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Who Was Cain's Wife?
By Voy Wilks

The question is often asked, “Who was Cain’s wife”? Adam and Eve were the very first and the only humans created; therefore, they were the first ever to exist on planet earth (Genesis 2:7; Romans 5:12-21; 1 Corinthians 15:45-47; 1 Timothy 2:13). Since Cain was the first child born to Adam and Eve, he was the third human to live on the earth. Scriptures reveal that Adam lived 930 years, during which time he and Eve had other sons and daughters, as well as Cain, Abel and Seth (Genesis 5:4- 5). This being true, the answer to the above question is obvious: Cain married his sister, or his niece. Obviously, this was Yahweh’s plan, else He would have made other arrangements.
Some have speculated that Adam and Eve may have had only a few children. Not so. We must not forget that Eve’s conception was greatly multiplied (Genesis 3:16). This being true, it is possible that Eve became the mother of hundreds of children, both sons and daughters. During Adam’s 900 years, other couples (his descendants) were also multiplying in great numbers as well. Evidently, Seth was not the third child. If he was, Eve’s conception would not have increased very much, because Adam was 130 years old before Seth was born (Genesis 5:3). Many other sons and daughters were almost surely born to Adam and Eve in the meantime.
Speaking of Eve’s conception having been multiplied, it is interesting to note that human mothers are the only mothers who produce a second, third, fourth, even a fifth offspring before the first is able to care for himself. Among other mammals, the first offspring, although not fully mature, is usually old enough to make his own way before another sibling arrives. Even among mammals who produce litters, as in dogs, the puppies of each litter are able to care for themselves before mom produces another litter. This indicates the truth of Yahweh’s pronouncement that Eve’s conception was greatly multiplied. Some have objected, however, that for Cain, Abel and Seth to marry their sisters (or their nieces) was incest, because it is written in the Law of Moses that a man must not “approach to any that is near of kin to him, to uncover their nakedness” (Leviticus 18:6). This includes a sister, among others (Leviticus 18:9).
Let me point out, however, that it was not against the Law of Moses for a man to go in to his wife; a woman to whom he was married. As long as he was not married to his sister, he must not go in to her. This was true of all women, whether she was a relative or not. It is against the Law of Yahweh for a man to go in to a woman–ANY woman—unless he is married to her.
Once publicly married to a sister, she was then his WIFE, therefore he could legally go in to her. Being a wife gave both of them privileges they did not have before hand. If marrying a close relative is incest, then some of our most noted Biblical characters were grievous sinners. However, the following considerations reveal it was lawful and proper to marry close relatives. Please notice the following examples:
* Abraham, father of the Faithful, the “friend of Yahweh,” married his half-sister (Genesis 20:12; 26:5).
* Isaac married Rebekah, a close relative {his cousin} (Genesis 24:4, 15, 24). Yahweh Himself arranged this marriage (Genesis 24:10-15, 48-50).
* Jacob married his cousins, Leah and Rachel (Genesis 29:15-29).
* Amram took to wife Jochebed, his father’s sister (Exodus 6:20). This was Moses’ father and mother. Yet the Law of Yahweh says a man must not uncover the nakedness of his father’s sister, for she is his near kinswoman (Leviticus 18:6, 12, 14). Marriage made it legal to do so.
* Caleb gave his daughter (Achsah) to her first cousin as a wife (Judges 1:13).
* After the universal flood, Noah’s grandsons had no choice but to marry sisters, nieces or cousins. The second and third generations also were obligated to marry close relatives (Genesis 10:32). Obviously, this was Yahweh’s plan, else He would have made other arrangements.
* Tamar, David’s daughter, was willing to marry Amon, her half-brother (2 Samuel 13:11-14). But
someone may say, “She acted under duress, so this means nothing.” Wrong. She was indeed acting under duress, but she also knew the difference between incest, and an honorable marriage. She said to Amon, “Speak unto the king [David] for he will not withhold me from thee” [in marriage]. If marriage to a sister was also incest, her situation would not have been improved by marriage. Incest was not normally done in Israel, but marriage to a sister was proper.
* Yahshua the Messiah is a Child (a Son) of Yahweh. We, too, are children of Yahweh (Galatians 3:26, 29; Hebrews 2:11-14), so this makes Yahshua our brother. Nevertheless, in a symbolic sense, the Assembly is pictured as the bride of Yahshua; as His wife (Ephesians 5:21-33); and a marriage ceremony is pictured for a future time (Matthew 25:1-13; Revelation 19:6-9). These parables tend to indicate that marriage to a close relative was acceptable, otherwise other parables would, no doubt, have been used to indicate our close relationship to the Messiah.

The Law

It has been said that the Law of Moses had not yet been given in the ancient days of Abraham and Amram, therefore there was no law against incest. Wrong again. Abraham obeyed Yahweh’s voice, kept His charge, His commandments, statutes, and His laws (Genesis 26:5). Yahweh’s laws have existed from the beginning, but in Moses’ day, they were given as a written code—by Yahweh, the Most High El. Are we to believe that, in ancient times, unmarried brothers and sisters could indulge fully (or occasionally) in the mating act with each other with no restrictions? Certainly, not.
Laws of decency have existed from the very beginning. This is why Adam and Eve were told, For this cause [marriage] a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh (Genesis 2:24).
Mating between a man and a woman who are not married to each other is adultery (fornication), and has been so since the very beginning.
Mating between close relatives (male and female) who are not married to each other is incest. It is also adultery (fornication), and has been illegal (sinful) since the very beginning.
Mating between people of the same sex is adultery (fornication), and therefore is forbidden by the Law of Moses (the Law of Yahweh), and by all decent societies. It has been so since the very beginning. Among males, this is sodomy; among females, this is lesbianism; either of which is an abomination in the sight of Yahweh, and in all decent societies.
Yahweh’s Law forbids mating with anyone to whom a person is not married. However, His Law does not forbid marriage to a sister, an aunt, or a niece. Now that U.S. laws forbid this, it is unlawful for any U.S. citizen to marry a close relative. Yahweh’s Law requires us to abide by the laws of our land in such cases (Romans 13:1).
Cain, however, lived before any U.S. laws were made, therefore it was lawful for him to have married his sister or a niece. Obviously, this is what he did. He did not have an aunt.
By the Word of Yahweh (the Law of Yahweh), the daughters of Zelophehad of the tribe of Joseph were to marry within the family of their father’s tribe (Numbers 36:5-9), therefore these five women married the sons of their father’s brother (their first cousins) (Numbers 36:10). No incest here. Marriage made the difference.


A dead man’s brother was required by Yahweh’s Law to marry the dead man’s widow (his sister-in-law) (Deuteronomy 25:5-10; Luke 20:28); yet the Law of Yahweh prohibits a man from “uncovering his brother’s wife’s nakedness” (Leviticus 18:6, 16; 20:21). In the first instance, there was a legal marriage, as in the case of Ruth the Moabite. In the second instance, there was adultery and incest. Marriage made the difference. It should be noted that Onan was not slain because he married his dead brother’s wife (his duty), but because he refused to father a child for his dead brother (Genesis 38:8-10).


We should keep in mind that, to marry close relatives today, even if the laws of our nation allowed this, creates the danger of hereditary degeneration. However, this was not the case in early history. Yahweh made the genetic templates of Adam and Eve (and of Mr. & Mrs. Noah) so perfect that no significant degeneration of the genes took place until later, evidently.
Again, incest is sexual relations between close relatives who are not married to each other. According to Yahweh’s Law, if close relatives (cousins, aunts, uncles) were legally married to each other, then sexual relations were proper, and the bed undefiled.
NOTE: Yahweh’s Law apparently does not allow marriage between in-line ancestry (i.e. father/daughter) or descent. At least we seem to have no approved examples of this.

Cain's wife: Addendum
By Voy Wilks

It seems that some have overlooked the major points which I made in the presentation entitled, "Who Was Cain's Wife?" So, for your consideration, I enclosed the following explanatory addendum.

(1) To marry a close relative in the USA (at least in Texas), is illegal, so don't do it.
(2)Genetic degeneration is so rampant today, it is foolish to marry a close relative, so don't do it for this reason as well.
(3)A point I did not make, but should have made: in the Western World, it is repulsive even to think of marrying a close relative.

Adam & Eve

Yahweh created only one man and one woman. In fact, Eve was taken from Adam's side. This is almost a clone, much closer to Adam than a sister. And what happened? "And Yahweh Elohim ... brought her to the man. Then the man said "This at last is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh she shall be called woman" (Genesis 2:22,23 RSV). Very close kin, yet this was Yahweh's plan and deed. He made no mistake.

Abraham & Sarah

Abraham, the "friend of Yahweh," did not have a choice. Twice Abraham made his plans. Twice Yahweh refused both plans:

(1) Abraham planned to make an heir of his servant, Eliezer, but Yahweh refused this. The heir was to come from Abraham's own body (Genesis 15:1-4).
(2) Abraham planned to make Ishmael his heir, but again Yahweh refused. Sarah was to bear a son who was to become Abraham's heir (Genesis 17:15-19).
* Yahweh could have chose any man on earth to whom he would entrust the plan of salvation. But no. From the millions on earth, he chose Abraham, a man who was married to his (half) sister.
* Yahweh could have chosen any woman from among millions to be mother of the heir. But no. He chose Sarah, a woman married to her (half) brother.
* He could have chosen Hagar to be the mother of the faithful. But no. He chose Sarah.
* Yahweh could have chosen Abraham's wife Keturah, to be the mother of the faithful. But no. He chose Sarah. No one else would do.
* Yahweh could have chosen Ishmael to be the heir. But no, He chose Isaac, son of a woman who was married to her (half) brother.
* The Most High had many years in which to have chosen a "fitting" family to bring forth an heir. Of all the millions on earth, he chose a brother-sister team; Abraham and Sarah.
* Yahweh's choice; Sarah, to bring forth an heir: a child of promise (Gal. 4:22-23).
* Yahweh made no mistake.

Isaac & Rebekah

Of the millions of women on planet earth, Yahweh Himself chose Rebekah, Isaac's first cousin, as a wife for Isaac (Gen. 24:4, 10, 15, 4, 48-50). Are we to say Yahweh made a mistake in doing so--that He broke His own law in doing so?

The Universal Flood

The Most High El planned beforehand that all human life would be destroyed in the waters of the flood, except the eight members of Noah's family (Gen. 6:7-14, 7:4). This happened. "And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, birds, cattle, beast, all swarming things, ... and EVERY MAN; everything on the dry land in whose nostrils was the breath of life DIED. He blotted out every living thing that was upon the face of the ground, MAN and animals and creeping things and birds of the air; they were blotted out from the face of the earth. ONLY NOAH WAS LEFT, and those who were with him in the ark" (Gen. 7:21-23).

Once the flood was over, all humans were dead except Noah and his family. Only eight persons were left alive to repopulate the earth (Gen. 8:15-18; 9:1, 11; 1 Peter 3:20). There were no women on earth except Noah's descendants. His sons, grandsons and great grandsons had to marry Noah;'s daughters, granddaughters and great granddaughters - all close relatives.

There was no other way. Did Yahweh make a mistake? No.

Brother - Sister

Someone stated that even though a man might have a wedding ceremony and marry his sister, she was "still his sister," therefore they became guilty of incest, thus breaking the Law of Yahweh. It is true--she would "still be his sister," just as Sarah was still Abraham's sister. But the difference is, the marriage vows would over-ride the "brother-sister" relationship, making it thoroughly legal to mate.

The reason incest laws were given was not for the purpose of preventing a man from legally marrying his sister. Instead, these laws were given to prevent the breakdown of the family. Yahweh did not want the family to take on the environment of a brothel in which all the males enjoyed the favors of all the females. This is indicated in the Scriptures. "Do not profane your daughter by making her a harlot, lest the land fall into harlotry and the land become full of wickedness" (Lev. 19:29).

What the objector's to my paper need is a law of Yahweh, which says no man can marry his sister or any close relative. But we have no such law.

The Daughters of Zelophehad

Yahweh decreed that the daughters of Zelophehad "must marry within their own tribe," so they married first cousins (Nu. 36:5-9). This was a decree of Yahweh showing that those marriage vows change the relationship from brother-sister, cousin to cousin to that of "man and wife." It was perfectly legal, because Yahweh decreed it. Who can cancel the law of Yahweh?


My paper suggest that, even though Yahweh's law forbids mating between brother and sister, it was not incest if marriage took place beforehand. Marriage made the difference.

A counter proposal was then made. If homosexuals would only marry, that to, would have been acceptable. Not so. Homosexuals were to be executed as soon as they were discovered (Lev. 20:13); therefore, there would have been no opportunity for the marriage. This is not a valid consideration.

"Marriage: The stae of being married; a legal contract, entered into by a man and a woman, to live together as husband and wife ..." - Reader's Digest Great Encyclopedia Dictionary.

"Wife: A woman joined to a man in wedlock ...." (Ibid).

Yahweh brought a woman to Adam, not another man (Gen. 2:22,23).

The Levirate Law

Someone pointed out that a man who married his dead brother's widow followed a normal and acceptable procedure in any society, ancient or modern. This is true, of course. But the woman was still his sister-in-law; therefore to uncover her nakedness would have been against Yahweh's law, except that marriage made the difference. It is a bit humorous to note the double standard. Here, marriage makes it acceptable for a man to go into his sister-in-law. Above, however, marriage makes no difference: "She is still his sister." (Smile).


I had two motives in presenting this paper, "Who Was Cain's Wife?"

(1) According to Scriptures, Cain, of necessity, had to marry his sister or his niece. There were no other choices.
(2)The ancient Saints did no wrong in marrying close relatives. Some (Abraham for example) obeyed the voice of Yahweh, kept His charge, His commandments, His statutes and His laws (Gen. 26:5). Who can improve on that?

What I did not do was to encourage brother-sister marriages in our society today. In fact, I spoke against this. Anyway, this is repulsive to the Western mind.

We see that some of the marriages noted above were arranged by Yahweh Himself, so condemnation of the ancient Saints is unacceptable.

Voy Wilks

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Articles By Voy Wilks