Read Leviticus 3 and 7; offering a grain offering was acceptable, but only when a blood sacrifice had been offered first in atonement for sin. Cain went straight for the "peace offering" before offering anything in atonement for his sins.
He offered the fruits of the earth, but neglected the fact that the earth had just been cursed (Gen 3).
Cain would have lived before the regulations of Leviticus, which date from the time of Moses and Aaron. It has been suggested that God favored Abel's sacrifice because he offered "the firstlings of his flock", and Cain merely offered "of the fruits of the earth" (i.e. not the first fruits of his harvest).
Cain would have lived before the regulations of Leviticus, which date from the time of Moses and Aaron.
Correct. However, it was precisely Moses who wrote this story down, and thus you have to remember that the Leviticus "worldview" was already firmly enshrined in the minds of Moses' target audience.
Any Jew reading Genesis, as written by Moses, and currently living under the Levitical regime, would have recognized instantly the problem with Cain's sacrifice - he didn't offer an atonement sacrifice for sins before he offered a grain sacrifice.
Cain offered the "fruits of the earth" indeed, not propitiatory, not acceptable. The Talmudic Novus Ordo "offertory" prayers have the same spirit ironically, though sacramentally they do not directly invalidate Consecration of course.
Indeed, so far of what I read in the first sections of Sacrosanctum Concilium of Vatican II, you do not really find the Sacrifice of the Mass to be a sacrifice for the PROPITIATION of sins. What I found so far was the Mass to be a sacrifice of praise. There is definitely something wrong with that document due very much to serious omissions and lack of clarity, as in many of the other documents of Vatican II.
I know it mentions the word sacrifice, creimann, but it does not mention that it is given for the propitiation of sins in the beginning sections. And we obviously know that within the context of the time of Vatican II, they wanted to change the liturgy. We cannot really go and apply that to the future restoration, for that is something quite distinct. Remember, we must not give in to the idea of "living tradition" that modernists like our Pope promote. In other words, the ambiguous statements really cannot be used to help Tradition very much because they can still be used against Tradition at the same time. It is best to be clear in what we use in support of Tradition.
St. Paul tells us why in his Epistle to the Hebrews: "By faith Abel offer to God a sacrifice exceeding that of Cain, by which he obtained a testimony that he was just, God giving testimony to his gifts............But without faith it is impossible to please God. For he that cometh to God must believe that He is: and is a rewarder to them that seek Him. (Chapter 11: 4-6)
Cain had no faith in God so He rejected his offering. Also i believe it had something to do with Cain's offering being vegetable and Abel's being animal.