Did the children of Adam and Eve commit incest?

Cain's wife 2

Q. Did the children of Adam and Eve commit incest?

A. Sometimes I get the question “Who was Cain’s wife?” or “Where did Cain get his wife?” The answer is the same: Cain married either one of his sisters or nieces. So in today’s terms the children of Adam and Eve committed incest, but that was not considered a sin until the Law of Moses came some 2,500 years later. Let me elaborate:

All mankind descended from Adam and Eve. God did not make other men and women beside them:
Gen 3:20 Now the man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all the living.

Adam and Eve had other children besides Cain, Abel and Seth:
Gen 5:4 Then the days of Adam after he became the father of Seth were eight hundred years, and he had other sons and daughters.

God commanded Adam and Eve to fill the earth. By extension this applied to their children too, since they could not do this by themselves.
Gen 1:28 God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, …

Now who were there to be husband and wife to each other? Only brothers and sisters initially, and for the next generation, cousins.
Gen 4:17 Cain had relations with his wife and she conceived, …

Wasn’t that forbidden? Not in the beginning, because at that time there were no one else around! The prohibition came later to protect the human race. Adam and Eve were created perfect, but with the Fall and the curse, the whole creation was subjected to futility and corruption (Rom 8:20-21). Bad mutations developed and the gene pool deteriorated. A child gets his/her genes from both parents. When both parents are blood relatives, defects are amplified, resulting in deformities. That’s why God forbade sexual relations among blood relatives:
Lev 18:6 ‘None of you shall approach any blood relative of his to uncover nakedness; I am the LORD.

Cain's wife 1

However, that came 2,500 years after Adam and Eve. In the early days, there were little bad mutations and deterioration, demonstrated by the longevity of our first ancestors (Gen 5). With the passage of time, genetic defects accumulated, population increased, and God gave the law to prohibit the practice. So technically the children of Adam and Eve committed incest, but that was permitted in early human history.


Transfiguration (3 of 6)

prophet priest king 1

(Continued from yesterday)

But can these threefold roles be further expanded to interpret some other strange passages / events in the gospels? Examples are:

i) the 3 strange God-initiated events of Star of Bethlehem / Transfiguration (with Moses and Elijah the prophets) / Tearing of the Veil of the Temple were visual confirmation of His Kingship / Prophethood / Priesthood. So the interpretation of the Transfiguration will be somewhat different from the traditional view;

Let’s look at the references:
• Mt 2:2 “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.”
• Deut 34:10 Since that time no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face,
• Mk 15:38 And the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. (See also Mt 27:51; Lk 23:45)

It is obvious that the star is associated with Jewish kingship and the curtain separating the Holy of Holies from the Holy Place is associated with the high priesthood:
• Heb 9:7 but into the second [Holy of Holies], only the high priest enters once a year, not without taking blood, which he offers for himself and for the sins of the people committed in ignorance.

But while Jesus Himself and some people identified Him as a prophet:
• Mk 6:4 Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and among his own relatives and in his own household.” (See also Mt 13:57; Jn 4:44)
• Mt 21:11 And the crowds were saying, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth in Galilee.” (See also Lk 24:19; Jn 7:40)

and Moses was called a prophet in Deut 34:10, the most common immediate association of Moses is with the Law. So rather than interpret all three of Jesus, Moses and Elijah represent prophets, I believe a more natural reading is to interpret Moses and Elijah as representing the Law and the Prophets, with both testifying for Jesus:

• Lk 24:44 Now He said to them, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.”
• Jn 1:45 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”
• Acts 28:23 When they had set a day for Paul, they came to him at his lodging in large numbers; and he was explaining to them by solemnly testifying about the kingdom of God and trying to persuade them concerning Jesus, from both the Law of Moses and from the Prophets, from morning until evening.

(To be continued)