Cain and Abel, the Two Brothers, and What Their Names Tell Us

Cain and Abel #3

In this part of this discussion, we explore Gen 4:2 in which we are introduced to the two brothers, Cain and Abel, now adults.

ื‘  ื•ึทืชึนึผืกึถืฃ ืœึธืœึถื“ึถืช, ืึถืช-ืึธื—ึดื™ื• ืึถืช-ื”ึธื‘ึถืœ; ื•ึทื™ึฐื”ึดื™-ื”ึถื‘ึถืœ, ืจึนืขึตื” ืฆึนืืŸ, ื•ึฐืงึทื™ึดืŸ, ื”ึธื™ึธื” ืขึนื‘ึตื“ ืึฒื“ึธืžึธื”
And she continued to give birthื•ึทืชึนึผืกึถืฃ ืœึธืœึถื“ึถืช
to his brother Abel.
The word ืึถืช as discussed in a previous post, has no equivalent in the English language, and it is mostly used as an object marker. More on that in the following discussion.
  – ืึถืชืึธื—ึดื™ื• ืึถืช
And Abel would becomeื•ึทื™ึฐื”ึดื™ื”ึถื‘ึถืœ
ืจึนืขึตื” – Someone who takes animals to the field
ืฆึนืืŸ – is collective word for sheep and goats
ืจึนืขึตื” ืฆึนืืŸ
And Cain wasื•ึฐืงึทื™ึดืŸ, ื”ึธื™ึธื”
ืขึนื‘ึตื“ – worker
ืึฒื“ึธืžึธื” – soil, land, earth
Putting the two words together is an expression meaning a farmer.
ืขึนื‘ึตื“ ืึฒื“ึธืžึธื”
2. And she (Eve) continued to give birth to his brother, (and named him) Abel; and Abel would become a shepherd, and Cain would become a farmer.
Continue reading

Cain and Abel Study Session Recording

Cain and Abel Genesis 4:1-5

In addition to our regular blog postings, I also give online lesson to help you gain fresh insights. This is an example of such a Study Session Recording discussing the first part of the story of Cain and Abel, the meaning of a name and the birth of Cain.  

In this part of the video lesson we will be discussing Genesis 4:1-5.

We also invite you to discover the other topics in our blog.

To attend live sessions please check our meetups

You can see here the text of the Bible (Genesis 4) both in Hebrew and in English:

If you prefer you can watch the video on Youtube directly.

Eve: Gratefulness or Defiance?

Cain and Abel #2

In this second post about Cain and Abel, we will finish verse 1 (you can find the first part here:

Eve is giving birth to Cain and Abel.

ื  ื•ึฐื”ึธืึธื“ึธื, ื™ึธื“ึทืข ืึถืช-ื—ึทื•ึธึผื” ืึดืฉึฐืืชึผื•ึน; ื•ึทืชึทึผื”ึทืจ, ื•ึทืชึตึผืœึถื“ ืึถืช-ืงึทื™ึดืŸ, ื•ึทืชึนึผืืžึถืจ, ืงึธื ึดื™ืชึดื™ ืึดื™ืฉื ืึถืช-ื™ึฐื”ื•ึธื”.
And she got pregnantื•ึทืชึทึผื”ึทืจ
And she gave birth to Cainื•ึทืชึตึผืœึถื“ ืึถืช-ืงึทื™ึดืŸ
And she saidื•ึทืชึนึผืืžึถืจ
This word comes from the root ืงื ื”. It has multiple meaning. The most common one is to buy. For example, Gen 25:10

ื”ึทืฉึธึผื‚ื“ึถื” ืึฒืฉึถืืจืงึธื ึธื” ืึทื‘ึฐืจึธื”ึธื ืžึตืึตืช ื‘ึฐึผื ึตื™-ื—ึตืช–ืฉึธืืžึธึผื” ืงึปื‘ึทึผืจ ืึทื‘ึฐืจึธื”ึธื, ื•ึฐืฉึธื‚ืจึธื” ืึดืฉึฐืืชึผื•ึน.

The field that Abraham bought from Beni Chet

A different meaning of the word is to create, as we can see in Gen 14:19
ื™ื˜  ื•ึทื™ึฐื‘ึธืจึฐื›ึตื”ื•ึผ, ื•ึทื™ึนึผืืžึทืจ:  ื‘ึธึผืจื•ึผืšึฐ ืึทื‘ึฐืจึธื ืœึฐืึตืœ ืขึถืœึฐื™ื•ึนืŸ, ืงึนื ึตื” ืฉึธืืžึทื™ึดื ื•ึธืึธืจึถืฅ.

Blessed Abraham from Supreme God who created heavens and earth.

BTW, the ื™ at the end of the word means I, as the person who conducted the action. So, depending on the interpretation, it can mean either I bought, or I created.
ืงึธื ึดื™ืชึดื™
This word is a preposition that denotes the object of an action. It does not have an equivalent in English, so normally it is not translated, as in Gen 1:1

 ื  ื‘ึฐ
ืจึตืืฉึดืื™ืช, ื‘ึธึผืจึธื ืึฑืœึนื”ึดื™ื, ืึตืช ื”ึทืฉึธึผืืžึทื™ึดื, ื•ึฐืึตืช ื”ึธืึธืจึถืฅ.
In the beginning God created the sky and the earth
However, this interpretation of the word is hard to understand in this context. We will expand on it in the following discussion.
The translation will depend on your own interpretation of the words. I will not write the translation here. Instead letโ€™s move directly to the discussion.
Continue reading

God does not give names. What’s in a Name?

Cain and Abel #1

In the following few posts, we will delve into the story of Cain and Abel and into the meaning of a name (Gen 4).  

It is among the most familiar stories of the Bible: God prefers Abelโ€™s offerings over Cainโ€™s. In his jealous rage, Cain murders Abel. God punishes him, making him an eternal nomad, yet providing him with a mark to stop people from killing him.

But as we delve into the Hebrew language, we will see that this is merely a simplified interpretation of the story, one of many. But before we start with the plot, letโ€™s look at the first verse. This is the perfect place to contemplate the meaning of a name (Gen 4:1).

Also, I invite you to watch our Lesson video covering the first part of the Story of Cain and Abel.

ื•ึฐื”ึธืึธื“ึธื, ื™ึธื“ึทืข ืึถืช-ื—ึทื•ึธึผื” ืึดืฉึฐืืชึผื•ึน
And the manื•ึฐื”ึธืึธื“ึธื
Knew – this word in the Bible can have one of two meanings: first it can be the same ‘know’ as we use today, to get acquainted with. The second is to have sex with. As in the second part of this verse we learn that the woman got pregnant and gave birth, it is safe to assume that the latter is the case here.ื™ึธื“ึทืข
with Eve (Cha-va)ืึถืช-ื—ึทื•ึธึผื”
His womanืึดืฉึฐืืชึผื•ึน
1. And the man had sex with his woman, Eve
Continue reading

Why am I Starting this Bible Blog?

The ways of reading the Bible are as plenty as the number of religions, sub-religions, cults, and philosophies. While some believe it is a holy book handed down by God, others see it as a masterful compilation that encompasses human morals, philosophy, and code of behaviour. Historians and archaeologist are using it to learn about the past; for others it is a book of spiritual guidance, regardless of religion.

My name is Ran. And I subscribe to the latter.  

I was born and raised in Jerusalem, where the Bible is the beacon of truth for numerous groups.

Continue reading