Cain and Able

English Language Study for Russian Orthodox Learners

Cain and Abel

01CainAbelCain and Abel were the sons of the first people, Adam and Eve.  Cain, the older brother, worked on the land.  Abel took care of sheep.

They once brought offerings to the Lord.  Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground, and Abel brought of the firstlings of his flock. (Genesis 4:3-4)  Abel was pure of heart, and God accepted his gift.  But He did not take Cain’s offering.  Cain became very angry.  God told him, “If you do well, will you not be accepted?  And if you do not do well, sin is couching at the door.” (4:7)  God also told Cain that he must rid himself of sin.  This sin was envy.

Cain did not listen to the Lord, and soon envy overcame him.  When Cain and Abel were in the field, Cain killed his brother.  That was the first murder.

Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” (4:9)  Cain then committed another sin: he lied to God.  He said, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?” (4:9)

For his evil deeds Cain was punished.  God made him a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth.  Cain said, “My punishment is greater than I can bear.” (4:13)

Envy is a terrible vice.  It makes a person have bad thoughts, and bad thoughts can lead to evil deeds.  With God’s help, and the power of prayer, we can rid ourselves of envy if it hides in us.