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Chapter 4


Adam asks Cain about Abel’s absence – Cain reveals his anger and intent – An angel comes and converses with Adam – The curse of Cain and the mercies of God – The angel sets a mark upon Cain – Cain travels to the land of Nod and establishes Sumer

 

1  Now Adam went calling unto Cain, and when he had found him, he said: “Where is your brother, Abel? Behold, we have looked for him upon the land and among the flocks, yet is he nowhere to be found. Tell me, therefore, if you have seen your brother, for in the evening time he came not to sing in the grove, neither came the children of men to hear him.”

2  And Cain answered his father, saying: “Have you made me my brother’s keeper? Have I now found favor in your sight, that you should come to me?”

3  And Adam spoke unto Cain, saying: “Why is your anger waxed hot against me and your countenance fallen? Did I not say unto you that if you would but turn aside from the pride of your heart, then surely you will be accepted of God? Consider my son, how darkness lieth at the door and the Fallen One has sought to have power over you.”

4  Then spoke Cain unto his father: “What greater evil shall there be than that a father should rob his son of his inheritance, to take away the glory of the firstborn that you might give it unto another?

5  Did I not by your word teach the children of men every good thing? By whose word were the sons of men made strong, that they might be made to trust in the strength of their arm? Wherefore, seeing that I have obeyed you, why have you made me desolate and forsaken?

6  If there be any evil at my door, then it is by your hand that it has come upon me. Did you think that you could hide yourself from me that I should not know who you are? Behold, you are Michael, and the evil which you did unto your elder brother, even so have you done unto me.

7  Therefore, I shall take by the strength of my hand all that is mine by right, for I am the elder son. And I shall avenge myself against my brother Abel, that I might restore again my inheritance before the children of men, that the evil which you did unto Lucifer in the beginning might not be completed upon me.”

8  Now after Cain had spoken these words, behold an angel of the Lord came and spoke privately unto Adam in the presence of Cain, and when he had heard all the words of the Lord, Adam groaned to himself, and he spoke unto Cain, saying:

9  “What evil have you done already? Behold, the blood of your brother cries to God from the ground. What have you done unto your brother, Abel?”

10  And Cain trembled greatly before the angel of the Lord, for he came from the presence of God, and he was clothed in much light and glory. Wherefore, Cain cried unto his father, saying: “In my anger I did kill my brother that I might gain my honor before the children of men.”

11  And Adam with many tears spoke unto Cain, saying: “Behold, you are accursed from the land because of this great evil. Therefore, when you should go forth to till the land, it shall bring forth thorns and thistles unto you, and unto your seed also.

12  For you shall ever be as a fugitive and a vagabond upon the earth. There shall no place be found where you might rest from your evil, and all those who shall see you from among the sons of men shall scorn you and hate you.

13   With what cunning did Lucifer turn your heart from the Lord your God? What promises spoke he unto you that he should turn your soul from the love of your father and mother, and cause that you should lift up the hand of violence against your brother?

14  Because you have done this great evil before the sons of men, you shall be cut off from the presence of the Lord, and all those among the children of men who shall lift up the hand of violence to commit murder, even they shall be as your sons and daughters.

15  And Lucifer shall be cast far from the children of men; in the dispensation of the fullness of times shall God send forth his mighty one and he shall make even the evil one to dwell in desolation.

16  Yet unto all who shall fall from the presence of God because of your evil, even unto them shall God provide a way whereby their sins might be forgiven them if they will but turn to him; by the election of his grace shall he restore as many as will unto himself.”

17  Now when Cain heard this, he wept because of his sin and he spoke unto his father, Adam, saying: “Surely my punishment is greater than I can bear. For this day have I been driven from the presence of God.

18  And all who see me shall curse me and seek to slay me, and there shall be for me no refuge, neither hiding place wherein I might safely dwell.” And Cain wept sorely because of the judgment which was passed upon him.

19  Then did the angel of the Lord speak unto Cain, saying: “Why are you sorely grieved? Did you not know that the mercies of God towards you are without beginning of days or ending of years? Behold, unto all who shall sin because of you shall God provide a way wherein they might be restored again unto the Father of their spirits.

20  As for you, Cain, God has not utterly forsaken you. For though you are separated from the presence of God, yet shall he provide a way whereby you may be restored if you will but repent of this great evil.

21  For by the seed of your righteous brother, Abel, shall God raise up unto the children of men great and mighty prophets; even the Anointed One shall he cause to come forth from the seed of Abel.

22  Therefore whatsoever man shall lift up his hand to slay you, unto that man shall God apportion seven times your punishment. For God delights not in the death of the wicked, lest the days of their repentance be cut short from them.”

23  And the angel of the Lord set a mark upon Cain, the son of Adam, that all who should see him might know of the mercies of God, lest anyone finding him should stretch forth the hand to kill him.

24  Then did Cain go out from the presence of his father and he took his many wives and dwelt in the land of Nod, and there did gather unto him all who made with him a covenant to take power and dominion over the souls of men.

25  And Cain built a city and named it Sumer, for it was the mother of nations; and on the banks of the Euphrates did he build it and all the children of men marveled at the greatness thereof.

26  And the sons of men feared Cain, for he was large and mighty, and there was great cunning in all his ways.

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