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Why Did Cain Kill Abel?

by Ken Ham on November 4, 2011

Why did Cain kill Abel?

Creation Question


. . . not as Cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brother’s righteous (1 John 3:12).


Hebrews 11:4; Genesis 4:3-8

We know that Cain killed Abel. If we look at the Bible account of Cain and Abel we see that they both offered sacrifices. But even though they both offered something to God, their hearts were different. You see, Cain’s heart was wicked and evil. God warned Cain that sin would be “at his door” or that sin had a desire for him. This is a reminder to us that sin in our lives is always trying to persuade us to do bad things that dishonor God. This is what happened to Cain. Cain’s sacrifice would not have pleased God because of that—no matter what it had been. Now, Abel’s heart was faithful and true to God and his sacrifice was excellent in God’s eyes. When Cain realized that God was not pleased with his sacrifice but accepted Abel’s, his heart became more wicked. He was angry and jealous of his brother and killed him out of envy. Calista, when I read the account of Cain and Abel, I see that God knows our hearts very well. We need to pray that our hearts are pure toward God and when we serve Him, we do it because of the sincere love, honor, and respect we have for Him—not like Cain. Then He will be pleased.