Remarks on Righteousness
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Character Studies
Genesis 4:1-17

Cain was the older brother. Some have surmised that they were
twins. However, there is no conclusive evidence from the text which
would indicate this to be true.

Ge 3:23; 9:20; Lu 11:50-51; Nu 18:12; Le 3:16; Nu 18:17; Pr 3:9; Heb
11:4; Ge 31:2; Ge 3:16; Heb 11:4; Mt 23:35; 1Jo 3:12; Jude 1:11; Ps 9:
12; Joh 8:44; Heb 12:24; Re 6:9-10; Ge 9:6; Nu 35:19,21,27; Job 15:20-
24; Ps 51:11; Ps 79:12; Eze 9:4,6; Ge 4:2Ki 13:23; 24:20; Jer 23:39; 52:
3; Jon 1:3; Ps 49:11


Instead of humbling himself he gives signs of strong indignation at
Yahweh's refusal to favor him. Under the just rebuke of Yahweh he
hardens his heart and is further confirmed in impenitence. His
jealousy of Abel, unrepented of, increases until it culminates in
deliberate murder. … In Cain's character we see "a terrible outburst
of selfwill, pride, and jealousy, leading to a total and relentless
renunciation of all human ties and affection." "Among the lessons or
truths which the narrative teaches may be instanced: the nature of
temptation, and the manner in which it should be resisted; the
consequences to which an unsubdued temper may lead a man; the
gradual steps by which in the end a deadly crime may be committed;
the need of sincerity of purpose lest our offering should be rejected;
God's care for the guilty sinner after he has been punished; the
interdependence upon one another of members of the human race;
and the duties and obligations which we all owe to each other"

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

The question is always asked, “Where did Cain get his wife?” Adam
and Eve had other children, so it could have been his sister
(incestuous laws not yet applying).


How Yahweh signified His acceptance of the one offering and
rejection of the other, we are not told. That it was due to the
difference in the material of the sacrifice or in their manner of
offering was probably the belief among the early Israelites, who
regarded animal offerings as superior to cereal offerings. Both
kinds, however, were fully in accord with Hebrew law and custom. It
has been suggested that the Septuagint rendering of Ge 4:7 makes
Cain's offense a ritual one, the offering not being "correctly" made
or rightly divided, and hence rejected as irregular. "If thou makest a
proper offering, but dost not cut in pieces rightly, art thou not in
fault? Be still!" The Septuagint evidently took the rebuke to turn
upon Cain's neglect to prepare his offering according to strict
ceremonial requirements. dieles (Septuagint in the place cited.),
however, implies nathach (nattach), and would only apply to animal
sacrifices. Compare Ex 29:17; Le 8:20; Jg 19:29; 1Ki 18:23; and see

Well-doing consisted not in the outward offering (Ge 4:7) but in the
right state of mind and feeling. The acceptability depends on the
inner motives and moral characters of the offerers. "By faith Abel
offered unto God a more excellent (abundant, pleiona) sacrifice than
Cain" (Heb 11:4). The "more abundant sacrifice," Westcott thinks,
"suggests the deeper gratitude of Abel, and shows a fuller sense of
the claims of God" to the best. Cain's "works (the collective
expression of his inner life) were evil, and his brother's righteous"
(1Jo 3:12). "It would be an outrage if the gods looked to gifts and
sacrifices and not to the soul" (Alcibiades II.149E.150A). Cain's heart
was no longer pure; it had a criminal propensity, springing from
envy and jealousy, which rendered both his offering and person
unacceptable. His evil works and hatred of his brother culminated in
the act of murder, specifically evoked by the opposite character of
Abel's works and the acceptance of his offering. The evil man
cannot endure the sight of goodness in another….
The first two brothers in history stand as the types and
representatives of the two main and enduring divisions of mankind,
and bear witness to the absolute antithesis and eternal enmity
between good and evil.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

Hebrews 11:4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent
sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was
righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet
speaketh.  (KJV)

1.        Faith comes by hearing (Romans 10:10)

2.        Thus, Abel listened and Cain did not.

3.        Whether this was in the type of sacrifice (blood vs. grain) or in
the manner (such as the type of fire, i.e. Nadab & Abihu), we do not

Seth & Others

Genesis 5:1-8

1.        Adam & Eve had sons and daughters.

2.        Seth was the beginning of those who called upon the name of
the Lord.

Ge 1:26; 1Ch 1:1; Lu 3:38; Eph 4:24; Col 3:10; Ge 1:27-28; 9:1; Ge 4:
25; Ge 1:28; 4:25; 1Ch 1:1; Lu 3:36-38; Ge 3:19; Heb 9:27; Ge 4:26
The Sons of
Adam & Eve