Cain Builds a Civilization

Genesis 4:17  

And Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch. And he built a city, and called the name of the city after the name of his son—Enoch.

Cain’s sin led to him being banished from the presence of his family—the only civilization that existed at the time. He was permitted to take his wife and build a new civilization in his exile. We are told he settled in the “land of Nod on the east of Eden” (verse 16). There he built a city named Enoch.

The location of Cain’s city is unknown and was destroyed during the global flood that came in Noah’s time (Genesis 7). All we know is its location relative of Eden—to the east.

Some wonder where Cain found his wife. Since Cain was the firstborn son of the first created human beings, he must have married one of his sisters. The Bible reveals that Adam and Eve had many other children (Genesis 5:4). At that time, the original humans would have had the genetic purity and variety that would have allowed children to safely be born to siblings.

Later, however, God made laws against incest, which included marrying anyone “near of kin” (Leviticus 18:6-17). Violations of these laws are still sins today and most countries still prohibit marriage between siblings. To learn more about the first human family, read “Where Did Cain Get His Wife?

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