There were various offerings throughout the Old Testament. In the book of Job, we see burnt offerings to cover ‘sins’. During the wilderness, these were defined.

But, what type of offering were Cain and Able performing in Genesis 4?

  • Could you explain what you mean by your paragraph labelled (2), please. Are you attempting to express sensus plenior by any chance ?
    – Nigel J
    Jul 14 '20 at 3:58
  • Easy answer, and short - Yes.
    – Dave
    Jul 14 '20 at 4:08
  • (1) There is no need to suggest 'hidden meaning'. It is patently clear that Cain had no respect to precedence - the sacrifice made in order to clothe his parents. But Abel did have respect to precedence. Hence the difference. And hence God respected neither Abel (himself) nor his offering. (2) They offered different offerings so there is no 'type' of offering relating to both.
    – Nigel J
    Jul 14 '20 at 4:23
  • 1
    Good point. Thanks. But, even your explanation ‘drew’ a lot of understanding from outside of the text, albeit not reliant on analysing the Hebraic aspects. Some clarification, I was asking about the purpose of the offering. I accept that they both, albeit with different substance, had the same intent, or purpose for their offerings, but what was the offering for? You seem? to be suggesting, by your connection to the animal skins God clothed Adam and Eve with, that the offering was for ‘sin covering’? But the fact that Abel sacrificed the ‘first born’ casts at least a little doubt (for me.)
    – Dave
    Jul 14 '20 at 5:30
  • 1
    The type of offering was immaterial. God said to Cain, "If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door." (Genesis 4:7) God could only have said this to Cain if Cain understood what was required of him. So, Cain chose to offer that which he knew fell short of what was expected.
    – enegue
    Jul 21 '20 at 7:23