R_speir and the People Outside the Garden

You are deliberately marginalizing my good point here. Cain will be a constant wanderer because he is a fugitive. Pre-human, pre-Adamites – even if they existed – would not have elicited that self-label from Cain’s mouth. He knew that only vengeful family members could make Cain a wanderer and fugitive. By the way, one of your big failures is thinking like a Westerner. Think like a middle-easterner – one who exacts a life for a life - and your argument goes limp.

And then, your argument about extant or non-extant family members has no sting to it. First, you might be very wrong in assuming that Abel and Cain were not actually married at the time of the murder, or that at least other A&E offspring were not present. (By the way, how do you know you are right in thinking there are no other family members at this time?) Second, Cain full-well knew the command of God to procreate and fill the earth. He is not stupid. With that knowledge he also full-well knows that his own kin – brothers and nephews – will be coming after him no matter if they are living now at this time or yet to be born!

And you are very wrong about the “sons and daughters who never knew Abel”. All of them will “know” brother Abel and be intimately connected to the first human murder. And yes, many of them will take it personally. Again, your Western thinking belies your ignorance of the gravity of the crime and its fallout over generations to come.

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Your argument fails. Cain is a fugitive and wanderer because of the crime he committed. [Imaginary] others outside the Garden cannot put this label on him. Only vengeful family members can.

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That is not what the text says. He’s wandering because of his sin, but there is no motive given for those who want to kill him. Vengeance of Abel’s murder is not mentioned. You cannot conclude with absolute certainty that it’s his family that wants to kill him.

And a straightforward reading of the text does not have Cain and Abel having wives prior to the murder, nor does it have them having brothers or sisters prior to the birth of Seth.


Yet many tribes today put those very labels on lone individuals who have been evicted from neighboring tribes. And it is preposterous to claim that only other family members are concerned about dealing with ruthless murderers. (Very few people groups are casual about murderers. Indeed, many despise such criminal fugitives because they consider them traitors of their own people. Execution of fugitive murderers who escaped justice in their own tribe are quite common.)

Secondly, those aren’t “imaginary others” outside the garden. They are the people who inhabited the city which Cain built and the pool from which Cain found a wife. (The “Cain married his sister” tradition has no basis in the Biblical text.) And for many centuries those “other people outside the garden” have been associated with the label NEPHILIM.


Your first paragraph is reading into the text what is not there. Your second paragraph is story-telling.

The fugitive status placed on Cain was relieved only after God put some kind of mark on him. Only after that was he able to settle down and build a city. Under this detail, your argument cannot stand up. For once he settles down, these so-called “outsiders” would have immediately caught up to him and done him in. Your argument could only be vaguely correct if he had continued to wander as a fugitive. You are not thinking this through. You are the scholar, right? Do it proper or don’t do it.

A rather generous allotment of “this is how I read it, I believe it, and that settles it” hermeneutics here.


Then rebut it.

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What was the name of the book we all probably read in high school? The Scarlett Pumpernickel?.. No… The Screwtape Letters?.. Hmm… I can’t recall but it had something to do with New England and a woman named Hester?

Pretty sure it was The Pink Panther.

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Last of the Mohicans.

Pot, meet kettle.


I wonder if high school students today are still assigned The Scarlet Letter in English classes and must write a paper on it. (Or do they text about it with emojis?)

A FB friend calls this the “Doctrine of Personal Infallibility,” which always follows this pattern:

  1. The Bible is the Infallible word of God.
  2. I have a particular interpretation of the Bible.
  3. My interpretation of the Bible is Infallible.
  1. If you don’t accept my interpretation, then you might as well throw out the entire Bible (aka “My Very Own Route to the Slippery Slope Fallacy.”)

I will take all of this complaining and noise as clear indication that you mentioned above - and apparently everyone else - cannot sufficiently produce a noteworthy rebuttal of the obvious conclusion one must arrive at in the passage under investigation. I am now of the opinion that the Holy Spirit literally constructed and narrowed this passage with specific internal constraints in such a manner that only one credible interpretation could be arrived at.

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All this proves is why Cain is called a fugitive and a wanderer, why he is wandering in the first place. It doesn’t prove that vengeful family members are the only possible reason Cain has to fear for his life in his wanderings. By the way - are you so sure the Hebrew has the connotation you think it does? Some translations say nothing about being a “fugitive”. The NET, for example, translates it as “homeless wanderer”.

You continue to arbitrarily assume that the mark God put in Cain only protects him from vengeance. That’s not what the text says: the text simply says the mark would ward off anyone from trying to kill him, again without specifying a motive for such an attack.

Ignoring the rebuttals that have already been given doesn’t make them go away.


I haven’t seen a substantive rebuttal yet. I see a lot of hope that I am wrong. I am the only one here who has crafted a real argument. If you think you have one, can I please hear it?

Case in point. Your whole paragraph just says, “I hope he is wrong”. No argument.

Again, you hope I am wrong. Please craft a real argument with statements that “follow” and bring it to a conclusion.

You haven’t made a substantive argument yet. Let’s consider this: if the only people in the world are Cain’s family members, and they want to kill him, why should a mark prevent them from wanting to kill him even if it prevents them from actually doing so? Why would they be willing to help him build a city, marry him, and in general associate with him? Your argument defeats itself.


The threat of seven times over was from the Lord himself to whomever touched Cain.

You are thrashing about with no direction. No one had to be with Cain except his wife - whom he very well may have already had. No one needs to be there to build a city except he and his wife and his offspring. After all, they know they are going to live hundreds of years!

No, my argument is straight from the text with logical statements that follow and a logical conclusion. The only one with a self-defeating argument is you and your cohorts here.

Not an actual response. Why would threats from God keep a person from thinking? Are we punishing thought crimes here?

Not an actual response. Why would his wife think it was OK for him to kill Abel? Why would his children? And are you actually claiming that one family could build and inhabit a city?

If that’s true, why are you the only person to have noticed it? Are you a stable genius?