One question is often asked about the two brothers, particularly concerning Cain. Some ask in order to further their understanding, but mostly the question is thrown out in the form of a challenge. Either way, the question is a valid one.
Adam and Eve had two sons, one murdered the other, yet Cain fled off to the land of Nod, where he and his wife had a son. How is that even possible? You’re telling me that the only people on earth at the time, were Adam, Eve, and Cain, right? So where did his wife come from?
Some speculate that Cain’s wife was a member of a pre-Adamite tribe which had survived the destruction of the previous age. Others claim that she was of the 6th day creation, whilst Adam and Eve, the parents of Cain, had been created on the 8th day. Neither claim is supported by Scripture.
The genealogies throughout the Book of Genesis, run from father to son, therefore only male names are recorded. We are told that in his lifetime Adam had both sons and daughters, yet only three of his sons are named, and not a single one of his daughters.
So who was the wife of Cain? Genesis doesn’t claim that Cain went to Nod where he met his wife, but that he dwelt in the land Nod, and his wife became pregnant with Enoch. A straightforward reading of Scripture indicates that his wife had travelled to Nod with her husband.
Genesis 4:16-17. 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: …
Of course, that doesn’t answer the question entirely, but we’re getting there. The idea of the first husband and wife living happily together in a garden paradise for weeks, months, or even for years prior to the fall, is a blissful thought indeed, but that’s where it stops. For we tend to overlook that Adam had been given two commandments, one concerning the tree of knowledge of good and evil, the other to consummate his marriage to Eve.
Genesis 1:28. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth….
It’s a moot point I guess, considering it was never going to happen, but had Eve conceived during their time in the garden, and prior to ‘the fall,’ how different would things have been? As hard as it is to understand, raising children would have remained care-free, and childbirth would have been a painless process, for there was something seriously and wonderfully different about the human body, which was lost at the fall.
However, they’d already been cast out from the garden, before sexual intimacy took place between them, which purely on a natural level, would suggest their time in the garden had been very short indeed.
From Genesis 3:23& 4:1. Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden……….And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain…..
When God pronounced to the couple the consequence of their action, the word “sorrow” is mentioned twice. But each is from a different Hebrew word, one meaning ”sorrow” in the sense of worry, the other in the sense of pain.
However, here lies the clue, because God also pronounced how he would multiply Eve’s conception.
Genesis 3:16. Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow[worry]and thy conception; in sorrow[pain] thou shalt bring forth children;
Genesis 4:1-2. And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD. And she again bare his brother Abel…..
The word ”again” is Strongs Hebrew 3254, which means… to add or augment (often adverbial, to continue to do a thing):–add.
If taken literally, having given birth to Cain, Eve continued in labour and gave birth to Abel. They were twin brothers.
At this point, we have to reason, how because it was God’s will that the earth be replenished, and because he’d told Eve that her conception would be multiplied, did God overlook the obvious?
Or was her conception multiplied more than once?
Although the Bible only records that Adam had daughters, an old traditional Jewish belief held that Eve became pregnant again shortly after, and gave birth to twin sisters. It was jealousy and rivalry between the two brothers over which sister each should marry, that eventually led to the first murder.
Either way, the wife who accompanied Cain to the land of Nod, was one of his sisters.
Today, an incestuous relationship is culturally unacceptable, and considered taboo, for breeding with a close relative can result in some dire consequences. But because Cain and his sister were literally first generation siblings, the chance of birth defects would have been zero.