Why did God allow polygamy / bigamy / polygyny in the Bible?


Clarify (1) Share Report Asked July 01 2013 Mini Anonymous (via GotQuestions)

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Shea S. Michael Houdmann Supporter Got Questions Ministries
The question of polygamy is an interesting one in that most people today view polygamy as immoral while the Bible nowhere explicitly condemns it. The first instance of polygamy/bigamy in the Bible ...

July 01 2013 8 responses Vote Up Share Report

9aa51e4b447252291b959c696fb96539 400x400 Jeremiah Kaaya Pastor at Springs of Power Church, Teacher by professional
Well, this is also one of the great topics to be shared.

Without saying much, let me directly refer to the Bible because this topic was equally puzzling in the Bible days as it is today. In the book of Matthew 19:4-8, in His own words; Jesus categorically specifies that polygamy is not allowed in the Jesus era. However, my major interest here is Jesus' specific words that; "...because of the hardness of your hearts..." Polygamy was never in God's plan right from the beginning. Many people ask questions; if God does not allow polygamy, why then did He allow the likes of king David and his son king Solomon, plus many other characters in the Bible to have many wives? It was only for the hardness of their hearts. In the beginning, God created one for one. The devil through his craftiness sought to only disarray whatever God had created. This is the source of all the disorder that we are seeing today. And this is the very reason Jesus came, He did come to put right all which had gone wrong when the devil deceived Adam and Eve into sin. For that reason, polygamy had been there, even in the Bible days, not on the fact that it had been finally allowed by God, but on the fact that it was a period in which God was preparing to send His Son Jesus CHRIST to put right all that the devil had put in disorder. We can't therefore continue to dwell on the wrongs that went on between the time when Adam and Eve sinned and when Jesus CHRIST came for our redemption.

As a result of marrying many women, king Solomon ended up letting in strange gods of the heathens and therefore profaned the sanctity of the house of Israel. That is why; in the book of Malachi 2:11, God Himself goes on to warn against this. 

In fact to put it more correctly, God goes on to remind us in the same book of Malachi 2:15, that; didn't He create one? Why so? Because He looked for a God fearing offspring. I was born in a polygamous family, I don't remember any time when my father ever had time to sit me down to execute his fatherly duties in terms of counseling and guidance. In fact, the fact that he has many children, he doesn't care much. As a result, no Godly virtues have ever been passed down to me. Had it not been for the love of CHRIST, we would be a forgotten generation. And it is only because of CHRIST that I have finally emerged a responsible person and father.

In the book of Matthew 5:27-28, Jesus, the CHRIST said in His own words; "....you shall not commit adultery, but I tell now that whoever looks at a woman and admires her, commits adultery" Not adultery in the sense of the Old Testament where adultery was not looked at in terms of having more than one woman, but in terms of it either being official an arrangement or not. It is in the sense that Jesus explained to us; that is; if you are already married to a woman, you have no anymore allowance to marry another till death does you apart, if you do so, you commit adultery.

In conclusion therefore, my question would be to a polygamist, what do you look for in polygamy? These are some of the answers I have been able to get from people;
1) If my first woman is not able to produce me children, then I can get another to get me children
2) If one woman is in her periods, then the other can be an alternative.
3) If one is pregnant or has just given birth, then the other can be an alternative.
4) Having a choice.

What I have drawn out of this is; that many of us only look at women as sex objects, this is my submission therefore, women aren't sex objects, let us treat them fairly and Biblically, in terms of what Jesus taught us. We are all equal before God. What is being looked at here is not only sexual pleasure, but being in position to raise a God fearing offspring, which is very difficult to envisage in a polygamous family.

God bless

November 04 2013 3 responses Vote Up Share Report

Stringio David Sutton
One of the qualification to be and elder in the lords church from its beginning,is that you be a husband of one wife. Titus 1:6. I would think that our goal would be the same. I don't think you can come up with any thing in life that the bible can't answers 
What you must do though is to let the bible do the talking and don't argue with it.

November 03 2013 3 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini doug clark
The common response to this question is to note that God no where endorses polygamy; Skeptics may respond that neither is it condemned. If we look at the creation of Adam and Eve, Genesis 2:22-23, God did not take two or three ribs out of Adam to create two or three wives. He also did not take a lesser part of man to create a concubine. Monogamy is first mentioned in Genesis 2:24 it was God's intention from the beginning. 

I would also submit that the introduction of polygamy into this world came from the lust of man. Polygamy became a handy way to bed multiple women while thinking they were still upholding the law. The best example of Gods disapproval of polygamy came directly from his mouth in Mathew 19:8-9 

Adultry is a sin and has been a sin from the beginning. Man can justify just about every sin and sometimes the justification sounds pretty good but to God it is still sin. God has given us free agency and so it may seem that God is allowing or tolerating sin but the truth is quite the contrary. Romans 6:23 

Isn't it awesome that our perfect God came down and cleansed our sins with his blood? Romans 3:23-27

November 03 2013 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Data Danny Hickman Supporter Believer in The Gospel Of Jesus Christ
In my opinion, the premise of this question is faulty. The assumption is that God, in some way, shape or form, approved of polygamy. Can you imagine how hurtful this practice is for a woman? There's no way I could APPROVE of either of my daughters Going through this and neither does THE LORD. He never did APPROVE and never will.

Why stop with whether or not God winked at polygamy? How about all the other sins committed by mankind that seemingly went, and still, seemingly goes unchecked today? SEEMINGLY!

Abraham's two wives caused considerable family problems for all concerned,as well as Jacob's, David's and anyone else who made that same mistake. 

The God I know, THE LORD of my life is not a rules enforcing Father. This is where I believe many, even Bible scholars miss it. He gives us limitations, yes, but it is really up to us to limit ourselves, or, suffer the consequences. That's why there's a scripture that says " Do not remove the ancient landmark that your fathers have set" Proverbs 22:28. Notice Solomon used the singular "landmark." Limitations is the aim of Solomon's admonishishment, not land sections. Well maybe I should say God's warning through The Holy Spirit.

Needless to say, that "landmark" was "ALLOWED " to be removed and we are paying the cost of it, and, I believe, will continue to pay until our Redeemer returns and puts it in place again. Revelation 21 talks about a new Heaven and a new Earth where pain and suffering will not exist. The return of the landmark for the good of mankind. Until then God will be mischaracterized as either winking at certain sins of certain people, or, as one who either doesn't know, or, doesn't care.

June 30 2015 4 responses Vote Up Share Report

1383445644 Moses Chuchu
My opinion about the rule against polygamy is this.

Marriage should be understood as a symbol of the promised union of the Church and Christ. Church is the bride prepared for the Bridegroom who is Jesus Christ. Paul says "husbands, love your wives as Christ love the Church. Also husband is the head of wife as Christ is the head of the Church. Church is body of Christ as wife is body of husband. And Christ displays a certain standard of faithfulness to the Church and the same is required of Husband to wife. So unless Christ has more than one Church, then Christians can have more wives. That's my understanding.

November 04 2013 5 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Kenneth Heck
The answer goes back to man's first commandment "Be fruitful and multiply..." (Gen.1:28), which was taken much more seriously in the past than at present. Men who had many children (especially sons) would be considered blessed by God in ancient times.To die childless was considered a curse. Also, the status of women was much lower in those times - wives were considered to be the property of their husbands and were given away by their fathers for a bridal price. This was not unreasonable under the conditions of life at that time. When the first wife lost the capacity for childbearing for whatever reason, a second wife could prevent a man from leaving behind no or too few children. 

A distinction between wife and concubine was required so that the inheritance after the father's death would go to the wives' sons rather than the concubines' sons. Multiple wives and concubines were mostly characteristic of the rich and powerful, not the common people. Under Christianity, only prosperity, not wealth or riches, can be a blessing of God. This is one reason why only one wife is permitted.

January 30 2014 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Data David Huffman
The Genesis command to be fruitful and multiply may not be the license for polygamy that some would seek. It assumes that God was in a hurry to fill the earth. 

When considering the statistical reference of male/female population it is common to look at it from the present even while assessing the past. Now here is the rub. A literal view of the Genesis account of creation says that there was Adam (Man) and Eve (Woman) and that she had been fashioned from Adam's rib by God. One man, One woman. Sometime thereafter sin entered the picture. 

While man was capable of mimicking a buck in a deer herd, there was no herd for Adam. After sin, man perverted the command to be fruitful. After sin there came brutality and war. After sin there came homosexuality, and polygamy.

The greater question along this line is Why did God allow incest? Again in the literal interpretation it would have been by design. There were Adam, Eve, Cain, Abel whom Cain killed, then Seth, and other sons and daughters. Clearly, in this view incest was paramount in the propagation of humanity.

Whether you adhere to long ages or short, there was still a first man and first woman and they would be responsible for the upward continuation of humanity and there children would have "known" each other. 

Sin, particularly sexual sin became pervasive in the early days (and still is), so much so that God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah and turned Lots wife into a pillar of salt. 

Eventually, God flooded the entire earth destroying all of mankind, save for eight souls.

All of this to make the point that promiscuity and polygamy were never, never, God's perfect will. His permissive will is of course in play.

As to the question of incest, this speculation may or may not be helpful. Prior to sin, Adam and Eve were innocent. Had they propagated and began the earth, things may have been different. (I do not support this view because an omniscient God knew that man would fall). But sin happened and its damage was deadly and progressive. So Incest was somewhat common until its genetic damage had gone so far and then God revealed it to be sin. 

By the way, If you take the Genesis account of Adam and Eve as historical and literal, then we are all related; white, yellow, red, and brown/black. Racism ought to be a 'fake' term. 

"And the two shall be one flesh", is not a reference to sexual relationship. It is a God intended purpose of the two completing each other. Read it again. It says the two. Not three, not thirty, not three hundred. But the TWO shall be one flesh. Not one flesh with other benefits. God's standard was and is monogamy.

January 21 2018 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Data Bruce Lyon Elder: Restoration Fellowship Assembly
There are no restrictions in the scripture that condemn a man having more that one wife. There is a restriction in the NT for those who those who would be elder, pastors-teachers, have a position of responsibility in the called-out Assembly of God in a teaching capacity.

Jesus refers us back to the beginning of a man and woman become one in union in Genesis, but his reference is in regard to divorce and not in regard to a man having more that one wife. Deuteronomy spells out how the first wife is to be protected and there is a restriction about sister not being married to the same man which Jacob didn't follow because of Laban's deception.

The laws of many countries don't allow a man to have more that one wife and if a believer lives in one of these countries he has to abide by the law of that country. If one looks at the difficulty experience by Jacob having two wives it is probably an object lesson for all to realize that peace and harmony do not seem to exist in such relationships.

November 03 2013 18 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Priscilla Quarles
It has never been the will of God for people to have multiple partners. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. During the reign of Adam all men became sinners, separated and alienated from God. Man lived and did what was convenient for him. Mankind was slave to sin.

In the beginning it was not so, in Genesis 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother and shall cleave unto his wife and they shall be one flesh. 

In Genesis 25:6 Abraham found favor with God not because of his works, but because of his faith. Genesis 15:6 And he (Abraham) believe in the lord and he counted it to him for righteousness. God's people have come a long way since Abraham we all started off like seeds that have been planted in the earth and still have not reach maturity (Matthew 13:24-30).

Since the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, those that believe on him are no longer a slave to sin, but have been made righteous and is reconciled back to God. We are not longer slave but free men. It is the will of God for a man to have one wife at a time. We see that example throughout the old testament God only gave man one wife. It was the sin nature in man to add more wives.

August 11 2015 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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