Who was Cain’s wife?
We don’t even know her name. She’s one of the most famous un-named woman in history. Many skeptics ask this question to try and discredit the bible. They claim that there were other ‘races’ of people on earth at that time.
To some people, it’s one of a number of stumbling blocks to becoming a believer.
But it’s really not that hard to answer if you only consider a few things:
1) the bible only speaks of one race….the human race (Acts 17:26)…God has “made of one blood all nations of men”.
2) since Eve is the ‘mother of all living’ (Genesis 3:20), Cain’s wife is a descendent of Eve.
3) Cain was Adam & Eve’s 1st child (Genesis 4:1), but not their only child. There was Abel (Genesis 4:2), Seth (Genesis 4:25) and many, many more children (Genesis 5:4). According to the Jewish historian Josephus, tradition says that they had 33 sons and 23 daughters. Considering their long life spans (Adam lived for 930 years), they would have had ample time to reproduce. They probably remembered what God has said in Genesis 1:28, “to be fruitful and multiply”. And if Eve’s daughters had many children and they had many children, within 100 years there could be hundreds, if not thousands, of people.
4) in the 1st generation of kids, brothers would have had to marry their sisters. Yes, I know what you’re thinking. We’ll deal with that objection shortly.
5) after that, men would have had to marry their sisters or nieces/relatives.
The above graph shows how quickly their population could grow, especially if Adam and Eve had 33 sons and 23 daughters.
So Cain’s wife was either one of his sisters or a close relative. The Hebrew word for wife/woman is ‘ishshah’, which means “from man”. Genesis 2:23 says “…she shall be called woman, for she was taken out of man”. So Cain’s wife was a descendent of Adam & Eve. She was one of his sisters or nieces.
The BIG objection:
The Mosaic law forbids close relatives from marrying (Leviticus 18:6, 9-16 20: 17, 19, 20)
Ah-hah you have a contradiction in the bible. Don’t pop the cork on the champagne just yet. There are 2 major problems with this.
1st…that particular Mosaic law wasn’t given until around 1450 B.C., thousands of years after Cain and his wife existed. Remember Abraham was married to his half-sister Sarai (Genesis 22:12), several hundred years before the Mosaic law was given.
2nd…today such laws exist because children produced from such marriages have a greater chance to be deformed.
Each person inherits genes from his parents. Genes today contain many ‘mistakes’. The more closely related 2 people are, the more likely that their genetic mistakes will be the same since they are inherited from the same parents. The further away the parents are in relation to each other, the more likely it is that they will have different genetic mistakes. The good genes tend to override the bad genes that a serious deformity is unlikely. But if the parents are brother & sister, and they have the same bad genes, their good genes may not override these bad genes and their children will be somehow deformed.
However, these present day genetic problems didn’t apply to Adam and Eve. When they were created, they were perfect, created to live forever (Genesis 1:31). Their genes were perfect. But then they ‘fell’ and sin and degradation entered into the physical world (Genesis 3: 17-19 & Romans 8:22). So early marriage between brother and sister or close relatives would have produced no deformities. Over a long period of time, this degradation would have produced a lot of genetic mistakes. By the time of Moses, about 2,500 years or more later, these genetic mistakes would have accumulated to such an extent, that it would have been necessary to ban close relatives from marrying each other. Hence, the Mosaic law forbidding it.
Cain went to the land of Nod, married and built a city….right? Yes and no.
Genesis 4:16,17 doesn’t say Cain found his wife in Nod. He could have been married before leaving for Nod. We’re not told when or where he married. All these verses say is that he got his wife pregnant in Nod. In fact, we’re not sure if he killed Abel before or after he got married.
In Hebrew, Nod means “wandering”. So Nod may have been just country with no city or people at all. In Genesis 4:16,17, it says Cain built the city after his wife gave birth.
How did one man build a city?
Genesis 4:16,17 doesn’t say when he built the city. His son Enoch could have been an adult. Cain could have had other sons. Heck, he could have had help from his grandsons. It just says he named the city after his son Enoch. It may have taken him and his family years to build the city. There’s nothing here that says he did it in a few months.
Where did he get the technology to build a city?
Because of evolutionary indoctrination, most people believe these early peoples were dumb brutes. Only if you accept evolutionary thinking would this be true. With sin only starting to degrade them, they were probably very intelligent. Genesis 4:19-22 says Jubal made stringed musical instruments & pipes (like an early organ). Tubal-Cain discovered how to make iron and bronze. Just think how smart you’d have to be to take dirt and process it into iron and bronze. Jabal invented cloth and then tents and raised livestock. These were not the typical cavemen that you hear about. I highly recommend the excellent book, “The Genius of Ancient Man: Evolution’s Nightmare” by Don Landis. Remember that our superior technology today is the result of the accumulation of knowledge gathered from our ancestors.
Don’t try to interpret Genesis from our present age backward. Genesis is the record of history from the God who witnessed it all from the beginning. A careful reading of Genesis with realizing sin’s destructive, degrading power gives us the answer. Cain’s wife was either his sister or a close relative.
For His Kingdom,