Cain and Abel

The Bible book of Genesis recounts that after being expelled from Paradise, Adam and Eve had two sons. Cain, the eldest, became a farmer, and Abel a shepherd. The brothers made an offering to God: Abel a lamb, and Cain some fruit. God refused Cain’s offering, but accepted Abel’s. Cain was very angry and led his unsuspecting brother into the field and killed him, thus committing the first murder. God condemned Cain to a life as a fugitive and vagabond. In medieval art, this Old Testament fratricide is often illustrated as a prefiguration of the death of Christ in the New Testament.

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