Genesis 4

 

Genesis 4:1–26

Cain and Abel


These studies are designed for believers in Jesus Christ only. If you have exercised faith in Christ, then you are in the right place. If you have not, then you need to heed the words of our Lord, Who said, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten [or, uniquely-born] Son, so that every [one] believing [or, trusting] in Him shall not perish, but shall be have eternal life! For God did not send His Son into the world so that He should judge the world, but so that the world shall be saved through Him. The one believing [or, trusting] in Him is not judged, but the one not believing has already been judged, because he has not believed in the Name of the only-begotten [or, uniquely-born] Son of God.” (John 3:16–18). “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life! No one comes to the Father except through [or, by means of] Me!” (John 14:6).


Every study of the Word of God ought to be preceded by a naming of your sins to God. This restores you to fellowship with God (1John 1:8–10). If there are people around, you would name these sins silently. If there is no one around, then it does not matter if you name them silently or whether you speak aloud.


This is a collection of the weekly lessons of Genesis (HTML) (PDF) interspersed with the complete word-by-word exegesis of this chapter from the Hebrew with some information from Genesis (HTML) (PDF) thrown in. Furthermore, the examination of this chapter has been expanded with additional commentary as well. However, much of this material was thrown together without careful editing. Therefore, from time to time, there will be concepts and exegetical material which will be repeated, because there was no overall editing done once all of this material was combined. At some point in the future, I need to go back and edit this material and consider other source material as well. Links to the word-by-word, verse-by-verse studies of Genesis (HTML) (PDF).

 

One more thing: it is not necessary that you read the grey Hebrew exegesis tables. They are set apart from the rest of the study so that you can easily skip over them. However, if you ever doubt a translation of a phrase or a verse, these translation tables will tell you exactly where that translation came from.


This should be the most extensive examination of Gen. 4 available, where you will be able to see every word of the original text.


Outline of Chapter 4:

 

Introduction

 

         vv.     1–2           The Births of Cain and Abel

         vv.     3–7           The Offerings of Cain and Abel

         vv.     8–9           Cain Kills Abel

         vv.    10–12         God Judges Cain

         vv.    13–14         Cain Complains About His Sentence

         vv.    15–16         God’s Protection/Cain’s Isolation

         vv.    17–24         The Line of Cain

         vv.    25–26         The Birth of Seth

 

Addendum


Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines:

 

         v.       3              The Concept of Religion Comes from Cain

         v.       5              Cain is not the Subject of Genesis 4:5b

         v.       5              Joe Griffin’s Doctrine of Anthropopathisms

         v.       5              Genesis 4:4–5

         v.       5              How to Distinguish Between Christianity and Christian Cults

         v.       7              Jesus Christ is the Only Way to God

         v.       7              The Structure of Gen. 4:6–7

         v.       7              An Alternate Translation and Understanding of Genesis 4:7

         v.       8              Ancient Translations of the Bible

         v.       8              Abel was a type of Christ

         v.      15              Cainian Parallels

         v.      17              What is the Cainian Population in 100 Years?

         v.      22              Why I Believe that Man Had Tools Early On

         v.      25              What Eve’s Words Tell Us

         v.      26              The Genealogy of Jesus Christ

 

         Addendum          Josephus’ History of this Time

         Addendum          Edersheim Summarizes Genesis 4

         Addendum          A Complete Translation of Genesis 4


Chapter Outline

 

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines

Forward

Doctrines Covered and Alluded to

Chapters of the Bible Alluded To

Psalms Appropriately Exegeted with this Chapter

Other Chapters of the Bible Appropriately Exegeted with this Chapter

Definition of Terms

Introduction

Text

Addendum

www.kukis.org

 

Exegetical Studies in Genesis


Doctrines Covered

Doctrines Alluded To

 

Angelic Conflict

 

 

 

 

 

 


Chapters of the Bible Alluded To

 

Genesis 2

 

 


Psalms Appropriately Exegeted with this Chapter

 

 

 

 


Other Chapters of the Bible Appropriately Exegeted with this Chapter

 

 

 

 


Many who read and study this chapter are 1st or 2nd generation students of R. B. Thieme, Jr., so that much of this vocabulary is second nature. One of Bob’s contributions to theology is a fresh vocabulary along with a number of concepts which are theologically new or reworked, yet still orthodox. Therefore, if you are unfamiliar with his work, the definitions below will help you to fully understand all that is being said. Also, I have developed a few new terms and concepts which require definition as well.

In addition, there are other more traditional yet technical theological terms which will be used and therefore defined as well.

Sometimes the terms in the exegesis of this chapter are simply alluded to, without any in-depth explanation of them. Sometimes, these terms are explained in detail and illustrated. A collection of all these terms is found here: (HTML) (PDF) (WPD).

Definition of Terms

Angelic Conflict

Prior to the creation of man, there were billions of beings created called angels. A third of these angels fell by sinning against God and were sentenced to death. Satan appealed this sentence and we are now in the appeals phase of this conflict.

Anthropopathism

An anthropopathism is taking an easily understood emotion or action that man has or does and attributing that emotion or action to God, to explain God’s thinking and action in language of accommodation. One might view this is somewhat of a shortcut when speaking about God.

Laws of Divine Establishment

These are laws designed by God which preserve the human race and preserve nations.

Rebound (Restoration to fellowship with God)

In the New Testament, this is naming your sins to God, so that you are both restored to temporal fellowship with God and are then filled with the Spirit of God. In the Old Testament, naming your sins to God would result in a restoration of fellowship and, in some cases, the empowerment of the Holy Spirit once again (the Holy Spirit was not given to all Old Testament believers). See the Doctrine of Rebound (HTML) (PDF) (WPD).

Some of these definitions are taken from

http://www.bibledoctrinechurch.org/?subpages/GLOSSARY.shtml

http://rickhughesministries.org/content/Biblical-Terms.pdf

http://www.gbible.org/index.php?proc=d4d

http://www.wordoftruthministries.org/termsanddefs.htm

http://www.realtime.net/~wdoud/topics.html

http://www.theopedia.com/


——————————


An Introduction to Genesis 4


I ntroduction: Genesis chapter 4 tells us the familiar story of Cain and Abel. We learn some things about sin that we did not realize in this chapter and about God's judgement of sin. We also see the first animal rights activist and the first religion of man.


Gen. 4 deals with the 3 male children of Adam and Eve: Cain, Abel and Seth. Cain becomes a farmer, like his father Adam; and Abel domesticates animals. They both bring sacrifices to God. Now, God’s instructions have been that these sacrifices be an animal without spot or blemish which are then slaughtered before God. Although the Bible nowhere states this explicitly, it is implied in this chapter.


Cain, at some point in time, chooses to bring his finest vegetables to God. They were produced by the earth, they required a great deal of work, and they look lovely. Abel brings an animal to be slaughtered. God has respect for Abel’s offering, because it represents the work of Jesus Christ on the cross; God ignores Cain’s offering, because it represents the work of man’s hands (in other words, religion).


Cain will rise up against his brother and kill him. So we have man’s first act of religion being closely associated with both jealousy and man’s first act of murder.


From here, we follow Cain’s line and then we return to Adam and the woman, and their third son, Seth.


Adam and the woman fell into sin by eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. This was the only way in which they could sin against God and both of them chose to commit this sin.


God judged the serpent, Adam and the woman—which involved a promise concerning the Seed of the Woman—and then banished Adam and the woman from the garden.


As usual, there are a great many details left out, with a great deal of subtlety. The Garden of Eden was a fully grown forest which perhaps covered hundreds of square miles; outside of the Garden of Eden, the land was somewhat barren. Therefore, in order for God to hide the Garden from Adam and the woman, there had to be some sort of mystical quality in its being hid. However, other than this being hinted at, we know little else.


We still do not know if Adam had tools or what sort of tools he had or whether God gave them to Adam or whether he made the tools himself (although I will discuss this later in more detail). Along the same lines, Adam and the woman are now outside of the garden, and God told Adam that he would be able to eat only by the sweat of his brow, so we know that Adam is now a farmer for his subsistence. However, we are given no information about this, apart from God’s judgment of Adam.


There are two places in Gen. 4 where the Hebrew has been ignored and a general interpretation has been given to the passage and accepted by many throughout human history. Cain will bring the wrong sacrifice, and God will not give him any respect for this sacrifice. Mostly translations suggest that God asks Cain, “What are you angry?” But the verse does not say this. Secondly, in the same passage, we have sin crouching at Cain’s door and it appears as though God is saying, “You need to have dominion over it [that is, over sin].” But it does not say that either. These problems will be sorted when we come to them.


Also, there are several problems with the Masoretic text (the Hebrew) of Gen. 4. The alternate readings and the reason we might accept some of those readings is also discussed.


——————————


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


The Births of Cain and Abel


Slavishly literal:

 

Moderately literal:

And the man knew Eve, his wife and so she conceives and so she gives birth to Cain. And so she says, “I have acquired a man with Yehowah.”

Genesis

4:1

And the man knew Eve, his wife [intimately] so she conceived and then gave birth to Cain. Therefore, she said, “I have acquired a man directly from Yehowah.”

And the man intimately knew Eve, his wife, so that she conceived and then gave birth to Cain. Therefore, she concluded, “I have acquired a man directly from Jehovah.”


Here is how others have translated this verse:

 

Ancient texts:                       Note: I compare the Hebrew text to English translations of the Latin, Syriac and Greek texts, using the Douay-Rheims translation; George Lamsa’s translation, and Sir Lancelot Charles Lee Brenton’s translation as revised and edited by Paul W. Esposito, respectively. I often update these texts with non-substantive changes (e.g., you for thou, etc.). I often use the text of the Complete Apostles’ Bible instead of Brenton’s translation, because it updates the English text.

 

The Septuagint was the earliest known translation of a book (circa 200 b.c.). Since this translation was made before the textual criticism had been developed into a science and because different books appear to be translated by different men, the Greek translation can sometimes be very uneven.

 

When there are serious disparities between my translation and Brenton’s (or the text of the Complete Apostles’ Bible), I look at the Greek text of the Septuagint (the LXX) to see if a substantive difference actually exists (and I reflect these changes in the English rendering of the Greek text). I use the Greek LXX with Strong’s numbers and morphology available for e-sword. The only problem with this resource (which is a problem for similar resources) is, there is no way to further explore Greek verbs which are not found in the New Testament. Although I usually quote the Complete Apostles’ Bible here, I have begun to make changes in the translation when their translation conflicts with the Greek and note what those changes are.

 

The Masoretic text is the Hebrew text with all of the vowels (vowel points) inserted (the original Hebrew text lacked vowels). We take the Masoretic text to be the text closest to the original. However, differences between the Masoretic text and the Greek, Latin and Syriac are worth noting and, once in a great while, represent a more accurate text possessed by those other ancient translators.

 

In general, the Latin text is an outstanding translation from the Hebrew text into Latin and very trustworthy (I say this as a non-Catholic). Unfortunately, I do not read Latin—apart from some very obvious words—so I am dependent upon the English translation of the Latin (principally, the Douay-Rheims translation).

 

Underlined words indicate differences in the text.

 

Bracketed portions of the Dead Sea Scrolls are words, letters and phrases lost in the scroll due to various types of damage. Underlined words or phrases are those in the Dead Sea Scrolls but not in the Masoretic text.

 

The Targum of Onkelos is actually the Pentateuchal Targumim, which are The Targums of Onkelos and Jonathan Ben Uzziel. On the Pentateuch With The Fragments of the Jerusalem Targum From the Chaldee by J. W. Etheridge, M.A. Take from http://targum.info/targumic-texts/pentateuchal-targumim/ and first published in 1862.

 

Targum of Onkelos                And Adam knew Hava his wife, who had desired the Angel; and she conceived, and bare Kain; and she said, I have acquired a man, the Angel of the Lord.

Latin Vulgate                          And Adam knew Eve his wife; who conceived and brought forth Cain, saying: I have gotten a man through God.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And the man knew Eve, his wife and so she conceives and so she gives birth to Cain. And so she says, “I have acquired a man with Yehowah.”

Peshitta (Syriac)                    AND Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bore Cain, and said, I have gotten a man for the LORD.

Septuagint (Greek)                And Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and brought forth Cain and said, I have gained a man through God.

 

Significant differences: 


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           Cain and Abel

The man Adam knew his wife Eve intimately. She became pregnant and gave birth to Cain, and said, "I have given life to[a] a man with the Lord's help."

Contemporary English V.       Adam and Eve had a son. Then Eve said, "I'll name him Cain because I got him with the help of the LORD."

 

asy-to-Read Version              Adam and his wife Eve had sexual relations and Eve gave birth to a baby. The baby was named Cain [Cain This is like the Hebrew word meaning "make" or "get."]. Eve said, “With the Lord’s help, I have made a man!”

Good News Bible (TEV)         Then Adam had intercourse with his wife, and she became pregnant. She bore a son and said, "By the LORD's help I have gotten a son." So she named him Cain.

The Message                         Adam slept with Eve his wife. She conceived and had Cain. She said, "I've gotten a man, with GOD's help!"

New Life Bible                        Cain Kills Abel

The man lay with his wife Eve and she was going to have a child and she gave birth to Cain. She said, "I have given birth to a man with the help of the Lord."


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          Adam had [sexual relations] with Eue, his woman, so she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. And she said, 'I have gained a man through God.'

Ancient Roots Translinear      Adam knew Eve his woman. She conceived and begot Cain and said, "Yahweh constructed a man for me!"

Beck’s American Translation Cain and Abel

The man had sex relations with his wife Eve, and she conceived and had a child by the name of Cain; and she said, “I have gotten a man, the LORD.”

God’s Word                         Adam made love to his wife Eve. She became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, "I have gotten the man that the LORD promised."

New American Bible              The man had intercourse with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain, saying, "I have produced a male child with the help of the LORD." The Hebrew name qayin ("Cain") and the term qaniti ("I have produced") present a wordplay that refers to metalworking; such wordplays are frequent in Genesis.

NIRV                                      Cain and Abel

Adam made love to his wife Eve. She became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, "With the Lord's help I have had a baby boy."

New Jerusalem Bible             The man had intercourse with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain. 'I have acquired a man with the help of Yahweh,' she said.

New Simplified Bible              Adam had sexual intercourse with his wife Eve. She became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said: »With the help of Jehovah I have brought forth a man.«

Revised English Bible            The man lay with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain. She said, ‘With the help of the Lord I have brought into being a male child.’


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             And the man had connection with Eve his wife, and she became with child and gave birth to Cain, and said, I have got a man from the Lord.

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 The First Man-Child—Births of Cain and Abel

The man afterwards knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain, and said, “I have been given a man from the Ever-living.”

HCSB                                     Adam knew his wife Eve intimately, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain. She said, "I have had a male child with the LORD's help."

JPS (Tanakh—1985)               Now the man knew [Heb. yadaʿ, often in a sexual sense] his wife Eve, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have gained [Heb. qanithi, connected with “Cain.”] a male child with the help of the Lord.”

NET Bible®                             The Story of Cain and Abel

Now [The disjunctive clause (conjunction + subject + verb) introduces a new episode in the ongoing narrative.] the man had marital relations with [Heb "the man knew," a frequent euphemism for sexual relations.] his wife Eve, and she became pregnant [Or "she conceived."] and gave birth to Cain. Then she said, "I have created [Here is another sound play (paronomasia) on a name. The sound of the verb קָנִיתִי (qaniti, "I have created") reflects the sound of the name Cain in Hebrew (קַיִן, qayin) and gives meaning to it. The saying uses the Qal perfect of קָנָה (qanah). There are two homonymic verbs with this spelling, one meaning "obtain, acquire" and the other meaning "create" (see Gen_14:19; Gen_14:22; Deu_32:6; Psa_139:13; Pro_8:22). The latter fits this context very well. Eve has created a man.] a man just as the LORD did!" Heb "with the LORD." The particle אֶת־ ('et) is not the accusative/object sign, but the preposition "with" as the ancient versions attest. Some take the preposition in the sense of "with the help of" (see BDB 85 s.v. אֵת; cf. NEB, NIV, NRSV), while others prefer "along with" in the sense of "like, equally with, in common with" (see Lev_26:39; Isa_45:9; Jer_23:28). Either works well in this context; the latter is reflected in the present translation. Some understand אֶת־ as the accusative/object sign and translate, "I have acquired a man — the LORD." They suggest that the woman thought (mistakenly) that she had given birth to the incarnate LORD, the Messiah who would bruise the Serpent's head. This fanciful suggestion is based on a questionable allegorical interpretation of Gen_3:15 (see the note there on the word "heel"). Since Exo_6:3 seems to indicate that the name Yahweh (יְהוָה, yehvah, translated LORD) was first revealed to Moses (see also Exo_3:14), it is odd to see it used in quotations in Genesis by people who lived long before Moses. This problem has been resolved in various ways: (1) Source critics propose that Exo_6:3 is part of the "P" (or priestly) tradition, which is at odds with the "J" (or Yahwistic) tradition. (2) Many propose that "name" in Exo_6:3 does not refer to the divine name per se, but to the character suggested by the name. God appeared to the patriarchs primarily in the role of El Shaddai, the giver of fertility, not as Yahweh, the one who fulfills his promises. In this case the patriarchs knew the name Yahweh, but had not experienced the full significance of the name. In this regard it is possible that Exo_6:3 (i.e., Exodus 6:3b) should not be translated as a statement of denial, but as an affirmation followed by a rhetorical question implying that the patriarchs did indeed know God by the name of Yahweh, just as they knew him as El Shaddai. D. A. Garrett, following the lead of F. Andersen, sees Exo_6:2-3 as displaying a paneled A/B parallelism and translates them as follows: (A) "I am Yahweh." (B) "And I made myself known to Abraham...as El Shaddai." (A') "And my name is Yahweh"; (B') "Did I not make myself known to them?" (D. A. Garrett, Rethinking Genesis, 21). However, even if one translates the text this way, the LORD's words do not necessarily mean that he made the name Yahweh known to the fathers. God is simply affirming that he now wants to be called Yahweh (see Exo_3:14-16) and that he revealed himself in prior times as El Shaddai. If we stress the parallelism with B, the implied answer to the concluding question might be: "Yes, you did make yourself known to them — as El Shaddai!" The main point of the verse would be that El Shaddai, the God of the fathers, and the God who has just revealed himself to Moses as Yahweh are one and the same. (3) G. J. Wenham suggests that pre-Mosaic references to Yahweh are the product of the author/editor of Genesis, who wanted to be sure that Yahweh was identified with the God of the fathers. In this regard, note how Yahweh is joined with another divine name or title in Gen_9:26-27; Gen_14:22; Gen_15:2; Gen_15:8; Gen_24:3; Gen_4:7; Gen_4:12; Gen_4:27; Gen_4:42; Gen_4:48; Gen_27:20; Gen_32:9. The angel uses the name Yahweh when instructing Hagar concerning her child's name, but the actual name (Ishma-el, "El hears") suggests that El, not Yahweh, originally appeared in the angel's statement (Gen_16:11). In her response to the angel Hagar calls God El, not Yahweh (Gen_16:13). In Gen_22:14 Abraham names the place of sacrifice "Yahweh Will Provide" (cf. Gen_4:16), but in Gen_4:8 he declares, "God will provide." God uses the name Yahweh when speaking to Jacob at Bethel (Act_28:13) and Jacob also uses the name when he awakens from the dream (Gen_28:16). Nevertheless he names the place Beth-el ("house of El"). In Gen_31:49 Laban prays, "May Yahweh keep watch," but in Gen_4:50 he declares, "God is a witness between you and me." Yahweh's use of the name in Gen_15:7 and Gen_18:14 may reflect theological idiom, while the use in Gen_18:19 is within a soliloquy. (Other uses of Yahweh in quotations occur in Gen_16:2; Gen_16:5; Gen_24:31; Gen_24:35; Gen_24:40; Gen_24:42; Gen_24:44; Gen_24:48; Gen_4:50; Gen_4:51; Gen_4:56; Gen_26:22; Gen_26:28-29; Gen_27:7; Gen_27:27; Gen_29:32-35; Gen_30:24; Gen_30:30; Gen_49:18. In these cases there is no contextual indication that a different name was originally used.) For a fuller discussion of this proposal, see G. J. Wenham, "The Religion of the Patriarchs," Essays on the Patriarchal Narratives, 189-93. When it comes to making an actual material change to the text, the NET Bible® is pretty good about indicating this. Since most of these corrections will be clear in the more literal translations below and within the Hebrew exegesis itself, I will not continue to list every NET Bible® footnote.

NIV – UK                                Cain and Abel

Adam [Or The man] made love to his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain [Cain sounds like the Hebrew for brought forth or acquired.]. She said, `With the help of the Lord I have brought forth [Or have acquired] a man.'

The Scriptures 1998              And Ad?am knew Ḥawwah his wife, and she conceived and bore Qayin, and said, “I have gained a man from יהוה.”


Limited Vocabulary Translations:


 

International Standard V        .


Catholic Bibles (those having the Imprimatur):

 

The Heritage Bible                 .


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

Kaplan Translation                 .


Expanded/Embellished Bibles:

 

Kretzmann’s Commentary    .

Lexham English Bible            .

Translation for Translators     .

The Voice                               .


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

The Amplified Bible                And Adam knew Eve as his wife, and she became pregnant and bore Cain; and she said, I have gotten and gained a man with the help of the Lord.

Concordant Literal Version    And the human knows Eve, his wife, and pregnant is she and is bearing Cain. And saying is she, "I acquire a man, Yahweh!"

Context Group Version          And the man knew { had sex with } his woman { or wife } Eve; and she became pregnant, and gave birth to Cain, and said, I have acquired a man with [the help of] YHWH.

The Emphasized Bible           Now, the man, having come to know Eve his wife,—she conceived and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a Man, even Yahweh!.

English Standard Version      Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, "I have gotten a man with the help of the LORD."

Hebrew Names Version         The man knew Chavah his wife. She conceived, and gave birth to Kayin, and said, "I have gotten a man with the LORD's help."

Heritage Bible                        And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bore Cain, and said, I have erected [erected a man, qanah, to set upright, to erect, to found or begin, reflexive - to set up for oneself as in producing offspring, or material products, or a purchase.] a man by help from Jehovah.

New RSV                               Now the man knew his wife Eve, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, `I have produced [The verb in Heb resembles the word for Cain] a man with the help of the Lord.'

Syndein/Thieme                     {Verses 1-24: History of the Man - Soul Development - For or Against God} {Optimism without Doctrine}

Now the man {Adam} had sex with his wife - Eve {'Ishah}; and consequently she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain, and said, "I have acquired a 'male child'/man {'iysh} from Jehovah/God {the Manifest God - Jesus Christ}". {Note: Not the first time Eve was wrong. Though technically true, Cain did not live up to this lofty title.}.

Young’s Updated LT             And the man knew Eve his wife, and she conceives and bears Cain, and says, “I have gotten a man by Jehovah.

 

The gist of this verse:          The man and the woman produce their first child, Cain; the woman appears to assume that this is the promised one.


Genesis 4:1a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʾâdâm (אָדָם) [pronounced aw-DAWM]

a man, a human being, mankind; transliterated Adam

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong's #120 & #121 BDB #9

yâdaʿ (יָדַע) [pronounced yaw-DAHĢ]

to know, to perceive, to acquire knowledge, to become acquainted with, to know by experience, to have a knowledge of something; to see; to learn; to recognize [admit, acknowledge, confess]

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong’s #3045 BDB #393

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

Chavvâh (חַוָּה) [pronounced khahv-VAW]

life, living; transliterated Eve, Havah

feminine singular noun

Strong’s #2332 BDB #295

ʾîshshâh (אִשָּה) [pronounced eesh-SHAW]

woman, wife

feminine singular with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #802 BDB #61


Translation: And the man knew Eve, his wife [intimately]... We have the common verb to know here and it is used many times to speak of the acquiring of Bible doctrine in the soul of the believer. However, this is clearly not what is meant by yâdaʿ (יָדַע) [pronounced yaw-DAHĢ]. This is a word used euphemistically for sex, generally between a man and his wife. The Qal perfect means a completed action which yields results.


I remember a letter in the Straight Dope of someone asking Cecil Adams at what point in time did man realize that copulation would result in having a child. Here is the answer to that question. The first parents understood that there was a relationship between sex and having children.



Genesis 4:1b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

hârâh (הָרָה) [pronounced haw-RAW]

to conceive, to become pregnant, to be with child

3rd person feminine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #2029 BDB #247

This is the first occurrence of this word and several others related to birth are also found here for the first time, as we would expect.


Translation: ...so she conceived...... We would consider this a natural result in many cases; the woman has intimate relations with her husband, and, therefore, she conceives.



Genesis 4:1c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

yâlad (יָלַד) [pronounced yaw-LAHD]

to give birth, to bear, to be born, to bear, to bring forth, to beget

3rd person feminine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #3205 BDB #408

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

Qayin (קַיִן) [pronounced KAH-yin]

spear; to acquire and is transliterated Cain, Kain; Kenite

masculine singular, proper noun; also a gentilic adjective

Strong’s #7014 BDB #884


Translation: ...and then gave birth to Cain. What follows, 9 months after conception (assuming that there were no unusual changes between men and women before and after the flood), she gives birth to Cain.


The name Cain means acquired; and it is a reference to Eve acquiring this child from the Lord.


The name Cain was likely a play on words, for which Adam and Eve were both known. Cain is Qayin (קַיִן) [pronounced KAH-yin] and she says that I have gotten; qânâh (קָנָה) [pronounced kaw-NAWH] and means to purchase, to redeem, to buy, to get, to acquire. In Gen. 1:19, when God is called a possessor of heaven and earth (the Qal participle of qânâh), He possesses these because He bought them. This adds new meaning to the verse “I have gotten a man [from] the Lord.” (Gen. 4:1b), which is totally incorrect. It should read: “I have purchased a man—the Lord.” There was blood, there was pain—she endured the first labor and no one knew exactly what was occurring. She felt as though she had brought forth the Redeemer in all her pain and blood. Although the woman was wrong in what had occurred, she did understand that there was a purchasing which took place with blood and pain which was related to the Redeemer, Who would come through her. Strong’s #7069 BDB #888.


She very possibly took his name from its noun cognate, acquisition, which is the word qineyân (קִנְיָן) [pronounced kine-YAWN]. There is disagreement concerning the preposition here. The preposition is generally conceded to be with the help of (like all prepositions, it has several meanings). However, it appears as though the way I have translated it above is the most accurate (see The Emphasized Bible, p. 36 footnote). It is very likely that Eve expected her firstborn to be her savior, YHWH. How much she knew about her Savior to come, we do not know, but she does know that it will be her seed. This indicates that she knows it will be Jesus Christ in the garden who will be born of her and that He will be her Savior. She just happens to be wrong about who this son is and when Jesus Christ will come in the flesh.


Because many of the most ancient proper names have reasonable, corresponding meanings in the Hebrew language, it has been asserted that Hebrew may have been the original language. This is at best, speculation, and not necessarily important unless the Word of God chooses to speak to this issue. Proper nouns are sometimes carried from one language to another and adjusted to reflect their original meanings. It is also possible that the words from which they are derived also are transferred from language to language. However, that is enough speculation; if it was important that we knew the original language of man, God would have revealed it to us.


Genesis 4:1d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

ʾâmar (אָמַר) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

3rd person feminine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

qânâh (קָנָה) [pronounced kaw-NAWH]

to get, acquire, obtain; [of God] to found, to originate, to create; to possess; to redeem [His people]; [of Eve] to acquire; to acquire [knowledge, wisdom]; to buy [purchase, redeem]

1st person singular, Qal perfect

Strong’s #7069 BDB #888

ʾîysh (אִיש) [pronounced eesh]

a man, a husband; anyone; a certain one; each, each one, everyone

masculine singular noun (sometimes found where we would use a plural)

Strong's #376 BDB #35

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

with, at, near, by, among, directly from

preposition (which is identical to the sign of the direct object)

Strong's #854 BDB #85

This preposition can also refer to being in one’s possession or in one’s keeping. This can also mean to proceed from someone. The key to this word is close association with, close proximity to beyond simple geographical proximity.

YHWH (יהוה) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217


Translation: Therefore, she said, “I have acquired a man directly from Yehowah.” The woman was promised, back in Gen. 3, that she would have a son—the Seed of the Woman—and that the serpent would bruise his heel and that He would crush his head. It appears as though Eve made the assumption that this was the sort of man that she had given birth to.


This assumption would lead us to the conclusion that the woman (and possibly Adam) expected that this problem of the Garden of Eden would be resolved after some time. However, God’s promise to Adam suggested that this would not be solved during his lifetime. In God’s judgment of Adam, He said, "Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, 'You shall not eat of it,' cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return." (Gen. 3:17b–19). This judgment tells us specifically that Adam would die and that he would struggle for food all the days of his life.


You may want to notice what God did not do; He did not set up a food bank, a free store or food stamps. Adam became responsible for himself, his wife, and the children he fathered. Even as the first father, he knew what his responsibilities were.


Gen 4:1 Adam knew his wife [or, woman] Eve intimately, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain. She said, "I have acquired a male child with [or, by] the LORD."


Adam and the woman are now in a fallen state. Under perfect environment, there were no children. You may draw your own conclusions. Whether this was true or not of animal life is unknown. However, at this point, we begin the continual cycle of birth and death.


The word for wife, incidentally, is simply the word for woman. You may recall that Adam, when he first met the woman, called her ʾÎshshâh (woman) because she was taken out of ʾÎysh (man).


The Hebrew word translated to know intimately is one of the most common Hebrew words, and it has a myriad of meanings, all related to knowing and which meaning is determined by the context. Here, the context indicates that Adam and the woman had sex. It is likely that there was sex prior to the fall, but its occurrence is not specifically alluded to. Here, the sex between Adam and the woman resulted in conception and later the birth of Cain.


Several translations indicate that Eve says, “I have gotten a male child with the help of the Lord.” Although this may be the sense of this statement, it is not what Eve said. There is no word for help here. Most translations have from the Lord, but the word from, a very common Hebrew preposition, is not found here either. What is found is either the sign of a direct object or the preposition with, at, near, by, among, directly from (the sign of the direct object and this preposition are the same word). What Eve says is hopeful statement, that God has provided the male-child which He promised her, the Seed of the Woman Who would crush the head of the serpent. The text tells us specifically that she conceived because of having sex with Adam; and she reveals the hope that this child came about with God.


Cain, being the first child born, is not necessarily associated in Eve’s mind with the sex that she had with Adam 9 months previous. So her statement here is not that God helped her to get pregnant; her statement focused on the promise God made to her, that she would bear a child to crush the head of Satan. However, Cain was not to be that child.


It is my opinion that, one of the reasons we have children is to illustrate God’s relationship to us. A parent is like a god to their children—particularly the father. There must be the proper mixture of love, righteousness and justice in the parents in order to raise a child properly. A child must have some concept of right and wrong. Teaching them what is right and wrong is the function of righteousness; holding them accountable for their sins and failures is justice; showing them compassion and affection, despite their shortcomings, is love. A good parent is going to attempt to manifest these attributes toward his children. As a result, every family is a microcosm of God and mankind.


I am certain that you have encountered children whose parents emphasized love over righteousness, or righteousness over justice; and that the child was either very spoiled or self-righteous because of this disproportionate approach. A child raised with too must justice and not enough love might be legalistic and lack compassion.


Obviously, gross sin in the life of the child can potentially destroy the parent-child relationship (drug addiction, for example).


——————————


And so she adds to give birth to his brother, Abel. And so he is a shepherd of a flock and Cain is a worker of the ground.

Genesis

4:2

In addition, she gives birth to his brother, Abel. He is a shepherd of a flock and Cain is a laborer of the ground.

In addition, the woman also gave birth to his brother, Abel. He became a shepherd and Cain was a farmer.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Targum of Onkelos                And she added to bear from her husband Adam his twin, even Habel. And Habel was a shepherd of the flock, but Kain was a man working in the earth.

Latin Vulgate                          And again she brought forth his brother Abel. And Abel was a shepherd, and Cain a husbandman.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so she adds to give birth to his brother, Abel. And so he is a shepherd of a flock and Cain is a worker of the ground.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And she again bore his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.

Septuagint (Greek)                And she again bore his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.

 

Significant differences: 


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           She gave birth a second time to Cain's brother Abel. Abel cared for the flocks, and Cain farmed the fertile land.

Contemporary English V.       Later she had another son and named him Abel. Abel became a sheep farmer, but Cain farmed the land.

Easy English                          Later she had another baby, Cain's brother Abel.

Now Abel looked after sheep and Cain worked with the soil.

Easy-to-Read Version            After that, Eve gave birth to another baby. This baby was Cain’s brother, Abel. Abel became a shepherd. Cain became a farmer.

The Message                         Then she had another baby, Abel. Abel was a herdsman and Cain a farmer.

New Century Version             After that, Eve gave birth to Cain's brother Abel. Abel took care of flocks, and Cain became a farmer.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          Then she again gave birth to his brother, Abel. Well, Abel [grew up to be] a herder of sheep, while Cain worked the ground.

Ancient Roots Translinear      She begot, adding his brother Abel. Abel fed sheep and Cain was serving the earth.

Beck’s American Translation Then she had another child, Abel, Cain’s brother. Abel grew up to be a shepherd of a flock, but Cain became a man who worked the ground.

God’s Word                         Then she gave birth to another child, Abel, Cain's brother. Abel was a shepherd, and Cain was a farmer.

New American Bible              Next she gave birth to his brother Abel. Abel became a herder of flocks, and Cain a tiller of the ground. Some suggest the story reflects traditional strife between the farmer (Cain) and the nomad (Abel), with preference for the latter reflecting the alleged nomadic ideal of the Bible. But there is no disparagement of farming here, for Adam was created to till the soil. The story is about two brothers (the word "brother" occurs seven times) and God's unexplained preference for one, which provokes the first murder. The motif of the preferred younger brother will occur time and again in the Bible, e.g., Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, and David (1 Sm 16:1-13).

New Jerusalem Bible             Later she gave birth to his brother Abel. Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil.

New Simplified Bible              She gave birth to a second child, Abel, the brother of Cain. Now Abel became a shepherd and kept flocks, while Cain tilled the soil.

Revised English Bible            Afterwards she had another child, Abel. He tended the flock, and Cain worked the land.

Today’s NIV                          Later she gave birth to his brother Abel.

Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             Then again she became with child and gave birth to Abel, his brother. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a farmer.

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 She afterwards gave birth to his brother Abel. And Abel became a shepherd of sheep; but Cain was a cultivator of soil.

HCSB                                     Then she also gave birth to his brother Abel. Now Abel became a shepherd of a flock, but Cain cultivated the land.

NET Bible®                             Then she gave birth [Heb "And she again gave birth."] to his brother Abel [The name Abel is not defined here in the text, but the tone is ominous. Abel's name, the Hebrew word הֶבֶל (hevel), means "breath, vapor, vanity," foreshadowing Abel's untimely and premature death.]. Abel took care of the flocks, while Cain cultivated the ground. Heb "and Abel was a shepherd of the flock, and Cain was a worker of the ground." The designations of the two occupations are expressed with active participles, רֹעֵה (ro'eh, "shepherd") and עֹבֵד ('oved, "worker"). Abel is occupied with sheep, whereas Cain is living under the curse, cultivating the ground.

The Scriptures 1998              And again, she gave birth to his brother Heb?el. And Heb?el became a keeper of sheep, but Qayin became a tiller of the ground.


Limited Vocabulary Translations:


 

International Standard V        .


Catholic Bibles (those having the Imprimatur):

 

The Heritage Bible                 .


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

Kaplan Translation                 .


Expanded/Embellished Bibles:

 

Kretzmann’s Commentary    .

Lexham English Bible            .

Translation for Translators     .

The Voice                               .


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

The Amplified Bible                And [next] she gave birth to his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.

Concordant Literal Version    And proceeding is she to bear his brother Abel. And coming is Abel to be the grazier of a flock, yet Cain becomes a server of the ground.

Darby Translation                  And she further bore his brother Abel. And Abel was a shepherd, but Cain was a husbandman.

Emphasized Bible                  And she went on to hear his brother, Abel,—and Abel became a feeder of sheep, whereas Cain, was a tiller of the round.

English Standard Version      And again, she bore his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a worker of the ground.

Green’s Literal Translation    And she continued to bear his brother, Abel. And Abel became a shepherd of flocks. And Cain became a tiller of the ground.

Heritage Bible                        And she added another, bearing his brother, Abel. And Abel was a shepherd of flock animals, and Cain was a worker of the soil.

LTHB                                     And she continued to bear his brother, Abel. And Abel became a shepherd of flocks. And Cain became a tiller of the ground.

New King James Version       Then she bore again, this time his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.

Syndein                                  {Pessimism with Experience}

However she continued in her sexual relationship {with Adam} giving birth to his {Cain's} brother Abel {'Hebel'}. Now Abel was a Shepard/'keeper of sheep', and Cain was a farmer/'tiller of the ground'. {Note: Eve was now disillusioned toward 'manliness' so she called her next son 'Hebel' which means 'nothingness/vapor/vanity'. Greeks transliterated Hebel into 'Abel'.}.

A Voice in the Wilderness      And she bore again, his brother Abel. And Abel tended flocks, but Cain worked the ground.

World English Bible                Again she gave birth, to Cain's brother Abel. Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.

Young’s Updated LT             And she adds to bear his brother, even Abel. And Abel is feeding a flock, and Cain has been servant of the ground.

 

The gist of this verse:          The woman has a second child, Abel. Abel is a shepherd and Cain is a farmer.


Genesis 4:2a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

yâçaph (יָסַף) [pronounced yaw-SAHPH]

to add, to augment, to increase, to multiply; to add to do = to do again; to continue to

3rd person feminine singular, Hiphil imperfect

Strong's #3254 BDB #414

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

yâlad (יָלַד) [pronounced yaw-LAHD]

to give birth, to bear, to be born, to bear, to bring forth, to beget

Qal infinitive construct

Strong’s #3205 BDB #408

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

ʾâch (אָח) [pronounced awhk]

brother, kinsman or close relative

masculine singular noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #251 BDB #26

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

Hebel (הֶבֶל) [pronounced HEH-behl]

breath; empty, vain; transliterated Abel

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #1893 BDB #211


Translation: In addition, she gives birth to his brother, Abel. The woman really had no idea how many children that she would have. She probably expected one child, the Promised Seed, the Seed of the Woman. However, now she has two children.


Again is not an adverb but a verb. It is the Hiphil imperfect of yâçaph (יָסַף) [pronounced yaw-SAHPH] and it means to add to, to increase by, to have more. The Hiphil is the causative stem and this verb carries with it the singular feminine suffix. Eve was cause to increase or to add to her number of sons by one: Abel. The meaning of Abel's name is less certain, with possible suggestions of breath, fragility, vapor or son. It is quite likely that there was meaning to his name, but that has been lost over the millenniums which have passed.


Abel means empty, breath, vain. On several occasions, the child’s name in the Bible is similar to the child’s actual name, but it was given somewhat of a spin, more to match that person’s life on earth. However, here, I suspect that Eve decided to name this child. “I’ve already had the son promised from Yehowah; so let’s just name this boy empty, breath, vain. We already have the son we need.” Obviously, this is just conjecture on my part.


Genesis 4:2b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

hâyâh (הָיָה) [pronounced haw-YAW]

to be, is, was, are; to become, to come into being; to come to pass

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #1961 BDB #224

râʿâh (רָעָה) [pronounced raw-ĢAWH]

shepherding, tending [a flock]; a shepherd, one who tends sheep

masculine singular, Qal active participle; construct form

Strong’s #7462 BDB #944

This is the first occurrence of this word.

tsôʾn (צֹאן) [pronounced tzohn]

small cattle, sheep and goats, flock, flocks

feminine singular collective noun

Strong’s #6629 BDB #838

Also spelled tseʾôwn (צְאוֹן) [pronounced tseh-OWN]. This is the first occurrence of this word in the Bible.


Translation: He is a shepherd of a flock... The two oldest professions are found here: shepherd and farmer. Abel was a shepherd. They learned early on that domesticating animals was important for their survival. Although we have limited information about what God required in terms of animal sacrifices, we know that God first sacrificed an animal before Adam and the woman; and that Abel will offer up an animal sacrifice in this chapter. This would have been the content of the first religious services.


That Abel handled the livestock is quite fascinating. Man did not eat meat prior to the flood (Gen. 9:3). Therefore, Abel did not raise animals for food. He was able to domesticate them, to breed them, and he possibly used them to work in the fields. That farm animals were used for milk or for skins is quite possible; the latter is certainly very likely. However, primarily, animals were used to sacrifice to God. These animal sacrifices looked forward in time to Jesus Christ dying for the sins of man. They were a teaching device used by God, beginning when He covered Adam and the woman with animal skins.


Genesis 4:2c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

Qayin (קַיִן) [pronounced KAH-yin]

spear; to acquire and is transliterated Cain, Kain; Kenite

masculine singular, proper noun; also a gentilic adjective

Strong’s #7014 BDB #884

hâyâh (הָיָה) [pronounced haw-YAW]

to be, is, was, are; to become, to come into being; to come to pass

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong's #1961 BDB #224

ʿâbad (עָבַד) [pronounced ģawb-VAHD]

a worker, one who serves, a laborer; a slave; a tiller [of the soil]; a farmer, a gardener

masculine singular, Qal active participle; construct form

Strong's #5647 BDB #712

ʾădâmâh (אֲדָמָה) [pronounced uh-daw-MAWH]

ground, soil, dirt, earth, tillable earth, land, surface of the earth

feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong's #127 BDB #9


Translation: ...and Cain is a laborer of the ground. The actual oldest profession, as defined in Gen. 3:17–19. Whereas, in the garden, when Adam was hungry, he just reached for the nearest fruit from a tree and ate it; outside the Garden of Eden, in the fallen world, life was not nearly as easy.


We do not know how much guidance that Adam and Eve got from Jesus Christ when it came to raising their sons (and daughters, who are not mentioned). We do not have a set pattern of morality, examples of things which are wrong to help guide a child to do that which is right. The size of the society was small, but it appears to have grown rapidly. The things that Cain or Abel might think of doing may not even occur to Adam and Eve. Christian parents think that their job of raising their children is difficult because of all the outer influences. God has provided us with clear guidelines when it comes to raising children and clear guidelines for what is right and wrong. We need only start with a child while he or she is young and correctly love and discipline them. And they must both go together; if there is no discipline, then there is no love; just like if there is no knowledge of Who and What God is, then there is no love, no matter how emotional the person gets.


It has been suggested by those who object to the historicity of Genesis that this is an allegory, revealing the enmity which exists between the farmer and the sheepherder. This is pure conjecture as most allegories have in mind to teach some principle. There is nothing being taught here. The villain, clearly Cain, is a farmer; but then so was his father, Adam. So it is not implied or stated that farming is wrong in any way or inferior to shepherding. Cain is called upon to account for his offering, which was not efficacious, and for his actions in killing Abel. His vocation is never an issue.


Gen 4:2 Then she also gave birth to his brother Abel. Now Abel became a shepherd of a flock, but Cain cultivated the land.


Abel handled livestock and Cain was a farmer, which are two very reasonable choices in life. There was animal life and there was plant life. Cain chose to follow in his father’s profession of farming and Abel chose to deal with animals.


We would have naturally expected Cain to be a farmer, cultivating the land, because that is what his father, Adam, was. At that point in time, there was essentially one occupation, which was farming. However, somehow, as Abel grew to be a young man, he took up being a shepherd. When this just came to him or whether Adam dabbled in domesticating animals, we don’t know. However, by domesticating and directing certain animals, it is reasonable to assume that Abel was able to associate them with their farming. After all, they all had to eat, and that required farming.


These are brilliant men, who are probably far more intelligent than you and I. That Abel was able to figure out that animals could help with farming is not a huge step.


——————————


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


The Offerings of Cain and Abel


And so he is, from an end of days, and so takes Cain from produce of the ground a tribute offering to Yehowah.

Genesis

4:3

Then it came to pass, from the end of days, that Cain took produce from the ground [as] a tribute offering to Yehowah.

In the course of events, Cain took produce from his garden as a tribute offering to Jehovah.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Targum of Onkelos                And it was at the end of days, on the fourteenth of Nisan, that Kain brought of the produce of the earth, the seed of cotton (or line), an oblation of first things before the Lord;...

Latin Vulgate                          And it came to pass after many days, that Cain offered, of the fruits of the earth, gifts to the Lord.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so he is, from an end of days, and so takes Cain from produce of the ground a tribute offering to Yehowah.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And in the course of time it came to pass that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering to the LORD.

Septuagint (Greek)                And it was so after some time that Cain brought a sacrifice to the Lord of the fruits of the earth.

 

Significant differences: 


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           Some time later, Cain presented an offering to the Lord from the land's crops...

Contemporary English V.       One day, Cain gave part of his harvest to the LORD,...

Easy English                          Later, Cain brought some food from the ground as a gift to God.

Easy-to-Read Version            At harvest time [At harvest time, [25] Cain brought a gift to the Lord. Cain brought some of the food that he grew from the ground. But Abel brought some animals from his flock. Abel brought the best parts of his best sheep], Cain brought a gift to the Lord. Cain brought some of the food that he grew from the ground. But Abel brought some animals from his flock. Abel brought the best parts of his best sheep [Literally, "Abel brought some of his firstborn sheep, especially their fat."].

Good News Bible (TEV)         After some time Cain brought some of his harvest and gave it as an offering to the LORD.

The Message                         Time passed. Cain brought an offering to GOD from the produce of his farm.

New Berkeley Version           In the course of time Cain brought an offering to the Lord from the products of the soil,...

New Century Version             Later, Cain brought some food from the ground as a gift to God.

New Life Bible                        The day came when Cain brought a gift of the fruit of the ground to the Lord.

New Living Translation           When it was time for the harvest, Cain presented some of his crops as a gift to the Lord.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          After many days, Cain brought some of the fruit of the ground as a sacrifice to Jehovah,...

Ancient Roots Translinear      In the end of days, Cain had brought fruit of the earth for a food-gift to Yahweh.

Beck’s American Translation After some time Cain brought some products of the ground and made an offering to the LORD.

God’s Word                         Later Cain brought some crops from the land as an offering to the LORD.

NIRV                                      After some time, Cain gathered some of the things he had grown. He brought them as an offering to the Lord.

Revised English Bible            In due season Cain brought some of the fruits of the earth as an offering to the Lord.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             And after a time, Cain gave to the Lord an offering of the fruits of the earth.

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 And during the harvest time Cain brought some of the produce of the ground as an offering to the Ever-living.

HCSB                                     In the course of time Cain presented some of the land's produce as an offering to the LORD.

JPS (Tanakh—1917)               And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD.

JPS (Tanakh—1985)               In the course of time, Cain brought an offering to the Lord from the fruit of the soil;...

NET Bible®                             At the designated time [Heb "And it happened at the end of days." The clause indicates the passing of a set period of time leading up to offering sacrifices] Cain brought some of the fruit of the ground for an offering [The Hebrew term מִנְחָה (minkhah, "offering") is a general word for tribute, a gift, or an offering. It is the main word used in Leviticus 2 for the dedication offering. This type of offering could be comprised of vegetables. The content of the offering (vegetables, as opposed to animals) was not the critical issue, but rather the attitude of the offerer.] to the LORD.

The Scriptures 1998              And it came to be, in the course of time, that Qayin brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to יהוה.


Limited Vocabulary Translations:


 

International Standard V        .


Catholic Bibles (those having the Imprimatur):

 

The Heritage Bible                 .


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

Kaplan Translation                 .


Expanded/Embellished Bibles:

 

Kretzmann’s Commentary    .

Lexham English Bible            .

Translation for Translators     .

The Voice                               .


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

Concordant Literal Version    And coming is it, at the end of days, that bringing is Cain, from the fruit of the ground, a present offering to Yahweh.

A Conservative Version         And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought an offering to LORD of the fruit of the ground.

Context Group Version          And after awhile Cain brought of the fruit of the ground a tribute [ offering ] to YHWH.

English Standard Version      In the course of time Cain brought to the LORD an offering of the fruit of the ground.

Heritage Bible                        And it was at the end of days, that Cain came with the fruit of the soil, an offering to Jehovah.

LTHB                                     And in the end of days, it happened that Cain brought an offering to Jehovah from the fruit of the ground.

NASB                                     So it came about in the course of time [Lit at the end of days] that Cain brought an offering to the Lord of the fruit of the ground.

Syndein                                  So it came to pass after a lapse of time, that Cain brought a {bloodless} offering to the Lord from the fruit/produce of the soil/ground. {Note: The ground was good and the produce was also probably very good. But, this was a bloodless offering, which was outside the plan of God - so was worthlessness/evil. It was his OWN impressive work, but God is never impressed with the human works of mankind.}.

Updated Bible Version 2.11   And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering to Yahweh.

A Voice in the Wilderness      And at the end of so many days it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground unto Jehovah.

World English Bible                As time passed, it happened that Cain brought an offering to Yahweh from the fruit of the ground.

Young’s Updated LT             And it comes to pass at the end of days that Cain brings from the fruit of the ground a present to Jehovah.

 

The gist of this verse:          Cain brings an offering of fruits and vegetables to Yehowah.


Genesis 4:3a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

hâyâh (הָיָה) [pronounced haw-YAW]

to be, is, was, are; to become, to come into being; to come to pass

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #1961 BDB #224

Without a specific subject and object, the verb hâyâh often means and it will come to be, and it will come to pass, then it came to pass (with the wâw consecutive). It may be more idiomatically rendered subsequently, afterwards, later on, in the course of time, after which. Generally, the verb does not match the gender whatever nearby noun could be the subject (and, as often, there is no noun nearby which would fulfill the conditions of being a subject).

min (מִן) [pronounced min]

from, off, out from, out of, away from, on account of, since, than, more than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

qêts (ץ̤ק) [pronounced kayts]

end [usually of time]; end [of space]

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #7093 BDB #893

yâmîym (יָמִים) [pronounced yaw-MEEM]

days, a set of days; time of life, lifetime; a specific time period, a year

masculine plural noun

Strong’s #3117 BDB #398


Translation: Then it came to pass, from the end of days,... This is an interesting phrase which seems to indicate coming to the end of some particular, but unspecified time.

 

The Treasury of Scriptural Knowledge suggests that this is the end of the year or the end of the week (the Sabbath day). The NET Bible suggests: The clause indicates the passing of a set period of time leading up to offering sacrifices.


This phrase is translated variously:

 

Common English Bible           Some time later...

Contemporary English V.       One day...

Easy English                          Later...

Easy-to-Read Version            At harvest time [At harvest time, Cain brought a gift to the Lord. Cain brought some of the food that he grew from the ground. But Abel brought some animals from his flock. Abel brought the best parts of his best sheep],...

Good News Bible (TEV)         After some time...

The Message                         Time passed. Cain brought an offering to GOD from the produce of his farm.

New Life Bible                        The day came when...

New Living Translation           When it was time for the harvest...

American English Bible          After many days,...

Ancient Roots Translinear      In the end of days...

Bible in Basic English             And after a time...

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 And during the harvest time...

HCSB                                     In the course of time...

JPS (Tanakh—1917)               And in process of time it came to pass...

NET Bible®                             At the designated time [Heb "And it happened at the end of days." The clause indicates the passing of a set period of time leading up to offering sacrifices]...

The Scriptures 1998              And it came to be, in the course of time...

Concordant Literal Version    And coming is it, at the end of days...

A Conservative Version         And in process of time it came to pass...

Context Group Version          And after awhile...

Heritage Bible                        And it was at the end of days...

NASB                                     So it came about in the course of time [Lit at the end of days] ...

Syndein/Thieme                     So it came to pass after a lapse of time...

A Voice in the Wilderness      And at the end of so many days it came to pass...

World English Bible                As time passed, it happened that...


Quite obviously, even though we have quite a number of Bibles which agree upon the word-for-word translation of this short phrase, there is little agreement as to what it means. These are 5 fairly simple and straightforward words, so it is unusual to have so many different takes on v. 3a.


There seems to be three specific times which are suggested: the end of the week; the end of the year; the end of the harvest time. The first seems to be the most likely. However, this is likely the dramatic foreshadowing of the impending death of Abel. Certainly, we are at the end of the work week and there would be sacrifices offered up to Yehowah Elohim; but this day also marks the end of Abel’s life. This is a very dramatic act which will occur; the first human death and the first murder; the first body which will return to the dust of the earth.


Genesis 4:3b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

bôwʾ (בּוֹא) [pronounced boh]

to take in, to bring [near, against, upon], to come in with, to carry, to cause to come [in], to gather, to bring to pass

3rd person masculine singular, Hiphil imperfect

Strong’s #935 BDB #97

Qayin (קַיִן) [pronounced KAH-yin]

spear; to acquire and is transliterated Cain, Kain; Kenite

masculine singular, proper noun; also a gentilic adjective

Strong’s #7014 BDB #884

min (מִן) [pronounced min]

from, off, out from, out of, away from, on account of, since, than, more than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

perîy (פְּרִי) [pronounced peree]

fruit, produce (of the ground); fruit, offspring, children, progeny (of the womb); fruit (of one’s actions, labor)

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #6529 BDB #826

ʾădâmâh (אֲדָמָה) [pronounced uh-daw-MAWH]

ground, soil, dirt, earth, tillable earth, land, surface of the earth

feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong's #127 BDB #9


Translation: ...that Cain took produce from the ground... We may reasonably assume that God has set up specific sacrifices that must be offered up. I think this is for the end of a week; so, God has designated that an animal—perhaps a specific one—must be offered each week.


Cain, however, decides to change it up a little. He is going to offer up something to God, but that something will represent him, as a person; it will represent what he does. Not only are his works brought into the picture, but Cain’s own personal life and vocation are made an issue.


Essentially, this is man’s first attempt at religion. All of the most basic components of religion are found in Cain’s actions.

The Concept of Religion Comes from Cain

1.      Notice that the religion is all about Cain: his profession, his day-to-day life. He expects God to adapt to his personal lifestyle and vocation.

2.      Cain determines what is acceptable to God and what is not. God has required an animal sacrifice, but surely God will accept a sacrifice of produce—so Cain thinks.

3.      Thirdly, like all religions, this is based upon works. Cain offers up his works to God, believing them to be sufficient in the worship of God. He worked hard to produce these vegetables and he assumes that God will be impressed with his production, hard work and self-sacrifice.

4.      There is the reasonable possibility that Cain believes his works to be a little bit better than those of Abel. He has worked harder than Abel to produce these vegetables; Abel just took a live animal, which essentially grew on its own, and offered that up. Cain worked the ground, planted the seeds, tended to this garden day in and day out by weeding and watering it; and then, at the proper time, Cain harvested a wonderful crop of vegetables. This has to be clearly better than what Abel offers up, week after week.

5.      This act by Cain means that he rejects revealed truth. There was no Bible as we have today (I would reasonably assume that man memorized the Word of God for at least the first few chapters of Genesis). In essence, Cain would be rejecting Bible doctrine. God told him, “This is what I expect;” and Cain offers up an alternative.

6.      Cain makes up his own rules; he devises a substitute for and a copy of the procedures clearly laid out by God.

7.      It is also likely that Cain was self-righteous about his approach to God; what Abel did was so messy and mean, in his sacrifice of an innocent animal. Cain’s approach was much cleaner, nicer; in effect, better than Abel’s approach.

You will note that all elements of man’s religion are found here in what Cain does. Whether this is Islam, Buddhism, Shintoism, or whatever, these are the fundamental elements of those religions.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


Genesis 4:3c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

minechâh (מִנְחָה) [pronounced min-HAWH]

tribute offering, gift, present; sacrifice, bloodless offering; [a general term for] offering

feminine singular noun

Strong’s #4503 BDB #585

This is the first time this word is found in the Bible.

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

YHWH (יהוה) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217


Translation:...[as] a tribute offering to Yehowah. The way a term is used often determines the meaning of that term. We do not know where the word minechâh (מִנְחָה) [pronounced min-HAWH] came from. Did God use this word previously to describe this or that sacrifice? In any case, God the Holy Spirit uses this term to describe a bloodless sacrifice of works by Cain in this context; and for legitimate bloodless sacrifices in other contexts (Ex. 29:41 30:9 Lev. 5:15, 21–23). In this context, it is an illegitimate sacrifice of works.


Gen 4:3 In the course of time Cain presented some of the land's produce as an offering to the LORD.


This narrative makes little sense to a person unfamiliar with the basic themes of the Bible. God saved us, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy, through the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5). For it is by grace that you are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, so that no one should boast (Eph. 2:8–9). We know that man would produce food and sustenance from the sweat of his brow, and therefore, Cain must have worked hard on these vegetables and fruits, and he brought the works of his own hands to God. We know that such works are unacceptable to God.


——————————


And Abel takes also this [one] from a firstlings of his herd and from their fat [or, choicest cuts]. And so looks Yehowah unto Abel and unto his tribute offering;...

Genesis

4:4

Abel also took this [animal] from the firstborn of his herd as well as their choicest cuts [of meat]. Therefore, Yehowah looked [with approval] on Abel and on his tribute offering,...

Abel also was going to offer up a sacrifice. He took an animal from the firstborn of his herd along with the choicest cuts of meat to offer to Jehovah. Therefore, Jehovah looked on Abel and his tribute offering with approval;...


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Targum of Onkelos                ...and Habel brought of the firstlings of the flock, and of their fat; and it was pleasing before the Lord, and He gave (His) countenance to Habel and to his oblation;...

Latin Vulgate                          Abel also offered of the firstlings of his flock, and of their fat: and the Lord had respect to Abel, and to his offerings.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And Abel takes also this [one] from a firstlings of his herd and from their fat [or, choicest cuts]. And so looks Yehowah unto Abel and unto tribute offering;...

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And Abel also brought of the first-born of his flock and of the fatlings thereof. And the LORD was pleased with Abel and with his offering.

Septuagint (Greek)                And Abel also brought of the firstborn of his sheep and of his fatlings. And God looked upon Abel and his gifts,...

 

Significant differences: 


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           ...while Abel presented his flock's oldest offspring with their fat. The Lord looked favorably on Abel and his sacrifice...

Contemporary English V.       ...and Abel also gave an offering to the LORD. He killed the first-born lamb from one of his sheep and gave the LORD the best parts of it. The LORD was pleased with Abel and his offering,...

Easy English                          But Abel brought some pieces of meat with fat. They were from some sheep in his *flock. Those sheep were born first, before the other sheep were born. The *Lord was pleased with Abel. And he was pleased with Abel's *offering.

Good News Bible (TEV)         Then Abel brought the first lamb born to one of his sheep, killed it, and gave the best parts of it as an offering. The LORD was pleased with Abel and his offering,...

The Message                         Abel also brought an offering, but from the firstborn animals of his herd, choice cuts of meat. GOD liked Abel and his offering,...

New Berkeley Version           ...while Abel brought an offering from the first lings of his flocks, especially from their fat portions. The Lord approved of Abel and his offering,...

New Century Version             Abel brought the best parts from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord accepted Abel and his gift,...

New Living Translation           Abel also brought a gift-the best of the firstborn lambs from his flock. The Lord accepted Abel and his gift,...


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          ...while Abel brought the first-born of his sheep and of his belongings. And God looked favorably upon Abel and his gifts,...

Ancient Roots Translinear      Abel also brought the fat firstborn of his sheep. Yahweh regarded Abel and his food-gift....

Beck’s American Translation And Abel also brought some firstborn animals of his flock, especially some of the fat pieces. The LORD looked kindly at Abel and his offering,...

Christian Community Bible     Abel for his part brought the firstborn of his flock, and some fat as well. Now Yahweh was well-pleased with Abel and his offering,... Ex. 34:19

God’s Word                         Abel also brought some choice parts of the firstborn animals from his flock. The LORD approved of Abel and his offering, ...

New American Bible              ...while Abel, for his part, brought the fatty portion [Fatty portion: it was standard practice to offer the fat portions of animals. Others render, less satisfactorily, "the choicest of the firstlings." The point is not that Abel gave a more valuable gift than Cain, but that God, for reasons not given in the text, accepts the offering of Abel and rejects that of Cain.] of the firstlings of his flock.a The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering,...

NIRV                                      But Abel brought the fattest parts of some of the lambs from his flock. They were the male animals that were born first to their mothers.

The Lord was pleased with Abel and his offering.

New Jerusalem Bible             ...while Abel for his part brought the first-born of his flock and some of their fat as well. Yahweh looked with favour on Abel and his offering....

New Simplified Bible              But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn (firstlings) of his flock. Jehovah looked with favor on Abel and his offering....

Revised English Bible            ...while Abel brought the choicest of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord regarded Abel and his offering with favour,...


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             And Abel gave an offering of the young lambs of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord was pleased with Abel's offering;...

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 And Abel also brought of the best and the fattest of his sheep. And the Lord looked favourably upon Abel and his offering;...

HCSB                                     And Abel also presented an offering--some of the firstborn of his flock and their fat portions. The LORD had regard for Abel and his offering,...

JPS (Tanakh—1985)               ...and Abel, for his part, brought the choicest of the first lings of his flock. The Lord paid heed to Abel and his offering,...

NET Bible®                             But Abel brought [Heb "But Abel brought, also he.." The disjunctive clause (conjunction + subject + verb) stresses the contrast between Cain's offering and Abel's.] some of the firstborn of his flock — even the fattest [Two prepositional phrases are used to qualify the kind of sacrifice that Abel brought: "from the firstborn" and "from the fattest of them." These also could be interpreted as a hendiadys: "from the fattest of the firstborn of the flock." Another option is to understand the second prepositional phrase as referring to the fat portions of the sacrificial sheep. In this case one may translate, "some of the firstborn of his flock, even some of their fat portions" (cf. NEB, NIV, NRSV)]. [Here are two types of worshipers - one (Cain) merely discharges a duty at the proper time, while the other (Abel) goes out of his way to please God with the first and the best.] of them. And the LORD was pleased with [The Hebrew verb ?????? (sha'ah) simply means "to gaze at, to have regard for, to look on with favor [or "with devotion"]." The text does not indicate how this was communicated, but it indicates that Cain and Abel knew immediately. Either there was some manifestation of divine pleasure given to Abel and withheld from Cain (fire consuming the sacrifice?), or there was an inner awareness of divine response.] Abel and his offering,...


Limited Vocabulary Translations:


 

International Standard V        .


Catholic Bibles (those having the Imprimatur):

 

The Heritage Bible                 .


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

Kaplan Translation                 .


Expanded/Embellished Bibles:

 

Kretzmann’s Commentary    .

Lexham English Bible            .

Translation for Translators     .

The Voice                               .


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

Concordant Literal Version    Abel also is bringing, he, moreover, from the firstlings of his flock, and from their fat. And heed is Yahweh giving to Abel and to his present offering,...

Context Group Version          And Abel, he also brought of the firstborns of his flock and of the fat. And YHWH had regard to Abel and to his tribute [ offering ]:...

English Standard Version      ...and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the LORD had regard for Abel and his offering,...

Heritage Bible                        And Abel also came with the firstborn of his flock, and of the fat. And Jehovah gazed upon [gazed upon. sha‘ah. God gazed upon Abel’s offering with great satisfaction, whereas Cain’s offering was not worthy enough for God to gaze at. See Num 16:15.] Abel and his offering;... Heb. 11:4

LTHB                                     And Abel brought, he also, from the firstlings of his flocks, even from their fat. And Jehovah looked to Abel and to his offering.

Syndein                                  But Abel, he also brought of the first born of his flock and of the best parts thereof. And Jehovah/God approved of Abel and his offering. {Note: This offering was acceptable because it was what God directed them to do. Following the will of God is the issue.}.

World English Bible                Abel also brought some of the firstborn of his flock and of the fat of it. Yahweh respected Abel and his offering,....

Young’s Updated LT             And Abel, he has brought, he also, from the female firstlings of his flock, even from their fat ones; and Jehovah looks unto Abel and unto his present.

 

The gist of this verse:          Abel brought to God an animal to be sacrificed, of the firstborn of his block. God honors Abel’s tribute offering.


Genesis 4:4a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

Hebel (הֶבֶל) [pronounced HEH-behl]

breath; empty, vain; transliterated Abel

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #1893 BDB #211

bôwʾ (בּוֹא) [pronounced boh]

to take in, to bring [near, against, upon], to come in with, to carry, to cause to come [in], to gather, to bring to pass

3rd person masculine singular, Hiphil perfect

Strong’s #935 BDB #97

gam (גַם) [pronounced gahm]

also, furthermore, in addition to, even, moreover

adverb

Strong’s #1571 BDB #168

hûwʾ (הוּא) [pronounced hoo]

he, it; himself as a demonstrative pronoun: that, this (one)

3rd person masculine singular, personal pronoun; sometimes the verb is, is implied

Strong’s #1931 BDB #214

min (מִן) [pronounced min]

from, off, out from, of, out of, away from, on account of, since, than, more than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

bekôrôwth (בְּכֹרוֹח) [pronounced beh-koh-ROWTH]

firstborn animals [of a flock], first lings, offspring

feminine plural construct

Strong’s #1062 BDB #114

tsôʾn (צֹאן) [pronounced tzohn]

small cattle, sheep and goats, flock, flocks

feminine singular collective noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #6629 BDB #838

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

min (מִן) [pronounced min]

from, off, out from, of, out of, away from, on account of, since, than, more than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

chêleb (חֵלֶב) [pronounced KHAY-lebv]

fat; choicest, best part, abundance (of products of the land)

masculine singular noun with the 3rd person feminine plural suffix

Strong’s #2459 BDB #316


Translation: Abel also took this [animal] from the firstborn of his herd as well as their choicest cuts [of meat]. The adverb also simply indicates that Abel would also offer up a tribute offering to God. He chose from his firstborn and took some of the choicest cuts of meat as well to offer up to God.


There are two ways to understand this phrase. Abel took choice cuts of meat from his flock to offer up to God; or Abel took choice animals from his flock to offer up to God. The 3rd person feminine plural suffix refers back to feminine plural construct of bekôrôwth (בְּכֹרוֹח) [pronounced beh-koh-ROWTH], which means, firstborn animals [of a flock], first lings, offspring. This seems to be the former option; otherwise, it appears as if we are essentially repeating the first portion of this sentence unnecessarily. But, whatever, the case, this is the prescribed form of worship, already established in Gen. 3, and certainly reinforced.


In any case, Abel did not simply bring an animal to God and say, “Here it is.” The use of the word chêleb above indicates that the animal had to be sacrificed; it had to be cut up and offered as a blood sacrifice to God.


The NET Bible suggests that the placing of the subject of the verb first, that this creates a contrast to what has come before. This would allow us to say, On the other hand, Abel also took... or But Abel also took... Kelley’s Biblical Hebrew suggests, instead, that emphasis is simply being placed on Abel; which could be interpreted as a contrast to Cain.


I have mentioned earlier in our studies that the Bible was divided into verses and into chapters long after the Bible had been completed. Gen. 4:4–5 illustrate this. This should have been 3 verses, not 2, and the thought at the end of v. 4 carries into v. 5. I have correctly divided them above and below.


Abel brought to God an animal sacrifice. In order for Abel to bring to God these fat portions, the animal must be first slaughtered. Abel did not bring live animals to God and say, “You can have this calf which was just born.” The animal was slaughtered and then cut up.


What follows is a new sentence which should be tied with v. 5a. Nearly every translation combines the latter portion of v. 4 with the first part of v. 5 to make a full sentence.


Genesis 4:4b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

shâʿâh (שָעָה) [pronounced shaw-ĢAW]

to look, to look around [for help]; to gaze at [steadily, with interest]; to look at [with approval or interest], to regard; to behold

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #8159 BDB #1043

Often, key in translating this word is the preposition which follows it.

YHWH (יהוה) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

ʾel (אֶל) [pronounced ehl]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

Hebel (הֶבֶל) [pronounced HEH-behl]

breath; empty, vain; transliterated Abel

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #1893 BDB #211

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʾel (אֶל) [pronounced ehl]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

minechâh (מִנְחָה) [pronounced min-HAWH]

tribute offering, gift, present; sacrifice, bloodless offering; [a general term for] offering

feminine singular noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #4503 BDB #585


Translation: Therefore, Yehowah looked [with approval] on Abel and on his tribute offering,... Although the verb to look can simply mean to look, context dictates that God looked at Abel’s offering with interest, regard or approval. God’s approval and regard were both for Abel and for his tribute offering, which is, in this case, a blood sacrifice.


With regards to Abel’s sacrifice and the animal offered up before Adam and the woman, we do not know exactly what was offered or any of the particulars, apart from it being an animal which was offered up sacrificially. The final information about the choicest cut or the fat parts indicates that the animal died as a part of this offering to God.


As was the case with the slaughter of the animal in Gen. 3, nothing is actually said about the way that the animal is sacrificed to God. However, what probably occurs here is, the animal’s throat is cut with a metal knife. At this point, I am just going to let that hang out there without justification. However, quite obviously, God has created Adam and then Eve, and Cain and Abel have been born from them; but, somehow, it appears that there is a knife involved here.


Recall that, one of the things which I have suggested—and this is speculation without any proof—is that God provided Adam with tools to work with to garden with. There is nothing in the Bible to suggest that Adam had to somehow evolve from anything. One instant, he was a lifeless body that God made; and the next instant, he was alive when God breathed the breath of lives into him. That is not speculation; that is from the Bible. Also, God is able to make tools which are far better than those that we purchase at Lowe’s or Home Depot. I am simply suggesting that God made these tools and gave them to Adam to work with.


After Adam and the woman sinned, there was the slaughter of an animal, but no information was given here. How was the animal slaughtered and skinned? I believe that God (the Preincarnate Christ) did this with a knife, which knife was then given to Adam to use for sacrifices in the future. That is partial speculation. However, when we get to v. 8, I will give more justification for this view.


——————————


...and unto Cain and unto his tribute offering, He had not looked [with approval]. And so burns to Cain exceedingly and so falls his faces.

Genesis

4:5

...but unto Cain and his burnt offering, He did not look [approvingly]. Consequently, He burned with extreme anger toward Cain and his face fell.

...but He did not looking approvingly upon Cain or upon his burnt offing. In fact, He burned with extreme anger toward Cain and Cain’s countenance fell.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Targum of Onkelos                ...but to Kain and to his oblation He gave no countenance. And Kain was angered greatly, and the features of his face were downcast.

Latin Vulgate                          But to Cain and his offerings he had no respect: and Cain was exceeding angry, and his countenance fell.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        ...and unto Cain and unto his tribute offering, He had not looked [with approval]. And so burns to Cain exceedingly and so falls his faces.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    But with Cain and with his offering he was not pleased. So Cain was exceedingly displeased, and his countenance was sad.

Septuagint (Greek)                ...but Cain and his sacrifices He regarded not, and He was exceedingly sorrowful and toward Cain and his countenance fell.

 

Significant differences: 


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           ...but didn't look favorably on Cain and his sacrifice. Cain became very angry and looked resentful.

Contemporary English V.       ...but not with Cain and his offering. This made Cain so angry that he could not hide his feelings.

Easy English                          But he was not pleased with Cain. And he was not pleased with Cain's *offering. So Cain was very angry. And his face showed that he had a lot of hate.

Easy-to-Read Version            But the Lord did not accept Cain and his offering. Cain was sad because of this, and he became very angry.

Good News Bible (TEV)         ...but he rejected Cain and his offering. Cain became furious, and he scowled in anger.

The Message                         ...but Cain and his offering didn't get his approval. Cain lost his temper and went into a sulk.

New Berkeley Version           ...but He did not approve of Cain and his offering. Then Cain’s anger grew hot, and his face fell.

New Century Version             ...but he did not accept Cain and his gift. So Cain became very angry and felt rejected.

New Living Translation           ...but he did not accept Cain and his gift. This made Cain very angry, and he looked dejected.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          ...but He didn't pay attention to Cain and to his sacrifices, so Cain was very sad and his face [reflected] this.

Ancient Roots Translinear      But he did not regard Cain and his food-gift. Cain flared a hundredfold, and his face fell.

Beck’s American Translation ...but He didn’t look kindly at Cain and his offering. Then Cain got very angry and wouldn’t look up.

God’s Word                         ...but he didn't approve of Cain and his offering. So Cain became very angry and was disappointed.

New American Bible              ...but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry and dejected.

NIRV                                      But he wasn't pleased with Cain and his offering. So Cain became very angry. His face was sad.

New Simplified Bible              ...He did not look with favor on Cain and his offering. So Cain became very angry, and his face was downcast (he had a bad attitude).

Revised English Bible            ...but not Cain and his offering. Cain was furious and he glowered.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             But in Cain and his offering he had no pleasure. And Cain was angry and his face became sad.

HCSB                                     ...but He did not have regard for Cain and his offering. Cain was furious, and he was downcast.

JPS (Tanakh—1917)               ...but unto Cain and to his offering He had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.

JPS (Tanakh—1985)               ...but to Cain and his offering He paid no heed. Cain was much distressed and his face fell.

NET Bible®                             ...but with Cain and his offering he was not pleased [The Letter to the Hebrews explains the difference between the brothers as one of faith - Abel by faith offered a better sacrifice. Cain's offering as well as his reaction to God's displeasure did not reflect faith. See further B. K. Waltke, "Cain and His Offering," WTJ 48 (1986): 363-72.]. So Cain became very angry [Heb "and it was hot to Cain." This Hebrew idiom means that Cain "burned" with anger.], and his expression was downcast [Heb "And his face fell." The idiom means that the inner anger is reflected in Cain's facial expression. The fallen or downcast face expresses anger, dejection, or depression. Conversely, in Num 6 the high priestly blessing speaks of the Lord lifting up his face and giving peace.]..


Limited Vocabulary Translations:


 

International Standard V        .


Catholic Bibles (those having the Imprimatur):

 

The Heritage Bible                 .


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

Kaplan Translation                 .


Expanded/Embellished Bibles:

 

Kretzmann’s Commentary    .

Lexham English Bible            .

Translation for Translators     .

The Voice                               .


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

The Amplified Bible                But for Cain and his offering He had no respect or regard. So Cain was exceedingly angry and indignant, and he looked sad and depressed. In bringing the offering he did, Cain denied that he was a sinful creature under the sentence of divine condemnation. He insisted on approaching God on the ground of personal worthiness. Instead of accepting God's way, he offered to God the fruits of the ground which God had cursed. He presented the product of his own toil, the work of his own hands, and God refused to receive it (Arthur W. Pink, Gleanings in Genesis).

Concordant Literal Version    ...yet to Cain and to his present offering He does not give heed. And hot is Cain's anger exceedingly, and falling is his face.

A Conservative Version         ...but he did not have respect to Cain and to his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell.

English Standard Version      ...but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell.

Green’s Literal Translation    And He did not look to Cain and to his offering. And Cain glowed greatly with anger, and his face fell.

Hebrew Names Version         ...but he didn't respect Kayin and his offering. Kayin was very angry, and the expression on his face fell.

Heritage Bible                        And he did not gaze upon Cain and his offering. And Cain burned exceedingly, and his face fell.

LTHB                                     And He did not look to Cain and to his offering. And Cain glowed greatly with anger, and his face fell.

Owen's Translation                But for Cain and his offering he had no regard so was angry Cain very and fell his countenance.

Syndein                                  But of Cain and his offering He {God} did not approve. Consequently, Cain was extremely angry, and his face 'became contorted'/'overtly expressed that anger'. {Note: Cain was angry and frustrated because God rejected his offering. Cain was proud of his 'work'. He was jealous that God accepted Abel's offering. He rejected the fact that both Cain and Abel were taught doctrine and how the blood sacrifice was a shadow of Jesus Christ's sacrifice on the cross. Without doctrine, you cannot cope with the disappointments of life and you get angry and frustrated. Injured pride results in jealousy!}.

A Voice in the Wilderness      ...but He did not have regard for Cain and his offering. And Cain's anger burned greatly, and his countenance fell.

World English Bible                ...but he didn't respect Cain and his offering. Cain was very angry, and the expression on his face fell.

Young’s Updated LT             ...and unto Cain and unto his present He has not looked; and it is very displeasing to Cain, and his countenance is fallen.

 

The gist of this verse:          God does not show any regard for Cain’s tribute offering; in fact, God is angry toward Cain and Cain’s countenance falls.


Genesis 4:5a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʾel (אֶל) [pronounced ehl]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

Qayin (קַיִן) [pronounced KAH-yin]

spear; to acquire and is transliterated Cain, Qayin, Kain; Kenite

masculine singular, proper noun (BDB #884); also used as a gentilic adjective (BDB #883)

Strong’s #7014 BDB #883–884

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʾel (אֶל) [pronounced ehl]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

minechâh (מִנְחָה) [pronounced min-HAWH]

tribute offering, gift, present; sacrifice, bloodless offering; [a general term for] offering

feminine singular noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #4503 BDB #585

lôʾ (לֹא or לוֹא) [pronounced low]

not, no

negates the word or action that follows; the absolute negation

Strong’s #3808 BDB #518

shâʿâh (שָעָה) [pronounced shaw-ĢAW]

to look, to look around [for help]; to gaze at [steadily, with interest]; to look at [with approval or interest], to regard; to behold

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong’s #8159 BDB #1043


Translation: ...but unto Cain and his burnt offering, He did not look [approvingly]. We have a contrast here between God looking upon Abel and God looking upon Cain. God did not look with approval upon Cain or upon his offering. God accepts Abel, but not Cain. In this same way, God accepts the believer in Jesus Christ; he does not accept the follower of Mohammed or the follower of Confucius or the follower of Buddha. God is very specific with what is acceptable and what is not. Buddha, Mohammed and Confucius did not die for your sins. These are charismatic men who developed a following, but these are men who had sin natures. There is nothing that they could offer that would make a man clean before God. They can require their followers to, say, quit using drugs and to stop acting like A-holes, and, as a result, their followers will live better lives (because they are conforming more closely to the laws of divine establishment).


Application: This used to concern me as a believer early on; I would see people in other religions, and they would often show a change for the better. I recall one friend of mine who became a scientologist. Now, sure, some of the things that he did were goofy; but he stopped using drugs and stopped feeling sorry for himself, and that made him a better person. This does not mean that he was saved; it meant that his life had improved here on earth.


Application: All a person needs to do is haul out the laws of divine establishment (HTML) (PDF) and examine them and decide to live his life according to these laws.


However, making your life better on this earth, by, say, working hard, taking responsibility for a family, obeying the law, not using drugs or drinking heavily, will make your life better all the way around. However, none of this will save you. Best that you can do is have a better life on earth. We are only saved by believing in Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ died for our sins; Jesus Christ paid the penalty for our sins; and therefore, it is only through Him that we can be saved.


The animal sacrifice that Abel offered up was representative of Jesus Christ dying for our sins.


If you follow the laws of divine establishment more carefully, more people will look upon you with favor; if you believe in Jesus Christ, then God will look upon you with favor.


Gen 4:4b–5a The LORD had respect for Abel and his offering, but He did not have respect for Cain and his offering.


God has respect or regard for the offering of Abel but not for Cain. The word respect is the Hebrew word shâʿâh (שָעָה) [pronounced shaw-ĢAW] and it means to simply gaze upon. By implication, it means to consider, to inspect, to look upon steadily with interest. When Abel brought his offering, God continued to look upon it with interest and regard (Qal imperfect) and when Cain brought his offering, the offering of his own works, God did not even look at it (Qal perfect). When Jesus Christ stopped appearing physically to man, we do not know. My personal picture here is that these two brothers see our Lord face to face (our Lord would be in human form or in the form of an angel). He continues to look at what Abel has brought Him but He does not even glance at what Cain has brought. It is not unlike attending a party and two guests arrive at the same time and both present a gift to the host; the host takes one and admires it and thanks the guest for it. The other one is not taken from the second guest; nor is it even acknowledged. This is God the Son that is doing this and Cain should realize that there is a reason for it. Instead of examining his own gift or his own life (which is lacking in faith in Jesus Christ), his anger burns against his brother.


The verb here is a bit tricky. By itself, it means to look at, to gaze upon, to behold. With the preposition unto (which preposition generally designates respect or deference), most translators then understand the verb to mean to have respect for, to have regard for. The King James Version, which is reasonably consistent, gives 9 different translations to this one verb which is only found 15 times in 3 stems (the Hebrew stem will modify the meaning of a verb) Let me that, when I give the meaning for a verb, I always take into account the stem of the verb in context, whether I mention the stem or not.


If we wanted to give this verb the most limited meaning, then God looked upon Abel’s animals, which were sacrificed to Him. The imperfect tense indicates that God continued to look upon his sacrifices. However, God did not even look upon Cain’s fruits and vegetables. Surely, you have had the experience where you are standing with Charley Brown and a friend of Charley’s comes up to you, and talks to Charley as if you are not even there. That is the sense of this verse. There is interaction between God and Abel, but it is as if Cain is not even there.


The difference is simple: Cain brought to God the works of his hands: his fruits and vegetables, which he had slaved over. Abel brought God animal sacrifices, which looked forward to the death of Jesus Christ on the cross. God found Abel’s offering acceptable, but He rejected Cain’s. A sacrificed animal represents Jesus Christ; recently harvested vegetables do not. These recently harvested vegetables represent the work of man’s hands.


What is being taught here, in seedling form, is, we cannot bring our works before God. He has given us the only acceptable sacrifice, which is Jesus Christ, His Son. When we come to God, it must be on the basis of the sacrifice and death of Jesus Christ; never on the basis of our own works.


As is pointed out by Zodhiates, notice that God first mentions the person then the offering. The offering was an indication of the state of their heart; Abel was a believer and trusted in Jesus Christ and Cain was not necessarily an unbeliever, but he was a believer who trusted in the works of his own hands. That is, his human efforts were his works before God. Still, even though Cain was wrong, God came to him:


Genesis 4:5b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

chârâh (חָרָה) [pronounced khaw-RAWH]

to burn, to kindle, to become angry, to burn with anger; to evoke great emotion

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #2734 BDB #354

If this anger was to be received by God from Cain, then this would be the Niphal stem. Since no subject is specified and because God was the subject of the previous phrase, God would be the subject here.

The preposition which follows this verb often determines or colors its meaning.

When followed by the bêyth preposition, this means to burn with anger against [someone]. If following by in his eyes, the emphasis is upon the gaze of the person who is angered. Similarly used, but found less often, ʾel (אֶל) [pronounced ehl] and ʿal (עַל) [pronounced ģahl].

The lâmed preposition would be used to indicate toward whom the anger is directed or for whom the anger is kindled.

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

Qayin (קַיִן) [pronounced KAH-yin]

spear; to acquire and is transliterated Cain, Qayin, Kain; Kenite

masculine singular, proper noun (BDB #884); also used as a gentilic adjective (BDB #883)

Strong’s #7014 BDB #883–884

meʾôd (מְאֹד) [pronounced me-ODE]

exceedingly, extremely, greatly, very

adverb

Strong’s #3966 BDB #547


Translation: Consequently, He burned with extreme anger toward Cain... I must admit that, when I saw this in the Hebrew, I was quite surprised. I had, like nearly everyone else, assumed that it is Cain who is angry (v. 6 suggests this as well, because God asks Cain, “Why are you angry?”). However, Cain’s name is preceded by the lâmed preposition. This means that the anger is directed toward Cain or the anger is for Cain. The LXX is in agreement with this text.


What is the problem? Most translators do not want God to be angry, particularly at Cain. However, Cain has disobeyed God in his offering. Therefore, God is angry with Cain. What this means is, Cain is not obeying God’s mandate for the proper sort of sacrifice; therefore, Cain is out of line and God is angry with Cain.


Let’s take this in points, because I realize this is different than the translation you have in your hand.

Cain is not the Subject of Genesis 4:5b

1.      Most translations have something like: And Cain's anger burned greatly... (VW) or Cain was very angry... (WEB).

2.      That is, Cain is the subject of the verb, according to most translators.

3.      However, a lâmed preposition is affixed to Cain; and a lâmed preposition indicates (1) that Cain is not the subject and (2) the direction of the anger—the anger is directed toward Cain.

4.      There is no subject specifically named in this phrase.

5.      The verb means to burn, to kindle, to become angry, to evoke great emotion, to burn with anger.

6.      The verb is a 3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect; therefore, we look for the closes 3rd person masculine singular noun, which is Yehowah, Who is found as the subject of the verb at the end of v. 4, is the implied subject of the verb in v. 5a, and is the subject of the first verb in v. 6a.

7.      There is only one other possible subject, which is face, countenance, except that it is a masculine plural noun (the Hebrew uses the plural noun always for face, as it is a combination of things).

8.      There is no word for anger in v. 4:5b, so it cannot be Cain’s anger that burns.

9.      The Greek translation is in agreement with all that I have said so far, except that they have a different verb here: ...and He was exceedingly sorrowful and toward Cain.

10.    The only thing which would suggest that Cain is angry and with a fallen countenance is God’s question to him in the next verse: “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen?”

11.    However, I must go with the available text in this verse. If there were leeway to translate this so that either God or Cain could be the subject of the verb, then v. 6 would indicate that Cain is the subject. However, there is no such choice here in the Hebrew of v. 5.

12.    Therefore, I must translate this verse as it stands, come what may, and then explain v. 6.

13.    So, God is spoken of as angry here in v. 5 (an anthropopathism) but Cain is angry as well.

14.    Therefore, my translation, which is Consequently, He burned with extreme anger toward Cain..., is the accurate one. Burned with anger is a reasonable translation of the verb.

What I have noticed in many cases is, the KJV sets the standard, even if their translation is incorrect. Therefore, if the KJV gets something wrong, then most Bibles simply follow their lead.

There is certainly the possibility that the lâmed preposition is a slip of the “pen” and that it does not belong here and, semi-fortunately, this portion is available in the Dead Sea Scrolls. However, I only have a translation from the Dead Sea Scrolls, rather than the Hebrew. However, because the Greek does not have Cain as the subject, my thought would be that the Dead Sea Scrolls also have the lâmed preposition (as the Dead Sea Scrolls libraries were roughly coterminous with the translating of the LXX).


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The correct translation is Consequently, He burned with extreme anger toward Cain... Obviously, this gives us a problem. God is angry with Cain. Is God allowed to be angry? Does God feel anger?


God’s anger is an anthropopathism, where we take a characteristic of man and apply it to God to help explain better God’s actions, thoughts and policies. God is not angry; but this explains what a problem Cain’s offering is; what is disconnect we have here.


Since Joe Griffin has already done a good job on this doctrine, there is no need for me to reinvent the wheel.

Joe Griffin’s Doctrine of Anthropopathisms

1.      Definition and Description:

         a.      Anthropopathism is a compound of two Greek words, anthrōpos (ανθρωπος), meaning “man,” and pathos (παθος), meaning “to suffer.” Together they form the Classical Greek word anthrōpopatheō (ανθρωποπαθεω): “to have human feelings.”

         b.      An anthropopathism is “language of accommodation” that ascribes to God a human characteristic which He does not actually possess, but is used to reveal and explain God’s policy toward mankind in terms familiar to a human frame of reference.

         c.      Accommodation means that human modus operandi is ascribed to God, such as human affection or human sins, so that man can understand divine policy, attitude, and function.

         d.      Misunderstanding language of accommodation leads to confusion about the essence of God and the stability of His divine attributes.

         e.      In order for the infinite modus operandi of God to be understood by the finite human mind, certain human characteristics are ascribed to God to help explain His statements and actions.

         f.       Some of the anthropopathisms ascribed to God in Scripture are love, compassion, and longsuffering; hatred, anger, wrath, and vengeance.

         g.      The purpose of biblical anthropopathisms is to explain to man in language he can understand divine function toward humanity, both individual and collective.

2.      Classifications of Anthropopathisms:

         a.      Non-sinful:

                  i.       Love.

                            (1)     The anthropopathism is not the same as the divine attribute. The former expresses divine motivation, approval, and acceptance. The latter is an absolute which means it cannot change. Divine love always functions in a rational manner, devoid of either emotional content or any system of irrationality.

                            (2)     On the other hand, the anthropopathism of love indicates approval from the human frame of reference whereas His wrath denotes disapproval.

                            (3)     2 Corinthians 9:7 -        Every one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

                  ii.      Compassion. Pity, a synonym for compassion, implies sorrow for one in misery or distress. Compassion implies pity coupled with an urgent desire to aid or to spare. These are emotional reactions to others’ trials and God is not emotional.

                            (1)     Emotion is a response to an outside event. God is not emotional because His omniscience prevents anything from catching Him by surprise.

                            (2)     The emotion of compassion is used to characterize in human terms the grace and mercy of God toward man. Grace is the policy of the plan of God which provides for man what he cannot do for himself; mercy is amplified grace which shows forbearance.

                            (3)     Psalm 78:38 -      But He, being compassionate, forgave their [ the Israelites’ ] iniquity and did not destroy them; and often He restrained His anger and did not arouse all His wrath [ grace and mercy ].

                  iii.      Longsuffering.

                            (1)     The Greek word for patience is ὑπομονη and is never used in Scripture with God as the subject. Instead there is the word “longsuffering”: μακροθυμεω, a compound of μακρος, long, and θυμος, anger and it refers to the application of understanding and patience. This means that God will put up with your foolishness far longer than anybody else will.

                            (2)     2 Peter 3:9 -        The Lord is slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient [μακροθυμεω: longsuffering ] toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.

         b.      Sinful:

                  i.       Hatred.

                            (1)     God does not sin, therefore, He does not hate. It is ascribed to God merely to express divine disapproval since man understands hatred as a sinful emotion that expresses such. Romans 9:13 -   Just as it is written [in Malachi 1:2-3], “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” This verse references a quote from Malachi but refers to a sequence of events chronicled in Genesis 25:27-34 where Isaac’s firstborn, Esau, sold his birthright to his younger brother, Jacob, in exchange for a bowl of stew. The line of Christ originally went through Esau:

                            (2)     The Edenic promise of the Satan-Bruiser was fixed in the family of Abraham (Genesis 3:15). The order of promise was Able, Seth, Shem, Abraham, Isaac, Esau. As the first-born Esau was in the distinct line of the promise to Abraham of the Earth-Blesser (Genesis 12:3). For all that was revealed, these great promises might have been realized in Esau. For a fleeting, fleshly gratification Esau sold this birthright.

                            (3)     In every case, those who made up the line of Christ were believers. Esau was not but Jacob was. Therefore, it was the will of God that the birthright owned by Esau be passed over to Jacob. Reason? God loved Jacob but he hated Esau.

                            (4)     In order to understand biblical passages that assign to God terms of human emotion or sinfulness, the student must be able to distinguish the difference between divine attributes and anthropopathisms.

                            (5)     The divine attribute of love is an absolute; it is undiminished and never affected by the successes or failures of mankind. God is love, therefore, as a divine attribute it does not require an object.

                            (6)     The anthropopathism of love takes the human characteristic and assigns it to God in order to explain divine policy in terms of human frame of reference and is designed to show approval or acceptance.

                            (7)     Hatred on the other hand is a sin and is obviously not among those attributes that make up the essence of God. Consequently, when hatred is assigned to God it is simply language of accommodation showing divine disapproval.

                            (8)     Therefore, when Paul writes that God loves Jacob, the verb is an anthropopathism showing divine approval of the younger brother because of his faith in Messiah.

                            (9)     Conversely, when Paul writes that God hates Esau, the verb is an anthropopathism showing divine disapproval of the elder brother because of his rejection of Messiah.

I realize that, for most people, God’s love, as an anthropopathism, gives you pause. It did me too, the first time R. B. Thieme, Jr. began to teach it.

Although I could not find this on Joe Griffin’s site, Google allowed me to access it here as a RTF document. Accessed May 20, 2012.


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What we are not told in this verse is, Cain is also angry. He worked hard on these vegetables and God is ignoring all of his work. That Cain is angry will be clear when God speaks to him.


Genesis 4:5c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

nâphal (נָפַל) [pronounced naw-FAHL]

to fall, to lie, to die a violent death, to be brought down, to settle, to sleep deeply; to desert

3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong's #5307 BDB #656

pânîym (פָּנִים) [pronounced paw-NEEM]

face, faces, countenance; presence; person; surface

masculine plural construct (plural acts like English singular); with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #6440 BDB #815


Translation: ...and his face fell. The countenance that would have fallen would be Cain’s.


Because of the way vv. 4 and 5 are divided up, let’s take them both together:

Genesis 4:4–5

Version

Text/Commentary

Ultra-literal

And Abel takes also this [one] from a firstlings of his herd and from their fat [or, choicest cuts]. And so looks Yehowah unto Abel and unto his tribute offering; and unto Cain and unto his tribute offering, He had not looked [with approval]. And so burns to Cain exceedingly and so falls his faces.

Reasonably literal

Abel also took this [animal] from the firstborn of his herd as well as their choicest cuts [of meat]. Therefore, Yehowah looked [with approval] on Abel and on his tribute offering, but unto Cain and his burnt offering, He did not look [approvingly]. Consequently, He burned with extreme anger toward Cain and his face fell.

Freer translation

Abel also was going to offer up a sacrifice. He took an animal from the firstborn of his herd along with the choicest cuts of meat to offer to Jehovah. Therefore, Jehovah looked on Abel and his tribute offering with approval; but He did not looking approvingly upon Cain or upon his burnt offing. In fact, He burned with extreme anger toward Cain and Cain’s countenance fell.

This way, we have all of the sentences together in a way that they make sense.


Chapter Outline

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Remember how God promised Adam that he would spend all of his days sweating in a field growing enough food to eat. This is what Cain has been doing. He has been working for weeks on these fruits and vegetables. Most of us have planted a garden at one time or another, and the time between planting and harvesting is a long time, and it requires some work. So Cain, for weeks on end, had first worked this soil; and he carefully selected plants, seedlings or seeds, which he carefully planted, watered, and looked over, keeping these plants from being eaten by animals or insects. He may have dug a canal or he might be carrying water from a nearby river to his crops. Then Cain, after months of work, took the best of his fruit and vegetables—produce which looked luscious, produce which Cain would love to eat. But instead of enjoying the fruits of his labor, he brings these to God, and God does not even look at them. It is as if Cain is not even there. All of this hard work, all of this wasted produce—the best of Cain’s crop that season—and God has absolutely no regard for it. Cain was furious; he burned with anger. He thought about it, and it made him mad; he thought about it some more, and he became furious. The verb which we find here, along with the adverb, indicates that this anger was something which Cain stoked like a fire.


There are two separate offerings which are brought to God—some animals, which were presumably killed before God; and a fruit basket. There was considerably more work involved in the second gift—in Cain’s gift. With regards to Abel’s gift, he domesticated animals, but they had the calves or lambs or whatever it was; but Abel did not do any work when it came to producing that baby animal.


We do not know precisely what took place. Did God consume the animal with flames? We do not know the specifics; we simply know that God accepted Abel’s offering and He rejected Cain’s. Whatever happened, it was apparent that God looked with favor upon Abel and his animals; and that He ignored Cain and his abundance of vegetables and fruits.


The Bible is subtle. The author does not beat us over the head with an explanation here (as I am doing); he simply records what happened. We know that God honors the animal sacrifice because this looks forward to the offering of His Son, the Lamb of God. He does not honor the offering of Cain, because this simply speaks of man bringing to God the works of his hands. Our works are unacceptable to God.


As a child, you may have been told, “If you are a good little boy (or girl), God will bring you into heaven; and if you are bad, God will cast you into hell.” That is simply not true. The Bible teaches us that we are all flawed. We are born with a sin nature which permeates our body and soul. To this sin nature has been imputed Adam’s original sin, so that we stand condemned by God at the moment of our birth. And, as soon as we have an opportunity to exercise our volition, we sin. These 3 types of sin form a barrier between man and God. No matter how good we are, our good deeds cannot break down this threefold barrier. No matter what, these fruits and vegetables—the works of our hands—are not acceptable to God. Our works mean nothing to God. God is completely holy, which means that He is righteous and just. There can be no contamination of God’s attributes. He cannot look down at us and say, “You know, Cain, you worked really, really hard on growing those vegetables. I know that this represents months of work, and, even though this is not generally My policy, you worked so hard, that I have to say good job with respect to these fruits and vegetables which you have brought to Me.” God cannot do this. It is contrary to His character. God does not reward us for effort. God does not reward us for good intentions. God does not reward us for human good. Our good works are not acceptable before God. He [God, our Savior] saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to His Own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior (Titus 3:5).


The sin nature has an area of weakness and an area of strength. From the area of weakness, the sin nature produces sins; from its area of strength, it produces human good (human good is called dead works in Heb. 6:1 and wood, hay and stubble in !3:11–15, to be burned up by God—but we will be saved, yet so as through fire). However, both sin and human good are repugnant to God because it has the same source—your sin nature.


I am sure that you have owned a cat at some point in time, and that cat captured and killed a rat, and then brought it to you—this smelly, dirty, torn-up, dead or half-dead rat, which your cat spent hours catching and killing, and now he brings this present to you, to show you what he is up to. You’re not going to frame that dead rat; you are not going to save it as a memorial to your cat’s hard work; you are not going to put this rat in a sealable clear bag and save it in the freezer and show it to friends and family when they come by; you are going to throw the rat in the garbage, because it is gross and offensive to you; furthermore, you might even yell at your cat. The works of our hands are gross and offensive to God. God does not honor human good. God does not reward us for having a moral life. Our sin nature, Adam’s imputed sin and our actual sins are offensive to God, and they stand between us and a holy God. Christ’s death on the cross removes these barriers between man and God; our good works do not. So God honors the offering of Abel, which offering represents Christ’s death on the cross. God disregards Cain’s offering, which offering represents the work of his corrupt hands.


Another illustration: let’s say you observe a man digging through a smelly garbage can with his bare hands. Then you observe him unclog a stopped up toilet, filled to the brim. And then this same man, without washing his hands, prepares the most beautiful fruit salad for you that you have ever seen. Are you going to eat it? You cannot even think about eating this salad because of the activity that the preparer has done. The idea makes you retch. His filthy hands have corrupted what he produces, even though you may not see any evidence of this on the fruit plate he offers you. This is how God sees the works of our hands. We are all unclean and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags [to God] (Isa. 64:6a). The Hebrew here actually reads menstruous rags rather than filthy rags.


Let me give you a modern-day example of how human good is harmful to mankind. Several influential environmentalists decided, back in the 1960's, that DDT was a terrible poison and that it should not be used. One of the results of this anti-DDT movement is, DDT is not used in Africa. We may argue as to the problems of the use of DDT, but not using it has allowed mosquitos to flourish in Africa, along with the disease malaria, and literally millions of Africans have died from malaria. Using DDT in Africa would have saved many of these lives and it would have prevented a great deal of suffering in Africa. These people who managed to get such a ban on DDT believed that they were (and are) doing the right thing. They believe that their actions were to benefit mankind; and, as a result, millions have died.


Junk Science has a page on DDT: http://www.junkscience.com/ddtfaq.html


Most people do not even have a clue as to what has occurred here. When I read this story as an unbeliever, it seemed particularly arbitrary. Cain has worked hard in his garden and he brings to God the best of his production as a sacrifice. It is possible that Cain does not want to harm an animal and would rather offer God a kinder and gentler offering. To me, in my unbelieving youth, it seemed as though what Cain was offering was reasonable and, if anything, commendable. The problem is that our human good and our human works mean nothing whatsoever to God. In fact, all of our righteousnesses are as filthy rags in His sight (Isa. 64:6). This confuses the unbeliever and sometimes puts him off when it comes to Christianity. How can someone spend most of their life trying to do good for others, living sacrificially, thinking nice thoughts as often as possible; and then be condemned to eternity in hell? What kind of an arbitrary God is that and what kind of a religion would teach that? At this point in time, we have had one pronouncement of morality of which we are cognizant: do not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This is the second; and the first recorded one for a fallen world. Fruits and vegetables, the works of man's hands, are not offerings that God will regard as efficacious. There must be a blood sacrifice. An innocent life must be given in order for God to accept the sacrifice. From the very beginning, God would have to send His Son, Jesus Christ to the cross to pay for our sins with His blood sacrifice, the innocent on behalf of the guilty. Every animal sacrifice was a shadow and spoke of this sacrifice which was real and still to come.


The difference between Cain and Abel and their sacrifices is the difference between true Christianity and any other religion, sect or cult:

How to Distinguish Between Christianity and Christian Cults

True Christianity

Religion, "Christian" cults, Catholicism, etc.

God seeks us (Gen. 3:9 4:6)

We seek God* (Acts 17:27)

God provides the means of salvation (Gen. 3:15,21 II Cor. 5:21)

We provide the means for our salvation

We come to God on the basis of a blood sacrifice of that which is innocent (Gen. 3:21 4:3–5 I Peter 3:18)

We come to God on the basis of our good life, our works, our human goodness (Luke 19:18–25 Rom. 4:2)

God reaches down to us (John 1:1,14 3:27)

We reach up to God (Gen. 3:3–5)

Our salvation and relationship with God is based upon what God has done for us in the form of Jesus Christ on the cross (Gal. 2:16,21 3:13 Tit. 3:5)

Our salvation and relationship to God is based upon our being a good person, following the law or the ten commandments, etc. (Rom. 3:20–21)

Salvation is free (Rom. 4:5 Eph. 2:8)

We earn our salvation (Rom. 9:31)

Salvation is unmerited (I Cor. 4:7 Eph. 2:9)

If we are bad, we are not saved (Luke 23:39–43)

Righteousness is imputed (Rom. 4:22 9:30)

Righteousness is earned (Acts 17:25)

Salvation is permanent (Psalm 37:24 John 10:27–30 Rom. 8:1 11:1,2,29

It is possible to lose our salvation if we commit enough sins or rebel against God (I Cor. 5:17)

Our righteousness is Christ's righteousness (Jer. 33:16 Rom. 5:17)

Our righteousness is a personal righteousness or a self-righteousness (Isa. 64:6 Phil. 3:9)

Salvation requires not just faith in God but comes through faith in Christ (John 14:1 Rom. 3:22 4:3,4)

Salvation is through faith in ourselves (Luke 18:9–14)

Salvation is only through Jesus Christ (Isa. 43:11 Hos. 13:4 John 14:6 Acts 4:12)

God is revealed to man in many ways: as Jesus Christ, Buddha, Mohammed, Joseph Smith, etc.

Salvation is a matter of God's righteousness (Rom. 5:21)

Salvation is related to our righteousness (Matt. 19:16–22 Luke 18:9)

Our righteousness comes by faith (Rom. 4:4,5 10:10)

Our righteousness comes by works (Luke 10:25–37 Tit. 3:5)

*        I don't want this to be confused with positive volition. There is a sense in which we seek God. We have a desire to have a relationship with Him; to know Him. However, God must come to us as a response to our positive volition; if He did not, we would have no way of knowing Him.


Chapter Outline

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The offering brought by the two sons is an indication of the condition of their heart; that is, Abel recognizes that God expects blood sacrifice of the innocent for his covering and Cain does not. Cain thinks that he must work and do something difficult, and then give that to God. This is because, at least at this point in time, Cain is an unbeliever and Abel is a believer in Jesus Christ. Heb. 11:4 confirms this: By faith, Abel offered to God a superior sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained the testimony that he was righteous, God Himself giving approval to his gifts [i.e., his offering] and through it [his faith] even though he is dead, he still speaks." (Heb. 11:4). Abel's gift or offering showed that he was righteous. He believed in Jesus Christ and his gift was a witness to that faith. Even though he was killed, the quality of his offering due to his faith still stand as a testimony even until today. Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness (Heb. 9:22b).


To sum up: Cain brings to God the works of his own hands; his filthy hands were a part of all that he brought to God, and God had to reject his works. God cannot look with favor on Cain’s works any more than we can longingly look upon a fruit salad prepared by a man who has just unclogged a toilet.


Let’s review what we have so far:


Gen 4:1–2 Adam knew his wife Eve intimately, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain. She said, "I have acquired a male child with [or, by] the LORD." Then she also gave birth to his brother Abel. Now Abel became a shepherd of a flock, but Cain cultivated the land.


You will recall that God had promised deliverance to Adam and the woman through the Seed of the woman, The woman assumed that her firstborn was just that—the Seed which would crush the serpent’s head.


Gen 4:3–5 In the course of time Cain presented some of the land's produce as an offering to the LORD. Abel also presented an offering--some of the firstborn of his flock and their fat portions. The LORD had respect for Abel and his offering, but He did not have respect for Cain and his offering. Consequently, He was extremely furious with Cain, and he [Cain] was downcast.


Time passes and Cain and Abel bring offerings to God. Abel brings an animal sacrifice and Cain brings the works of his hands, a bloodless offering, the fruits and vegetables from his farming. God looked upon Abel’s offering with favor; but God ignored Cain’s. According to the Hebrew, God did not even look at Cain’s offering. It was as if Cain didn’t exist and all of his hard work was for naught. God’s only emotion, and this is anthropopathic, is anger. Of course, this angers Cain and makes him feel dejected.


——————————


And so says Yehowah unto Cain, “For why has he burned to you? And for why has fallen your faces?”

Genesis

4:6

Therefore, Yehowah said unto Cain, “Why is anger burning to you? And why has your face fallen?”

Therefore, Jehovah said to Cain, “Why are you burning with anger? And why are you looking so dejected?”


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Targum of Onkelos                And the Lord said to Kain, Why hast thou anger, and why are the features of thy face downcast?

Latin Vulgate                          And the Lord said to him: Why are you angry? And why is your countenance fallen?

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so says Yehowah unto Cain, “For why has he burned to you? And for why has fallen your faces?”

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And the LORD said to Cain, Why are you displeased? And why is your countenance sad?

Septuagint (Greek)                And the Lord God said to Cain, Why are you downcast, and why has your countenance fallen?

 

Significant differences: 


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           The Lord said to Cain, "Why are you angry, and why do you look so resentful?

Contemporary English V.       The LORD said to Cain: What's wrong with you? Why do you have such an angry look on your face?

Easy English                          Then the *Lord said to Cain, `Why are you so angry? Why does your face show a lot of hate?

Easy-to-Read Version            The Lord asked Cain, “Why are you angry? Why does your face look sad?

Good News Bible (TEV)         Then the LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry? Why that scowl on your face?

The Message                         GOD spoke to Cain: "Why this tantrum? Why the sulking?

New Berkeley Version           The Lord asked Cain: Why are you angry, and why is your face downcast?

New Century Version             The Lord asked Cain, "Why are you angry? Why do you look so unhappy?

New Life Bible                        Then the Lord said to Cain, "Why are you angry? And why are you looking down?

New Living Translation           "Why are you so angry?" the Lord asked Cain. "Why do you look so dejected?


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          Then Jehovah God asked Cain, 'Why are you so sad and why is your face so long

Ancient Roots Translinear      Yahweh said to Cain, "What flares you? Why is your face fallen?

Beck’s American Translation “Why are you angry,” God asked Cain, “and why are you looking down.

God’s Word                         Then the LORD asked Cain, "Why are you angry, and why do you look disappointed?

NIRV                                      Then the Lord said to Cain, "Why are you angry? Why are you looking so sad?

Revised English Bible            The Lord said to Cain,

‘Why are you angry? Why are you scowling?


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             And the Lord said to Cain, Why are you angry? and why is your face sad?

HCSB                                     Then the LORD said to Cain, "Why are you furious? And why are you downcast?

JPS (Tanakh—1985)               And the Lord said to Cain,

“Why are you distressed,...

Judaica Press Complete T.    And the Lord said to Cain, "Why are you annoyed, and why has your countenance fallen?

NET Bible®                             Then the LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry, and why is your expression downcast?


Limited Vocabulary Translations:


 

International Standard V        .


Catholic Bibles (those having the Imprimatur):

 

The Heritage Bible                 .


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

Kaplan Translation                 .


Expanded/Embellished Bibles:

 

Kretzmann’s Commentary    .

Lexham English Bible            .

Translation for Translators     .

The Voice                               .


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

The Amplified Bible                And the Lord said to Cain, Why are you angry? And why do you look sad and depressed and dejected?

Concordant Literal Version    And saying is Yahweh Elohim to Cain, "Why is your anger hot? And why does your face fall?

LTHB                                     And Jehovah said to Cain, Why have you angrily glowed, and why has your face fallen?

Syndein                                  {Interrogation by God to Awaken Cain}

And Jehovah/God {Jesus} said unto Cain, Why are you angry? And why is your face contorted?

A Voice in the Wilderness      So Jehovah said to Cain, Why does your anger burn? And why has your countenance fallen?

World English Bible                Yahweh said to Cain, "Why are you angry? Why has the expression of your face fallen?

Young’s Updated LT             And Jehovah says unto Cain, “Why have You displeasure? And why has Your countenance fallen?.

 

The gist of this verse:          God asks Cain why he is angry and why his face has fallen.


Genesis 4:6a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

ʾâmar (אָמַר) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

YHWH (יהוה) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

ʾel (אֶל) [pronounced ehl]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

Qayin (קַיִן) [pronounced KAH-yin]

spear; to acquire and is transliterated Cain, Qayin, Kain; Kenite

masculine singular, proper noun (BDB #884); also used as a gentilic adjective (BDB #883)

Strong’s #7014 BDB #883–884


Translation: Therefore, Yehowah said unto Cain,... God still speaks with respect to Cain, which suggests that Cain believes in Jehovah Elohim (the Preincarnate Christ).


Genesis 4:6b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to, belonging to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

mâh (מָה) [pronounced maw]

what, how, why

interrogative; exclamatory particle

Strong’s #4100 BDB #552

Lâmed + mâh can be rendered why, for what reason, to what purpose, for what purpose, indicating an interrogatory sentence. BDB also offers the rendering lest. Gesenius, perhaps for this passage alone (1Chron. 15:13), offers the rendering on account of [that] which, because that.

chârâh (חָרָה) [pronounced khaw-RAWH]

to burn, to kindle, to become angry, to burn with anger; to evoke great emotion

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong's #2734 BDB #354

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix; pausal form

No Strong’s # BDB #510


Translation:...“Why is anger burning to you? It is difficult to give this a perfectly accurate translation. “For what reason is [there] burning to you?” “Why for you is [there] anger?” For whatever reason, God does not ask Cain, Why are you angry? Or, why are you angered? This could even be translated, “Why has he burned [in anger] to you?” (This, in fact, would be the most literal translation). Given the context and given what Cain will do, it is reasonable to assume that Cain is angry. We know how much work it is to work and farm and then he lays out all of his work before God, and God has no regard for the work of Cain’s hands.


Genesis 4:6c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to, belonging to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

mâh (מָה) [pronounced maw]

what, how, why

interrogative; exclamatory particle

Strong’s #4100 BDB #552

Lâmed + mâh can be rendered why, for what reason, to what purpose, for what purpose, indicating an interrogatory sentence. BDB also offers the rendering lest. Gesenius, perhaps for this passage alone (1Chron. 15:13), offers the rendering on account of [that] which, because that.

nâphal (נָפַל) [pronounced naw-FAHL]

to fall, to lie, to die a violent death, to be brought down, to settle, to sleep deeply; to desert

3rd person masculine plural, Qal perfect

Strong's #5307 BDB #656

pânîym (פָּנִים) [pronounced paw-NEEM]

face, faces, countenance; presence; person; surface

masculine plural construct (plural acts like English singular); with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #6440 BDB #815


Translation: And why has your face fallen?” Cain is obviously hurt by all of this; and he expresses this in his face. He believed that his words before God would not simply be acceptable, but that God might even praise them. However, God did not even regard the works of Cain’s hands.


God knows why Cain is angry; He is omniscient. However, with unbelievers, God must reach out and initiate the conversation, as it were. The same is true for believers out of fellowship. God speaks first. Cain's anger and the fallen face—an expression of disappointment after all of that work—are both in the Qal perfect. The perfect is a completed action. The imperfect is used with God speaking to Cain, meaning that He had begun to speak to Cain or (later on in this passage) that this was another portion of what He said to Cain. There were no widely accepted rules of behavior in the first days. Cain does not hide his anger nor does he play poker.


Gen 4:6 Then the LORD said to Cain, "Why are you furious? And why are you downcast [lit., and why has your face fallen]?


For several generations, Jehovah Elohim seemed to have a face to face relationship with man. All of the language in this passage seems to indicate that Cain, Abel and God are all together in one place. That God is speaking with Cain and teaching him, suggests to me that Cain is saved (he obviously believes in Jehovah Elohim, although he does not do what he has been instructed to do by Jehovah Elohim). What Cain does by way of his offering to God does not illustrate Jesus to come, and Yehowah herein reasons with him.


In the original Hebrew, this reads God says unto Cain... The preposition of respect is used here. I have looked at several translations, and none of them give a literal rendering to God’s first question: “Why is there burning anger to you?” Every translation which I have seen renders this verb as this is a 2nd person verb (e.g., why are you burning with anger?), but the verb is actually in the 3rd person followed by the prepositional phrase to [or, for] you.


Cain does nothing to hide his feelings. His face has fallen. He feels insulted and overlooked. Quite obviously, this does not mean that his face literally fell; but his expression was one of great disappointment as his anger continues to seethe.


Throughout the Bible, we ought to simply read the words and understand them as we would any other piece of literature. I take the Bible literally; however, when we have a phrase like, “Why has your face fallen?” we can reasonably assume that Cain’s face has not literally fallen from off of his skull, but that this is an expression of disappointment, anger, and jealousy. In other words, we can take the Bible literally without literally interpreting phrases and sentences which clearly are not literal.


Let’s review:


Gen 4:1–6 Adam knew his wife Eve intimately, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain. She said, "I have acquired a male child with [or, by] the LORD." Then she also gave birth to his brother Abel. Now Abel became a shepherd of a flock, but Cain cultivated the land. In the course of time Cain presented some of the land's produce as an offering to the LORD. Abel also presented an offering--some of the firstborn of his flock and their fat portions. The LORD had respect for Abel and his offering, but He did not have respect for Cain and his offering. God was extremely furious with Cain, and Cain’s face was downcast. Then the LORD said to Cain, "Why are you furious? And why are you downcast [lit., and why has your face fallen]?


Human good often leads to sin and even to murder. The sin nature produces human good just as it produces sin. One of the most common sins which results from the production of human good is self righteousness. I am sure you have observed this in others. Someone does something good (in their own estimation), and then, they just have to go out and tell people about it. Their soul lusts for approbation and recognition (the sin nature also possesses a lust pattern).


A significant number of people in the environmental movement are heavily involved in human good. As a result, they become self-righteous and often angry toward those with whom they disagree. A minority in the environmental movement have parlayed this anger and self righteousness into violence, and, in a few instances, murder. Essentially, these are following the way of Cain, spoken of in Jude 1:11.


Cain and Abel are spoken of again in the great faith chapter of Hebrews: By faith we understand the ages [periods of time = dispensations] to have been prepared by the Word of God. For the things that are seen do not come to be from that which is visible. By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, because of which he was reported to be righteous [this is experiential righteousness], God testifying about his gifts [God looked upon Abel’s animal sacrifice with favor], and through it [through his gift], he who died [Abel] still speaks (Heb. 11:3–4). Abel was told what sort of a sacrifice to bring to God, and he believed God and brought God an animal sacrifice. It is this sacrifice that God continues to testify about, and Abel’s righteousness is witnessed to by God. The slain animal speaks of Jesus Christ and Abel stood upon the blood of Christ in order to be righteous. Because this is recorded in the Word of God, Abel’s testimony still speaks to us. Again, even here in the book of Hebrews, the offering of Cain is completely ignored.


Cain, from his sin nature, presented the best of his crops to God. His sin nature desired recognition from God. He became angry and implacable. God will tell him what he needs to do, but Cain will not hear of it. Instead, he will murder his own brother.


God continues to speak to Cain.


——————————


Is not if you do well, a lifting up? And if you do not do well, to the door sin is lying [in wait]. And to you his desire and you [even] you rule in him.”

Genesis

4:7

Is [it] not [true that], if you do good, [there is] a lifting up [of your countenance]; and if you do not do good, [then] the penalty [for sin] is lying in wait at the door. And to you [is] his desire and you [even] you will have dominion over him.”

Is it not true that, when you do what is right, your countenance will be lifted; and when you do not do what is right, then there is a penalty for sin lying at your door. His desire to you (is for you to do well); and, as a result, you will have dominion over him.”


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Targum of Onkelos                If you do your work well, will not your guilt be forgiven you? But if you do not your work well in this world, your sin is retained unto the day of the great judgment, and at the doors of your heart lies your sin. And into your hand have I delivered the power over evil passion, and unto you will be the inclination thereof, that you may have authority over it to become righteous, or to sin.

Latin Vulgate                          If you do well, will you not receive? but if ill, will not sin forthwith be present at the door? but the lust thereof will be under you, and you will have dominion over it.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        Is not if you do well, a lifting up? And if you do not do well, to the door sin is lying [in wait]. And to you his desire and you [even] you rule in him.”

Peshitta (Syriac)                    Behold, if you do well, shall you not be accepted? and if you do not well, sin lies at the door. You should return to your brother, and he shall be subject to you.

Septuagint (Greek)                Have you not sinned if you have brought it rightly, but not rightly divided it? Be still, to you shall be his submission, and you shall rule over him.

 

Significant differences: 


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           If you do the right thing, won't you be accepted? But if you don't do the right thing, sin will be waiting at the door ready to strike! It will entice you, but you must rule over it."

Contemporary English V.       If you had done the right thing, you would be smiling. But you did the wrong thing, and now sin is waiting to attack you like a lion. Sin wants to destroy you, but don't let it!

Easy English                          If you do the right thing, I will certainly accept you. v7 But if you do not do the right thing, *sin can come in. *Sin is like an animal that is waiting at your door. It has bent down low on the ground, so that it is ready to catch you. *Sin wants to overcome you, but you must rule over it.”

Easy-to-Read Version            If you do good things, you will be right with me. Then I will accept you. But if you do wrong things, then that sin is in your life. Your sin will want to control you, but you must control that sin.” But if you … control that sin Or, "But if you don’t do right, then sin is crouching at your door. It wants you, but you must rule over it."

Good News Bible (TEV)         If you had done the right thing, you would be smiling; but because you have done evil, sin is crouching at your door. It wants to rule you, but you must overcome it."

The Message                         If you do well, won't you be accepted? And if you don't do well, sin is lying in wait for you, ready to pounce; it's out to get you, you've got to master it."

New Berkeley Version           If you do right, will there not be a lifting up? But if you misbehave, sin is crouching at the door; its intention is toward you, and you must master it.

New Century Version             If you do things well, I will accept you, but if you do not do them well, sin is ready to attack you. Sin wants you, but you must rule over it."

New Life Bible                        Will not your face be happy if you do well? If you do not do well, sin is waiting to destroy you. Its desire is to rule over you, but you must rule over it."

New Living Translation           You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master."


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          Why, even if you didn't bring righteously, did you sin by sharing? Leave it alone, for [Abel] will submit to you and you will [rule] over him!' Note how very different is this translation from the others.

Ancient Roots Translinear      If you do-good, you will not swell. When you do- no good, sin reclines in the opening. Your passion rules you!" Cain said it to Abel his brother.

Beck’s American Translation But if you don’t do right, sin is crouching at your door and wants to get you; but you should control it.”

Christian Community Bible     If you do right, why do you not look up? But if you are not doing what is right, sin is lurking at the door. It is striving to get you, but you must control it.”

God’s Word                         If you do well, won't you be accepted? But if you don't do well, sin is lying outside your door ready to attack. It wants to control you, but you must master it."

New American Bible              If you act rightly, you will be accepted;* but if not, sin lies in wait at the door: its urge is for you, yet you can rule over it. Sir 7:1; Jude 11.

NIRV                                      Do what is right. Then you will be accepted. If you don't do what is right, sin is waiting at your door to grab you. It longs to have you. But you must rule over it."

New Jerusalem Bible             If you are doing right, surely you ought to hold your head high! But if you are not doing right, Sin is crouching at the door hungry to get you. You can still master him.'

New Simplified Bible              »If you do what is right, will not your attitude improve? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door. It desires to have you, but you must master it.«

Revised English Bible            If you do well, you hold your head up;

if not, sin is a demon crouching at the door;

it will desire you, and you will be mastered by it.’ The REB actually has these lines all indented one more indent.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             If you do well, will you not have honour? and if you do wrong, sin is waiting at the door, desiring to have you, but do not let it be your master.

Complete Jewish Bible           If you are doing what is good, shouldn't you hold your head high? And if you don't do what is good, sin is crouching at the door - it wants you, but you can rule over it."

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 If you do right, is there not approval? And if you do not do right, Sin crouches at the door and awaits you; but you should conquer it.”

JPS (Tanakh—1985)               Surely, if you do right,

There is uplift,

But if you do not do right

Sin crouches at the door;

Its urge is toward you,

Yet you can be its master.” The JPS actually indents these one more indent.

Judaica Press Complete T.    Is it not so that if you improve, it will be forgiven you? If you do not improve, however, at the entrance, sin is lying, and to you is its longing, but you can rule over it."

New Advent Bible                  If you do well, shall you not receive? But if ill, shall not sin forthwith be present at the door? But the lust thereof shall be under you, and you shall have dominion over it.

NET Bible®                             Is it not true [The introduction of the conditional clause with an interrogative particle prods the answer from Cain, as if he should have known this. It is not a condemnation, but an encouragement to do what is right.] that if you do what is right, you will be fine [The Hebrew text is difficult, because only one word occurs, ?????? (sÿ'et), which appears to be the infinitive construct from the verb "to lift up" (??????, na'as). The sentence reads: "If you do well, uplifting." On the surface it seems to be the opposite of the fallen face. Everything will be changed if he does well. God will show him favor, he will not be angry, and his face will reflect that. But more may be intended since the second half of the verse forms the contrast: "If you do not do well, sin is crouching.." Not doing well leads to sinful attack; doing well leads to victory and God's blessing.]? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching [The Hebrew term translated "crouching" (?????, rovets) is an active participle. Sin is portrayed with animal imagery here as a beast crouching and ready to pounce (a figure of speech known as zoomorphism). An Akkadian cognate refers to a type of demon; in this case perhaps one could translate, "Sin is the demon at the door" (see E. A. Speiser, Genesis [AB], 29, 32-33).] at the door. It desires to dominate you, but you must subdue it." Heb "and toward you [is] its desire, but you must rule over it." As in Gen 3:16, the Hebrew noun "desire" refers to an urge to control or dominate. Here the desire is that which sin has for Cain, a desire to control for the sake of evil, but Cain must have mastery over it. The imperfect is understood as having an obligatory sense. Another option is to understand it as expressing potential ("you can have [or "are capable of having"] mastery over it."). It will be a struggle, but sin can be defeated by righteousness. In addition to this connection to Gen 3, other linguistic and thematic links between chaps. 3 and 4 are discussed by A. J. Hauser, "Linguistic and Thematic Links Between Genesis 4:1-6 and Genesis 2-3," JETS 23 (1980): 297-306.

NIV – UK                                If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.'

The Scriptures 1998              “If you do well, is there not acceptance? And if you do not do well, sin [Sin (transgression of the law) was already then known, as we also read in 39:9.] is crouching at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should master it.”


Limited Vocabulary Translations:


 

International Standard V        .


Catholic Bibles (those having the Imprimatur):

 

The Heritage Bible                 .


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

Kaplan Translation                 .


Expanded/Embellished Bibles:

 

Kretzmann’s Commentary    .

Lexham English Bible            .

Translation for Translators     .

The Voice                               .


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

Concordant Literal Version    Would you not, should you be doing well, lift it up? And should you not be doing well, at the opening a sin offering is reclining, and for you is its restoration. And you are ruler over it.

 

ontext Group Version   If you do well, shall it not be lifted up and if you do not well, disgrace is crouching at the door: and to you shall be its desire, but you shall rule over it.

Darby updated Translation     If you do well, will not [your countenance] look up [with confidence]? and if you do not well, sin lies at the door; and unto you [will be] his desire, and you will rule over him.

English Standard Version      If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it."

English Standard V. – UK       If you do well, will you not be accepted [Hebrew will there not be a lifting up [of your face]?]? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for [Or against] you, but you must rule over it."

exeGeses companion Bible   If you well-please,

and if you well-please not,

sin crouches at the portal:

and his desire is toward you; and you reign over him.

LTHB                                     If you do well, is there not exaltation? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is toward you; but you should rule over it.

Syndein                                  Is it not, if you do well {the correct things - Faith in Christ - learn doctrine}, an uplifting {restoring the face to the proper features}/ 'source of contentment'? And is it not, if you do not do well {reject faith in Christ - self-righteousness/human Righteousnesses}, the sin bearer {Jesus Christ} is crouching {waiting} at the door. And unto you {Cain} is His desire {Jesus desires to save Cain also}, And {if Cain does become a believer} you {as the older SAVED brother - potential ruler only} shall rule over him {Abel}. {Note: Both brothers heard the correct protocol to give offering to God. Cain in his arrogance and self-righteousness would not accept Christ as his substitute and stand on His righteousness. Instead, Cain substituted his own human viewpoint and offered his own human works/righteousness.}.

Webster updated Bible           If you do well, will you not be accepted? and if you do not well, sin lies at the door. And to you [will be] his desire, and you will rule over him.

World English Bible                If you do well, will it not be lifted up? If you don't do well, sin crouches at the door. Its desire is for you, but you are to rule over it."

Young’s Updated LT             Is there not, if you do well, acceptance? And if you do not well, at the opening a sin-offering is crouching, and unto you its desire, and You rule over it.”

 

The gist of this verse:          God tells Cain, that if he does the right thing—i.e., offers the correct sacrifice—then he will be approved. Cain is jealous of Abel, but Cain could rule over Abel, as the firstborn, so there is no reason for Cain’s jealousy.


You ought to be forewarned that (1) this is a very difficult verse to translate and explain; and (2) you probably have heard it incorrectly explained. Most of you think that sin is there crouching at the door and that God is telling Cain to master his desires and to control his sin. However, grammatically, it cannot be so interpreted. Whatever Cain is supposed to have dominion over, it cannot be sin. The Hebrew does not allow for that.


Genesis 4:7a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

hă (הֲ) [pronounced heh]

interrogative particle which acts almost like a piece of punctuation, like the upside-down question mark which begins a Spanish sentence. The verb to be may be implied. This can be used in an indirect interrogation and translated whether.

Strong’s #none BDB #209

lôʾ (לֹא or לוֹא) [pronounced low]

not, no

negates the word or action that follows; the absolute negation

Strong’s #3808 BDB #518

Hă lôʾ together expect an affirmative answer and can be translated is not? Let me suggest, this might be understood to mean, is it not true that? Or, isn’t this the case that? Or, is it not obvious that? These two words together present a question with an obvious, self-evident answer. This combination is found in Gen. 4:7 20:5 Job 1:10 Num. 23:26 1Kings 1:11.

ʾîm (אִם) [pronounced eem]

if, though; lo, behold; oh that, if only; when, since, though when (or, if followed by a perfect tense which refers to a past event)

primarily an hypothetical particle

Strong's #518 BDB #49

The particle ʾîm (ם ̣א) can be used as a demonstrative (lo, behold), an interrogative (usually expecting a negative response and often used with other particles and rhetorically), and as a conditional particle (if, though); an indication of a wish or desire (oh that, if only; this is a rare usage).

Gesenius writes: Its primary power I regard as demonstrative, lo! Behold! 

When this particle ʾîm (אִם) [pronounced eem] is found twice (as it is here), it can be translated, ...whether...or...

yâţab (יָטַב) [pronounced yaw-TABV]

to be good [well, commendable, pleasing]; to do good [well, commendably], to make glad, to make a thing good

2nd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #3190 BDB #405

E-sword has, in its KJV+ and KJV+TVM, Strong’s #7613, as found below.

seʾêth (שְׂאֵת) [pronounced se-AYTH]

 ➊ a raising up, an uprising, a lifting up (Gen. 4:7 [dubius] Job 41:17), ➋ eminence, a place rising up on the skin (Ex. 13:2, 10, 19); ➌ excellency, majesty (Gen. 49:3 Job 13:11); and ➍ a sentence or decree of a judge (Hab. 1:7—others take this to be pride)

feminine singular noun

Strong’s #7613 BDB #673

BDB has the Qal infinitive construct of the verb below.

nâsâʾ (נָשָׂא) [pronounced naw-SAW]

to lift up, to bear, to carry

Qal infinitive construct

Strong’s #5375 (and #4984) BDB #669

Nâsâʾ actually has a variety of Qal meanings: It means ➊ to take up, to lift up, to bear up; ➋ to lift up someone’s head (this is used in a favorable way; i.e., it is mused to mean to make one cheerful or merry; ➌ to lift up one’s own countenance, i.e., to be cheerful, full of confidence, ➍ to bear, to carry, ➎ to lift up in a balance, i.e., to weigh carefully; ➏ to bear one’s sin or punishment, to lift up the voice (this can be used in the sense of bewailing, crying, crying out, rejoicing, to lift up any with the voice (a song, an instrument); ➑ to lift up the soul (i.e., to wish for, to desire); ➒ to have the heart lifted up (i.e., they are ready and willing to do something; ➓ to bear one’s sin (in such a way to expiate the sin, to make atonement for the sin, to pardon the sin). This list does not exhaust the various connotations for nâsâʾ. BDB adds the following: to support, to sustain, to endure; to take, to take away, to carry off, to forgive.

I’ll need to look at a grammar book here to compare the forms. With the latter, we would have expected the 2nd person masculine singular pronoun.


Translation: Is [it] not [true that], if you do good, [there is] a lifting up [of your countenance];... This verse begins with a number of particles, which must first be sorted out. Otherwise, this verse begins with “Is not if...” The first two particles probably mean is it not true that; isn’t this the case that. Then we have the hypothetical particle which is usually translated if. Is it not true that, if you do good [well, the right thing], [then there is] a lifting up? What is being lifted up? Cain’s face or his countenance, which was fallen. So, as long as Cain continues to do the right thing, then his countenance will be lifted up; he will be happy. Most translations and commentators understand this first part of v. 7 to mean exactly this: as long as you keep doing that which is right, you will be happy—is this not apparent? And, for most of us, we have to grudgingly admit, that when we do what is right, our lives are simply better.


Genesis 4:7b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʾîm (אִם) [pronounced eem]

if, though; lo, behold; oh that, if only; when, since, though when (or, if followed by a perfect tense which refers to a past event)

primarily an hypothetical particle

Strong's #518 BDB #49

The particle ʾîm (ם ̣א) can be used as a demonstrative (lo, behold), an interrogative (usually expecting a negative response and often used with other particles and rhetorically), and as a conditional particle (if, though); an indication of a wish or desire (oh that, if only; this is a rare usage).

Gesenius writes: Its primary power I regard as demonstrative, lo! Behold! 

When following an oath, either stated or implied, ʾîm, by itself, functions as an emphatic negative.

lôʾ (לֹא or לוֹא) [pronounced low]

not, no

negates the word or action that follows; the absolute negation

Strong’s #3808 BDB #518

yâţab (יָטַב) [pronounced yaw-TABV]

to be good [well, commendable, pleasing]; to do good [well, commendably], to make glad, to make a thing good

2nd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #3190 BDB #405

Notice, there is a play on words in v. 7a and 7b.


Translation: ...and if you do not do good,... Then God presents to alternative: let’s say that you do not do what is good or what is right; what happens then? There is a little language interplay here, as before, the negative preceded the hypothetical particle; and here, the negative follows the hypothetical particle. So, these alternative approaches are antithetical. You choose to do that which is right or you choose to not do that which is right.


Quite obviously, the good and right and proper thing to do is to offer up and animal sacrifice to God, which was what was prescribed for all believers in this age.


Genesis 4:7c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to; belonging to; by

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

pethach (פֶּתַח) [pronounced PEH-thahkh]

opening, doorway, entrance, gate [for a tent, house, or city]; metaphorically, gate [of hope, of the mouth]

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #6607 BDB #835

chaţţâʾth (חַטָּאת) [pronounced khat-TAWTH]

misstep, slip of the foot; sin; sinfulness; a sin-offering; penalty [for sin], calamity, misfortune

feminine singular noun

Strong's #2403 BDB #308

râbats (רָבַץ) [pronounced rawb-VAHTS]

is lying down, lying in wait; reclines, is stretching out, settles upon

Qal active participle

Strong’s #7257 BDB #918


Translation:...[then] the penalty [for sin] is lying in wait at the door. Option two, let’s say you chose not to do what is right, then there is something lying in wait toward the doorway. Most translations render this sin or something like that, but this word can also mean the penalty for sin, calamity, misfortune. When we do the wrong thing, then there is a penalty; there is discipline for sin. There is calamity or misfortune for doing wrong. Again, this is presented as a self-evident truth; this is one of the most basic things that Cain knows. You do the right thing, and your attitude will be good; if you do not do the right thing, then you will face a penalty.


The word for sin here is chaţţâʾth (חַטָּאת) [pronounced khat–TAWTH], which means misstep, slip of the foot; sin; sinfulness; a sin–offering; penalty, calamity, misfortune. Strong's #2403 BDB #308. This word occurs only 3 times in the book of Genesis: Gen. 4:7 18:20 31:36. At this point in time, God apparently did not delineate what sin was. At this point, sin was making an bloodless offering to God.


Do you recall God’s judgment of the woman? He told her that her desire [longing, craving] would be toward her man. That same word is found here. This verse literally reads, “Sin is lying at the opening [or, door] and to you, [is] its [sin’s] desire, and you [even you] [must] master [or, have dominion over] it.” Cain is told by God to overcome this sin. This sin began in Cain’s desire to bring God his own works. This sin has turned into anger, and anger will turn into murder. God is telling Cain that he has to get out in front of this mental attitude sin before it takes him too far. Cain’s fallen face was fraught with mental attitude sins; and God was telling him to get a hold of himself before acting on these mental attitude sins.


All of this began as human good. Cain simply worked hard and harvested the best fruits and vegetables that he had and brought them all to God. This is something with which unbelievers have trouble: they want to trust in their own works, in their own efforts, and they are angry when God does not accept them. The sin which Cain had committed is, he brings God the works of his own hands. Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness (Heb. 8:22b). In order to do right, Cain needs to bring an animal sacrifice to God. Throughout all time, God has a specific plan and agenda. Coming to God does not mean we approach Him in any way that we please. There is a protocol, and that protocol, in this time period, is bringing an animal sacrifice. The Bible never teaches that there are a variety of ways to get to God—the Bible eschews all religions and presents Jesus Christ as our only way to God.


In the alternative, God could be telling Cain, “There is a sin-offering right toward this opening.” As if there is a fence of some sort, and right at the entrance of this fence are animals which can be offered for sin.


However, it is not sin which is crouching at the doorway somewhere. Cain has already sinned; he is already unhappy. He has sinned against God. So sin isn’t off somewhere nearby; sin is what Cain has already done, by bringing his works before God. He brought his human good before God and God reject human good.


From the very beginning, we have concepts of sin, sin offering, a penalty for sin; doing that which is right and not doing that which is right. Adam and the woman, when they took of the tree, now understood good and evil; they were no longer innocent, but they became a part of the moral realm. So, morality did not develop; morality just was. Quite obviously, Cain and Abel inherited this moral compass that their parents both had.


So far, this is what we have: Is [it] not [true that], if you do good, [there is] a lifting up [of your countenance]; and if you do not do good, [then] the penalty [for sin] is lying in wait at the door.


When it comes to establishing a relationship with God, the Bible presents Jesus Christ as the only way to God. His death on the cross was the punishment for our sins (more specifically, when God pours our sins on Him between noon and 3 pm and judged our sins in Him, this is what saves us). The Bible never suggests anything like all roads lead to Rome. In the Old and New Testaments, there is one way to God, and that is Jesus Christ. Below are a few examples of this.

Jesus Christ is the Only Way to God

Scripture

Text/Commentary

Cain and Abel

Abel brings an animal which he sacrifices and God finds this acceptable. Cain brings God the works of his hands and God rejects these works. The animal sacrifice speaks of Christ dying for our sins. Only the animal sacrifice is acceptable to God; the works of our hands are not.

Moses and the Rock

When in the desert with the Jews, Moses and these Jews were twice faced with a no-water situation. The first time they faced this situation, God told Moses to strike the Rock once, and out from it would come living waters. This represented Jesus Christ being judged for our sins (the striking of the Rock) and from Him proceeds life (the living waters). When faced with this situation again, God told Moses to speak to the Rock. Moses was not to strike the Rock again, because that would indicate a second judgment of Jesus Christ, which is incompatible with the truth. However, Moses instead struck the Rock twice, in anger, and was not permitted to enter into the Land of Promise because of this (he violated the type which God had established).

The Jews and early heathen religions

At no time in the Old Testament does a prophet ever tell the Jews, “These people have a worship system just as valid as yours; they are just coming to God in a different way.” Over and over again, the Old Testament prophet warns the Jews not to follow or to even give respect to heathen religions. The Jews were continually disciplined by God for following other religions.

The prophets

On several occasions, a prophet of God would speak the words of God, e.g., “So says Jehovah [this is Jesus Christ], the King of Israel, and His Redeemer, Jehovah of Hosts: I am the First, and I am the Last; and there is no God except Me.” (Isa. 44:6).

Jesus Christ

It does not get much clearer than this: Jesus told His disciples, “I am the way, the truth and the life; no man comes to the Father but by Me.” The key is not following the set of principles laid down by Jesus, but the key is coming to God through faith in Jesus Christ.

Paul affirms what Christ said.

Paul affirms this exclusivity in 1Tim. 2:5–6a: For God is one, also there is one Mediator of God and of men, the Man Christ Jesus, the One having given Himself a ransom on behalf of all. Jesus Christ is equal to both parties in the dispute. On one side is a Holy God and on the other side is fallen man. Jesus Christ is true humanity and undiminished Deity; He is equal to both parties, and therefore, He is able to mediate between man and God.

The Apostles and the gnostics

There were two fundamental schools of thought among the gnostics: (1) the body itself is inherently evil, so that they rejected the bodily incarnation of Jesus Christ (i.e., they did not believe that He was really human; they did not believe that He had a real physical body. (2) It would be impossible for God to die on the cross (which follows logically, if Jesus is not true humanity). The epistles argued against all of the heresies and distortions of their time, including these. For many deceivers [these are the gnostics] have gone out into the world, those who don't confess that Jesus Christ came in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the Antichrist (2John 1:7). He Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that dying to sins, we might live to righteousness; by Whose stripes you were healed (1Peter 2:24).

These are only a few examples of all those which may be found in the Bible which indicate that God has a specific plan for man, and that it does not include coming to Him by whatever religion suits our fancy.


Therefore, we have only one way to God, and that is through Jesus Christ. Not only do we come specifically through Christ (and not Buddha, Confucius or Mohammed), but we enter into a protocol system which defines a precise, day-to-day walk with God. We cannot be sloppy in our initial approach to God nor in our daily walk with Him. There is a precise grace system in place for our lives on this earth. Just like salvation, it is a grace system.


Just as there is a protocol system of salvation (faith alone in Christ alone), there is also a protocol system of spirituality for the Christian life. Most believers are saved, and afterwards, many of them start going to church and start being more moral than they used to be. This is not the Christian way of life. Nor is the Christian way of life going to a church which titillates the emotions, because there will come a time in your life when these emotions will no longer be titillated. The fundamentals of the Christian way of life is to name your sin or sins to God when you get out of fellowship (1John 1:8–10); and to grow in grace and in the knowledge of God’s Word (2Peter 3:18). Both of these things must be a part of your daily life; and if your church does not frequently exhort you to name your sins to God (not to a priest or to a pastor or to those you committed the sins against); and if a church is not regularly teaching the Word of God, then you are in the wrong church.


As an aside: when I was first saved, within a few months I heard an excellent Bible teacher on a tape recorder. At that time, knowing almost nothing, I figured I would just go out and find a church where the Bible was carefully taught. I was in for quite a surprise. I went to about a dozen churches and was surprised how few of them taught the Bible verse by verse, chapter by chapter, from the pulpit (out of the ones I went to, only one made any attempt to do this, and they did not teach the importance of naming one’s sins to God).

 

God saw to it that His Word was brought to me at that point in time, although it took awhile before I fully appreciated what He had done. For that reason, I have attempted to make a list of churches whose primary focus is to teach the Word of God and I have posted them here (they are arranged by state in alphabetical order):

 

http://kukis.org/Links/thelist.htm

 

Most of these churches have some sort of an online ministry (some of them, you can listen to the teaching being streamed live); and many of them have lessons which can be ordered or downloaded from their site. The financial policy should be consistent at these churches: they will never publish a price list or pester you for money.

 

My point in this is, God has provided His Word carefully taught for anyone who reads this. We are urged to grow in grace and the knowledge of His Word by Peter, and God never mandates that we do something without providing the means by which we may obey His mandates.


Genesis 4:7d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to; belonging to; by

directional/relational preposition with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510

teshûwqâh (תֶּשוּקָה) [pronounced tesh-oo-KAW]

desire, craving, longing; a longing [of a woman for a man or a man for a woman]

feminine singular noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #8669 BDB #1003


Translation: And to you [is] his desire... In the previous portion of this verse, we had the word sin, sin offering, penalty for sin, misfortune, calamity. This is a feminine singular noun. However, we are going to find a masculine singular suffix in v.7d and 7e. The 3rd person masculine singular suffix found in these two portions of v. 7 cannot refer back to sin, sin offering, penalty for sin.


So, who is his? To whom does the 3rd person masculine singular suffix refer? It cannot refer to sin, sin offering, penalty for sin. It cannot refer to Cain, because he is the person God is speaking to, and God would use the 2nd person masculine singular suffix. This cannot refer to Cain or Abel’s tribute offerings because (1) that would make no sense and (2) most of those nouns are feminine singular nouns.


Who is God speaking of? God is talking about Abel. Abel is the younger brother. Abel looks up to Cain. He is not gay. However, his older brother is everything to him. Like many little brothers, Abel desires to be Cain. God is telling Cain that he has a profound influence over his brother Abel. What he does, good or bad, will affect Abel and Cain needs to be mindful of the choices that he makes in life because of his influence over his younger brother.


Genesis 4:7e

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʾattâh (אַתָּה) [pronounced aht-TAW]

you (often, the verb to be is implied)

2nd person masculine singular, personal pronoun

Strong’s #859 BDB #61

mâshal (מָשַל) [pronounced maw-HAHL]

to rule, to have dominion, to reign

2nd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #4910 BDB #605

When followed by the bêyth preposition, what follows is the thing which is ruled over.

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #88


Translation: ...and you [even] you will have dominion over him.” Many people throughout the years have understood this to mean that sin is crouched at the door...and you will [or, should] rule over it. However, sin is a feminine singular noun; it here is a masculine singular suffix. So, grammatically speaking, this is simply wrong.


Cain is the older brother, and, as such, Cain will have dominion over Abel. Cain is upset here because God has regard for Abel’s offering but not for Cain’s. God is telling him, “Obviously, if you do the right thing, you will be happy; and if you do not do the right thing, then you will face a penalty. Look, Cain, Abel looks up to you; he desires to be you. You will certainly rule over him, because you are the older brother.”


The Hebrew uses syntax to set up its structure, which can be “seen” by the reader, so to speak. We often present this using our own methods, using punctuation, spacing, and indents to convey the structure.

The Structure of Gen. 4:6–7

Revised English Bible

JPS (Tanakh—1985)

The Lord said to Cain,

‘Why are you angry? Why are you scowling?

If you do well, you hold your head up;

if not, sin is a demon crouching at the door;

it will desire you, and you will be mastered by it.’

And the Lord said to Cain,

“Why are you distressed,...

Surely, if you do right,

There is uplift,

But if you do not do right

Sin crouches at the door;

Its urge is toward you,

Yet you can be its master.”

Kukis Reasonably Literal

Kukis Freely Translated

Therefore, Yehowah said unto Cain,

“Why is anger burning to you?

And why has your face fallen?”

Is [it] not [true that], if you do good,

[there is] a lifting up [of your countenance];

and if you do not do good,

[then] the penalty [for sin] is lying in wait at the door.

And to you [is] his desire

         and you [even] you will have dominion over him.”

Therefore, Jehovah said to Cain,

“Why are you burning with anger?

And why are you looking so dejected?”

Is it not true that, when you do what is right,

your countenance will be lifted;

and when you do not do what is right,

then there is a penalty for sin lying at your door.

His desire to you (is for you to do well);

and, as a result, you will have dominion over him.”

Many times, the words of God are in the form of Hebrew poetry. Quite obviously, there would be a different and more reasonable interpretation of the corrected translations.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


Gen 4:7 [God continues speaking to Cain]: “If you do right, won't you be accepted? But if you do not do right, the penalty for sin is crouching at the door. His [Abel’s] desire is for you, but you will rule over him."


The penalty for sin is crouching at Cain’s door is the sin of pride, self righteousness and anger; his sin nature desire approbation and recognition from God.


Cain is proud of the vegetables that he brought to God; he believes that God ought to accept the works of his hands. He worked hard on those vegetables. Because of the judgment of all mankind, putting together enough food to eat requires a great deal of sweat and toil, so for Cain to take the fruits of his labor and offer these to God, and then for them to be rejected—it was simply too much for him. From this sin of pride, Cain goes to the sin of anger. No doubt he is frustrated as well. His sin nature has taken control.


Do you recall the principle of rebound? That is a term originated by R. B. Thieme Jr. which means that you name your sin to God. God said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted?” Cain simply needs to acknowledge to God his mental attitude sin cluster (anger, pride, disappointment, implacability, self righteousness).


At this point, Cain is quite jealous of Abel. God has accepted Abel’s sacrifice and has ignored Cain’s. Cain is angry with God and Cain is angry with Abel. Abel, like most kid-brothers, admires Cain; and Cain, being the firstborn, should rule over Abel. So, Cain has nothing to be upset about. He simply needs to name his sin to God and offer up an animal sacrifice.


I have a different approach to this verse, and, I must say, I cannot yet favor one over the other.

An Alternate Translation and Understanding of Genesis 4:7

"If you do well [or, if what you do is pleasing], surely you will be accepted [or, lifted up]. And if you do not do well, sin is stretch out [and resting] at the opening; and its desire is for you, but you are master [over] it [the opening]." This is the first extremely difficult verse in this narrative in Genesis. Translating the first phrase is difficult because the Hebrew word means to please as well as to do well. Cain's offering was not pleasing to God. It was not a part of God's salvation plan for Cain (or anyone else) to bring our own works to Him. Unfortunately, there is no first person masculine suffix on this verb, so it would be improper to translate this if you please me. The NASB throws in the word countenance after this phrase, as if God is concerned about "lifting Cain's countenance." There is no word for countenance in this verse. God is concerned with Cain's salvation. Cain's countenance has fallen and God is going to lift Cain up if Cain does what is pleasing to God. The verb translated accepted means to be lifted up and it is in the Qal infinitive construct. It is an action which occurs simultaneously with the main verb (with only two notable exceptions in the OT) and does not have person, number, gender or suffix. We must, at best, infer this from the verse. It is tied to the main verb so that we would take the person number and gender of the main verb rather than change any of those. Therefore, this is a reference to Cain, not to his countenance. The infinitive construct can operate like an infinitive or a gerund in our language. Often it is translated like a verbal noun. The first phrases are probably more literally translated, shall there not, if you do what is pleasing, be an uplifting?

The second sentence gives the alternate option and it is a negation of the verb found in the first sentence. If you do not do well [or, if you do not what is pleasing]. Chaţţâʾth (חַטָּאת) [pronounced khat-TAWTH] can mean sin or sin-offering. However, because it is being used here for the first time in the Bible; and since sacrifices have not been standardized as of yet, this would mean sin, offense or a sinful thing. This sinful thing is said to be stretched out or laying down at Cain's opening (sometimes translated door). Râbats (רָבַץ) [pronounced rawb-VAHTS] is a word used primarily of animals in a resting or relaxed position. The word for desire is an intense longing, found in only two other places: Gen. 3:16 (an intense longing of a woman for a man) and SOS 7:11 (as an intense longing of a man for a woman). I cannot buy that we are speaking of Abel's intense desire here and there is not a first person masculine suffix, so it is not our Lord's intense desire. However, Satan desires to have Cain, just as he desired to have Peter, to sift him as wheat (Luke 22:31).

The verse as translated sounds as though we must master sin or master our desire, but both of them are in the feminine singular and the suffix to the verb for to master or to have dominion over is third masculine singular. The only thing found in the third masculine singular is door. However, it does not necessarily mean door; it can mean gate, entryway, entrance, opening, etc. I don't know that we have houses just yet in this time period, or even tents where there is some kind of a door. This is not revealed to us. Just as Satan was lying in wait for Eve, he is also lying in wait for Cain, waiting for an opening. Jesus calls him a murderer from the very beginning in John 8:44, referring to this very incident and to the fall of man, which resulted in the death of the human race (both physical and spiritual). Cain has free will and Cain is the master of this opening, this entrance. He can allow Satan to inspire the first murder (which will spring forth out of hatred and jealousy) or he can close this opening to sin. I don't like the word crouch, because it sounds too much as though sin is lying in wait to pounce and that is not what the word means. It refers to a position of rest. It is always there. Sin could very likely be Satan as well as an act of sin, since the verb resting is generally used of an animal. It is up to Cain to open up to it or not. Cain is not a master of sin, nor can he be a master of Satan or Satan's desire. However, he is the master of the opening which he can chose to give to Satan or not.

However, Cain has been formulating an idea. He has watch Abel kill these little sheep or sin offerings; how he uses the blade to cut the carotid and how the blood flows out. Cain ii exception brilliant and has quickly put two and two together to devise a plan. He lures Abel out to a field, away from the rest of the family:

I am leaning toward the translation and understanding given earlier; but I am not quite certain yet.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


Although the Bible does not appear to be specific here, God appears to be manifest to both Cain and Abel. They are able to converse with God, although we do not have any specifics. My guess would be that God appears to them as a man, as this is commonly found in the Old Testament—however, we are not told this specifically.


Instead of naming his sin and doing what is right, Cain forms a plan.


——————————


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


Cain Kills Abel



And so says Cain unto Abel, his brother, “Let us go into the field.” And so he is, in their to be, in the field. And so rises up Cain unto Abel his brother and so he kills him.

Genesis

4:8

And Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let us go into the field.” And so it came about, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him.

Later, Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let us go out into the field.” So, when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and he killed him.”


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Dead Sea Scrolls                   [And Cain told Abe]l his brother. And when they were in the fie[ld, Cain] rose up [against Abel his brother, and killed] him.

Targum of Onkelos                And Kain said to Habel his brother, Come, and let us two go forth into the field. And it was that when they two had gone forth into the field, Kain answered and said to Habel, I perceive that the world was created in goodness, but it is not governed (or conducted) according to the fruit of good works, for there is respect to persons in judgment; therefore it is that your offering was accepted, and mine not accepted with good will. Habel answered and said to Kain, In goodness was the world created, and according to the fruit of good works is it governed; and there is no respect of persons in judgment; but because the fruits of my works were better than your, my oblation, before your, has been accepted with good will. Kain answered and said to Habel, There is neither judgment nor Judge, nor another world; nor will good reward be given to the righteous, nor vengeance be taken of the wicked. And Habel answered and said to Kain, There is a judgment, and there is a Judge; and there is another world, and a good reward given to the righteous, and vengeance taken of the wicked. And because of these words they had contention upon the face of the field; and Kain arose against Habel his brother, and drove a stone into his forehead, and killed him.

Latin Vulgate                          And Cain said to Abel his brother: Let us go forth abroad. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel, and slew him.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so says Cain unto Abel, his brother, “Let us go into the field.” And so he is, in their to be, in the field. And so rises up Cain unto Abel his brother and so he kills him. Underlined text came from the Greek.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And Cain said to Abel his brother, Let us go to the plain; and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.

Septuagint (Greek)                And Cain said to Abel his brother, Let us go out into the plain. And it came to pass, that when they were in the plain, Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and killed him.

 

Significant differences:           There are two important ancient texts to notice—the Dead Sea Scrolls, from circa 100 b.c., do not have what Cain said to Abel. Recall what is in the brackets is unreadable, but appears to be in the text. When a bracket occurs in the middle of a word, that means that a portion of that word is readable. Therefore, based upon the Dead Sea Scrolls, the additional verbiage of what Cain said is not found. However, this is found in the Greek Septuagint, which is slightly older (perhaps 200 b.c.?). It is extremely important that we find this additional phrase in the Syriac and Latin. This suggests that there was a family of manuscripts which survived in tact with this portion of v. 8. As usual, the targum has a great deal of additional material.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Contemporary English V.       Cain said to his brother Abel, "Let's go for a walk." And when they were out in a field, Cain killed him.

Easy English                          Now Cain said to his brother Abel, `Let us go out to the field.' While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel. He killed Abel.

Easy-to-Read Version            Cain said to his brother Abel, {“Let’s go out to the field.”} So Cain and Abel went to the field. Then Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.

Good News Bible (TEV)         Then Cain said to his brother Abel, "Let's go out in the fields." When they were out in the fields, Cain turned on his brother and killed him.

The Message                         Cain had words with his brother. They were out in the field; Cain came at Abel his brother and killed him.

New Berkeley Version           But Cain had words with his brother Abel, and when they were out in the field, Cain assaulted his brother Abel and killed him.

New Life Bible                        Cain told this to his brother Abel. And when they were in the field, Cain stood up against his brother Abel and killed him.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          But thereafter, Cain said to his brother Abel: 'Let's go into the fields.' Then, while they were in their fields, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.

Beck’s American Translation Cain said to his brother Abel, “let’s go outside.” [Quotation supplied from the Greek and other versions: lacking in the Hebrew] While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.

Christian Community Bible     Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go to the fields.” Once there, Cain turned on his brother Abel and killed him.

God’s Word                         Cain talked to his brother Abel. Later, when they were in the fields, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.

New American Bible              Cain said to his brother Abel, "Let us go out in the field." [Let us go out in the field: to avoid detection. The verse presumes a sizeable population which Genesis does not otherwise explain.] When they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him. Wis 10:3; Mt 23:35; Lk 11:51; 1 Jn 3:12; Jude 11.

New Jerusalem Bible             Cain said to his brother Abel, 'Let us go out'; and while they were in the open country, Cain set on his brother Abel and killed him.

New Simplified Bible              While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.

Revised English Bible            Cain said tohis brother Abel, ‘Let us go out into the country.’ Once there, Cain attacked and murdered his brother.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             And Cain said to his brother, Let us go into the field: and when they were in the field, Cain made an attack on his brother Abel and put him to death.

Complete Jewish Bible           Kayin had words with Hevel his brother; then one time, when they were in the field, Kayin turned on Hevel his brother and killed him.

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 The Murder of Abel

When Cain was afterwards talking with his brother Abel, and they were together in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel, and murdered him.

JPS (Tanakh—1985)               Cain said to his brother Abel . . . [Ancient versions, induing the Targums, read “Come, let us go out into the field.”] and when they were in the field, Cain set upon his brother Abel and killed him.

New Advent Bible                  And Cain said to Abel his brother: Let us go forth abroad. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel, and slew him.

NET Bible®                             Cain said to his brother Abel, "Let's go out to the field." [The MT has simply "and Cain said to Abel his brother," omitting Cain's words to Abel. It is possible that the elliptical text is original. Perhaps the author uses the technique of aposiopesis, "a sudden silence" to create tension. In the midst of the story the narrator suddenly rushes ahead to what happened in the field. It is more likely that the ancient versions (Samaritan Pentateuch, LXX, Vulgate, and Syriac), which include Cain's words, "Let's go out to the field," preserve the original reading here. After writing ?????? ('akhiyv, "his brother"), a scribe's eye may have jumped to the end of the form ?????????? (basadeh, "to the field") and accidentally omitted the quotation. This would be an error of virtual homoioteleuton. In older phases of the Hebrew script the sequence ?? (yod-vav) on ?????? is graphically similar to the final ? (he) on ??????????.] While they were in the field, Cain attacked [Heb "arose against" (in a hostile sense).] his brother [The word "brother" appears six times in vv. 8-11, stressing the shocking nature of Cain's fratricide (see 1 John 3:12).] Abel and killed him.


Limited Vocabulary Translations:


 

International Standard V        .


Catholic Bibles (those having the Imprimatur):

 

The Heritage Bible                 .


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

Kaplan Translation                 .


Expanded/Embellished Bibles:

 

Kretzmann’s Commentary    .

Lexham English Bible            .

Translation for Translators     .

The Voice                               .


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

The Amplified Bible                And Cain said to his brother, Let us go out to the field [The Hebrew omits this clause, but various other texts show that it was originally included.]. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him.

Concordant Literal Version    And saying is Cain to Abel, his brother, "Go will we to the field. And coming is it, at their coming to be in the field, rising is Cain against Abel, his brother, and killing him.

A Conservative Version         And Cain told Abel his brother. And it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and killed him.

Darby Translation                  And Cain spoke to 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.

English Standard V. – UK       Cain spoke to Abel his brother [Hebrew; Samaritan, Septuagint, Syriac, Vulgate add Let us go out to the field]. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him.

exeGeses companion Bible   And Qayin talks with Abel his brother:

and so be it, in the field,

Qayin rises against Abel his brother

and slaughters him.

LTHB                                     And Cain talked with his brother Abel. And it happened as they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel, and killed him.

New RSV                               Cain said to his brother Abel, `Let us go out to the field.' [Sam Gk Syr Compare Vg: MT lacks Let us go out to the field] And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him.

Syndein                                  {Cain's Rejection of Salvation and First Murder}

Now Cain carried on a conversation with Abel his brother. And it came to pass {conversation over - Cain has a plan}, when they were in the field, that Cain 'violently attacked'/'rose up against' Abel his brother, and murdered {harag} him {with Cain's sacrificial knife}. {Note: Watch out for the 'friendly conversation' type. In his jealousy of his brother, Cain was searching for another way he could still rule the family. He was still relying on his own works! His answer - supplied by Satan per I John 3:12 - was the first murder in human history. The Hebrew word 'harag' in the qal imperfect means 'to murder'. It is also the Hebrew word used for the sacrificial killing of animals. We learn in the New Testament, that Cain used Abel's own sacrificial knife when he murdered him.}.

World English Bible                Cain said to Abel, his brother, "Let's go into the field." It happened, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel, his brother, and killed him.

Young’s Updated LT             And Cain says unto Abel his brother, “Let us go into the field;” and it comes to pass in their being in the field, that Cain rises up against Abel his brother, and slays him.

 

The gist of this verse:          Cain speaks to his brother, Abel, and suggests that to go out into the field. When they are out there, Cain rises up against his brother and kills him.


Genesis 4:8a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

ʾâmar (אָמַר) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

Qayin (קַיִן) [pronounced KAH-yin]

spear; to acquire and is transliterated Cain, Qayin, Kain; Kenite

masculine singular, proper noun (BDB #884); also used as a gentilic adjective (BDB #883)

Strong’s #7014 BDB #883–884

ʾel (אֶל) [pronounced ehl]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

Hebel (הֶבֶל) [pronounced HEH-behl]

breath; empty, vain; transliterated Abel

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #1893 BDB #211

ʾâch (אָח) [pronounced awhk]

brother, kinsman or close relative

masculine singular noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #251 BDB #26


Translation: And Cain said to his brother Abel,... We are going to find the short phrase his brother over and over again in this narrative. God the Holy Spirit is emphasizing the depravity of Cain’s act, that he kills his own brother. Abel would have been Cain’s best friend. There only appear to be two males, apart from Adam, on planet earth, and Cain and Abel would have grown up together. So this fact, combined with the fact that they are brothers, suggests great mental attitude sins on the part of Cain.


And Cain said to his brother Abel,... Normally, when we find a phrase like this, it is followed by something which Cain actually says. In the Masoretic text (the Hebrew text), the expected phrase is missing. It also appears to be missing from the Dead Sea Scrolls. However, we find this phrase in the Greek Septuagint, the Latin Vulgate and the Syriac Peshitta. This suggests that there are two families of manuscripts, at this point: one with this phrase and one without. The Dead Sea Scrolls have a date of circa 100 b.c.; and the Septuagint would have been translated approximately in 200 b.c. (therefore, from older manuscripts). However, the Latin and Syriac translations come from a later date, and they both appear to have this phrase in them.


The first sentence of this verse appears to be incomplete, as we would expect the content of what Cain said listed next. They have guessed that the content of the statement has been removed from the Bible (this may have dropped off the original manuscript from which Moses worked—we don't know for certain). However, it is a Greek idiom where Cain would speak to Abel, saying. We could translate it And Cain spoke to Abel; but that does not appear to be accurate. The Massorah indicates that there is a space here. The Samaritan Pentateuch, Septuagint, Syriac Version, Vulgate and Targum of Jonathan all supply the quote, "Let us go into the field." If this quote belongs here, we have not lost much with its loss. It is also a logical phrase to add, which could have occurred.


I mentioned the targums and a number of ancient translation. Here is a brief background of each.

Ancient Translations of the Bible

Translation

Background

The Targums

The Jews were removed from the Land of Promise in 586 b.c. under the fifth stage of national discipline and taken to Babylon. When the Jews returned to the land 70 years later, they spoke Chaldean (western Aramaic) rather than Hebrew. So that the Scriptures could be understood when read in the synagogue, there was a loose translation given of them in Aramaic. This was eventually written down as the Onkelos Targum and as the Targum of Jonathan ben Uzziel. These targums date back to the century before the birth of Christ, although the earliest copies of them which we have only date back to a.d. 500. Furthermore, these are paraphrases rather than translations, so there is some interpretation thrown in, and a lot of extra explanatory text. The two named are the most well-known of the ancient targums.


It is only recently that this translation is becoming available on the internet.

The Greek Septuagint

This is generally a careful translation from the Hebrew into the Greek done around 200–100 b.c., supposedly done by 70 scholars (for this reason, it is also called the LXX, which means the Seventy). This translation would have been based upon Hebrew manuscripts dating as far back as 400 b.c. and even before. This is particularly helpful in 3 ways: (1) some difficult Hebrew words are translated into the Greek, so that we have a better idea as to what these words mean; (2) some portions of the LXX contain portions of verses which appear to have been dropped out of later Hebrew text; and (3) this mostly confirms to us the great accuracy of the Hebrew text, from which many modern translations are made. Let me add one more important function of the LXX: the Greek translation reveals that the Bible has stood essentially unchanged for centuries. No theological group ever got a hold of the Bible and made it conform to their doctrines. There is a clear bias in some modern translations; but the text upon which they are based has stood firm going back to around 400 b.c. at least (which is when the Old Testament had been completed).


The Septuagint became the “Christian Bible” in the ancient world. Many early Christians spoke Greek, so it is only natural that they would gravitate towards this version of the Old Testament.


The oldest Greek translations that we have today are the Chester Beatty Papyri, which contains 9 Old Testament Books in the Greek Septuagint and which dates back to between a.d. 100-400; and the Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinaiticus each contain almost the entire Old Testament of the Greek Septuagint and they both dated around a.d. 350.

It should be noted that the Septuagint was not the only Greek translation of the Old Testament. In fact, Origen, in a.d. 240–250, developed Origen’s Hexapla, which was a 6 parallel column text of the Old Testament. In the first column was the original Hebrew text; in the second was the Hebrew text transliterated into Greek letters; in the third was the literal translation of Aquila (a Greek translation of the Old Testament, circa a.d. 130); in the fourth was the idiomatic revision of Symmachus (a Greek paraphrase of the Old Testament, where the overall meaning was key); in the fifth was Origin’s own revision of the LXX; and in the sixth was the Greek revision by Theodotion. So, the idea of a parallel Bible goes back to around a.d. 250. Unfortunately, we have no copies of Origen’s Hexapla today. This would have been a huge manuscript and not easy to produce or sell.

The Latin Vulgate

Even as Rome conquered much of the known world, they held onto the Greek culture and the Greek language. However, after awhile, more and more people in the Roman empire began to speak Latin. Therefore, a translation was needed into the Latin, and that was done by St. Jerome. There already were a variety of texts and translations at that time, such as the Old Latin version of the Old Testament. Between a.d. 390–405, Jerome did a new Latin translation of the Old Testament, which appears to have been based on Hebrew manuscripts, but he apparently used the Greek LXX and other ancient translations as well. The history is more complex than this, but this is a reasonable summary.


The Latin Vulgate is often used as the basic text for many Catholic versions of the Bible although it is more common for modern English translations approved by the Catholic church use the extent Hebrew manuscripts as well.


Jerome apparently translated portions of the apocrypha (the books written in between the Old and New Testaments), but it is not clear that he translated all of them and it appears as if he treated them as separate works from the Old Testament (that is, he did not consider them inspired.


Jerome’s Latin translation is excellent and very dependable. I have yet to come across any passage in Jerome’s Latin translation which is decidedly Catholic. I am not saying there is no bias in the Latin Vulgate; I am simply stating that I have never come across any (most of my work is in the Old Testament).

The Peshitta (the Syriac text)

Syriac is a dialect or collection of dialects from the eastern Aramaic language. We do not know for certain who made this translation into Syriac and there are even some who claim it is the original language for the New Testament. It appears possible that the Syriac version of the Old Testament was done in the first or second centuries a.d. Geisler and Nix place this time period as late as the 3rd century (or even later) and that it is the work of many unnamed people. It appears as though our earliest manuscript of the Old Testament in Syriac dates back to the 9th century a.d.

Of these ancient translations, the Greek and the Latin are the closest to the Masoretic text (the Hebrew). The Peshitta varies slightly more than the Greek and the Latin, but I have come across many instances where the Syriac and Latin agree and are at variance with the Greek. The targums are not very reliable with entire new sentences and phrases thrown in.

However, when it comes to the Greek, Syriac and Latin, the ways in which they differ from the Hebrew text are quite trivial and often represent the constraints of the language. For instance, in the Hebrew, the word face is always in the plural. However, it sounds goofy to us in the English to translate this literally to his faces; so it is translated his face. Because this is just the way it is, no English translation has a footnote telling you, literally, from the Hebrew, this reads “his faces.” Therefore, many of the differences which we find are simply grammatical nuances in one language which are not found in the other language.

What I personally do not find is, some sort of theological bias slipping in. I don’t see a difference in Latin and Hebrew, and then think to myself, “There is that old Catholic bias slipping in again.” Several modern English translations show much more of an intentional bias than can be found in the differences between the Hebrew, Greek, Latin and Syriac manuscripts.

We have nearly complete Hebrew manuscripts, but they are dated later than you might think: the Aleppo Codex: contains the complete Old Testament and is dated around a.d. 950. However, more than a quarter of this Codex was destroyed in anti-Jewish riots in 1947. There is also the Codex Leningradensis, which is the complete Old Testament in Hebrew copied by the last member of the Ben Asher family in a.d. 1008. There are slightly earlier fragments of manuscripts which are still in existence, as well as the Dead Sea Scrolls, which are dated back to 200 b.c. to a.d. 70 and contain the entire book of Isaiah and portions of every other Old Testament book except Esther. It is the Dead Sea Scrolls which have confirmed to us the accuracy of the Hebrew texts which we depend upon today.

This doctrine will also be found in Genesis 17 (HTML) (PDF).

These ancient translations can be found online:

The Targum                  http://targum.info/targumic-texts/pentateuchal-targumim/

The Hebrew                  http://qbible.com/hebrew-old-testament/

The Greek                    http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/gopher/text/religion/biblical/lxxmorph/

The Latin                      http://www.latinvulgate.com/verse.aspx?t=0&b=1

The Syriac                    http://www.studylight.org/desk/?l=en&query=Genesis+1&section=0&translation=pes&oq=Genesis&new=1

Sources:

http://www.bible-history.com/isbe/T/TARGUM/ accessed February 20, 2012.

http://mb-soft.com/believe/txx/targum.htm accessed February 20, 2012.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vulgate accessed February 20, 2012.

http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/bibleorigin.html accessed February 20, 2012 and appears to be a good resource for this type of information.

http://www.bible-researcher.com/vulgate1.html accessed February 20, 2012.

Norman Geisler and William Nix; A General Introduction to the Bible; Chicago; Moody Press, ©1980, p. 507–508, 512–513, 539.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


Genesis 4:8b Text from the Greek Septuagint

Greek/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

Strong’s Number

dierchomai (διέρχομαι) [pronounced dee-AIR-khom-mai]

 1) to go through, pass through; 1a) to go, walk, journey, pass through a place; 1b) to travel the road which leads through a place, go, pass, travel through a region; 2) to go different places; 2a) of people, to go abroad; 2b) of a report, to spread, go abroad

1st person plural, aorist active subjunctive

Strong’s #1330

eis (εἰς) [pronounced ICE]

to, toward; into; unto, in order to, for, for the purpose of, for the sake of, on account of

directional preposition

Strong’s #1519

ton (τόν) [pronounced tahn]; also to (το) [pronounced toh]

the

masculine singular definite article in the accusative case

Strong’s #3588

pedion (πεδίον) [pronounced pehd-EE-on]

plain, field

accusative singular neuter noun

Strong’s #none


Translation:...“Let us go into the field.” As alluded to above, this phrase is found in the Greek, Latin and Syriac; and most scholars seem to believe that this belongs in the original text.


There is the false notion that this phrase suggests that there are tons of people alive at this period of time (see the note in the New American Bible in the translations above). All this means is, there is a centralized location where Adam, Eve and their two sons live. There may be daughters alive at this time as well. The field might be 2 or 3 blocks away, and Cain is simply luring Abel away from everyone.


Different families of manuscripts simply means that, this or that town begins to produce copies of the Old (and New) Testaments. This may be strictly for producing a manuscript in the Greek; or it may be for perpetuating the Hebrew text. Libraries of manuscripts will be gathered; and they will be preserved there; but particular errors will crop up and then those errors will be perpetuated. So, for instance, manuscripts with this phrase in it will be considered to come from one family; while manuscripts where this phrase is lacking will be considered to come from a different family. This example is not the best example, as we are dealing with different languages. However, the Greek translations originally had to come from a Hebrew Old Testament. So, the Hebrew manuscripts available to the Greek translators (say, in Alexandria) would have been a different family of manuscripts than those preserved by the Masorites.


Genesis 4:8c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

hâyâh (הָיָה) [pronounced haw-YAW]

to be, is, was, are; to become, to come into being; to come to pass

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #1961 BDB #224

Without a specific subject and object, the verb hâyâh often means and it will come to be, and it will come to pass, then it came to pass (with the wâw consecutive). It may be more idiomatically rendered subsequently, afterwards, later on, in the course of time, after which. Generally, the verb does not match the gender whatever nearby noun could be the subject (and, as often, there is no noun nearby which would fulfill the conditions of being a subject).

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

hâyâh (הָיָה) [pronounced haw-YAW]

to be, is, was, are; to become, to come into being; to come to pass

Qal infinitive construct with the 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong's #1961 BDB #224

The infinitive construct, when combined with the bêyth preposition, can often take on a temporal meaning and may be rendered when [such and such happens]. It can serve as a temporal marker that denotes an event which occurs simultaneously with the action of the main verb.

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

sâdeh (שָׂדֶה) [pronounced saw-DEH]

field, land, country, open field, open country

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #7704 BDB #961


Translation: And so it came about, when they were in the field,... At this point, Cain and Abel are out in a field, and they are alone (apart from angels who are observing what they are doing).


Genesis 4:8d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

qûwm (קוּם) [pronounced koom]

to stand, to rise up, to get up; to establish, to establish a vow, to cause a vow to stand, to confirm or to fulfill a vow

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #6965 BDB #877

Qayin (קַיִן) [pronounced KAH-yin]

spear; to acquire and is transliterated Cain, Qayin, Kain; Kenite

masculine singular, proper noun (BDB #884); also used as a gentilic adjective (BDB #883)

Strong’s #7014 BDB #883–884

ʾel (אֶל) [pronounced ehl]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

Hebel (הֶבֶל) [pronounced HEH-behl]

breath; empty, vain; transliterated Abel

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #1893 BDB #211

ʾâch (אָח) [pronounced awhk]

brother, kinsman or close relative

masculine singular noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #251 BDB #26


Translation: ...that Cain rose up against his brother Abel... This verb does not mean that Cain and Abel are both sitting and Cain then stands up. This rising up means that Cain has a plan which he is going to carry out, and he begins to take the steps necessary in order to carry out this plan.


What appears to be the case is, Cain asks to see the knife that Abel uses to kill his animal sacrifice, and he looks it over, and then he rises up to kill Abel with it. Again, that there is a knife involved is conjecture at this point.


Genesis 4:8e

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

hârag (הָרַג) [pronounced haw-RAHG]

to kill, to slay, to execute; to destroy, to ruin

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #2026 BDB #246

This word can refer to killing as a result of ruthless violence (Gen. 4:8, 14–15 12:12 20:11) or in war (Num. 31:7–8 Joshua 8:24), as a result of God killing an individual or a people (Gen. 20:4 Ex. 4:23). This word can be used for the killing of animals (Num. 22:29 Job 20:16) and it can mean to destroy, to ruin (Job 5:2 Prov. 7:26 Jer. 4:31). Therefore, the context tells us whether we are dealing with a justified or unjustified act.


Translation: ...and killed him. Up until this time, no person has ever died and it is very possible that Cain doubts the promise of death delivered by Jesus Christ and repeated to him by his mother and father. However, he has observed the death of sacrifices and decides to do the same to Abel. There are quite a number of words for kill in the Hebrew; and each stem of the verb alters the meaning. Hârag (הָרַג) [pronounced haw-RAHG] means to kill and ruthless violence is implied. It is also used of God killing in stern judgement. It is occasionally used for the judicial killing by man or for the killing of beasts.


Satan was very much involved with the first people on this earth. There were few enough of them to where he could keep a handle on everything. He would lie in wait and influence in whatever way that he could. It angered Satan to see Abel make sacrifices to God and it angered Cain. Exactly how Cain was influenced and in what way, I do not know. Today we can point toward television, newspapers, magazines and other people. However, Cain did not have near as many distractions and influences. He was religious, but he wanted to show God what he could do for Him. He worked hard in his garden and was proud of this work and expected that God would be pleased to see all that he had produced. There was not a problem with the amount of his gift, its condition or anything else. It was just that his gift did not involve a blood sacrifice of an innocent animal and therefore, it was meaningless to God. This caused Cain to become very indignant and self-righteous and angry with Abel. Out of all these mental attitude sins preceded the first murder. There was no alcohol involved, no drugs, no fighting. It was the first holy war, you might say. This murder was cold-blooded and premeditated and brought on by religion against one of God's own.


Cain has observed Abel offering up animal sacrifices, and this is probably done with a knife to slit the throat of these animals.


Now, where does this come from? 1John 3:12 ESV reads: We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother's righteous. The word translated murdered is the 3rd person singular, aorist active indicative of sphazô (σφάζω) [pronounced SPHAHD-zoh], which means to slay, slaughter, butcher; to put to death by violence; mortally wounded. Thayer definitions. Strong’s #4969. Use the exegetical dictionary here and p. 315.


Gen 4:8 Cain said to his brother Abel, "Let's go out to the field." And while they were in the field, Cain rises up against Abel, his brother, and kills him.


No person has ever been murdered before. Cain figured out how to murder Abel by watching him slice open the neck of an animal sacrifice. You slice open the neck, the animal’s heart pumps out its blood, and it dies. Cain is so angry at this point, that he has chosen to lure his brother away from God (not recognizing God’s omniscience) and away from their parents, in order to kill him. Abel would never suspect anything is amiss, because no one in human history has ever been murdered before.


We already know that Cain’s anger is burning; and the fact that Cain takes Abel out into a field indicates premeditation. Surely you have seen a movie about a love triangle or have read about one where one man kills another in order to remove his competition for the love of a woman. This is what appears to be playing out here. Cain and Abel both bring offerings to God, and God looks at Abel’s and ignores Cain’s, telling him that his offering is acceptable if he does the right thing (i.e., bring an animal sacrifice). Cain seems to think that, if Abel is out of the way, that God will give respect to his offerings of the works of his hands.


Cain’s anger is percolating and it is as if he did not hear what God said. God guided him to do that which was right, but Cain ignores this or doesn’t hear it (typical for a person who is angry), and he instead lashes out against Abel. Cain appears to view this more as a competition than as a protocol system (in a protocol system, there is a right way of doing things and a wrong).


The word translated to kill is hârag (הָרַג) [pronounced haw-RAHG], which means to kill, to slay, to execute; to destroy, to ruin. It is a very common word in the Old Testament, found over 160 times in 3 stems. Strong's #2026 BDB #246. On at least one occasion, Cain has observed Abel kill an animal for as a sacrifice. Because this is an animal sacrifice which illustrates the death of Jesus Christ, Abel would have used a sharp object or a blade of some sort to cut the carotid of the animal. Cain would have watched the blood being pumped out of the carotid of the animal as it died. In fact, Cain probably observed this ritual on many occasions in the past. He no doubt observed Adam sacrifice animals in the past, and here, he has recently seen Abel kill an animal as a sacrifice to God.


Cain puts 2 dn 2 together here. He can do the same thing to Abel—cut his carotid—and remove this competition from God’s approbation. Since I am sure most of you cannot relate to that, think of it as 2 women fighting over and man and taking it too far; or two men fighting over a woman and taking it too far. It is the same concept.


I have mentioned tools in the past. We do not know what the Adam family had by way of tools, but these are not cave men. These are not dim-witted, cave-dwelling, spear-waving, animal-chasing cavemen. Being the first people created, they were probably far superior to us in the realm of intellect. We will find out that their bodies were far superior to ours, living for nearly 1000 years before giving out. We have Adam and Cain farming and Abel domesticating and shepherding animals, suggesting that some sort of tools existed at that time. However, nothing is ever clearly cited so far, with one exception: the angels standing guard in front of the entrance of the Garden of Eden have shining, gleaming swords. For this reason, I suspect that God provided the Adam family with tools. However, at this point, we really do not know whether God provided them with tools or whether they fashioned these tools themselves; nor do we know the relative sophistication of these tools (although, if these tools came from God, then they would be clearly quite sophisticated). Quite obviously, if God can create and make all that we see, God is also capable of fashioning tools for Adam and his family. It is not out of the question that God, from time to time, brought tools to Adam and his family, as presents. However, let me emphasize that this is conjecture on my part (however, we will come to a passage in the not-to-distant future where the pre-existence of tools is again suggested).


Slitting the throat of an animal, with whatever Adam or Abel had, seems to be the most reasonable method by which to kill an animal for a sacrifice. Cain, having observed this, tries it on Abel. Perhaps he asked to see the knife which Abel used, and then suddenly turned on Abel and killed him with it.


Using a sacrificial knife (or blade) to kill a person was a new thing in the world. This idea had never occurred to Adam or to Abel. I recall in grammar school carrying a pocket knife to school on a regular basis. Sometimes, kids would gather to play with their knives at recess. Nothing was ever thought of it. It was routine 6. If you were a cub scout or a boy scout, you always had your pocket knife. The idea of seriously hurting someone with a knife was just not in the realm of thinking of most kids. Therefore, for decades, carrying pocket knives at school was a non-issue and for many decades, and there were no knifings or knife fights. So when Cain asked Abel to see his knife, this was not a cause of alarm for Abel. Cain could have lured him into the field and asked him specifically to bring this knife, and no alarms would have gone off in Abel’s head because this is just not a thought which he would have.


John writes about Cain in 1John 3:12: We should not be like Cain, who was from the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother's righteous. Let’s unravel the verse beginning at the end: Cain killed Abel because his deeds were evil and his brother’s deeds were righteous. That means, prior to killing Abel, Cain’s deeds were evil. What were Cain’s deeds? He offered up the works of his hands—these fruits and vegetables—to God. Cain’s own hard work and his own offering to God are called here evil. The word for deeds here is ergon (ἔργον) [pronounced EHR-gon], which means works, deeds, business, employment, that which any one is occupied; that which one undertakes to do, enterprise, undertaking; any product whatever, any thing accomplished by hand, art, industry, or mind; an act, deed, thing done: the idea of working is emphasized in opp. to that which is less than work. [Primarily Thayer definitions]. Strong’s #2041. Notice, these are deeds, works, overt acts. We’re not looking at Cain’s motivation here, we are looking at his production, and the Bible tells us that his production of bringing these luscious fruits and vegetables to God was evil. If you conjure up the illustration that I gave you in the previous lesson—of a man who works on a stopped up toilet, and then, without washing his hands, prepares you a wonderful looking fruit salad—that illustrates what Cain’s works are to God. These works are inspired by Satan, herein called the evil one, as Cain is spoken of as being from the evil one.


We should not be like Cain, who was from the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother's righteous. There is one more fascinating thing buried in the Greek in this verse—the word for murder is sphazô (σφάζω) [pronounced SPHAHD-zoh], which means to slay, slaughter, butcher; to put to death by violence; to mortally wounded. Strong’s #4969. The primary use of this word, particularly in the Old Testament, means to slaughter a sacrificial animal. Generally speaking, that means to grab or bind the animal and to slit its throat with a sharp knife so that the blood is quickly pumped out of the body via the carotid. This confirms that Cain, after watching Abel kill several sacrifices, decides to kill Abel in the same way.


The use of this particular Greek verb is further evidence of the use of a knife.


We may also surmise that Cain buried Abel by what follows in vv. 10–11. One of the characteristics of sin is, we attempt to hide our sins from others (unless we can find a subgroup of society which will support us in our wrongdoing). I recall as a 4 year old stealing toys from my best friend. I knew I was wrong, even though I cannot recall my parents teaching me about stealing. I hid the toys behind some bushes in front of my house. I did not bring them into my house; I did not play with them out in the open. I was jealous of what he had, and I wanted them for myself. However, I clearly knew that I was wrong in what I did, so I had to hide what I had stolen.


Cain does not run to God or to his parents and admit what has happened. He buries Abel out in the field, hiding his body from his parents and from God (which we will determine from Gen. 4:11).


In the previous verses, we know that Cain has observed Abel slitting the throats of the animal sacrifices, and Cain figures out that he can do this same thing to Abel. This all came as a result of Cain’s human good act of offering up freshly picked vegetables and fruits to God. Cain became jealous of the approbation which God gave to Abel, he became angry at both God and Abel, and then he devised a plan in his mind to kill Abel. Cain lured Abel out to a field, probably asking him to bring his sacrificial knife with him, and then he used this knife to kill his brother Abel.


Although God taught Adam and Eve doctrine in the garden, it is unclear as to how much teaching took place there and what the content of that teaching was. However, as we have observed, there are several indications that God taught the Adam family regularly. We do know that there were animal sacrifices and offerings made; that God is speaking to Cain at this time and correcting him; and that God had come to Adam and the woman in the spirit of the day in the garden. All of these things suggest that there were probably daily services of some sort. There is a congregation of at least 4, and we can only guess at the content of what God said (apart from what is recorded in the Bible). However, no one had ever murdered anyone before, so there were probably few or no lectures on sin, and certainly nothing was said about murder. However, Cain, without being told, knew that this act of murder was wrong and he hid this act from God. For God's wrath is revealed from Heaven upon all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, holding the truth in unrighteousness, because the thing known of God is clearly known within them, for God revealed it to them (Rom. 1:18–19). God does not have to tell us what is wrong in order for us to recognize sin. Imprinted on every man’s conscience is some semblance of right and wrong. Some of our conscience comes from the teaching of parents and society, but there appears to be some inherent understanding of right and wrong.


I gave the example of the toys which I stole as a very young child (at age 4). Given where I lived as a child, I doubt that my parents spent any amount of time, at that age, telling me not to steal. It just was not an issue. The importance of honesty was drilled into me at a young age, but not a prohibition of stealing. However, when I stole these toys, I knew I was wrong, and I knew that I had to hide what I had done. When I was found out, then I am sure I got a lecture on stealing.


There is a searing of one’s conscience which can take place, either through repeated sins of the same sort or by rationalizing these sins. In this same passage in Romans, this is alluded to: But they became vain [or, empty, like a vacuum] in their internal deliberations, and their undiscerning heart was darkened (Rom. 1:21b). Cain knew what he did was wrong and he hid this deed from everyone.


This could use some work.

Abel was a type of Christ

1.      Abel was shepherd, Jesus is the "Good Shepherd. As a shepherd presents his offering, Jesus presented himself as the sacrifice.

2.      Though giving no cause was hated by brother, Jesus brethren the Jews killed him. Out of envy Abel was slain Matthew 17:18

3.      Abel did not die a natural death; he met with a violent end by his brother (Acts 2:23). Jesus was crucified, died about the age of 33 (Acts 2:36).

4.      Abel's blood cried out to God (Hebrews 12:24). He offered an excellent offering (Ephesians 5:2).

5.      Obtained a witness that He was righteous, Luke 23:47). God publicly testified his acceptance (Heb. 10:12 Acts 2:32).

6.      Cain was punished by God. Jesus' murderers were punished in Mark 12:9. Abel was the second son. Jesus is the last Adam

From http://truthbelieved.com/types_of_jesus_christ accessed April 24, 2014.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


——————————


And so says Yehowah unto Cain, “Where [is] Abel, your brother?” And so he says, “I do not know; a keeper of my brother I?”

Genesis

4:9

So, Yehowah said unto Cain, “Where [is] your brother Abel?” And he replied, “I do not know; am I the keeper [or, guardian] of my brother?”

So Jehovah said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” And he replied, “I have no idea; am I supposed to be my brother’s guardian and keeper?”


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Targum of Onkelos                And the Lord said to Kain, Where is Habel thy brother? And he said, I know not; am I the keeper of my brother?

Latin Vulgate                          And the Lord said to Cain: Where is thy brother Abel? And he answered: I know not: am I my brother's keeper?

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so says Yehowah unto Cain, “Where [is] Abel, your brother?” And so he says, “I do not know; a keeper of my brother I?”

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And the LORD said to Cain, Where is Abel your brother? And he said, I do not know. Am I my brother's keeper?

Septuagint (Greek)                And the Lord God said to Cain, Where is Abel your brother? And he said, I do not know — am I my brother's keeper?

 

Significant differences: 


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Contemporary English V.       Afterwards the LORD asked Cain, "Where is Abel?" "How should I know?" he answered. "Am I supposed to look after my brother?"

Easy-to-Read Version            Later, the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?”

Good News Bible (TEV)         The LORD asked Cain, "Where is your brother Abel?" He answered, "I don't know. Am I supposed to take care of my brother?"

The Message                         GOD said to Cain, "Where is Abel your brother?" He said, "How should I know? Am I his babysitter?"

New Century Version             Later, the Lord said to Cain, "Where is your brother Abel?"

Cain answered, "I don't know. Is it my job to take care of my brother?"


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          And when Jehovah God asked Cain, 'Where is your brother?,' he replied, 'I don't know. I'm not my brother's keeper!'

Beck’s American Translation Then the LORD asked Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?”

“I don’t know,” he answered, “Should I watch over my brother?“


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             And the Lord said to Cain, Where is your brother Abel? And he said, I have no idea: am I my brother's keeper?

Complete Jewish Bible           ADONAI said to Kayin, "Where is Hevel your brother?"And he replied, "I don't know; am I my brother's guardian?"

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 The Lord according asked Cain “Where is your brother Abel?” But he replied, “I do not know; —am I my brother’s keeper?”

HCSB                                     Then the LORD said to Cain, "Where is your brother Abel?" "I don't know," he replied. "Am I my brother's guardian?"

NET Bible®                             Then the LORD said to Cain, "Where is your brother Abel [Where is Abel your brother? Again the Lord confronts a guilty sinner with a rhetorical question (see Gen 3:9-13), asking for an explanation of what has happened.]?" And he replied, "I don't know! Am I my brother's guardian?" Heb "The one guarding my brother [am] I?" Am I my brother's guardian? Cain lies and then responds with a defiant rhetorical question of his own in which he repudiates any responsibility for his brother. But his question is ironic, for he is responsible for his brother's fate, especially if he wanted to kill him. See P. A. Riemann, "Am I My Brother's Keeper?" Int 24 (1970): 482-91.

The Scriptures 1998              And יהוה said to Qayin, “Where is Heb?el your brother?” And he said, “I do not know. Am I my brotherʼs guard?”


Limited Vocabulary Translations:


 

International Standard V        .


Catholic Bibles (those having the Imprimatur):

 

The Heritage Bible                 .


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

Kaplan Translation                 .


Expanded/Embellished Bibles:

 

Kretzmann’s Commentary    .

Lexham English Bible            .

Translation for Translators     .

The Voice                               .


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

Concordant Literal Version    And saying is Yahweh Elohim to Cain, "Where is Abel, your brother? "And saying is he, "I do not know. The keeper of my brother am I?”

English Standard Version      Then the LORD said to Cain, "Where is Abel your brother?" He said, "I do not know; am I my brother's keeper?"

exeGeses companion Bible   And Yah Veh says to Qayin,

Where is Abel your brother?

And he says, I know not!

Am I the guardian of my brother?

Syndein                                  {First Human Murder becomes the First Human Liar}

And Jehovah/God {Jesus} said to Cain {Qajin}, "Where is Abel your brother?" And he replied, "I do not know {a lie}. The one keeping/guarding my brother . . . am I? {Implying this would be a violation of Abel's privacy!}" {Note: Qajin/Qayin is the Hebrew word - transliterated into Cain.} {Note: The question to Cain is designed to awaken his conscience. But Cain is negative all the way. Cain uses the doctrine of privacy in his defense, but murder is the ultimate in destruction of personal privacy. So in reversionism, he is very inconsistent.}.

Webster Bible                        And the LORD said to Cain, Where [is] Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: [Am] I my brother's keeper?

Young’s Updated LT             And Jehovah says unto Cain, “Where is Abel Your brother?” and he says, “I have not known; my brother”s keeper—I?”

 

The gist of this verse:          God asks Cain the whereabouts of his brother Abel.


Genesis 4:9a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

ʾâmar (אָמַר) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

YHWH (יהוה) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

ʾel (אֶל) [pronounced ehl]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

Qayin (קַיִן) [pronounced KAH-yin]

spear; to acquire and is transliterated Cain, Qayin, Kain; Kenite

masculine singular, proper noun (BDB #884); also used as a gentilic adjective (BDB #883)

Strong’s #7014 BDB #883–884

ʾêy (י̤א) [pronounced āy]

where

adverb; with a suffix, the verb to be may be implied

Strong’s #335 BDB #32

Hebel (הֶבֶל) [pronounced HEH-behl]

breath; empty, vain; transliterated Abel

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #1893 BDB #211

ʾâch (אָח) [pronounced awhk]

brother, kinsman or close relative

masculine singular noun with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #251 BDB #26


Translation: So, Yehowah said unto Cain, “Where [is] your brother Abel?” As is always the case, when a person has sinned, and God speaks to them, He always asks a question first; and the question is to get Cain to admit to his sin. We had this same pattern as recently as v. 6.


This is grace that God comes to Cain and questions him directly. This is the third human being; the firstborn of Adam and Eve. God always searches us out. This is grace. To remain unbelievers, we must fight grace and turn away from Jesus Christ at every opportunity for our entire lives. When Cain said that he did not know where Abel was, he used the Qal perfect tense—he is claiming that he has absolutely no idea. It is not just this moment but a completed action.


God is omniscient so He knows that Cain killed Abel. However, angels are not omniscient; and not all of them were watching Cain.


Genesis 4:9b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

ʾâmar (אָמַר) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

lôʾ (לֹא or לוֹא) [pronounced low]

not, no

negates the word or action that follows; the absolute negation

Strong’s #3808 BDB #518

yâdaʿ (יָדַע) [pronounced yaw-DAHĢ]

to know, to perceive, to acquire knowledge, to become acquainted with, to know by experience, to have a knowledge of something; to see; to learn; to recognize [admit, acknowledge, confess]

1st person singular, Qal perfect

Strong’s #3045 BDB #393


Translation: And he replied, “I do not know;... Cain disavows knows of Abel’s whereabouts, even though he has killed him and hidden Abel’s body.


Genesis 4:9c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

hă (הֲ) [pronounced heh]

interrogative particle which acts almost like a piece of punctuation, like the upside-down question mark which begins a Spanish sentence. The verb to be may be implied. This can be used in an indirect interrogation and translated whether.

Strong’s #none BDB #209

shâmar (שָמַר) [pronounced shaw-MAR]

a keeper of, a guard of, a watcher of, a preserver of

masculine singular construct, Qal active participle

Strong's #8104 BDB #1036

ʾâch (אָח) [pronounced awhk]

brother, kinsman or close relative

masculine singular noun with the 1st person singular suffix

Strong's #251 BDB #26

ʾânôkîy (אָנֹכִי) [pronounced awn-oh-KEE]

I, me; (sometimes a verb is implied)

1st person singular personal pronoun

Strong’s #595 BDB #59


Translation: ...am I the keeper [or, guardian] of my brother?” Cain answers God’s question with a question; which is not an answer at all. It is avoiding giving God a real answer. Cain essentially asks, “Am I responsible for my brother?”


Gen 4:9 Later, the LORD said to Cain, "Where is your brother Abel?" "I don't know," he replied. "Am I my brother's guardian?"


It is fascinating that God begins many of His conversations with man with a question. God, not Socrates, developed the Socratic method of teaching. After Adam and the woman ate of the tree and hid themselves, God called out, “Where are you?” when He knew where they were. When Adam gave an answer, God asked him two questions: “Who told you that you were naked? Did you eat from the tree which I commanded you not to eat from?” Then to the woman, the first thing God said was, “What have you done?”


As Rom. 1:18–19 tells us, there are concepts of right and wrong imprinted on our souls, and God asks these questions in order to reach into a person’s soul. God is expecting Cain to look into this own soul so that he can comprehend what he has done. God is also waiting for Cain to confess his sin as well. It appears that naming one’s sin to God was the proper way to restore fellowship, even in that day.


Cain, I believe, thought about this, and knew God would speak to him, so he developed an answer. What Cain says after is something which man has done for centuries—he says something which sounds good, almost like a slogan. “Am I my brother’s keeper?” or “At what time was I placed in charge of knowing the whereabouts of Abel?” What he says is terse and, if one does not give it much thought, seems to get him off the hook. The intent is to stop the conversation. However, this does not work with God.


——————————


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


God Judges Cain


And so He says, “What have you done? A sound of bloods of your brother crying out unto Me from the ground.

Genesis

4:10

And He said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood calls out to Me from the ground.

And He said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood screams to Me from the ground.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Targum of Onkelos                And He said, What have you done? The voice of the bloods of the murder of your brother which are swallowed up in the sod, cries before Me from the earth.

Latin Vulgate                          And he said to him: What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth to me from the earth.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so He says, “What have you done? A sound of bloods of your brother crying out unto Me from the ground.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And the LORD said, What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood cries to me from the ground.

Septuagint (Greek)                And the Lord said, What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood cries out to Me from the ground.

 

Significant differences: 


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Contemporary English V.       Then the LORD said: Why have you done this terrible thing? You killed your own brother, and his blood flowed onto the ground. Now his blood is calling out for me to punish you.

Easy-to-Read Version            Then the Lord said, “What have you done? {You killed your brother!} His blood is like a voice shouting to me from the ground.

Good News Bible (TEV)         Then the LORD said, "Why have you done this terrible thing? Your brother's blood is crying out to me from the ground, like a voice calling for revenge.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          Then Jehovah asked, 'What have you done? Why, I hear the blood of your brother calling to Me from the ground!

Beck’s American Translation “What did you do?” He asked. “Your brother’s blood is crying to Me from the ground.

New Simplified Bible              Jehovah said: »What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood (life) cries out to me from the ground.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             And he said, What have you done? the voice of your brother's blood is crying to me from the earth.

JPS (Tanakh—1985)               Then He said, “What have you done? Hark, your brother’s blood cries out to Me from the ground!

NET Bible®                             But the LORD said, "What have you done? [What have you done? Again the Lord's question is rhetorical (see Gen 3:13), condemning Cain for his sin.] The voice [The word "voice" is a personification; the evidence of Abel's shed blood condemns Cain, just as a human eyewitness would testify in court. For helpful insights, see G. von Rad, Biblical Interpretations in Preaching; and L. Morris, "The Biblical Use of the Term `Blood,'" JTS 6 (1955/56): 77-82.] of your brother's blood is crying out to me from the ground!

NIV – UK                                The Lord said, `What have you done? Listen! Your brother's blood cries out to me from the ground.


Limited Vocabulary Translations:


 

International Standard V        .


Catholic Bibles (those having the Imprimatur):

 

The Heritage Bible                 .


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

Kaplan Translation                 .


Expanded/Embellished Bibles:

 

Kretzmann’s Commentary    .

Lexham English Bible            .

Translation for Translators     .

The Voice                               .


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

Concordant Literal Version    And saying is the Elohim, "What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood is crying to me from the ground.

Context Group Version          And he says, What worked you?

The voice of the blood of your brother

cries to me from the soil:

Updated Emphasized Bible    And he said, What have you done? With a voice, the shed-blood of your brother is crying out to me from the ground,...

LTHB                                     And He said, What have you done? The voice of the blood of your brother cries to Me from the ground.

Syndein                                  {Cain's Interrogation and Trial}

And He {Jesus} said, "What have you done/manufactured {`asah}? The voice of bloods {plural - streams of blood} of your brother screams/shrieks/'cries out' to Me from the ground {indicates a burial}." {Note: 'Asah is the Hebrew word for manufacturing something from something. Murder and many mental attitude sins come from something else - jealousy. Also, apparently Cain buried the body of Abel in trying to hide his deed - he knew he was doing wrong (though 'thou shall not murder' was not written yet).}.

Young’s Updated LT             And He says, “What have you done? the voice of your brother”s blood is crying unto Me from the ground.

 

The gist of this verse:          God asks Cain what he did; and adds that Abel’s blood is crying to him from the ground.


Genesis 4:10a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

ʾâmar (אָמַר) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

mâh (מָה) [pronounced maw]

what, how, why

interrogative; exclamatory particle

Strong’s #4100 BDB #552

ʿâsâh (עָשָֹה) [pronounced ģaw-SAWH]

to do, to make, to construct, to fashion, to form, to prepare, to manufacture

2nd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong's #6213 BDB #793


Translation: And He said, “What have you done? God asks Cain to say what he has done. Cain will not admit to what he has done; or if he does admit to it, it is not recorded in the Bible.


Recall when Adam and the woman sinned—when God spoke to them in the garden after their sin, they both named their sins to Him (although they both spread the blame around as well). There is no indication that Cain ever admits his sin to God.


Genesis 4:10b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

qôwl (קוֹל) [pronounced kohl]

sound, voice, noise; loud noise, thundering

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #6963 BDB #876

dâmîym (דָּמִים) [pronounced daw-MEEM]

blood; bloodshed; a bloody [man]; a slaying; guilt of a slaughter

masculine plural construct

Strong's #1818 BDB #196

ʾâch (אָח) [pronounced awhk]

brother, kinsman or close relative

masculine singular noun with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #251 BDB #26

tsâʿaq (צָעַק) [pronounced tsaw-ĢAHK]

crying [out], calling [out], summoning

masculine plural, Qal active participle

Strong’s #6817 BDB #858

ʾel (אֶל) [pronounced ehl]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied) with the 1st person singular suffix

Strong's #413 BDB #39

min (מִן) [pronounced min]

from, off, out from, of, out of, away from, on account of, since, than, more than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

ʾădâmâh (אֲדָמָה) [pronounced uh-daw-MAWH]

ground, soil, dirt, earth, tillable earth, land, surface of the earth

feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong's #127 BDB #9


Translation: The voice of your brother’s blood calls out to Me from the ground. It appears that Cain does not admit to his sin, as God indicates Cain’s wrongdoing in this sentence.


Done is the same word used in Gen. 2:4 and 3:1; the same word is used for God making the universe and the animals is used here. Out of his mental attitude sins and jealousy, Cain has manufactured the first murder. Blood is in the plural, which is not the way it is usually found (see Gen. 9:4,6 or 37:22). Early on, it is possible that not much had been taught to the first family about the separation of the soul, spirit and body. The blood is normally associated with the body. However, here, it is associated with the physical death of the body and the separation of the soul from the body; the soulish death. The plural might be used to express great emotion and great violence. Crying is no longer used for screaming loudly or in distress; so I translated this to scream instead (in the freer translation).


Now, what ought to be obvious to any normal reader is that, Cain’s blood is not literally making verbal sounds to God, “Help me!” Or, “Cain killed me!” The idea is, God is telling Cain that He knows what Cain has done. This is assigning human capabilities to shed blood in order to convey an idea. This is quite obvious to any reader. Therefore, it ought to be clear to you that God sometimes uses figures of speech in the Bible. This is an obvious figure of speech; therefore, when we come across other figures of speech, try not to look surprised.


——————————


And now being cursed you from the earth which has opened her mouth to take bloods of your brother from your hand.

Genesis

4:11

Now therefore, you are cursed more than the earth which has opened its mouth to take in your brother’s blood from your hand.

Now therefore, you are cursed more than the earth which opened its mouth to take in your brother’s blood from your hand.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Targum of Onkelos                And now because you have killed him, you are cursed from the earth, which has opened the mouth, and received the bloods of your brother from your hand.

Latin Vulgate                          Now therefore cursed shalt thou be upon the earth, which hath opened her mouth and received the blood of thy brother at thy hand.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And now being cursed you from the earth which has opened her mouth to take bloods of your brother from your hand.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And from henceforth, you are cursed from the earth, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand.

Septuagint (Greek)                And now you are cursed from the earth which has opened her mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand.

 

Significant differences: 


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Contemporary English V.       And so, I'll put you under a curse. Because you killed Abel and made his blood run out on the ground, you will never be able to farm the land again.

Easy English                          Now you have a *curse. And I am forcing you to go away from the land. You killed your brother and you made his blood fall to the ground. And the earth received his blood.

Easy-to-Read Version            {You killed your brother,} and the ground opened up to take his blood from your hands. So now, I will cause bad things to happen to that ground.

Good News Bible (TEV)         You are placed under a curse and can no longer farm the soil. It has soaked up your brother's blood as if it had opened its mouth to receive it when you killed him.

The Message                         From now on you'll get nothing but curses from this ground; you'll be driven from this ground that has opened its arms to receive the blood of your murdered brother.

New Century Version             And now you will be cursed in your work with the ground, the same ground where your brother's blood fell and where your hands killed him.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          So, now you are cursed by the earth, which has opened her mouth wide to [drink] the blood of your brother from your hand.

Ancient Roots Translinear      Now you are reprimanded by the earth, which gaped its mouth to take your brother's blood from your hand.

Beck’s American Translation And now you are cursed and must leave the ground that has opened her mouth to drink your brother’s blood dropping from your hands.

God’s Word                         So now you are cursed from the ground, which has received the blood of your brother whom you killed.

New American Bible              Now you are banned from the ground [Banned from the ground: lit., "cursed." The verse refers back to 3:17 where the ground was cursed so that it yields its produce only with great effort. Cain has polluted the soil with his brother's blood and it will no longer yield any of its produce to him.] that opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand. Dt 27:24.

NIRV                                      "So I am putting a curse on you. I am driving you away from the ground. It has opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand.

Revised English Bible            Now you are accursed and will be banished from the very ground which has opened its mouth to receive the flood you have shed.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             And now you are cursed from the earth, whose mouth is open to take your brother's blood from your hand;...

HCSB                                     So now you are cursed with alienation from the ground that opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood you have shed.

NET Bible®                             So now, you are banished [Heb "cursed are you from the ground." As in Gen 3:14, the word "cursed," a passive participle from ????? ('arar), either means "punished" or "banished," depending on how one interprets the following preposition. If the preposition is taken as indicating source, then the idea is "cursed (i.e., punished) are you from [i.e., "through the agency of"] the ground" (see v. 12a). If the preposition is taken as separative, then the idea is "cursed and banished from the ground." In this case the ground rejects Cain's efforts in such a way that he is banished from the ground and forced to become a fugitive out in the earth (see vv. 12b, 14).] from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand.


Limited Vocabulary Translations:


 

International Standard V        .


Catholic Bibles (those having the Imprimatur):

 

The Heritage Bible                 .


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

Kaplan Translation                 .


Expanded/Embellished Bibles:

 

Kretzmann’s Commentary    .

Lexham English Bible            .

Translation for Translators     .

The Voice                               .


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

The Amplified Bible                And now you are cursed by reason of the earth, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother's [shed] blood from your hand.

Concordant Literal Version    And now, cursed are you by the ground, which opens its mouth wide to take your brother's blood from your hand.

exeGeses companion Bible   ...and now you are cursed from the soil

- which gapes her mouth

to take the blood of your brother from your hand:...

LTHB                                     And now you are cursed more than the ground which opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand.

Syndein                                  {Verses 11-12: Judicial Sentence on Cain}

"And now you are being cursed from the land/ground {the voice coming from the soil}, which has opened its mouth to receive violently the bloods of your brother from your hands." {Note: Cain was punished but not executed. AFTER the laws of establishment are given, the punishment for murder is capital punishment.}.

World English Bible                Now you are cursed because of the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand.

Young’s Updated LT             And now, cursed are you from the ground, which has opened her mouth to receive the blood of your brother from your hand.

 

The gist of this verse:          God says that the cursing will be related to Cain and the ground; the ground which has opened up to receive Abel’s blood.


Genesis 4:11a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʿattâh (עַתָּה) [pronounced ģaht-TAWH]

now, at this time, already

adverb of time

Strong’s #6258 BDB #773

When followed by an imperative or an interrogative, we + the adverb ʿattâh mean and so, thus, things being so, therefore, now therefore. Sometimes, the concept of time is lost when this combination is used to incite another.

ʾârar (אָרַר) [pronounced aw-RAHR]

cursed, being [bitterly] cursed, receiving a curse

Qal passive participle

Strong's #779 BDB #76

ʾattâh (אַתָּה) [pronounced aht-TAW]

you (often, the verb to be is implied)

2nd person masculine singular, personal pronoun

Strong’s #859 BDB #61

min (מִן) [pronounced min]

from, off, out from, of, out of, away from, on account of, since, than, more than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

ʾădâmâh (אֲדָמָה) [pronounced uh-daw-MAWH]

ground, soil, dirt, earth, tillable earth, land, surface of the earth

feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong's #127 BDB #9

ʾăsher (אֲֹשֶר) [pronounced uh-SHER]

that, which, when, who, whom

relative pronoun

Strong's #834 BDB #81

pâtsâh (פָּצָה) [pronounced paw-TSAW],

to part, to open [a mouth]; to snatch away; to set free; to deliver

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong’s #6475 BDB #822

peh (פֶּה) [pronounced peh]

mouth [of man, animal; as an organ of speech]; opening, orifice [of a river, well, etc.]; edge; extremity, end

masculine singular noun with the 3rd person feminine singular suffix

Strong’s #6310 BDB #804


Translation: Now therefore, you are cursed more than the earth which has opened its mouth... One use of the masculine plural is more than. It is logical, since the ground was cursed, for Cain to be cursed more than the ground.


Quite obviously, the ground does not have a mouth. This is simply a literary device. However, the blood of Abel would have flowed into the ground.


Genesis 4:11b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

lâqach (לָקַח) [pronounced law-KAHKH]

to take, to take away, to take in marriage; to seize

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #3947 BDB #542

The BDB gives the following meanings: to take, take in the hand; to take and carry along; to take from, take out of, take, carry away, take away; to take to or for a person, procure, get, take possession of, select, choose, take in marriage, receive, accept; to take up or upon, put upon; to fetch; to take, lead, conduct; to take, capture, seize; to take, carry off; to take (vengeance).

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

dâmîym (דָּמִים) [pronounced daw-MEEM]

blood; bloodshed; a bloody [man]; a slaying; guilt of a slaughter

masculine plural construct

Strong's #1818 BDB #196

ʾâch (אָח) [pronounced awhk]

brother, kinsman or close relative

masculine singular noun with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #251 BDB #26

min (מִן) [pronounced min]

from, off, out from, of, out of, away from, on account of, since, than, more than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

yâd (יָד) [pronounced yawd]

hand; strength, power (figuratively); side (of land), part, portion (metaphorically) (figuratively); (various special, technical senses); sign, monument; part, fractional part, share; time, repetition; axle-trees, axle; stays, support (for laver); tenons (in tabernacle); a phallus, a hand (meaning unsure); wrists

feminine singular noun with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #3027 BDB #388

Owens lists this as a feminine plural noun, but it appears to be in the singular to me.


Translation: ...to take in your brother’s blood from your hand. Although this passage could also be understood not to be literal; it is likely that it is—that there is blood involved. Furthermore, as previously discussed, Cain killed Abel with a sacrificial knife. So, that would produce a great deal of blood.


Gen 4:10–11 Then He [God] said, "What have you done? Your brother's blood cries out to Me from the ground! So now you are cursed from the ground that opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood you have shed.


God is aware of Cain’s sin, that Cain slit his brothers throat, and that Abel’s blood flowed out onto the ground. Although it is not clearly stated, as one can interpret this language as metaphorical, it is likely that Cain hid Abel’s body; and given his profession as a farmer, it is likely that Cain buried Abel’s body in the ground. God’s punishment further suggests that Abel was buried to hide Cain’s murder.


——————————


For you will work the ground, she will not add a giving her strength to you. A wanderer and a fugitive you will be in the earth.”

Genesis

4:12

When you serve [or, be a slave to] the ground, it will not continue to give its produce to you. You will be a wanderer and a fugitive on the earth.”

When you will serve [or, be a slave to] the ground, it will no longer yield its produce for you. You will be a wanderering fugitive on the earth.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Targum of Onkelos                When you till the earth, it will not add to give strength to its fruits for you. A wanderer and an exile will you be in the earth.

Latin Vulgate                          When you will till it, it will not yield to you its fruit: a fugitive and a vagabond will you be upon the earth.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        For you will work the ground, she will not add a giving her strength to you. A wanderer and a fugitive you will be in the earth.”

Peshitta (Syriac)                    When you till the ground, it shall no more yield to you its strength; a fugitive and a wanderer shall you be on the earth.

Septuagint (Greek)                When you till the earth, then it shall not continue to give its strength to you: you shall be groaning and trembling on the earth.

 

Significant differences: 


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           When you farm the fertile land, it will no longer grow anything for you, and you will become a roving nomad on the earth."

Contemporary English V.       If you try to farm the land, it won't produce anything for you. From now on, you'll be without a home, and you'll spend the rest of your life wandering from place to place.

Easy English                          So when you work with the soil, it will not produce crops for you any longer. You will wander about on the earth and you will have no rest.'

Easy-to-Read Version            In the past, {you planted, and your plants grew well. But now} you will plant, and the ground will not help your plants grow. You will not have a home on the earth. You will wander from place to place.”

Good News Bible (TEV)         If you try to grow crops, the soil will not produce anything; you will be a homeless wanderer on the earth."

The Message                         You'll farm this ground, but it will no longer give you its best. You'll be a homeless wanderer on Earth."

New Berkeley Version           When you till the soil, it shall no longer yield its full produce for you. You will be a vagrant and a wanderer on the earth.

New Century Version             You will work the ground, but it will not grow good crops for you anymore, and you will wander around on the earth."

New Life Bible                        When you work the ground, it will no longer give its strength to you. You will always travel from place to place on the earth."

New Living Translation           No longer will the ground yield good crops for you, no matter how hard you work! From now on you will be a homeless wanderer on the earth."


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          So, when you work the ground, it will [no longer] give you its strength and you will groan and tremble on the earth.'

Ancient Roots Translinear      When you serve the earth, it will give no more power to you. You will migrate as a fugitive on the earth."

Beck’s American Translation When you work the ground, it will no longer give you what it can produce. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth.”

Christian Community Bible     When you till the soil, it will no longer yield you its produce. You will be a fugitive wandering on the earth.”

God’s Word                         When you farm the ground, it will no longer yield its best for you. You will be a fugitive, a wanderer on the earth."

New American Bible              If you till the ground, it shall no longer give you its produce. You shall become a constant wanderer on the earth.

NIRV                                      When you work the ground, it will not produce its crops for you anymore. You will be a restless person who wanders around on the earth."

Revised English Bible            When you till the ground, it will no longer yield you its produce. You shall be a wanderer, a fugitive on the earth.”


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             No longer will the earth give you her fruit as the reward of your work; you will be a wanderer in flight over the earth.

HCSB                                     If you work the land, it will never again give you its yield. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth."

JPS (Tanakh—1985)               If you till the soil, it shall no longer yield its strength to you. You shall become a ceaseless wanderer on earth.”

Judaica Press Complete T.    When you till the soil, it will not continue to give its strength to you; you shall be a wanderer and an exile in the land."

NET Bible®                             When you try to cultivate [Heb "work."] the ground it will no longer yield [Heb "it will not again (?????, tosef) give (????, tet)," meaning the ground will no longer yield. In translation the infinitive becomes the main verb, and the imperfect verb form becomes adverbial.] its best [Heb "its strength."] for you. You will be a homeless wanderer [Two similar sounding synonyms are used here: ??? ????? (na' vanad, "a wanderer and a fugitive"). This juxtaposition of synonyms emphasizes the single idea. In translation one can serve as the main description, the other as a modifier. Other translation options include "a wandering fugitive" and a "ceaseless wanderer" (cf. NIV).] on the earth."

NIV, ©2011                             When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth."

NIV – UK                                When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth.'


Limited Vocabulary Translations:

 

 

International Standard V        .


Catholic Bibles (those having the Imprimatur):

 

The Heritage Bible                 .


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

Kaplan Translation                 .


Expanded/Embellished Bibles:

 

Kretzmann’s Commentary    .

Lexham English Bible            .

Translation for Translators     .

The Voice                               .


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

The Amplified Bible                When you till the ground, it shall no longer yield to you its strength; you shall be a fugitive and a vagabond on the earth [in perpetual exile, a degraded outcast].

Brenton’s English LXX          When thou tillest the earth, then it shall not continue to give its strength to thee: thou shalt be groaning and trembling on the earth.

Concordant Literal Version    As you are serving the ground, it will not continue to give its vigor to you. A rover and a wanderer shall you become in the earth.

exeGeses companion Bible   ...when you serve,

the soil never again gives you her force;

- being a waverer and a wanderer in the earth.

 

LTHB                                     When you till the ground, it will not again give its strength to you. You shall be a vagabond and a fugitive on the earth.

NASB                                     When you cultivate the ground, it will no longer yield its strength to you; you will be a vagrant and a wanderer on the earth."

Syndein                                  {Cain the Farmer Enjoys His Word and Now is Cursed in Farming}

When you cultivate the ground, it shall not 'gather in'/'take in' the seed to give you its strength; and a wanderer and a fugitive {an established criminal - rejected by society} you will be on the earth..

World English Bible                From now on, when you till the ground, it won't yield its strength to you. You shall be a fugitive and a wanderer in the earth."

Young’s Updated LT             When you till the ground, it does not add to give its strength to you—a wanderer, even a trembling one, you are in the earth.”

 

The gist of this verse:          The ground will no longer produce for Cain as well as it has before. Further, Cain would be a wandering fugitive on the earth.


Genesis 4:12a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

kîy (כִּי) [pronounced kee]

for, that, because; when, at that time, which, what time

explanatory or temporal conjunction; preposition

Strong's #3588 BDB #471

ʿâbad (עָבַד) [pronounced ģawb-VAHD]

to work, to serve, to labor; to be a slave to

2nd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #5647 BDB #712

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

ʾădâmâh (אֲדָמָה) [pronounced uh-daw-MAWH]

ground, soil, dirt, earth, tillable earth, land, surface of the earth

feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong's #127 BDB #9

lôʾ (לֹא or לוֹא) [pronounced low]

not, no

negates the word or action that follows; the absolute negation

Strong’s #3808 BDB #518

yâçaph (יָסַף) [pronounced yaw-SAHPH]

to add, to augment, to increase, to multiply; to add to do = to do again; to continue to

2nd person masculine singular (3rd person feminine singular), Hiphil imperfect

Strong's #3254 BDB #414

We had this same verb back in v. 2.

In the Greek, this is a 3rd person singular, future active indicative.

In the Hebrew, the 2nd person masculine singular verb and the 3rd person feminine singular verb are identical.

nâthan (נָתַן) [pronounced naw-THAHN]

to give, to grant, to place, to put, to set; to make

Qal infinitive construct

Strong's #5414 BDB #678

kôwach (כּוֹחַ) [pronounced KOE-ahkh]; and spelled kôach (כֹּחַ) [pronounced KOE-ahkh]

strength, power, ability; produce; substance, riches, wealth [of soil]

masculine singular substantive with the 3rd person feminine singular suffix

Strong’s #3581 BDB #470

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix; pausal form

No Strong’s # BDB #510


Translation: When you serve [or, be a slave to] the ground, it will not continue to give its produce to you. What we would expect to find here is, she will not continue to give her produce to you. That is, a 3rd person feminine singular verb to match the ground and the 3rd person feminine singular suffix. This is how every English translation understands this; and the same is true of ancient translations. However, as noted in the Hebrew exegesis above, the 2nd person masculine singular verb is identical to the 3rd person feminine singular verb.


Genesis 4:12b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

nûwaʿ (נוּעַ) [pronounced NOO-ahģ]

one who moves to and fro, a wanderer, fugitive, vagabond, one who moves about unsteadily

masculine singular, Qal active participle

Strong's #5128 BDB #631