I’ve been continuing to read Genesis…
After the twisting of humanity, we’re presented with a story of humanity outside the garden, having to herd animals and till the soil to provide for themselves. One human, who we know as Cain, is a horticulturalist and his brother, who we know as Abel, is an animal herder.
Here the deity is called YHWH, and the two brothers bring their produce as a sacrifice, but YHWH is only pleased with the fat meat that Abel brings. YHWH won’t look at the vegetables that Cain brought, and so Cain’s face falls in response… What I notice is that there is a focus on the directions of YHWH’s and Cain’s faces. Both of them look away.
YHWH asks Cain, ‘Why is your face fallen?’
Despite the rupture, there isn’t a presumption of sin. YHWH is warning Cain that sin is at the door, but says that Cain has to master it. We probably know how the story goes, but there’s no presumption that Cain’s nature is sinful because of the twisting.
Cain the vegetable-farmer kills Abel the animal-herder, in a field. Was it a pasture for Abel’s livestock? Was it a field that Cain had planted? Was it as field of vegetables that Cain had grown, but which Abel’s herds had eaten and gotten fat on?
Who owns Abel’s herds now?