Graphic on polygamy

Is Polygamy Biblical?

HermVent: Polygamy

“God tolerated but NEVER sanctioned polygamy.”
“God’s plan at the beginning was one man, one woman, for one lifetime – anything else is contrary to the Word of God.”
“Polygamy was a pagan cultural practice that God tolerated, but never approved.” “Polygamy is serial adultery and sexual deviance.”

What Does Scripture Really Say?

  1. God never forbade or condemned polygamy at any point in Scripture.
  2. Numerous OT Patriarchs took more than one wife and their actions were never condemned.
  3. God made provision for polygamy in the Mosaic Law.
  4. The Levirite provision of the Law requires a man to marry his brother’s widow for the purpose of raising up children in his brother’s name. No exception is made for a brother who is already married.
  5. Numerous Kings in Israel practiced polygamy and their actions were never condemned.
  6. Solomon is criticized for letting his wives turn his heart aside from following the Lord God, but he is not criticized for having multiple wives.
  7. David is criticized for his sin in taking Uriah’s wife and having him put to death. Scripture says that David’s heart was perfect before God except in the matter of Uriah the Hittite. If that is the only failure God cites, how can David’s polygamy be labeled as sinful?
  8. God promoted polygamy by giving Saul’s wives into David “bosom.”
  9. God modeled polygamy, at least in figure, by describing Himself as married to the two sisters, Israel and Judah. God also later represents Himself as divorced from them.

I am not in favor of polygamy. I do not think it is a good idea. At 65-years-old, as an elder, it does not apply to me anyway. I cannot conceive any circumstances under which I would join a man to a second wife. Yet, I am committed to the faithful handling of God’s Word, even when the issues and conclusions are culturally and personally difficult. That is my only reason for this particular VENT.

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