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Cain's Offering

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    Posted: 19 Jun 2015 at 14:21
Moses tells us that Jehovah was pleased with Abele's offering of the lamb and "the fat thereof." Jehovah was displeased with Cain's offering of "the fruit of the earth." I've read quite a bit online but I only have more questions.

When Jesus was in the Temple people were not offering grain. They were buying animals to sacrifice. This suggests to me that intent is not a valid reason for Jehovah to reject Cain's offering. This suggests to me that the Jews believed an animal to be a proper sacrifice.

Or is this just the type of disinformation that a political body might use to control people and turn a profit?

Is the source telling us something about agriculture or animals?

I'd be very interested to hear this groups thoughts on the subject.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote truthsetsfree Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Jun 2015 at 17:37
Abel's offering of first born and fat was a type of the lamb of God / blood, faith/grace, and the best/first.
Cain's was type of works/law, the ground was cursed, and doesn't say the first/fat.
[though Jesus was both the lamb of God, and seed of woman, & the first fruits. Jesus had parables about both sheep and seed/soil.]
Animal sacrifice of Mosaic/bible/Judaism is type of needing blood sacrifice for forgiveness of sins (which was later done by jesus). Many cultures had similar human/animal sacrifices for similar reasons (since all come from Eden).

Abel: sheep/animals ~ people/relationships,
Cain: ground/fruit/veges ~ things?

Agriculture is connected with (gentile) civilisations....

There may also be a connection with later Greek myth of Prometheus & Zeus bull sacrifice?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jun 2015 at 01:12
That all makes sense. I wonder, would you say that in Isaiah, Jehovah is saying that the burnt offerings of Sodom and Gomorrah alone are unwanted?
Is it possible that there is a symbolic meaning to text that was misunderstood? For example is Jehovah asking for a psychological offering, an aspect of the nature of man? Maybe his desire (fat), or his manipulation of the land as you say 'works' and the ground being cursed?


11“What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices?
says the Lord;
I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams
and the fat of well-fed beasts;
I do not delight in the blood of bulls,
or of lambs, or of goats.

12“When you come to appear before me,
who has required of you
this trampling of my courts?
13Bring no more vain offerings;
incense is an abomination to me.
New moon and Sabbath and the calling of convocations—
I cannot endure iniquity and solemn assembly.
14Your new moons and your appointed feasts
my soul hates;
they have become a burden to me;
I am weary of bearing them.
15When you spread out your hands,
I will hide my eyes from you;
even though you make many prayers,
I will not listen;
your hands are full of blood.
16Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean;
remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes;
cease to do evil,
17 learn to do good;
seek justice,
correct oppression;
bring justice to the fatherless,
plead the widow’s cause.
Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please." - Mark Twain
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Akolouthos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jun 2015 at 05:29
The essence of it is that the offering of Abel was from the heart, while Cain's was offered grudgingly. In that sense, intent does matter.

As far as a preference for animal sacrifices over agricultural ones, many of the older exegeses would point to the fact that the Israelites were a pastoral people, whereas many of the people they encountered in the migration into Palestine were agricultural. truthsetsfree outlines some of this very well, and in a fairly coherent manner; I'd be interested in seeing an elaboration from him.

As far as modern Christianity goes, the sacrifice has been made. It was the sacrifice of the Lamb of God on the altar of the Cross, which is anamnetically made present in the Eucharist during the Liturgy.

-Akolouthos
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote truthsetsfree Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jun 2015 at 07:44
i don't know/understand everything myself Vanuatu, we each really have to ask God and honestly/objectively/balancedly try to hear what he saying/means.

by works i didn't mean just literal tilling of the soil (God had said a consequence of Adam & Eve's fall was to have to work/till the soil) but rather trying/thinking we can earn salvation/forgiveness by external works/merit rather than faith in jesus' sacrifice (as there is nothing we can do ourselves to ever fix our internal fallen/sinful/flawed nature, or to please God) (and/or thinking we are good and don't need salvation that we are not fallen/flawed/sinners).

We are saved by faith/grace not works/law, yet also faith without works is dead.

yes God says he wants mercy/kindness not sacrifice; and inner/God not externals/man.
And, no matter how many sacrifices they can not fix our heart/inner/internal/nature/genetics, only faith in the sacrifice of the lamb of God.

Trying to be saved by Works/law/earning becomes a burden/"heavy laden"/weary, whereas being truly forgiven/saved/cleansed inside is light/easy/delight, and inner law rather than outer law.

Like Joseph Campbell said Toynbee said that no amount of either futurism or archaism can fix the culture/system, only death & rebirth.
This governments have to make more and more laws and rules because of individuals fallen human nature.

I wish i was good at parables like Jesus and some others, as people seem to understand by parables better than words. It would be abit like giving a present/gift to a parent/friend but/while disobeying or hurting them.  

The quote says they are offering while they have inquity, hands full of blood, evil of deeds / doing evil, [not doing good, not seeking justice (including to fatherless & widow)], oppressing.

"He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord/Jhwh require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?" - Micah 6:8.

"Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father  is this, To visit the fatherless and widows  [includes lonely/alone/singles and people without families?] in their affliction, and to  keep himself unspoted from the world." - James1:27.

"I require mercy not sacrifice" - bible/Jesus.
"We have another, equally important source of atonement, the practice of gemilut hasadim (loving kindness), as it is stated 'I desire loving kindness and not sacrifice'." (- Rabban Yochanan.)

the whole of the law is in love lord with all heart/soul/might and
"love your neighbour as yourself" /
"do unto others as would have done to you" - Jesus/bible.
"That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn." (- Hillel?)
" What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor " (- the Babylonian Talmud).

005:010 They hate him who reproves in the gate, and they abhor him
        who speaks blamelessly.
005:011 Forasmuch therefore as you trample on the poor, and take taxes
        from him of wheat:
005:012 For I know how many your offenses, and how great are your sins--
        you who afflict the just, who take a bribe, and who turn
        aside the needy in the courts.
005:015 Hate evil, love good, and establish justice in the courts.

008:004 Hear this, you who desire to swallow up the needy, and cause
        the poor of the land to fail,
008:005 Saying, 'When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell grain?
        And the Sabbath, that we may market wheat, making the ephah small,
        and the shekel large, and dealing falsely with balances of deceit;
008:006 that we may buy the poor for silver, and the needy for a pair
        of shoes, and sell the sweepings with the wheat?'"


I am not sure what i can elaborate Akolouthos, but I don't think God is majorly literally pro pastoral and anti agricultural as such. Modern Jews have agricultural, the bible has agriculture in it ("seed", "first fruits", etc). It is true that the Semites were more pastoral and the gentile civilisations more agricultural, so there is some correlation with where/who tends to be more gentile/fallen/sinful. (Margaret Murray's book on Petra also shows reminiscent early modern example of agricultural versus pastoral (Bedouin) tribes.) I think it was just more the type of the blood sacrifice of the lamb of God "without the blood there is no remission of sin/s" (likewise the fig leaves aprons of Adam and Eve were figuratively insufficient, wheres as the skins were sufficient). On the other hand the Hebrews had burnt sacrifices over the blood sacrifices of east bank & south (Petra etc).

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jun 2015 at 14:44
Originally posted by Akolouthos Akolouthos wrote:

As far as modern Christianity goes, the sacrifice has been made. It was the sacrifice of the Lamb of God on the altar of the Cross, which is anamnetically made present in the Eucharist during the Liturgy.


If you care to comment; how does an instrument of torture, the cross, become a symbol for salvation? I'm aware of the tradition of transubstantiation.

My question is more about the symbolism of the cross as a visual representation of salvation. Why do you think the early Church's focus is on the aggression and destruction rather than the Holy Spirit for example?

Is that suffering a Manichean-like flip side to ecstasy?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jun 2015 at 15:02
Originally posted by truthsetsfree truthsetsfree wrote:

i don't know/understand everything myself Vanuatu, we each really have to ask God and honestly/objectively/balancedly try to hear what he saying/means.

by works i didn't mean just literal tilling of the soil (God had said a consequence of Adam & Eve's fall was to have to work/till the soil) but rather trying/thinking we can earn salvation/forgiveness by external works/merit rather than faith in jesus' sacrifice (as there is nothing we can do ourselves to ever fix our internal fallen/sinful/flawed nature, or to please God) (and/or thinking we are good and don't need salvation that we are not fallen/flawed/sinners).

We are saved by faith/grace not works/law, yet also faith without works is dead.

yes God says he wants mercy/kindness not sacrifice; and inner/God not externals/man.
And, no matter how many sacrifices they can not fix our heart/inner/internal/nature/genetics, only faith in the sacrifice of the lamb of God.

Trying to be saved by Works/law/earning becomes a burden/"heavy laden"/weary, whereas being truly forgiven/saved/cleansed inside is light/easy/delight, and inner law rather than outer law.

Like Joseph Campbell said Toynbee said that no amount of either futurism or archaism can fix the culture/system, only death & rebirth.
This governments have to make more and more laws and rules because of individuals fallen human nature.


Hello, I do appreciate your response, I realize that I'm asking for speculation. If not averse to some speculation would you go a step further?
It was the will of Jehovah that his people show mercy and kindness. Why do you think people identified killing an animal with the approval of Jehovah?

I understand that animal sacrifice (human also) is a tradition among the ancients of all faiths. We all stepped out of Eden, I agree. So when Abraham is asked to sacrifice Isaac but is stopped, he sees a ram and kills it instead.

This seems to be cementing the idea that aggression and destruction please Jehovah.
Does God evolve through the Pentateuch or only man's idea of God? Or are they quite the same thing?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote truthsetsfree Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jun 2015 at 10:51

Yes it does seem mean/tough that animals or jesus had to suffer for our salvation.

But christianity is no crueler than any/all other cultures of world and history.
All evils/suffering of the world (of humans and animals) are our fault through the fall at Eden and all later sins from then to now.
Odinists/Vikings had human sacrifices and slavery etc.
Romans had gladiator games, slaves etc.
Scythians had (blinded) slaves, etc.
Egyptians had Hebrew slaves, etc.
Nazis had concentrarion camps, russian front, war, etc.
This western regime has fluoridated water, mental health acts, mental health units, prisons, work-testing, slave for dole schemes, sprayed food, "competition", etc.
Communists have gulags, siberia, forced communes, etc.
Evolutionists have "struggle", survival of fittest, etc.
Eugenicists have sterilisation, etc.
Victorian England had white slavery, mental asylums, etc.
Where in gospels did Jesus ever do aggression/destruction other than self-sacrifice for people of all world and all history?

You are somewhat right that certain christians have focused too much on the negative and not on the positive:
die - rebirth
forsake - follow
tribulation - comfort/consolation
punish - reward
etc.
But this modern western world also does this very much itself i have always compained.
But it is also true that we have to "die" with/through him to live.
Another issue though is the whole dualism vs non-dualism.

Cain - Abel
Ham(&Japheth) - Shem(&Japheth)
Horus - Set
Aryan/antisemite - Jew/Semite

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote truthsetsfree Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jun 2015 at 12:51
ps it was Cain that Killed Abel, not Abel that killed Cain. (And that is worse than Abel killing a lamb.)
Thoug Melanesia myth of To-Kabinana and To-Karuvuvu would have Abel the villian and Cain the good one.
John 1 implies that we are all brothers like Cain and Abel. We either love or hate our brother.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jun 2015 at 06:56
Do you know what a palimpsest is?  It is a manuscript that was written on and then scraped to be reused.  But the scraping was done poorly, so the letters of the original books show through (sometimes very faintly).  The Bible is like a palimpsest.  It has different layers, but to make it even more confusing, some of those later layers continue the stories found in the earlier layers, and different portions were written in different ways and at different times.  Some stories are very old, but some were written so that they would look like they're old, but really, they (probably) are not (Job).  Other things connect into the mythologies and histories of the Middle East.  "God" (Yahweh, Elohim, etc.) is also portrayed in different ways a different times, but 1, we don't really have anything else like the Bible for depicting the history and, yes, evolution of God/religion/whatever you want to call it, and 2, the Hebrew God in many ways is far in advance to what the pagans had, which is why paganism is gone, and monotheism, through Judaism, Christianity and Islam, is still around.

Part of a sacrifice is giving up, or destroying that which you sacrifice, in order to give it to the gods.  If you sacrificed a plate, you would break the plate so it would no longer be useful to this world.  Blood is both sacred and pollution, it is the stuff of life, and therefore spilt as a sacrifice.  Blood, however, is supposed to stay in the body, so wounds and woman' menstruation is pollution.  Men, however, have an equivalent, nocturnal emission is polluting, and sex before battle is polluting.  So it is not menstruation per se that is polluting, it is all bodily fluids.  Also, when a woman is menstruating and impure, she is not to be touched, which meant she is left alone, and for that time cannot work.  In other words, she gets the day (or week or 2?) off.  There is a story of a medieval community were the women actually went to the rabbi and got the time extended.  But again, blood can either be sacred or polluting.

The story of religion is not over, not finished.  While the Old Testament and New Testament (and the Apocrypha) are concluded in writing, their interpretation is not concluded, and some people (like Ba'hais), have additional prophets and additional holy writings.  Of course, so do the Mormons.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jun 2015 at 16:05
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/religion/why/martyrs.html

The link is for a Frontline article. It looks at the reasons for the success of Christianity. Does go back to blood sacrifice, in this case the Emperor Decius 250 years AD and the blood of martyrs.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jun 2015 at 16:11
Originally posted by truthsetsfree truthsetsfree wrote:

ps it was Cain that Killed Abel, not Abel that killed Cain. (And that is worse than Abel killing a lamb.)
Thoug Melanesia myth of To-Kabinana and To-Karuvuvu would have Abel the villian and Cain the good one.
John 1 implies that we are all brothers like Cain and Abel. We either love or hate our brother.



That was very interesting thanks
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jun 2015 at 21:21
Originally posted by Akolouthos Akolouthos wrote:

The essence of it is that the offering of Abel was from the heart, while Cain's was offered grudgingly. In that sense, intent does matter.

As far as a preference for animal sacrifices over agricultural ones, many of the older exegeses would point to the fact that the Israelites were a pastoral people, whereas many of the people they encountered in the migration into Palestine were agricultural. truthsetsfree outlines some of this very well, and in a fairly coherent manner; I'd be interested in seeing an elaboration from him.

As far as modern Christianity goes, the sacrifice has been made. It was the sacrifice of the Lamb of God on the altar of the Cross, which is anamnetically made present in the Eucharist during the Liturgy.

-Akolouthos







What does it mean that Abel acted "by Faith?"
How can one act in Faith unless they have been told what is expected? Isn't it a possible interpretation that God did indeed ask for a blood sacrifice?

"So it was written, in the olden time, that believers “obtained a good report;” and this second verse shows that they obtained it by their faith. The best part of the report about them is, that they believed their God, and believed all that was revealed to them by his Word and his Spirit.

Hebrews 11:3. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

The facts about creation must be the subject of faith. It is true that they can be substantiated, by the argument from design, and in other ways; still, for a wise purpose as I believe, God has not made even that matter of the creation of the universe perfectly clear to human reason, so there is room for the exercise of faith. Men like to have everything laid down according to the rules of mathematical precision, but God desires them to exercise faith; and, therefore, he has not acted according to their wishes.

Hebrews 11:4. By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.

The first of the long line of martyrs triumphed by faith; and if you are to be strong to bear witness for God, you must be made strong by the same power which wrought so effectually in Abel. If, like his, your life is to be a speaking life, — a life which shall speak even out of the grave, — its voice must be the voice of faith."


http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/spe/view.cgi?bk=heb&ch=11

Edited by Vanuatu - 24 Jun 2015 at 21:35
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