2 Samuel 12:8
ESV - 8 And I gave you your master's house and your master's wives into your arms and gave you the house of Israel and of Judah. And if this were too little, I would add to you as much more.
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They had more than one wife but this is not according to God's command in Genesis 2:24. Jesus re-stated this command: 4 He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, 5 and said, ‘Therefore A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND HIS MOTHER and HOLD FAST TO HIS WIFE, and THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH’? (Mt. 19:4-5, ESV)
While the Bible does not specifically address polygamy, it has to be taken in the context of the times. For ancient Israel and the region, life was hard, and large families were necessary for the good of all. When we got into the New Testament era, Jesus specifically preached about family matters, i.e., the woman at the well who had more than one husband. Jesus went on to teach that we should honor the laws that govern us. Modern governments have eliminated polygamy and we should honor those laws that govern us as long as those laws don't go against the laws of God. But if we could convince our governments to re-institute polygamy, I don't think anything in the Bible would forbid it.
I would say that the change is accounted for by the fact that, by the time of the New Testament (where references to marriage speak of a man having only one wife), women had an increased ability to provide for and physically protect themselves (the chief "positive" aspects of polygamy, which may have been why God allowed it -- while nevertheless still not commanding it -- in Old Testament times) that did not require that multiple women be married to the same man. And even instances where multiple wives were permitted often led to discord (as with Jacob), or to falling away from God (as with David and Solomon). Many nations have also outlawed polygamy, which would make it a Christian's duty to obey such laws.
God, in the Garden of Eden, had one man and one woman. This was God's original design. The first mention of more than one wife is in Genesis 4:19 "And Lamech took unto him two wives...", and in verse 23 Lamech talks about having "slain" another person, so he is not exactly a model of righteous behavior. God permitted man to do some things that were not originally in the plan of God (for example, Matthew 19:8 "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 think multiple wives was one of these things. In the New Testament, in looking for leaders in the church, Paul specifies to Titus "If any be blameless, the husband of one wife..." Titus 1:6, so having only one wife is definitely considered the right way. From a more practical aspect, can you find any instance in the scriptures where multiple wives worked out well? There always seems to be conflict between the wives or the children of various wives or a wife and the husband about one of the other wives. Also, the marriage of two people is often connected with the relationship of Christ and the Church, and Christ doesn't have multiple "wives" or churches, there is only one true church. Just some things to think about.
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