18 Earth, do not cover my blood; Let there be no resting place for my outcry!
E-retz al t’-kha-SEE da-MEE v’-AL y’-HEE ma-KOM l’-za-a-ka-TEE
יח אֶרֶץ אַל־תְּכַסִּי דָמִי וְאַל־יְהִי מָקוֹם לְזַעֲקָתִי׃
16:18 Earth, do not cover my blood
By asking the earth not to cover up his blood, Iyov invokes the murder of Abel by Cain in response to which the ground “opened its mouth to receive… [Abel’s] blood” (Genesis 4:11). The commentators wonder what argument led to the first murder in history, in which a person killed his own brother. According to Rabbi Yehuda Halevi, they were fighting over the Land of Israel. In his words, “They desired to know which of them would be Adam’s successor, and heir to his essence and intrinsic perfection, to inherit the land, and to stand in connection with the divine influence, while the other would be a nonentity.” From the beginning of time, Eretz Yisrael has been the object of desire and the source of conflict among those who wish to inherit it. However, Hashem states explicitly in the Bible that He gave it to Avraham to pass on to the Children of Israel as their eternal inheritance (see, e.g., Genesis 13:15).