4:9 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” 1 And he replied, “I don’t know! Am I my brother’s guardian?” 2 4:10 But the Lord said, “What have you done? 3 The voice 4 of your brother’s blood is crying out to me from the ground!
1 sn Where is Abel your brother? Again the
2 tn Heb “The one guarding my brother [am] I?”
sn Am I my brother’s guardian? Cain lies and then responds with a defiant rhetorical question of his own in which he repudiates any responsibility for his brother. But his question is ironic, for he is responsible for his brother’s fate, especially if he wanted to kill him. See P. A. Riemann, “Am I My Brother’s Keeper?” Int 24 (1970): 482-91.
3 sn What have you done? Again the
4 tn The word “voice” is a personification; the evidence of Abel’s shed blood condemns Cain, just as a human eyewitness would testify in court. For helpful insights, see G. von Rad, Biblical Interpretations in Preaching; and L. Morris, “The Biblical Use of the Term ‘Blood,’” JTS 6 (1955/56): 77-82.