The Household of God
The early history of mankind
- Chapter 19 -
CAIN SLAYS ABEL
Behold and hear what happened! -Abel's altar of sacrifice was not far from that of Cain, and the whole distance amounted to seven times ten paces. Abel's altar was situated towards morning and that of Cain towards evening.
And behold, when Cain noticed that the smoke from Abel's altar was rising towards the sky, whereas the smoke from his altar was sinking to the ground, he became angry in his heart. However, he controlled his face so that his anger would not be noticeable, whilst Abel prayed for Cain since he had noticed his guile.
And the Lord heard Abel's prayer and, in response to the latter's pious wish, He made His voice be heard by the angry Cain and spoke with a forceful voice:
"Cain, why have you become unfaithful to Me and allowed your heart to become filled with anger? And why do you disguise your feelings and lie with your eyes? You have evil designs against Abel! Is it not so? Deny it if you can!
"I heard you curse My son, and I saw the empty sheaves which you considered good enough for Me in your indolence and greediness, and I also saw you several times in your laziness commit harlotry because most of the time you failed to do as commanded before you slept with your wife. Tell Me, is that not so?
"And behold, I watched you patiently and did not allow My punishing right hand to strike you and did not get angry at you in My holiness. Therefore, consider My words and become pious in your heart and I shall find you agreeable, and your sacrifice shall be again accepted. However, if you persist in the hidden malice of your heart, sin will have settled at your door to rule you; and you and all your descendants will become its slaves and servants and death will come upon all of you.
Therefore, do not allow sin to rule you now, but break its will energetically and submit it to your own so that you may become free, a master of your will which is basically evil as it is out of you and not out of Me."
And Cain bent down to the ground as though he wanted to repent, but at his feet he caught sight of a serpent and was so terrified that he quickly rose from the ground wanting to flee to Abel. But lo, the serpent wound itself around his feet and he was unable to move from the spot.
The serpent raised its head, opened its mouth and, deceitfully, said to Cain: "Why do you want to flee me? What have I done to you? Look, I am a being like you, but have to crawl on the ground in this miserable shape. Save me, and I shall be like you and more beautiful than your wife Ahar; and you will become like God, strong and mighty over all that exists on this earth."
And behold, then Cain said to the serpent: "You are lying; for when I found you in the grass, tore you up and consumed you, you had deceived me. How am I ever to believe your words again? On that occasion I had to suffer a great deal because of you, and therefore I am aware of your falsehood and can no longer trust you. And did you not hear the words of Jehovah from above?
Therefore, if there is any truthfulness within you, explain to me all this and convince me of the contrary. Then I will believe you and do what you wish."
And lo, the serpent spoke again, saying: "Look, it is all the fault of your brother Abel. He wants to seize by force the power to rule and rob you of your birth fight as the first-born. All this he handles so cunningly that he has even mislead the Deity, pretending to be very pious in order that It may allow him to rule everything on earth and he can mock you and trample you in the dirt. For, on the day when you found me in the grass and did what I advised you to do, you would have become a lord over everything had not the artful cunning of your fine brother discovered what was going to happen to you and he had immediately come to you as though he wanted to help you, reigning brotherly love. Indeed, he did help you, but not to gain the throne, which belongs by right to you, but he helped you into misery and into a total nothingness of your exalted being. This you should have sensed already long ago.
"Look, he was envious of you even in such a trifling thing as when the Lord had accepted your offering the same as his. And by his infamous tricks of flattery he knew how to influence the anyway weak will of Jehovah to reject your offering and in addition give you a rude reprimand.
"And look, he was disappointed that the Lord did not destroy you forthwith and you can now see how, with a deceitful prayer, he is trying to persuade the Lord to do to you what He has so far abstained from doing.
"In his great cunning Abel wants through his infamous flattery to induce the Lord in His blindness to transfer all His power to him, whereupon he, Abel, will dethrone the Lord. Then God will be languishing on earth, but Abel will be a ruling god on the throne of Jehovah forever.
"So do act now, for it is the last time that I am still able to give you the necessary strength to save God and yourself! Therefore, go to Abel quickly and speak to him with soft words to make him follow you here willingly. Then I shall hold him by the feet and bands, but you must take a stone and hit him hard on the head. This will give him the death he has had Jehovah threaten you with. Thus you will prevent your otherwise certain death and open the eyes of the deceived God's blind love, and He will then make you lord over the earth and subject to you the death of sin."
And thus persuaded, in the wickedness of his heart, Cain went to Abel and said to him in a soft voice: "Brother, brother, do come to me and free me from the serpent which again wants to destroy me!"
And Abel answered: "That which you believe may happen has already happened. However, what you are asking of me in your depravity, I will do in my love. Death, which you intend to give me, shall come upon you and my blood with which you will soak the earth shall cry to God and shall come upon you and all your children. And the stone with which you will slay your brother will become a stumbling block by which all your children will be shattered. But the serpent will spoil all the blood on earth and the blessed children will cry for revenge upon your blood. Then a great darkness will descend upon all of you and no one will understand the voice of his brother, just as you no longer understand mine since you have allowed your own great wickedness to blind you in the shape of a serpent within you and without. This was, is and will forever be the true curse of God's just judgment.
"And behold, since the Lord has shown me your secret evil plans and has made known to me your great anger, I am aware of what you intend to, and will, do with me, and why.
"O you, whose blindness will continue to the end of all time, take me as an innocent victim and do to me according to your wickedness within you and without so that your serpent may forever be proved a liar and you may experience in yourself which of us is the deceived one.
"Your insult to the Lord will take you captive, and after the deed your eyes and ears will be opened that you may see how the Lord will receive me as the last pleasing sacrifice from your hand, for there will be no more offering for you, but only death by which you have sacrificed your brother.
"Behold, I have all power over you and could easily destroy you like the mountain beyond that stream towards midnight.
"And lo, I shall call to the mountain and say: 'Here I am, Abel, the blessed of the Lord, filled with the might and power of the Holy Spirit. Vanish and come to nothing in order that Cain may learn how great his lie is!'
"And now you see, Cain, how the immense mountain hag vanished from existence through the power of the spirit of love within me. It would be quite as easy for me to destroy you! But in order to show you that there is no weakness in God and no base lust for power I now follow you willingly like a lamb to be slaughtered."
Now Cain took his brother gently by the arm and said to him: "What do you think of me, Abel! I seek your help and you already beforehand accuse me of intending to murder you. Come, follow me to the spot where the serpent is waiting for you and destroy it as you did the mountain, and free me and save yourself from the accusation of the serpent!"
But Abel's reply was only brief: "What is the difference between you and the serpent? - Do you in your blindness think that I, too, be a murderer of my brother? - Therefore, I will follow you and die for life, whereas you stay alive for death!"
Behold, these were Abel's last words to Cain, and Cain heard no further sound from the lips of Abel who followed him willingly.
When they had arrived at the spot where the serpent was waiting for Cain, this was the spot where Cain's wickedness became manifest by entangling Abel's feet and hands and throwing him to the ground. And Cain took a heavy stone and smashed Abel's head so that his blood and marrow stained the earth all around.
And the serpent freed itself from the feet of Abel, took the stone into its jaws, carried it to the door of Cain and hid itself in the sand under the thorn-bushes.