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Is Polygamy A Sin?

To answer the question upfront as to whether polygamy is sin? No it is not. Neither is a monogamous marriage. The monogamous only crowd do have it wrong though. Because polygamy is so frowned upon in our current society, it is easy to dismiss the idea of how this could possibly be apart of God's design for marriage. The ideals of feminism in our culture today leave no room for polygamy. There are so many false assumptions made upfront that cause many to never even consider the legitimacy of the idea being apart of God's design for marriage. If you have vowed yourself to a monogamous marriage than you should honor your vows. But even if you haven't, it would be rather difficult to live a polygamist lifestyle in our culture today. So with that being the case, why would this even be an important issue worth our time and consideration? Well first the subject helps us understand God's intended design for marriage and how that relates to Christ's marriage to the church. Second it helps us understand the roles of each spouse within marriage. Third it helps men and women alike understand the sexuality of men better and why God made us the way we are.

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Ephesians 5:22-24
Marriage is a depiction of Christ's relationship with the church

Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. Genesis 2:24
Many believe this verse means that marriage is only to be between one man and one woman based on the wording "one flesh." But notice the following verse...

What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. 1 Corinthians 6:16
"One flesh" is just referencing sex. This also shows that you can be one flesh with more than one person. In this case with a wife and a harlot. So polygamy is being one flesh with each individual wife and each individual and separate marriage.

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marryand commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. 1 Timothy 4:1-3
We are certainly in the latter times. Now do you think any churches today would allow any of the biblical patriarchs into their churches with their many wives? I dont think so. Abraham, Jacob, David, Moses, and all the others would be tossed out. They would have been forbidden to marry multiple wives.

Named Polygamists In The Bible

Abraham - 3 Wives - Genesis 16:1; Genesis 16:3; Genesis 25:1

Jacob - 4 wives - Genesis 29:23; Genesis 29:28; Genesis 30:4; Genesis 30:9

David - 18+ wives - 1 Samuel 18:27; 1 Samuel 25:39; 1 Samuel 25:43;  2 Samuel 3:3-5;  2 Samuel 5:13; 2 Samuel 12:24; 2 Samuel 15:16

Soloman - 1000 wives - 1 Kings 11:3

Rehoboam - 78 wives - 2 Chronicles 11:18-23

Moses - 2 wives - Exodus 2:21; Numbers 12:1

Abijah - 14 wives - 2 Chronicles 13:21

Ahab - 1 Kings 20:3

Ahasuerus - Esther 1:9

Ashur - 2 wives - 1 Chronicles 4:5

Belshazzar - Daniel 5:2

Benhadad - 1 Kings 20:3

Caleb - 5 wives - 1 Chronicles 2:18-19; 1 Chronicles 2:46,48

Eliphaz - 2 wives - Genesis 36:11-12

Elkanah - 2 wives - 1 Samuel 1:2

Esau - 3 wives - Genesis 26:34; Genesis 28:9

Ezra - 2 wives - 1 Chronicles 4:17-18

Gideon - many wives - Judges 8:30

Jehoiachin - 2 Kings 24:15

Jehoram - 2 Chronicles 21:14

Jerahmeel - 2 wives - 1 Chronicles 2:26

Joash - 2 wives - 2 Chronicles 24:3

Lamech - 2 wives - Genesis 4:19

Machir - 2 wives - 1 Chronicles 7:15-16

Manasseh - 2 wives - 1 Chronicles 7:14

Mered - 4 wives - 1 Chronicles 4:17-19

Nahor - 2 wives - Genesis 22:20-24

Saul - 2 wives - 1 Samuel 14:50; 2 Samuel 3:7

Shaharaim - 2 wives - 1 Chronicles 8:8

Simeon - 2 wives - Genesis 46:10; Exodus 6:15

Zedekiah - Jeremiah 38:23

Hosea - 2 wives - Hosea 1:3; Hosea 3:1

Terah - 2 wives - Genesis 11:26; Genesis 20:12

Abdon - 40 sons, by implication - Judges 12:14

Heman - 14 sons, by implication - 1 Chronicles 25:4

Ibzan - 60 children, by implication - Judges 12:9

Jair - 30 sons, by implication - Judges 10:4

Shimei - 22 kids, by implication - 1 Chronicles 4:27

Ziba - 15 sons, by implication - 2 Samuel 9:10

Issachar's Tribe - had many wives - 1 Chronicles 7:4


What About Adultery?

And the man that committeth adultery with another man's wifeeven he that committeth adultery with his neighbour's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death. Leviticus 20:10

This is the biblical definition of adultery. It can only occur when involving a married woman. Adultery is a property rights crime against the husband. An unmarried woman can not commit adultery. Therefore a man taking on additional wives is not considered adultery according to how the Bible defines the term. Just as Christ can not commit adultery against the church. He can unite himself with as many churches as he wants. He is head of the church. It is up to the church to stay faithful to Christ and not go whoring around.

And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her. And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery. Mark 10:11-12. 

Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery. Luke 16:18

And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery. Matthew 19:9

Matthew 19:9 adds clarification to what was revealed in Mark 10:11-12 and Luke 16:18.

It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery. Matthew 5:31-32

This verse adds even further clarification. The husband is causing the wife to commit adultery.

Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. Matthew 5:27-30


Did God Ever Give Approval?

And I gave thee thy master's house, and thy master's wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things. 2 Samuel 12:8
God gave David his many wives. So not only does the Bible not condemn polygamy, it also clearly approves of it. It wasn't just allowed to take place against God's wishes.

"Because David did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, and turned not aside from any thing that he commanded him all the days of his life, save only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite. " 
1 Kings 15:5.
This is another nod of approval from God himself regarding David's polygamist lifestyle. 

Bible Regulates Polygamy
"If he take him another wife; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish." Exodus 21:10.
Food, shelter, and sex are the duties that should remain for all wives when another wife is taken. 

“ ‘Do not have sexual relations with both a woman and her daughter. Do not have sexual relations with either her son’s daughter or her daughter’s daughter; they are her close relatives. That is wickedness. “ ‘Do not take your wife’s sister as a rival wife and have sexual relations with her while your wife is living. Leviticus 18:17-18
These laws are unnecessary if polygamy was unlawful to God. 

"If a man have two wives, one beloved, and another hated, and they have born him children, both the beloved and the hated; and if the firstborn son be hers that was hated: Then it shall be, when he maketh his sons to inherit that which he hath, that he may not make the son of the beloved firstborn before the son of the hated, which is indeed the firstborn: But he shall acknowledge the son of the hated for the firstborn, by giving him a double portion of all that he hath: for he is the beginning of his strength; the right of the firstborn is his." Deuteronomy 21:15-17.
Does God regulate how to dispose of bodies after you murder someone? Of course not, because you shouldn't be committing murder in the first place. 

Jesus Depicted As A Polygamist 
Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. Matthew 25:1
Jesus is the bridegroom getting married to multiple wives in this parable. Jesus is being depicted as a polygamist.

And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach. Isaiah 4:1
This is a negative prophecy of churches/wives/women taking hold of one man/husband/Christ and wanting to do things their own way. They only want to be called Christians. But yet again, Christ is depicted as a polygamist husband to many church wives.

Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of JudahNot according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD. Jeremiah 31:31-32
Once again one husband with multiple wives. This is God we are talking about.

They say, If a man put away his wife, and she go from him, and become another man's, shall he return unto her again? shall not that land be greatly polluted? but thou hast played the harlot with many lovers; yet return again to me, saith the LORD...And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also. And it came to pass through the lightness of her whoredom, that she defiled the land, and committed adultery with stones and with stocks...Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion: Jeremiah 3:1,8,9,14
Again God depicted with 2 wives being Israel and Judah.

And the names of them were Aholah the elder, and Aholibah her sister: and they were mine, and they bare sons and daughters. Thus were their names; Samaria is Aholah, and Jerusalem Aholibah. Ezekiel 23:4
Again God figuratively baring sons. I hope he's married. Oh he is, to both Jersalem and Samaria. 
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