Cain and Abel

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Known for First murderer in human history

Cain and Abel

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

According to the Bible, Cain and Abel were the first two sons born to Adam and Eve after their expulsion from the Garden of Eden. (Genesis 5:4 adds the fact that many other children came later.) In a fit of jealous rage, Cain, the first agriculturist, murdered his brother Abel, the sheepherder, because God accepted Abel's sacrifice but rejected Cain's.

When God banished him, Cain feared he would be persecuted because of his crime. God placed upon him "the mark of Cain" to warn any who might harm him. Much speculation has centered upon this mysterious "mark." No indication is given in the Bible as to what constituted the mark of Cain. It is simply presented as history.

Cain migrated to "the land of Nod, east of Eden." "Nod" means "wandering," so this might be describing a condition rather than a place, but Cain's first act was to build a city.

The story of Cain and Abel raises questions for some readers of the Bible. First, if Cain and Abel were the only two young people in the world, and one murdered the other, why would the survivor require a mark to protect him from others? Second, when Cain established his city, who populated it? Such questions reveal the questioner's method of biblical interpretation. Those who ask such questions are demanding that the story be read as history. They either accept scripture as true or reject it as irrelevant based on their own personal bias. Those who think such questions are insignificant are reading scripture mythologically or allegorically.

Genesis 4 tells Cain's story, and it has been interpreted in many different ways. Some Christians understand it to mean God rejected Cain's "religion of works" in favor of Abel's "religion of blood sacrifice." Here they find the root of the doctrine that salvation comes through the blood sacrifice of Jesus rather than humans "being good enough" or "working hard enough" to earn it (see Covenant). Later, blood sacrifice of animals was developed by the Hebrew people during the time of Moses (see Judaism, Development of).

References in periodicals archive ?
My essay begins by looking at the story of Cain and Abel, with a
At the base camp, led by Don Weaver, an 82-year-old World War II former prisoner of war, veterans sat around a campfire talking about how the first recorded episode of posttraumatic stress disorder occurred thousands of years ago--the story of Cain and Abel.
3) Both Cain and Abel gave sacrificial gifts to God and Abel's was accepted above that of Cain.
The empire builders already have their answer, following an ideological line that stretches back to Samuel Huntington, George Kennan, and Cain and Abel.
Quinones develops: "Although differing in their directions, each category [of the Cain and Abel story] begins by addressing the fundamental proposition over which the theme presides, that is, the reality of a fracture at the basis of existence, a breach in its heart, and the correlative need for finding and promoting means of reconstitution" (239).
It's a self-conscious film, one that artfully reworks the Cain and Abel story into a fusion of hip, urban aesthetics and ancient sensibilities.
Local people appeared alongside professional performers in the large- scale outdoor production that told the Bible stories of The Flood, Exodus, Cain and Abel and the life of Jesus.
The war between Cain and Abel is the first event outside Eden, the first event of "normal" human history.
And later Babe Brother stands to sacrifice Suzie in his competition with Junior, a competition that resonates with the biblical conflict between Cain and Abel.
Thus, Richard III's hatred is a "natural" outgrowth of the playwright's domestic situation, and rival pairings based on the Cain and Abel story are common throughout his plays.
With the birth of legends about characters like Adam, Cain and Abel, to Jesus and Mohammed, Damascus was guaranteed an eminent position in the Moslem world: 'it was the seal of all the Islamic countries we visited' said the Andalusian traveller Ibn Jubayr in 1184.