This is the story of the very first murder.
Adam and Eve had two boys, Cain and Abel. It was the first born’s job, Cain’s, to tend fields, and the latter to raise flocks. Flocks of what, I do not know. Geese? Goats? Sheep? Its a mystery!! Anyway, the boys got the grand idea that God wanted an offering.
So here is the question, why? Did God ask for an offering? Did he demand it? Was this some Biblical ass-kissing? There never were words before asking for offerings, why now, and what was the catalyst? Prophet, what do you think?
Anyway, God liked the offering of Abel, the fatty pieces of the first born of his flock, and didn’t like the offerings from the earth. This pissed off Cain, as you can imagine. It takes a lot of work to tend fields, and God rejected his sweat. No cool, God, not cool. It doesn’t even say why. So little brother totally showed up big brother.
So, when Cain went off to sulk, God spoke to hime, asking why he was so mad, yet, still not giving any constructive criticism for him to learn by. He just says “Why are you angry? … If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” Now, what this means to me is if you do the right thing, you won’t get in trouble. But how is giving a selfless gift and having it thrown back in his face, doing the wrong thing? It was the fact that god rejected him which led to the following act of suckiness.
And what was this alleged act of suckiness? Well, Cain led Abel out to his fields to “show him something,” then, when they were alone smote him to death. “Hey look, a big rock, have a closer look brother!” (*not an actual Bible quote) But God, being the all knowing that he is, knew what had happened and asked him, perhaps in an attempt to get a little remorse out of the guy, where his brother was. Only Cain, answered in a childish manner, which I can totally admit, I probably have said, almost verbatim: “I don’t know, am I my brother’s keeper?” Seriously, I swear, as a teacher in a high school, I can honestly say that I hear that all the time. My kids thing they are clever when they say it. Apparently sarcasm has been around for a really long time. I think it brings me closer to God.
Like I said, God knew what Cain had done, but he showed no remorse, so God cursed him. But first he tried to scare Cain by giving a speech which probably inspired Edgar Allen Poe from time to time. The curse that God put on Cain was pretty intense too. He was a farmer, but God took away his ability with farming, and sent him away. God also removed his presence from Cain’s life. Cain then fears for his life, but God put a mark on him singling him out, and stated that no one who came across him was allowed to kill him. Then God made him leave, and wander.
This passage is where the justification for racism occurs, or at least thats what I have heard. But if we look at the passage, it does not condone or condemn Cain. God gave Cain his punishment. Job well done. The mark was not a punishment but a warning not to harm him. I have heard that Cain was the first black man, and that was the mark which God has put upon him. Never once does it say that Cain is a lesser man. Never once does God say that Cain’s sons and daughters are to be punished for his deeds. Cain came from Adam and Eve. Freewill allowed him to kill his brother. Just because a person has the mark of Cain (is black) does not mean they are less of a person. If anything, God says NOT to kill a person with the Mark of Cain, and yet, in the past, and even a little now, people use this passage to justify racism. Those people do not know their bible. If anything, the debt has been paid. God is forgiving, but marked Cain so nobody else can punish him. Again, it is human arrogance which is twisting a good message to fit their agenda. Stupid humans.
The next couple passages, I think, are just a way of telling the progression of time. This passage also is the passage, to me, which admits the evolution of the human as a species. It illustrates the Bronze Age, and allows eons to pass.
(Don’t think I missed the wives part. The way I see it, they needed to build up the population, as there were very few people and having more than one wife means having lots of babies. Besides, do you really think that one man is enough for multiple women? Seriously. If you read between the lines, I bet there were women who were married more than once as well. At least I hope so. Good thing Jesus or someone in the future changed THAT law! Seriously. One man has no way of satisfying more than one wife. I know men who can’t even satisfy the one wife they have! Ha ha! Am I right girls? Hello? Nevermind, back to the story)
This next bit is a little confusing. Prophet, can you tell the rest? Because it goes back and forth among generations, I just don’t quite get what it has to do with anything except the progression of time. Take it away, Sir!
Very good question as to why they all of a sudden decided to give an offering to God. The most logical thing I can think of comes from the thought that we think Moses wrote Genesis. God had already told his people Israel how to properly give offerings by the time Moses would have written Genesis. So I’d guess that God told Adam and Eve and his children how to properly give offerings as well. The people at the time of Moses already knowing, would make it pointless to include that part in the writings of genesis. Therefore, God had already taught them how to give offerings, and Cain got all cheap and lazy on God. (<-That is so awesome!!!!) That’s why God said to him if he does what is right, won’t you be accepted? Cain knew how to do what was right, he chose not to.
As for the lineage parts of the bible, that is extremely important in Jewish culture. If you couldn’t trace your lineage back, then you weren’t considered a Jew.