, correctly, as Messiah whom you call Christ. Yah Shua whom you call Jesus. Messianists who you call Christians.

    "Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm".

    I refuse, point blank, to speak peace to the unregenerate, hypocrites, religious dogma lovers and those that oppose the following statement:
    A regenerate man trusts in the evangelism of salvation conditioned on the atoning blood and imputed justness of Messiah alone.
    If you are fully persuaded, by experience, of this delightful, beautiful and life giving doctrine then I love you as a brother.

    Anyone who thinks that salvation is conditioned on anything a man thinks, does or says is atheist. I cannot and will not speak peace to him or her.

    I don't make statements online that I wouldn't repeat in front of my Maker, my grandmother or a judge.

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    I prefer to read God's Word literally and it only tells me that Abel offered an appropriate Sacrifice and Cain did not. We cannot make up what is not there nor can make allusions to things that are not alluded to.


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