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Genesis 4:2

Context
4:2 Then she gave birth 1  to his brother Abel. 2  Abel took care of the flocks, while Cain cultivated the ground. 3 

1 tn Heb “And she again gave birth.”

2 sn The name Abel is not defined here in the text, but the tone is ominous. Abel’s name, the Hebrew word הֶבֶל (hevel), means “breath, vapor, vanity,” foreshadowing Abel’s untimely and premature death.

3 tn Heb “and Abel was a shepherd of the flock, and Cain was a worker of the ground.” The designations of the two occupations are expressed with active participles, רֹעֵה (roeh, “shepherd”) and עֹבֵד (’oved, “worker”). Abel is occupied with sheep, whereas Cain is living under the curse, cultivating the ground.



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