When Adam and Eve sinned, animals were killed by God to provide clothing for them.
Genesis 3:21 And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments
of skins and clothed them.
Cain and Abel brought sacrifices to the Lord. Cain's was unacceptable because he brought fruit, while Abel's was acceptable because it was the “firstborn of his flock”.
Genesis 4:4 and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of
their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering,
5 but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very
angry, and his face fell.
After the flood receded, Noah sacrificed animals to God.
Genesis 8:20 Then Noah built an altar to the Lord and took some of
every clean animal and some of every clean bird and offered burnt
offerings on the altar. 21 And when the Lord smelled the pleasing
aroma, the Lord said in his heart, “I will never again curse the
Animal sacrifice is an important because “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness”.
Hebrews 9:22 Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with
blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of
With these things in mind and the fact that Cain and Able would of had to of been taught this we can reach the logical conclusion that God laid the foundation for animal sacrifices by providing the garments of skin.
Others have assumed that animal sacrifices began with Abel. Bible translations typically say that Abel offered the "fat" of his sheep. According to the Documentary Hypothesis the Torah was composed by a number of authors. Many Biblical scholars believe that the account of Abel performing an animal sacrifice is a contradiction between the Yahwist and Priestly authors.
Though some assert there is no suggestion here that with Adam and Eve there is an animal sacrifice. If the Lord giving the skin to Adam and Eve indicates the death of an animal, perhaps we are being told by this passage of Genesis that sin brought death into the world for all living beings.
Then this would be the first death by natural causes. However, the text doesn't say that an animal died. Perhaps the Lord made the skin out of the ground or some other material (would it be harder for God to produce a coat of skin from the ground as opposed to a dead animal?). Perhaps the garments were from tree bark as some ancient writings say. Or maybe it was from the skin of the serpent as the Talmud says. Snakes shed their skin repeatedly through life, and the serpent is the only species named in the account of Adam's fall. Also they would in essence be wearing their guilt. Since they obeyed the serpent, they were given his skin to wear.
There are also the renderings of the Targums. The Targums are Aramaic interpretive renderings of the Hebrew Scriptures. Such versions were needed when Hebrew ceased to be the daily language of the Jewish people. In Synagogue services the reading of the Scriptures was followed by a translation into the Aramaic vernacular of the populace. Targums on this are:
PS. Jonathan: And the Lord God made garments of glory for Adam and for
his wife from the skin which the serpent had cast off (to be worn) on
the skin of their flesh, instead of their (garments of) fig leaves of
which they had been stripped, and he clothed them.
Onkelos: And the Lord God made for Adam and his wife garments of honor
for the skin of their flesh and He clothed them.
Neophyti: And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of
glory, for the skin of their flesh, and he clothed them.
This suggests another possibility. That it simply means that the garments were made for the skin of Adam and Eve. Also, the root of the Hebrew word, "Owr", modified only by more recent vowel points has the meaning of bare or naked, while "coat" is more literally a covering and therefore the passage might be a "cover of nakedness". But, regardless which solution is the right one, there's no suggestion of an animal sacrifice or killing in this passage.
However, some early Christians such as the Montanists apparently thought Abel offered the dairy products of his flock:
In the second century the African Montanists were sometimes called the
"Artotyrites" because they added cheese, instead of wine, to the bread
in the Eucharist on the ground that the Aquarii, and first men offered
the fruits both of the earth and of their flocks (Gen. iv. 3, 4).
Josephus says Abel offered milk:
They had resolved to sacrifice to God. Now Cain brought the fruits of
the earth, and of his husbandry; but Abel brought milk, and the
first-fruits of his flocks: but God was more delighted with the latter
The Hebrew of the Old Testament was originally without vowels. The vowel marks were added at a later time. The particular word render "fat" in the account of Cain and Abel (there are a number of different Hebrew words that mean "fat") is spelled the same as the word for milk and curds. Only the vowels are different. The present Hebrew vowel system didn't come into use until about the ninth or tenth century AD. In fact, it seems likely that when Genesis was written that there was no difference between khay'-leb and kheh'-leb (both of which are spelled cheth - lamed - beth). Both clearly evolved from the same word, and Genesis being one of the oldest Hebrew works, it may be that there was no difference in pronunciation at that time.
One way the passage on Cain and Abel may be rendered is:
And she gives birth to his brother, even Abel. And Abel is feeding a
flock, and Cain was a worker of the earth. And it comes to pass at the
end of the season that Cain brings from the fruit of the earth a
present to the Lord; and Abel, he has brought, he also, from the
female firstlings of his flock, namely from their milk (or possibly
curds or milkings); and the Lord looks unto Abel and unto his present.
The Hebrew word rendered "and" in many translations here most likely means "namely" (This is an example of "hendiadys"). The Septuagint, in the form that it's come down to us, has it that Abel offered from his "fat ones". The point being that Abel offered from his best, while Cain from the worst part of his crop.
And lastly The Book of Moses is said to say;
Moses 5:5 And he gave unto them commandments, that they should worship
the Lord their God, and should offer the firstlings of their flocks,
for an offering unto the Lord. And Adam was obedient unto the
commandments of the Lord.
But there is no actual book for reference that shows this to be an actual book of Moses and is largely thought to be like the tradition that Abel offered milk in the mideaval Golden Legend of Jacobus de Voragine.
So , depending, there is no solid evidence that shows that Adam and Eve did offer sacrifice or even if anyone did till Noah or possibly later. Unless we take the book of Hebrews into account for what it reads there and other corresponding verses.