Balbira and Kalmana

According to the Seder Hadorot, Balbira and Kalmana were the respective wives and twin sisters of Cain and Abel.[1][2]

Genesis 4:17 states that after he had killed Abel, "Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch". In an effort to explain where Cain and Abel acquired wives, some traditional sources stated that each child of Adam and Eve was born with a twin who became their mate. According to the Seder HaDorot, the wife and twin sister of Cain was named Kalmana, and the wife and twin of Abel was Balbira.[1]

The sister of Cain was named Kalmana in the Apocalypse of Pseudo-Methodius (first Greek redaction) II.1.,[3] and Calmana in the Golden Legend. The poet Petrus Riga (1140–1209) included Calmana in his famous poem Aurora, and this could have been a source for her appearance in Peter Comestor's Historia Scholastica. Comestor's Biblical narrative text then served as the standard textbook for Biblical education for centuries.

In the Book of Jubilees IV, they are named as Azura and Awan.[4]

See also


  1. 1 2 Seder Hadorot 8a
  2. Abarbanel Gen. 4,1 as cited by Codex Judaica
  3. A.C. Lolos, Die Apokalypse des Ps.-Methodios. Beiträge zur klassischen Philologie 83. Meisenheim am Glan: Hain, 1976.

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