Cain and Abel | Bible Story

Cain and Abel

After God created the first man Adam and woman Eve, He placed them in the beautiful Garden of Eden. God gave them one command – they could eat from any tree except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. But tragically, Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating the one forbidden fruit.

Because of their sin of disobedience, God punished Adam and Eve by banishing them from the perfect garden paradise. He told Eve that she would have great pain in childbirth, and Adam would have to toil and work the ground to grow food amid thorns and thistles. Sin had now entered the world, causing death to reign where once there was only life.

Even so, God did not abandon Adam and Eve entirely. He promised that one day Eve’s descendant would crush the head of the evil serpent who had deceived them. God then made coverings of animal skin for Adam and Eve, showing His mercy and foreshadowing the blood sacrifice that would be required to cover their sin.

Despite the pain of childbirth God warned about, Eve became pregnant and gave birth to her first child – a son whom she named Cain, which means “acquired,” saying “With the Lord’s help, I have acquired a son!” Some time later, Eve had another son and named him Abel.

As the two boys grew up, they chose very different paths in life. Cain became a farmer and worked the soil, growing crops. Abel became a shepherd and raised livestock like sheep and cattle.

One day, Cain brought some of the crops and produce he had grown as an offering to God. Abel also made an offering to God, but he sacrificed from the firstborn of his flocks, giving the first and best lamb to the Lord.

God was pleased with Abel and his offering because Abel gave with a humble and obedient heart. But He did not look with favor on Cain’s offering, because Cain did not give with a right heart attitude toward God.

When Cain realized God did not accept his offering like He did Abel’s, he became extremely angry and jealous toward his brother Abel. Cain’s face burned red with anger and his expression looked bitter and resentful.

God saw Cain’s heart filled with rage and warned him, “Why are you so angry? If you do what is right, won’t you be accepted? But if you refuse to do right, sin is crouching at the door, waiting to control you. You must master it!”

Despite God’s loving warning, Cain did not listen or heed God’s counsel. Instead of humbling himself before the Lord, his jealousy and anger only grew worse toward Abel.

One day when Abel was out tending his flocks, Cain lured him out to a field, planning to do something terrible. Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field together.”

Once they were alone out in the field, Cain’s burning rage could no longer be contained. In a fit of violent jealousy, Cain attacked his own brother Abel and killed him, bludgeoning him to death mercilessly.

After Cain had committed this horrific act, the Lord asked him, “Where is your brother Abel?”

Cain lied to God, saying, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?”

But God saw right through Cain’s lies and deceit. He said to Cain, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground!”

Because of his dreadful sin, God punished Cain by cursing him and the ground he farmed so it would no longer yield good crops for him. Cain would be a restless wanderer on the earth from that point on.

Cain cried out in dismay at how severe the punishment was. He said to God, “My punishment is too great to bear! Today you have driven me off the face of the earth, and I will be a restless wanderer. Whoever finds me will kill me!”

But God was still merciful to Cain in spite of his wickedness. He placed a mark on Cain as a warning so that no one would kill him while he wandered the earth as a fugitive.

So Cain went out from the Lord’s presence and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden. He had children and grandchildren who settled in that region and formed the first cities and civilizations as their family line grew.

Meanwhile, Adam and Eve were heartbroken over what Cain had done to his brother Abel. God granted them another son to help comfort them in their grief over Abel’s tragic death. They named this new son Seth, saying “God has granted me another child in place of Abel.”

Seth also had sons of his own, and from his righteous family line eventually came many generations leading all the way to the birth of Jesus, the Messiah, who would take away the curse of sin and death.

Though Abel’s life was unfairly cut short by his brother’s hand, God honored Abel’s obedient and faithful heart by receiving his sacrifice. The Bible says that by faith Abel still speaks, even after death.

Sin had entered the world through Adam and Eve’s disobedience, and its poisonous effects quickly multiplied as Cain murdered Abel out of jealousy and rage. Hatred, violence, and death now stained humanity.

But despite mankind’s escalating wickedness, God was already paving the way for a Rescuer and Redeemer – the promised seed of the woman who would one day crush the serpent’s head and defeat sin once and for all.