About Abel .
2nd son of Adam and Eve. He was a shepherd. When God accepted his offering (of first born calves), and refused the offering brought by Cain, Cain murdered him in out of jealousy.
Abel, el segundo hijo de Adán y Eva, fue un joven pastor de ovejas. . . y nada más se dice de él excepto que fue muerto por su hermano mayor en un ataque premeditado. (Gén. 4:8).
Abel means 'a breath, vapor; transitorines.
Genesis 4:1-2 - 'And Adam lay with his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, "With the help of the Lord I have brought forth a man." Later she gave birth to his brother Abel.
The Book of Jubilees: Chapter 4:1 - 'And in the third week in the second jubilee she gave birth to Cain, and in the fourth she gave birth to Abel, and in the fifth she gave birth to her daughter Awan. (One Jubilee is 49 years plus 4 weeks which would be 28 years putting his birth at 3927 B.C.)
Abel later made an offering to God (story is found in Genesis Chapter 4). In Hebrews 11:4, the Apostle Paul refers to Abel as the first man of faith.
Cain brought an offering to the Lord from the 'end of the days' of the fruit of the ground. He lacked a sincerity in his faith and his deeds were evil. Abel brought his offering from the firstlings of his flock. He came before God in true faith and dedication to righteousness. Abel's sacrifice was respected but Cain's was not. (If we are striving to live a righteous life according to His will when we give God our offerings and thanksgiving, then He takes pleasure in that and will respect our offering.)
Cain became angry and jealous: Genesis 4:8-l2: 'And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and slew him.
The Book of Jubilees - 4:2-3 - ..'And in the first (year) of the third jubilee, Cain slew Abel because (God) accepted the sacrifice of Abel, and did not accept the offering of Cain.' (Two Jubilees would be 98 years plus the first year of the third Jubilee putting the year of Abel's murder at 3905 B.C.)
And the Lord said unto Cain, "Where is Abel thy brother?" And he said, "I know not: Am I my brother's keeper?" And he said, "What has thou Done: the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground. And now are thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand. When you work the land it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth."
Cain and Abel in Islam
Cain and Abel (Arabic: هابيل ,قابيل , Qabil and Habil) are believed by Muslims to have been the first two sons of Adam and Eve, although they are not mentioned by their names in the Quran. The story in the Qur'an is virtually the same as the Hebrew Bible narrative, saying that both the brothers were asked to offer up individual sacrifices to God. God accepted Abel's sacrifice because of Abel's righteousness and Cain, out of jealousy, slew Abel. This was the first ever sin committed upon Earth but Abel was chronicled in history as one of the first believers and as the first ever martyr. Although Islam does not traditionally view Abel as a prophet, some scholars speak of him as a prophet like his father.
In the Qur'an
Of Adam's first children, Cain was the elder son and Abel the younger. Each of them presented a sacrifice to God but it was accepted only from Abel, because of the latter's righteous attitude and his faith and firm belief in God. After the offering of their sacrifices, Cain, the wicked sibling, taunted Abel out of envy and told him that he would surely slay him. Abel justly warned Cain that God only accepted the sacrifice of those that are righteous in their doings. He further went on to tell Cain that if Cain did indeed try to slay him, Abel would not retaliate and slay him because the God-fearing would never murder for the sake of envy. Abel then told Cain that in murdering him, he would carry the weight not only of his sin but also of the sins of his victim. The victim, as a result, in suffering the injustice, would be forgiven his own sins and the murderer, while being warned, would consequently increase his own sin. Abel preached powerfully and reminded Cain that the punishment for murder would be that he would spend the afterlife in the fires of Hell.
The innocent pleading and preaching of Abel had no effect upon Cain, for he was full of arrogance, pride and jealousy. He subsequently slew the righteous Abel, but in doing so, he ruined himself and became of those who remain lost. This would be the earliest example of the murder of a righteous man taking place upon the earth. In the future, many other evildoers would slay the wise and pious believers.
Right after the murder took place, Allah (God) sent a crow who scratched the ground to show Cain how to hide the dead body of his brother. Cain, in his shame, began to curse himself and he became full of guilt. The thought of the crime at last came to the murderer, as he realized indeed how dreadful it was to slay anyone, the more so as the victim was an innocent and righteous man. Full of regrets, Cain was marked with deep sorrow. The Qur'an states, "Then he became one of those who regretted." 5:31 (Chapter 5, verse 31)
Grave of Abel
According to Shi'a Muslim belief, Abel is buried in the Nabi Habeel Mosque, located on the west mountains of Damascus, near the Zabadani Valley, overlooking the villages of the Barada river (Wadi Barada), in Syria. Muslims are frequent visitors of this mosque for ziyarat. The mosque was built by Ottoman Wali Ahmad Pasha in 1599.
The Qur'an states that the story of Cain and Abel was a message for mankind, as it had told them about the consequences of murder and that the killing of a soul would be as if he/she had slain the whole of mankind. But the Qur'an states that still people rejected the message of the story and continued to commit grave sins, slaying prophets, messengers as well as the righteous people. All the prophets who preached since the time of Adam were persecuted, insulted or reviled in one way or another. With some righteous men, however, the Qur'an states that people went one step further, in attempting to slay them or indeed slaying them. The Qur'an itself mentions the slaying of the righteous, saying "As to those who deny the Signs of God and in defiance of right, slay the prophets, and slay those who teach just dealing with mankind, announce to them a grievous penalty".
In psychoanalytic theory
Freud’s theory of fratricide is explained by the Oedipus or Electra complex through Jung's supplementation. Indeed, in the Old Testament, in particular in the Judaic, Midrash Rabba, and Islamic versions, wherein Cain and Abel are not the only offspring of Adam and Eve, but born as twins with one sister each. In that regard, Abel and Cain were the first two sons, each of whom was born with a twin sister, and Adam decided that, to avoid incest, Abel would marry Cain's sister and Cain would marry Abel's sister. However, Cain refused because he wanted to keep his own sister, while Abel respected the paternal law. Adam suggested sacrificial offerings, and, in his absence, God accepted Abel's lamb rather than Cain's offering of grass. As a result of this preference, Cain killed Abel. However, this interpretation does not relate to the preference of the sacrifices by God, but rather to the acceptance or rejection of God's law. Abel obeyed this law while Cain did not, and, as a result, Cain killed Abel.
Legacy and symbolism
Allusions to Cain and Abel as an archetype of fratricide appear in numerous references and retellings, through medieval art and Shakespearean works up to present day fiction. A millennia-old explanation for Cain being capable of murder is that he may have been the offspring of a fallen angel or Satan himself, rather than being from Adam.
A medieval legend has Cain arriving at the Moon, where he eternally settled with a bundle of twigs. This was originated by the popular fantasy of interpreting the shadows on the Moon as a face. An example of this belief can be found in Dante Alighieri's Inferno (XX, 126) where the expression "Cain and the twigs" is used as a kenning for "moon".
In medieval Christian art,[dubious – discuss] particularly in 16th century Germany, Cain is depicted as a stereotypical ringleted, bearded Jew, who killed Abel the blonde, European gentile symbolizing Christ. This traditional depiction has continued for centuries in some form, such as James Tissot's 19th century Cain leads Abel to Death.
In the treatise on Christian Hermeticism, Meditations on the Tarot: A journey into Christian Hermeticism, describes the biblical account of Cain and Abel as a myth, i.e. it expresses, in a form narrated for a particular case, an "eternal" idea. It shows us how brothers can become mortal enemies through the very fact that they worship the same God in the same way. According to the author, the source of religious wars is revealed. It is not the difference in dogma or ritual which is the cause, but the "pretention to equality" or "the negation of hierarchy".
In Latter-day Saint theology, Cain is considered to be the quintessential Son of Perdition, the father of secret combinations (i.e. secret societies and organized crime), as well as the first to hold the title Master Mahan meaning master of [the] great secret, that [he] may murder and get gain.
In Mormon folklore — a second-hand account relates that an early Mormon leader, David W. Patten, encountered a very tall, hairy, dark-skinned man in Tennessee who said that he was Cain. The account states that Cain had earnestly sought death but was denied it, and that his mission was to destroy the souls of men. The recollection of Patten's story is quoted in Spencer W. Kimball's The Miracle of Forgiveness, a popular book within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This widespread Mormon belief is further emphasized by an account from Salt Lake City in 1963 which stated that "One superstition is based on the old Mormon belief that Cain is a black man who wanders the earth begging people to kill him and take his curse upon themselves (M, 24, SLC, 1963)."
There were other, minor traditions concerning Cain and Abel, of both older and newer date. The apocryphal Book of Adam and Eve tells of Eve having a dream in which Cain drank his brother’s blood. In an attempt to prevent the prophecy from happening the two young men are separated and given different jobs.