WHO WAS CAIN AFRAID OF WHEN HE KILLED ABEL?
By George O.N
While I was in National Open University of Nigeria, Awka. I was approached by some group of students in my department. They have been arguing on the existence of God. When they met me, I was confronted with a question “if indeed the bible is true, whom was CAIN afraid of? Since it was only Cain, Abel, Adam and Eve?” I hesitated for a while because the same issue was brought up in my secondary school days at Winners International College. Thanks to God for his word, I showed them the answers from the scriptures.
This is one of the many questions that people have asked! Some have even discredited the scriptures by saying it is a pile of folktales! Well, today we will be seeing the answers from the bible itself!
First of all, I want us to understand that the bible was not written as a history book! The bible is the word of God and whatever it contains is what we need. Sometimes, people seems to be looking for answers outside the bible but truth is that anything the bible cannot answer, no other person can give you the answers! In my previous post concerning Noah’s Ark, we discovered that everything was not written down because the entire world cannot contain it! (John 21:25). The ones that was written down were things that contains the exact message God wants to pass down to us!
Having said the above, the frequent mention and the focus on CAIN and ABEL was not because they were the first children of Adam and Eve (the bible didn’t say they were) nor because they were the only children at that time! The bible talked about them because there were roles they played and we needed to learn from that role! When you study the genealogy of Adam, you’ll understand that some persons featured so well in the bible, some others were just mentioned and many others were not disclosed! We only knew them as “other Children”.
Surprisingly, Genesis 5 did not mention Abel and Cain as descents of Adam. It only mentioned Seth! We must also note that verse 4 of Genesis 5 does not mean that “Adam had other Children after 800 years or after Seth” we must understand the wordings there. The sentence came after a full stop, we can authoritatively put it this way “Adam lived more 800 years after the birth of Seth. Adam was a father of many children”… With this better understanding, we can say that Adam was a father of many children before and after Seth. Seth was mentioned in the bible because he was a chosen replacement of Abel!
It is also safe to suggest that Cain was married! In verse 17 of Genesis 4, the bible said ” Cain HAD a son…” We were not told if it was before the death of Abel or after the death of Abel. So if Cain was married with children, how can Adam and Eve not have many children even before Cain and Abel? We must remember that they were the first partakers of God’s blessings in multiplication! God said in Genesis 1:28 “Have many children, so that your descendants will live all over the earth and bring it under their control”… The strength to make babies was better than what is obtainable now! Then it was relevant!
In Genesis 4:13-14 , shortly after Cain killed his brother Abel, “Cain said to the LORD, ‘My punishment is more than I can bear. Today you are driving me from the land, and I will be hidden from your presence; I will be a restless wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.’”
This is the usual question? Who exactly was CAIN AFRAID of? The only people the book of Genesis had mentioned to this point are Adam and Eve (Cain’s parents) and Abel (who was now dead). Who should it be that will rise against Cain? Some people argued that there were other humans God created who were not meant to function in the garden of Eden… That is not true. Even if it was true, why should they be revenging against someone they don’t have any dealing with?
It is important to recognize that Cain and Abel were both full-grown adults at the time that Cain killed Abel. Both Cain and Abel were farmers, who tended to their own lands and flocks (Genesis 4:2-4 ). The Bible does not tell us how old Cain and Abel were because their age might not be of importance to us! The Bible was not specific about Adam and Eve having any children between Abel and Seth (Genesis 4:25 ).
However, it is highly unlikely that the two most perfect human beings in the history of the world, Adam and Eve, would not have any children over several decades. Adam and Eve had ( Genesis 5:4 ), so why would they not also have had other children between Abel and Seth? The Bible does not say that Seth was Adam and Eve’s first child, or even first son, after Abel was killed. Rather, it states that Seth was born as a “replacement” for Abel. Genesis chapter 5 traces the genealogy of Seth.
Before his death, Abel was likely the son whom God talked about, through whom the “seed” that will bruise the serpents head shall come from (Genesis 3:15 ). It is in this sense that Seth “replaced” Abel.
Now, we can certainly see why Cain was afraid. Cain was afraid of his own brothers, sisters, nephews, and nieces, who were already born and would be capable of seeking revenge. The fact that Cain had a wife ( Genesis 4:17 ) is an evidence that Adam and Eve had other children (perhaps before and) after Cain and Abel. The bible even mentioned the son of Cain before going further to talk about Seth! In Genesis 4:24, Lamech, grand child of Cain talked about Cain’s deed and likened it to his own killing! That means Enoch, the son of Cain was old enough when his father killed Abel. Enoch must have passed down the story to his children.
I strongly believe this have answered the question correctly on “Who was Cain afraid of?”
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