Genesis Day 11 // Cain and Abel

Genesis 4:1

Adam and Eve have relations, and Eve conceived and gave birth to Cain. She recognized that this was done, “with the help of the Lord,” Genesis 4:1 .Again, she gave birth to a son, Abel. Abel was a keeper of the flocks, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.

Cain and Abel both bring offerings to the Lord. Cain’s offering was from fruit of the ground, and Abel’s offering was the firstlings of his flock, and their fat portions. The Lord looked on Abel with favor, and kind of ignored Cain’s offering. 

The second sin in Genesis is that of jealousy and pride. Cain is angry and dejected because the Lord didn’t praise him or favor him over Abel’s offering. Unfortunately, I’m sure many of us can relate. How often do we work hard at home or at the office, then see someone else get more credit or praise for their efforts? 

Cain gets SO jealous, he gets his brother into going out into a field (presumably to avoid detection) and then murders him. God asks Cain what happened to Abel, and Cain acts like he doesn’t know. God then says “What have you done? Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground!” because of COURSE, God knows everything. God punishes Cain because he spilled his brothers blood upon the ground, and now Cain can no longer get the Earth to produce for him. God curses Cain to wander the earth, and put a mark on him so that nobody would kill him. Cain then left the Lord’s presence, and settled east of Eden.

The timeline seems to jump forward a bit. Now Cain has settled and has a wife. Cain then has intercourse with his wife, and they then conceive and have Enoch. Cain founded a city, which he named after his son. Enoch becomes the father of Irad, and becomes the father of Mehujael, who becomes the father of Methusael, who becomes the father of Lamech. Phew. These genealogical paragraphs get me, sometimes. Lots of tongue twisters here! 

Lamech takes two wives, who each bear sons. Lamech then tells his wives that he killed a man, and that his sin is sevenfold that of Cain’s. Once sin crept into the world, it sure took over. 

Adam and Eve have relations again, and she gave birth to a son and named him Seth. They take Seth’s birth to be a blessing replacement for Abel, since Cain killed him.

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops states that this birth, is a climactic birth in this chapter. "The name Seth" (from the hebrew verb shat, ‘to place, replace’) shows that God has replaced Abel with a worthy successor. From this favored line Enosh “human being/humankind”, a synonym of Adam, authentic religion began with the worship of Yhwh; this divine name is rendered as “the LORD” in this translation, USCCB

This is the first we see humans worshiping the Lord, especially after the fall. Before the fall, humans walked with God, but it’s not specified that they were worshipping Him. When the third son is born to Adam and Eve, to make up for the sin of Cain, man starts to get back on the right track after sin keeps abounding. 

Study Questions

What can we do to make up for our own sins?

Sin and grace is such a prevalent theme through the book of Genesis. It really speaks to how important to the foundation of our faith God’s grace really is. Over and over the Lord gives us chances and chances to be redeemed and to turn from sin.

Is there a time in your life you felt particularly lost or unworthy of God’s graces?

Often, it’s the time we are at our lowest when the Devil tries to make us feel like we’re not worth more. God doesn’t want us to feel that way!

Let us give thanks for God’s unending graces, and challenge ourselves to be worthy of those graces.