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Who is Cain's Father? Part One

Who is Cain's Father? Part One | Part Two | Part Three

Is Adam really Cain's Father? You may understand the Bible to say Adam and Eve had sex and Cain was born of that union. That's an assumption this writing will challenge. This is important because, as I think you'll shortly see, unless you really grasp the importance of seed and what happened in the Garden between the serpent, Eve and Adam you're missing a major "piece of the puzzle." Without it, you won't be able to interpret some really important elements of the counterfeit and the genuine agendas playing out in these last days. Adam did not father Cain, the serpent did.

Who is Cain's Father? [Kindle Edition]
* An updated version of what you read here, slightly expanded.

You're probably familiar with the classic way parents explain sexual reproduction to their children as "the birds and the bees." Another classic is the "brought by a stork" explanation for where babies come from. What is that but the colorful use of figurative language to explain a mature subject to the immature? The story told about Adam and Eve being tricked by a snake into eating an apple from a tree is like that. The story resembles the truth. For the mature, though, there's more to be known and understood about the Garden scenario and its consequences, much more!

Some will want to argue that the sin in the Garden was disobedience and that this is really the only thing that matters. Adam was told, don't do that, but he did it anyway. My response to that is, let's not be ignorant. Consider how a disobedient child might sneak a cookie before dinner or, perhaps, they might burn the house to the ground. How should the parent respond in these cases? You see, the nature of the act of disobedience, of the command that's disobeyed, has a bearing on the response. If we're just interested in stories that entertain small children, then, fine, we can limit the point made to the matter of disobedience. If we want to gain some wisdom and understanding about sin and its consequences we're going to have to account for the nature of the command that was disobeyed and the acts of disobedience.

How can I write with confidence on this subject? Because the Lord showed me, and I know it. That was about 18 years ago, sometime in the winter of 1991/1992. I was really stunned when it happened. I really had no particular insight or special interest in this topic before the revelation came, but it came in a season where I was being prompted to ask lots of specific questions and subsequently led directly to the answers. Each answer had multiple confirmations following. After all the years since that memorable season I'm still learning what some of those answers really mean and how important they really are.

It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.

Proverbs 25:2

This study is not intended for children, the immature adult or casual seeker. I highly recommend before continuing here that you pause to read Genesis chapters 2-4, so the scriptural account is fresh in your mind, and, that you pray for the Lord to grant you insight according to His good pleasure. I also recommend that you read this entire study and consider the sum of the evidence before rejecting it on some point of initial disagreement. What happened in the Garden that caused man to be expelled is popularly referred to as "the original sin" but I'm not going to use that reference here.

Ready? Let's go!

The first thing that may have come to mind when you read my opening line, that Adam did not father Cain, was probably the verse you recall that declares how Adam DID father Cain. Certainly, if the Bible says so, that settles it. What is the declaration of the scripture?

And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD.

Genesis 4:1

Well, that seems plain enough. When we read such a verse, if we subsequently encounter no apparent contradiction we have no reason to investigate further. However, on the subject of Cain's paternity we find ourselves having to contrive a variety of explanations when Cain's father is assumed to be Adam. Did Adam and Eve have daughters? Yes. Does the narrative give a full birth history of all their children? No. The account is really pretty sparse. I submit to you that it's just what it needs to be, and the Author freely employs means of concealing and revealing as He wills according to His purposes.

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

Genesis 4:1-2

Items of interest
I found these in a brief search.

What Did Abel Have That Cain Didn't?
"Abel, pronounced in the original Hebrew of the Scriptures as heh-bel, was the second-born son of Adam and Eve - but perhaps not by much. After the birth of Cain, Genesis 4:2 literally translates as "and she continued to give birth, his brother Abel.""

A Twist of Cain
"The passage "and again she bare his brother Abel," has led some Biblical scholars to speculate that Cain and Abel were twins, also suggested by the constant use of my brother, your brother, further on in the tale - reference: The Interpreter's Bible, vol I, 517."

Cain and Abel (Wikipedia)
"In the Greek New Testament, Cain is referred to as (Greek spelling - ek tou poneros. (1 John 3:12) In at least one translation this is rendered "from the evil one" (International Standard Version), while others have "of the evil one." (New American Standard Version, Douay-Rheims Bible, English Revised Version, World English Bible, Young's Literal Translation, etc.) Some interpreters take this to mean that Cain was literally the son of the serpent in the Garden of Eden. A parallel idea can be found in Jewish legend,(Louis Ginzberg, The Legends of the Jews, Vol.1, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998, ISBN 0-8018-5890-9, p.105-9) that the serpent (Hebrew - nahash) from the Garden of Eden was father to firstborn Cain."

Abel (NETBible Study Dictionary)
"ABEL (1) - a'-bel (hebhel; Abel; Westcott and Hort, The New Testament in Greek Habel; etymology uncertain. Some translation "a breath," "vapor," "transitoriness," which are suggestive of his brief existence and tragic end; others take it to be a variant of Jabal, yabhal, "shepherd" or "herdman," Gen 4:20. Compare Assyrian ablu and Babylonian abil, "son"): The second son of Adam and Eve. The absence of the verb harah (Gen 4:2; compare verse 1) has been taken to imply, perhaps truly, that Cain and Abel were twins."

Cain and Abel (Answers.com)
"According to Midrashic tradition, Cain and Abel each had twin sisters, whom they were to marry."

The Mystery of the Serpent Seed (William Branham)
"Before Adam ever had a carnal knowledge of Eve, the serpent had that knowledge ahead of him. And that one born of it was CAIN."

The Serpent Seed - The Original Sin (Richard l. s. Gan)
“When the Devil-possessed Serpent committed fornication with the woman, that animal's seed was planted in her womb and became fused with her egg resulting in the birth of a hybrid — Cain — a perverted seed!”

Here's a brief on the appearance of the being referred to as a serpent.

Who Is The Serpent of Genesis 3? By Patrick Heron
"Lucifer is here described as a ‘man’. For he looks like a man as do Gabriel and Michael and, one presumes, all the other created ‘sons of God’. And I would wager that Satan is a very attractive looking man."

When reading verses 1 and 2 we naturally think about bringing forth children one at a time. We think, first a conception, then a birth, followed by another conception and another birth. This is our most familiar model. Is there any evidence that this was the case with Cain and Abel? Produce it if you can. I can't find any. Does verse 2 say "And Adam again knew Eve his wife, and she conceived again and bare Abel." No, it doesn't, but yet, this is how most read it due to assumptions. Verse two simply reads, "And she again bare his brother Abel."

Does the Bible indicate how much time passed between the birth of Cain and the birth of Abel? No, their relative ages are nowhere to be found in the Bible. Abel's birth could have followed Cain's by minutes, which is common with twins and multiple births. You might now assume that, if they were twins, they would still both be Adam's sons, but Adam wasn't the only one in the Garden capable of fathering children with Eve, and there are conception and birth models beyond what first comes to mind that must be considered.

You might be thinking at this point how the Author could have clarified the matter by giving a little more explanation, making it a bit less cryptic. He's either a poor author who can't communicate effectively, or a brilliant author who allows for concealing and revealing. I'm betting the latter.

Alternate conception and birth models
"Dizygotic (fraternal) twins arise from different eggs and sperm, look as different as siblings born at different times would look, and can be either the same or different sex. A dizygotic pregnancy does not always result from the same act of sexual intercourse, which means it is theoretically possible for dizygotic twins (as well as triplets and other higher-order pregnancies) to have different fathers."
Multiple Pregnancies - Twins, Other Multiple Births (Woman's Health Channel

"Trizygotic triplets occur when three separate eggs are fertilized by three separate sperm."
"Superfecundation refers to fertilization of two or more ova (eggs) during the SAME menstrual cycle by sperm from separate acts of sexual intercourse. Twins with different fathers are thought to arise by this mechanism."
Twinning (OBFocus)

"As technology has improved the accuracy and accessibility of genetic testing, it has become more evident that twins can have two different fathers. The situation only applies to fraternal (dizygotic) twins, not identical (monozygotic) twins, which form from a single egg/sperm combination.
However, fraternal twins are the result of hyperovulation, the release of multiple eggs in a single cycle. Superfecundation describes a situation where the eggs are fertilized by sperm from separate incidences of sexual intercourse. In a case where a woman has sex with different partners, the twins could have different fathers. The appropriate term to describe this situation is heteropaternal superfecundation. "
Heteropaternal Superfecundation - Twins with Different Fathers

Definition: Term used to describe the formation of a fetus while another fetus is already present in the uterus. It occurs when eggs from two separate menstrual cycles are released, as opposed to normal dizygotic twins where multiple ova are expelled in a single cycle. Although common in animals, it is rare in humans, but can result in a twin or multiple pregnancy where the fetuses display a marked difference in gestational development. Examples: In 2009, an Arkansas woman became pregnant with two babies due to superfetation. Ultrasound revealed that Julia Grovenburg was pregnant with two babies conceived about two and a half weeks apart.
Superfetation - glossary (About.com)

"Among dizygotic twins, in rare cases, the eggs are fertilized at different times with two or more acts of sexual intercourse, either within one menstrual cycle (superfecundation) or, even more rarely, later on in the pregnancy (superfetation). This can lead to the possibility of a woman carrying fraternal twins with different fathers (that is, half-siblings). This phenomenon is known as heteropaternal superfecundation. One 1992 study estimates that the frequency of heteropaternal superfecundation among dizygotic twins whose parents were involved in paternity suits was approximately 2.4%; see the references section, below, for more details."
Twin - Unusual twinnings (Wikipedia)

With an awareness of the reality of heteropaternal superfecundation and superfetatation (see side panel), what can we reasonably conclude from Genesis 4:1-2 with regard to Cain's or Abel's paternity?

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

Genesis 4:1-2

Honestly, we can only say that one or more of them was Adam's, based strictly on this passage. Was this an instance of heteropaternal superfecundation or superfetation? If the matter can be known the evidence must be sought elsewhere.

While it doesn't yet settle the matter, there's a clue we should note before we move on. Upon delivering Cain, Eve declared that she had gotten a man with (Hebrew - 'eth) the Lord (Hebrew - Yehovah). If you research the name reference that is the Hebrew word Yehovah in all the surrounding context you find an interesting feature. Prior to Eve's declaration in Genesis 4:1 the word Yehovah is always followed by the word 'elohiym, forming "Lord God" - without exception. Eve's declaration marks a change. Why? Did she profane the name with reference to a lesser god? Well, that's something to think about.

The Genealogy of Cain is Separate From the Genealogy of Adam
So, where else should we look as we search out these family relationships? There's a genealogy given for Adam in Genesis chapter 5, so let's consider what we find there.

1) This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day when God created man, He made him in the likeness of God.
2) He created them male and female, and He blessed them and named them Man in the day when they were created.
3) When Adam had lived one hundred and thirty years, he became the father of a son in his own likeness, according to his image, and named him Seth.
4) Then the days of Adam after he became the father of Seth were eight hundred years, and he had other sons and daughters.

Genesis 5:1-4

What? Seth? What about Cain and Abel? This is obviously a pretty sparse genealogy. The phrase, "and he had other sons and daughters," doesn't offer anything in the way of help in our quest to discover Cain's paternity.

Given the usual status assigned to firstborn sons, by all rights we should expect that Cain would be first listed instead of Seth in Adam's genealogy. His omission must be noted. Cain's genealogy is given separately, before Adam's, in chapter 4. This genealogy begins with Cain, naming neither Adam nor another before him. While this is not conclusive evidence that Adam is not Cain's father, it must, at the very least, invite suspicion. If the Author intends to leave the truth of the matter for those who search it out more diligently, He is succeeding.

As for Abel's omission in the genealogy of Adam, we can understand how that when he was murdered, he was perhaps childless. He was formally substituted for Seth. According to Eve's declaration, this was by appointment from God.

Adam had relations with his wife again; and she gave birth to a son, and named him Seth, for, she said, "God has appointed me another offspring in place of Abel, for Cain killed him."

Genesis 4:25

No such explanation is offered about why Cain might have been omitted. Some speculate. Let's not.

We might simply let the declaration of 1 John 3:12 settle the matter. It does just that for some students and scholars.

not as Cain, who was of the evil one and slew his brother And for what reason did he slay him? Because his deeds were evil, and his brother's were righteous.

1 John 3:12

The Greek expression translated "of the evil one" is ek poneros. The preposition ek denotes origin. It governs the genitive. The word poneros is clearly not referring to Adam or Adam's Creator. So, does this verse represent the kind of conclusive evidence we're seeking? If it does, it's not readily apparent. Due to the context of the verse, verse 8 even by itself seems to discount verse 12, declaring that "the one who practices sin is of the devil." (ek diabolos) Let's keep searching, because the solution just isn't that difficult.

Where else can we look for an answer? Let's return to the account of the activity in the Garden of Eden and consider the potential meaning of the figurative language. Then, let's consider the kinds of consequences that came as a result of the activity, knowing how the Author of the Bible has a very refined sense of justice and legality. Where punishment is mandated it fits the crime. The consequences are always a suitable response, as in "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth." (Exodus 21:23-27, Deuteronomy 19:17-21)

Figurative Language - Concealing and Revealing
Of course, we'd like to take everything the Bible says literally and in a straightforward way wherever possible, but the truth isn't always revealed in such a way. Much is concealed by way of figurative language. If you're not familiar with what I wrote about the Keys to Developing a Hearing Ear let me encourage you to become familiar.

The "Eating" - A Metaphor
When the account of the Garden activity refers to trees and eating their fruit, what else could be meant beyond the obvious? I'm going to get right to the point with this first example.

53) So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves.
54) He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.

John 6:53-54

At this statement, many who heard it but couldn't get their minds wrapped around it took offense and took off. The Lord had been teaching using metaphorical references to his body as bread before and after using the reference to his flesh and blood.

48) I am the bread of life.
49) Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died.
50) This is the bread which comes down out of heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die.
51) I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh."

John 6:48-51

Compare this to the language of Genesis 3.

Then the LORD God said, "Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever"

Genesis 3:22

If you equate the tree of life with the bread of life you have another way of considering the activity in the Garden.

Let's consider why the metaphor of eating is used. When you eat something, it's subsequently digested and something of it's assimilated. It becomes part of your body, of you, it abides in you.

He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.

John 6:56

Now, beyond the food metaphor I want you to make note of the family relationship theme in the context. When you read the whole context while looking for it you become aware of the frequent and rather conspicuous reference to family relationship. There's a weaving back and forth through the bread of life eating and the father and son themes. This is what we call a clue. :) To illustrate this I've color-coded a passage to highlight three interwoven themes; eating food, the family relationship and life.

The very profound truth hidden here is that food is to the eater like a father is to a son. Something of food is imparted to the eater, which becomes part of them. Something of a father is imparted to the son, which becomes part of them. Get it? Genetic material is transferred from father to son as nutrients are transferred from food to eater. Read the context again with this understanding. Natural food relates to physical life. The genetic material "food" relates here to eternal life! The natural eating involves putting things in your mouth and chewing them up. The other kind of eating is procreative.

The Jews who were grumbling in verses 41 and 42 were at least in the right ballpark with their reasonings, which again, appears for our benefit as a clue.

Therefore the Jews were grumbling about Him, because He said, "I am the bread that came down out of heaven."
42) They were saying, "Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does He now say, 'I have come down out of heaven'?"

John 6:41-42

In the Garden, Eve saw that the tree was good for food.

When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.

Genesis 3:6

Any tree that might be seen as desirable to make one wise is no ordinary kind like we might encounter in a walk through an orchard. A tree that might be seen as "good for food" does not necessarily mean it's expected to provide a meal. Remember, in the language of John 6 the eating of food equates to procreation, to sexual reproduction. I submit to you that this action of taking the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil and eating it is no different. Folks misunderstood John 6. Could it be that Genesis 3 is misunderstood for the same reason? The truth is cloaked in figurative language, yet, it's not beyond discovery!

The seed of a tree is in the fruit. When you eat the fruit, you eat the seed. Trees are reproduced by way of their fruit. Let this sink in. The activity in the Garden was procreative. The notable feature of a tree is that it has seed in itself, reproducing after its kind!

11) And God saith, `Let the earth yield tender grass, herb sowing seed, fruit-tree (whose seed [is] in itself) making fruit after its kind, on the earth:' and it is so.
12) And the earth bringeth forth tender grass, herb sowing seed after its kind, and tree making fruit (whose seed [is] in itself) after its kind; and God seeth that [it is] good;

Genesis 1:11-12 (YLT)

The "Tree" - A Metaphor
If you do word studies on "grass" and "tree" you find both are used metaphorically. Grass sometimes represents men, emphasizing the frailty and relative brevity of this life of the flesh. The grass is "tender," you see. A primary feature of the tree metaphor is the reproductive capability, as also indicated in the account of creation. Trees reference either men or heavenly beings or an entire family in figurative usage in the Bible and in apocryphal and extra-biblical literature.

There's a saying you may find familiar: "The acorn (or, apple) doesn't fall far from the tree." It's an observation that a person is like their parents, usually their Dad. It compares to the expression: "Like father, like son." Have you ever heard of a "Family Tree"? You'll be thinking along these lines as you review some examples of figurative usage from the Bible.

Let not the foreigner who has joined himself to the LORD say, "The LORD will surely separate me from His people " Nor let the eunuch say, "Behold, I am a dry tree."

Isaiah 56:3

If you don't understand about a eunuch, look it up.

9) and do not suppose that you can say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham for our father'; for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham.
10) The axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

Matthew 3:9-10

But I was like a gentle lamb led to the slaughter; And I did not know that they had devised plots against me, saying, "Let us destroy the tree with its fruit, And let us cut him off from the land of the living, That his name be remembered no more."

Jeremiah 11:19

He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season And its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers.

Psalms 1:3

3) Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest, So is my beloved among the young men In his shade I took great delight and sat down, And his fruit was sweet to my taste.
4) He has brought me to his banquet hall, And his banner over me is love.

Song of Solomon 2:3-4

I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness;I saw your forefathers as the earliest fruit on the fig tree in its first season But they came to Baal-peor and devoted themselves to shame,And they became as detestable as that which they loved.

Hosea 9:10

24) For if you were cut off from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these who are the natural branches be grafted into their own olive tree?
25) For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery--so that you will not