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Discovery Magazine 2/1/2003

All in the Family

by  Brad Harrub, Ph.D.

The Bible tells us that the first man ever created was Adam. Soon after God created Adam, God placed him in what must have been the most beautiful place in the world. This was a place far more beautiful than any tropical island paradise that we may visit today. There was not one bit of pollution, smog, or litter to be found anywhere around the Garden of Eden. In this garden, God grew trees that were pleasing to look at, as well as those that were goodfor food.  It was in the Garden of Eden that Adam and Eve lived for a short period of time—until they disobeyed God. In Genesis 3:23, we learn that Adam and Eve were sent out of the Garden of Eden, and never allowed to return.

Once outside the garden, Adam and Eve had children—Cain and Abel. Not much is known about these two young men. However, we learn very quickly that Cain became angry and killed his brother Abel (Genesis 4:8). Once again, we have another example of someone doing something they should not have done. And, once again, God stepped in and sent Cain farther away. The Bible tells us that Cain went out and lived in the land of Nod—where his wife gave birth to a son.

Many people are confused into thinking that there must have been other populations of people who lived in Nod. They also point out that there must have been other groups of people in order for Cain to find his wife. However, the Bible never says that Nod was an established city with many other people living in it when Cain moved there. In fact, Genesis 3:20 tells us that Eve (Cain’s mother) was “mother of all living.” Thus, we know God did not scatter other populations of people around the Earth. Eve was literally mother of all humans! But whom would that leave for Cain to marry? Well, we know Adam and Eve had another son named Seth (Genesis 5:3), and we are also told that they had additional sons and daughters who are not named (Genesis 5:4). If Cain married someone, and all people came from his mother, then that must mean he married a relative—like a sister or a niece. While that may seem odd to us today, remember that one part of God’s commands to Adam and Eve was to multiply and fill the Earth. Also, there were no genetic mutations back then, so Cain and his wife did not have to worry about their children having defects.

The next time you feel upset with someone, try to stop and think about the fact that we all came from the same original pair of people that was kicked out of that beautiful garden so many years ago. Ultimately, we are all related.



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