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Did Adam and Eve Have Children Before Cain?

January 3, 2011

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Dear Friends,

In Genesis 3, the Lord delivers the curse on mankind. One of these punishments is for the process of giving birth to be painful.

To the woman he said, ‘I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.’(Gen. 3:16 NIV)

What is interesting is the language that is used. God says “I will increase your pains.” Think about it, if your boss came to you and said “I am going to increase your workload” there is an implication that you are already doing work. So, if we have an accurate translation here, what God appears to be telling Eve is your birthing pains are going to be worse than they already have been so far. If this is true, this implies that Eve had already had children while in the Garden of Eden! Furthermore, since Cain and Abel are not introduced until the next chapter (see Gen. 4:1-2), this also implies that Cain and Abel are not Eve’s first children.

If this is true, we have another answer to a perplexing question in Genesis. When Cain sins, he says to God,

Today you are driving me from the land, and I will be hidden from your presence; I will be a restless wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me. (Gen. 4:14 NIV)

Who are these people and where did they come from? It is possible that these people are the children of Adam and Eve that they conceived in the Garden as well as their descendents? Might this also explain why siblings could mate without genetic abnormalities because this was prior to the curse when such things would come into existence?

Another issue that comes up if Adam and Eve had children in the Garden is the length of their sojourn in the Garden. Assuming a normal gestation period, it would appear that Adam and Eve spent a considerable time in the Garden prior to their sin in order for them to conceive and come to full term with one or more pregnancies.

I do not believe that the above is by any means an ironclad proof of the foregoing assertions. The verse can reasonably be interpreted to mean something entirely different. However, it is plausible and does not violate any Biblical principles.

There is another interesting thing to consider. What happened to these pre-fall children when their parent’s sinned? The answer, of course, would have to be that they were stricken with the same curse as Adam and Eve. Romans 5:12 then takes on a slightly new meaning, “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned.” (NIV) The “all men” would now include people living at that time. Consider verse 14 in the same light. “Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command.”

If there is a lesson I take away from this, it is that God’s mind is vast and there is a danger in bringing preconceived notions into reading the Bible. Most of us have always heard that Cain and Abel were the first children. In my mind, this was beyond dispute until a sister recently asked this question about the “increase” in pain. I was very excited to see for the first time a whole new way of looking at things even if I am not sure what exactly I think on the matter.

This year marks the twelfth year of the Thought for the Week. We have endeavored over that time to bring you ideas just like the one above that make you think. If you go away after reading a TFTW thinking about God, Jesus or the Bible, we’ve done what we set out to do. We’ve never asked or even assumed that everyone would agree with what we say. In some cases, like in the above, I am not even sure I am in agreement with what is written. It is just a thought. Go away and meditate on it. Share your thoughts with everyone on the TFTW blog.

We start off each week with “dear friends.” This is a nod to Proverbs 27:17 where it says “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.” We can’t have a situation where “iron sharpeneth iron” if we all think exactly the same way and there is no room for differences of opinion. We hope that you have enjoyed reading these thoughts for the past twelve years as much as I have enjoyed hearing from all of my friends. May God bless you in 2011! Keep thinking!

Have a great week,


Thanks to MEK for the great question which inspired this thought.

Comments

1. Linda - January 3, 2011

The problem that I see with this is that if there were children born to Adam and Eve prior to their sin and expulsion from the garden they would not have been born with the same nature as Cain, Abel, you and I. Those children would still be in the ‘very good’ state that Adam and Eve enjoyed prior to the curse.

2. Linda - January 3, 2011

Sorry, I had not finished reading – I’m still seeing this as a stretch for the same reason.

Thanks for making me think though.

3. Mike Jasionowski - January 3, 2011

Good point, Linda.

Another problem with this idea is that Rom. 5:12 has generally been understood to mean that we (the Adamic race) were physically “in” the loins of Adam when he transgressed. See the marginal rendering of Rom 5:12… “in whom all sinned”. On the same federal principle the tribe of Levi paid tithes to Melchisedec many years before Levi was born. The apostle says, “?Levi who receiveth tithes, paid tithes IN Abraham?”. (See Elpis Israel pg. 131, Logos Edition).

If there were children born to Adam and Eve prior to transgression they obviously would not have been in his loins WHEN HE SINNED and therefore would not inherit the sentence of death, as a physical law of the nature, as the rest of the race has. A review of Proposition 5 of the Statement of Faith might also be in order.

4. Dan Pearce - January 5, 2011

Thanks for that – very interesting. I wouldn’t say that it is inconcievable (!) that what is suggested was the case but I have to say I think it is most unlikely.

I don’t think the phrase “I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing” requires the interpretation placed upon it. God is promising to multiply the woman’s sorrows around the area of the conception, birth and upbringing of children, ie, not just one sorrow but many all piled up. Adam Clarke puts it like this in his commentary – “I will greatly multiply, or multiplying I will multiply; i.e., I will multiply thy sorrows, and multiply those sorrows by other sorrows, and this during conception and pregnancy, and particularly so in parturition or child-bearing”

If we apply the same argument to the rest of the verse we would have to say that they were already experiencing pain if that pain was to “be increased” but we know that wasn’t the case this being before the curse.

The fact that Cain was worried about other people again does not demand that they had children before they left the garden, we know that they had other children which we are not told of (Cain’s wife, for instance) which could easily have been born after they left the garden. Cain was also perhaps thinking ahead to a time when there would be many more people, all closely related to him.

Apparently there is no big genetic issue with having kids with siblings for just the one generation. In fact breeders of purebred animals do it deliberately to purify blood lines. Obviously if it goes on for generations then weaknesses will be introduced. In these early days when I would imagine there to be a far greater degree of genetic purity than today then there would be even less of an issue.

The deafening absence of a mention in the record of others who were removed from the garden is surely significant, and it would complicate matters no end – Adam and Eve were both individually involved in the act of eating the fruit an so are rightly punished, but would God punish a child or children who had not participated in the sin?

The way in which we are told that Adam “knew” his wife at the start of ch 4 after the curse possibly carries the implication that this was the first time. The fact that they had no knowledge of their own nakedness I think hints at a general naivity towards sexual matters and I don’t imagine they had sex before the fall – more of a feeling than anything but it all adds to the big picture.

“Another issue that comes up if Adam and Eve had children in the Garden is the length of their sojourn in the Garden. Assuming a normal gestation period, it would appear that Adam and Eve spent a considerable time in the Garden prior to their sin in order for them to conceive and come to full term with one or more pregnancies.”

We don’t know how long they were in the garden for so it could just have easily been a short time as a long time. This is rather a case or using one unknown speculative thing to speculate about another unknown speculative thing. A speculation too far methinks!

5. Kyle Tucker - January 5, 2011

Dan,

Thanks for the well reasoned response. You make a lot of good points.

The only issue you brought up that I would disagree with is the notion that God doesn’t ever punish the children for the sin of the parents. God seems to indicate side of that issue in the Bible (ie. sometimes He does, sometimes He doesn’t). For those where God clearly says that He will bring the iniquity of the Father’s on the children see Ex. 20:5; 34:7; Num. 14:18; Deut 5:9. We could also look at this issue anecdotally as well where God tells the children of Israel to kill men, women and children in conquered territories. It doesn’t seem “fair” to us, but God, in His infinite wisdom, sees things much better than we mortals do and has His reasons.

6. Mike Jasionowski - January 5, 2011

God does see things much better than we mortals, and he does have his reasons.

The Bible reveals that His reason for death existing in the world is because of SIN. The wages of sin is death. Sin (ie: diabolos) has the power of death. Rom 6:23, Heb 2:14.

As Bro. Pearce intimates, we only have record of Adam and Eve being placed under the Edenic law and personally committing the first sin. The pre-transgression children you suggest are not mentioned at all, much less as sinning personally.

The children you suggest, who were born before transgression, would not have come from Adam and Eve’s defiled, sin stricken bodies either. So, how do they inherit death?

Sin, in both it’s aspects, is the only way man inherits death according to the inspired Apostle.

One would think that would be pretty fundamental.

2 Tim. 2:23

7. Kyle Tucker - January 5, 2011

Mike,

IF these children exist (and I did present the evidence which you choose to ignore) then they would have inherited mortality by the same mechanism we inherit mortality; namely, they would have also inherited the consequences of that sin. See Korah’s family as just one example of such an arrangement. It is not a foreign Biblical concept for the living children to inherit the consequence of parental action.

2 Tim. 2:24

8. Mike Jasionowski - January 5, 2011

What is the “mechanism” by which we inherit mortality in your view?

9. Kyle Tucker - January 5, 2011

“Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned.” (Rom 5:12 NIV)

I think we’ve covered this already.

10. Mike Jasionowski - January 5, 2011

Ok, we can leave it there if you feel you have covered it.

I take you to believe then that Rom 5:12 can apply to individuals who were not in the loins of Adam when he sinned, and were not propagated from Adam’s defiled, sin prone body. (IF, of course, such individuals were actually born to Adam and his wife before transgression, as you feel your evidence shows.)

Have a great week!

11. Jonathan Pogson - January 18, 2011

A “mechanism for inheriting mortality” is as foreign to Scripture as the “very good state”

12. Aaron Gaxiola - August 10, 2011

I agree with the fact that there might have been of off-spring in the garden. I have read the points from all the people and one thing that has always puzzled me is that fact threat the bible says that God put angels with swords of fire to guard the garden. If the garden is no longer on earth, then why would u need guards? Couldn’t God just take the garden? Or were there residents there that might have had a connection to Adam and Eve but did not share the same punishment since they did not break the command? As a last thing also what if these offspring are in fact the people that latter on are referred to the sons of God that mixed in with the daughters of man? They could be the sons of God since they had no sin and would be attracted to the daughters of man because they were also human.

13. doug james - August 12, 2011

I love this. I am so happy to find it, as if you were lost. For a few days I have been wondering about Giants, sons of God, and daughters of men( I believe it could have gone the other way too-Daughters of God and sons of men). I believe this is why the flood. Children born to Adam before he sinned, were referred to as the sons of God, and were born to live forever; when they mingled with those destined for death, giants were born. God was not about to always strive with this situation. He had to put an end to it, so the flood. But, I am thinking that some of that strain remained in the loins of Noah, because there were giants with whom Joshua had to contend. David had to kill one. So…OK then. I have a question. God is eternal. We are created in His image. In order for man to continue, we procreate. What is the purpose of “The Bride O Christ”?

14. Walter k - December 7, 2011

I would like to weigh in on this issue. I appreciate all who have taken the time to respond and to post added comments. All of us gain a fuller understand ding through this.

Since Eve was the first woman, she would also be the first to experience human childbirth. While seemingly axiomatic, let us reflect on this for a moment. There were no midwives to instruct and Goode. There was no organized body of medical knowledge. While this passage is often termed the curse, this could simply be a case of sharing news that would not be very pleasant.

Our closest mammal neighbor is the ape. Apes do not walk upright as we do. Humans walk upright and this means that the birth canal MUST be narrower to deliver the infant.

Apes and chimps (not saying we are descended from them, merely using the species as a point of comparison), can carry a fetus to term and deliver an infant that is more fully developed. Infant humans must stay in the care of parents for a longer period of time before they are ready to assume tribal/village/family life.

Because of the warning that Eve receives, we are introduced early to the survival importance of family with an intact mother and father.

15. Gil - February 21, 2012

This is very interesting because I just started coming to the conclusion though not convinced of it yet, that they did have children prior to the fall. As to what happened to the “sinless children” well thy died because the tree of life was now inaccessible. Or they intermarried with the fallen and thus infected. Or it is as simple as Federal Headship of Adam extended to all his offspring before and after the fall. Therefore, all were held on sins dominion of death.

16. Kelly - March 22, 2012

This is just what I was looking for to clear up a Bible Study this evening… I am better educated on all aspects of the possibilities of the children of Adam and Eve pre/post fall. I have to believe that our God’s heart ached when Adam and Eve fell and even more to have to exclude their children since the children were also closed out of the garden and lost the privilage to the Tree of Life. This would have chanded them to have their own type of fall from grace since they could no longer be in His presence directly. All of your explinations and linke to more scripture have also helped explain the marriages of the “siblings” that produced and populated the Earth. It is almost like the children pre/post fall were a type of step siblings to eachother due to the differences in their conception.

THANKS!!

17. Hermeana Clark - March 23, 2012

I think Adam and Eve had daughters first. Maybe not in the Gardan but according to Gen 4:6 the fallen angles had sex with them but God had to put a stop to that. That is where we the Nelphlem (giant) race.

18. Kyle Tucker - March 23, 2012

Hermeana,

I think that you are mistaken about Gen. 4:6. It is not angels being referred to there. Hebrews 1:5 makes it clear that God never refers to angels as “sons.” I think the verse is saying that believers (sons of God – 1 John 3:1-2) started intermarrying with non-believers. These men were “giants” not in the physical sense, but became powerful men.

Thanks for your comment!

Kyle

19. Batman - April 26, 2012

Kyle, the book of Job does refer to Angels as Son’s of God. The Bible also uses this term to refer to Kings (rulers) in the book of Psalms which is referenced by Jesus. The Bible also refers to Sons of God as those in the lineage of faith. The angels interpretation is definitely not the right one but there are two other alternatives that can be used without having to speculate that Adam and Eve had children in the Garden. It’s just me but I would rather use the Bible to interpret itself rather than speculate on things. Also, a person doesn’t have to experience the pain of childbirth in order to get the point that it’s going to get worse. If Eve ever stubbed even her toe in the Garden then she new what pain was and God telling her that he was going to increase that in childbirth would make perfect sense to her without ever having given birth. Oh yeah and Adam doesn’t give Eve a name until after the Fall. Names indicated a lot of things to the Hebrews and function was one of them. Not giving Eve a name until after the Fall that indicated that she would be the mother of all living things says a lot.

20. Kyle Tucker - April 27, 2012

Your comment didn’t address some issues. 1. Did the author of the Hebrews miss the Job reference about angels as the son of God since apparently God does call them sons? 2. I think you are speculating yourself when you suggest Eve may have stubbed her toe.

We prefer not to publish anonymous letters in this forum. Please use a real name in response as it allows for accountability. We all need to be accountable now for what we say as we all will be accountable in the future for what we say now.

21. Jorge - September 19, 2012

Makes perfect sense to me, thank you for putting it out brother.

22. Dale - October 31, 2012

I would like to weigh in on this topic since I have pondered on it for quite some time and with great interest. I would like to make injections on the several key points that have been discussed thus far. We should try and allow the Lord through his word explain His intentions. I want everyone reading to understand that this is what seems to me to be a right understanding and that I am open to other interruptions in that I do not feel gifted above others in understanding, just merely studying to see if they are so. Acts 17:11 11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. I hope that we all may become Berean’s. 1 Let’s look at the curses in Gen. Chapter 3 as a whole; all were continuations of things already present. The serpent curse was that it would travel on its belly thus the presents of travel and now it would be worse in the future. Adam was to till the ground and keep the garden and the garden provided food for them and in so doing it wasn’t burdensome to him. His curse was that now he would have to toil in order to gain food he would have to sweat, labor and have to endure pain to obtain it, thus again the curse wasn’t a foreign nor abstract subject to him because he was already doing these things but now with much greater distress he would obtain it. Therefore Adam understood his curse. So it would seem that without saying that the case would also apply the same in Eve’s case, now let me inject this understanding before I go any further. That the Lord God’s ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts higher that our thoughts. In that it is evident that His Word is true and with purpose, with this being said why is it that the Lord uses the word multiply? Would it not have been just as effective to have told Eve that she would have pain in conception and child birth, as to saying that the pain would be multiplied? And would it have not been easier for us to have understood what was meant by the conditions of her curse? To multiply or increase has therefore causes one to have an inclination the subject is to be more severe or greater in that what Eve may have felt something in the previous giving of birth. It would have surely been known to her and now with much discomfort she would bring forth children. Again the understanding would not have alien to her. 2 In Gen. 1:24 is the establishment of marriage (and that is one man one woman) in all aspects spiritual, physical and emotional, in verse 28 they are instructed as to be physical and to multiply along with the other instruction of their purposes on earth. Above in an earlier view point someone stated that Adam named his wife Eve after the fall. Let’s look closely at this, in verse 20 of chapter 3 directly after the proclamation of curse from the Lord. Adam names his wife “Eve” and in the verses immediately after the Lord covers them and orders them from the garden. Note that Adam made a statement at that time declaring that Eve was the mother of all living present tense, before Cain isn’t that something? Now I know right off the bat some will say that Adam was looking towards the future, this could very well be and it could just as much mean he was declaring that she was the mother of those born before the fall and also those to be born in the future. This is before they were driven from the garden. It is true that we don’t know how long they were in the garden before they disobeyed. As for the gestation period who knows what it was like before the fall, it could have been very different and most likely had to be for the birth process to change to the point of labor pains to as we know it today. The whole order of the world changed because of Adams (our) sin. 3 The sons of God: It has been discussed several times already as to what was or would have been the condition of Adam and Eve’s children that were before Adam and Eve’s disobedience and fall. Their children’s condition would have remained the same as Adam and Eve’s condition before the fall which was one of immortality. It was after their disobedience (the day they began to die) that they became mortal and had they had eaten of the tree of Life they would have been able to live forever in a fallen condition ever separated from the Lord. Therefore through God’s grace they were prohibited from it. It is my understanding that these children would have lived on as immortal human beings provided they too didn’t lust and fall from grace. In EZK 18 the Lord declares that its Israel’s ways are wrong and that His ways are right and he clearly says that the sins of the fathers are not on the sons and that the sins of the sons are not on the fathers. And He says He doesn’t want to hear that saying in Israel anymore. The Nephilim: In Gen 6 we have the account of the sons of God taking for themselves the daughters of men. Let’s break this down a little more, so let’s see who these sons of God could have been. There are three popular teachings on this 1) that they were fallen angles, 2) they were sons of Seth’s (the son born to Adam and Eve after Cain killed Able) 3) that they were Princes and rulers. 4) We here in this dialog offer a fourth that seems to have as much if not more evidence than the other leading theories. In Luke 3:38 is the conclusion or the beginning of the genealogy of the Lord Jesus the Christ, here we see that Adam is referred to as the son of God. So why would we find it odd that the immortal sons of Adam and Eve would also be referred to as the sons of God here in Genesis chapter 6? Dan made the statement that there was (the deafening absence of a mention in the records) I believe there’s very much sufficient records giving an account of the fall of those born in the pre fall period if we are will to see and hear it in the Gen 6 account. It would not seem expedient to list the individual account fall of all those born in the pre fall era, as each ones individuals failure. Just as it wouldn’t be practical to list all born to Adam and Eve other than Cain, Able and Seth, Cain and Able for that account and all that is implied within it and Seth listed for the account of the genealogy record. I think it is fair to say that the account given here in Chapter 6 is sufficient in detail for the recording of the fall of those born in the pre fall era. I submit that this understanding seems to be the more Bible based than the others put together. Furthermore in verses 3-7 everyone is included, daughters, giants and men. And Gods displeasure in man as He refers to man over and over again in this account, v2 daughters of men, v3 not strive with man, v4 daughters of men, men of old, men of renown, v5 wickedness of man, that his heart was only evil, v6 that He had made man, v7 destroy man, both man and beast. Once again let’s put some logical thinking in here, the Lord said that His Spirit would not always strive with man. In this account other than the term “sons of God” the Lord expressly refers to this to be dealing with mankind exclusively. I think it a more difficult stretch to try and inject angels here than to use pre fall children. And the other two, the children of Seth and Princes and rulers appears to be no more than speculative grasping at best. If these were angels that took the daughters of men, would it have been man alone that the Lord was displeased with? We know from other places in the bible that this isn’t true the Lord was also displeased with the angles when they rebelled, so if they were angles why would have the Lord have not said His creation and given a clearer understanding? Now if Adam and Eves immortal children had seen fallen men’s daughters and why couldn’t they? They would have been here on earth. I can see where this would have grieved the Lords heart to the point where He would have wanted to destroy all flesh. They as we have all gone a whoring after other gods (ALL HAVE SINED and fell short of Gods glory). I found this interesting when studying the nephilim (giants) that the flood waters on the highest mountain rose one foot above the tallest skeleton ever found. Therefore if “the sons of God” took for themselves wives from the mortal daughters of Adam and Eve’s offspring, immortality and mortality cannot compatibly mix together. Therefore the incorruptible taking to them the corrupt corrupting and by this causing immortal to become mortal. 1 Corinthians 15:50 50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Possibly seeing all flesh, all men become corrupt saddened the Lord that he had made man a free willed being. Thereby the Lord said to beware of those of leaven for just a little consumes the whole lump of bread. Just as Esau traded his birthright for lust of the flesh and is recorded that the Lord hated him. But because of His great love he made a way to be reconciled again to incorruptible humans being again together with the Incorruptible Lord of all thru Jesus Christ his son. Revelation 3:20 Look, I’m standing at the door and knocking. If anyone listens to my voice and opens the door, I’ll come in and we’ll eat together.

23. Aleta - December 7, 2012

Wow! This has been awesome. I am 41years of age, and the Lord gave me the revelation of children being born in the garden when I was between the age of 25-27, so its been a while. I shared the thought with a few people who shot down the idea right away. I held on to the thought because I knew God had given it to me. Around the end of 2011 or the beginning of 2012 while watching Perry Stone, he confirmed that they did indeed have children in the garden. I was so excited, this was the first person other than myself who thought such a thing! Listen people this is true, it my sound weird, but its true. Now I have a question;does the Bible say that Advantage and Eve were immortal? Please give scripture reference.

Thank you Aleta

P.S. I love you all because of the tender Love I have for my Lord and my God I pray that His Love will invade and capture your heart and mind, causing you to rise to new levels in your gifts and spiritual graces. I decree that this us a new day, a season and a new hour in your life. Today i take authority over lack and povertly, sickness and desiese, broken relationships and anything that would hinder your walk in Christ. I release strength in the Name of Jesus to grab hold of the divine enablement, the Grace that us flowing from the Throne, to overcome anything that is in your way. All things work together for good to them that love God, and to them that area the called according to His purpose.

24. Kyle Tucker - December 7, 2012

Aleta,

No, Adam and Eve were never immortal. Immortal means you cannot die. Since Adam and Eve died, they were not immortal.

Now, we know that they were not subject to death before the fall, so what does this make them? Well, at the risk of confusing you, Adam and Eve had eternal life in the physical sense. Eternal life and immortality are not the same thing. Adam and Eve would have lived forever without dying but could lose it if they sinned. Once they sinned, they became mortal….just like us.

Hope this makes sense. It is a hard concept to get your mind around.

Kyle

25. Dale - December 29, 2012

Aleta,

I agree with Kyle that immortality wasn’t the best choice of words to use in my reference to Adam and Eve ability to live continuously provided they didn’t disobey the Lord’s command. No confusion intended. Kyle thanks for clearing this up. That’s what I like about this form it allows to help one another. What about the Book of Enoch has anyone done an in depth study on it.

26. Lori - January 12, 2013

I just started thinking about this question and found your blog. In addition to the verses cited (unless I missed something), look back @ Gen 1:28. God’s first command to Adam and Eve was to “Be fruitful, multiply, …” Whatever amount of time passed while they were in the Garden, wouldn’t they have been sinning if they hadn’t heeded this command?

Being a math teacher, I also find the wording “increase” or “multiply” interesting as it seems to me that Eve would have had some point of reference.

Interesting things to consider!

27. Kyle Tucker - January 12, 2013

Excellent points!

28. Joseph P. Louis - February 2, 2013

For some reason, I just don’t find this too difficult to understand. Regardless of the mention of pain, the very fact that God speaks to Eve of childbirth is evidence enough that she had already experienced it. Consider this: In chapter 4, after Cain’s punishment is explained to him by God, he expresses his fear of being killed by anyone who finds him. Again, clearly this indicates plenty of other people in existence. Now of course we can assume that Adam and Eve propogated frequently and that all of these other people happened to be younger than Cain allowing him to still possibly be the eldest and therefore the first born. But here is the point: God did not set out to explain every nuance of mankind’s earliest moments. Adam and Eve were told to multiply; and they did. The fact that creation, the fall, punishment, and first murder all take place in the span of a few chapters does not mean it all took place in a couple of weeks. So perhaps I am looking at this portion of scripture too simplisticly. In fact, since it seems so obvious, I am concerned that I’ve gotten something wrong. It is the struggle I face with what the Word appears to be saying as opposed to what I’ve traditionally been taught in the church.

29. Ed Forman - March 9, 2013

I have considered this for years. Adam named the woman Eve because she was(not shall be) the mother of all living. Garden children would answer many questions. I have felt that the sons of God in Gen. 6 were some of the garden children. Many think angels but Jesus made it clear that angels do not procreate, MK. 12:25. When God told Adam he would surely die, it seems he also meant all that pertained to Adam. Just my thought, Adam said she was, meaning already a mother.

30. Amy - April 3, 2013

Genesis 6:2… Very interesting. That makes me belive that when God created Adam, He created him a man and a woman exactly how God looks, and he had kids of his own before eve that’s why they were not born in sin. But then after Eve, adam and her were having kids and these guys “Gods sons” fell in love with the girls even though they were not allowed to be with them they did get married.

31. Dave Grainger (from Windermere UK) - April 22, 2013

I’ve only recently come accross this blog. Nevertheless It is very disturbing in the way that is is a divergance from the entire principle of Truth concerning God’s ultimate plan.. It is clear that there were no children before Cain. Prior to the Birth of Cain (Gen 4 v1)There existed absolute harmony in Eden. There were the Elohim whose creation we are told nothing. There was also the animal and vegetable creation , and then, there was Adam. Later Eve was produced as an helpmeet for him. We do not know how long this harmony existed for ,we are told that he lived for 930 years, During this time at some point whilst in Eden, the harmony was broken because of Adam’s transgression and the introduction of sin. Then,. “They knew that they were naked” This was not an inducement to indulge in sexual activity as suggested in the blog but was a recognition of the need for a “covering” for their sin. Whereas the covering they had provided was inadequate, God himself provided the coats of skins as an adequate covering. This necessitated the shedding of blood. thus pointing forward to the ultimate sacrifice for sin in the Lord Jesus Christ to provide thatperfect covering, or atonement. After Adam and Eve had been driven from that “perfect association ” in Eden it is recorded that there were sons and daughters born to them (Gen 5 v4)

Nine hundred and thirty years is well outside our own experiences but allows for a huge expansion in human population . One only has to look into the two books of Chronicles to see how rapidly families can expand over a relatively short period. It is obviously from these families that Cain had chosen his wife.(very likely a close relation). The phrase which includes “multiply” (A.V. Gen 3 .16) or Increase (NIV) does not only include childbirth nor does it indicate things of earlier times,but is to include all of the things and discomforts that are to be experienced by mankind because of our inherent mortality. Including childbirth. Also the tenses used in scripture refer mainly to how they were seen by the conveyer of the message rather than as an absolute This is frequent in the writings of the Prophets where they saw, things (past) but indicate things that were yet to come.

32. Dave Grainger (from Windermere UK) - April 25, 2013

Re Ed’s comment March 9th, Eve was the mother of all in no way refers to past births. Hebrew doesnt always work like that. The phrase refes only to her as being the first of those yet to come. There are many examples of this sort of thing in the prophets. The phrase “Sons of God” (Gen6v2) refers strictly to those who are faithful as referred to in several other passages ie Job, Romans8, Philippians 2 , the letters of John. The reference in Gen 6 refers to their “mistake in associating themselves with the daughters of men ie those without faith.

33. Mandy Dodd [Faversham UK] - May 9, 2013

God said He would multiply Eves’ pain/sorrow and her conception. My belief is that Eve gave birth to twins ~ Cain and Abel.

“in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children” ~ The Hebrew says “sons” [benim].

Gen 4:1 And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD. Gen 4:2 And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.

Gen 4:25 And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth: For God, said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew.

In the above scriptures we can see that Adam knew Eve and bare Cain and she again bare his brother Abel. It does not say Adam knew her again in between the births. Adam then knew his wife again and bare Seth.

The increase in pain and conception, in my opinion, has nothing to do with previous births but a twin birth. The sorrow/pain that Eve would feel, would be the death of one son by the other sons’ hand.

34. Kyle Tucker - May 9, 2013

Interesting take on this. Just goes to show that there are a lot possible interpretations and that “iron sharpeneth iron.”

35. Howler Monkey - May 21, 2013

about the tree of life. I’m a bit confused, natural life on earth cannot exist without death. You need death in order for living creatures to feed and ground to be fertile for plants. Didn’t God close of the tree of life to humans? doesn’t that mean that death as refereed to in genesis is spiritual death and did not mean physical? Maybe God planned on giving us eternal life but we disobeyed him before we had it. The animals surly didn’t eat from this tree so they would have been mortal as well . Physical death had to have happened even in the garden. as no one not even humans ate from the tree of life. I kinda do feel the tree of life is strictly metaphorical for something else, say salvation. was the vegan diet god prescribed to man strictly for mman? because you would need animals to die to fertilize the earth and feed each other in the case of carnivores.

36. Kyle Tucker - May 21, 2013

This comment is by Grant.

37. Dale - June 17, 2013

Dave, You gave no explanation for the curses of Adam and satan in that they were both in reference to previous actions known to them, and that these things would now be performed in greater distress and labor. So why do you find it hard that Eve’s latter condition would also be in this manner, of something she had already known. We’re not they commanded to procreate while in the garden? Is the genealogy of Adam in Luke 3:38 (38Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God.) is not Adam called the son of God. So why would it be odd to call those referred to in Gen 6 as the sons of God be those born prior to the expulsion from the garden.

38. Jonathan - October 16, 2013

Intresting

39. Evang Godstime - October 30, 2013

Am so delighted wit this bible study, let take a look @ Gen 4:1, Adam knew Eve his wife and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the Lord. My belive and understand is that if they have not conceived before, the word gotten cloud have nt come an when God said in vs 15, whosoever slayeth Cain, vangeance shall be taken on him sevenfold and the Lord set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him. That s to say they re still people somewhere that s nt in the bible, that is the fact and the truth.

40. Rozii joy - November 13, 2013

Interesting…but did the bible talks about that adam and eve the have child?while they were in the eden garden…..yes god say to go and multiply and to be fruitful and if so if the have child why the bible did not mention?and also who is the wife of cain?from where and how how he got..?and why the bible only talk about cain and abel if adam and eve have child before in the garden.?..help me to know this..

41. Kyle Tucker - November 13, 2013

Rozii, You have many good questions. Unfortunately, we can’t answer many of them. We have suggested that Adam and Eve MIGHT have had children in the Garden. We can’t say for certain because the Bible doesn’t say for certain. We have just given the evidence that this MAY be the case. Jesus said “seek and ye shall find.” We have the privilege to seek in God’s word. The beauty of Scripture is that it is so simple a child can understand the basic message but it is also so deep and complex that even the most studious Bible student can always find new and interesting things in it. Keep reading and asking the good questions and let us know if you come up with good answers to the questions you asked.

42. Reggie Patrick - November 23, 2013

To all the above comments, concerning children born to Adam & Eve, before the Tree of Knowledge Sin, that does not believe births before the fall to be possible; Please consider Cain’s concern about them! They were already angry and hurting from the fall and now after he killed Able. His concern was they would take out their anger on him and kill him. He was aware that there was many living outside of Eden and danger was awaiting. Also he took a wife and built a city. Why build a city? From antiquity it was an effort for defense and protection. Memo; Nimrod chs 11 & 12 “build a city & build a tower etc.” Its clear Romans 5:14 Death reigned from Adam to Moses ( after the fall), EVEN OVER THOSE WHO DID NOT SIN AFTER THE SIMLITUDE, OF ADAM’S TRANSGRESSION ( THOSE BORN BEFORE THE FALL).

43. Anthony - November 23, 2013

Awesome discussion, to bad no thumbs up/down or comments location.Still not clear on answer but it’s good to know I’m not the only one thinking so deeply on bible subjects.just for a say so (YES, I think they had children in Eden)

44. James - January 9, 2014

I have more to add to this, once read, you’ll see hes right. One point I make is the “men of renown” were not fallen angels. Fallen angels are not “highly and and honored” as the Sons of God were. If interested, check out my blog at huckleberry2012@Wordpress. sin was IMPUTED unto these children of Adam, and i believe it was to keep the family together when Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden. http://huckleberry2012.wordpress.com/2013/12/31/the-nephilim-the-sons-of-god-angels-in-the-bible-a/

45. Obie Hamlin - January 9, 2014

Discussions about God and how he did things is very good for Christians. It shows we want to know more about God and how he did things. This is what God wants. He wants us to seek him every day. The more we study the Bible the shorter our life on earth will seem like. Before we know it we will be in heaven and the Creator will explain it all to us. Keep seeking knowledge of God and Jesus, its good for you.

46. Kenny Aaron - February 3, 2014

Thanks for all discussions in this blog. I find it difficult to explain even to Christians the first few chapters of genesis. Now after reading all the discussions I have some peace to discuss genesis with others. I can say that Adam and Eve had children in the garden of Eden. Cain and Abel are said to be first born because this is the beginning of earthly mankind. Adams age of 930 years is from his time of fall to death because before that they were ageless. God was sorrowful because he was chasing out the sinless children and not Adam and Eve. This is also evident by turning sword that God put in the gate of the garden. Somebody will tell another person “I will increase your pain only when that person has experience the situation before” this means Eve already experienced childbirth. To God 1000 years is 1 year so there must have been considerable time between creation and fall of Adam so we are looking at many generations enough to worry Cain after he slew Abel.

Thanks and I have leant a lot through this blog. As long as we have biblical discussions our understanding of Christ will grow.

God bless

Kenny Aaron

From Papua New Guinea

47. Steve Hanson - April 4, 2014

I think the purpose of this post is to highlight different ways of looking at the things, so I offer a different view.

Gen. 3:16

“So, if we have an accurate translation here, what God appears to be telling Eve is your birthing pains are going to be worse than they already have been so far.” OR He could be telling Eve, “Your birthing pains are going to be worse than those of other animals.” These are all just assumptions, aren’t they? Yes, this passage denotes Eve had an understanding of conception and childbearing, but not necessarily through her own personal experience. Perhaps it connotes what Eve had WITNESSED before. She may have observed this process in other animals and perhaps God is multiplying her sorrow and conception above that which the rest of the animal kingdom experiences. After all, humans do have a very difficult, painful time giving birth compared to most of the animal kingdom.

Just a thought.

Gen 4:14

“Who are these people and where did they come from?”

I may be missing something, but why do you overlook the most obvious answer? They are descendants of Adam and Eve, post-curse. There was plenty of time for them to have many, many children before Cain and Abel had their falling out. I don’t think we are to assume Adam and Eve only had two children during the hundred and thirty years before they had Seth (Gen. 5). There are other explanations for sibling procreation without abnormalities (look at purebred dogs or horses; not all inbreeding is bad); we do not have to rely solely on the pre-cursed procreation to have “normal” offspring.

Another obvious answer is Cain is referring to all those who are still to come.

Again, just a thought.

48. Rebekah - April 8, 2014

Well if there weren’t children before the fall….then where did Cain find his wife? There were other kids.read ur bibles …read the part I just mentioned

49. Brooke M. - April 12, 2014

This is all very encouraging to hear so many deep thinkers considering this topic. I had heard this discussed in a sermon and recently I brought it up to have a girl rudely tell me I was wrong because the genealogy started with Cain and Abel. This made me think how I have heard often times they did not record their daughters in the genealogies. Which implies they do in fact leave people out of the genealogies. [otherwise the entire names of those in "the city" Cain goes to would all be recorded in the genealogies] Another thought I had was maybe they didn’t keep genealogies of their children before the fall because they didn’t anticipate death. Additionally- if there were children in the garden (which I believe there is strong evidence [in scripture] for) that they are not still living with us implies they too suffered the consequence of sin which is death (for the wages of sin are death)- proving true that through Adam sin was introduced to the world. All of it. A note to consider that after the fall we see that even animals suffer the consequence of sin (killing each other …). So it makes sense that prior children are still under Adams sin as he was still their head and father. It was his failing in headship that brought the consequence. Further more- as it was mentioned before- Gods COMMAND to Adam and Eve was to be fruitful and multiply. For them to not have accomplished this in the hundreds of years before the fall would imply disobedience- which did not exist until after the fall. Another thing to think on is- if man only pro created after the fall it implies that humans in a pure state don’t have sex- demonizing sex. Which was the gift that brought the fulfillment of the call. But this topic reminds me of Christs statement about there being no marriage in heaven. Which is a whole different path to go down with what that implies about sex in heaven. Also the significant point that Eves pains were increased it is as much of a leap of faith to believe that God would say something was increased had there no knowledge of a prior state… As it is to read between the lines of scripture to find that she understood a prior state. In the end we are not to put limitations on God- whether there were children before or not- God is still God, Christ is still necessary and True. We are all decended of Adam and Eve both pre fall and post. But in regard to the sons of God- I have heard that as a reference to angelic hosts- and have always thought that the nephalim were the result of fallen angels mating with humans which is what created giants and what I had heard were the children or gods we hear about in Greek mythology. I would like to hear more about this.

50. Brooke M. - April 13, 2014

…also the argument that God does not impute the consequences of sin on children that did not sin… Then what about us? All of humanity post Adam? Did I eat of the fruit, or generations and generations before me? No, yet we all still suffer the consequence of Adams sin. Another thought I had was how sin begets sin. I would imagine there to be quite an emotional state after the fall. Could you imagine keeping pure loving thoughts towards your parent had their decision brought a curse on you and humanity? Perhaps immediately there could have been judgement in the hearts of the children…which would be sin. The ‘knowledge’ of sin is the door that was opened with the eating of the fruit. The knowledge of sin exposes sin. We know that the law in the Old Testament was to expose what sins accompany our nature- to show us we are unable to keep it— which then shows us our great need for Christ- seeing as we can NOT keep the law. (Romans 7:6-13).

51. Kyle Tucker - April 13, 2014

Brooke, Thanks for your comments. I would make a quick comment about the “sons of God” being angels. I think Hebrews Heb 1:5 would demand a different interpretation. It reads “For to which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my Son, today I have begotten you”? Or again, “I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son”?” The “sons of God” in Scripture always applies to humans. Thanks again!

52. Brooke M. - April 14, 2014

Kyle!! Thank you I appreciate that! If this is true then there is really no other explanation for the nephalim except for if there were children before the fall. Because what then would this distinctive race (sons of God) be that would genetically cause giants..? They are more than ordinary fallen humans right? What a fascinating topic!

53. Andy - April 20, 2014

Kyle, I do not believe Heb 1:5 can be used to support the position that angels can not be called sons of God. If you look at the context, it is clear that Heb 1:5 is referring to the fact that none of the angels can be a son of God in the same way that Jesus is. i.e. Jesus is superior to the angels. This scripture should not be taken out of context to claim that angels are not sons of God at all.

The New Living Translation makes this verse more clear: For God never said to ANY angel what he said to Jesus: “You are my Son. Today I have become your Father.”

Angels are referred to as “sons of God” in the following scriptures: 1) Job 1:6 – “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them.” Clearly this refers not to humans, but angels.

2) Job 38:7 – “when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy”. Clearly also angels here, since they are applauding the Earth’s creation (prior to human creation).

3) Psalms 89:6 – “For who in the clouds can be compared to the Lord: or who among the sons of God shall be like to God?”. The fact that some Bible translations render “sons of God” as “heavenly beings” further supports that these sons of God are, in fact, angels.

If humans, who are lower than angels, can be referred to as sons of God, it should not surprise us that angels are known as sons of God as well.

Now in regards to the main topic at hand: I am not aware of any scripture which links Gen 6:2 to the Seth line as some claim, nor to pre-fall children of Adam and Eve (though that is an interesting thought). On the other hand, the scripture below supports that Gen 6:2 refers to angels, not humans.

2 Pet 2:4,5 – “For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;” These angels that sinned are the same sons of God referred to at Gen 6:2.

Clearly the sin of the angels in question occurred during Noah’s time. Their sin was that they forsook their original positions in heaven and made fleshly bodies for themselves in order to have sexual relations with humans (see Jude 6).

You also stated previously that the Nephilim were not giants in the physical sense, but powerful men. The Greek Septuagint does not appear to agree since the Greek word gi?gan·tes (giants) is used. Furthermore, the Israelites of old appear to have had this same view as evidenced by their reaction at Numbers 13:31-33: “31 Then the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we are.” 32 So they brought to the people of Israel a bad report of the land that they had spied out, saying, “The land, through which we have gone to spy it out, is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people that we saw in it are of great height. 33 And there we saw the Nephilim (the sons of Anak, who come from the Nephilim), and we seemed to ourselves like grasshoppers, and so we seemed to them.””

In summary: the sons of God were angels who left their positions in heaven to come to the Earth to have sexual relations with women. Since an angel of God is much more powerful than the average man, it should not be surprising that their offspring were the physically giant Nephilim.

54. Harry - April 26, 2014

I am in agreement with Andy. You can also add Job 2:1 to the list of angels being called “sons of God” in the Old Testament The title ” Sons of God” has not the same meaning in Old Testament that is in the new. In the New Testament it applies to those who have become the ” Sons of a God” by the New Birth. John1:12,Rom. 8:14-16,Gal. 4:5,1John 3:1-2. In the Old Testament the verses in Job which Andy mentioned and the one I added. Also to expand on Andy’s reference of 2 Peter 2:4-9. In Jude (6-7) the Angels ” kept not their first estate” but ” Left their own habitation” and are now “reserved in everlasting chains under darkness” unto the day of judgement. These angels are not Satan’s angels for his angels are free. They are a “special class” of angels who have been imprisoned for some particular sin. We are told of this sin which is “fornication” and “going after strange flesh” Jude 7. And the time of the commission of sin is given as just before the flood 2 Peter 2:4-5. Also a ” Son of God” denotes a being brought into existence by a creative act of God. Such were the angels and such was Adam, as he is called in Luke 3:38. Also if I may include a ” a born again believer” to this list. But Adam’s natural descendants are not the special creation of God. Adam was created in the “likeness of God” (Gen.5:1) but his descendants were born in his likeness, for we read in Gen. 5:3. That Adam ” begat a son in his own likeness, after his own image” Using scripture to prove scripture is one of the tools I try to use to come to the hard to explain questions. Therefore all men born of Adam and his descendants by natural generation are the ” Sons of Men” and it is only by being ” BORN AGAIN” ( john 3:3-7) which is a ” New Creation” that we can become the “Sons of God” in the New Testament sense. This would eliminate the Seth line for the purpose of this discussion for me anyway. I hope this helps to continue the thoughts and discussion of this topic, that we probably will not fully understand until we meet heaven.

55. Mona - May 30, 2014

I also believe Adam and Eve had children before they sinned. The Lord gave them the command to :”Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it ” and right before we are told how Eve sinned the last sentence is :” Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame” . Adam and Eve received the blessing of being fruitful and multiply and at the end right before they sinned the bible tells us that they were both naked; a man godly or not if he sees a naked women what do they want to do? And also later on the bible does mentions about the children that were born before Adam and Eve sinned and they are called the Sons of God for they had no sin and the spirit of God was still in them however look what happened after they saw the women of men, at this point women born in sin :” the sons of God saw that the daughters of humans were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. 3 Then the Lord said, “My Spirit will not contend with[a] humans forever, for they are mortal; their days will be a hundred and twenty years.” There were none of the purebred of the human species left on earth and the Lord destroyed it all with the flood.

56. Mona - May 30, 2014

Also it is said in the Bible Son’s of God and not fallen angels or Son’s of the devil because right after the Son’s of God sinned The Lord brought the flood so they weren’t no fallen angels, and also in Matthew 22:29 :” For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.… ” so it’s clear that angels cannot multiply only humans can.

57. Dale - June 3, 2014

Earlier I made this statement below in October 31, 2012, even though my intent was not to dishonor the Lords word. But after rereading what I had written that It may be perceived that what I said could be taken as what the Lord should have said and in no aspect is this what I was implying. But was referencing my point on His use of the word multiply. I asked the Lord to forgive me if I offended His Word or anyone else in my poor choice of words in reference to the word multiply. In saying that I know the Lords word is perfect and that the word multiply is perfect always. If I offended anyone by this please forgive me.

Thanks Dale

Lord uses the word multiply? Would it not have been just as effective to have told Eve that she would have pain in conception and child birth, as to saying that the pain would be multiplied?

58. Richard K - June 10, 2014

Just found this, and love it! Thanks so much Kyle for getting the ball rolling, and everyone else for your contributions. I’d like to add a few thoughts of my own, and a couple of pleas:

  1. Genesis ch. 1-6 are foundational to our faith – they contain all the principal theological truths we need to know about creation, the fall, and the spread of sin, the need for salvation, and the promise of salvation

  2. But – it is very succinct – it only gives us the key bits of information we NEED to know, and omits thousands of things we’d LIKE to know.

  3. Thousands of years of scholarship have given us a fantastic translation and understanding of the original texts. But we don’t know for sure (and can never know) the precise meaning of every word in the original Hebrew. Our understanding of a language written 4000 years ago (and its meaning to those who wrote it) can never be perfect, so there are bound to be some aspects that are open to several possible interpretations and speculation.

  4. I think it’s great to use our minds to speculate about exactly what happened, as people have in this discussion. But we must all remember that it is just that – speculation. None of us can ever know which of them may be right. As Paul says in 1Cor13:12 “now we see through a glass darkly”. Any one of the ideas people have put forward in this discussion could be right – or we could all be wrong! Only God knows.

  5. Reiterating my point 2 – let’s all be confident that none of the speculations in this fascinating discussion affect the theological principles of our faith in any way at all.

  6. So here’s my FIRST PLEA: please can everyone be HUMBLE, RESPECTFUL and LOVING in any discussion of Genesis 1-6 (or any other discussion). Beware saying “I am right, you are wrong” – that’s pride! And maybe it’s you who’s wrong (or me!)

  7. SECOND PLEA – Please be OPEN-MINDED. It is almost certain that whatever you think about the details is bound to be wrong in some respect, and so will everyone else’s alternative views. So please, DON’T BE DOGMATIC about the details, and please moderate your language in any discussions (Kyle – I think you got it spot on in saying “may” rather than “was” in your first post). Always remember – your interpretation is PROBABLY WRONG in some respect – as is mine. Please be say “this may have happened, or maybe that may have happened”.

  8. THIRD PLEA – please everyone NEVER add anything to Scripture that it doesn’t actually say. That’s what the Pharisees did.

  9. FOURTH PLEA – please don’t EVER argue anything by omission. Such as “if that had happened, surely the Bible would have said so”.

  10. FIFTH PLEA – BEWARE our modern worldview and approach to history. Ancient writings, including history, were almost never written exactly chronologically – that’s a much more modern concept. Just because things were written down in a particular order does NOT mean that they happened in exactly that order. For example it says that “Adam named his wife Eve”, but NOT WHEN. It could have happened on day one, or at a hundred years old. We just don’t know, so shouldn’t draw any theological significance from it.

Enough pleas. So here are some of my own speculations (any of which may well be wrong), trying to be as open-minded as possible, and consider lots of possibilities:

  1. I like the thought that Adam & Eve might have had children in the garden – it’s certainly an interesting idea. Other alternatives are that Eve might have been pregnant when she ate the forbidden fruit (having cravings?). Or may have only had children after the Fall. All seem to be theologically and scripturally possible. Genesis simply doesn’t say. It also doesn’t say how long they were in the Garden – it could have been a few days, or a hundred years!

  2. Eve’s “increase in pains in childbearing” could be because she’d already had children. Or because God had already told her before the Fall that giving birth would be a bit painful. Or that she’d seen animals in a bit of pain giving birth. Or that we’ve misunderstood the phrase a bit, and that it just means that giving birth is going to be jolly painful when she first does it (and thereafter). We just don’t know.

  3. Cain could have been their first-born, or their hundredth. There could have been lots of children before him (hence his comment “whoever finds me will kill me”, and his having a wife). Or maybe just lots born after him, who had grown up and dispersed before he murdered. He might even have already been married himself and had hundreds of descendants who had already dispersed. We just don’t know. It doesn’t say. Maybe he’s just mentioned as he was the first to murder?

  4. Cain could have been older than Abel, or younger, or they could have been twins. We don’t know. We can’t deduce it from the written order – as an example, Gen 9:18 lists Noah’s sons in order as Shem, Ham and Japheth, but 10:21 says Japheth was older than Shem.

  5. Cain could have been 10 years old when he murdered Abel. Or 129. Or any age in between. I favour an older date (as per my comment 12) to allow for more people being on earth at the time.

  6. Gen 6 v1-4 about the “sons of God” and “daughters of men” is notoriously hard to understand. It’s great to see the discussion and different viewpoints put forward (fallen angels, kings/princes, descendants of Adam & Eve born in the garden, etc) – any of which might be right (or wrong). It’s great to have some possible explanations, but let’s not be dogmatic about it. We just don’t know, and it’s really not important.

So – in conclusion, I hope my thoughts and pleas have been helpful, and that my speculations have shown that there are many different ways that things could have happened, and how to be open-minded about it. Let’s all use our brains to think through things like this, to give us greater understanding. But grab hold of the spiritual truths which are secure, and hold lightly the details which are unsure. And let’s not get hung up about minor things that we can never fully understand all the details of. God has revealed to us everything we need to know (ref John 21:31) and left loads of details unsaid (ref John 21:25) or a bit obscure (1 Cor 13:12). So don’t get hung up on the details and forget the message!

And please feel free to shoot me down (kindly!) if you disagree with anything I’ve said.

Many blessings to all,

Richard PS – I don’t want to launch into interpretations and speculations about the creation story, but can I multiply my five pleas by a factor of a hundred when it comes to interpretations of Gen 1. WE JUST DON’T KNOW how literal or allegorical it’s meant to be. It could be either, or a mixture, and IT REALLY DOESN’T MATTER! The foundational theological truths we NEED to know are absolutely certain either way, so let’s focus on those! And please don’t condemn, disrespect, or disparage those who hold a different view.

59. Richard K - June 10, 2014

Just another thought: I realised that people might think I’m advocating “blind faith” – just accepting things in the Bible without any further thought. Far from it. I’m actually a scientist and engineer, and am sure that my faith is logical, justifiable, based on absolute solid evidence, and in complete agreement with hard, rational scientific findings. And I’d encourage everyone to explore and investigate the Bible in every detail. For example, I think it’s great that there are so many scientists who are now researching and re-interpreting geological/fossil evidence etc and finding that it’s far more likely to correspond to a global flood than gradual processes. And encourage them to do more and more research in this area. But I do get disturbed by the way some of their findings are presented in a very dogmatic, antagonistic and judgmental way (“I’m right, you’re wrong”), rather than an open-minded, thoughtful, and respectful way. I’d like to encourage everyone to present hard facts as facts, let the facts speak for themselves, and to be very humble in proposing an interpretation them. You may be wrong! And so may I. Your humble servant, Richard

60. Kyle Tucker - June 10, 2014

Amen!

61. Richard K - June 10, 2014

Thanks Kyle!

I have already had to eat a bit of humble pie! My son has just corrected me about part of my speculation 4 – the possibility of Cain being younger than Abel. He’s pointed out that Gen 4 v 1-2 does seem pretty clear that Cain was born before Abel (though this may of course have been only a minute or two, if they were twins).

But then again, I don’t think we can say that it’s totally impossible. If you agree with my point 10, we can’t be pedantic that the word “then” in v.2 definitely means chronologically later. It does mean that to us, but not necessarily to them at the time it was written. Also bearing in mind that before then it was passed down by oral tradition for hundreds of years, very likely from at least one other language (e.g. pre-Babel). It most likely does mean “subsequently”, but I think there’s still a possibility it might just mean “at a different time”. Quite often one of the gospels states that “then Jesus did (something)” whereas another gospel recounts events in a different order for stylistic/thematic reasons. I know the NT is in Greek rather than Hebrew, but it’s the same principle. And it makes no difference whatever to any of the stories. But I think I agree with my son, that Cain most probably was older (not that it matters!). Always happy to be corrected! Richard P.S. Don’t you think the whole of Genesis is amazing? These accounts were passed down from generation to generation for hundreds and hundreds of years, before writing ever existed. And it’s precisely because the stories are all so succinct, clear, expressive and most of all memorable, especially the story of creation. Since most of the events of Gen 1 & 2 pre-dated Adam and Eve, it seems most likely that God explained to them what he’d done, maybe during their evening strolls in the garden (though of course He might have revealed it to them, or to others at a later date). And it seems that He did so in a wonderfully poetic and memorable way, that could be faithfully transmitted by word of mouth until writing was invented. How amazing is that? I don’t think they could have possibly managed it if He’d dictated a 1000-page scientific textbook including relativity and quantum mechanics!

62. Liam Jerrard - June 17, 2014

Linda. 100% there we have the jesus decendent line