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Genesis 4 -- The Children Fight


Having been thrust into the real world, Eve begins her punishment of enduring repeatedly painful childbirths, starting with two sons, Cain and Abel. We should point out that the only way humans could be fruitful and multiply at this stage is if Eve's male children have sex with her, or with their sisters. There is no way around the incest taboo here, except to not mention it, which the Bible does not. The Bible never mentions Eve giving birth to daughters, therefore, we are left to marvel at the availability of wives for her sons.

Cain worked as a farmer, Abel as a shepherd. Both of them gave offerings to God like good little humans should, but God inexplicably liked Abel's offerings, while disliking Cain's offerings. Cain became angry.

This may have been a test of sorts. God seems to be testing Cain to see whether he can continue to act rightly in the certainly of future praise, while not giving Cain any current praise. Sort of like a parent saying, I see you tried to clean your room, keep working at it and you will eventually get it right, just like your brother did.

Instead, Cain killed his brother. So God punished Cain by forbidding the ground to yield produce for Cain. Nevertheless, God placed a tattoo on Cain's forehead as a warning against anybody taking vengeance on Cain. God is the judge, not you. Anybody who takes it upon themselves to punish Cain shall themselves receive such a punishment seven times over.

Then the chapter begins filling out the rest of the family tree for us. I'm not sure any of this matters, but one of the fellas took two wives and this wasn't viewed as a problem at the time. No "one man one woman" requirement existed yet. This same fella also boasted of killing two men, and claimed that nobody can punish him or God will punish them 77 times. So it seems that the lesson learned was that you can murder people and get away with it. Something OJ Simpson took to heart a few thousand years later.


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