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A concubine is a female who voluntarily enslaves and sells herself to a man primarily for his sexual pleasure. Concubines in the patriarchal age and beyond did not have equal status with a wife. A ...
The proper, "theological" answer--that is, the answer based on the Word of God is..."I don't know". Nobody knows, because God has not told us why godly men such as Abraham had multiple wives and concubines, and were not rebuked, but when we get to the New Testament, "a bishop must be blameless, the husband of one wife", and we see no examples of multiple wives in the New Testament. The great "theological temptation" that MUST be resisted, is to speculate as to the reason, then turn that speculation into doctrine. If God changes his rules through time, that is his prerogative, as Creator and Lord of the universe.
The key word in the question is "allowed." Nowhere in the Bible does it state that God "allowed" concubines in the sense of it being "permitted." Obviously, God "allowed" for concubines because they were part of the culture. However, it should be noted that many things in the Old Testament culture were allowed without them necessarily being good or ideal. In fact, there are multiple instances in which the presence of multiple wives and concubines led to increased problems (both David and and especially Solomon being examples). So, it might be best to understand that God "allowed" for concubines simply because this was the development of the culture. However, nowhere is the practice of concubines condoned by God.
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