Manners & Customs: Polygamy
Polygamy in ancient Bible times
Polygamy in Naves Topical Bible
De 17:17; Le 18:18; Mal 2:14,15; Mt 19:4,5; Mr 10:2-
3:2,12; Tit 1:6
Ex 21:10; 1Sa 1:2; 2Ch 24:3
Ge 26:34; 28:9
1Sa 25:39-44; 2Sa 3:2-5; 5:13; 1Ch 14:3
-Mosaic law respecting the firstborn in
-Sought by women
-The evil effects of
Husband's favoritism in
Ge 29:30; 30:15
In Abraham's family
Ge 16; 21:9-16
In Jacob's family
Ge 29:30-34; 30:1-23
In Elkanah's family
Polygamy in the Ancient World
POLYGAMY IN OLD TESTAMENT TIMES
THE MOSAIC LAW allowed polygamy among the Hebrew people. Wives were given certain protections against abuses and there were various regulations regarding such marriages. There was, however, among the Israelites, a marked tendency toward monogamy. No doubt the main reason for this was that the custom of more than one wife was too expensive for most of the people.
The law did forbid the multiplication of wives by the kings of Israel (Deuteronomy 17:17). The cause of much of the trouble, in the lives of David and Solomon, as well as Ahab, was because of their following the example of the kings of their day in taking many, and especially heathen wives, rather than obeying GOD's law.
Old Testament influence in favor of monogamy is seen in two ways. First, pictures are painted of unhappy homes because of more than one wife in them. Trouble between rival wives, as in the case of Leah and Rachel (Genesis 30) and also Hannah and Peninnah (I Samuel 1:1-6) argues strongly in favor of monogamy. Second, monogamy among religious leaders and certain outstanding characters, sets the right example for the masses. Men like Adam, Noah, Isaac, Joseph, Moses, and Job, had but one wife. Also the high priest (Leviticus 21:14), and the prophets were, as far as we know, monogamous. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
Polygamy in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE
1. Meaning of the Term
2. Origin of Polygamy
3. The Old Testament and Polygamy
4. Polygamy Unnatural
5. Weakness of Polygamy
1. Meaning of the Term:
Polygamy has been and is the open blazon by the human race
of sex vice. The very term is a misnomer. Since man became
moralized he has apprehended that the proper marriage
relation between the sexes is monogamy. Whatever may have
been the practice, since man could ask himself, What is
right? he has known that ap' arches ("from the beginning,"
Mt 19:4), au fond, at bottom, marriage is the choice of one
man and one woman of each other for a life family relation.
La Rochefoucauld said: "Hypocrisy is a sort of homage which
vice pays to virtue." There is hypocrisy beneath the word
polygamy. It is an attempt to cover up by the term "plural
marriage" what is not marriage and cannot be marriage. There
is no particular need of defining what the condition is, so
long as we can look upon it as a violation and negation of
the marriage relation. The very use of the term from any
language covering a like condition is attempt--
"To steal the livery of the court of heaven
To serve the Devil in."
Polygamy is a general term and might mean a multiplicity of
partners in the family relation by one of either sex. But it
does not. Polygamy practically means exactly "polygyny"
(gune), i.e. it describes a many-wived man. The correlative
term "polyandry" describes the condition of a woman who has
many men in family relation with herself. They are all
husbands to her, as in polygamy all the women are wives to
one man. But polyandry in historic times has had so little
illustration that it may be dismissed as so exceptional as
to be worthy of no further notice here.
Why polygamy has captured the whole position philologically
covered by polygyny is readily apparent. The might of the
physically strongest has dictated the situation. Man has on
the average one-fourth more muscular force than woman. When
it comes to wrong in sex relation, man has that advantage,
and it has given him the field covered by the word
"polygamy." There he is master and woman is the victim.
2. Origin of Polygamy:
It is plainly evident that polygamy is primarily largely the
outcome of tribal wars. When men had separated into clans
and had taken up different places of abode, collisions would
soon occur between them. What would happen in such cases
would be what we know did happen in North America soon after
its first settlement by Europeans, to wit, the destruction
of the Hurons by the Iroquois. The great majority of the men
were massacred; the women and...
Polygamy Scripture - 1 Samuel 1:2
And he had two wives; the name of the one [was] Hannah, and
the name of the other Peninnah: and Peninnah had children, but
Hannah had no children.
Polygamy Scripture - 2 Samuel 12:8
And I gave thee thy master's house, and thy master's wives
into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of
Judah; and if [that had been] too little, I would moreover
have given unto thee such and such things.
Polygamy Scripture - Deuteronomy 17:17
Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart
turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself
silver and gold.
Polygamy Scripture - Exodus 21:10
If he take him another [wife]; her food, her raiment, and her
duty of marriage, shall he not diminish.
Polygamy Scripture - Genesis 29:30
And he went in also unto Rachel, and he loved also Rachel more
than Leah, and served with him yet seven other years.
Polygamy Scripture - Genesis 4:19
And Lamech took unto him two wives: the name of the one [was]
Adah, and the name of the other Zillah.
Polygamy Scripture - Job 27:15
Those that remain of him shall be buried in death: and his
widows shall not weep.
Polygamy Scripture - Leviticus 18:18
Neither shalt thou take a wife to her sister, to vex [her], to
uncover her nakedness, beside the other in her life [time].
Polygamy Scripture - Malachi 2:14
Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the LORD hath been witness
between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast
dealt treacherously: yet [is] she thy companion, and the wife
of thy covenant.
Polygamy Scripture - Malachi 2:15
And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit.
And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore
take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously
against the wife of his youth.
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