It has been urged, in corroboration of this view, that the previous existence of sacrifice is intimated in Gen. 3:21 ? ?And Jehovah God made for Adam and for his wife coats of skins, and clothed them.? Since the killing of animals for food was not permitted until long afterwards
( <010903>Gen. 9:3 ? to Noah: ?Every moving thing that liveth shall be food for you?). The inference has been drawn that the skins with which God clothed our first parents were the skins of animals slain for sacrifice. This clothing furnishing a type of the righteousness of Christ, which secures our restoration to God?s favor, as the death of the victims furnished a type of the suffering of Christ, which secures for us remission of punishment. We must regard this, however, as a pleasing and possibly correct hypothesis rather than as a demonstrated truth of Scripture. Since the non- perverted instincts of human nature are an expression of God?s will, Abel?s faith may have consisted in trusting these rather than the prompting of selfishness and self-righteousness. The death of animals in sacrifice, like the death of Christ which it signified, was only the hastening of what belonged to them because of their connection with human sin. Faith recognized this connection. On the divine appointment of sacrifice, see Park, in Bibliotheca Sacra, Jan. 1876:102-132. Westcott, Hebrews, 281 ? ?There is no reason to think that sacrifice was instituted in obedience to a direct revelation. It is mentioned in Scripture at first as natural and known. It was practically universal in pre-Christian times. In due time the popular practice of sacrifice was regulated by revelation as disciplinary and also used as a vehicle for typical teaching.? We prefer to say that sacrifice probably originated in a fundamental instinct of humanity, and was therefore a divine ordinance as much as were marriage and government.
On Gen. 4:3, 4, see C. H. M. ? ?The entire difference between Cain and Abel lay, not in their natures, but in their sacrifices. Cain brought to God the sin stained fruit of a cursed earth. Here was no recognition of the fact that he was a sinner, condemned to death. All his toil could not satisfy God?s holiness or remove the penalty. But Abel recognized his sin, condemnation, helplessness, and death and brought the bloody sacrifice, the sacrifice of another, the sacrifice provided by God to meet the claims of God. He found a substitute, and he presented it in faith, the faith that looks away from self to Christ or God?s appointed way of salvation. The difference was not in their persons but in their gifts. Of Abel it is said, that God ?bore witness in respect of his gifts? ( <581104>Hebrews 11:4). To Cain it is said, ?if thou doest well (LXX: ojrqw~v prosene>gkhv ? if thou offerest correctly) shalt thou not be accepted?? But Cain desired to get away from God and from God?s way, and to lose himself in the world.
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