Are We Rewarded for Good Deeds?

Cain and Abel #6

Gen 4:7 is one of the most powerful verses in the Bible.

After rejecting Cainโ€™s offering, God speaks to him and gives him a paradox to contemplate, a paradox that should guide him, and every person, throughout our lives. This verse, as we will see in a follow up post, also defines sin, and instructs us how we must deal with it.

But before we can continue to verse 7, letโ€™s start with verse 6.

Continue reading

Command or Prediction? The disputed Female Role in the Bible

This post is outside the normal sequence, but as I was asked this in one of the comment, I decided it was important enough to turn it into a post.

The question was about Gen 3:16. Does it really mean that women should be controlled by their men, as many man have used this verse to justify their behaviour. How does the Hebrew Bible describe the female role? Below is my answer.

Continue reading

Cain and Abel – The Offerings

Cain and Abel #4

In this part we discuss Cain โ€™s and Abelโ€™s offerings, as described in Gen 4 verses 3 and the first half of verse 4.  You may ask what gives me the right to arbitrarily split the text as I wish. This is a good question. But as the division of the text into verses is not part of the original Bible, but was added much later, I feel that other than the verses should be taken as bookmarks rather than hints to understanding the text. We should not be constrained by them.

This part of the story is written in a straightforward, non-ambiguous, fashion. It leaves little to questioning. That is, nearly all of it.

ื’ย ย ื•ึทื™ึฐื”ึดื™, ืžึดืงึตึผืฅ ื™ึธืžึดื™ื; ื•ึทื™ึธึผื‘ึตื ืงึทื™ึดืŸ ืžึดืคึฐึผืจึดื™ ื”ึธืึฒื“ึธืžึธื”, ืžึดื ึฐื—ึธื”–ืœึทื™ื”ื•ึธื”.
ื“ย ย ื•ึฐื”ึถื‘ึถืœ ื”ึตื‘ึดื™ื ื’ึทื-ื”ื•ึผื ืžึดื‘ึฐึผื›ึนืจื•ึนืช ืฆึนืื ื•ึน, ื•ึผืžึตื—ึถืœึฐื‘ึตื”ึถืŸ;
And it came to passื•ึทื™ึฐื”ึดื™
At the end of days โ€“ in the Bible days can refer to unspecific period, and not necessarily 12 or 24 hours.ืžึดืงึตึผืฅ ื™ึธืžึดื™ื
And Cain brought from the fruit of the landื•ึทื™ึธึผื‘ึตื ืงึทื™ึดืŸ ืžึดืคึฐึผืจึดื™ ื”ึธืึฒื“ึธืžึธื”
Offering to Godืžึดื ึฐื—ึธื”ืœึทื™ื”ื•ึธื”
And Abel he also broughtื•ึฐื”ึถื‘ึถืœ ื”ึตื‘ึดื™ื ื’ึทืื”ื•ึผื
From first born of his herd and their milkืžึดื‘ึฐึผื›ึนืจื•ึนืช ืฆึนืื ื•ึน, ื•ึผืžึตื—ึถืœึฐื‘ึตื”ึถืŸ
3 And it came to pass at the end of days, and Cain brought from the fruit of the land offering to God, 4 and Abel, too, brought from the first born of his herd and their milk
Continue reading