By John Byron
The tale of Cain and Abel narrates the primeval occasions linked to the beginnings of the realm and humanity. however the presence of linguistic and grammatical ambiguities coupled with narrative gaps supplied translators and interpreters with a few issues of departure for increasing the tale. the result's a few good demonstrated and interpretive traditions shared among Jewish and Christian literature. This booklet specializes in how the interpretive traditions derived from Genesis four exerted major effect on Jewish and Christian authors who knew rewritten models of the tale. The objective is to aid readers have fun with those traditions in the broader interpretive context instead of in the slender confines of the canon.
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Additional info for Cain and Abel in Text and Tradition: Jewish and Christian Interpretations of the First Sibling Rivalry
J. Lev 20:17: “And any man who has a sexual relation with his sister, his father’s daughter or his mother’s daughter and he despise her nakedness, and she despise his nakedness, it is a shameful thing; because I did a favor to the first men so that the world would be filled with them before the law was given; but after the law has been given to the world, all who do so shall be exterminated by a plague and the children of their people shall see his punishment. ” 41 28 chapter one A variety of names are given to the sisters, but there is a common tradition that a love rivalry existed between the two brothers and, in some cases, this is what eventually led Cain to murder Abel.
43 Other renditions can be found in Jewish and Christian sources including a tosefta on Gen 4:8 found among the fragments of the Cairo Genizah. You have heard, my son Seth, that a flood is coming and will wash the whole earth because of the daughters of Cain, your brother, who killed your brother Abel out of passion for your sister Lebuda. (T. Adam 3:5 [Robinson]) Said R. Hunna: An extra twin was born with Abel. ” (Gen. Rab. 22:7) And she [Eve] became pregnant and bore Cain and Lebuda along with him; [some texts: “then she became pregnant again and bore Abel and his sister Qelima”].
Cain’s offering was rendered in Greek as a “sacrifice,” (θυσία) while Abel’s as a “gift” (δῶρον). In Greek Genesis δῶρον is used as a translation for מנחהonly ten times, one of which is to describe Abel’s offering (Gen 4:5). In the other nine cases when מנחהis translated by δῶρον the occasion is not 8 Victor Aptowitzer, Kain und Abel in der Agada: den Apokryphen, der hellenistischen, christlichen und muhammedanischen Literatur (Vieann: R. Löewitt Verlag, 1922), 37–41. 9 Ephrem goes on to claim that “Cain had bulls and calves and an abundance of animals and birds that he could have offered.
Cain and Abel in Text and Tradition: Jewish and Christian Interpretations of the First Sibling Rivalry by John Byron