Menu Close

Polygamy in the Bible

Commands related to Polygamy

Kings were not to  take many wives

Deu 17:17 ESV  And he shall not acquire many wives for himself, lest his heart turn away, nor shall he acquire for himself excessive silver and gold.

Cannot favour the children of the second wife

Deu 21:15-17 ESV  “If a man has two wives, the one loved and the other unloved, and both the loved and the unloved have borne him children, and if the firstborn son belongs to the unloved,  16  then on the day when he assigns his possessions as an inheritance to his sons, he may not treat the son of the loved as the firstborn in preference to the son of the unloved, who is the firstborn,  17  but he shall acknowledge the firstborn, the son of the unloved, by giving him a double portion of all that he has, for he is the firstfruits of his strength. The right of the firstborn is his.

A man was marry his brother’s widow

The New Testament assumes only one wife

1Co 7:2 ESV  But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.

Eph 5:31 ESV  “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”

Eph 5:33 ESV  However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

1Ti 3:12 ESV  Let deacons each be the husband of one wife, managing their children and their own households well.

Tit 1:6 ESV  if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination.

Examples

Lamech

Gen 4:19 ESV  And Lamech took two wives. The name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah.

Abraham

Gen 25:1-6 ESV  Abraham took another wife, whose name was Keturah.  2  She bore him Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah…  5  Abraham gave all he had to Isaac.  6  But to the sons of his concubines Abraham gave gifts, and while he was still living he sent them away from his son Isaac, eastward to the east country.

Esau

Gen 28:9 ESV  Esau went to Ishmael and took as his wife, besides the wives he had, Mahalath the daughter of Ishmael, Abraham’s son, the sister of Nebaioth.

Gen 36:2 ESV  Esau took his wives from the Canaanites: Adah the daughter of Elon the Hittite, Oholibamah the daughter of Anah the daughter of Zibeon the Hivite,

Jacob

Gen 29:30 ESV  So Jacob went in to Rachel also, and he loved Rachel more than Leah, and served Laban for another seven years.

Gideon

Jdg 8:30-31 ESV  Now Gideon had seventy sons, his own offspring, for he had many wives.  31  And his concubine who was in Shechem also bore him a son, and he called his name Abimelech.

Elkanah

1Sa 1:1-2 ESV  There was a certain man of Ramathaim-zophim of the hill country of Ephraim whose name was Elkanah the son of Jeroham, son of Elihu, son of Tohu, son of Zuph, an Ephrathite.  2  He had two wives. The name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other, Peninnah. And Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.

David

King David had at 8 wives plus concubines.

1Sa 25:43 ESV  David also took Ahinoam of Jezreel, and both of them became his wives.

2Sa 5:13 ESV  And David took more concubines and wives from Jerusalem, after he came from Hebron, and more sons and daughters were born to David.

2Sa 12:7-9 ESV  Nathan said to David, “You are the man! Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you out of the hand of Saul.  8  And I gave you your master’s house and your master’s wives into your arms and gave you the house of Israel and of Judah. And if this were too little, I would add to you as much more.  9  Why have you despised the word of the LORD, to do what is evil in his sight? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and have taken his wife to be your wife and have killed him with the sword of the Ammonites.

Solomon

1Ki 11:1-3 ESV  Now King Solomon loved many foreign women, along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women,  2  from the nations concerning which the LORD had said to the people of Israel, “You shall not enter into marriage with them, neither shall they with you, for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods.” Solomon clung to these in love.  3  He had 700 wives, who were princesses, and 300 concubines. And his wives turned away his heart.

Jehoiachin

2Ki 24:15 ESV  And he carried away Jehoiachin to Babylon. The king’s mother, the king’s wives, his officials, and the chief men of the land he took into captivity from Jerusalem to Babylon.

Ashhur

1Ch 4:5 ESV  Ashhur, the father of Tekoa, had two wives, Helah and Naarah;

Shaharaim

1Ch 8:8 ESV  And Shaharaim fathered sons in the country of Moab after he had sent away Hushim and Baara his wives.

Rehoboam

2Ch 11:21 ESV  Rehoboam loved Maacah the daughter of Absalom above all his wives and concubines (he took eighteen wives and sixty concubines, and fathered twenty-eight sons and sixty daughters).

Abijah

2Ch 13:21 ESV  But Abijah grew mighty. And he took fourteen wives and had twenty-two sons and sixteen daughters.

Jehoram

2Ch 21:16-17 ESV  And the LORD stirred up against Jehoram the anger of the Philistines and of the Arabians who are near the Ethiopians.  17  And they came up against Judah and invaded it and carried away all the possessions they found that belonged to the king’s house, and also his sons and his wives, so that no son was left to him except Jehoahaz, his youngest son.

Joash

2Ch 24:2-4 ESV  And Joash did what was right in the eyes of the LORD all the days of Jehoiada the priest.  3  Jehoiada got for him two wives, and he had sons and daughters.  4  After this Joash decided to restore the house of the LORD.

Belshazzar

Dan 5:2 ESV  Belshazzar, when he tasted the wine, commanded that the vessels of gold and of silver that Nebuchadnezzar his father had taken out of the temple in Jerusalem be brought, that the king and his lords, his wives, and his concubines might drink from them.

Possible examples

Moses

Exo 2:21 ESV  And Moses was content to dwell with the man, and he gave Moses his daughter Zipporah.

Num 12:1 ESV  Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married, for he had married a Cushite woman.

 

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *