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Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol VIII:
Pseudo-Clementine Literature.: Chapter XXV

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter XXV.—Cain’s Name and Nature.

“Hence the ambiguous name which she gave to her first-born son, calling him Cain, which has a capability of interpretation in two ways; 970 for it is interpreted both Possession and Envy, as signifying that in the future he was to envy either a woman, or possessions, or the love of the parents towards her. 971   But if it be none of these, then it will befall him to be called the Possession.  For she possessed him first, which also was advantageous to him.  For he was a murderer and a liar, and with his sins was not willing to be at peace with respect to the government.  Moreover, those who came forth by succession from him were the first adulterers.  And there were psalteries, and harps, and forgers of instruments of war.  Wherefore also the prophecy of his descendants being full of adulterers and of psalteries, secretly by means of pleasures excites to wars.


Footnotes

243:970

[Note the fantastic mysticism of this interpretation here given.—R.]

243:971

Qu. “towards Abel”?


Next: Chapter XXVI

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