Bible Polygyny

And Solomon the son of David was made strong in his kingdom,
and Jehovah his God was with him and made him very great
. 2Chron.1:1


King Solomonís Wives.

David was the father of Solomon through Bathsheba who was previously the wife of Uriah, see 2Sam.11.

As we have observed, David was guilty of despising the Word of the Lord in this matter but not in the matter of having more than one wife. 

David had taken many wives prior to his adulterous liaison with Bathsheba and the Lord did not send the prophet to condemn David for taking more than one wife. Indeed, 2Sam.12:8 tells us the Lord blessed David with the wives of Davidís master that is Saul, along with those David took as wives. Having more than one wife is not adultery but taking another manís wife is adultery.

The first child born to David and Bathsheba died (2Sam.12:18) and then Solomon was born.

The Lord loved Solomon and when he became King (see I Kings 1) the Lord made him great, I wonder if this included many wives?;
2Ch 1:1  And Solomon the son of David was made strong in his kingdom, and Jehovah his God was with him and made him very great

The Lord came to Solomon and asked what He could give him;
2Ch 1:7
 In that night God appeared to Solomon and said to him, Ask what I shall give you.
2Ch 1:8  And Solomon said to God, You have shown great mercy to David my father, and have made me to reign in his stead.
2Ch 1:9  Now, O Jehovah God, Your promise to David my father has been fulfilled. For You have made me king over a people like the dust of the earth in multitude.
2Ch 1:10  Give me now wisdom and knowledge that I may go out and come in before this people. For who can judge this Your great people?
2Ch 1:11  And God said to Solomon, Because this was in your heart, and you have not asked riches, wealth, nor honor, nor the life of your enemies, nor yet have asked for long life but have asked wisdom and knowledge for yourself that you may judge My people, over whom I have made you king;
2Ch 1:12  wisdom and knowledge is granted to you. And I will give you riches and wealth and honor, such as none of the kings have had that have been before you, nor shall any after you have the like.

We notice Solomon realized the Lord had shown great mercy to his father David and that Israel was now a great nation. Solomon asked for wisdom and knowledge as he reigned over the Lordís great nation. The Lord not only granted this request, but promised more to the King because his request was not self serving.

There is no doubt the Lord gives more to those who please Him and we remember that David (besides his treatment of Uriah) was a man after Godís own heart (Acts 13:22 & 1Sam.13:14). We have seen the Lordís testimony concerning David;
1Ki 15:5  .. David did what was right in the eyes of Jehovah, and did not turn aside from all that He commanded him all the days of his life, except in the matter of Uriah the Hittite.

David taking other wives was ďright in the eyes of JehovahĒ and when the Lord spoke to David through Nathan the prophet regarding Bathsheba it is evident that if David wanted more wives the Lord could have provided;
2Sa 12:8  And I gave you your master's house and your master's wives into your bosom, and gave you the house of Israel and of Judah. And if that was too little, I would have given to you such and such things besides.

In responding to Solomonís request for wisdom and knowledge, the Lord not only granted the initial request but promised , ďriches, wealth and honor, such as none of the kings have had that have been before you, nor shall any after you have the likeĒ. This could mean many wives since God had already blessed David with more wives.

However, Solomon did disobey the Word of the Lord as found in this passage:
Deu 17:14  When you come to the land which Jehovah your God gives you, and shall possess it and shall live in it and shall say, I will set a king over me, like all the nations around me,
Deu 17:15  you shall surely set a king over you, whom Jehovah your God shall choose. You shall set a king over you from among your brothers. You may not set a stranger over you, who is not your brother.
Deu 17:16  But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, so as to multiply horses, because Jehovah has said to you, You shall return no more that way from now on.
Deu 17:17  Nor shall HE multiply wives to himself, so that his heart does not turn away. Nor shall he greatly multiply silver and gold to himself.
Deu 17:18  And it shall be, when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, he shall write a copy of this Law in a book from before the priests, the Levites.

Solomon added wives from pagan nations.  These turned away his heart. The instruction of the Lord in the passage above did not limit the King to one horse or one wife, it warned of wives that that would result in his heart turning away. Let us read of Solomonís actions, not the Lords actions in the matter of wives;
1Ki 11:1  And King Solomon loved many foreign women, even the daughter of Pharaoh, Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, Hittites;
1Ki 11:2  of the nations which Jehovah had said to the sons of Israel, You shall not go in to them, and they shall not go in to you; surely they will turn away your heart after their gods. Solomon clung to these in love.
1Ki 11:3  And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines. And his wives turned away his heart.
1Ki 11:4  For it happened when Solomon was old, his wives turned away his heart after other gods. And his heart was not perfect with Jehovah his God, as was the heart of David his father.
1Ki 11:5  For Solomon went after Ashtoreth, the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom, the abomination of the Ammonites;
1Ki 11:6  and Solomon did evil in the sight of Jehovah, and did not go fully after Jehovah like his father David.

Solomon took extra wives of pagan faith; this was the error of his ways, not the taking of extra wives.

Naturally those who oppose polygyny will only tell us half the truth, they will focus on the negative things of Solomonís wives but they will not declare that having many wives is not sin.

So to conclude we need to ask ourselves this; can a man with one wife have his heart turned away? Yes, he can. So the error of having oneís heart turned away is not unique to polygyny. Neither is it the natural consequence of polygyny.


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