The elder son of Adam and Eve. Cain offered fruits of the earth (he was a farmer) to the Lord, but they were rejected; whereas his brother Abel offered meat, which was accepted (Gen. 4). How the verdict was signalled is not described, or why. Possibly the author has in mind a preference for a nomadic to a settled way of life. In Cain's subsequent murder of Abel some commentators have discerned a hint of an ancient belief that a human sacrifice enhanced the fertility of the soil. Heb. 11: 4 suggests that Abel was favoured because of his superior goodness and faith.
Subjects: Biblical Studies.