These are the words of Yehovah to Kane. In the context they are a reminder and a teaching and a challenge to him.
His behaviour exemplifies one of the three non-verbal behaviours that Yehovah’s always on the lookout for in his children made from clay or soil mixed with a little water into which he has breathed the neshmat chaim. The three behaviours are awn or inherent selfish proclivities; or more simply what we are born with in the mix of the biological hardware and the wind energy which energises, elevates and animates it making it into a living conscious, fleshy breathing and digesting blood being. In other words some of us are born with inherent traits due to our biological make up. These will show themselves, and while not being in themselves covenant shredding or contract breaking they will make it more difficult to protect and defend any contract that this person desires to participate in. In other words each of us will have a personal challenge which we will have to wrestle and fight with in order to protect and defend the covenant or contract that we make with Yehovah. He is aware of this and is gracious regarding it, but he does not excuse it, rather he desires that you would work with him to overcome it. By this means he will perfect in you the character that he desires in all his children, demonstrating with evidence that you have fixed your life support reliance in him, and that you have risked your life and your breathing and digesting blood bring in him.
Peshab: This is the action of not coordinating or aligning properly with Yehovah. The best concrete example is marching or dancing, and this is whether you are instep, putting your feet in the footprints of the person in front of you, and staying in line and in pace with the person who is next to you and behind you. This coordinated behaviour can be learned, improved and perfected and this is one of the trainings that he decides to continually give to us, so that we can keep in step and at the same pace with him, and his son Yhosha, the good Shepherd.
Chattah: This is directly related to covenant shredding and contract breaking. The concrete idea is that of cutting up a piece of wood into chunks. The behaviour of not keeping to the whole contract but choosing, that is selecting from it, taking shortcuts, that is not fully doing what he instructs and changing, that is making it fit what you want rather than what you have been instructed to do. Now the instructions principally are relational voice delivered instructions, or experiences like a movie which give you a visual and auditory demonstration of the instruction, or training in classes where you are shown and taken through the steps of the instruction. Any of these forms of instruction are to be followed precisely. To do what you choose or to change what you want to change or to shorten a performance the way that you want to is breaking or shredding the contract that you have sworn to.
Bearing all these in mind we see that Kane has an inherent problem of rage, anger, anxiety panic and an uncontrolled rising up of the power of his wind energy! This is inherent to Kane and not ascribed to any external wind functionary which will certainly be in the environment but not where Yehovah is visiting and taking stock and inspecting.
These weaknesses are inherently still tools available to wind functionaries that are around us for them to “jerk our chain“ and use them to cause us to behave in one of the three ways that Yehovah is inspecting. However in this particular case during the inspection Kane is acting according to his true self.
So this issue is graphically described as one of erupting like a volcano! Followed by being in such a panic as to be frozen to the spot or to fall over onto the ground! If you have had children you know that if they have a temper tantrum, which is another way of explaining it they will often cry out and then throw themselves about the place and onto the floor. Sometimes we call this kicking and screaming. What is the cause? Usually something not going the way that they wanted it to go or happening the way they wanted it to happen. But sometimes it’s due to the fact that they are overtired, have no more ability to control their behaviour and simply need to rest and recuperate their energy to regain control.
So let us understand that in the context Kane is probably not very old in years! He is probably only a number of days old. The idea that because he was born as a baby and grew up and matured and became an adult is not necessarily the case. We are assuming that these humans were just like ourselves, but the indication is that they were much bigger, much stronger and more capable than we are.
In this context we can understand that he required parental training, but not from his parents Adam and Eve only, but also from the creator Yehovah. We also know that Adam and Eve were undergoing training and had failed to keep a direct instruction from Yehovah resulting in them living in dwelling outside of the garden of Eden, unable to return by themselves. But by all accounts they were not abandoned by Elohim and especially not by Yehovah. And from the greater context it looks like they were being trained in how to live in a relationship with him and how to clothe and house themselves, building dwelling places in which there was some kind of house or temple to Yehovah with an opening.
Around these dwellings were lands that were used for arable farming growing the different crops and seeds and flowers, plants and fruit trees which were found in the garden, but which because the land was cursed by their disobedience were intermingled with thorn bushes and weeds and other kinds of hurtful plants like thistles. This meant that a lot more preparation had to be done in order for a crop to grow, with more weeding and more protective clothing necessary against thorn bushes. So the agriculture was hard work.
Animal husbandry also took place around this dwelling place. And this meant that animals that herd or flock together were managed by someone who gazed over them, that is watched over them carefully and generally not only kept an eye on them but got to know them as individuals and as a herd or a flock and was able to protect and defend them if there were any predators at that time or rescue them out of difficulties with the thornbushes and thistles etc. The reason why animals were used as part of the economy is the same as it is today, except for possibly the meat. Their hides provided leather, their fleeces provided wool, their ability to chop down the vegetation, especially the more difficult ones and keep an area clear of thistles and weeds were all important parts of a farming economy. Also they provided enrichment of the soil through their droppings.
The slaughtering of animals was not something that the animal husbandry industry instituted. It seemed that Yehovah taught them how to slaughter an animal, how to pour away its blood, how to disembowel, how to remove its hide and many other things to do with the use of animals. Also from a live animal how to take its fur or its wool and spin threads to make clothing etc. What happened to the meat at this point is not clear but later on we find that some animals were declared tahar which usually is translated as clean but this hides the fact that this is a process which is involved burning. It is commonly related to the purification of metals from minerals by heating the minerals until the elements separate and pouring off the slag and keeping the metallic product. How this applies to animals is probably similar in that the animal flesh was probably burnt and as a consequence it would be turned into ashes. These would be fatty ashes if the fat of the animal was not completely rendered by the fire but in the most cases the animal would be reduced to the fundamental minerals from which it came, by the grace of Yehovah. In this process it was found that some animals when burnt gave off a pleasing smell and others presumably gave off a disgusting smell. The animals that gave us a pleasing smell were called “clean“ or in Hebrew tahar.
So it would seem that we have a functioning society in the presence of Yehovah consisting of Adam and Eve and all the children in a land outside of the garden of Eden, being trained in the best way to deal with the choice to learn from the tree of knowledge.
The tree of knowledge, but good knowledge and bad knowledge, is not an evil tree, but it is a tree in which the fruit will be either good or bad, and will not in anyway preserve you alive! So from one point of view what is the point of learning knowledge if at the end of it you are going to return back to the ashes and the water from which you were composed?
So it would seem that Yehovah was offering as he had done initially to train human beings up so that they would be able to become part of the Elohim, qualifying them enough to be given fruit from the tree of living things. This would mean that once they were qualified they would then be given eternal life.
So by making the choice that they did they made access to eternal life a whole lot harder. Whereas they could have eaten from the tree of living things at any time before being deluded by nacash, and both trees are in the centre of the garden so it’s not that the tree of living things was hidden from them, so it was simply a test to see what they would do. And the test was a simple one. It was a test to see if they would listen to the voice and the instructions and the guidance and the example of Yehovah. And not only listen to it and show and tell that they were listening to it but reject and avoid any other source of direction or alternative. At the end of the day if naturally Adam and especially Eve had been able to do this then naturally so would we all. But as it turned out Eve was deceived and deluded and Adam was conflicted and complicit, and when they awoke from their delusion they were horribly embarrassed and ashamed of each other and unable to face Yehovah or respond willingly to his voice.
Until this time there hadn’t been a problem, there was no shame about what each had done to the other and they were very wise and discreet in the way that they behaved in their relationship with Yehovah, the plants and the animals in the garden.
It is to Eve’s credit that she sought to do her part in rectifying the situation. She wanted to produce the “seed“ that would defeat the snake crushing its head as soon as possible. She also wanted to repair her relationship with Yehovah and she wanted to be a supportive and helpful she mate to Adam. Her original design purpose was to be a help, a protector and comforter at the same time as being in front of Adam which is a general term for actually being in front, either as a conversation partner or as a sexual partner, or as a confrontation partner who is a sounding board. Any of these attributes of being “as a front,” representing Adam, it would seem that when she was deluded by nachash she stepped out of this role and began to access her own “selfish“ interests. Such as becoming more skilled, being wiser, making her own determination of what should be looked at, assessing things by her own standards of what is beautiful and desirable, and ignoring or not putting first any advice given to her from her creator, especially if it’s given through her he mate!
So in effect Yehovah did not really punish as some people want to portray it, he gave more details to make it possible for Eve to fulfil her design function. Within that is the interesting expression which occurs again with regard to her son Kane that her “desire“ will be to her husband and he would represent her.
Now for some reason the translators want to translate this as rule, especially in the many cases where that seems to be applicable. But this word is better translated as to represent, or to be a copy of, or to be a proverb of or to be a parallel to. It is not about ruling over; it is about ruling by the side of, being a support at the side of, being a ambassador in front of etc. It is by no means a lesser role, especially with the added responsibility of conceiving, giving birth and instructing and bringing up children. It is important as a builder of the house of her he mate. Without her doing what she does at his side and also reproducing, their house and their family would not build up into their tribe and their nation etc.
We see in this that she becomes a willing and compliant aid to her he mate. The use of the word rule or dominate makes this relationship seem overbearing, whereas it was never designed to be overbearing. It was designed to be mutual and it was designed to fulfil the purposes, policies and procedures and the expressed goodwill of Yehovah to them with regard to managing the garden and the animals and the fish of the sea, and their responsibility to grow and store food in order to feed all these creatures on Yehovah’s behalf and according to his instructions.
So when we come to Kane’s example we find this same principle being explained to Kane. The circumstances in verse seven are as follows:
How many people understand that Yehovah is good, excellent, thorough, and pleasing and pleasant? If you do not know him as a wind energy operating within your experiential continuum you can at least look around at the environment that he has created and see that these are his attributes, policies and procedures. Given this as a starting point you may come to understand that Adam and Eve were in for a good time and an excellent relationship with the creator. However there was one who was a liar, a thief and a murderer who was sent to test them to see if they would be “reliable,” that is would they fix their life support reliance on Yehovah? This one was sent to test them because he had decided not to fix his life support reliance in Yehovah but instead decided to do something which was absolutely crazy when you understand the big picture, that is to strike it out on his own!
Since it was a possibility for any of his creations to adopt this stance this could be a reason why he created clay models, lumps of soil which represented himself, so that he didn’t have to deal with eternal beings who rebelled against him and would therefore have to be repurposed for eternity!
Now avoiding the questions: “well couldn’t God have seen etc etc?” let’s deal with the reality in which we are; which seems to be this state of affairs that we have an opportunity to make good the lack that these dissenting wind energies have created and that we are going to become loyal, faithful, immovable parts of his Imperial administration by our own inexorable choice.
So we see that Adam and Eve were in for a good time despite the fact that they were now potentially going to die, we see that didn’t occur for many years. This is because Yehovah did not create Adam and Eve to ultimately be worthless! So the option of becoming eternal has always been on the table for those who qualify.
So the first thing that Yehovah did after establishing them outside of the garden of Eden was to train them in how to relate to each other and to him since this was where the breakdown had occurred. We have to remember these things could have taken place in a matter of days or weeks, not years as we have no idea of how long it took.
We come upon the words that are sniggeringly referred to as “knowing” in the biblical sense! Adam got to know his wife Eve. This is crucially important in any relationship, as we all know unless we are blind drunk, stoned out of our heads and engaged in some kind of orgy most of us would not enter into any kind of relationship with a stranger. To all intents and purposes Adam and Eve were in the first few days strangers to each other. So you can see why it is important and was important that they got to know each other.
So let us just realise that dating, date nights, going to the movies, taking walks, having long discussions, doing things together at work, doing things together on journeys etc are all an important part of getting to know the person that you think might be the one that Yehovah wants you to leave your father and your mother for. This is to join together in a mutual contract of a joint venture in order to become one flesh, one breathing and digesting blood being with two mates. So all of this is what should be meant by the biblical sense of getting to know any she or he mate. And it doesn’t include “sexual intercourse“ which is a phrase coined to distinguish it from social intercourse which is an old-fashioned way of expressing the relationship between men and women in society. However it is plain today that many young men and women do not know anything about social intercourse because sexual intercourse is the paramount thing on their malleable minds, to the extent that instead of choosing a mate to meet they meet to mate to choose.
So the first lesson is to get to know your potential spouse. Now the next statement shows that they had got to know each other and obviously liked and loved and desired each other, and having made that clear to one another they engaged in sexual intercourse which was in receipt of the goodwill from Yehovah. Eve conceived!
And this phrase is notable in terms of its rarity. The fact that a woman conceived after sexual intercourse is a special event celebrated in the texts. Whereas it is common amongst us to think that sexual intercourse will lead to pregnancy this does not seem to be guaranteed in the past. And in fact it is not guaranteed today, it is just “the norm“. But there are many others of us who are different from the norm and experience all kinds of difficulties. So the next lesson that we are learning is that we do things the way that Yehovah trains us as he will show us goodwill and favours. This essentially is what she shouts out. She makes the claim that her he mate is not Adam but Yehovah and that she has gained that relationship or rather regained that relationship with him. She then seems to turn over and give birth to a twin. So the picture seems to be that we have Cain the firstborn (that is an old-fashioned saying for the one that came out of her womb first) and then the second one who happens to be in this case a twin.
The eldest child, the first born, the pioneer from the womb, the matriculation of the womb; all these are terms referring to the first functioning of the womb in the birthing process. In most societies it is the first child, male or female who has a special position within the family, but particularly the male first child is revered in the orient. This first child was called Cain which means to gain or regain and she is referring to her relationship with Yehovah, but it later on came to be related to two types of people. The brother of Cain was called Abel and this means the mist of the mountain dew, to be poetic it is a vapour which you see but is in certain senses is insubstantial.
This second son or twin was assigned to looking after the flocks. This was not an easy option, but it did mean that he worked away from his father and his mother over extended periods. The first son Cain was assigned to work the arable land with his father, and so therefore he stayed nearby to their dwelling place tackling the thorns and the thistles and the areas cleared by Adam and by his brother Abel using the sheep and goats and other animals, and basically working in the heat of the sun with sweat on his brow. This is not to say that being a Shepherd does not involve sweating but the difference between the two doesn’t appear until an incident some days which could be a few days or it could be a whole year later. After crops had been sewn and harvested a difference appears.
Remember during this time we can assume that they were being trained by Yehovah and their father and their mother. They were being trained to live with each other in a good relationship and with Yehovah in an excellent relationship.
Now it seems like the system of “tribute“ had been set up, that is a system whereby producers would bring in produce and silver or gold to a central authority or a central government. We see these systems set up in the Assyrian empire and also in the Babylonian empire whereby conquered nations would be given tributes to bring to the central government according to the agreed arrangement. This resulted in the flow of goods, silver and resources to the central government which would then use these resources not only to supply its needs and the needs of its population but also to build great halls and great houses with expressions of their supposed grandeur.
In any case it seems that within this dwelling a system of tribute was set up which would involve the workers we are concentrating on, Adam and Eve and Kane and Abel to bring tribute to Yehovah for inspection and acceptance or rejection. This will be done on the basis of a contract which is: if you do good good will come to you, and this is a powerful lesson that Yehovah wanted to reinforce over and over again.
However this was specific to Cain who had an inherent difficulty. And it is not that Yehovah wanted to condemn Cain, it was that he wanted him to learn to rely on Yehovah, to overcome all his issues and problems and to rise up be and be an example of the power of the Imperial administration of Yehovah. This would imply that this was individual tutoring to Cain based off the general principle that if you do good you will receive good from Yehovah.
So we are told that after sometime one of these inspection visits was due and Cain wanted to bring to this visit some fruits and some of the produce which he had produced from the land. So that is what he did. But then his twin brother turned up. It says ‘as well,’ so that could imply that Cain wasn’t expecting him to turn up, but that would be unusual for a tribute day when everybody would be expected to bring their tribute, so what it implies to me is that he turned up with a better tribute!
When we look at this carefully we have no idea that Abel’s tribute was better than Cains. We only have the response of Yehovah which was pointedly, very pointedly all eyes on Abel and a point blank almost refusal to look at Cain and his tribute! This is unusual.
It is unusual because one would be tempted to think that this is respect of persons, and this is why it is important that this verse is translated sensitively and properly.
There is one phrase which indicates what is going on, and that is “is it not if/with or should it not be if/with?” This phrase indicates that some prior instruction or contract has been set up which both parties understand. Now we go and look at the specific behaviour of Cain and we find that he erupts into a violent rage or anger and then he falls over on his face! So whichever way you want to describe it that is the kind of description we want to come up with, someone so out of control with rage, he falls over on his face!
Now instead of being annoyed or angry at Cain’s behaviour, after all he is in front of the supreme creator when this happens, instead we find what can only be considered as conciliatory words. These are words trying to bring Cain back to his senses and to what the whole process that he was engaged in was about! So Cain erupted like a volcano: the question is why are you erupting like a common volcano? So Cain fell on his face: the question is why are you falling on your face?
Then comes the phrase ‘should it not be with you doing good, or being excellent, or being thorough that you will be lifted up, (as opposed to falling down, that there would be a rising, as opposed to an explosion like a volcano) that you would be held up, your tribute would be held up and you would be filled with a feeling of worthiness.
So we see that just from this brief interaction that Yehovah is attempting to bring Cain to his senses and remind him of the conditions under which he is contractually obligated to Yehovah for his own good, to help him to overcome this inherent weakness or failing or instability.
And we know that they are eating from the tree of good and bad knowledge, but Yehovah does not want to mention or concentrate on the bad so it doesn’t say if you do bad. He doesn’t want us to be thinking of bad, he wants us to be concentrating on what is good and excellent and noble. Something that the messenger Paul talked to the Phillipians, probably extracted from this encounter with Cain recorded here. Always focus on the excellent, the noble and the good no matter what kind of situation you are in, because if you do Yehovah has contracted with you to lift you up, to raise you up and to bring into you a rising up of your ability and standards. Thisis a contractual agreement with Yehovah to all who refuse to look on anything but the good or to do anything but the good.
Now realistically what happens if you fail to do what is good and pleasing and excellent? Even in this situation Yehovah has established a way to bring you back up to the contract agreement and this is where the translators have misleadingly translated this phrase. Some who have a look at this have gone on to use the word “sin“ and to try and draw attention to the whole theology of “sin“ and how it relates from this first appearance of the word chattah through to the redemptive work of Yhosha, but they have done this through their own Christology or theology. They have not looked at what Yehovah is teaching Cain and demonstrating through Abel.
If you do not do good, or if you do not perform well enough then there is an option provided by the door of the “house“. Go to the door or the opening of this meeting place and see what is waiting patiently there! It is the covenant breaking offering that is just waiting there patiently! It is sat down with its legs folded and in itself it is just waiting looking for who? In this case it was looking for Cain, it was waiting there all along at the opening for Cain. It would seem that he just walked right past it and brought his produce offering and tribute before Yehovah. So what did Abel do?
Specifically it said he brought his tribute as the collection from all the flock which were first out of the womb in his flock. You know therefore he took care to note who was giving birth for the first time, and that lamb or goat was set aside as the first. And then all these firsts were collected together and they were what he was going to give to Yehovah. Now this did not necessarily mean that they were the best, but generally the ones that are first out of the womb are better than all those that follow because they have had the best of the mother, so it is clear that his intention was to give Yehovah the best. And then it says that he brought the fat of them, all the choicest of them.
No it’s possible that he slaughtered these animals, disembowelled them and brought the fat of them before Yehovah, But it is more likely that he selected from among the first ones, the ones that looked in the best condition, whose midriff was round and plump, whose wool or skin was clean, whose eyes were bright and teeth were good etc. I’m other words he took care to bring the best of the best. This was his tribute offering to Yehovah. And the response of Yehovah was to give these animals a thorough inspection! He looked them over, up and down and sideways to check that they were indeed the best and the plumpest and the finest. This is very pointed because he didn’t look at the produce of the fruit that Cain had brought from the land in any detail whatsoever! Instead he gave Cain this mini “lecture“ about what he should be doing?
Now I am sorry if it seems that this was a lecture when in fact it was part of the training process that Cain required and needed to go through. As he said this covenant breaking offering is for you, it’s at the door, well at the opening of this “temple“ or house and more than that you will have abundance from it! Or she will be abundant from it.
Now this is the same verb that was said to Eve, that her “desire“ would be towards her husband. Here it is translated as desire in the sense of longing, but the word actually means to create an overflow of abundance, and so in each case Yehovah was making clear to her that she would get an overflow of abundance from her he mate if she stuck with her he mate as Yehovah instructed. And similarly in this case although the form of the verb could be referring to Cain or to the covenant breaking offering and the ‘it’ has to refer to some male noun somewhere, never the less the idea is that this patient, willing animal would provide for him abundance, overflowing abundance. The only probable male reference is the opening.
So the teaching here is if you do well there will be a rising up and enervation and exaltation, and if you don’t do well then by the opening is a covenant breaking offering which will provide an abundance to you at the entrance and it is for you! This is all personal instruction for Cain because it is important to realise that this whole portion is about the inherent self-centredness and flaws within us and what we can do about it, and also what happens if we do nothing about it
The last part of the saying is that: you will represent in it! That is to say that if you do not do well you will represent this innocent willing animal at the temple opening if you so choose! In other words if you go back to the door take the covenant shredding offering and humble yourself, realising that it is there for you and you are to be there to represent it, and if you can do that; if you can represent its purity, its trust, its purpose and teachability, that will bring you superabundance at the door of the temple.
So this is the instruction to Cain and to all of us who want to develop a right relationship with Yehovah despite our inherent proclivities and waywardness and disobedience and selfishness which are biological traits, not so much character traits but which will become character traits if we don’t follow this advice.
The whole of chapter 4 is very significant because it shows that this inherent weakness if we do not rely on Yehovah can lead to disastrous outcomes not just for us but for the rest of humanity who do not want a relationship with Yehovah. We don’t know if the drastic measures that Cain went through actually helped him to come into a right relationship with Yehovah but we do see that his line was continued, that he started to get to know his wife which presumably he hadn’t done before and that in his line some very great artist and artisans and musicians and flutists etc first came into existence. But also we are reminded that this inherent rage and eruption doesn’t get any better through the generations, in fact if anything it seems to get worse. What we need to note from this chapter was that it was after the fourth generation that some notable increase in this weakness was proclaimed. We know from studying genetics there is something about dominant and sun-dominant traits. The modern genetic study has completely changed the understanding of genetic inheritance, however the genogram still seem to be useful in predicting family traits across three generations at least or more.
Further research required.