3-3-5 Job as Cain
As with the similarities with Adam, Job complains that although he is associated with Cain, this is not really fair. " Thou settest a print upon the heels of my feet" because of observing his ways with unnecessary detail, Job complained. The mark on him that was a witness wherever he went echoes that which God put on Cain. God's preservation of Cain from death also finds a parallel in Job's feeling that God is preserving him unnaturally (3:21-23; 10:9-15). Zophar possibly recognized that Job was like Cain in that his countenance had fallen and he was so angry, although also fearful of God (Gen.4:5); he said that if Job repented he would " lift up thy face (countenance) without spot; yea, thou shalt...not fear" (11:15). Job 31:39 is another example of Job saying that he was being unfairly treated like Cain: " If I have eaten the strength (of my land) without money...let thistles grow instead of wheat" (31:39,40 AVmg.). This is referring back to the curse on Cain, that " when thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength" (Gen.4:12). Job is saying that his land has yielded its strength to him, and that only if he sinned should the Adamic curse of thistles come upon him. We too can resent the limitations of our own nature, not least in the proneness to sin which it gives us, and become bitter against God because of it as Job did.
Thus in 16:17,18 Job instead associates himself with unfairly persecuted Abel: " Not for any injustice in my hands...O earth, cover not thou my blood, and let my cry (of my blood) have no place" (16:17,18 cp. the crying of Abel's blood from the ground in Gen.4:10). Job complains in 31:3 that " the punishment of his (the wicked man's) iniquity" is deferred to his children; he uses the same Hebrew phrase used regarding the punishment of Cain's iniquity in Gen.4:13, thus saying that it was the wicked of the world, not him, who were the real counterparts of Cain.