Christianity and the Martial Arts - The Spear
From farmer to murderer
Genesis 4:8; And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.
This Hub is a bit longer than usual, but it is a pared down version of the original taken from my thesis.
It is, admittedly, quite theoretical. It has to do with, what we think is, the second weapon man utilized in this present age. This study was done more from a "think about it and get your mind going" position than one of a "it really happened" doctrine. If it were a novel, it would probably be listed under "fiction." However, history is filled with much fiction purported to the be fact. So we hope you will enjoy the following with a thought process of "right or wrong, this article does not change history or truth."
We believe the next weapon was one of "evolution." Yes, this is a horrible word to use in a Bible based study, but it fits as we are not talking about evolution as it relates to nature but as it relates to the various weapons present in the martial arts. We will see other, shortly, that came about in a similar manner.
The weapon is the spear and the person involved in its "design" was Cain, the son of Adam and Eve.
We found that Cain was a farmer and used tools to "till" the soil. According to secular history, one of the first tools of farming was the hand plow, or long stick. This later evolved into an "ard."
We know that the abrasiveness of soil will, with time and friction, erode farming implements. In the case of a stick rubbed or pushed in the soil, it will, over time, wear away or thin the end of the stick to a point. In this scenario, we have the first spear.
Cain murdered his brother Abel out of a fit of anger mixed with pride. There was no training per se, just a primal action spurred by rage. And Abel was defenseless as he had not had need to develop the ability of self-defense. There is no evidence of physical conflict at this time in history. These two lived in a "perfect world" compared to today. Self-defense was unnecessary. We can’t even be sure that Adam, Eve, Cain and Abel even understood the concept of pain and death.
But things changed quickly after this. After Cain slew his brother Abel, the Lord set him apart from the Adamic line and put a mark upon him. This is all Biblical.
One of the interesting things about the Bible is that if it's not important to our salvation then there is little time "wasted" explaining things. But in that lack of explanation there lives a wealth of supposition. Depending upon the subject and keeping within the confines of scripture, one can define and suppose many things from what is implied.
Cain’s action is one of those situations where we can gather certain facts, use the implied and develop a position. Here we develop our theory of the second weapon of the Bible, the spear. It is quite possible that Cain killed his brother with the pointed end of his "plow" which is now a spear.
The Mark is set on Cain
Genesis 4:15; And the Lord said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the Lord set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him.
What was that mark? Some people say that it was a "(red/purplish) birthmark" because of its color and the comments of God regarding Cain's "brother's blood", Genesis 4:11.
Birthmarks are the result of an overgrowth of blood vessels. They usually show up after birth as port-wine-colored stains or strawberry-colored marks. The strawberry marks may eventually disappear but at times can be destroyed quickly by the application of extreme cold. Port-wine stains and other long-lasting skin blemishes can be concealed by special cosmetics. Compton's Encyclopedia
At any rate God said to the human race "Don't touch this man even though he killed your brother." God "set a mark upon Cain" and covertly saying "I'll take care of things."
An interesting sidelight to this is Cain's fear. Why should he fear a people that were peaceful? A people that did not know about violence. Had man "progressed" farther than we suspect at this time? We leave that to individual studies. Cain and his fear are our direction.
The word "set" as in "set a mark" is used 611 times in the Old Testament. The first time it used is when made the sun and the moon and "set" them in the heavens, Genesis 1:17. The next time is here when He "set" the mark on Cain.
It has a variety of meaning according to occasion. The major definition is to "put" such as "to put, place, set, appoint, make." It would be hard to fit this definition into the subject on its own at this point but notice the word "make" is a part of the definition.
This is interesting from the prospect of our study that the Hebrew word "make" has several sub-meanings such as "transform into, constitute, fashion, work, bring to pass, appoint, give." Half of the time the word "set" is used in the Old Testament, it has a relationship to making or creating something. Keeping this in mind, we move on.
Most people assume that God "set a mark" on Cain as a punishment. Consider an alternate reasoning. God set the mark for Cain's protection. We know that man has a violent nature as indicated by Cain's actions. And if this nature was just manifesting, how long before others would react as did Cain toward his brother. We know that retribution was probable else God would not have had to speak.
We know, if men turned on him, that Cain was a doomed man without some type of help or knowledge of self-defense. Adam couldn't help him nor could any of the other people inhabiting the planet at that time. So God "set a mark".
According to the above definitions, it is possible that God "transformed" Cain by giving him or bringing out a certain "knowledge," inherent in man, of self-defense, that God taught him to utilize his "spear." God did "teach" David in Psalm 144. It would not have had to be great knowledge since his soon-to-be adversaries, at this time, had no knowledge of warfare or street fights.
Well you say 'now you're really stretching it'! That’s possible, maybe even probable. But remember, "... Cain was a tiller of the ground... ", Genesis 4:2. He did have a used, worn plow.
We have already addressed the first farming tool. We suggest his plow, the stick, the thing that was in his hand as always, in a moment of anger, became his "spear." This, or a re-fashioned replica of the same, may have been the murder weapon.
And consider the irony of it all. The weapon that Cain used to kill his brother becomes the only defense against those who would take his life. The thing that keeps him alive is a constant reminders of his great sin.
What's in a Name?
Then, too, we have the name of "Cain". What does it mean?
The common accepted meaning of "Cain" is "possession." Most Bibles show this to mean "gotten (from God)", a "possession" Adam and Eve had "gotten from God". There are a multitude of words written on this subject from the Christian point of view. But little is any is written on the alternate meaning of the name, "spear".
The common definition of "Cain" is "possession" is taken from the root word "qanah" (7014) and has the interpretation of a "possession gotten from God." But Cain also has a second definition (7013) meaning lance or spear.
Both Biblically and historically men have had their names changed to fit an occurrence or directive. Bible students are aware of such people as Abram/Abraham, Sarai/Sarah and Saul/Paul. This practice has continued down through the ages to today with people such as David Grun/Ben-Gurion and Malcolm Little/X.
Now this does not explain the final change or meaning. For this we have to go to the written language of the day or more directly, the "pictography" of the day since the ABC's had not been invented yet.
Idea, or meaning, writing has many limitations. If he (arbitrary person) wished to communicate the simple message "I killed five lions," the writer could start by drawing five separate pictures of lions. "I killed" still had to be expressed. Remembering the way he actually killed the lions, whether with a spear, a club, or a bow and arrow, the writer would draw the figure of himself holding the weapon which he had used in the act........ The basic idea in the new writings was to express words of the language rather than ideas and meanings. Such a message as "I killed five lions" would not be expressed by pictures drawn in any order. It would instead be expressed in picture signs drawn in the order of the words in this sentence. The word "I" might be expressed by the picture sign of a head with the hand pointing to the nose; "killed" by the picture sign of a spear; "five" by five strokes; and "lion" by the picture sign of a lion. The scribe no longer had a choice of using one sign or another according to the situation he was trying to describe. Whether the killing was done with a spear, a club, or a bow and arrow, the scribe could use for the word "kill" only that sign which he had learned to associate regularly with the word. If in Sumer the killing of animals or humans was done normally with a spear, then the picture of a spear would most likely have been chosen as the sign for the word "kill." Grolier’s Encyclopedia.
It is entirely possible from both the Hebrew (Bible language) and secular history that the mark set upon Cain included a change in name and was represented by the ever-present weapon, a spear, "spear" being his new name. God "set the mark" and man noted it.
We don’t present this argument as a fact, only supposition. The word "spear" will not appear in that form until Joshua heads into the Promised Land, about 2500 years after Cain. We present this as food for thought.
Things are not always what they appear. We only know that Cain killed his brother and was marked by God. We are free to accept or reject any writing which expands on this issue with postulates and developed proofs. But, we believe the second weapon used by man was a spear.