The name Abel is sometimes analyzed as "AB", meaning "source" in Hebrew, and "EL" meaning "God". This is based on the English transliteration of the name; the original Hebrew is Hevel (הבל), meaning "breath" or "vapor," and does not contain the words "AB" (אב) or "EL" (אל).
Another possibility is that the name means herdsman (compare the name "Jabal", Arabic ibil "camels"), and a distinction is drawn between the pastoral Abel and the agriculturist Cain. If Cain is the eponym of the Kenites it is quite possible that Abel was originally a South Judaean demigod or hero; on this, see Winckler, Gesch. Israels, ii. p. 189; E. Meyer, Israeliten, p. 395. A sect of Abelitae, who seem to have lived in North Africa, is mentioned by Augustine (De Haeresibus, lxxxvi.).
Abel or lamentation (1 Samuel 6:18), is the name given to the great stone in Joshua's field whereon the ark was "set down." The Revised Version, however, following the Targum and the Septuagint, reads in the Hebrew text ’ebhen (= a stone), and accordingly translates "unto the great stone, whereon they set down the ark." This reading is to be preferred.
The name has been identified with the Assyrian aplu, "son", but this is far from certain.
Abel in Christianity
The New Testament says that "by faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain" (Hebrews 11:4), and that Cain slew Abel "because his own works were evil and his brother's righteous" (1 John 3:12).
There are several references to Abel in the New Testament. Jesus speaks of him as "righteous" (Matthew 23:35). "The blood of sprinkling" is said to speak "better things than that of Abel" (Hebrews 12:24); that is, the blood of Jesus is the reality of which the blood of the offering made by Abel was only the type. The comparison is often seen as that between the sacrifice offered by Christ and that offered by Abel, but some believe it compares the blood of Christ calling for mercy and the blood of the murdered Abel calling for vengeance. It is also said (Hebrews 11:4) that "Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain." This sacrifice was made "by faith;" this faith rested in God, not only as the Creator and the God of providence, but especially in God as the great Redeemer, whose sacrifice was typified by the sacrifices which, no doubt by the divine institution, were offered from the days of Adam downward. On account of that "faith" which looked forward to the great atoning sacrifice, Abel's offering was accepted of God. Cain's offering had no such reference, and therefore was rejected. Abel has been viewed as the first martyr, as the first human to die.
Abel in Islam
In the view of some liberal movements within Islam, Abel (called Habil in the Qur'an) is the primary Qur'anic proponent of pacifism and non-violence. In the Qur'anic version of the story, Abel refuses to fight back to stop Cain from murdering him. Abel's words imply that by accepting death through pacifism, he is being forgiven of his sins. (See Similarities between the Bible and the Qur'an).
Abel in popular culture
The death of Abel is the subject of a poem by Gessner and a tragedy by Legouvé
Abel, most notably seen in the Sandman series, is a fictional character from DC Comics based on the biblical Abel
Liam Gallagher wrote the song "Guess God Thinks I'm Abel" for the 2005 Oasis Album, Don't Believe the Truth
二. 指的是牧人,在Winckler, Gesch. Israels, ii. p. 189; E. Meyer, Israeliten, p. 395這本書中可以知道Abel是一個英雄人物,Cain是Abel的兄長,卻殺了Abel.
2005年時,Liam Gallagher 為Oasis的新專輯寫了一首歌,歌名就叫做Guess God Thinks I'm Abel,"我想上帝認為我就是Abel吧"