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Wednesday, July 24 2013
Genesis 4: Cain and Abel
"Am I my brother's keeper?"
The first human, a male, was created before the Garden of Eden was planted by the LORD (see The Kingdom Of The LORD God). "But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground. And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul" (see What Does The Bible Really Say About Your Soul?). Notice how humans and plants are "related" by their soil origin (see the Fact Finder question below).
"2:5 And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground. 2:6 But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground. 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
"2:21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; 2:22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. 2:23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. 2:25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed." (Genesis 2:21-25 KJV)
"3:20 And Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.
After "Adam" and Eve were out of the Garden, "Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived." They had two children, sons, who they named Cain and Abel. Some believe that the context and the literal meaning of the original Hebrew indicates that Cain and Abel were twins i.e. "she again bare his brother Abel" may mean not a later pregnancy, but a second-born twin.
Humans began as vegetarians (Genesis 1:29; see also Seed-Bearing Plants: For Food Or For Folly?) and remained so until after the Flood (Genesis 9:1-6; see also The LORD's Seed Covenants With The Two Men Of Iraq). Cain worked at producing food for the family, while less-practical Abel kept sheep. Despite the LORD's stated love and acceptance of him, Cain became increasingly resentful toward his bother Abel.
"4:1 And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD. 4:2 And she again bare his brother Abel.
The Scriptures do not specifically say that the killing of Abel was premeditated murder, although Cain's anger and resentment toward Abel were surely already there. "Cain talked with Abel his brother" could mean an argument or outburst in which Cain's temper crossed the line, just as his parents' coveting had escalated into theft.
"4:8 And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him." (Genesis 4:8 KJV)
Cain's famous "Am I my brother's keeper?" was actually, according to the meaning of the original words, a sarcastic, or whining, "Am I my brother's shepherd" - keeping in mind that favored Abel was the shepherd.
"4:9 And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper?" (Genesis 4:9 KJV)
When Adam and Eve became sinners, toxic and worthless weeds began to grow (see Seed-Bearing Plants: For Food Or For Folly?). When Cain, who was also a worker of the soil ("soul" and "soil" have a surprising connection; see What Does The Bible Really Say About Your Soul? and the Fact Finder question below), became a murderer, crop failures began i.e. "When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength."
"4:10 And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground. 4:11 And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand; 4:12 When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth." (Genesis 4:10-12 KJV)
While Adam and Eve were driven out of the Garden, but still in Eden, Cain was then driven farther away, out of Eden i.e. "Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden."
"4:13 And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment is greater than I can bear. 4:14 Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me.
Cain was not however unproductive in children and descendants (see Cain's Wife).
"4:17 And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch: and he builded a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son, Enoch. 4:18 And unto Enoch was born Irad: and Irad begat Mehujael: and Mehujael begat Methusael: and Methusael begat Lamech.
With Cain at a safe distance away, Adam and Eve then had another son, "and called his name Seth: For God, said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew."
"4:25 And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth: For God, said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew. 4:26 And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the LORD." (Genesis 4:25-26 KJV)
Fact Finder: When Cain murdered his brother Abel, how did he further compounded the curse on "aw-dawm-ah" - and the "aw-dawm" who were created from "aw-dawm-ah"?
This Day In History, July 24
1132: The Battle of Nocera between Ranulf II of Alife and Roger II of Sicily began.
1411: The Battle of Harlaw; it was one of the bloodiest battles in Scotland.
1534: French explorer Jacques Cartier, while on the first of his three voyages to North America, erected a cross at Gaspe, claiming the land for Francis I of France.
1567: Mary Queen of Scots abdicated; James VI became King of Scotland at the age of 1.
1701: French explorer Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac (the Cadillac automobile is named after him) founded a trading post at Fort Pontchartrain, which later became the city of Detroit.
1759: The French garrison at Fort Niagara, under the command of Pierre Pouchot, fell to British and native forces under the command of Sir William Johnson.
1791: Robespierre expelled all Jacobins that were opposed to the principles of the French Revolution.
1799: Napoleon gained his last victory during his occupation of Egypt, defeating the Ottoman Turks (listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire) at the Battle of Aboukir.
1814: During the War of 1812 (1812-14; a war declared by U.S. President James Madison with the publicly-stated purpose of destroying Canada and subjecting its people to dictatorial rule from Washington), General Phineas Riall advanced toward the Niagara River to halt Jacob Brown's U.S. invasion forces. It was one of many such invasions that were stopped and driven back.
1823: Slavery was abolished in Chile.
1918: On Mount Scopus in Jerusalem, the cornerstone for Hebrew University was laid by Dr. Chaim Weizmann. Dr. Weizmann was later elected as the first President of the present-day state of Israel (see A History Of Jerusalem: Zionism).
1943: During the Second World War (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars), Operation Gomorrah began. British and Canadian warplanes bombed Hamburg, Germany by night, while U.S. bombers did so by day. The bombings killed over 30,000 people and destroyed nearly 300,000 buildings.
1946: The U.S. conducted the first underwater test of an atomic bomb, off Bikini Atoll in the Pacific.
1963: The Bluenose II was launched at Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. The schooner is a major Canadian symbol (pictured on the Canadian dime coin).
1967: French President Charles de Gaulle, while visiting Montreal, Canada, made a speech that ended with "Vive le Quebec libre" ("Long live free Quebec" - an incitement for the province of Quebec to separate and destroy Canada) for which the pompous old "general" (who lost every battle that he ever commanded) was promptly rebuked by Canadian Prime Minister Lester Pearson and was sent back to France (a country that Canadians fought and died for during its, and de Gaulle's, liberation from Hitler).
1969: After completing the first manned moon landing, Apollo 11 returned to earth with a splash-down in the Pacific Ocean.
1977: The Libyan-Egyptian War ended after 4 days.
1990: Prior to their invasion, Iraqi military forces began massing on the Kuwait-Iraq border.
2001: Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, the former Tsar of Bulgaria, was sworn in as Prime Minister of Bulgaria. He thereby became the first king in history to regain political authority through democratic election to a different office.
2005: Cyclist Lance Armstrong "won" his seventh consecutive Tour de France. The U.S. "idol" and "hero" was later discovered to be a fake athlete, having been using illegal performance-enhancing drugs for many years. Armstrong was disqualified from his racing "victories" and was banned from professional cycling for life for his doping offenses (that he denied for many years, while destroying the reputations and careers of numerous legitimate racers who attempted to remove the aggressive fraud from the sport).