Jacob's polygamy.

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Jope, Jul 31, 2013.

  1. Jope

    Jope
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    Why do you think that Jacob's polygamy is included in the Holy Writ?
     
  2. Revmitchell

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    What do you think about it?
     
  3. Alcott

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    Because Homer didn't mention it in The Iliad?
     
  4. USN2Pulpit

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    Unlike other religion's holy writings, the Bible is incredibly candid about both the successes and faults of the patriarchs.

    For instance, after the world wide flood, there are many mentions of polygamous relationships—including among the patriarchs of Israel. Abraham, Jacob, David, and Solomon all had multiple wives.

    There are no passages in Scripture that clearly state, “No man should have more than one wife.” But I can't find a place where polygamous relationships are ever presented as a positive thing. Just the opposite as a matter of fact as the problems of polygamy are presented.

    • Abraham - bitterness between Sarah and Hagar
    • Jacob - Rachel's jealosy of Leah
    • David - his daughter Tamar was raped by one of his sons Amnon, who was later murdered by Absalom
    • Solomon - his many wives "turned away his heart" from the Lord to the worship of false gods

    Just because the Bible is candid and truthful in presenting polygamous relationships does not mean that God approves of such things.
     
  5. sag38

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    It is a case book study of how totally messed up the practice is. Jacob's family was one big fat mess. And yet, we serve a God who extends grace to us not based on what we have done or have not done but on His choice to love us despite ourselves.
     
  6. Jope

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    In the words of Iranaeus:

    If any one, again, will look into Jacob’s actions, he shall find them not destitute of meaning, but full of import with regard to the dispensations.

    Against Heresies, Book 4, ch. XXI, section 3.​

    ...And Justin Martyr:

    Leah is your people...but Rachel is our Church.

    Dialogue with Trypho, ch. CXXXIV​

    I think that, when there are contradictions in the scriptures, we can use a rule of exegesis that the Lord used:

    Matthew 12 ESV, bold emphasis mine
    1 At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. 2 But when the Pharisees saw it, they said to him, “Look, your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath.” 3 He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, and those who were with him: 4 how he entered the house of God and ate the bread of the Presence, which it was not lawful for him to eat nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests? 5 Or have you not read in the Law how on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath and are guiltless? 6 I tell you, something greater than the temple is here. 7 And if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless. 8 For the Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.”

    The Lord uses two contradictions in the OT scriptures as typology doctrine in right division of the Word.

    The former contradiction: the fact that David and his associates ate what was only lawful for the priests shows that this act of David's liberty from the law of Moses was a type of the Mosaic-law-liberty that the priestly Church, Christ's body, can exercise (Rom. 6:14-15): seeing as those who were with Christ while exercising such liberty were soon to be a part of the Lord's body (Mt. 16:18). It also shows Christ and His body, the Church,'s regal and priestly position (Psalm 110:4; Zech. 6:13; Rev. 1:6).

    The latter contradiction: Christ and His body, the Church, can "profane the Sabbath and [be] guiltless". The contradiction in the law of Moses was only a figure of Christ and His body, the Church,'s liberty.

    Concerning Jacob's polygamy, this was only a type of God's two wives: the Church and Israel. Polygamy wasn't condoned by Laban (Gen. 31:50), nor by God (Matt. 19:1-8).

    That the Church is the espoused bride of God is seen in 2 Corinthians 11:2, where she is seen as yet to be presented (the presentation seen in Revelation 19:7).

    That Israel is the wife of God is seen in such passages as Isaiah 54:5-8 and Hosea 3:1.

    Thus, God has two wives. Jacob's two wives are a type of such.
     
  7. Jope

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    Hey there Pulpit :).

    I think that 1 Corinthians 7 speaks of monogamy for the Church:

    "...each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband" (v. 2, ESV).
     
    #7 Jope, Aug 1, 2013
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  8. Jope

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    Hey again.

    In many regards, Solomon is a figure of Christ. I think that Solomon's many wives is also a type for Christ's wife.

    Each and every person that comprises the Church is, because of such an ecclesiastical position, the wife of Christ. Such a dichotomy or paradox is an antitype for Solomon's marriages.

    Concerning such a dichotomy or paradox, Solomon said, in contrast to Christ, that:

    Eccles. 7:27-28 ESV, bold and underline emphasis mine
    [T]his is what I found...while adding one thing to another to find the scheme of things— which my soul has sought repeatedly, but I have not found. One man among a thousand I found, but a woman among all these I have not found.​

    Christ has found a wife "among all these":

    Song of solomon 6:8-9 ESV
    8 "There are sixty queens and eighty concubines,
    and virgins without number.
    9 My dove, my perfect one, is the only one,
    the only one of her mother,
    pure to her who bore her.
    The young women saw her and called her blessed;
    the queens and concubines also, and they praised her."​

    How come Solomon said that he could not find a woman "among all these" (Eccles. 7:28, ESV), yet in Song of Solomon 6:8-9 it speaks of one pure woman, a "perfect one"?

    Evidently the latter is speaking of the Church, the bride of Christ, who is to be presented to Him as "faultless" (Jude 1:24, KJV), "in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish" (Eph. 5:27, ESV).
     
    #8 Jope, Aug 1, 2013
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  9. USN2Pulpit

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    I get it, and you're probably right. But in context, was this passage about the number of spouses a person should have - or about being married so that our "nature" would not lead us into sexual immorality, which was the thought immediately preceding your quote of scripture.

    Understand that I'm in agreement, but I'm not sure that this passage constitutes a command, because immediately after this is the narrative encouraging widows and the unmarried to remain so if possible.

    Just thinking out loud here...
     
  10. Jope

    Jope
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    Lol.

    Have you read the Iliad?
     
  11. clark thompson

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    To teach us about the troubles that come along with multiply wives.
     
  12. Jope

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    Paul uses a rule of exegesis with a theocratic administrator's wife of the OT scriptures (Adam; Eph. 5:31-32). He says that this wife of the theocratic administrator is a type of the Church.

    I think this rule should be carried on into right division of the Word, else we justify polygamy on the basis of Jacob's practice and evident admittance into the kingdom of God (Lk. 13:28).

    (If Jacob's practice of polygamy did not bring about the rejection of himself into the kingdom of God, why, it would be asked, don't we do the same?). This contradiction of Jacob's polygamy versus the Church's monogamy can only have place in typology doctrine.

    I'm not necessarily saying that every wife of a theocratic administrator was a type of Christ's wife though.
     
  13. Jope

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    I think that this could be plausible too.
     
  14. Jope

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    Rachel and Leah are types of the Church and Israel because of God's love for the Church more than the Jews (Gen 29:30), the realization of which will be seen in the millennium (Eph. 2:6-7; Lk. 7:28; Psalm 45:14; Gal. 4:24-26).

    bold emphases mine
    ESV Gen 29:30 So Jacob went in to Rachel also, and he loved Rachel more than Leah, and served Laban for another seven years.

    ESV Eph 2:6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
    ESV Eph 2:7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

    ESV Luke 7:28 I tell you, among those born of women none is greater than John. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.”

    ESV Ps 45:14 ​​​​​​​​In many-colored robes she is led to the king, ​​​​​​​with her [the Church's] virgin companions [the Jews] following behind her [cf. Mt. 25:1-13].

    ESV Gal 4:24 Now this may be interpreted allegorically: these women are two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery; she is Hagar.
    ESV Gal 4:25 Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia; she corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children [the Jews].
    ESV Gal 4:26 But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother.​

    Rachel and Leah's jealousy are also types of the Church and Israel (Gen. 30:1; Rom. 10:19; 11:11). "through their trespass salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous" (Rom. 11:11, ESV).

    Can it be said, that God desired the fruits without the law (Rachel), but had to undergo the Mosaic law (Leah) first?

    Genesis 29:31-35 ESV, bold emphasis mine
    15Then Laban said to Jacob, “Because you are my kinsman, should you therefore serve me for nothing? Tell me, what shall your wages be?” 16Now Laban had two daughters. The name of the older was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. 17Leah's eyes were weak, but Rachel was beautiful in form and appearance. 18Jacob loved Rachel. And he said, “I will serve you seven years for your younger daughter Rachel.” 19Laban said, “It is better that I give her to you than that I should give her to any other man; stay with me.” 20So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed to him but a few days because of the love he had for her. 21Then Jacob said to Laban, “Give me my wife that I may go in to her, for my time is completed.” 22So Laban gathered together all the people of the place and made a feast. 23But in the evening he took his daughter Leah and brought her to Jacob, and he went in to her. 24(Laban gave his female servant Zilpah to his daughter Leah to be her servant.) 25And in the morning, behold, it was Leah! And Jacob said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me? Did I not serve with you for Rachel? Why then have you deceived me?” 26Laban said, “It is not so done in our country, to give the younger before the firstborn. 27Complete the week of this one, and we will give you the other also in return for serving me another seven years.” 28Jacob did so, and completed her week. Then Laban gave him his daughter Rachel to be his wife. 29(Laban gave his female servant Bilhah to his daughter Rachel to be her servant.) 30So Jacob went in to Rachel also, and he loved Rachel more than Leah, and served Laban for another seven years. 31When the LORD saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb, but Rachel was barren [Rachel, the Church, was barren first]. 32And Leah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Reuben, for she said, “Because the LORD has looked upon my affliction; for now my husband will love me.” 33She conceived again and bore a son, and said, “Because the LORD has heard that I am hated, he has given me this son also.” And she called his name Simeon. 34Again she conceived and bore a son, and said, “Now this time my husband will be attached to me, because I have borne him three sons.” Therefore his name was called Levi. 35And she conceived again and bore a son, and said, “This time I will praise the LORD.” Therefore she called his name Judah. Then she ceased bearing. ​

    (For such a dogma to be taught, the answer must first be asked: where would it specifically say in scripture that God didn't desire the law at first?)
     
    #14 Jope, Aug 22, 2013
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  15. Jope

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    ***The answer must first be sought, not asked.

    :p my mistake.
     
  16. HankD

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    Don't know if we should.

    Can we trust the translation?
    Are the ancient manuscripts reliable?

    HankD
     

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