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From: matthew.malthouse@guardian.co.uk
Date: Thu, 6 Jun 2002 10:54:55 +0100
Subject: RE: (urth) Tracking Song

On 05/06/2002 17:53:10 Michael Straight wrote:

>On Mon, 3 Jun 2002, Dan'l Danehy-Oakes wrote:
>> Genesis 4:14
>>      But the LORD said to him, "Not so; if anyone kills Cain,
>>      he will suffer vengeance seven times over." Then the LORD
>>      put a mark on Cain so that no one who found him would kill
>>      him.
>> Okay, this is a little ambiguous ... the two statements may
>> be taken as related in (at least) two different ways:
>> 2) the mark in some way directly prevents anyone who finds Cain
>>    from killing him.
>I don't see how that can be a plausible reading, given the bit attributed
>as a direct quote from God.  If Cain is given some sort of divine
>protection that makes it impossible for people to kill him, it would be
>pointless to say that anyone who does kill him will suffer vengeance
>times over.

Yup, not to prevent but warn against.

Typical God move, forbid something, threaten dire consequences for
transgression, stick up warning signs...   and then wait until some smuck
ripe for smiting goes ahead and....

So maybe Cain is shunned not for the murder of Abel but for the risk he
poses. Self preservation wrapped up as piety and a small insight into the
human psyche.



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