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Abel's Offering vs Cain's

Discussion in 'Christian Scriptures' started by WebersHome, May 24, 2019.

  1. WebersHome

    WebersHome Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Heb 11:4 . . By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts

    Heb 13:15 . . By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.

    The Greek word for "sacrifice" is the same in both those passages; and it's the same word in the passage below too.

    Rom 12:1 . . I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

    That Greek word's ambiguity has to make us take a step back and figure out just what kind of offerings Cain and Abel were okayed to bring that day-- animal or vegetable / bloody or non bloody / for their sins or not for their sins / burnt offerings or non burnt offerings?
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  2. com7fy8

    com7fy8 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    In the Law of Moses, there are vegetable offerings . . . using wheat, at least. So, I don't think the rejection of Cain's offering was only or mainly about its content. But later we see, in my opinion, how Cain had an entitled attitude, being quite bent out of shape that his offering had been rejected > instead of humbly honoring God to be the Judge of it and accepting the answer with a thank you.

    So, I suspect that the main problem and fault of his offering was he himself.

    Also, there are sacrifices in the Law of Moses which are not for sins, including the peace offerings, and burnt and not burnt. And there are blood and not blood.

    In any case, God does not want our sacrifices to be burnout things, but with Jesus Christ's "rest for your souls" (Matthew 11:28-30) and therefore in His love.
     
  3. RDKirk

    RDKirk Alien, Pilgrim, and Sojourner Supporter

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    Actually, I think Hebrews 13:15 and Romans 12:1 advises us that the actual compositions of Cain's and Abel's sacrifices are irrelevant to us today, beyond acknowledgement that not all sacrifices are acceptable.

    Those verses tell us that today, the acceptable sacrifice is our own living wills and bodies, given over to God to live wholly for His purpose.
     
  4. prodromos

    prodromos Senior Veteran Supporter

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    Abel gave the first fruits, the choice portions to God. He offered the best he had.
    Cain did not.
     
  5. Mathetes66

    Mathetes66 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Ambiguity: doubtfulness or uncertainty of meaning or intention; an unclear, indefinite, or equivocal word, expression, meaning, etc. A situation or statement that is unclear because it can be understood in more than one way.

    It appears the ambiguity is on your part & to say 'we have to take a step back' is going beyond your ability to verify that this uncertainty of meaning or intention or doubtfulness is what the rest of us believe, which on my part is not true.

    God says what He means & means what He says. 'God is not the author of confusion but of peace.'

    You have pulled 3 verses OUT of their contexts, isolating them & them lumping them together because one word is common to all three verses. One cannot ignore the context from which they are taken & what is the intent of that verse in that context. Also one must observe the qualifying phrases within each verse that determine how that word is to be understood.

    Also one must harmonize all Scripture that is pertinent to the topic of this thread, i.e., contrasting the sacrifice of Cain vs the sacrifice of Abel & why God accepted one & not the other.

    Genesis 2:2-16 Now Abel was a keeper of sheep & Cain a worker of the ground. In the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground & Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock & of their best (choice) portions. And the Lord had favor for Abel & his offering, but for Cain & his offering He had no regard.

    So Cain was very angry & his face fell. The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry & why has your face fallen? If you do WELL, will you not be ACCEPTED? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is contrary to you, but you must rule over it.”

    8Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel & killed him. Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother’s KEEPER?” And the Lord said, “What have you done?

    The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground. And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. When you work the ground, it shall no longer yield to you its strength. You shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth.”

    13Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is greater than I can bear. Behold, you have driven me today away from the ground & from your face I shall be hidden. I shall be a fugitive & a wanderer on the earth & whoever finds me will kill me.”

    Then the Lord said to him, “Not so! If anyone kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.” And the Lord put a mark on Cain, lest any who found him should attack him. Then Cain went away from the presence of the Lord & settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden.

    I John 3:9-15 Anyone born of God refuses to practice sin, because God’s seed abides in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. By this the children of God are distinguished from the children of the devil: Anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is anyone who does NOT love his brother.

    11This is the message you have heard from the beginning: We should love one another. Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one & murdered his brother. And WHY did he slay him? Because his own deeds were EVIL, while those of his brother were RIGHTEOUS. So do not be surprised, brothers, if the world hates you.

    14We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. The one who does not love remains in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer & you know that eternal life does not reside in a murderer.

    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.

    Heb 11:4 BY FAITH Abel offered God a BETTER sacrifice than Cain did. BY FAITH he was commended AS righteous WHEN God gave approval to his gifts. And BY FAITH he still speaks, even though he is dead.

    Prov 29:10 Men of bloodshed hate a blameless man, but the upright care for his life.

    Luke 11:48-51 So you are witnesses who consent to the deeds of your fathers: They killed the prophets & you build their tombs. "For this reason also the wisdom of God said, 'I will send to them prophets & apostles & some of them they will kill & some they will persecute. 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, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah.

    Heb 12:24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.

    Matt 23:34-36 Because of this, I am sending you prophets and wise men & scribes. Some of them you will kill & crucify & others you will flog in your synagogues & persecute in town after town. And so upon you will come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple & the altar.

    The sacrifices of Cain & Abel were physical sacrifices, but Abel offered his BY FAITH, that this type of sacrifice would please God, a blood sacrifice with the choicest of portions, for God alone, that spoke of Abel's righteous actions.

    Cain offered his, seeking recognition for himself & what he had achieved & not by faith & to please God. He was extremely angry when his offering was rejected & thus he hated his brother to the point of murdering him. He was the first born and should have received the better portion.

    This shedding of Abel's innocent blood is so important to God, it is repeated many times in Scripture. And Christ's eternal once for all sacrifice speaks even better than the blood of righteous Abel.
     
  6. WebersHome

    WebersHome Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Gen 4:4 . . Abel, on his part also brought of the firstlings of his flock

    The practice of dedicating firstlings was later incorporated into the covenant that Moses' people agreed upon with God at Mt. Sinai.

    Ex 13:1-2 . .The Lord said to Moses: Consecrate to me every firstborn male. The first offspring of every womb among the Israelites belongs to me, whether man or animal.

    According to that language; Abel had to offer not one, but all of his flock's firstlings.

    The thing to note is that firstling offerings per God's instructions are not, nor have they ever been, sacrifices for sin. Plus, their bodies aren't destroyed like burnt offerings; in point of fact, the covenant requires them to be eaten as food. (Deut 15:19-23)

    At the same time of year when firstlings are dedicated to God, the ground's firstfruits are offered too (Neh 10:34-37). These are also eaten rather than destroyed by fire. Incidentally: there is more said about firstfruits in the Old Testament than there is about firstlings.


    FAQ: Well; if Cain's offering was satisfactory, then why did God refuse it?

    A: Cain's offering would've been accepted had the man himself been acceptable.

    Prov 15:8 . .The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to The Lord.

    That is an irrevocable principle, and comes out very early in the Bible because it is so foundational to humanity's association with its creator. This is well illustrated at Isa 1:11-20.

    The people were offering all the covenanted sacrifices, they were praying up a storm, and observing all the feasts and holy days. He rejected all of it, even though their God-given law required it because the people's personal conduct was unbecoming. Christians are not exempt from this rule.

    1John 1:5-6 . .This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth.

    Perhaps the classic example is the one below.

    "You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings." (Ps 51:16)

    When David wrote that; he had only just committed the capital crimes of adultery and premeditated murder. There was just no way that God was going to accept David's sacrifices and offerings along with that; and he knew it too.
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    Last edited: May 24, 2019
  7. RDKirk

    RDKirk Alien, Pilgrim, and Sojourner Supporter

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  8. RDKirk

    RDKirk Alien, Pilgrim, and Sojourner Supporter

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    In addition to that, the concept of "first fruit" and "perfection" are often conflated because their purposes are ignored.

    The first fruit of the harvest or the firstborn of the flock are not necessarily the best of either--their quality will be random. But they are the first opportunity for profit, which is instead of going into the pocket of the farmer or herdsman go to the purpose of the Lord.

    As you said, the first fruits are not sin offerings. The sin offerings require perfection, a deliberate choosing not the first opportunity of profit, but the opportunity of the most profit...and delivering that to the Lord to go up in smoke.
     
  9. WebersHome

    WebersHome Well-Known Member Supporter

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    FAQ: What was Cain's fault that soured his association with God?

    A: Cain's problem wasn't a specific fault; it was his way. (Jude 1:11)

    Gen 4:7 . . If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? If you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door;

    This is the very first instance in the Bible of the word "sin". The Hebrew word is chatta'ah (khat-taw-aw') and/or chatta'th (khat-tawth') which are ambiguous words that technically mean an offense; as in repeat offender. In other words; not just an occasional slip-up, but a life style; viz: a habit.

    At this point in the story; Cain was very close to stiffening his resolve (i.e. hardening his heart) to the point where he would become permanently estranged from God, and severed from His good graces.

    Gen 4:7b . . it desires to have you, but you must master it.

    This is the first mention of self control in the Bible; and the requirement is oft repeated; e.g.

    Col 3:5-8 . . Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.

    Rom 8:13 . . For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

    The death spoken of in that verse isn't the sum of all fears depicted at Rev 20:11-15. It's estrangement from God, and severance from His good graces. (cf. John 15:1-6 where Jesus talks about yard debris.)
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    Last edited: May 27, 2019
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