ABEL


ABEL
ABEL (Heb. הֶבֶל), the second son of Adam and Eve, murdered by Cain, his older brother (Gen. 4:1–9). According to the biblical story, Abel was a shepherd and Cain worked the soil. Each brought an offering to the Lord from fruits of his labor. Abel's sacrifice was accepted by the Lord, but Cain's offering was rejected. Cain, in his jealousy, killed his brother. Explanations of this story are usually sought in a traditional conflict between agriculture and nomadism. Thus the preferential treatment accorded Abel's sacrifice is seen as reflecting a supposed pastoral ideal in Israel. The narrative, however, does not in any way support the existence of such an ideal, nor is there any denigration of farming. On the contrary, working the land seems to be considered man's natural occupation (Gen. 2:15). The antithesis between the brothers is therefore less one of occupations than of qualities of offerings. Whereas Cain's offering is described simply as "of the fruits of the soil," Abel is recorded as having brought "of the choicest of the firstlings of his flock." The story, however, seems to be abbreviated. It lacks any description of the initial motivation and the occasion for the sacrifices and it fails to give the reasons for the rejection of Cain's offering. Neither does it explain how the Lord's response became known to the brothers. The etymology of Abel's name is not clear. There may be some intended connection with hevel ("breath, vapor, futility"), symbolizing the tragic brevity of his life (cf., e.g., Eccles. 1:2), though for some reason the derivation of the name is not given, as is the case with Cain. There may also be some relation to the Akkadian aplu or ablu ("son"), parallel to the usage of the names adam and enosh . For Abel in aggadah, see cain . -BIBLIOGRAPHY: N.M. Sarna, Understanding Genesis (1966), 28–32; E.A. Speiser, Genesis (1964), 29–33; U. Cassuto, Mi-Adam ad No'aḥ (1953), 131–9.

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • ABEL (N. H.) — À l’aube du XIXe siècle, le mathématicien norvégien N. H. Abel allait révolutionner sa science, et Hermite a pu déclarer: «Il a laissé aux mathématiciens de quoi s’occuper pendant cinq cents ans.» D’abord algébriste, il établit l’impossibilité de …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Abel — (hebräisch Hauch, Vergänglichkeit oder auch aus dem Akadischen aplu Sohn) steht für: eine biblische Figur, siehe Abel (Bibel) einen Vornamen, siehe Abel (Vorname) einen Familiennamen, siehe Abel (Familienname) einen Mondkrater, siehe Abel… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • ABEL — Selon le Livre de la Genèse, Abel, le berger, était le second fils d’Adam et d’Ève. Il fut tué par son aîné, Caïn, l’agriculteur, son sacrifice ayant été agréé par Dieu et celui de son frère refusé (IV, 1 9). Il semble qu’il ne faille plus… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • ABEL — es la abreviatura de Advanced Boolean Expression Language. Es un lenguaje de descripción de hardware y un conjunto de herramientas de diseño para programar dispositivos lógicos programables (PLDs). ABEL no debe ser confundido con el lenguaje de… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • abel — abel·am; abel·ite; abel·mos·chus; abel·mosk; abel; abel·tree; abel·musk; …   English syllables

  • ABEL — es la abreviatura de Advanced Boolean Expression Language. Es un lenguaje de descripción de hardware y un conjunto de herramientas de diseño para programar dispositivos lógicos programables (PLDs). Contenido 1 Características 2 Ejemplo de código… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Abel — C est en Lorraine (57, 88) que le nom est le plus répandu, mais on le rencontre dans de nombreux autres départements (38, 07, 66, 67, 83 notamment). Il renvoie dans la plupart des régions au fils d Adam et Eve, victime de la jalousie de son frère …   Noms de famille

  • Abel [2] — Abel, 1) Karl Friedrich, der letzte Gambenvirtuos, geb. 1725, gest. 20. Juni 1787 in London, war 1748–58 Mitglied der Hofkapelle in Dresden, seit 1759 in London, wo er mit Joh. Christian Bach bis zu dessen Tode (1782) Abonnementkonzerte (die Bach …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Abel — m Biblical: name of the younger son of Adam and Eve, who was murdered out of jealousy by his brother Cain (Genesis 4: 1–8). The Hebrew form is Hevel, ostensibly representing the vocabulary word hevel breath, vapour, and so taken to imply vanity… …   First names dictionary

  • Abel — [ā′bəl] n. [L < Gr Abel < ? Heb hevel, lit., breath] 1. a masculine name 2. Bible the second son of Adam and Eve, killed by his brother Cain: Gen. 4 …   English World dictionary


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.