By C. Michael Forsyth
PARIS — Bible scholars have uncovered an astounding mountain of scriptural evidence indicating that Cain was innocent of murdering Abel — and the real killer was never apprehended!
Now England’s leading theologian Anthony Hargrett and France’s most brilliant private detective Jean-Pierre Castel have joined forces to solve the mind-bending Bible mystery.
“Holy scriptures leave no room for doubt — Cain was framed,” declared Castel. “Now it is time to ‘round up the usual suspects.’ ”
The experts reached their stunning conclusion after poring over thousands of sacred texts, including the Dead Sea Scrolls, the apocryphal Book of Enoch held holy by the Ethiopian Christians and 70 mysterious metal plates found recently in a cave in Jordan.
“Solving a mystery like this is like putting together a jigsaw puzzle,” explained Hargrett. “We are sifting through the clues and weighing the evidence. We believe that within a few months we shall have our man — or woman.”
Most of us learned the familiar Bible story in Sunday school. As described in the book of Genesis, Adam and Eve’s eldest son Cain was a farmer while his kid brother Abel was a shepherd. Cain became jealous of Abel after God rejected his offerings of crops but accepted the animal sacrifices brought by Abel. They quarreled in a meadow and Cain bashed Abel in the head. Cain panicked and ran off, then when confronted by God about his brother’s whereabouts, pretended to be clueless.
An open and shut case, right? Not so fast, the researchers say.
The critical clue, buried in those metal plates bound in book form, is the Bible’s original description of Abel’s fight with Cain in the fields. It was written before the text was translated from Hebrew into Greek, from Greek into Latin and from Latin into English, getting mangled in the process.
According to the experts, the exact wording reads, “And Cain talked with Abel his brother; and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and smote him, and did flee, leaving him to lie as if dead.”
“When I saw those words ‘as if,’ I almost dropped my magnifying glass, as the enormous import of them swept over me,” recalls Hargrett. “It means that Abel was still alive and unconscious when Cain ran off — and that someone else came along and finished the job.
“I realized that the world’s first murder mystery remained unsolved.”
To help him finger the real killer, Hargrett enlisted the help of Castel, a fourth-generation private investigator whose great-grandfather is said to have been the inspiration for Agatha Christie’s fictional detective Hercule Poirot.
Together, they’ve drawn up a list of likely suspects:ADAM — The father of Cain and Abel faced a potentially deadly Oedipal threat. As far as he and his sons knew, there was only woman on Earth, Eve. That meant that, as the teens’ hormones kicked in, it was only a matter of time before they become attracted to her — and realized the only way to win her would be to bump off their father. Adam must have known his only hope was to strike first. When a chance came along to take out Abel and drive off Cain in one fell swoop, it must have seemed like a miracle.
“Years of laboring in the fields — as a ‘tiller of ground’ as the Old Testament puts it — would have made Adam’s hands strong enough to easily strangle Abel as he lay unconscious and bleeding from the head wound,” Castel points out.
“Tellingly, the Bible never mentions where the boys’ father was when the fight occurred. That means Adam had the means, motive and opportunity.”EVE — Growing up free and naked, with no responsibilities, Eve had every reason to be resentful of the sons who ruined her perfect body and burdened her with the wearying chores of motherhood. That bitterness likely grew over the years. When she stumbled across Abel sprawled on the field and knew she’d have to take care of him once again — perhaps indefinitely if he suffered a brain injury — she would certainly be tempted to snuff the life out of her helpless son.
“Yes, to commit such a horrific act would require colossal selfishness, impulsiveness and propensity for sin,” Hargrett says. “But bear in mind, as the woman who bit the forbidden fruit and convinced Adam to do the same, Eve qualifies. My goodness, she single-handedly invented sin! Could a mother actually kill her own flesh and blood child? Go ask Susan Smith.
“The only thing missing in this case is a ‘suspicious-looking black man’ to blame the crime on.”
SATAN — As the Father of Lies and the incarnation of evil, it’s surprising that Satan didn’t make the short list of suspects previously. Until now, one thing kept him above suspicion. He had an airtight alibi: the Bible indicates that he was in hell at the time of the homicide.
“However, recent scholarship has shown that Satan has the power of bilocation, the supernatural ability to be in two places at once,” reveals Hargrett. “That’s how he’s able to buy a person’s soul on one side of the world while simultaneously making a personal appearance at a black mass on the other.
“This blows Lucifer’s alibi right out of the water.”
The fact that Satan previously adopted the form of a serpent while visiting Eden is an important clue, the theologian adds. “A snake would have no difficulty in coiling around an unconscious man’s neck and doing him in.”
LILITH — Most laymen assume that Eve was the first woman created by God, but Bible experts know that’s not the case. While Genesis 2:22 describes God’s creation of Eve from Adam’s rib, an earlier passage makes crystal clear that another woman had already been made: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.” (Gen. 1:27).
“A sacred Hebrew text known as The Babylonian Talmud, compiled around 600 A.D., identifies Lilith as Adam’s first wife,” revealed Hargrett. “According to Hebrew legend, Lilith refused to obey Adam, considering herself his equal since they were created simultaneously. They split up and she later turned to evil. She seduced the archangel Samael and eventually married the infamous demon Asmodeous, chief of Satan’s horde of demons.
“She became a witch-like incarnation of lust, causing men to be led astray, and she later spawned a brood of demons known as lamia that killed helpless human newborns.
“It’s not hard to imagine that after the break-up with Adam, evil Lilith would have lurked secretively around Eden, filled with jealousy and consumed with sexual desire. If she spied a hunky, young, physically perfect shepherd like Abel, the Bible’s original ‘bad girl’ would try to seduce him in a heartbeat. A wholesome, god-fearing youth like Abel would undoubtedly reject her advances. If that happened it would be easy to see the vicious harpy growing enraged and taking her revenge at the first opportunity. As the saying goes, ‘Hell has no fury like a woman scorned.'”
THE TWO CHERUBIM — According to the Old Testament, after Adam and Eve were kicked out the Garden of Eden, a pair of Cherubim — minor angels — were left to guard the entrance with flaming swords so they would never return.
It’s well known that angels were jealous of man’s relationship with God (according to some accounts, that’s what sparked the War in Heaven). They were probably relieved that Adam and Eve were gone for good. Imagine their dismay when the humans set up shop elsewhere in Eden, kept on worshiping God, and remained His beloved favorites. Angels, while sugar and spice most of the time, could turn deadly on a dime, as the men of Sodom learned the hard way when they tried to molest the “soft,” androgynous-looking beings.
“Yes, angels put on a ‘goody two shoes’ facade,” says Castel. “But it certainly would be interesting to place these two in separate interrogation rooms and bring in some tough Parisian detectives to grill them under hot bright lights. Then sit back and see which one cracks first and rolls on the other.”
ARCHANGEL SAMAEL — This member of God’s heavenly host serves as the Angel of Death.
“According to ancient Hebrew texts, he is linked romantically with Lilith. If he witnessed her making a play for Abel, he would be insanely jealous,” observes Castel. “Would he be capable of murder? Hello, he’s the ANGEL OF DEATH!”CAIN‘S WIFE — The Bible indicates that God had created other humans after Adam, stating that Cain “went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the Land of Nod, on the east of Eden.” There he met and married a woman who bore him a son, Enoch — the great-granddad of Noah. (Gen. 4:17).
“How do we know that this woman wasn’t creeping around Eden, which was within walking distance of Nod, spying on this other little ‘tribe’ and pining for a mate — one who wasn’t her own brother, ” Hargrett points out. “The only way to ‘hook up’ with Cain was to get him banished from Eden. Would she stoop to murder to achieve that goal? Lonely women fearful of becoming old maids have done far more desperate things to get a husband.”
While advising the public not to jump to conclusions until all the evidence is in, the researchers reveal that right now they’re focusing their attention on Cain’s wife.
Nowhere does the Bible point the finger of suspicion at her, admits Castel. “But in criminal investigations, we have a saying: ‘It’s always the one you least suspect.’ ”