Genesis 4:9

“¶ And the LORD said vnto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And hee said, I know not: Am I my brothers keeper?”

1611 King James Version (KJV)

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Other Translations

And the LORD said unto Cain, Where [is] Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: [Am] I my brother's keeper?
- King James Version

Then the LORD said to Cain, "Where is Abel your brother? And he said, "I do not know. Am I my brother's keeper?""
- New American Standard Version (1995)

And Jehovah said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: am I my brother's keeper?
- American Standard Version (1901)

And the Lord said to Cain, Where is your brother Abel? And he said, I have no idea: am I my brother's keeper?
- Basic English Bible

And Jehovah said to Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: am I my brother's keeper?
- Darby Bible

And the LORD said to Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper?
- Webster's Bible

Yahweh said to Cain, "Where is Abel, your brother?" He said, "I don't know. Am I my brother's keeper?"
- World English Bible

And Jehovah saith unto Cain, `Where [is] Abel thy brother?' and he saith, `I have not known; my brother's keeper -- I?'
- Youngs Literal Bible

And the LORD said unto Cain: 'Where is Abel thy brother?' And he said: 'I know not; am I my brother's keeper?'
- Jewish Publication Society Bible

Bible commentary

Wesley's Notes for Genesis 4:9

4:9 And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? - God knew him to be guilty; yet he asks him, that he might draw from him a confession of his crime; for those who would be justified before God, must accuse themselves. And he said, I know not - Thus in Cain the devil was both a murderer, and a liar from the beginning. Am I my Brother's keeper? - Sure he is old enough to take care of himself, nor did I ever take charge of him. Art not thou his keeper? If he be missing, on thee be the blame, and not on me, who never undertook to keep him.

Discussion for Genesis 4

  • A disciple
    Dear Brother Jim; God has been able in every age to provide Himself good and faithful witnesses. No matter how much we may want to give the children of the devil the benefit of the doubt, and say, Maybe it was for this reason, or, maybe its because of that... and still find a way to blame ourselves; God Himself, at a certain point lets men have their own minds, and the kind of spirits they want.
  • JIm
    The sacrifice offering has to be the Lords way. Abel believed the Lord and did it the Lords way. Cain believed not and did it Cains way.
  • Jessi Chapman
    The reason God excepted Abel sacrifice over Cain was because Abel put God first. He tells us even in his ten commandments he should always be put first. He gave him his firstlings. The Word tells us that Cain was the son of Satan. We ourselves must chose good over evil(sin).
  • Scott
    Donna, God is more concerned with the Spirit in which we offer our sacrifice than he is with the sacrifice itself. God knew Cain’s heart and that he really didn’t want to give his best. Note that it says, “respect unto Abel and to his offering” and then later “But unto Cain and to his offering”. So, the respect was first unto the man and 2nd unto the offering.
  • A disciple
    Hello Donna; Seeing that Cain and Abel were the first generation after Adam and Eve; the boys would have known full well the story of what happened, right from the Originals themselves. The LORD saw that Cain completely omitted from his accounting of himself before God the whole truth of his present condition being intrinsically connected to the coming of the Saviour. God cannot respect that kind!
  • Donna Cromb
    I too wondered why God didn't like Cain's offering and was told by an elder that the fruit of Abel's sacrifice, the lamb, referred back to God's promise of the coming of Jesus Christ. Even back then God had promised salvation when He told about the children of Satan would bruise His heel, meaning Jesus would die. I'm still a little confused.

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