Genesis 4:2
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Later she gave birth to his brother Abel. Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil.

New Living Translation
Later she gave birth to his brother and named him Abel. When they grew up, Abel became a shepherd, while Cain cultivated the ground.

English Standard Version
And again, she bore his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a worker of the ground.

New American Standard Bible
Again, she gave birth to his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of flocks, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.

King James Bible
And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Then she also gave birth to his brother Abel. Now Abel became a shepherd of flocks, but Cain worked the ground.

International Standard Version
And she did it again, giving birth to his brother Abel. Abel shepherded flocks and Cain became a farmer.

NET Bible
Then she gave birth to his brother Abel. Abel took care of the flocks, while Cain cultivated the ground.

New Heart English Bible
Again she gave birth, to Cain's brother Abel. Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Then she gave birth to another child, Abel, Cain's brother. Abel was a shepherd, and Cain was a farmer.

JPS Tanakh 1917
And again she bore his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.

New American Standard 1977
And again, she gave birth to his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of flocks, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And she again bore his brother Abel. And Abel was a pastor of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.

King James 2000 Bible
And she again bore his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.

American King James Version
And she again bore his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.

American Standard Version
And again she bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And again she brought forth his brother Abel. And Abel was a shepherd, and Cain a husbandman.

Darby Bible Translation
And she further bore his brother Abel. And Abel was a shepherd, but Cain was a husbandman.

English Revised Version
And again she bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.

Webster's Bible Translation
And she again bore his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.

World English Bible
Again she gave birth, to Cain's brother Abel. Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.

Young's Literal Translation
and she addeth to bear his brother, even Abel. And Abel is feeding a flock, and Cain hath been servant of the ground.
Study Bible
Cain and Abel
1Now the man had relations with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain, and she said, "I have gotten a manchild with the help of the LORD." 2Again, she gave birth to his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of flocks, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. 3So it came about in the course of time that Cain brought an offering to the LORD of the fruit of the ground.…
Cross References
Luke 11:50
As a result, this generation will be charged with the blood of all the prophets that has been shed since the foundation of the world,

Luke 11:51
from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was killed between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, all of it will be charged to this generation.

Genesis 4:1
Now the man had relations with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain, and she said, "I have gotten a manchild with the help of the LORD."

Genesis 4:3
So it came about in the course of time that Cain brought an offering to the LORD of the fruit of the ground.

Genesis 46:32
and the men are shepherds, for they have been keepers of livestock; and they have brought their flocks and their herds and all that they have.'

Genesis 47:3
Then Pharaoh said to his brothers, "What is your occupation?" So they said to Pharaoh, "Your servants are shepherds, both we and our fathers."
Treasury of Scripture

And she again bore his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.

Abel. Heb. Hebel. And Abel.

Genesis 30:29-31 And he said to him, You know how I have served you, and how your …

Genesis 37:13 And Israel said to Joseph, Do not your brothers feed the flock in …

Genesis 46:32-34 And the men are shepherds, for their trade has been to feed cattle; …

Genesis 47:3 And Pharaoh said to his brothers, What is your occupation? And they …

Exodus 3:1 Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest …

Psalm 78:70-72 He chose David also his servant, and took him from the sheepfolds…

Amos 7:15 And the LORD took me as I followed the flock, and the LORD said to …

a keeper. Heb. a feeder.

Genesis 4:25,26 And Adam knew his wife again; and she bore a son, and called his …

Psalm 127:3 See, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb …

John 8:44 You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father you …

1 John 3:10,12,15 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the …

tiller.

Genesis 3:23 Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to …

Genesis 9:20 And Noah began to be an farmer, and he planted a vineyard:

(2) Abel.--Of this name Dr. Oppert imagined that it was the Assyrian Abil, a son. Really it is Hebel; and there is no reason why we should prefer an Assyrian to a Hebrew etymology. An Accadian derivation would have been important, but Assyrian is only a Semitic dialect, and Abil is the Hebrew ben. Hebel means a thing unstable, not abiding, like a breath or vapour. Now, we can scarcely suppose that Eve so called her child from a presentiment of evil or a mere passing depression of spirits; more probably it was a title given to him after his untimely death. Giving names to children would become usual only when population increased; and it was not till a religious rite was instituted for their dedication to God that they had names given to them in their infancy. Even then Esau was changed to Edom, and Jacob to Israel, while previously such names as Eber and Peleg, and earlier still Jabal and Jubal, must have been given to those who bore them from what they became. Such names too as Esau, Jacob, and most of those borne by Jacob's children, seem to have been playful titles, given them in the women's tents by quick-witted nurses, who caught up any chance words of the mother, until at length it became the Jewish rule for women to name their children. Probably, therefore, it was only after Abel's death that his sorrowing relatives called him the Breath that had passed away.

Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.--As Adam was 130 years old when Seth was born (Genesis 5:3), there was a long period for the increase of Adam's family (comp. Genesis 4:14-17), and also for the development of the characters of these his two eldest sons. In the one we seem to see a rough, strong nature, who took the hard work as he found it, and subdued the ground with muscular energy; in the other a nature more refined and thoughtful, and making progress upwards. Adam had already tamed animals in Paradise: to these Abel devotes himself, tends them carefully, and gains from them ample and easy means of sustenance, higher in kind even than the fruits of Paradise. Round these two the other sons and daughters of Adam group themselves, and Cain seems already to have had a wife when he murdered his brother (Genesis 4:17).

Verse 2. - And she again bare (literally, added to bear, a Hebraism adopted in the New Testament; vide Luke 20:11) his brother Abel. Habel (vanity), supposed to hint either that a mother's eager hopes had already begun to be disappointed in her eider son, or that, having in her first child's name given expression to her faith, in this she desired to preserve a monument of the miseries of human life, of which, perhaps, she had been forcibly reminded by her own maternal sorrows. Perhaps also, though unconsciously, a melancholy prophecy of his premature removal by the hand of fratricidal rage, to which it has been thought there is an outlook by the historian In the frequent (seven times repeated) and almost pathetic mention of the fact that Abel was Cain s brother. The absence of the usual expression וַתַּהַר, as well as the peculiar phraseology et addidit parere has suggested that Abel was Cain's twin brother (Calvin, Kimchi, Candlish), though this is not necessarily implied in the text. And Abel was a keeper of sheep (ποιμὴν προβάτων, LXX.; the latter term includes goats - Leviticus 1:10), but Cain was a tiller of the ground. These occupations, indirectly suggested by God in the command to till the ground and the gift of the clothes of skin (Keil), were doubtless both practiced by the first man, who would teach them to his sons. It is neither justifiable nor necessary to trace a difference of moral character in the different callings which the young men selected, though probably their choices were determined by their talents and their tastes. Ainsworth sees in Abel a figure of Christ "in shepherd as in sacrificing and martyrdom." And she again bare his brother Abel,.... Or "added to bare" (y), not directly or immediately, but perhaps the following year; though some have thought, because no mention is made of her conceiving again, that she brought forth Abel at the same time she did Cain, or that the birth of the one immediately followed upon that of the other: and it is the common opinion of the Jews (z) that with Abel, as with Cain, was born a twin sister, whom the Arabic writers (a) call Lebuda: the name of Abel, or rather Hebel, signifies not "mourning", as Josephus (b) observes, but "vanity", Eve not making that account of him as she did of Cain; or perhaps because by this time she became sensible of her mistake in him, or had met with something which convinced her that all earthly enjoyments were vanity; or by a spirit of prophecy foresaw what would befall this her second son, that he should be very early deprived of his life in a violent manner:

and Abel was a keeper of sheep: a calling which he either chose himself, or his father put him to, and gave him; for though he and his brother were born to a large estate, being the heirs of Adam, the lord of the whole earth, yet they were not brought up in idleness, but in useful and laborious employments:

but Cain was a tiller of the ground: of the same occupation his father was, and he being the first born, was brought up in the same business, and might be a reason why he was put into it.

(y) "et addidit ut pareret", Pagninus, Montanus; "addidit autem parere", Cocceius, Schmidt. (z) Pirke Eliezer. c. 21. (a) Abulpharag. ut supra. (Hist. Dynast. p. 6.) (b) Antiqu. l. 1. c. 2. sect. 1.2. Abel was a keeper of sheep—literally, "a feeder of a flock," which, in Oriental countries, always includes goats as well as sheep. Abel, though the younger, is mentioned first, probably on account of the pre-eminence of his religious character.4:1-7 When Cain was born, Eve said, I have gotten a man from the Lord. Perhaps she thought that this was the promised seed. If so, she was wofully disappointed. Abel signifies vanity: when she thought she had the promised seed in Cain, whose name signifies possession, she was so taken up with him that another son was as vanity to her. Observe, each son had a calling. It is the will of God for every one to have something to do in this world. Parents ought to bring up their children to work. Give them a Bible and a calling, said good Mr. Dod, and God be with them. We may believe that God commanded Adam, after the fall, to shed the blood of innocent animals, and after their death to burn part or the whole of their bodies by fire. Thus that punishment which sinners deserve, even the death of the body, and the wrath of God, of which fire is a well-known emblem, and also the sufferings of Christ, were prefigured. Observe that the religious worship of God is no new invention. It was from the beginning; it is the good old way, Jer 6:16. The offerings of Cain and Abel were different. Cain showed a proud, unbelieving heart. Therefore he and his offering were rejected. Abel came as a sinner, and according to God's appointment, by his sacrifice expressing humility, sincerity, and believing obedience. Thus, seeking the benefit of the new covenant of mercy, through the promised Seed, his sacrifice had a token that God accepted it. Abel offered in faith, and Cain did not, Heb 11:4. In all ages there have been two sorts of worshippers, such as Cain and Abel; namely, proud, hardened despisers of the gospel method of salvation, who attempt to please God in ways of their own devising; and humble believers, who draw near to him in the way he has revealed. Cain indulged malignant anger against Abel. He harboured an evil spirit of discontent and rebellion against God. God notices all our sinful passions and discontents. There is not an angry, envious, or fretful look, that escapes his observing eye. The Lord reasoned with this rebellious man; if he came in the right way, he should be accepted. Some understand this as an intimation of mercy. If thou doest not well, sin, that is, the sin-offering, lies at the door, and thou mayest take the benefit of it. The same word signifies sin, and a sacrifice for sin. Though thou hast not done well, yet do not despair; the remedy is at hand. Christ, the great sin-offering, is said to stand at the door, Re 3:20. And those well deserve to perish in their sins, that will not go to the door to ask for the benefit of this sin-offering. God's acceptance of Abel's offering did not change the birthright, and make it his; why then should Cain be so angry? Sinful heats and disquiets vanish before a strict and fair inquiry into the cause.
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