* And Cain married a woman previously created who lived outside of Eden, (In Nod, actually)
So many different answers because the story is confusing. Plus there are two seemingly contradictory versions, back to back, in Gen 1 and Gen 2.
Bottom line: It is just a story. An allegory included in the etiological chapter of the Bible, basically to show where Hebrews came from.
It is, after all, the Hebrew God who is the star of this show.
According to the story, mankind is created in the first chapter of Genesis, Adam and Eve are created afterward, in the second chapter of Genesis. Follow closely and the evidence will become clear to you.
Genesis 1: 26- “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over…”
‘Man’ and ‘them’ are plural. (As is God’s reference to himself, for that matter. ‘Us’ and ‘our’, but that’s a different story.)
27)- So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”
God is creating mankind, Man, not the man.
28)- “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth…
29)- “And God said, Behold I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of the earth, and every tree in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you, it shall be for meat.”
And that is the clincher.
God would not have said this to Adam and Eve, now would he?
The narrative ends here, with no mention of the garden, no admonition concerning the forbidden fruit, all trees are acceptable to eat from. This is because at this time there was no garden of Eden, no tree of knowledge of
good and evil, only the world which God created.
And God sent mankind out into this world to be fruitful and multiply. The story does not relate the number of ‘them’, ‘males and females’ that God created, but one can assume as many as needed to form a viable gene pool.
In no way can this be construed to have been the creation of the two individuals known as Adam and Eve. This was the general populace. The Hebrews, being the chosen people, were not descended from the general populace. They trace their lineage back to God’s special pair- Adam and Eve.
Genesis 2: 8- “And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there he put the man whom he had formed.”
An entirely different narrative about an entirely different creationary event. Here God gets on a one to one basis with the individual man, instructing Adam, and only Adam, in the do’s and don’ts of this special place, Eden. (Never really letting on to Adam that the only reason he is there is to pull weeds and tend the garden- this was his purpose.)
Now since Eve was created from Adam’s tsela, a case could be made that they were brother and sister, perhaps even twins. They did, after all, both have the same parent. Notice God at no time ever tells them to be fruitful and multiply!
The last two verses of Genesis 2 are curiously out of context. Up until then, the narrative concerns God’s work, also Adam and God in communication. Then:
Genesis 2: 24- “Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”
25)- “And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.”
These two verses are so awkwardly different from the preceding narrative, one wonders if they were perhaps a later insertion. For one, there is no indication of Eve being a ‘wife’. She was created to be “an help meet”. Without these two verses, the realization of the brother/sister relationship is more apparent.
And Gen 2: 24 is just blurted out. To whom is it addressed? It sounds like an aside. And besides, Adam had no mother to leave!
In fact, neither Adam nor Eve had any concept of a mother. And having been robbed of their childhood and formative years, the statement would not have been understood by them.
The Hebrew authors then immediately reiterated the proclaimed relationship
of man and wife in Gen 2: 25. Just to drive the point across, while setting up for the infamous scene of their first self-aware moment upon receiving knowledge.
(Which, sadly, was to hide their nakedness, as if suddenly ‘shame’ of their natural bodies was created. God had no problem with their nakedness, but apparently, the biblical authors did.)
In any case, it was not until after they were expelled from Eden that they ‘consummated’ the ‘marriage’ and Cain was born. There were many other unnamed sons and daughters who intermarried and produced ‘the Chosen People’.
By the time Cain became of age, he was 86′ed from Eden for offing his bro.
Luckily there were babes in the land of Nod, attracted to a stranger in town, and he probably could have had his choice from among the hottest of the hotties.
And there you have it.
This particular interpretation is not shared by the ‘dyed in the wool’ adherents, but from what is written, I believe it is the most realistic.
It is, after all, just a story…you know.