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The Forgotten Books of Eden, by Rutherford H. Platt, Jr., [1926], at


A wicked plan is carried to a tragic conclusion. Cain is frightened. "Am I my brother's keeper?" The seven punishments. Peace is shattered.

AND so they went on, until they came to a lonely place, where there were no sheep; then Abel said to Cain, "Behold, my brother, we are weary of walking; for we see none of the trees, nor of the fruits, nor of the verdure, nor of the sheep, nor any one of the things of which thou didst tell me. Where are those sheep of thine thou didst tell me to bless?"

2 Then Cain said to him, "Come on, and presently thou shalt see many beautiful things. but go before me, until I come up to thee."

3 Then went Abel forward, but Cain remained behind him.

4 And Abel was walking in his innocence, without guile; not believing his brother would kill him.

5 Then Cain, when he came up to him, comforted him with his talk, walking a little behind him; then he hastened, and smote him with the staff, blow upon blow, until he was stunned,

6 But when Abel fell down upon the ground, seeing that his brother meant to kill him, he said to Cain, "O, my brother, have pity on me. By the breasts we have sucked, smite me not! By the womb that bare us and that brought us into the world, smite me not unto death with that staff! If thou wilt kill me, take one of these large stones, and kill me outright."

7 Then Cain, the hard-hearted, and cruel murderer, took a large stone, and smote his brother with it upon the head, until his brains oozed out, and he weltered in his blood, before him.

8 And Cain repented not of what he had done.

9 But the earth, when the blood of righteous Abel fell upon it, trembled, as it drank his blood, and would have brought Cain to naught for it.

10 And the blood of Abel cried mysteriously to God, to avenge him of his murderer.

11 Then Cain began at once to dig the earth wherein to lay his brother; for he was trembling from the fear that came upon him, when he saw the earth tremble on his account.

12 He then cast his brother into the pit he made, and covered him with dust. But the earth would not receive him; but it threw him up at once.

13 Again did Cain dig the earth and hid his brother in it; but again did the earth throw him up on itself; until three times did the earth thus throw up on itself the body of Abel.

14 The muddy earth threw him up the first time, because he was not the first creation; and it threw him up the second

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time and would not receive him, because he was righteous and good, and was killed without a cause; and the earth threw him up the third time and would not receive him, that there might remain before his brother a witness against him.

15 And so did the earth mock Cain, until the Word of God, came to him concerning his brother.

16 Then was God angry, and much displeased at Abel's death; and He thundered from heaven, and lightnings went before Him, and the Word of the Lord God came from heaven to Cain, and said unto him, "Where is Abel thy brother?"

17 Then Cain answered with a proud heart and a gruff voice, "How, O God? am I my brother's keeper?"

18 Then God said unto Cain, "Cursed be the earth that has drunk the blood of Abel thy brother; and thou, be thou trembling and shaking; and this will be a sign unto thee, that whosoever finds thee, shall kill thee."

19 But Cain wept because God had said those words to him; and Cain said unto Him "O God, whosoever finds me shall kill me, and I shall be blotted out from the face of the earth."

20 Then God said unto Cain, "Whosoever shall find thee shall not kill thee;" because before this, God had been saying to Cain, "I shall forego seven punishments on him who kills Cain." For as to the word of God to Cain, "Where is thy brother?" God said it in mercy for him, to try and make him repent.

21 For if Cain had repented at that time, and had said, "O God, forgive me my sin, and the murder of my brother," God would then have forgiven him his sin.

22 And as to God saying to Cain, "Cursed be the ground that has drunk the blood of thy brother" that also, was God's mercy on Cain. For God did not curse him, but He cursed the ground; although it was not the ground that had killed Abel, and had committed iniquity.

23 For it was meet that the curse should fall upon the murderer; yet in mercy did God so manage His thoughts as that no one should know it, and turn away from Cain.

24 And He said to him, "Where is thy brother?" To which he answered and said, "I know not." Then the Creator said to him, "Be trembling and quaking."

25 Then Cain trembled and became terrified; and through this sign did God make him an example before all the creation, as the murderer of his brother. Also did God bring trembling and terror upon him, that he might see the peace in which he was at first, and see also the trembling and terror he endured at the last; so that he might humble himself before God, and repent of his sin, and seek the peace he enjoyed at first.

26 And in the word of God that said, "I will forego seven punishments on whomsoever kills Cain," God was not seeking to kill Cain with the sword, but He sought to make him die of fasting, and praying and weeping by hard rule, until the time that he was delivered from his sin.

27 And the seven punishments are the seven generations during which God awaited Cain for the murder of his brother.

28 But as to Cain, ever since he had killed his brother, he could find no rest in any place; but went back to Adam and Eve, trembling, terrified, and defiled with blood. . . .

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