This vacation I choose to read Bible since my best friend loves it a lot .As my language level is very limited I've only finished the simpler version instead of the original. In this article I only want to talk about one story, in which I have been obsessed, a lot, Cain and Abel.It took me pretty much time to gather material and organize it in a reasonable way. What has to be emphasized is that some of the sentences are quoted from Bible itself, some are from commentators, some are from experts, but of course, I contribute most of it.
Now I'll begin.It all starts after God expels Adam and Eve from paradise and they produce two sons .Cain, their first son, becomes a farmer. His younger brother, Abel, becomes a shepherd. Both brothers try to please God by giving him thanks and offering him sacrifices, which are the first ritual sacrifices ever recorded in the Bible.
Cain reaches out to God by offering him a sacrifice from his crops and Abel offers God a sacrifice from his herd, his first-born lamb .God accept Abel's offering but rejects Cain's for no apparent reason .Consumed with rage and jealousy, Cain kills his brother and is banished, condemned to wander the earth alone .
Cain wanders off into the land of Nod, east of Eden, never to return again.As one of the most brutal and most perplexing tale ,the first murder in the Bible is a fratricide as if to say all murder is the murder of a brother .As for the reason why it is so powerful and haunting ,on one hand ,the enigmatic and cryptic tale introduces the theme of fraternal rivalry which then reverberates throughout the book of Genesis .On the other hand ,it is a lesson not only for a family but also for all the mankind ,all the dilemmas ,all the problems ,all the passions and hatreds. Nevertheless, one thing is for certain: debates on riddles in the story have never stopped .Here I first briefly introduce some key puzzling issues and mainstream answers to them.
Q1: Why does God prefer one sacrifice over another?A:Here I must mention other versions of this story.In another version,it says" Abel brought some of the very finest from his flocks, while Cain deliberately brought an average-quality offering from his crops. Cain could have done better, but he chose not to for some reason.
Perhaps he thought that the all-knowing God would not notice." So according to these words,it's easy and obvious to see why God has made such a choice. Cain is too proud. While Cain plants and tends his crops, without the soil, sun and rain, those things over which only God has control, Cain's sacrifice would have been nothing. But Abel shows that he is grateful for God's grace .
"Cain's sacrifice was the result of his own works, while Abel's was the result of his love for his flock."But the question is, there're numerous versions of the Bible, and the most widely recognized one doesn't have these lines. I think the others are adapted and retold by those missionaries for some certain religious reasons.
If they want to convince the general public that this is true,they must convert the story to a much more reasonable one.However, one thing is certain, that God has not been satisfied with Cain before. "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".
So instead of the rejection itself, the focus is that the rejection does not have to split the family and result in murder. It is a challenge designed by God to see whether Cain can recognise and accept Abel has insights ,modesty and talents that he does not have. Instead of being overcome by jealousy ,he could have benefited from his brother 's ability to please God .
Message behind the tale is that God knows everything and every heart of man, no one can hide from God. And we really shouldn't blame our own faults on others .Besides, Cain lied to God when is asked about his brothers' whereabouts.
In addition, according to some more detailed versions, when Cain realized what he'd done, he was more concerned that someone might have seen what he'd done than he was sorry for his brother's death. God already knew what happened to Abel but offered Cain the opportunity to admit his sin. Cain refused the second chance and suffered the consequences. I also think that the 16-verse-long story paves for story afterwards. In the book, After Cain leaves Eden, He marries his sister and they have a son, Enoch, in whose honour Cain sets up a city and abandons ancient nomadic life, adopting agricultural manner in which to some extent improves quality of life, reflecting the reality in the progress of mankind.
Q2:If no one had been killed before ,let alone murdered.