Where Did Cain’s Wife Come From?

Where did Cain’s wife come from? Did God create more people than just Adam and Eve?

cainIn Genesis 4 we are told the story of Cain and Abel. After this, we read: “Then Cain went out from the presence of the Lord and dwelt in the land of Nod on the east of Eden. And Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch. And he built a city, and called the name of the city after the name of his son—Enoch.” The sudden appearance of Cain’s wife makes one wonder where she came from. Some have suggested that God made other people, but is this consistent with what the Bible teaches? In Genesis 3:20, the Bible says, “And Adam called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living.”That means that every person who ever lived was descended from Eve as their original mother. So this means that there could not have been another special creation, because then, Eve would not have been the mother of all living. In addition to this verse, in Genesis 5:4-5 we read, “After he begot Seth, the days of Adam were eight hundred years; and he had sons and daughters. So all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years; and he died.” In other words, there were more sons and daughters that Adam and Eve had than the ones that are named in the Bible. Additionally, as long as Adam and Eve lived, over 900 years for Adam, and maybe for Eve too, there was plenty of opportunity to have many, many children. Then, given the length of time that these children lived, they would have had children as well.

If Cain did not marry someone that was specially created byGod, then did that mean he married a relative? Yes, he married someone who was a relative, either an estranged sister, niece, or grand-niece. The length of time that people lived in that day meant that he could have encountered a relative that he did not personally know until later in life. Someone might object and say that there were laws against incest in the Bible. Yes, those laws were first established in Leviticus 18 under the Mosaic Covenant. However, before that time, it was a common practice for men to marry close relatives. Abraham married his half-sister, Sarah according to Genesis 20:12. Isaac married Rebekah who was Abraham’s niece and Isaac’s cousin. Jacob also married cousins since he married his uncle’s daughters. Marrying close relatives was OKback then, but that does not mean it was OK under the Mosaic law, or that it is OK today. Today, we know that marrying close relatives creates problems in offspring because of genetic corruption. These corruptions have come from many different sources. Chemical mutations, Cosmic radiation, and DNA replication errors create these problems. However, those who were born after the creation of Adam and Eve had little if any corruptions in their DNA. This meant that procreation between those who were close relatives would not produce offspring with genetic problems. The bottom line to Adam and Eve, as well as all of their offspring, was that God commanded them “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it” (Genesis 1:28). So they obeyed this command by taking wives from among their own near relatives.

See also Where Did Cain Get His Wife at apologeticspress.org.