Polygamy in the OT?

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by natters, Aug 6, 2004.

  1. natters

    natters
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    Why is polygamy so common in the Old Testament, even amoung righteous men who were faithful to God and blessed by God?

    When/why did acceptance of polygamy change?
     
  2. Bro Tony

    Bro Tony
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    Interesting question. Seems to be more of the influence of the culture than anything else. I know of no verse in the Scripture that condones the practice. I do notice that this caused problems over and over again even in the lives of God's men.

    Bro Tony
     
  3. Jacob Webber

    Jacob Webber
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    The First account of polygamy is:

    Gen 4:19 ΒΆ And Lamech took unto him two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah.

    So it was going on before the Flood. Polygamy was brought on by sinful acts it seems because first Sarah and Abraham did not want to wait om God. Neither did Lieh and Rachael in Jacobs case. Look are the hard ship that followed.
     
  4. Marcia

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    Polygamy existed just as having slaves existed (though often slaves were people who sold themselves into service). God allowed it but did not condone it. Every polygamous marriage in the OT brought grief and conflict.

    I had an extended email dialogue a few years ago with a Christian man (his statement of faith was very orthodox and he believed Jesus is the only way to salvation) who has a site on "Christian polygamy" and endorses it. We went back and forth for a bit with scripture. Of course, I think my views were Biblical and his weren't but he was good at trying to show polygamy is okay.

    If you go to Google and type in Christian Polygamy, you will see many sites come up that endorse it. Just try it and see.
     
  5. natters

    natters
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    I agree it usually brought conflict - but so does having children. ;)

    Do you think it was an actual "sin" then? Is it a sin now? Has its "sinfulness" changed over time, and if so, when/why?
     
  6. Marcia

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    It seems pretty clear from the Bible that having children is not a sin. Even if they are the product of extra-marital relations (which is a sin), the children are loved by God and should be protected and loved.

    Yes, I think polygamy was a sin in the OT. It is a sin now. I think the model of Adam and Eve in the OT, and the model of marriage in the NT is clearly for one man and one woman in marriage. In order to marry more than one woman, one must have relations with someone other than the first wife (even if she is considered a 2nd or 3rd 'wife') -- this is adultery since the Bible does not recognize anywhere that I know of God-ordained polygamy.
     
  7. natters

    natters
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    Why was it never spoken against in the OT, if it was a sin? Why did God bless these men and call them righteous if they were living in perpetual adultery?

    BTW, I'm not trying to argue for polygamy. [​IMG] I'm just trying to understand an interesting issue.
     
  8. Marcia

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    I am not sure why God did not say anything directly about it, but these men were not righteous by their own efforts or works. David had Bathsheba's husband sent to the front lines so he could be killed and Abraham lied about Sara to protect himself. It was their faith that made them righteous. No man is righteous outside of faith. I am sure these men committed a lot of sins every day just as we do.

    I hope others post here and give their thoughts on why polygamy is not explicitly condemned in the OT. [​IMG] Maybe God had providential reasons for allowing polygamy then just as he allowed other sins to happen (not caused them but allowed them).
     
  9. Johnv

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    I'd say yes. Accounts of polygamy don't necessarily mean that God sanctions polygamy. What it means is that the author of a specfic book was not intending to deal with that topic in his writings. Otherwise, we'd have to ay that God condones slavery, or stoning, or a multitude of other items that is dealth with elsewhere, or simply not addressed. But that is not the case.
     
  10. GODzThunder

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    I never could understand why a man would want to marry two or more women? I mean if you think about it, this means that you are getting TWO mothers-in-law!!!!

    That is just too much pain to bear!
     
  11. GODzThunder

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    as to whether polygamy is a sin, considering that marriage is the picture Christ uses to show his relationship to the Church... Can you imagine Christ having two or more different Churches? And if he did, like it was with the relationship of Jacob and his two wives, would Christ love one more than the other? No, this does not add up at all! There is only one bride and one husband, one marriage that is recognized by God. I truly believe that if God intended for man to practice polygamy then Adam would have lost two ribs (to make two women).
     
  12. Repent_and_Believe

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    The answer to this is found in Deut 17:17 which says:
    Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold.

    Plural of wife is wives! So more than one wife is too many wives. No wonder Solomon had so many problems! One wife wanted to go to Target while the other wanted to go to Walmart! And still another wanted to eat at McDonalds while the other at Wendys!

    This was an instruction to kings and God was never for men having more than one wife. That he used men in spite of this shows his loving, gracious character. That he commanded against it to kings of which the Bible says that we are a royal priesthood, kings and priests unto God, means that we should not have more than one wife.

    Genesis 2:23-24 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. 24Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

    One man and two wives do not make one flesh.
     

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