Titus 1:6 and 1_Timothy 3:2,12 --- "One wife" --- mia is the Greek word from which the word, one, was translated in those passages. Yet, it can also be translated as first, just as it is, for example, so translated in the phrases, "first day of the week" in Matthew 28:1, Mark 16:1-2, and Acts 20:7.
Furthermore, in 1_Timothy 5:9, a widow's "one man" is not mia but the Greek word "heis", meaning the numeral-one, and not meaning the adjective of "first".
There is so much more to this particular matter here than that which this "sound-bite" here can address. The organization of TruthBearer.org provides a number of detailed articles on this issue, a couple of which include
Breaking Past the ONE WIFE Barrier and The Elders, Bishops, and Deacons Trap
(Ch.9 of "The Truth and the Paradox").
The fact is, no one can INSIST that these three "one wife" verses can NOT be instead translated as "first wife", which makes more sense to translate those verses as "first wife" anyway.
Not Marry Sisters
"Neither shalt thou take a wife to her sister, to vex her, to uncover her nakedness, beside the other in her life time."
Occasionally, some people confuse this simple verse to assert it as "proof" of some prohibition of polygyny.
Actually, however, it proves just the opposite!
This verse simply prohibits a man from marrying two sisters while both of them are alive. Moreover, the phrase, "beside the other", in that verse, rather emphatically makes it clear that this is speaking in terms of the man being married to them at the same time.
The fact that this verse is even instructed actually PROVES that polygamy is otherwise a valid marriage possibility!
After all, if polygyny was really a sin anyway, it would be completely irrelevant and unnecessary to specify a prohibition against marrying sisters anyway! That is, if it was truthfully a sin for a man to marry more than one wife anyway, then OBVIOUSLY he would not be able to marry two sisters beside each other in their lifetime!
It is additionally important to also note something about the previous verse (not listed here, Leviticus 18:17) and its relevance to this verse 18 here. Namely, the previous verse 17 prohibits a man from uncovering the nakedness of a mother and her daughter. That is also, by such implied instruction, clearly also meaning that it is a prohibition from marrying both mother and her daughter. That makes that also another proof that polygamy is Biblical by the fact of it even being instructed.
But even beyond that, whereas that previous verse 17 only spells the matter out as being "not uncovering the nakedness" of a mother and her daughter, this verse 18 here is even more explicit.
Namely, this verse 18 even more explicitly includes the word "WIFE". A man shall not take sisters TO WIFE beside each other in their lifetime. This makes it even more explicitly clear that this is talking about a man marrying more than one WIFE, just not being allowed to marry sisters while they're both alive.
Therefore, this is a very clear and simple prohibition ---but not against polygamy. Rather, the instruction is clear that men may not marry sisters beside each other while they're both alive.
Thus, this verse is actually another clear PROOF that polygyny really is Biblical!
Wife of thy Youth
Malachi 2:14-15 --- "wife of thy youth" is a man's first wife, the wife with whom he grew and learned how to so love, bless, and edify any wife.
Seven Women shall take hold of One Man
"And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach. "
That "seven women" would seek to be called by the name of "One man" is a clear evidence of polygamy (polygyny) in the Bible, even in prophecy such as this passage. Of course, though, the situation described in this prophetic verse is not all that positive.
A rather small minority, however, does view that verse as a "literal" prophecy, foretelling of a time when women might out-number men, seven-to-one.
Howbeit, most Bible-believers see that verse, instead, as a negative prophecy, regarding the churches of God seeking to "do their own thing".
According to the verse, the seven women are arrogant women. Their only motivation for marrying the man is to use him. They only want to be CALLED by the man's name, only so as to take away their reproach, their shame. But they still arrogantly want to do things their own way. They want to provide their own things their own way.
This, of course, does NOT present an image of the type of wives that Bible-believing men would want to marry! It certainly does not describe marriage within the Biblical marriage-model of Ephesians 5:22-25.
Given, as the majority of Bible-believers believe, that this prophecy is an image about arrogant churches (rather than "literally" about arrogant women wanting to marry a polygamist), this passage presents a "wake-up call" for all Bible-believers.
Namely, the "seven women" are understood as being churches who only want to be CALLED by the name of Christ, to be His brides. They only do so in hopes of having their fruitless shame (as per sin) removed, even though they still arrogantly want to do things their own way.
They want to feed themselves their own bread, instead of being fed on the bread of Christ.
They want to clothe themselves in their own apparel, instead of being clothed in the righteousness of Christ.
While there is reasonable debate among many as to whether the similitude of the "seven women" in Isaiah 4:1 is connected directly with the "seven churches" of Revelation chapters 2 and 3, many still agree, nevertheless, that Isaiah 4:1 is a negative prophecy concerning arrogant churches. It is the foretelling of seven churches wanting to marry Christ who do so only with a selfish motive to seek to have His salvation (i.e., to be CALLED "Christian", to be CALLED by His Name) but while, at the same time, still wanting to be doing things their own way, to stay in their sin. They want to be CALLED "Christian" but they do not want to BE Christian, in ALL their ways, "in spirit and in truth".
Questions to Ponder
In BRAVEHEART, Was William Wallace right to violate the "Law of the Land"?
In the movie, "BRAVEHEART", the main character, William Wallace, married his wife "in secret", without any government approval whatsoever.
But in doing so, he was violating and defying the "law of the land".
This was because the English King had decreed the following to be the "law of the land". Namely, a "noble" in any region in the kingdom was "entitled", by such law, to have full "conjugal rights" on the wedding night of a woman's marriage. That is, it was thus the "law of the land" that any woman who got married to any man would have to surrender herself on her wedding night to sleep ---not with her new husband, but--- with the "noble" who ruled over that mini-territory on behalf of the king.
The main character in the movie, William Wallace, defied the "law of the land", and married his wife "in secret", so that she could be spared being so defiled by another man on their wedding night.
It is true that most Scripture-believing Christians these days would likely retract in horror at the thought of this happening "by law" ---indeed!
But the fact remains that this matter about marriage was the "law of the land".
And William Wallace was defying the "law of the land" by marrying his wife without governmental approval or knowledge.
Since many Christians are usually quick to say that the Apostle Paul instructs Christians to obey the "law of the land" (with many Christians even believing that this instruction even applies to matters of marriage), does Paul's instruction to obey the "law of the land" apply no matter what, as in this situation with William Wallace?
Was William Wallace "right" to defy the "law of the land" and not bother telling his government that he had married his wife "in secret"?
This is the QUESTION to Ponder!
What do YOU think?
God said He GAVE Wives
Sometimes, people are indeed honest enough to admit that the Bible really does not prohibit polygyny. However, as a hedge against that admission, such ones may then resort to saying one of the following assertions:
"Yes, but God never condoned polygyny."
"Yes, God allowed it, but He was against polygyny."
"Polygyny was only man's idea, not God's".
"Yes, but God never approved of polygyny."
The passage involving 2 Samuel 12:8 rather clearly reveals otherwise.
"And I gave thee thy master's house, and thy master's wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things."
2 Samuel 12:8.
The context of the verse is that of God, speaking through a prophet (Nathan), calling out David for David's sin of taking another man's wife (Bathsheba, wife of Uriah the Hittite), which is adultery indeed, and for setting up the death of Uriah the Hittite to try to hide David's sin.
Also, at the point in time of this situation, David had already been married to at least seven known-named wives. (1_Samuel 18:27, 25:42-43, 2_Samuel 3:2-5.)
But, in this verse 12 (above), God was not condemning David for all his wives! In fact, this verse 12 shows God Himself actually saying that HE was the One Who had GIVEN David His wives.
If God was against David's polygamy, He certainly would not have said that He had GIVEN David his wives.
But the LORD did not stop there. That verse 12 shows that the Lord took it even one step further than that! The LORD God even went on further to say that if David had wanted more wives, the Lord Himself said that He would have given David even more!
It was only because David had sinned, in committing adultery by taking another man's wife, and then causing that man's death to try to hide David's sin, that the Lord was calling him out through the prophet Nathan. There was no sin in the polygyny at all.
This is later confirmed that this was the only matter by 1 Kings 15:5, which says the following:
"Because David did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, and turned not aside from anything that he commanded him all the days of his life, save only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite. "
1 Kings 15:5.
Two verses before that, in 1 Kings 15:3, the Bible says that David's heart was perfect with the LORD God.
Very clearly, therefore, what all this shows is that God is the One Who gives wives, even when more than one wife.
This is, of course, confirmed by 1_Corinthians 7:17.
"But as God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one,
so let him walk.
And so ordain I in all churches."
1 Corinthians 7:17.
Be it NO wife, ONE wife, or MORE THAN ONE wife, it is only has God calls and gives.
As such, it is clear that the Bible does, in fact, explicitly show
"Yes, God did condone polygamy."
"Yes, God allowed it, and He was not against polygamy."
"Polygamy is not a man's idea, but God's".
"Yes, God did approve of polygamy."
In 2 Samuel 12:8, He Himself said so!
The Lord [Self-described as a polygamist]
"How God Blessed David",
Neither Gentiles/Caucasians or anyone else for that matter has the right to forbid marriage. Absolutely nowhere in the scriptures are Hebrews forbidden to continue our practice of plural marriage. Christian in their arrogance has assumed just because I AM turned His face towards the Gentiles/Cuacasians for a season that it gives them the right to set biblical policies and precedence in reference to marriage contrary to thousands of years of Hebrew heritage and culture.
Salvation is from the Hebrews Israelites, not from the Gentiles/Caucasian, so why would any Gentile assume that they have the right to set biblical policies and principle on Hebrew Israelites lifestyle and culture which the scriptures do not set.
In 1 Timothy 4:1-3 it is said that it is a doctrine of demons to forbid a person (especially a Hebrew) to marry and that include a second, third, forth, etc,. marriage.
When presenting the argument that the Bible support polygyny /plural marriage the number one response is "That was in the old days, that is a sin now. So the question is, did I AM allow sin in time past that He does not allow today? Never! If it was sin in days past it is sin today. However, it was never a sin for a man to have multiple wives and it will never be a sin against the will of I AM.
We can learn much by gleaning from each other's field. However pride and arrogance will keeps us ignorant of the purpose, plan and will of I AM our God because we refuse to accept the revelation I AM has given to those (Gentiles/Caucasians) we consider unworthy of the Grace of I AM.
Polygyny really is Biblical!
Polygamy Commanded of God in NT?
There absolutely is an example in the Bible, where God actually does command a situation of polygyny ---in the New Testament, even.
1_Corinthians 7:10-11 & 27-28.
In 1 Corinthians 7, the Apostle Paul differentiates when he is making his own "recommendation" (in verses 6, 12, and 25) and when he is expressing the "commandment of the Lord" (verses 10-11). Indeed, in verses 10-11, Paul clarifies that the instruction in those two verses is the "commandment of the Lord". (It should therefore also be noted that the other areas in which he clarifies as being only his "recommendation" can NOT be used to otherwise and incorrectly assert that God Himself is creating some sin or doctrine. After all, Paul's ultimate "recommendation" therein is celibacy!)
With that realized, it is clear for readers of the Bible that Paul makes it emphatically clear that verses 10-11 are different. Namely, verses 10-11, in the exact way in which thay are actually written, are the "commandment of God".
"And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband: But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife." 1 Corinthians 7:10-11.
Paul further specifies that the above "commandment of the Lord" was only addressed to believers-married-to-believers. In the next verses (i.e, 12-16), he clarifies that he is subsequently addressing believers-married-to-unbelievers, and that that subsequent instruction is not the Lord's words, but his own again.
Verses 10-11 show that, if a believer WIFE leaves her believer HUSBAND, the believer WIFE is commanded of God to either remain unmarried, or be reconciled back to her husband believer HUSBAND is commanded of God to: not put away any wife, and to let any departed wife return back to him.
The key point is that the HUSBAND is NOT given the same commandments of instruction. Only the WIFE is commanded to remain unmarried, but the HUSBAND is not given that commandment. He is commanded of God to let her be married to him, either way!
Accordingly, the HUSBAND is of course, still free to marry another wife. That fact is further proved by the later verses of 27-28d.
"Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife.
But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned."
1 Corinthians 7:27-28d.
The Greek text of verse 27 is clearly only addressing married men --whether or not the wife has departed.
As such, the married man whose wife is still with him does not sin when he marries another wife (who is not another's wife). And likewise, the married man, whose wife has departed from him, he also does not sin when he marries another wife (who is not another's wife).
And herein comes the "commandment of the Lord", of polygamy, as in the following situation.
A believer WIFE departs from her believer HUSBAND. She is commanded of God to remain unmarried, per verses 10-11. Her HUSBAND, however, then subsequently marries another wife (who is not another man's wife). The HUSBAND and the new wife have not sinned, per verses 27-28. The departed WIFE then seeks to be reconciled back to her HUSBAND.
In that situation, verses 10-11 show the following instruction as the "commandment of the Lord". The HUSBAND is commanded of God to let the departed wife be reconciled back to him. AND.... he is commanded of God to not put away a wife, including the new wife.
As such, verses 10-11 show that it is an outright "commandment of the Lord" of polygamy for the family in that situation.
1 Corinthians 7:10-11 is indeed a Commandment of God --- in the New Testament --- that, when a previously-departed believer wife returns, her believer husband and his new (believer) wife (from verse 27c-28d) MUST let the previous wife be reconciled to her husband.
There truly IS a "commandment of the Lord" for a situation of polygyny to be found in the Bible ---and it's in the New Testament Scriptures, as well!
Polygamists In The Bible
Father of the twelve patriarchs of the tribes of Israel
"The prince of God"
4 Wives - Leah, Rachel, Bilhah and Zilpah
"And it came to pass in the evening, that he took Leah his daughter,
and brought her to him; and he went in unto her." Genesis 29:23
"And Jacob did so, and fulfilled her week: and he gave him Rachel his daughter to wife also." Genesis 29:28
"And she gave him Bilhah her handmaid to wife: and Jacob went in unto her." Genesis 30:4
"When Leah saw that she had left bearing, she took Zilpah her maid, and gave her Jacob to wife."
Why is polygamy against the law?
Because it's a sin.
Why is polygamy a sin?
Because it's against the law.
But why is it against the law?
Because polygamy is a sin.
Why is it a sin?
Because polygamy is against the law.
And round and round it goes.
Of course, as it is clearly proven that polygamy is not a sin, because polygamy really is Biblical, then that "circular logic" falls apart.
Since polygamy is NOT a sin, it should NOT be against the law!
And since most polygamist families are actually not breaking the law anyway, it is still not sin.
As such, there should be no "law of the land" against polygamy.
And that leads to the final irony that anyone would use the "law of the land" argument in the first place!
In countries such as the United States, Bible-believers take great comfort in knowing and acting upon the legislative process by which the "laws of the land" can be passed, amended, and even repealed.
If any law were passed, amended, or repealed which resulted in making things harder on true Bible-believers, they would (rightly) call it their Biblical DUTY to rise up to overturn the passing, amendment, or repeal.
Therein is the irony!
Even as polygamous Bible-believers are meticulous to not break any "law of the land", the bigamy laws are, nevertheless, truly burdensome. All the while, many non-polygamous Bible-believers would continue to look the other way and use the flawed "law of the land" argument to still oppose polygamy.
In using the "law of the land" argument, though, the very Bible-believers who would rightly work to make changes in law if it isolated or it made things harder for fellow Bible-believers are unwittingly relying on this flawed "circular logic" argument to NOT do their otherwise self-defined Biblical duty to overturn laws which do isolate and make things harder for fellow Bible-believers with polygamous families.
Thus, to not help such fellow Bible-believers with polygamous families to have freedom from the burdensome bigamy "laws of the land", such ones can be viewed as simply, albeit mostly unwittingly, continuing to fulfill the Spirit-given prophecy of 1 Timothy 4:1-3a.
While all this happens, of course, polygamous Bible-believers will continue to not break any laws, simply by means of cohabitation before government, but of marriage before God.
No doubt, should the bigamy "laws of the land" ever become changed and repealed, the "circular logic" will clearly require those who employ the "law of the land" argument to then have to wholly accept that polygamy really is Biblical.
Was Braveheart right to violate
the "Law of the Land"?,
Polygyny - In which a man has more than one wife.
Because that passage is the first explicitly recorded example of a polygamist in the Bible, and because Lamech was a murderer, the "Lamech `scuse" © makes a false association between polygamy and murder that never exists. That is, it asserts that, because the first explicitly recorded example of polygamy in the Bible is associated with that of a murderer, that somehow "proves" that polygamy, itself, IS sin.
The absurdity of this "Lamech `scuse" © is quickly evident, however. If one were to follow the same logic-flow, then the following likewise examples also would have to be "true".
Namely, the logic-flow would also establish that, because the first recorded child born of a woman was a murderer (i.e., Cain, who was Lamech's ancestor!), this same logic (or, rather, the lack thereof) would require saying that having children is (somehow) sin too!
Even beyond that, that same Genesis 4:19-24 passage itself also reveals that, if one applies this same logic (or, rather, the lack thereof), one would equally have to say that the following are also (somehow) sinful, due to these particular matters being the first recordedexamples and because they are so recorded as associated with that of the murderer Lamech and his family:
dwelling in tents,
artificers in brass and iron.
Obviously, that is wholly absurd.
Truly, no one would suggest that these other matters are somehow sinful simply because of being the first recorded examples in the Bible thereof and of being associated with the murderer Lamech!
To use a modern colloquialism in the United States, this attempted and extremely weak argument to try to use against polygamy is clearly a very "lame excuse" indeed. It is truly the "Lamech `scuse". ©
However the scriptures says,
1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.
1 Timothy 4:1-3 (KJV)
Forbidding to Marry
1_Timothy 4:1-3a: the "Spirit speaketh expressly" and prophesied of the time of "forbidding to marry". Today's churches, (some unwittingly) "speaking lies in hypocrisy", would forbid the marriages of Abraham, Jacob/Israel, Moses, Gideon, and David ---not to mention forbidding how God described Himself in Polygamist terms in Jeremiah 3 and Ezekiel 23, and how Christ the perfect Savior did likewise when He referred to Himself as the Polygamous Bridegroom in the Parable of the Ten Virgins in Matthew 25:1-13. Indeed, such churches would not even allow such holy ones in the Scriptures to bring their polygamous families into such present-day churches. And yet, clearly, the Spirit expressly foretold of this profoundly obvious (even though often unwitting) hypocrisy, in 1_Timothy 4:1-3a.
Polygamists In T he Bible
The list of the polygamists found in the Bible.
The conventions used in compiling this list of polygamists are as follows:
This list is intended to include all polygamists to be found in the Bible, as verifiable by the Bible itself. This list includes both holy and unholy men in the Bible in which there appears to be an occurrence of polygamy.
This list does not include those polygamists who are indeed in the Bible, but of whose polygamy cannot be verified by the Bible itself. (That is, for example, they may have been identified as being polygamous via other sources, such as from "Josephus", etc.)
When listed names are followed by an asterisk (*), that indicates that that man's polygamy was determined by implication. In cases such as Abdon, having 40 sons, for example, is strong implication of the occurrence of polygamy. Simultaneously, in the case such as with Hosea, the reference to what appears to be another wife, yet lacks other support, is an acknowledged weaker implication of the possibility of an occurrence of polygamy. (Special Note: the double-asterisk (**), for Issachar, indicates that it is a reference to "Issachar's Tribe", rather than to Issachar himself.)
"ADULTERY" --- na`aph (pronounced: naw-af') in the Hebrew means, "WOMAN that breaketh wedlock".
This applies to the Matthew 19:9 verse.
Namely, note that (in Matthew 19:9) it is because the first husband CAUSED his first wife to commit adultery (by violating Exodus 21:10, in putting her away so as to "replace her") that he is therefore guilty of CAUSING her adultery.
That is HOW he is guilty. He had CAUSED his first wife to "break her wedlock contract". And of course, that first wife for "breaking her wedlock contract" with her first husband, and the "second husband" for participating in that act, are both guilty too. But notice, the SECOND WIFE is not guilty of anything. And if the first husband had not put away his first wife, but instead kept her as well as marrying the second wife, he would not have CAUSED his first wife to "break her wedlock contract". Hence, he would not have been guilty of any Adultery in any way. Indeed, Adultery simply and only means "WOMAN that breaketh wedlock".
"Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more." Jeremiah 31:31-34
Polygamists In The Bible
Penned the Pentateuch, Torah, Genesis through Deuteronomy (which includes authoring the passages of Genesis chapters 2 through 3, Genesis 2:24, Exodus 21:10, Deuteronomy 21:15, etc.).
2 Wives, Zipporah and the Ethiopian Woman
"And Moses was content to dwell with the man: and he gave Moses Zipporah his daughter." Exodus 2:21. (See also Exodus 18:1-6.)
"And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman." Numbers 12:1
"Remember Moses wrote it" ©
"Remember Moses wrote it" ©
"Not Multiply Wives"?
"Remember Moses wrote it" ©
"If he take him another wife"?
"Remember Moses wrote it" ©
"If a man have two wives"?
"Remember Moses wrote it" ©
Not Marry Sisters?
"Remember Moses wrote it" ©
Story of Lamech?
"Remember Moses wrote it" ©
Story of Adam & Eve
("at the beginning")?
Genesis 1:26 - 3:24
"Remember Moses wrote it" ©
Did God Tolerate Sin?
Malachi 3:6a-b and Hebrews 13:8 --- God does not change, nor would He, therefore, "tolerate" sin, as some mistakenly assert. Indeed, many Christians often speak of the "curse of the Law" in that, under the Old Testament, there was no "tolerance" for sin at all. And yet, such ones will then equally assert the opposite ---and thereby illogical--- thought that "polygamy" was supposedly a "sin" about which God supposedly "tolerated" in the Old Testament. Moreover, to suggest that God somehow "tolerated" sin is to then mistakenly assert that Christ supposedly did not need to "go to the Cross" for the salvation of sinners! (God forbid!) Indeed, the very gospel is precisely because God does not "tolerate" sin, that He prepared a means of redemption through Christ. The merciful Lord God does not change!
"Suppose a man has two wives, but he loves the one and not the other."
It is wholly irrefutable that in all these above cases, the man himself, who (mortally) authored ALL of those many passages, would know God's view of the matter of polygamy. Undoubtedly, the author would know what he meant in what he wrote, with a far deeper understanding than any readers of the passages would know!
The fact that Moses was a polygamist himself is truly one of the most powerful proofs that polygamy really is Biblical.
Also See: Moses
Polygamists In The Bible
Faithful friend of God and father of the Hebrew Nation
"Father of the faithful"
3 Wives - Sarah, Hagar and Keturah
"Now Sarai Abram's wife bare him no children: and she
had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar."
"And Sarai Abram's wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian,
after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan,
and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife."
"Then again Abraham took a wife, and her name was Keturah."
If He Take Another Wife
"If he take him another wife; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish." Exodus 21:10.
Exodus 21:10 protects the first (and previous) wife(s). Note that this verse comes only 22 verses AFTER the 7th Commandment ("Thou shalt not commit adultery") in Exodus 20:14.
The Lord Himself
5 In a parable
"Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. ...While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; ...And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage:" Matthew 25:1-2,5-6c,10a-c (See verses 1-13).
It should be noted, however, that this is not a literal, physical marriage to literal, physical women. While it was only a parable, even so, Jesus would never have described Himself this way in a parable if polygamy was a sin.
Original Plan of God For Marriage?
One of the most commonly attempted arguments against polygamy makes the assertion that polygamy is supposedly not the "original plan of God for marriage". This assertion is based solely upon two sequential factors.
Jesus's reference to "at the beginning" in Verse 4 of the Matthew 19:3-9 passage, and thus,
the "Beginning" story: Adam and Eve.
That "at the beginning" phrase, which Jesus used there, of course, was only addressing divorce, not polygyny.
Moreover, there is an additional very exegetically important matter to note about all this. Namely, the very story of "the beginning" (with Adam and Eve) ---indeed, the entire book of Genesis (which starts with the first three words, "In the beginning")--- was written by Moses. And Moses was a polygamist with two wives! Certainly, the very mortal author of the story "at the beginning" would know what he wrote and whether his own polygamy was not part of "God's plan" (if it was not)!
Accordingly, it is clear that that phrase, "at the beginning", is simply not relevant to the topic of polygyny, anyway.
Nevertheless, though, that phrase is what forms the basis for the subsequent factor pertaining to Adam and Eve.
Namely, the argument asserts that, because the Scriptures only record that God seemingly only made "one Eve" for Adam, that somehow implies an "original plan of God for marriage" only for monogamy. The resulting implied speculation from that is that polygamy is to be perceived as somehow against that perceived "original plan of God for marriage".
Upon deeper investigation, however, that speculative assertion does not hold up.
If doctrine would hold people to a perceived "original plan of God", then at least two things must also be binding upon mankind. For examples,
people must only walk around in nudity, and
people must never die.
Of course, to suggest such things is an absolute absurdity.
According to the Bible, the reason that those two examples are obviously not binding as doctrine is because of Adam's sin. That sin of Adam had forever after changed (as it were) the "plan of God" as applies to us for doctrine.
The Scriptures inform us that "the wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23). From that, the Bible further explains that, "Wherefore, as by one man [[ i.e., Adam ]] sin entered the world, and death [[ entered the world ]] by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned." (Romans 5:12.)
Remember Moses wrote it ©
Genesis. Exodus. Leviticus. Numbers. Deuteronomy. Whenever any attempted argument that is asserted to oppose polygamy comes from any verse found in these first five books of the Bible, there is one critically important point to always remember. As TruthBearer.org's Mark the Founder has termed it (as that organization's copyright phrase),
"Remember Moses wrote it" ©
The holy prophet Moses was the meekest man "above all the men which were upon the face of the earth" (at his time). (Numbers 12:3.)
The Spirit of God was upon Moses. (Numbers 11:17.)
And Moses had two wives.
1) Zipporah: Exodus 2:15-16,21 and Exodus 18:1-6
2) Ethiopian woman: Numbers 12:1(-15)
Zipporah was not the "Ethiopian woman" herself. Zipporah was of the tribe of Midian. Genesis 25:1-3 shows that Midian was one of the six sons born unto Abraham by his third wife, Keturah. Thus, Zipporah was "Abrahamic", who was "Shemitic" (i.e., descended of Noah's son Shem, per Genesis 10:1; 11:11-27). But the "Ethiopian woman" ("Cushite woman" in the Hebrew) descended of Cush, who was "Hamitic" (i.e., descended of Noah's son Ham, per Genesis 10:1,6). Indeed, Zipporah, being of Noah's son, Shem, could not be the "Ethiopian woman" who was of Ham (Shem's brother).
Also, the timing of Moses' marriage to the Ethiopian woman can be determined by Numbers 33:1-49,17 and 11:35 with 12:16 which "surrounds" the story about Moses marrying the Ethiopian woman in Numbers 12:1-15. This is clearly much later than the time when Moses married Zipporah in Exodus 2:15,22.
Therefore, the Shemitic/Abrahamic Midianitess Zipporah could not possibly be the Hamitic/non-Abrahamic "Ethiopian woman".
For anyone who would attempt to assert that "Zipporah was dead" by the time that Moses married the Ethiopian woman, they are the ones who have the "burden of proof" to demonstrate and validate their assertion.
After all, the principle of "assumed status quo" logic mandates that, unless otherwise specifically reported otherwise, one must believe that the status quo remains. For example, as long as a man's wife is still alive, he does not walk around reporting that she is still alive! People naturally accept the "status quo" remains (i.e., that she is still alive) until otherwise reported. It is only when there is a reported change to the status quo that one then accepts the change. But until such a change is reported, logic "assumes the status quo" remains.
As such, the "burden of proof" in the assertion about Zipporah is upon those who would assert that Moses supposedly married the Ethiopian woman after "Zipporah had (supposedly) died". Conversely, those who logically believe otherwise have no such "burden of proof" at all.
The absolutely undeniable fact is that there is not one single verse in the Bible to substantiate such an assertion that "Zipporah (supposedly) had died". As such, the argument wholly fails exegetically to prove itself.
As such, it is wholly logical to simply and reasonably "assume the status quo" remains, believing that Zipporah was, of course, alive too when Moses married the Ethiopian woman.
With this realized, that Moses was a polygamist himself who (mortally) wrote the books of Genesis through Deuteronomy, this fact must always be remembered for exegetical context when reading those five books of the Bible and when using their passages for doctrine. "Remember Moses wrote it" ©
Leah said, "God has given me my wages, because I have given my
maid to my husband." So she called his name Issachar"
Oftentimes, in an attempt to try to disprove that polygamy is Biblical, some people hastily resort to what TruthBearer.org's Mark the Founder has termed (as that organization's copyright phrase),
The "Lamech `scuse" ©
The Biblical passage used in the "Lamech `scuse" © (Lamech excuse) is Genesis 4:19-24.
"And Lamech took unto him two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah. And Adah bare Jabal: he was the father of such as dwell in tents, and of such as have cattle. And his brother's name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ. And Zillah, she also bare Tubalcain, an instructer of every artificer in brass and iron: and the sister of Tubalcain was Naamah. And Lamech said unto his wives, Adah and Zillah, Hear my voice; ye wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech: for I have slain a man to my wounding, and a young man to my hurt. If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy and sevenfold.
It's Divorce, not Polygamy
In Matthew 19:3-9, the Lord Jesus is not speaking about polygamy. Rather, He is only answering a question about divorce. Indeed, the entire passage is about divorce, not polygamy.
"The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery." Matthew 19:3-9.
For clarity, readers may want to also see:
Adultery - "woman that breaketh wedlock"
One Flesh - written by polygamous Moses
Indeed, in Matthew 19:8-9, Jesus simply repeats the Deuteronomy 24:1 "as it had been in the beginning", that God has always been against divorce of what He joined together. In Matthew 19:3, the Pharisees were asking about "every" reason for divorcing, but Jesus returned back with the only one allowed reason (the woman's "fornication / uncleanness"), as per Deuteronomy 24:1.
Polygamy is about marriage, whereas divorce is about breaking up marriage. Accordingly, Jesus was not speaking against pro-marriage polygamy in Matthew 19. He was instead addressing marriage-destruction of divorce. It was about divorce, not polygamy.
Remember Moses wrote it © (Genesis 2:24)
Law of the Land
A common argument often used as the last-resort "excuse", in trying to still assert that polygamy (polygyny) must somehow be a sin, is what is known as the "law of the land" argument.
In quoting Romans 13:1-7, Titus 3:1, and 1 Peter 2:13-26, this attempted argument asserts that, because polygamy is perceptibly against the "law of the land", and because these passages instruct Bible-believers to follow the "laws of the land", this itself makes polygamy a sin.
Before addressing this argument directly, it is important to first address the details by which no "law of the land" is actually being broken.
In a legal technical sense, polygamy itself is not usually specifically against the law. Rather, the legal term, "bigamy", is the outlawed act of a person having government-recognized existing marriages (i.e., government-recognized by "marriage license") with more than one living spouse at the same time.
As such, as long as polygamist families do not obtain government-recognition (e.g., seeking a marriage-license), there is no breaking of any law.
To Bible-believers, marriage is defined by God Who alone has the authority. It is not defined by any government.
In the Bible, there is not one single example of any marriage becoming "legitimate" because of definition or decree by government. The truth is, if marriage is defined by governments, then that would say that none of the men in the Bible were actually married.
That would be absurd, of course!
While the Churches have mistakenly acquiesced (even capitulated) their trust in God's authority (as sole definer of marriage), in their wrongly thinking that government has such authority to define marriage, even so, the reality is this:
It is not against the law to NOT GET MARRIED, in terms of any government definition of "getting married".
Cohabitation is no longer against the law of the land of most countries in the modern era.
If any government simply views a relationship as being that of cohabitating (which is not illegal), then even though Bible-believers and God know that the same relationship is indeed that of marriage before God, as defined by God alone, the truth remains: no "law of the land" is being broken.
The interesting thing to note about this attempted argument against polygamy, though, is the blatant obviousness of the "circular logic" which this "law of the land" argument employs.
Namely, the argument says this:
Polygamy is a sin beause it is against the law.
How did the bigamy laws come into existence in the first place?
They made polygamy against the law because they thought it was a sin!
Therein is the "circular logic". The argument has no external support supporting it. It goes round and round in trying to support itself, saying:
As TruthBearer.org's Mark the Founder has said, Isaiah 4:1 could be seen as a forewarning, that this prophecy could even be foretelling of any Churches that adamantly refuse to believe or to allow themselves to see the Biblically-proven truth that polygamy (polygyny) really is Biblical. That is, such Churches want to be called by the name of Christ, while they simultaneously close their ears to the Biblical truth of polygyny and thereby unwittingly even accuse Jesus Christ Himself of supposed "sin", because of Matthew 25:1-13! This is, of course, combined with the matter that 1 Timothy 4:1-3a reveals that the Holy Spirit expressly foretold of the time when people would be forbidding to marry any families such as that of polygamous Abraham, Moses, David, and others, as well as how The Lord described Himself polygynously too, as Jesus clearly did, for example, in Matthew 25:1-13.
Indeed, Isaiah 4:1 is not the only time that a prophecy describes the relationship between The Lord and the Churches in a context of a polygamist marriage setting.
Namely, this Isaiah 4:1 prophecy does indeed also provide such additional confirmation of the Biblical presentation of the plurality of Churches (i.e., more than one) being as brides of Christ (plurally). Just as Christ is presented as polygamously married to His Churches (i.e., being Bridegroom of the "five wise virgins") in Matthew 25:1-13, so too does this Isaiah 4:1 present Christ in another context of polygamous marriage with Churches.
Even as the Isaiah 4:1 prophecy is indeed so perceived by most Bible-believers as such a negative prophecy regarding the churches, it does still, nevertheless, demonstrate a key point about the topic of polygamy.
Namely, the fact that this prophecy would detail the idea of seven women who WANT to marry a polygamist (even in the context of churches unto Christ), that fact itself, that a prophecy of God would use polygamy in such an example, is further proof again that polygamy really is Biblical.
The Lord [Self-described as a polygamist]
"The Parable of the Ten and Seven",
[A parable-style teaching at TruthBearer.org]
A New Testament Polygamist
1 Corinthians 5:1:
A son had fornicated with his "father's wife".
This does NOT refer to the man's mother. Indeed, the term, "father's wife", is a very specific term.
Leviticus 18:8 refers to "father's wife" as specifically separate from "mother" in the previous verse of Leviticus 18:7. Note that the "nakedness" of a "mother" is referred to as her own "nakedness" while the "nakedness" of a "father's wife" is referred to as the FATHER's "nakedness".
This same differentiation is observed again in Deuteronomy 27:20,16.
In fact, what the fornicator had done as per 1 Corinthians 5:1 was the same sin as that of Jacob/Israel's firstborn son. Reuben had committed the identical sin with Jacob/Israel's wife, Bilhah, in Genesis 35:22. (Yes, Bilhah was Jacob's wife; see Genesis 37:2.) And for Reuben's act of "uncovering his father's nakedness" by fornicating with his "father's wife", Bilhah, Reuben lost his birthright as firstborn. 1 Chronicles 5:1 reveals that this was because Reuben had "defiled his father's bed".
Indeed, the reference to "father's wife" in 1 Corinthians 5:1 does reveal an actual polygamist identified in the New Testament, i.e., the father of the mentioned fornicator.
Not Multiply Wives
1_Kings 11:3-4: Solomon multiplied wives (up to 1,000!) which was prohibited and prophesied that a king would do in Deuteronomy 17:17. But that passage in 1_Kings 11:3-4 says his father David's heart was "perfect". Indeed, as the previous verse of Deuteronomy 17:16 also prohibits a king from multiplying horses, no one would read that to think that it suggests that a king was somehow not able to have/add more than one horse! As such, there is a clear difference between multiplying and merely adding. And this can be seen as the difference between Solomon and his father David. Where Solomon had multiplied (i.e., stored-up, hoarded), David had only added his 18+ wives. (In Genesis 25:1, "Then AGAIN Abraham took a wife... Keturah". The word,"AGAIN", there translates to add --or "augment"-- in the Hebrew. And, indeed, Abraham was adding his third wife Keturah to himself.) So, Solomon's sin was multiplying wives (which turned his heart away from God) while his father David had simply added wives. Hence, adding more than one wife is biblically acceptable (just as David did), whereas multiplying wives (just as Solomon did) is what was prohibited in Deuteronomy 17:14,17.
The Lord Himself
God the Father
2 Wives (prophetically speaking, that is)
Aholah/Samaria & Aholibah/Jerusalem (Ezekiel 23),
Israel & Judah (Jeremiah 3).
"And the names of them were Aholah the elder, and Aholibah hersister: and they were mine, and they bare sons and daughters. Thus were their names; Samaria is Aholah, and Jerusalem Aholibah." Ezekiel 23:4
"The LORD said also unto me in the days of Josiah the king, Hast thou seen that which backsliding Israel hath done? she is gone up upon every high mountain and under every green tree, and there hath played the harlot. And I said after she had done all these things, Turn thou unto me. But she returned not. And her treacherous sister Judah saw it. And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also. And it came to pass through the lightness of her whoredom, that she defiled the land, and committed adultery with stones and with stocks. And yet for all this her treacherous sister Judah hath not turned unto me with her whole heart, but feignedly, saith the LORD. And the LORD said unto me, The backsliding Israel hath justified herself more than treacherous Judah. Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, Return, thou backsliding Israel, saith the LORD; and I will not cause mine anger to fall upon you: for I am merciful, saith the LORD, and I will not keep anger for ever. Only acknowledge thine iniquity, that thou hast transgressed against the LORD thy God, and hast scattered thy ways to the strangers under every green tree, and ye have not obeyed my voice, saith the LORD. Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion" Jeremiah 3:6-14
Traditional marriage is one man to one woman! But the question is, who's tradition is it? It is definitely not the custom and heritage of the Hebrew Israelites, neither was it the tradition of our ancestors.
Inclusive to our restoration back into the Promised Land of our forefathers, the heritage, customs and tradition of polygyny shall also be restored. The practice of Polygyny or plural marriage is one of the customs which set Hebrew Israelites apart from all other nations and people.
Just as Culture, customs and practices of Hebrews Israelites are not to impede upon the customs of Gentiles/Caucasians and the rest of the World, neither does the customs and practices of Gentiles and other cultures are to be imputed to Hebrew Israelites.
If a Man Have 2 Wives
"If a man have two wives..." Deuteronomy 21:15a.
The passage of Deuteronomy 21:15-17 is a specific instruction in the Law Itself to any man with "two wives". If polygamy was a sin, then it would not be possible for a "man to have two wives" in the Law.
"If a man have two wives, one beloved, and another hated, and they have born him children, both the beloved and the hated; and if the firstborn son be hers that was hated: Then it shall be, when he maketh his sons to inherit that which he hath, that he may not make the son of the beloved firstborn before the son of the hated, which is indeed the firstborn: But he shall acknowledge the son of the hated for the firstborn, by giving him a double portion of all that he hath: for he is the beginning of his strength; the right of the firstborn is his." Deuteronomy 21:15-17.
When Adam sinned, death entered in.
Adam's sin is why we now die. And it is also why we now wear clothes rather than remaining nude, according to Genesis 3:21.
The fact that we now wear clothes and do die is the proof that we are no longer under any perceived "original plan".
So what has God planned for us instead? He gave us "the second Adam", which is Christ, that we might have life everlasting in Him (per John 3:16.).
"And so it is written,
The first man Adam was made a living soul;
the last Adam [[ which is Christ ]] was made a quickening spirit."
1 Corinthians 15:45.
The first Adam brought death by his sin. The second Adam, which is Christ, brought life by His righteousness.
"Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.
The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.
1 Corinthians 15:46-47.
Adam was of the flesh, while Christ is of the Spirit.
Because Romans 8:1 shows us that we are to walk in the Spirit and not according to the flesh, we are certainly NOT supposed to follow after the example of the first Adam (who was of the flesh), but after the second Adam (who is of the Spirit), which is Christ.
With this now realized that we follow after the "second Adam", Christ, we look to Christ as the example set for us in the true and current "plan of God for marriage". And this is explicitly confirmed and explained for us in Ephesians 5:22-25.
"Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it".
This is very explicit. The "plan of God for marriage" is detailed as being modeled after, not the example of the first Adam (of flesh) and his wife Eve, but after the example of the second Adam, which is Christ (of Spirit) and His Churches.
Following this model, each husband is to love his wives as selflessly, "footwashingly", and life-givingly as Christ so loves the Churches (that He laid down His life in the depth of such love). So too, each wife is to love her husband as each Church so loves the one and only Christ Jesus.
As there is only one Christ for the Churches, there is only one husband. And as there are more than only one Church loved by Christ, it would not be sinful if there be more than one wife, of course.
This is confirmed, of course, by the Parable of the Ten Virgins in Matthew 25:1-13. The Lord Jesus Christ described Himself as the polygamist Bridegroom for the "five wise virgins", which are the Churches.
So, in conclusion, what we see is that the "plan of God for marriage" is very explicitly NOT after the model of the fleshly, death-causing first Adam and his (Scripture-recorded) apparent "one" wife, Eve.
Rather, the Bible is clear that the current "plan of God for marriage" is after the model of the Spiritual, life-bringing second Adam, Christ, and His Churches.
Remember Moses wrote it ©
For a much deeper analysis of these above points and much more, see:
"Question of God's Original Plan for Marriage?",
"ONE FLESH" --- "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh." Genesis 2:24, referenced in Matthew 19:5,6, Mark 10:8, 1_Corinthians 6:16, Ephesians 5:31. A man is "one flesh" with EACH woman with whom he copulates, whether in marriage (wife) or in fornication (harlot). When a married man, who is therefore already "one flesh" with his wife, copulates with another woman, that does not then negate his being "one flesh" with the wife. This is evident by the fact that 1_Corinthians 6:16 reveals that a man can be "one flesh" even with an harlot. As even a married man, therefore, can become "one flesh" with an harlot, that proves that a married man can indeed be "one flesh" with more than one woman, without negating his being "one flesh" with his wife. As that is so even with a married man with an harlot, it is thus just as equally true regarding a man being "one flesh" with more than one wife. For further proof, the very next verse provides the context of the plural-to-one aspect, i.e., 1_Corinthians 6:17: "But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit." As EACH Christian is joined as "one spirit" with the Lord, that then demonstrates the context of the plural-to-one aspect. Namely, as EACH Christian is joined as "one spirit" with the Lord, so too may EACH woman be joined as "one flesh" with one man. Lastly, when the Lord Jesus, in Matthew 19:5,6 and Mark 10:8, was re-quoting that original "one flesh" verse of Genesis 2:24, He was only dealing with the issue of divorce, saying, "What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder." (Matthew 19:6c-d.) That was opposing divorce of God-joined marriages, of what God Himself had joined together as "one flesh". For context, it is exegetically important to note that the "one flesh" verse itself of Genesis 2:24, which the Lord Jesus was re-quoting, was written by Moses. And Moses married (was "one flesh" with) two wives: Zipporah (Exodus 2:16-21 and 18:1-6) and the Ethiopian woman (Numbers 12:1). The term, "one flesh", could not otherwise allegedly mean that a man could not be "one flesh" with more than one woman because three things did indeed happen. 1) Moses did marry two wives. 2) Moses did author such other verses as Exodus 21:10 and Deuteronomy 21:15. 3) Jesus Christ did not speak against Moses' being "one flesh" with two wives. Hence, the Scriptures reveal that Jesus and Moses knew what "one flesh" meant when Moses authored Genesis 2:24: a man may be "one flesh" with more than one woman.