Many scholars consider Cain to be unrepentant for his murder of Abel; rather than reflecting upon what caused his actions and their consequences, all he cares about is how severe their punishment will be.
God responded to his fears by warning that sin lurks at his doorstep like a hungry lion, ready to devour him. Additionally, He provided a solution.
Cain responded with despair and fear. His words reveal his unhappiness with his situation and his conviction that God was out to get him. Furthermore, they demonstrate a lack of regret over his sinful acts as well as any intention for change.
Cain began by asking himself the question “Am I my brother’s keeper?” This statement revealed his lack of responsibility for his actions, believing they were all due to Abel and needed someone else to blame for them.
Once he had announced this statement, his face fell and his emotions rose sharply. His anger likely stemmed from pride; it upset him that his offering wasn’t accepted while that of his brother had been accepted; he wanted to be considered the greatest and wasn’t satisfied that this wasn’t happening for him.
God gave Cain some advice in response to his displeasure: if he did what was right, it would be accepted; however, He warned of sin at his doorstep; an indication that Cain may be close to murderous actions and should avoid making further steps toward this path.
Cain did not understand God’s warning; he seemed to believe that His punishment for his sin lay solely with Him and that all that could prevent it was simply abandoning all thoughts about committing crime altogether; unfortunately this is false as sin is the result of our thoughts and attitudes that exist within ourselves and cannot be controlled voluntarily.
Cain was greatly distressed upon hearing this news and fled from God’s presence, eventually settling in Nod east of Eden and raising his family there before ultimately building a city – an example of humanity turning away from what had originally been created by Him and towards a world they created themselves.
God was not pleased with Cain’s reaction to the rejection of his offering. His anger wasn’t founded in truth but instead stemmed from pride and jealousy – so much so that it led him to murder his brother out of hatred! God knew this would only worsen with time if left unchecked; He warned Cain that it wasn’t his sacrifice that needed altering but rather himself that needed healing; God also made clear this was never about sacrifice itself, it was about heart issues!
Time may have passed between Cain’s sacrifice being rejected and his murder of Abel; however, evidence shows it must have taken at least some time for Cain to commit this act of violence against Abel out of pride for seeing that his own sacrifice wasn’t accepted by God. When this occurred he shot Abel dead out of spite. Cain killed Abel due to pride at seeing his offering disapproved; killing was instigated out of spite against God rebuke and warning.
Death of Abel was an act of extreme injustice and God meant for Cain to understand that taking another person’s life without justification was illegal and murder a grave offense.
After killing Abel, Cain fled from Eden (Genesis 4:12). He settled in Nod, east of Eden, but due to a curse his crops no longer produced crops on this land.
Cain is fearful for his own life because he believes the murder of Abel may bring upon himself persecution from other people. This serves as a good lesson to us – always watchful against engaging in sinful behavior lest it lead to someone else’s destruction.
Adam and Eve later had another son named Seth to replace Cain. Their genealogy shows that Cain’s line departed into apostasy while Seth’s line continued as believers. Anyone who knows the truth and enjoys intimacy with it should never turn from it and live in rebellion against it; doing so constitutes an even graver sin than original disobedience.
Remembering this, the Bible contains numerous examples of God forgiving those committing grave transgressions despite appearing too severe for forgiveness (Genesis 4:15); Cain himself was not excluded from this merciful mercy from Him (Genesis 4:19-20) who appears to have learned an important lesson about repentance through this experience.
The Torah records how Cain presented his offering to God and was not pleased with either its quality or sacrifice. Instead of admitting his mistake and admitting blame for not accepting his offering, Cain blamed God instead and was warned about’sin at his door.
God asked Cain why his offering wasn’t satisfactory, and Cain replied that it was because he was a sinner and afraid of losing his life. Evidently, Cain believed killing Abel would alleviate his guilty conscience, but God told him to take the first step toward repentance by acknowledging his guilt and offering a lamb without blemish as an offering to Him.
God then banished Cain from the garden and turned him into a vagrant on Earth – this punishment being highly severe; why God chose such harsh measures against Cain is unclear, however one possibility might be because Cain wasn’t yet ready to repent and return into his communion.
An alternate explanation could be that Cain was violent and came from a long line of murderers; in such an instance, punishment may have been meted out to prevent this violence from being passed along through his descendants.
Some scholars speculate that God punished Cain as part of His divine plan because there weren’t enough people on Earth at that time to sustain its population, yet this idea contradicts with biblical account of Cain being banished from Eden’s garden. More likely is it that Cain was punished to stop him from murdering his descendants in future generations.
God shows His concern for Cain by engaging him directly. God shows his compassion by speaking directly and clearly with Cain without making assumptions about who or why they might be talking.
Cain makes clear his feelings are unrepentant for his action against Abel; rather, he thinks God is punishing him because the offering made by Abel was superior and inferior.
Problematic with this argument is its failure to acknowledge that Abel’s sacrifice was produced through hard labor rather than as an offering to God; his brother helped produce meat offerings with him and had contributed greatly. Furthermore, this argument does not consider that Abel was more deeply committed to worshipping than Cain was.
Cain had lured Abel into the field out of anger and jealousy and killed him; therefore he must be punished for this murder; however, God will not permit this.
Cain now seems to realize his sin and its ramifications for himself and with God, though not showing any real sorrow. Yet his actions seem to have ended his relationship with Him.
He can no longer grow crops on the land and must roam about in search of sustenance throughout his lifetime. Although unable to settle down in one place, he will still manage to find enough sustenance to live off.
God tells Cain that any who come looking for him will be killed; while this might sound frightening, this doesn’t imply that He won’t protect Cain; rather it simply means He won’t prevent any human-caused deaths due to Cain’s disobedience. Additionally, when we sin, the same message comes back – our relationship with Him won’t be protected through our efforts alone.