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By Frank and Mary Hoffman - 25 Sep 2012
Thank you for your questions. This in one of the most perplexing passages in the Bible, and one that has stirred up a lot of controversy.
First of all, we don’t believe the intent of this passage has anything to do with the offerings, but rather the attitudes of the Cain and Abel toward God.
We have heard arguments that this verse was scrambled when the Bible was put together by Ezra and the other priests ca. 400 BCE. Others have argued that the Hebrew word for fat is the same one used for milk or the fat of the milk, which would mean that no animals died.
You also pointed out that the descendants of Cain also were herdsmen, which is opposite of what one would expect, giving credence to the theory of the reversing of the names. Additionally, the descendants of Cain were also considered ungodly.
So, in our opinion, we cannot base any doctrine on these verses, and must resort back to God’s original intent of us eating only plant foods, which is also God’s heavenly will.
We hope this helps.
In the Love of the Lord,
Frank and Mary