Am I my brother’s keeper – Part 2

an immature bald eagle on a branch

Literary Context   

The beginning of our text is Genesis 4:1 takes place after the expulsion from the Garden of Eden.  Adam and Eve “knew” each other and had procreated. Have both Cain and Abel. Prior to this time procreation was mentioned (Gen 1:28) but the fruit from this command had not yet come to be.  Jamieson explains “Eve said, I have gotten a man from the Lord—that is, “by the help of the Lord”—an expression of pious gratitude and she called him Cain, that is, “a possession,” as if valued above everything else; while the arrival of another son reminding Eve of the misery she had entailed on her offspring, led to the name Abel, that is, either weakness, vanity (Psa 39:5), or grief, lamentation. Cain and Abel were probably twins; and it is thought that, at this early period, children were born in pairs (Gen 5:4)” (Jamieson).

The Passage ends with Genesis 4:14-16  “Gen 4:14  “Behold, You have driven me this day from the face of the ground; and from Your face, I will be hidden, and I will be a vagrant and a wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.” So the LORD said to him, “Therefore whoever kills Cain, vengeance will be taken on him sevenfold.” And the LORD appointed a sign for Cain so that no one finding him would slay him. Then Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden”(NASB). It is because of Cain’s disobedience and the act of slaying his brother that he is banished from the land. Cain not only inherited the curse of Adam, to manually till the soil and that it would not be productive, but he also spilled innocent blood on that cursed ground. His lack of sorrow and failure to repent from his offense to God caused his expulsion to wander the lands east of Eden. God did have mercy on Cain and marked him to protect him from those who would come and take revenge for his brother’s blood.

This passage is a historical narrative. As such it demonstrates both what God expects in true and heartfelt worship and what does not qualify as true heartfelt worship. The passage also shows the chastisement of God and the expectation that a proper sacrifice would be made. Instead of a proper sacrifice, the blood of a brother was spilled. To which Cain hardened in the heart because of jealousy denied responsibility for the death of Abel. The narrative also illustrates that God is a God of second chances, whether or not we decide to accept that from our Lord or not.

PRESENTATION OF TEXT

Scripture Passage

Gen 4:1-16 Now the man had relations with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain, and she said, “I have gotten a manchild with the help of the LORD.”  (2)  Again, she gave birth to his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of flocks, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.  (3)  So it came about in the course of time that Cain brought an offering to the LORD of the fruit of the ground.  (4)  Abel, on his part also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And the LORD had regard for Abel and for his offering;  (5)  but for Cain and for his offering He had no regard. So Cain became very angry and his countenance fell.  (6)  Then the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen?  (7)  “If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.”  (8)  Cain told Abel his brother. And it came about when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him.  (9)  Then the LORD said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” And he said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?”  (10)  He said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to Me from the ground.  (11)  “Now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand.  (12)  “When you cultivate the ground, it will no longer yield its strength to you; you will be a vagrant and a wanderer on the earth.”  (13)  Cain said to the LORD, “My punishment is too great to bear!  (14)  “Behold, You have driven me this day from the face of the ground; and from Your face I will be hidden, and I will be a vagrant and a wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.”  (15)  So the LORD said to him, “Therefore whoever kills Cain, vengeance will be taken on him sevenfold.” And the LORD appointed a sign for Cain, so that no one finding him would slay him.  (16)  Then Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden (NASB).

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To read the other parts in this series click any of the links below:

Am I my Brother’s keeper part 1
Am I my Brother’s keeper part 2
Am I my Brother’s keeper part 3
Am I my Brother’s keeper part 4
Am I my Brother’s keeper part 5
Am I my Brother’s keeper part 6

 

Author: Chris Flees

I am an artist, art promoter, and art marketing professional who specializes and blogs primarily about art topics and the "behind the scenes" of my subject and images. Occasionally I blog about Christian topics.