Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Let's Go Out to the Field

And Cain said to his brother...
Let's go out to the field...
And when they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.
- The Book of Genesis
by R. Crumb

Well, since we've taken a look recently at a couple (here and here) of depictions of Cain murdering Abel, I figured we might as well look at the definitive version of the graphic Genesis story, that found in R. Crumb's incredible The Book of Genesis. While certainly not quite as gory as depicted in The Strange Talent of Luther Strode, this version does contain quite a bit of blood spatter as Cain again uses a rock to bash his brother's head in.

I mentioned before that the use of a rock instead of a proper killing weapon might imply that Cain's actions were spur of the moment. However, his luring of Abel out to the field, along with that devious grin drawn by Crumb, makes me inclined to reverse that position and consider that the first murder was actually premeditated.

So why a rock? Why not a knife like what Abel would use to offer his animal sacrifice? Well, for one, the Bible doesn't say how Cain killed Abel and the rock is just a feature that has apparently seeped into the pop cultural consciousness. Second, maybe at this stage in early human civilization there still wasn't an abundance of sharp weapons. Really, I have no idea if Abel even used a knife to sacrifice his animals. Maybe he just bashed them in the head with a rock.

I find that idea strangely comical.

That's probably a good indication that I should quit typing.

Go buy The Book of Genesis at Amazon!

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