Polygamy... Is it scriptural, or does Yah forbid such?

What speakest thou?

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Wow... I didn't even have to respond. Thanks Trevor. That was exactly true and very much on point. Good job. I was waiting for someone to ask me about that so I could post that scripture.
Great response Sis. YahWeh
You go girl !

James -----> IN YOUR FACE !!!
Sis YahWeh,

I so admire your gift to articulate the word of truth in the spirit of humbleness and yet boldness that does not offend.

After all, the Word does not offend, it convicts. Hebrews 4:12 . . .For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
I also agree - excellent response by sister YahWeh!

Now, to make the doctrine sound, we need to identify where polygamy is permitted by God (or alluded to) and where it is actually commanded, and how all of these scriptures fit together to form a pattern of righteous living.

I submit the request for additional scriptures because as noted in all of the scripturally based responses, polygamy is treated something like the issue concerning the of drinking wine, i.e. that while there are many problems associated with alcohol, the drinking of it is forbidden only under certain conditions.

Like the question of how much wine is 'much wine', how many wives are 'many' wives? When is it that a man is 'commanded' to take on a second or even a third (or more?) wives - and why?

The answer to the original question is: No. Polygamy is not forbidden in the word of God, except under special circumstances, and even while not forbidden, neither is it encouraged as a preferred lifestyle.
Bro. Bowman

The answer to the original question is: No. Polygamy is not forbidden in the word of God, except under special circumstances, and even while not forbidden, neither is it encouraged as a preferred lifestyle.

May I ask what are the special circumstances in the Bible that would permit Polygamy today since, to my knowledge, it is not legal in the U.S.
Sister Harris & WahWeh - Your comments deserve a consider response. Thank you!

I agree – I do not think polygamy is a desirable bases for a marriage relationship – neither does my wife!. LOLOL However, the original question centered upon the word of God, not our likes, dislikes, preferences or good ideas. Therefore -

Under the New Covenant, Paul outlined the qualifications for bishops and elders (1 Timothy 3:2 & Titus 1:6) which included “the husband of one wife” stipulation. This statement implies that in some communities (Greek and/or Hebrew) it was an accepted custom for men to have more than one wife.

Further, the reason or purpose for the 'one wife' requirement is not stated in Paul's epistles, neither implicitly or explicitly. Nor do these verses seem to have a wider application to the general body of Christ or to any others who may minister within it. If a polygamist relationship was a sin, it is not identified as such, nor was the issue ever addressed concerning how such a 'transgression' was to be repented of (resolved). Except of course, Paul did recommend that a man did not marry because of the cares of the family intruding on his life. (1 Corinthians 7:24-35).

However, just because something is not clearly spelled out for us, does not mean that it is not an issue. As examples: The question of the baptisms for the dead (1 Corinthians 15:29) and the predestination of individuals (Romans 8:29-30).

Under the Old Covenant: We have a couple of sanctioned polygamy situations. The first is Mitzvot # 128. To do yibum (marry childless brother's widow) Deut. 25:5, # 129. To do chalitzah (freeing a widow from yibum) Deut. 25:9, and # 130. The widow must not remarry until the ties with her brother-in-law are removed Deut. 25:5. What this requires is that a man (married or not) who has any married brothers who die without producing an heir, the surviving brother is to take his brother's wife as his own and produce an heir for his brother linage. If there is no brother, then the law of Numbers 27:11, the law of kinsman redeemer is to be observed, see Ruth 3 & 4, where the marriage of Boaz with Ruth was incidental to the redeeming of the family's field – the field having the greater priority.

Finally, we have the spiritual side. As most everyone is familiar, God hates divorce, yet He divorced one of the two sister brides (Israel), even while the second sister (Judah) continued to play the harlot. (Jeremiah 2-4). Yet, even with that, God was willing to remarry Israel and establish a new marriage covenant with both houses (Jeremiah 31:29-36) where God is the husband to both sisters, Israel and Judah. – And, as scripture also teaches, God both divorced Israel and reunited with her through a new marriage covenant because even though she played the harlot, she did not marry another before returning to God (Mitzvah # 127. A man must not remarry his wife after she has married someone else Deut. 24:4).

This note would most likely be considered only as an outline of the actual study, with much remaining yet to be done.


There was an added comment concerning how the Bible should be interpreted considering the laws of the United States. If your married brother dies without producing an heir and it is against the law of the land to take a second wife, then it should be your responsibility to do whatever it is legal to do, in order to meet the requirements (the intent) of this law. Then, perhaps your brother's widow wants nothing to do with you, much less have 'your' brother's baby by you! Well, as it was with Ruth, she was not personally required to be a part of the redemption. She could have chosen to remain unmarried.

Now, when these, and similar passages are integrated into the excelled references listed by YahWeh, we can then start to see the pattern of relationships that God ordained. What is acceptable, what is allowed, what is 'over looked', what is defined as sin, and God's desired intent. Again, as it is demonstrated in Matthew 5-7, we must learn to look behind the veil, the letter of the Law which is cast in ordinances, and seek the heart of the matter that is found in our sharing of the mind of Christ.

A note of caution: Anyone (that includes me) desiring to 'prove' themselves to be right in their own eyes (either theologically or doctrinally), cannot do so and share the mind of Christ at the same time.
Thanks Bro.Bowman for your response.

I am of the belief that polygamy was instituted by man, not by God even though God did not speak out against it. God instituted the Moral and Ceremonial Laws; the Civil Laws were implemented by man. Then you have the cultural conditions that brought about its own traditions. And, although God did not specifically speak out against these traditions, it can only indicate that God was more focused on His greater plan and purpose for all mankind.

If mankind could have lived perfectly by the Moral Laws, the Civil Laws would not have been necessary. And of course, God was not going to concern Himself with every little minor detail of mankind's daily living when there were far greater issues at hand that He was dealing with overall.

My main point as I stated previously was that God instituted marriage to consist of one man and one woman. Mankind instituted polygamy for whatever reason it may have been deemed necessary according to man at that time.
If mankind could have lived perfectly by the Moral Laws, the Civil Laws would not have been necessary.

Beloved Sister Harris, that is the most profound (and best) statement made yet on this - or on many other BPN community threads. It also identifies the heart of the Law as expressed in living a life of manifested love.

Thank you and GBY!
Thank you Bro. Bowman and may God continue to bless you and your family all the days ahead.
Technically speaking, polygamy is a cultural issue. The Bible does not speak against polygamy as many would think it does.

Take note of Moses:

Exodus 2:21 "And Moses was content to dwell with the man: and he gave Moses Zipporah his daughter."

Numbers 12:1 "And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman."

Moses was the husband of both Zipporah, and an Ethiopian woman.

Take notice of King David:

2 Samuel 12:7-8 "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."

David was not rebuked for having multiple women; in fact, he would have received more from GOD had he stayed faithful.

Those are just two men, with many more examples that can be pulled from the Bible itself, let alone Hebrew/Israelite history and oriental studies. It is too easy to say "well, thats just OT scripture". The fact of the matter is that the NT focuses on the LORD JESUS, the spread of the Gospel, and the building of the Church, not things of such nature.
Technically speaking, polygamy is a cultural issue. The Bible does not speak against polygamy as many would think it does.

In the beginning, God created Adam and He said it was not good for man to be alone so he took the "rib" (not multiple ribs) from Adam and made Eve - not Eve, Sally, Michelle, Martha, etc.

So, I do agree that polygamy was a cultural issue instituted by man, not God.


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