In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth, and in seeing all that He created, it was in His heart to create mankind. God first created man, whom He made from the dust of the ground. Genesis 2 accounts how God breathed into Adam’s nostrils, giving him life. His name means, “red” or “to make” for he was made from the ground to walk the earth.
Shortly after making Adam, God’s heart, full of wisdom and understanding, saw that it was not good for man to be alone (Genesis 2:18). In the Garden of Eden, true Paradise on earth, God led Adam into a deep sleep. During this holy slumber, God took a rib from Adam, and from that rib crafted the perfect counterpart to Adam, naming her Eve.
Eve’s name means “to breathe” or “to give life” for through her many children would be given life. Adam and Eve would later fall to sin after being tempted by the Serpent. This resulted in Adam and Eve no longer living in the Garden and being led to live out their days on the earth, raising many children.
Who Were Adam and Eve’s Children?
Cain and Abel: The first son of Adam and Eve was named Cain, his name in Hebrew means, “acquired” for Eve remarks after his birth in Genesis 4:1, “With the help of the Lord I have brought forth a man.” After Cain came another son, Abel. Abel’s name in Hebrew means, “breath or vapor” perhaps indicative that his life was short-lived.
The Bible shares in the course of time that the two boys grew into men, Cain working the soil and Abel working with the animals. Both came before the Lord with offerings, but what Abel brought to the Lord was deemed acceptable. The Lord speaks over Cain in encouragement to do what is right and that the fruit of his labor would be accepted, but instead of working over his own domain, Cain fell deeply into jealousy.
This jealously boiled to the top with rage and Cain took the life of his brother, Abel. Genesis 4:10 explains the reaction and punishment given from the Lord to Cain for the murder,
The Lord said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground. Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth.”
Cain was cast out from his family but would go on to wander the earth. He had many children himself, but the reminder of his sin against God and his brother would mark his life and generations to come.
The children of Cain were city builders, constructing the city of Enoch. Further descendants grew to raise livestock and play stringed instruments and pipes (Genesis 4:19). Many forged tools of bronze and iron, and through Cain’s line many advancements came about. This is proof that despite sins of the past or failures, there can still be success and goodness in the future. The beginnings do not determine the destinations.
How Was Seth Different? After the murder of Abel and banishment of Cain, a new hope was granted to Adam and Eve through another child, Seth. Genesis 4:25 shared that Eve thanked God that, “He has granted me another child in the place of Abel.” Seth’s name in Hebrew means, “anointed or compensation.”
Names hold deeper meaning and significance, often shedding light on a person’s destiny or potential. This is why so often in the Bible names would be changed over time, to reflect the work of the Lord or the promise. Seth was the compensation or gift to make up for the severe loss of Abel, but he was also anointed to be blessed.
The Bible shares in Genesis 5 that Seth looked much like his father, Adam. He lived 912 years and had many sons and daughters. It would be through Seth’s line that Noah would be born, and when God flooded the earth and all that lived on the earth, only the line of Noah would be spared. Seth’s line was anointed and blessed for through his line, mankind would be spared.
Does the Bible Say Anything about Their Other Children? Genesis 5:3 sheds light on the descendants of Adam and Eve beyond Seth in quick summary,
When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image; and he named him Seth. After Seth was born, Adam lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Adam lived a total of 930 years, and then he died.
Because there were so few people, the longevity of mankind was far longer than it is today. Adam was the father of other sons and daughters, but the first three sons are the only ones in which we are given more of a storyline and genealogy.
Adam’s offspring would inhabit and fill the earth, just as God had instructed Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply. Although not much else is known of these other children, we do know they served a great purpose in populating the earth.
Who Did Adam and Eve’s Children Marry?
The genealogical accounts of three of Adam and Eve’s sons provide more of a glimpse of the timelines and outcomes of their descendants. The question arises, who did the sons marry? The question and alarm of incest arises, but as Bible.org explains,
As to incest, it was not considered a sin and was not prohibited for Adam and early man. If the race was to populate and fulfill the command of Gen. 1:28, there is little doubt that Adam’s sons and daughters had to have married their own sisters and brothers if the race was to populate the earth, but due to the purity of the race as evidenced also by the long length of life, there were no adverse effects as we see happening today. Gradually, as the effects of sin took its toll on the human race, marrying one’s own sister, etc., began to create hereditary problems.
Adam and Eve’s descendants did marry brother and sister, but the consequence and sin that we think of in modern terms did not exist in early mankind. It is clear through studying genealogy as well that God would continue to purify the line in choosing Seth’s line, not Cain’s, to spare mankind after the flood through Noah.
Moreover, the birth, life, and sacrificial death and resurrection of Jesus Christ would take on the sin and cleanse mankind as God had planned all along for the sanctification of His people.
What Can Christians Learn from the Children of Adam and Eve?
Christians can learn much from Adam and Eve’s children. It is clear through the story of Cain and Abel that we must be mindful not to let sin control us. Often, we will not feel we measure up to what our brethren are accomplishing, but that should not foster jealousy and anger.
Instead, we should look at the plank in our own eyes, rather than the specks in our brother’s eye (Matthew 7:3). Working on what we can control, our own actions will prove better than causing pain to others.
It is clear that God desires to encourage us as well, as He encouraged Cain before Cain chose to reject God’s hope (Genesis 4). The fruit of our lives can be harvested by walking in obedience and step with the Spirit of God and the fruit of the spirit of self-control. (Galatians 5:22).
Through Seth’s life, new hope after tragedy can be seen. The Lord blessed Adam and Eve with a new son, Seth, after the murder of their son, Abel. The Bible tells us that Seth looked much like his father, Adam, which brings forth the curiosity that perhaps Seth was the renewed hope for this couple of a fresh start after much tragedy.
God continued with this new line in that it was his line in which Noah would be born, and Noah and his family were the only ones spared from the great flood. This cannot be coincidental that it was through this new son given that it was his line spared, one not marked by such darkness as Cain’s. We serve a great Lord of second chances, and Seth’s line proved a second chance for Adam and Eve as parents and for their lineage.
Why Does This Matter?
Adam and Eve were the first two people on earth, and that all people who walk the earth today come from. We are all connected, we are all family in flesh because of them. Their children are our ancestors, and we can learn much from those who came before us.
The greatest hope of all is that through their line also came the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ, who was born of Mary, a human, and who came to save all of mankind from the sins of the world. The sins first committed by the original man and woman themselves, Adam and Eve. The hope of the human condition is a forgiving and loving Father Who earnestly seeks relationship with His creation, since the dawn of man and ever still today.
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Cally Logan is a writer and teacher from Richmond, Virginia. She graduated from Regent University. Currently, she is a writer for Dear Sparrows Ministry site, and the Podcast, "Dear Sparrows." In her free time, she enjoys leading a high school girls’ small group, cooking, and spending time in tree houses. Her latest books, Dear Young Sparrow and Unveiled are available everywhere or at https://dearsparrows.com/.