David Cloud on Polygamy

Bib­li­cal polyg­y­ny is a hot top­ic — and by that I mean, peo­ple tend to get pas­sion­ate about it on either side of the debate. If you’d like to share what you think about it, come join our fresh­ly launched (May 2020) polyg­y­ny forum!

If hav­ing your tra­di­tions chal­lenged offends you, you may wish to skip this post. If, how­ev­er, you are open to an hon­est and bib­li­cal­ly-based dis­cus­sion on a con­tro­ver­sial top­ic, you are encour­aged to continue.

I post­ed recent­ly about my part in the polyg­y­ny debate, and I’m glad to have final­ly said all that I did. I don’t know that I have a great deal of lit­er­a­ture on the sub­ject to look into — the inter­net has been an invalu­able resource thus far. (You can talk about the unre­li­a­bil­i­ty of the inter­net for research if you’d like, but the bril­liant thing about using it for the­o­log­i­cal research is that no mat­ter who is doing the teach­ing, the stan­dard of truth is always the same: Holy Writ. And that’s some­thing any web page can be lined up against eas­i­ly enough.)

But I did find men­tion of the sub­ject in David Cloud’s Way of Life Ency­clo­pe­dia of the Bible & Chris­tian­i­ty (4th edi­tion). Look­ing at the argu­ments, it does­n’t seem as though they hold much water, and I want to share with you all why I think that; if I get some­thing wrong, please cor­rect me. Fur­ther, if you have argu­ments which are more sound than Cloud’s, please share them with me.

Cloud begins with a bold state­ment (empha­sis mine):

Though cer­tain O.T. believ­ers prac­ticed polygamy (Ge. 25:6; 35:22; Ju. 8:31; 2 Sa. 5:13; 1 Ki. 11:3; 2 Ch. 11:21), it has always been con­demned by God.

That’s a sweep­ing state­ment, one which you would expect to find ample evi­dence of, giv­en the “always” qual­i­fi­er. Let’s look through Cloud’s list and see how his premise holds up under scrutiny:

(1) God ordained one-woman, one-man mar­riage in the begin­ning (Ge. 2:20–24).

God cer­tain­ly did ordain mar­riage in the begin­ning, but He did not spec­i­fy that man would cleave nec­es­sar­i­ly unto only one wife after leav­ing his par­ents. That the orig­i­nal mar­riage had a 1:1 ratio seems cir­cum­stan­tial at best, much like the fact that God’s orig­i­nal­ly ordained mar­ried cou­ple went around naked all over the place.

(2) Polygamy orig­i­nat­ed with the son of rebel­lious Cain (Ge. 4:16–19).

If you buy this argu­ment, I should hope that you are con­sis­tent in your prac­tice. Main­tain­ing Cloud’s sec­ond point would require you to for­sake the usage of any tech­nol­o­gy, med­i­cine, enter­tain­ment, food, insti­tu­tion, and so on which orig­i­nat­ed with the son of a sinner.

I hope you like liv­ing in a cave, lick­ing moss to survive.

Take a peak at Gen­e­sis 4:16–19 with me. Tru­ly, it deserves a look-see:

Then Cain went out from the pres­ence of the Lord, and set­tled in the land of Nod, east of Eden. 17And Cain had rela­tions with his wife and she con­ceived, and gave birth to Enoch; and he built a city, and called the name of the city Enoch, after4 the name of his son. 18Now to Enoch was born Irad; and Irad became the father of Mehu­jael; and Mehu­jael became the father of Methushael; and Methushael became the father of Lamech. 19And Lamech took to him­self two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the oth­er, Zil­lah. NASB

That’s pret­ty straight­for­ward, no? Did you notice, though, that nowhere do we find God con­demn­ing Lamech for the prac­tice? If first-men­tions in the Bible are impor­tant, then the first men­tion of polyg­y­ny with­in the Scrip­tures not only goes unpun­ished, but God nev­er — not even in the slight­est — gives a neg­a­tive word about it.

Actu­al­ly, I would just about be pre­pared to go so far as to say that God blessed Lamech’s rela­tion­ship with both his wives. Just look at the lega­cy they have left:

In verse 20 we learn of Lamech & Adah’s son Jabal, who “was the father of those who dwell in tents and have live­stock” (NASB). Cer­tain­ly we know that Abel was the first to keep live­stock, yet Jabal pio­neered the field. He invent­ed tents — mobile dwellings where­by the shep­herd may tend to his live­stock wher­ev­er they may need to go. This art endured through the time of the patri­archs and is still in use today by some.

In verse 21 we learn of Jabal’s broth­er Jubal, who “was the father of all those who play the lyre and pipe” (NASB). Here we have the Scrip­ture’s first men­tion of music, invent­ed by some­one who was part of the sup­posed ungod­ly line of Cain. Not only do we have the first men­tion of music, but we have the inven­tion of both stringed & wood­wind instru­ments — inven­tions which would go on to be giv­en an impor­tant place in the wor­ship of God (see Psalm 150, for example).

Final­ly in verse 22 we hear of Lamech & Zil­lah’s son Tubal-cain who was “the forg­er of all imple­ments of bronze and iron” (NASB). And so we have the begin­nings of met­al-based tech­nol­o­gy, and it has its ori­gins in the son of a polyg­y­nous father!

What a lega­cy that fam­i­ly made for itself! We would be hard pressed to find a fam­i­ly that has left such a long-last­ing pos­i­tive affect on the world. And through all of it, nev­er once do we hear any­thing neg­a­tive from God or Moses (or any­one else for that mat­ter) con­cern­ing the mar­riage of Lamech to two women. Nev­er once do we hear of dishar­mo­ny between Lamech and his wives or between their children.

Okay, so polyg­y­ny orig­i­nat­ed with the son of rebel­lious Cain. So what? Monogamy orig­i­nat­ed with the world’s first sinners!

If God want­ed to con­demn Lamech, He would have; since He did not, we should not lest we be guilty of wrest­ing the words of Scrip­ture to suit our beliefs.

(3) Con­cern­ing David and oth­er O.T. saints who had plur­al wives: (a) It result­ed in much heartache and trou­ble (Ge. 16:1–6; 1 Sa. 1:2–8; 1 Ki. 11:1–8).

Let’s take this one sub-point at a time. Cloud makes the asser­tion that David and oth­er Old Tes­ta­ment saints were caused heartache and trou­ble because of their tak­ing mul­ti­ple wives. I’ll not tar­ry long on each of these — and you are more than encour­aged to look each of the vers­es up your­self — but here is hope­ful­ly a lit­tle more insight into the cit­ed passages:

  • Gen­e­sis 16:1–6 — Abra­ham is not con­demned for hav­ing mul­ti­ple wives — if he is, I’m not see­ing it. Abra­ham was enticed by his wife Sarai to take Hagar as a wife so that she may bare Abra­ham a child. Sarai did not believe she was capa­ble of hav­ing kids, and want­ed Abra­ham to have the promised child — her cause, at least, was noble. She believed that God’s promise in Abra­ham would be ful­filled, even if she had to see it be done via Hagar. What­ev­er prob­lems arose were not due to Abra­ham’s polyg­y­ny (which was mere­ly cir­cum­stan­tial), but rather stemmed from a lack of faith that God’s promise would be fulfilled.
  • 1 Samuel 1:2–8 — Elka­nah had two wives, but they could not get along. The sin here is not polyg­y­ny — it’s a fail­ure to love one anoth­er. I’m not entire­ly sure what the rela­tion­ship between two wives of one man would be — would it be sis­ter­ly? What­ev­er the case, there should at least be a famil­ial love shared between the women. A house divid­ed against itself can­not stand; that is the sin of this pas­sage. “Well, does­n’t that prove that polyg­y­nous rela­tion­ships are unhealthy because it gives occa­sions for the wives to not get along?” If you want to take that route, I hope you are con­sis­tent and apply it to monog­a­mous rela­tion­ships as well — does the sky­rock­et­ed divorce rate sug­gest that some­thing is inher­ent­ly screwed up with monogamy as well?
  • 1 Kings 11:1–8 — Solomon mar­ries a great many women — and has more still as con­cu­bines. These women led to his wor­ship­ing oth­er gods. Was the sin polyg­y­ny? Not accord­ing to the Bible! Solomon was guilty of tak­ing for­eign wives — a vio­la­tion of what the Lord had com­mand­ed. Israelites were to mar­ry Israelites. Don’t insert into the text that polyg­y­ny was the sin; God has already spelled out what the sin was for us.

It’s amaz­ing what one dis­cov­ers when deal­ing with the bib­li­cal texts. Mov­ing on…

(b) God had for­bid­den kings to mul­ti­ply wives (De. 17:14,17). David, Solomon, and oth­er kings who had mul­ti­ple wives were liv­ing con­trary to God’s word.

Before I even touch what Cloud has said here, I want to ask you, are you a king of Israel? No? Then this does not apply to you. Now, if you do hap­pen to be a king of Israel, let’s see what the Lord has spo­ken con­cern­ing your mar­i­tal rights:

“When you enter the land which the Lord your God gives you, and you pos­sess it and live in it, and you say, ‘I will set a king over me like all the nations who are around me,’ … Nei­ther shall he mul­ti­ply wives for him­self, lest his heart turn away; nor shall he great­ly increase sil­ver and gold for him­self.” Deuteron­o­my 17:14, 17, NASB

John Gill in his com­men­tary notes that it was a com­mon notion that a Jew­ish king could have as many as eigh­teen wives, but no more.

What­ev­er the case may be, we do see here that a king was not to take unto him­self many wives — nor great wealth or even hors­es (verse 16).

If you real­ly want to apply this to non-roy­al Jews — or to Chris­ten­dom — you must be con­sis­tent and make use of every bib­li­cal law con­cern­ing Jew­ish kings. Cloud com­mits a non sequitu­ur error; it does not fol­low that because Jew­ish kings were told to abstain from hav­ing many wives, so must we.

© Most men of God even in the O.T. had only one wife. This is true for Adam (Ge. 2–4), Noah (Ge. 6:18), Isaac (Ge. 25:20–23), Joseph (Ge. 41:45), Moses (Ex. 2:21), Boaz (Ru. 4), Job (Job 1), Isa­iah (Is. 8:3), and Hosea (Ho. 3:1–3).

If I may be so bold… So what? Most men of God men­tioned in the Scrip­tures lived in Israel; must I? None of the men of God men­tioned in the Scrip­tures ever had a piz­za; must I then abstain?

Monogamy is a per­fect­ly valid form of mar­riage, and so we would expect it to be exam­pled for us in the Scriptures.

Oh, and it seems as though Moses too was a polyg­y­nist. Per­haps his inclu­sion in Cloud’s list was a typo­graph­i­cal error?

(4) There is no N.T. exam­ple of a god­ly Chris­t­ian hav­ing more than one wife.

Again, so? There is no New Tes­ta­ment exam­ple of a great many things we do every­day. Don’t take this link as a sweep­ing rec­om­men­da­tion for all that is said on the site, but accord­ing to some, polyg­y­ny is com­mand­ed by God with­in the pages of the New Tes­ta­ment. Inter­est­ing, no?

How­ev­er, no men­tion of Chris­t­ian polyg­y­nists with­in the New Tes­ta­ment is not rea­son enough to con­demn the prac­tice. (Indeed, were it to be con­demned, God would have need­ed to actu­al­ly con­demn it for us; where there is no Law, there is no sin.)

Fur­ther, there is no New Tes­ta­ment exam­ple of a mis­sion­ary author­ing a Bible ency­clo­pe­dia, send­ing out email newslet­ters, and main­tain­ing “apos­ta­sy data­bas­es,” but guess how Mr. Cloud spends his time!

(5) Those who have more than one wife today are for­bid­den to hold church lead­er­ship posi­tions (1 Ti. 3:2, 12; Tit. 1:6).

Titus 1:6 tells us that an elder must be “the hus­band of one wife, hav­ing chil­dren who believe” (NASB).

First Tim­o­thy 3:2 says like­wise says that an “over­seer, then, must be above reproach, the hus­band of one wife” (NASB).

Okay, so church lead­er­ship may only have one wife. As with the pas­sage above about the kings of Israel, if you are not what the pas­sage is talk­ing about, then the pas­sage does not apply to you. It’s that simple.

Now, I have heard that Chris­t­ian men should only have one wife because we can nev­er know whether or not God will call us to the posi­tion of church elder. How­ev­er, if that’s the case, then any Chris­t­ian man should get mar­ried to one woman as soon as pos­si­ble and start hav­ing chil­dren. Do you see that in the passage?

An elder must be mar­ried, must have chil­dren, and they them­selves must be believ­ers. If those qual­i­fi­ca­tions are not meant met, then there is no tru­ly bib­li­cal elder­ship. That is, after all, what the pas­sage states — no more, no less.

Yet Paul encour­ages believ­ers to remain sin­gle so that they may pur­sue the things of the Lord. Based on that fact, it seems point­less to claim that we should keep our­selves in a posi­tion where­in we may enter the min­istry of elder at a momen­t’s notice. One can hard­ly get mar­ried, have chil­dren, and ensure that they are become Chris­tians that quickly!

I have also heard it said that because elders are sup­posed to be exam­ples to us, we should then fol­low their exam­ple by hav­ing only one wife.

In a sense, that is valid, but it is by no means author­i­ta­tive because it is an assump­tion imposed upon the texts. If God had said, “hus­band of one wife, as an exam­ple to believ­ing men,” that would make things a lit­tle dif­fer­ent. The con­cept of elders being the quin­tes­sen­tial or typ­i­cal Chris­t­ian is not to be found with­in the pas­toral epis­tles them­selves. We must be care­ful not to add unto the Scriptures.

This shows that God is against polygamy. Those who prac­ticed this were dis­obey­ing God, even though some were god­ly men. David is a key exam­ple. He mul­ti­plied wives to him­self in spite of God’s com­mand against this, but his lust also brought him into ter­ri­ble grief.

Thus David Cloud con­cludes the “Polygamy” arti­cle of his ency­clo­pe­dia, pri­or to offer­ing even one sub­stan­tial argu­ment against the prac­tice which he believes “God is against.”

It’s easy to point to spe­cial cas­es — kings should not mul­ti­ply wives, elders should be the hus­band of one wife — yet to search the Scrip­tures for a com­mand­ments against com­mon men hav­ing mul­ti­ple wives, you would come up empty.

David seems to be a favorite exam­ple of Cloud’s, and he con­cludes by stat­ing David had mul­ti­ple wives “in spite of God’s com­mand against this.”

Would it sur­prise you then to learn that at least some of David’s wives were giv­en to him by God Him­self? We learn that through Nathan the prophet, and you can check out the pas­sage your­self at 2 Samuel 12:8. At the very least we can con­clude from that sim­ple pas­sage two things:

  1. The law against kings mul­ti­ply­ing wives unto them­selves did not for­bid a plu­ral­i­ty of wives — just as the pre­vi­ous verse in that pas­sage did not for­bid a plu­ral­i­ty of hors­es. Rather, as the King James Ver­sion states, it was for­bid­den for a king to have “many” wives; yes, that is sub­jec­tive, but from David’s exam­ple, we know that he had yet to cross that bound­ary of hav­ing many wives as God gave him multiple!
  2. That polyg­y­ny is not a sin. I’ve come this far in this dis­cus­sion, and that is the con­clu­sion I must set­tle on lest I become guilty of reject­ing the Scrip­tures. If God does not tempt man to sin (James 1:13), and God gave wives to David, then it must be con­clud­ed that David was not being led into a sin­ful situation.

If all of the above offends you, I encour­age you to ask your­self why it does. Is my under­stand­ing of the Scrip­tures in these mat­ters wrong? If so, don’t get offend­ed; rather, cor­rect me in all gen­tle­ness and patience as the Scrip­tures encour­age you to do. All I ask is what has been asked by me — and demand­ed of me by my belief in sola Scrip­tura: Remain open to what the Word of God says. The Scrip­tures don’t just trump tra­di­tions; they smash tra­di­tions, replac­ing them with wis­dom that is of God.

May we con­tin­ue to seek that wisdom!

34 thoughts on “David Cloud on Polygamy”

  1. Mark: Wel­come to RickBeckman.org. :) And thanks for your comments!

    Regard­ing your sec­ond point, about David, I don’t know whether or not David actu­al­ly mar­ried them. That does­n’t change the fact that God gave them or that He offered to give even more if the ini­tial bless­ings weren’t enough for David. We do know from 2 Samuel 3 that David had mul­ti­ple wives — for which he is nev­er condemned.

    Regard­ing your first point, it still seems like a stretch to believe that because Adam & Eve were 1:1, so must we all be. After all, if that were by any means an ide­al, Paul would­n’t have said he’d rather us remain sin­gle to pur­sue the things of the Lord. Like­wise, Yah­weh could have laid the mat­ter to rest on any num­ber of occa­sions by sim­ply point­ing out that as Adam only had Eve, so man should only have one wife. Yet in the numer­ous exam­ples of bib­li­cal polyg­y­ny, not one such admo­ni­tion is giv­en. In fact, the only time that I am aware of in which the rela­tion­ship & union between Adam & Eve is invoked in teach­ing is when Jesus is set­tling the mat­ter of divorce. He points out that the union between man & woman is a union which no man should put asun­der; He does not point out that the union is also exclu­sive (i.e., man can only have one wife which he may be one with).

    And regard­ing your third point, if sex­u­al puri­ty was meant, Paul could have sim­ply required that an elder be not sex­u­al­ly impure, as he did in such as 1 Corinthi­ans 6:9. Indeed, that the “one wife” require­ment is giv­en at all makes for a strong argu­ment that it was a prac­tice at the time for men to have more than one wife — either through polyg­y­ny or the unlaw­ful use of divorce. What­ev­er the case may be, the “one wife” require­ment is nev­er giv­en to “lay” Chris­tians, but only of elders & deacons.

  2. God cer­tain­ly did ordain mar­riage in the begin­ning, but He did not spec­i­fy that man would cleave nec­es­sar­i­ly unto only one wife after leav­ing his par­ents. That the orig­i­nal mar­riage had a 1:1 ratio seems cir­cum­stan­tial at best, much like the fact that God’s orig­i­nal­ly ordained mar­ried cou­ple went around naked all over the place.

    The 1:1 ratio and one flesh speaks of a com­plet­ness both sex­u­al and in union (a whole). A child born in that union is the per­fect result, ‘one flesh’ per­haps? I real­ly don’t think cir­cum­stan­tial chance hap­pens in the text, at lest not to con­vey a truth. :)

    We learn that through Nathan the prophet, and you can check out the pas­sage your­self at 2 Samuel 12:8

    God had sim­ply giv­en David every­thing that was Saul’s. Are you sure David even mar­ried any of them?

    First Tim­o­thy 3:2 says like­wise says that an “over­seer, then, must be above reproach, the hus­band of one wife” (NASB).

    I don’t think this verse as any­thing to do with his mar­tial sta­tus, but about his sex­u­al puri­ty. Not to men­tion it does once again con­firm one man one woman.

    God bless!

  3. Hi Rick, Thanks for the wel­come and your thoughts. :)

    If more than one wife is ok with God, how would man main­tain his sex­u­al puri­ty? This would be the most prone area for men to fail, no?

    Yet in the numer­ous exam­ples of bib­li­cal polyg­y­ny, not one such admo­ni­tion is given.

    Could this also be rea­soned about ‘slav­ery’?

    Sec­ond­ly, was pol­gamy even com­mon in Roman soci­ety? I would say no. In fact a polyg­a­mist could not even have been a mem­ber of the church, much less a leader.

    I think it is a stretch not to see the sev­er­al texts as man and woman as any­thing but exclu­sive. (Gen 2:24, Mt 19:5,6, Mk 10:6–9, and Paul Eph 5:31)

    I would not put the mari­tial sta­tus in Tim­o­thy as the sub­ject, it is clear­ly sex­u­al puri­ty, IMHO. To breach this is to be no longer above reproach.

    Remem­ber Paul him­self was a sin­gle man.

    What­ev­er the case may be, the “one wife” require­ment is nev­er giv­en to “lay” Chris­tians, but only of elders & deacons.

    So the lead­er­ship of the church only leads, encour­ages, and teach­es the laity towards a less­er exam­ple of holiness?

    :)

  4. Wel­come back. I’m going to pref­ace this post quick­ly with this: If I come off as believ­ing I’m absolute­ly right and every­one else is absolute­ly wrong if they dis­agree with me, I apol­o­gize. I tend to write assertive­ly — a trait I know doubt have picked up from my dad — and it’s been known to rub peo­ple the wrong way because they think I’m being a jerk. And due to the con­tro­ver­sial nature of the sub­ject mat­ter, I want­ed to make that clear. :P

    Mov­ing on…

    If more than one wife is ok with God, how would man main­tain his sex­u­al puri­ty? This would be the most prone area for men to fail, no?

    I’m not for sure what you mean here. Why would hav­ing mul­ti­ple wives cre­ate more of a prob­lem for man? Would­n’t he be more like­ly that a man would have his sex­u­al desire filled with­in the legit­i­mate bonds of mar­riage if he had two wives?

    By no means is that to say that sex is a valid rea­son to go out and take mul­ti­ple wives. How­ev­er, even Paul stat­ed that it is bet­ter for a man to mar­ry than to burn with lust. That may or may not legit­imize the ful­fill­ing of the sex­u­al desire as a rea­son to mar­ry; if it does, then it’s valid for polyg­y­nous sit­u­a­tions as well, pro­vid­ed that the con­di­tions can be met (i.e., the Law of God states that if a man takes anoth­er wife, he is to not dimin­ish the care pro­vid­ed to the first or pre­vi­ous wives).

    How­ev­er, like I said, I’m not for sure what you meant, so if I guessed wrong­ly at your impli­ca­tion, please clarify. :)

    Could this also be rea­soned about ’slav­ery’?

    Slav­ery is not con­demned with­in the Scrip­tures. It is pre­sent­ed as a legit­i­mate insti­tu­tion which is guid­ed by the Law of God and the prin­ci­ples of the Word of God. While it is true that in Christ there is no bond­man or free­man, it is also true that there is no male or female. That equal­i­ty in Christ does no more to negate slav­ery than it does to negate dif­fer­ences in gender.

    The Book of Phile­mon all but legit­imizes the prac­tice of slav­ery — includ­ing appeal­ing to the mas­ter for sit­u­a­tions con­cern­ing the slave (verse 14). That epis­tle of all places we would expect to find a con­dem­na­tion of the prac­tice if it is indeed to be con­demned or for­bid­den, but Paul sanc­tions its con­tin­ued prac­tice in the case of Phile­mon & Onesimus.

    Sec­ond­ly, was pol­gamy even com­mon in Roman soci­ety? I would say no. In fact a polyg­a­mist could not even have been a mem­ber of the church, much less a leader.

    In Roman soci­ety, I don’t know; in Amer­i­can soci­ety, it isn’t real­ly com­mon either — nei­ther is life­long monogamy, for that mat­ter. How­ev­er, cul­ture does not define doctrine.

    If I may make an obser­va­tion — church his­to­ry buffs, please cor­rect me: Polyg­y­ny was prac­ticed by the Jews, was prac­ticed by ear­ly Chris­tians (who were Jews), but was even­tu­al­ly put out of prac­tice as the Church attract­ed Romans & Greeks who dis­ap­proved of the practice.

    I think it is a stretch not to see the sev­er­al texts as man and woman as any­thing but exclu­sive. (Gen 2:24, Mt 19:5,6, Mk 10:6–9, and Paul Eph 5:31)

    I don’t dis­pute that a man is to leave his par­ents, cleav­ing to his wife as they become one.

    How­ev­er, 2 Corinthi­ans 11:2 is reveal­ing. We know that Paul was part of the bride of Christ, but in this verse Paul states that he espoused oth­ers as chaste vir­gins to Christ. So while Paul is a mem­ber of the Bride of Christ, he espous­es oth­ers to Christ as well. And Christ becomes one with all of them. The 1:1 rela­tion­ship goes much far­ther than “Christ:Church.” It is more like this: Christ:Christian1, Christ:Christian2, Christ:Christian3.

    Bring­ing the sym­bol­ism of that from Christ back to the realm of ordi­nary men, we have this: Husband:Household — husband:wife1, husband:wife2, husband:wife3…

    Each rela­tion­ship fits what Christ, Paul, and Moses have said about mar­riage and Adam & Eve. In every instance, two become one, and exclu­siv­i­ty isn’t required for it to be valid.

    I would not put the mari­tial sta­tus in Tim­o­thy as the sub­ject, it is clear­ly sex­u­al puri­ty, IMHO. To breach this is to be no longer above reproach.

    If sex­u­al puri­ty was the issue, Paul very like­ly would have encour­aged them not to mar­ry, espe­cial­ly giv­en the con­text of church lead­er­ship (1 Corinthi­ans 7:32).

    I have checked a vari­ety of com­men­taries, and all agree that “hus­band of one wife” refers to the num­ber of wives and not sim­ply to sex­u­al immoral­i­ty. After all, a mar­ried man could for­ni­cate with an unmar­ried woman, yet he still is “the hus­band of one wife.” He would no doubt be in a state of sin, but that spe­cif­ic qual­i­fi­ca­tion isn’t the point of sin.

    Remem­ber Paul him­self was a sin­gle man.

    Or a wid­ow­er; I’m not sure if we can know for certain.

    So the lead­er­ship of the church only leads, encour­ages, and teach­es the laity towards a less­er exam­ple of holiness?

    That implies that polyg­y­ny is less holy. If that is the case, it is sin­ful and none should be prac­tic­ing it.

    How­ev­er, if it is a valid form of mar­riage, then it is no more or less holy than monogamy — unless one hap­pens to be in church leadership.

    Keep in mind that dea­cons & elders are told they *must* be the hus­band of one wife; does that then imply that sin­gle men are liv­ing in less­er holiness?

    Being the hus­band of one wife allows the elders & dea­cons two things:

    1) It proves their abil­i­ty to lead the flock if they are able to keep their house­hold in order.
    2) It pre­vents them from being over­ly con­cerned with the things of this world (1 Corinthi­ans 7:33).

  5. Rick,
    I am going to take a stab, your a young man eh?

    As thought out as your stances are, which I com­mend you, there are two ares which you over sim­pli­fy and sort of ignore. The his­toroc­i­ty of the text, and the his­to­ri­og­ra­phy con­text in which the writer writes.

    Tha fact the writ­ers of any bib­li­cal text do not fit what you think their inten­tions should have been, for instance you say “If sex­u­al puri­ty was the issue, Paul very like­ly would have encour­aged them not to mar­ry, espe­cial­ly giv­en the con­text of church lead­er­ship”, should not pre­clude the intend­ed mes­sage. This point would sec­ond­ly also be applied to your mod­ern day under­stand­ing of the term slav­ery perhaps.

    Why would hav­ing mul­ti­ple wives cre­ate more of a prob­lem for man? Wouldn’t he be more like­ly that a man would have his sex­u­al desire filled with­in the legit­i­mate bonds of mar­riage if he had two wives?

    Rick, with no dis­re­spect intend­ed, this ques­tion ele­vates your cur­rent lack of under­stand­ing of man’s very nature, sex­u­al­ly espe­cial­ly. You will notice, you offer a very self­ish rea­son why it would be lig­iti­mate, as most unholy rea­son­ing usu­al­ly leads us, myself being guilty at times as well.
    Sec­ond­ly, in gen­er­al, sex­u­al puri­ty as been a con­stant threat to the body of Christ, the church. It will be the eas­i­est to jus­ti­fiy in our mind, and before God. One does not need look far in the mod­ern church today, to see such sins held up before God has holy. That is some­thing I fear you nev­er do. Just as Paul understood.

    Keep in mind that dea­cons & elders are told they *must* be the hus­band of one wife; does that then imply that sin­gle men are liv­ing in less­er holiness?

    No, don’t be sil­ly. :) Sin­gle men should remain pure until mar­riage of one woman. Please don’t so easly dis­miss the fact that sex­u­al puri­ty remains the issue at hand. It plagued the church in Paul day and ours. Church lead­er­ship needs to be beyond reproach for many rea­sons. The laity have no less stan­dards to live by based on that at all. The dif­fer­ence lies in the Author­i­ty one has been giv­en. I hope you can see that.

    This con­ver­sa­tion has been enjoy­able. Thank you Rick for your thoughts. I pray we both grow in God’s grace and wis­dom, nev­er to com­pro­mise His wis­dom for ours.

    Your take on 2 Corinthi­nas 11:2 starts off ok, then you go so far off the road, your gps is has no sig­nal. :) Paul is quite sim­ply implor­ing them to remain in sex­u­al puri­ty. As their spir­i­tu­al father he por­trays the Cor­inti­nans like a daugh­ter. His pas­sion­ate deire they remain pure in that puri­ty of both body and mind until Christ, see Rev 19:7.

  6. Mark: Yes, I’m 24 — saved for six years, mar­ried for 23 months. So, sure, I’m a young man.

    Based on the infor­ma­tion in the above post of mine, I came to the con­clu­sion I did near the end of it. How­ev­er, by no means do I con­sid­er the mat­ter closed. There’s much I see on “Chris­t­ian Polyg­y­ny” sites that I find to be sim­ply vac­u­ous. Out of a desire for truth, my for­ay into the sub­ject is explorato­ry and has result­ed in growth in under­stand­ing of the Scrip­tures and the cul­tures por­trayed therein.

    So I’m glad to be able to dis­cuss the issue with you. :)

    Also, I’m not sure what you’re get­ting at here:

    Rick, with no dis­re­spect intend­ed, this ques­tion ele­vates your cur­rent lack of under­stand­ing of man’s very nature, sex­u­al­ly espe­cial­ly. You will notice, you offer a very self­ish rea­son why it would be lig­iti­mate, as most unholy rea­son­ing usu­al­ly leads us, myself being guilty at times as well.

    I’m still uncer­tain why I man would be more like­ly to com­mit sex­u­al sin if he had many wives. There seems to be quite a few sex­u­al sins com­mit­ted by monog­a­mous men as well, and they like­ly account for a not-so-insignif­i­cant por­tion of the divorces that black­en our world.

    I don’t see how the opin­ion I offered is any more self­ish than what Paul said in 1 Corinthi­ans 7:9, say­ing that it is bet­ter to mar­ry than to burn for those who lack self-control.

  7. Rick,

    I’m still uncer­tain why I man would be more like­ly to com­mit sex­u­al sin if he had many wives.

    First, take into con­sid­er­a­tion the state of man’s heart, his flesh, and his world­ly desires. No man, even if mar­ried to one woman, will not lust. Nor will he be not be guilty of unholy sex­u­al desires, ever! A mere thought is con­sid­ered adul­try, mur­der, etc.. before the holy stan­dard of God. Need verse? Matthew comes to mind..:)

    I don’t see how the opin­ion I offered is any more self­ish than what Paul said in 1 Corinthi­ans 7:9, say­ing that it is bet­ter to mar­ry than to burn for those who lack self-control.

    “let” them mar­ry is more of a com­mand than a “if” indi­ca­tion as I study that text. In oth­er words, no one can live ‘hap­py’ and serve our Lord if his life is dom­i­nat­ed by unfull­filled sex­u­al desires or oth­er pas­sions. This point was espe­cial­ly impor­tant and applic­a­ble to those Paul was speak­ing to in the Corinthi­an soci­ety, no?

    I am so glad you remain open, and more impor­tant­ly, you use the scrip­ture to con­firm your con­clu­sions. You are indeed blessed.

    :)

  8. btw
    Mark: Yes, I’m 24 — saved for six years,

    Were you not saved before you were even born, or a mere thought in your dad­dy’s eye?
    wink

    :)

  9. And tech­ni­cal­ly, am I still not being saved? ;)

    I ful­ly agree that lust after anoth­er man’s wife is the same as com­mit­ting adul­tery with her. Like­wise, lust­ing after an unmar­ried woman might as well be fornication.

    And I agree such temp­ta­tion exists even in monog­a­mous marriages.

    I don’t see why it would be worse if the man were mul­ti­ply-mar­ried, though.

  10. I don’t see why it would be worse if the man were mul­ti­ply-mar­ried, though.

    It would not be ‘worse’.

    And tech­ni­cal­ly, am I still not being saved?

    Me too :)

  11. Rick, let me throw this out here.

    You have four wives, you have solved your day care prob­lem, you are wealthy, and you have the phys­i­cal capac­i­ty to “make love” four times a week for instance. When you get the desire for anoth­er wife, or the desire for just one new wife, where are you in terms of God’s holy stan­dard? Unless you actu­al­ly think you won’t have these new desires? In which I would be forced to call you a **** ;(

    Now throw in the mix, three of your wives don’t real­ly care for you. Your breath stinks and you show ‘favorites’ with the oth­er wives. You also are the spir­i­tu­al leader of your home I hope, and as such, you must talk to God to solve these prob­lems. All the while, your chil­dren are watch­ing your every move and word, not to men­tion the unhap­py women are as well.

    Per­haps, you will say God spoke to you last night on the moun­tain, and instruct your wives to their new god­ly responsiblities?

    Wel­come to the world of Muham­mad, the ‘phrophet’. Founder of the most anti-christ world view we know today. Why? because he tweeked it, and mil­lions loved it and still love it. It’s holy and ok with god, even though it is pure flesh and zero truth.

    Think about it. God bless Rick!

  12. You have four wives, you have solved your day care prob­lem, you are wealthy, and you have the phys­i­cal capac­i­ty to “make love” four times a week for instance. When you get the desire for anoth­er wife, or the desire for just one new wife, where are you in terms of God’s holy stan­dard? Unless you actu­al­ly think you won’t have these new desires? In which I would be forced to call you a **** ;(

    You are assum­ing that it would be a sin for a man to desire a woman to be his wife if he already has wives. The act of adul­tery through­out the Scrip­tures refers to the tak­ing of anoth­er man’s wife. And for­ni­ca­tion is extra­mar­i­tal sex. There’s no named sin asso­ci­at­ed with the court­ing and dat­ing of an unmar­ried woman if you have a wife already and if polyg­y­ny itself is not a sin.

    Lust is far from the only moti­va­tion to have mul­ti­ple wives; per­haps hav­ing mul­ti­ple wives ful­fills God’s will for you & your off­spring? (I cite the ori­gin of the twelve tribes of Israel.)

    Now throw in the mix, three of your wives don’t real­ly care for you. Your breath stinks and you show ‘favorites’ with the oth­er wives. You also are the spir­i­tu­al leader of your home I hope, and as such, you must talk to God to solve these prob­lems. All the while, your chil­dren are watch­ing your every move and word, not to men­tion the unhap­py women are as well.

    If three wives don’t care for you, that is their sin; I would expect the hus­band to still love them as Christ loves the Church. Like­wise, if the hus­band is show­ing favorites, that is his sin. The Law of God specif­i­cal­ly states that if mul­ti­ple wives are tak­en, the love & mar­i­tal duty shown the first or pre­vi­ous wives must not be diminished.

    I pro­pose that you are using worst case sce­nar­ios to argue against the con­cept as a whole.

    I also pro­pose that far worse sit­u­a­tions have tak­en place with­in monog­a­mous mar­riages by virtue of the fact more peo­ple have prac­ticed it and thus more peo­ple have got­ten cre­ative with screw­ing it up.

    Per­haps, you will say God spoke to you last night on the moun­tain, and instruct your wives to their new god­ly responsiblities?

    Wel­come to the world of Muham­mad, the ‘phrophet’. Founder of the most anti-christ world view we know today. Why? because he tweeked it, and mil­lions loved it and still love it. It’s holy and ok with god, even though it is pure flesh and zero truth.

    You have just lumped the mar­riages of Abra­ham, David, and a few dozen oth­er men of the Scrip­tures into the same lump as Muham­mad. Are you real­ly com­fort­able with that?

    Cit­ing the abus­es of polyg­y­ny to argue against the prac­tice as pre­sent­ed is Scrip­ture is fal­la­cious at best. After all, how far would some­one get with you if they argued against the Chris­tian­i­ty of the Bible by point­ing out things like the Cru­sades, Salem Witch Tri­als, or Bush’s War on Evildoers?

  13. 1. I nev­er claimed to be Israel. How­ev­er, sin is the trans­gres­sion of the Law; I believe it can be shown that not only does polyg­y­ny not trans­gress the Law, it is indeed sanc­tioned by it. The Law has always been a reflec­tion of the holi­ness of God.

    2. The vers­es you cit­ed were not writ­ten about mul­ti­ple spous­es; Adam & Eve’s 1:1 cor­re­la­tion is used against divorce, not against mul­ti­ple wives. Again note that note one bib­li­cal polyg­y­nist is judged for that “sin.”

    3. If your wives do not care for you, yes that is a sin; wives are told to love their hus­bands. That is bib­li­cal. Why do you say I am mak­ing stuff up? Like­wise, I’m not ignor­ing any pas­sages on divorce because divorce is not the issue here.

    4. The verse you cit­ed does not say any­thing about tak­ing anoth­er wife; it does say that a man shall leave his par­ents and cleave to his wife. If it is impos­si­ble for a man to cleave to more than one wife, then we would expect those men who do it to be judged accord­ing­ly in the Scrip­tures (which they are not). Like­wise, we would expect such a prac­tice to be out­lawed rather than sanc­tioned in God’s Law.

    How­ev­er lest we go around in cir­cles (as fun as it is to get dizzy and stare up at the clouds after­ward), I want to inter­ject an invi­ta­tion real quick to the Fel­low­ship Hall — the mes­sage board I run. A mem­ber of the board, Hugh McBryde, is far more an expert in the sub­ject of bib­li­cal mar­riage — whether relat­ed to the sub­jects of polyg­y­ny, divorce, or what­ev­er — and you can find him at BlogSpot if you want to dis­cuss it with him from a “monogamy-only” stand­point. I stepped out of the debate a while back after find­ing out that my monogamy-only argu­ments were fal­la­cious, but I would like to see if some­one, any­one could get any­where with Hugh, at the very least to bring bib­li­cal truths to the sur­face of the minds of every­one involved.

  14. 1. I am not Israel, nei­ther are you.

    2. I have cit­ed scrip­ture per­tain­ing to man and woman as hus­band and wife. It should be clear that sex­u­al puri­ty can ONLY be found with­in that model.

    3. If one of my wives does not care for me, that is not a sin. You keep mak­ing up stuff as you go along. I die to my wife, as Christ died for me. Is that real­ly a new con­cept to you? You would have to deny our nature (sin) to accept any­thing else IMHO. Plus you would have to ignore scrip­ture. You would also have to ignore the most dif­fi­cult pas­sages on divorce and their spe­cif­ic real­tion­ships of One mand and One woman.

    4. Desire­ing anoth­er woman, while mar­ried, is sin.

    The scrip­ture is very clear, “There­fore shall a man leave his father and his moth­er, and shall cleave unto his wife; and they shall be one flesh”

    After all, how far would some­one get with you if they argued against the Chris­tian­i­ty of the Bible by point­ing out things like the Cru­sades, Salem Witch Tri­als, or Bush’s War on Evildoers?

    Not very far, as I am ful­ly pre­pared and have done so many times. I am not com­ment­ing here with you Rick to show you any advanced lev­el of log­ic or sophistry skills I may have or lack. If you seek to Mas­ter those things, go for it. I seek truths.

  15. Do you think David’s polygamy and poor par­ent­ing pro­duced trag­ic results in his fam­i­ly life?

    How do you rec­on­cile in Deuteron­o­my 22 the dif­fer­ences in pun­ishe­ment between being sin­gle and married?

    I believe God knew, if man left to his own devices would destroy mar­riage, one of those devices is polygamy (man made desire of the flesh — nev­er God ordained)

    Thanks for the invite, but no thanks. Thanks for the spit bub­ble blow­ing look in the sky with crossed eyed dis­be­lief conversation. ;)

  16. Do you think David’s polygamy and poor par­ent­ing pro­duced trag­ic results in his fam­i­ly life?

    Did the polyg­y­ny itself cause the prob­lems or was it some­thing else?

    Neg­a­tive exam­ples do not make the con­cept itself neg­a­tive. The very first instance of polyg­y­ny we have in the Scrip­tures comes across as quite pos­i­tive. The only thing neg­a­tive we are told about the fam­i­ly is that the father went on to mur­der some­one. Of his mar­riages to two wives and his chil­dren with them, there are no marks against them.

    You also assume that polyg­y­ny is always entered into because of the flesh; if that’s true, you must also con­cede that every mar­riage is entered into for that rea­son. If not, what are valid rea­sons to mar­ry? Why are they not applic­a­ble in a polyg­y­nous situation?

    Also, nice descrip­tion of the con­ver­sa­tion. :P Your part in it has been appreciated!

  17. What does Kool-Aid have to do with anything?

    One is per­fect­ly able to have chil­dren in a polyg­y­nous sit­u­a­tion; look at the foun­da­tion of the Jew­ish nation, for instance. (Or Lamech’s chil­dren, who came from a polyg­y­nous sit­u­a­tion that was God nev­er spoke an ill word against.)

    Also, your #2 seems to be an assump­tion imposed upon the text. What actu­al vers­es do you have that state in no uncer­tain terms that the aver­age Joe Chris­t­ian can have no more than one wife if he is to live a holy life?

    Along with that, then, it would have to be explained why polyg­y­ny was prac­ticed so often by not just the Jews but those who pre­dat­ed the Jews (i.e., Abra­ham, Lamech) with­out invok­ing God’s wrath. In light of Deuteron­o­my 17:17, it must be asked why God took the time to tell king’s not to mul­ti­ply wives but then did­n’t both­er to ever tell Joe Jew not to. Dit­to the ref­er­ences to church lead­er­ship being required to keep but one wife; if they could be told not to in explic­it terms, why nev­er tell Joe Christian?

  18. The very first instance of polyg­y­ny we have in the Scrip­tures comes across as quite positive.

    Real­ly? Kool aid anyone?

    If not, (1)what are valid rea­sons to mar­ry? (2)Why are they not applic­a­ble in a polyg­y­nous situation?

    Glad you asked.
    1. Chil­dren and a Holy / God­ly mod­el of commitment.

    2. Because man is nev­er sat­is­fied with just “one”, unless He turns to God and dies to his flesh and lives for Him.

  19. The same rea­son God nev­er explic­it­ly told peo­ple not to fly planes into buildings.

    Also, your #2 seems to be an assump­tion imposed upon the text.

    ok, the gloves are off. What ‘assump­tion’ about the text am I mak­ing Rick? The assump­tion men are sin filled? want sex? want sex with oth­er women oth­er than their wives? are you actu­al­ly serious?

    What actu­al vers­es do you have that state in no uncer­tain terms that the aver­age Joe Chris­t­ian can have no more than one wife if he is to live a holy life

    The same vers­es boy, that say fly­ing planes into build­ings is a sin. Get your head out of your holy ass and do us all a favor, eh? You have been blessed with a brain, use it.

    You want points for being a log­i­cal man, sophist, and a great debater, you win, and yet you draw clos­er to no truth. sadly.

    take care Rick :) IMHO you offer noth­ing in terms of God’s will, noth­ing, noth­ing at all. just my opinion..

  20. ok, the gloves are off. What ‘assump­tion’ about the text am I mak­ing Rick? The assump­tion men are sin filled? want sex? want sex with oth­er women oth­er than their wives? are you actu­al­ly serious?

    Yeah, I’m seri­ous. Please show me from the Scrip­tures (you asked for vers­es over on Justin’s blog; I hope you don’t mind return­ing the favor here) where it is explained that Lamech, Moses, and oth­er polyg­y­nists took mul­ti­ple wives due to sin or sex.

    You’ll note in the holy Law of God that there is a per­fect­ly legit­i­mate rea­son for a man to take anoth­er wife:

    “If broth­ers dwell togeth­er, and one of them dies and has no son, the wife of the dead man shall not be mar­ried out­side the fam­i­ly to a stranger. Her hus­band’s broth­er shall go in to her and take her as his wife and per­form the duty of a hus­band’s broth­er to her.” Deuteron­o­my 25:5, ESV

    That’s known as the law of levi­rate mar­riage, and it states that if broth­ers live togeth­er and one of them dies, the wid­ow would be wed to the liv­ing broth­er. No excep­tions are giv­en. Whether the sur­viv­ing broth­er is mar­ried or not is irrel­e­vant; the Law requires that he go in to the wid­ow and take her as his wife.

    If the liv­ing broth­er was already mar­ried and thus refused to mar­ry the wid­ow, it would actu­al­ly be a sin not to form a polyg­y­nous fam­i­ly. If there’s a loop­hole in the Law of Yah­weh, I haven’t found it yet.

    Last, even the Father Him­self is prophet­i­cal­ly pre­sent­ed as hav­ing two wives (Samaria & Jerusalem) in Ezekiel 23; how does that jive with His holi­ness if hav­ing mul­ti­ple wives is as sin­ful as you claim it is?

    (Also note from Deuteron­o­my 25:5 that some­times mar­riages real­ly do hap­pen where sex isn’t the moti­vat­ing fac­tor, which you seem unwill­ing to accept; some­times, Yah­weh sim­ply wants you to get mar­ried, no ques­tions asked.)

  21. One is per­fect­ly able to have chil­dren in a polyg­y­nous situation;

    Wow, you must have had sex ed 101!

    look at the foun­da­tion of the Jew­ish nation, for instance.

    Yes, lets take a look see shall we? I see promise and reward. I see do this and I will do that. I see world­ly bless­ing, not spir­i­tu­al bless­ings. Humm?

    Along with that, then, it would have to be explained why polyg­y­ny was prac­ticed so often by not just the Jews but those who pre­dat­ed the Jews

    Real­ly? The jews prac­ticed polygamy???? Do tell! I look for­ward to spoon feed­ing your arro­gant, igno­rant jew­ish his­to­ry knowl­edge… I don’t know, some truth maybe?

    :)

  22. Yeah, I’m seri­ous. Please show me from the Scrip­tures (you asked for vers­es over on Justin’s blog; I hope you don’t mind return­ing the favor here) where it is explained that Lamech, Moses, and oth­er polyg­y­nists took mul­ti­ple wives due to sin or sex.?

    The bur­den is on you Rick, not me at this point. I said polygamy is MAN MADE. You make things up as you go along, for the **** time. Pull out a piece of paper and write this down. Because man is nev­er sat­is­fied with just “one”, unless He turns to God and dies to his flesh and lives for Him. God has used imper­fect men many times. Nev­er once does God’s holy stan­dard change. Got that?

    You’ll note in the holy Law of God that there is a per­fect­ly legit­i­mate rea­son for a man to take anoth­er wife:

    You will also notice to whom this law (Deuteron­o­my 25:5) was giv­en? You and I? no! Unless you still think ston­ing to death those who com­mit adul­try is still holy before God?

    You’ll note in the holy Law of God that there is a per­fect­ly legit­i­mate rea­son for a man to take anoth­er wife:

    Rick, you will notice one day that you are not jacob (Israel, nation or peo­ple) no?

    Last, even the Father Him­self is prophet­i­cal­ly pre­sent­ed as hav­ing two wives (Samaria & Jerusalem) in Ezekiel 23; how does that jive with His holi­ness if hav­ing mul­ti­ple wives is as sin­ful as you claim it is?

    Pre­sup­po­si­tions are at play here Rick. Like I said, you throw out Ezekiel 23 ?? what verse (out of 49) would you be talk­ing about to back up you idi­ot­ic claim? I pray you are not refer­ing to our Father as God hav­ing two human ‘wives’ as we know it! Israel is ref­ered to what, and how many times?

    (Also note from Deuteron­o­my 25:5 that some­times mar­riages real­ly do hap­pen where sex isn’t the moti­vat­ing fac­tor, which you seem unwill­ing to accept; some­times, Yah­weh sim­ply wants you to get mar­ried, no ques­tions asked.)

    Once again, are you a Levite? Nev­er­the­less, it is about tak­ing care of the wid­ow inorder to pro­vide an heir among broth­ers and their wife (wid­ow). Noth­ing manda­to­ry at all. Where does it say the broth­er who does is mar­ried? the one who desires to keep the estate — heir? Nev­er! btw, Lev 18:16, 20–21 makes what you imply adultery.

    If there’s a loop­hole in the Law of Yah­weh, I haven’t found it yet.

    That’s because you keep going back to God’s coven­tant laws that where nev­er even giv­en to you. Do those laws reveal His Holi­ness and His nature? Yes! You will­ful­ly ignore Christ on the cross and the new body of Christ (all nations, all peo­ple), and new respon­si­b­li­ties to the new contract.

    Why? I have no idea, oth­er than mak­ing your flesh feel jus­ti­fied vs your spir­it being renewed with the truth perhaps.

    :)

  23. Sor­ry for being a pot­ty mouth, and sor­ry for not know­ing you were play­ing the dev­ils advo­cate in this post. shame on me!

    :)

  24. No shame on you required. I intend to con­tin­ue enjoy­ing this con­ver­sa­tion. :P

    Regard­ing the Ezekiel 23 ref­er­ence; my bad! Make that 23:4.

    Regard­ing Deuteron­o­my 25:5, yes, I real­ize that it does­n’t nec­es­sar­i­ly apply to us; the point I intend­ed to make is sim­ply why would God’s Law make an occa­sion for sin?

    My thoughts fol­low like this: If it was okay for a mar­ried man to mar­ry his broth­er’s wid­ow, then it must be con­clud­ed at least in that cir­cum­stance that polyg­y­ny was not a sin to God for His peo­ple. Upon what basis, then, is polyg­y­ny a sin for all Gen­tiles or Chris­tians? It seems rea­son­able that what­ev­er the rea­son, it can­not be one which would cause a Jew­ish man to be sin­ning for obey­ing Deuteron­o­my 25:5.

    Fur­ther, you ask, “Where does it say the broth­er who does is mar­ried?” Good ques­tion. It does­n’t. But it also does­n’t state that the broth­er must be unmar­ried, nor does it grant an excep­tion for broth­ers who area already mar­ried. One com­men­tary I checked (and I for­get which now, dang it) stat­ed that it can be assumed the broth­er was unmarred because he was dwelling with his broth­er, sis­ter-in-law, and their fam­i­ly. How­ev­er, that seems just as pre­sump­tu­ous as any­thing I’ve said; the bur­den of proof in that would be show­ing that two mar­ried cou­ples nev­er dwelt togeth­er and that if they did, they were some­one in vio­la­tion of anoth­er Law which would dis­al­low the co-dwelling to be applied to Deut. 25:5.

    *inhales*

    I hope that makes sense, whether you agree or not. I’m hur­ried­ly try­ing to fin­ish this before head­ing back to work!

    The rea­son I do keep look­ing at the Covenant of Moses is because I do not believe all the Old Covenants are use­less — I still believe the Noahic Covenant is the basis for being allowed to eat meat and for cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment; I still believe the Abra­ham­ic Covenant because by faith I am of Abra­ham’s seed and a par­tak­er of the bless­ing promised to Abra­ham; I believe in the Davidic Covenant as Christ is the ful­fill­ment there­of; and I believe in the Mosa­ic Covenant because it was such an explic­it rev­e­la­tion of God, which Christ ful­filled. Hebrews tells us a great deal that is bet­ter about the New Covenant — and praise God, I can freely eat pork — but there is still a great deal to learn about how God expect­ed His cho­sen peo­ple to live. I’d imag­ine it isn’t a great deal dif­fer­ent than how He wants His “oth­er” cho­sen peo­ple (us) to live.

    At the very least, I sub­mit that if some­thing can be shown to be per­mis­si­ble under the Law, then for it to be con­sid­ered for­bid­den at oth­er times, some­thing very clear & explic­it must be found in the Scrip­tures to make the claim. I may be expect­ing too much, espe­cial­ly since I’ve very lit­tle if any­thing to gain from polyg­y­ny being accept­able, I’m just not com­fort­able at this junc­tion to state that monogamy-only is the bib­li­cal rule for all mar­riages at all times when the pos­si­bil­i­ty exists that it was legit­i­mate for quite a few Jew­ish families.

    Have a great day.

  25. If it was okay for a mar­ried man to mar­ry his brother’s wid­ow, then it must be con­clud­ed at least in that cir­cum­stance that polyg­y­ny was not a sin to God for His people.

    One , you assume (check that I read what you wite fur­ther down) the broth­er is already mar­ried and two the spir­it of the law was to pro­tect the wid­ow’s heir. I need not tell you a sin­gle woman in Jew­ish soci­ety had two choic­es, starve to death or prostitute.

    some­thing very clear & explic­it must be found in the Scrip­tures to make the claim.

    Actu­al­ly I see that clar­i­ty. Jesus Christ Him­self con­firmed one man one woman. At this point it is just your take on that. I find from cre­ation, the law, and the new cov­etant noth­ing but one man one woman hor­i­zon­tal rela­tion­ships just has we hold the ver­ti­cal rela­tion­ship with our Lord. When we are in Heav­en, both will be prefected.

    Take care!

  26. How does sex­u­al inter­course with more than one wife make a man sex­u­al­ly impure?
    I don’t believe that the bible teach­es that it is for­ni­ca­tion for a man to be with a plu­ral­i­ty of wives.
    sincerely,
    Dwight

  27. can some­one please tell me where i can find in the Bible two sin­gle peo­ple hav­ing sex for­ni­ca­tion. i must have over­looked it the three time i have read the Bible. if that is the case every man in the old tes­ta­ment com­mit­ted for­ni­ca­tion when they took there sec­ond wife and etc.

  28. Hav­ing sex out­side of mar­riage is for­ni­ca­tion. That’s the view Paul had in 1 Corinthi­ans 7, when he was respond­ing to the Corinthi­ans’ prac­tice of hav­ing men and women avoid touch­ing each oth­er at all, in any way. Doing that caus­es desires to get pent up, though, and so Paul says that in order to avoid for­ni­ca­tion, they should instead get mar­ried so that they may have mar­i­tal sex.

    There are far more recent dis­cus­sions you guys can join in on here, though. This post isn’t where the fun’s at. There’s also FriendOfPolygyny.com, which is just beg­ging for some comments.

  29. WELL, I PERSONALLY FEEL AFTER STUDYING THE ISSUE OF FORNICATION. THAT CAN’T BE WHAT HE WAS SAYING, BECAUSE HE SAID TO AVOID SEXUAL IMMORALITY. THE ONLY WAY WE CAN BE CLEAR AS OF WHAT IS CONCLUDED TO BE IMMORAL IS TO LOOK AT THE LAW OF MORALITY IN LEV.18. TWO UNMARRIED PEOPLE ARE NOT DISCUSSED IN THAT LAW, OR IN DEUT. WHEN THE LAW WAS REPEATED. PLEASE CAN WE STOP ASSUMING WE KNOW AND LET GOD THAT’S ALL KNOWING TELL US. WE ARE NOT SMARTER THAN HIM TRUST ME. WHEN PAUL WAS ADDRESSING THE CHURCH OF CORINTH. HE WAS HAVING ALOT OF PROBLEMS SEPERATING THE NEW CONVERTS, FROM THE NONE BELIEVERS THAT SEVERED THE FERTILITY GODS THAT LURED YOU SEXUALLY INTO WORSHIPPING THEIR GODS. AND CORINTH WAS ON A PORT SO ALL KINDS OF PEOPLE CAME IN AND OUT AND PEOPLE WHERE STILL SLEEPING WITH THESE PEOPLE SERVING THE FERTILITY GODS. I JUST CAN’T SEE HOW FORNICATION MEANS TWO UNMARRIED OPPOSITE SEX PEOPLE HAVING SEX, BUT GOD NEVER GAVE US AN EXAMPLE OF IT. NOT TO MENTION THAT ALL THE MEN IN THE OLD TESTAMENT HAD SEX AND THEN THEY WERE MARRIED. EVEN TODAY IN SOME DIVORCE CASES THEY ASK THE COUPLE WAS THE MARRIAGE CONSUMATED. IF THEY IT ISN’T IT’S THROWN OUT. LOOK UP THE GREEK MEANINGS FOR FORNICATION THERE’S AROUND THREE DEFINITIONS FOR THE WORD ONLY ONE MEANING WILL FIT EVERY BIBLE VERSE FROM OLD TO NEW WHERE IT SPEAKS OF FORNICATION. I LOOK FORWARD TO HEARING FROM YOU ONCE YOU HAVE LOOKED UP THE MEANINGS FYI DON’T LOOK ON-SITES THAT WILL GIVE THE DEFINITION OFOF THEIR PERSONAL VIEW. I MEAN WOULDN’T IT BE A TEN COMMANDMENT ARE SOMETHING. SURPRISINGLY ACCORDING TO THE ORIGINAL GREEK DEFINITION IT IS A TEN COMMANDMENT. HAVING SEX WITH NON-BELIEVERS. MAYBE THATS WHY GOD TOLD DAVID AND SOLOMON AND OTHERS NOT TO BEJOINED WITH FOREIGN WOMEN. AND THE NEW TESTAMENT TALKS ABOUT NOT BEING EQUALLY YOKED. AND SPIRITUAL FORNICATION IS WHAT SOLOMON WAS DOING PLAYING BOTH ENDS, WORSHIPPING PAGANIST GODS AND GOD. NEW TESTAMENT IF YOU ARE LUKE WARM I WILL SPIT U OUT. SPIRITUAL ADULTERY IS WHEN YOU ARE COMPLETELY TURNED OVER TO THE OTHER PERSONS GOD. NOW IT MAKE SINCE TO ME WHY ADULTERS AND FORNICATORS CAN’T INHERIT THE KINGDOMS OF HEAVAN. EXAMPLE IF TWO SINGLE CHRISTIANS HAVE SEX AND THAT WOULD MEAN THEY BECOME ONE, HOW COULD GOD BE UPSET ABOUT BECOMING ONE WITH HIMSELF. BUT IF I AM JOINED TO A NON BELIEVER, I CAN SEE HIM BEING UPSET ABOUT BEING ONE WITH ANOTHER GOD. NOW THIS DEFINITION OF FORNICATION I DO SEE THROUGHOUT THE BIBLE. NOT THE MAN MADE VERSION WE HAVE COME UP WITH, THAT WE DON;T EVEN HAVE AN EXAMPLE OF, BUT WE ARE HELD ACCOUNTABLE.

  30. Very good points, Dami­an. I have heard the same: That the fornication
    that Paul was warn­ing about was not “pre­mar­i­tal sex” but rather pagan sex practices
    which amount to idol­a­try with­in a false religion.
    Do you have any mate­r­i­al you could email me regard­ing the orig­i­nal greek on for­ni­ca­tion? If so, please email it to [email protected]

    bless­ings brother,
    Dwight

  31. i have 2 wives and know it is law­full of god my ? is can i sleep with bothe of my wives at the same time . i only search the truth of the word of god can you please help with my ?. and email me Gods peace be upon you in truth and light

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Rick Beckman