Infinite Room – 5

The Killing Field


“…that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the Land, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.” Matthew 23:35

“from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah who perished between the altar and the temple. Yes, I say to you, it shall be required of this generation.” Luke 11:51

The Hebrew word for “land” is feminine. [1] The fruitful Bride is pictured in the fruitful field. Both are to be cultivated and cared for under God by Covenant.

When the priesthood was faithful, God promised to make the people, animals and Land fruitful: the Covenant “to,” the input of the Spirit as Head, as Covenant Word made flesh. Deuteronomy 28 gives a long list of ways in which God would make her abundant.

After harvest, the priests, like Adam, would bring the firstfruits to God, the evidence of Covenant faithfulness, and God’s “interest.” Adam’s death-to-self (as Noah) brings Eve’s willing subordination (the animals/nations). Abundance and easy plunder always picture the faithful Bride, humbling herself before God like Sarah, Manoah’s wife, Hannah, Elizabeth and Mary. This is the Covenant “fro,” the return of the Spirit as Body, the Covenant Word clothed in glory. Adam’s faithfulness reverses the curse upon Eve.

Continued obedience would bring domination, politically and economically. This chosen nation — as priest — would picture the relationship between the Father and the Son. An obedient priesthood would create an ever-expanding glory, a Bride gathered together by the Spirit.

Blood and Wine

Covenant is not perpetual motion, maintaining the status quo. It is even better than that. Obedience creates a door through which God miraculously pours new life into the world by His Spirit: spiritually (relationally) for sure, but also economically and politically. [2] The abundance we receive from the back and forth is a multiplication we cannot explain, a conception of new life on the threshing floor that bursts into the world from another realm, fearfully and wonderfully made. Sex is Covenant. Economics is Covenant. Commuting to and from work is Covenant. And God brings the increase.

Until, of course, we start acting like squatters (gods) instead of tenants (stewards by Covenant). The relationship between church and state becomes Jezebel and Ahab, Sapphira and Ananias — a conspiracy with the serpent to hijack the fruitful field and its abundance, resulting from an unwillingness to recognise God as the owner, the One who brings the increase. Such conspiracies always end in the shedding of innocent blood, and God almost always brings a famine. If there is scarcity, it is a spiritual problem. We panic and turn to other gods, as Israel did in the book of Judges (hence Jordan’s equation of Israel’s Baalism as a form of humanism) [3]. There is the shedding of innocent blood, and Ruth begins with a famine, a barren field and a barren woman (Naomi). It takes the obedience of a new Adam (Boaz) and the willing Covenant subordination of a new woman (Ruth as “field”) to renew the worship, the Land and the Promise. [4]

Throughout the Old Testament, Israel (the Bride) is inextricably linked to the Land by Covenant. Even when she was “vomited out” at the exile, it was under the sanctions of the Covenant. She was unfaithful to God (sacrilege in the Temple) and killed her own children (abominations the Land). God warned her, judged her under the Covenant conditions (divorce), and then He slew her. Blood for blood.

Innocent blood makes the Land unclean, and guilty blood makes it clean again. Instead of the wine of a bridal feast (the true vine), there is a Land soaked in blood (the curse of thorns). Lusts bring forth death.

Blood and Figleaves

Which brings us to Cain and Abel. Some important background first, so bear with me. What I want to say rests upon some observations by James Jordan concerning the events in Genesis 4.

Biblical chronology shows that Abel’s murder would have taken place almost 130 years after Adam’s sin. Jordan writes:

“After killing Abel, Cain went out and built a city, naming it after his firstborn, Enoch (Genesis 4:17). It seems odd that a man would build a city all by himself.

We can ‘get real’ about this situation if we pay attention to Genesis 5:3 and 4:25. These sentences tell us that Seth was born when Adam was 130 years old, and that he was born after the death of Abel as a replacement for Abel. What we learn from this, thinking ‘really’ and concretely, is that Cain slew Abel about 128 years after the creation, when Cain was, say, 128 years old and Abel was, say, 126 years old.

Now, think about this. Adam and Eve had obviously had many sons and daughters by the time of this murder. Cain and Abel had each married one of those daughters, had had children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren—at least—of their own by the time of the murder.

Getting real, I suggest that Abel, as keeper of flocks and as secondborn, was the priestly worship leader under Adam, while Cain, as firstborn, was the kingly clan leader, the prince under Adam. God had killed an animal to clothe Adam and Eve and had rejected their figleaf vegetable garments. Hence it was clearly known that one approaches God first and foremost through animal offerings, not through vegetable ones. Vegetables might be added, but on top of the animals (compare Leviticus 1 and 2). This means that in some sense Abel was worship leader.

Getting real, I suggest that annually ‘at the turn of the year,’ Adam and then Abel as his deacon led the entire human race in worship. This had been going on for 128 years. By this time there were thousands of human beings in attendance.

Then, one fateful year, Cain decided to bring his own vegetable offering separate from Abel. Some kind of revolutionary spirit is manifest here. Indeed, what we see here is the ‘state’ taking over the ‘church’ and the liturgy of the church, something that has happened loads of times in history. Cain was not content to be clan leader. He wanted to be ‘high priest’ as well.

In this event, Cain was rejected in front of thousands of people, in front of the entire human race. This was not some private disgrace, but a public humiliation. He was embarrassed in front of his own entire extended family. It is because this humiliation was so public and so intense that in his rage he slew Abel.

Then Cain went out and built a city. We can see now that he did not go alone. There were doubtless other men who had joined with Cain in his revolutionary act. There were doubtless sons and grandsons and others of his extended family who went with him. I’m not going to bother to try and do the math. I’ll just say that probably a thousand or more people went with Cain. That’s how he could build a city.” [5]

When Abel and Cain approached the Garden for Covenant renewal (at “the proto-Veil”), it was as representatives. As a national Day of Covering, we can assume there was to be a dual atonement, two offerings: head and body, as in Leviticus 1, the complete Covenant process. I do think it took more than one animal to cover both Adam and Eve. Perhaps this is also the case here: the first animal as head and the second as body. Abel’s offering was the to and Cain’s the fro. Abel’s approach (discovering of Adam) and offering (covering of Adam) was to build the house, open the Holy Place. Cain’s offering (discovering of Eve) was to fill it, to present, symbolically, the Bride (covering of Eve).

Abel made the first approach, obediently. Perhaps Cain did understand that the Bride was a “fruitful field,” and so offered such fruits. But like all the crucial Old Covenant brides she was a barren field. As Eve, she required a covering provided by innocent blood to make her fruitful again for the next cycle.

We can see how this was easily distorted in the time of the Judges, and how easily this is distorted today. Any scarcity under the “global economy” of the New Covenant is a spiritual problem. Prosperity is to come from God but we insist on manufacturing it. We cannot create miraculously except by obedience (however imperfect) to the Covenant. Our attempts are simply inflations, bubbles, phantom pregnancies. All our fiscal policies are a breaking of wind. [6]

This goes for Cain’s offering. It was the fruit of a rebellious heart, an unwillingness to submit to the revealed Word of God. Abel’s witness as priest was faithful, even after his martyrdom. There was no exploitation from the Adam. But there was an insubordinate Eve. Based on Israel’s prosperity and defiance later in history, we may surmise that the testimony of Cain’s offering was the “grace” of Bart Simpson:

“Dear God, we paid for all this stuff ourselves, so thanks for nothing.”

Exhibit Abel

As under humanism, communist and socialist, the state took the place of God as provider, and “Stalin” slew the clergy. Instead of there being evidence of Covenant faithfulness, the evidence against Cain was the wrong blood on the ground. Instead of an Atonement that would keep barrenness at bay, a field that was fruitful, there was the first killing field.

His philosophy was exposed for what is was — sterile as salt. Just as the fruitful Garden was barred to Adam, the fruitful Land was barred to Cain. He, too, should have been under the sword but God again showed mercy. God demonstrated to Cain that He was still the Provider. Cain again rejected God as Provider. He built a city away from God — a false “Bride.” As with the vegetables, it was again a counterfeit of the Covenant fro, a manufactured fruitfulness, a figtree covered with leaves but no fruit, like Adam. It was an empty room.

Peter Leithart writes:

Cain’s city is a city of wanderers, those who have been disconnected from the soil. Modern cities are proverbially full of rootless wanderers, but this is not only the modern city. The city as such is a city of wanderers, people cut off from the soil. The city is the city of fear. Cain is afraid that “whoever finds me will kill me,” and though the Lord assures Him of protection, he immediately goes and builds a city, walling himself in from the dangers outside, creating the sacred protective space of the city. [7]

Now, I hope you are still with me. Instead of the holy to and fro:

F A T H E R  > < S O N  +  B R I D E

F A T H E R  > B R I D E <  S O N

it was:

F A L S E   F A T H E R  |  A B E L  (sacrificed son)  <  C A I N  (false son)
F A L S E   F A T H E R  >  C I T Y   O F   C A I N  (false body)  <  C A I N   (false son)

This laid the foundation for the establishment of false worship, false Covenants and a world filled with violence and bloodshed. False worship, bereft of obedient faith, wants nothing of substitutes. This was the outcome in Genesis 6, and it was also the outcome in Judaea under the Herods.

F A T H E R  > <  S O N S  +  F A L S E   B R I D E S

F A L S E   F A T H E R  >  I N N O C E N T  B L O O D  <  F A L S E  S O N S

This, understandably, resulted in the end of the first Creation (in both cases, hence Jesus’ references to AD70 with flood motifs), and the cutting off of all flesh, a worldwide circumcision. In both cases, the Matrix expands to a new level, with substitute smoke (Noah’s obedient animals = Gentiles) and a worldwide substitute Laver (the flood = crystal city). The raven was the Covenant curse, most likely feeding on floating bodies, flying to and fro until the waters went down, and the Lord put away His sword (cf. Rev. 19).

Wait, He didn’t put it away, did He? He gave it to Noah/Christ, the first human judge, the man who built and filled a house with many mansions, an infinite room.

Next time: Filling the Infinite Room.

[1] See What the Seraphim Really Said.
[2] Our modern problems — economic and environmental — are all spiritual ones. But Western Christians don’t see the world this way at all. We’ve swallowed a secular worldview hook, line and sinker. The future is sure going to be interesting as we mature in our understanding of the world as ours by Covenant.
[3] See Baal’s Stimulus Package.
[4] See Fairy Tale in a Field.
[5] James B. Jordan, Getting Real in Genesis, Biblical Horizons No. 203. Subscribe at
[6] See Building Cages Out of Freedom.
[7] Peter J. Leithart, City of Cain.

Infinite Room series links here.

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