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  #1  
Old Jul 10, '09, 4:21 am
Th0t Th0t is offline
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Smile Where Did Cain and Seth's Wives Come From?

My girlfriend asked me that question after reading the first four chapters of Genesis. After Adam and Eve's creation. She asked "If Adam and Eve were the only people on Earth, where did Cain and Seth's wives come from?"

Stumped here lol I told her maybe God created them too, but she said it's not in the Bible and I told her don't be so Protestant >.< (no pun intended). She's just starting to learn about our Faith and I'm trying to help her with as much as I know. She likes the forum also to learn.


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  #2  
Old Jul 10, '09, 4:50 am
Todd Easton Todd Easton is offline
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Default Re: Where Did Cain and Seth's Wives Come From?

We don't know for sure but Genesis 5:4 indicates that, besides Cain and Abel and Seth, Adam and Eve "had other sons and daughters." So, presumably, Cain and Seth were permitted to take wives from among these unnamed daughters of Adam, their sisters. Later, when the human population was more numerous, marriages between such close relations were prohibited.
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  #3  
Old Jul 10, '09, 7:12 am
cerad cerad is offline
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Default Re: Where Did Cain and Seth's Wives Come From?

The story of Adam and Eve is just make believe. Supposed to teach some sort of lesson. So tell your girlfriend not to ask those sorts of questions. Instead, look for deeper meanings such as talking to serpents is generally a bad idea.
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  #4  
Old Jul 10, '09, 7:28 am
1ke 1ke is offline
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Default Re: Where Did Cain and Seth's Wives Come From?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Th0t View Post
My girlfriend asked me that question after reading the first four chapters of Genesis. After Adam and Eve's creation. She asked "If Adam and Eve were the only people on Earth, where did Cain and Seth's wives come from?"

Stumped here lol I told her maybe God created them too, but she said it's not in the Bible and I told her don't be so Protestant >.< (no pun intended). She's just starting to learn about our Faith and I'm trying to help her with as much as I know. She likes the forum also to learn.


They married their sisters.
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ke's universal disclaimer: In my posts, when I post about marriage, canon law, or sacraments I am talking about Latin Rite only, not the Orthodox and Eastern Rites. These are exceptions that confuse the issue and I am not talking about those.
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  #5  
Old Jul 10, '09, 7:41 am
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wmscott wmscott is offline
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Default Re: Where Did Cain and Seth's Wives Come From?

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Originally Posted by cerad View Post
The story of Adam and Eve is just make believe. Supposed to teach some sort of lesson. So tell your girlfriend not to ask those sorts of questions. Instead, look for deeper meanings such as talking to serpents is generally a bad idea.
What is wrong in asking a question? I have in the past wondered and speculated about this myself. Your response seems a little condescending and your dismissal of her question seems a little belittling.
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  #6  
Old Jul 10, '09, 8:16 am
cerad cerad is offline
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Default Re: Where Did Cain and Seth's Wives Come From?

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What is wrong in asking a question? I have in the past wondered and speculated about this myself. Your response seems a little condescending and your dismissal of her question seems a little belittling.
It's because she would be basically questioning God, which is generally considered a bad thing. God effectively wrote the bible and the fact that God left such an obvious question unaddressed means that it should be considered a mystery and not discussed further.
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  #7  
Old Jul 10, '09, 8:26 am
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buffalo buffalo is offline
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Default Re: Where Did Cain and Seth's Wives Come From?

Read the Book of Jubilees - it is not canonical, but may give some insight.
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  #8  
Old Jul 10, '09, 8:38 am
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wmscott wmscott is offline
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Default Re: Where Did Cain and Seth's Wives Come From?

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Originally Posted by cerad View Post
It's because she would be basically questioning God, which is generally considered a bad thing. God effectively wrote the bible and the fact that God left such an obvious question unaddressed means that it should be considered a mystery and not discussed further.
Where did you come up with this? She is not questions God; she is trying to understand Sacred Scripture. By your logic, this is why there are so many personal interpretations of Sacred Scripture out there. However, understanding and knowledge starts with asking a question. She is not challenging the word of God, just trying to understand.
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  #9  
Old Jul 10, '09, 9:50 am
Prayer_Warrior Prayer_Warrior is offline
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Default Re: Where Did Cain and Seth's Wives Come From?

They married their sisters.

Keep in mind that incest is only a sin, if it is offensive to God. In fact, anything is only a sin if it is offensive to God. Since God created man in His image and likeness beginning with one man and one woman and He told them to go forth and multiply then we can assume that at that point in time incest was permitted. In fact, we see incest in the marriage of Abraham. Sarah was his half sister.

We can only guess that in those early days, incestuous relationships did not bring harm to humanity. God would not have permitted it otherwise. Possibly God protected offspring from any genetic harm until there was a substantial population or possibly it was the fact that Adam and Eve were genetically pure and it took several centuries to pollute that purity. Be that as it may, there came a point in time when God forbid incest for our own good. That came with Mosaic law. Up until that time, it was not forbidden.
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  #10  
Old Jul 10, '09, 12:34 pm
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wmscott wmscott is offline
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Default Re: Where Did Cain and Seth's Wives Come From?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Th0t View Post
My girlfriend asked me that question after reading the first four chapters of Genesis. After Adam and Eve's creation. She asked "If Adam and Eve were the only people on Earth, where did Cain and Seth's wives come from?"

Stumped here lol I told her maybe God created them too, but she said it's not in the Bible and I told her don't be so Protestant >.< (no pun intended). She's just starting to learn about our Faith and I'm trying to help her with as much as I know. She likes the forum also to learn.


What ever you do, please encourage her to keep asking questions
is RCIA in the future?
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  #11  
Old Jul 10, '09, 6:18 pm
Gottle of Geer Gottle of Geer is offline
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Default Re: Where Did Cain and Seth's Wives Come From?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Th0t View Post
My girlfriend asked me that question after reading the first four chapters of Genesis. After Adam and Eve's creation. She asked "If Adam and Eve were the only people on Earth, where did Cain and Seth's wives come from?"

Stumped here lol I told her maybe God created them too, but she said it's not in the Bible and I told her don't be so Protestant >.< (no pun intended).
## The problem is, that Cain and Seth are. Both had children, so unless male biology was different from what it now is, the children have to have a human mother: if the passage is taken as historical fact, there must have been at least one woman involved - so:
  • they might have had children by committing bestiality
  • Eve could have been the mother of both sets of children
  • they might have had children by demons or angels in human form
  • their children might have grown up out of the ground
  • Seth & Cain are the same person, & their children have similar names because they are same people as those they sound like
There are very serious problems with all these ideas. Somehow, these two humans have to find equally human mothers for their children. At least one wwoman has to be found - theoretically, they could have married the same woman in turn.

If Seth & Cain have offspring - there is at least one set of offspring in need of a parent other than the father, & to ask who that is, far from being "Protestant", is a perfectly fair question, which arises from the statements of the text when they ate taken as telling the actions of really-existing people. Which is not the way to take those statements, because they are not giving biographical info, but telling a story; which is a true story, but not true as history.
Quote:
She's just starting to learn about our Faith and I'm trying to help her with as much as I know. She likes the forum also to learn.


## They are fictions - so they didn't come from anywhere. Seeing this means we are freed from the burden of having to explain how a holy God could permit incest; and then decide it was a bad thing after all. Otherwise the patriarchs would have been in-bred, with what that implies. And if God can permit incest - other things now forbidden can be equally permissible
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  #12  
Old Jul 10, '09, 6:31 pm
AJTheMan AJTheMan is offline
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Default Re: Where Did Cain and Seth's Wives Come From?

The stories in genesis are not to be taken literally. They are an allegory of God's love for us.
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  #13  
Old Jul 10, '09, 6:45 pm
lopezby lopezby is offline
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Default Re: Where Did Cain and Seth's Wives Come From?

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The stories in genesis are not to be taken literally. They are an allegory of God's love for us.

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  #14  
Old Jul 10, '09, 7:22 pm
NFrancis NFrancis is offline
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Default Re: Where Did Cain and Seth's Wives Come From?

The Catholic Church does not really have much doctrine over how humans came to be. I think it is doctrine that Adam and Eve were real people and we all descend from them. I'm not exactly sure. We must believe that whatever happened God was involved in the process. It may just be symbolic in some ways or it may be true. The Church is okay with belief in evolution guided by God.

Here is what could of happened. Humanoids could of evolved from smaller creatures. They had no soul until God decided to put the first two souls in people. Adam and Eve were the first two people with souls. They had children and there children could mate with the humanoids with no souls. Then there children would have sous and the process keeps going on until all of them had souls.

I honestly don't know what I believe and I don't really think it matters that much. I do know that God had a part in it. Other than that it's just a mystery.
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  #15  
Old Jul 10, '09, 11:04 pm
Prayer_Warrior Prayer_Warrior is offline
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Default Re: Where Did Cain and Seth's Wives Come From?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gottle of Geer View Post
## The problem is, that Cain and Seth are. Both had children, so unless male biology was different from what it now is, the children have to have a human mother: if the passage is taken as historical fact, there must have been at least one woman involved - so:
  • they might have had children by committing bestiality
  • Eve could have been the mother of both sets of children
  • they might have had children by demons or angels in human form
  • their children might have grown up out of the ground
  • Seth & Cain are the same person, & their children have similar names because they are same people as those they sound like
There are very serious problems with all these ideas. Somehow, these two humans have to find equally human mothers for their children. At least one wwoman has to be found - theoretically, they could have married the same woman in turn.

If Seth & Cain have offspring - there is at least one set of offspring in need of a parent other than the father, & to ask who that is, far from being "Protestant", is a perfectly fair question, which arises from the statements of the text when they ate taken as telling the actions of really-existing people. Which is not the way to take those statements, because they are not giving biographical info, but telling a story; which is a true story, but not true as history.
## They are fictions - so they didn't come from anywhere. Seeing this means we are freed from the burden of having to explain how a holy God could permit incest; and then decide it was a bad thing after all. Otherwise the patriarchs would have been in-bred, with what that implies. And if God can permit incest - other things now forbidden can be equally permissible
I'm not sure why you do not list having children with their sisters as one of your options. As Catholics, I do not believe we have any wiggle room on this issue. Though much of Genesis can be taken symbolically, the Church has been clear, absolutely unwaveringly clear, that humanity began with two people whom we call Adam and Eve. We cannot, as faithful Catholics, just dismiss this teaching because it is uncomfortable. The teaching of original sin hinges on the teaching that all of humanity sprung from two people. The necessity of a Savior for all human kind springs from this very issue. If we believe that Adam and Eve do not represent our first parents, then a lot of things do not make sense. In the words of Pius XII from Humani Generis:

Quote:
The faithful cannot embrace that opinion that maintains that either after Adam there existed on this earth true men who did not take their origin through natural generation from him as from the first parent of all or that Adam represents a certain number of first parents. Now it is no way apparent how such an opinion can be reconciled with that which the sources of revealed truth and the documents of the teaching authority of the Church propose with regard to original sin, which proceeds from a sin actually committed by an individual Adam and which, through generation, is passed on to all and is in everyone as his own. (HG 37)

I don't find it burdensome to try to explain how an all Holy God could permit something at one point and then decide it was a bad thing after all. It occurs to me that God decided it was a bad thing, when it became a bad thing. If, genetically speaking, it was not harmful for humans to procreate with close relatives at that point in time then honestly speaking what was the harm? It's icky? Why is it icky to have kids with your brother or sister? Because at this point in time, we know it is genetically harmful and of course there is a great social taboo. And because we know it is against God's wishes as laid out in the Mosaic law. But what if there were no genetic problems, and there was no social taboo, and God had not forbid it? What would be the problem then?

I respectfully would like to ask, do you believe Abraham and Sarah are fictional? Or that Isaac is the product of an incestuous marriage? I'm just curious.
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