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Easton's Bible Dictionary

 

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Concubine
        in the Bible denotes a female conjugally united to a man, but in
        a relation inferior to that of a wife. Among the early Jews,
        from various causes, the difference between a wife and a
        concubine was less marked than it would be amongst us. The
        concubine was a wife of secondary rank. There are various laws
        recorded providing for their protection (Ex. 21:7; Deut.
        21:10-14), and setting limits to the relation they sustained to
        the household to which they belonged (Gen. 21:14; 25:6). They
        had no authority in the family, nor could they share in the
        household government.
        The immediate cause of concubinage might be gathered from the
        conjugal histories of Abraham and Jacob (Gen. 16;30). But in
        process of time the custom of concubinage degenerated, and laws
        were made to restrain and regulate it (Ex. 21:7-9).
        Christianity has restored the sacred institution of marriage
        to its original character, and concubinage is ranked with the
        sins of fornication and adultery (Matt. 19:5-9; 1 Cor. 7:2).

Bibliography Information
Easton, Matthew George. M.A., D.D., "Biblical Meaning for 'Concubine' Eastons Bible Dictionary".
bible-history.com - Eastons; 1897.

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