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The reason you mention is one on the list in Bereishis Rabba 22 And Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And it came to pass when they were in the field... " (Gen 4:8) What were they fighting about? They said, "Let's divide up the world." One took the earth and one took the moveable objects. One said "That land that you are standing on is mine!" and the other ...


Haamek Davar (see his commentary to the whole section for context) explains as follows. Abel was dependent on the farmer Cain for the staple, bread; thus, Cain was allowed to work him as needed and even to hit him in the course of training him to work properly. And that's what happened — except that he hit him until he died. Now, based on that ...

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