Biblical People
Abel. [Heb. Hebel, a word of uncertain meaning, possibly "breath," "transitoriness"; Gr. Abel. Compare the Akkadian aplu or ablu and Sumerian ibila, "son." If it is a transliteration of this word, the meaning "son" would be a generic term, such as Adam or Enosh, both meaning "man." If Hebel means "breath," the name would be appropriate as a reference to the shortness of Abel's life. The Bible gives no indication as to when such a name would have been given.]

The second son of Adam and Eve (Gen 4:2; etc.). The one incident of his life that Scripture records is his offering of a more acceptable sacrifice than that of his brother Cain (vs. 3-5). Abel's offering was noteworthy in that, being of the flock, it bespoke his faith in the promised Deliverer, the true Lamb of God, who was to bruise the serpent's head (Gen 3:15; Jn 1:29). The shedding of its blood was an acknowledgement on the part of Abel that he was a sinner in need of divine mercy and forgiveness (see Lev 17:11; Heb 9:22). Furthermore, Abel's offering was of the choicest of the flock €”a "firstling," and "of the fat thereof" €”and as such, an evidence of his readiness to give the Lord the best he had. Abel's faithfulness won for his name a place of honour among the worthies of Heb 11 -- Seventh-day Adventist Bible Dictionary.