Genesis 4:5 – Bible Commentary

Genesis 4:5 – Bible Commentary
but for Cain and for his offering He had no regard. So Cain became very angry and his countenance fell.

Genesis 4:5 Bible Commentary
Genesis 4:5 Bible Commentary

Since neither Cain or his offering was acceptable to God here in Genesis 4:5, it seems that our comment for Genesis 4:3 might be close to the truth. Cain didn’t have true faith.

Let’s look at two possibilities: Why did the Lord look favorably upon Abel’s offering and not upon Cain’s?

After all, they both brought the best of what they had. But what was the difference?

Let’s look at two possibilities: The first is the Lord had previously shown their parents about accountability. From later traditions and the Law, if people sinned, they should bring a blood offering before the Lord, that the soul of the innocent animal might atone for their souls. (Leviticus 17:11) God’s requirement was not only to emphasize their accountability to Him, but also to the animals, of whom they had charge. Their sins would bring death either to themselves or to the animals. And just as they feared for their own lives, they should also fear for the animals’ lives; thus, it should restrain them from sinning. Abel, in his heart, could have said, “Lord forgive me, for I have sinned.” But in this Genesis 4 passage there is no mention of “blood” or “sin”. Furthermore, this “requirement” did not come about for years into the future.

The second possible answer is that Abel was accountable to the Lord, and said in his heart and soul, “everything I have is yours, Lord”, because he knew that without the Lord, he had nothing of value. On the other hand, Cain might have been saying, “See, Lord, what I have produced with my own effort.” In such a case, Cain would have been accountable only to himself, but desired the approval of the Lord and of his family.

Thus he became angry when he didn’t receive the praise he desired, which I believe is the true meaning of this passage.

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