Answer by John Mackay

For starters, Adam and Eve, the parents of Abel, whom Cain had just murdered. Cain had every reason to fear what they might have done to him as punishment.

But it gets worse for Cain. Genesis 5 tells us Adam and Eve had other sons and daughters in addition to Cain, Abel and Seth. Some of these may already have been born at the time God punished the adult Cain.

But why would he have been afraid of them? Cain and Abel were recorded as offering sacrifices (Genesis 4). This meant they had some knowledge of man’s obligation to God concerning payment for sin. Their most likely source of information about sin would have been their father Adam, who had learned from his Creator in Eden (Genesis 3) that the price of sin was death.

All those sinned against by Abel’s murder had a technical right to extract this price from Cain. So at the very least, Cain, was afraid of his mother and father. At the most, he was frightened that his wider family of brothers and sisters (who had been born, or were yet to be born) would seek to kill him. Sadly, Cain does not seem to have been afraid of the Lord, as his request to God to give him a mark so that no man will kill him, was not accompanied by any statement that he was sorry for his sin. Make sure you are not like the evil Cain.

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