Monday, November 19, 2007

Cain's Princess Bride

Alice C. Linsley

Nok figurine

If Cain were born of Eve, the first mother, we would have to speculate that he produced offspring by a sister or perhaps a daughter of his brother Seth. If Eve is the original mother of all humanity, she and her children would have lived at least 3.2 million years ago since that is the age of the oldest human fossils. In this case, Cain's historicity is impossible to prove.

But what if Eve is the archetypical first mother, analogous to Mumbi among the Gikuyu? She then would represent the origins of a tribe of people (specifically Abraham's Nilotic ancestors), not the mother of all humanity.

This second approach enables us to consider Cain in historical time as the first ruler who established a territory for his son Enoch, born to him by a daughter of Enoch (Nok). In other words, Cain married a princess, probably a young woman to whom he was related.

The line of descent of Cain's princess bride is given in Genesis 4. She is not named, nor is her sister, the bride of Cain's brother, Seth. The line of descent from Seth's wife is given in Genesis chapter 5. Both Cain's wife and Seth's wife names theri first-born sons after their father Enoch/Nok, so we know their father's identity.

Most readers imagine that they are reading about the children of Adam and Eve when they read these begats in Genesis 4 and 5. However, analysis of this kinship pattern reveals that the blood line was traced through the wives. Cain and Seth's brides were the daughters of an African chief name Nok (Enoch in the Hebrew). Were we to diagram this, it would look like this:

/  \
Wife of Cain    Wife of Seth
/   \
Enoch/Nok    Enosh/Nok

So Genesis 4 and 5 traces descent from Enoch/Nok and not from Adam and Eve. As we see from the diagram, the wives of Cain and Seth named their first-born sons after their father. This naming prerogative of cousin brides continues throughout the Bible. We may assume from this that Cain and Seth married patrilineal parallel cousins, as did Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. It is also likely that Cain and Seth had second wives who would have been half-sisters, as did Nahor, Terah and Abraham.

Bloodline among Abraham's people was figured through the mother, but social status (caste) and livelihood (occupation) were inherited from the father. Tubal-Cain is said to have worked metal. He would have inherited this from his father.

The brides of Cain and Seth were of noble status. Their father was a ruler of great wealth who controlled the water systems of his region. During this time Africa was much wetter than it is today. The Chadic Sea was about 600 feet deep and sustained boating and fishing industries. The average fishermen used canoe dugouts, but nobles used boats constructed of marsh reeds lashed together and sealed with pitch.

The Nile and central Africa were once integrated. It took a long time for these water systems to shrink. The region was still wet in the time of Cain and Seth. The connection of the major water ways, controlled by rulers and chiefs, explains how the House of Nok (northern Nigeria) and the House of Set (Nubia) became the controlling houses of Kush. Ancient Kush would have included Egypt, southern Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya and Tanzania.  Now there is evidence that these Proto-Saharan rulers also governed Chad and Niger where they built pyramids that are 1000 years older than the Giza pyramids in Egypt.

An Ancient River Civilization

On the west side, the Nile connected with the Chadic Sea, which in turn connected to the Benue and Niger Watershed in Nigeria. This is the region of Noah's flood. As a ruler, Noah probably had a fleet of boats constructed of reeds and pitch. The biblical flood likely took place during the late Holocene Wet Period in the only area on earth that claims to be Noah's homeland: Bor-No, the Land of Noah.

The western Nile watershed extended well into the Sudan. This explains why the Sudanese always have thought of the Nile as their river. The Sudanese-born BBC commentator, Zeinab Badawi, expresses the Sudanese view of the Nile:

"Ideologically, I wouldn't say that there are any huge differences between the Sudanese and the Egyptian governments certainly, and there is a huge affinity between the people. I think that the biggest source of friction and potential tension between Egypt and Sudan has been in the Nile, and how the waters of the Nile are used. The feeling that a lot of northern Sudanese might have is that the Nile actually in a sense runs much more through Sudan than it does through Egypt. Sudan is the biggest country in Africa. It's the tenth biggest in the world, the size of western Europe. It is the land of the Nile, and maybe there is a kind of brotherly resentment by the northern Sudanese that the Egyptians have in a sense claimed the Nile as their own, whereas the Sudanese in a sense feel they are the proper custodians of the Nile, because after all, most of its journey is through the territory of Sudan." (From here.)

The Ruling Houses Inter-married

It was the custom for the rulers of this region to have two wives.  One was a half-sister (as was Sarah to Abraham) and the second wife, taken later in life, was a patrilineal cousin or niece.  The second wife named her firstborn son after her father.  This cousin-bride naming prerogative allows biblical anthropologists to trace the lineage of Jesus back to the earliest rulers in Genesis.  It also explains why there are two named Esau, two named Joktan, two named Sheba and two named Lamech named in Genesis.

For example, Lamech's daughter Naamah (mentioned in Gen. 4) married her patrilineal cousin Methuselah and named their firstborn son "Lamech" after her father.

The intermarriage between the lines of Cain and Seth is paralled by the intermarriage between the lines of Ham and Shem and later between the lines of Eber and Sheba, and Abraham and Nahor. In fact, analysis of the Genesis genealogies reveals a consistent and unchanging marriage pattern among the Horite rulers before and after the time of Abraham.

It is very interesting to note that the Virgin Mary was Joseph's patrilineal cousin and that both were in the priestly lines.

Related reading:  Cain as Ruler; When the Sahara was Wet; Water Systems Connected Nile and Central Africa; Abraham's Kushite Ancestors; Are the Names Enoch and Enosh Equivalent?Cain and Seth: Sons of Nok


The Very Rev'd GRL3 said...

Very interesting. You consistently give me new directions to ponder. Thanks. Rick+

Alice C. Linsley said...

The bride's naming prerogative is found also in the case of Lamech's daughter Naamah (Gen. 4:22). She married her patrilineal parallel cousin, Methuselah (Gen. 5:25) and named their first born son, Lamech after her father.

Abraham's older brothers, Haran and Nahor, are also named by their mothers after their maternal grandfathers. This is how we know that Abraham was not Terah's first-born son. Nahor was the firxt-born of Terah by a daughter of Nahor. Haran and Sarah were the offspring of Terah by a daughter of Haran. So Abraham wasn't lying when he told Pharaoh that Sarah was his sister.

The pattern continued for a good while, since Reuben's first-born son is named Enoch (or "Hanoch" following the Hebrew Scriptures.)

TLF+ said...

Fascinating...thanks for the insight into early social order.

lisa ransdell said...

I was just curious,if you believe that people outside the garden were created? If so what is the purpose for the garden, Adam and Eve? Do you have any time frame that you believe this was all created or do you believe in evolution?

Alice C. Linsley said...

My theory is that Cain and Seth came from the Garden. That garden according to Genesis was located to the west of Nok. It is possibly where the palace city of Sheba has been located in a dense rain forest on the Atlantic coast of modern Nigeria. The site has yet to be excavated. For more on this, read:

The people outside the garden were created by God, as are all humans. There is no physical evidence to support the theory that humans evolved from primates. Humans appear suddenly and unheralded in the fossil record. No missing link has ever been found after 70 years of frantic searching. Many anthropologists have labored for years hoping to discover a proto-human species or "missing link".

There is much evidence for the theory that there were probably at least 3 original sets of Adam and Eves. That evidence involves linguistics, mitochondria samples, and Genesis itself.

In linguistics, we find that there are at least 17 distinct language groups. All the peoples mentioned in Genesis belong in the Afro-Asiatic language group. So Genesis 10 is correct when it tells us that all the peoples were of one group and spoke one language (cognate languages). But there were other peoples in other language groups.

The oldest human fossils are about 3.2 million years old. Humans were mining red ore in the Lebombo Mountains of southern Africa 100,000 years ago. You can read about that here:

I appreciate your good questions and hope that I have clarified what I believe, and what I believe Genesis permits me to believe.

Hans-Georg Lundahl said...

"All the peoples mentioned in Genesis belong in the Afro-Asiatic language group."

Nope. Javan and Togarma are Indo-Europeans.

Javan=Ionian Greeks.

Togarma=Germanic or Balto-Slavic or "Scythian" people. Might include either Iranian language group or Fenno-Ugrians. Or both.

Alice C. Linsley said...

Yes, I must go back and up-date this essay.

Genghis Khan married a woman of the Olkut’Hun, meaning the Hun tribe. Possibly Ogur Hun means the Hun clan or the Hun community of Og. The word ogur means clan, community or tribe and appears to be equivalent to the Pashto, orkut, meaning community. So, the words ogur, orkut and olkut seem to be linguistically related. They are not derived from the Nubian word for tribe which is ab which indicates that these words have a different source, probably Indo-Pakistani. They are related to the Kandahar dialect, which has as Tir-hari as a principal dialect. Tir is a form of the name Tiras, mentioned in Genesis 10 and hari is a form of the word for Horite. So Genghis Khan married into a community which has connections to Abraham's Horite people.

Though the Huns and Hungarians are descendents of Noah through Japheth, their language is classified in the Uralic group, not the Afro-Asiatic group. The Uralic family includes the languages of western Mongolia, Finnish and Hungarian.

In the Hungarian origin stories, Nimrod had two sons: Magor and Hunor. Magor is the equivalent of the Afro-Asiatic name Magog. The word Magyar is linguistically equivalent to Magog and is the name for the Hungarian people. Some Magyar still live in the Upper Nile area where they are called the Magyar-ab, the tribe of Magyar.

Hans-Georg Lundahl said...

Do they speak Hungarian?

Speaking of which, one researcher - heavily opposed by Hungarian expertise - has concluded that Etruscan is very old Hungarian.

Alice C. Linsley said...

Etruscan burial practices were like those of the ancient Egyptians, and Etruscan art resembles that of the Phoenician cities of Tyre and Sidon, and Egypt. The Etruscan figures I've looked at have eyes like Egyptians, slightly slanted and very almond shaped with black kohl-lined eyelids. All of this has caused me to wonder about the claim that the Etruscans came from Europe to Tuscany.

Alice C. Linsley said...

Hans-Georg, there is an example of the eyes here:

DMPoet said...

I am curious though if the cousin brides first born son, ruled his maternal grandfathers kingdom, what happened to the maternal grandfathers sons?

Alice Linsley said...


The first born son of the half-sister ascended to the throne of his biological father. So Isaac ruled Abraham's territory between Hebron and Beersheba in the land of Edom. The first born son of the cousin bride served as a sort of Prime Minister in the territory of his maternal grandfather, after whom he was named. He would have served the first born son of the sister bride who ruled that territory.

Anonymous said...

I have read the bible storys about Adam & Eve and the Garden of Edan...and it still leaves me with two questions. (1) If God forced Adam&Eve out of the Garden,Where did they go?? What happened to them?? (2)What time span was the Garden of Edan..and is the city of ERIDU and the Garden of Edan the same place??

Alice Linsley said...

Adam and Eve are the first named ancestors of the line of people from whom Jesus came. Jesus was a descendant of people who lived in the vast well-watered region called as "Eden" in the Bible. It was not a small garden. See this:

This line of religious specialists: priests, deified rulers, sages and scribes has been traced back to about 10,000 BC.

Eden, Egan, and Edan are related words and refer to a virgin forest or lush woodlands.