Bible Polygyny

Jacob was one flesh
with each of his wives
and was not an adulterer
because he had four wives

Gen.2:24 is not used
against any husband
with more than one wife.

In 1Cor.6 Paul uses Gen.2:24 in reference to a harlot. How many men could the harlot have in one day? She was, in Paul's understanding of Gen.2:24, "one flesh" with each one.

Is Paul incorrect in this use of Gen.2:24? If Paul is correct, then our tradition is incorrect, it's as simple as that.

THUS, Gen.2:24 does not insist on one husband and one wife, it is the principle of marriage .

Under this principle,
monogamy or polygyny
equally satisfy
the divine order;
the headship of the husband
and the helper status
of the wife or wives.

And Rehoboam took Mahalath the daughter of Jerimoth the son of David as a wife., and Abihail the daughter of Eliab the son of Jesse. 2Ch 11:18


When God joins a man with a wife He says “they shall be one flesh” and the one flesh is in the matter of their union in marriage not the structure of the marriage.

When God inspired Moses to write Gen.2:18-24 He also inspired him to write the following Laws at the same time, to the same people in the same book;
Gen 2:24  Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife and they shall be one flesh.

Exo 21:10  If he takes himself another wife, her food, her clothing, and her duty of marriage shall not be lessened.

Deu 21:15  If a man has two wives, one beloved and another hated, and they have borne him sons,…..
See also Deut.25:5-10 and read the book of Ruth.

Thus God, by clear proclamation of His Laws, does not agree with tradition that clings unswervingly to the vain belief that Gen.2:24 insists on one husband and one wife.

God does not contradict Himself by demanding one husband and one wife in Gen.2:24 then counter that with laws for polygyny.

When Moses gave the Law to Israel, they did not cease to enjoy polygyny. Polygamous marriages remained right through the OT into  NT times and beyond. Why is it Israel, to whom God spoke directly, did not understand Gen.2:24 as modern churches demand?

The illogical claim by tradition that Gen.2:24 demands monogamy is not unlike the person who insists that all cows are brown because the first cow he saw in a field was brown. This is called reasoning from the specific to the general. The fact that there were also black cows in the same field is irrelevant to the one who has thus unreasonably concluded that all cows are brown. To preserve and promote this unbiblical position he must insist that innocent black cows are not the ideal despite the fact their milk and meat are both equally nutritious and they both came from the hand of God.

Tradition follows the exact same pathway to error in the matter of marriage structure. In the very book which starts with Adam and Eve we also read of  Lamech, Abraham, Abimelech, Jacob and Judah to name a few, who were husbands with more than one wife and not one word of condemnation against any of them for their marriage structure. Indeed, it can be shown Moses had more than one wife and he was the Lord's instrument in bringing the Law into our hands.

When we compare Scripture with Scripture we find many other examples of polygynous marriage recorded at the same time, by the same writer and given to the same people. Biblical Marriage is not monogamy or polygamy, Biblical Marriage is a husband who is the spiritual head of a wife or all the wives.

We have exposed the nonsensical "only bad things come from polygamy" argument which at best is desperation and at worst a blatant ignoring of God's Laws for polygamy. If opponents can't find any plain statement of Scripture condemning polygyny, then the next best thing is to character assassinate God's servants to make polygamy look bad.

Adam and Eve were but one example of monogamous marriage in the Pentateuch and they weren't glowing examples of fidelity.

 So returning to he following verse we conclude it defines marriage and can not be used as some implied demand for monogamy. Monogamy or polygamy are not contrary to the spirit of this marriage function. Not once does God use Gen.2:24 against any man with more than one wife.
Gen 2:24  Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife and they shall be one flesh.

Notice "a man" shall leave and cleave and he and that woman will be one flesh. This is not an insistence on monogamy, the fact that God only made one woman "for" the man is an example of the headship of marriage whether it be a monogamous one or a polygynous one.

Please read Gen.2 and note animals were brought to Adam and he named them. Eve was then brought to Adam and he named her. She was made for him, after Adam was created. Adam the husband, first, Eve the wife, second.

Gen.2 contains one example of marriage structure as God ordered it, that is the husband as the head of the wife. When compared to the rest of the book of Genesis we see other examples of marriage where one husband provided headship for multiple wives and

If Gen.2:24 implies monogamy only, then we should find a specific prohibition against polygyny starting with Lamech but there is not one plain condemning verse against polygyny based on Gen.2:24. There is not one use of Gen.2:24 against polygyny in the Old or New Testaments. If God does not use Gen.2:24 against polygyny then why are his servants doing so? Our tradition is incorrect.

The Laws given for polygyny are evidence enough that Gen.2:24 does not demand monogamy.

Gen.2:24 does not demand monogamy it is the principle of marriage, that event which brings marriage into being between a man and a woman.

Abraham had many concubines (Gen.25:6) and he, the father of faith, was not reprimanded with Gen.2:24 for taking them.

Onan failed to fulfil the obligation of the levirate and by comparing Gen.38 with Deut 25:5-10 we immediately see Gen.2:24 cannot possibly be understood as one husband and one wife. The elder brother obligation was not a "permission" for something less than desirable or an allowance for wickedness. Levirate polygamy was an injunction.

Jacob had four wives as recorded in Genesis 29-30 having been blessed by God while in the land of his father in law.  Where is there any prohibition by God who blessed the wives with children? Such claims that Jacob was at a low ebb of faith are to be rejected in the light of the truth, that monogamy and polygyny are examples of the headship of the husband according to Gen.2:24.

Jacob was “one flesh” with each of his wives and their beds undefiled. He was tricked into marrying Leah but married and “one flesh” with her as he was "one flesh" with Rachel and the two servant wives. Christ came through the God blessed "one flesh" of Jacob and Leah but many of the tribes of Israel came through the other wives and God will bless the world through the nation of Israel.

God did not see any breach of Gen.2:24 in Jacob's family or any other polygynous one.

We cannot take one example from Gen.2 and demand it is the norm when we have many other examples of polygynous marriages blessed by God in the same book.

The Lord always spelt out His intentions with great care and promptly dealt with those who failed to comply as the Law and His dealings with Israel clearly show. Had monogamy been the only option under Gen.2:24 then the Lord would have certainly corrected any deviation from His original intent as soon as it was manifested. Lamech would have been dealt with as promptly as Cain if polygyny were the abhorrence to God as is supposed.

To circumvent this assumed silence of God, Christianity invented the permissive will theory. This nonsensical argument is squashed when we read in the Bible that God had two wives. Would God permit Himself to do evil?

An Israelite should not divorce his wife or wives which would be a breach of Gen.2:24 as per Mat.19:5. The Lord uses Gen.2:24 against divorce and perhaps modern Christianity should follow their Lord's lead instead of twisting the testimony of Scripture to suit their anti polygyny position.

Paul's use of Gen.2:24 in Ephesians 5 emphasises again the close bond that exists between a husband and a wife and is used to affirm the closeness of Christ as the Head with the Church which is His Body.
We can not argue that Ephesians 5 is a cancellation of "permitted" polygyny since the husband with one wife or three equally emphasises the one flesh and bone of His bones closeness of Christ the Head and the church His Body in this present dispensation of grace.

Ephesians 5 is not invalidating all the laws for plural marriage or insisting that Gen.2:24 means monogamy. Eph.5 is not addressing marriage structure but marriage relationship. Paul's use of Gen.2:24 affirms this original design. Eph.5 is not about marriage structure.

By the way, those people who think polygyny was "for the Jews" should remember that Gen.2:24 was penned way before the division of people into The Nation and The Nations.

Commercial "marriage" is better known as prostitution and Paul warns the Corinthians using Gen.2:24;
1Co 6:16  Or do you not know that he being joined to a harlot is one body? For He says, The two shall be one flesh.

How many times has the prostitute been one flesh with another person? Only once with the first client? And when a married man has intimacy with a prostitute is he not "one flesh" with her as well as His wife according to Paul? Again, the closeness of the relationship, the tie, the bond between a man and a women as they cleave together is the point. This is so obvious as to stand alone; Gen.2:24 in Paul, does not mean monogamy only.

Paul did not understand Gen.2:24 as modern Christians insist. Paul could use Gen.2:24 in the same breath as harlot and multiple intimacies, each being in harmony with Gen.2:24. Any married Christian man in Corinth who joined himself to the harlot was being one flesh with her AS WELL as his wife.

Genesis 2:24 is about marriage, not monogamy only. Gen.2:24 is maintained in monogamy or polygyny.

Polygamy is not prostitution nor a fleshly perversion, wickedness or anything else some modern Christians are want to call it, but honourable marriage in all & the bed undefiled (Hebs.13:4). In a plural family a husband is one flesh with each of his wives in perfect harmony with Gen.2:24.

See Gen.2:24 page for further thoughts.

Polygamy is not a breach of Gen 2:24, polygyny is not sin.

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