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Genesis 4: The First Family

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Cain and Abel: inventors of sibling rivalry.




Eve had a problem.  She was knocked up by this man, but she wasn’t married.  In fact, she had two boys before out of wedlock, which might have scandalized the rest of her family, if they existed.  The boys grew up with their emotions unchecked, due to their parents carrying around guilt, worrying about social stigma, even though it wasn’t apparent whether society had even been invented yet.  They had issues.  The boys were lucky—they would be able to blame their problems on their parents’ inability to deal with these issues.  Who could their parents blame?

The boys were Cain, who grew up to be a farmer, and Abel, who grew up to be a shepherd.  This meant that come sacrifice time, Abel was in a position to bring more impressive sacrifices to God, since He has always had a thing for lambs.  Cain grew jealous of his younger brother, who Mom always liked best.  And now God.  It was too much to bear.  “Little brother,” suggested Cain one day, “let’s take a walk.”

Once the two brothers had gotten far enough away from all the people (pretty easy to do in those days) Cain killed Abel, and was really in trouble because he couldn’t claim helplessness wrought by endless unsupervised days of Grand Theft Auto games on his Play Station.  God, unomniscient as usual in those days, asked, “Where’s Abel?”

“Dunno,” said Cain.  “It’s not my job to watch him.”

“That’s it,” God said.  “I banished your parents from that nice garden, so now I’ll banish you from this crappy desert.  You’re a fugitive now.  You’re going to wander the earth with a mark on your head.  If anyone sees that mark, they’ll know not to kill you, or else I’ll come after them with more righteous anger than you’ve ever seen.  You just watch.”  God went on, “People need to understand My law.  You don’t kill, but you also don’t kill murderers.  Anyone who follows Me will come to understand that.” 

Cain then married one of those people that God created the week before He created his parents, which led to generations of murderers.  And musicians.  And much later, a mutiny that was named after him.  With the kids out of the house, Eve found herself in a romantic mood again, and Cain’s parents gave him a new little brother, Seth.

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