Biblical mythology; Cain, Abel & Seth: Who are we really descended from?

Mythology representing our transition from hunter-gatherers to an agricultural society (and maybe there was an actual murder at the heart of the tale, maybe between two chieftains of different tribes?).


Woke up in the dead of the night because I needed to know: If Cain murdered Abel, are we descendants of the first murderer?

Of course I know it’s all mythology representing our transition from hunter-gatherers to agricultural society (and maybe there was an actual murder at the heart of the tale, maybe between two chieftains of different tribes?).

But it’s a valid question within the context of the Biblical Mythology.

There’s Seth of course (our supposed ancestor; it could have been any of his siblings really; but Seth is named), but most of his history was formed much later on by storytellers. Very little was said about him in the original source materials. He was merely one of the sons and daughters born to Adam and Eve after Abel’s death. Presumably his wife was one of his sisters. Enoch son of Cain (NOT the Enoch of the Book of Enoch), and his descendants died in the Great Deluge. By this process of elimination, we are to assume we are all Sethites (though I must ask, didn’t Cain’s descendants intermarried with Seth’s descendants at all? I am sure they must have).

The first two generations of Man continues to inspire human action throughout history. Some people use the story of Cain to justify racism (ie, ethnic minorities are descendants of Cain). There was historical religious movements inspired by them as well, such as the Addamites (hippie nudists), Abelites (celibate married couples who adopted an orphaned boy and girl to replace them after they die). And there was the Sethians and the Cainanites, both of which were actually Gnostic sects.

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Justin C. Hsu

Designer, Artist, and Consumer of Pop Culture.

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