We read in Gen. 4:3-5 (D-R):

3 And it came to pass after many days, that Cain offered, of the fruits of the earth, gifts to the Lord. 4 Abel also offered of the firstlings of his flock, and of their fat: and the Lord had respect to Abel, and to his offerings. 5 But to Cain and his offerings he had no respect: and Cain was exceedingly angry, and his countenance fell.

It is my impression that the phrase, "And it came to pass after many days" reads in Hebrew as: "at the end of days."

May it be inferred that the sacrifices of Cain and Abel occurred on some kind of Sabbath day?

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    – agarza
    Aug 17 at 17:13
  • 1
    If the Hebrew means "at the end of days," then yes, that would seem to be a valid reading.
    – jaredad7
    Aug 17 at 18:48
  • We are not told so we do not know. "After many days" simply means after some time, perhaps years.
    – Dottard
    Aug 17 at 23:26
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    @NigelJ I've seen it said (about the Sabbath) from time to time in various places, but without convincing proof---as the Bible is silent on this. I figured I ask anyway. I was most interested to learn if the children of Adam came to sacrifice on their own; and if so, on a particular day---or perhaps---though we do not know for certain---if such sacrifices had been Personally commanded by God.
    – DDS
    Aug 18 at 19:39
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    And thanks for pointing out Hebrews 9:26.
    – DDS
    Aug 18 at 19:42

1 Answer 1


Verse 3 begins with וַֽיְהִ֖י (way·hî) that comes from the word הָיָה (hayah Strong's H1961) which is defined as "to fall out, come to pass, become, be".

We can gather addition information from the following commentaries:

  • Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

    (3, 4) In process of time.—Heb., at the end of days: not at the end of a week, or a year, or of harvest-time, but of a long indefinite period,

  • Barnes' Notes on the Bible

    At the end of days. - This may denote the end of the week, of the year, or of some longer period.

  • Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

    And in process of time it came to pass,.... Or "at the end of days" (c); which some understand of the end of seven days, at the end of the week, or on the seventh day, which they suppose to be the sabbath day, these sons of Adam brought their offerings to the Lord: but this proceeds upon an hypothesis not sufficiently established, that the seventh day sabbath was now appointed to be observed in a religious way; rather, according to Aben Ezra, it was at the end of the year;

  • Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges

    1. in process of time] Lit. “at the end of days,” a phrase for a period of quite indefinite length;
  • Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

    . . . "In process of time" (lit., at the end of days, i.e., after a considerable lapse of time:

So, "after many days" could refer to the end of the week, year, or other undefined time period.

Furthermore, the Sabbath arrangement for worship had not been formally established until centuries later under the guidance of Moses. (see Exodus 20:8-10; 31:16, 17)

For a full description of the Sabbath Day see the article in the Insight on the Scriptures.

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