Yahwist Notes: Gen 4 Cain & Abel

The following are rough notes as I read through the Yahwist. I’m using Tzemah Yoreh’s source attribution for the Yahwist. You can view all of my notes of the Yahwist series here. Some ideas presented here may seem ridiculous, but no idea is too stupid during this phase. I’m not that concerned with grammar or spelling either. My thoughts and ideas will likely alter significantly by the time I produce a full mirror-reading of the Yahwist, but this gives you an idea of “how the sausage is made”. Feel free to share comments and/or links you think I might find helpful.

This is the first of brotherly rivalries for the Yahwist: Cain and Abel, Isaac and Ishmael and Jacob and Esau.

Eve had produced a man (Adam) by herself? J spins this to sex with Adam and producing Cain with help of Yahweh?

Cain’s birth alternative explanation for the meaning of Cain’s name? kan (qayin, "spear" or "smith," resembling in sound the root qanah, "get," "acquire,"

Abel is referred to as Cain’s brother 7x, indicating that he was not Cain’s brother in the opposing narrative.

broader theme- soil tillers, Adam, Cain and Noah vs Nomadic?

Yahweh did not have regard for Cain’s because the ground had been previously cursed?

J stresses the reason for why Cain was very angry and countenance fallen indicating that the opposing narrative gave a different reason

Originally Cain said “Whoever kills Cain will suffer a sevenfold vengeance”. J’s spins this so that Yahweh says it about Cain. Just like Lamech said it himself

“Sin lurking at door” originally referred to demon?

Abze was Sumerian god of water. Ab El was Hebrew equivalent?

Cain suggesting going out to field would suggest premeditated murder

Ground originally opened its mouth to swallow Abel like Korah, but J spins this to Abel’s blood, not Abel himself.

Lots of ambiguity with the phrase “My punishment is greater than I can bear” in the Hebrew. Could suggest that it was used one way in opposing narrative but J is using it in a different way.

Cain’s being driven away from the face of Yahweh is J’s explanation as to why there was no account of Cain worshiping Yahweh?

Cain’s punishment of wandering was J’s alternative explanation for the name origin of the Land of Nod?

Yahweh’s protection is J’s alternative explanation for Cain’s mark?

Cain’s family line is parallel to Sumerian king list?

I’m very interested to learn more about how Sumerian creation myth relates to J’s account.

Why is J concerned with family line of Noah?

Irad was first Sumerian city? Why does J list it?

Names with El: Mehujael, Methushael, Abel

Names with Yahweh: Adah, Zillah

Names with Baal: Jabal, Jubal, Tubal-cain

Jabel parallel to Abel - livestock, Tubal-cain parallel to Cain - smith?

J stressing that Adah and Zillah were Lamech’s wives indicates that they were not.

What’s up with J’s preoccupation with “soil”?

J’s stressing that Enoch was Cain’s son indicates that he was not.

Lamech’s son’s originally divine as they brought music and metallurgy?

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