Cain, Abel and anti-farmer prejudice


This week I heard a sermon that touched on the story of Cain and Abel. Humorously it was pointed out that the rejection of Cain’s offering of “the fruit of the ground” was not because God is anti-vegetarian. The key, according to the sermon, was that while Cain just brought “some” of his crop, Abel brought the “firstborn” of his flock. Abel gave God his best. Cain just gave God what he thought he could spare. (The story is in Genesis 4).

That is a reasonable interpretation of the text as it stands. However, it got me thinking. A bias against horticulture may have been held by the group that passed this story down. It is remarkable that descendants of Cain, according to the Bible, were metal workers, musicians, and scribes. Some of them had flocks. But it is never said that any of them were farmers.

The Kenites, who…

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About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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