Cain and Abel are brothers in the book of Genesis, but their relationship ends tragically when Cain kills Abel out of jealousy. One of the most well-known accounts in the Bible, this incident has been the subject of centuries of research and interpretation by academics.
As you read through this page, you will find answers to questions like, why did Cain kill Abel, what was really his motive? Keep reading to find out more.
Why Did Cain Kill Abel?
The fact that God accepted Abel’s sacrifice but rejected Cain’s infuriated him. Cain killed Abel because he believed that God loved Abel more than him. He was envious of Abel.
When Cain attempted to kill Abel, God stopped him and warned him that he would pay a price for killing a man.
The following day, Cain killed his brother once more, but this time, he didn’t get away with it. Instead, God sent Cain to live in a remote area where no one could ever harm or kill him.
About the Two Different Sacrifices
It is evident from Genesis 4 that both Cain and Abel offered sacrifices to God. Cain brought fruit from the ground, and Abel brought the best of his herd. But while God accepted Abel’s sacrifice, He rejected Cain’s.
Enraged and jealous, Cain killed his brother because he thought God had taken his brother’s offering rather than his own.
Abel Brought the Best of his Flock
Although the exact words God spoke to Cain are unknown, the scripture does hint to what He spoke to Abel and his brother. “The LORD respected [Abel] but did not respect Cain and his offering” (Genesis 4:4), following the brothers’ offerings to God.
A comparable explanation of why people give gifts can be found in the New Testament: “all who have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ… they were buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father… so we too might live a new life” (Romans 6:3-5).
The lesson here is simple: God accepts you as His cherished son or daughter when you bring Him your greatest offering, which is yourself; but, He rejects your lesser offering.
Cain introduced the produce of the earth. Cain’s offering was rejected by God because it was improper, but Abel’s sacrifice pleased God with its pleasant perfume.
Why Did God Reject Cain’s Sacrifice
Cain’s sacrifice was rejected by God because it was an improper sort of sacrifice. Cain’s offering was rejected by God, in contrast to Abel’s. Scripture tells us that God accepted Abel’s offering but rejected Cain’s, thus we know this (Genesis 4:3).
This indicates that there is a distinction between doing things that please God and doing things that do not.
Also, the Bible instructs us to live a different kind of faith from the world (1 John 2:15-17). This indicates that if we want God to hear our prayers, we need to act differently from unbelievers.
Although it is impossible to know exactly what God said to Cain, verse 7 suggests that he was not pleased with him.
The ground was cursed because of Cain’s transgression (Genesis 4:12). More significantly, though, it appears that his sacrifice was inappropriate and did not appease God. Abel might have offered his sacrifice as a way to honor or express gratitude to God for His favors.
Even though Abel’s sacrifice isn’t described in detail in the Bible, it is known that he brought an animal and presented it to God in Genesis 4:4 without using any blood.
This is a significant story because it shows how sin can wreck our lives. Cain murdered his brother Abel out of jealousy, and his transgression resulted in an even bigger tragedy for him. Never allow envy get the better of us!