Monday, January 30, 2006
Whom did Cain Marry?
Biblical apologists have interesting explanations for Cain’s wife. (A biblical "apologist" is one who ardently defends the integrity of the Bible.) They suggest that people in the book of Genesis lived exceptionally long lives -- many hundreds of years. If this is accepted, there could be millions of people on Earth by the time Cain looks for a wife. Even if Cain and his wife were closely related from a genetic standpoint, the marriage would not have been sinful because the command against marrying close relatives did not appear until Moses’s day. For example, Abraham married his half-sister.
and never bothered marrying
any of his 10,378,675 consorts.
He died, extremely satisfied,
at age 29.
personally, i don't believe that the story has any connection to historical fact, so the significance is whether or not this would pose a contradiction to the Judeo-Christian tradition not a question of how in fact it actually happened.
So how was incestuous adultery viewed in the pre-commandment days?
who is supposedly still alive haunting
and killing young boys,men or playing with those she likes in the form of
an sucubus or incubus (for females)
Ms. Lilith is an equal opportunity
arrouser of passion,lust in both men and women or so I've heard.
Thanks for a very important and appropriate question. Many apologists and columnists who deal with Bible questions, especially from skeptics, say that this is actually the number one question they get. So it was only inevitable I would get it eventually. This woman, and debates about her existence, was even brought into the famous Scopes trial (as "proof" the Bible was not to be taken at face value); mentioned in the play/movie "Inherit the Wind"; and in agnostic Carl Sagan's book/movie "Contact." And as mystifying as this question seems at first, the answer is simple and fairly obvious; though for some it raises (unnecessarily) further complications.
The dilemma: Cain, the first son of the first parents (Adam and Eve), is mentioned in Genesis 4:17 as having a wife! Where in the world did he get her? The main solutions you often hear circulate around these two scenarios:
1.) This craziness proves that the Bible is fallible and untrustworthy.
2.) He found a wife who belonged to another race (one not born of Adam and Eve), either in the land of Nod (where he is reported to have sojourned in Genesis 4:16-17..but note, though a wife is mentioned at this point, the text nowhere connotes that he met her there); or from some "other-worldly" race, such as the Nephilim (Gen 6:4, Num 13:13).
Not many make the logical, and I believe correct, leap to what should be the "final answer" of Scenario #3: ....(hold your breath; roll the drum and then read):
... he married his sister!
"Whoa, Nellie!, " some are objecting. Wouldn't that be incest, and therefore create another dilemma regarding Cain breaking a law of God? No. When you think about it, what other choice did Cain have but to marry a sister? Who else was there? (I am making a crucial assumption that there is only one "race" of humans, and that everyone is eventually related to Adam and Eve..if some see that as quaint and fundamentalist. so be it!) God did not specifically "outlaw" marriage with close relatives until 2500 years later...as spelled out in Lev. 18-20. And the classic reasons given against marrying a sister have to do with genetic complications and risk. But how pure would Adam and Eve's genes have been? By Moses' time, you can understand how that had changed.
Note that Cain was not the only child of Adam and Eve..only the first. We know two brothers were born soon after Cain; Abel in 4:2 and Seth by 4:25. But now some are asking the next necessary question: OK, Where did Cain get a sister, then? Well, contrary to popular (mis)understanding (and sometimes skeptical conspiracy), the Bible (check Genesis 5:4) DOES flat-out say that Adam and Eve had other children:
"After Seth was born, Adam lived 800 years, and had other sons and daughters."
Now, some are saying (I hear you!) :"Ah, I can see that, but considering the long life spans of the day; and the potentially large number of children eventually born to Adam and Eve, couldn't Cain have, if he waited long enough, married a niece?" Yes, fair reader, fair insight. I think that is possible; and I have no problem if that is your conclusion. But I believe that it was actually a sister is a safer bet, due to how early on in the story Cain's "marriage" seems to occur. (However, if this lessens your nervousness about incest; since a niece is more distant than a sister; note that the biblical inunctions regarding incest do indeed include no marriage to an aunt, uncle, or brother's wife..Lev 18:7-17; 20:11-12,14,17,20-21; Deut. 22:30; 27:20,22,23).
Below is a link to a helpful response to this question from ChristianAnswers.Net, which basically agrees with my answer, but also sheds probable light on some other "complications" that may be triggered here. By the way, for such a "controversial" question, one will be hard-pressed to find a Bible-believing commentator who doesn't point out that the answer I gave is a "no-brainer" (which is why I could come up with it, you say :).....)
-Christian answers link-
Finally, as you may have found out; as helpful and biblical as it is to study such dilemmas in order to strengthen and defend our faith; giving "reasons for the hope within", there is no arguing with a hardened skeptic. But rejoice in the fact that we do have a Bible and a God that can be trusted. Both will withstand any questioning and test; even if the wrestling is uncomfortable and stretching. Though our faith is "beyond reason", it is not unreasonable.
The Bible is the Word of God and has to be studied, learned, understood only after asking for the gift of the Holy Spirit, who gives wisdom to understand.
Coming back to C&A story, the Jews and the Arabs who also belive in the same God, have this to say. Abel and Cain had twin sisters, whom they could marry or intermarry. In either case procreaton had to continue and Gos in all His wisdom knows how to provide.
This is very true because Genesis 5 records the descendents of Adam and mentiones they had "other sons and daughters". ALso during the days of Adam, human beings had longer life spans and so had longer child-bearing years. So its quite possible that by the time Adam and Eve died, that were a large number of human beings in the world, which then on just continued.
It is ok that other people want to understand every word & statement in any religious work, but it is an effort in futility.
What is not a futile effort is looking at religious writings as a guidebook to give clues to wisdom.
If a story is told about a woman that turned around & looked at something when ordered not to & was turned into a block of salt, you are not supposed to spend time wondering if they chopped up the block & used it as cow licks.
An author(Ican't remember which one) gave an example I'm going to play with the words & use. He said a wise man extended his arm with a finger pointing, & the people around consentrated on the finger. He was pointing to something "out there" the people were supposed to go find & gain wisdom from.
If you spend your time consentrating on the finger, you will never find what the story was written for in the first place.
Winston Churchill said that it is amazing the effort people will expend to avoid the labor of thinking.
The only way to gain from any written words is to go beyond.
'And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth: For God, said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew.'
Please any comments welcome as I am starting to study the bible and this is very interesting.
That makes as much sense as saying that it was OK for Cain to kill Abel because up to that point, God didn't say it was wrong.