Cain, Able, and Seth mates

Who did Cain, Able and Seth mate with if Adam and Eve only had those three sons?

Nowhere in Genesis does it say that Adam and Even only had those three kids. It only names those three, true, but that doesn’t rule out more kids who weren’t named. Of course, that means there was a lot of incest going around, but I guess you can’t let a common gene pool stand between you and the perpetuation of the species.

One of our Bible scholars will have to address the question, but I thought the idea was that Cain met a woman in Nod, which suggests it wouldn’t have been his own sister.

Welcome to the board, flakeyfoont.

Genesis 5:4

There weren’t (necessarily) three kings, either. Matthew 2:1 (KJV) - “Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem”.

Their number (indeed, their kingship) is not stated. I’ve read some supposition that “three” comes from the named gifts in Matthew 2:11 - gold, frankincense and myrrh, and reinforced by the John Hopkins’ 1857 carol We Three Kings (in which each “king” is linked to a particular gift and has a verse about what it means - the myrrh guy is a real downer).

Frankly, it might be interesting to round up a number of common misconceptions about Christianity that members learn in childhood and retain in their adult years (and pass onto their own children) because they never check the source material. Similarly, how many common beliefs about Hell and angels aren’t biblical at all, but spring from the works of Dante and Milton, similarly unread by most modern Christians?

bolding mine

Speaking back to Cain marrying a woman from Nod it follows that Adam and Eve and kids were not the only peoples on the earth. They are just the people the bible focuses on. Which to me it seems that when god created Adam there were already other people running around being peoplely.

Actually, it does not state that Cain’s wife comes from Nod, but rather that’s where he married her.

In any event, the word “Nod” means “to wander” in Hebrew. It was Cain’s punishment to wander. “The land of Nod” may not refer to an actual location but to a nomadic lifestyle.

Zev Steinhardt

Does it? We’re not told how long Cain lived, though Adam and Seth made it to 930 and 912, respectively. Cain “Nods off” in Genesis 4:16 and knows his wife in 4:17, and hundreds of years could have passed between those two verses, long enough for Cain to have his solitude broken by a bunch of interloping suburban sprawlers building strip malls and whatnod, one of whom could have been his sister or one of Seth’s great great great etc. grandaughters.

Given the ridiculously long lifespans described, there’s no rush.

Anyway, if there were other people around when A & E got booted from Eden, were they unaffected by the Fall?

Thanks for correcting me. I thought he had met her there or during his wonderings. The interesting thing to me is that it implies, to me, that she was not his sister and thus there were other peoples on the earth than just Adam and his kin.

EDIT: Good point Bryan I had not thought of it that way before. It does say he built a city and named it after Enoch and after that long there would be enough of Adam’s descendants around to occupy that city.

Two links to previous discussions:
Numero Uno
Numero Two-o

I thought there had been a staff report on this, but my search didn’t turn it up and I can’t search again now until sometime in 2011. :slight_smile:

A bigger question than who Cain was married to was who lived in the city he founded? Did he wander for decades? Not clear. No one was born to Adam and Eve after Cain and Abel and before Seth, because then Seth wouldn’t have been a replacement. (Plenty could have been born after, and any number of daughters who didn’t count.)

Logic clearly doesn’t work for myths. This reminds me of a flood story, from Australia I think, where the only survivors land their boat, and are promptly greeted by others coming over a mountain. :confused:

Well, they wanted to sea what they could sea.

They were daughters of Lilith.

Actually, I think they were sisters, the genetic consequences of the Fall not yet having set in to where sibling interbreeding was dangerous. The explicit Law against sibling incest was not given until the time of Moses. The Law against parent-child incest was from the moment Adam was given Eve.

Also, since I lean to an alternate theory that Adam & Eve & their brood weren’t the first humans, but the first humans to have the Divine spark, the brood went out to share that spark with the other humans through “evangelism” & inter-marriage, some with greater & some with lesser commitment to the “evangelism” part.

Hey, waitamminit, you’re assuming Scripture is the only relevant “source material.” I think the whole global Roman Catholic community (among others) might take issue with that. :wink:

Well, Cain lay with the beasts of the field . . .

Right. And Lilith and Frazier begot Frederick.

You know, one could extrapolate quite entertainingly about the implications of a time-delayed Fall, but in the interests of politeness I’ll just ask where the law against parent-child incest is given to Adam and Eve. I mean, they didn’t even know what a child was at the time, right?

Fortunately we had the Flood to kill off all those pesky spare unFallen people, then, or the whole damnation issue could become really confusing.

Which gives a situation where at least the first generation born post flood were all siblings or first cousins. Genesis states that the only people on the ark (and hence the only people left alive after the flood) were Noah, his wife, their 3 sons and their sons wives.

So Adam and Eve’s kids might have been incestual, but Noah’s grandkids most definitely were.

A thumper once explained the lack of inbreeding damage to me by pointing out that even by the time of Noah people were still living outrageously long lives comapred to ours. 'twas because they were still genetically perfect like Adam and Eve were. No bad genes yet to accumulate and cause damage in the inbred offspring.

Nowadays our DNA as well as our lifestyle is thoroughly corrupt so we age and die much more quickly. Seemd a reasonable argument to me.

There are several Midrashic and other apocyphal legends about Cain. One is that he and Abel were each born with a twin sister and each was to marry the twin sister of the other. (The spellings of the names of the sisters and the names themselves vary from source to source, but Cain’s twin in some accounts was called Adah [in others Aclima] and Abel’s was named Zillah [in others Jumella].) In these legends Cain fell in love with his own twin sister who was betrothed to Abel, and killed his brother in order to have her, then later took Zillah (or Jumella) with him into exile while Aclima married Seth. (Also by Midrashic accounts Adam had 56 children.)

Another apocryphal account of Cain is that he was the son of Eve but not of Adam; he was conceived when she was either raped or seduced by Sammael, the serpent in the Garden of Eden (the serpent evidently being almost humanoid- even in Genesis he had arms and legs). This was why God had an animosity towards him and did not accept his sacrifice, but then evidently relented and realized “he can’t help his paternity” and sent him into exile rather than kill him. No idea if Aclima/Jumella are in this one or not or if so who the father of the twin is; I’ve wondered if it’s an ancestor of the Leta and the Swan “twins with different fathers” legend.

In addition to not being canon, the apocryphal stories are far more recent but still ancient, thus showing that folks have been wrestling with the identity of Mrs. Cain for some while. Lord Byron wrote a play about the subject.

Other trivia about Cain: By tradition he is buried in the city of Kabul, Afghanistan. Tony “Angels in America” Kushner wrote a play that’s set in large part at his grave.

PS- The identity of his wife never bothered me when I was a religious kid because we were just told “He took one of his sisters with him because it was alright then and God told him he could”. What did bother me and what my Sunday School teacher and elementary school teacher couldn’t answer (I went to a religious school where Bible was part of the curriculum) was this part of the story (which also uses the names Adah and Zillah, but ignore that):

Aw’ight, Lamech was Cain’s grandson and Jabal and Jubal were his great-grandsons. Jabal was the father tentdwellers and Jubal the ancestor of “all” musicians, BUT only the sons of Noah (who was a descendant of Seth) survived the Flood, thus all who dwelled in tents or for that matter coconut trees and Winnebagos would be descendants of one of Noah’s sons. (To further complicate matters, Noah was the son of Lamech, but not the Lamech who was Cain’s grandson.)

One of my teachers actually did think about this and came back with the following explanation: Noah, like Ben Cartwright, had three consecutive wives and a son by each. One of his wives was a descendant of Jabal and another was a descendant of Jubal and therefore the “father of all who dwelled in tents” and those who play flutes were still descendants of these men. When I asked “then why not say 'Shem is the father of all who blah blah yadda while Moe and Larry are the fathers of those who yadda blah”, she responded with a reasonable “Because they decided not to do it that way”.