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Genesis 4:3

Context

4:3 At the designated time 1  Cain brought some of the fruit of the ground for an offering 2  to the Lord.

Genesis 4:5

Context
4:5 but with Cain and his offering he was not pleased. 3  So Cain became very angry, 4  and his expression was downcast. 5 

1 tn Heb “And it happened at the end of days.” The clause indicates the passing of a set period of time leading up to offering sacrifices.

2 tn The Hebrew term מִנְחָה (minkhah, “offering”) is a general word for tribute, a gift, or an offering. It is the main word used in Lev 2 for the dedication offering. This type of offering could be comprised of vegetables. The content of the offering (vegetables, as opposed to animals) was not the critical issue, but rather the attitude of the offerer.

3 sn The Letter to the Hebrews explains the difference between the brothers as one of faith – Abel by faith offered a better sacrifice. Cain’s offering as well as his reaction to God’s displeasure did not reflect faith. See further B. K. Waltke, “Cain and His Offering,” WTJ 48 (1986): 363-72.

4 tn Heb “and it was hot to Cain.” This Hebrew idiom means that Cain “burned” with anger.

5 tn Heb “And his face fell.” The idiom means that the inner anger is reflected in Cain’s facial expression. The fallen or downcast face expresses anger, dejection, or depression. Conversely, in Num 6 the high priestly blessing speaks of the Lord lifting up his face and giving peace.



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