Chapter Five - The First Prophet
I peeked over a rock. Soon the plan I had been working towards for the last 129 years would be complete. Oh how I had waited for this day. Any moment now and the door would open. No one would see what was coming. This day was all mine!
There in the field before me stood two men. They were on opposite ends of the field, but what they were doing was the same, or so one of them thought. The field itself was divided in half down the center by the river Pison. The left half was a pasture full of grazing sheep. The right half devoted to various crops.
Two pillars of smoke began rising into the air as the men lit the alters with their offerings to Yahweh. On the left alter, there burned an unblemished lamb, and on the right, the best of the harvest. I smiled, it had worked perfectly.
Only a couple minutes passed before a strong wind blew against the alter with the harvest upon it and toppled it over. The man who stood near fell to his knees and shook his fist at the sky. He then screamed, rage dominating his every syllable. He stood up again and glared in the direction of his brother. Nothing had happened to his brother’s sacrifice, only his own.
My smile almost hurt it was so big. I began to sneak my way around to the angry brother. The voice of Yahweh filled the air, “Cain, why art thou wroth? And why is thy countenance fallen?”
Cain waved his hand threw the air in a ‘go-away’ manor and stomped off. Yahweh spoke again, “If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? And if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.”
Cain plopped himself onto a bolder and nearly cried. His pride had been hurt. A pride I had worked so long to instill in him. I had to be careful, or his father and mother would have seen it. I had gone slowly. But now, now Cain would be mine. I pushed upon him the thoughts I wanted him to have. The door swung open easily, and I entered eagerly.
Cain stood in a huff and made straightway over to his brother. I trailed him, but stayed out of sight. I wasn’t going to miss being there when my second plan comes to its glorious conclusion. I had put too much effort into this to not see it for myself. It was a long road, filled with many turning points.
From the bushes I watched as the woman screamed in pain before me. It was just over a year since my beloved female had been taken away from me. Lucifer had been there when no one else would talk to me. Even Yahweh seemed to have turned away.
Such a cowardly move that proved to be. First Yahweh took my mate, then my offspring. I wanted an opportunity to get back at him for his crimes. But, Adam and his wife Eve refused to even look at me. I couldn’t get close enough to them to do anything.
A new voice echoed through the cave. I lifted my head higher to see. Adam was holding a baby boy in his arms. He smiled with joy. Eve sighed in relief of the pain being ended. Adam seemed to have forgotten about her, but now he brought the newborn to her.
She took her child and was overjoyed. “I have gotten a man from The Lord!” she exclaimed. “His name is Cain!”
‘Ha,’ the voice of my Master said in my head. ‘Now we have a way to hurt them. When this Cain grows up, his parents will be less inclined to follow his every move. When that day comes, we will begin manipulating him into what we need him to be.’
“Yes,” I whispered slowly. “As always, you are quite wise, my Master!” From that day on, I made it a point to stick close by the firstborn son. I needed to know him if I was to influence him. A year later Abel was born.
As the two children grew up, they showed different interests. Abel showed interest in the sheep that his Mother was a Sheppard over. Cain, on the other hand, loved to get his hands dirty and began helping his Father in his planting of seed.
Thus it was that Abel became a keeper of sheep and Cain a tiller of the ground. But, it also became harder to stay near to Cain, as Eve had the audacity to keep bearing children! By the time Adam let Cain take over farming at age 50, the countryside was full of humans. It was hard to stay out of sight.
I managed, though, with my Master’s help to stay close to Cain and whisper into his mind when he wasn’t paying attention. I planted a seed of pride, and it flourished. He grew proud of his handiwork.
Then Abel called the family together. There were 77 of them in all. “I heard a word from The Lord today, while I was out tending the flock. He told me that we need to each sacrifice a lamb every year.”
The family murmured for a second. I was shocked myself. “Did He say why?” Adam asked.
“Yes,” Abel answered. “Because without the shedding of blood, our sins cannot be pardoned.” Abel then turned to his parents. “From what I’ve heard, you should know this already.”
Eve’s head dropped and she looked at the ground. Adam nodded sadly. “Any idea why we should be commended to now and not sooner?” one of Abel’s sisters asked.
“Well, The Lord didn’t answer that question, but, a guess, because there were not enough sheep to have sacrifices and not endanger the kind from extinction.”
“May I ask why The Lord came to you and not me?” Cain asked.
Abel sighed. “I expected that question, so I asked, but The Lord didn’t answer why me.”
“So, every one of us is to sacrifice a lamb, even the babies?” Adam asked looking at his newest born.
“No, just those who are old enough to live on their own,” Abel answered.
“And when are we to begin?” a brother, not Cain, asked.
“At the end of the harvest of this year. Next month, in other words.” There was a moment of silence. “Any more questions?” Abel asked. No one responded so he said, “Then I believe my job of telling you is completed. Thank you for coming.”
The group then began dispersing. I was upset. Being a sheep herder did wonders for humility. Now we had a man who could hear the word of Yahweh. The first Prophet the world had ever seen. If I wanted to get back at Yahweh as well as Adam and Eve, then Abel was the prime target. And to that goal I strove.
Now, five decades later, I was going to see an end to it. Cain waded across the river Pison, thereby exiting the land of Havilah, and stepped into Abel’s pasture. Abel turned around, hearing the splashes. He had been knelt at his alter worshiping Yahweh. He picked up his Sheppard’s Crook, but not in a threatening manner. As a herdsman, it was habit to carry it around on duty.
It was clear by his expression that he knew why Cain was coming to him, but what would result of it, he had no idea. He obviously didn’t want to deal with this topic, as he had dealt with it so many other times before.
“Oh come on Abel!” Cain shouted. “They are perfectly good healthy sheep! Why do they need to die?”
“Because it’s what The Lord wants us to do,” Abel answered trying to be patient.
Cain snickered. “The Lord? How am I to even know He exists? I’ve never heard Him, never seen Him, never anything!”
Abel folded his arms and no wonder, as Cain just used one of the doubts I put there. I was winning him! “Okay,” Abel said. “You want to have evidence He exists, go to Eden.”
“What? Are you crazy? It’s illegal to go anywhere in sight of that place!” Cain yelled.
“True,” Abel said nodding. “Father put that law in place with good reason. He doesn’t want any of his children to die in an attempt to enter The Garden.”
“Father ruled it?” Cain asked puzzled. I sighed inwardly. I hadn’t wanted Cain to know that.
“Yes,” Abel said stepping forward. “God only said to not enter The Garden of Eden. Not to totally stay away. Father is attempting to be extra safe. Just like he was when he told Mother not to even touch the forbidden tree.”
Cain’s face wrinkled with anger. “Nonetheless, I won’t go there. Why must I make a move to see that God exists? If He is God then why doesn’t He come to me?” Abel began to answer, but Cain stopped him. “I don’t want to hear it. But fine, I’ll take this lamb, seeing as it’s a gift, but I do not do so for God, I do so for your sake.”
“Absolutely not,” Cain shouted walking away. “I will not be indebted to my younger brother.”
“But I’ve not asked you to repay me,” Abel said carrying a lamb after his brother. “This is a gift as it has been every year before this.”
“I’m not changing my mind,” Cain said turning around. “I have labored hard for those crops and they are every bit as important as your sheep.”
“But they don’t have blood. Sins require blood to be forgiven. The Lord has—”
“Oh don’t even go there. God is a fantasy.” Cain turned around and stepped into the water. Abel followed but Cain turned around in a flash and shoved him away. “Keep your bloody lamb, I have an offering of my own to make.”
It was at that moment that I knew for certain that this was the year of my revenge. I was completely happy as I watched Cain wade away from his bewildered brother. Abel’s face spoke a thousand words. It said, “I’ve tried so hard. So have the rest of us, but nothing worked. Where did we go wrong?”
“I’ve got your answer right here!” I hissed as a floated in the shallows under the cover of a bush. Abel turned towards me.
‘You fool, he heard you!’ my Master said in my head.
“No, he couldn’t have,” I answered in my mind. Abel took a step towards me, but the lamb in his arms went ‘baa’. He then reluctantly turned away, clearly to protect the lamb.
Cain strode through the herd, which parted as if he was an enemy. Ha, Abel should take a hint, but he didn’t, or at least his expression didn’t indicate that he did. He just stood there with crook in hand and waited for his brother to reach him.
My attention was diverted as another brother of twelve years ran up. He whispered in Abel’s ear, but with my Master’s help, I heard the message. “Father needs you; I’ll watch the sheep for a little.”
Abel nodded, “Okay, I’ll be back after for your lessons, but until then, if you need help, just ask your eldest brother.” The third brother nodded, took the crook and watched Abel run off before turning his attention to the sheep.
No, I could not believe it! Abel had escaped judgment! This was not part of the plan! Not in the least! Cain was clearly just as shocked. He grunted and turned around. He was stomping in my direction! I had nearly no time to act. I managed to get all but my head under a bush. I closed my eyes and froze. Pain shot threw my head as Cain slammed his full weight down on it. I opened my eyes and looked at him. He didn’t intend on doing it, but I now had a headache.
The Genesis Record by Henry M. Morris