Q: #102. Where did Cain get his wife?
A: To understand where Cain got his wife, I am going to try and lay out a timeline. Hopefully, it won’t be too complicated.
First, we know that Adam was the first man on this planet (Gen 1:26)(Lk 3:37)(1 Cor 15:45)(1 Tim 2:13). ALL men on this planet came from Adam and Eve.
God created Adam as an adult, and it seems probable that his age may have been about 30 simply based on the significance of that age in the Bible:
Jesus began His ministry at 30 (Lk 3:22)
David became king at 30 (2 Sam 5:4)
Joseph became a leader in Egypt at 30 (Gen 41:46)
After God created Eve, it was quite likely a short time afterwards that they sinned and were expelled from the Garden of Eden. After they were expelled, they had their first child, Cain (Gen 4:1), and then Abel (Gen 4:2).
There is one other child of Adam and Eve that is mentioned by name in the Bible, and that is Seth. He was born when Adam was 130 years old (Gen 5:3).
Now, notice the time period between when Cain and Abel were born, and when Seth was born. It is approximately 100 years (maybe a little less). People assume that Adam and Eve had only 3 children since there are only 3 mentioned by name in the Bible. This is a false assumption. When God created Adam and Eve, He said, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish (fill) the earth” (Gen 1:28). It is likely that they had dozens of children over their lifetime (Adam lived to be 930 years old: Gen 5:5). We know for certain that they had more children, because (Gen 5:4) says they had DAUGHTERS too.
So, when did Cain actually kill Abel. We know that it was during the 100 year period between their birth and Seth’s birth. We know this because in (Gen 4:25), Eve said Seth was born to replace Abel, “whom Cain slew.” Therefore, it seems logical that Seth was the first son born to her after Abel was killed. This means it is likely that Cain killed Abel about 100 years after they were born.
This is important to understand, because it means that there was about 100 years for Adam and Eve to have many other sons and daughters before Cain killed Abel. In fact, there was time for their sons and daughters to have sons and daughters, and their sons and daughters to have sons and daughters, and on and on. There would be approximately 4 generations in this time period.
Now, this is where I get the headache! I am terrible at math. I wanted to work out how many kids could be born from parents having kids, and their kids having kids, and their kids having kids, and their kids having kids over 100 years of time, but it is beyond me… People who have run the math say it would be in the 1000’s, maybe even hundreds of thousands. At any rate, it would be a LOT of people. (I know it probably doesn’t apply here, but it reminded me of the old saying I am sure many of you have heard, “If you take a penny and double it every day for a month, you will be a millionaire.”)
Sooo, what it comes down to is this. When Cain killed Abel, there were 1000’s of people on the planet, and all of these were Cain’s brothers, sisters, or cousins. His wife would have been chosen from amongst these.
These close relatives would also have been the ones Cain feared would hurt him after he killed Abel (Gen 4:14-15).
After God punished Cain, the Bible says he went to the land of Nod (Gen 4:16). (Gen 4:17) continues that after Cain got there, “Cain knew (had relations) his wife: and she conceived.” Two things about this need to be addressed. First, if there were actually people in Nod when Cain got there (the Bible doesn’t say there was), they would have been his brothers, sisters, and cousins who settled there. Secondly, the Bible never says Cain went there and found a wife. It simply says that when he got there, he had relations with his wife. It is entirely possible that he found his wife before he got there.