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Old 02-18-2001, 08:24 PM   #1
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Cool Cain vs Abel (Nomadic Shepherd vs Sedentary Farmer)

If you get a chance, read "Ishmael" by Daniel Quinn. It has a very interesting theory, the ghist of which is that "god" rejected the grain because the Hebrews were orriginally nomadic herdsmen (like the kurds) and were persecuted by farmers. The Hebrews made their god in their own image, as all cultures do, and so he of course rejected and punished the violent farmer. I agree that if there is a moral burried in the story of Cain and Able, it is that civilizations based on farming are more violent than "natural" nomadic existance.

The theory goes on to say that the Hebrews were eventually "civilized" and so the story made litte sence to them, but remained a part of their culture.
What do you think?

Dan
 
Old 02-19-2001, 01:39 AM   #2
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by JragonFli:
If you get a chance, read "Ishmael" by Daniel Quinn. It has a very interesting theory, the ghist of which is that "god" rejected the grain because the Hebrews were orriginally nomadic herdsmen (like the kurds) and were persecuted by farmers. The Hebrews made their god in their own image, as all cultures do, and so he of course rejected and punished the violent farmer. I agree that if there is a moral burried in the story of Cain and Able, it is that civilizations based on farming are more violent than "natural" nomadic existance.

The theory goes on to say that the Hebrews were eventually "civilized" and so the story made litte sence to them, but remained a part of their culture.
What do you think?

Dan
</font>
What I've heard is that Cain did not bring the first-fruits of his farming but only "some of the fruit of the soil as an offering to the Lord. But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock."(Gen 4:3,4) The latter books of the Law make a big deal about the command to give the firstfruits of the soil and the land- not what Cain did, but what Abel did. Cain may also have offered God the inferior parts of the harvest, while Abel gave the best- later in Malachi God shows anger to those who offer the "blind" and otherwise deformed and inferior cattle as an offering.

 
Old 02-19-2001, 09:59 AM   #3
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I was taught that it was a solidifying of the new religion over the old--- Neighboring religions sacrificed bread and wine and the Jews' god demanded blod --- it was a way of proving the filthy heathens were just that...

Which is very similar to Dragonfly's post...

What is interesting is that Able, not Cain, committed the first murder accoriding to the bible---- until that point, even present day carnivores ate veggies... Able was the first creature to take another creature's life...
 
Old 02-19-2001, 10:13 AM   #4
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Yeah, I read Ishmael. I thought his take on this whole original sin story was interesting. Basically, the "Leavers" (hunter gatherers and herders) made up that story to explain why the "Takers" (agriculturalists) were taking over everyone's land. The Leavers thought that the Takers must have eaten from some tree of knowledge to gain this new insight into farming, and that this tree that they ate from had evilness in it; and this is why the Takers were taking over all the surrounding lands around them. In the story, God casts Adam and Eve out of the garden so that they have to eat from the ground now instead of eating from the animals and plants in the garden (like hunter gatherers and pastoralists do).
 
Old 02-19-2001, 12:43 PM   #5
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a_theistnotatheist, you wrote:
"What I've heard is that Cain did not bring the first-fruits of his farming but only "some of the fruit of the soil as an offering to the Lord. But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock."(Gen 4:3,4) The latter books of the Law make a big deal about the command to give the firstfruits of the soil and the land- not what Cain did, but what Abel did. Cain may also have offered God the inferior parts of the harvest, while Abel gave the best- later in Malachi God shows anger to those who offer the "blind" and otherwise deformed and inferior cattle as an offering."

Genesis 4: (KJV)
[2] And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.
[3] And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD.
[4] And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering:
[5] But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.
[6] And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?
[7] If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.

From any reading of Genesis 4, the interpretation you give is a bit of a stretch. However, that is not the purpose of my post. If the rules of sacrifice and offerings were not developed until well after Cain made his offering, why should god be upset with Cainís offering when at that point in time, he had neither requested offerings or defined what they should consist of?

People, according to bible literalists, were supposed to be vegans at that point. So I could imagine Cain thinking that food would be a more appropriate offering to god than "non food". So poor Cain thought he was doing the right thing, because nobody had told him otherwise and suddenly god is upset with him, because he prefers meat?

(But from a morality viewpoint, no reason to commit murder :-})

Regards

Norm
 
Old 02-19-2001, 03:26 PM   #6
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offa;

Animals are people in a caste system. The
animals on Noah's boat were people. Animals
do not talk. So when GOD talked to beasts he
was talking to humans. Since serpents do no
talk, then, the serpent was a person.
The sheep that Abel tended were ladies.
Abel had well groomed ladies with an ancestry. Old Cain plowed the ground and his
ladies were not groomed. The ladies Abel gave
GOD were young and naive whereas Cain's girls
were the women of the land.
 
 

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