Why was Cain's offering rejected by God?

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posthuman

Senior Member
Jul 31, 2013
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#21
Was Cain the first vegetarian?

Oy vey!
i'd say Adam was ;)

from Genesis 9:3 it seems like we can infer that previous to the flood God had only approved plants as food, and then from Noah until 'kosher' distinctions were made through Moses, every animal was approved to eat.
 

posthuman

Senior Member
Jul 31, 2013
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#23
Forgive me, but you are on a wild goose chase here. From the beginning God has been demonstrating that unless there is a shedding of blood there is no forgiveness for sins. And Cain's rejected sacrifice is one of those teachings.
hmm should we presume Cain & Abel's offerings were purposed for forgiveness of sin, tho?
that's neither explicit nor clearly implicit in the account
 

crossnote

Senior Member
Nov 24, 2012
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#24
Both faith and blood were involved in obedience.

Similarly, by faith the Israelites applied the blood to their door lintels.
 

Bob0matiC

New member
Jan 12, 2019
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#25
He didn't put his heart in it. It never mattered what the sacrifice was but cain really didn't care if it pleased God he just did what he had to do. Everybody knows it's the thought that counts.
 

crossnote

Senior Member
Nov 24, 2012
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#26
He didn't put his heart in it. It never mattered what the sacrifice was but cain really didn't care if it pleased God he just did what he had to do. Everybody knows it's the thought that counts.

They say the road to hell is lined with 'good intentions'.
 

posthuman

Senior Member
Jul 31, 2013
36,306
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#27
hmm should we presume Cain & Abel's offerings were purposed for forgiveness of sin, tho?
that's neither explicit nor clearly implicit in the account
if these weren't analogous to the sin or guilt offerings in the Law, but instead as the thanksgiving or free-will offerings described there, then the lack of the presence of blood would be in some ways moot, even if it's significant by way of typology -- just like what PennEd pointed out about Cain's offering being associated with the work of his hands vs. Abel's being representative of God's work ((in 'opening the matrix')) -- these are typologically important but not necessarily comprehensive in explaining the fundamental reason why Cain's offering was rejected.
 

posthuman

Senior Member
Jul 31, 2013
36,306
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#28
cain really didn't care if it pleased God he just did what he had to do
hmm

. . but on Cain and his offering He did not look with favor, so Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.
Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast?"
(Genesis 4:5-6)

why is Cain angry and downcast if he doesn't care if his sacrifice is pleasing or not?
seems to me if he's truly ambivalent about how his offering was received, he wouldn't be upset.
 

Sketch

Well-known member
Nov 1, 2018
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#29
I think it was because Abel's offering was a blood sacrifice.
Yup, that's the standard answer.
So, was Cain condemned for working the soil rather than keeping a flock?
What first fruits could he bring from his labor that would satisfy a blood sacrifice?
Did God say that was the problem?
 
Dec 12, 2013
46,515
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#30
Hebrews 11

Abel's offering pointed at and proved FAITH

Cain's offering was NOT out of FAITH

We cannot alleviate that both Adam and Eve understood the promise in Genesis 3:15, nor can we alleviate the fact that GOD had already set the standard when he KILLED the animals, shed BLOOD and COVERED Adam and EVE's shame and nakedness which RESTORED fellowship with God. Abel OBVIOUSLY had understanding in that 1st sacrifice which covered shame, sin and nakedness and OFFERED BLOOD in faith..........
 

Sketch

Well-known member
Nov 1, 2018
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#31
Hello Sketch,

Forgive me, but you are on a wild goose chase here. From the beginning God has been demonstrating that unless there is a shedding of blood there is no forgiveness for sins. And Cain's rejected sacrifice is one of those teachings.

This was first demonstrated when Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating from the forbidden tree. When God found them in the garden they had sewn together fig leaves to cover themselves. However, God went out and made animal skins for them, demonstrating the need for the shedding of innocent blood to cover their sin.

This truth is further demonstrated within the law that God gave to Moses for Israel in all of the different animal sacrifices. This teaching of the shedding of blood for the remission of sin was of course pointing to the ultimate sacrifice, the shed blood of our Lord.

So getting back to your post, the very reason that Cain's offering was rejected was because there was no shedding of blood, but was offering the works of his hands, i.e. by his own efforts. Consequently, unless their is a shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. We are saved, not by our own works, as was with the case with Cain, but by trusting in Christ as the One who shed His blood on behalf of every believer.
Yup, that's the standard answer.
Are you claiming that Abel didn't bring an offering of the work of his hands?

Was Cain condemned for working the soil rather than keeping a flock?
What first fruits could he bring from his labor that would satisfy a blood sacrifice?
Did God say that was the problem?
 

Sketch

Well-known member
Nov 1, 2018
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#32
Hebrews 11

Abel's offering pointed at and proved FAITH

Cain's offering was NOT out of FAITH

We cannot alleviate that both Adam and Eve understood the promise in Genesis 3:15, nor can we alleviate the fact that GOD had already set the standard when he KILLED the animals, shed BLOOD and COVERED Adam and EVE's shame and nakedness which RESTORED fellowship with God. Abel OBVIOUSLY had understanding in that 1st sacrifice which covered shame, sin and nakedness and OFFERED BLOOD in faith..........
Is there anything in the text of the Cain and Abel account to indicate that a blood requirement was the problem?
 

posthuman

Senior Member
Jul 31, 2013
36,306
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#33
hmm

. . but on Cain and his offering He did not look with favor, so Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.
Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast?"
(Genesis 4:5-6)

why is Cain angry and downcast if he doesn't care if his sacrifice is pleasing or not?
seems to me if he's truly ambivalent about how his offering was received, he wouldn't be upset.
now we have a link to a certain rich, young man in the NT, whose face was also downcast by the reception of what he 'offered' ((re: Matthew 19:22, Mark 10:22)) -- if Cain really had not brought the firstfruits, or the 'best' of the crop he had raised, then we also have a typological correlation with how this man had given his 'efforts' to God ((in that he had kept the Law from his youth, at least according to his own estimation)), but in a sense his heart was given to his earthly wealth.

the connection of wealth brings us back to Balaam ((re: Jude 1:11)) and also to Korah if we conflate riches with the power/leadership position that he was seeking to usurp from Moses ((Numbers 16)). even though Balaam was wroth to pronounce anything God had not spoken, he was willing to seek out a way to bring a curse on what God blessed, for the sake of lucre. comparatively, Cain, if he indeed kept back the best/first of the fruit of his labor in the fields for himself, would have been exhibiting covetousness in a similar way, a sin which eventually expressed itself in murder.
 

Sketch

Well-known member
Nov 1, 2018
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#34
Hebrews 11 says, By faith Abel offered up a more excellent sacrifice than Cain...the Scripture says by faith...faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God. I believe God told those boys what sacrifice was pleasing to Him. It was a blood sacrifice of a lamb. Abel obeyed, Cain did not. It was not a guessing game.
Where is that indicated in the text?
So, was Cain condemned for working the soil rather than keeping a flock?
 

Sketch

Well-known member
Nov 1, 2018
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#35
There were various grain offerings in the bible...
Right.
I don't think the type of offering was the issue. It was the attitude.
Abel brought the best, Cain brought "some".
 

Sketch

Well-known member
Nov 1, 2018
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#37
now we have a link to a certain rich, young man in the NT, whose face was also downcast by the reception of what he 'offered' ((re: Matthew 19:22, Mark 10:22)) -- if Cain really had not brought the firstfruits, or the 'best' of the crop he had raised, then we also have a typological correlation with how this man had given his 'efforts' to God ((in that he had kept the Law from his youth, at least according to his own estimation)), but in a sense his heart was given to his earthly wealth.

the connection of wealth brings us back to Balaam ((re: Jude 1:11)) and also to Korah if we conflate riches with the power/leadership position that he was seeking to usurp from Moses ((Numbers 16)). even though Balaam was wroth to pronounce anything God had not spoken, he was willing to seek out a way to bring a curse on what God blessed, for the sake of lucre. comparatively, Cain, if he indeed kept back the best/first of the fruit of his labor in the fields for himself, would have been exhibiting covetousness in a similar way, a sin which eventually expressed itself in murder.
This reminded me of the mention of the city of Cain. (Enoch)

Genesis 4:17
Cain made love to his wife, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Enoch. Cain was then building a city, and he named it after his son Enoch.
 
Dec 12, 2013
46,515
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#39
Where is that indicated in the text?
So, was Cain condemned for working the soil rather than keeping a flock?
I will answer both this and post 32.....

Was the lamb cursed?

Was the ground cursed?

I can only go by what seems obvious.....Abel's was of faith and throughout the whole O.T. the blood points to Christ......

We also KNOW this whole concept of Genesis 3:15, what happened in the garden with the animal killed and shed blood to cover Adam and Eve's shame as well as Abel's offering of blood in faith was the course set by GOD.......How can I say this.......?

One might say......there is NO indication that God required a blood sacrifice and I will respond....How did Noah know, or WHY did NOAH take 7 sets of clean on the ark for purpose of sacrifice and why did he build a altar and make an offering of blood and fat after the Ark came to rest and they got off.....

BECAUSE God set the standard with Adam and Eve, it was carried through by Abel and continued after the flood with Noah, then with Abraham, then with Moses and the Passover, then by the LAW and finally culminating in Christ.......through and through the bible points to the blood sacrifice for sin and GOD seeing the blood applied and passing over in judgment......
 

John146

Senior Member
Jan 13, 2016
16,413
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#40
Where is that indicated in the text?
So, was Cain condemned for working the soil rather than keeping a flock?
Certainly Cain was not condemned for working the soil, but for the wrong sacrifice. Again, Scripture says that by faith Abel offered up a more excellent sacrifice. Faith come by hearing from God. It’s not guess work when it comes to pleasing the Lord. God must have said what they must do. Abel obeyed, Cain did not.