Mrs. Cain and the Killers
No, that isn’t a new band or movie. I’m referring to the popular question in origins debates, “Where did Cain get his wife?” But the reason I’m referring to it isn’t because I want to talk so much about origins, but about another often-overlooked aspect of the same question:
Where did Cain get his would-be killers?
I was reading in Genesis from the Original Bible Project this morning, and when I came to chapter four about Cain killing his brother Abel, verse 14 jumped out at me: “everyone” finding Cain would want to kill him!
Who are “everyone”? Adam and Eve? Were they going to chase him around?
Obviously not. So there must have been other unnamed people. But where did they come from? Some say pre-Adamic, pre-human creatures, based on the fossil record. But this cannot be used as a proof for evolution since evolution has to be presumed in the first place. Same problem for saying this is Biblical proof of such a race; one has to presume it first. Both of these are examples of circular reasoning.
A much simpler explanation is found in the fact that the ancient writers were more concerned with tracking a particular line of people or making a point or giving a lesson, than we today are concerned with technical completeness or strict chronology. Not every detail was deemed worthy of record. So if Adam and Eve had many other children who didn’t figure prominently in the narrative Moses was recording, they simply wouldn’t be mentioned. So there were likely many other children besides Cain and Abel.
But suppose the most straightforward explanation is to be rejected, and there really was a subhuman race. That would mean that ALL humans since Cain have been hybrids, not fully human beings. This would flow nicely into the popular theories about alien genetics mixed with human genetics, which in spite of sounding preposterous actually has a “hook” in Genesis 6.
Many believe that there are beings from either outer space or another dimension who have been tampering with human genetics for a very long time. They refer to them as “reptilians”, “greys”, and even “nephilim”, and have elaborate theories on how these groups of beings fight each other for world domination. But these people talking about aliens are not nutcases, but simply unbelievers who don’t have The Book to help them make sense of various phenomena. These entities are demons, the hybrid offspring of the unions we read about in Gen. 6:1-4. For more detail, check out the Christian angle at this message board conversation.
But here’s the hitch in that whole scenario: Noah was “clean”; he was from an untainted line (Gen. 6:9). And that means not all humans were hybrids. And that means there had to have been other fully-human people besides Cain. And that means there had to have been other children directly from Adam and Eve, who just weren’t named or mentioned (see Gen. 5:4). This doesn’t mean the fallen angels didn’t monkey with human genetics, but only that they didn’t do this until after many generations of fully-human reproduction.
And THAT means there didn’t have to be any pre-Adamic races to account for either Cain’s wife or his would-be killers, which in turn strongly encourages us to believe Jesus when He referred to Genesis as literal (Mt. 19:5, Mk. 10:7), and Moses when he referred to Creation Week as literal in giving the rationale for the weekly Sabbath (Ex. 20:11). And all that, of course, means there is no reason to take any part of Genesis as non-literal. The genre is history, not allegory or poetry or parable. And even if you disagree, keep in mind that one can use such figures of speech to convey real, literal events.
So we must conclude from all this that the Bible is to be trusted, and that we have no right to allegorize anything that Jesus, Moses, and the NT writers took literally. We can no more dismiss the young age of the earth than we can dismiss the fact that fallen angels did interbreed with humans. Sure, many believers do these things. I’m not dismissing their faith, but only their inconsistency. People can and do go through life believing contradictory things in all sincerity. But clearly, such a practice will eventually run them into (theo)logical brick walls, forcing them to deny inconvenient facts that cause cognitive dissonance.
I think one of the motivations behind the obscuring of Genesis and all the attempts to deny what is plainly there while also adding what isn’t, is surely the Satanic drive for destroying the human race and not being caught in the process. If he could pollute the human race one way or another, he could thwart the will of God and prove Him either a liar or not so omnipotent as we believe. He tried it in tempting Eve, but didn’t anticipate God’s solution; he tried it with genetic tampering so the Seed of the Woman could not come (which also explains why God had to destroy all but Noah, who alone had pure human genetics); he tried it in tempting Jesus to sin; he tried it through Peter to turn Jesus from the cross; he tried it by repeatedly leading Israel to apostasy and attempted genocide; he tried it by infiltrating the church. And now, “as in the days of Noah” (Gen. 6:5-8, Mt. 24:37-38, Luke 17:26, 1 Pet. 3:20), he’s trying it again by genetic tampering and keeping people from knowing what he’s up to.
Deception is everywhere, but instead of reacting by shutting our eyes and covering our ears, let us study the Bible and be filled with the Spirit, discerning between truth and error. Turn off the stupid TV and keep exercising your mind and spirit. Satan can’t stand against those who resist him (James 4:7). “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32).