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Q I have a friend who is having trouble with the Bible because she can not find where Cain got his wife, and where the people in the city of Nod came from (Gen. 4:16, 17).  

A Where Cain got his wife from is one of my most frequent Bible questions. A couple of observations will clear this up. First of all, Adam and Eve had already been expelled from the Garden of Eden by the time they had Cain and Abel. Then, the Bible doesn’t say how old Cain was when he killed Abel or when he married. But Gen. 4:14 says that Cain was afraid other people would kill him. So there were other people by that time. How? After Adam and Eve had Seth, their third son, according to Genesis 5:4, they had other sons and daughters. Adam lived 930 years so he could have fathered a lot of sons and daughters before Cain married. Several million people could have been born by the time Adam died. Cain might not have been the first to marry, either. Of course, at first brother would have had to marry sister. But the gene pool would not have been corrupted yet and presumably this would not have caused problems. Later, God had to forbid marriage between siblings because the gene pool would have been deteriorating.

At any rate, Cain eventually married one of his sisters, or nieces, or whatever. Notice it doesn’t say he took his wife in the land of Nod. “Cain...dwelt in the land of Nod...And Cain knew his wife and she conceived....” He could have married her before he got to Nod. Not that that matters—if he waited two or three hundred years he would have had thousands of sisters or even nieces to choose from—and they may have been in the land of Nod. The people in the land of Nod came from the same place Cain’s wife did—they were descendants of Adam and Eve. Again, 900 years is a lot of time for people to be born and marry.


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