In Genesis 4 : 16,17 it is said that Cain settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden and that he knew his wife and had a son named Enoch. There are speculations that his wife was one of his sisters since it was not unlawful to marry one’s sister. But there are theories that say that there were other people outside of Eden. Is this true? If so, who were they and what was their origin?
@ChristineAnne I think that in the case of Cain’s wife we can apply a fundamental principle of studying the Bible - interpret the less clear texts in light of the clearer ones. If we read Genesis 1-3 it is clear that Adam and Eve were the first man and woman and that all people descended from them - Eve is ‘the mother of all living’ and Eve was created because it was not good for Adam to be alone. Also, Paul’s argument about death spreading to all men through Adam is most logical if Adam was indeed the first man. Jesus also referenced Genesis in Matthew 19:4-5, building his argument for marriage upon it, which indicates the hermeneutic approach that He took.
Romans 5:12 - Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned…For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!
Naturally people wonder if other humans existed because of (1) Cain’s wife and (2) how all people could descend from only 2 individuals. Some Connect threads addressing each of these topics are provided below. You are apparently already aware of the theory that Cain married a relative, since it was not prohibited at the time. Christ grant you wisdom
@ChristineAnne There are a few different views of the ‘sons of God’ and ‘daughters of men’ in this passage.
the sons of God were godly men of the line of Seth (descendants of godly men) and the daughters of men were women of the line of Cain - the intermarriage resulted in the spread of evil so that eventually only Noah and his family were left
the sons of God were evil spiritual beings and the daughters of men were human women
Those are the two main views - the articles below go through in a bit more detail. Personally, I find the line of Seth argument the most reasonable, though I can see why people might think they were divine beings (the heavenly council in Job is called the ‘sons of God’).
When we consider the context of this text we can better understand what Moses is explaining. In previous chapters we are given a glimpse of two competing lines, the godly line of Seth and the wicked line of Cain. Having established the antithesis in the garden, after affirming that there would be a constant struggle between the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent we are given snapshot pictures of each of these armies. We see Seth’s line about the business of exercising dominion, in submission to the Lord. We see Cain’s line dishonoring the law of God and making names for themselves. But the future is not mere co-existence between the two lines. The drama builds toward the great crisis of Noah’s flood right here in chapter 6. The great change, what creates the great downward spiral of humanity on the earth is that the two lines come together as one. That is, the godly line of Seth, the sons of God, seeing how attractive are the daughters of men, the wicked line of Cain, decide to take them as wives. The end result, however, isn’t mere dilution. It’s not that the now joined line becomes morally lukewarm, but that evil spreads, grows, deepens. This shouldn’t surprise as for as Chuck Swindoll reminds us, if you drop a white glove in the mud, the mud doesn’t get all glovey.
The angels view also assumes that angels can have sexual relations with female humans. Bruce Waltke points out, however, “This interpretation…contradicts Jesus’ statement that angels do not marry (Matt. 22:30; Mark 12:25). It is one thing for angels to eat and drink (see Gen. 19:1–3), but quite another to marry and reproduce.”2 Some interpreters respond that Jesus was referring only to the marriage contract and not to the marriage bed, but this makes Jesus’ statement nonsensical in its own context. Jesus was responding to the question about having a marital relation resulting in children, and He clearly denied that heavenly angels can have sexual relations.