Where Did Cain Get His Wife?

Adam’s Sons Married Adam’s Daughters

Logically this has to be the case:

        Adam and Eve Were the First Human Couple

       Genesis 2:7,18 - The LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being . . . The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him."

       1 Corinthians 15:45 - So it is written: "The first man Adam became a living being"; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit.

        All Other Human Beings Come From Adam and Eve

       Acts 17:26 - From one man [Adam] He made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and He determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live.

       Genesis 3:20 - Adam named his wife Eve [i.e. “life-giver”], because she would become the mother of all the living.

        Adam Had “Other Sons and Daughters”  

       Genesis 5:4 - After Seth was born, Adam lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters.

        Therefore Adam’s Sons (e.g. Cain) Would Have to Have Married Adam’s Daughters - There was no one else around to marry!


Objections Sometimes Raised Against the View That Brothers Married Sisters in Adam’s Day:

        Objection #1: The Bible forbids family intermarriage.

       Leviticus 18:9  - Do not have sexual relations with your sister, either your father's daughter or your mother's daughter, whether she was born in the same home or elsewhere.


        The laws against incest were not given until the time of Moses around 1400 BC.

        Objection #2: It would have caused physical problems in the offspring.


        Family intermarriage sometimes results in deformed children in modern times

        But Family intermarriage does not seem to have caused such problems in ancient times


Would Marriage Between Brothers and Sisters Cause Physical Problems in Adam’s Day?

The following material was taken from Answers in Genesis' web site: http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/OneBlood/chapter1.asp

Today, brothers and sisters (and half-brothers and half-sisters, etc.) are not permitted by law to marry and have children. Now it is observed that children produced in a union between brother and sister have a greater chance of being deformed or mentally retarded. As a matter of fact, the closer the couple are in relationship, the more likely it is that any offspring will be deformed. Most people know this, but many are unaware of the easily understood mechanism involved.

Each person inherits a set of genes from his or her mother and father. Unfortunately, genes today contain many mistakes (because of sin and the Curse), and these mistakes show up in a variety of ways. For instance, research has linked many serious diseases to these mistakes—cystic fibrosis and hemophilia, for example. Less serious physical deformities may also be caused by these mistakes—for example, a missing nasal septum, shortsightedness, and so on. Let’s face it: the main reason we call each other normal is because we agree to do so!

Children inherit two sets of genes—one set from each parent. A brother and sister are likely to have similar mistakes in their genes because they are inherited from the same parents. If there were a union between such a brother and sister that produced offspring, the mistakes could pair together, resulting in two bad copies of a gene and such things as mental retardation and/or deformities in the children.

Conversely, the further away the parents are in relationship to each other, the more likely it is that they will have different mistakes in their genes. Children, inheriting one set of genes from each parent, are likely to end up with some of the pairs of genes containing one bad gene in each pair. The good gene tends to override the bad so that a deformity (a serious one, anyway) does not occur. Often the person carries the bad gene without any obvious defect. (Overall, though, the human race is slowly degenerating as mistakes—errors in copying DNA, called mutations—accumulate, generation after generation.)

This fact of present-day life, however, did not apply to Adam and Eve. When the first two people were created, they were perfect. Everything God made was ‘very good’ (Gen. 1:31). That means their genes were perfect—no mistakes! But, when sin entered the world because of Adam (Gen. 3:6), God cursed the world so that the perfect creation then began to degenerate—that is, suffer death and decay (Rom. 8:22). Over a long period of time, this degeneration would have resulted in all sorts of mistakes occurring in the genetic material of living things.

Cain was in the first generation of children ever born. He (as well as his brothers and sisters) would have received virtually no imperfect genes from Adam or Eve, since the effects of sin and the Curse would have been minimal to start with. In that situation, brother and sister could have married (provided it was one man for one woman—which is what marriage is all about—Matt. 19:4–6) without any potential to produce deformed offspring.

By the time of Moses (about 2,500 years later), degenerative mistakes would have accumulated to such an extent in the human race that it would have been necessary for God to bring in the laws forbidding brother-sister (and close relative) marriage (Lev. 18–20).3 Also, there were plenty of people on the earth by now, so close relations did not have to marry.

In all, there appear to be three interrelated reasons for the introduction of laws forbidding close intermarriage:

  1. As we have already discussed, there was the need to protect against the increasing potential to produce deformed offspring.

  2. God’s laws were instrumental in keeping the Jewish nation strong, healthy and within the purposes of God.

  3. These laws were a means of protecting the individual, the family structure and society at large. The psychological damage caused by parent/child incestuous relationships should not be minimized.

Intermarriage timeline