Cain and Seth’s Wives

By Wayne Spencer

    One of the most common questions about creation and the Bible is regarding Cain.  “Where did Cain get his wife?”  The short answer would be that Cain married a relative, possibly a sister.  But to understand this we can consider Seth and some things about our genetics.  The descendants of Adam and Eve’s third son, Seth, are listed in Genesis chapter 5.  In that chapter it says Seth became the father of Enosh when he was 105 years old.  Enosh is probably the first born son (of Seth).  It also says in Genesis 5:7 that Seth lived a total of 807 years.  We are not told how long Cain lived.  After murdering his brother, Cain moved away from Adam and Eve to an area called Nod.  

    Cain and Seth had a problem getting married that single men today do not have.  They had to wait for women to be born and grow up!  So if Seth and Cain would have had lifespans like us today it may not have been feasible for them to get married before they were too old to have children.  But since Seth lived to be over 800, I think we can assume Cain had a long lifespan as well. Thus, Cain and Seth had plenty of time to get married, but they had to wait for some years.  They could have married a sister, or possibly a cousin. We don’t know how many children Adam and Eve had but it could have been many.

    Why was it ok for Cain and Seth to marry sisters?  First, the Law of Moses was not in force at the time of Adam and Eve, so apparently God did not forbid it.  Second, considering genetics, at that time early in the history of the human race, there would have been few mutations and so genetic disease from mutations would have been unlikely.  Just because it was acceptable for Seth and Cain to marry a close relative does not make it a good practice for today.  Today it could lead to genetic disease or deformities in the children.


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