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Like Father, Like Son Genesis 4:1–2

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Chapter Summary

Cain and Abel represent the first account of an offering made to God. The questions that quickly rise to the surface when reading Gen 4:3–7 are: what was wrong with Cain's offering, and why did God reject it. Cain's anger suggests that the rejection by God caught him by surprise. This lack of detail creates two problems, one on the narrative level and the other theological. While some interpreters focused on the quality of the offering Cain presented to God others questioned whether it was a problem of timing that caused God to reject Cain's sacrifice. The Cain and Abel story is abrupt in its shift of action. One suggestion popular among exegetes was that the problem centered on the way Cain presented the offering rather than the offering itself. The Hebrew version does not define Cain's rejected sacrifice or his downcast face as sin.

Keywords:Abel; Cain's offering; Genesis 4:3–7

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