He was a tiller of the land while his younger brother Abel was a shepherd. God's rejection of Cain's sacrifice of fruit and grain in preference to Abel's blood sacrifice of a lamb drove Cain to murder his brother in a jealous rage. When God later questioned Cain as to his brother's whereabouts, Cain answered, "Am I my brother's keeper?"
In punishment, God condemned Cain to wander the earth forever, but the earth and all its living creatures turned against Cain in revulsion. Cain protested that his punishment was too harsh, and God relented, allowing Cain to settle at last in the Land of Nod, where he founded the city of Enoch and eventually died.