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Rejected Offering—Dejected Person Genesis 4:3–7

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Chapter Summary

The central scene in the tale of firsts is the murder. The main actors are Cain and Abel, but it quickly begins to center only on Cain. Abel, whose role has been minimal at best, is about to exit the stage as the victim of the first violent crime. Two things that attracted the attention of interpreters in antiquity was the lack of detail surrounding the murder and God's interrogation of Cain. Why did Cain decide to kill Abel and why does God ask Cain where Abel is? The Midrash Genesis Rabbah inserts a conversation between the brothers in Gen 4:8. Rather than focus on theology or the rejection of Cain's offering, it offers several other possible topics that the brothers argued over, all of them of a more earthy nature.

Keywords:Abel; Cain; crime; Genesis 4:8; God; Philo

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