Posts Tagged ‘Cain and Abel’

Photo by Bjorn Andron

I had a new thought about these two. It’s nothing earth shattering and my guess is as good as another’s when it comes down to the story of Cain and Abel and how the younger brother died. I have been greatly influenced by all the bad Sunday School art and for some reason, we have been led to believe that Cain came upon Abel from behind and whacked him over the head. The end of Abel.

“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.” [Genesis 4:8, NIV]

But I have a new thought. Wouldn’t it be far more interesting if they actually had an argument in that field? Isn’t it possible that Cain decided to confront Abel about the differences between them? And isn’t it possible that instead, they fought to the death? In the scheme of human frailty, it makes more sense. It was a fight that could have ended differently, but instead, ended in Abel’s death. There is no reason to believe that Cain hid the body or buried it either. Things moved quickly after that and Cain, not killed by God (as he would have been in later years under the law), but simply banished. There was something of value in Cain that God decided to preserve. And so he went off and built another life.

I’m not sure what that really means for me today. Perhaps it’s just a reminder again that everyone has something inside them worth nurturing and that second chances are possible if we give just a little.

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