In Gen 4:3 it says that "in the course of time" (NASB) they brought an offering to YHVH. The 2 Hebrew words are typically translated "at the end of days" which seems to me to imply a specific end of specific days. In reference to Gen 1-4 what might this "day" at "the end of days" specifically be referring to?

In Gen 4:3 it says that "in the course of time" (NASB) Cain and Abel brought an offering to YHVH. Is this a specific time / day that they were to come and meet with YHWH,and if so what time / day would this be?

  • 1
    No "meeting" with YHWH is implied in the passage. The language "brought" in "brought an offering to YHWH" is an overly literal and incomplete translation from the MT Hebrew ויבא that can lead the English reader into thinking that the brothers brought something to someone, i.e. met with someone. The actual meaning in English is more like "made an offering to YHWH", with no implication of movement or meeting. The Hebrew ויבא here means "brought [from] (their produce)" rather than "brought [to]".
    – user17080
    Commented Aug 19, 2017 at 20:09
  • @AbuMunirIbnIbrahim if you simply read the passage you see YHWH is present when the offering is made because there is dialogue between Cane and YHWH! You don't need to know Hebrew to see that God was present "meeting" with them.
    – JLB
    Commented Aug 19, 2017 at 21:12
  • 1
    That's an excellent point, but the dialogue with YHWH occurs only after the second offering and only with Cain, not with Abel, and the language is "and YHWH said", rather than appeared or other indication of presence, The concept of "meeting with God" is not in the Pentateuch. That's much too anthropomorphic for the sensibilities of the text.
    – user17080
    Commented Aug 19, 2017 at 21:23
  • @AbuMunirIbnIbrahim I respectfully disagree- God walked with Adam in the cool of the day, He also was there again after the fall searching for Adam while he was hiding behind the tree in the garden, calling out "Adam where are you", then he had extensive conversation with each of them individually (Adam, Eve, the serpent), afterwards God Himself performs the first sacrifice and personally cloths them with the skins to cover there sin and maintain the relationship with them. I believe chapter 3 gives us background and context to ch 4. God is not like us but we are like Him - theopomorphic.
    – JLB
    Commented Aug 19, 2017 at 21:43
  • Good point, but that was not the intent or context of the offering in this verse. In the garden of Eden, God is the initiator of the "meeting". There was no sacrifice and Adam was not the initiator.
    – user17080
    Commented Aug 19, 2017 at 21:47

2 Answers 2


This is an interesting question, and some refer to the "morning" and "evening" sacrifices that were later instituted, as a specific time of day. I would look at this somewhat differently. The literal Hebrew could be: (וַֽיְהִ֖י מִקֵּ֣ץ יָמִ֑ים) "And it was in the end of days (or time) " So connecting this idea i.e. "in the time of fulfillment," with the following phrase, "Cain brought the fruit of the ground," it would appear that the time of day is not at issue, but the time of year, the time of harvest. Able, also, brought the firstborn of the flock, during the fall, after the spring birthing of the flocks, assuming that the seasons followed as we understand them now. In my mind this would indicate that there was some knowledge of what God intended, therefore we find the difference between Cain and Abel's sacrifice. Abel obeyed God in His instruction. We know this from " "By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks." (Heb 11:4 ESV)

The lesson I would take away is that we must strive to understand God's design and will for us, by hearing His voice (via the scripture and the Holy Spirit), and beyond our own desires, follow Him in His instruction, if it makes sense to us, and especially if it does not.


Another possibility to consider is the following.

The Hebrew expression would indicate the end of the time period (unspecified) in which the two brothers performed their peculiar activities (maybe with Cain avoiding Abel, being annoyed about the uprightness of his 'good' brother?), with no occasion of collision between them. The situation came to a head starting with the occasion of their offerings given to God...

This is only an hypothesis, since it is a Hebrew catch-all expression.

  • Landraider, an answer must address the question being asked. Your recent "answers" to various questions are more like comments. If you have an hypothesis to put, then ask you own question. Don't forget to provide some support for it though.
    – enegue
    Commented Oct 12, 2017 at 3:41

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