Catholic Courier

Posted: March 8, 2017

Illustration by Linda Jeanne Rivers

Cain kills his brother, Abel

By Jennifer Ficcaglia

After Adam and Eve disobeyed God, they were banished them from the Garden of Eden.

After leaving the garden, Adam and Eve started a family. They had two sons. The eldest son was named Cain, and the younger one was named Abel.

When Cain and Abel grew up, they each chose a different profession. Cain tilled the earth and grew crops, while Abel tended flocks and raised sheep.

After a time, the two brothers decided to make an offering to God.

Cain offered God some of his crops, and Abel offered one of the first and best offspring from his flock.

God was very pleased with Abel's offering but not with Cain's.

Cain was devastated. Then he became angry.

"Why are you so resentful and crestfallen," God asked him. "If you do well, you can hold up your head; but if not, sin is a demon lurking at the door: His urge is toward you, yet you can be his master."

Even though God warned Cain not to give in to sin, Cain did not listen.

Instead, Cain went to talk to his brother.

"Let us go out in the field," he said to Abel.

Once the brothers were in the field, Cain attacked Abel and killed him.

After a time, God came to speak with Cain.

"Where is your brother Abel?" God asked.

Cain gave God a rather testy reply.

"I do not know. Am I my brother's keeper?" Cain snapped angrily.

"What have you done!" God exclaimed. "Listen: Your brother's blood cries out to me from the soil! Therefore you shall be banned from the soil that opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand."

God told Cain that as punishment for murdering Abel, Cain would not only be banished from being able to grow crops, he also would be banished from God's presence and wander the earth for the rest of his life.

Cain feared he would be killed on sight, so God put a mark on him so he would not be killed.

After a time, Adam and Eve had more children.

"God has granted me more offspring in place of Abel," Eve said, "because Cain slew him."

 

READ MORE ABOUT IT:

Genesis 4

 

Q&A

1. What were the names of Adam and Eve's first two sons?

2. What did Cain do to Abel, and why?