Why Did Cain Kill Abel in Bible? (Chapter 4)

Abel and Cain are the first two sons of Adam and Eve, as per the biblical Book of Genesis. But why did Cain kill Abel is the question we are trying to answer here.

Cain and Abel made sacrifices to Yahweh with each of their produce but lore says that Yahweh favored Abel’s sacrifice over Cain’s. Cain then killed Abel, upon which Yahweh punished Cain by convicting him to a life of wandering.

Cain, the firstborn, was a farmer while his younger brother Abel was a shepherd. The account of the brothers’ martyr’s clues at the supremacy of the firstborn:

Over time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground, and Abel for his part brought of the firstlings of his flock, their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering, but for Cain and his offering, he had no regard. (Gen 4:3-5)

How did Cain kill Abel?

According to ancient religious texts, a devil appeared to Cain and ordered him to take revenge from Abel. The Devil whispered to Cain: “Hit Abel’s head with a stone and kill him”. After the murder, the devil rushed to Eve yelling: “Eve! Cain has murdered Abel!”.

How did Cain kill Abel
How did Cain kill Abel?

Later, Yahweh punished Cain by convicting him to a life of nomadic wandering. Then he lived in the land of Nod (נוֹד, “wandering”), where he made a city and got the line of children starting with Enoch.

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The tale never openly states Cain’s reason for killing his brother, nor Yahweh’s purpose for refusing Cain’s sacrifice, nor facts on the character of Cain’s wife.

Some customary analyses consider Cain to be the creator of sinful, ferocity, or greed. According to Genesis, Cain was the 1st human born and Abel was the 1st to die.

Family Tree of the Line of Cain

Based on the readings of various Biblical and non-Biblical texts below is the family tree of the line of Cain.

Family Tree
Family Tree: Important to Understand How did Cain kill Abel?

Genesis Narrative and Translation notes

Cain led Abel to death, by James Tissot, c. 1900. As per Genesis Chapter 4 (4:1-18), Cain killed Abel and its consequences are explained in the book.

Genesis Narrative and Translation notes
Genesis Narrative and Translation notes “Cain Kill Abel”

(Translation and notes from Robert Alter, “The Five Books of Moses”):

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And the human knew Eve his woman and she conceived and bore Cain, and she said, “I have got me a man with the Lord.”

And she bore as well his brother Abel, and Abel became a herder of sheep while Cain was a tiller of the soil.

And it happened in the time that Cain brought from the fruit of the soil an offering to the Lord.

And Abel too had brought from the choice firstlings of his flock, and the Lord regarded Abel and his offering but did not regard Cain and his offering.

And Cain was very incensed, and his face fell. And the Lord said to Cain,

“Why are you incensed,

and why is your face fallen?

For whether you offer well,

or whether you do not,

at the tent flap sin crouches

and for you is its longing,

but you will rule over it.”

Video: Why did Cain kill Abel? (Complete Story)

And Cain said to Abel his brother, “Let us go out to the field,” and when they were in the field Cain rose against Abel his brother and killed him. (Cain kills Abel)

And the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother? And he said, “I do not know: am I my brother’s keeper?”

And He said, “What have you done? Listen! your brother’s blood cries out to me from the soil.

And so, cursed shall you be by the soil that gaped with its mouth to take your brother’s blood from your hand.

If you till the soil, it will no longer give you strength. A restless wanderer shall you be on the earth.”

And Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is too great to bear. Now that You have driven me this day from the soil I must hide from Your presence, I shall be a restless wanderer on the earth and whoever finds me will kill me.”

And the Lord said to him, “Therefore whoever kills Cain shall suffer a seven-fold vengeance.” And the Lord set a mark upon Cain so that whoever found him would not slay him. (Story when Cain kills Abel)

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And Cain went out from the Lord’s presence and dwelled in the land of Nod east of Eden.

And Cain knew his wife and she conceived and bore Enoch. Then he became the builder of a city and he called the name of the city like his son’s name, Enoch.

4:1The Hebrew verb “knew” implies intimate or sexual knowledge, along with possession. The name “Cain”, which means “smith”, resembles the verb translated as “gotten” but also possibly meaning “to make”.
4:2Abel’s name could be associated with “vapour” or “puff of air”.
4:8“Let us go out to the field” does not appear in the Masoretic Text, but is found in other versions including the Septuagint and Samaritan Pentateuch.
4:9The phrase traditionally translated “am I my brother’s keeper?” is Hebrew “Hă-šōmêr ’āḥî ’ānōḵî” “Keeper” is from the verb Shamar (שמר), “guard, keep, watch, preserve.”
4:10 – 12Cain is cursed min-ha-adamah, from the earth, being the same root as “man” and Adam.
Cain Kill Abel as per the Bible

What did God say to Cain?

This upturn of roles adds gravity to Cain’s reply when God asks, after the murder, “Where is your brother Abel?” Cain replies, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?” (Gen 4:9).

What did God say to Cain
What did God say to Cain? (Cain Kill Abel)

There are many satires here.

Like, Cain knows where he left Abel once he murdered hum.

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And the most important fact is that Cain being the elder brother is supposed to be the keeper of the younger one Abel (i.e. one who protects or guards).

The firstborn son has power and obligation for his younger brothers.

This is the reason why Jacob’s 1st son, Reuben convinced not to kill their younger sibling Joseph. He urges, “Let us not take his life… Shed no blood” Cain kill Abel (Gen 37:21-22).

But Cain rejects his duty and obligation to take care of Abel, instead, Cain kills Abel, and takes his life forever.

The violence and the bloodshed caused by the murder forced God to come out and allude the murderer.

His voices blood is sufficient enough to wipe out the brazen lie of Cain (“I do not know”).

God replies to Cain: “What have you done? Listen; your brother’s blood is crying out to me from the ground!”

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By the inevitable logic of this finding, God curses Cain “from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand” Cain kills Abel (Gen 4:11).

Cain, who took his victim “from the fruit of the ground” and has killed his brother on the soil, is now himself cursed “from the ground.”

He becomes a wanderer or a nomad from a farmer, exiled from the fruitful soil and dwelling the land of Nod (meaning “wandering”).

Having lost his clan, his living, and his family, he now resides outside of civilization, a nomadic drifter. Where he strolls there is no rule or ethics. So he protests to God: “Anyone who meets me may kill me” Cain kills Abel (Gen 4:14).

This would be the right penalty for a killer. But God has empathy for Cain and gives him a mark so that no one will kill him. Cain will live on, but his life is only a tail of his previous life.

Abel’s demise holds one last touch. The name Abel (Hebrew, Hebel) exactly means “breath, evanescence, impermanence.”

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The child himself is Mr Evanescent. By his very name, he is fated to a short and dull life.

This does not ease Cain’s guilt, but it advises a deeper layer of sense. In one sense, we are all Abel, meant for evanescence and loss. But we are also like Cain, subject to fury and wicked instincts.

As God cautions, “sin is lurking at the door; its desire is for you, but you must master it” Cain kills Abel in the Bible (Gen 4:7).

We are each the Cain of our ethics, with honesty liable for our actions.

The lore seems to say that we all are the spiritual offspring’s of both brothers that are caught up in the life’s ethical dilemmas, forever abode somewhere “east of Eden” Cain kills Abel in the Bible (Gen 4:16).

What Is the Mark of Cain?

God branded the Bible’s first murderer (Cain) with a mysterious mark called the Mark of Cain. The Bible is intentionally indefinite about the nature of the mark of Cain, instigating followers to predict what it may have been.

What Is the Mark of Cain
What Is the Mark of Cain and Why did Cain kill Abel?

Notions have involved such things as a horn, a spot, tattoo, leprosy, or even black skin. We can be certain of the following things:

  1. The mark was permanent & perhaps on his face which could not be hidden.
  2. It was rapidly clear to folks who may have been ignorant.
  3. The mark would have hit terror into folks, whether they adored God or not.

Although this has been a topic of debate among the scholars for ages this not we are trying to convey here.

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Our prime focus is on the mercy of God as he was allowed to live, even though the sin committed by Cain was very serious.

Also, since Abel had other siblings as well who would have retaliated to Cain’s doings, but none of them took the law in their hands.

Since God was the judge here, everyone believed in his mercy and decisions with complete faith and acceptance.

Cain’s pedigree listed in the Bible is short and this has been pointed by many scholars of the Bible.

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We are still unclear if some of Cain’s children were descendants of Noah or his sons’ wives, but it does seem that Cain’s curse was not passed on to future generations.


Cain, the firstborn son of Adam and Eve, in the Bible (Hebrew Bible, or the Old Testament), who murdered his brother Abel (Cain kills Abel: Genesis 4:1–16).

Cain, a farmer, became furious when the Lord acknowledged the donation of his brother Abel, a shepherd, in partiality to his own. He killed Abel and was expelled by the Lord from the settled realm.

Cain dreaded that in his exile he could be slain by anyone, so the Lord gave him a sign for his defence and an assurance that if he were murdered, he would be punished sevenfold.

People Also Ask (FAQs)

Who killed Cain?

Cain, the firstborn son of Adam and Eve, died at the age of 730, leaving his unethical children spreading evil on earth. According to the Book of Jubilees, Cain killed his brother with a stone. Afterwards, Cain was murdered by the same tool he used against his brother; his house fell on him and he was murdered by its stones.

What does the mark of Cain symbolize?

The mark on Cain symbolizes God’s promise to offer divine protection to Cain from premature death with the final purpose of averting anyone from killing him. The Hebrew word for mark (‘Oth, אות) could mean a symbol, a sign, a caution, or a memory.

Why did Cain kill Abel KJV?

According to Genesis 4:1–16, Cain treacherously murdered his brother Abel, lied about the murder to God, and as a result was cursed and marked for life. With the earth left cursed to drink Abel’s blood, Cain was no longer able to farm the land. Cain is punished as a “fugitive and wanderer”.

How did Cain kill Abel as per the scripture?

In the biblical story, Cain has several motives for murdering his brother Abel. The most obvious motive is jealousy that God accepted Abel’s offerings.

Where in the bible does Cain kill Abel?

According to Genesis 4:1–16, Cain treacherously murdered his brother Abel. After the murder Cain lied to god about the murder and therefore was punished later for his deeds.

How did Cain kill Abel?

According to another tradition, the devil appeared to Cain and instructed him how to exact revenge on Abel. “Hit Abel’s head with a stone and kill him”, whispered the devil to Cain. After the murder, the devil hurried to Eve shouting: “Eve! Cain has murdered Abel!”.