"And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch: and he builded a city ...." (Genesis 4:17)
This question is often asked by people wanting a serious answer. However, many merely use it as a way of discrediting the Bible. If they can do this, they think this lets them off the hook by avoiding God and Jesus Christ the creator. As many Christians are unable to give an answer to this question, the world thinks that the Bible can't be defended. However, as always we "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."
(2 Timothy 2:15). Let's start at the beginning.
Was Adam a real person?
Absolutely. The Bible even gives a list of his descendants. If Adam wasn't a real person then neither were all his descendants. There was one man created in the beginning and God made him from the "dust of the earth". (Genesis 2:7)
But how do we know for sure?
Was the first man called Adam? The Bible says so "And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit." (1 Cor 15:45).
Who is this 'quickening spirit'?
It's Jesus Christ. The Bible says "For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." (1Cor 15:21-22)
Where did Eve come from?Just as the Bible says, "And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man." (Genesis 2:21-22). Eve was the first woman and she was made from Adam. All people that have ever lived have descended from Adam and Eve who were two real people. The Bible says "And Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living." (Gen 3:20)
How many children did Adam and Eve have?
The Bible says that Adam and Eve had sons and daughters. "And the days of Adam after he had begotten Seth were eight hundred years: and he begat sons and daughters:" (Genesis 5:4). The Bible only names three in particular - Cain, Abel and Seth. Before Seth was born, many could have been born in the space of one hundred and thirty years (Genesis 5:3)
So Cain had brothers and sisters?
Yes. Adam and Eve had male and female offspring. The Bible doesn't tell us how many though. Considering the fact that Adam lived to 930 years old, it could be suggested that he had quite a considerable number of children.
So did Cain marry his sister?
Absolutely. Back then, someone had to marry his sister (or sister marry her brother) in order for children to be born.
Did Cain go to the land of Nod to get his wife?
No. This argument is put up by people trying to prove that there was another race of people in the land of Nod that hadn't descended from Adam and Eve. Looking at what the Bible actually says we see that "And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden. And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch: and he builded a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son, Enoch."God doesn't say that he went to the land Nod, found a wife there and then she conceived. From the context, we see that Cain was married before he killed Abel and certainly was before he went to the land of Nod.
The Lord places a curse on Cain
Confronted with the fact that he was the first killer in history, God's anger and wrath against Cain is more than he can bear. In prolonging the sentence, God forbids any-one to kill him for his crime. Before killing Abel, many more children of Adam and Eve could have been born and spread out over the land. The Bible states "And in the process of time ...." (Genesis 4:3) pointing to this fact.
Isn't God against marrying your sister?
Absolutely! But God's law forbidding marriage between close relatives wasn't until the law was given to Moses at Mt Sinai 2,500 years later (Leviticus 18-20). Many people reject the fact that Cain married his sister, by appealing to today's law that forbids intermarriage between brother and sister. However, pure reason will tell us that this had to be the case.
People object to Cain marrying his sister
Put it this way, if you the reader are married, you have actually married a relative of yours. Distant relative? Yes, but still a relative. If all people are descended from Adam and Eve, then all people on the earth today are somehow 'related' to each other.
We need to remember that Abraham did marry his half-sister with God's blessing and consent (Genesis 20:12).
Why does God forbid brother and sister marriage today?
If brothers and sisters marry today, they run an abnormally high risk of giving birth to deformed babies. Science has proved that the closer the parents are related, the more their babies will likely be deformed.
Adam and Eve had a pure 'gene pool' Back then, Adam and Eve and their descendants were at minimal risk of giving birth to deformed children. When God created Adam and Eve, he made them biologically and genetically pure.
As a result of Adam and Eve disobeying God, man has brought many sicknesses and diseases upon himself, and over time, his genes have been damaged. Now, as a result, should a brother and sister marry, there is the distinct likelihood that a defect and deformity will be magnified in the offspring. You can often see this first hand in some country towns where the "Robertsons" have intermarried with the "Johnsons" and this has been going on for decades. The gene pool becomes too concentrated.
The current world view
Today people look at the account in Genesis through their own secular world-view. Naturally, they don’t see the changes that have come about as the result of sin. As stated, there are very good reasons today against cousins marrying and so current marriage laws are superimposed upon the Genesis account in order to discredit God's word.
You can believe the King James Bible
A good motto when studying the Bible is "What does it say?" not "What does it mean?" Unless the context makes it clearly otherwise, you can take the Bible literally.
By Harley Hitchcock
Bible Ministries, PO Box 5058,
Mt. Gravatt East 4122 Qld, Australia