Sunday, July 19, 2009

Raising Cain (The First Murder)

In the first book of the Bible, Genesis, Adam and Eve got kicked out of the Garden of Eden and Adam had to till the land. No more laying around in the lush paradise for him. I'll bet he was kicking himself in the ass for all of his 930 years. Anyway, after leaving the Garden, God must have kept watching them. With nobody else on earth, who else could He watch? And He must have written down all of their exploits too. Well, maybe Adam and Eve wrote about themselves, I don't know. But somebody was writing. Genesis 4:1 tells us:

And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived

In fact, she conceived more than once. Their first two kids were boys. The eldest was named Cain and the younger, Abel. Genesis 4:2 tells us:

And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.

I guess there weren't a lot of career choices back then. Maybe it would have been nice if one of the kids could have gone into medicine or engineering or something. But they both decided to stay around and help Dad with the farm. Eventually these two had enough where they decided to make an offering to God. Abel gave the firstlings of his flock and Cain gave some fruit of the ground. Genesis 4:4 and 4:5 tell us:

And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering:

But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.

Now why the hell did these two make their offerings at the same time? God probably filled up on lamb and had no room for vegetables. Why couldn't Cain have just waited until God was hungry again? Then he could have saved himself some wrothness and a fallen countenance. But we all know how young people are, so Cain was walking around wroth with an unrespected offering. Then in Genesis 4:6:

The Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?

Now this seems a pretty weird question for God to ask. I mean, I can figure what wrothed Cain off and gave him a fallen countenance, so why couldn't an Omnipotent Being get it as well? Did God really know what was going on and was He just trying to wroth Cain off even more? Did He just want Cain to try harder and get his offering in first next time? Well, Genesis 4:8 says:

And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.

So that whole plan backfired, didn't it?! Now there'd be no more firstlings of the flock offered at all. Why did God piss Cain off like that? Having no brothers, didn't God understand about sibling rivalry?

The very next verse of the Bible tells us:

And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother?

Did God really not know where Abel was? With only 4 people on the earth, had God actually lost track of 25 percent of them? And did Cain even have time to get out of the field before God asked him this? Cain, even though he was probably still standing next to the body, did a pretty good job of avoiding the question by asking another question:

And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper?

Cain would have done well as the world's first lawyer. Apparently God wasn't falling for it though. It seems He knew what was going on all along, for He shot back with:

What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground.

Well, Cain knew if there was crying blood, he was screwed. He started whining, and in Genesis 4:14 he said:

And it shall come to pass, that everyone that findeth me shall slay me.

What the hell does Cain mean by "everyone?" The only two people left are his parents. This brings up some interesting questions too. What would the parents think about the murder. They couldn't very well say things like "He gets that from your side of the family." Anyway, Cain is worried about everyone killing him, so in Genesis 4:15:

The Lord said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the Lord set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him.

So is God going along here and humoring Cain? If He humors Cain by playing along that there are multitudes of other people out there, why didn't He humor Cain by pretending to like his offering? Would it have hurt God to say something like, "Hey Cain, nice fruits of the ground you gave me!" and then just dump it in the trash can when Cain wasn't looking? That could have prevented this whole ugly situation. Did God even look at Cain's fruit of the ground? It may not have been anything like broccoli or asparagus. It could have been the best Weed" that side of the Tigris and Euphrates.

So how could vengeance be taken sevenfold for the murder of Cain? Would God just keep bringing the person back and killing him seven times? Wouldn't that be cruel and unusual punishment? And what was the mark God put on Cain? Was it just a sign that said "Don't Kill Me By Order of God?" Who could read back then? God seems to have liked to mess with Cain, so maybe he put a "Kick Me" sign on his back.

Now verses 16 and 17 really get weird. Here we're told that:

Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.

And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch: and he builded a city

So does this mean that God had been hiding a whole subdivision called "Nod" just to the East of Eden? And who was Cain's wife? Was Eve not the only woman on the planet? Should we call the Oedipus Complex the "Cain Complex?" And how big was this city that he built by himself? I mean, he was just a farmer, not an architect.

Who wrote all this stuff down? I would think that God would be too busy. But if not God, then it had to be Cain. Why did he incriminate himself? There weren't any witnesses. God didn't even see it. He only knew because of the crying blood, which may not have been admissible in court. Maybe if the case went to court, the court would have taken into consideration mitigating circumstances. Cain did come from a weird family. Could a good lawyer have got his sentence reduced by claiming diminished capacity? Could Cain have represented himself? Where would they find 12 people for a jury?

So why is this story even in the Bible? What does it teach us? Why did Cain get off so light when a few chapters later God's gonna want to kill the whole world in a Great Flood because He thinks they're all wicked. ? Why didn't anyone except Noah receive the "Don't Kill" mark? Will God put a "Don't Kill" mark on any of is who kills, or is it only killing over a disrespected offering when wroth?

1 comment:

  1. In my new book titled "The Sword and the Spear" I have a chapter called "Fallen Countenance"
    Cain should have been angry at himself for his own hypocrisy. Instead his anger boiled at God and therefore boiled at those who served God with a pure heart.
    It is starteling how from generation to generation the same anger continues and all along it is our own hypocrisy that we should turn towards in anger therefore giving oppertunity for repentance and forgivness.
    Check out the book:
    Rod L. Landreth