By John Byron

The tale of Cain and Abel narrates the primeval occasions linked to the beginnings of the area and humanity. however the presence of linguistic and grammatical ambiguities coupled with narrative gaps supplied translators and interpreters with a few issues of departure for increasing the tale. the result's a few good tested and interpretive traditions shared among Jewish and Christian literature. This booklet makes a speciality of how the interpretive traditions derived from Genesis four exerted major effect on Jewish and Christian authors who knew rewritten types of the tale. The objective is to assist readers get pleasure from those traditions in the broader interpretive context instead of in the slender confines of the canon.

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The offering of Cain was precluded and the offering of Abel was acceptable. (Pirqe R. El. 21) Pirqe Rabbi Eliezer often imitates Jubilees in the way that it connects various laws with the patriarchs. In contrast, however, is the emphasis 27 For a discussion of the possible interrelationship between these two works see C. T. R. Hayward, “Pirqe de Rabbi Eliezer and Targum Pseudo-Jonathon,” JJS 42 (1991): 223–24. , Targum Pseudo-Jonathon: Genesis (ArBib 1B; Collegeville, Minn: Liturgical Press, 1992), 31 n.

T. R. Hayward who notes that the translator’s selection of θυσία to describe Cain’s sacrifice might indicate an offering that would be divided between the altar and worshipper. Whereas Abel handed over his entire “gift” to God, Cain kept some of the “sacrifice” for himself. 14 10 John William Wevers, LXX: Notes on the Greek Text of Genesis (Septuagint and Cognate Studies 35; Atlanta, Ga: Scholars Press, 1993), 52. A survey of the wider corpus of the LXX reveals that δῶρον is used more often as a translation for ‫ קרבן‬than ‫ מנחה‬and that of the twenty-nine times δῶρον is used as a translation for ‫ מנחה‬only four are cases in which the gift is offered to God while the rest are better described as peace offerings to kings (Gen 4:4; 1 Chr 16:29; 2 Chr 32:23; Isa 66:20).

118. 30 Targum Pseudo-Jonathon is the only Targum that provides a date. See the synopsis in Vermes, “The Targumic Versions of Genesis 4:3–16,” in Post-Biblical Jewish Studies (SJLA 8; Leiden: Brill, 1975), 93, 111; Per A. Bengtsson, Passover in Targum Pseudo-Jonathon Genesis: The Connection of Early Biblical Events with Passover in Targum Pseudo-Jonathon in a Synagogue Setting (Scripta Minora; Stockholm, Sweden: Almqvist & Wiksell International, 2001), 34. 31 Thus the introduction to the Cain and Abel sacrifice scene via Adam’s explanation of the yet to be initiated feast of Passover, provides a commentary on not only Cain’s offering, but also the timing of it.

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