Cain’s tattoo

Adam and Eve settled in a wilderness on high ground, a far cry from the land they first knew. In time, Eve bore two sons: Cain the farmer, and Abel the shepherd.

As a gesture of faith in God’s provision, each son would offer part of their yield on an altar as a sacrifice. Cain would throw together an indiscriminate mix of berries and greens and scatter them upon the unwrought stone. Abel, on the other hand, would take from the firstborn of his flocks, cut the choicest sections of meat from the bone, and burn the flesh down to a charred powder.

Abel’s sacrifice pleased God, so he blessed him with healthy flocks and herds. But Cain’s offering, being no sacrifice at all, was utterly ignored. In time, his produce became diseased and ravaged by insects.

God asked a sulking Cain, “If you offer your best to me, will you not be blessed?”

Cain brooded over the condition of his crops versus his brother’s sturdy herds. The next time they walked together in the fields, Cain seized a blunt object and snuffed out Abel’s life.

God haunted Cain’s dreams, asking him, “What have you done with Abel.”

“When did I become my brother’s designated guardian?” Cain asked as he writhed in a bed of cold sweat.

But a dark shadow emerged, and Abel’s drying blood cast a spell on the fields. The stained soil would no longer produce a yield for the murderous farmer, so Cain became a wandering nomad with a price on his head.

When Cain finally begged for God’s help, he was met with tender mercy. “If anyone kills you,” God promised, “I will give punish them with a multiple of seven.” God put an identifiable mark on the outcast to deter anyone from messing with him, and Cain settled in the land of Nod.

His lineage brought forth some of the earliest civilized people, including shepherds who lived in made-made structures, musicians, and smiths.

God eventually blessed Adam and Eve with another son, Seth. Seth’s family line brought forth godly men like Enoch, who mysteriously vanished into thin air one day while walking with God. But before he vanished, he had a great-grandson named Noah.

Inspiration: Genesis 4

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