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Abel's Offering vs Cain's

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  • Abel's Offering vs Cain's

    .
    Heb 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

    Heb 13:15 . . By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.

    The Greek word for "sacrifice" is the same in both those passages; and it's the same word in the passage below too.

    Rom 12:1 . . I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

    That Greek word's ambiguity has to make us take a step back and figure out just what kind of offerings Cain and Abel were okayed to bring that day-- animal or vegetable / bloody or non bloody / for their sins or not for their sins / burnt offerings or non burnt offerings?
    _

  • #2
    Gen 4:2-7
    Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. 3 In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. 4 But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, 5 but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.

    6 Then the Lord said to Cain, "Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it."
    NIV

    Abel's sacrifice was a firstborn of his flock; therefore, it was a more valuable gift that just vegetables. Cain could have gotten an animal from Abel in exchange for some vegetables.

    Also, Abel's sacrifice resulted in the shedding of blood, which is what God did when he clothed Adam and Eve in the garden:

    Gen 3:21-23
    21 The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. 22 And the Lord God said, "The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever."

    God had to have killed an animal which resulting in the shedding of its blood in order to use its skin. God made the first blood sacrifice for sin.
    Allen (Unless noted otherwise, Bible quotations are from the 1984 edition of the NIV)

    Faith--Sees the invisible, believes the incredible, and receives the impossible.

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    • #3
      .
      Originally posted by AlFin View Post
      Abel's sacrifice resulted in the shedding of blood
      The Greek word for "sacrifice" in Heb 11:4 is ambiguous. It doesn't specifically identify blood sacrifices nor any other kind of sacrifice.

      And to complicate matters even more; the Hebrew word for the brothers' offerings in Gen 4:3-4 is ambiguous too. It appears dozens of times in the Old Testament for all sorts of offerings: for bloody and for bloodless, for mandatory and for voluntary, for sin and not for sin, and for tributes; defined by Webster's as a gift or service showing respect, gratitude, or affection.

      Ancient rabbis understood the brothers' offerings to be a "firstfruits" kind of oblation; which are typically wave offerings rather than burnt offerings. In other words: wave offerings are in a special category; they aren't meant to be destroyed nor are they offered for sin.

      T. And it was at the end of days, on the fourteenth of Nisan, that Kain brought of the produce of the earth, the seed of cotton (or line), an oblation of first things before the Lord; and Habel brought of the firstlings of the flock.
      (Targum Jonathan)

      Seeing as how Cain was a farmer, then in his case, an amount of produce was the appropriate tribute, and seeing as how Abel was an animal husbandman, then in his case a head of livestock was the appropriate tribute.
      _
      Last edited by Od:hgd; 05-23-19, 09:57 PM.

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      • #4
        .
        According to the Bible: the sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to The Lord. In other words: offerings are accepted only when the person making the offering is acceptable. (Prv 15:8)

        For example:

        Ps 51:16 . .You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.

        When David wrote that; he had only just committed the capital crimes of adultery and premeditated murder. There was just no way that God was going to accept David's sacrifices and offerings along with that; and he knew it.

        Cain's offering would've been accepted had he been a good man.

        Gen 4:7a . . If you do what is right, will you not be accepted?

        That is an irrevocable rule, and comes out very early in the Bible because it is so foundational to humanity's association with its creator.

        This is well illustrated by Isa 1:11-20.

        The people were offering all the covenanted sacrifices, they were praying up a storm, and observing all the feasts and holy days. He rejected all of it, even though their God-given law required it because the people's personal conduct was unbecoming. Christians are not exempt from this rule.

        1John 1:5-6 . .This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth.
        _

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Od:hgd View Post
          .
          Heb 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

          Heb 13:15 . . By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.

          The Greek word for "sacrifice" is the same in both those passages; and it's the same word in the passage below too.

          Rom 12:1 . . I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

          That Greek word's ambiguity has to make us take a step back and figure out just what kind of offerings Cain and Abel were okayed to bring that day-- animal or vegetable / bloody or non bloody / for their sins or not for their sins / burnt offerings or non burnt offerings?
          _
          Abel offered the sacrifice of a Lamb symbolizing the blood of the Lamb of God on Calvary. Cain's sacrifice was bloodless thus testifying that he did not have faith in the blood of Jesus, the slain Lamb of God. No Jesus, and no blood of Jesus means that that sinner is going to approach God on his own merits, not on the merits of Jesus.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by AlFin View Post
            Gen 4:2-7
            Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. 3 In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. 4 But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, 5 but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.

            6 Then the Lord said to Cain, "Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it."
            NIV

            Abel's sacrifice was a firstborn of his flock; therefore, it was a more valuable gift that just vegetables. Cain could have gotten an animal from Abel in exchange for some vegetables.

            Also, Abel's sacrifice resulted in the shedding of blood, which is what God did when he clothed Adam and Eve in the garden:

            Gen 3:21-23
            21 The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. 22 And the Lord God said, "The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever."

            God had to have killed an animal which resulting in the shedding of its blood in order to use its skin. God made the first blood sacrifice for sin.
            Very good assessment. When Jesus clothed Adam and Eve it means that they had entered into the sacrificial system with Jesus being the ultimate Lamb of God which was to be slain for the sins of the whole world. No blood no salvation.

            Comment


            • #7
              .
              Gen 4:4 . . Abel, on his part also brought of the firstlings of his flock

              The practice of dedicating firstlings was later incorporated into the covenant that Moses' people agreed upon with God at Mt. Sinai.

              Ex 13:1-2 . .The Lord said to Moses: Consecrate to me every firstborn male. The first offspring of every womb among the Israelites belongs to me, whether man or animal.

              According to that language; Abel had to offer not one, but all of his flock's firstlings.

              The thing to note is that firstling offerings per God's instructions are not, nor have they ever been, sacrifices for sin. Plus, their bodies aren't destroyed like burnt offerings; in point of fact, the covenant requires them to be eaten as food. (Deut 15:19-23)

              At the same time of year when firstlings are dedicated to God, the ground's firstfruits are offered too (Neh 10:34-37). These are also eaten rather than destroyed by fire. Incidentally: there is more said about firstfruits in the Old Testament than there is about firstlings.


              FAQ: Well; if Cain's offering was satisfactory, then what his fault that caused God to reject both him and it?

              A: Cain's problem wasn't a specific fault; it was his way. (Jude 1:11)

              Gen 4:7 . . If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? If you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door;

              This is the very first instance in the Bible of the word "sin". The Hebrew word is chatta'ah (khat-taw-aw') and/or chatta'th (khat-tawth') which are ambiguous words that technically mean an offense; as in repeat offender. In other words; not just an occasional slip-up, but a life style; viz: a habit.

              At this point in the story; Cain was very close to stiffening his resolve (i.e. hardening his heart) to the point where he would become permanently estranged from God, and severed from His good graces.

              Gen 4:7b . . it desires to have you, but you must master it.

              This is the first mention of self control in the Bible; and the requirement is oft repeated; e.g.

              Col 3:5-8 . . Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.

              Rom 8:13 . . For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

              The death spoken of in that verse isn't the sum of all fears depicted at Rev 20:11-15. It's estrangement from God, and severance from His good graces. (cf. John 15:1-6 where Jesus talks about yard debris.)

              There are Christians today whose manner of life is similar to Cain's. They're religious enough to come to church on Sunday, and maybe even sing in the choir and attend Sunday school; while the rest of the time do as they please without any concern for how God might feel about what they're doing. They, like Cain, are ruled by their base nature rather than make some effort to control it; and if you say anything to them about their attitude; you'll just get the cold shoulder because they want to be accepted just as they are.

              Gen 4:5 . . So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.

              In other words; instead of heart-broken by the rejection, Cain was infuriated. Well; no surprise there. That's how Cainish people react when their friendship is refused on the grounds that their conduct is unacceptable.
              _

              Comment


              • #8
                .
                Titus 2:10 . . Exhort servants to be obedient; showing all good faith that they may adorn the doctrine of God our savior in every respect.

                The koin Greek word for "adorn" is kosmeo (kos-meh'-o) which means: to put in proper order; viz: decorate

                When women buy a pretty new dress, they usually get things to go with it; things we call accessories; like a purse, shoes, stockings, necklace, earrings, and/or a watch and a bracelet. In the old days, women usually bought some gloves to go with their new dress too-- thus they create an "ensemble" which gives them a complete look rather than an unfinished look as if they just threw the dress on to work around the house or run down to a nearby convenience store.

                Well, a Christian who's a Christian in label only is like a pretty dress without accessories. In point of fact, they are quite basic: just a house-dress Christian. In other words; religion without piety is like leaving the house for work in the morning half dressed.

                This touches on the very thing that hampered Cain's association with God. Cain had religion, that much is evident (Gen 4:3), but he didn't have piety. That much is evident too (Gen 4:7). In other words: Cain had a faith, but it wasn't an "all good faith" like his brother's.
                _

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