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“Eve's Daughter-in-law”

     Will someone explain to me how if Adam and Eve were the first humans, how Cain could marry a woman who lived in Nod?  Genesis made it very clear that Adam and Eve are not the parents of her.

Please answer.  If I find your answer, I will be back to your site.


Dear Skeptical,

Eve is the mother of all living (Gen 3:20).  In the beginning, there were only Adam and Eve.  Adam and Eve had multiple children (Gen 5:3-4).  In the genealogies of Genesis 5, none of the daughters are named – only the sons.  This is because Jewish genealogies (and Genesis is a Jewish book) follow the male lineage – we never know the dates or names of the daughters that are born.  Cain was Adam’s firstborn son (Gen 4:1).  When Cain went to find a wife, the only logical person he could marry would be his sister.  Therefore, Cain’s wife was also his sister (Gen 4:17).

It is morally repugnant in today’s society for someone to marry his sister, but it wasn’t that way in the beginning.  In the beginning, they had no other choice.  God told the family of Adam to “go forth and multiply” (Gen 1:28).  When Adam’s sons and daughters intermarried, they fulfilled God’s command.  God didn’t prohibit close intermarriage until almost 2,500 years after Adam and Eve (Lev 18:9-17).  As far as her living in Nod, the Bible never says Cain’s wife was from Nod (Gen. 4:16-17) – it simply says that Cain moved to Nod.  He may very well have married her before going there.