who did Cain procreate with to continue the human race?
I had been wanting to give my thoughts on the original question which started this thread for some time. Given that the thread has come to a halt, I thought I would post this now (it does also relate to something I will write about Lamech and his two wives in another thread; the link for this will follow when I have written it).
Now reading the first chapters of Genesis as a prophetic book 'of the past' like the book of Revelation 'of the future' (i.e. some history, some non-literal symbolism, on various levels), might produce the following answer as to Cain's wife's identity:
Jesus mentioned "from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar" (Matthew 23:35), thereby linking "Zechariah, son of Berechiah" with Abel (perhaps this was an ancient legend too?). Now the account of the murder of this Zechariah is described below (for a discussion of the identity of this Zechariah, see at the end)
Then the Spirit of God came upon Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest, who stood above the people, and said to them, "… Because you have forsaken the Lord, He also has forsaken you." So they conspired against him, and at the command of the king they stoned him with stones in the court of the house [temple] of the Lord. Thus Joash the king did not remember the kindness which Jehoiada his father had done to him, but killed his son; and as he died, he said, "The Lord look on it, and repay!" (2 Chronicles 24:20-22)
However the accounts of the two murders (of Zechariah and Abel) do share some rather interesting coincidences:
1) Both Zechariah and Abel were killed by their brothers
, Joash and Cain respectively (Joash was a foster son of Jehoiada, 2 Chronicles 22:11, and hence a foster-brother to Zechariah)
2) "Abel was a keeper of sheep
, but Cain was a tiller of the ground" (Genesis 4:2), and Zechariah was a shepherd of Israel
(being a priest and prophet) and Joash "set his heart on repairing the house of the Lord" (2 Chronicles 24:4), i.e. 'tilled the earth' of the temple. (Does this sound plausible?)
3) "The voice of your brother's [Abel's] blood cries out to Me
from the ground" (Gen 4:10), and so too did Zechariah's: "The Lord look on it, and repay!" (see above)
Therefore, making Joash like Cain, would give that this 'Cain' procreated with a certain Jehoaddan (2 Chronicles 25:1).
Richard Identification of Zechariah:
The traditional Orthodox understanding of "Zechariah son of Berechiah" (based on the apocryphal book Protoevangelium of James) makes this the father of John the Baptist. However, Isaiah 8:2 mentions "Zechariah the son of Jeberechiah" and apparently an ancient Jewish belief makes this the same as "Zechariah the son of Jehoiada" mentioned in 2 Chronicles 24:20-22 (see the two blog replies here
; it is interesting to read the whole blog).
Also the Targum (Jewish Aramaic paraphrase/interpretation) of Lamentations 2:20 states
, "Is it right to kill priest and prophet in the Temple of the Lord, as when you killed Zechariah son of Iddo, the High Priest and faithful prophet in the Temple of the Lord on the Day of Atonement because he told you not to do evil before the Lord?". Significantly, there was a prophet Iddo living before "Zechariah the son of Jehoiada", see 2 Chronicles 12:15; 13:22.
Now the original book of Lamentations was written by Jeremiah, making this Zechariah's death one of the causes of the destruction of Jerusalem (the Targum was obviously written much later, as it mentions "Constantinople, city of wicked Edom", thereby showing what the Jewish author thought of the Christians there!). So there must have been a tradition about "Zechariah the son of Jehoiada" being "Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo the prophet" (Zechariah 1:1), even though the book of Zechariah was written by another Zechariah. Perhaps the second Zechariah took the first’s identity as a symbolic gesture.