And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bore Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD.…
She called her eldest Cain, which signifieth a possession, and her second son when she had also borne him, Abel, which signifieth vain or unprofitable. By which diversity of names evidently appeareth a diversity of affection in the namers, and so teacheth us two things. First, the preposterous love that is in many parents, esteeming most oftentimes of those children that are worst, and least of them that deserve better. Their Cains be accounted jewels and wealth, but their Abels unprofitable, needless, and naught. Secondly, it teacheth the lot of the godly in this world many times, even from their very cradle, to be had in less regard than the wicked are. So was here Abel, so was Jacob of his father, so was David and many more. Such and so crooked are men's judgments often, but the Lord's is ever straight, and let that be our comfort: He preferreth Abel before Cain, whatsoever his parents think, He loveth Jacob better than Esau, and He chooseth little David before his tall brethren: He seeth my heart, and goeth thereafter when men regard shows and are deceived. Care away then, if the heart be sound, God esteemeth me, and let man choose.
Parallel VersesKJV: And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD.