Chick-fil-A Biblical Family of the Day

Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy: “We support biblical families.”

Today’s Chick-fil-A Biblical Family of the Day: Cain & Abel (Genesis 4:1-8)

Now the man knew his wife Eve, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have produced a man with the help of the Lord.” Next she bore his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a tiller of the ground. In the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground, and Abel for his part brought of the firstlings of his flock, their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering, but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell. The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is lurking at the door; its desire is for you, but you must master it.”

Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let us go out to the field.” And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him.

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  • Nirrti

    Cain and Abel seem to be the epitome of a biblical family. I don’t remember too many bible stories where some brother, father, or whoever wasn’t going around slaying, raping, tearing their daughters to pieces, or whatever. Seems to be as many “sleweths” as “begots” in scripture.

  • Dave Lartigue

    The lesson of Cain and Abel: if God looks favorably on your sacrifices, He’ll reward you by not preventing you from getting murdered.

  • My takeaway from Cain and Abel is this:
    Cain was a farmer, and he offered up part of his harvest.  God is apparently a meatatarian, so He wasn’t keen on the rabbit food that Cain was slinging.
    Abel was a shepherd, and he brought God something nice and bloody.  God was pleased.  Cain saw that God was pleased.

    Cain decided to bring God the nicest, bloodiest offering he could think of, so he clubbed Abel’s brain in.  But then he realized that he didn’t know how to gut and dress a human, so he just went off and hid because he knew that he’d royally botched the job.

    Moral of the story: God like his bloody.

  • PandaRosa

    “Oh yeah, well God likes ME best!” Even the Bible shows us that siblings will always fight.

  • Nirrti

    Was it “steaming pile of vegetables drenched with butter” like in the last LB book? No wonder He was pissed….

  • Vermic

    I read that the Cain/Abel story is symbolic of the rivalry between agricultural and herding societies, which apparently has been A Thing throughout all of human history.  It’s easy to see here which side the author favors.

    “If you do well, will you not be accepted?”

    Apparently not?

    and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have produced a man with the help of the Lord.”

    I have to admit, something about Eve’s wording of this makes me snicker.  It’s so flat and declarative, like an infomercial testimonial (“I heartily endorse this product or service”).  But it’s also delightfully ambiguous, as if you can’t quite tell whether Eve is happy or awestruck or maybe just sarcastic: “Another man in the world, yippee.”  Or maybe she’s just exhausted from the birth.

  •  The farmer and the cowman should be friends!

  • and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have produced a man with the help of the Lord.”

    > I have to admit, something about Eve’s wording of this makes me snicker.

    Even funnier in Hebrew, because the verb here translated “produced,” as used in Modern Hebrew, most commonly means “bought.” And of course the whole point is to claim that Qayin “Cain” is derived from the verb qanah “acquire, get, produce;  buy,” so the silliness is unavoidable.

  • Deborah Moore

    Isaac Asimov took this story as not just symbolic of the rivalry between agricultural and herding societies, but also of which one always ends up winning out.


    (I can’t believe I have such an horror of that phrase in the book but OH MY DEAR LORD THAT DESCRIPTION I am shuddering now.)

  • Jim V

    I wonder if anyone else has ever noticed that during the course of his adventures Huck Finn encounters a long-runing feud — no one can remember why or when it started. The family on one side is named Shepherdson and on the other Graingerford. Do you suppose that Twain wanted us to imagine this feud went all the way back to the first shepherd and the first grainger?

  • Amaryllis

     In the Chick-fil-A Poem of the Day, Rudyard Kipling agrees with him.

  • Carstonio

    I never made that connection, but then, my first exposure to the story was from the claim that Abel was showing his understanding of substitutionary atonement. That claim appears to be telling Jews that they’re reading their own book incorrectly.

  • I’ve heard it preached that Cain gave SOME of his produce, while Abel gave the BEST of his flock, and that’s why God rejected Cain’s offering.  Perhaps that’s from a specific translation….?

    Tangentally, has anyone read John Steinbeck’s “East of Eden”?  That entire book is a meditation on the Cain/Abel story, more obvious in parts than in others, and I’m fascinated by the “timshel” discussion (whether or not Cain will triumph over sin, or might triumph, or will triumph, depending on the translation of the Hebrew word).

  • EllieMurasaki

    Abel only gave some of his flock, and there’s nothing to indicate that Cain gave less than the best of his produce.

  • This is when God was completely arbitrary and unjust, and people were supposed to suck it up and keep giving offerings because he was in charge. Life was certainly arbitrary and unjust, and if God controlled life, then he must be too. Exactly like every slave master.

  • The way some Christians (like LaHaye, for example, through his books) present the desirable state of a relatiomship with God, it’s like living with an abusive parent. In Edge of Apocalypse, the priest even says, “God can be hard to please”.

    Being “hard to please” is sometimes code for “pulls arbitrary rules-changing mind games to keep you from feeling safe and consistent”.


  • Amaryllis

    No, but it is indicated that Abel gave the best of his flock. This interpretation is usually extrapolated from the difference between”an offering” — any old thing he happened to have lying around? — and “the first of his flock” complete with all their fat — the best he had.

    In any case, to me the interesting part of the story isn’t so much God’s reaction to Cain, as Cain’s reaction to God. I mean, what good did it do him, with God or anyone else, to displace his anger with God onto Abel? Or is one of those people who seems compelled to fulfill everyone’s worst expectations of him?