Bible Studies/When Does INCENT stop ?
QUESTION: Hi Rev. Ross
In Genesis4:17 States: And Cain knew his wife . . . Enoch.
Verse16 Then Cain went out from the presence of the Lord and dwelt in the land of Nod on the eas of Eden.
Questions please: 1 The LORD made Adam and Eve, then the land of Nod no one should be living there ? Can you answer that ?
2. Where on earth did Cain's wife come from ? If GOD made only Eve.
Thank you Rev. Ross
GOD bless you
ANSWER: Hi Ray!
Thank you for your questions.
1. There are a couple of assumptions that you appear to have made! When Moses referred to the Land of Nod, he was not stating that it was a populated area already designated by that name. He was using a grammatical form known as "prolepsis = "the assigning of a person, event, etc., to a period earlier than the actual one; the representation of something in the future as if it already existed or had occurred" (http://dictionary.reference.com
). So, by the time Moses was writing the record of those very early days, this was the name by which it was known - but not its name at the time of Cain!
Accordingly, it is not necessary to maintain that it was a populated area! As an example of prolepsis, I might say to one of my daughters, "When you mum and I were engaged to be married ..." Now the lady in question was not my daughter's mum when we were merely engaged, and my daughter did not even exist. However, I am simply stating a fact as if it had existed before it actually did! People do this all of the time (even if they are now aware of the grammatical terminology!!).
2. We must also note that the Biblical record nowhere states that Cain "found" his wife in Nod. All that is stated is that "Cain knew his wife ..." (Gen 5:17). However, your question remains valid! So ...
In Gen 5:4 we read that "The days of Adam after he became the father of Seth were eight hundred years; and he had other sons and daughters." In those early days of the human race, the life-span was much longer and, in order that the earth be populated, virility would appear to have been strong! Remember that not every detail is recorded for us, and that we do not have a Greek-thinking chronological account, but a Hebrew mind-set account which is more thematic.
Accordingly, we may safely draw out from the text that by the time Cain murdered his brother Abel, Adam and Eve had produced some of those "... other sons and daughters." The Divine command, after all, had been to "Be fruitful, and multiply," (Gen 1:28) The three who are named are named because of their importance to the Biblical record.
We now move out of the area of Biblical studies, into the realm of genetics! At the beginning, the gene pool was pure. Indeed, it took many generations for it to become corrupt. After the world-wide flood, and the loss of the protective firmament, the effects of solar radiation would have accelerated this corruption. So, by the time the Mosaic Law was being given, it had become necessary for certain prohibitions to be put in place (see Lev.18). However, at the time of Cain, there was no such thing as incest, and his wife must have been one of his own sisters!
I do hope that I have managed to answer your questions, satisfactorily.
C.Brian Ross (Rev)
Check out my new e-book at https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B009EG6TJW
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Hi Rev. Ross
The does incest isn't called incest.
Example: If I have sex with me sister that's incest.
If I have sex with my first cousin isn't that sin,
having sex with a relative.
When is it not a sin ?
GOD bless you Rev. Ross
A thousand apologies! It was only as I was answering another question that I discovered your follow-up one! Please forgive my extreme tardiness.
As indicated in my original answer, at the beginning, the gene pool was pure. Indeed, it took many generations for it to become corrupt. After the world-wide flood, and the loss of the protective firmament, the effects of solar radiation would have accelerated this corruption. So, by the time the Mosaic Law was being given, it had become necessary for certain prohibitions to be put in place (see Lev.18). However, at the time of Cain, there was no such thing as incest, and his wife must have been one of his own sisters!
You and I live many millennia after the giving of the Law so, of course, for you to have a sexual relationship with your sister would, indeed, be incest and, in most countries, would be illegal (many countries have departed from overt acceptance of the Bible, but still live by many of its laws!). I suspect that you live in North America, and I claim no knowledge of the laws of kindred and affinity in either Canada or the USA. However, here in the UK, there is no legal impediment to the marrying of cousins. The reason for certain relationships being forbidden in law is two-fold: (a) to protect vulnerable children; (b) to avoid 'in-breeding' which, when it does occur (e.g. with the aforementioned cousins, especially if there are two generations of this relationship involved) can have serious physical and/or mental results.
I trust that this further information he;lps, and apologise, again, for having taken so long to respond.