a great deal of Jewish legend. It is impossible to
quote all the passages that prove this, but we
shall now adduce a few out of many 1.
1. The Story of Cain and Abel
The Qur'an does not mention the names of these "two
sons of Adam," though commentators call them Qabil
and Habil. But we find in Surah V., Al Maidah, 30-35,
the following account of them.
"Recite unto them truly the narrative of Adam's
two sons, when they both offered sacrifice: then it
was accepted from one of them, and from the other it
was not accepted. [The latter] said, ‘Verily I shall
assuredly slay thee.’ [The other] said, ‘Truly God accepteth
from the pious. Verily if thou stretch forth thine hand
upon me to slay me, I shall not stretch forth mine hand
upon thee to slay thee: indeed I fear God, the Lord
of the worlds. I indeed choose rather that thou shouldst
bear my sin and thine own sin, then shalt thou be of
the companions of the Fire, and that is the recompense
of the unjust.’ Then his soul permitted to him [Cain]
the murder of his brother: accordingly he slew him:
thus he became one of the lost. Then God sent a raven,
which scratcheth in the ground, that it might show him
how to hide his brother's corpse. He said, ‘Ah! woe
cannot I be as this raven and hide my brother's corpse?’
Then did he become one of the penitent. On that account
have We written for the Children of Israel that whoso
slayeth a soul, except for a life or for evildoing in
the land, then truly shall it be as though he had slain
all men; and whoso saveth it alive, then truly it shall
be as though he had saved all men alive."
A conversation, or rather argument, between Cain and
Abel is mentioned in Jewish legend both in the Targum
of Jonathan 1 and in the Targum of Jerusalem.
Cain, we are told, said, "There is no punishment
for sin, nor is there any reward for good conduct."
In reply to this, Abel asserted that good was rewarded
by God and evil punished. Angered at this, Cain took
up a stone and with it smote his brother and slew him.
The resemblance between this narrative and that given
in the beginning of the foregoing quotation from the
Qur'an is not striking. But the source of the
rest of the Qur'anic account of the murder is the legend
related in the Pirqey Rabbi Eli'ezer, chapter
xxi, which may be thus rendered:—
"Adam and his helpmeet were sitting weeping and
lamenting over him (Abel), and they did not know what
to do with Abel, for they were not acquainted with burial.
A raven, one of whose companions had died, came. He
took him and dug in the earth and buried him before