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My brother’s keeper (Genesis 4:9)



Picture description:
Cain kills Abel
Picture copyright:V. Gilbert and Arlisle F. Beers
Bible Verse:
Then the LORD said to Cain, "Where is your brother Abel?" "I don't know," he replied. "Am I my brother's keeper?" (Genesis 4:9)
Meaning:
The biblical question “Am I my brother’s keeper?” is used these days when we try to hide the truth or evade responsibility. Someone is a “Brother’s keeper” when he or she is a caregiver or protector of another person.
Origin and Application:
Here is an account of the first instance of murder since the creation of mankind. Adam and Eve first gave birth to Cain and then Abel. Abel found favour with God by offering his firstborn sheep to God. Cain, on the other hand, brought fruits as offering to God. Out of jealousy, Cain killed Abel in the field. Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” Trying to evade his responsibility, Cain answered tactfully, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” God certainly knew who killed Abel – He heard the crying of Abel from under the ground, and cursed the land where the murder took place.
Example:
On World’s AIDS Day 2006, Barack Obama gave the following speech: “…we can embrace another tradition to our politics and our community—a tradition…that based on simple ideas that we got a stake in each other – that I am my brother’s keeper, and I am my sister’s keeper, and that binds us together greater than it drives us apart.”
Keywords :
brother   Abel   Cain   murder   guardian  


Related Information:
NIV official site
Chinese Bible (和合本)
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