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Genesis 4:7 "If you do well, will not [your countenance] be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it."

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Genesis 4:8 >

      7. If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted?--A better rendering is, "Shalt thou not have the excellency"? which is the true sense of the words referring to the high privileges and authority belonging to the first-born in patriarchal times.
      sin lieth at the door--sin, that is, a sin offering--a common meaning of the word in Scripture (as in Ho 4:8; 2Co 5:21; Heb 9:28). The purport of the divine rebuke to Cain was this, "Why art thou angry, as if unjustly treated? If thou doest well (that is, wert innocent and sinless) a thank offering would have been accepted as a token of thy dependence as a creature. But as thou doest not well (that is, art a sinner), a sin offering is necessary, by bringing which thou wouldest have met with acceptance and retained the honors of thy birthright." This language implies that previous instructions had been given as to the mode of worship; Abel offered through faith (Heb 11:4).
      unto thee shall be his desire--The high distinction conferred by priority of birth is described (Ge 27:29); and it was Cain's conviction, that this honor had been withdrawn from him, by the rejection of his sacrifice, and conferred on his younger brother--hence the secret flame of jealousy, which kindled into a settled hatred and fell revenge.


Questions Related to this Verse

Where in Scripture does it mention the history of Abel, the Son of Adam?

Where in scripture does it mention the punishment of the Wicked?

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Genesis 4 Images and Notes

Brief Summary: Eve gives birth to Cain and Abel, The bring their offerings to the LORD, Cain brought the work of his hands and was rejected, Abel brought a burnt offering and it was accepted, Cain slays Abel and is cursed by the LORD, who also sets a mark upon him to protect him, the children of men multiply upon the earth, Adam begets Seth, and Seth begats Enos.

Genesis Chapter 4

Genesis 4:4 - And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering:

Cain and Abel present their Offerings (Genesis 4:1-5)
The Lord Speaks with Cain (Genesis 4:6-7)
Cain's Rebellion and Curse (Genesis 4:8-15)
The First Civilization (Genesis 4:16-24)
Seth and the Messianic Line (Genesis 4:25-26)

1 The Birth, Lives, And Religion Of Cain And Abel
8 The Murder Of Abel By Cain
11 The Curse Spoken To Cain.
17 Enoch The First City
19 Lamech And His Two Wives
25 The Birth Of Seth
26 The Birth Of Enos

Painting of Cain and Abel
Cain and Abel by Dore
Painting of Cain and Abel Offering their Sacrifices by Gustave Dore

Genesis 4:2-4: Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering:


Sumerian Sacrifices

Sumerian Cylinder Seal Depicting Sacrifices

Sumerian Cylinder Seal Depicting Sacrificial Offerings from about 3000 BC.

Genesis 4:21: And his brother's name [was] Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ.


Sumerian Musicians

Sumerian Musicians on Relief

Sumerian bas relief depicting musicians playing various instruments. The steatite relief was excavated at ancient Adab, a city of ancient Sumer. The bas relief dates back to around 3000 BC. There are two harp players, a drummer, a trumpet player, and a conducter with a leaf baton.

Genesis 4:21: And Zillah, she also bare Tubalcain, an instructer of every artificer in brass and iron: and the sister of Tubalcain [was] Naamah.


Copper Weapons

Copper Mace Heads from Beersheba

Copper Mace Heads from Beersheba 3000 BC Period. Scholars refer to this time period as the Chalcolithic Age from the Greek words chalkos (copper) and lithos (stone) because copper and stone were used together. The ability to extract metals was an important technological advancement in the history of civilization.

Topics for Discussion

Adam and Eve
The Land of Nod
The Word Begat
The first City

Map of the Table of Nations

Quick Reference Map
Quick Reference Map of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers
Map of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers (Click to Enlarge)

The Old Testament

The Old Testament

Genesis Resources

Adam and Eve
The Flood
The Tower of Babel
Abraham the First Hebrew
Isaac, Son of Promise
Jacob and the 12 Tribes
Joseph and Egypt