More Genesis Q&As



Many people have questions about the Bible in general and the first several chapters of the Book of Genesis in particular.

The first six chapters of Genesis present a sum­mary of vital high points of approximately the first 1600-1700 years of mankind — from Adam’s creation to just before Noah’s Flood (details on calculations can be found in the article Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End?).

We in the Continuing Church of God have looked at various questions that were taken from authentic letters emanating from Ambassador College sponsored programs and publications or received as emails by us. This particular set of questions and answer is an update strongly based upon those in the 1973 booklet (shown above) written by the late John Ross Schroeder, but with most answers partially updated by Dr. Bob Thiel in 2014. Biblical quotes are from the KJV unless otherwise noted.

We addressed some of this before, and here are five more questions and answers:

• “Where is the Garden of Eden today?”

It’s gone! Adam was ordered to dress and keep it (Genesis 2:15). He sinned and was driven out. We do not know how long it existed after the first humans were exiled, but if it was not destroyed earlier, the flood probably erased all traces of it. God planted this garden in Eden about 6,000 years ago.

Where was it located? John Ross Schroeder claimed:

The Bible does not dogmatically tell us. However, there is reason to believe that it existed somewhere in the area where much later Jerusalem was built God has consistently used this area of the Holy Land to work out His plan of salvation.

When Christ returns, the center of His earthly kingdom will be at Jerusalem (Zechariah 14:17; Jeremiah 3:17). Ezekiel 47:1-12 shows a river will be flowing out from Jerusalem during Christ’s future reign, just as it did from the ancient Garden of Eden (see Genesis 2:10-14). Since this is the time of the restoration of all things (Acts 3:21), we have a possible indication that God will re-establish His presence in the same locality as before (see Genesis 3:8, 23-24; 4:16).

The Bible itself seems to indicate that Eden was in the area known as Iraq.


Notice that Genesis 2:10-14 connects the Euphrates river with Eden:

10 Now a river went out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it parted and became four riverheads. 11 The name of the first is Pishon; it is the one which skirts the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. 12 And the gold of that land is good. Bdellium and the onyx stone are there. 13 The name of the second river is Gihon; it is the one which goes around the whole land of Cush. 14 The name of the third river is Hiddekel; it is the one which goes toward the east of Assyria. The fourth river is the Euphrates. (Genesis 2:10-14)

The Euphrates is mainly now in Iraq and does not connect with Jerusalem. The prophecy concerning the drying up of the Euphrates river in Revelation 16:12 indicates that the biblical Euphrates river is the one currently in Iraq and Syria.

Either way, Eden is not currently on the earth.

• “Can you tell me where Cain got his wife?”

The answer becomes obvious when one considers the time factor of Genesis 4. Time obviously had elapsed since Adam’s and Eve’s creation. Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel were not the only human beings on the earth when Cain killed Abel.

By this time other children had been born to Adam and Eve. Genesis 5:4-5: “And the days of Adam after he had begotten Seth were eight hundred years: and he begat sons and daughters: and all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died.” Notice that Adam begat daughters. It is quite obvious that Cain married one of his sisters — Adam’s daughter. There simply weren’t any unrelated females for him to marry.

Adam was the first man (1 Corinthians 15:45), and Eve was the mother of all humans with the exception of Adam (Genesis 3:20). Perhaps because of modern laws concerning marriage to those near of kin, many have not seen this obvious solution. But it was not wrong for brothers and sisters to marry at that early time in human history. Abraham married his half sister Sarah (Genesis 20:12). His brother Nahor married his brother Haran’s daughter (Genesis 11:29).

There was no genetic harm to the children. In fact, it was the manner in which the various racial characteristics were brought out of the original human stock. These early humans had great genetic variability, but as new generations appeared, mankind began to show definite racial groups and subdivisions.

As humans became more racially distinct, it has become genetically harmful for close blood relatives to marry (see Leviticus 18), and for the sake of future generations it should not now be done.

• “How many sons and daughters did Adam have?”

The Bible gives us an abbreviated account of the lives of Adam’s dominant children — Cain, Abel, and Seth — because of their profound effect on history. Aside from this we are only told that Adam “begat sons and daughters” (Genesis 5:4). No exact number is given. However, one Jewish tradition relates that Adam and Eve had 33 sons and 23 daughters.

• “What was Cain’s mark mentioned in the book of Genesis?”

This enigmatic question has puzzled many people for hundreds of years. The word “mark” in Genesis 4:15 in the King James Version of the Bible is a translation of the Hebrew word owth.

According to Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, the Hebrew word owth may be rendered “mark,” or “signal, flag, monument, sign, or beacon.” Young’s Analytical Concordance renders this word “sign.”

The Critical and Experimental Commentary by Jamieson, Fausset and Brown shows that this word can be translated “sign,” “token” or “pledge.” The Hebrew word owth could indicate a boundary marker that God set up to separate or segregate Cain and his descendants from the rest of mankind.

Genesis 4:12, 16 shows that God banished Cain to the land of Nod (Nod meaning land of “wandering”) east of Eden or the Holy Land. The owth — mark or sign — that God made for Cain could also have been something to carry on his person, perhaps around his neck — from which the ancient and modern custom of wearing a charm or talisman for protection may be derived.

The Jewish Publication Society translation renders Genesis 4:15, “And the Lord said unto him [Cain]: ‘There­fore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.’ And the Lord set a sign for Cain, lest any finding him should smite him.” The original Hebrew conveys both meanings — a mark on the person of Cain, or a sign set up to segregate him from others. Some have thought that Cain’s mark involved skin color. Cain’s mark was not the changing of his skin color. Cain, in accordance with certain West African traditions, may well have been dark, but his sin was a matter of character.

God created ALL races — white, yellow and black, to serve and glorify Him with their own particular abilities. God intended races from the very beginning by putting within Adam and Eve the genetic material to begin various races. Racial differences are not due to the “mark of Cain.” Remember God “hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth . . .” (Acts 17:26). And He is no respecter of persons (Romans 2:11).

God’s race is for all (see also the article God’s Grace is For All).

• “Why did God create different races?”

God likely created different races for the same reason that He created different kinds of birds, or varieties of roses. Each has a special beauty, usefulness and contribution to make. The racial problem we see today is not a skin problem, but one of the human heart. Prejudice and hatred come from the mind. God created the different races to serve and help one another.

The racial problem is but one more evidence that humans needs a change of heart. Only then will everyone see that variety is the spice of life and racial differences were put there by a loving Creator to add to human happiness.

Some additional questions and answers are found in the article: Questions and Answers from Genesis.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Questions and Answers from Genesis Many wonder about certain early events that this article discusses.
Did Angels Marry Human Women? Many insist this is so and also that this mating caused giants to be born. Did this come from the ‘Book of Enoch’? What does Genesis 6:4 really mean? A related video is also available: Did Angels Marry Women and Produce Giants?
How Old is the Earth and How Long Were the Days of Creation? Does the Bible allow for the creation of the universe and earth billions of years ago? Why do some believe they are no older than 6,000 years old? What is the gap theory? Where the days of creation in Genesis 1:3 through 2:3 24 hours long? Here is a link to a sermon: Genesis, ‘Prehistoric man,’ and the Gap theory. Here is a link to a related article in Spanish: ¿Cuán vieja es la Tierra? ¿Cuán largos fueron los Días de la Creación? ¿Teoría de la brecha?
Where Did God Come From? Any ideas? And how has God been able to exist? Who is God?
Is God’s Existence Logical? Some say it is not logical to believe in God. Is that true? Here is a link to a YouTube sermon titled Is it logical to believe in God?
Is Evolution Probable or Impossible or Is God’s Existence Logical? Part II This short article clearly answers what ‘pseudo-scientists’ refuse to acknowledge. Here is a link to a YouTube video titled Quickly Disprove Evolution as the Origin of Life.
How Old is the Earth and How Long Were the Days of Creation? Does the Bible allow for the creation of the universe and earth billions of years ago? Why do some believe they are no older than 6,000 years old? What is the gap theory? Where the days of creation in Genesis 1:3 through 2:3 24 hours long?
How is God Omnipotent, Omnipresent, and Omniscient? Here is a biblical article which answers what many really wonder about it.
God’s Grace is For All Is being Jewish a hindrance to salvation? What about not being a descendant of Israel? What does the Bible really teach? Here is a link to a related sermon titled Race and Grace; Do you view race as God does?
Has time been lost? It Saturday the seventh day of the week?
Why Were You Born? Why did God make you? Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this as a booklet on this important subject. You may also wish to read the article What is Your Destiny? or watch the video, also titled What is Your Destiny?
What is the Meaning of Life? Who does God say is happy? What is your ultimate destiny? Do you really know? Does God actually have a plan for YOU personally? There is also a video titled What is the meaning of your life?

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