Cain and Abel
Cain and Abel (Hebrew: הֶבֶל ,קַיִן Qayin, Heḇel) were, according to the Book of Genesis, two sons of Adam and Eve. Cain is described as a crop farmer and his younger brother Abel as a shepherd. Cain was the first human born and Abel was the first human to die. Cain committed the first murder by killing Abel. Interpretations of Genesis 4 by ancient and modern commentators have typically assumed that the motives were jealousy and anger. The story of Cain and Abel is found in the Christian Bible, Jewish Torah and Muslim Quran.
- 1 Genesis narrative
- 2 Islamic narrative
- 3 In psychoanalytic theory
- 4 Legacy and symbolism
- 5 Cultural portrayals and references
- 6 See also
- 7 Notes
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Hebrew Bible version:
1Adam knew his wife Eve intimately, and she conceived and bore Cain. She said, "I have had a male child with the Lord's help."a[›]
2Then she also gave birth to his brother Abel. Now Abel became a shepherd of a flock, but Cain cultivated the land. 3In the course of time Cain presented some of the land's produce as an offering to the Lord. 4And Abel also presented [an offering]b[›] – some of the firstborn of his flock and their fat portions.c[›] The Lord had regard for Abel and his offering, 5but He did not have regard for Cain and his offering. Cain was furious, and he was downcast.
6Then the Lord said to Cain, "Why are you furious? And why are you downcast? 7If you do right, won't you be accepted? But if you do not do right, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must master it."
8Cain said to his brother Abel, "Let's go out to the field."And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.— Genesis 4:1–8 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)
The Septuagint, an early Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible, offers an alternative version of the seventh verse:
If you offer properly, but divide improperly, have you not sinned? Be still; to you shall he submit, and you shall rule over him.
Later in the narrative, God asks Cain, "Where is Abel thy brother?" Cain replies, "I know not: am I my brother's keeper?"
And he said, "What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground. And now [art] thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand; When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth." (Genesis 4:10–12)
Cain and Abel are traditional English renderings of the Hebrew names Qayin (קין) and Hevel (הבל). The original text did not provide vowels. It has been proposed that the etymology of their names may be a direct pun on the roles they take in the Genesis narrative. Abel is thought to derive from a reconstructed word meaning "herdsman", with the modern Arabic cognate ibil now specifically referring only to "camels". Cain is thought to be cognate to the mid-1st millennium BC South Arabian word qyn, meaning "metalsmith". This theory would make the names descriptive of their roles, where Abel works with livestock, and Cain with agriculture—and would parallel the names Adam ("man," אדם) and Eve ("life-giver," חוה Chavah).
The oldest known copy of the biblical narrative is from the Dead Sea Scrolls, and dates to the first century CE. Cain and Abel also appear in a number of other texts, and the story is the subject of various interpretations. Abel, the first murder victim, is sometimes seen as the first martyr; while Cain, the first murderer, is sometimes seen as an ancestor of evil. Some scholars suggest the pericope may have been based on a Sumerian story representing the conflict between nomadic shepherds and settled farmers. Modern scholars typically view the stories of Adam and Eve and Cain and Abel to be about the development of civilization during the age of agriculture; not the beginnings of man, but when people first learned agriculture, replacing the ways of the hunter-gatherer.
The Book of Genesis does not give a specific reason for the murder of Abel. Modern commentators typically assume that the motives were jealousy and anger due to God rejecting Cain's offering, while accepting Abel's. Ancient exegetes, such as the Midrash and the Conflict of Adam and Eve with Satan, suggest something even more sinister behind the killing. They supplement that the motive involved a desire for the most beautiful woman. According to Midrashic tradition, Cain and Abel each had twin sisters whom they were to marry. The Midrash states that Abel's promised wife, Aclima, was more beautiful. Since Cain would not consent to this arrangement, Adam suggested seeking God's blessing by means of a sacrifice. Whoever God blessed would marry Aclima. When God openly rejected Cain's sacrifice, Cain slew his brother in a fit of jealousy and anger. Analysts have described Cain's relationship to his sister as being incestuous.
The First Epistle of John, however, says the following:
Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous."
|Known for||First person that was born; first murderer|
|Spouse(s)||Awan, who was his sister|
|Parent(s)||Adam and Eve|
According to the Book of Genesis, Cain (Hebrew: קַיִן, Qayin; Koine Greek Κάïν, Ka-in; Ethiopian version: Qayen; Arabic: قابيل, Qābīl) is the first child of Eve, the first murderer, and the first human being to fall under a curse.
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. Exegesis of the Hebrew narrative has Cain punished as a "fugitive and wanderer". Exegesis of the Septuagint's narrative, "groaning and shaking upon the earth" has Cain suffering from body tremors. Interpretations extend Cain's curse to his descendants, where they all died in the Great Deluge as retribution for the loss of Abel's potential offspring. Cain's curse involves receiving a mark from God, commonly referred to as the mark of Cain. This mark serves as God's promise to Cain for divine protection from premature death, with the stated purpose to prevent anyone from killing him. It is not known what the mark is, but it is assumed that the mark is visible.
Cain is also described as a city-builder, and, through three sons of his son five times remote, as the forefather of tent-dwelling pastoralists, all lyre and pipe players, and the bronze and iron smiths, respectively.
In the New Testament, Cain is cited as an example of unrighteousness in 1 John 3:12 and Jude 1:11. The Targumim, rabbinic sources, and later speculations supplemented background details for the daughters of Adam and Eve. Such exegesis of Genesis 4 introduced Cain's wife as being his sister, a concept that has been accepted for at least 1800 years. This can be seen with Jubilees 4 which narrates that Cain settled down and married his sister Awan, who bore his first son, the first Enoch,[a] approximately 196 years after the creation of Adam. Cain then establishes the first city, naming it after his son, builds a house, and lives there until it collapses on him, killing him.
In Jewish tradition, Philo, Pirke De-Rabbi Eliezer and the Targum Pseudo-Jonathan asserted that Adam was not the father of Cain. Rather, Eve was subject to adultery having been seduced by either Sammael, the serpent (nahash, Hebrew: נחש) in the Garden of Eden, or the devil himself. Christian exegesis of the "evil one" in 1 John 3:10–12 have also led some commentators, like Tertullian, to agree that Cain was the son of the devil or some fallen angel. Thus, according to some interpreters, Cain was half-human and half-angelic, one of the Nephilim. Gnostic exegesis in the Apocryphon of John has Eve seduced by Yaldaboth. However, in the Hypostasis of the Archons, Eve is raped by a pair of Archons.
According to the Life of Adam and Eve, Cain fetched his mother a reed (Hebrew qaneh) which is how he received his name Qayin (Cain). The symbolism of him fetching a reed may be a nod to his occupation as a farmer, as well as a commentary to his destructive nature. He is also described as "lustrous", which may reflect the Gnostic association of Cain with the sun.
Pseudo-Philo, a Jewish work of the first century CE, narrates that Cain murdered his brother at the age of 15. After escaping to the Land of Nod, Cain fathered four sons: Enoch, Olad, Lizpha and Fosal; and two daughters: Citha and Maac. Cain died at the age of 730, leaving his corrupt descendants spreading evil on earth. According to the Book of Jubilees, Cain murdered his brother with a stone. Afterwards, Cain was killed by the same instrument he used against his brother; his house fell on him and he was killed by its stones. A heavenly law was cited after the narrative of Cain's death saying:
With the instrument with which a man kills his neighbour with the same shall he be killed ; after the manner that he wounded him, in like manner shall they deal with him.
A Talmudic tradition says that after Cain had murdered his brother, God made a horn grow on his head (see the mark of Cain). Later, Cain was killed at the hands of his great grandson Lamech, who mistook him for a wild beast.
According to the narrative in Genesis, Abel (Hebrew: הֶבֶל, Hevel; Arabic: هابيل, Hābīl) is Eve's second son. His name in Hebrew is composed of the same three consonants as a root meaning "breath". Julius Wellhausen, and many scholars following him, have proposed that the name is independent of the root. Eberhard Schrader had previously put forward the Akkadian (Old Assyrian dialect) ablu ("son") as a more likely etymology.
In Christianity, comparisons are sometimes made between the death of Abel and that of Jesus, the former thus seen as being the first martyr. In Matthew 23:35 Jesus speaks of Abel as "righteous", and the Epistle to the Hebrews states that "The blood of sprinkling … [speaks] better things than that of Abel".(Hebrews 12:24) The blood of Jesus is interpreted as bringing mercy; but that of Abel as demanding vengeance (hence the curse and mark).
Abel is invoked in the litany for the dying in the Roman Catholic Church, and his sacrifice is mentioned in the Canon of the Mass along with those of Abraham and Melchizedek. The Alexandrian Rite commemorates him with a feast day on December 28.
According to the Coptic Book of Adam and Eve (at 2:1–15), and the Syriac Cave of Treasures, Abel's body, after many days of mourning, was placed in the Cave of Treasures, before which Adam and Eve, and descendants, offered their prayers. In addition, the Sethite line of the Generations of Adam swear by Abel's blood to segregate themselves from the unrighteous.
In the extra-biblical Book of Enoch (22:7), the soul of Abel is described as having been appointed as the chief of martyrs, crying for vengeance, for the destruction of the seed of Cain. This view is later repeated in the Testament of Abraham (A:13 / B:11), where Abel has been raised to the position as the judge of the souls.
The story appears in the Qur'an, in Sura 5, ayas 27 to 31:
[Prophet], tell them the truth about the story of Adam's two sons: each of them offered a sacrifice, and it was accepted from one and not the other. One said, 'I will kill you,' but the other said, 'God only accepts the sacrifice of those who are mindful of Him. If you raise your hand to kill me, I will not raise mine to kill you. I fear God, the Lord of all worlds, and I would rather you were burdened with my sins as well as yours and became an inhabitant of the Fire: such is the evildoers' reward.' But his soul prompted him to kill his brother: he killed him and became one of the losers. God sent a raven to scratch up the ground and show him how to cover his brother's corpse and he said, 'Woe is me! Could I not have been like this raven and covered up my brother's body?' He became remorseful.— The QUR'AN (English translation by M.A.S. Abdel Haleem)
"No soul is wrongfully killed except that some of the burden falls upon the son of Adam, for he was the first to establish the practice of murder."
Muslim scholars were divided on the motives behind Cain's murder of Abel, and further why the two brothers were obliged to offer sacrifices to God. Some scholars believed that Cain's motives were plain jealousy and lust. Both Cain and Abel desired to marry Adam's beautiful daughter, Aclima (Aqlimia ' in Arabic). Seeking to put an end to the dispute between them, Adam suggested that each one of them present an offering before God. The one whose offering God would accept would marry Aclima. Abel, a generous shepherd, offered the fattest of his sheep as an oblation to God. But Cain, a miserly farmer, offered only a bunch of grass and some worthless seeds to him. God accepted Abel's offering and rejected Cain's—an indication that Abel was more righteous than Cain, and thus worthier of Aclima. As a result, it was decided that Abel would marry Aclima. Cain, on the other hand, would marry her less beautiful sister. Blinded by anger and lust for Aclima, Cain sought to get revenge from Abel and escape with Aclima. But 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!". Eve did not know what murder was or how death felt like. She asked, bewildered and horrified, :"Woe to you! What is murder?". "He [Abel] does not eat. He does not drink. He does not move [That's what murder and death are]", answered the Devil. Eve, terribly shocked, burst out into tears and started to wail madly. She ran to Adam and tried to tell him what happened. However, she could not speak because she could not stop wailing. Since then, women wail brokenheartedly when a loved one dies. A different tradition narrates that while Cain was quarreling with Abel, the devil killed an animal with a stone in Cain's sight to show him how to murder Abel.
After burying Abel and escaping from his family, Cain got married and had children. Cain's descendants were debauched and indulged in fire worship. They died in Noah's flood among other tyrants and unbelievers.
Some Muslim scholars puzzled over the mention of offerings in the narrative of Cain and Abel. Offerings and sacrifices were ordained only after the revelation of the Torah to Moses. This led some scholars, such as Said ibn al-Musayyib, to think that the sons of Adam mentioned in the Quran are actually two Israelites, not Cain and Abel.
Grave of Abel
According to Shi'a Muslim belief, Abel (Arabic: "Habeel") is buried in the Nabi Habeel Mosque, located on the west mountains of Damascus, near the Zabadani Valley, overlooking the villages of the Barada river (Wadi Barada), in Syria. Muslims are frequent visitors of this mosque for ziyarat. The mosque was built by Ottoman Wali Ahmad Pasha in 1599.
In psychoanalytic theory
Freud’s theory of fratricide is explained by the Oedipus or Electra complex through Jung's supplementation. Indeed, in the Old Testament, in particular in the Judaic, Midrash Rabba, and Islamic versions, wherein Cain and Abel are not the only offspring of Adam and Eve, but born as twins with one sister each. In that regard, Abel and Cain were the first two sons, each of whom was born with a twin sister, and Adam decided that, to avoid incest, Abel would marry Cain's sister and Cain would marry Abel's sister. However, Cain refused because he wanted to keep his own sister, while Abel respected the paternal law. Adam suggested sacrificial offerings, and, in his absence, God accepted Abel's lamb rather than Cain's offering of grass. As a result of this preference, Cain killed Abel. However, this interpretation does not relate to the preference of the sacrifices by God, but rather to the acceptance or rejection of God's law. Abel obeyed this law while Cain did not, and, as a result, Cain killed Abel.
Legacy and symbolism
Allusions to Cain and Abel as an archetype of fratricide appear in numerous references and retellings, through medieval art and Shakespearean works up to present day fiction. A millennia-old explanation for Cain being capable of murder is that he may have been the offspring of a fallen angel or Satan himself, rather than being from Adam.
A medieval legend has Cain arriving at the Moon, where he eternally settled with a bundle of twigs. This was originated by the popular fantasy of interpreting the shadows on the Moon as a face. An example of this belief can be found in Dante Alighieri's Inferno (XX, 126) where the expression "Cain and the twigs" is used as a kenning for "moon".
In medieval Christian art,[dubious ] particularly in 16th century Germany, Cain is depicted as a stereotypical ringleted, bearded Jew, who killed Abel the blonde, European gentile symbolizing Christ. This traditional depiction has continued for centuries in some form, such as James Tissot's 19th century Cain leads Abel to Death.
In the treatise on Christian Hermeticism, Meditations on the Tarot: A journey into Christian Hermeticism, describes the biblical account of Cain and Abel as a myth, i.e. it expresses, in a form narrated for a particular case, an "eternal" idea. It shows us how brothers can become mortal enemies through the very fact that they worship the same God in the same way. According to the author, the source of religious wars is revealed. It is not the difference in dogma or ritual which is the cause, but the "pretention to equality" or "the negation of hierarchy".
In Latter-day Saint theology, Cain is considered to be the quintessential Son of Perdition, the father of secret combinations (i.e. secret societies and organized crime), as well as the first to hold the title Master Mahan meaning master of [the] great secret, that [he] may murder and get gain.
In Mormon folklore — a second-hand account relates that an early Mormon leader, David W. Patten, encountered a very tall, hairy, dark-skinned man in Tennessee who said that he was Cain. The account states that Cain had earnestly sought death but was denied it, and that his mission was to destroy the souls of men. The recollection of Patten's story is quoted in Spencer W. Kimball's The Miracle of Forgiveness, a popular book within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This widespread Mormon belief is further emphasized by an account from Salt Lake City in 1963 which stated that "One superstition is based on the old Mormon belief that Cain is a black man who wanders the earth begging people to kill him and take his curse upon themselves (M, 24, SLC, 1963)."
There were other, minor traditions concerning Cain and Abel, of both older and newer date. The apocryphal Book of Adam and Eve tells of Eve having a dream in which Cain drank his brother’s blood. In an attempt to prevent the prophecy from happening the two young men are separated and given different jobs.
Cultural portrayals and references
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (January 2015)|
- East of Eden (1955)
- The Bible: In the Beginning... (1966)
- The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005)
- Year One (2009)
- Time Warrior (2012)
- Noah (2014)
As the first murderer and first murder victim in the Bible, Cain and Abel have often been the basis of tragic drama.
- In the classic poem Beowulf, the monstrous Grendel and his mother are said to be descended from Cain.
- Lord Byron rewrote and dramatized the story in the play Cain, viewing Cain as symbolic of a sanguinary temperament, provoked by Abel's hypocrisy and sanctimony
- In Dante's Purgatorio (early 14th century), Cain is remembered by the souls in Purgatory in Canto XIV (14)
- The expression "Cain-coloured beard" (Cain was traditionally considered to have red hair) is used in Shakespeare's The Merry Wives of Windsor (1602). Shakespeare also references Cain and Abel in Act III Scene iii of Hamlet when Claudius says "It hath the primal eldest curse upon't / A brother's murder!" (Lines 40–41), and in Act V, Scene i when Hamlet and Horatio are standing with the Gravedigger, who digs up a skull and Hamlet says "And yet this knave jowls it to the ground / as if it were Cain's jawbone, that did the first murther!"
- Baudelaire is more sympathetic to Cain in his poem "Abel et Caïn" in the collection Les Fleurs du mal (1857), where he depicts Cain as representing all the downtrodden people of the world. The poem's last lines exhort "Race de Caïn, au ciel monte / Et sur la terre jette Dieu!" ("Race of Cain, storm up the sky / And cast God down to Earth!").
- Victor Hugo's poem "La conscience" (1853, tr. "Cain") collected in La Légende des siècles (1859, 1st series) has Cain for protagonist. It depicts the murderer fleeing with his children the gazing Eye of God until he has to seal himself down a vault, but in the famous last line, "The Eye was in the tomb and fixed on Cain." (tr. Dublin University Magazine)
- In Thomas Hardy's The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886), the protagonist Henchard compares himself in his suffering to Cain.
- Hermann Hesse's novel Demian (1919) briefly discusses the story from an unorthodox point of view, where he also referred to the gnostic group called the Cainites.
- Thornton Wilder's play The Skin of Our Teeth (1942) states that Henry Antrobus' real name is Cain and he accidentally killed his brother Abel with a stone.
- John Steinbeck's novel East of Eden (1952) describes the conflict between two brothers Cal and Aron which is based on the story of Cain and Abel.
- Jose Saramago's last novel Cain (2009) is the story of Cain as a wanderer.
- In Jeffrey Archer's novel Kane and Abel (1979) the title and story is a play on the biblical brothers.
- in Neil Gaiman's graphic novel The Sandman Cain appears as the careless older brother that kills his brother whenever he is unhappy and Abel appears paranoid and afraid at all times.
- Jonathan & Jesse Kellerman's novel "The Golem Of Hollywood" (2014) contains the Cain and Abel legend as part of a parallel mythological narrative to a modern-day representation of the legend of the Golem Of Prague.
- "Il Primo Omicido" (1707) by Alessandro Scarlatti
- The opera La mort d'Abel (1810) by Rodolphe Kreutzer
- Singer-songwriter Léo Ferré set Charles Baudelaire's poem "Abel et Caïn" to music on Léo Ferré chante Baudelaire (1967)
- The Grateful Dead's "Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodleloo" on Wake of the Flood (1973) suggests that "Cain caught Abel, rolling loaded dice"
- Elvis Costello's "Blame it on Cain" on My Aim is True (1976)
- Bruce Springsteen's "Adam Raised a Cain" on Darkness on the Edge of Town (1978)
- Danzig "Twist of Cain" on Danzig (1988)
- Jon Bon Jovi's 1990 song "Blaze of Glory" contains the line "They tell me that I'm wanted, yeah, I'm a wanted man; I'm a colt in your stable, I'm what Cain was to Abel, Mr. Catch-Me-If-You-Can"
- 4 Runner's "Cain's Blood" (1995) uses Cain and Abel as a metaphor for the struggle between good and evil in the song's narrator
- The Hold Steady's song "The Cattle And The Creeping Things" mentions Cain and Abel in the line "She likes the part where one brother kills the other, she has to wonder if the world ever will recover, 'Cause Cain and Abel seem to still be causing trouble"
- Sinéad O'Connor's "Lullaby for Cain" on The Talented Mr. Ripley (soundtrack) (1999).
- Avenged Sevenfold's song "Chapter Four" on Waking The Fallen (2003)
- Puscifer's song "The Rapture (Fear is a Mind Killah Mix)" on Conditions of My Parole (2011)
- "Abel" by The National (Alligator, 2005)
- Das Ich's "Kain Und Abel" on Die Propheten (1991) – Cain and Abel at Discogs (list of releases)
- Supernatural (2014)
- In the Japanese anime series "Shiki", the story of Cain and Abel is referenced many times by the junior monk Seishin Muroi, and the story is described as a metaphor where Cain and Abel are merely two sides of one person, and that the murder of Abel reflected Cain's rejection of God.
- Batman: Arkham City begins with a close-up of a painting labeled "Cain & Abel / The Duality of Man", which shows Cain carrying Abel's corpse, foreshadowing the end of the game in which Batman carries the Joker's dead body.
- In the role-playing game (RPG) Vampire: The Masquerade and the videogames based on it, the "mark of Cain" was that he was cursed to become the first vampire, immortal and forever cursed to wander the Earth until the end of days. He created the first three vampires, from which came all the other vampires of the world.
- In the Command & Conquer series, Kane is leader of the Brotherhood of Nod, and it is implied he is the biblical Cain. He is also seen decades earlier within an alternate timeline as an aide to Joseph Stalin, in Command & Conquer: Red Alert.
- In the RPG Xenogears, when a human spaceship crashes on a remote planet, Cain is the first human to be born there. He kills Abel, the only human who had survived the crash, to silence him from spreading rebellion.
- In the RPG Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor, the protagonist's cousin Naoya is the direct reincarnation of Cain, forced to retain all memories of past lives as punishment for his crime, whilst the protagonist himself contains the essence of Abel. It is also hinted in Overclocked that the murder was possibly set up by the in-universe god, Yehowah, to create the first martyr, Abel, and the first murderer, Cain.
- In the Fire Emblem series, two characters are named Cain and Abel, who are recruited at the same time.
- In The Binding of Isaac, Cain is a playable character, and is a direct relation to the biblical Cain. He is unlocked by collecting 55+ coins in one single playthrough. Also, there is an item in the game that can be unlocked called Abel, which takes the form of a familiar that moves and shoots oppositely to the player character.
- In BlazBlue: Continuum Shift, the character Hazama references this.
- Balbira & Kalmana
- Bereishit (parsha)#Cain and Abel
- Biblical figures in Islamic tradition#Cain and Abel
- Biblical narratives and the Quran#Cain and Abel (Qābīl and Hābīl)
- Cain and Abel in Islam
- The First Mourning
- Not to be confused with Enoch (ancestor of Noah).
^ a: Literally, the Lord (Holman Christian Standard Bible)
^ b: The bracketed text has been added for clarity (HCSB)
^ c: or fat calves, or milk Josephus — all plausible renderings the Hebrew consonants
- Graves, Robert; Patai, Raphael (2014). Hebrew Myths: The Book of Genesis. RosettaBooks. p. PT92. ISBN 978-0795337154.
- Schwartz, Howard; Loebel-Fried, Caren; Ginsburg, Elliot K. (2004). Tree of Souls: The Mythology of Judaism. Oxford University Press. p. 447. ISBN 978-0195358704.
- Byron 2011, p. 11: Anglea Y. Kim, "Cain and Abel in the Light of Envy: A Study of the History of the Interpretation of Envy in Genesis 4:1-16," JSP (2001), p.65-84
- Lit. and his face fell. Holman Christian Standard Bible.
- Lit. why has your face fallen? HCSB.
- Sam, LXX, Syr, Vg; MT omits Let's go out to the field. HCSB.
- Genesis 4:7, LXX
- Richard S. Hess, Studies in the Personal Names of Genesis 1–11, pp. 24–25. ISBN 3-7887-1478-6.
- (4QGenb = 4Q242) The Dead Sea Scrolls were inspected using infra-red photography and published by Jim R Davila as part of his doctoral dissertation in 1988. See: Jim R Davila, Unpublished Pentateuchal Manuscripts from Cave IV Qumran: 4QGenExa, 4QGenb-h, j-k, unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, Harvard University, 1988.
- PaeleoJudaica, Davila's blog post [search for 4QGenb].
- Jubilees 4:31; Patriarchs, Benjamin 7; Enoch 22:7.
- Irenaeus, Adversus Haereses 1:7:5 (c. 180) describes (unfavourably) a Gnostic interpretation. Church Fathers, Rabbinic commentators and more recent scholars have also proposed interpretations.
- Notably by Jesus of Nazareth as quoted by Matthew 23:35 (mid 1st century), "The blood of righteous Abel," in a reference to many martyrs.
- Pirke De-Rabbi Eliezer 21 (c. 833) and others.
- Transliteration of original language version: Dumuzid and Enkimdu at Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature (ETCSL) founded by Jeremy Allen Black from Oxford University. English translation at "Chapter IV. Miscellaneous myths: Inanna prefers the farmer". Sacred Texts. Retrieved 2007-10-09.
- Kugel 1998, p. 54-57.
- Brewer, E. Cobham (1978). The Dictionary of Phrase and Fable (reprint of 1894 ed.). Edwinstowe, England: Avenel Books. p. 3. ISBN 0-517-25921-4.
- Byron 2011, p. 27.
- Charlesworth, James H (2010), The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha 2, p. 61.
- Novum Testamentum Graece (NA27): Hebrews 11:4, 1John 3:12, Jude 1:11
- Byron 2011, pp. 11, 12: Genesis 4:1.
- Byron 2011, p. 93.
- Byron 2011, p. 121.
- Byron 2011, p. 97.
- Byron 2011, p. 98.
- Byron 2011, p. 122.
- Byron 2011, p. 119.
- Genesis 4:17
- Genesis 4:19–22
- Luttikhuizen 2003, p. vii.
- Byron 2011, p. 2.
- "Cain". Jewish Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2014-07-14.
- Byron 2011, p. 17: "And Adam knew about his wife Eve that she had conceived from Sammael" – Tg.Ps.-J.: Gen.4:1, Trans. by Byron.
- Byron 2011, p. 17: "(Sammael) riding on the serpent came to her and she conceived [Cain]" - Pirqe R. L. 21, Trans. by Friedlander.
- Byron 2011, p. 17: "First adultery came into being, afterward murder. And he [Cain] was begotten into adultery, for he was the child of the serpent." – Gos.Phil. 61:5–10, Trans. by Isenberg.
- Louis Ginzberg, The Legends of the Jews, Vol.1, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998, ISBN 0-8018-5890-9, p.105–09
- Byron 2011, p. 17: "Having been made pregnant by the devil ... she brought forth a son." – Tertullian, Patience 5:15.
- Byron 2011, p. 15-19.
- Byron 2011, p. 15, 16: L.A.E. (Vita) 21:3, Trans. by Johnson.
- Pseudo-Philo (Biblical Antiquities of Philo), chapter 1
- Jubilees 4:31
- Jubilees 4:32
- Legends of the Jews, Louis Ginzberg – Volume I
- Strong's H1893 – with Brown-Driver-Briggs' Hebrew Definitions – Abel = "breath" – The same as H1892
- Julius Wellhausen, Skizzen und Vorarbeiten, volume 3, (1887), p. 70.
- Eberhard Schrader, Die Keilinschrift und das Alte Testament, 1872.
- For copies of a spectrum of notable translations and commentaries see Hebrews 12:24 at the Online Parallel Bible.
- Holweck, F. G., A Biographical Dictionary of the Saints. St. Louis, MO: B. Herder Book Co., 1924.
- Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim
- Tafsir al-Qur'an al-adhim (Interpretation of the Holy Qur'an), Ibn Kathir – Surat Al-Ma'ida
- Adapted from Ibn Abul-Hatim's narrative in Tafsir al-Qur'an al-adhim and Tafsir al-Tabari, Surat Al-Ma'ida'
- Tafsir al-Qur'an al-adhim and Tafsir al-Tabari, Surat Al Ma'ida
- The Beginning and the End, Ibn Kathir – Volume I
- Jens de Vlemnick (2007). Psychoanalytische Perspectieven. Vol 25 (3/4). Cain and Abel: The Prodigal Sons of Psychoanalysis? Universiteit Gent.
- Benslama, Fethi (2009). Psychoanalysis and the Challenge of Islam. U of Minnesota Press. p. 189. ISBN 978-0816648887.
- Ginzberg 1998, p. 105-9.
- Dante, The Divine Comedy, Inferno, canto 20, line 126 and 127. The Dante Dartmouth Project contains the original text and centuries of commentary.
- "For now doth Cain with fork of thorns confine
- On either hemisphere, touching the wave
- Beneath the towers of Seville. Yesternight
- The moon was round."
- But tell, I pray thee, whence the gloomy spots
- Upon this body, which below on earth
- Give rise to talk of Cain in fabling quaint?"
- de Vries, Ad (1976). Dictionary of Symbols and Imagery. Amsterdam: North-Holland Publishing Company. p. 75. ISBN 0-7204-8021-3.
- Anonymous, Meditations on the Tarot: A journey into Christian Hermeticism, translated by Robert Powell 1985, 2002 ed, pp14-15
- Moses 5:31
- Letter by Abraham O. Smoot, quoted in Lycurgus A. Wilson (1900). Life of David W. Patten, the First Apostolic Martyr (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret News) p. 50 (pp. 46–47 in 1993 reprint by Eborn Books).
- Linda Shelley Whiting (2003). David W. Patten: Apostle and Martyr (Springville, Utah: Cedar Fort) p. 85.
- Spencer W. Kimball (1969). The Miracle of Forgiveness (Salt Lake City, Utah: Bookcraft, ISBN 0-88494-444-1) pp. 127–128.
- Cannon, Anthon S., Wayland D. Hand, and Jeannine Talley. "Religion, Magic, Ghostlore." Popular Beliefs and Superstitions from Utah. Salt Lake City: University of Utah, 1984. 314. Print.
- Williams, David: "Cain and Beowulf: A Study in Secular Allegory, page 21. University of Toronto Press, 1982
- "Pop Culture 101: East of Eden". TCM.com. Retrieved 2014-04-11.
- Baudelaire's poem in French with English translations underneath
- "Cain" (tr. Dublin University Magazine), in Poems, by Victor Hugo, 1888 at Project Gutenberg
- Van Scott, Miriam (1999). The Encyclopedia of Hell. Macmillan. p. 74.
- "Chapter Four by Avenged Sevenfold Songfacts". Songfacts.com. Retrieved 2014-07-14.
- BDB, Francis Brown; Samuel Rolles Driver; Charles Augustus Briggs. The Brown Driver Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon : with an appendix containing the biblical Aramaic; coded with the numbering system from "Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible" (7. print. 1997 ed.). Peabody: Hendrickson. ISBN 978-1565632066.
- Byron, John (2011). Cain and Abel in text and tradition : Jewish and Christian interpretations of the first sibling rivalry. Leiden: Brill. ISBN 978-9004192522.
- Kugel, James L. (1998). Traditions of the Bible : a guide to the Bible as it was at the start of the common era. Cambridge, Mass. [u.a.]: Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0674791510.
- Luttikhuizen, Gerard P. (Editor) (2003). Eve's children : the biblical stories retold and interpreted in Jewish and Christian traditions (Vol. 5 ed.). Leiden: Brill. ISBN 978-9004126152.
- Aptowitzer, Victor (1922). Kain und Abel in der agada: den Apokryphen, der hellenistischen, christlichen und muhammedanischen literatur (Vol. 1 ed.). R. Löwit.
- Glenthøj, Johannes Bartholdy (1997). Cain and Abel in Syriac and Greek writers : (4th - 6th centuries). Lovanii: Peeters. ISBN 978-9068319095.
- Media related to Cain and Abel at Wikimedia Commons
- Texts on Wikisource:
- Genesis 4 (KJV) at BibleGateway.com
- Story of Cain and Abel in Sura The Table (Al Ma'ida)
- Qaheen / Cain and Hevel / Abel
- Parallel voweled Hebrew and English (JPS 1917)
- Rashi on Genesis, Chapter 4, by Rashi