Skeptics, in an attempt to discredit the Bible, ask a burning question. Who did Cain marry? If Adam and Eve were the first, and only, people on earth, who did their son, Cain, marry? Obviously, Cain couldn’t have been wifeless because the account said he had a wife and she had kids; plus, we are all here now. However, the Bible does not give us a name or tell us where she came from.
Some think God created other people too; however, there is no biblical reason to believe this. Plus, if this were true, the biblical story would crumble. But still the question lingers. Who did he marry? Well, there is a reasonable answer, but it may surprise you. In fact, it may make you raise your eyebrow because it actually seems wrong and even seems to go against the Bible.
So, here’s my guess: I think he married a sister. Now, you may ask, did he even have a sister? Sure. Adam and Eve had other kids too. In Genesis 5:3-5 it says “And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth … and he begat sons and daughters …”
However, doesn’t this seem immoral? Plus, doesn’t the Bible teach against marrying kin? Well, let’s put it in perspective. Adam married his own rib! I think marrying your own sister seems less drastic. Plus, there was no law against incest at that time. I don’t think there would have been a genetic problem with that either. Lastly, it is the only answer to the very simple problem: who else would you marry if you were the only family on earth?
Like I said before, one of the objections is that it seems anti-biblical. This is true, but it is also not true. Let me show you what I mean. To do that, let’s see if the Bible records anyone else marrying a close relative (besides Adam). Does it? Yes, there is one case: Abraham married his half-sister (Genesis 20:10-12). Plus, Lot’s daughters had children with their father—which was illegitimate, more than creepy, and would make his grandchildren his children too!
But here is another thing. The law against marrying close relatives came about two thousand years after Cain lived (Leviticus 18:6-18, 20:11-21, Deuteronomy 22:30, 27:20-23). Since many laws today are biblically based, many governments still outlaw incest. This raises the question, if people were doing this at the beginning, why did God stop it? Sometimes I don’t know why God does what He does, but for this point, I think we know why.
Besides being illegal, many today think marrying kin is strange, weird, uncomfortable, and maybe a little sick. Maybe it causes more relationship problems. While all these may be true, I think there is a bigger reason. Here’s why.
It seems rational to me that freshly-created Adam and Eve would have had near perfect genes (not jeans; they didn’t have those at that time). In fact, their genomes seemed so good that they lived much longer than we do. Thus, there didn’t seem to be any genetic reason not to marry a close relative, like a sister.
Are you enjoying this article? This text was adapted from new Revolution book. If you would like a copy of the book, feel free to pick up your digital copy.
However, as the centuries and generations passed, the genomes of Moses’ day and after were not nearly as good. Here is why: about 60-100 new mutations are added per person per generation. Since relatives have closer genetic similarities, offspring would be more likely to express the genetic disease since there would be less diversity in the genetic makeup of the child. Thus, the offspring of close relatives will probably have a higher rate of genetic defects.
Second, there also seems to have been a genetic bottleneck when some siblings or cousins married each other right after the flood. Really, who else would have Shem, Ham, and Japheth’s children married? The only other people on earth would have been their siblings and cousins. My point is that it’s not just illegal and strange to marry your kin, but there also seems to be a genetic component too.
I have a passion to have answers for Christianity as Peter taught us to do. I would love for you to come along with me and not miss a post! In the future, I plan on giving more resources and answers you can share with both believers and unbelievers. Plus, I want to send you a Free Quick Guide why I think science points to God. I would love for you to have this Free Quick Guide and the latest posts straight to your inbox.
If you like what you read, feel free to come along side and partner with iApologia. Thank you to those who help keep iApologia going!
So, what did you think? Feel free to share your thoughts below!
5 thoughts on “The Cain’s-Wife Mystery | iApologia”
Sorry..the idea of marrying a sister is repugnant. I do not see God resorting to such a thing. Adam and Eve were two different people, didn’t know each other from Adam(ha), created from a rib of one or not is nothing like marrying and sleeping with your own sister. It’s not mentioned anywhere in the Bible that he did marry his sister, so I’m not sure why if it doesn’t say God created others that makes the Biblical story crumble. There are so many things that probable happened that aren’t touched on in the Bible. So many things God did that aren’t specifically mentioned in the Bible but one could say may have happened. The drastic differences in the races in various parts of the world is another area I wonder about. We’re “all one blood” but we’re talking about God here.
There was no law against incest? Did it say somewhere it was ok? Then all of a sudden it wasn’t at some point just because it’s mentioned thousands of years later?
The examples given of incest etc are those that occurred. I don’t see where it says it was ok just because they did.
I’m not here to argue..just posting this in case others come across and want another opinion. I do love this site.
Cain was concerned that when he was banished to wander the earth, anyone who found him would kill him. Who were these ‘anyones’ who he knew were capable and likely to kill other people, and were located at some distance from where he was living? Seth hadn’t yet been born. Other unmentioned children of A&E who had formed family groups?
Not knowing these answers doesn’t invalidate the truth of the Bible. I’m more at ease living with not knowing, than reading between the lines and speculating about incest or other groups of people. It’s a partial revalation and we will never know for sure.
Cain’s wife not mentioned in Scripture doesn’t mean she didn’t exist; Neither was the death of Joseph. mentioned in Scripture, Because something isn’t mentioned in Scripture doesn’t invalidate the Bible or mean it didn’t happen! See Is 1:18
Gods word says he is the same yesterday, today and forever.. This also means, by that standard, God would not change or add laws to help us morally. To that extent, I disagree that he married his sister. I do not believe that, by God creating other humans, it would discredit God’s word. I think, reasonably, that God’s word only follows the family geneolgy of Jesus. What would be the point to explain the other people he created.. There wouldn’t be. I think it’s very reasonable to theorize (not off fact but off sound reason) The “Adam & Eve of God’s word, he did create others. Just like I think it’s perfectly reasonable to believe that there wasn’t just “one ark”. But again it’s purely speculation. But to my point, reasonable speculation.
Atheists love to make a problem about Cain’s wife because he must have married a sister. However, they put their faith in evolution which would have required the exact same thing to happen!
Because nowadays it strikes us as awkward, people think perhaps God made more people as well as Adam and Eve. But then, He would have had to do the same after the Flood and there is no suggestion of that.
There was no law brought in against marrying close relatives until the time of Moses. In other words, before that, clearly the Lord had no problem with it.
It was only after a couple of thousand years of mutations, it became a necessary precaution.