Many people have been perplexed by the origin of Cain’s wife. In trying to discredit the book of Genesis as a true historical record, a book that provides answers for the universal questions of the origin of all living things, the universe, sin, and evil in the world, a book that proves the tails of evolution, the Bible skeptics are using the issue of Cain’s wife. They have claimed and still claiming that for Cain to find a wife, there must have been other races of people on earth different from the descendants of Adam and Eve.
This reasoning is a stumbling block to some people in accepting the Bible creational account.
If evolutionists use this point as a catalyst to speedy their philosophy behind the existence of living thing is like holding unto a stick been chopped by termites for defense.
For a clear understanding that promotes who Cain’s wife was, this article which I titled the theology around Cain’s wife is divided in various parts; brief background of the author of Genesis, the scarcity on giving public account of women in the Hebrew’s culture, exegesis on some texts, and genetic deformities.
A- Historical background of the author: The first thing to answer is who wrote the book of Genesis? There is no logical reason for refusing that Moses is the author of this book. The strong agreement of the Pentateuch is attested to in various portions of both Old Testament and New Testament.
Both Biblical attestation and Historical tradition assigned authorship to Moses (Jn. 1:45, Rom. 10:5). The fact that Moses is a Hebrew son is not disputable. Though he was in the Egyptian’s palace, he was borne and cared by a Hebrew woman (Ex. 2:1-10). Though outwardly (by dressing) was an Egyptian (Ex 2:16-19), and brought up in Egyptian regal surroundings, Moses recognized and realized the Hebrew blood in him. He loved and empathized with his people (Ex. 2:11-14). He left Egypt after an altercation with a brother Israelite, but returned there as God’s massager to take his people from the tarrant acts of Pharaoh. As a Hebrew son, he was associated with the Hebrew culture
B- SCARCITY ON GIVING A PUBLIC ACCOUNT OF WOMEN IN THE HEBREW CULTURE:
Before, the Israelites scarcely/hardly give a public account of women;
a- In giving the account of Jacob’s children, various portions of the Bible read; the twelve sons of Jacob (Gen 35:22-26) Left Dinah (Jacob’s daughter- Gen. 34).
b- The whole of chapter 34 discussed about the incident of Dinah because it pioneered the return of Jacob to Bethel where he received a new name of blessing “Israel.” (Gen. 35:10).
c- The census conducted by Moses in the wilderness was an account of only men. (Ex. 12:37; 38:26; Nos. 26:51). Why not an account for the adult women?
d-The women were the first to receive the message of resurrection.
They went and shared their testimony with the disciples but to them the words of the women were foolish (Lk. 24:8-11), because women testimony in the Israelite’s culture is not accepted. The Jewish historian, Josephus, records the attitude toward women of his time in Antiquities 4,219: “Let not the testimony of women be admitted because of the levity and boldness of their sex.”
Gn.1:28 “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”
Adam and Eve needed not to grow up from childhood to adulthood before becoming husband and wife. They were made on the sixth day of creation and the same sixth day they were pronounced as husband and wife.
From the period of disobedience in Gn. 3 to Gn. 4 Could it not be possible for this couple to have given birth to daughters of which the Bible is silent, because of the author respect for his Hebrew culture, or the lack of historical events in the lives of the daughters.
Gn. 2:20 “And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.”
Adam felt lonely, because no human object was with him. The animals were not compactable to him. They could not evolve to meet his standard. God has to make a compactable object (bone of his bone) for him
Gn. 2:23 “And Adam said, this [is] now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”
Adam called his wife woman: interpretation: she was taken from him. In Gn. 3:20 (And Adam called his wife Eve; because she was the mother of all living) Adam called his wife Eve: interpretation: though the Hebrew name for Eve chawwah means life, but the last line of the text gives a detail interpretation “she becomes mother of all of living- one”-true Hebrew interpretation.
Here, Adam change from calling his wife woman to mother why? Could it be Eve have had a child or children before the account of Cain and Abel? However, Eve was the first woman and the first mother. Precisely, a mother of all living one means all people other than Adam are descendants of Eve.
Gn. 4:1-2 “Adam knew his wife intimately, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain. She said, ‘I have had a male child with the Lord’s help.’ Then she also gave birth to his brother Abel. Now Abel became a shepherd of a flock, but Cain cultivated the land.”
Some scholars supposed that Cain and Abel were twins because of one conception mentioned in the verse; however, this is not the issue. The text is not telling us that Cain and Abel were the first children of Adam and Eve.
“Eve conceived and gave birth to Cain.” Her response: she said, “I have had a male child.” Not the first child. Why been specifiable? “A male child” not only I have had a child.
Cain and Abel been the first children of Adam and Eve to be mentioned in the Bible is not sufficient to hold on that they were the first children. The main reason why Cain and Abel were mentioned in this chapter is a teaching God wants us to understand on the responses of two sets of people towards the provided salvation. (Heb. 11:4). These two men are historical figures needed to be read of.
Gen. 4:17”Cain knew his wife intimately, and she conceived and gave birth to Enoch. Then Cain became the builder of a city, and he named the city Enoch after his son”
Failing to read an account of Adam and Eve’s daughters before this text is not a strength to the idea that there were different race of people from Adam and Eve who were living in other side of Eden and from whom Cain found his wife. Cain and Abel were of age when they brought their sacrifice before God.
Gen. 4:17a “Cain knew his wife intimately, and she conceived and gave birth to Enoch.”
The first verb after Cain is “knew” not “found.” Knew in the context of the text is sexual intercourse.
The concern of where did Cain get his wife should have been in place if the author used the verb found; as Cain found his wife.
It is possible that when Cain moved to Nod (wandering) which was in the east of Eden he went along with his wife, or the wife met him there later, since the text did not tell when Cain married. Given the longevity of people at that time, Cain could have married one of his own sisters, or even his niece. Moreover, the text is not saying Cain went and married, but he had a sexual intercourse with his wife. This is clear and simple, so let readers don’t replace knew with found which are far different in meaning.
Now let us have it clear:
1- The garden was planted in Eden in the East where Adam and Eve were placed before the fall (Gen. 2:8)
2-When Adam and Eve fell from perfection, they were driven from the garden, but still lived within the east. This time not in the garden, but east of the Garden of Eden (Gen. 3:24).
3- After Cain has killed his brother, he went and lived in the east of Eden(Gen. 4:16) Cain lived in different part from his parents, but in the same region (east of the garden, east of Eden).
FOOD FOR THOUGHT:
From the time of the instruction of being fruitful and multiply and replenish/fill the earth to the birth of Seth Adam was 130 years, supposed he had only Cain, Abel and Seth meaning he was not ready to replenish the earth has instructed by God. Did he join a family plan? (Not/impossible)
Gen. 4:25a”Adam knew his wife intimately, and she gave birth to a son and named him Seth” (if knew is translated as found, then how many wives have Adam had, can we say two, because two knew have been mentioned).
Patriarchs were mentioned in the scripture for a purpose to be learnt. In this text, Seth and his family/sons are mentioned because of the rebuilding relationship that took place between them and God. (:26)
In genesis 5, the author started to list Adam’s generation from Seth not Cain who was still alive, but wicked (in Hebrew culture, a wicked child and woman were considered inferior in public issues and public account of generation. It is rear to mention women as daughters in generational account).
Since Cain is not mention in this chapter in the generation of Adam, must he be factored out from the generation of Adam? If no, we must not also kick out the idea of Eve having daughters before the account of Genesis 4.
Gen. 5:4 “After Seth was borne; Adam lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters” (NIV)
Let us take note of the underlined adjective which is defined as a grammatical word used to show that a thing, person or situation is additional.
This verse confirmed to us that Adam and Eve really worked right with the divine instruction of child bearing, which was done geometrically, because the first and only human beings by then needed to fill the earth with their descendants.
Many people immediately rejected the conclusion that Adam and Eve’s sons and daughters married each other by appealing to the law of closed relation marriage. If brothers did not marry sisters would there be any more generation in the beginning? People have problem with this because they approach the scripture with personal prejudices or other extra biblical views.
Remember that Abraham was married to his half- sister (Gen. 20:12). Isaac, Jacob married their relations.
BIOLOGICAL DEFORMITIES: Presently, close relations are not permitted by law to marry and have children because of the greater chances of deformities. The more closely related two people are, the more likely it is that they will have similar mistakes in their genes inherited from the same parents. However, this fact was not applied to Adam and Eve who were the only human beings on earth to replenish it as commanded by God. There are many people on earth, a distance in relations, so there is no need for brother-sister marriage. Moreover degenerative mistakes have accumulated too much in the human race due to the high growth of sin in man’s life.