Am I my brother’s keeper?
Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?"
"I know not,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?”
As shown in this article,
Cain’s words have come to symbolize people’s unwillingness to accept responsibility for the welfare of their fellows — their “brothers” in the extended sense of the term. The tradition of Judaism and Christianity is that people do have this responsibility. (See Good Samaritan, Love thy neighbor as thyself, and Love your enemies.)
After referencing Caesar’s death, which was orchestrated by his inner circle, Jay-Z makes this biblical reference to say that, at the very least, he’s finding it difficult these days to feel safe treating ‘his brothers’ as brothers.
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