Bible Polygyny

We have heard it said
that no good thing comes from polygamy.

If this be the case please cut the two books of Samuel out of your Bible and forget God's promises to bless all the families of the earth through Abraham who had three wives and innumerable concubines.

It seems God acts or promises benevolent things through polygamy in stark contrast to the malevolent expectations of the traditional opponents of polygamy.

Marriage structure does not determine good or evil. Some of the worst criminals are from monogamous families.

In haste, monogamous only Christians will throw Gen.2:24 as the ultimate refutation of polygyny but please find one occasion when God used that verse against any who practiced polygyny. We think God understood that the two being one flesh was equally true of a husband and a wife and a husband with more than one wife. Jacob was one flesh with each of his wives.

But to the sons of the concubines which Abraham had,
Abraham gave gifts. And he sent them away from Isaac his son
while he still lived, eastward to the east country.


When asked to name any polygamist in the Bible, God's Word, the average Christian reflects the monogamous upbringing of us all by struggling to name more than two and they never include God Himself, that thought is too much to contemplate.

Their considerations rarely include the women polygynists since they have been taught its only the fleshly perverted men who engaged in the practice.

Perhaps the women were so subjugated they were forced into it and will find mercy in the day of judgment. This of course is the conclusion from  monogamy only thinking and is not the case since God actually had more than one wife Himself (Jer.31:31, Ez.23) and He loved them. God also gave more than one wife to King David and told David if he wanted more wives it could have been arranged (2Sam.12:8). God also called the future large polygynist family of Isaiah 4 holy where seven women propose to one man.

In this list you will find polygyny featured in typical redemption and in prophecy about Israel's restoration, poor God, that He had to stoop so low as to include in type and prophecy what the mislead call wickedness but which He obviously does not.

So here is a list of Bible characters who had more than one wife including those whose wives were not named but who had so many children one wife would have great difficulty bearing the total in her lifetime. Some of the men were good men, some were bad, some were God's chosen people, some were Gentiles, but they can be found in our Bibles and not once does God condemn any of them with Gen.2:24.

Jehovah         Jer.31:33. Jer.3. Ez.23 (See link above)

Abdon.           Judges 12:13-14

Abijah.           2Chron.13:21 (read the entire chapter please).

Abraham        Gen.16:1-3 Sarai and Hagar. Gen.25:1 Keturah
                      and verse 6, Abraham's concubines.

Ahab              1Kings 20:2-3

Ahasuerus     Esther 1:9

Ashur             1 Chron.4:5

Belshazar       Dan.5:2

Boaz               Ruth 2 (particularly verse 1 & 20) & Ruth 3:12
                       Ruth had no choice in this "romance" and Boaz
                       had to "offer" Ruth to the kinsman closer first,
                       was he single too? See Ruth 4:11-12 (polygamy
                       blessings) and the child was nursed by Naomi,
                       see notes on Onan below.
                       Don't expect this "love" story in a Hollywood
                       blockbuster. See Deut.25:5-10.

Caleb             1Chron.2:18-19, 46, 48

David             1Sam.18:27, 25:39, 43,44, 2Sam.3:3, 4-5, 13-14,
                       6:20-23, 12:7-8, 24, 15:16, & 1Chron.14:3.

Eliphaz           Gen.36:11-12

Elkanah          Samuel's father. 1Sam.1:2

Esau               Gen.26:34, 28:9, 36:10
                       (note Isaac & Rebekah grieved not because Esau
                       married two, but because the two were Hittites)

Gideon          Judges 8:30-31

Herman         1Chron.25:4

Hosea           1:3, 3:1 (note, God uses polygyny in redemption;
                      Ruth and Boaz, and uses it in prophecy, again of

Ibzan             Judges 12:8-9

Issachar        The Tribe (try counting the polygamists),

Jacob            Gen.29:28 30:4, 9
                     (note, God doesn't quote Gen.2:24
                      against His servant)

Jair                Judges 10:3-4

Jehoiachin    2 Kings 24:15

Jehoram        2Chron.21:14

Jerahmeel     1Chron.2:26

Joash            2Chron.24:3

Lamach         Bet the monogamy only pastors told you about
                      this guy. Gen.4:19.

Manasseh    1Chron.7:14

Mered          1Chron.4:17-19 (?)

Moses         Ex.2:21 (18:1-6), Numb.12:1

Nahor           Abraham's brother. Gen.22:20-24

Onan            Gen.38:8-9. It is assumed Onan was single but we
                     assume he was already married. Deut.25:5-10 was
                     not a law for single men, it is the Law of Levirate
                     Polygamy. How many other brothers obeyed the
                     Lord in this matter?
                     For the Bible student; who told the saints before
                     the Mosaic Law to practice Levirate Polygamy?
                     Consider this, it was in Hammurabi's Law.

Rehoboam   2Chron.11:18-23

Saul             1Sam.14:50, 2Sam.3:7

Shaharaim   1Chron.8:8

Shimei         1Chron.4:27

Simeon        Gen.46:10

Solomon      1Kings 11:3

Terah           Gen.11:26, 20:12

Zedekiah      Jer.38:23

The Father   of 1Cor.5:1
                     Naturally monogamy only expositors assumed the
                     first wife died, an obligatory assumption but an
                     assumption nevertheless. Since it is not said his
                     first wife died, then it is safer to "assume" she
                     remained alive.

Some of the husbands Paul wrote to in 1Cor.7.

Women Polygamists in the Bible are too numerous to calculate. Please consider the references above and compile this extensive list which must have numbered thousands.




Return to
Directory Page