Bible Trivia

Who was Cain’s wife?

Cain & Abel

Your Bible trivia questions answered by Phil Logos...

Who was Cain’s wife?

The question of Cain’s wife has puzzled Bible scholars, theologians, and readers alike for centuries. Found in the early chapters of Genesis, the story of Cain and Abel introduces us to the first murder and its aftermath. While the Bible explicitly mentions Abel’s death and Cain’s exile, it does not provide any information about Cain’s wife. To shed light on this enigma, we will dive into the biblical text, explore interesting trivia, and speculate on the possible identity of Cain’s wife.


Before embarking on our quest, it is essential to understand the context of the story. The book of Genesis details the creation of the world and the establishment of God’s covenant with humanity. Among the early humans are Adam and Eve, who are disobedient and, as a result, experience the consequences of sin. Their children, Cain and Abel, are born outside of the Garden of Eden, and it is through their story that we begin to see the effects of sin on humanity.

The Story of Cain and Abel (Genesis 4:1-16)

Cain and Abel were the first sons of Adam and Eve. Abel was a shepherd, and Cain was a farmer. They both offered sacrifices to God, but God favoured Abel’s offering over Cain’s. Filled with jealousy, Cain murdered his brother, Abel. God punished Cain by cursing the ground he worked on and sentencing him to a life of wandering. Cain expressed his fear that he would be killed by others, but God promised to protect him by placing a mark on him.

Cain’s Wife (Genesis 4:17)

Cain eventually settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden. There, he had a son named Enoch and built a city named after him. The Bible states, “Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch” (Genesis 4:17). This verse is the only mention of Cain’s wife, and her identity remains a mystery.

Speculation 1 – A Sister or Close Relative

One possible answer to the question of Cain’s wife is that she was a sister or close relative. While the Bible does not mention any daughters born to Adam and Eve, it states, “After he begot Seth, the days of Adam were eight hundred years; and he had sons and daughters” (Genesis 5:4). Considering that Adam and Eve were the first humans, their offspring would have been the only available partners for marriage. In this case, Cain may have married one of his sisters or nieces.

While marrying close relatives may seem shocking by today’s standards, it is important to remember that cultural and societal norms have evolved over time. Additionally, the Mosaic Law, which prohibited marriages between close relatives (Leviticus 18:6-18), was not established until many generations later.

Trivia: The longevity of early humans in the Bible, such as Adam living for 930 years (Genesis 5:5), allowed for many generations of offspring to be produced. This increased population would have provided a larger pool of potential spouses for Cain.

Speculation 2 – A Descendant of Pre-Adamite Humans:

Another theory is that Cain’s wife was a descendant of pre-Adamite humans, a group of people who may have existed before Adam and Eve. While the Bible does not directly mention pre-Adamite humans, some scholars believe that there may be hints of their existence in the text. Proponents of this theory argue that Cain’s fear of being killed by others (Genesis 4:14) suggests the presence of other people outside of Adam’s family.

However, this theory is not widely accepted, as the Bible presents Adam and Eve as the first humans created by God (Genesis 1:26-27, 2:7, 2:21-22). Those who subscribe to a literal interpretation of the Bible generally do not support the idea of pre-Adamite humans.

Speculation 3 – A Wife from a Parallel Lineage:

A third hypothesis suggests that Cain’s wife could have been from a parallel lineage, separate from Adam and Eve. Some scholars believe that the creation story in Genesis 1:26-27 refers to a separate group of humans created by God, while the story of Adam and Eve in Genesis 2:7, 2:21-22 pertains to a specific lineage. In this case, Cain’s wife could have been a descendant of the broader group of humans created in Genesis 1. However, this interpretation is not without controversy, as many believe that the two creation accounts refer to the same event from different perspectives.

The identity of Cain’s wife remains an enigma, with multiple theories offering possible explanations. It is essential to remember that the Bible is a complex and nuanced text, and some aspects may be open to interpretation. As we continue to explore this fascinating question, we must approach it with curiosity, humility, and respect for the biblical text and the millennia of theological inquiry that have sought to understand its mysteries.