Monday, March 17, 2014

The Epistle to the 'Galations' - Cleansing by the Spirit (not by Sacrifice)

[ ] = read out

{ } = read in

Chapter 1



"All the brothers with me" (1.2) were in Rome.  James wrote this epistle from Rome to the prophets of Judea who gathered in synagogues or assemblies.  The Spirit calls and cleanses. (1.6).  The so-called "different gospel" was sacrifice.  "Some people" (1.7) is a non-descript for some specific people, Ananus and his brothers.  Some prophets were trying to please priests (1.10).  James received the Spirit from God (1.10,11,12), not from priests.  "Received" is explicit in 1.12. 

 (1.13-24) The editor dissimulates.  He knows that James himself wrote this epistle, so he has his pseudo author Paul seeing only James (and the fictitious Peter) in Jerusalem.    He then has Paul unknown to the Judean assemblies, despite saying Paul persecuted them.   “They only heard the report” of his conversion.  Paul is sent  away to remote Syria and Cilicia. 
  
1.1.[Paul] {James},

[an apostle – not sent from men nor by man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead]

1.2.and all the brothers with me, to the [churches] {assemblies} in [Galatia] {Judea}:

1.3.[Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ,
1.4.who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of God and Father,
1.5.to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.]

1.6.I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the [one] {Spirit} who called you [by the grace of Christ] {and cleansed you}, and are turning to [a different gospel] {sacrifice}.

1.7.[- which is no gospel at all].

Evidently [some people] {Ananus and his brothers} are throwing you into confusion

[and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ.
1.8.But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!
1.9.As we have already said,
So now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned! 
1.10.Am I now trying to win the approval of God? 
Or am I] 

{Are you} trying to please [men] {priests}?
If I were still trying to please [men] {priests}, I would not be a servant of [Christ] {the Spirit}.

1.11.I want you to know, brothers, that the [gospel] {Spirit} I [preached] {proclaimed} is not [something that man made up] {a spirit of man}.

1.12.I did not receive [it] {the Spirit} from any [man] {priest}

[, nor was I taught it];

rather I received it [by revelation] from [Jesus Christ] {the Lord}.

1.13.[For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God.
1.14.I was advancing in reputation beyond many Jews of my own age and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers.
1.15.But when God, who set me apart before I was born and called me by his grace, was pleased
1.16.to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the gentiles, I did not consult any man,
1.17.nor did I go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was but I went immediately into Arabia, and later returned to Damascus.
1.18.Then after three years, I went up to Jerusalem
to become acquainted with Peter and stayed with him fifteen days.
1.19.I saw none of the other apostles – only James, the Lord’s brother.
1.20.I assure you before God, that what I am writing to you is no lie.
1.21.Later I went to Syria and Cilicia.
1.22.I was personally unknown to the churches of Judea that are in Christ.
1.23.They only heard the report: that the man who formerly persecuted us is was now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.

1.24.And they praised God because of me.]

Chapter 2

Fourteen years before James wrote his letter, Nero had been staying with king Agrippa (The Great, ie Agrippa I) in his Palace at Ein Gedi.  James met Nero at Agrippa I's palace. Barnabas was fabricated.  Titus (2.1) was Titus the son of Vespasian wanting his name up in lights instead of Nero's.  Ananus, the high priest, and eventually James's murderer, went to Rome to challenge what James was teaching.  The text has been added to, so that the men who opposed the fictitious Paul were sent from James in Jerusalem.

2.1.Fourteen years [later] {ago}, I went up [again] to [Jerusalem] {Rome} [this time] with [Barnabas] {Nero}.

[ I took Titus along also].

2.2.I went in response to [a revelation] {an invitation from the Emperor Claudius}, and set before them the [gospel] {Spirit} that I [preached] {proclaimed} among the [Gentiles] {Jews}.

[But I did this privately to those who seemed to be leaders,
for fear that I was running, or had run my race in vain.
2.3.Yet not even Titus, who was with me, was compelled to be circumcised, even though he was a Greek.
2.4.This matter arose previously because some false brothers tried to take away the freedom we have in Christ Jesus and to make us slaves.
2.5.We did not give in to them for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might remain with you.
2.6.As for those who seemed to be important
– whatever they were makes no difference to me; God does not judge by external appearance – these men added nothing to my message.
2.7.On the contrary, they saw that I had been entrusted with the task of preaching the gospel to the Gentiles, just as Peter had been to the Jews.
2.8.For God, who was at work in the ministry of Peter as an apostle to the Jews was also at work in my ministry as an apostle to the Gentiles.
2.9.James, Peter and John, those reputed pillars, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship when they recognised the grace given to me. They agreed that we should go to the Gentiles, and they to the Jews.
2.10.All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor -- the very thing I was eager to do -- and to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality.]

JAMES OPPOSES ANANUS

2.11.When [Peter] {Ananus} came to [Antioch] {Rome}, I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly in the wrong.

2.12.[Before certain men came from James, he ate with Gentile sinners. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group.
2.13.The Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray.
2.14.When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth],

I said to [Peter] {Ananus} in front of them all,

["You are a Jew, yet you act like a Gentile and not like a Jew. How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs?

2.15.“We who are [Jews by birth] {prophets}
[and not Gentile sinners]

2.16.know that a man is not [justified] {cleansed} by [observing the law] {sacrifice}, but by [faith] {obedience} in [Jesus Christ] {the Spirit}".

[So we too have put our faith in Christ, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ, and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no-one will be justified.
2.17.If, while we seek to be justified in Christ, it becomes evident that we ourselves are sinners, does that mean that Christ promotes sin? Absolutely not!
2.18.If I rebuild what I destroyed, I prove that I am a law-breaker.
2.19.For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God.
2.20.I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.
2.21.I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!"]



Chapter 3

OBEDIENCE OF THE SPIRIT

3.1.You foolish [Galatians] {prophets}! [Who] {Ananus} has bewitched you ? Before your very eyes, [Jesus Christ] {the Spirit} was clearly portrayed as [crucified] {God}.

3.2.I would like to learn just one thing from you:  Did you receive the Spirit by [observing the law] {sacrifice}, or by [believing] {obeying} [what] {him} you heard?

3.3.Are you so foolish? After [beginning with] {obeying} the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your [goal] {cleansing} by [human effort] {sacrifice}?

3.4.Have you suffered so much for nothing -- if it really was for nothing?

3.5.Does God give you his Spirit [and work miracles among you] because you [observe the law] {sacrifice}, or because you [believe] {obey} [what] {him} you heard?

THE PAULINE DOCTRINE OF FAITH - FABRICATED
3.6.[Consider Abraham: "He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness."
3.7.Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham.
3.8.The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced in advance the gospel to Abraham: "All nations will be blessed through you."
3.9.So those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.
3.10.All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law."
3.11.Clearly no-one is justified before God by the law, because “The righteous will live by faith.” 3.12.The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, "The man who does these things will live by them."
3.13.Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.”
3.14.He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.
3.15.Brothers, let me take an example from everyday life.
Just as no-one can set aside or add to a human covenant that has been duly established, so it is in this case.
3.16.The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. The scripture does not say “and to seeds”, meaning many people, but “and to your seed”, meaning one person, who is Christ.
3.17.What I mean is this: The law, introduced 430 years later, does not set aside the covenant previously established by God and thus do away with the promise.
3.18.For if the inheritance depends on the law, then it no longer depends on a promise; but God in his grace gave it to Abraham through a promise.
3.19.What, then, was the purpose of the law?
It was added because of Israel’s transgressions until the seed to whom the promise referred had come.  The law was put into effect through angels by a mediator.
3.20.A mediator, however, does not represent just one party; but God is one.
3.21.Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law.
3.22.But the Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.
3.23.Before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed.
3.24.So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith.
3.25.Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law.
3.26.You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
3.27.for all of you who were baptised into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.
3.28.There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
3.29.If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.]

Chapter 5

GLORY TO COME IN THE SPIRIT

5.1.It is for [freedom] {glory} that [Christ] {the Spirit} has [set us free] {cleansed us}.
Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of [slavery] {sacrifice}.

5.2.Mark my words! I [Paul,] tell you that if you [let yourselves be circumcised, Christ] {sacrifice}, {the Spirit} will be of no value to you at all.

5.3.[Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is required to obey the whole law.
5.4.You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.
5.5.But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope.
5.6.For in Christ Jesus, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
5.7.You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth. 
5.8.That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you.
5.9."A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough."
5.10.I am confident in the Lord that you will take no other view.
The one who is throwing you into confusion will pay the penalty ,whoever he may be.
5.11.Brothers, if I am still preaching circumcision, why am I still being persecuted?
5.12.As for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves!
5.13.You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.
5.14.The entire law is summed up in a single command: "Love your neighbour as yourself."
5.15.If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.]

THE TWO SPIRITS - THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH AND THE SPIRITS OF DECEIT

5.16.So I say, [live by] {obey} the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the [sinful nature] {spirit of deceit}.

5.17.For the [sinful nature] {spirit of deceit} desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the [sinful nature] {spirit of deceit}. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.

5.18.But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the [law] {spirit of deceit}.

5.19.The [acts] {spirits} of [the sinful nature] {deceit} are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery,

5.20.idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who [do] {obey} these [things] {spirits} will not [inherit] {receive} the [kingdom] {Spirit} of God.

5.21.But the [fruit of the Spirit is] {spirits of truth are} love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

5.23.gentleness and self-control.

[Against such things there is no law.
5.24.Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.]

5.25.Since we [live] {are cleansed} by the Spirit, let us [keep in step with] {obey} the Spirit.

5.26.[Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.]



Chapter 6

6.1.Brothers, if someone is caught in a [sin] {spirit of deceit}, you who are [spiritual] {in the Spirit} should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.

6.2.Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will [fulfil] {obey} the [law] {Spirit} of God.

6.3.If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives [himself] {his own spirit}.

6.4.Each one should test his own [actions] {spirit}.  Then he can [take pride] {glory} in [himself] {the Spirit}, without comparing himself to somebody else,

6.5.for each one should [carry] {be responsible for} his own [load] {spirit}.

6.6.Anyone who receives instruction in the [word] {Spirit} must share all good things with his [instructor] {brothers}.

6.7.Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.

6.8.The one who sows to please his [sinful nature] {spirit of deceit}, from that [nature] {spirit} will reap [destruction] {condemnation}; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap [eternal life] {glory}.

6.9.Let us not become weary in [doing good] {the Spirit}, for at the proper time we will reap [a harvest if we do not give up] {glory} .

6.10.[Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.]

A WARNING WRITTEN IN LARGE HANDWRITING

6.11.See what large letters I use as I write to you with my own hand!

6.12.[Those who want to make a good impression outwardly] {Ananus and his brothers} are trying to compel you to [be circumcised] {sacrifice}.

[The only reason they do this is to avoid being persecuted for the cross of Christ.]

6.13.[Not even] Those who [are circumcised] {sacrifice} obey the [law] {spirit of deceit}, yet they want you to [be circumcised] {sacrifice} that they may boast about your [flesh] {cleansing}.

6.14.May I never boast, except in the [cross] {Spirit} of our Lord

[Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me].

6.15.[Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision] {Sacrifice} [means] {counts for} [anything] {nothing}; what counts is a [new] {cleansed} [creation] {spirit}.

6.16.Peace [and mercy] to all who follow [this rule, even to] the [Israel] {Spirit} of God.
6.17.Finally, let no-one cause me trouble just because I bear in my body the [marks of Jesus] {Spirit of God}. 

6.18.The [grace] {Spirit} of our Lord [Jesus Christ] be with your spirit, brothers. Amen.







Monday, March 10, 2014

Agrippa The Great seen as a Prophet?

Now don't say a word to Larry Hurtado, as he might blow a gasket, but did you know that the so-called death of Agrippa the Great, as described in the writings attributed to Josephus, is a falsified account?  (See Ant.19.8.2 below).  

Agrippa didn't die such an inglorious death, but lived to tell the tale, until he met his real death in about 64 at the hands of priests who were warriors.  He was alive near the time Paul was supposed to have been in Jerusalem and supposedly spoke to Agrippa junior and his sister Berenice.  But these two were already dead, killed about the same time while imprisoned by the warrior priests at Masada.  The archaeologists found Berenice's plaited hair and skull buried there in the lower Northern Palace. (See Page 305 of Back to Masada, by Ben-Tor).  They also found in the same place the skeleton of a young man dressed in what appeared to be the parade armour of an important person.  This was Agrippa junior.  Needless to say, these remains were spirited away to be buried somewhere. 

So don't say anything to Larry, but Agrippa junior could not have spoken to Paul in Acts.  (See Acts 25.24,23).  You see Larry believes the writings attributed to Josephus - Berenice supposedly was Titus's lover - just the Christian priest's fanciful thinking.     

Ant.19.8.2.Now when Agrippa had reigned three years over all Judea, he came to the [city Caesarea, which was formerly called Strato'sTower] {temple}; and there he [exhibited] {offered} [shows] {prayers} in [honour of Caesar] {the Spirit} upon [his being informed that there was a certain] {the} festival {of Tabernacles} celebrated to make vows [for his safety].  At which festival a great multitude was gotten together of the [principal persons] {prophets} [, and such as were of dignity through his province]. On the second day of which [shows] {festival} he put on a garment made wholly of [silver] {white linen} [, and of a contexture truly wonderful,] and came into the [theatre] {temple} early in the morning; at which time the [silver] {whiteness} of his garment being illuminated by the fresh reflection of the sun's rays upon it, shone out after a surprising manner [, and was so resplendent] as to spread [a horror] {joy} over [those] {the prophets} that looked intently upon him; and presently [his flatterers] {the prophets} [cried out] {prayed}, one from one place, and another from another, [though not for his good,] that he was a {prophet of} God; and they added, "Be thou merciful to us; for although we have hitherto reverenced thee only as a [man] {king}, yet shall we henceforth own thee as [superior to mortal nature] {a prophet}.  

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Cain and Abel (A Story about Priests and Prophets?)

What do Abegg, Flint and Ulrich Have to Say in The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible?

The Dead Sea Scrolls bible has for Genesis 4:2 (page 8); "[And a]gain [she] gave birth to his brother A[*bel. And Abel was a keeper of flocks, but Cain wa]s a tiller of the ground."  It would seem at first sight, according to other biblical texts, that this is correct.  The text "Abel was a keeper of flocks, but Cain was" has been interpolated by the authors. (The square brackets [] indicating that the text was missing from the Scroll manuscript.)  So the text could have been in the order "[*bel. And Cain was a keeper of flocks, but Abel wa]s a tiller of the ground."  Also Cain comes before Abel in the order of their births and the order of their offerings.     

Genesis 4:3,4 has: "3. And in the course of time C[ain] brought an offering to the Lord [*from the fruit of the ground.]  4. And Abel also brought of the first[*lings of his flock and their fat portions. And]"  Again there are author's interpolations for the missing text.  The text about what Cain and Abel brought  could have been in the order  "3. And in the course of time C[ain] brought an offering to the Lord [*from the firstlings of his flock and their fat portions] 4. And Abel also brought of the first[*fruits of the ground.]"  Also "offering" goes with the offering of an animal for sacrifice.

I conclude that the missing text (identified with an * of verses 2,3 and 3,4) was neatly deleted by someone.  The authors were then able to interpolate the missing text to match the other biblical accounts. I find it astonishing that the missing text of the original manuscript can be so deliberately manipulated.  Why was the text missing at these four critical points of the text?  

THIS POINTS TO THE PEOPLE WHO HELD ON TO THE ORIGINAL SCROLL MANUSCRIPTS FOR A LONG TIME BEFORE RELEASING THEM.  OR IT WAS ABEGG, OR FLINT, OR ULRICH, OR ALL THREE FIDDLING THE BOOKS.

What does Josephus Have to Say in Antiquities?

-In his preface to Antiquities the Roman editor of the writings attributed to Josephus (the original Antiquities were not written by Josephus) wrote: "However, those that have a mind to know the reasons of every thing, may find here a very curious philosophical theory, which I now indeed shall wave the explication of; but if God afford me time for it, I will set about writing it after I have finished the present work."  "A very curious philosophical theory" - I wonder what he was referring to!  Did the writer ever explain this?  And why did he defer the explanation? Did he explain it in terms of the so-called Jewish War?  That would be the simplistic explanation probably adopted by most scholars.  But was War propaganda for Vespasian?  In which case, what was the real explanation for "a very curious philosophical theory"?   

The original writer attributes this part of Antiquities to Moses.  Moses established the priests and the prophets.  The writer thinks that Moses taught that God formed man out of dust from the ground and then gave man an animating spirit.  God commanded Adam and Eve to take care of the plants.  It seems that God was biased towards prophets who were agriculturalists.  Adam and Eve lived happily in obedience to the commands that they received directly from God.  God spoke by his Spirit.  This was not a matter of obeying the written Law, but of obeying God's Spirit.  But they disobeyed the commands of God.  Terms such as "soul", "sin", and "evil conscience" were later.          

Have you ever wondered why and when the story of Cain and Abel was written? Was the story about Cain and Abel derived from the conflict between priests and prophets?  Was Antiquities originally written by a prophet?  It has clearly been interfered with.  Abel was meant to be a farmer, an agriculturalist, growing plants, not rearing/taming animals.  Why do I say this?  The text says of Abel that he brought as an offering "what grew naturally of its own accord".  Exactly the same is said of "Banus" in Life 2 - He "used no other clothing than grew upon trees, and had no other food than what grew of its own accord."   "Banus" was a strict vegetarian. 

So Cain must have reared animals (forcing the ground indeed!) and he brought one to sacrifice.  The text plainly says that Cain offered sacrifice.  

After Cain murdered his "brother" Abel, God said that he "used to observe them conversing together".  I suggest that this was a prophet writing, recalling the time when priests and prophets talked to each other.  God then pressed Cain, "as resolving to know what the matter was".  Cain replied, "he was not his brother's guardian or keeper", recalling the deep split between priests and prophets.  

Ant.1.1.2. "Moreover, Moses, after the seventh day was over begins to talk philosophically; and concerning the formation of man, says thus: That God took dust from the ground, and formed man, and inserted in him a spirit [and a soul]."  

Ant.1.1.3."Moses says further, that God planted a paradise in the east, flourishing with all sorts of trees; and that among them was the tree of life, and another of knowledge, whereby was to be known what was good and evil; and that when he brought Adam and his wife into this garden, he commanded them to take care of the plants." 

Ant.1.1.4." God therefore commanded that Adam and his wife should eat of all the rest of the plants, but to abstain from the tree of knowledge; and foretold to them, that if they touched it, it would prove their destruction. But while all the living creatures had one language, at that time the serpent, which then lived together with Adam and his wife, shewed an envious disposition, at his supposal of their living happily, and in obedience to the commands of God; and imagining, that when they disobeyed them, they would fall into calamities, he persuaded the woman, out of a malicious intention, to taste of the tree of knowledge, telling them, that in that tree was the knowledge of good and evil; which knowledge, when they should obtain, they would lead a happy life; nay, a life not inferior to that of a god: by which means he overcame the woman, and persuaded her to despise the command of God. Now when she had tasted of that tree, and was pleased with its fruit, she persuaded Adam to make use of it also. Upon this they perceived that they were become naked to one another; and being ashamed thus to appear abroad, they invented somewhat to cover them; for the tree sharpened their understanding; and they covered themselves with fig-leaves; and tying these before them, out of modesty, they thought they were happier than they were before, as they had discovered what they were in want of. But when God came into the garden, Adam, who was wont before to come and converse with him, being conscious of his wicked behaviour, went out of the way. This behaviour surprised God; and he asked what was the cause of this his procedure; and why he, that before delighted in that conversation, did now fly from it, and avoid it. When he made no reply, as conscious to himself that he had transgressed the command of God, God said, "I had before determined about you both, how you might lead a happy life, without any affliction, and care, and vexation of [soul] {spirit}; and that all things which might contribute to your enjoyment and pleasure should grow up by my providence, of their own accord, without your own labour and pains-taking; which state of labour and pains-taking would soon bring on old age, and death would not be at any remote distance: but now thou hast abused this my good-will, and hast disobeyed my commands; for thy silence is not the sign of thy virtue, but of thy [evil conscience] {disobedience}." However, Adam excused his [sin] {disobedience}, and entreated God not to be angry at him, and laid the blame of what was done upon his wife; and said that he was deceived by her, and thence became an offender; while she again accused the serpent. But God allotted him punishment, because he weakly submitted to the counsel of his wife; and said the ground should not henceforth yield its fruits of its own accord, but that when it should be harassed by their labour, it should bring forth some of its fruits, and refuse to bring forth others.  Eve deceived by her spirit of deceit or darkness.

Ant.1.2.1.1. ADAM and Eve had two sons: the elder of them was named Cain; which name, when it is interpreted, signifies a possession: the younger was Abel, which signifies sorrow. They had also daughters. Now the two brethren were pleased with different courses of life: for Abel, the younger, was a lover of righteousness; and believing that God was present at all his actions, he excelled in virtue; and his employment was that of a [shepherd] {farmer}. But Cain was not only very wicked in other respects, but was wholly intent upon getting; and he first contrived to [plough the ground] {rear/tame animals}. He slew his brother on the occasion following: - They had resolved to [sacrifice] {bring an offering} to God. Now [Cain] {Abel} brought the fruits of the earth, and of his husbandry; but [Abel] {Cain} brought milk, and the first-fruits of his flocks: but God was more delighted with the [latter oblation] {former offering}, when he was honoured with what grew naturally of its own accord, than he was with what was the invention of a covetous man, and gotten by [forcing the ground] {sacrificing an animal}; whence it was that Cain was very angry that Abel was preferred by God before him; and he slew his brother, and hid his dead body, thinking to escape discovery. But God, knowing what had been done, came to Cain, and asked him what was become of his brother, because he had not seen him of many days; whereas he used to observe them conversing together at other times. But Cain was in doubt with himself, and knew not what answer to give to God. At first he said that he was himself at a loss about his brother's disappearing; but when he was provoked by God, who pressed him vehemently, as resolving to know what the matter was, he replied, he was not his brother's guardian or keeper, nor was he an observer of what he did. But, in return, God convicted Cain, as having been the murderer of his brother; and said, "I wonder at thee, that thou knowest not what is become of a man whom thou thyself hast destroyed." God therefore did not inflict the punishment of death upon him, on account of his offering sacrifice, and thereby making supplication to him not to be extreme in his wrath to him; but he made him accursed, and threatened his posterity in the seventh generation. He also cast him, together with his wife, out of that land. And when he was afraid that in wandering about he should fall among Wild beasts, and by that means perish, God bid him not to entertain such a melancholy suspicion, and to go over all the earth without fear of what mischief he might suffer from wild beasts; and setting a mark upon him, that he might be known, he commanded him to depart.