Bible Polygyny

And Sarai, Abram's wife, took Hagar her slave woman, the Egyptian,
and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife....
Gen 16:3

 

Opponents of plural marriage talk about Godís permissive will which, by implication must be lesser or opposed to His good and/or perfect will;
Rom 12:2..do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, to prove by you what is that good, pleasing and perfect will of God.

This verse speaks of God's will which is good pleasing and perfect but some see this as three varying levels and then add the fourth; God's permissive will. God's permissive will is a non-scriptural phrase but widely accepted as fact.

Opponents of polygyny resort to the "permissive will" defense when forced to acknowledge that polygyny exists. In their view, wicked man married more than one wife and God, forced into submission by man's wayward actions, reluctantly permitting these imperfect will marriages.

Does God "permit" Himself to do wickedly?

Those who use this phrase unwittingly cast a shadow over God's own attitude and actions to polygyny when we read in Ezekiel 23 that he had two wives in a figure. Yes, the Lord has two wives.

Does this mean that God actually did something that was not good, or not according to His own pleasing will? Did He give Himself permission to act outside His perfect will? Did God permit Himself to have more than one wife even though He was not really happy with polygyny? Did God act in some lesser way than he should have and then permit Himself the privilege?

God made laws for polygyny, commanded polygyny as a means of restoring lost inheritance and will use it again to
plant Israel with the seed of man, this is not God permitting polygyny, this is God revealing His approval; His good, pleasing and perfect will for this marriage.

If polygamy was just a ďpermissionĒ of God, then it should strike us as strange that God gave laws ordaining it, and of His own volition granted plural wives to David, (Deut.25:5-6, 2 Sam.12:8). If God only wants a perfect will known and applied, then he promoted a lesser of His own wills if "permissive will" exponents are to be believed.

Here are some alternative renderings of the Romans passage;
Rom 12:2  Do not be conformed to this world, but continually be transformed by the renewing of your minds so that you may be able to determine what God's will is-what is proper, pleasing, and perfect. ISV.
Rom 12:2  and be not conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, for your proving what is the will of God--the good, and acceptable, and perfect. YLT.
Rom 12:2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will isóhis good, pleasing and perfect will. NIV.

Godís will is proper, pleasing and perfect but for those who cling to three levels of Godís will let them produce one verse which clearly says polygamy is only Godís permissive will.

The permissive will argument is another profane invention by the desperate to find something against polygyny.


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