Abel was the second child born into the world but was the first one to obey God. All we know about this man is that his parents were Adam and Eve, and he was a shepherd, he presented pleasing sacrifices to God, and his short life was ended at the hands of his jealous older brother, Cain.
The Bible doesn’t tell us why God liked Abel’s gift and dislike Cain’s, but both Cain and Abel knew what God expected. Only Abel obeyed. Throughout history, Abel is remembered for his obedience and faith (Hebrews 11:4), and he is called “righteous” (Matthew 23:35).
The Bible is filled with God’s general guidelines and expectations for our lives. It is also filled with more specific directions. Like Abel, we must obey regardless of the cost and trust God to make things right.
Strengths and Accomplishments
- First member of the Hall of Faith in Hebrews 11
- First shepherd
- First martyr for truth (Matthew 23:35)
Lessons From His Life
- God hears those who come to him
- God recognizes the innocent person and sooner or later punishes the guilty
Vital Statistics for Abel
Key Verse for Abel
“By faith, Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith, he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith, he still speaks, even though he is dead” (Hebrews 11:4)
Abel’s story is told in Genesis 4:1-8. He is also mentioned in Matthew 23:35, Luke 11:51; Hebrews 11:4 and 12:24
Recommended Bible Study Resources
ESV Study Bible – Study Bibles give you a deeper understanding of God’s Word with tools for life application like commentary, maps, charts, concordance, and study notes. Search our popular translations- NIV, ESV, NKJV, KJV and more!
Believer’s Bible Commentary: Second Edition – A Bible commentary is a written, systematic series of explanations and interpretations of Scripture. Commentaries often analyze or expound on individual books of the Bible, chapter by chapter and verse by verse. Some commentary works provide analysis of the whole of Scripture.
The New Strong’s Expanded Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible – The best concordance for word study! This exclusive new edition of a legendary classic puts generations of biblical research at your fingertips. A valuable tool for pastors, teachers, and students of the Bible.
Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words – This classic word study resource allows you to study the meaning of biblical words in the original languages without spending years learning Greek or Hebrew. A great resource for students, seasoned pastors, and anyone who enjoys biblical word studies–even if they have little to no formal training in Hebrew or Greek.
Halley’s Bible Handbook – The beloved and classic Bible companion has been thoroughly updated, while retaining its time-honored features and Dr. Halley’s highly personal style, to offer even greater clarity, insight, and usefulness.
Click here to print or download the Bible character study “Abel – Offered A Better Sacrifice“