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Headword: *ka/i+n
Adler number: kappa,27
Translated headword: Cain
Vetting Status: high
The brother of Abel. [It was he] who was greedy; but Abel attended to righteousness. And Cain having killed Abel hid his corpse, thinking that it would thenceforth escape notice.
And after his condemnation he was living worse. Having become rapacious and greedy he invented measures and weights and boundaries of the land; and after he had founded a city, he compelled his relatives to assemble, and those from his tribe were busying themselves in wars.[1]
It has been said by some that Cain came from the seed of the Devil and that because he hated his own brother Abel he killed him. But a saying of the Lord to the Jews has also been reported about this man in the gospels: "You are children of the Devil. Your father from the beginning is a murderer, as also is his father."[2]
What does it mean that anyone who kills Cain will pay seven punishments?[3] It has an interpretation like this: each man will die on account of his own sin; but the one who has begun murder and has become a guide to others of sin will be punished sevenfold, that is many times more. For [it is] customary to use this number unquantifiably in Scripture, and it is indicative of an indefinite multitude, as in 'Render to our neighbors sevenfold.'[4] Also 'a barren woman begot seven.'[5] And 'I do not say to you up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.'[6] For while dying gives relief from the evils of life, living in fear and grief imposes countless apparent deaths. And so trembling and groaning Cain like one possessed by a demon spent all of his life under censure, receiving this sign lest he be killed by anyone. And you will find seven punishments, if you mean the sins committed by Cain; or if [you mean] that which has been decreed against him by God, you will not miss the idea this way either. For behold the first sin among those dared by Cain is his jealousy because of the preference of Abel. The second deceit, saying to his brother with whom he was conversing, 'Let us go through into the field'. The third is murder, an addition of evil; the fourth, that the murder was of his brother. The fifth, that as the first murderer he left behind a wicked example for life. The sixth, that he placed sorrow upon his parents. The seventh, that he lied to God saying, 'I do not know my brother'. But these are the punishments from divine justice for his chastisement. The first punishment: 'the land is accursed from you'. Second: 'you work the earth'. Third: 'and it will not continue to give to you its strength'. The fourth scourge is joined with the fifth: 'you will be groaning and trembling upon the earth'. The sixth Cain himself reveals by saying: 'if you cast me out now from you, I will also be hidden from your face'. For the most burdensome punishment is the separation from God. The seventh is that his punishment is not hidden, but is proclaimed with a manifest sign before everyone because of his groaning and trembling. And so, he says, anyone who dares murder against you, having released you from the evils of your present life will take your punishment on himself. Therefore it says, 'And the Lord placed a sign upon Cain that everyone finding him was not to kill him'.[7]
Greek Original:
*ka/i+n: o( tou= *)/abel a)delfo/s, o(\s pleone/kths h)=n: o( de\ *)/abel dikaiosu/nhs e)pemelei=to. kai\ o( *ka/i+n ktei/nas to\n *)/abel e)/kruye to\n nekro\n au)tou=, laqei=n e)nteu=qen oi)o/menos. kai\ meta\ th\n katadi/khn xeiro/nws e)bi/w, a(/rpac kai\ pleone/kths geno/menos me/tra kai\ sta/qmia kai\ o(/rous gh=s e)peno/hse, kai\ po/lin kti/sas ei)s e(\n sunelqei=n tou\s oi)kei/ous h)na/gkase, kai\ oi( e)k ge/nous au)tou= ei)s pole/mous e(autou\s a)phsxo/loun. o(/ti ei)/rhtai/ tisin, w(s o( *ka/i+n e)k th=s tou= *diabo/lou spora=s e)ge/neto kai\ mish/sas to\n i)/dion a)delfo\n to\n *)/abel tou=ton a)nei=len. ei)/rhtai de\ peri\ tou/tou kai\ xrh=sis tou= kuri/ou e)n toi=s eu)aggeli/ois pro\s tou\s *)ioudai/ous: u(mei=s te/kna e)ste\ tou= *diabo/lou. o( path\r u(mw=n a)p' a)rxh=s a)nqrwpokto/nos e)sti/n, w(s kai\ o( path\r au)tou=. ti/ dhloi= to/, pa=s o( a)poktei/nas *ka/i+n e(pta\ e)kdikou/mena paralu/sei; toiau/thn e)/xei th\n lu/sin: e(/kastos tw=| e(autou= a(marth/mati a)poqanei=tai: o( de\ fo/nou kata/rcas kai\ toi=s a)/llois tou= a(marth/matos u(fhghth\s geno/menos e(ptaplasi/ws timwrhqh/setai, toute/sti pollaplasi/ws. su/nhqes ga\r th=| grafh=| tw=| a)riqmw=| tou/tw| a)prosdiori/stws kexrh=sqai, kai/ e)stin a)diori/stou plh/qous shmantiko/n, w(s to/, a)po/dos toi=s gei/tosin h(mw=n e(ptaplasi/ona. kai/, o(/ti stei=ra e)/teken e(pta/. kai/, ou) le/gw soi e(/ws e(pta/kis, a)ll' e(/ws e(bdomhkonta/kis e(pta/. to\ me\n ga\r teleuth=sai tw=n e)n bi/w| ponhrw=n e)pa/gei th\n a)na/pausin, to\ de\ zh=n e)n fo/bw| kai\ lu/ph| muri/ous e)pa/gei tou\s e)n sunaisqh/sei qana/tous. tre/mwn ou)=n kai\ ste/nwn o( *ka/i+n w(/sper dai/moni ka/toxos e)n e)pilhyi/a| pa/nta to\n bi/on au)tou= dih=ge, tou=to pro\s to\ mh\ a)naireqh=nai u(po/ tinos labw\n to\ shmei=on. e)kdikou/mena de/, ei)/te ta\ para\ tw=| *ka/i+n h(marthme/na le/gois, eu(rh/seis e(pta/: ei)/te para\ qeou= e)p' au)tw=| r(hqe/nta, ou)d' ou(/tws a)poteu/ch| th=s e)nnoi/as. e)n me\n ga\r toi=s para\ tou= *ka/i+n tetolmhme/nois prw=ton a(ma/rthma fqo/nos e)pi\ th=| protimh/sei *)/abel. deu/teron do/los, meq' ou(= diele/xqh tw=| a)delfw=| ei)pw/n, die/lqwmen ei)s to\ pedi/on. tri/ton fo/nos, prosqh/kh tou= kakou=. te/tarton, o(/ti kai\ a)delfou= fo/nos. pe/mpton, o(/ti kai\ prw=tos foneu\s ponhro\n u(po/deigma tw=| bi/w| katalipw/n. e(/kton, o(/ti goneu=si pe/nqos e)nepoi/hsen. e(/bdomon, o(/ti qeo\n e)yeu/sato ei)pw/n, o(/ti ou)k oi)=da to\n a)delfo/n. ai( de\ ei)s ko/lasin au)tw=| para\ th=s qei/as di/khs timwri/ai ei)si\n au(=tai. prw/th ko/lasis: e)pikata/ratos h( gh= a)po\ sou=. deute/ra: e)rga=| th\n gh=n. tri/th: kai\ ou) prosqh/sei dou=nai/ soi th\n i)sxu\n au)th=s. teta/rth meta\ th=s pe/mpths sunezeugme/nh ma/stic: ste/nwn kai\ tre/mwn e)/sh| e)pi\ th=s gh=s. e(/kth, h(\n au)to\s a)peka/luyen o( *ka/i+n ei)pw/n: ei) e)kbalei=s me nu=n a)po/ sou, kai\ a)po\ tou= prosw/pou sou krubh/somai. h( baruta/th ko/lasis o( a)po\ tou= qeou= xwrismo\s toi=s swfronou=sin. e(bdo/mh to\ mh\ kru/ptesqai th\n timwri/an, a)lla\ shmei/w| prodh/lw| pa=si prokekhru/xqai dia\ tou= stenagmou= kai\ tou= tro/mou. pa=s ou)=n, fhsi/n, o( nu=n to\n kata\ sou= fo/non a)potolmh/sas, kakw=n se tw=n kata\ to\n paro/nta bi/on a)palla/cas th\n kata\ sou= paralu/sei timwri/an: dio/ fhsi: kai\ e)/qeto o( ku/rios shmei=on tw=| *ka/i+n tou= mh\ a)nelei=n au)to\n pa/nta to\n eu(ri/skonta au)to/n.
cf. alpha 30, theta 196, lambda 83, mu 1037, sigma 295.
[1] George the Monk, Chronicon 7.3-7.
[2] John 8:44.
[3] Genesis 4.15.
[4] Psalm 78.12 LXX.
[5] 1 Kingdoms 2.5 LXX.
[6] Matthew 18.22.
[7] George the Monk, Chronicon 8.9-10.4. The story of Cain and Abel is found in Genesis 4.1-16.
Keywords: biography; Christianity; ethics; historiography; imagery; mathematics; religion; science and technology
Translated by: Bobbiejo Winfrey on 7 September 2003@08:58:49.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (modified aspects of translation; added notes and keyword) on 8 September 2003@06:14:11.
David Whitehead (more x-refs) on 8 September 2003@06:54:47.
Catharine Roth (modified translation) on 8 September 2003@23:28:29.
Catharine Roth (modified translation, added note) on 9 September 2003@23:24:00.
Catharine Roth (modified translation, added notes) on 10 September 2003@22:32:28.
David Whitehead (more keywords; tweaking) on 18 January 2013@08:54:54.
Catharine Roth (coding) on 8 November 2014@01:18:45.
David Whitehead (coding) on 29 April 2016@03:03:53.
Catharine Roth (tweaked translation) on 8 March 2019@01:17:41.


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