Genesis 4:8 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 4:8, NIV: "Now Cain said to his brother Abel, 'Let's go out to the field.' While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him."

Genesis 4:8, ESV: "Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him."

Genesis 4:8, KJV: "And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him."

Genesis 4:8, NASB: "Cain talked to his brother Abel; and it happened that when they were in the field Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him."

Genesis 4:8, NLT: "One day Cain suggested to his brother, 'Let's go out into the fields.' And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother, Abel, and killed him."

Genesis 4:8, CSB: "Cain said to his brother Abel, "Let's go out to the field." And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him."

What does Genesis 4:8 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

In the previous verses, God accepted an offering from Abel, but rejected a different sacrifice from Cain. Scripture gives no explicit reasons why, but it seems to be a matter of Cain's attitude. Rather than attempting to do right, when corrected by God, Cain responds with anger. God warned Cain that his refusal to choose God's standards would cause him to lose the battle with sin. Cain, however, would not change course.

Despite God's loving, clear warning, Cain allows sin to win. Cain talked to his brother, and the two went to the field together. In some manuscripts, the text specifies that Cain wanted to go out into the field with Abel.

There Cain attacks and kills Abel: the first recorded murder in human history. Cain failed to live up to God's standards, and was angry. When God gave Cain a way to be restored, and warned him about the dangerous nature of sin, Cain instead chose to reject God even further. Cain would not be altered from his course of hurt, anger, and envy.

The Apostle John holds Cain out to us as a negative example, calling Cain "the evil one" (1 John 3:12), revealing that he was motivated by jealousy for his righteous brother.