For whatever reason, many have questions concerning Cain's wife. The question of Cain's wife has probably been asked for centuries and is a common question of skeptics and others, some supposing that there is no answer. For those who have a worldview that includes evolution the biblical account seems erroneous or conflicting. Even liberal theologians who claim to have a biblical worldview claim the first 11 chapters of Genesis is a myth. Fortunately, God did not leave it up to man, liberal theologians, nor atheists to decide what part of His Bible is myth and what part of it is truth. It is all truth.
For many, these questions become a stumbling block to the Genesis creation account. Skeptics have used, and will continue to use, Cain's wife in an effort to discredit the Book of Genesis. Genesis is called the "seed plot" of the Bible because most doctrines throughout the Bible have their origin in the Book of Genesis. Without an understanding of Genesis, many of these doctrines cannot be explained, or will be explained in an erroneous manner. Where did Cain get his wife? Were there other races of people on earth at the time who were not descendants of Adam and Eve?
Was Cain's wife a descendant of another race, or a descendant of Adam and Eve? The question is asked as though there were only Adam, Eve, Cain, and Abel alive at that time. We are told that Adam lived to be 930 years old, and from that we could guess that Eve also lived to that age. In the book of Genesis 4:25 we can see that after Abel died, Eve had another son. We also know from Genesis 5:3 that Seth was born when Adam was 130 years old. The Bible seldom tells about the birth of women, and all we know for sure is that Cain is the first male child mentioned. However, it does not necessarily follow that he was the first male child. The Bible doesn't tell us how old Cain was when he murdered Abel, but since Seth was born when Adam was 130 years old, it had to be shortly before that time. This allows plenty of time for many children to be born prior to the time that Cain slew Abel. In addition, the fear that Cain had of being slain in Genesis 4:14 implies that there were many other relatives in existence at that time, and that Cain and Abel were not the only children of Adam and Eve. Only near relatives would have sought to take revenge on Cain for the death of Abel.
The question of Cain's wife was asked at the Scopes trial, and received no answer. Many Christians are unable to explain where Cain's wife was from. Most churches have very little instruction in apologetics, and lack instruction in the Old Testament including the Book of Genesis. This is a failing of our churches today and gives the world the idea that Christians have no answer to this simple question. However, as Christians, we have been instructed to "be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear (1 Peter 3:15)."
If Cain were born when Adam was 30 years old (the Bible doesn't say), then Cain and Abel could have been nearly 100 years old. Seth was born after Abel was slain, and the Bible tells us Adam was then 130 years old at that time. From Adam to the birth of Cain and the murder of Abel, there could have been numerous births. Remember, when God created Adam and Eve, He blessed them and commanded them to replenish the earth and subdue it, Genesis 1:28. So at the time of Abel's death there should have been numerous descendants of Adam and Eve. It should also be noted that, after the death of Abel, the Bible tell us that Adam and Eve had other descendants. Cain's wife obviously came from the descendants of Adam and Eve and there is no contradiction in the biblical records, Genesis 5:4.
Let's look at those who teach that Cain's wife was from a different race than Adam and Eve, that there were other races in existence that did not descend from Adam and Eve. When Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, God gave Satan, Adam, and Eve the consequences of their actions. We have the statement in Genesis 3:20 that Eve is the mother of all living. This statement would appear to prove the Bible does not permit nor teach a belief in descendants other than Adam and Eve.
Neither does the Bible allow one to say that Eve was the mother of all living at that time, but later there were other races. How many blood lines could there have been? The Bible teaches only one, that of Adam and Eve. This is again confirmed in the New Testament, so there can be no doubt the Bible teaches one bloodline, one race, Acts 17:26. Therefore, there can only be one race.
Since there is only one race, Cain's wife must have come from the one race, the descendants of Adam and Eve. The first children of Adam and Eve recorded in the Bible were Cain and Abel, and then Seth. This does not mean that these were the first children of Adam and Eve-- the Bible doesn't say. It is only the first children the Bible recorded. One should also note that the birth of women is seldom mentioned in the Bible, and there could have been many from the time of the fall to the time of the birth of Cain.
After Cain had killed Abel, we are told that Eve had another son, Genesis 4:25. Then, in Genesis 5:3 we are told that Adam knew his wife and had another son when he was 130 years old. During that 130 years there could have been several children born to Adam and Eve, but the Bible does not say. The Bible does say that Adam and Eve had other children after Seth, Genesis 5:4. So there is the possibility that Cain's wife could have been a sister, a niece, or a cousin. But the Bible clearly states that children were born to Adam and Eve after Cain slew Abel.
The objection now comes that it is against God's law to marry one's sister or brother, and that incest is prohibited. In today's world this is true, but we must take ourselves out of today's world and back to the beginning of creation. In the time of Cain and Abel the gene pool was purer and there was no need of a prohibition, so the biblical prohibition of marrying a close relative was not in force. As time went on, the gene pool became less pure and a biblical prohibition came approximately 2,500 years later in the time of Moses.
Some claim that when Cain killed Abel he went to Nod to get a wife. Using this reasoning, they conclude there was another race of people on earth at that time. We have shown above that there has been only one race since the beginning of time. But let's look at this statement that Cain went to Nod to get a wife. Is that what the Bible says?
Those who use the Bible to say that Cain went to Nod to get a wife are wrong. The Bible doesn't say that. It simply says that Cain went out from the presence of the LORD and dwelt in the land of Nod, and that Cain knew his wife and she conceived, Genesis 4:16-17. The biblical implication is that Cain was already married before he left for the land of Nod, and that in the land of Nod he "knew" his wife and she gave birth to a son. The conclusion that Cain went to the land of Nod to get a wife isn't even implied in the Bible.
Another idea some use is that Cain built a city in the land of Nod, so there must have been a lot of people there. The Bible doesn't tell us when the city was built but, with time, Cain built a city and named it after his son. A city at that time isn't as a city we would think of today, but would be more like a fort, a walled place built for protection of those inside. In time there were many descendants of Cain, and he also built a city and named it after his first son.
A walled city was built for protection, and agrees with Cain's earlier fears that someone would kill him. Although some skeptics claim that Cain's fear was because there were other races on earth at the time that would kill him, this isn't true. We have already seen there was not, and never have been, other races of mankind living on earth, so what initiated Cain's fear? Cain would not have feared strangers, because they would have no reason to bother him. Now Cain would certainly fear close relatives, because they would also be victims. Governments at that time had not been established, so the only ones with reason to kill Cain were the close relatives of the victim. Thus, there were many other descendants of Adam in existence at the time Cain slew Abel, and the reason for a walled city.
As we have seen, there is only one race, and that descended from Adam. We can say, then, that Adam is the head of the human race. When Adam fell, he died spiritually, and began dying physically. His access to the tree of life was blocked so that he could not live forever in a fallen, sinful state. He now had a fallen, sinful nature, and this is all he could pass on to his descendants. Without this divine nature, the new spirit we receive when we first believe, we would be separated from God in this sinful state forever.
The good news is that God has made a way for us to receive a new spirit and have forgiveness of sins and eternal life, in an incorruptible body. To have this, let's call it salvation, the penalty of sin must be paid. The penalty for sin requires a sinless man to pay the price of sin - the judgment of death. Therefore, as by the offense of one (Adam), judgment came upon all men to condemnation, even so by the righteousness of one (Jesus) the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man's disobedience, Adams, many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one, Jesus, shall many be made righteous (Romans 5:18-19).
The sinless man who paid the price of death for our sins is Jesus Christ, the last Adam. God gave His Son to deliver mankind from his sinful state. The Son took on human nature and became the perfect God-Man, Jesus Christ. Through the descendants of Adam, Jesus was human, and being a descendant of God the Holy Spirit, He was Divine. Jesus is called the last Adam because he took the place of the first Adam, and became the new head of the human race to all who would receive Him. Those that receive Him are given a new spirit to replace the dead spirit inherited from Adam, and will one day receive an incorruptible body and eternal life, in fellowship with God. And so it is written, the first man, Adam, was made a living soul, and the last Adam, Jesus, was made a quickening spirit (1 Corinthians 15:45). Since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. As in Adam all die, even so, in Christ shall all be made alive (1 Corinthians 15:21-22). The Bible can only be understood on the basis that all mankind that has ever been upon earth were descendants of Adam and Eve, the first Adam. Without this clear teaching many biblical doctrines cannot be explained.
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