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Good News Christians | Biblical Polygamy is Ok

The most major contention from the Bible that Christian Plural Marriage is allowed is that no place in the Bible is it NOT allowed, or criminalized, or rebuffed, or even talked against. Truly.

To be reasonable, you've presumably heard stories instructed in chapel that are held up as illustrations, or evidence writings, or legitimization's for monogamy, and as every one of us in the West have become an adult in a culture that smothers polygamy, it doesn't take much "persuading" for us to gesture and basically concur with our educator that yes, truth be told, that proves it.

On reflection, however, those cases break apart, and are effortlessly appeared to not "demonstrate" anything. Not in case you're not kidding about rationale and prove and what constitutes confirmation.

Step One in catching what the Bible truly instructs about marriage is to understand that the entire body of evidence against polygamy in the West depends on derivations drawn from individual stories and the infrequent confirmation message that is for the most part about marriage however not particularly about polygamy. There is no verse in the Bible that says God objects to polygamy.

On the off chance that your reaction to that is "better believe it, but...", will experience serious difficulties this. The Bible is packed with express denials of practices, including criminal endorses as far as possible up to capital punishment for improper conjugal or sexual connections. One may imagine that if God had an issue with plural marriage He may have specified it at any rate once some place in the sacred writings. In any case, He didn't, and the quiet is stunning. Recently let that sink in....

When you get used to the possibility that the Bible has no express restriction of or discipline for polygamy, Step Two is to understand that in the sacred writings polygamous men are routinely held up as being patriarchs and models of the confidence, with no basic specify made of their family circumstance. There are a few cases of this, yet the most clear one of the bundle—stunning, truly, on the off chance that you haven't thoroughly considered this before—is King David.


2 Samuel 12:7-13 – And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul; 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. Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon. Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife. Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun. For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun. And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. (emphasis added)



In this passage, Nathan is confronting David for the grave double sin of adultery and murder, after David knocked up Bath-Sheba and then had her husband killed in an attempt to avoid the consequences of his adultery. As a result, David gets a fitting and just punishment: Because he took another man's wife in secret, God will take his wives before his eyes (which did happen later). Because David had Uriah slain with the sword, God promises that the sword will never leave David's house (and several of his sons were later killed).
But look at what happened in that middle part: "I gave thy master's wives into thy bosom." In the charge against David, one of God's gripes is that he had already given David a bunch of wives, and would have cheerfully given him more "if that had been too little". Have you ever gone back to God and said, "Thanks for the gift, but it's not enough, I want more."? Seems pretty far-fetched for us, but that's exactly what God's inviting here. He had blessed David in so many ways, and would have been willing to do more, so there was never any need for David to steal Uriah's "one little ewe lamb".
What was God's judgment of David's life? Oh, right: "A man after [God's] own heart" (Acts 13:22), who "did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, and turned not aside from any thing that he commanded him all the days of his life, save only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite" (1 Kings 15:5). According to the Bible, David's eighteen or so wives were not a problem.
So with David, we have a man after God's own heart, doing everything right except for that one thing, and God says that other than that one thing, David did nothing contrary to God's commandments. Further, God says he gave David a bunch of wives and would have given him a bunch more if David would have just asked. Would God have done that if He had a problem with polygamy?
There is no express prohibition of polygamy in scripture. Instead, approved men and women are shown as polygamous without criticism or comment from God (at least not for their polygamy, whatever else they may have gotten in trouble for), and God gives men multiple wives when it suits Him to do so.
The third and final step in this process is that once you realize that the Bible doesn't show us God condemning or criticizing polygamy, and in fact He appears to be fine with it, providing multiple wives on occasion, then you start wondering how it came to pass that the institutional church in the West so firmly rejects plural marriage. There's an answer to that question that we'll develop in more detail elsewhere on this site, but the short version is that a reasonably quick study of church history will identify when and how and why the notion of legally-enforced monogamy crept into the church and then took over. There's a reason we all grew up thinking this way; it just doesn't have anything to do with the Bible.
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