Problem: Cain's wife comes out of nowhere
Verses: Genesis 4:17; Status: Weak

According to Genesis, Adam and Eve were the first humans on Earth, and they had two sons, Cain and Abel. But Cain promptly murdered Abel, so we're left with three people on Earth at this point. Yet this is Genesis 4:17:

Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch. When he built a city, he called the name of the city after the name of his son, Enoch. (ESV)

So who's his wife? It can't be Eve, surely, and no other women have been mentioned yet.

But I don't regard this problem as particularly impressive. Although no other women have been mentioned yet, that doesn't mean there weren't any. A later verse (5:4) tells us that Adam had several daughters, so presumably Cain's wife would have been one of them.

It is however a bit annoying that the text isn't a bit clearer on this point.

Updated: 2008-11-26

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