WHO WAS CAIN’S WIFE?
Reading lightly the narrative of the first humans on Earth, we seem to get the first impression that Cain and Abel were the first children that Adam and Eve had, and that after Cain’s death, Seth was the next child of our first parents. And the question rises, who then became Cain’s wife? (Genesis 4:17).
CAIN AND ABEL WERE NOT THE FIRST CHILDREN
We wrongly assume that Cain and Abel were the first children that Adam and Eve had. But looking carefully into the text, we can see that this is not the case:
“Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have gotten a man with the help of the LORD.” And again, she bore his brother Abel.”
The text only indicates the birth of two sons, who will be the protagonists of this story, the first human fratricide, but nowhere it suggests that they were the only ones, not even the first two males.
Furthermore, if only Cain and Abel existed, why would Cain worry about being killed by ‘whoever finds him’?
It is obvious that Adam and Eve had other children, male and female, long before they had Cain and Abel, and that they procreated a small number of families before Cain and Abel were adults. In fact, it is impossible that Adam had lived with Eve for 130 years, and had only produced two children (Genesis 5:3).
WHO WAS THEN CAIN’S WIFE?
Adam and Eve must have had a large number of children long before the birth of Cain and Abel, and they must have reproduced among themselves and created towns and tribes long before the first murder took place.
Therefore, the retaliation that Cain feared could come from brothers, and nephews who would be indignant for the crime Cain committed.
As a consequence, Cain’s wife was most probably a younger niece.
WHAT ABOUT SETH?
Now, if Cain and Abel were not the only ones, why then Eve said:
“God has appointed for me another offspring instead of Abel, for Cain killed him.”
This declaration does not cancel the fact that Adam and Eve had other offspring before Cain and Abel, but only that Seth was born right after Abel was killed, becoming the next male child that Eve took as a replacement of his beloved Abel.