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Ask the Pastor 114

Where did Cain get his wife?

The simple answer is that he married his sister. The problem that we have with this text is that there are no sisters mentioned up to the point of Genesis 4:17 where we read that Cain knew his wife and she bore him a son by the name of Enoch. We also see in the account of the first murder, where the Lord banished Cain that Cain was fearful that when anyone found him, they would kill him. Where did these people come from who would kill him? It is clear, that the narrative in Genesis highlighted certain main characters without listing all the people alive at the time. If the Bible included every detail in the history of mankind, the book would be too big to pick up, let alone read. The Lord God ordered Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply, so it stands to reason that after Cain and Able there were many more children born to them as we read, “After he begot Seth, the days of Adam were eight hundred years; and he had sons and daughters” (5:4). The reading is more pronounced in the Hebrew that Adam had sons and daughters over the whole course of his life, not just after Seth was born. It is also possible, that Cain and Able were grown men with families of their own, though no descendants of Able are ever listed. Nevertheless, the brothers of Cain and Able could have risen up to pursue after Cain and kill him for killing their brother, but this was forbidden by the Lord. Therefore, Cain took his wife with him, who was his sister, and fled into exile in the land of Nod, where they built cities.

Have questions about the Bible? Send them to Dr. Greg Koehn at and read the answer here in this article.

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