If thou doest well - That which is right in the sight of God, shalt thou not be accepted? Does God reject any man who serves him in simplicity and godly sincerity? But if thou doest not well, can wrath and indignation against thy righteous brother save thee from the displeasure under which thou art fallen? On the contrary, have recourse to thy Maker for mercy; lappethach chattath robets , a sin-offering lieth at thy door; an animal proper to be offered as an atonement for sin is now couching at the door of thy fold.
The words chattath , and chattaah , frequently signify sin; but I have observed more than a hundred places in the Old Testament where they are used for sin-offering, and translated ̔ by the Septuagint, which is the term the apostle uses, II Corinthians 5:21 : He hath made him to be sin ( ̔ , A Sin-Offering) for us, who knew no sin. Cain' s fault now was his not bringing a sin-offering when his brother brought one, and his neglect and contempt caused his other offering to be rejected. However, God now graciously informs him that, though he had miscarried, his case was not yet desperate, as the means of faith, from the promise, etc., were in his power, and a victim proper for a sin-offering was lying ( robets , a word used to express the lying down of a quadruped) at the door of his fold. How many sinners perish, not because there is not a Savior able and willing to save them, but because they will not use that which is within their power! Of such how true is that word of our Lord, Ye will not come unto me that ye might have life!
Unto thee shall be his desire, etc. - That is, Thou shalt ever have the right of primogeniture, and in all things shall thy brother be subject unto thee. These words are not spoken of sin, as many have understood them, but of Abel' s submission to Cain as his superior, and the words are spoken to remove Cain' s envy.
Other Adam Clarke entries containing Genesis 4:7:
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