Genesis 4:2

2 Later she gave birth to his brother Abel. Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil.

Genesis 4:2 in Other Translations

2 And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.
2 And again, she bore his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a worker of the ground.
2 Later she gave birth to his brother and named him Abel. When they grew up, Abel became a shepherd, while Cain cultivated the ground.
2 Then she had another baby, Abel. Abel was a herdsman and Cain a farmer.
2 Then she also gave birth to his brother Abel. Now Abel became a shepherd of a flock, but Cain cultivated the land.

Genesis 4:2 Meaning and Commentary

Genesis 4:2

And she again bare his brother Abel
Or "added to bare" F25, not directly or immediately, but perhaps the following year; though some have thought, because no mention is made of her conceiving again, that she brought forth Abel at the same time she did Cain, or that the birth of the one immediately followed upon that of the other: and it is the common opinion of the Jews F26 that with Abel, as with Cain, was born a twin sister, whom the Arabic writers F1 call Lebuda: the name of Abel, or rather Hebel, signifies not "mourning", as Josephus F2 observes, but "vanity", Eve not making that account of him as she did of Cain; or perhaps because by this time she became sensible of her mistake in him, or had met with something which convinced her that all earthly enjoyments were vanity; or by a spirit of prophecy foresaw what would befall this her second son, that he should be very early deprived of his life in a violent manner:

and Abel was a keeper of sheep:
a calling which he either chose himself, or his father put him to, and gave him; for though he and his brother were born to a large estate, being the heirs of Adam, the lord of the whole earth, yet they were not brought up in idleness, but in useful and laborious employments:

but Cain was a tiller of the ground:
of the same occupation his father was, and he being the first born, was brought up in the same business, and might be a reason why he was put into it.


F25 (tdll Potw) "et addidit ut pareret", Pagninus, Montanus; "addidit autem parere", Cocceius, Schmidt.
F26 Pirke Eliezer. c. 21.
F1 Abulpharag. ut supra. (Hist. Dynast. p. 6.)
F2 Antiqu. l. 1. c. 2. sect. 1.

Genesis 4:2 In-Context

1 Adam made love to his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, “With the help of the LORD I have brought forth a man.”
2 Later she gave birth to his brother Abel. Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil.
3 In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the LORD.
4 And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering,
5 but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.

Cross References 2

  • 1. Matthew 23:35; Luke 11:51; Hebrews 11:4; Hebrews 12:24
  • 2. S Genesis 2:7
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