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Old 07-23-2009, 10:09 PM
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Amanda S. Amanda S. is offline
 
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Default Polygamy in the Bible

Perhaps I am totally wrong in starting a new thread to continue the discussion over at the thread Acceptable/Unacceptable Reasons for Divorce here. Bro. Brandon please correct me if I am. But I thought that this topic was deserving of it's own thread.

A couple of things were said in that thread that I felt was getting lost in the back and forth commenting and I wanted to kind of start over fresh and perhaps give others an opportunity to chime in or perhaps study this out more.

Poor Jassy. I am sure she did not intend for her thread to morph into what it did!

I would first like to address the idea that because God allowed something that it is in some way condoning it. God allows for many things. God allowed slavery (find me a verse anywhere that THAT was ever forbidden...Oh it's not there!). God allowed Moses to murder an Egyptian with no obvious punishment. Is murder condoned?

Who knows why the Lord does what He does? Who knows why God allowed sin to enter the world. Who knows why the Lord allowed righteous men in the Bible to ignore His plan and let them pervert it. I've heard it speculated that the Lord allowed things for so long to eventually destroy it. To establish a right way and a wrong way. To show us a good way and a bad way.

Who knows why...but we do know -

Isa 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.

The main thing I would like address if I may, is the idea that God commanded a man to marry a second wife while still married to another.

Deut. 25:5-10 was used to prove this point.

5 If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger: her husband's brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of an husband's brother unto her.
6 And it shall be, that the firstborn which she beareth shall succeed in the name of his brother which is dead, that his name be not put out of Israel.
7 And if the man like not to take his brother's wife, then let his brother's wife go up to the gate unto the elders, and say, My husband's brother refuseth to raise up unto his brother a name in Israel, he will not perform the duty of my husband's brother.
8 Then the elders of his city shall call him, and speak unto him: and if he stand to it, and say, I like not to take her;
9 Then shall his brother's wife come unto him in the presence of the elders, and loose his shoe from off his foot, and spit in his face, and shall answer and say, So shall it be done unto that man that will not build up his brother's house.
10 And his name shall be called in Israel, The house of him that hath his shoe loosed.


I present a similar situation again in Genesis 38

1 And it came to pass at that time, that Judah went down from his brethren, and turned in to a certain Adullamite, whose name was Hirah.
2 And Judah saw there a daughter of a certain Canaanite, whose name was Shuah; and he took her, and went in unto her.
3 And she conceived, and bare a son; and he called his name Er.
4 And she conceived again, and bare a son; and she called his name Onan.
5 And she yet again conceived, and bare a son; and called his name Shelah: and he was at Chezib, when she bare him.
6 And Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn, whose name was Tamar.
7 And Er, Judah's firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD slew him.
8 And Judah said unto Onan, Go in unto thy brother's wife, and marry her, and raise up seed to thy brother.
9 And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother's wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother.
10 And the thing which he did displeased the LORD: wherefore he slew him also.


First of all I'd like to point out that brother / brethren does not necessarily mean the son of your mother or father.

Abraham called Lot his brother:

Here it is referring to his nephew Ge 14:12 And they took Lot, Abram's brother's son, who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed.

Yet here he is referring to his nephew as brother Ge 14:16 And he brought back all the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people.

Again Gen. 29:12 And Jacob told Rachel that he was her father's brother, and that he was Rebekah's son: and she ran and told her father.

But here he was her father's nephew Genesis 28:5 And Isaac sent away Jacob: and he went to Padanaram unto Laban, son of Bethuel the Syrian, the brother of Rebekah, Jacob's and Esau's mother.

It is common in the Bible to speak of your kinsmen as brothers.

Having said that however, in the instance of Onan the lineage is detailed to establish where one would whittling this process down. Start with the closest related brother to fill this need to raise up seed to the deceased brother...

Nowhere in any of these passages can you insert another wife. Just. not. there.

In the case of Onan, as wicked as it was that he disobeyed God's command in this area, one could understand how unhappy he would be to be told who he had to marry! I daresay some of us would certainly not handle this situation any better than Onan!

But Onan, rather than go through the ritual of going before the elders was deceitful, went in unto her looking as if he obeyed but did not. He thought he could hide from God or didn't realize the grave consequences of disobedience.

But let's move on...

One more instance where this happens is the beautiful story of Ruth.


Ruth 4:1 Then went Boaz up to the gate, and sat him down there: and, behold, the kinsman of whom Boaz spake came by; unto whom he said, Ho, such a one! turn aside, sit down here. And he turned aside, and sat down.
2 And he took ten men of the elders of the city, and said, Sit ye down here. And they sat down.
3 And he said unto the kinsman, Naomi, that is come again out of the country of Moab, selleth a parcel of land, which was our brother Elimelech's:
4 And I thought to advertise thee, saying, Buy it before the inhabitants, and before the elders of my people. If thou wilt redeem it, redeem it: but if thou wilt not redeem it, then tell me, that I may know: for there is none to redeem it beside thee; and I am after thee. And he said, I will redeem it.
5 Then said Boaz, What day thou buyest the field of the hand of Naomi, thou must buy it also of Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance.
6 And the kinsman said, I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I mar mine own inheritance: redeem thou my right to thyself; for I cannot redeem it.
7 Now this was the manner in former time in Israel concerning redeeming and concerning changing, for to confirm all things; a man plucked off his shoe, and gave it to his neighbour: and this was a testimony in Israel.
8 Therefore the kinsman said unto Boaz, Buy it for thee. So he drew off his shoe.
9  And Boaz said unto the elders, and unto all the people, Ye are witnesses this day, that I have bought all that was Elimelech's, and all that was Chilion's and Mahlon's, of the hand of Naomi.
10 Moreover Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, have I purchased to be my wife, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance, that the name of the dead be not cut off from among his brethren, and from the gate of his place: ye are witnesses this day.


Here rather than the term brother, the word kinsman is used. What is the kinsman asked to do? To raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance.

Is there a second wife mentioned here? Nope...but because he was concerned for his inheritance one would think he already had a wife and a son. He wanted the land...didn't want the wife that came with it. Could he refuse marrying her? Yes...and he did so.

Why did he refuse? Who knows? But he did and passed her along to Boaz he married her, loved her and what a perfect union. A wonderful type of Christ and the church.
I love this story!

But let's back up a bit. Remember when I pointed out that with Onan it is detailed from the first-born down the line...Onan being the second?

Well, look at this:

Ruth 3:9 And he said, Who art thou? And she answered, I am Ruth thine handmaid: spread therefore thy skirt over thine handmaid; for thou art a near kinsman.
10 And he said, Blessed be thou of the LORD, my daughter: for thou hast shewed more kindness in the latter end than at the beginning, inasmuch as thou followedst not young men, whether poor or rich.
11 And now, my daughter, fear not; I will do to thee all that thou requirest: for all the city of my people doth know that thou art a virtuous woman.
12 And now it is true that I am thy near kinsman: howbeit there is a kinsman nearer than I.


Boaz couldn't just marry her because he was one of her husband's brothers. He obeyed the law that had been set in Genesis and offered her to the nearest kinsman of her husband.

I truly hope I've made sense here and hope dispel this idea that God commanded a man to marry to wives. Allowed it...OK. Regulated it...perhaps. But not commanded.

I have more thoughts but this will suffice for tonight
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Old 07-24-2009, 09:00 AM
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PaulB PaulB is offline
 
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Default Part 2!!!

Hello Amanda, whow!!! fancy meeting you here on a topic like this!

I agree with you that this topic needed a new thread in order for it to start afresh from the “suppose so” scenario that I presented in the previous thread. I also would love to see some of the grayer saints have some input on this topic as it was becoming a little bit of a shoot and duck game between one or two people only.

When God created the world was the world that He deemed to be “very good” however, sin brought a great deal of deviation from that which Jesus Himself even bore witnesses to as being ordained by God from the beginning. In between all of that a lot of things took place that have no stamp of divine approval upon them (even though) they may have been used in God’s overall plan of redeption.

If I remember right, it isn’t until Gn.4:19 that there is any hint of a second wife mentioned but again, this is mentioned in passing rather than in any form of authorisation. This also is a few generations after the fall and is not something that you find everyone in the OT doing as though it was expected of them. This act also comes from the line of Cain and is mentioned in a way to suggest that it was something that was happening for the first time “And Lamech took unto him two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah”.

In between that time and the time of Christ there are people who obviously had followed this pattern, but that doesn’t suggest in anyway that it was a righteous thing to do. Some may argue that “well, God blessed Jacob, David, Solomon etc..,” He used them and also spoke to them. But again this doesn’t prove anything, as God used Moses, David and Saul (Paul) who put innocent people to death.

So when we consider the creation and the words of Jesus in the NT we are not looking at “God’s ideal” (i.e. His best for us) we are looking at God’s only design for marriage. It does seem a striking coincidence that after the teachings of Jesus on the matter that acts such as these decreased rapidly in the countries that heard the gospel (I wonder why?)

Well, Amanda – I thought that I would just help to get the ball rolling for you!

God bless

PaulB
  #3  
Old 07-24-2009, 09:23 AM
Amanda S.'s Avatar
Amanda S. Amanda S. is offline
 
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Default WoW.......! Bro. Paul!...............Long time no see!

Quote:
it was becoming a little bit of a shoot and duck game between one or two people only.
I had to chuckle at that word picture....LoL

Quote:
If I remember right, it isn’t until Gn.4:19 that there is any hint of a second wife mentioned but again, this is mentioned in passing rather than in any form of authorization.
You are right of course....That is the first mention and it is more of an historic account. But given that everything had a meaning in the Bible I find it interesting that the line is Cain's that it is first mentioned.

Quote:
In between that time and the time of Christ there are people who obviously had followed this pattern, but that doesn’t suggest in anyway that it was a righteous thing to do. Some may argue that “well, God blessed Jacob, David, Solomon etc..,” He used them and also spoke to them. But again this doesn’t prove anything, as God used Moses, David and Saul (Paul) who put innocent people to death.
The aspect that I am currently studying through is the verse where God tells David:

II 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.

Quote:
It does seem a striking coincidence that after the teachings of Jesus on the matter that acts such as these decreased rapidly in the countries that heard the gospel (I wonder why?)
Well, according to things said in the other thread it could be said the reason it decreased wasn't because they had to leave their wives that they were already married to because they were to "abide in the same calling wherein he was called" but because those with more than one wife died out.........I guess? LoL
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Old 07-24-2009, 01:55 PM
Bill Bill is offline
 
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Default Re: murder and slavery mentioned in first post

To Amanda S: First, welcome to the forum.
Second; I disagree that Moses committed murder. The Egyptian he killed was assaulting a Hebrew and Moses defended the person being assaulted.
Moses was acting outside the laws of Egyptian slavery but not outside God's law and that's why Moses was never reproved, as David was for his murder of Bathsheba's husband.
Third: It's not true that the Bible never condemns slavery. Exodus 21:16 specifies the death penalty for both trade and ownership. 1Timothy 1:8 condemns menstealers.
I think that it was specified in the instructions God gave to Israel that a man was supposed to marry the widow of a brother or close relative to keep the family line going. However, Kings were warned against multiple marraiges and kings (such as David and Solomon) who ignored God's instructions got themselves in trouble because of that.
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Old 07-24-2009, 02:30 PM
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Amanda S. Amanda S. is offline
 
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Default

Bro. Bill thank you for the welcome!

You said:
Quote:
Exodus 21:16 specifies the death penalty for both trade and ownership.
This verse says it is forbidden to steal and and keep or to steal and then to sell slaves, not to buy and to keep them.

Exodus 21:2 If thou buy an Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing.

In the NT - Eph. 6:5 Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ;


Eph.6:9 - And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him.


Tit 2:9 Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again;

Quote:
You said that 1 Timothy 1:8 condemns menstealers.
Yes, it does...menstealer is defined in Exodus 21:16.
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Old 07-24-2009, 02:57 PM
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Default Hi Bill!

Hey Amanda….we got one! I knew that if I said something controversial that we would eventually entice someone to join in with us and guess what? - it worked!

Hi Bill – thanks for your input, I take your point concerning Moses and I take what I said back. Perhaps I was a bit too quick in naming him as a man who committed murder. My intention was to use this example to express the way in which God uses sinners (despite their open failings) and my haste lead me into an error on that particular point, so thanks for pointing that out!

Whatever the case, Moses knew that his actions would probably lead to his death so as a result he fled for his life (I think that it was murder in Pharaoh’s eyes) but an act of bravery on Moses part in trying to deliver his kinsfolk.

Although I don’t agree with your point concerning Exodus 21:16 – as this is speaking about taking someone who does not belong to you and then selling him – the passage is condemning theft trade.
Your reference to 1 Tm.1:8 is a couple of verses out – I think that you mean 1 Tm.1:10 “menstealers”.
Again, this is speaking on the issue of kidnapping/ abduction and not slaves.

Now the Bible is clear concerning the role of a servant, as these were very much a part of OT culture, it was a living for them and more. Some even became inheritors of their master’s estate if they had no kinsmen after many years of faithful service. The NT even encourages a right relationship between masters and servants but it doesn’t condemn servanthood (which many people mean when they use the word slave).

I like your points on many wives though – thanks again for joining in with the conversation!

God bless

PaulB
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Old 07-25-2009, 01:39 PM
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amanda S. View Post
I would first like to address the idea that because God allowed something that it is in some way condoning it. God allows for many things. God allowed slavery (find me a verse anywhere that THAT was ever forbidden...Oh it's not there!). God allowed Moses to murder an Egyptian with no obvious punishment. Is murder condoned?

Who knows why the Lord does what He does? Who knows why God allowed sin to enter the world. Who knows why the Lord allowed righteous men in the Bible to ignore His plan and let them pervert it. I've heard it speculated that the Lord allowed things for so long to eventually destroy it. To establish a right way and a wrong way. To show us a good way and a bad way.
I believe Jesus summed it up pretty well for us when he said:
Matthew 19:4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,
5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?
6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
7 They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away?
8 He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so
.

It is my opinion, based upon Jesus' own words, that God's original intent from the beginning was, one man for one woman for one lifetime.
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Old 07-25-2009, 02:26 PM
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brother Presswood View Post
I believe Jesus summed it up pretty well for us when he said:
Matthew 19:4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,
5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?
6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
7 They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away?
8 He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so
.

It is my opinion, based upon Jesus' own words, that God's original intent from the beginning was, one man for one woman for one lifetime.
Brother

I quoted those exact passages repeatedly on another thread when the topic of polygamy came up stating that God's original intent for marriage was one man and one woman and on more than one one occasion I was told the context of the passage was "putting away" implying that the context (putting away) somehow nullified what Jesus said in verses 5 and 6. My question for these folks is if the context is "putting away" then what is being put away? A spouse! You don't talk about divorce without also talking about marriage. The pharisees asked Jesus a question about putting away and Jesus responded by telling them God's intent for marriage. He is quoting what has already been said in Genesis 2 (and He ought to know since He was there) and what Paul affirms again in Ephesians 5. Notice also Jesus didn't say Moses permitted putting away because they had found grace in God's sight; it was because of the hardness of their hearts! If God's intention for marriage is one man and one woman, then divorce and polygamy are deviations from God's will and same-sex marriage is just a plain out perversion of it. All through out the New Testament books whenever the topic of marriage and divorce are written about the indication is one man for one woman. On the topic of polygamy, why do folks keep running to passages in the OT that were written for the Jew under the Law to somehow try and apply them to the church age saint?
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Old 07-25-2009, 03:58 PM
Bill Bill is offline
 
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Default More about slavery

I should apologize about continuing conversation about slavery in a post referring to a marraige question, but I'll link the two subjects together by remembering that when Cher Bono filed for her divorce from Sonny, she cited "involuntary servitude" as the reason.
The prohibition against stealing people would outlaw any servitude other than a voluntary contractual arrangement, such as paying off a debt. Any force or deception used in establishing this arrangement would merit the death penalty. The 6 year time limit established an upper limit on how much debt a person could run up. Much of the slavery in the ancient world and all of American slavery was initially established by force and any participation in the business would be condemned under the laws in Exodus.
To Paul B regarding the intentional terminology confusion between "servant" and "slave": I have a post in the BIBLE VERSION forum posted on 3/14/09 showing how the NIV incorporates deceptive use of this confusion in a way that would support an unbiblical doctrine.
Also, 1 Timothy 1:10 is the verse reference I should have quoted; glad you caught that.
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Old 07-26-2009, 09:26 AM
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Default Just a quicky to put the slavery issue to bed!

Hi Bill after being so versed in the NASV I was totally shocked to find that the word “Slave” only appears once in the KJB. I am in no way promoting a servant as a slave but was simply stating that our modern day lingo tends to confuse the two (as the example was given in a previous post saying that the Bible doesn’t condemn slavery). I agree that it doesn’t condemn it (in the form of servant belonging to a master), yet it does condemn it in the sense of stealing and selling someone like one would with cattle. What I was getting at was that OT servants (the property of a master) would be seen today as a form of slavery and such an understanding may view the Bible to be promoting slavery.


Thanks for your comments


God bless

PaulB
 

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