Polygamy is in the Bible

DAN P

Well-known member
Were Abraham and Jacob (Israel) without the Law?
In the book of Judges 17:6 all DID / ASA what was right in there own eyes .

The Hebrew word DID / ASA , is the stem QAL and the aspect is in the Heb IMPERFECT tense Which means it would stop when a KING was in Israel !

dan p
 

marke

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Where did I say He promoted it? Don't move the goalposts.

I said He allowed it for a while. Then He prohibited it, and that prohibition remains to this day.



Chapter, verse, where polygamy is "sin".



Supra.
God allowed divorce and adultery, but He did not condone it. Nowhere in the Bible does God encourage or condone polygamy.
 

JudgeRightly

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God allowed divorce

Of course He did, only in specific cases. But that's a topic for another thread, and it's irrelevant here.

and adultery,

Only to the extent that He doesn't intervene and stop it from happening.

But again, irrelevant to this thread.

but He did not condone it. Nowhere in the Bible does God encourage or condone polygamy.

Still moving the goalposts.

Where did I say that he condoned it or encouraged it?
 

Bartato

New member
The Bible calls it "sin." Humans sin but that does not mean God condones it.
Actually the Bible NEVER called polygyny "sin" or "unclean" or anything of the sort. The Bible calls it marriage.

"He (Elkanah) had two wives. The name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other, Peninnah. And Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children." 1 Sam. 1:2

"David also took Ahinoam of Jezreel, and both of them became his wives." 1 Sam. 25:44

"And Joash (who was king) did what was right in the eyes of the Lord all the days of Jehoiada the priest. Jehoiada got for him two wives, and he had sons and daughters." 2 Chron. 24:2-3

Contrast that with actual adultery or homosexuality. They are clearly prohibited, rebuked, punished, and called abominations.

King David had a bunch of wives and the blessings of God were upon him. God even specifically said He gave David these wives and would have been happy to give him even more. When David took another man's wife (the Bible calls this adultery) things were a disaster and God rebuked David severely (2nd Samuel 12).

David repented of his adultery (Psalm 51), but never of his polygyny (because it isn't sexual immorality or adultery).

Regarding the laws for the king of Israel, Deuteronomy 17:17 no more prohibits polygamy than the verse right before it prohibits king from owning more than one horse.

Scripture interprets Scripture.

The Law says exactly the same thing about horses and wives "not acquire many (horses/wives) for himself".

The king was not to acquire an excessive number of horses or wives.

Are you going to argue that it is a sin for a man to own two or three horses? No one needs more than one horse. After all, a person can only ride one horse at a time.
:)

Deuteronomy 17:17 prohibits EXCESSIVE polygamy, like that of 700/300 wife/concubine king Solomon, not the moderate polygamy of two wife king Joash or 10-20 wife king David.

"because David did what was right in the eyes of the Lord and did not turn aside from anything that he commanded him all the days of his life, except in the matter of Uriah the Hittite." 1 Kings 15:5

That verse would be nonsense if Deut. 17:17 prohibited polygyny.

David committed a crime when he took the married woman Bathsheba. He did nothing wrong when he married Abigail, Ahinoam etc.

God Himself used the language of polygamous marriage when describing His relationship with the nations of Israel and Judah. He described Himself as a Faithful Husband being married to two different (and unfaithful) women (Ezekiel 23 Oholah and Oholibah) and (Jeremiah 31:31-32 Israel and Judah).

God does not sin. Moreover, God defines what is good and evil.

God is God,.and the Bible says what the Bible says. Even when the Bible contradicts our most cherished traditions, the Christian must submit himself to God
 

marke

Well-known member
Of course He did, only in specific cases. But that's a topic for another thread, and it's irrelevant here.



Only to the extent that He doesn't intervene and stop it from happening.

But again, irrelevant to this thread.



Still moving the goalposts.

Where did I say that he condoned it or encouraged it?
To sum up Biblical teaching, we can rest assured that if God did not condone polygamy then polygamy is a sin, because whatever is not of faith is sin.

Romans 14:23
And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin
 

marke

Well-known member
Actually the Bible NEVER called polygyny "sin" or "unclean" or anything of the sort. The Bible calls it marriage.

"He (Elkanah) had two wives. The name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other, Peninnah. And Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children." 1 Sam. 1:2

"David also took Ahinoam of Jezreel, and both of them became his wives." 1 Sam. 25:44

"And Joash (who was king) did what was right in the eyes of the Lord all the days of Jehoiada the priest. Jehoiada got for him two wives, and he had sons and daughters." 2 Chron. 24:2-3

Contrast that with actual adultery or homosexuality. They are clearly prohibited, rebuked, punished, and called abominations.

King David had a bunch of wives and the blessings of God were upon him. God even specifically said He gave David these wives and would have been happy to give him even more. When David took another man's wife (the Bible calls this adultery) things were a disaster and God rebuked David severely (2nd Samuel 12).

David repented of his adultery (Psalm 51), but never of his polygyny (because it isn't sexual immorality or adultery).

Regarding the laws for the king of Israel, Deuteronomy 17:17 no more prohibits polygamy than the verse right before it prohibits king from owning more than one horse.

Scripture interprets Scripture.

The Law says exactly the same thing about horses and wives "not acquire many (horses/wives) for himself".

The king was not to acquire an excessive number of horses or wives.

Are you going to argue that it is a sin for a man to own two or three horses? No one needs more than one horse. After all, a person can only ride one horse at a time.
:)

Deuteronomy 17:17 prohibits EXCESSIVE polygamy, like that of 700/300 wife/concubine king Solomon, not the moderate polygamy of two wife king Joash or 10-20 wife king David.

"because David did what was right in the eyes of the Lord and did not turn aside from anything that he commanded him all the days of his life, except in the matter of Uriah the Hittite." 1 Kings 15:5

That verse would be nonsense if Deut. 17:17 prohibited polygyny.

David committed a crime when he took the married woman Bathsheba. He did nothing wrong when he married Abigail, Ahinoam etc.

God Himself used the language of polygamous marriage when describing His relationship with the nations of Israel and Judah. He described Himself as a Faithful Husband being married to two different (and unfaithful) women (Ezekiel 23 Oholah and Oholibah) and (Jeremiah 31:31-32 Israel and Judah).

God does not sin. Moreover, God defines what is good and evil.

God is God,.and the Bible says what the Bible says. Even when the Bible contradicts our most cherished traditions, the Christian must submit himself to God
David took more than one wife, after God commanded that kings should not take more than one wife. I believe that David sinned by taking more than one wife after God said for him not to do that.

Deuteronomy 17:17
Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold.
 

JudgeRightly

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To sum up Biblical teaching, we can rest assured

Begging the question won't get you anywhere with me, Mark.

that if God did not condone

Again, where did I say that He condones polygamy?

You keep moving this goalpost without any explanation.

polygamy then polygamy is a sin,

This is an argument from silence. It's a logical fallacy for a reason.

because whatever is not of faith is sin.

Romans 14:23
And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin

First of all, ripping verses out of context doesn't do you any good. Paul is talking about the fact that people were making a fuss about whether certain foods should or should not be eaten, because of the law that God had given to Israel. It is in that context that Paul says "whatsoever is not of faith is sin."

And there are things that are neither of faith NOR of sin. In other words, you're presenting a false dichotomy and trying to twist scripture to defend it.

And you still have yet to point out where God calls polygamy a "sin." Chapter verse, please.

You made the claim, now provide the scripture.
 

JudgeRightly

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David took more than one wife, after God commanded that kings should not take more than one wife. I believe that David sinned by taking more than one wife after God said for him not to do that.

Jacob took more than one wife. Was he sinning?

Deuteronomy 17:17
Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold.

Jacob was not a king. So why did God not prohibit him from taking a second wife?
 

Bartato

New member
David took more than one wife, after God commanded that kings should not take more than one wife. I believe that David sinned by taking more than one wife after God said for him not to do that.

Deuteronomy 17:17
Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold.
God Himself said that

"...David did what was right in the eyes of the Lord and did not turn aside from anything that he commanded him all the days of his life, except in the matter of Uriah the Hittite." 1 Kings 15:5

That is an affirmation of David's polygyny. Clearly you are not correctly interpreting Deut. 17:17 when you assume "not multiply wives into himself" really means "shall only have one".

Likewise, God Himself affirmed king Joash having two wives.

"And Joash did what was right in the eyes of the Lord all the days of Jehoiada the priest. Jehoiada got for him two wives, and he had sons and daughters." 2 Chron. 24:2-3

David did not violate that law, and his heart did not turn away from the Lord. Solomon apparently did violate it, and his heart did turn away from the Lord.

God said David did what was right in His sight. That included David having more than one wife.

I know it is a very difficult pill to swallow,. but the Bible treats polygyny as marriage, and not adultery or sexual immorality.

According to the Bible, men and women have different roles and functions in marriage. These roles and functions absolutely prohibit a woman from having more than one man, but the Bible allows men to have more than one wife.

Please do not set aside the Law of God in order to uphold the traditions of man. That is the path of the Pharisee.
 

marke

Well-known member
Begging the question won't get you anywhere with me, Mark.



Again, where did I say that He condones polygamy?

You keep moving this goalpost without any explanation.



This is an argument from silence. It's a logical fallacy for a reason.



First of all, ripping verses out of context doesn't do you any good. Paul is talking about the fact that people were making a fuss about whether certain foods should or should not be eaten, because of the law that God had given to Israel. It is in that context that Paul says "whatsoever is not of faith is sin."

And there are things that are neither of faith NOR of sin. In other words, you're presenting a false dichotomy and trying to twist scripture to defend it.

And you still have yet to point out where God calls polygamy a "sin." Chapter verse, please.

You made the claim, now provide the scripture.
Nobody can justify polygamy on the basis of the fact that God did not specifically say, "I condemn polygamy." If they want to play it safe with God they will say, "since God disapproved of kings committing polygamy and God does not encourage polygamy in the Bible then I will consider polygamy off-limits as I seek to please God in all I say and do."
 

marke

Well-known member
Jacob took more than one wife. Was he sinning?



Jacob was not a king. So why did God not prohibit him from taking a second wife?
Did God command Jacob to take two wives? If not then we should not assume God wanted Jacob to take two wives any more than we should assume God wanted Jacob to deceive his father-in-law.
 

marke

Well-known member
God Himself said that

"...David did what was right in the eyes of the Lord and did not turn aside from anything that he commanded him all the days of his life, except in the matter of Uriah the Hittite." 1 Kings 15:5

That is an affirmation of David's polygyny. Clearly you are not correctly interpreting Deut. 17:17 when you assume "not multiply wives into himself" really means "shall only have one".

Likewise, God Himself affirmed king Joash having two wives.

"And Joash did what was right in the eyes of the Lord all the days of Jehoiada the priest. Jehoiada got for him two wives, and he had sons and daughters." 2 Chron. 24:2-3

David did not violate that law, and his heart did not turn away from the Lord. Solomon apparently did violate it, and his heart did turn away from the Lord.

God said David did what was right in His sight. That included David having more than one wife.

I know it is a very difficult pill to swallow,. but the Bible treats polygyny as marriage, and not adultery or sexual immorality.

According to the Bible, men and women have different roles and functions in marriage. These roles and functions absolutely prohibit a woman from having more than one man, but the Bible allows men to have more than one wife.

Please do not set aside the Law of God in order to uphold the traditions of man. That is the path of the Pharisee.
Christians today please God in spite of their sin. That does not mean God condones sin.
 

Bartato

New member
Christians today please God in spite of their sin. That does not mean God condones sin.
You seem to be having a bit of trouble understanding the following phrase from 1 Kings 15: "David did what was right in the eyes of the Lord and did not turn aside from anything that he commanded him".

"Did what was right in the eyes of the Lord" includes David having multiple wives. God approved of David's marriages.

"Did not turn aside.from anything He commanded him" means that David did not violate Deuteronomy 17:17.

I know it is a difficult thing to accept. God treats polygyny as marriage,.and not adultery or sexual immorality.
 

marke

Well-known member
You seem to be having a bit of trouble understanding the following phrase from 1 Kings 15: "David did what was right in the eyes of the Lord and did not turn aside from anything that he commanded him".

"Did what was right in the eyes of the Lord" includes David having multiple wives. God approved of David's marriages.

"Did not turn aside.from anything He commanded him" means that David did not violate Deuteronomy 17:17.

I know it is a difficult thing to accept. God treats polygyny as marriage,.and not adultery or sexual immorality.
No, the statement was not an endorsement of everything David did in his life. Davie lied, multiple times, yet there is no indication o be found anywhere that God approved of David lying even though He condemned lying for everyone else.
 

Bartato

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Marke,
The passage in 1 Kings 15 does not mean that David walked in absolute sinless perfection (like Jesus Christ), but does indicate that he lived an upright life, walked by faith, honored, and pleased God. God placed His overall stamp of approval on David's life (with the exception of the matter of Uriah).

Adultery is no minor sin. If polygyny constitutes adultery, or sexual immorality, rather than marriage, then none of that would be true. David is a man who openly and unrepentantly engaged in polygamy his whole life.

God does not place His overall stamp of approval on the life of man who engages in adultery his whole life and never repents.

Believers sometimes give in to temptation and fall into grievous sin. David himself is a prime example of this when he committed adultery with Bathsheba and plotted the death of her husband Uriah (who by the way was a true friend and faithful servant.of David).

God dealt with David and this sin. David was grieved, humbled, broken, and repentant before the Lord his God. That is the difference. The believer repents. He changes direction, and does not continue in lifelong unrepentant sin.

Don't overlook the fact that David was actually writing the Bible (Psalms) while he was simultaneously married to multiple women.

We just cannot get around the fact that God treats polygamy as legitimate marriage rather than adultery or sexual immorality. 2nd Samuel 12 is the prime example of this. David is a lifelong polygamist and doesn't seem to think it a sin. Nathan the prophet doesn't either. Likewise,.God says nothing negative about it.

Then, David violates a married woman, and everything changed. God (through Nathan) rebuked David, and David repents.

God really does treat polygamy and adultery totally differently, and 2 Sam.12 seems like the clearest example of this fact.
 

Bartato

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Second Samuel chapter twelve is not the only time we see God treating polygyny and adultery in totally different ways. Genesis chapter twenty shows the same thing.

In that passage, Abraham says that Sarah is his sister (implying that she is single and available), and king Abimelech takes her for himself (although he already had his own wife, and apparently concubines as noted in verses 17-18).

Before Abimelech had sexual relations with Sarah, God appeared to Abimelech in a dream and warned him that Sarah was a married woman. The dialogue between the Lord and Abimelech is quite revealing.

"But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night and said to him, “Behold, you are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken, for she is a man's wife.” Now Abimelech had not approached her. So he said, “Lord, will you kill an innocent people? Did he not himself say to me, ‘She is my sister’? And she herself said, ‘He is my brother.’ In the integrity of my heart and the innocence of my hands I have done this.” Then God said to him in the dream, “Yes, I know that you have done this in the integrity of your heart, and it was I who kept you from sinning against me. Therefore I did not let you touch her. Now then, return the man's wife, for he is a prophet, so that he will pray for you, and you shall live. But if you do not return her, know that you shall surely die, you and all who are yours.” Genesis 20:3-7 ESV

Some observations:

1. The problem with Abimelech taking Sarah is that "she is a man's wife". That is the definition of adultery (see Leviticus 20:10 and 18:20, Proverbs 6:29). Even the Hebrew word used in the 10 Commandments indicates this.

2. God takes adultery very seriously. God is threatening to kill Abimelech and everyone who belongs to Abimelech. God had already shut the wombs of Abimelech's wife and maidservants (vs 17-18).

3. Also note that God calls adultery a sin "against Me". Adultery is a direct affront against God Himself (see Psalm 51:4 and 2 Sam. 12:9-10).

4. Even though Abimelech already had a wife (and apparently concubines), he says he acted in integrity and innocence because he did not know that Sarah was a married woman. Abimelech's words indicate that he does not believe polygamy to be a sin, but does realize adultery to be a great sin (vs 9). In fact, Abimelech was utterly horrified by the thought of adultery (vs 9).

5. God agrees that Abimelech has acted in integrity. The Lord also said He kept Abimelech from sinning. God seems to have no issue with Abimelech having more than one wife, but considers adultery to be a capital crime.

Contrast this account of Abimelech+Sarah with that of Abraham+Hagar.

Abimelech almost accidentally committed adultery with Sarah, and God warned him, nearly killed him, and made his wife and maidservants barren for a season.

Abraham actually did have sexual relations with Hagar and had a son (Ishmael) with her. Abraham did not consider this to be adultery. Hagar apparently did not either, and even Sarah knew it wasn't adultery. God did not warn or punish Abraham for this action.

To the contrary, the blessings of God were upon both Ishmael and Hagar, though Ishmael was not to be the child of promise. As Galatians four tells us, the child of promise was born of the free woman, not the slave woman.

Please note that I am not defending Abraham's action here. I'm pointing out that it is totally different than the situation with Abimelech and Sarah.

If polygamy was adultery, then Abraham should have died. Abraham did not die.

There is no honest way to avoid the following conclusion.

Polygamy is marriage, not adultery or sexual immorality.
 
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