If David, Solomon and other prophets can marry more than once, why not Christians?


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.

Clarify (1) Share Report Asked August 24 2022 Mini Mehboob Ellahi

For follow-up discussion and general commentary on the topic. Comments are sorted chronologically.

Mini Todd Rushing

I don't know about where anyone else lives, but the penalty for polygamy in Texas is more than one mother-in-law (ha ha!). I can see the benefits of more than one wife, but there are too many downfalls. Let's face it, there is a reason most people cannot handle more than one intimate relationship. People are not mature enough for it, and in most cases jealousy and strife divide the relationships. Could you see your spouse going to bed with a different person each night? Jesus taught us that we cannot serve two masters, that we will love one and hate the other. This would also apply to complex interpersonal relationships.

August 25 2022 Report

Mini Tim Maas

Aside from my "serious" answer to the question, I also recall that when Mark Twain was asked to cite a Bible verse that prohibited bigamy, he replied, "No man can serve two masters."

August 25 2022 Report

Data Danny Hickman

Why am I the only one here who reads this as not a question about having multiple wives, as in polygamy, but having, as the question reads, more than one marriage? Am I not reading this right? This asks, 'Why can't christians marry more than once?' does it not? A text accompanies the question which uses David's many wives and God's statement, that if David thought he needed more wives he would have given him more, that David didn't need to steal Uriah's wife. I think that's how the question got to be a little confusing.

I once thought that God didn't approve of men having multiple wives. In fact, I've only begun to think differently about it recently. A question was asked on this site about Solomon having all of those wives and concubines. I offered comments about it.

I have three daughters; I have a "daddy blind spot" when it comes to men being anything but humble toward women. My dad fathered three boys; my mom was the only girl in our house. My dad treated her like the catholic church treats the Mother Mary! They were married 62 years, God rest their souls. I'm biased when it comes to women.

I now believe it was maybe an act of kindness on the part of male heroes of the bible to marry and support multiple women. I wasn't looking at it from the viewpoint of the cultural implications of the time period. Women needed godly protections. This might explain it.

When I think of it from how God might have seen it, that could have been the reason he allowed it for so long.

August 26 2022 Report

Data Danny Hickman

Then the cut-off time! Cultural norms and attitudes grind slowly;

God is very methodical; he's painstakingly systematic, orderly and deliberate. God can never be accused of being careless, hasty and rash. Even when things seem a little beyond the scope of his theological will and nature, he can be appear to be missing in action.

Jesus tarried when told that Lazarus was sick and he needed to come quickly. Lazarus died; apparently, his death was part of Jesus' plan for that situation (John 11). One of the most impressive statements of scripture is due this event. John 11:35 reads, "Jesus wept." God cried when he saw the people crying!

I can think of many historical examples of events that must have saddened God to the point of shedding tears for us! What saddens him more, for men to marry multiple women and take responsibility for them, or for women to suffer neglect and resort to worldly behavior such as prostitution or becoming a necromancer? Both are shown in scripture to be popular livelihoods for unmarried women. One for young women, the other for the older...

God has never tried to regulate how "the world" lives. He has only given instructions to those who are his. Those who are his are now known as "the church." God doesn't want his people (the church) to take marriage litely. It is the defining metaphor for the relationship between the Father, his Son, and the Son's bride. One bride, one Groom, one everlasting love.

August 26 2022 Report

Mini Todd Rushing

Danny, great thoughts. It is somewhat of a confusing way to approach it, but I was thinking about it more, and having multiple wives began to die out in the New Testament. When looking at the qualifications of a pastor or deacon, it is said to be "the husband of one wife." Did this mean just married to one woman or only married once (as in not divorced and remarried?) But there are clearly other examples where if a man's brother dies he should marry the widow to continue the lineage. But when all is said and done, I still feel that the majority (probably greater than 99%) of people are not mature enough to handle more than one intimate relationship, and it doesn't matter if you are male or female.

Look at the show "Sister Wives" as an example. There are always little bouts of jealousy and strife between the wives. I personally am intrigued by the thought of having more than one wife, but that's the fleshly side of me that desires intimacy on a grand scale, and the Christian adult side of me knows it would not be a healthy lifestyle to have two or more wives. I would have to work harder for the support side of things, and that would take away from home life.

August 27 2022 Report

Data Danny Hickman

Todd, thanks for your response.

I have an opinion about the directives given to the church on what a pastor, deacon, elder, etc should look like. I don't think the church builder was giving them /us "qualifications" for these church-leader-ministry positions-of-authority. That's too organizational for me. Jesus doesn't impress me as being organizational; I don't see him as an owner/builder who stands over his business partners and micro manages. He tells a number of parables about an owner who leaves and expects his team leaders to "do business" while the owner is away.

That's where Paul comes in; Paul was given management authority. (This is how I understand the writings of scripture as being "the word of God.")

Paul was an educated man. All he needed to give him the Godly wisdom he would need to be the superintendent of the church building project, was to be filled with the Holy Spirit. That gave him the wisdom to know whom to appoint as leaders of the congregation. He passed on that wisdom to others. He wasn't giving them "qualifications," which speaks of eligibility, which means there are requirements that if not met, makes some ineligible, unsuitable, unacceptable, and unworthy.

None of that is of Jesus; WE ARE ALL unworthy!!

Paul's advice is authoritative because he was commissioned by Jesus. He gives holy precepts to the church, not qualifications.

God used murderers (Moses, David), a prostitute (Rahab), etc.

There are no "qualifications" with God..

August 27 2022 Report

Data Danny Hickman

I'm not calling Paul's instructions to the church merely advice. His instructions are directives, edicts, doctrinal commands. Paul's orders are to be understood as procedural policies designed to help the church to function properly, to grow and mature. I prefer the word "recommendations" over qualifications.

In other words, a man who has only one wife is recommended as an alternative to a man who has more than one.

Were there men in authority positions in the early church who had more than one wife? We can guess by looking at the church that exists now. Does today's church meet all the "requirements" of the church epistles? For instance, are there deacons "given to much wine?" (1 Tim 3:8, Titus 2:3) Are there leaders who are "greedy for gain?" (Titus 1:7, 1 Tim 3:8) I believe both of these "qualifications" are good precepts; I also believe they are struggles being experienced by many church leaders.

Jesus knows all things; why doesn't he remove these who are not meeting the "requirements?"

God doesn't manage the way we manage. The parables about mismanagement would lead you to think that the pastor who doesn't manage properly would have his congregants taken away and given to a pastor with ten times the "talents" that he has. That's if you read the scriptures as rules written in stone.

None of Jesus' hand picked ministers pass that kind of litmus test. Not even Paul.

Abraham had children by three different wives...

August 27 2022 Report

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