BACKGROUND INFORMATION: This text tells us how blood was first shed on this earth.
Why cannot a sinner live in the Paradise (21-24)?
What may have been the most difficult thing for the first people when they had to leave the paradise?
Why didn’t God let man and woman leave the paradise naked?
Why do you think God wanted to make the garments of the first people from/out of animal skin, and not from/ out of plants?
What does it mean for us people that it was God, not man, who killed the first animal on earth?
How do these words point to Jesus?
4:1-2. The name Cain resembles the Hebrew verb “to get, to acquire, to create”.
Compare the pregnancy and delivery that Eve experienced with pregnancies and deliveries that other women have experienced after her.
Compare the translations you have available and choose the best explanation: Why did Eve choose this particular name for his first son?
Abel’s name means “breadth, vapour, vanity”. Why did Adam and Eve decide to give such a name to their second son?
3-5a. These verses depict/ describe the first offerings that human beings made to God. Notice that animals were not eaten before the Flood. God probably showed his acceptance of Abel’s offering by striking it with a fire from heaven. (Cf. 1 King 18:38; 1 Chron. 21:26; 2 Chron.7:1).
How did the first family come to the idea that they should give offerings/ sacrifices to the Lord?
What did Adam’s sons want to achieve by their offerings/ sacrifices?
Sheep were kept for wool at that time, not for meat. How do you think Abel felt when he as the first person in the whole world struck a stone knife through the heart of his lamb?
Try to find out the reason, why the Lord was pleased with the lamb but not the grain (4-5a)?
The author of the Hebrews answers the previous question like this: By faith Abel offered God a greater sacrifice than Cain, and through his faith he was commended as righteous, because God commended him for his offerings. And through his faith he still speaks, though he is dead. (11:4). Cain also believed God in a way, but what was the difference between the faith of these two brothers?
What was and is the most important thing with an offering that people give to God?
5b-7. In verse 7 the word sin (which is in Hebrew feminine gender) has been changed into masculine gender, meaning “the Devil”. Jesus, too, called Satan a murderer (John.8:44).
Why was it so difficult for Cain to accept that God was not pleased with his offering (5b-7)?
What should Cain have done when he realized that his offering was no pleasing to God/ in God’s eyes?
Apply into your own life the Lord’s words in verse 7?
8-12. Jesus called Abel the first martyr (Matth.23:35).
What made the murder of Abel particularly cold-blooded (8)?
Compare the sin of Cain with the sin of his parents in Paradise.
Why did God ask the question in verse 9a although he already knew the answer?
What does Cain’s answer show about him (9b)?
What do we learn about the relation between man and earth through verses 10-12?
How do you think murders and abortions have affected our own country?
What does God’s curse mean in practise according to verses 11-12?
What does it mean that Abel “still speaks, although he is dead” (Hebr.11:4b)?
How is Abel a prototype of Jesus?
THE GOSPEL: This text shows us clearly that the only sacrifice which is pleasing in God’s eyes is the blood of Jesus, the Lamb of God. He had to die so that God would be able to dress us with the clothing of righteousness, as he dressed Adam and Eve.