If Adam and Eve were fictional personifications of the “Earth,” and “Life” in general (please refer to the companion essay on this site “Who were Adam and Eve”), then what about their “sons” Cain and Able?

The Cain and Able story is one of the most beloved in the Bible because it aims to teach against the evils of murder, and to warn of its consequences—all done through a nice story with a beginning, middle, and ending—and a plot.


The Cain and Able story is recounted in the Book of Genesis, chapter 4, verses 1 through 17.  Verse two tells us that “Abel” was a keeper of sheep, but “Cain” was a “tiller of the ground.”  Verse four reinforces “Abel’s” status as a keeper of “flocks.”

In subsequent verses we learn that when the two “brothers” brought the “produce” of their work as offerings to the Lord, “Cain’s” offerings of vegetable food stuffs were rejected, whereas “Abel’s” offerings of the first born from his flocks was accepted by God.  This supposedly made “Cain” very jealous, so in verse 8 he “rises up and slew his brother.”


“God” then got ticked off at “Cain” and pronounced a curse upon him.  Verse 12 says that “Cain” shall henceforth be a “fugitive and a vagabond in the earth.”  In verse 14 “Cain” complains to “God” saying that because of this curse, everyone “that findeth me shall slay me.” 

“God” then says in verse 15 that “whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.  And the Lord set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him.”

Verses 16 and 17 then go on to say that “Cain” dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden, and found a wife and had children, who in turn all had children.


The Mark that “God” supposedly placed upon “Cain” has intrigued the Judeo-Christian community for centuries.  In time it came to be “common knowledge” that the “Mark of Cain” referred to the black skin and facial features of the Negro Race.  Forgetting the fact that Africa is west of Eden, rather than “to the east of Eden” (in this regard please read the essay on this site entitled “THE GARDEN OF EDEN WAS WHERE?”), the Negroes as “children of Cain” seemed to make a lot of sense to people in the Judeo-Christian world—especially during the 17th, 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries. 


When one looks at the civilizations of the world throughout history, the blacks of Africa have almost always been on the bottom of the pecking order, and indeed, during the 17th, 18th, and early 19th centuries it seemed that they were hunted down and forced to become slaves more so than other people were.


In fact, the continuation of slavery in the American South during the 18th and first half of the 19th century was justified by many southerners—both black and white—by the belief that blacks were the descendants of “Cain” and were thus “cursed” to this station in life.  As late as the mid 20th century, religious blacks still believed that they were the descendants of “Cain,” and that’s why they were black, and it was their fate to remain on the bottom of the pecking order until the return of Christ whereupon the “curse” would be lifted from them—if they had led a righteous life on this earth.


At first glance, without looking into the linguistics, it becomes obvious that this is a morality story illustrating the superiority of the semi-nomadic shepherding culture over the settled agriculturalist “tiller of the soil” culture represented by “Cain.”  The story also tells us that “God” preferred meat sacrifices over that of bread and/or vegetables.

This bias in favor of the shepherding culture over the settled village and town life of the agriculturalists is exactly what one would expect from the early Hebrews who descended from a Bedouin culture.  That theme is carried out all through the Old Testament where prophets rage against the evils and corruption of those who live in the cities, as opposed to the shepherds, such as Abraham and David. 


That same bias in favor of the Bedu life has continued on in Arabia until modern times.  Muhammad is said to have spent a few years of his early life living with distant relatives who were Bedu so as to strengthen him in body and soul.  In more modern times, ‘Abd al-Aziz al-Sa’ud, the founder of the modern Saudi Dynasty, like Muhammad, spent several years of his life living with the Bedu south of Riyadh.  This experience added greatly to his prestige and gave him “legitimacy” in the eyes of many Arabs, which in turn aided him in his subsequent conquest of most of the Arabian peninsula and the establishment of the modern Sa’udi state.

Even city Arabs today, at some level, recognize the Bedu way of life as being “more pure.”  It is that belief that we see reflected in the Cain and Able story in Genesis.


This interpretation of the Cain and Able story is further supported by the linguistics.  The name “Abel” in both Hebrew and Arabic is spelled “HBL” and pronounced “Habel.”  In Old Akkadian the word (spelled ‘ABLU or ‘APLU) meant “son,” but in Hebrew and Arabic several other meanings were derived such as “to bereave a mother of her son,” “breath,” “vapour,” “to scheme,” and “to gain treasures by a lying tongue,” the latter two meanings considered to be commendable virtues in Bedu culture. 


The name “Cain,” in Hebrew and Arabic is spelled “QYN” and pronounced “Cain.”  The basic meaning is “to forge,” “to work with metals,” “to fit together,” “to make things.”  As a noun it means “blacksmith.”

In the Ancient Near East, it was the Blacksmith who manufactured the bronze and iron weapons with which men killed their brothers, and, of course, it was only in the cities where a technological infrastructure existed capable of producing weapons made out of metal.  And it was only in the cities where the proper economic infrastructure existed making the producing of metal objects, including weapons, possible.

Thus, from the Bedu standpoint, it was “Cain,” the blacksmith, who “killed his brothers” because he made the weapons responsible for that.


Like so many of the wonderful stories in the book of Genesis, there are multiple levels of meaning.  First, we see the overall “superiority” of Bedu life over settled agricultural life in the phrase “Abel was a keeper of sheep, BUT Cain was a tiller of the ground.” 

Second, we see that “God” prefers animal sacrifices over the “wimpy” offerings of bread and vegetable matter that many of the surrounding, more urbanized cultures were doing at the time the Bible was being written.

Third, the “evilness” of city life is reinforced by having the “blacksmith” kill his “brother.”


As for the “mark of Cain,” blacksmiths could generally be recognized by their physical appearances such as beefy arms and forearms, and perhaps the spending of most of their lives before extremely hot fires gave their skin, especially on their faces, a different hue, perhaps even some smudge from the fire.

It is true also, that blacksmiths were hunted down—but not for the purpose of vengeance.  They were highly sought prizes by all victorious armies because of the skills they had.  And, no, you never wanted to kill a “Cain” (blacksmith), because they were just too valuable.


As I write this in the spring of 2012, the U.S. is gearing up for a Presidential election pitting a black man against a Mormon.  The Democratic party which is supporting the black man, is going to try to “blacken” the reputation of their Mormon opponent by highlighting the fact that the official position of the Mormon church was once that blacks could not reach the highest levels in their church, and their souls after death could not reach the same high levels in the Mormon heaven in the afterlife.

Even though the Mormon Church has official jettisoned that unfortunate piece of dogma, the fact that it (the jettisoning) was done only a few decades ago provides a potent fuel for demagogues who wish to deflect the electorate’s mind off of the real issues.


The problem I have with that approach, is that virtually ALL Christian churches, even black churches, had essentially the same view as the Mormons, though expressed slightly differently (and some quietly still do).  That particular piece of dogma became part of the Mormon dogma simply because the belief that blacks were the descendants of “Cain,” and therefore were cursed by God, was fundamental to ALL Christian sects of the day (1820s and 1830s when Mormonism was founded).


Rendering the Democrats’ accusations even more ludicrous is the fact that Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon Church, was one of the first, if not the very first, religious leader in the United States to call for the abolition of slavery.  In fact, that was the primary reason for the lynch mobs to go after him (more so than the polygamy idea).  The abolition of slavery was not a very popular concept in agricultural southern Illinois in the 1830s and 1840s.


The Demagoguery attempts to link Republican candidate Mitt Romney with anti-black “racism” because of what his church once believed, is exactly the same as linking Obama with the anti-Jewish, anti-White rhetoric of his pastor for 22 years, Jeremiah Wright.

The only difference is that Romney’s church jettisoned its alleged anti-black beliefs several decades ago, which means that Mitt Romney suffered little, if any, brainwashing along those lines, whereas Obama’s church still teaches the race hate of anti-White and anti-Semitism and Obama personally sat in those pews for 22 years soaking it all up.

Furthermore, Mitt Romney has never been known to say are do anything negative to blacks based on race, whereas Mr. Obama has stated in his memoir that he “hated his mother’s (White) race.”



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