4:1 Cain. The name “Cain” means “acquisition,” expressing Eve’s thankfulness that the Lord was keeping His promise to her, and her faith that her son would grow to manhood. Possibly Eve jumped to the unwarranted conclusion that Cain was the promised Deliverer. Actually, however, he was “of that wicked one” (I John 3:12), and thus was the first in the long line of the Serpent’s seed.
4:2 Abel. “Abel” means “vapor” or “vanity.” By the time Abel was born, Eve was fully aware of the effect of God’s curse on the creation, which was made “subject to vanity” (Romans 8:20).
4:2 tiller of the ground. Both Cain and Abel had honorable occupations, Cain producing food for the family and Abel sheep for clothing and sacrifice. As time would pass and populations would multiply, such specializations could provide the basis for trade and optimum implementation of the Edenic mandate.