Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | February 12, 2020

Where Did Cain Get His Valentine?

(5 Minute Read)

This blog is not a gossip column, but here are some juicy tidbits you won’t find in the Facebook.

Did you know that President Donald Trump is my relative? On the other hand, President Trump is also related to his nemesis, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and I am related to her as well. I am an ardent creationist, but the infamous Charles Darwin of evolutionary shame is also one of my relatives. How could all these famous personages be related to me?

The concept behind these tantalizing tidbits about my relatives helps answer the question that skeptics frequently ask in striving to discredit Genesis:
Where did Cain get his wife?

The “Monkey” Trial

This same question about Cain’s wife flummoxed the unprepared William Jennings Bryan at the 1925 Scopes trial. Defense attorney Clarence Darrow goaded prosecutor Bryan into testifying as a Bible expert.
Darrow: Did you ever discover where Cain got his wife?
Bryan: No, sir. I leave the agnostics to hunt for her.
Darrow: The Bible says he got one doesn’t it? Were there other people on earth at that time?
Bryan: I cannot say.
Darrow: You cannot say. Did that ever enter your consideration?
Bryan: Never bothered me.
Darrow: There were no others recorded, but Cain got a wife.
Bryan: That is what the Bible says.
Darrow: Where she came from you do not know.

At that moment Darrow made Bryan look foolish, although Bryan was a brilliant, learned, and strategic lawyer. The public, listening to this portion of the trial’s nationwide radio broadcast and reading transcripts telegraphed worldwide, concluded Christians couldn’t defend Genesis. The question of where Cain got his wife has been vexing Christians ever since.

Cain’s Valentine

The question about Cain’s wife seems difficult to some because of evolutionary mindsets. Actually, from a Biblical worldview, it’s easy to answer.

Jesus’ reply to the Sadducees fits this situation perfectly:
Is this not the reason you are mistaken, that you do not understand the Scriptures, or the power of God? (Mark 12:24)

What is known about Cain’s wife? Besides her name, Mrs. Cain Adamson, almost nothing is known. Yet she sparks more speculation than any other Bible woman. Who was she?

Cain’s wife was one of his sisters or possibly a niece.

This is not bizarre. I married a relative. Everybody does. There is nobody else to marry.

Humans today are all related because we share common ancestors. Everyone is descended from Noah’s three sons, either Japheth or Shem or Ham. Thus the nearest common ancestors of all the humans alive today are Mr. & Mrs. Noah.

Adam through Noah comprises 10 men who are common ancestors. Their wives, descended from Adam, are also our common ancestors, as are all the ancestors of the 10 men and their wives. Thus all alive today have scores of common ancestors.

Genesis records Adam and Eve had “many sons and daughters” (Genesis 5:4) as they obeyed God’s command to “be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.” (Genesis 1:22) Adam lived to age 930, so he could have had hundreds of sons and daughters.

Many sons married sisters and others married nieces to begin filling the earth in obedience to God’s very first recorded command to Adam and Eve (Genesis 1:22). If brothers had not married sisters, mankind would have died out in one generation.

Only One Race

Some argue (incorrectly) that Cain’s wife came from an already existing race. Even if true, the underlying issue remains: where did that hypothetical race find spouses originally?

Some claim Genesis 1 and 2 are contradictory accounts of man’s creation. To resolve this they posit the creation of a different human race in Genesis 1 before God created Adam and Eve in Genesis 2. They suggest this pre-Adamic race produced Cain’s wife. Could this be true?

No, it is not true. Genesis 1 and 2 are not contradictory. Genesis 1 gives an overview of Creation Week. Genesis 2 focuses on man’s creation on Day 6, fleshing out the preceding overview.

Jesus Himself substantiated the accord of these two chapters. When questioned about marriage, He applied quotations from both Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 to the first man and woman, thereby confirming the chapters’ harmony (Matthew 19:4-5).

Jesus knew both chapters, yet He saw no contradiction, for He used both together. Jesus attested that both chapters speak of Adam and Eve.

Jesus declared the first marriage occurred at the Beginning (Mark 10:6). His statement allows no time for a pre-Adamic race. From that first marriage Jesus derived a marriage standard which He applied to all Adam’s offspring. Jesus’ words show He believed everyone descended from Adam.

When Adam looked for a wife among the animals, no suitable helpmate was found (Genesis 2:20). No female existed; thus no other race could have existed. Yahweh then created Eve who was the mother of all living (Genesis 3:20). Therefore all humans descended from Eve, including Cain’s wife.

Scripture explicitly says, He made from one, every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth (Acts 17:26). Worldwide, each person throughout history descends from Adam.

Adam was the “first man” (1 Corinthians 15:45), and Eve was the “mother of all living” (Genesis 3:20). In the beginning there was only one man Adam and one woman Eve and all humans descended from these two people. There was no pre-Adamic race. Mankind is a single race, and Cain’s wife belonged to that race.

Adam and Eve had many sons and daughters (Genesis 5:4)

Cain’s Fear

Cain feared being killed when Yahweh exiled him for murdering Abel. Some say this indicates the existence of a substantial human population of whom Cain was afraid. Allegedly this population came from somewhere besides Adam and Eve; supposedly Cain found his wife there.

First, such speculation contradicts Scripture’s clear teaching that all men descended from Adam.

Second, Adam and Eve were 130 years old at Seth’s birth (Genesis 5:3). Eve identified Seth as the replacement for murdered Abel. Thus well over 100 years could have elapsed from Cain’s birth to Abel’s death – plenty of time for Adam and Eve to accumulate significant descendants, including women for Cain to marry.

Thus the answer to Darrow’s question, “Were there other people on earth at that time?” is Yes! Adam and Eve had “many sons and daughters” (Genesis 5:4). Many female descendants of Adam and Eve were alive, and Cain selected a wife from one of them.

Cain’s fears of revenge may have involved Abel’s close friends.

Gene Pool

Today boys turn up their noses at marrying their sisters. Cain did not have that luxury. No one existed for him to marry except sisters or nieces.

Cain and his siblings were first-generation offspring of Adam and Eve. For generations the gene pool was relatively clean. Enough harmful genetic errors had not accumulated to make marrying close relatives unwise.

Today degeneration of the gene pool has intensified; marriage between close relatives now risks severe problems in the offspring when identical defective genes occur in both closely related parents.

Restrictions against marrying close relatives did not come until the time of Moses, 2500 years after Creation. The restriction was unnecessary in the early generations because harmful genetic mutations had not accumulated.

Certainly in the first generation brothers needed to marry sisters to continue the race. Adam himself married a closer relation than anyone else ever has, for Eve was bone of his bones and flesh of his flesh (Genesis 2:23). Eve was practically a clone of Adam, having been made from his rib.

Noah’s grandchildren married siblings or cousins. Abraham married his half-sister. His son Isaac married his second cousin. Isaac’s son Jacob married two sisters who were his cousins.

The Creator established marriage; therefore, His Word is the defining standard for marriage. Those who reject Scripture’s authority have no grounds for criticizing Cain for marrying his sister.

Biblical History

Defending Biblical history is vital. The Bible’s credibility can be undermined when questions like Where did Cain get his wife? go unanswered. Getting stumped here generates doubts about what Biblical history can be trusted and what cannot. Were Adam and Eve real? Did Noah’s Flood happen? Did Jesus rise from the dead?

Furthermore, rejecting the Bible’s history eventually leads to rejecting the Bible’s theology and morality.

Genesis is authentic history – in its entirety – provided by One who was there. Understanding history based on Genesis provides a solid foundation for Christian faith, including dependable answers to otherwise perplexing questions like Where did Cain get his wife? Cain’s wife was a sister (or niece).

My Relatives & Your Relatives

My famous relatives mentioned earlier (Trump, Pelosi, and Darwin) may not be close enough relatives to share book royalties or to meet for coffee, but the genetic link is there. They are my relatives! And they are your relatives!

Mega-great-grandpa Noah’s obedience in building the ark made possible my life and yours, and the life of whoever is your latest hero — who is also your relative! We are all descendants of Adam and Eve.

Questions to Ponder

1. Which Bible questions do you find challenging to answer?
2. Which Biblical claims do you find hard to believe?
3. Where can one find answers to hard questions about the Bible?

Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

For Christ and His Kingdom. Soli Deo Gloria. Alere Flammam Veritatis.

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday February 12, 2020 A.D.

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness. (2 Timothy 3:16)

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  1. Very enlightening and answers a lot of questions that we don’t want to bring up.
    Thank you so much.


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