History of the Old Testament, Part 05 – Cain and Abel

Cain and AbelArticle

1. Adam and Eve had many children; of these, the eldest were Cain and his brother Abel. Cain was a husbandman, and wicked; but Abel, a shepherd, was just and good. Both offered sacrifice to God – Abel, a lamb; Cain, of the fruits of the earth. God, who knew the secrets of their hearts, looked with favor on the sacrifice of Abel, but turned away His face from the sacrifice of Cain.

2. When Cain saw this, his mind was filled with anger and jealousy against his brother. His countenance fell; and though God chid him in kindness, telling him if he did well he would be rewarded equally with Abel, yet Cain would not be appeased.

3. So, nourishing his anger and giving way to his spite, Cain one day asked Abel to go with him into the fields. There he rose up against his brother and slew him. As soon as the blood of the innocent Abel stained the ground, God cried out to Cain: “Where is thy brother?” But Cain, hardened in his crime, answered he did not know, nor was he his brother’s keeper.

4. But God, from whom nothing can be hid, told Cain that Abel’s blood cried to Him for vengeance, and, because he had dared to touch his brother, he should be a fugitive and a vagabond on the face of the earth. When Cain heard this sentence of God, he gave way to despair, saying: “My sin is too great to be pardoned.” So God set a mark upon him, and he went forth, a wanderer and a fugitive upon the face of the earth.

5. The murdered Abel is a figure of Jesus Christ, while Cain is a figure of the traitor Judas and the people who put our Saviour to death.

MLA Citation

  • Bishop Richard Gilmour. “Cain and Abel”. Bible History, 1894. CatholicSaints.Info. 19 July 2015. Web. 29 January 2022. <>