Bible Activity/Discussion

Exploring the Bible: Abel and Cain 🔎

Welcome to…

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…a new Biblical series! It’s called…

I like to explore the Bible. It’s a wealth of adventure, history, wisdom, and knowledge and some topics need more than just one post, so this new series is a branch of the Bible Study series which I’ve been doing for the past few months. 

Welcome to Exploring the Bible. I’m your host Diana Tyler and today, we’re going to look at Abel and Cain and the similarities between Abel and Jesus Christ.

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While reading the account of Abel and Cain in Genesis 4 regardless of how short Abel’s lifespan was, I couldn’t help but to note the similarities between him and Christ. As a matter of fact, the Old Testament is littered with many resemblances/symbols pertaining to Christ for they were a sign of things to come. 

Outside the garden, Adam knew his wife and she bore him children: the firstborn Cain (Gen 4:1) and then his brother Abel (Gen 4:2). These two sons are very different. Cain tilled the field while Abel was a shepherd. When it was time to bring the offering before God, by obedience Abel chose the fat of the firstlings of his flock (4:4) whereas Cain disobeyed and brought what he wanted: some of his crops (4:3) therefore disobeying God.

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Abel and Cain with their offerings

Image via Google Search

Just like his parents, Cain chose to willfully disobey God and do things his way. It was like rejecting Jesus (Isaiah 53:3). The offering of the lamb is a picture of the pure, perfect, sinless Messiah (Jesus Christ). There was a reason why the lamb had to be spotless (unblemished) during offering for it represented Christ. Cain represents false doctrine that teaches we don’t need Christ and we can do like Frank Sinatra and do it our way. Whereas true doctrine teaches that we cannot save ourselves and it’s the reason why we need a Savior. I also have to agree with Philo of Alexandria (50 BC – 25 AD) when he said that Cain and Abel symbolize two parts of one’s personality: the part that seeks material things and the part that seeks holy things, respectively.

Abel and Christ: the similarities

* Abel was “a keeper of sheep” (Gen 4:2) which means he was a shepherd and our Lord is the good Shepherd (John 10:11). Psalm 23 is known as the shepherd chapter for it shows how some process involved in keeping sheep is related to us. In taking care of the sheep, Abel typifies Christ as caretaker.

* As a shepherd, Abel presents his offering to God (Gen 4:4) and it was as a Shepherd, Jesus Christ presented His offering to God (John 10:11). 

* Abel owned sheep, so it’s obvious that he had his own flock to tend. Christ calls His people the “little flock” (Luke 12:32).

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* Abel was killed by his brother (Gen 4:8); Jesus was crucified by His brethren (the house of Israel) as they shouted for Him to be crucified (Luke 23:21 also see Acts 2:22-23). This was all part of God’s divine plan (Acts 2:23).

* Abel obeyed God when he brought his offering and because of his obedience, he was killed by his jealous brother. This humble death is symbolic of Christ’s death (Philippians 2:8).

* Abel’s offering foreshadowed the Great Offering for sin and anticipated the coming of the Lamb of God.

* Abel obtained witness that he was righteous at the presentation of his offering (Hebrews 11:4); Christ was an offering on the cross to God when he obtained witness of his righteousness by the centurion (Luke 23:47).

* Abel’s example of faith still speaks to us, his name appearing first in the Hall of Faith (Hebrews 11:4) so he did not die in vain; Jesus Christ’s offering now speaks to God (Hebrews 12:24).

Abel was a hero of faith and a righteous man (Hebrews 11:4). He is one of my Biblical heroes. Now, let’s venture where the curious roam.

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Abel via JW.org

Were Cain and Abel twins?

Although this is somewhat implied, the Bible does not explicitly states that they were. Genesis 3:15 is mostly taken out of context by eager Bible students. While this verse is the first messianic prophecy of the Bible (cross-reference Romans 16:20), many use it to point out that Cain and Abel were actually twins in Gen 4:1-2 with Cain being the son of Lucifer and Adam being the father of Abel.

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To be fair, there is no time interval between verses 1 and 2 (Gen 4) and the phrase “and he knew his wife again” was not used when Eve conceived Abel, but they’re separated into 2 verses suggesting two separate births. Adam and Eve were created by God; they were the first two human beings to inhabit the earth. When Cain was born, Eve declared that she had created a man with God’s help (intervention in pregnancy) (Gen 4:1). She did not declare the same when Abel was born for it was not as remarkable as the first birth. Cain was the first human child to be born. There was no one before him otherwise the Bible would’ve recorded the historic moment.

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How did Abel know what to offer if the Bible did not state it?

It might have been based on previous knowledge in Genesis 3:21 when God had to sacrifice an animal in order to make clothes for Adam and Eve. Also, this was the first animal sacrificed for man and it was God who did the sacrificing. Despite Adam and Eve disobeying Him, His concern was still with mankind. How can you not love God? He did not have to provide for the disobedient, but He did because He cares and loves us. I also like to think that God would’ve talked to them at some point laying down the laws for He never forsakes us.

What weapon did Cain kill Abel with?

The Bible does not record it for it was not important to know (Gen 4:8). Cain was a farmer so I like to think that he used one of his tools or even a stone (in order to spill Abel’s blood), but regardless of the weapon he used to slew his brother, his action was sinful and it all started with jealousy which eventually bubbled over into anger and led him to commit the first recorded murder. 1 John 3:12 tells us to not be like Cain.

Who was Cain’s wife? (Gen 4:17)

The unnamed wife of Cain can cause the wrong kind of speculation. Let’s look at it this way: Adam and Eve were created by God. They were the first and only human beings on the earth and they did not have any genetic defects that would’ve caused genetic abnormalities to their generation. They were genetically pure and would’ve produced healthy and normal children. Besides Cain, Abel, and Seth who came much later, Adam and Eve had other “sons and daughters” (Gen 5:4). Their children would have no other choice, but to intermarry at the time so Cain’s wife could’ve been one of his sisters or another close relation, say, a niece or even a great-niece (?). When there were enough people to put an end to intermarriage, God forbid it in Leviticus 18:6-18

If you’re interested in reading more, click on and visit this link: Incest in the Bible

REFERENCES/AIDS

^ The Holy Bible (KJV & NIV)

^ gotquestions.org

^ biblelineministries.org

^ tomhayes.org

*** Images and GIFs via Google Search

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Bible Study

Genesis part IV: The first murder and genealogy of the Patriarchs

In case you missed it:

The Original Sin

The Making of mankind and the Sabbath

Genesis: in the beginning

We’re still studying the book of Genesis. I would’ve like to be at the end of the book heading into Exodus, but I don’t like rushing. However, I was talking to my friend Jonathan earlier this week and he said that he liked studying with me for it suits him best and I realize that I may have to start posting on a regular basis. I feel complete whenever I read/share/discuss His Word. 💙

The last time we were in the garden talking about our first parents’ fall. Today, we look at the first sons and an important genealogy.

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Abel and Cain

Scripture in focus: Genesis 4 

So Adam knew his wife and Cain (A possession; a spear) was born. Abel (breath; a vanity) was the second born. Cain was a tiller of the ground (a farmer like his father Adam) while his brother was a keeper of sheep (4:2). And it came to pass when the brothers brought their offerings before God, Cain brought fruits (4:3) and Abel brought the firstlings of his flock and the fat thereof (4:4).

God respects Abel’s offering, but not Cain’s (4:4-5). Why didn’t God respect Cain’s offering as well? Let’s look at Hebrews 11:4

By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did. By faith he was commended as righteous, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead.

By faith. Also look at Matthew 23:35 in which Jesus calls Abel righteous. 

Cain was angry, but God talked with him father to son, providing a solution to his problem (4:7), but Cain was stubborn and prideful and allowed sin to rule over him. Instead of humbling himself and becoming repentant, Cain allowed his anger and jealousy drive him to murder his own flesh and blood (4:8). When God asks Cain where is Abel, Cain is quick to reply that he does not know and asks, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” (4:9). Two ironies here: Cain does know where his brother is; he murdered him. And as the older sibling, he is Abel’s keeper. Firstborns are naturally responsible for their younger siblings and they have authority. 

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God places a curse upon Cain and he worries that whoever finds him will kill him (4:11-14). Just as the Lord provided for Adam and Eve after banishing them from the garden, he set a mark upon Cain to protect him (4:15). So Cain has now lost his home and family and dwelled in the land of Nod (exile, wandering, unrest), east of Eden (4:16). He eventually has a son with his wife, named him Enoch and built a city after his son’s name (4:17). We do not know if Cain had any more children for the Bible do not say, but his great-great-great grandson Lamech becomes the world’s first polygamist by marrying two wives (4:19).

Lamech boasts about killing a man and a young man (teenager perhaps?) for wounding him and that he’ll avenge himself worse than Cain (4:23-24). Seth is born and later he has a son which he names Enos and it was about that time that people began to call upon the name of the Lord (4:25-26).

I want to look at Abel and how he was Christlike, but not today. I’ll devote an entire post to this topic soon.

Genealogy of the Patriarchs

Scripture in focus: Genesis 5

This chapter might just be a list of names of people making babies, but it’s the story of our historical ancestors. It begins with the summarization of mankind (5:1-2). I went looking for a table to include in this post and I found one over on an apologetics ministry site call Answers in Genesis so here it is:

Patriarch Age Bible reference
1 Adam 930 Genesis 5:4
2 Seth 912 Genesis 5:8
3 Enosh 905 Genesis 5:11
4 Cainan 910 Genesis 5:14
5 Mahalalel 895 Genesis 5:17
6 Jared 962 Genesis 5:20
7 Enoch 365 (translated) Genesis 5:23
8 Methuselah 969 Genesis 5:27
9 Lamech 777 Genesis 5:31
10 Noah 950 Genesis 9:29
11 Shem 600 Genesis 11:10–11
12 Arphaxad 438 Genesis 11:12–13
13 Shelah 433 Genesis 11:14–15
14 Eber 464 Genesis 11:16–17
15 Peleg 239 Genesis 11:18–19
16 Reu 239 Genesis 11:20–21
17 Serug 230 Genesis 11:22–23
18 Nahor 148 Genesis 11:24–25
19 Terah 205 Genesis 11:32
20 Abram (Abraham) 175 Genesis 25:7
21 Isaac 180 Genesis 35:28–29
22 Jacob (Israel)

Ages of the Patriarchs from Adam to Jacob

Adam was 130 years old when he had his first son (5:3). Cainan lived up to 910 years (5:14). Enoch was 65 when he had Methuselah (5:21) and he walked with God until God took him (5:24). Methuselah is the longest living human ever at 969 years (5:27). Noah was 500 years when he had Shem, Ham, and Japheth (5:32). I think this chapter is important, but it’s too bad churches tend to look it over.

Additional Notes/Recap

^ The first murder involved jealousy.

^ Regarding Cain’s offering, I believe that God gave specific instructions regarding the offering although the Bible doesn’t say so. Remember, it was by faith that Abel brought a better offering and faith comes from hearing (Romans 10:17).

^ In a sense, we’re like Abel destined for death, but we’re also like Cain in which we’re subject to anger, pride, and stubbornness thus resulting in sinful impulses.

Bible Activity/Discussion

Firsts in the Bible

While reading/studying/discussing the Bible, I love jotting down notes. The Bible is filled with wonderful treasures and I love discovering them one by one. A few firsts I’ve discovered are:

* The first city mentioned in the Bible was Enoch which was founded by Cain and named after his son. (Genesis 4:17)

* Abel was the first shepherd. (Genesis 4:2)

* The first priest mentioned in the Bible was Melchizedek. (Genesis 14:18) He also received the first tithe.

* Cain committed the first murder when he killed his brother Abel, which also makes Abel the first person to die. (Genesis 4)

* The first marriage was between Adam and Eve (Genesis 2:21-24)

* The first twins recorded were Jacob and Esau. Their mother was Rebekah. (Genesis 25:24-26)

* Lamech was the first man to have two wives (Genesis 4:19)

* Deborah was the first and only female judge. (Judges 4:4)

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* First left-hander? Ehud. (Judges 3:15)

* David wrote the first letter; it was addressed to Joab. (2 Samuel 11:14)

* Sarah baked the first cake. (Genesis 18:6)

* The first person to be tied up? Isaac. (Genesis 22:9)

* Noah was the first person recorded as getting drunk. (Genesis 9:21)

* The first surgery? Well, I like to think that the first surgery was performed when God put Adam to sleep and remove one of his ribs to create his equal half, woman. (Genesis 2:21-22)

* The first surrogate? When Sarah couldn’t bear children and she told her husband Abraham to lay with their Egyptian handmaid Hagar so Sarah can obtain children by her. (Genesis 16)

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* Green is the first color mentioned (Genesis 1:30).

* Stephen was the first martyr of the Christian church. (Acts 7)

* The first measure of weight used was Shekel. (Genesis 23:15)

* Physicians are first mentioned in Genesis 50:2 when Joseph embalmed his father in Egypt.

* First to use a pulpit? Ezra (Nehemiah 8:4)

* Shishak was the first king of Egypt to be called by name instead of Pharoah; he was also the only king of Egypt to be called by name. (1 Kings 11:40)

Do you disagree with some of these firsts? Any that you’ll like to share? Feel free to comment down below. God bless.

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