Cain, Abel, and Murder ~ Genesis 4a Study Notes

Please read my disclaimer to these study notes first. This is how I start my studies. I do a read through first in one translation – most likely Kings James Version. I do not look at the original language yet. The purpose of this first reading is to see what the scriptures say first. Below is the result of my first read through.

Study Notes - Genesis 4a

Study Notes for Genesis 4:1-15

Cain & Abel (Genesis 4:1-7)

1 And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD. 2 And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. 3 And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. 4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: 5 But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. 6 And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? 7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.

My Notes

  1. Adam knew Eve
    1. Conceived
    2. Bare Cain (tiller of ground)
    3. Bare Abel (keeper of sheep)
  2. Offering to the Lord
    1. In the process of time
    2. Cain
      1. Brought the fruit of the ground
      2. The Lord didn’t respect it or Cain
      3. His countenance fell
      4. The Lord asked him why he was angry and disappointed
        1. If he did well it would have been accepted
        2. If he did not do well, it wouldn’t be accepted
        3. If not do well, sin lies at the door
        4. Sin desires him, but he will rule over him (sin)
    3. Abel
      1. Brought the firstlings of his flock and the fat
      2. The Lord accepted him and his offering

My Questions

  • Did Eve only conceive once?
  • Are Cain and Abel twins?
  • Why did Eve specify she got a man from God, but not with Abel?
  • What was the significance of the “man from God” statement?
  • Was “the process of time” an appointed time to give an offering?
  • Why was one offering accepted and not the other offering?
  • Why was Cain’s offering considered not doing well?
  • Was Cain’s offering not acceptable because the ground was cursed? Or it wasn’t the first fruits? Or both and then some?
  • Why did the scriptures make a distinction with the fat being brought also?
  • Were there already rules on how to offer to God?
  • Why is sin referred to as male?

My Thoughts

The scriptures only mentions Eve conceiving once, which leads me to believe that Cain and Abel were twins. There had to be rules on how to make an offering to God because God asked Cain why be angry. If he did well then it would have been accepted. Then God warned him about sin wanting him, which means his attitude and heart wasn’t right.


God’s response to Cain’s sin (Genesis 4:8-15)

8 And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him. 9 And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper? 10 And he said, What hast thou done? The voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground. 11 And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand; 12 When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.

13 And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment is greater than I can bear. 14 Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me. 15 And the LORD said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the LORD set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him.

My Notes

  1. Cain Kills Abel
    1. Cain talks to Abel
    2. Cain rose up against Abel
    3. Cain slew Abel
  2. The Lord confronts Cain
    1. The Lord asks him where is his brother, Abel
    2. Cain lies and says
      1. He doesn’t know
      2. Is he his brother’s keeper?
    3. The Lord says
      1. What have you done?
      2. The voice of your brother cries to me from the ground
      3. Now you are cursed from the earth because the earth opened her mount to receive your brother’s blood from your hand
      4. The ground will no longer yield her strength when you till it
      5. A fugitive and a vagabond will you be in the earth
    4. Cain replies to The Lord
      1. My punishment is greater than I can bear
      2. You have driven me out this day from the face of the earth
      3. from you face shall I be hid
      4. I will be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth
      5. It shall come to pass everyone who finds me shall slay me
    5. The Lord replies
      1. Whoever slays Cain, vengeance will be on him sevenfold
    6. The Lord sets a mark on Cain to prevent anyone from killing him

My Questions

  • Did Cain have other brothers?
  • Is that why God specified Abel by name?
  • Why were Cain and Abel the only children mentioned of Adam and Eve?
  • I Cain and Abel were their only children, then who else was in the world?
  • How did these other people get there?

My Thoughts

Adam and Eve had to have had other children. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be any reason for Cain to worry or for God to ask about Abel by name. Cain accepted his punishment, although it was more than he could imagine. He also feared repercussions from killing his brother.

I found it interesting that while God spoke to Cain, he also spoke as if he was addressing everyone else concerning Cain. I also found it interesting that not only did God let him live, but he also protected his life.

Cain could no longer be in the presence of God, which tells me that God continued to be with Adam, Eve, and their children, even after the garden. It was probably not remotely like it was in the garden, but it was better than nothing at all, which Cain was about to find out.

The scriptures uses God’s name when referring to him in this chapter. Earth is referred to as “she.”

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