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My take on Cain and Abel

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posted on Apr, 15 2013 @ 02:32 PM
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Ever since I have registered for an ATS account. I have always wanted to start a thread about religion. To my surprise there are many members who are religious. Because of the large amount of threads dedicated to religion and spirituality. As an atheist who see himself as rational and skeptical it is hard for me to agree with religious people. I do enjoy reading about religion because there are people who are Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, etc. So in order to see what they believe in and how they think and act. As a skeptic I do not see any religious text divinely inspired and/or a historic book. When I read the bible I do not see it a literal book. What I do is see the background about the stories and characters. Basically trying to find a logical reason behind the stories. One of the conspiracies that influenced me to join ATS was because of the idea of aliens and U.F.O's in the bible. It's most likely far fetched, but I love reading about this. I have sense been thinking about the story of Cain and Abel. Two brothers who the former kills the younger out of jealously. I keep imagining that Cain and Abel was a story influenced by early farmers (Cain) and herdsmen (Abel). Early stories in the bible are influenced by older mythologies like The Deluge which inspired the story of Noah's Ark and others. Wikipedia has a sentence that caught my eye where some scholars see the story of Cain and Abel being influenced by a Sumerian story about conflict between nomadic shepherds and settled farmers.

Some scholars suggest the pericope may have been based on a Sumerian story representing the conflict between nomadic shepherds and settled farmers.


Sumerian Story

Modern scholars also view the story of Cain and Abel to be about the development of civilization, during the agre of agriculture. Where the ways of the hunter gather will be replaced by the rise and advancement of civilization.

Modern scholars typically view the stories of Adam and Eve and Cain and Abel, to be about the development of civilization, during the age of agriculture. Not the beginnings of man, but when people first learned agriculture, replacing the ways of the hunter-gatherer.


I always imagine death of Abel as the way the author is telling people the life style of Abel eventually lose to Cain. When Cain was given the mark from God. He moved to a new land, married and had a family, as well built a city were he named after his son Enoch. Which shows me the early authors of Genesis did see Cain and Abel representing farmers and hunter gathers who had disputes. Where the former "killed" the later and was absorbed into the emerging of human civilization. Here is the short story from Genesis 4 verses 1-17.




Adam made love to his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, “With the help of the Lord I have brought forth a man.” 2 Later she gave birth to his brother Abel. 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 And Abel also brought an offering—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 rule over it.” 8 Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.”While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him. 9 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” “I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?” 10 The Lord said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground. 11 Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. 12 When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth.” 13 Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is more than I can bear. 14 Today you are driving me from the land, and I will be hidden from your presence; I will be a restless wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.” 15 But the Lord said to him, “Not so; anyone who kills Cain will suffer vengeance seven times over.” Then the Lord put a mark on Cain so that no one who found him would kill him. 16 So Cain went out from the Lord’s presence and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden. 17 Cain made love to his wife, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Enoch. Cain was then building a city, and he named it after his son Enoch.

Source
Source 2

This is just my pitiful interpretations of the story. I know it is most likely not correct, but it is a good attempt in trying to understand what the story is presenting to the reader. There are also people throughout the years who present the story as Cain killing Abel because of his beautiful bride. There are all kinds of interpretations I bet you can discover online. Tell me what you think of my thread.




posted on Apr, 15 2013 @ 03:00 PM
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reply to post by Phoenix267
 

from your link:


The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, 5 but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor.

The problem I have with this "tale". That God practices favoritism. Manipulators do that. I don't think that God chose one over the other because of their "produce". If God had a problem with Cain it was something else.

Of course God can see mens hearts and we can't. That made it easy for him.



posted on Apr, 15 2013 @ 03:06 PM
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reply to post by intrptr
 


I know what you're saying. I kept hearing in my head my voice as I read an atheist critique of the Cain and Abel story. The author wrote "who didn't say God plays favorites?"



posted on Apr, 15 2013 @ 03:37 PM
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reply to post by Phoenix267
 


As of late I find myself a spiritual being residing in a human body

I was raised catholic, then baptist...now I would just consider myself a spiritual person that has a belief in my heart that I hold to be my truth. I dont pass judgment on anyone who does not believe what I do...it's inappropriate. I believe ....to each his own

Ok so about the bible and your interpretation, could be true. Its a pondering type thread, I like it
.

I believe the bible holds many metaphors. I sometimes wish people were more open minded about that and not take everything so literal.

Also, I usually stay away from religion threads but for some reason felt compelled to reply. I have made you one of my friends so when I saw it, I read it.
thanks for this thread friend.


Peace and love
-nat



posted on Apr, 15 2013 @ 04:30 PM
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reply to post by natalia
 


Yeah, I agree with you. Something that was on top of my head and wanted to see what users thought of my idea.



posted on Apr, 15 2013 @ 04:59 PM
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edit on 15-4-2013 by Murgatroid because: Mistook poster for someone looking for TRUTH...



posted on Apr, 15 2013 @ 05:04 PM
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reply to post by Murgatroid
 


Thanks for derailing my thread and changing the subject!
Second line needed.



posted on Apr, 15 2013 @ 08:58 PM
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reply to post by intrptr
 

I don't think that God chose one over the other because of their "produce".

I agree with you.
I have people say that it was because Cain's offering was not "bloody" that it was not accepted, and use that as 'proof' that all the Old Testament sacrifices "pointed forward" to Jesus' sacrifice on the cross.
Then they take the leap of logic to conclude that Jesus died to "pay" for our sins with his blood, something that I believe the Bible does not support.
Most people do not realize that, number one, the OT is not part of the "Christian Canon", and that two, Christianity sees the OT as part of a "Jewish Canon", that is tacked onto the New Testament as a sort of appendix.
Three, Christians did not concern themselves with the canonization of what they see as the Old Testament, and let the Jews deal with it, which they did, far into the Christian era.
The modern version of the OT is relatively new as there are older versions, one of those being the Septuagint, which is the Greek version that Jesus and the Apostles used. In that version, it goes into more detail on the Cain and Abel story. The reason God showed favor on Abel was because he gave to The Lord, the best of what he had, while Cain withheld his best and offered inferior produce.
Cain was jealous of the favor shown to his younger brother, Abel, because he was afraid that The Lord may decide to give him the inheritance from himself.
You see this sort of theme repeated in the OT, like Isaac taking the place of Ishmael. Jacob taking the place of Esau.



posted on Apr, 15 2013 @ 09:18 PM
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reply to post by jmdewey60
 


Most people do not realize that, number one, the OT is not part of the "Christian Canon", and that two, Christianity sees the OT as part of a "Jewish Canon", that is tacked onto the New Testament as a sort of appendix.
Three, Christians did not concern themselves with the canonization of what they see as the Old Testament, and let the Jews deal with it, which they did, far into the Christian era.

Thanks for taking the time to reply and explain that to me ... I didn't know I wasn't the only one to think the texts had been altered that way.


The modern version of the OT is relatively new as there are older versions, one of those being the Septuagint, which is the Greek version that Jesus and the Apostles used. In that version, it goes into more detail on the Cain and Abel story. The reason God showed favor on Abel was because he gave to The Lord, the best of what he had, while Cain withheld his best and offered inferior produce.
Cain was jealous of the favor shown to his younger brother, Abel, because he was afraid that The Lord may decide to give him the inheritance from himself.

Thanks especially for that. So Cain was jealous... not that God "took favor"?




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