Cain was the Biblical figure in the book of Genesis, the first son of Adam and Eve. (See Genesis 4 for the full passage)

He was a tiller of the ground, while his younger brother Abel tended the sheep. Apparently God always gave Abel an easier time, and Cain grew jealous. One day when they were in the field, he killed his brother.

Afterwards the Lord asked Cain, "Where is Abel?"
Cain replied "How should I know? Am I supposed to look after my brother?"
Then, according to the Bible, the Lord said:

"Why have you done this terrible thing? You killed your own brother, and his blood flowed onto the ground. Now his blood is calling out for me to punish you. And so, I'll put you under a curse. Because you killed Abel and made his blood run onto the ground, you will never be able to farm the land, it won't produce anything for you. From now on, you'll be without a home, and you'll spend the rest of your life wandering from place to place.
"This punishment is too hard!" Cain said. "You're making me leave my home and live far from you. I will have to wander about without a home, and just anyone could kill me."
"No!" the Lord answered. "Anyone who kills you will be punished seven times worse than I am punishing you." So the Lord put a mark on Cain to warn everyone not to kill him. But Cain had to go far from the Lord and live in the land of Wandering, which is east of Eden.

Cain was the first murderer, and the first to sin after original sin (eating the forbidden fruit). There's an interesting religion called Cainism which involves Cain and hitting bottom (shockingly similiar to Fight Club). I'm sure he died before the Flood.

According to fiction, Cain is supposed to be the legendary father of Vampires, at least in Vampire: The Masquerade.

azzer thinks Gollum from Lord of the Rings shares remarkable similiarities with Cain.

The anonymous author of Beowulf claims that the monster Grendel was a descendant of Cain.
...fief of the giants
the hapless wight a while had kept
since the Creator his exile doomed.
On kin of Cain was the killing avenged
by sovran God for slaughtered Abel.
Ill fared his feud, and far was he driven,
for the slaughter's sake, from sight of men.
Of Cain awoke all that woful breed,
Etins and elves and evil-spirits,
as well as the giants that warred with God...
Beowulf, Book I, 5-7 (Translated by Francis B. Gummere, 1910, copyright expired)
This seems a bit inconsistent on the part of Anonymous, at least in the context of the bible, wherein it explictly states that God offers Cain some of his most robust protection anywhere offered in the Good Book:

Whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. Genesis 4:15,
And then later he offers Cain's descendants even better protection:

If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech {Cain's Great Great Grandson} seventy and sevenfold. Genesis 4:24
One can't help at least flirting with the notion that these are some seminal examples of God's Subsidy of Evil. Perhaps Beowulf's death at the hands/claws of the Dragon was God's revenge for messing with one of Cain's kin.


The firstborn son of Adam and Eve, Cain was a farmer and the older brother of the shepherd Abel. When Cain offered in sacrifice the produce of the field (stintingly given, according to tradition, though the Bible does not say that), God disdained the offering, preferring Abel's sacrifice of the firstborn sheep of his flock. This enraged Cain, who summoned his brother out to a field and killed him. Legend supplies another detail omitted from the bare biblical narrative: The murder weapon was a stone.

Calling Cain to account for the first murder in human history, the Lord asked him, "Where is Abel your brother? Refusing to accept responsibility for the deed, Cain claimed not to know. "Am I my brother's keeper?" (Genesis 4:9) he replied, with words that are among the most familiar of biblical quotations. But, as it turned out, that was not a satifactory answer. "The voice of your brother's blood is crying to me from the ground" (Genesis 4:10), the Lord told him.

Because of his crime, Cain was sentenced to wander the earth and, if he did settle anywhere to farm, his labors would be futile; the ground into which Abel's blood had flowed would refuse to produce crops for him. Fearing that he himself would be killed by anyone who encountered him, Cain begged for mercy. "My punishment is greater than I can bear" (Genesis 4:13), he pleaded. God showed his forgiveness and mercy by promising to protect him with a mark (unexplained in Genesis but perhaps a skin blemish or a tattoo) that would ward off attackers. It was a sign that the Lord himself would demand vengeance if Cain were killed. Then Cain started him wanderings, "in the land of Nod, east of Eden" (Genesis 4:16) - the very word Nod meaning "wandering." According to tradition, he built a city named for his son Enoch; his descendants are said to have included the earliest tent-dwelling herdsmen, metalworkers, and musicians.

Cain is mentioned in the New Testament. Christians are warned "not to be like Cain" (1 John 3:12); ungodly people are said to "walk in the way of Cain" (Jude 11).

{E2 Dictionary of Biblical People}

Cain's story can be found in (The Table 5:27) and end at (The Table 5:31) in the Quran. The Quran does not make mention of the occupation of the 2 brothers. However, going to older scriptures will reveal that Cain was a farmer and Abel was a shephard as can be seen in Genesis 4. God accepted Abel's animal offering and rejected Cain's plant offering which led Cain to murder Abel. The only addition in the Quranic text that is not available in older scriptures is God sending a raven to show Cain how to bury his younger brother. On that account, the first murder was performed, and the first burial was also performed. The Quran often recalls stories from older scriptures in condensed poetic form. Cain and Able are called Qa'beel and Ha'beel in Arabic.

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