New American Standard Bible
Then the LORD said to Cain, "Where is Abel your brother?" And he said, "I do not know. Am I my brother's keeper?"
King James Bible
And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper?
Darby Bible Translation
And Jehovah said to Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: am I my brother's keeper?
World English Bible
Yahweh said to Cain, "Where is Abel, your brother?" He said, "I don't know. Am I my brother's keeper?"
Young's Literal Translation
And Jehovah saith unto Cain, 'Where is Abel thy brother?' and he saith, 'I have not known; my brother's keeper -- I?'
Genesis 4:9 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
Where is Habel thy brother? - The interrogatory here reminds us of the question put to the hiding Adam, "Where art thou?" It is calculated to strike the conscience. The reply is different from that of Adam. The sin has now advanced from hasty, incautious yielding to the tempter, to reiterated and deliberate disobedience. Such a sinner must take different ground. Cain, therefore, attempts to parry the question, apparently on the vain supposition that no eye, not even that of the All-seeing, was present to witness the deed. "I know not." In the madness of his confusion he goes further. He disputes the right of the Almighty to make the demand. "Am I my brother's keeper?" There is, as usual, an atom of truth mingled with the amazing falsehood of this surly response. No man is the absolute keeper of his brother, so as to be responsible for his safety when he is not present. This is what Cain means to insinuate. But every man is his brother's keeper so far that he is not himself to lay the hand of violence on him, nor suffer another to do so if he can hinder it. This sort of keeping the Almighty has a right to demand of every one - the first part of it on the ground of mere justice, the second on that of love. But Cain's reply betrays a desperate resort to falsehood, a total estrangement of feeling, a quenching of brotherly love, a predominence of that selfishness which freezes affection and kindles hatred. This is the way of Cain Jde 1:11.
LibraryThe Blessings of Noah Upon Shem and Japheth. (Gen. Ix. 18-27. )
Ver. 20. "And Noah began and became an husbandman, and planted vineyards."--This does not imply that Noah was the first who began to till the ground, and, more especially, to cultivate the vine; for Cain, too, was a tiller of the ground, Gen. iv. 2. The sense rather is, that Noah, after the flood, again took up this calling. Moreover, the remark has not an independent import; it serves only to prepare the way for the communication of the subsequent account of Noah's drunkenness. By this remark, …
Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg—Christology of the Old Testament
Letter xxxv. From Pope Damasus.
The Sixth Commandment
Third Sunday Before Lent
Then the LORD God called to the man, and said to him, "Where are you?"
He said, "What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood is crying to Me from the ground.
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