A Law Enforcement Perspective on the Story of Cain and Able

Written by SirBeavis

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

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Murder or a nefarious plot pitting brother against brother?

Most of us are familiar with the story of Cain and Able from the Bible. Generally believed to be the tale of how Cain the elder slew his brother Able in a jealous/envious rage. This is commonly considered the first documented murder and the first documented crime of passion.

For the most part we take this written testimony as the fact, not as evidence leading us to the facts. For the average person, this is fine and makes no difference, as the lessons of the story do not change. It is a morality tale teaching lessons about the perils of murder, neglect of our kin ("…Am I my brothers keeper?"), and bearing the responsibility for our actions (Cain's exile from Eden).

Those of us who are LEO's on the other hand should hold ourselves to a higher standard. We are taught to look for the facts in all we do ("…Just the facts ma'am."), particularly when it comes to looking at a potential or actual crime. It is our job to find and report the facts, document the facts, come to our conclusion as to whether the facts support that a crime was committed, and act upon our view of these facts, and recommend charges based on the facts, and why we interpret these facts to be positive indicators of a crime. In the end, The DA, a judge, a magistrate, or in the military the SJA and commanders will take action and decide what to go ahead with based on the facts we presented them and our interpretation. Which is why we list crimes we believe occurred based on the facts found to be true during an investigation on a police report and let higher powers decide what to drop and what to charge with. This said, our job is to find facts, substantiate the facts as true and document/report them. That said, when it comes to the story of Cain and Able, most of us in the law enforcement community have been remiss in our duties to sort out the facts from the opinion, and substantiate those facts with additional documentation and testimony.

As previously stated, the common interpretation is that the case of Cain and Able is the first documented murder and the first documented crime of passion. If we use proper
investigative technique, and look for substantiating evidence, do the facts indeed support a crime of passion committed out of jealous rage?

In the King James Version (and many other versions), testimony bears that Cain slew his brother Able out of a jealousy when he perceived that Able became favored over him
by God when "…on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor."

If you look for supporting evidence and testimony in the myriad versions of the bible, and more importantly the original Hebrew base documents and "gospels" chosen for
exclusion at Council of Mycenae, a different story takes place. In these "alternate" or "excluded" testimonies, the series of events is closer to this:

In the first year, God commanded a tribute in the form of sacrifice. He commanded, "Give me the first part of all that you have." Remember, Cain was a Farmer, and Able was a herdsman. ("Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground." King James ver.) Able, being the herdsman, derived all that he had from his herds, for they provided meat for food, milk to drink, and skins for clothing and shelter which kept both he and his family alive. Cain on the other hand had an issue. From Cain's point of view, all that he had came from his brother, not from material possessions, but from the love of family. There was no way Cain was going to immolate his beloved sibling, this to him would be wrong. Still, he was a farmer, so he sacrificed the first part of his crops, the best and most luscious fruits, vegetables and grains. God was pleased with Able's sacrifice, and displeased with Cain's. (Cain had failed to follow the commandment requiring "the first part of all that you have.") This is further evidenced in Genesis 4: "...In process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord, and Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof, and the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect." Cain and Able were rewarded or punished based on the sacrifices they had given. God cursed the fields Cain tended to wither and die leaving no food appropriate for human consumption. God, rather than letting Cain's family starve, rewarded Able by blessing his herds that they shall multiply and grow, providing enough to feed, clothe and shelter both families with some to spare. Thus Cain and his seed did not die.

In the second year, God commanded another tribute in the form of sacrifice. He commanded, "Give me the first part of all your happiness." Able considered the first
part of his happiness to be his herds, for they had grown and allowed him to feed not only his family, but his loved brother's family as well. Able again sacrificed the best of his herds, and God was pleased. Cain was now in the same spot he was in the previous year. While the request had changed, (It was now "the first part of all your happiness.") the outcome would still be the same, you see, the first part of all of Cain's happiness was again his brother. While Cain's crops wilted, Able's Flocks and herds grew. Able out of love for his brother had fed Cain's family keeping them alive.

Not Knowing of God's mercy (Able's flocks feeding Cain's family.), Cain feared God's Wrath, and feared his family would starve and die, if for a second year he failed to follow Gods commandment. Cain was between a rock and a hard place. Commit the morally reprehensible act of defying God and face his wrath and the possible deaths of his family, or commit a deed that he found to be equally reprehensible, and lose his most cherished family member. Cain chose the latter.

Cain sacrificed his brother by blade and fire, as he felt was commanded by God. God saw this and was repulsed, banishing Cain to wonder the land of Nod, forever a pariah.

Exiled, yet protected from vengeance by "the mark of Cain". While he could never return to society, neither would he die by societies hand to end his torment. ("...And the LORD said unto him, therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the LORD set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him, and Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden." King James ver.) The equivalent of modern "life without parole."

Based on these facts, substantiated by written testimony. Could a reasonable and prudent investigator, determine that the murder of Able was beyond a shadow of a doubt, a crime of passion brought forth by angry and jealously. The facts could easily be argued that it was not a crime of passion, but a premeditated and macabre slaying, carried out to attain a (perceived) known outcome. Given accurate reporting and fact finding, and follow-up investigation, one could even argue Cain would nowadays be the recipient of the death penalty for "Murder 1" not a life sentence for a lesser count of murder or manslaughter.

And even better for you conspiracy theorists out there, in my opinion this is a clear cut case of entrapment…Yes Cain was a patsy…


Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006: The luring by a law enforcement agent of a person into committing a crime.

The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition Copyright ©2006: To lure into performing a previously or otherwise uncontemplated illegal act.

The Peoples Law Dictionary®, Fine Communications©: In criminal law, the act of law enforcement officers or government agents inducing or encouraging a person to commit a crime when the potential criminal expresses a desire not to go ahead. The key to entrapment is whether the idea for the commission or encouragement of the criminal act originated with the police or government agents instead of with the "criminal."

As we see, in the story of Cain and Able, Cain could be granted a defense on the legal principle of entrapment. God was in fact the supreme power, law maker, judge, jury and enforcer, God was the government, and all acts by him as such could be considered to be under color of authority. Cain would never have considered killing his brother if it weren't for the input (under color of authority) from God. In fact, Cain even resisted the killing during the first year, only committing the act in the second year due to pressure by God and perceived threats by God against the well being of his family. Then, once Cain capitulated and killed Able, the same authority (God) that tricked/forced him into committing the act, then judged and punished him for it. HE WAS ENTRAPPED.

And added today, by a coworker, the atheist interpretation of the facts:

Cain should be allowed a defense based on insanity. Since God doesn't exist, he was obviously hearing voices, which demonstrates he did not have the mental capacity to understand what he was doing was wrong, and is unfit to undergo trial until his mental state can be further evaluated.

Have a nice day…based on the facts supporting an interpretation of a nice day.

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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