Question:In Genesis 4 after Cain has killed Abel, God comes
to him and curses him with a mark. Immediately following this in
scripture it says "Cain lay with his wife." Where did Cain's
wife come from and also the other people? Cain tells God that he
is worried about being killed. I thought only Adam, Eve, Cain, and
Abel were alive then.
Bible Answer: The events surrounding the death
of Abel by his brother Cain can be found in Genesis 4:1-15. This question
is directed at the events after Abel's death, after God protected Cain
with a sign. We do not know what the sign was but it must have been significant.
After Cain received the sign, the scriptures say Cain had sexual relations
with his wife.
So the LORD said to him, "Therefore whoever kills
Cain, vengeance will be taken on him sevenfold." And the LORD appointed
a sign for Cain, lest anyone finding him should slay him. Then Cain went
out from the presence of the LORD, and settled in the land of Nod, east
of Eden. And Cain had relations with his wife and she conceived, and
gave birth to Enoch; and he built a city, and called the name of the
city Enoch, after the name of his son. (NASB) Genesis 4:15-17
So the question is, "Where did Cain's wife come from since scripture
does not mention any other children of Adam and Eve?" The answer
is found in three facts: 1) Scripture does not record the name of all
of Adam and Eve's children. 2) There can be long periods of time elapse
between the children mentioned in scripture. 3) Cain married his sister.
Every Birth Mentioned. Scripture does not always mention every child
that is born to a husband and wife. Genesis 5:1-4 is a great example
This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the
day when God created man, He made him in the likeness of God. He
created them male and female, and He blessed them and named them
Man in the day when they were created. When Adam had lived one hundred
and thirty years, he became the father of a son in his own likeness,
according to his image, and named him Seth. Then the days of Adam
after he became the father of Seth were eight hundred years, and
he had other sons and daughters. (NASB) Genesis 5:1-4
This is Adam's genealogy. Notice that the only son mentioned is Seth.
Seth was born after Abel and Cain in Genesis 4:25. Abel and Cain are
not even mentioned and the added comment, " . . . he had other sons
and daughters" tells us that Adam had daughters. Scripture rarely
ever mentions the daughters who were born. In fact, Seth was born when
Adam was 130 years of age. That is enough time for many other children
to have been born.
Long Life. If we assume that Adam and Eve gave
birth to other sons and daughters (one per year starting at 20 years
of age), who had sons and daughters and so on, there could have been
at least ten thousand people by the time Adam was 130 years old.
Conclusion:In order to populate the earth, brothers
and sisters had to marry each other. With a population in the thousands,
marriages within the immediate family were not necessary. Further, the
genetic problems associated with marriages within a family would take
some time to develop. It was not until much later that God prohibited
this type of marriage.