It’s your choice

In today’s first reading, the brothers Cain and Abel have just brought an offering to the Lord. Abel brought his best lamb to offer to God in sacrifice. Cain brought some of the first fruits of the harvest, but pointedly not the best. “The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not.” (Gen 4:5-6a)

Several commentaries offer that what follows in Genesis 4:6-7 is perhaps the most challenging verse facing translators in the Book of Genesis, or perhaps all of the Hebrew Scriptures. “So, the LORD said to Cain: “Why are you so resentful and crestfallen. If you do well, you can hold up your head; but if not, sin is a demon lurking at the door: his urge is toward you, yet you can be his master.”

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