1 Adam lay with his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, "With the help of the LORD I have brought forth a man."
2 Later she gave birth to his brother Abel. Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil.
3 In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the LORD.
4 But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering,
5 but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.
6 Then the LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast?
7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it."
Just BTW, apparently there is a pun here involving the name Cain and Eve's comment that she ahs "brought forth" a man. I point this out just so you know that the scribe enjoyed wordplay. (Adam simply means "The Man," as Missy pointed out earlier.)
Okay, somebody needs to help me out here. As you know, I'm having a really hard time with this God character. Evidently, off stage, God has asked the people for presents, which is pretty presumptuous of him since he kicked them out of the garden and cursed them, but what the heck, they appear to be willing to go along with the deal.
Here we have one brother who decided to go into planting, and another who went into herding. Both honorable professions, right? So they each give what they have, but that's not good enough. God likes the meat, but not he veggies. Okay, agreed, it doesn't do any good for Cain to be angry, but it's understandable, in my opinion. I mean, it's the thought that counts, right? Shouldn't God be more gracious about it? If you don't like a present, say thank you anyway and if you have the chance, regift it.
And God's advice is, if anything, even more annoying. He implies that offering up the veggies was somehow sinful, and if Cain just does what's right -- presumably giving God some of the meat that he craves -- everything will be okay. But Cain doesn't have any meat, he's a dirt farmer. So what is God's point?
And by the way, God should learn to like his veggies. They're good for him.