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Where Did Cain Get His Wife?
A Study of Population Growth among Early People


People sometimes ask where Cain found a wife to marry. Since he was a son of Adam and Eve, the first man and woman created by God, where would he find a woman to marry? Some ask this sincerely. Others ask as a trick question, thinking they have found some flaw in the Bible history of early man.

The Bible record is found in Gen. 4:16,17. After Cain had killed Abel, he departed from the land where he and Abel had lived. He moved to Nod, a land east of Eden. There he and his wife had a son whom he named Enoch. He also built a city which he also named Enoch.

Observations about population growth

The fact that Cain, the son of Adam, built a city tells us much about the increase in population in the early history of mankind. If a city was built in the lifetime of a son of the very first man, it follows that population grew rapidly and was quickly civilized (in contrast to the views of evolutionists).

God had commanded Adam and Eve to reproduce and fill the earth (Gen. 1:28). Men in that time, before the flood, lived to great ages (see chapter 5). Adam, for example, lived to be 930 years old before he died (5:5), and most of his descendants before the flood lived about 900 years. If there are no gaps in the genealogies, this means Adam would have been alive following the birth of Lamech, father of Noah, 8 generations later! Hence, although they eventually died, people lived many years before they died. This greatly multiplied the number of people living on earth because, at any one time, there were many generations still living.

Further, men were capable of having many children, and large families were common. Noah was having children at age 500 (5:32). All men in chap. 5 are recorded as having "sons and daughters." In such long lifetimes with long periods of fertility, many children could be born.

Using conservative estimates, Morris estimates (p. 143) that, by the time Cain died, there could easily have been 120,000 people on the earth (certainly enough for there to be cities). By the time of Noah there could easily have been seven billion - more than on earth today! Do not think of Cain, Adam, and other such people as walking around on a bare, lonesome, uninhabited earth. The obeyed God's command to reproduce and fill the earth.

Where did Cain get his wife?

From the above information it is clear that there would have been many women available for him to choose from eventually. With people living such long lives, it would have been no problem for a man to marry a woman 50 or even 100 years younger than him. This would be no different, by comparison, than a man today marrying a woman 5 or 10 years younger than himself.

Hence, Cain would have had plenty of women to choose from. However, among Adam's sons and daughters (5:5), some of them would have had to intermarry with brothers and sisters to get the process of reproduction going. Perhaps Cain married a sister. If not, he could have married a niece, etc. At this point there would have been no laws against such close intermarriage. God had commanded reproduction and such intermarriage would be needed to obey the command. Intermarriage among close relatives was forbidden only years later, and the reason was the danger of genetic problems. That would have been no problem, however, in the early history of man when long life spans prove there were few mutant genes to cause genetic problems.

Remember that we do not know when Cain married. We do not know how old he was when he killed Abel. He may or may not have already been married at the time. We do not know how many brothers or sisters he had, though we know he did have sisters (5:5). As shown above, there were many people alive during his lifetime and therefore many people for him to choose from.

For information about the Bible teaching about creation, please visit our Bible Instruction web site at www.gospelway.com/instruct/


(c) Copyright David E. Pratte, 2006

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