Genesis - Cain's Wife

SERMON TOPIC: Genesis - Cains Wife

Speaker: Ken Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 31 August 2018


Sermon synopsis: At the historic Scopes Trial in Tennessee in 1925, William Jennings Bryan, the prosecutor who stood for the Christian faith, failed to answer the question about Cain’s wife posed by the ACLU lawyer Clarence Darrow. 

In recent times, this same example was taken up by Carl Sagan in his book Contact (which was on the New York Times best-seller list) and used in the movie of the same name based upon this work.
Sagan cleverly listed a number of common questions (including Cain’s wife) that are often directed at Christians in an attempt to supposedly prove the Bible is full of contradictions and can’t be defended. 

The truth is—most Christians probably couldn’t answer these questions. And yet there are answers. 

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Where did Cain get his wife?

Genesis 4:15-17.

And the LORD said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the LORD set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him.

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

Where did Cain get his wife?

On 10 July1925, in Dayton Tennessee, the so-called “Monkey Trial” began.

John Thomas Scopes, a young high school science teacher, was accused of teaching evolution in violation of a Tennessee state law.

The law, which had been passed in March, made it a misdemeanour punishable by fine to “teach any theory that denies the story of the Divine Creation of man as taught in the Bible, and to teach instead that man has descended from a lower order of animals.” With local businessman George Rappalyea, Scopes had conspired to get charged with this violation, and after his arrest the pair enlisted the aid of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to organize a defense.

Where did Cain get his wife?

Hearing of this coordinated attack on Christian fundamentalism, William Jennings Bryan, the three-time Democratic presidential candidate and a fundamentalist hero, volunteered to assist the prosecution.

Soon after, the great attorney Clarence Darrow agreed to join the ACLU in the defense, and the stage was set for one of the most famous trials in U.S. history.

Where did Cain get his wife?

At the historic Scopes Trial in Tennessee in 1925, William Jennings Bryan, the prosecutor who stood for the Christian faith, failed to answer the question about Cain’s wife posed by the ACLU lawyer Clarence Darrow.

Consider the following excerpt from the trial record as Darrow interrogates Bryan:

Q—Did you ever discover where Cain got his wife?

A—No, sir; I leave the agnostics to hunt for her.

Q—You have never found out?

A—I have never tried to find.

Where did Cain get his wife?

Q—You have never tried to find?


Q—The Bible says he got one doesn’t it? Were there other people on the earth at that time?

A—I cannot say.

Q—You cannot say. Did that ever enter your consideration?

A—Never bothered me.

Q—There were no others recorded, but Cain got a wife.

A—That is what the Bible says.

Q—Where she came from you do not know

Where did Cain get his wife?

In recent times, this same example was taken up by Carl Sagan in his book Contact (which was on the New York Times best-seller list) and used in the movie of the same name based upon this work.

In the book, we read the fictional character Ellie’s account of how she could not get answers from a minister’s wife, who was the leader of a church discussion group:

Ellie had never seriously read the Bible before . . . . So over the weekend preceding her first class, she read through what seemed to be the important parts of the Old Testament, trying to keep an open mind. She at once recognized that there were two different and mutually contradictory stories of Creation . . . and had trouble figuring out exactly who it was that Cain had married.

Where did Cain get his wife?

Sagan cleverly listed a number of common questions (including Cain’s wife) that are often directed at Christians in an attempt to supposedly prove the Bible is full of contradictions and can’t be defended.

The truth is—most Christians probably couldn’t answer these questions. And yet there are answers.

But since churches lack in the teaching of apologetics, particularly in regard to the book of Genesis, most believers in the church are not able to

“always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear” (1 Peter 3:15).

Hosea 4:6. My people perish for lack of knowledge.

Where did Cain get his wife?

Some have attempted to say that Cain's wife came from a race of Pre-Adamic humans who were around before Adam and Eve.

The idea of Cain marrying someone from this race creates more problems than it solves.

The Scriptures are clear that Adam was the first man created

Genesis 2:7.

Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

Genesis 2:18.

The LORD God said, It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.

Where did Cain get his wife?

1 Corinthians 15:45-47.

So it is written: The first man Adam became a living being; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven.

Furthermore, his wife Eve was given her name because she was the mother of all living.

Genesis 3:20.

Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living.

These two facts rule out the idea of some Pre-Adamic race from which Cain chose a wife.

Where did Cain get his wife?

Who did Cain and Abel marry since women, other than Eve, are not mentioned in the early part of Genesis?

The debate over who became the wife of Cain and Abel has gone on for centuries. The short answer is that the brothers had to marry their sisters.

The Bible does not tell us how old Cain and Abel were when this murder took place. If each of them were over fifty years of age, then there could have been a considerable number of people living at the time. Remember they were commanded to be fruitful and multiply (Genesis 1:28.)

Genesis 5:4.

After he begot Seth, were eight hundred years; and he had sons and daughters.

Where did Cain get his wife?

The Jewish historian Josephus wrote that, “The number of Adam’s children, as says the old tradition, was thirty three sons and twenty three daughters.”

According to the Book of Jubilees, Awan was the wife and sister of Cain and the daughter of Adam and Eve.

Similarly, her sister Azura was the wife of Cain's two brothers, Abel and after Abel's murder, Seth. In one Hebrew chronological work, she is called Balbira.


The Book of Jubilees, sometimes called Lesser Genesis (Leptogenesis), is an ancient Jewish religious work of 50 chapters, considered canonical by the Ethiopian Orthodox Church as well as Beta Israel (Ethiopian Jews), where it is known as the Book of Division.

Where did Cain get his wife?

At the time of Cain, there was no law forbidding marrying a close relative and the mutations that make it dangerous today were not a problem in early post creation years.

It is obvious that brothers and sisters would marry, how else could man go forth and multiply as God commanded.

Remember that Abraham married his half sister.

Genesis 20:11-12.

Abraham replied, I said to myself, There is surely no fear of God in this place, and they will kill me because of my wife.

Besides, she really is my sister, the daughter of my father though not of my mother; and she became my wife.

It was not until some 400 years later that God gave Moses laws that forbade such marriages. (Leviticus 18-6-18.)

Cain’s wife.

We know that Adam and Eve had other sons and daughters in addition to Abel, Cain, and Seth (Gen. 5:4), and if there was only one original family, then the first marriages had to be between brothers and sisters.

Such marriages in the beginning were not harmful. Incest is dangerous because inherited mutant genes that produce deformed, sickly, or moronic children are more likely to find expression in children if those genes are carried by both parents.

Certainly, Adam and Eve, coming from the creative hand of God, had no such mutant genes. Therefore, marriages between brothers and sisters, or nieces and nephews in the first and second generations following Adam and Eve would not have been dangerous.

Cain’s wife.

Adam and Eve were created perfect.

It wasn’t until after the Fall that suffering and death affected mankind and every other living thing.

One aspect of this suffering would have been mutations in the DNA that result in disease.

Since Adam and Eve were created genetically perfect, their children would have had few mutations.

Mutations in subsequent generations would have continued to increase and accumulate.

Eventually, it became too dangerous to marry a close relation because of the increased likelihood of inherited disease.

Cain’s wife.

During the time of Moses, approximately 2,500 years after creation, God forbade marriage between close relatives (Leviticus 18:6–18).

It seems that one reason was health.

Although the Israelites knew nothing of DNA, God did, and He knew close relatives were likely to have the same mutations.

Since many diseases occur only when a child has two copies of the same mutation (one from Mom and one from Dad), marriage between close relatives would be harmful to the Israelites.

This is one of the reasons that such marriages are prohibited today, too—to prevent diseases that can afflict children of this kind of union.

Meanings of the names from Adam to Noah.

Hebrew English

Adam Man

Seth Appointed

Enosh Mortal

Kenan Sorrow;

Mahalalel The Blessed God

Jared Shall come down

Enoch Teaching

Methuselah His death shall bring

Lamech The Despairing

Noah Rest, or comfort.

Here is a summary of God’s plan of redemption, hidden here within a genealogy in Genesis! Do you think that a group of Jewish rabbis deliberately “contrived” to hide the “Christian Gospel” right here in a genealogy within their venerated Torah!

Cain’s wife.


The Flood of Noah did not come as a surprise. It had been preached on for four generations.

But something strange happened when Enoch was 65, from which time “he walked with God.”

Enoch was given a prophecy that as long as his son was alive, the judgment of the flood would be withheld; but as soon as he died, the flood would be sent forth.

Enoch named his son to reflect this prophecy. The name Methuselah comes from two roots: muth, a root that means “death” ; and from shalach, which means “to bring,” or “to send forth.”

Thus, the name Methuselah signifies, “his death shall bring.”

Cain’s wife.

And, indeed, in the year that Methuselah died, the flood came.

Methuselah was 187 when he had Lamech, and lived 782 years more.

Lamech had Noah when he was 182.

The Flood came in Noah’s 600th year.

187 + 182 + 600 = 969, Methuselah’s age when he died.

It is interesting that Methuselah’s life was, in effect, a symbol of God’s mercy in forestalling the coming judgment of the flood.

It is therefore fitting that his lifetime is the oldest in the Bible, symbolizing the extreme extensiveness of God’s mercy.


Cain’s wife.

Josephus Book 1 Chapter 2

God therefore did not inflict the punishment [of death] upon him, on account of his offering sacrifice, and thereby making supplication to him not to be extreme in his wrath to him: but he made him accursed, and threatened his posterity in the seventh generation.

He also cast him, together with his wife, out of that land. And when he was afraid, that in wandering about he should fall among wild beasts, and by that means perish; God bid him not to entertain such a melancholy suspicion: and to go over all the earth without fear of what mischief he might suffer from wild beasts: and setting a mark upon him, that he might be known, he commanded him to depart.

Enoch’s prophecy.


Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about them: “See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones to judge everyone, and to convict all of them of all the ungodly acts they have committed in their ungodliness, and of all the defiant words ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”


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