Cain and Abel in Syriac and Greek Writers (4th-6th Centuries)

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Peeters Publishers, 1997 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 326 pages
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The main part of this work is a detailed inventory of interpretations of Gen. 4.1-17. The exegesis related to each verse is presented quoting sources century by century, first Greek, then Syriac texts. The book introduces early Jewish, Christian and Gnostic exegesis, and on the basis of the inventory, it studies selected themes in the two genres: commentaries and homilies; Greek as opposed to Syriac exegesis, the use of speeches, especially fictive speeches in the dramatized homilies, main themes related to the character of Cain, and the interrelationship of sources. The book will be of interest for students of theology, history of religion, as well as for anyone studying the history of exegesis, art and literature.
 

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Contents

A Scope and method
1
U Between verses 8 and
9
Early Christian and Gnostic sources
10
Main sources from the fourth to the sixth centuries
33
E The biblical text
51
A Before verse l
57
Cain in relation to the rest of humankind
64
Role of Adam and Eve
65
Verse 9b 1 Cains inner state
166
Gods relationship to Cain and Abel
168
Development of speech and narrative
169
Typological interpretation
170
Y Verse l0 1 God as judge
171
The question
172
Cains reaction
173
Innocence
174

Eves attitude towards God
67
E Verse 2a 1 Etymology of Abel
68
Twins or difference in age
69
F Verse 2bc
70
Cains character in relation to his occupation
72
Age
73
Typological interpretation
74
Marriage
75
Adams speech to his sons
76
Adam and Eve in relation to the sacrifices
78
Reaction to Adams command
79
Cause of the offerings
80
Presence of family at the offerings
81
J Verse
90
Verse
101
Rejection
105
Purpose of the rejection
106
N Verse 5b 1 Adam as subject
107
The reaction of Cains family to his rejection
110
Medical language Ill 3 Purpose of the questions I11 4 Reproach
112
Division of the offering
113
Exhortation to remain still
114
God does not punish at this point
115
Allegorical interpretation
116
You shall rule by means of it
117
Sins activity
119
Development of the narrative
120
Cains reaction in relation to Abel
121
Cains inner state
122
Gods response to Cain
123
Abels reaction to Cain on meeting him
125
S Verse 8a 1 Habitation of the brothers
126
Cains appeal to Abel to come with him and Abels response
127
On the way
131
A new sacrifice
132
Cain in relation to God
133
Typological interpretation
134
Abels reaction to Cains intention to kill him and Cains response
135
Themes in the dialogue
137
Age at the time of the murder
145
Cains attitude
148
Weapon
149
The novelty of murderdeath
150
The murder is beyond forgiveness
151
Death of just martyrs like Abel
152
Allegorical interpretation
153
Cain and the corpse
154
Cains thoughts after his act of murder
155
Cain in relation to his parents
156
Witnesses
158
Gods dwelling place
159
Cains future life
160
Typological interpretation
161
Contrast between lovemercy and angerjustice
162
Contrast between ignorance and knowledge
163
The attitude of God towards Cain
164
Witnesses
175
Description of the curses
176
The purpose of the curse
177
The curse in relation to the earth
178
Typological interpretation
179
Produce
180
The reason why Cain was trembling
182
Development of narrative
183
Forgiveness
185
Cains answer in relation to punishment and death
186
Removal from the earth
187
Cains relationship to death
188
Who might kill Cain?
189
Gods answer in relation to the length of Cains life
190
FF Verse
193
Where did Cain find a wife?
223
KK Verse l7b 1 City in contrast to other forms of habitation
224
The name of the city
225
A Commentaries
226
Cains killer
227
B Common themes
228
Events prior to the offerings
229
Cains trembling
230
Cains sins and punishments
231
Typology
232
Cains family
233
Events prior to v34a
235
Medical imagery
236
Witnesses to the murder
237
A Greek exegesis
239
Syriac exegesis
249
A Exegetical development of speeches in Gen 4
256
Parents and Cain before the offerings at v3 or v7
259
Cain to himself after the rejection of his sacrifice
261
The second dialogue between Cain and Abel on the jour ney and at the scene of the murder v8
263
Abel to nature natures lament and curse of Cain
265
Satan and his entourage at the prospect of Abels death
266
Cain his parents and Abel after the murder
267
Angels
271
Types of speeches
272
Fictive speeches without dialogue ethopoiia
273
Speech of a deceased person
274
Personifications
275
A Cains character
277
The will of Cain
278
Cains relationship with Satan
279
Cains relationship with nature
281
B Individual sins
283
Envy
284
Deceit
286
Reconciliation and forgiveness
288
Repentance
289
Forgiveness
290
CONCLUSION
294
CONTENTS
315
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