11:4 Abel. This chapter confirms that the ancient heroes of faith (Abel, Enoch, Noah, etc.) were not mythological characters, nor were the events described in the Old Testament legendary events.
11:4 he was righteous. “Righteousness” has always been imputed by God to sinful men only on the basis of obedient faith in His Word. Abel’s “more excellent sacrifice” could have been pronounced such by God only on the basis that Abel believed God and offered the type of sacrifice specified by God (a slain animal, whose blood was shed as an atonement, or “covering,” for the sin of the one offering it as a substitute), whereas Cain, for reasons of pride, did not.
11:4 being dead yet speaketh. The “voice” of Abel’s blood cried out “from the ground” (Genesis 4:10), thus becoming a type of the innocent shed blood of Christ “that speaketh better things than that of Abel” (Hebrews 12:24).