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Whence Cain’s Wife?

Question

I have a question regarding the first two chapters in Genesis. In Genesis 1:26, we read “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over ALL the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.”

Then in Genesis 2:7, we read, “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul,” and verse 8, “,..and there he put the man whom he had formed (in Eden).” Can I be correct in saying that in the first chapter, God first made a man to have dominion over all the earth (otherwise, how can we explain when Cain was “driven out” [Genesis 4] and found a wife in Nod, there had to be other men on the earth), then in Genesis 2, God made Adam and Eve, our first parents, and placed them in the Garden of Eden?

Answer

If I understand your question, you are asking whether you can maintain that a man was created different from Adam as recorded in Genesis 1. Next, that Adam and Eve were created as our first parents as recorded for us in Genesis 2 as a different creation than is recorded in chapter 1. The basis for this contention being that when Cain was cast out of the garden he found a wife in Nod, giving evidence that other men were found there.

The short answer is no, this cannot be. Now the explanation must follow. In the first place we must understand that Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 are two accounts of the same creation, the latter being given to further explain the former. That they indeed speak of the one creation of God is plain from several things. The first thing we may say is the fact that at the end of the sixth day God ceased His creation work. Genesis 1:31-2:2 “And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.” This makes clear that all was created, made during the six days of this creation. This includes Adam and Eve. This is clear also from the fact that Genesis 2 continues what was told us in Genesis 1. The heavens and the earth were finished and all the host of them, and God ended his work which he had made.

Next, verses three and four of the second chapter make it clear that now the Scripture speaks of that which was done and recorded for us during the creation week. It explains that God placed the plants and creatures in the earth, and that there was no man to till the ground. The Scripture now shows how God created Adam and Eve on the sixth day. This is further definition of that which God did, and explains further how Adam and Eve were made in the image of God, that they may walk as His covenant servants in the creation that He had made, serving God in the dominion that He gave to them over the creation. Further, that it was in the sixth day that Adam and Eve were created is evident from the fifth chapter where we read, “Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created,” verse 2.

Now with respect to Cain and his wife. It is not true that Cain found his wife in Nod, the Scripture does not say this, nor does it imply it. What the Scripture does say is the following found in Genesis 4:17 “And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch: and he builded a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son, Enoch.” The Scripture uses the term “knew” to indicate the coming in of husband to wife that she might conceive and bear a child. It was undoubtedly the case that Cain took with him his wife and children, and others of his household when he was forced of God to be a vagabond and sent out from the people of God. He and his wife bear other children namely those named in this chapter, as well as others.

All of mankind came out of Adam and Eve. There would be a two-fold seed, one the seed of the woman with whom God established His covenant in Christ. The other would be the seed of the serpent of which was Cain and much of his offspring. Cf. Genesis 3:15.

I trust that this will help.

Remember to write your questions to me at revmo@mtc.mtcnet.net. Also feel free to write follow up questions.