Did Cain know?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Pastor_Bob, Oct 18, 2009.

  1. Pastor_Bob

    Pastor_Bob
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    During the morning message, a question came to mind for which I had to admit that I do not have an answer. I am not sure that there even is an answer.

    We know that Cain killed his brother Abel.
    Genesis 4:8 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. (KJV)

    The question is, did Cain know that by attacking his brother he would end his life? Cain had never seen death at this point. He did make reference to someone "slaying" him in verse 14, but this was after he had taken the life of his brother. He now knew, if he hadn't before, that man could be killed.

    Suppose Cain didn't understand that his actions would result in the death of his brother. If he had known, would he have taken such drastic measures with him?
     
    #1 Pastor_Bob, Oct 18, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 18, 2009
  2. Benjamin

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    From Wesley's perspective:

    Gen 4:8 - And Cain talked with Abel his brother - The Chaldee paraphrast adds, that Cain, when they were in discourse, maintained there was no judgment to come, and that when Abel spoke in defence of the truth, Cain took that occasion to fall upon him. The scripture tells us the reason wherefore he slew him, because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous; so that herein he shewed himself to be a child of the devil, as being an enemy to all righteousness. Observe, the first that dies is a saint, the first that went to the grave, went to heaven. God would secure to himself the first fruits, the first born to the dead, that first opened the womb into another world.

    Gen 4:9 - And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? - God knew him to be guilty; yet he asks him, that he might draw from him a confession of his crime; for those who would be justified before God, must accuse themselves. And he said, I know not - Thus in Cain the devil was both a murderer, and a liar from the beginning. Am I my Brother's keeper? - Sure he is old enough to take care of himself, nor did I ever take charge of him. Art not thou his keeper? If he be missing, on thee be the blame, and not on me, who never undertook to keep him.
     
  3. kyredneck

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    Pink on Cain and Abel

    .....from 'Gleanings in Genesis':


    "Now all these things happened unto them for types (margin); and they are written for our admonition" (1 Cor. 10:11).

    “Abel is a striking type of Christ, and his murder by Cain was a remarkable foreshadowment of our Lord’s rejection and crucifixion by the Jews. At least thirty-five points of resemblance can be traced here between type and antitype. In considering Abel as a type of our Lord, it is to be noted that, like Isaac, offered up on the altar and the ram caught in a thicket, which afterwards took his place in death, we have here a double type also. Both Abel and the offering which he brought pointed to the Lord Jesus.”

    36 similarities itemized:

    Abel was a shepherd (Gen. 4:2)
    Our Lord is a "shepherd"—the Good Shepherd—

    It was as a shepherd that Abel presented his offering unto God
    It was as the Shepherd He presented His offering to God (John 10:11)

    Though giving no cause for it, he was hated by his brother. Cain was jealous of his brother. i
    Though giving no cause for it, Christ was hated by His brethren according to the flesh (John 15:25).

    It was out of "envy" that Cain slew he slew Abel.
    It was through "envy" that Christ was delivered up to be crucified (Matthew 27:18).

    Abel then did not die a natural death.
    Our Lord did not die a natural death. He was "slain" by wicked hands (Acts 2:23).

    Abel met with a violent end at the hand of his own brother.
    Christ was crucified by "The House of Israel" (Acts 2:36), His own brethren according to the flesh.

    After his death God declared that Abel’s blood "cried" unto Him, and severe punishment was meted out upon his murderer.
    After His death our Lord’s murderers were severely punished by God (Mark 12:9)

    Abel presented an offering "unto God" (Heb. 11:4).
    The Lord Jesus presented an offering "to God" (Eph. 5:2).

    That the offering which Abel presented was "the firstlings of his flock": in other words, a "lamb."
    The offering Christ presented was Himself—a "Lamb" (1 Pet. 1:19).

    In bringing his offering "by faith," Abel honored and magnified the Will and Word of the Lord.
    In presenting Himself as an offering He honored and magnified the Will and Word of God (Heb. 10:7-9).

    The offering which Abel presented is described as an "excellent" one (Heb. 11:4).
    The offering Christ presented was an "excellent" one—it was a "sweet smelling savor" (Eph. 5:2).

    God had "respect unto Abel and to his offering": in other words, He accepted them.
    God accepted Christ's offering: the proof of this is seen in the fact that He is now seated at God’s right hand (Heb. 10:12).

    In the presentation of his offering Abel "obtained witness that he was righteous" (Heb. 11:4).
    While presenting Himself on the Cross as an offering to God, Christ "obtained witness that He was righteous "—the centurion crying, "Certainly this was a righteous man" (Luke 23:47).

    After Abel had presented his offering, God publicly "testified" His acceptance of it.
    God publicly testified His acceptance of Christ’s offering by raising Him from the dead (Acts 2:32).

    Abel’s offering still "speaks" to God—"By it he being dead yet speaketh."
    Christ’s offering now "speaks" to God (Heb. 12:24).
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Just as Abel and his offering are, at every point, a wonderful type of Christ and His offering, so Cain, who slew Abel, prefigures the Jews, who crucified their Messiah.

    Cain was "a tiller of the ground" (Gen. 4:2). Thus the first thing told us about him connects him with the land.
    The first thing which is conspicuous about the Jews was that they were the people of a land the promised land, the Holy Land (Gen. 13:15).

    In refusing to bring the required lamb, Cain rejected the offering which God’s grace had provided.
    In refusing the Lamb of God (John 1:11) the Jews rejected the offering which God’s grace had provided.

    In his self-righteousness Cain brought an offering of his own choosing.
    The apostle Paul declares that the Jews were "ignorant of God’s righteousness and going about to establish their own righteousness" (Rom. 10:3).

    The offering he brought was the product of his own labors.
    The Jews rested upon their own obedience to God’s Law (Rom. 9:21).

    This offering was rejected by God.
    But God had no respect to the Jew's works (Acts 13:39).

    It was Cain’s God-given privilege to rule over his brother (Gen. 4:7).
    Had Israel walked in God’s statutes they would have been the head of the nations (Deut. 28:13).

    Cain forfeited his God-given privilege to rule over his brother.
    But through sin the Jews forfeited the place and privilege (Isa. 9:14).

    Being envious of Abel, Cain wickedly slew him.
    It was the Jews who crucified the Christ of God (Acts 5:30).

    God charged Cain with his crime.
    God charged the Jews with their crime (Acts 2:22, 23).

    God told Cain that Abel’s blood cried for vengeance.
    Christ’s blood is now judicially resting "upon" the Jews (Matthew 27:25).

    Because of the shedding of his brother’s blood, God’s curse fell upon Cain.
    Because of the crucifixion of their Messiah, God’s curse fell upon Israel (Jer. 24:9)

    Part of Cain's punishment consisted in the ground becoming barren to him (Gen. 4:12).
    Part of the curse which God threatened of old to bring upon Israel was the barrenness of their land—"desolate" (Lev. 26:34, 35).

    Further, Cain was to be a fugitive and vagabond in the earth.
    The Jew has been an age-long wanderer in the earth (Deut. 28:65).

    Cain acknowledged that his punishment was greater than he could bear.
    Israel will yet acknowledge their punishment is greater than they can bear (Zech.12:10).

    Because of his sin, he was "driven out" (Gen. 4:14).
    Forty years after the Crucifixion, Israel was driven out of Palestine.

    Because of his sin, he was hidden from God’s face.
    Since the Crucifiction, God’s face has been hid from the Jews. (Hosea 1:9).

    Every man’s hand was now against Cain (Gen. 4:14).
    For nigh 2,000 years, almost every man’s hand has been against the Jew (Deut. 28:66).

    God set a mark upon him (Gen. 4:15).
    A mark of identification has been placed upon the Jew so that he can be recognized anywhere.

    God declared that He would visit with a sevenfold vengeance those who slew Cain.
    God’s special curse has always rested on those who have cursed Israel (Gen. 12:3).

    Cain left the land and went and dwelt in a city (Gen. 4:17).
    For the most part, even to this day, the Jews continue to congregate in large cities.

    “Upon what ground can we account for this remarkable agreement between type and antitype? The only possible explanation lies in the supernatural inspiration of the Old Testament Scriptures. The Holy Spirit "moved" the writer of Genesis. Only He who knew the end from the beginning could have foreshadowed so accurately and minutely that which came to pass thousands of years afterwards. Prophecy, either in direct utterance or in symbolic type, is the Divine autograph upon the sacred page. May God continue to strengthen our faith in the divinity, the authority and the absolute sufficiency of the Holy Oracles.”
     
  4. Benefactor

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    Consider this: They both brought a gift to God

    Genesis 4:4 implies that Abel made a blood sacrifice (killing the animal) and this implies that killing of animals was normal for food and perhaps worship of God. So, because they are capable of understanding the life and death of animals and perhaps even human death by accident or otherwise Cain no doubt understood that he could take the life of Cain. So I would have to land on the side that would believe that Cain did understand his actions. Verse 7 would suggest that Cain had a choice to "do well" but he did not and God told him he must master his anger. So yes I believe we are safe to assume to a firm degree that Cain new better and understood death.
     
  5. Pastor_Bob

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    Excellent point. Thank you.
     
  6. HankD

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    Also,
    I would think that Adam and Eve knew what death meant because of the skins with which the Lord had clothed them. Presumably from that day forward animal skins were the normal attire for them and their children.

    HankD
     
  7. OldRegular

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    We don't know whether Cain had seen the death of a sibling or not. He had certainly seen the death of animals!
     
  8. Benefactor

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    Yes, I missed that.
     
  9. Benefactor

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    That we can hang our hats on. :thumbs:
     
  10. Dr. Bob

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    The only "blood shed" in that era was in sacrifice. Since neither human nor animals were not carnivorous there was no death except in religious activity.

    I think Cain was upset with that and hence his "no death" offering instead of the proscribed sacrifice. It was an intentional, fact-based decision on his part.

    So I think there is no "excuse" for Cain not knowing or understanding about death.
     
  11. Scarlett O.

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    To me, it isn't so much about his understanding of death (even though I believe that he knew exactly what he was doing), but it was about the intent of his heart.

    Jesus made all of that plain in the New Testament.

    Before he ever "rose up" to "slay" Abel, it was already in his heart to cause his brother great suffering. And jealousy was there in his heart and so was a defiance and an arrogance against God.

    Those things came out in his conversation with God.
     
  12. righteousdude2

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    Learn From Cain?

    Good question Pastor, however, I'd like to add this: The question of Cain knowing the consequences of his sin seems theologically irrelevant. What we need to really ask ourselves is how does this lesson of jeaousy and rage, change our perspective of how we are to treat one another in this life. Is this not the real question that Cain's murder of his brother should bring to mind?

    I believe that what we do with this information is what matters most.

    Still, that is an excellent question. Thanks for making me think...

    Pastor Paul :type:
     
  13. Aaron

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    Excellent. Cain's anger and jealousy made him guilty of murder in his heart. It wouldn't matter whether he actually raised his hand against him.
     
  14. Johnv

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    Maybe he knew but wasn't "Abel" to do anything about it. :eek:

    Sorry, I couldn't resist.
     

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