Genesis 4:1-8


These verses show that God is as concerned for the sinner as he is for truth and justice.

This story is a classic example of the process of sin


New Testament references to Cain:

  1. 1 John 3:12
  2. Jude 11
  3. Hebrews 11:4-6


Genesis 4:1

Cain means “to get” or “gotten”

Eve makes a statement of faith in the word of God or his promise in Eden and gives the Lord credit for Cain’s birth


Sin growth cycle – James 1:15-18

Sin personified – Romans 7:8


Context of Cain’s sin: Worship

Victim of Cain’s sin: Brother

Contrast: Serpent talked Eve into sinning, but God could not talk Cain out of his sin.


“Knew” is Hebrew “yada” and indicates full intimate personal knowledge of a person which in this case includes sex but is much more than a sexual relationship.



“Abel” means “vanity” or “vapor”

Cain took his father’s occupation and became a tiller of the soil.

Animals were not intended to be used for food until after the flood (Genesis 9:2-3)


Fire from the Lord to consume a sacrifice and approve the worship and location:

  1. Leviticus 9:24 – the tabernacle
  2. Judges 6:21 – Gideon
  3. 1 Kings 18:38 – Elijah
  4. 1 Chronicles 21:26 – David on Jebusites threshing floor (Mt. Moriah future temple mount)
  5. 2 Chronicles 7:1 – Solomon at temple
  6. Also, consider Abram’s covenant cutting ceremony with God in Genesis 15:17.



Cain worshipped and knew the Lord

“Offering” is a ritual term used for paying homage, allegiance


Cain’s offering rejected because of “no faith”

Cain was arrogant.  He exalted his way and works above God’s.


Abel had faith and a pure heart.


Cain’s offering was rejected because:

  1. No faith
  2. Mere formal act, ritual without reality
  3. His heart was far from the purpose of the offering
  4. Animal sacrifices would symbolize the correct faith and approach to God (the promised deliverer through the seed of the woman)
  5. He was arrogant



“Fat portions” indicate the best portions

Faith is key as seen in Hebrews 11:6 and 11:4



Cain was angry at God and directed it at others (Abel)


Cain could have repented.

The Lord was concerned with the sinner.

When the Lord asked Cain “Why” and showed him the way out by saying “If” we see that God was concerned with bring Cain to repentance as much as he was with the truth and serving out justice.


“Face Downcast” means “frowning” and it revealed his attitude.

“Accepted” is literally in the Hebrew “a lifting up” and could be referring to a smile which would reveal the correct attitude.


Cain will act out the serpents plan and strike the seed.

The seed of the serpent (Cain) struck the seed of the woman (Abel)

Man’s religion or false religion began its struggle against the truth or true religion (faith)