Genesis 4:17

"And Cain knew his wife..."

Where Did Cain Get His Wife?


This seems to be the favorite question of unbelievers who doubt the absolute veracity of God's Word.

At the dawn of human reproduction, it was permissible in the eyes of God for siblings to marry.  Cain married one of his sisters.  The Bible is very clear, in Genesis 5:4, that Adam and Eve had a very large family made up of many sons and daughters.  Cain married one of these daughters.

God did not forbid intermarriage between brothers and sisters until the Mosaic law which was given about 2,500 years after the time of Cain.

In fact, in the time of Abraham (about 2000 years after Cain) marriages between close relatives were permitted.  An example of this is Abraham who married his half-sister Sarah (Genesis 20:12).

The following summary is found on the website:

Summary and conclusion:  1) The Bible without any doubt teaches that God chose to start humanity off from only two people. This means that in the first few generations, marriage had to be between extremely closely related people, including at least one brother–sister union. The Bible says that Adam and Eve had daughters as well. Cain could have married his sister, or niece. 2) The biological problems caused by such unions today come from a progressive accumulation of genetic defects since the Fall. An originally perfect population would not have had any such problem. 3) The Bible teaches that even Abraham, living a long time after creation, was still able to marry his half-sister, Sarah, without any hint of biological problems in the offspring (Isaac). In doing so he was not breaking God’s Law. The Law of Moses forbidding intermarriage between close relatives was not given until centuries after Abraham.

For another detailed discussion of this question, see The Genesis Account by Jonathan D. Sarfati, pages 421-425.



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