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Who was Cain's wife?
Thank you for your question. Throughout the bible, we read many things that we do not understand or cannot contemplate from our modern perspective. The example of Cain’s wife is one of these issues. Many scholars speculate over different possibilities, however, there are some things that can be concluded and understood from the bible.
Some people argue that there must have been other races of people existing in the world; that God created more families, not just Adam and Eve. However, there is nothing in the bible to say that this is the case, and that he only created the first two people, Adam and Eve.
From this, we come to realise something that is against modern culture: that Cain married his sister or close relative. This may seem a very odd and even a disgusting thing to us; that this would be allowed. However, we find in Genesis that this was not only accepted, but was allowed up until Leviticus 18-20, which talks on sexual morality.
We can see evidence of this idea from the original Hebrew, which uses the same term for Cain’s wife as that of Eve, being the term “from man” or “from Adam”, therefore, both Cain’s wife and Eve were from Adam, with Eve being made out of one of his ribs (Genesis 2:21-22), and Adam being the father of Cain’s wife. We can also see other examples of this found in Genesis 20:12 with us being told that Abraham was married to his half sister, Sarah. In a modern context, and in Leviticus, this is no longer allowed, but was permitted at the start of creation for a certain time.
An argument against this is in relation to bodily deformities. In a modern context there is a greater chance of medical complications or unusual conditions when close family members bear children, and this is due to genetics. However, we are told in Genesis 1:31 that Adam and Eve were very good, and this would also mean in terms of their genetics. There was no chance of any deformity or genetic condition being handed to their children because their genetics were already in a very good order. Due to the fall however, mentioned in Genesis 3, death, disease and other conditions entered the world, and we are seeing more conditions and a greater frequency of them as time passes.
It is possible however that there is something else in relation to creation that is not being included in the account. As already mentioned, there are things in the bible that we may not understand; things that may confuse us, and even things that we may never understand. However, we believe that God is always in control, and knows what he is accomplishing. We believe that in time, perhaps even when we meet God face to face, will we understand everything about creation, because we will be able to ask him in heaven.
Here are some more Bible Verses for your further consideration:
- Genesis 2:21-22
- Leviticus 18-20
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*All Scripture references are taken From The English Standard Version of the Holy Bible unless stated otherwise
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