In the US criminal law looks for the concepts of means, motive, and opportunity which are the three aspects of a crime that must be established before guilt can possibly be determined in a criminal proceeding. Respectively, they refer to the ability of the defendant to commit the crime (means), the reason the defendant committed the crime (motive), and whether the defendant had the chance to commit the crime (opportunity). Opportunity is most often disproved by use of an alibi, which can prove the accused was not able to commit the crime as he or she did not have the correct set of circumstances to commit the crime as it occurred. Some crimes are motiveless, however proving motive can often make it easier to convince a jury of the elements that must be proved for a conviction. Detectives often establish these facts through interviews and statements gathered during the course of an investigation.
The motive for a murder may fall into a number of categories including: jealousy (which might involve love, lust, sex, frustration, hate, evil spirit, ego and loathing), revenge or a personal vendetta, profit (money and greed), keeping a secret or concealing another crime, or even being ignorant and possessing a lack of intelligence. Other reasons could be because of a property dispute, a political disagreement, a class conflict, narcotics, other felonies or the urge to protect. Some people have been murdered for their internal organs so others could harvest them. The Book of Genesis does not give a specific reason for the murder of Abel by his brother Cain. However most people believe that the motive was jealousy and anger due to God rejecting Cain’s offering, while accepting Abel’s.
It must have been a dreary, unhappy day when Adam and Eve had to move out of the garden. Nobody knows what it was like for Cain and Able being the only two boys on Earth, but it is thought that they both enjoyed not having to go to school, as all they really had to know was how to grow crops and raise sheep. Adam taught Cain how to care for the various kinds of plants, how to water them, how to till the soil and pluck out the weeds. Adam taught Able how to find the best grass and water for his sheep, and also how to take care of them when they got hurt, or became ill. Eve taught her sons not to belch, while they were eating and she told them not to play with their belly buttons, because that might make them sick.
What is so special about Cain? Is he the first man to ever marry his sister? Is he special because he committed the first murder? Is he the first person to ever lie to God? What makes Cain such an interesting person, is the things that we don’t know about him. We have some information, but the missing parts of his story must be put together by making educated guesses. Most of the women in the scriptures are only identified as being the wife of, or daughter of, or the sister of some male who is given a name. The scriptures do not state that Cain and Able are the oldest children of Adam and Eve, but we must assume that they are the oldest sons. We do not know how old Adam and Eve were when they were in the Garden of Eden, but it is stated that Adam was one hundred and thirty years old when his third son Seth was born. Women were insignificant at this time and most of the women that existed in these days are never mentioned in the scriptures, with the exception of Eve. Cain could have had many siblings in the eight hundred years after Seth was born and before Adam died.
In the beginning of the scriptures, before the flood, the average age that man lived to was around 700 years old, people also got married very young in these days, normally in their early teens. If they start bearing children when they were 12 and they had kids every few years till they were about 100, then they would have a lot of descendants. Adam and Eve were thought to have lived in the Fertile Crescent near the Tigress and Euphrates rivers and it is thought that early man may have marked a new year every time the rivers overflowed, so did these early Earth inhabitants really live such long lives?
We need to assume that Adam and Eve were made as adults, as there is no mention of them being infants and needing to be cared for. Perhaps, Adam was 16 when he was made and if he had a wife named Lilith before Eve, then we need to assume that Adam was possibly about 25 when Eve was made and it is likely that she was about 16 when God created her from Adam’s rib, so maybe Adam was about 9 years older than Eve. There are stories that say Adam and Eve had 63 children, 33 boys and 30 girls, so if this is true, then they were very busy procreating. I guess Eve could have been over two hundred years old, while she was still bearing children. My best speculation is that Adam and Eve shared at least fifteen years of happiness together in the Garden of Eden and that Eve conceived Cain when Adam was about forty years old. I suppose that Cain was about ten years older than Abel.
The story of Cain cannot be told without considering what is good and what is evil. God did not issue His commandments until the time of Moses, so was it wrong to kill, at a time when there was no law against it? If there is no Evil can there still be Good, does one need the other, in order to exist? In order for hot water to exist, cold water must also exist. God is good and Satan is evil, which makes everything relative. Would we even know what good is, without knowing what evil is? If we did not know what actions were evil, would we know what actions are good? If good cannot exist without evil, then evil cannot exist without good. If we take one away, then would we be taking both away? Mankind is made up of a complicated energy that consists of both positive and negative charges, and since God gave everyone freewill and since Adam and Eve both ate from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, every man must know that moral goodness is a condition where a person fulfills their duties, acting in a manner that they are supposed to act.
There are some stories that say Cain was not of Adam, and that Eve conceived him from the seed of the Serpent, after Satan seduced her, but I think that these are just wild crazy stories, that were made up by people that were trying too hard to interpret the scriptures. Some people just try to make things more complicated than they have to be. There are other stories that say that Cain killed Abel because he was caught cheating with his wife, but there is no mention that Able ever had a wife, so I tend to discount these stories also.
I like to go with the story that Adam had intercourse with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain. Eve was delighted and she said that she had acquired a man with the help of Yahweh. She gave birth to a second child, Abel, the brother of Cain. Abel became a shepherd and kept flocks, while Cain tilled the soil. God let Satan tempt Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and now He thought that it was time to test Cain and Abel, to see how they would show their love for Him. God devised a plan to test the brothers and He called this a sacrifice. God asked both Cain and Able to each make a sacrifice, which means that He wanted them to give up or lose something that they cared about, and to place their object of love on an altar before Him.
Cain, being a farmer brought some of the produce from the soil that he worked as an offering, while Abel brought the first-born of his flock and some of their fat as well. When Cain saw his brother approach the altar first, he shoved him away, so he could be the first one to place his gift on the altar. Cain cried out to God to accept his offering, but nothing happened. Then Abel placed his gift up on the altar and he prayed to God to accept his offering. A divine fire came down on Abel’s offering and consumed it on the altar. Cain got very angry and he opened his mouth and he blasphemed God, for not accepting his offering.
Yahweh looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but He did not look with favor on the offering that Cain placed on the altar. Cain was upset and he got very angry, because his brother’s gift was more pleasing to God. Yahweh asked Cain, ‘Why are you angry and downcast? If you are doing right, surely you ought to hold your head up high! But if you are not doing right, Sin is crouching at the door and it is hungry to get you. Know that you can still master sin.’ Cain said to his brother Abel, ‘Let us go out’, and while they were in the open country, Cain set on his brother Abel and killed him.
It was clear that Abel had passed the test and Cain had failed. Cain was not just mad because of his failure, but he was also mad because of his brother’s success. Cain could not hold his head up high, because he thought that he was better than his younger brother and now he had to face the music that Abel was outshining him. God wanted to give Cain another chance and He told Cain that he could still do good, but first he would have to master sin.
Another question that needs to be answered is, was God looking for an animal sacrifice? No, I do not think that is what God wanted. A person could bring any offering to God, but if it was done mechanically just going through the motions without putting your whole heart into it, or reluctantly, or irreverently, or arrogantly, then God would not accept it. A sacrifice is not good without the meaning and God saw into Cain’s heart and God knew that Cain’s offering was not sincere, as Cain did not exhibit passion in his sacrifice or make this sacrifice out of an affectionate, unconditional love. God was not looking for an animal or some grain, as He did not need either of these things. God was looking for Cain and Abel to show their love to him. Abel did this, but Cain did not and this was not about what Abel did, it was more about how Abel felt when he made his sacrifice, that made God accept it. Abel had faith in God and that is what allowed him to offer God a better sacrifice than Cain did.
Again, more questions arise, why did Abel go willingly out into the field with his brother? Did Cain tell Abel that he wanted to discuss how to make a proper sacrifice, or did he tell his brother that he wanted to debate religion and God? Did Cain kill Abel, just to watch him bleed? Did Cain think that he could use his brother’s blood as a sacrifice to God? Abel went with Cain because he trusted his brother and perhaps Cain used the pretence of asking Abel to help him move some large stones from his field to get Abel into a secluded area, where his premeditated murder would take place. Cain was consumed by envy when he lured Abel away from the family and murdered his righteous brother.
When they got out in the open country, where Cain knew nobody would be watching, although Cain did not consider the all seeing eye of God, then Cain set on his brother. Cain approached Abel from behind and he beat him with his staff, blow after blow, until Abel was down on the ground crying out, ‘Cain, my brother, have pity on me, don’t beat me to death with your staff.’ Cain laughed at his fallen brother and he picked a large stone, and smashed his brother in the head with it, until Abel’s brains oozed out. Cain was bitter because God did not accept his offering and he was jealous of his younger brother, because God found favor with him. Cain was the farmer, but he understood that smashing in someone’s head with a stone would cause blood to spill, which could result in death. Cain showed no remorse for what he did and Cain buried Abel’s body, because he was trying to hide this murder.
Then the Lord God cursed Cain saying, ‘Where is your brother Abel?’ Cain replied, ‘I do not know. Am I my brother’s guardian?’ Yahweh asked Cain, ‘What hast thou done? Your brother’s blood is crying out to me from the ground. Now you shall be cursed and banned from the ground that has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood at your hands. When you till the ground it will no longer yield crops to you. You will be a fugitive and a vagabond on earth from now on.’ Cain complained to Yahweh, ‘My punishment is greater than I can bear. You drive me from the surface of the Earth, I am forced to hide from you, and be a restless wanderer on Earth. Those who come across me, will kill me!’ God responded, ‘Very well, I will prolong your life, by issuing a decree, that whoever kills Cain will suffer a sevenfold vengeance.’ Yahweh put a mark on Cain, so that no one coming across him would kill him. God drove Cain out from the land, to live in the land of Nod, which was to the east of the Garden of Eden.
Cain was the first human to tell a lie and to make things worse he tells this deliberate lie to God, when he was asked if he knew where his brother was. Cain tried to cover his intentional murder and conceal it from God and when Abel’s blood cried out to God from the ground, Cain denied the crime stating that he was not in charge of watching over his brother. Cain planned out this murder and he considered some of the consequences, but he thought that this curse which God placed on him was excessive. Cain complained to God about his punishment, he did not want to be dead like his brother.
I am sorry, but in order to read the rest of this story, you will have to purchase my new book titled the Ancient Book of Eli which I expect to be published very soon.
The prompt for September 9th 2017 Stream of Consciousness Saturday from Linda G. Hill is ‘motive’. The challenge is to use the word motive, in any form, in your post.