Eve, “Mother Of All,” bore two sons: Cain, a farmer, and Abel, a shepherd. As a seasonal gesture of faith in God’s provision, each would offer their sacrifice on an altar. Cain would throw together an indiscriminate mix of berries and greens and scatter them upon the cold stone. Abel 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.
Naturally, Abel’s sacrifice pleased God, but Cain’s offering, being no sacrifice at all, was ignored. God spoke to a sulking Cain, saying, “You can do your best and be happy in life, or cut corners and be ruled by imperfections. Laziness is easy to master, but it’s a sure path to misery.”
Cain considered all this and made his choice. The next time he and Abel walked together in the fields, Cain seized a blunt object and slayed his brother with it. When God asked what happened, Cain deflected, asking, “When did I become my brother’s designated guardian?”
But Abel cried out from the grave and cast a curse on the fields with his drying blood. The stained red soil would no longer produce a yield for the farmer, so Cain became a nomad with a price on his head.
When the murdering outcast finally begged for God’s help, he was met with tender mercy. “If anyone kills you,” God promised, “I will punish them seven times worse.” God put an identifiable mark on Cain to deter anyone from killing 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, who brought forth many descendants, including a man named Enoch, who walked with God until he vanished into thin air.
Inspiration: Genesis 4