Where did Cain’s wife come from?

“You know what? Bible is the most nonsensical book you will ever come across. It is filled with stories which are just so illogical. If you read it, you will get a lot of laughing stock.” Said an atheist, with a glimmer in his eyes trying to prove that Bible is a book of fables. “You see, Bible says that Cain got a wife but Adam and Eve had only two sons. This is simply ludicrous, you guys are believing in made up stories written by illiterate fools to manipulate innocent people and rule over them in the name of God.” Its like a catch 22 for them; Bible is absolutely fake.

This question troubles the believers as well. Some of them try to find the answers, some of them believe it by faith, while some of them give up their faith on such ‘little things’ when they pile up one after the other. There’s a constant ‘tussle’ within themselves because they cannot share their struggles with others, mainly because people will criticize them for their doubts and they would be declared as people with ‘little’ or ‘no’ faith. People who criticize are those who are unable to answer such questions. Our Churches are weak because we don’t encourage people to ask questions. Do we have an answer to the question “Why we believe what we believe?” The day we will be able to answer this question, we will make great missionaries and won’t miss out on a chance to spread the gospel as it is commanded “Go and make disciples” (Matthew 28:19).

I can go on and on about these issues, but let me focus on this particular doubt at the moment. Is this issue of ‘Cain’s wife’ a big deal? Is it really a made up story where the writer missed out on such an important aspect and left us wondering about its authenticity? Let’s look at the scriptures and find out.

First question that could come to our mind is that, why is the scripture silent on such a matter? Why isn’t it explicit, if at all it is implicit to shed the light? Well the first thing that comes to mind is that the author didn’t find it important. He was writing for a purpose, he was following a pattern in which declaring or naming or telling us about Cain’s wife wasn’t important. Second, Cain was a farmer which means he was old enough. Why is that important? It is, because Genesis 5:4 suggests that Adam had other sons and daughters and they must have grown up by now. But how does it solve our quest? How do we know there were others? Well, if we read Genesis 4:13-16 (ESV), it will help us to connect the dots :

13 Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is greater than I can bear.[a]14 Behold, you have driven me today away from the ground, and from your face I shall be hidden. I shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.” 15 Then the Lord said to him, “Not so! If anyone kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.” And the Lord put a mark on Cain, lest any who found him should attack him. 16 Then Cain went away from the presence of the Lord and settled in the land of Nod,[b] east of Eden. 

These verses make it crystal clear that Cain was afraid for his life because he feels that if he wanders over the earth, someone might find him and kill him. How is that possible if Adam had only two sons? Boom! He had more sons and daughters after ‘Cain and Abel’. This leads us to the conclusion that Cain married one of his sisters, niece, aunt or Adam’s grand daughter. Wasn’t that easy? Yes, although it might not be easy at first instance but follow this principle whenever you find yourself at a dead end : Read a verse in light of the paragraph, a paragraph in light of the chapter, the chapter in light of the whole book, the whole book in light of the testament and the testament in light of the other testament. By doing so, you will find such riches of wisdom and knowledge in the scriptures which are truly inspired by our Lord. Not only it will solve your doubts, it will help you grow in His knowledge which in turn will lead you to love Him more. We need to love Him to know Him and know Him to love Him. Let me end this one with a quote from the great St. Augustine from his Confessions:

“Grant me, O Lord, to know and understand whether first to invoke thee or to praise thee; whether first to know thee or call upon thee. But who can invoke thee as another than thou art. It may be that we should invoke thee in order that we may come to know thee..”

In Christ,

Enan Christian

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