Who did Adam’s sons marry to populate the earth?
That’s the gist of a longer question from one of our readers. Here’s the full question …
If there was only Adam and Eve at first, then were cast out of the garden and then they had Cain and Abel. That would mean there were only 4 people on earth. Once Cain killed Abel and was marked where did he go? How did we go from only 3 people on earth to about 7 billion people on the earth? Who did Cain marry? Where did she come from?
First, scripture tells us that Adam and Eve had three sons. First, they had Cain and Abel – see Genesis 4. But when Cain killed Abel, Cain was unfit to carry on the line. Rather it went through a next son, Seth. Genesis 5 records this: 1 This is the list … When God created humankind, he made them in the likeness of God. 2 Male and female he created them, and … 3 Adam became the father of … Seth [and] 6 Seth … became the father of Enosh [and] 9 Enosh … became the father of Kenan [and]…”
First, that’s the line – at least through the men – in Adam’s family. According to Genesis 5, Noah – the last listed – is the tenth generation of this line. (Then after the flood, we have to start over again with Noah and his son and their wives. But that’s a story for another day.)
Scripture doesn’t name Seth or Cain’s wives.
The heart of today’s question is: Who did Adam’s sons marry to populate the earth? Genesis 5:4 says, “Adam after he became the father of Seth … had other sons and daughters.” I know. It’s icky. But the only choice, according to Scripture, was a sister. The next generation is was surely cousins. Then more distant cousins. Then as the world populated, God thankfully commanded that incest was no longer allowed!!!
The next question is how do we get to seven billion people? Let’s assume, for the sake of argument, that we have a young earth, maybe 6000 years back to Adam and Eve. How could two people lead to seven billion in such a relatively short period of time? Well, right now human population doubles every forty years. Let’s call that a generation. 6000 years back to Adam and Eve divided by 40 years per generation = 150 generation. Well, if 2 becomes 4 … becomes eight … becomes 16 … then doubling that 150 times means we’d have way, way, way more than 7 billion. In fact, if the population doubled every 150 years, then we’d have 40 “generations.” That too would produce more than enough.
I love that people like details! (How could this be?!) For me – a total non-scientist – my thinking on this comes down to trust. I trust God to make what needs to happen happen. And I trust Scripture to tell me what I need to know. And that’s enough of a “Wow!” for me. But tune in next time. We have another “Wow” and wonder. Another friend writes, “[My question] has to do with “abundance“! Why did YOU create so much? The universe seems to be enormous in size, age, and quantity! Billions and billions of stars, billions of years old, spread over an enormous volume! [Why the abundance?]”
In Christ’s Love,
a guy who is one
of Adam’s children