The most frequent Hebrew word translated as “offering” is מנחה (minhhah, Strong's #4503). This noun is most likely derived from the root verb ינח (Y.N.Hh, Strong's #3240), which means to deposit in place, especially for safekeeping or as a pledge. From this perspective, a minhhah (offering) is something that is given as a pledge.
And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: (KJV, Genesis 4:3)
Maybe the difference between Cain and Abel’s offering wasn’t the offering itself, but the pledge or action behind the offering.
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Related Pages by Jeff A. Benner
|Ancient Hebrew Dictionary (Book)|
This Biblical Hebrew dictionary contains the one thousand most frequent verbs and nouns found within the Hebrew Bible.