1 John 3:12
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother's were righteous.

New Living Translation
We must not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and killed his brother. And why did he kill him? Because Cain had been doing what was evil, and his brother had been doing what was righteous.

English Standard Version
We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous.

New American Standard Bible
not as Cain, who was of the evil one and slew his brother. And for what reason did he slay him? Because his deeds were evil, and his brother's were righteous.

King James Bible
Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
unlike Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil, and his brother's were righteous.

International Standard Version
Do not be like Cain, who was from the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because what he was doing was evil and his brother's actions were righteous.

NET Bible
not like Cain who was of the evil one and brutally murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his deeds were evil, but his brother's were righteous.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Not like Cain who was from The Evil One and murdered his brother; and why did he murder him? Only because his works were evil and those of his brother were righteous.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Don't be like Cain. He was a child of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did Cain murder his brother? Because the things Cain did were evil and the things his brother did had God's approval.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Not as Cain, who was of the wicked one and killed his brother. And why did he kill him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous.

King James 2000 Bible
Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And why slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous.

American King James Version
Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And why slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous.

American Standard Version
not as Cain was of the evil one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his works were evil, and his brother's righteous.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Not as Cain, who was of the wicked one, and killed his brother. And wherefore did he kill him? Because his own works were wicked: and his brother's just.

Darby Bible Translation
not as Cain was of the wicked one, and slew his brother; and on account of what slew he him? because his works were wicked, and those of his brother righteous.

English Revised Version
not as Cain was of the evil one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his works were evil, and his brother's righteous.

Webster's Bible Translation
Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And why did he slay him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous.

Weymouth New Testament
We are not to resemble Cain, who was a child of the Evil one and killed his own brother. And why did he kill him? Because his own actions were wicked and his brother's actions righteous.

World English Bible
unlike Cain, who was of the evil one, and killed his brother. Why did he kill him? Because his works were evil, and his brother's righteous.

Young's Literal Translation
not as Cain -- of the evil one he was, and he did slay his brother, and wherefore did he slay him? because his works were evil, and those of his brother righteous.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

3:11-15 We should love the Lord Jesus, value his love, and therefore love all our brethren in Christ. This love is the special fruit of our faith, and a certain sign of our being born again. But none who rightly know the heart of man, can wonder at the contempt and enmity of ungodly people against the children of God. We know that we are passed from death to life: we may know it by the evidences of our faith in Christ, of which love to our brethren is one. It is not zeal for a party in the common religion, or affection for those who are of the same name and sentiments with ourselves. The life of grace in the heart of a regenerate person, is the beginning and first principle of a life of glory, whereof they must be destitute who hate their brother in their hearts.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 12. - The sentence is of an elliptical form, common in language. The full sense is, "Not that we should do even as Cain, who was of the evil one, and slew his brother." Cain's conduct typifies the attitude of the world towards Christians. Σφάζειν in the New Testament occurs only here and in Revelation. In the LXX and the New Testament it seems to mean "slay" without necessarily implying the cutting the throat of a victim. That Cain's works were evil is not stated in Genesis, but is inferred from God's rejection of him. Compare carefully the remarkably parallel passage, Hebrews 11:4. The wicked envy the good the blessedness of their goodness, and try to destroy what they cannot share. The war between good and evil is one of extermination; but the wicked would destroy the righteous, while the righteous would destroy wickedness by converting the wicked.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Not as Cain,.... That is, let us not be like him, or do as he did, hate the brethren. The apostle illustrates brotherly love by its contrary, in the instance of Cain, who was the first instance and example of hatred of the brethren, and of fratricide, and a very detestable one, by which he would dissuade from so vile and abominable a practice:

who was of that wicked one; Satan, a child of his, an imitator of him, one that appeared to be under his influence, and to belong unto him. So the Jews say of Cain (n), that

"he was of the side of the serpent (the old serpent the devil); and as the way of the serpent is to slay and to kill, so Cain immediately became a murderer.''

And again,

"because Cain came from the side of the angel of death, he slew his brother (o);''

though they say that he afterwards repented, and became worthy of paradise (p).

And slew his brother; see Genesis 4:8. According to the tradition of the Jews (q) he struck a stone into his forehead, and killed him:

and wherefore slew he him? what was the cause and occasion of it? what moved him to it?

because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous; or "his work", as the Ethiopic version reads: the sacrifice which he offered up, which, though it was not evil as to the matter and substance of it, yet was so, being offered with an evil mind, and with an hypocritical heart, and without faith in the sacrifice of Christ, and so was unacceptable to God; whereas, on the other hand, the sacrifice his brother brought was offered up in the faith of Christ, by which he obtained a testimony that he was righteous, and that the work he did was a righteous work, being done in faith, and so was acceptable to God; which Cain perceiving, was filled with envy, and this put him upon killing him. The Jews (r) relate the occasion of it after this manner;

"Cain said to Abel his brother, come, and let us go out into the open field; and when they were both out in the open field, Cain answered and said to Abel his brother, there is no judgment, nor Judge, nor another world; neither will a good reward be given to the righteous, nor vengeance be taken on the wicked; neither was the world created in mercy, nor is it governed in mercy; or why is thy offering kindly accepted, and mine is not kindly accepted? Abel answered and said to Cain, there is judgment, and there is a Judge, and there is another world; and there are gifts of a good reward to the righteous, and vengeance will be taken on the wicked; and the world was created in mercy, and in mercy it is governed, for according to the fruit of good works it is governed; because that my works are better than thine, my offering is kindly accepted, and thine is not kindly accepted; and they both strove together in the field, and Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.''

In the Hebrew text in Genesis 4:8; there is an extraordinary large pause, as if a discourse of this kind, which passeth between the two brothers, was to be inserted. Philo the Jew says (s), that in the contention or dispute between Cain and Abel, Abel attributed all things to God, and Cain ascribed everything to himself; so that the controversy was about grace and works, as now; and as then Cain hated his brother upon this account, so now carnal men hate and persecute the saints, because they will not allow their works to be the cause of justification and salvation: and from hence also it may be observed, that a work may be, as to the matter of it, good, and yet as to its circumstances, and the end and view of it, evil.

(n) Midrash Ruth in Zohar in Gen. fol. 42. 4. (o) Zohar in ib. fol. 43. 1.((p) Ib. fol. 41. 1, 2.((q) Targum Jon. in Gen. iv. 8. Pirke Eliezer, c. 21. (r) Targum Hieros. & Jon. in Gen. iv. 8. (s) Quod Det. Potior. p. 161.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

12. who—not in the Greek.

of that wicked one—Translate, "evil one," to accord with "Because his own works were evil." Compare 1Jo 3:8, "of the devil," in contrast to "of God," 1Jo 3:10.

slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous—through envy and hatred of his brother's piety, owing to which God accepted Abel's, but rejected Cain's offering. Enmity from the first existed between the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent.

1 John 3:12 Additional Commentaries
Context
Love One Another
11For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another; 12not as Cain, who was of the evil one and slew his brother. And for what reason did he slay him? Because his deeds were evil, and his brother's were righteous. 13Do not be surprised, brethren, if the world hates you.…
Cross References
Genesis 4:8
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.

2 Samuel 13:22
And Absalom never said a word to Amnon, either good or bad; he hated Amnon because he had disgraced his sister Tamar.

Psalm 38:20
Those who repay my good with evil lodge accusations against me, though I seek only to do what is good.

Proverbs 27:4
Anger is cruel and fury overwhelming, but who can stand before jealousy?

Proverbs 29:10
The bloodthirsty hate a person of integrity and seek to kill the upright.

Matthew 5:37
All you need to say is simply 'Yes' or 'No'; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.

John 8:40
As it is, you are looking for a way to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do such things.

John 8:41
You are doing the works of your own father." "We are not illegitimate children," they protested. "The only Father we have is God himself."

Hebrews 11:4
By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did. By faith he was commended as righteous, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead.

1 John 2:13
I am writing to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one.

Jude 1:11
Woe to them! They have taken the way of Cain; they have rushed for profit into Balaam's error; they have been destroyed in Korah's rebellion.
Treasury of Scripture

Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And why slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous.

as.

Genesis 4:4-15,25 And Abel, he also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of the …

Hebrews 11:4 By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, …

Jude 1:11 Woe to them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily …

of. See on ver.

1 John 3:8 He that commits sin is of the devil; for the devil sins from the …

1 John 2:13,14 I write to you, fathers, because you have known him that is from …

Matthew 13:19,38 When any one hears the word of the kingdom, and understands it not, …

And.

1 Samuel 18:14,15 And David behaved himself wisely in all his ways; and the LORD was with him…

1 Samuel 19:4,5 And Jonathan spoke good of David to Saul his father, and said to …

1 Samuel 22:14-16 Then Ahimelech answered the king, and said, And who is so faithful …

Psalm 37:12 The wicked plots against the just, and gnashes on him with his teeth.

Proverbs 29:27 An unjust man is an abomination to the just: and he that is upright …

Matthew 27:23 And the governor said, Why, what evil has he done? But they cried …

John 10:32 Jesus answered them, Many good works have I showed you from my Father; …

John 15:19-25 If you were of the world, the world would love his own: but because …

John 18:38-40 Pilate said to him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he …

Acts 7:52 Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they …

1 Thessalonians 2:14 For you, brothers, became followers of the churches of God which …

1 Peter 4:4 Wherein they think it strange that you run not with them to the same …

Revelation 17:6 And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with …

and his.

Matthew 23:35 That on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth…

Luke 11:51 From the blood of Abel to the blood of Zacharias which perished between …

Hebrews 11:4 By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, …

Hebrews 12:24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of …

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