Genesis 4:3
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New International Version
In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the LORD.

New Living Translation
When it was time for the harvest, Cain presented some of his crops as a gift to the LORD.

English Standard Version
In the course of time Cain brought to the LORD an offering of the fruit of the ground,

New American Standard Bible
So it came about in the course of time that Cain brought an offering to the LORD of the fruit of the ground.

King James Bible
And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
In the course of time Cain presented some of the land's produce as an offering to the LORD.

International Standard Version
Later, after a while, Cain brought an offering to the LORD from the fruit that he had harvested,

NET Bible
At the designated time Cain brought some of the fruit of the ground for an offering to the LORD.

New Heart English Bible
As time passed, it happened that Cain brought an offering to the LORD from the fruit of the ground.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Later Cain brought some crops from the land as an offering to the LORD.

JPS Tanakh 1917
And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD.

New American Standard 1977
So it came about in the course of time that Cain brought an offering to the LORD of the fruit of the ground.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And in process of time it came to pass that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground a present unto the LORD.

King James 2000 Bible
And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD.

American King James Version
And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering to the LORD.

American Standard Version
And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto Jehovah.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And it came to pass after many days, that Cain offered, of the fruits of the earth, gifts to the Lord.

Darby Bible Translation
And in process of time it came to pass that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering to Jehovah.

English Revised Version
And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD.

Webster's Bible Translation
And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering to the LORD.

World English Bible
As time passed, it happened that Cain brought an offering to Yahweh from the fruit of the ground.

Young's Literal Translation
And it cometh to pass at the end of days that Cain bringeth from the fruit of the ground a present to Jehovah;
Study Bible
Cain and Abel
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. 4Abel, on his part also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And the LORD had regard for Abel and for his offering;…
Cross References
Jude 1:11
Woe to them! They have traveled the path of Cain; they have rushed headlong into the error of Balaam; they have perished in Korah's rebellion.

Genesis 4:2
Again, she gave birth to his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of flocks, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.

Genesis 4:4
Abel, on his part also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And the LORD had regard for Abel and for his offering;
Treasury of Scripture

And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering to the LORD.

A.M.

1 Kings 17:7 And it came to pass after a while, that the brook dried up, because …

Nehemiah 13:6 But in all this time was not I at Jerusalem: for in the two and thirtieth …

the fruit.

Leviticus 2:1-11 And when any will offer a meat offering to the LORD, his offering …

Numbers 18:12 All the best of the oil, and all the best of the wine, and of the …

(3, 4) In process of time.--Heb., at the end of days: not at the end of a week, or a year, or of harvest-time, but of a long indefinite period, shown by the age of Adam at the birth of Seth to have been something less than 130 years.

An offering.--Heb., a thank-offering, a present. We must be careful not to introduce here any of the later Levitical ideas about sacrifice. All that we know about this offering is that it was an act of worship, and apparently something usual. Now, each brought of his own produce, and one was accepted and one rejected. Why? Much ingenuity has been wasted on this question, as though Cain erred on technical grounds; whereas we are expressly told in Hebrews 11:4 that Abel's was the more excellent sacrifice, because offered "in faith." It was the state of their hearts that made the difference; though, as the result of unbelief, Cain's may have been a scanty present of common produce, and not of first-fruits, while Abel brought "firstlings, and of the fat thereof," the choicest portion. Abel may also have shown a deeper faith in the promised Deliverer by offering an animal sacrifice: and certainly the acceptance of his sacrifice quickened among men the belief that the proper way of approaching God was by the death of a victim. But Cain's unbloody sacrifice had also a great future before it. It became the minchah of the Levitical law, and under the Christian dispensation is the offering of prayer and praise, and especially the Eucharistic thanksgiving. We have already noticed that Abel's sacrifice shows that flesh was probably eaten on solemn occasions. Had animals been killed only for their skins for clothing, repulsive ideas would have been connected with the carcases cast aside to decay; nor would Abel have attached any value to firstlings. But as soon as the rich abundance of Paradise was over, man would quickly learn to eke out the scanty produce of the soil by killing wild animals and the young of his own flocks.

The Lord had respect.--Heb., looked upon, showed that He had seen it. It has been supposed that some visible sign of God's favour was given, and the current idea among the fathers was that fire fell from heaven, and consumed the sacrifice. (Comp. Leviticus 9:24.) But there is real irreverence in thus filling up the narrative; and it is enough to know that the brothers were aware that God was pleased with the one and displeased with the other. More important is it to notice, first, that God's familiar presence was not withdrawn from man after the fall. He talked with Cain as kindly as with Adam of old. And secondly, in these, the earliest, records of mankind religion is built upon love, and the Deity appears as man's personal friend. This negatives the scientific theory that religion grew out of dim fears and terror at natural phenomena, ending gradually in the evolution of the idea of a destructive and dangerous power outside of man, which man must propitiate as best he could.

Verse 3. - And in process of time. Literally, at the end of the days, i.e. -

1. Of the year (Aben Ezra, Dathe, De Wette, Rosenmüller, Bohlen), at which season the feast of the ingathering was afterwards kept - Exodus 23:16 (Bush). Aristotle, 'Ethics,' 8:2, notes that anciently sacrifices were offered after the gathering of the fruits of the earth (Ainsworth).

2. Of the week (Candlish).

3. Of an indefinite time, years or days (Luther, Kalisch).

4. Of some set time, as the beginning of their occupations (Knobel). It came to pass (literally, it was) that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering. Θυσία, LXX.; oblatio, Vulgate; speisopfer, Luther. The mincha of Hebrew worship was a bloodless sacrifice, consisting of flour and oil, or flour prepared with frankincense (Leviticus 2:1). All tree fruits and garden produce were excluded; it was limited to the productions of agriculture and vine growing (cf. Kurtz, 'Sacrificial Worship,' 140). Here it includes both meat offerings and animal sacrifices (cf. ver. 4). Unto the Lord. Probably to the gate of the garden, where the cherubim and flaming sword were established as the visible monuments of the Divine presence. And in process of time it came to pass,.... Or "at the end of days" (c); which some understand of the end of seven days, at the end of the week, or on the seventh day, which they suppose to be the sabbath day, these sons of Adam brought their offerings to the Lord: but this proceeds upon an hypothesis not sufficiently established, that the seventh day sabbath was now appointed to be observed in a religious way; rather, according to Aben Ezra, it was at the end of the year; So "after days" in Judges 11:4 is meant after a year; and which we there render, as here, "in process of time". This might be after harvest, after the fruits of the earth were gathered in, and so a proper season to bring an offering to the Lord, in gratitude for the plenty of good things they had been favoured with; as in later times, with the Israelites, there was a feast for the ingathering of the fruits of the earth, Exodus 23:16. The Targum of Jonathan fixes this time to the fourteenth of Nisan, as if it was the time of the passover, a feast instituted two thousand years after this time, or thereabout; and very stupidly one of the Jewish writers (d) observes, that"the night of the feast of the passover came, and Adam said to his sons, on this night the Israelites will bring the offerings of the passovers, offer ye also before your Creator."

That Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord; corn, herbs, seeds, &c. the Targum of Jonathan says it was flax seed; so Jarchi makes mention of an "agadah" or exposition, which gives the same sense; and another of their writers (e) observes, that Cain brought what was left of his food, or light and trifling things, flax or hemp seed. This he brought either to his father, as some think, being priest in his family; or rather he brought and offered it himself at the place appointed for religious worship, and for sacrifices; so Aben Ezra, he brought it to the place fixed for his oratory. It is highly probable it was at the east of the entrance of the garden of Eden, where the Shechinah, or the divine Majesty, was, and appeared in some remarkable manner.

(c) "in fine dierum", Pagninus, Montanus; "a fine dierum", Schmidt. (d) Pirke Eliezer, c. 21. (e) Ib. Vid. Tzeror Hammor, fol. 8. 2.3. in process of time—Hebrew, "at the end of days," probably on the Sabbath.

brought … an offering unto the Lord—Both manifested, by the very act of offering, their faith in the being of God and in His claims to their reverence and worship; and had the kind of offering been left to themselves, what more natural than that the one should bring "of the fruits of the ground," and that the other should bring "of the firstlings of his flock and the fat thereof" [Ge 4:4].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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