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Genesis 4:3

    Genesis 4:3 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering to the LORD.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto Jehovah.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    And after a time, Cain gave to the Lord an offering of the fruits of the earth.

    Webster's Revision

    And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto Jehovah.

    World English Bible

    As time passed, it happened that Cain brought an offering to Yahweh from the fruit of the ground.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD.

    Clarke's Commentary on Genesis 4:3

    In process of time - מקץ ימים mikkets yamim, at the end of days. Some think the anniversary of the creation to be here intended; it is more probable that it means the Sabbath, on which Adam and his family undoubtedly offered oblations to God, as the Divine worship was certainly instituted, and no doubt the Sabbath properly observed in that family. This worship was, in its original institution, very simple. It appears to have consisted of two parts:

    1. Thanksgiving to God as the author and dispenser of all the bounties of nature, and oblations indicative of that gratitude.

    2. Piacular sacrifices to his justice and holiness, implying a conviction of their own sinfulness, confession of transgression, and faith in the promised Deliverer. If we collate the passage here with the apostle's allusion to it, Hebrews 11:4, we shall see cause to form this conclusion.

    Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering - מנחה minchah, unto the Lord. The word minchah is explained, Leviticus 2:1, etc., to be an offering of fine flour, with oil and frankincense. It was in general a eucharistic or gratitude offering, and is simply what is implied in the fruits of the ground brought by Cain to the Lord, by which he testified his belief in him as the Lord of the universe, and the dispenser of secular blessings.

    Barnes' Notes on Genesis 4:3

    At the end of days. - This may denote the end of the week, of the year, or of some longer period. The season of the year was probably the ingathering, when the fruits of the earth and the firstlings of the flock would come in, and when it was not unnatural for the first family to celebrate with a subdued thankfulness the anniversary of their creation. And the present occasion seems to have been the time when Cain and Habel, have arrived at the years of discretion and self-dependence, solemnly come forward with their first voluntary offerings to the Lord. Hitherto they may have come under their parents, who were then the actual offerers. Now they come on their own account.

    Here, accordingly, we ascend from the secular to the eternal. We find a church in the primeval family. If Cain and Habel offer to God, we may imagine it was the habit of their parents, and has descended to them with all the sanction of parental example. But we may not venture to affirm this in all its extent. Parental example they no doubt had, in some respects; but whether Adam and Eve had yet ascended so far from the valley of repentance and humiliation as to make bold to offer anything to the Lord, admits of question. Right feeling in the first offenders would make the confidence of faith very slow of growth. It is even more natural for their children, being one remove from the actual transgressors, to make the first essay to approach God with an offering.

    Cain brings of the fruits of the soil. We cannot say this was the mere utterance of nature giving thanks to the Creator for his benefits, and acknowledging that all comes from him, and all is due to him. History, parental instruction, and possibly example, were also here to give significance to the act. The offering is also made to Yahweh, the author of nature, of revelation, and now, in man's fallen state, of grace. There is no intimation in this verse of the state of Cain's feelings toward God. And there is only a possible hint, in the "coats of skin," in regard to the outward form of offering that would be acceptable. We must not anticipate the result.