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Bridgeway Bible Dictionary

Cain

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Eldest of Adam and Eve’s family, Cain was a crop farmer. Since people were to acknowledge God as the giver of all things, Cain brought some of his farm produce and presented it as an offering to God. Cain’s brother Abel, being a shepherd, offered sheep. But whereas Abel presented his offering in sincerity and faith, Cain did not, with the result that God accepted Abel’s offering but rejected Cain’s (Genesis 4:1-5; Hebrews 11:4).

Cain was envious and angry. He was told that if he wanted God to accept his sacrifice, he had to change his ways and overcome the sinful attitudes that were threatening to destroy him (Genesis 4:5-7). Cain, however, refused to humble himself, and gave clear evidence of the evil within his heart by murdering his brother (Genesis 4:8; 1 John 3:12). In punishment God drove him into a barren region. Cain still showed no sign of repentance, only fear of punishment. Yet God in his mercy promised to protect Cain from any possible revenge killing (Genesis 4:8-16).

Free from the influence of those who still worshipped God, Cain set about establishing his own independent settlement. His descendants raised cattle and developed skills in arts and crafts, but morally they drifted further from God (Genesis 4:17-24; cf. Romans 1:20-28).


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Bibliography Information
Fleming, Don. Entry for 'Cain'. Bridgeway Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/bbd/c/cain.html. 2004.

Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, October 19th, 2019
the Week of Proper 23 / Ordinary 28
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