Where did Cains' wife come from?

  • The Bible does not specify.
  • Cain went into banishment in the land of Fugitiveness to the east of Eden, taking with him his wife, an anonymous daughter of Adam and Eve. (Ge 4:16,17; compare 5:4,(Ge 4:17-24) Cain's line ended with the global Flood of Noah's day.
  • One of Adam's sons was Cain, and one of Adam's daughters must have become Cain's wife. At that time in human history when humans still had outstanding physical health and vitality, as indicated by the length of their lives, the likelihood of passing on defects as a result of marrying a close relative was not great. After some 2,500 years of human history, however, when mankind's physical condition had greatly deteriorated, Jehovah gave to Israel laws forbidding incest.
  • One of the scriptures cited that Adam became father to "sons and daughters."(Genesis 5:4). It is a common misconception that the Bible teaches that Adam and Eve only had two children, Cain and Abel. But the Bible also mentions by name a third son, Seth, and an untold number of other "sons and daughters." It is reasonable that Cain would have married one of his sisters or possibly a niece. Keep in mind that as we read the account in Genesis, it is not necessarily in chronological order, and a few verses sometimes cover decades or even hundreds of years. So some of Adam's daughters or granddaughters could easily have been old enough to marry Cain by the time he was banished.
  • Further problems are sometimes cited in regard to the creation account because the text only indicates the existence of Adam and Eve, Cain, and Seth after the third chapter. Nonetheless, both Seth and Cain have children, even though Cain has been banished from the rest of the persons listed. Most theorists surmise that Eve's daughters simply were not mentioned by the author, or were only mentioned out of chronological sequence at Genesis 5:4. Others sometimes consider Lilith a solution.
  • Cain married his sister, and did a number of people for generations to come. At this early state of humanity it was not a problem for close family relations to marry and have children, not only because there was no other option, literally, but also because the human race was new, and the bloodline was so pure, there was no worry like today that close relations having children would result in birth defects.
  • Adam, Eve, Seth, Cain and Abel were the first few, but not the only ones. Gen, 5:4 reads, "And the days of Adam after he had begotten Seth were eight hundred years and and he begat sons and daughters." Thus, within the context of the story, even though Cain went into exile as a result of his crime, there is nothing to say that other people did not follow him into the land of Nod so that he could take a wife, or that he could have occasionally come back for a visit, and taken a wife from among his sisters or nieces. It is even possible to read the text as to allow that other children had been born to Adam and Eve before the murder and thus Cain could have taken his wife with him to Nod.
  • Cain married one of his brothers daughters, her name is not given.
  • He married his sister. This may seem perversive and immoral for today's standards but back than it was permitted.
  • All of the myths in Genesis were not written by a single person. They were written at different times by different people for different reasons. Around 500 BCE, the Book of Genesis as we now know it was assembled from these various sources--remember, these stories were not necessarily written down, but rather were a part of their oral tradition. The high priests and rabbis who did this put similar stories together for the sake of organization, and thus it is easy to read these stories as a cohesive narrative, which it is not. The creation story with Adam and Eve was written by a different person than the myth where Cain kills Abel. Thus, Genesis never offers an answer for how the world was populated (and therefore how Cain found a wife)--the story was never intended to literally explain creation, but was written to teach a lesson. In the creation story, the primary lessons are that God is good (because he creates a perfect world) but humans are disobedient (though not evil, and that is why the world is not perfect as God wants it to be). The moral of the Cain and Abel myth is that misdeeds do not go unnoticed by God (Abel's blood "cries out" to God), and denouncing excessive punishment (God decides on a punishment for Cain, then declares that if anyone should kill Cain, God will avenge Cain "sevenfold"). Claims that Adam lived to be 930 years old is a reflection of the ancient Hebrews trying to compete with other ancient Mideastern religions, which depicted heroes live for hundreds or thousands of years. These stories were not taken literally when originally told by the ancient Jews, and taking them literally often means that we overlook the important moral lessons that the stories teach. For more on this idea, see the first link below, listed under "Related Links."
  • To begin to answer this you need to understand the difference between "Jews" and "Gentiles". The first beings created in God's image were Adam and Eve. They were also the first "Jews". There were also other humans (anyone not a Jew) on the earth (as proven through science as Evolutionary Theory). These other humans were not created in God's image, were not given the special attention that the "chosen people" were given, were not protected like the Jews. It was a gentile woman that Cain took as a wife. Fast forwind 2500 years and we find that in Jesus' time on earth the gentiles were accepted into God's kingdom because even though they were never given anything special by God they believed in Jesus. Although incest was a part of early Jewish times Cain's wife was not from this.
  • Read Genesis 1:27. God made male and female on the sixth day (not just Adam and Eve). Cain did not commit incest. There was no reason to do so. He went to a place called Nod and took a wife. It is written .........Adam was created so the blood line could come down to the one who would bring Jesus into the world. All mankind knew God but they choose not to hear His words. That is why the flood happened. Only Noah and this family and other chosen humans were saved. Two of every flesh doesn't mean just animals. It means humans, too (from different races). It is written so that the earth could be populated again. This is the second earth age. The first age (I am saying this again) was flooded and all life not on the ark was destroyed because they would not hear the God who created them and kept the sin going and going without regard to the warning that was given them. Likewise today the warning has been going out: Jesus will return and He brings judgment this time. And this time it won't be water; it will be fire. That is also written. See Luke 12:49 and 2nd Peter 2:10-13.

Many scholars believe that the story of Cain and Abel is a myth. S. H. Hooke (Middle Eastern Mythology) shows a clear parallel between the biblical account and an older Middle Eastern myth in which Tammuz had to choose between the shepherd-god and the farmer-god. The stories of Cain and Abel are simply myths that are not meant to be understood literally or rationally, so one should not look for a rational explanation for Cain's wife.