Genesis: Beginnings - Cain & Abel

We are in Genesis 4.  Adam and Eve have been banished from the Garden.  Their relationship with God has drastically changed… Verse 1

Genesis 4:1–16 (ESV) 1 Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have gotten a man with the help of the Lord.”

The Hebrew word “Cain”-Qayin pronounced “kah·yin” means, "a formed thing; a creature; something made."  It can even mean, "a smith, or a refiner, or a craftsman who makes something."  Adam and Eve name their son, "a formed thing” …that was made with the help of the Lord."[1]

I am sure that Adam and Eve had all the same hopes and dreams for Cain that you and I have for our children.  Maybe even more… It had to run through Adam’s mind, “Is he the one?  Is this the offspring that will crush the serpent’s head?”

 2 And again, she bore his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a worker of the ground.

Another son is born.  His name is Abel.  In Hebrew “hebel” means “wind,” “fleeting vapor,” or “breath.”  This is illustrated best in Isa 57:13.  “The wind will carry them off, a breath (hebel) will take them away,” and Prov. 21:6, “The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a fleeting vapor (hebel niddāp).”[2]  Abel is the steam that escapes your mouth on a cold winter’s day.


[1] Coppes, L. J. (1999). 2017 קַיִן. (R. L. Harris, G. L. Archer Jr., & B. K. Waltke, Eds.)Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament. Chicago: Moody Press.

[2]Hamilton, V. P. (1999). 463 הָבַל. (R. L. Harris, G. L. Archer Jr., & B. K. Waltke, Eds.)Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament. Chicago: Moody Press.

Genesis: Beginnings - Cain & Abel