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1 Clement 4:1-8

 

Γέγραπται γὰρ οὕτωςΚαὶ ἐγένετο μεθ ̓ ἡμέρας, ἤνεγκεν Κάϊν ἀπὸ τῶν καρπῶν τῆς γῆς θυσίαν τῷ θεῷ, καὶ Ἄβελ ἤνεγκεν καἰ αὐτός ἀπό τῶν πρωτοτόκων τῶν προβάτων καὶ ἀπὀ τῶν στεάτων αὐτῶν. 2 καὶ ἐπεῖδ̀εν ὁ Θεὸς ἐπὶ Ἄβελ καὶ ἐπὶ τοῖς δώροις αύ̓͂τοῦ, ἐπὶ δὲ Κάϊν καἱ ἐπὶ ταῖς θυσίαις αὐτοῦ οὐ προσέσχεν. 3 καὶ ἐλυπήθη Κάϊν λίαν καὶ συνέπεσεν τῷ προσώπῷ αὐτοῦ. 4 καὶ εἶπεν ὁ Θεὸς πρὸς Κάϊν· Ἵνα τί περίλυπος ἐγένου; καὶ ἴνα τί συνέπεσεν τὸ πρόσωπόν σοὺ οὐκ ἐαν ὀρθῶς προσενέγκῃς ὀρθῶς δὲ μὴ διέλης, ἥμαρτες; 5 ἡσύχασον· πρὸς σὲ ἡ ἀποστροφὴ αὐτοῦ, καὶ σὺ ἄρξεις αὐτοῦ. 6 καὶ εἶπεν Κάϊν πρὸς Ἄβελ τὸν ἀδελφὸν αὐτοῦ διέλθωμεν εἰς τὸ πεδίον. καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν τῷ εἶναι αὐτοὺς ἐν τῷ πεδίῷ ἀνέστη Κάϊν ἐπὶ Ἄβελ τὸν ἀδελφὸν αὐτοῦ καὶ ἀπέκτεινεν αὐτόν.

 

Notes:

Clement now seeks to establish the basis and nature of the sin among the Corinthian church. First, he begins with an extended quotation from the LXX, Genesis 4:3-8. At this traces the nature of the sin back to the first sin recorded after the Fall.

 

Γέγραπται γὰρ οὕτως: Perfect passive, thus it has been written. Clement will use this quotation formula or a near variant repeatedly throughout this letter. He apparently takes the written Scripture as authoritative and inerrant. There is no evidence that he questions the historicity of any account he quotes.

 

Καὶ ἐγένετο μεθ ̓ ἡμέρας: And it happened, became after [some] days, that is, after a passage of time.

 

ἤνεγκεν Κάϊν ἀπὸ τῶν καρπῶν τῆς γῆς θυσίαν τῷ θεῷ: Cain brought from the fruit of the earth a sacrifice to God.   The genitive is on of production: The fruit produced by the earth.

 

καὶ Ἄβελ ἤνεγκεν καἰ αὐτός ἀπό τῶν πρωτοτόκων τῶν προβάτων καὶ ἀπὀ τῶν στεάτων αὐτῶν:  And Able brought also his own from the firstborn of the sheep and from the fat portion of them. See, Lev. 10:15.

 

καὶ ἐπεῖδ̀εν ὁ Θεὸς ἐπὶ Ἄβελ καὶ ἐπὶ τοῖς δώροις αύ̓͂τοῦ: And God looked upon Able and upon his gifts. The verb looked upon is the second aorist of  ἐφοράω. The verb does not necessarily mean to give favorable regard, for it is used in Acts 4:29 in a prayer to look upon the threats against the Christians. However, it does entail special attention and thus is a stronger verb than horao.

 

ἐπὶ δὲ Κάϊν καἱ ἐπὶ ταῖς θυσίαις αὐτοῦ οὐ προσέσχεν: The de is disjunctive, providing a contrast to the manner in which God regarded Abel’s offering. Epi plus the dative is spatial, upon. But upon Cain and upon the sacrifices of him (belonging to, or coming from) [God] did not regard [favorably].

 

καὶ ἐλυπήθη Κάϊν λίαν καὶ συνέπεσεν τῷ προσώπῷ αὐτοῦ: And he was sorrowful (in pain?) Cain exceedingly, and it fell the countenance (face) of him. Lupe is a strong word and refers to grief or distress. Here it is couple to lian, exceedingly. Cain was anger and hurt in the extreme.

 

καὶ εἶπεν ὁ Θεὸς πρὸς Κάϊν·  And he said God to Cain. God is articular: the “monadic” use of the article (Wallace, 223-224). Neither Cain nor Able is articular, since there no other question as to which Cain or Able are in question (Wallace, 245-247).

 

Ἵνα τί περίλυπος ἐγένου; καὶ ἴνα τί συνέπεσεν τὸ πρόσωπόν σοὺ:  For what purpose are you so very angry? And for what reason has it fallen, the face of you?  Two hina clauses in questions.

By using περίλυπος, God acknowledges the extreme state of Cain’s emotion.

 

οὐκ ἐαν ὀρθῶς προσενέγκῃς ὀρθῶς δὲ μὴ διέλης, ἥμαρτες:  A third class conditional: ean + subjunctive.  For if rightly you offered [aorist; your sacrifice], [then] rightly [you have acted]; but if [de] not you divided [aorist, subjective, to distribute, divide] you sinned.

 

ἡσύχασον: aorist imperative;  With the aorist, the force generally is to command the action as a whole without focusing on duration, repetition, etc. (Wallace, 485). Live peaceably, be orderly; rest.

 

πρὸς σὲ ἡ ἀποστροφὴ αὐτοῦ, καὶ σὺ ἄρξεις αὐτοῦ: To you he will turn, and you will govern him. The first genitive is the genitive of destination. The second genitive is dictated by the verb.

 

καὶ εἶπεν Κάϊν πρὸς Ἄβελ τὸν ἀδελφὸν αὐτοῦ διέλθωμεν εἰς τὸ πεδίον.:  And he said, Cain to his Abel the brother of him [Cain] let us go out to the field.

 

καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν τῷ εἶναι αὐτοὺς ἐν τῷ πεδίῷ ἀνέστη Κάϊν ἐπὶ Ἄβελ τὸν ἀδελφὸν αὐτοῦ καὶ ἀπέκτεινεν αὐτόν.And it became to be them in the field (while they were in the field) he arose – Cain – upon Able the brother of him and murdered him.

 

Translation (Brenton’s):

 

And it was so after some time that Cain brought of the fruits of the earth a sacrifice to the Lord. 4 And Abel γalso brought of the firstborn of his sheep and of his fatlings, and God looked upon Abel and his gifts, 5 but Cain and his sacrifices he regarded not, and Cain was exceedingly sorrowful and his countenance fell. 6 And the Lord God said to Cain, Why art thou become very sorrowful and why is thy countenance fallen? 7 Hast thou not sinned if thou hast brought it rightly, but not rightly divided it? be still, to thee shall be his submission, and thou shalt rule over him.

8 And Cain said to Abel his brother, Let us go out into the plain; and it came to pass that when they were in the plain Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.

 

 

Lancelot Charles Lee Brenton, The Septuagint Version of the Old Testament: English Translation (London: Samuel Bagster and Sons, 1870), Ge 4:3–8.