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Holman Bible Dictionary


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(cayin) Personal name meaning, “acquisition .” The firstborn son of Adam and Eve (Genesis 4:1 ). Although the meaning of the name is disputed, Eve's rationale for giving it suggests a relationship with a Hebrew root that means “to acquire.” Cain was a farmer, and his brother Abel was a shepherd. When the two men each brought an offering to the Lord, Abel's was accepted; but Cain's was not. Subsequently, Cain murdered Abel his brother. In punishment, God took from him the ability to till the ground productively and made him to be a wandering vagabond. God marked him off to protect him from anyone seeking to avenge Abel's murder.

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These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.

Bibliography Information
Butler, Trent C. Editor. Entry for 'Cain'. Holman Bible Dictionary. 1991.

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