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However, the Lamech legend is just one of the ways ancient interpreters sought to answer the question: How did Cain die? Did Cain die in the flood? Did he die naturally? Did Lamech kill Cain? If Lamech did not, then was there someone else who killed Cain? In the Bible, we will not find a definitive answer.
To find out more about the Lamech legend and other interpretations that seek to explain what happened to Cain in the Bible, read the full Biblical Views column by John Byron, professor of New Testament at Ashland Theological Seminary, in the May/June 2014 issue of BAR.
Did Cain Get Away with Murder?Biblical Archaeology Review
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In the free eBookExploring Genesis: The Bibles Ancient Traditions in Context, discover the cultural contexts for many of Israels latest traditions. Explore Mesopotamian creation myths, Josephs relationship with Egyptian temple practices and three different takes on the location of Ur of the Chaldeans, the birthplace of Abraham.
Did Cain Really Kill Abel Mythological Stories Transmit Ideas Over The Generations They Also Impact Real Life
Devdutt Pattanaik writes on relevance of mythology in modern times.
Two hundred years ago, in America, many white people justified the slavery of Africans arguing that their black skin was the mark of Cain. That they descended from the first murderer in recorded history. Before that, many Christians in Europe argued that Jews bore the mark of Cain which is why they had peculiar features like hooked nose, and they circumcised themselves, and kept wandering like exiles, unable to settle anywhere. Thus the mark of Cain a mythological idea was used to justify the slavery trade and antisemitism. Mythological ideas do impact in real life, even if people nowadays are quick to dismiss them as fiction.
Myths are cultural truths, transmitted over generations. They are invented to establish a world view. Some argue, the mahatma of Gandhi and the veer of Savarkar and the pandit of Nehru, are political myths invented to brand certain leaders as sages, warriors and statesmen, and this eventually is seen as historical fact, by a certain community.
No Connection To The Offering: Genesis Rabbah
Genesis is silent about what happened in the field, We are never told whether Abel was entirely the victim of an aggressive brother or whether he himself may have done something to provoke the crisis. Moreover, nothing explicit in the Torah connects the killing of Abel with the previous story about sacrifices. Something else may have taken place to set Cain off.
Genesis Rabbah imagines the brothers arguing about matters entirely unrelated to the sacrifice:
What were they arguing about? They said, Lets divide up the world. One took the land and the other the movable goods. This one said, The land you are standing upon is mine. This one said, What you are wearing is mine. This one said Strip ! and this one said Fly ! As a consequence, Cain rose up against Abel
R. Joshua of Sikhnin said in the name of R. Levi: They both took lands and they both took movable goods. What were they arguing about? One said the Temple will be built in my territory and this one said in my territory
Note how in this source, it is only one said one said without specifying who said what. The argument and stubbornness was evenand at least in the first case, ridiculousonly that Cain turned to violence.
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Don Stewart : : Where Did Cain Get His Wife
And Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and born Enoch. And he built a city, and called the name of the city after the name of his son – Enoch .
Many Questions1)2)3)4)Pre-Adamic HumanityOther ChildrenTime Not Statedwhen
And he begot Seth, the days of Adam were eight hundred years and he begot sons and daughters. So all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years and he died .
Long Life SpansWhat About Incest?Sister Or NieceChanged With Law
None of you shall approach anyone who is near of kin to him, to uncover his nakedness: I am the Lord
At that time God forbade marriage between the following: mother, father, sister, brother, half-brother, brother’s wife, aunt, uncle, stepmother, granddaughter, daughter-in-law, and son-in law. Before that time, it was not forbidden .
Jesus The Man Death Could Not Hold Down
Unlike Enoch and Elijah, Jesus actually tasted physical death He was gruesomely killed by crucifixion and buried in the grave. But on the third day, He resurrected from the dead. And now Jesus is alive forever.
Jesus is alive not because he didnt taste death. But because he tasted death and conquered it.
There is a big difference between being raised from the death and being resurrected from the dead. Being raised from the dead is a temporary victory. In the Bible, all those who were brought by back to life, later died again.
But being resurrected from the dead like Jesus did, is a permanent victory over death. Jesus died and resurrected and never to die again,
Speaking about the victory of Jesus over death, the writer of Acts of the Apostles gives us a remarkable insight:
But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him Acts 2:24
and He was taken up to Heaven in full glare of Disciples: After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight Acts 1:9.
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Why Is The Story Of Cain And Abel Significant
The account of Cain and Abel has much to teach us. This article will only be able to briefly address some of the profound lessons in this account.
We must approach God on His terms. God does not accept any mere religious activity we throw His way. God is our holy Creator. We belong to Him. It is only right that we worship Him according to the conditions set Him. In the account of Cain and Abel, the worship they offered the Lord was, by nature, a moral act that would incur Gods moral judgment. Both men approached God through the religious activity of sacrifice, but with two different motives and hence two different results. This account teaches us there are only two kinds of worship in the Lords eyes that which is acceptable to Him and that which is not. There is no such thing as a neutral act of worship.
The author of Hebrews expounds on this account, stating Abel offered up a better sacrifice to God than Cain . It is most important to understand the author is not referring to the unbiblical teaching of positive faith profession, where Abel made his offering acceptable by merely believing it to be so. Instead, the faith the author refers to is grounded in God and His righteousness. With this kind of faith, a person trusts and acknowledges God as supreme, good, and worthy of complete devotion. With the same kind of faith, Abel offered his sacrifice. In turn, God gave His divine blessing by accepting Abels sacrifice and recognizing him as righteous.
The Anger And Sin Of Cain
Many lessons crowd on us from this section. Its general purport is to show the growth of sin, and its power to part man from man even as it has parted man from God. We may call the whole ‘The beginning of the fatal operations of sin on human society.’ Sin here appears as having the power to bar men’s way to God. Much ingenuity has been spent on the question of why Abel’s offering was accepted and Cain’s rejected. Cain’s offering had no sense of dependence, no outgoing of love and trust, no adoration,though it may have had fear,and no moral element. So it had no sweet odor for God. Abel’s was sprinkled with some drops of the incense of lowly trust, and came from a heart which fain would be pure therefore it was a joy to God.
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Number 15how Did The Descendants Of Cain Survive The Flood
The Bible clearly shows us the only people on the ark were Noah, his wife, Noahs three sons, and their wives.
Genesis 6:17-18: And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven and every thing that is in the earth shall die. But with thee will I establish my covenant and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons wives with thee.
Genesis 7:7: And Noah went in, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons wives with him, into the ark, because of the waters of the flood.
Genesis 7:13: In the selfsame day entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noahs wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark
Genesis 7:23: And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark.
I Peter 3:20: Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.
The Bible tells us all mankind came from Noahs three sons.
Genesis 9:19: These are the three sons of Noah: and of them was the whole earth overspread.
The Bible tells us Noah was perfect in his generations.
When Did Cain And Abel Die
In Genesis, we find the story of the brothers Cain and Abel.
Abel was slain by Cain because Cain was jealous of the offering Abel had for God. Cain’s gift of the ground was incomparable to Abel’s of the firstlings of his flock, the very best he had. And Cain harbored hatred in his heart that caused him to kill Abel and sin against God.
Cain was cast out by God and marked, “lest any man finding him should kill him. While he was running, Cain dewlt in Nod and had many children, though the date of his final fate is not recorded here.
There is a very small and strange tidbit of “Holy Spirit inspired” information in Genesis that may indicate that Cain’s great-great grandson, Lamech, may have killed not only his great-great grandfather, Cain… but Enoch, also.
“…Lamech said unto his wives, Adah and Zillah, Hear my voice ye wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech: for I have slain a man to my wounding, and a young man to my hurt. If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy and sevenfold.”
Cryptically, Lamech calls his great-great grandfather’s curse upon himself, which appears to be a confession that he killed Cain.
But if Cain the murderer’s death warranted a “sevenfold” vengeance… might not a “seventy-fold” vengeance be required for the death of a “righteous man?” Like Enoch?
Much of the modern professing Christian world believes that Enoch “did not die”… but the Bible says that he did:
Were these Enoch’s last words?
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Elijah The Man Carried Up By Heavenly Chariots
Elijah was another person that did not die physically. Once he was done with his assignment on earth, God brought a chariot of fire to whisk him away to heaven in a whirlwind.
Enochs departure from the earth must have been a quiet event. No too much ceremonies was required as God simply took him away. But Elijahs case was different. He was divinely evacuated with heavenly transportation in the grandest style. The full story can be found in the book of Second Kings chapter 2.
Then it happened, as they continued on and talked, that suddenly a chariot of fire appeared with horses of fire, and separated the two of them and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven
2 Kings 2:11
What a spectacular sight it must have been for Elisha, who was right there when Elijah was taken up to Heaven.
What Do We Know About Elijah
Elijah was a notable prophet in the Old Testament Bible. Let us mention a few of the documents facts about him:
- Elijah was the prophet of God from Tishbite in Gilead.
- Elijah called down fire in the context between Him and the false prophets of Baal.
- Elijah was the prophet who proclaimed the drought that lasted in the land for three and half years 1 Kings 17:1.
- Elijah prayed again and the rains returned to earth 1Kings 18:43-45 James 5:17.
- Elijah was fed by a Raven sent by God during the prolonged famine 1 Kings 17:2-6.
- Elijah was also provided food by a widow in Zarephath, after which Elijah miraculously multiplied her supplies 1 Kings 17:15-16.
- Elijah prayed for a dead boy and he came back to life 1 Kings 27:20-23.
- Elijah was outran the King Ahab who was driven in a chariot of horse 1 Kings 18:46
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The Sacrifices And Devotions Of Cain And Abel
In process of time, when they had made some improvement in their respective callings at some set time, Cain and Abel brought to Adam, as the priest of the family, each of them an offering to the Lord. There was a difference in the offerings they brought. It is expressly said , Abels was a more excellent sacrifice than Cains: either In the nature of it. Cains was only a sacrifice of acknowledgment offered to the Creator the meat offerings of the fruit of the ground were no more, and, for aught I know, they might be offered in innocency. But Abel brought a sacrifice of atonement, the blood whereof was shed in order to remission, thereby owning himself a sinner, deprecating Gods wrath, and imploring his favor in a Mediator. Or, In the qualities of the offering. Cain brought of the fruit of the ground, any thing that came next to hand, what he had not occasion for himself or what was not marketable. But Abel was curious in the choice of his offering: not the lame, nor the lean, nor the refuse, but the firstlings of the flock the best he had, and the fat thereof the best of those best.
Why Did Cain Repent In Adam And Eves Children
Not that his colleagues mistreated him, but he didn’t ignore her unconscious resentment at his presence. But Cain knew that since he did not wear the tribe’s insignia, he would be killed by the first members of a neighboring tribe who were lucky enough to meet him. Fear and some regret made him regret.
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What Warning Did God Give Cain
His advice to Cain is twofold: 1) Do what is right and you will receive the respect that you want so badly, and 2) Be the master of your own emotions instead of allowing them to be your master. The sin, therefore, that God warns Cain against is nurturing the anger that he feels in his heart against Abel.
Cultural Portrayals And References
- In the Old English classic poem Beowulf , the monstrous Grendel and his mother are said to be descended from Cain.
- The expression “Cain-coloured beard” Cain and Judas were traditionally considered to have red or yellow hair) is used in Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor .
- Lord Byron rewrote and dramatized the story in the play Cain , viewing Cain as symbolic of a sanguine temperament, provoked by Abel’s hypocrisy and sanctimony.
- Victor Hugo‘s poem “La Conscience” tells of Cain and his family fleeing from God’s wrath.
- John Steinbeck‘s 1952 novel East of Eden ” rel=”nofollow”> a 1955 film) refers in its title to Cain’s exile and contains discussions of the Cain and Abel story which then play out in the plot.
- The role-playing gameVampire: the Masquerade refers to vampires as “Cainites” after Cain, who is referred to as the first vampire.
- Country music group 4 Runner‘s song “Cain’s Blood” uses Cain and Abel as a metaphor for the struggle between good and evil in the song’s narrator.
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Why Did Cain Kill Abel
God rejects Cains sacrifice while accepting Abels, then in the next scene, Cain kills his brother. Does this mean that Cain killed Abel out of jealousy, or could other factors have been present? Ancient interpreters explore many possible motivations, from the simple to the bizarre.
Cain leads Abel to death, James Tissot, circa 1896. Jewishmuseum.org
Relationship With The Ground
In this alternative reading of the text, the ground could be personified as a character. This reading is evidenced by given human qualities, like a mouth, in the scripture. The ground is also the only subject of an active verb in the verse that states, “It opens its mouth to take the blood.” This suggests that the ground reacted to the situation. By that logic, the ground could then potentially be an accomplice to the murder of Abel . The reaction from the ground raises the question, “Does the intimate connection between humans and the ground mean that the ground mirrors or aids human action, regardless of the nature of that action?”
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