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Cain and Abel: A Society of Choices

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Society of Choices

What makes a person walk a path in life they have chosen compared to a friend or a family member? Is it the society that they are a part of? Is it a person's own individuality?

In the Bible [Genesis 4:1-8] we learn the story of two brothers, one called Cain, and the other Abel. Cain and Abel were the sons of Adam and Eve who were the first humans created by Jehovah. Abel was a shepherd and Cain was a farmer.

There came a day when Cain and Abel both went to make an offering unto Jehovah; Abel made an offering from his flocks while Cain made an offering from the first fruits of his harvest. Cain's offering was rejected by Jehovah, Cain became jealous of Abel and his favor with Jehovah. In a jealous rage Cain slew Abel.

What drove Cain to slay Abel? Was it that he was jealous of Abel because Jehovah accepted Abel's offering over his own? Was it just plain sibling rivalry taken to the most extreme measure.

What if the situation was reversed and it was Abel's offering which was rejected by Jehovah? Would Abel have slew Cain. To understand this look into the occupation of each. Cain was a farmer, a land owner which is a very respected upper class member in a communal society. Abel was a shepherd, a keeper of sheep and not a landowner, which is a lower class member in a communal society. Cain held a high position in society while Abel did not. When the "Lord" of the estate showed favor to a lower class member of society, Cain instantly became jealous and slew Abel in his rage.

Usually an upper class member of a communal society holds a status that is above those of the lower classes and is beyond their laws. Abel would not have killed Cain because of the laws and harsh judgments of the society.

Cain choose his path, and his actions were his own. Cain, I am sure, loved his brother Abel; but Cain's position in the society could not be compromised even at the expense of his own brother's life.

With a combination of one's own will and the societal influences that shape him, he walks the path that he favors and that society will favor.



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