Two Different Brothers: Cain and Abel, after the Narrative of Gen. 4

1 September 2012

The story of this first „fratricide” is one of those biblical stories that have left a profound effect in our intellectual history. This applies both for art and for literature. As Judas is seen as the type of the „traitor”, Cain is the type of the „murderer” and Abel the type of the „victim”. The evaluation of the brother pair follows the classic pattern of good and evil, black and white. Thus, Cain is regarded as the incarnation of „evil”, while Abel is the „righteous” one.
The sacrifice of one is accepted, that of the other is rejected. This is a normal experience in the human life. There are times of blessing and happiness as well times of unsuccessfulness and of failure. The only question is how the man deals with these different experiences. After the murder, Cain is expelled from the arable land, his old home and living environment. He is not a „fugitive and wanderer” on earth, but he founded a city and with it the beginnings of civilized culture. There is a high anthropology in narrative form, which are us told in the first chapters of the Bible and we are convinced that it hasn’t lost its power until today.

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