The Sons of Adam and Eve
Categories: Creation, Men in the Old Testament
- In Genesis 4:1, it says that the man knew his wife, Eve, and she conceived and bore Cain.
- The name, Cain, might mean, "metal smith" or "reed."
- In the next verse Eve exclaims, "I have gotten a man together with the Lord."
- This could be translated as "I have created a man together with the Lord;" she and the Lord are co-creators.
- Shortly after that, Eve bore his brother, Abel.
- The name, Abel, is thought to be derived from "herdsman," "camels," or "breath."
- Abel kept sheep; Cain was a tiller of the ground. In other words, their names reflect their occupations.
- One day, Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the Lord.
- Abel brought the first of his flock.
- The Lord accepted Abel's offering but had no regard for Cain's.
- That made Cain very angry, and it showed in his face.
- The Lord asked him why he was angry, saying, "If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is lurking at the door; its desire is for you, but you must master it."
- This is the first mention of sin in the Bible.
- Then Cain said to Abel that they should go out to the field.
- When they got there, Cain rose up against Abel and killed him.
- This is the first killing in the Bible.
- Later, God asked Cain, "Where is your brother, Abel?"
- Cain said, "How should I know? Am I my brother's keeper?"
- God asked, "What have you done? Your brother's blood is crying out to me from the ground!"
- Then God said, "You are cursed from the ground." It will no longer give you its best; you will be homeless and a wanderer on the earth.
- No reason is ever given as to why God rejected Cain's offering but accepted Abel's.
- Nor is a reason ever given for Cain's killing of Abel, but most scholars assume he was jealous. He was angry with God and took it out on Abel.
- Ancient scholars tried to come up with reasons. One popular thought was that they were fighting over women. Abel's future wife was more beautiful. Cain wanted her for himself. He tried to bribe God with offerings from his land, but God refused to go along with it. Hence, Cain killed Abel to get the woman.
- Of course, there is nothing in the biblical text to support any of this speculation. • Cain cried out in protest. "My punishment is more than I can bear!"
- He thought that anyone he met might want to kill him.
- But God put a mark on Cain and said anyone who killed him would suffer seven times over.
- Then Cain went away and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden.
- There, he married a wife who conceived and bore him a son, Enoch.
- He built a city and named it after his son. Cain's descendants became tent-dwellers, musicians, and metal smiths.
- Enoch had a son, Irad.
- Some time later, Adam and Eve had another son, Seth.
- Eve said, "God has given me another child instead of Abel, because Cain killed him."
- When Seth was 105 years old, he also had a son, Enosh.
- Seth lived a total of 912 years.
- Thousands of years later, the Sethians would become a very important Gnostic sect. They believed themselves to be direct descendants of Adam and Eve through Seth.
- They also believed that Seth was appointed to them from God.
- As a non-Christian sect, they believed they had the original wisdom dating back to Adam and Seth. They also anticipated a messianic return of Seth.
- When Christianity began, it wasn't too difficult to make the connection between Seth and the pre-existent Christ.
- By that time, Seth was thought to be a supernatural being.
- By the third century CE, Christians had pretty much rejected Sethianism, but it remained popular with those who followed Platonic thought.
- Ancient Rabbis believed Noah descended from Seth, which would make him the father of all mankind.