Catholic Dictionary




The elder son of Adam and Eve. He tilled the soil, while his brother, Abel, was a shepherd. When each offered the product of his work to Yahweh, Abel's offering was more favorably accepted. In his resentment, Cain slew his brother (Genesis 4). Condemned by Yahweh, he became "a fugitive and a wanderer over the earth" (Genesis 4:14). His wife bore him a son, Enoch, and when Cain later built a town, he named it after his son (Genesis 4:17).