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Cain's Wife
Question from Rick Ramirez on 9/27/2001:

Ok, I have read all the entry's about Cain's wife having to be his sister or niece. Either way there is incest with 1. His own sister or 2. The double incest of his own brother and sister's daughter.

My question is how do we approach this situation? Yes as Catholic's we accept that Adam and Eve were the very first humans and that incest did happen. But I admit I feel uncomfortable with it. I myself see a contradiction, but I know there shouldn't be any. As Jesus came as the New Law to fufill the Old Law, he did not contradict it, but completed it. As all Pope teach, they never contradict teachings before them but clarify it. So in the Old Testament it says that incest was wrong and in the New Testament too. In Gensis in never says Cain's wife is his sister, but who is she?

We as Catholics say our Tradition is strong and that verbally we carried more richness and information in our speaking/oral tradition than soley scripture. We received our scripture from our Jewish brothers who intially told and retold the storys of the Torah through the ages until it was written down. What about the Talmuad? Yes it's Jewish folklore, and it does offer some interesting possiblities.

In one 10th-Century folktale called the Alphabet of Ben Sira, Lilith is read into Scripture as Adam's first wife, who was just evil. She bore some of Adam's children then ranaway. So God replaced her with Eve. This would solve the problem of where Cain's wife came from and about the "fallen ones." Of course this could have just been manufactured to make it all "nice n' neat."

Maybe it wasn't that "nice n' neat" after at all. Adam and Eve were kicked out of Eden. Then Cain killed Abel. And then perhaps Cain married his sister. It would show that we were on a roll and consistent with disobedience, murder, and incest. Then of course we reach the Old Testament and The Ten Commandments where God is busy helping us straighten out our mess.

This raises another question. If there was no Original Sin and Fallen state of man. Would man have ever propagated with sex? Maybe it would only be Adam and Even having offspring, since none of us would die and they would truly be our earthly parents. Just a thought.

Any answers in straightening these questions out, is very appreciated. Since I have many people offering many of their own answers.

Richard

Answer by Dr. William Carroll on 9/28/2001:

The only way that the earth could have been populated was for the children of Adam and Eve to marry each other. God would have protected them from the consequences of this intermarriage so that the human race could be propagated.

It is defined Church teaching that all humans are descended from the single pair, Adam and Eve.

God bless.

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