The Story of Cain and Abel: Why did God Reject Cain’s Sacrifice?

Cain the elder becomes a farmer and Abel the younger becomes a shepherd (Gen 4:2). Each brings an offering: Cain brings to the LORD an offering of the fruit of the ground (Gen 4:3); and Abel brings the firstlings of his flock (Gen 4:4). But God accepts Abel’s offering. Accordingly, Cain is troubled (Gen 4:5-7), and kills his brother Abel (Gen 4:8). The story ends with God’s punishment of Cain (Gen 4:9-15). Why did God reject Cain’s sacrifice? Does God love a meat sarifice rather than a vegetable offering?

The text does not tell us the reason why God prefers to Abel’s offering. Thus, there have been several inferential attempts to answer the question:

  1. Both Luther and Calvin explained that Cain did not present his gift by faith. Their interpretation was based on Heb 11:4 (cf. 1 John 3:12; Matt 23:35). C. Westermann suggests that the opinion of New Testament writers is based on the Rabbinic traditions of late Judaism: “Abel is ‘the just one’ his sacrifice is offered ;out of faith” (Westermann, 319).
  2. The offering itself was insufficient, either becuase Cain was stingy or becuase he violated some implicit liturgical regulation (Skinner, 105).
  3. There is a cultural conflict between farmers and shepherds. R. de Vaux argues that Cain’s story affirms pastoralism of the patriarchs (de Vaux, 13-14).
  4. The story reflects that YHWH prefers a younger to an older sibling (Goldin, 32).

The first suggestion seems to be totally out of context since the text never metions the word “faith”; thus, this is an interpretation of the story. The second suggestion is plausible. The text says that Abel’s sacrifice was accepted becuase he offered “the firstlings of his flock, their fat portions” (Gen 4:4), while Cain brought “fruit of the ground.” Cain is being condemned for failing to bring first fruits (Deut 26:1-11). But it is also a conjecture. The third suggestion needs to be reconsidered in light of recent studies of nomadisim and its relationship to settled zones in the ancient Near East. It scarcely seems so. The fourth suggestion is restated by Joel S. Kaminsky who suggests that it is about divine favoritism and the exclusivism which repeats in the cases of Ishmael and Isacc, Jacob and Esau, and Joseph and his ten older brothers (Kaminsky, 23). He argues that “the Genesis narratives are well-suited as an introduction to biblical election theology.” He focuses on the divine favoritisim rather than the issue of offering:

Cain’s failure is not in relation to the offering he brought, but in his reaction to God’s mysterious favoritism of Abel. He allows his jealousy to get out of control, even after God has warned him of this danger. Rather than accept God’s choice of Abel, he tries to overcome Abel’s election by killing him (25).

But I’m convinced by F. A. Spina’s suggestion (“The Ground for Cain’s Rejection [Gen 4]: יadāmāh in the Context of Genesis 1-11″ ZAW 104/3 [1992]) that we need to consider the issue of the text in the larger context of Genesis 1-11. Cain’s offering has to do with its source: the ground which had been coursed by God (Gen 3:17-19) so that Cain’s offering is unacceptable. Indeed, the term “ground” is the key word in Genesis 1-11. Cain was a farmer who followed in the footsteps of his father Adam, the first farmer (Gen 2:5, 15). Spina further argues that human beings continued to to sin even after the flood that is the main theme of Genesis 1-11. But the cursed “ground” became the source of blessing and and a suitable offering to God (Deut 7:12-16). 

Reference List

De Vaux, R. Ancient Israel: Social Institutions I. 1965.

Goldin, J. “The Youngest Son or Where Does Genesis 38 Belong,” JBL 96/1 (1977).

Kaminsky, Joel S. Yet I Loved Jacob: Reclaiming the Biblical Concept of Election. Nashville: Abingdom Press, 2007.

Skinner, J. Genesis. ICC. 2nd. 1930.

Spina, F. A. “The Ground for Cain’s Rejection (Gen 4): יadāmāh in the Context of Genesis 1-11″ ZAW 104/3 (1992): 319-32.

Westermann, C. Genesis 1-11. Trans. John J. Sculion S. J. Minneapolis: Augusburg Publishing House, 1984.

Gustave Doré

Gustave Doré, 1866

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82 Responses

  1. If I may add a thought to your post here [which I enjoyed by the way]. I’ve heard that Abel offered the first of his flock because he had either learned or gathered that when God sacrificed the animal to clothe Adam and Eve, God was setting a precedent – so Abel essentially imitated God.

    • The whole of the Old Testament is about teaching the reader. God made man and animal to be vegetarian. At the fall, death entered and had to be dealt with. God knew man could only be saved by the shedding of blood. To get man ready for salvation by the blood, God knew it would take something very powerful in the heart of man to do it. Sacrifice of vegetables for man is not enough, shedding of blood for man touches men to the core. God started with a lamb, went to bulls and goats, and ended up with his own Son. Nothing could be stronger. To try to impress man he changed him from vegetarian to a meat eater.

      Jesus said, “unless you eat my flesh, and drink my blood you will have no part in me. John 6.” God started to teach this with Cain. There is power in the blood.

      • I think this is a great Christian interpretation on the animal sacrifice!

      • If you reread the story and understand that Cain had the blood of the fallen and was the first Nephilim. If you read how Cain and abel where birthed you will see Eve became pregnant directly after with what she quotes is the sons that GOD had promised her.(play on words by the serpent). Why would GOD let Cain kill abel? Why would after CAin killed abel Seth be born after in the 130 years of Adams LIfe? Why would the bible make a point to say Seth looked like adam? Neplilim exist then and after genesis 6 states. CAin is never officially killed in the the king james version? after the flood we are taught that Noah and his family was the only sons of man to survive. We also know Enoch was the only other person besides Jesus Son of GOD did not die in the bible. CAin was cursed to wonder the earth and anyone who killed him would be punished 7 fold and he had a mark which the bible does not state ..what this mark is but it is visable. God however blessed him with a wife ….and they had children …ummm…think about it ..why would GOD have to send someone of virgin birth to free us from our sins?Who would be the likely benefit of doing such because it is past the and beyond the son of man to do this because you could except that our bloodline is not from Seth to Abraham to Noah.but from ? Cain named the a city after Enoch …which can be interpreted as as the 7th generation after Adam…7th the completion of His initial creative act….The word translated as finished is the Greek teléo, which generally means to bring to a close, to complete, to end, to fulfill. …its is in plain view if you except it .. Mankind is then/now formally divided into two branches – those who still abide in the presence of God, and those who have fled to a distance from him. Distinguishing names will soon be given to these according to their outward profession and practice Genesis 6:1. The awful distinction according to the inward state of the feelings has been already given in the terms, the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent.

      • Glen says, ‘Sacrifice of vegetables for man is not enough, shedding of blood for man touches men to the core.’That statement is very telling. If we are familiar with religions outside those that evolved from the beliefs of Abraham we see the same principal operating in almost every faith that has ever existed. The god or gods of every religion demand blood as an offering. Possible this tendency reached its most horrific expression in the religions of ancient Mexico and pre-Inca Peru.

        It is interesting to speculate why this principle has been so strong throughout human history. Possibly the answer may lie in humanity’s long pre-history. It may have something to do with hundred’s of millennia of humans as hunter gatherers. In every hunter gatherer society, females collected vegetable food, males hunted animals. Constant killing and blood letting by the males was essential for the survival of the tribe. There is evidence that this need expressed itself in religion and magic among all pre historic cultures. Ancient rock and cave art all around the world portrays the killing of wild animals – by male humans. This art was regarded by the ancient people as sacred.

        It is reasonable to suppose that this ancient behaviour trait has filtered down to us in the various religions of ‘civilised’ humans. It is noteworthy that religions everywhere are invented and dominated by males. It is the males who invented the myths that support the behaviour. It is the males who have always devised and carried out the ritual killings.

        So it could well be that the legend of Cain and Abel and of the God who craves blood sacrifice springs from a very ancient tendency in the male human psyche.

    • Abel gave his first flock of newborn lambs and cain gave !!some!! crops

      • Enoch was not the only one. Elijah was also taken up by God on a Chariot of fire. Enoch walked with God.

  2. Dear Joel,
    Yes, Abel brought some of the firstborn of his flock (plural). But this doesn’t mean that he learned the animal sacrifice from God. The text (Gen 3:21) gives no indication how Adam and Eve came by the skins.
    Moreover, you may ask the question: what is sacrifice? Sacrifice is a form of communication with God. Did God communicate with himself/herself?

  3. Maybe so… do YOU know god´s intentions?

  4. Well,
    You may recall that God reveals the secret things to Daniel (Daniel 2).

  5. God chose Abel’s meat over Cain’s grain.

    Cain saw his offering wasn’t good enough so he offered Abel’s flesh, out of love not jealousy, in an attempt to deliver a suitable sacrifice.

    I read that somewhere and it’s the only interpretation that’s ever made sense, especially considering that people have been killing one another for god ever since.

    • You may have read this in White Wolf’s Vampire the Masquerade RPG; it’s a theory refered to as Cainite Heresy.

      • I believe that Abel’s sacrifice was pointing to Christ because it was a blood offering, and Cain’s offering was done with his hands, and it represents our works, which cannot take away any of our sins.

  6. It seems like a Jewish interpretation on the suitable sacrifice. But I don’t understand what you try to say in the second paragraph.

  7. It is interesting that you find a fault with the sacrifice and yet the LORD does not. If there had been a fault it would have been pointed out by the Lord in His pronouncements to Cain – these occurring after the offerings (NOT as is often incorrectly translated ‘sacrifice’).

    Neither is Cain at fault at this point – the LORD does NOT admonish or correct because of any present “sin.”

    Rather the LORD warns Cain that “sin is crouching at the door” and “desires” him.

    The whole episode can be viewed as a test of Cain’s Faith and his reaction to the rejection of his sacrifice. Cain fails the test and this results in the first human death, that of Abe, his younger (possible twin) brother

    • Steven, for the first time I think I find a reason enough for me to believe why Cain’s sacrifice was rejected… the testing of his faith… Otherwise I believe that he willingly gave his sacrifice and it was best, but God was not interested in it then….

  8. Dear Steven,
    Your reading that the story is “a test of Cain’s Faith and his reaction to the rejection of his sacrifice,” is a superb interpretation. It seems to me that your reading is similar to that of Luther and Calvin.

  9. Very interesting. I was perplexed by this story before I learned Hebrew and I’ve been meaning to give it a good, diligent analysis now that I’ve got it. The idea of the ground being the point of contention is definitely more appealing than most anything else I’ve seen. However, something I noticed long ago is that there doesn’t appear to be anything in the text saying YHWH **REJECTED** Cain’s offering. I’ve been meaning to look into the Hebrew and verify whether there is, in fact, no negative reaction against Cain’s offering. This interests me because just because one person’s offering receives special mention and another one does not is no reason to view the other one negatively. That’s like saying–to use a very anachronistic example–if a person doesn’t win a gold or silver medal in a competition, that they’ve failed to do well–either in the competition or in terms of their own abilities and skill levels. That simply isn’t the case. A person who comes in third has still done really, really well, even if they fail to be mentioned among the top two. Perhaps the point of the story is not that Cain failed to do something or did something wrong, but that Abel excelled in some manner that is appropriate to the narrative. Like I said, I still need to look at the Hebrew. These are just thoughts that I’ve had.

  10. This is a superb interpretation.
    I think that the Hebrew word can be translated as “YHWH did not regard” Cain and his offering.
    See further B. K. Waltke, “Cain and His Offering,” WTJ 48 (1986): 363-72.

    Keep up the great work.

  11. could it also not be as a shadow of the new testament? That we cannot get to heaven by our own works of righteousness, but only by the shed blood of Christ?

    • I do believe God was setting up a precedent in Gen. 4:21 “coats of skin” as a substitute for Gen. 3:7 “sewed fig leaves” basically saying our feeble attempt to “cover up” shame and sin can not be done by our own works but only by the Lamb! Isaiah 43:11 I, even I, am the Lord; and BESIDE me there is NO SAVIOUR. God Bless

  12. It would be a good Christian interpretation to the story.

  13. Genesis 4:4 Now while God was looking with favor upon Abel and his offering. 5 he did not look with any favor upon Cain and upon his offering. And Cain grew hot with great anger, and his countenance fegan to fall.

    Neither God or Cain is talking in this paragraph. God is looking and not talking here. There is no reason why God would not show favor to Cain’s offering. This is how Cain views the offering. It is Cains view that Abel is looked at favorably by God. Cain is jealous of his brother, because in his mind Abel has a better offering. God only talks after he see’s that Cain’s face has fallen. God says:

    Genesis 4:6 At this God said to Cain: “Why are you hot with anger and why has your contenance fallen?

    In this story Abel never talks. The conversation is between God and Cain only. So this is a story about Cain and his feelings.

  14. Since I am a Christian I follow the tradition of Interpreting Old Testament in the light of the New. As I read the text it almost seems that to bring the Lord an offering or gift (sacrifice is also allowed for this word “minchah”) is Cain’s idea. He offers what he has produced as a farmer. I will make a huge leap based on Christian doctrine and practice and I will suggest it was an offering of “GRAIN and GRAPE” in direct contrast to Abel, the shepherd’s offering of “BODY and BLOOD”, since I clearly hear ‘sacramental’ language being used in this text, and since the Lord Jesus connects, grain and grape (bread and wine) with his body and blood I don’t believe we can conclude that Cain’s gift is the actual problem. There is another reason for God’s rejection of Cain’s offering. The text says that “God values Abel’s offering, but Cain’s offering he did not value/respect/welcome/look at.” (This is my translation of the text based on the possible meanings of the word ‘sha’ah’) I must conclude it is the attitude of the heart behind the offering. This is evident from other interpretations as well. It’s no accident this reading from the Old Testament is pared with the Gospel from Luke 18:9-14 The parable of the Pharisee and the Tax collector.

    Yet from the augment offered here I have a new idea. I almost want to say that it seems as I read the text now, I wonder at the events. Did Cain bring an offering to God and Able try and one up him? And succeed? Or (which seems more likely) is the example of prayer given in the parable better able to bring clarity to this text? Both Cain and Abel approach God with and offering in smoke… Like incense in the nostrils of God? Burning bread smells better than burning flesh, but God prefers the flesh? Why? Because of the life offered behind it. Not the Lamb’s life but one who offers the life in humility.

    The warning God gives Cain is a warning against pride. The offering is not a life offering but a works offering. Here, Lord, accept the fruits of my LABORS for you. God doesn’t want Cain’s works, He wants his life.

    • I AGREE IT IS NOT THE OFFERING THAT IS REJECTED. THERE IS A REASON WHY CAIN AND ABLE OFFER THEIR SACRIFICE .IT SEMMS CAINS OFFERING WAS NOT WELCOME BECAUSE OF HIS ACTIONS OR BECAUSE GOD KNEW HIS DESIRE LONG BEFORE ..KILLING HIS BROTHER WAS NOT SOMETHING THAT CAME TO MIND AFTER THE REJECTION OF SCARIFICE..

  15. I think all of you are wrong. This whole story is about a repentant worshiper coming to God admitting he is a sinner and that the only acceptable offering is a blood sacrifice that confesses to God that the worshiper is aware that he is a sinner saved by grace and looks forward to the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ for his sin. Where do you think Able got this idea from? His parents of course. There are many persons who do not believe that God sacrificed an animal, probably a lamb in the Garden of Eden when Adam sinned. This is a picture of the only true Church of God, one that is founded on the testamony of Jesus Christ death on the cross. This is why God tells Cain that his offering would be acceptable if he did what was right. That being, coming with a blood sacrifice as acknowledgement of his trust in the only thing that can save him and allow him access to worship the one and only true God.

    • Repentant? He didn’t express remorse, and whined over the severity, so God inexplicably reduced the sentence.

      I’m thinking this whole story really serves as dramatic foreshadowing for the sacrificial rituals the Bibles authors were trying to correct (human sacrifice was still being practiced), as the Mark of Cain represents a blemish which makes him unacceptable as a sacrifice..

      • Seems like the bible says it all. 1st John 3:12 says, Do not be like Cain who belonged to the evil one, and murdered his brother.

  16. I hear a story about one man who eats meat… obviously the reason he raises and tends to his flocks,he then slits the animals throat places it on an altar and burns it whole,the second man nances around in his garden watching his crops grow he is more than likely a vegetarian,he enjoyed being out in the sun and toiling in the dirt,they both bring a part of their production as an offering,god is pleased with the offering of dead animal,and refuses the offering of vegetables,so the gardener flies into a blind rage and kills the man who kills the animals,this is unprecedented in history where a gardener kills a hunter!!

  17. Another thing to consider:

    Produce from the ground had been given to animals and man to eat: it was only after Noah that mankind was given meat to eat, but at the point of Cain, it was only food of the Gods. This concept follows the idea of Adam and Eve being forbidden to eat the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Bad, as that was food of the Gods, only.

    With his sacrifice, Cain was offering essentially no more than dog food to God, and Abel was offering Gods fave meal (he’s a picky eater).

  18. Ok, here is a simple explanation. Both brothers want to come closer to God they had never really met but heard soo much about his awesomeness from their parents. One brings him an offering from the ground that God himself cursed (Gn 3:17-18) and the other offers a blood sacrifice to cover his sins. Why should God be pleased with Cain’s offering? It is would be like: I want to worship God so I will go to a bar and will dance for him all night…..

  19. When Cain mocks God by asking, “Am I my brothers’ keeper?” After killing him. I believe God’s response to be. “No you are NOT your brothers’ keeper (shepherd). You are your brothers’ brother. You are only your brothers’ keeper if your brother is a lamb”.

  20. This is a superb interpretation: “You are NOT your brother’s keeper (shepherd)”? So Abel was the first sacrificial lamb.

  21. One of the elements that disturbed me about the C&A account is the fact that Cain seemingly gets away with murder, receiving a light sentence from YHWH.

    However, it occurred to me that YHWH didn’t actually demand an accounting for spilled blood of man and animals until AFTER the Flood, where in Gen 9 YHWH delegated the authority and responsibility to Noah for men to rule over men to establish a system of justice. So in the antediluvian World, Cain was allowed to spill blood, and get away with murder.

  22. Since i knew the Lord and started reading the bible with desire to get understanding and know the TRUTH, i had always been bothered by the story of C & A. The reasons for God’s rejection of Cain’s
    offering to me are known to Him and Him alone. We can offer suggestions and intpretations that allude to faith and blood sacrifice and the likes-yes they appear plausible but not totally convincing to me! So reading Gen.4:4-5 alongside exodus 33:19b all i can say is that God is God the Ominipotent!!

    My personal take home and prayer is that the respectable, respectful (Gen.4:4) and merciful ( Exod.
    33:19b) GOD will respect my offerings/sacrfice?/services to Him and show me mercy in the Name
    of His Son Jesus Christ who has made a sacrifice truely acceptable unto Him.

    • Read psalms 51-16 -You are not happy with any sacrifice. Otherwise, I would offer one [to you]. You are not pleased with burnt offerings.

      read proverbs 15-8 -The Lord detests the sacrifice of the wicked,
      but the prayer of the upright pleases him.

      The Lord/GOD wants everyone to seek him and be close to him, to fear and reverence his omnipotence. The Lords is omnipotent so every cause has an effect which is meant for all to come closer to finding and knowing GOD.

      And Cain said to God, “My sin is greater than I can bear… anyone who finds me will kill me.” God replied to him, “Therefore — anyone who kills Cain will be avenged seven-fold,” and God placed a mark upon Cain, so that all who find him would not kill him. (Genesis 4:13-15) (Cain is still only concerned about himself and only calls on GOD during this tough time.)

      Life is for-now and eternity is forever so choose wisely as grace is extended and given to only those who truly have faith and this is an unwavering faith in good times and bad. Without faith God leaves you with your own devices which I dare to say will leave one Ill equipped to make it through eternity.

      I do believe God was setting up a precedent in Gen. 4:21 “coats of skin” as a substitute for Gen. 3:7 “sewed fig leaves” basically saying our feeble attempt to “cover up” shame and sin can not be done by our own works but only by the Lamb! Isaiah 43:11

      Mankind is then/now formally divided into two branches – those who still abide in the presence of God (Seth-Son of God), and those who have fled to a distance from him (Cain).

      Keep reading and praying and reading and praying. Read scripture from multiple translations….words have powerful meaning and sometimes in KJV those words have been replaced… just a thought…thanks be to GOD and may these thoughts be true to GODs Work. AT

  23. This is a story of broccoli vs. cheese cake. Who wants a veggie when cheese cake is offered ? God with a sense of humor naturally wanted Cheese cake ! Abel was favored. Abel like most of us wanted to please God with the best, fat portion of first born ! Unlike measly withered fruit Cain brought. Both wanted to please god with the offerings/sacrifice

  24. Literal reading goes no where. Let us face it. This story is a myth BUT with a powerful message on love and forgiveness.
    This is a drama. Now the curtain opens. Paradise in the garden scene is over. Cain and Abel are out of the garden knowing both good and evil. They are no longer blind. They are self conscious and in that mind set they are fearful. Now they have this new human concept of pleasing God. They want to be in good terms with God. They invent this new system of sacrifice or offering just keep God happy. This is a universal idea we almost find in all world religions. Offering some food by sacrificing a poor animal is a very human concept, not mentioned in the first 3 chapters in Genesis. Now Cain happened to work with the soil he offers some fruits of the soil. For him offering is an offering, not so much about how expensive it is. Abel on the other hand working with a flock of sheep, wants to really please God with the best high priced gift, fat portion of the first born of his flock! He must have thought God is going promise him the paradise.
    Now let us go back to the drama. God looked with favor on Abel !
    This has to be a joke God playing. If you ever had a choice of eating a broccoli vs cheescake what would you have preferred ? Cheesecake please.
    Now veggie Cain could not bear it. He gets angry and mad. God is not finished with Cain. He knows Cain is angry, he still asks him why is he angry ? Just to make him more angry?
    Now he says if you do what is right will you not be accepted.? But if you do not do what is right sin is crouching at your door, it will posses you. Now God really explains what really the sin is. Sin is when we know fully the right things but we do not practice or act according to what is right. Jesus had no problem with the so called sinners but calls the religious people of his day as hypocrites and vipers.

    Cain knew little things do matter. His simple offering of an ordinary fruit was enough but when he heard his brother was in favor with God his rightful understanding changes, he does not become content with the little stuff he offered. He knows he cannot produce a better animal what Abel had offered, his anger grows and he kills Abel. People read scriptures become knowledgeable etc but they do not act and not only that they even do evil stuffs as we observe in pheresis and other religious people.

    If God were to be serious in favoring Abel he would let him not killed that easy. More than that he would have finished off the killer. That did not happen here.
    Abel was trying to show off and in that process he was killed. How good a sacrifice is good enough ? I am not sure God first of all wants a sacrifice to please him because that negates Grace. Sacrifice is a human , out of the garden concept.

    • Eloquently spoken…GOD exist in all things and its very comforting when he speaks through his greatest creation …thank you for confirming my thoughts; Mankind is then/now formally divided into two branches – those who still abide in the presence of God, and those who have fled to a distance from him. Distinguishing names will soon be given to those according to their outward profession and practice. Do always what is right and Good practice to those around you…that is what pleases GOD the most. Unselfish behavior absent of the ego done out of the goodness of ones heart. Love thy neighbor and love thy enemy. For there is but a few who truely strive to walk perfect with GOD ..out fear of the unknown meeting of everyone and GOD. Peace be with you and proceed with caution in your daily lives and do what is right. Amiel

  25. Cain does not get punished. God did not take revenge, not only that he puts a mark on Cain’s head so that no one who found him would kill him. He also says that if some one kills Cain that person suffers seven times ! What do we call this irrational action of God ?

    Please leave comments

    • You may consider it an irrational action but I would consider it Grace….you mark those things which u consider out of place… .or ..GOD often times chooses those of us who are the least likely to be seen walking with GOD. As examples for all to be casual observers of the only real tangible observeration of his true presence in the Grace he extends to those we see as rationally underserving of having any purpose for GOD. It sticks in your mind and you seek devine understanding when one reads these stories/scripture and can see the actors pitfalls ….allowing the reader to make the consorted effort to. Improve their own story …in there own life to be thankful for the Grace u receive by purely existing in this place. GOD is omniponent things may not or need to make rational sense because what will be done is done for recognition to GOD…and we often times need a reminder as to who rules and knows all…just a thought…AT

      • I used the word Irrational !, not natural. Grace and Love are not natural and sound irrational to a human mind. God’s grace is beyond human comprehension.

      • Grace is a virtue and is not out human comprehension if you have unwavering faith. I agree they may sound irrational but may these versus help to bring a close to this conversation so we are on the same page: “love the Lord your God with all you heart, soul, mind and strength. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.”

        In Romans 12:9, 10 the apostle Paul writes, “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.”

        In 1 John 4:20-21 notice what John says, “If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.” In other words, John tells us that the true measure of whether we love God or not is shown in how well we love our brother.

        in Colossians 3:14, “And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”

        We are all but star dust from the same ultimate beginning of being one with GOD. May your journey to the lord be inspiring to those around you.

        Best,

        Amiel

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  28. I believe Cain’s offering represens the works of our hands, and Abel’s offering represents the shedding of blood which points to Christ.

  29. Once we are attached to the conviction that Jesus LITERALLY died for our sins our views become narrower, not that it is bad but it masks the much greater and grandeur grace and love of God. Animal sacrifice or shedding blood is not what God wants from us. (Psalm 40.6 51:16 Isaiah 1:11. ) He wants sacrifice of broken spirit and contrite heart. Blood has a powerful effect on human psyche and primitive cultures engaged in that practice.

    • KT said: “Animal sacrifice or shedding blood is not what God wants from us…..Blood has a powerful effect on human psyche and primitive cultures engaged in that practice”.

      Which only begs the question: then why did God institute the system, in the first place, if you admit that it’s so primitive and horrific that some poor animal must die in order to make God happy?

      Certainly YHWH didn’t start the practice, simply to reinforce the idea that He was being such a magnanimous and righteous Dude, and so full of grace by offering his own Son in order to pay Himself back (redemption) of an indebtedness He felt was owed him from mortals, due to Adam’s original sin?

      Then why not just cut out the middle man rigamarole (the pain, suffering, death, spilled blood, etc), and show some of those fruitages of HIS spirit spoken of in Galatians (love, joy, peace, kindness, long-suffering, etc)? Or does that advice not apply to Him?

      • I do not think G d instituted any systems, the ideology of sacrifice is a human invention to appease the jealousy and fearful God.
        Animal sacrifice is in almost every culture in the world. Shedding of blood by Jesus as an atonement was derived from the the Jewish primitive culture.

      • KT said:

        “I do not think G d instituted any systems, the ideology of sacrifice is a human invention to appease the jealousy and fearful God.”

        As a historical reality, I agree (in fact, I’d go further and say that the ritual of animal sacrifice is the greatest job creation stimulus plan/scam EVER, created by a priestly class who got to share in the choicest prime beef in the land for their butchering services).

        But realize you’re arguing against what the official story found in the Bible states: the Bible indicates God’s implementation of blood sacrifice as an important element of the covenant process.Levitical law (supposedly inspired by God) provides details of how the sacrificial process is to be conducted.

        The first account of sacrifice in the Bible is in Genesis, when Abel offered fats from the first-born livestock (a sacrifice of which God approved) whereas Cain offered first-fruit grains. “Moses” tells us that GOD favored the blood sacrifice.

        Many examples follow, eg Abraham was directed by YHWH to sacrifice his son, Isaac (and per the account, at the last minute God provided Abraham with a suitable proxy stunt ram to use instead).

        In fact, all of the elements of contract law are clearly seen in all of God’s covenant dealings with man, wherein a contract is finalized by offering something of value (called ‘consideration’ in law). Since livestock are valuable commodities, an animal’s life is sacrificed in the name of reaping far-greater rewards (blessings) in the future from YHWH. Upshot is, something which is alive and innocent has GOT to die, for “the wages of sin is death”, and only an innocent can pay back the debt.

        That’s the ENTIRE PREMISE on which Jesus’ “gift” is based: a blood-thirsty angry God has gotta be placated after witnessing human sin, or else disease/famine/earthquakes/pestilence will result.

        Fortunately, modern law doesn’t recognize the same goofy concept: if innocents have to die to atone for the sins of the guilty, then the serial killer of small abducted children would be in God’s good graces (instead of confined to prison).

      • And I quote Dave “Then why not just cut out the middle man rigamarole (the pain, suffering, death, spilled blood, etc), and show some of those fruitages of HIS spirit spoken of in Galatians (love, joy, peace, kindness, long-suffering, etc)? Or does that advice not apply to Him?”

        GOD sent his only begotten Son to this place to be sacrificed on the alter for the sins of the world. Jesus was on the only medium the Sons of Man has to the kingdom heaven. In ancient times true unwavering faith believers knew that they were unworthy to live with sin and themselves should not live and a substitute of animal sacrifice would bring atonement for those sins. As with anything in this place their numerous individuals people and a growing majority who are wavering faith believers. These individuals conducted multiple sacrifices for the greater good of themselves to gain favor in the Lord. I believe the book of Mathew which speaks of Jesus thoughts on this is a great example of how the human condition can often discourage oneness with GOD. Throughout Jesus persecution he never complains he is at peace because he Trust GOD to deliver him. The mob mentality was rampid and when individuals think as one based on thoughts of men and not those of devine thought. They are blind tothe favor and Grace GOD has shown to them irregardless of atonement one seeks. You will have suffering to mold and sculpt you in to the Lords vessell. So that his will be done for the beginning and end are already confirmed as TBD by GOD and only GOD. So when one thinks they will is being done be sure it is not your own futile attempts to mask favor. reread the scripture in Mathew starting with:

        Matthew 5: 1-3

        The first Beatitude speaks to spiritual pride. Being poor in spirit is not poor in the sense of lacking anything. To be poor in spirit is to be grateful to God, realizing that of ourselves we cannot claim righteousness. Being right with God is God’s gift to us through what Jesus did on Calvary. “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord”! (2Cor. 10:17)

  30. Why did God institute the system? Good question: for two reasons 1. The process of killing an innocent animal shows mankind how much God hates sin. Remember in the garden when God gave Adam the first commandment: The day you sin you shall surely die. The shedding of blood upon the alter is proof a life was taken to satisfy God law “The wages of sin is death.
    For the life 5315 of the flesh 1320 [is] in the blood 1818: and I have given 5414 it to you upon the altar 4196 to make an atonement 3722 for your souls 5315: for it [is] the blood 1818 [that] maketh an atonement 3722 for the soul 5315

  31. Jim said:

    “1. The process of killing an innocent animal shows mankind how much God hates sin.”

    So sinning by taking an innocent life is done to show how much God hates sinning? And that makes even the slightest bit of sense to you, or seems moral?

    Jim said:

    “Remember in the garden when God gave Adam the first commandment: The day you sin you shall surely die.”

    So, the wages of sin is death, and if sin is not atoned, then only by the death of the sinner is the debt repaid to God (where animal sacrifice was an acceptable loophole which allowed an animal to die as a temporary substitute for the life of the sinner).

    OK, but where is Adam now? Oh, you say he’s dead? Sounds like the debt was repaid in full, fulfilling God’s judgment on Adam after expulsion from the Garden (funny that God didn’t mention humanity taking on the burden of his spiritual debt).

    I know the Christian answer: “Because Adam was perfect, God required a perfect being to pay back the debt”.

    So, the Bible implies that Adam and Eve were created somewhat deficient in wisdom (and hence why they BOTH saw the fruit as desirable to eat: even God stated it granted them wisdom) : lacking or left wanting doesn’t sound “perfect” to me (but let’s overlook that important point for now).

    So per Xian theology, Jesus serves as the sacrificial lamb, but where was the sacrifice (loss) experienced by ANYONE? Mankind? Nope: Jesus’ sacrifice is characterized as a “gift” to humanity, so that doesn’t work. Jesus was resurrected and ascended to Heaven in order to do God’s will, so neither Jesus or YHWH faced any loss (sacrifice). If anything, they both GAINED something from the rigamarole, so conceptually that’s not a sacrifice. No one sacrificed ANYTHING.

    That’s EVEN IF you overlook the whole silliness of God repaying a debt to himself, rather than simply forgiving the debt. It’s an accounting trick, a bookkeeping sleight of hand.

    (Which is fitting topic given the ever-expanding Federal deficit, with the Fed Reserve and Treasury dreaming up similar schemes to hide the fact that debt is too large to EVER pay back.)

    Jim said:

    “The shedding of blood upon the alter is proof a life was taken to satisfy God law “The wages of sin is death.”

    Say what? “Proof” is needed? You mean an omniscient God needs a dated receipt as “proof”? Hmmm, God sounds more and more like an IRS auditor than one who supposedly knows all of our most intimate details (Luke 12:7, “even the number of hairs on one’s head”).

  32. If you stand back and look at this story in the context of all the Old Testament stories it’s plain to see that the ancient Hebrews invented a bloodthirsty god as a projection of their own brutal natures. Deeply meaningful symbolic interpretations need go no further.

    • Yup. Their brutal tribal roots are showing.

      Speaking of which, ancient Jewish concepts about justice includes the concept of avenging the spilled blood of a family member, called “go-el had-dam” (avenger of spilled blood).

      This well-known now-defunct practice is a concept which must’ve developed AFTER the Flood as part of criminal justice in Israel, as Genesis 9 features the exact point in time at which YHWH granted His Divine Authority for mankind to enforce a system of criminal justice (which includes go-el had-dam).

      Notice that Genesis 9 was well AFTER the first recorded murder of Abel, and that YHWH clearly botched the handling of the Cain case: He literally let Cain get away with murder (and remember, it was long before YHWH had expressed his Divine prohibition against murder, Mt Sinai’s 10 commandments, with “Thou Shalt Not Murder”, so technically Cain didn’t even act against Divine Will, so it wasn’t technically a sin at that point in time). YHWH even PROTECTED CAIN, THE MURDERER from those who’d seek vengeance for his crime by giving him “the mark of Cain” (and some scholars have suggested the story is intended to demonstrate what a “softie” YHWH is, how merciful to a fault He can be).

      Remember that it was YHWH who ‘forgot’ to delegate His Divine authority to mankind to police over themselves before the Flood, to allow mankind to establish rule of law, hence the antediluvean (Pre-Flood) World was filled with Mad-Max anarchistic types, where might made right. It seems clear that YHWH had “forgotten” to allow men to establish a system of laws for self-rule. Ooops….

      (Somebody’s not looking so omniscient now, are they, as He clearly didn’t see THAT one coming!)

      Also interesting though, is to consider the Jewish understanding of the concept of redemption, from the Jewish Encyclopedia (1908):

      http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/2162-avenger-of-blood

      “(Hebrew “go’el”): The Hebrew name for the clansman, “next of kin,” upon whom devolved the duties: (1) of avenging, on the person of the murderer, the blood of a murdered kinsman—in this capacity the more specific term “go’el ha-dam” (blood-avenger) was generally used—and (2) of redeeming the property or the person of a relative that had fallen into debt.”

      “From this idea of the human “go’el” as a redeemer of his kinsmen in their troubles, there are to be found many allusions to Yhwh as the Divine Go’el, redeeming His people from their woes (compare Ex. vi. 6, xv. 13; Ps. lxxiv. 2), and of the people themselves becoming the “redeemed” ones of Yhwh (Ps. cvii. 2; Isa. lxii. 12). The reference to God as the “go’el” and as the one who would “redeem” His people was applicable to the relationship between Yhwh and Israel in the exilic period, when the people actually looked to their God to restore their land for them, as the impoverished individual looked to his kinsman to secure a restoration of his patrimony. Hence, of thirty-three passages in which “go’el” (as a noun or verb) is applied to God, nineteen occur in the exilic (and post-exilic) sections of Isaiah—the preacher par excellence of “restoration”—for example, in xlviii. 20, xlix. 26, lii. 9, lxii. 12, etc. See Asylum; Cities of Refuge; Job; Murder.”

      The redeemer of property/kinsmen is a reference that is often applied to Jesus, a Torah-observant Jew, who was claimed to redeem mankind for the sins of perfect Adam: it takes a perfect being to atone for the sins of a perfect being.

      HOWEVER, think about it for a minute: if Jesus is the redeemer, then WHO is the creditor, the other party that was harmed, and to whom mankind is indebted (for Adam’s original sin)? That would be YHWH, as well! But isn’t YHWH the “Divine Go’el”?

      How can that be? How can YHWH simultaneously be the Divine Redeemer AND the creditor of Adam’s debt, the party to whom the debt is owed?

      For that matter, how can YHWH in effect provide his own beloved son Jesus to payback a debt which is owed to Himself? (and let’s just set the Trinity aside for a moment, as that makes matters even worse: a tripartite personality, but one unified identity).

      We’ve all heard of the expression, “robbing Peter to pay Paul”. This is FAR more impossible, in that it’s YHWH robbing himself to pay Himself back. It makes no logical sense!

      • Logic and divinity do not coincide…thus if you should understand anything you should choose your words wisely…before you insight things in your life which you will find out who GOD is. Simply, said and stated ….. respect is due to the creator…and sons of GOD u should immiluate in your daily life …Seth but from your comments you have chosen to question and ask but you sound as though u are seeking confirmation through the way of Cain without actually understanding what the creator request from all souls faith.deliverance…continued growth …in the walk to know GODs purpose for you… times are a changing and there are less and less unwavering faith believers who seek a better relationship with GOD… I would suggest you find comfort in your only task to do good by all those you come in contact with…dont forget we are all actors in GODs Story of life.

        Peace be with u and may this warning be well received

        There is alot of empty space out there …you might want to get to know YHWH who occupies all it. Omniptious is beyond human comprehension thus you should spend more time praying and thanking GOD for the grace of life.
        Best..Amiel its Hebrew too.

      • Hi aMIe,

        “Logic and divinity do not coincide…”

        Isn’t THAT the truth!

        Because when I read Xian theology, the story supposedly goes that God showed humanity just how MUCH he loves us by killing his own heaven son Jesus, thus atoning for our sins.

        Hmmm, where I read before about a father who was asked to kill his own children to prove his love to another? Doesn’t that strike anyone else as being more than a bit, I dunno, Abrahamic (AKA psychotic)? And who came up with THAT request, again? Wasn’t that God?

        BTW, ixnay on od’s-Gay mnipotence-Oay , since omnipotent (note the correct spelling, BTW) beings are unable to actually experience a sense of loss, or to be frustrated by their inability to do things, since remember: that’s what it literally means to be omnipotent, ‘all powerful’. So God cannot experience a sense of involuntary loss, since He could easily rectify the situation (which he did by resurrecting Jesus, who supposedly was to be promoted for a job well-done by being allowed to assume his father’s throne).

        So omnipotent beings can do ANYTHING, except of course they cannot experience what it’s like to have limits on themselves, since then they can’t be considered as being ‘omnipotent’. Quite the logical conundrum, huh?

        BTW, your message contained a veiled warning of Divine retribution: relax, since you don’t HAVE to fear YHWH, just as you don’t have to cower in fear over the thought of Zeus, Ahuru Mazda, or any of the OTHER millions of made-up dieties that have been created by mortal men over the millenia striking you down.

        In fact, I say it’s high-time modern society moves beyond the need for Super-hero Sky Daddies, since ALL forms of belief in the supernatural and imaginary beings leads to acts like the Boston Marathon Bombings: someone takes a figurative mythical story, and starts confusing it with reality. Worse, they are encouraged to participate in the story line, if not COMMANDED to insert themselves into the plot.

        Then hundreds end up dead/wounded, all because someone literally believes that if they only kill the “infidels” on the other side, they’re going to Heaven/Paradise to be rewarded with virgins/angelic existence. It’s ALL a bunch of hogwash, whether it’s the Xian or Islamic flavor.

        Awash in a bath of self-delusion, Paul said, “When I was a child, I used to think/reason as a child”. Problem is, some types don’t know they’re STILL clinging to childhood fantastic thinking, and need a swift kick in the frontal lobes to snap themselves out of their archaic superstitious beliefs.

        Granted, religious beliefs are EXTREMELY INTERESTING when studied from the purely analytical historical/sociological standpoint, but become EXTREMELY BORING when most people get their hands on it: there’s nothing more boring than talking to a toad who takes the stories that are clearly mythical as literal truth (eg Noah’s Flood).

      • All truths can be succinctly stated to make a real point! Do as you choose and I will continue to thank GOD for the grace I experience for having FAITH.

        One verse for your multiple paragraphs: Proverbs 3:5-7
        Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.

        Another: John 3:16

        Dave,

        May you heed this as warning again and understand
        >>>> where it is that the blood that runs through your veins comes from we are
        >>>> all children of Abraham and no matter what creed of doctrine you believe
        >>>> Jewish, Muslim, Christianity, or the existence of one true ruler of all that
        >>>> surrounds. May it be true to thy self that the creed which has been given to
        >>>> those before this time is still here for all to accept at this time. May the
        >>>> Passion for the pursuit of helping your brothers and sisters be
        >>>> extended to all those who you come in contact with and have the holy spirit in
        >>>> them. The discernment to know that you can trust, help, and extend a helping
        >>>> hand is pleasing to the lord. May you understand that true work is done in the
        >>>> absents of expectation of return. With this life you can truly have purpose and
        >>>> we can stand as Abraham, Jacob, Isaiah and all are for fathers stood in the
        >>>> face of reality and kept to the divine reality of trusting and having true
        >>>> faith. Simply put the ability to exude Love in the face of adversity. ..The
        >>>> ability to love the lord so much that they were willing to venture into the
        >>>> unknown without fear. Fear does not exist in the presence of the lord.
        Because GOD is love. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

        Hope this helps you find what you are looking for …I respect your detailed analysis but you are concerned with things which have no relevancy .. either you believe and have faith or you don’t. Its not to put fear in you or anything just a thought from a person who experiences GODS omnipotent power in his daily life.
        Best,
        Amiel

      • Dave: Hope you look at Bible in a deeper, broader and more metaphorical way.
        Years ago I struggled with the literal undrstanding of Bible. Russian author Dostevsky in his master piece Brother karmazov writes there is no miracle no mystery no authority in God.! Philip Yancey puts it beautifully ” God made himself weak for one purpose. to let human beings choose freely for themselves what to do with him.”
        This is a profund statement. I believe Jesus did not die for our sin but by our sin. God resides in each of us, not a theistic guy up in the sky trying to punish us. Please read first 4 of the ten commandments, statement of Jesus that Kingdom of God is in You and most of the parables Jesus which are full of nonduality and conscience.

  33. Oh, PS, on this point:

    “Logic and divinity do not coincide…”

    Unfortunately, that’s no excuse, since remember that Genesis tells us that mankind was made in “His image”. The idea being, man is reflective of the traits of YHWH, as opposed to early dieties which were inanimate objects (eg Ra, the Sun, which was literally considered as a God, and worshipped).

    In essence, the bit about man being made “in His image” gives carte blanche for the relayers of the oral traditions found in the Torah to depict YHWH engaging in anthropomorphic human-like activities (eg walking in the Garden, talking, grieving over having made man, getting angry, etc, etc). Problem is, God is written “against character”, such that if the Torah were a movie, viewers would point out the continuity errors where God acts inconsistently and contradictorily.

    But back to your claim that logic and divinity don’t have to be consistent: I disagree, as the logic and rationalism found in the Bible SHOULD be light years ahead of it’s time, rather than merely a collection of old tribal customs and ancient beliefs which were based on the best knowledge available at the time (eg anatomical knowledge of the Bible is based on ancient Egyptian ideas, which while advanced, were at times just flat-out INCORRECT, eg the Bible tells us that thoughts occur in the heart, when anyone born past 200CE knows the organ of cognition in humans is not found in the torso, but is actually the BRAIN. So, is the so-called “intelligent designer” completely ignorant of his own design, or was YHWH misquoted in Genesis 9, when he referred to “evil thoughts found in the hearts of men”?). The ancient authors believed kidneys were organs of decision-making, and not organs of excretion as we now know. I could go on with MORE examples, but you get the idea?

    My point is, if the Bible was inspired “by the Creator” (as you say), then it should be correcting modern men’s anatomical knowledge, and not vice-versa. Because as it stands, God speaks like he went to an Egyptian Medical School in 500 BC, and was trained to serve the ailments of Pharoahs.

    • I just saw this but again truths are short. Think of GOD as the ultimate programmer…you will never understand the whole CODE son of man.

      Best,
      Amiel

  34. Divinity I suppose is all about God’s Love which is non binding and not based on any condtion. Love is extraordinary and has no rationality. Love is only experiential. Science seeks rationality by explaining but not by experience. Bhagwad Geeta says ( 2 47) fruit of any acton cannot be guranteed! There goes the logic however hard we humans try to prove.

    • KT, God is NOT about “unconditional love” by ANY stretch of the definition of those words, and repeating that tired old cliche’ doesn’t make it any truer.

      The Bible, both OT and NT, makes it perfectly clear that we all are subject to YHWH’s CONDITIONAL love, where the condition of being “blessed” by Him starts with fearing YHWH; as the Bible Psalmist tells us that “a fear of YHWH is the BEGINNING of wisdom”. That’s a common theme running through the OT, found also in Proverbs.

      Now, any clinical psychologist will tell you that fear is NOT an emotional state conducive to gaining true insight or wisdom, but it IS quite conducive to ensuring blind obedience to rules and attempting to gain control over others less powerful. Heck, even animal trainers have quit using fear as a motivation, since it’s not as effective as using positive reinforcements.

      Such old-fashioned concepts of “love” permeate human thinking to this day, and those scriptural passages play no small role in perpetuating emotionally-abusive, ham-fisted attempts at gaining control over others. It’s a way to control the masses, the children, and for priests to fleece the flock.

      In fact, basking in the acceptance of His “unconditional” love depends on doing EXACTLY what you are told to do and believe: THAT’S the condition of his love, blind unthinking obedience, AKA having faith.

      Many here (eg Amiel) clearly believe this, or he wouldn’t have felt the need to relay that veiled threat to me above: for whether he admits it or not, he knows deep-inside that questioning the very existence of, and the “unconditional love” of God is verboten, an unwritten rule that’s NOT to be broken. (I broke the rule…. Oh, my….)

      The Bible is literally filled with such self-reinforcing nonsense, including the old chest-nut which every Xian relishes telling atheists with a tone of righteous indignation in their voices, quoting the Psalmist: “The fool in their heart says there is no God”.

      Like what ELSE would a collection of writings that claim to be divinely-inspired tell readers? “You know, atheists MAY just have a point, since gosh darn it, they’re correct! There’s not a shred of evidence indicating the existence of spiritual beings!” 🙂

      (PS you atheists, just forget about protesting with Matt 5:22, where Jesus says that whomever calls another person a fool is committing a sin deserving of fiery HELL. You KNOW you deserved it, and that’s the difference: if a Xian calls someone a fool with sufficient RIGHTEOUS anger in his voice, then he’ll be rewarded by God.

      It’s kind of like how the Boston Bombers had to be fueled by righteous indignation, KNOWING that what they were doing was RIGHT in the eyes of Allah when planting those bombs, to be rewarded with virgins in paradise.

      When will the World wake up, and realize they’re simply flip-sides of the same coin, with one camp believing in Ahuru Mazda, and the other fervently believing in Zeus?)

      • Umm.thats deep…but lets keep it short…..life is for now and eternity is forever so find comfort in all your worldly knowledge. Many will be deaf to those things which experience has blinded them from observing GOD,YWHW, or your creators hand in your life. If u have not been touched by the hand of GOD then you are like the wind unseen and blind to write for comfort or peace to sooth your ego. To act absent of ego is true spiritual deliverance which allows one to understand ones purpose in GODs universe.. You are entitled to all your comments and I find this to be a healthy discussion. You are indeed an example of how we live in time crisis which is similar to antediluvian. I will leave you with a few question:

        where did the Greeks go ? Where did those in Pompeii go? Where did the Aztecs go?Where did the true people of Egypt go 10000 years ago the kemetic people who first spoke of a virgin birth? I do not fear those things I don’t understand but pray I may be example of GODs existence through my own testimony. The good news Jesus speaks about is all you need know. Logic and Faith do not coincide you seem to be a very bright individual but you write things which you have learned from a man. These thoughts you read are meant to make you think. Obviously from your very deep and profound comments you should try looking up the Jewish tradition of midrash for any things you seek spiritual pretext to justify the oral tradition captured in the Book of Instructions Before Leaving Earth (ie. The Bible Dave) I have no more energy to give you for the lost will be lost but may this conversation be for all to observe and think. Don’t be like Cain (Dave) but learn there are two paths the way of Seth is always an option. Happy reading and best Amiel

      • Dave said that Scripture said that the “fear of the LORD” is the beginning of wisdom; and so, God is using fear as a threat. And he said that fear, the experts would tell us, cannot lead to acquisition of wisdom. What is NOT known to Dave is that this “fear of the LORD” was specifically defined for us, and is NOT the fear, as in the fear Dave understood it (which we of course, understand, too), but it is:

        To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech. Proverbs 8:13.

        King David understood it the same way, and this is what he said in Ps 34:11-14 – 11 Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD.12 Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, 13 keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies.14 Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.

        To be having the fear of the Lord is to hate what God hates – evil. God is holiness. God is a holy God; there is no evil in God and God hates evil. God is the most wise or Wisdom. So, if we want godly wisdom, if we embrace NOT the fear of the Lord or hate NOT, evil, none (no wisdom) can be had.

        Anthony Chia, high.expressions

  35. KT said:

    “Dave: Hope you look at Bible in a deeper, broader and more metaphorical way.”

    You CLEARLY must’ve missed my point, if you think I’m one to look at the accounts of the Bible as literal truths. Did you MISS the posts where I ranted against the Literalists Xians? For if there’s ANY value to be had in the OT/NT, it’s ONLY in reading it as a collection of ancient myths (and I’m not saying it’s completely devoid of ANY worth, just that it’s hard to find the good amongst the horrific homophobic/anti-disabled/misogynistic/pro-slavery archaic beliefs that have literally RETARDED the growth of morality in mankind for over 2,000 years).

    Unfortunately for us all, the RCC (Literalists) won control of Xianity in 400 CE, stomping out those pagan-inspired syncretic gnostics who saw Jesus NOT as a literal person, but simply as the retelling of the ancient myth of Dionysis/Osiris, a reincarnation (as it were) of the so-called “mystery religions”.

    “Years ago I struggled with the literal undrstanding of Bible. Russian author Dostevsky in his master piece Brother karmazov writes there is no miracle no mystery no authority in God.! Philip Yancey puts it beautifully ” God made himself weak for one purpose. to let human beings choose freely for themselves what to do with him.”

    All poetic, yes, but completely unscriptural sentiments that openly ignore what the “Good Book” has to say on the human condition.

    Genesis sets the tone quite clearly, where Adam and Eve show the consequences of disobeying God’s Divine Will and managed to break the ONE Divine law that they were given: “Don’t eat the wisdom-imparting fruit”.

    If God tells you NOT to do something, violating His Divine Will is NOT to be excused as an exercise of one’s own Free Will: you break God’s rule, and there WILL be consequences for sin. That’s the WHOLE POINT of the story of Eve’s pursuit of wisdom via thievery and disobedience (taking wisdom without God’s permission) vs doing what the young King Solomon did when approached by YHWH in a dream: he ASKED YHWH for wisdom, and God granted it to him.

    (BTW, the story of Adam and Eve raises an interesting logical conundrum that few literalists have ever considered:

    In Biblical reading, the antonym of ‘wise’ is ‘foolish’, so the implication is that if Adam and Eve were created by YHWH lacking in wisdom such that they’d desire to eat the fruit for the wisdom it could magically impart, then they were created as fools. So how can anyone claim they were created as “perfect” if they were lacking?

    (Note that Genesis itself NEVER claims they WERE created as “perfect”: that’s a later Xian insertion into the tale, just like “the Devil is actually the serpent” is also extra-scriptural eisegesis, reading an interpretation into a text that simply was not there initially.)

    John Van Seters has written a scholarly work on the subject, called “Prologue to History: The Yahwist as Historian in Genesis” where he makes a case for Genesis actually being a relatively late addition to the Torah, tacked on to the front as a prologue, setting the stage for the later laws that follow. I think he’s on to something: anyone who’s been to traffic school for speeding knows how the course always begins with photos of gruesome automobile accidents, as if to reinforce the importance of what follows. Same with Adam and Eve: they are the opening act that sets the stage for what happens when mortals don’t follow Divine wishes to a tee.

    KT said:

    “I believe Jesus did not die for our sin but by our sin. God resides in each of us, not a theistic guy up in the sky trying to punish us.”

    Yeah, the whole “God resides in each of us” line of thinking reeks of XIan gnostic beliefs, which permeates the NT in the “wise” words of Jesus (which weren’t his, eg Jesus’ ‘Golden Rule’ predated Jesus by 1,000 yrs, but most Xians wouldn’t know that, since they like to ignore historical evidence).

    Such concepts are likely present in the NT as a result of the infusion and influence with philosophers from India/Far East, who were introduced into the Ancient Near East AT LEAST by 500 BC under Persian Court of Darius (and likely even earlier).

    (Daniel’s account of “crazy” King Nebuchadnezzar rings of a ancient Indian religious practice, where humans would emulate the grazing of sacred cattle as part of their religious worship. Understanding that context, the account rings more like a polemic against Eastern religious influences in Babylon, and NOT the actions of an insane person who spontaneously started acting like a cow.)

    Thomas McEvilley (who died two months ago from cancer, at age 73) was an expert in the fields of Greek and Indian culture, history of religion and philosophy and art, and wrote a book on the evidence called, “The Shape of Ancient Thought: a Comparative Study of Greek and Indian Philosophies”. Highly recommended reading, as the evidence from art history is compelling to track the influence and cross-feeding of cultures.

    • I would suggest that there is merit in studying the Bible not to understand the mysterious intentions of an imaginary deity but rather to gain an insight into the minds of the people who conceived of that deity.

      Many of the characters described in the collected texts of the Old and New Testaments and many authors of the texts can then be seen as very likely suffering from a range of mental disorders, at least by today’s standards. A clinical assessment of the mental states of Cain, Abraham, Moses and others would lead to a description of them as tending toward being criminally insane.

      • What merit is there in studying a bunch of deranged, criminally insane men? if this is really what you believe, what draws you to a book that you feel is composed by mad men? The truth is we are all drawn to that mysterious deity whether by curiosity or seeking something much greater than we are. The Bible is filled with truths that can not be found any where else, that when followed draws one in even deeper to an understanding of the men and women who followed this imaginary friend or deity as you call Him, as well as the deity that they followed. For thousands of years man from all around the globe have sought out this deity and I will guarantee at one point or another, every one on earth will be in a position crying out to God begging him for help or protection. Why? If this deity is actually imaginary, why do we seek Him when suffering a strong significant emotional event?
        Lets just say you are wrong and their is this deity that so many of us call on is real, where does that leave you that don’t believe, that this deity is anything more than an imaginary friend? According to Paul, (you will find this criminally insane man in the New Testament) You who do not believe are fools. After reading and studying the Holy Bible for 35 years, combined with my own earthly experiences, I will go on the belief that this deity talked about in this book is real and very much alive. Besides that, I suppose I am not willing to take the chance of the consequences of not believing in this deity. For not believing in the God if the men of the bible, is death! being cast in to the lake of fire. Being separated from a god you do not believe in may not scare those who do not believe but to burn forever and ever? I have never died, I really don’t know about all of that, but think about it, “what if?……What if???? what if those criminally insane were right, and you are wrong????? Just a few thoughts to ponder next time you pick up that crazy book called the HOLY BIBLE. one more thing don’t let the religions of the world fool you about who the Real God of the Bible is, study Him for your self, don’t be lazy and expect others to tell you about God, learn about Him for your self. Stay out of church until you really know who God is! A “good” church may just ruin you before you ever get to know Him.

    • Dave : I commend you for your challenging thoughts. You do have the freedom to express, make fun of religions and God. I wish I was so clear like you on how things work in this world. As I get older I very much struggle trying to make sense of the world. Religion is opium to the world and to an extent I do believe.
      My basic question is how we define God , if we believe there is such an entity. I personally need God, you may call me that I am deluded.. I need Him just to say Thank you, I see life as a gift and that is why it is mostly good. Without gratitude I may live as a robot. I do not read Bible or the Indian epic Mahabharata literally. Metaphorically these have helped me to grow up and experience the world in a better way.
      I believe that God is not some theistic person sitting up in the sky. Bible was written by human beings explaining their personal experiences. God to me is love. Love does live in every one, it is the person who is aware of the presence of love and puts into practice
      knows God. Love is expressed only in freedom. The first of the 10 commandments is about The Lord bringing people out of slavery. This powerful. If do care please meditate on this and comment on it.

      • I read the Bible to help me gain patience in battling my ego. To remain cool calm and collected no matter what life throws at me. To know my path is set from faith from birth to death that’s what I seek when I read to see the hand of GOD in those written in the Bible. So when/if I meet my maker I can say thanks picking me up when u should have let me Go.

        He is a kind and forgiving GOD.

        Thought: There are struggles for everyone but together through collective discussion we can help each other and that is pleasing to the lord.

        I thank you all for sharing your thoughts,
        Amiel

        Ps. Amazing how short and sweet that is Dave. Join the discussion and be in fellowship with may we all grow to seek greater understanding to be the best of GODs children for life is short…and you will see him before u even know it. That’s called Goooood News….

  36. After all was said and discussed one should come away from this discussion with one thing clear. The words of the Bible come to each of us, who reads with an open mind and spirit, with a different understanding. The Holy Spirit will convict each of us with wisdom that can only be brought to the individual soul that will mold each of us to the person God wills us to be (if we listen with our spiritual ears). All to often we try to tell others what the bible says to us as individuals only to confuse the multitudes with a message meant only for the individual reading His word. As Paul pointed out in his letters to timothy (paraphrased) Don’t fight over meaningless words. I know I gained much wisdom and grater understanding of Gods Spirit by reading the posts of this blog, not because I agree with everything said, but rather by taking in others thoughts and comparing them with my own beliefs then thinking about what I have studied throughout the years and going back and re thinking/re reading what I read in the first place. The argument of spirituality has been going on for thousands of years, and it will continue for as long as man exists on this planet. Is the Holy Bible filled with truth? yes, Is it filled with wisdom? yes, will we all see and interpret it the same way? Absolutely not! And I know that if this book wasn’t important to God, and to humans the stories would have been laughed at and passed out of existence long ago and us humans would have found something else to keep our minds busy.
    May God Bless each of you who come to this blog with a greater understanding of Him and may the peace of God find all who read His word as it has found me.

  37. re: Cain v Abel, I ran across an interesting article which suggests Cain’s punishment was more consistent with God having found him guilty of manslaughter, and NOT murder; the punishment rendered serves as dramatic foreshadowing for the later ‘city of refuge’ system established in the Torah:

    http://awgue.weebly.com/why-did-god-seemingly-allow-cain-to-get-away-with-murder.html

    Dave

  38. It’s actually very complex in this busy life to listen news on TV,
    therefore I simply use internet for that purpose,
    and take the latest information.

    • It’s interesting that millions of people still give credence to the myths and legends of the ancient Hebrews. Every ancient society had it’s tales of angry, jealous and spiteful gods but these are all forgotten today except by people with special interests.
      But the old Hebrew tales of a narcissistic god, clumsily interfering in the lives of his favourite tribal group are still taken literally, even by many ‘educated’ people.
      We are an amazing species to be sure!

      • So what made you stop and write… I think YHWH did! We are all actors given a choice is all. The first hater of our species Cain. K.I.S (That’s hebrew too Amiel)

  39. Cain used a blemished animal, and fruit to sacrifice to the LORD…it was done an w/ impure heart.

  40. Here’s an article I wrote which makes the argument that Cain wasn’t guilty of murder, but manslaughter which is punished quite differently under later Mosaic Law, and the story of Cain and Abel attempts to foreshadow):

    http://awgue.weebly.com/why-did-god-seemingly-allow-cain-to-get-away-with-murder.html

    Adam

  41. Was their attitude about their sacrifice different?
    Able loved his lamb, a gift from God, belonging to God already, and ,like life, the lamb should return to God…

    Cain “earned” his produce, the fruit of his labor… I can almost hear him say “By the sweat of my brow, by the crook of my pack, by the calicoes of my hand do I do this… see, God, see the work of my hand!”

  42. I’m afraid that like most other Old Testament stories,
    the legend of Cain and Abel describes the Hebrew god as a psychopath, a monster, a creation of nightmare by deluded religious zealots.

    • The Hebrew god is much like all the others invented in the Middle East and elsewhere throughout history. Generally these gods, including YHWH, were extremely narcissistic e.g: ‘If you don’t love me I will punish you.’ All of them demanded blood sacrifices as proof of love.

      Outside of the Middle Eastern context, I think there may be a few examples of gods who were not bloodthirsty in some ancient Indian and Chinese religions.

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