Monday, February 04, 2013

The Curse of Cain

                    Some people raise Cain at every opportunity

Evil multiplies
Adam ate the apple.
Cain killed his brother.
War ensued
God permitted hunting for food, but the weapons were so fascinating
that they wound up hunting people.

Blake painted a picture of Cain fleeing from what he had done:

The way Eve bent over backward reaching down to her dead son is
ironically reminiscent of an earlier picture of the snake. This picture
illustrates 'factual' affairs, but the one that ends the post is in the eternal

Cain couldn't escape the Lord, and a conversation ensued:

The Lord said: where's Abel?
Cain: am I my brother's keeper?
He told Cain he was cursed, his life would be hard and he was now a fugitive.
When Cain protested his fate, God said that vengeance would be
taken seven fold against anyone who killed  Cain .

Cain went to the Land of Nod and had a family.

Here is the full story in Genesis 4:
  1. And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the Lord.
  2. Genesis 4:2
    And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.
  3. Genesis 4:3
    And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord.
  4. Genesis 4:5
    But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.
  5. Genesis 4:6
    And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?
  6. Genesis 4:8
    And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, thatCain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.
  7. Genesis 4:9
    And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper?
  8. Genesis 4:13
    And Cain said unto the Lord, My punishment is greater than I can bear.
  9. Genesis 4:15
    And the Lord said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the Lord set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him.

    (When you look at that text poetically you perceive that God is
    predicting a multiplying violence, which the rest of Genesis certainly
    bears out.)
  10. Genesis 4:16
    And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.
  11. Genesis 4:17
    And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch: and he builded a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son, Enoch.
  12. Genesis 4:24
    If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy and sevenfold.
In 1821 Lord Byron wrote an unorthodox drama called Cain: A
Mystery.  In it he justified Cain's action as an act of rebellion against
an unjust God.

In 1822 Blake wrote a play about Abel called The Ghost of Abel;
He didn't feel that any act justifies murder.  He separated the Diety
into a vindictive Elohim and a forgiving Jehovah.

Here's Cain in the eternal mode:

From Plate six of the First Book of Urizen

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