Genesis 4:8

Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let us go out in the field.”* When they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.

* [4:8] Let us go out in the field: to avoid detection. The verse presumes a sizeable population which Genesis does not otherwise explain.

My question is how did Cain kill Abel? I was wondering if there is a commonly accepted method of murder, or if a religion, such as Catholicism, has a tradition about how he was killed.

I have read that he used a rock. I think the more believable guess is a spear. (Based off of the meaning of the name Cain.)


5 Answers 5


In the canon of scripture the answer is not stated, but in the book of Jasher it is. I suppose most would not consider it doctrine since it is not in the current Bible, but in the book of Jasher it states:

And Cain hastened and rose up, and took the iron part of his ploughing instrument, with which he suddenly smote his brother and he slew him, and Cain spilt the blood of his brother Abel upon the earth, and the blood of Abel streamed upon the earth before the flock. (Jasher 1:25)

This is the only reference I have found that may actually mean something besides just guessing at it.

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    The so-called "Book of Jasher" is millennia too late to be considered to have any reliable content about such events, and I'm not aware of any Christian groups which accept it as scripture.
    – curiousdannii
    Commented Feb 8, 2019 at 14:16

The weapon itself is never stated, though there are many potential options.

Often, I've heard it said that Cain used the jawbone of an ass, but this is likely a conflation of stories with Sampson.

While searching for the verses, I found an interesting possible answer, however it all comes down to a guessing game. According to the linked guess, Cain killed Abel by disemboweling him with the same knife Abel used for sacrificing animals, which makes it possible for a copious amount of blood to cry out from the ground.


Although an answer from the Book of Jasher has been given, Pseudo-Jonathan's targum (Aramaic paraphrase of the Tanakh with commentary) says Cain drove a stone into Abel's forehead, killing him.


Joel 3:10 talks about turning plough points into weapons. Though I can't be certain how much later this is said to have happened, it does fit well within the context of the event. Cain would have wanted to be in his own element when he did his deed. Thus, they go to the field. That's where one would find a plough point. My uncertainty is this: while obviously premeditated, how would Cain know that death would result in his actions? Of course, he knew that animals died during sacrifice, but that is not to say he knew Abel would Die from his injuries. Is there any evidence that Cain's next sacrifice could be the very thing most dear to him: his younger brother? It is well stated that people offered up the very best of their flock, and it was the blood of the sacrifice that God was after; which leads me to the basic assumption as to why Abel's sacrifice was preferential over Cains in the first place.

  • I think this is a great answer and goes along with how YHWH hates human sacrifice, but here on the Christian human sacrifice cult of Christ, I can see why you got voted down. Commented Mar 30, 2023 at 19:24

Genisis 3:15 is the first prophesy of Jesus the seed of the woman,as Abels sacrifce the first born of the floks was acceptable to the Lord (blood sacrifce anagalory to Jesus Christ on the cross Gen 4:4) the humanity of Jesus Christ would be in Abels line,the murder of Abel was satans first attempet to courpet the human line of Jesus.As Abel killed lambs probaley with a knife,it's reasionabel to say Cain used Abels sarcifical knife to murder him.

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    Hi and welcome to the site. Please consider taking the tour and checking out how we are different than other sites. In general, we are looking for answers that can be supported as being representative of the beliefs of identifiable Christian groups/perspectives, and are not merely personal speculation. If you can find a reference to support that others have advanced this theory, it would greatly improve your answer. Commented Aug 2, 2016 at 19:05
  • The murder of Abel is not a Platonic shadow of human sacrifice. Even if you wanted to say it is the answer from YHWH should pretty much tell you that there are massive problems with the cult of Christ. Commented Mar 30, 2023 at 19:25

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