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05 June 2003 - 8:19 pm

I'm watching the History channel and they're discussing the oldest murder mystery: Cain and Abel. We know that Cain killed Abel, but we don't know why. They say that what prompted the murder was when Cain and Abel both offered sacrifices to God, each from his own vocation. Cain offered God an offering of grain from the fields that he worked, and Abel offered God the best of his lambs that he herded. The Bible doesn't go into detail as to how God showed his acceptance of these gifts, but Hebrew Oral Tradition tells this story: As the offerings were burned, a great flame erupted from Abel's offering and shot up to heaven, making known Gods pleasure with the sacrifice. Cain's offering did not burst into flame, and it has been described as a "dud". They're taking this account as proof that God accepted Abel's offering and not Cain's. I offer this more likely option: anyone who's ever roasted an animal over a flame knows that when fat hits the flame - WHOOOMF! and if Abel offered the best/fattest of his sheep... And anyone who's ever tried to light a fire with wet kindling knows that the only thing you're going to get is smoke.
And before the commercial break they actually said that Cain may have compounded his sin by committing incest. Well. Considering the entire world was populated by TWO PEOPLE, I'd say incest was something you really couldn't avoid. GAH! Religion makes me crazy.

 

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