The Word of God abounds with exhortations such as

these..."add thou not unto His words lest he reprove thee and thou

be found a liar" (Prov 30:6), .... "I testify unto every man that

heareth the words of the prophecy of this Book, if any man shall

add unto these things God shall add unto him the plagues that are

written in this Book and if any man shall take away from the Words

of the Book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of

the book of life" (Rev 22:18,19).

In a world that seems to be overflowing with

"authoritative" voices, God has given us these passages as beacons

to guide us safely to the harbor of truth. The currents are

swift, however, and the oceans of religion are filled with beacons

of another sort. Tides run swiftly to the ports of tradition and

religious myth, and many an honest and well-meaning individual is

caught in their deceptive flow. Per^^haps most beguiling of all is

that every harbormaster holds a copy of God's Book in his hand.

These are men of renown, respect and position. They have earned

their reputations in a very competi^^tive arena and have risen to

the top of their "callings" in grandiose and charismatic fashion.

Popularity, influence, and in most cases, wealth, asssure them

continued success. They have contributed a great deal to molding

the religious clime of our day. Without entirely realizing it,

many of their teachings have taken a position of equal authority

alongside the Word of God itself.

As a result, modern evangelism has become a house built upon

sand. It's foundations are laid upon a bed of Christian cliches,

phrasology, and terminology, that are completely foreign to the

Bible. To challenge the validity of such extra-biblical expres^_

sions as "accepting Christ" and "inviting Christ into your heart",

is tantamount to heresy. But alas, man's words HAVE replaced the

words of God: Words which He had chosen so precisely and preserved

so faithfully through the centuries: only to find the masses of

our day following men who have twisted the scripture to their own

(and our) destruction.

The purpose of this essay is to demonstrate how easily we

accept as "Biblical truth", that which is little more than

religious tradition. I offer for your consideration the issue of

Cain's wife.

One of the most widely accepted ideas concerning the early

chapters of the Word of God is the belief that Cain was the first

child born to Adam and Eve. When someone asks the

question..."where did Cain get his wife from?", very few

Christians are able to give a Biblical answer. Those of us who

are able to answer at all, usually are unable to show from the

Bible WHY we believe the way we do. I believe that God has indeed

given ample evidences concerning this issue IF we will pay close

attention to his Word and lay aside our preconceived ideas.




Please take a few moments to read Genesis chapter 1:1-2:3.

Notice that our attention is directed primarily on the

"chronology" of events recorded there. In fact, the days are

actually numbered for us and they unfold consecutively.

From Gen 1:1 through 2:3, God has given us a very brief

account of His entire work of creation up to and including the

seventh day: a day in which He rested from all His work. Read it

again, if necessary, and follow each day as God gives us the

account. Notice that it was on the SIXTH day He created male and

female and gave them the commission to be fruitful and multiply

(1:27-31). Keep this important point in mind as we continue.

Now lets read a little further. From verse 4 of chapter 2,

through verse 8, God is giving us a CLOSER LOOK at the SIXTH

day... "every plant of the field was in the earth...there WAS NOT

MAN to till the ground...the Lord God formed man out of the dust

of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life

and man became a living soul". God then says that He planted a

garden eastward in Eden and there he put the man whom he had

formed. From verse 9-14, God gives us a closer look at what the

garden was actually like. Beginning with verse 15 we read..."And

the Lord God took the man, and put him into the Garden of Eden to

dress it and to keep it". Next, God gives man the command to

avoid eating from the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good

and evil and the consequences for disobedience are clearly spelled

out for him..."thou shalt surely die" (verse 16,17).

After all this detailed information, God says... "it is not

good that man should be alone: I will make him (future tense) a

helpmate his like". This passage assures us that it is still the

sixth day for BOTH of them were made on that day.

God then brings the man all the beasts of the earth and all

the fowls of the air that he might name them (verse 19,20). In

verses 21 and 22, we get a CLOSER LOOK at exactly how God made the

female. In verse 23, after she was formed, we find Adam making

this statement..."This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my

flesh. She shall be called WOMAN BECAUSE she was taken out of

man". This is a very pivotal text and is one which can very

easily be by-passed without too much consideration. Lets read

that verse again and pay particular note of every word recorded.


Notice that Adam said she SHALL BE (future tense) CALLED WOMAN.

Adam was precisly correct for she WAS called woman for the

remainder of chapter three. Also of note is the fact that she was

being called woman for a specific reason...BECAUSE she WAS taken

out of man. More on this later.

Beginning with verse 1 of chapter 3, God has SKIPPED AHEAD

in time to when the serpent comes on the scene, but before we

examine these events, a word of explaination may be in order.

Although this portion of Genisis is recorded for us in

chronological order, we must realize that NOT ALL events that

actually took place are mentioned. From verse 4 of chapter two

through to our present text, for instance, no mention has been

made concern^^ing God's command to the man and woman to replenish

the earth. Also absent is any mention of the seventh day, the day

on which the Lord rested from His work. We are certain these

events did take place because they ARE recorded in chapter 1

verse 28 and chapter 2 verses 2 and 3. The answer is simple if we

remember HOW the Lord is giving this record. Chapter one was a

GENERAL STATEMENT of His entire work of creation: including His

day of rest found in 2:1-3. Chapter 2, beginning with verse 4,

however, MORE DETAIL is given concerning those events which God

chose to emphasize. God simply did not see fit to RE-RECORD

certain incidents and therefore He SKIPPED AHEAD in time to the

Temptation. Time had passed. We cannot know how much, but some

amount of time had definitely gone by. How do we know ? Because

chapter two ends with the man and the woman being united by God

and chapter three begins with the temptation. No seventh day and

no command to multiply.

The following is a sequential account (events unfolding in

the order of their occurrance) of the temptation and fall of



verse 1..."He said to the WOMAN, yea hath God said ye

shall not eat of every tree of the garden ?"

verse 2,3..."and the WOMAN said unto the serpent, we may

eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden but of the

fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden,

God hath said, ye shall not eat of it lest ye die."

verse 4..."and the serpent said unto the WOMAN, ye shall

not surely die."

verse 5..."for God doth know...your eyes shall be opened

and ye shall know...good and evil."

verse 6..."and when the WOMAN saw that the tree was good

for food...she did eat and gave also unto her husband

with her and he did eat."

verse 7..."and the eyes of them both were opened."

verse 8..."and they heard the voice of the Lord God

walking in the garden..."

verse 9..."and the Lord God called unto Adam and said

where art thou?"

verse 10..."he said, I heard thy voice...and I was

afraid...and I hid myself."

verse 11..."hast thou eaten of the tree?"

verse 12..."and the man said, the WOMAN whom thou gavest

me, she gave me of the tree and I did eat."

verse 13..."and the Lord God said unto the WOMAN, what

is this thou hast done? and the WOMAN said, the serpent

beguiled me and I did eat."

verse 14...God curses the serpent...

verse 15..."I will put enmity between thee and the


verse 16..."unto the WOMAN he said, I will greatly

multiply thy sorrow and they conception: in sorrow thou

shalt (future tense) bring forth children."

verse 17-19...God curses the ground and the man...

verse 20..."and Adam called his wife's name Eve because

she was the mother of all living."

Remember why Adam called the female "woman"? It was BECAUSE

she had been (was) taken out of man. This account of the tempta^_

tion has referred to the female NINE times. In every instance she

has been called "WOMAN". In the midst of all this, the context

seems to change abruptly and verse 20 informs us that Adam changes

the way he addresses his wife. All of a sudden he names her

"Eve". (The events are sequential remember). Why the sudden


No need to be in the dark: we have the reason recorded

for us... "BECAUSE she WAS the mother of all LIVING". Our only

problem is, that no birth has been mentioned. Some will say that

the word "was" in this passage really means that Eve "WAS TO BE"

the mother of all living.

This cannot be the case for a number of

reasons. First and foremost among them is because God did not say

it that way. He surely could have, had He meant it that way. He

chose rather to use a past tense verb, (and the translators agreed

with Him), to say EXACTLY what He wanted to say. Others argue

that since no birth was recorded, none could have taken place. If

we follow that line of reasoning then Cain could not have had a

wife at all, for the birth of his wife is NOT recorded anywhere

in the Word of God. In fact, we do not read of the birth of ANY

woman BY NAME until Genisis 22:23 ! If her birth had to be

recorded in order for her to be born, then she wasn't born at

all. But the fact is she WAS born and her birth WAS NOT recorded.

This should not present a problem however. Remember, God chose to

leave out certain events before, didn't He? Well He chose to

leave this one out too! How can I make such a statement? Because

it is a biblical fact that God, for reasons known only to Himself,

does not record the birth of the first female!

Let's pick up our account where we left off and we will see

that the entire context continues to unfold in sequence...

verse 21...God made them coats of skins

verse 22...God said "man has become like one of


verse 23...The Lord sent him forth from the garden

to till the ground from whence he was taken...

verse 24..."So He drove the man out..."

Chapter three closes with that final passage; chapter four

opens with this one..."And Adam knew his wife Eve and she bare

Cain". Everyone agrees that this is the precise point in time

when Cain was born. And why shouldn't we? God is unfolding

events chronologically for us and thus far, the only birth

recorded is that of Cain. But if we pay close attention to the

words of that text, we will discover that the female was ALREADY

called EVE when Adam "knew" her! It does not say, Adam knew the

"woman" and she bare Cain. Those who believe that Cain was the

firstborn child of Adam and his wife have a real dilemma here.

Nine times she was referred to as "woman" in the detailed account

of the temptation and fall, but NOT ONCE after Adam called her


Incidentally, the word "Eve" in Hebrew is the word "Chavvah",

pronounced "khav-vaw", and means "life-giver". Those who are

familiar with the contents of scripture, probably are aware of how

the names of children are usually selected in the Bible. The

births of the twelve sons of Jacob are a perfect example. Each of

those children were named in memory of a specific situation that

existed AT THE TIME OF THEIR BIRTH (see Gen 29:32-30:24). This

was a standard initiated with the creation of the first

female,"...she shall be called woman BECAUSE...", "...Adam called

his wife's name Eve BECAUSE...". According to the inspired

record God has given us, the female was ALREADY CALLED EVE when

Adam knew her and when she gave birth to her son Cain.

One of the notions that lends itself to the idea that Cain

was the first child born, is our conception of time. It would

seem to us that the record of events are not only chronological

but that they also occurred in RAPID SUCCESSION. This simply is

not the case. We have already observed that certain events

between the sixth day and the episode in the garden were Divinely

omitted: a fact that may not have been previously noticed. Maybe

certain events between the fall of man and the birth of Cain were

also left out. Granted, it SEEMS to us that as soon as the man

transgressed, God was on the scene to pronounce the curse and cast

them out. If all this happened on the same day, then the woman

would have had no time to give birth to a child.


Could she have had a child BEFORE the fall into sin? No,

because of what the bible teaches elsewhere, "...ALL have

sinned...", and " Adam ALL DIE...". And besides, when the

curses were being pronounced, she was still being called "woman".

No, if there was one, a child had to have been born somewhere

between verse 19 and verse 20 of chapter three. But what about

the time element? Most of us think along these lines concerning

the fall of man...the woman transgressed, she caused the man to do

likewise, God was immediately present to curse and cast them out

of the garden..."lest they eat of the tree of life and live

forever". He then hurriedly assigned a guardian to the entrance

of the garden to keep the man from entering again. After this,

Adam knew his wife Eve and she bore Cain - the first child.

Time, and our apprehension of it, can be extremely misleading

when reading ancient Biblical history. Occasionally we find

references that inform us in a general way about these things.

Chapter 4, verse 3 is a good example..."and in the process of time

it came to pass..."; In this text there is no way of knowing

exactly how much time has elapsed. In other places we are given

precise information concerning the passage of time..."And Adam

lived one hundred and thirty years and begat a son in his

likeness..."(5:3). We are not always so fortunate, however. Most

often, an accurate perception of time can only be obtained by

carefully analysing both the larger and the immediate contexts. I

believe this to be the circumstance dictated by Genisis 3:7 - 4:1

and following. I do not believe that this portion of scripture

was meant to convey the idea that it all took place on the same

day. We must not allow any false notions of time to guide our

understanding of God's Word, so let's lay that " feeling " aside for

a moment and look closely at the recorded events...

The text immediately following the Fall of mankind is the

place to begin: chapter 3, verse 7..."And the eyes of them both

were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed

fig-leaves together and made themselves aprons." This act of

gathering leaves, and of fashioning instruments to sew them

together had to have taken at least some little time to


Time which could have been used far more profitably

by rushing to the tree of life to eat of it also and live forever

- if that had been their immediate craving. But their most

pressing desire was not to sin again. In fact the opposite was

true. They wanted to hide the evil they had already done! And

the Lord patiently waited for them to accomplish their feeble


Notice also the serene, almost casual nature of the

next passage..."And they heard the voice of the Lord walking in

the garden in the cool of the day." (whether we under^^stand this

verse to mean..."they heard the voice of the Lord (as He was)

walking in the garden..." or..."they heard the voice of the Lord

(as they were) walking in the garden..." has no bearing on the

issue in question.) This line seems to be oozing with calm and

tranquility. To this point in the narrative, there isn't the

slightest hint of urgency to cast out the sinful man. I should

think that if God was anxious to expel the man and to prevent him

from feasting upon the tree of life, He would have done so as soon

as there eyes were opened! But no, neither God nor man were

immediately concerned with that tree. Furthermore, this unhurried

atmosphere continues, as God calls to the man and questions him

concerning his act of diso^^bedience. The woman also was querried

and each of them, (includ^^ing the serpent), were addressed

personally during the horrible anathema (v 9-19).

I believe that the content of that ominous malediction was a

sufficient detterent to keep the man and the woman long from

displeasing the Almighty a second time. Long enough, I suggest,

for Adam to have "known" the woman and for her to have brought

forth at least one female child - the future Mrs. Cain? Who

knows. His wife may have been born much later; but we are certain

of this is at this very place that Adam decides to

change his wife's title from " woman " to " Eve " and the ^SBible ^S says

it was because she was the mother of all living .

It is true that man, now full of sinful tendencies,

eventually would have "stretched forth his hand and taken also

from the tree of life", so the Lord clothed them with coats of

skin and sent them forth from the garden. There are, of course,

objections to these conclusions and it is necessary to examine

them in the light of "what saith the Lord".

1. Some will say that every verse of Scripture from Genesis

2:15-4:1 belong exactly where it is except verse 20 of chapter 3.

Keep this in mind as we consider this argument...If we agree that

solid Biblical evidences are needed before we cast aside long

respected and widely accepted views that men teach, what kind of

proof should we require before we are so bold to say that God

means something other than exactly what He is saying...or that He

shouldn't have made that statement when He did because it didn't

happen in quite that order? (While it is true that many places in

God's Word are not chronologically sequential, they always are

self-evident and easily discovered). If we are going to say that

all of the account in question is in it's proper place except

where the woman is named Eve in 3:20, my question is...where then

does it belong? Surely, we can't eliminate the verse entirely.

All agree on that. The verse cannot belong in chapter 2 anywhere

because in chapter 3 the female is continually addressed and

referred to as "woman". Also, we have to consider the fact that

the fall into sin didn't happen until Gen 3:6: If Adam named her

"Eve" before the fall, and she really was named for the reason

God says, that would mean that she gave birth to at least one

daughter who was without sin !

No one wants to make that assertion. Besides, the people who

want to move this verse somewhere else, need to put it somewhere

after Cain was born so their "idea" about Cain being the first

child born would not have to be altered. But the problem with

trying to re-position the text to someplace after Cain's birth is

the fact that we would have to change the language used in verse 1

of chapter 4,..."Adam knew Eve " to "Adam knew the woman ". If we

dare go this far we would be guilty of not one but two

offences...moving the text and changing the language: all this

just to support something we have been "taught". Anyone who is

willing to engage in such Biblical "gymnastics" is just not being

honest and doesn't care about scriptural accuracy at all and this

study is not intended for that person. For those who don't want

to tamper with the language or the position of Gen 3:20, but still

insist that Cain was the first offspring, the answer must lie in

another place...

2. There are those who say that Gen 3:20 belongs exactly

where it is, but it doesn't mean that Eve was the mother of all

living persons . It means rather that she was the mother of all

living " creatures " and " beasts ", therefore her title was changed

to Eve.

Well, we know for sure she wasn't the physical mother of

these creatures because they were made (and even named) before she

was created (see 2:19,20). The law of nature established by God

concerning the reproduction of living organisms would also

eliminate such a possibility...all things shall bring forth " after

their kind " is the Divine Decree of Genisis 1. The "living beast"

advocates are left then, with a mere hypothetical application of

Gen 3:20. Let's examine that theory in the light of Biblical


Picture their scenario...the Lord Almighty has just made the

man in His own Image and given him dominion over all the works of

His hands. He gathers all of the lesser creatures together and

brings them to Adam to see what he would call them. Next, He

creates the female to be a companion and helpmate for the man.

Adam calls her "woman" because she was taken from his own body.

God blesses them and gives them the commission to multiply and

fill the earth and subdue it. The Lord rests on the seventh day.

Eventually, the serpent slithers his evil path toward the

unsuspecting woman and beguiles her. She, in turn, causes her

husband to follow. One cool day, God is heard walking in the

garden and the man and his wife hide from the Lord's presence.

After calling them out and giving each of them an opportunity to

confess their mutinous act, He proceeds to pronounce the terrible

curses upon the serpent, the woman, and upon Adam and all his

descendents. At this most solemn and portentious of moments, Adam

decides to call his wife's name Eve because she was the mother of

all living... beasts ? If Adam thought of his wife as the mother

of all living creatures and beasts - even hypothetically - why not

call her that from the beginning ? Why wait until such a place

and time to make so "frivolous" a statement ? Surely we cannot

believe that "all of a sudden" it was revealed to Adam that his

wife was - hypothetically - the mother of all living creatures. I

think some honest consideration of these arguments will quickly

eliminate the "living beast" opinion.


3. "Eve was the mother of the spiritually living " is the

claim from another school of thought. "The seed of the woman

(Christ) would someday bruise the head of the serpent (Gen 3:15),

and all who would believe and follow that Great Redeemer of

mankind would become spiritually re-born - "living", if you will.

It is in such a sense that Eve was called "the mother of all

living". A good point, to be sure, but not entirely true! The

fact that Eve was the original female progenator of the Christ

child is beyond dispute but this was hardly the reason her name

was changed when it was. We must keep in mind that she was also

the original female progenator of the entire human race - both of

the spiritually alive and the spiritually dead.

It could be deduced that Eve was the mother of the future

Messiah, by virtue of the fact that all mankind ultimately sprang

from her, but we cannot conclude that she was named "Eve" for that

rather obscure reason. The birth of the Lord Jesus Christ was yet

some 4000 years in the future and we again have the problem of the

language of Gen 3:20..."because she was ...". Everyone agrees that

there is a difinative difference between the word "was" and the

term "was to be". They simply do not mean the same thing.

Either Adam named her for something that already happened to

her or because of something that he knew would eventually happen

to her. We know he called her "woman" because of something that

had already occurred; i.e. "she was taken from man". If he called

her Eve because of something that eventually would happen to her,

why not call her Eve back on the sixth day when they were given

the commission to be fruitful and multiply ? Adam knew at that

time she would bring forth children. Why continue to refer to her

as "woman" ? Why does the Lord God Himself, who uses words so

precisely, continue to call her "woman" ? It would be far more

Biblically consistant to change her name then.

The fact is, that she was called "woman" because she was

taken from man and she was called "Eve" because she was the mother

of all living. Thats the account we are given in His Word.

A note of interest is found in the statement Eve makes at the

time of Cain's birth. She seems to be surprised because she had

gotten " a man ~ from the Lord: the implication being, this birth

was unusual because of the gender of the infant. Could her

astonishment be because she had previously brought forth only

female offspring ? This brings us to the final and, by far, the

most widespread reason for rejecting the exact words of God...

4. Because the "traditional" interpretation espoused by

all the "famous" Bible teachers is...Cain was born first. How

could so many "great men" be in error about the same subject ?

Texts such as these..."let God be true and every man a liar" (Rom

3:4), ..."Great men are not always wise" (Job 32:9), should be

powerful influences when (and IF) we ponder such questions.

A contextual outline of our subject material as it is found

in the Sacred Word of God is offered in closing...

Gen 1:1 - 2:3 ...An overview of God's entire creative


Gen 2:4-8 ...An in depth review of the sixth day, which

includes the creation of man.

Gen 2:9-14 ...Details concerning the Garden God has


Gen 2:15-22 ...God puts man in that Garden to till it.

He warns of the forbidden fruit. The animals brought to

Adam and he names them - the female is created.

Gen 2:23 ...Adam calls the female "woman" because she was

taken from man.

Gen 2:24,25 ...The two said to be husband and wife and

they were not ashamed of their nakedness.

Gen 3:1-6 ...Choosing not to record a second time, both

the commission to the man and woman to multiply and the

day on which He rested, God moves us ahead in His

narrative to when the serpent tempts the woman. She

yields to that temptation and her husband follows.

Gen 3:7 ...The eyes of them both were opened.

Gen 3:8-19 ...God confronts them in the Garden concerning

their rebellion and the curses are formally and

emphatically announced.

Gen 3:20 ...The woman has become the mother of all living

and Adam changes her name to Eve for that specific


Gen 3:21 ...God prepares for them coats of skin and

readies them for expulsion from their haven in Eden.

Gen 3:22-24 ...The man is finally driven from the Garden

to till the ground from which he was taken.

Gen 4:1 ...Adam knew his wife, Eve; and she conceived and

bore Cain. She exclaims, I have gotten "a man" from the


Gen 4:2 ...She further bore Abel.

Gen 4:3-7 ...The offerings of Cain and Abel to God.



Gen 4:8-10 ...Cain slays his brother, Abel, and is

questioned by Jehovah.

Gen 4:11-16 ...A curse is pronounced upon Cain and he is

banished from the presence of the Lord.

Gen 4:17 ...Settling in the land of Nod, Cain "knows his

wife" and she bare him Enoch.

Whether you decide that Cain married his younger or his older

sister is of little practical value in your service as Christians.

What is imperative, however, is the principle I hope to have

established...God's Word is entirely trustworthy and our beliefs

can be and must be the result of dilligent, personal, and

prayerful meditation upon that Book! If we are not faithful in

this discipline, and continue rather, to allow men to tell us what

to believe, we shall surely share in their end; about whom it is

written..."Woe unto the shepherds that destroy and scatter the

sheep of My pasture...I am against them that cause My people to

err by their lies and their boasting; I have not sent them and

they profit not My people at all" (Jer 23:1,32).

"If they speak not according to My Word, it is because there

is no light in them" (Isa 8:20). Have those men who promote the

so-called "Cain first" theory spoken according to God's inerrant

and infallible Word? I submit that they have not. It is fitting,

I think, that in this study at least, the Lord Jesus should have

the final word..."Take heed what ye hear" (Mk 4:24).



comments and inquires welcome:


PO Box 531

Port Jefferson Station, N.Y.




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