The Atlantic has a new article out on a change the ESV is making in their translation of Gen 3:16. From Rewriting the Biblical ‘Curse’ on Womankind:
Whereas the first half of that sentence formerly read “Your desire shall be for your husband,” it now reads, “Your desire shall be contrary to your husband.” It appears to suggest that women naturally oppose their husbands’ desires, and thus are responsible for marital conflict.
It turns out that Dr. Wayne Grudem, cofounder of the CBMW was a major driver of this change:
The ESV translators are known to mostly affirm complementarianism, the view that men and women should have different roles in the family and church. They include Christian leaders such as the prolific theologian and writer J.I. Packer; the publisher Lane Dennis; and the theologian Wayne Grudem…
I’ve only read a little on the argument for the change here, so I did some digging. Grudem argued for this reading of Gen 3:16 in a chapter he wrote for Biblical Foundations for Manhood and Womanhood*
The word translated “desire” is an unusual Hebrew word, teshûqåh. What is the meaning of this word? In this context and in this construction, it probably implies an aggressive desire, perhaps a desire to conquer or rule over, or else an urge or impulse to oppose her husband, an impulse to act “against” him. This sense is seen in the only other occurrence of teshûqåh in all the books of Moses (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy), and the only other occurrence of teshûqåh plus the preposition ’el in the whole Bible. That occurrence of the word is in the very next chapter of Genesis, in 4:7. God says to Cain, “Sin is crouching at the door, and its desire is for you, but you must master it” ( NASB ). Here the sense is very clear. God pictures sin as a wild animal waiting outside Cain’s door, waiting to attack him, even to pounce on him and overpower him. In that sense, sin’s “desire” or “instinctive urge” is “against” him. 20
The striking thing about that sentence is what a remarkable parallel it is with Genesis 3:16. In the Hebrew text, six words are the same and are found in the same order in both verses. It is almost as if this other usage is put here by the author so that we would know how to understand the meaning of the term in Genesis 3:16. The expression in 4:7 has the sense, “desire, urge, impulse against” (or perhaps “desire to conquer, desire to rule over”). And that sense fits very well in Genesis 3:16 also. 21
Grudem further argues that to characterize this as sexual desire would be incorrect:
Some have assumed that “desire” in Genesis 3:16 refers to sexual desire. But that is highly unlikely because (1) the entire Bible views sexual desire within marriage as something positive, not as something evil or something that God imposed as a judgment; and (2) surely Adam and Eve had sexual desire for one another prior to their sin, for God had told them to “be fruitful and multiply” (Gen. 1:28), and certainly in an unfallen world, along with the command, God would have given the desire that corresponded to it. So “your desire shall be for your husband” cannot refer to sexual desire. It is much more appropriate to the context of a curse to understand this as an aggressive desire against her husband, one that would bring her into conflict with him.
Grudem offers the following in the notes for the chapter:
The understanding of Genesis 3:16 as a hostile desire, or even a desire to rule over, has gained significant support among Old Testament commentators. It was first suggested by Susan T. Foh, “What Is the Woman’s Desire?” in Westminster Theological Journal 37 (1975), 376-383. David Talley says the word is attested in Samaritan and Mishnaic Hebrew “with the meaning urge, craving, impulse” and says of Foh, “Her contention that the desire is a contention for leadership, a negative usage, seems probable for Gen. 3:16” (New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology and Exegesis, 5 vols., ed., Willem Van Gemeren, Vol. 4 [Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1991], 341, with reference to various commentators).
*Not to be confused with the similarly titled book Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, which Piper and Grudem put together when they first created the CBMW. Also note that the excerpts I quoted are only pieces of what he wrote on the topic in the chapter. The link is to a pdf version of the book, and you can read the full section starting at the bottom of page 33 of the pdf file.
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Blogger/lay theologian Wendy Alsup (http://theologyforwomen.org/2016/09/toward-better-reading-reflections-permanent-changes-text-genesis-316-esv.html) vehemently opposes the Grudem/Foh/ESV interpretation, contending that the woman’s “desire” in Gen. 3:16 is an idolatrous desire for her husband to meet all her needs which, when he can’t do it, becomes a source of conflict. I’ve interacted with Wendy several times on this, though not in response to her recent 3-part series on the issue (due to lack of time). One of my objections, which has never gotten a response, is that Wendy’s interpretation is akin to all the other instances in which the only politically correct criticism of women’s behavior is that they “love too much,” or something along those lines.
More truthful, women look to usurp their husband’s authority and destroy countless marriages and lives because of it, sounds like a curse to me.
Grudem’s comments point out something I never realized before. The parallel between Genesis 3:16 and Genesis 4:7 is striking:
3:16: Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
4:7: If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.
Fascinating. The logical parallel is between the woman and sin. The woman is not the victim, she is the usurper.
Now, if only we could get a pastor to preach this passage in front of a congregation, instead of making arguments behind closed doors…
This is good to see. The sexual desire interpretation never really made that much sense to me for the reasons he states there — it can’t have been a curse because it would have existed prior to the fall.
I’ve always contended that both meanings are correct:
Gen 3:16: Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
Gen: 4:7: If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.
Song of Songs 7:10 “I am my beloved’s, And his desire is for me.
In other words, this correctly illustrates the “fruit” of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
1. A wife that submits to her husband’s rule creates sexual desire between them.
2. A wife that rebels against her husband’s rule is contentious and creates sin and strife.
It perfectly exemplifies the fruit of “good” and “evil.”
I’m not sure why I’ve seen no theologian argue for it being both.
It was first suggested by Susan T. Foh, “What Is the Woman’s Desire?” in Westminster Theological Journal 37 (1975), 376-383.
Ironic that they cite a female teacher to support the patriarchal view.
Good stuff. Grudem did good work there.
Nice! Grudem can put this on the shelf next to another recent win; He was also one of the few complementarian evangelicals to say that not only would he would be voting for Trump, but that there there was a moral argument in favor of doing so.
Don’t get me wrong — I certainly don’t think that he’s a man who’s done a full swallow of the red pill, but if we can’t have that in the pulpit (yet) then it’s good to see at least a few steps being made in the right direction. Take your victories where you can find them.
Sounds right to me. I’d always read it to mean “desire to rule or conquer”, mostly because of the similar wording to Cain, but also because nothing else makes sense. I’ve always wondered why it wasn’t translated that way to reduce confusion.
To elaborate more…
Partaking of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil gave both men and women a choice: the knowledge of good or evil and therefore the choice to choose between good and evil.
It makes sense that the “just” punishments (not curse, by the way: the ground and Satan were cursed not Adam and Eve) to both Adam and Eve will be of the particular tree that they took part in.
Now, Eve has the knowledge to choose between good and evil: she can submit to the husband’s rule and choose good, or she can rebel against her husband’s rule and choose evil.
Prior to the fall, everything was in fact good (and it was good that prior to the fall that hierarchy existed — Adam was the head and Eve was the body). The punishments do not simply refer to only the bad. They correctly illustrate the dichotomy of the choice of good or evil: submission and sexual desire or rebellion and sin.
I get a kick of how feminists who argue that headship is a punishment conveniently ignore Paul. If egalitarianism is the pre-fall state, then why does Paul emphasize submission to strongly? Why would he encourage a state of affairs that is the result of sin?
I think most of them, either secretly or openly, simply reject Paul’s writings as inspired.
“I’ve always contended that both meanings are correct”
Agreed. It is not either, or. It is both. If a woman’s desire is for her husband, then that will naturally create an un-equal power balance and he will naturally rule over her. One is a natural result of the other.
The verse explains why women are monogamist and men are not. It explains why there are whole stores for women’s underwear and not for men, etc.
She can have a desire that is contrary to her husband and cause trouble or her desire can fall in line and it can be a beautiful relationship.
The verse is certainly not a prophesy that all marriages are doomed to conflict. If “Your desire shall be contrary to your husband.” would seem to be teaching that marriage is really a bad idea for men, which does not seem to be fit in with the rest of what the Bible teaches.
I think you are going too deep (heh) in the weeds with this. Evil is simply rebellion against God, and his command(s). Good is obedience to Him. It all cascades down from there. The punishments were ‘declared’ to show how this would manifest itself going forward. (i.e. I think it was ‘baked into the cake’ when we were made, he KNEW how Adam and Eve’s rebellion would manifest itself).
I’ve read some interpretations of Genesis 3:16 that agree that “desire” suggests the woman will be tempted to usurp her husband. However, some go on to say that “he shall rule over thee” means that the husband will be similarly tempted to take his authority to the extreme and become oppressive. In other words, they try to spin the verse so it’s not just focused on the woman’s rebellion. It also creates an opening for the “sin of being a doormat” theology.
The parallel with 4:7 creates some problems with this interpretation. In 4:7 the desire that sin has for Cain is clearly negative, a desire to conquer and subdue him. But, is Cain “ruling over” sin also negative? Is it wrong for Cain to exercise authority over sin, even in an extreme or oppressive way? Clearly the intent in 4:7 is to describe Cain’s rule as being positive, not a result of his sinful nature. The aspiration of that rule it TOTAL.
So, 4:7 seems to reinforce the idea that the main problem described in 3:16 is the wife’s rebellious heart, not the husband’s oppressive leadership.
Also, if husbands ruling their wives oppressively is such an important sin, why do Jesus, Paul, or any of the early church fathers fail to mention it? Why don’t they warn husbands to be careful not to oppress their wives? Instead, we have the opposite. The emphasis is on extreme submission on the part of the wife, in everything. Clearly being a “doormat” was not a significant concern for Paul.
Now, dwelling with your wife in love and understanding likely excludes a domineering approach, but this is a problem for such a small percentage of men, it’s not even worth a mention in scripture.
Take your victories where you can find them.
Sign me up. Grudem is bold for letting his name be associated with any theological nuance that does not auto-exalt women. I’m already so conditioned I thought the title of this post would mean Grudem had a win in the woman-good/man-bad column that is more typical of CBMW thought. Thanks for bringing this to our attention Dalrock.
The Word Biblical Commentary (by Gordon J. Wenham, 1987) translates the clause as “your urge will be to your husband”. The Commentary remarks as follows.
The JPS Torah Commentary: Genesis (by Nahum M. Sarna, 1989) translates the clause as “your urge shall be for your husband”. The Commentary remarks on the phrase “your urge” as follows.
The New International Commentary on the Old Testament: The Book of Genesis Chapters 1-17 (by Victor P. Hamilton, 1990) translates the clause as “your urge shall be for your husband”. It has the most detailed discussion of the three Commentaries, and it concludes as follows.
That was, sadly, my first thought as well.
My second thought: Translation Notes are part of the Translation. Certain concepts are simply too complex to put into a single phrase when the language doesn’t natively have that phrase.
Grudem is bold for letting his name be associated with any theological nuance that does not auto-exalt women. I’m already so conditioned I thought the title of this post would mean Grudem had a win in the woman-good/man-bad column that is more typical of CBMW thought.
That makes three of us. I still wonder if Grudem isn’t in line for some serious flak from the Christofeminist brigade, even –especially– from within his own organization, for daring to put forth impolitic scholarly assertions such as what this one implies. I thoroughly expect a forthcoming announcement that “Dr. Wayne Grudem has tendered his resignation from the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.”
“Whereas the first half of that sentence formerly read “Your desire shall be for your husband,” it now reads, “Your desire shall be contrary to your husband.” It appears to suggest that women naturally oppose their husbands’ desires, and thus are responsible for marital conflict.”
I recall our pastor preaching — 50+ years ago — that that “new” translation is what the verse actually means.
I have often wondered about this verse. Given the prevalence of wives’ dissatisfaction, and the Red Pill interpretation of “alpha fucks, beta bucks”, it often seems that the modern curse of Eve is that “your desire shall NOT be for your husband”.
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If “Your desire shall be contrary to your husband.” would seem to be teaching that marriage is really a bad idea for men, which does not seem to be fit in with the rest of what the Bible teaches.
Marriage IS a bad deal for men. Jesus states this in Matthew 19:10-12. Marriage is the only biblically sanctioned place to get sex. But women (and their baggage) are the price. They are going to rebel unless very well trained from early age. Jesus suggests MGTOW, but so that you can devote yourself to following Jesus, which unfortunately means…….no sex. Biology will not allow that for most of us.
אליו mean “to him” not “against him”. Wrong is wrong.
At first I was thinking this was something from The Onion… but I guess it’s just a sign of the times, and it should be obvious why there is a push to change this.
Genesis 3:16 is where hypergamy came from.
“Your desire shall be for your husband and he shall rule over you.”
Translated: Your desire shall be for a man who is fit to rule you.
Fit to rule: Masculine dominance, massive confidence, command presence, alpha bearing.
The word desire is used only two other times, once as a desire to conquer, the other as a sexual desire. The meaning in Genesis 3:16 is BOTH. First comes the desire to conquer, because if she can conquer him then he isn’t fit to rule her. This is game 101, fitness testing. When he blows through her fitness tests like a champ, her desire changes from a desire to conquer to a sexual desire.
That part about “he shall rule over you” is defined in Numbers 30 and that forms the context for every later passage on submission in the New Testament, because God doesn’t change.
The “he shall rule over you” is a backhanded instruction to men to be fit to rule.
Given the context of the judgment (the story of how Satan used Eve to take down Adam), God declared women to be incompetent and He appointed the husband as their guardian.
So, 4:7 seems to reinforce the idea that the main problem described in 3:16 is the wife’s rebellious heart, not the husband’s oppressive leadership.
Also, if husbands ruling their wives oppressively is such an important sin, why do Jesus, Paul, or any of the early church fathers fail to mention it? Why don’t they warn husbands to be careful not to oppress their wives?
Couple of things………The main problem is absolutely the wife’s rebellious heart. Not the oppressive leadership. Eve was not oppressed, however was still lost in the rebellion of envy. Peter 3:1 Tells women that their charge is the same regardless of their husbands behavior or oppression. He gives the same charge to employees, slaves, etc. Regardless of how the authority above you acts, he requires the best out of his children.
And Husbands, fathers, masters, governors, etc (any authority figure) ARE called to use their authority temperately, wisely, Christlike. Non oppressively.
Peter 3 just takes the excuse away from those who should be in submission, Submit in ALL THINGS, EVEN if he does not obey the word…… (or you dont think he is obeying the word)
The bible warns men and women about the exact things they are likely to fail at. Women, submission, respect, gossip, Men: adultery, wrath, patience. And the eternal responsibility is actually much higher for men. If your wife is truly in submission to you, then you are truly accountable for all of your/her actions. But if she is in rebellion, then she takes that accountability on her own head. In God’s eyes regardless of how the world/church sees it.
How do they manage to miss how Adam named his wife “Woman” the same as he named the animals by their various classifications. Hence he had Authority over her as well as they had Authority over the animals.
Edenic equality is a made up myth.
Female monkeys play “Lets you and him fight too”.
@RPC “Ironic that they cite a female teacher to support the patriarchal view.”
There were also women against the suffrage movement as well.
The verse explains why women are monogamist and men are not.
Women are not monogamous in the long run. Only in the short run, and even there not really so much. Discard that Victorian myth, you will be better off for it.
Oh shit. That passage is a warning. Everybody got it wrong. It isnt that she depends on us, she is insecure and so she relentlessly tests us, and if we fail the test she either walks or takes over. The curse is that she is now inferior spiritually.
My argument is that Genesis 3:16 is primarily about the woman’s punishment. I’ve read arguments that Genesis 3:16 states that the husband will also be punished with a sinful temptation to rule over his wife oppressively, i.e. that “he shall rule over thee” is negative in the same way as “desire shall be to thy husband.” I’m arguing that the Genesis 4:7 parallel does not fit with that perspective. This is reinforced by the fact that there is great concern about rebellious wives in the NT, but no similar concern with “oppressive” husbands. Also, life experience teaches us that rebellious wives are ubiquitous. Oppressive husband are rare.
You stated: If your wife is truly in submission to you, then you are truly accountable for all of your/her actions.
As a man who actually has one of those (rare) submissive wives, this is good reminder of the stakes. It’s good encouragement to “wash her in the water of the word,” i.e. hold her to a high standard, rebuke, correct, encourage, reprimand, whatever it takes to present her holy and blameless before Christ, even at the risk of being labelled “abusive” or “controlling.”
This is how the verse was interpreted at my conservative bible college in the 90s. It was seen as a condemnation of feminism. The desire to rule over the husband, desire to be like a man… like that
I have nothing whatsoever to do with any of the perversion versions. The seven times purified King Jesus (King James) Bible is good enough for me. Should be good enough for anyone.
I see what you are saying about the punishment to eve presenting a choice between good and evil.
But what would you say is the choice within the punishment to Adam?
The logical parallel is between the woman and sin. The woman is not the victim, she is the usurper.
That is a great insight. I never saw it that way before either.
But then it makes a lot of sense. Ungodly women always seem to have a desire to consume men. Feminism is an extreme example of an inordinate desire of women for man’s position and privileges. It is their crouching at the door, looking for the slightest opportunity to pounce and devour. This brings to mind prophet Micah’s strange admonition–to keep certain things even from the closest woman in one’s life:
Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not confidence in a guide: keep the doors of thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bosom. Micah 7:5
I have nothing whatsoever to do with any of the perversion versions. The seven times purified King Jesus (King James) Bible is good enough for me. Should be good enough for anyone.
Seconded here. When I first became a Christian, I had lots of difficulties with the KJV. I wasn’t used to those old English expressions. Over time however, I came to appreciate them. I use KJV almost exclusively now; I only consult the other versions occasionally to see how they render some specific passages.
Whenever I read passages from anything other than the KJV they always strikes me much as if some hack had had the temerity to improve boldly on Shakespeare (or if your prefer Shelton’s 1612 translation of The Quixote). Even if the KJV at times uses for our modern sensibilities an unhelpful word or two, the ever burgeoning post-KJV versions are all translations too far. God is an Englishman; at least in the KJV he gives a most passable impression of being one and in God’s own country women desire their husbands.
“Marriage IS a bad deal for men. Jesus states this in Matthew 19:10-12.”
The apostles certainly seemed to think that that could be the case, but Jesus seems to be referring to a subset of all men in v11. The general case is in Genesis 2:18 “It is not good for the man to be alone…” and other places.
In a larger theological sense Christian theological sense marriage is a re-telling of the Gospel with man in the role of Christ and woman in the role of the Church. One can certainly argue that Christ would be better off without the church, but it seems clear to me that the actual Christ who died for the Church is much superior to a theoretical selfish Jesus who only cares about himself. God is love and needs an object for that love.
@Anonymous – “Women are not monogamous in the long run. Only in the short run, and even there not really so much.”
It has been my experience that pair bonding comes from women. The good ones will pair bond for life. The bad ones try their hand at hypergamy, but even then their preference tends to be one at a time. She may be searching through lots of men, but she is looking for “the one”.
Men are comfortable with a harem if he can get one, but a woman, even if she is attractive enough to have a harem of men, will tend to pick a favorite.
Women tend to feel that more than one at a time is a deep moral offence. It is so common that it is a stereotype and not really questioned.
Men in Western Civilization may feel that a man with a harem is a moral offence, but I submit that that is an artifact of Western Civilization and acceptance of the feminine view. Historically and geographically this has not always been the case. This can easily be seen in the masculine Bible which fails to rebuke polygamy or refer to it anywhere as a sin if one cares to look with an open mind.
Men in Western Civilization pair bond to fit in with the culture, but it has been my experience that this is not the natural state of men. Sociologically look at the PUA culture for example. Very little monogamy there.
In general woman have a hard time wrapping their brains around how one can love more than one person at the same time. Thus, if a man loves another woman she takes it as proof that he does not love her (because “how can he love both of us?”). Men on the other hand can love women like a parent loves their children (“I love them all equally”).
That is why sociologically polygyny is far more common than polyandry in humans.
I am discussing my experience and generalities. Individuals, of course, can vary widely.
The word in question here is t’shookatecha, often translated ‘your desire’ or ‘your longing.’ It is a word that stems from the root ‘shook,’ from which we get the Hebrew words for ‘market’ or ‘thigh’, also the word for a ‘mass movement of horses or locusts.’
And so the idea behind the most basic meaning of this root word for longing or desire, is a ‘strong movement in a certain direction.’ Thus t’shookah, in this context, is the direction of feeling toward an objective; in other words, a striving or a longing.
I don’t see anything that would indicate she will necessarily act contrary to him to oppose him. Although that doesn’t mean she won’t, but I am not sure this is a proof text that she is destined to. If anything, Adam is chastised for listening to his wife when it was his duty to oppose her concerning the commandment which was first entrusted to him.
As far as the verse in Genesis 4:7 concerning Cain, a close reading is critical and is helpful in elucidating the meaning of the Genesis 3”16 verse, but not in the way the translators of the ESV are thinking.
According to a number of Jewish commentators, the Hebrew word t’shookah does not denote the passion of hostility, but always denotes exalted yearning; the devoted longing of love. For example, “I belong to me beloved, the devoted longing of my love.” (Song of Solomon 7:7) where this same Hebrew word is used.
The meaning (concerning Adam and Eve, man and woman) does not indicate that there is to be a constant state of war between them – as if the woman is lying in wait for her husband to oppose him and act contrary to him, to overcome him …
Rather the sense is of a loving wife, who finds completion of her own existence in submission and devotion to the aspirations and agenda of her husband and in accepting and submitting to his guidance – he shall rule over her. She is not her own. Her will is subsumed by that of another ie. her husband.
In the example with Cain, Cain is being admonished that sensuality does have the power to rule over him and not to underestimate its power. Nevertheless, the Hebrew sense is that it lies quietly at the door and will not enter uninvited. However, the moment he invites it to sit at his table, as it were, it will begin to feel at home with him and eventually become his master.
The Jewish view is that G-d created the power of sensuality, not so that it should control us, but that we should control it. Its whole desire is that you should master it and guide it. Not to suppress or kill it, but rule over it and guide it. That is the purpose and mission.
The idea is that when you master your sensuality, it achieves its purpose, which is why its longing is towards you. The same idea underlies the woman’s desire and longing for her husband, who in turn is to rule over her and guide her.
No human quality is intrinsically good or bad – moral use is a key consideration. The idea is that the relationship between man and sensuality resembles the relationship between husband and wife … sensuality waits at the door and its longing and desire is towards you THAT YOU SHOULD MASTER IT AND GUIDE IT. Sensuality and woman both achieve their purpose through subordination to man … I think the editors or translators of the ESV might want to do a little more homework …
As a Traddie RC, I only accept the Latin Vulgate, which works for me.
Mulieri quoque dixit: Multiplicabo aerumnas tuas, et conceptus tuos: in dolore paries filios, et sub viri potestate eris, et ipse dominabitur tui.
or as the Douay-Rheims translation puts it:
To the woman also he said: I will multiply thy sorrows, and thy conceptions: in sorrow shalt thou bring forth children, and thou shalt be under thy husband’s power, and he shall have dominion over thee.
It’s interesting that the “Luther 1545” Bible at Unbound Bible has the same in German. I assume Luther simply translated the Latin directly to German? “unterworfen sein” meaning subject to:
Und zum Weibe sprach er: Ich will dir viel Schmerzen schaffen, wenn du schwanger wirst; du sollst mit Schmerzen Kinder gebären; und dein Wille soll deinem Mann unterworfen sein, und er soll dein HERR sein.
Later German Bibles use “verlangen” meaning desire. So does the “Jerusalem Bible” which is the translation referred to by Mother Angelica during her TV shows as does the “conservative” RC Ignatius Bible.
ואליו תשוקתך והוא ימשול בך and to him [your man or husband] will be your desire and he will rule over you is not ambiguous.
Excellent example. A man loves women as a parent loves their many children. I really don’t see why its wrong for me to have more than one woman. I should be able to have as many as I can keep.
I would make the point that with women its not about love, but about resources. As women see it, only a man who devotes all his resources to a single woman “loves” her. Women do not like to share.
While it’s true that, as cnystrom62 points out, the Bible does not ever say that polygamy is a sin, I can’t agree that it never rebukes it — at least, not when you consider the New Testament. But first, I’ll talk about the Old Testament, where not only was polygamy not forbidden, there were times when polygamy was required of the Israelites. Specifically, when a woman was widowed yet had no children, and her deceased husband had a surviving brother. In such a case, it was the brother’s duty to marry the widow to provide children for her, which would be considered the children of her deceased husband for legal purposes (including inheriting the family land). There is no mention of whether the deceased’s brother was free of that obligation if he was married. Whether or not he had a wife already, he was obliged to take the widow as his wife (or second wife), and give her children to carry on her first husband’s family line. In fact, in Genesis 38 we see the Lord putting Onan, the son of Judah, to death because he was deliberately avoiding that duty.
However, in the New Testament, when Paul lays out the qualifications for being an elder in the church in 1 Timothy 3:2, one of those requirements is that the elder be “the husband of one wife”. A man who met all the other requirements (mature, sober-minded, and so on), but who had two or three wives, would be barred from serving his church as an elder. While God did not inspire Paul to go into detail about why polygamists were barred from the eldership, we can safely assume that it was because something about polygamy made a man less able to serve his church than another man of similar character who was monogamous. That could be because a man with two or three wives would have two or three times the demands on his attention than the monogamous man would have. My personal opinion, though, is that it’s because polygamy is inherently selfish. Given the fact that men and women are born at a roughly 50-50 ratio, if every man attempted to have just one wife, then in theory everyone could be married. (Assuming that everyone was mature enough, which as we know is a big assumption). But if every man attempted to have two wives (still assuming that every woman was a worthy candidate for marriage), then by simple arithmetic you can tell that not all of them can succeed. The most attractive (richest, most powerful, etc.) men would get multiple wives, and the least attractive men would be left without a spouse*. The effects this has on a society can be most vividly seen today in the Middle East, where Islam (and polygamy) are prevalent: the richest men have four wives, while the young men with no power or wealth to their names usually have no wives — and are usually the ones being recruited for jihadist operations.
But regardless of why Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, forbade polygamists from being elders, the point is that polygamy was something that was inherently disqualifying for serving as an elder in the church. So I can’t agree that the Bible never rebukes it — the New Testament does hold it up as being less good than monogamy, even if it’s not per se sinful.
* And in fact, this is also what happens, minus marriage, in the dating world today: the alphas can sleep with lots of women, and the men who don’t understand how to make themselves attractive will usually go without sex for years.
@Avraham “…and to him [your man or husband] will be your desire…”
If the Hebrew is correct, wouldn’t this imply that the woman craves the man and not that her desire is contrary to the man’s? Even the English translation seems ambiguous to me.
“the richest men have four wives, while the young men with no power or wealth to their names usually have no wives — ”
How many of those women would rather be married to the men with no wealth or power? Women don’t like to share, but they’ll take something over nothing.
How is polygamy any more selfish than a woman not wanting to share her rich husband with another woman?
@Robin – I know during the Roman era, polygamy was prohibited from citizens for legal reasons. Namely, the complexity about property inheritance made polygamy impractical in a legalistic society like Rome.
But, the Hebrews for traditional reasons were exempted from the Roman proscription. Even if not very common at the time, I’m sure a few folks who heard Jesus speak had several wives.
The only other historical fact I read about Jewish polygamy at the time of Jesus was the Essenes of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Their communal/monastic living specifically prohibited polygamy. Whether or not this effected Jesus’s teaching I do not know. At least Luther found not evidence against polygamy in the OT or NT.
About this “pair bonding” we hear so much about.
You boys get an either-or choice here. Either it’s perfectly legitimate for men to have sex with prostitutes (that would include you husbands) OR a virgin woman is married with the act of giving a man her virginity. The meaning of the words is pretty simple. The Hebrew word “dabaq” as used in Genesis 2:24 was translated as the Greek word “kollao” when Jesus quoted Genesis 2:24 in Matthew 19:5. In 1st Corinthians 6:16, the word “kollao” was used to mean sexual intercourse within the context of Genesis 2:24 and the Apostle Paul quoted half of Genesis 2:24. It’s a simple equation. A=B and B=C so A=C.
The implications should be obvious, but I’ll spell it out. Paul was quite specific in forbidding Christian men from having sex with prostitutes, but most do not realize that prohibition is the ONLY one in all of Scripture. And what does Romans 4:15 and 5:13 say? If there is no law forbidding something, there can be no violation and thus no sin is imputed.
The traditional doctrine that is taught is that the part about “becoming one flesh” is when the sex takes place. Wrong. Paul explains in Ephesians 5:28-32 that the joining as ‘one flesh’ in Genesis 2:24 is a spiritual joining that God does, the same as the spiritual joining that makes a Christian ‘one body’ with Christ. Paul says it’s a great mystery. Jesus explained in Matthew 19:6 (after quoting Genesis 2:24) that God joined the two together. With all that in mind, Genesis 2:24 should be understood to say:
“For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall have sexual intercourse with his wife and God shall join the two as one flesh.”
Which clearly means that when an eligible virgin has sex the first time, the blood is shed and the covenant is initiated and God joins the two as one flesh. That means that any man who had a wedding ceremony with a woman who was not a virgin was joining himself to another man’s wife. How does one expect an adulterous union to last? God is not mocked. Given the statistics, at least 80% of the couples in the church are living together in adultery.
The worst part is that God provided a way out (Numbers 30:5) and the father could take care of the problem with seven words.
I see this as the way of Baalam. Why is the church so ineffective? Because it’s chock-full of adultery and immorality.
@AT “The implications should be obvious, but I’ll spell it out. Paul was quite specific in forbidding Christian men from having sex with prostitutes, but most do not realize that prohibition is the ONLY one in all of Scripture.”
I’m pretty sure St. Paul was talking specifically about temple/pagan prostitutes of Corinth at the time for several reasons:
1. Corinth was the Las Vegas of the Greek world. It was the center of Aphrodite worships, and all the pleasures that come from that pagan religious worship.
2. Immediately after discussing this prohibition, St. Paul discusses food that can/can not be eaten after being dedicated to other gods. This goes hand in hand with being with women for the purpose of the worship of other gods/goddesses.
3. As you mentioned with the sin of Baalam, the big no-no in the OT was being lured away from one’s Jewish faith by loose women. Remember what happened to the men who laid with the Moabites.
These reasons are why St. Paul was upset with the Corinthians who believed they could get away with going to pagan festivals and being with prostitutes their as worship. As a Christian, Jesus owns your body. Don’t use it to worship other pagan gods/goddesses in sexual congress.
Remember sexual immorality (fornication) pretty much meant the same thing in Jewish, Christian, and most other religions in civilization. DON’T BANG SOMEONE ELSES WOMAN! This prohibition could mean one’s wife or one’s daughter before being married off to someone else. Single men banging non-temple fallen women was pretty low down the chart of serious sins.
Is Damn Crackers using sock puppets? Every time he shows up, he seems to have a cheerleader or two in tow. And then AT comes along to flog the same old bishop, too? What’s going on?
News flash: the only reason you support polygamy is because you expect to be one of the few men who will benefit. It’s that simple. Fear God and zip your pants already.
Transgender “woman” (i.e., a man) wins “women cycling” competition: http://dailycaller.com/2016/11/22/its-absolutely-huge-biological-male-dominates-womens-cycling-competition/
A 36-year-old biological male dominated the women’s division of the El Tour de Tucson last weekend, an annual cycling competition in Arizona that attracts thousands of amateur and professional cyclists….
Bearden’s victory is just the latest example of what critics say is an unfair advantage biological men have when competing in women’s athletic events.
In June, Alaskan high school girls felt cheated after teenage male Nattaphon Wangyot took home all-state honors in girls’ track and field. Wangyot identified as a transgender teenage girl.
“I’m glad that this person is comfortable with who they are and they’re able to be happy in who they are, but I don’t think it’s competitively completely 100-percent fair,” one of Wangyot’s defeated female competitors said at the time.
The International Olympics Committee recently changed its ruled to allow biological men to compete as women without first undergoing a sex-change operation.
I love this. Trans “women” will destroy women’s sports. Leftist gender ideology consuming itself with its own contradictions.
@Gunner Q – “Is Damn Crackers using sock puppets? Every time he shows up, he seems to have a cheerleader or two in tow.”
You flatter me. Maybe people like what I’m discussing.
Look, I’m just bringing up historical facts. If a learned theologian here can dispute anything I wrote, I’d love to hear a good argument. Maybe it would change my mind about a few things. That’s why we’re here, to learn.
Leiff: How is polygamy any more selfish than a woman not wanting to share her rich husband with another woman?
Whether it’s more or less selfish is irrelevant. Under Christian morality (i.e., God’s law) it’s one wife to every man. Period. End of discussion.
I love this. Trans “women” will destroy women’s sports.
Yes. Plus, it makes all manginas and whiteknight apoplectic.
Once this goes to international sporting events like the Olympics, then chaos ensues, because most countries are still way too conservative to accept ‘trans’ people, and will not like it if their women are beaten up by Western men in women’s sporting events.
I actually agree wholeheartedly with cnystrom and damn crackers regarding polygamy. If we use the scriptures as our standard and take off the cultural lens, it’s clear there is no prohibition. God himself uses polygamy as an analogy to describe his relationship with his people on several occasions (Ezekiel 23, Jeremiah 31). In Genesis 30 God rewards Leah for giving her husband another wife. There are many other examples.
Whether or not polygamy is practical in this day in age is a separate question from whether or not it is moral. Clearly it is NOT immoral. God would not describe himself engaging in immoral acts. The patriarchs had multiple wives and concubines with no rebuke from God. Solomon was rebuked, but that was because he was hoarding wives and marrying foreigners, not because of polygamy itself (1 Kings 11).
@Robin: Paul’s statement that elders should be the husband of “one wife” does not necessarily pertain to polygamy. A solid argument can be made that he is concerned with prohibiting divorced men from being elders. Polygamy was very rare in Paul’s time, while divorce was a problem. Also, there is a direct parallel in 1 Timothy 5:9 where widows supported by the church must be “wife of one husband.” Seems highly doubtful here that Paul is concerned about polyandry. Main concern is divorce.
@ Artisinal Toad: I’ve read some stuff on your blog and I have a difficult time understanding your arguments about prostitution. I think I agree with you that sex with a virgin is an act of marriage. So, if a man has sex with a prostitute, he is technically committing adultery with another man’s wife, the man she originally lost her virginity to. So, even though there is no explicit prohibition against sex with prostitutes, by your own logic it would be an act of adultery.
In other news :
From Instapundit : White Nationalist conference only gathers 200 individuals. Note that both Instapundit and National Review both call them ‘losers’.
Of course, 99% were male.
Heh heh heh heh
BTW, I am not a proponent of polygamy. I am just stating that many have gone through the texts and found no proscription against it.
@Anonymous – “Women are not monogamous in the long run. Only in the short run, and even there not really so much.”
It has been my experience that pair bonding comes from women.
Your experience is narrow.
The good ones will pair bond for life.
What is the current divorce rate? What percentage of divorces in the US are filed by women? You can find these facts right here on this blog if you look carefully. The myth of the “good woman” is just that, a myth. You appear to be somewhere on the Madonna – whore pedestalization spectrum, pretty common in tradcons and socons, but reality doesn’t care.
The bad ones try their hand at hypergamy, but even then their preference tends to be one at a time.
All women are hypergamous. All of them. Yes, their preference is for serial “monogamy”, however that isn’t really monogamy, is it? It’s actually polyandry. Sure, some women even now marry one-and-done, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t spend time looking, or sampling the carousel.
She may be searching through lots of men, but she is looking for “the one”.
She’s searching for the biggest Alpha she can find, but will in time settle for a beta. What happens after that is also fairly well documented on this blog.
Suggest you sit down and read through the book of Proverbs. Write down every single quote that refers to women. Not just 31, all of them.
In Bible terms, the sins of Adam are not the same as the sins of Eve.
The sins of Adam are different from the sins of Eve, but that doesn’t make her sinless, no matter how hard and loud equalitarians and pedestalzing, woman-worshipping TradCons screech otherwise.
In answer to the question that one person asked me: The simple explanation of the verse is ואליו תשוקתך to him will be your desire has no implication of being against him. Rather it means the desire of the wife will be towards her husband. אליו to him is used thousands if times in the OT and it always means “towards him,” never “against him.” This is not a matter of doubt.
Note that both Instapundit and National Review both call them ‘losers’.
National Review, in particular, certainly should recognize “losers” when they see them. Birds of a feather, and all…
National Review, in particular, certainly should recognize “losers” when they see them. Birds of a feather, and all…
Yes. They are cuckservatives. Only WNs and shitlibs rank below them.
Still, when the third lowest form of life makes fun of the second lowest, that is valid nonetheless..
By making the claim that 1st Cor. 6:16 applied to cult prostitution (Paul didn’t specify) you are explicitly making the claim that sex with ordinary money-for-sex prostitutes is licit and moral. Amazing.
The word “immoral” is defined as something that is contrary to God’s Law. We know that immorality is sin and Romans 4:15 and 5:13 specifically states that were there is no law there can be no violation and without a violation no sin is imputed. There is no prohibition anywhere in the Law against using prostitutes, so in general the use of prostitutes is not immoral. The only prohibition on prostitution is the Deut. 23:17 prohibition on cult prostitution, so the use of prostitutes by a Christian man is a violation of the Lord’s command not to do so.
In 1st Cor. 6:15-16, was Paul adding to the Law in violation of Deut. 4:2 and 12:32? No, it was a specific regulation and the prohibition applies only to Christian men. As their Master, Christ can place restrictions on the behavior of His bondservants. Another example is that Moses allowed men to divorce their wives for adultery (Deut. 24:1). Christ forbid it (1st Cor. 7:10-11). .
The original point was that Genesis 3:16 says what it means and means what it says. Modern churchians simply don’t understand it so they’ve convinced the Bible editors to change the translation. Because feminism.
The only prohibition on prostitution is the Deut. 23:17 prohibition on cult prostitution, so the use of prostitutes by a Christian man is a violation of the Lord’s command not to do so.
“The only prohibition on prostitution is the Deut. 23:17 prohibition on cult prostitution. In the NT we have one prohibition at 1st Cor. 6:15-16, so the use of prostitutes by a Christian man is a violation of the Lord’s command not to do so, not a violation of the Law.”
Once again Artisanal Toad slithers onto this blog to repeat his lies and justify his various false teachings. He really is adept at weaving in false doctrines from his old posts into whatever the new topic is about(The no divorce ever lie – despite Matt. 5, 19, certain situations where extramarital sex is no sin – too many passages to quote, etc.).
So now I must remind everyone reading this who doesn’t know his routine that AT is a liar, a heretic and a demonic false teacher.
Here’s the list of AT’s heresies with links directly to his comments.
AT has falsely claimed in the past that:
1) The Pharisees were “in authority” over Jesus. https://dalrock.wordpress.com/2016/01/06/a-fresh-start-for-naghmeh/#comment-198646
“In Matthew 19, Jesus, the man in His earthly ministry, is speaking to the Pharisees who are in authority over Him (c.f. Matthew 23:1-3). In 1st Corinthians 7, Christ the Risen Lord is speaking to His servants in the church, speaking in authority as their Master.”
2) Deuteronomy was just a “judicial ruling” and not the command of God(good for him if he changed his mind on this). https://shammahworm.wordpress.com/2014/05/22/yes-there-is-biblical-divorce-and-remarriage/#comment-4
3) Lesbianism is biblical if it’s between two women married to the same man. https://web.archive.org/web/20150919153953/https://artisanaltoadshall.wordpress.com/
Matthew 19: 4-5 shows why lesbianism IN ANY FORM is sin.
4) AT claims some forms of premarital sex aren’t sin. This is false for the reasons stated in the thread and other reasons which I don’t have enough energy to quantify. 1 Corinthians 7: 8-9 is one such scripture. https://dalrock.wordpress.com/2016/01/06/a-fresh-start-for-naghmeh/#comment-198567
>The general case is in Genesis 2:18 “It is not good for the man to be alone…” and other places.
Nope. Gen 2:18 says exactly what you wrote: “It is not good for the man to be alone”. At the time God said this, the man was…. alone. That is not the case for 99.99% of men now. We have friends. We do not need a wife for the purpose of avoiding loneliness. Further, if you read 1 Cor 7, you will find that 4 times (or is it 3; I think 4) the Bible states in just that one chapter that it is better to not marry. “So then he that giveth her in marriage doeth well; but he that giveth her not in marriage doeth better.” (KJV for all the KJV fans out here tonight).
To get back to the OP: In addition, the last half of Gen 2:18 is “I will make a helper suitable for him.” This is another passage that shows that there was no authority “equality” in Eden. God made her as a helper for the man; she was to help Adam in his tasks/agenda/goals.
Of course, a feminist viper does not qualify as a “helper suitable for him” in my mind.
>look at the PUA culture for example. Very little monogamy there.
Looking at the PUA group, and making generalizations about the monogamous inclinations of men as a group is very unwise. You repeat the same mistake Kinsey made in the 1940s/1950s when he interviewed women about their sexual preferences. Mostly prostitutes and similar women were willing to discuss such a private subject with a stranger; most moral women would not. Would you agree that we should judge all women from the attitudes/actions of prostitutes? Although, since most brides today are not virgins, I suppose I should admit the comparison is valid to a certain extent.
Rabbi B: Thanks for your post.
Avraham rosenblum: ditto
>Another example is that Moses allowed men to divorce their wives for adultery (Deut. 24:1). Christ forbid it (1st Cor. 7:10-11).
Your provided example is put together for us in one passage, in Matt 5:31-32. From Matt 5:21-42, Christ gives 5 examples of adding to the OT law, including your example. I think this is rather interesting, for those that content we can ignore God’s commands from the OT, that Christ explicitly states that he does not abolish the law and the prophets (Matt 5:17-20) and then immediately gives 5 examples of not abolishing the OT law but strengthening it / increasing it.
Where did God ever encourage polygamy? Even the best of His servants did bad things. I believe those are never noted in Joseph and Daniel, but even those two were human and thus made mistakes.
Jesus words about marriage were that it was one man and one woman for life, whatever the provisions for human stupidity.
I would agree with Gunner Q that this is really just an excuse for men to justify their actions.
For all those who think Polygyny is good for civilization I recommend this read:
Civilization only reaches its pinnacle under monogamy.
Among the Persians
The virile Medes, after living a frugal life in the mountains,
fell down upon Assyria. Indulgence through polygyny and concubinage
sapped their energy, and in four or five generations they gave way to the
Persians, who conquered all the peoples which had been subject to the
Assyrians end founded the great Persian Empire. But they had no culture
of their own, their wives captured in war made them an indulgent people,
and by the time they enter history they are polygynous. They were
defeated so soon as they came up against an absolutely monogamous people.
Alexander did not have to fight very much to gain possession of all their
Tacitus describes their marriage customs:
“Their marriage code is strict. They are content
with one wife, except a very few of them, and these
not from sensuality but because their noble birth
procures for them many offers of alliance. The wife
does not bring a dower to the husband but the husband
to the wife They live uncorrupted. Clandestine
correspondence is equally unknown to men and women.
Very rare is their adultery the punishment for which
is prompt and in the husband’s power. The loss of
chastity meets with no indulgence; neither beauty,
youth nor wealth will procure for the culprit a
husband. Wo one in Germany laughs at vice, nor do
they call it the fashion to corrupt or to be corrupted*
Only maidens are given in marriage; they receive one
husband, as having one body and one life, that they
may have no thoughts beyond, no further reaching
desires, that they love not so much the husband as
the married state.” ^
These absolutely monogamous Germans swept over the Western
Empire, and upon them the white civilization was founded. We next
follow the course of history through its hitherto leading nation,
I know someone always takes things into the Polygamy route in these discussions, but I’ll use a different tactic.
Genocide isn’t a Sin; it doesn’t mean it should be practiced as a regular event.
“By making the claim that 1st Cor. 6:16 applied to cult prostitution (Paul didn’t specify) you are explicitly making the claim that sex with ordinary money-for-sex prostitutes is licit and moral. Amazing.”
I never implied anything of the sort. If you actually read what I said, I stated, “Single men banging non-temple fallen women was pretty low down the chart of serious sins.”
I am not saying it isn’t sinful, just as it’s sinful to have sex with a menstruating woman (yup, read the OT). But, some sins are greater than others. Remember what St. Augustine and later what St. Thomas said about prostitutes:
‘If you do away with harlots, the world will be convulsed with lust.’ De ordine, 2.4
Also, remember what Peter said about Paul:
He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction. – 2 Peter 3:16
So, be careful about what Paul lays down as commandments to all Christians.
Since it was explicitly commanded by God for a particular time and place in order to keep Israelite religion pure by removing all trace of spiritual contamination although with 400 years advance warning and chance to flee. Along with possibly removing the last vestiges of genetic contamination of the “sons of god” who impregnated the daughters of men as shown in Genesis.
It is otherwise nothing but mass murder since God will not have explicitly ordered it ever again among men.
Its therefore sinful ever since the closing of revelation by Malachi.
Damn Crackers @ November 23, 2016 at 10:24 am:
“You flatter me. Maybe people like what I’m discussing.”
I was hoping this topic wouldn’t have to be re-addressed regularly. Why couldn’t you have been pranking us?
The Biblical case against polygamy is simple. Wives are the only source of moral sex for men. Therefore, institutional hoarding of wives deprives most men of moral sex, forcing them to choose between starvation and immoral sex. This is obviously cruel so monogamy is the correct standard, which 1 Corinthians 7:2 calls for anyway.
Why is polygamy not specifically outlawed? Because doing so would force a polygamist unbeliever wishing to convert to divorce all but one of his wives for reasons other than adultery. God will never put us in the position of needing to disobey Him in order to obey Him. But that should not be taken as an endorsement of polygamy. God also permits licking the electric fence.
>God also permits licking the electric fence.
Ha ha 🙂 1 Cor 6:12: Everything is permissible for me, but not everything is beneficial.
One of my uncles apparently urinated on an electric fence when a young boy. Only the one time however. Due no doubt to the sexist, male-superior grasp of cause and effect.
I have often come across a passage cited by those in the pro-polygamy side when God talks to David about giving Sauls possessions into his hand including his wives that if he wanted he would have given him more. (2 Samuel 12:8)
that if it were such a thing is bad why would such a thing be even be a gift of God.
This is in ignorance of the fact of course that the Bible even in the OT tends away from polygamy even if it were permitted. Not to mention the mathematics that you have shown above in your argument.
The alternative was David taking someone else’s wife. More wives is only good in relation to that. It doesn’t make it a desirable goal. Note that God just said He would have done that, but He did not do that, so those using it in favor of polygamy need to expand their scope.
I find it humorous to have academic conversations about the sinfulness of Genocide. 🙂
Happy Thanksgiving everyone.
My father is an Old Testament theologian, fluent in Hebrew, Greek, and Arabic; retired now at age 80, but who taught for many years as a college professor in OT. He is long time friends and colleagues with J.I. Packer and when I pointed him to this post responded with an analysis that I think you might find interesting . He gave me his permission to share it with you but I can’t find a direct email link. Could you contact me with an email? My information is heresolongatgmaildotcom.
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1. Let A = B and B = C (therefore, A = C)
If the Bible says only that A is sin and makes no mention of C, can we do C and claim it is OK because the Bible does not prohibit it? That is the (il)logic on full display in many comments.
2. If the Bible says “this, and only this” is permissible – then any instances of “not this” are not permissible. The Bible does not need to mention all possible “not this'” in order for them to be prohibited. It only needs to say “this only”.
3. Genesis 2:24 is God’s “law” for marriage – according to AT. Does this law of marriage apply to saint and sinner alike? If “yes”, then see Point 4. If “no”, then AT needs to make it more clear in his comments that not every first-time p in v creates a marriage. Perhaps AT has made this distinction somewhere and I just haven’t seen it.
4. You have to have created a relationship of which God says “let not man put assunder” before you come under God’s condemnation for putting that relationship assunder through divorce.
So – I’ve asked here and elsewhere on other occasions “what creates a union of which God says ‘what I (God) have joined together, let not man put assunder’?”. AT responds by pointing me to his three-step process of what needs to happen to create a marriage.
Read what he says at the following link, second paragraph:
In the main, I agree with AT’s three-step process as the answer to my question. Except that AT’s third step consists of God joining together the two parties who have performed the first two steps. But that is exactly my question. AT’s three-step process answers my question only if we accept that God will join himself together in covenant bondage with two other people who reject outright God’s claim on their lives. Does God join in covenant relationships with the not redeemed? If he does not, then my question more specifically becomes, “under what conditions does God perform the ‘joining together’ referred to in AT’s three-step process of what creates a marriage?” What must happen before God will perform AT’s Step Three? Does any old p in v for the first time create a marriage of which God says “let not man put assunder”? Or is something more required before God will say “let not man put assunder”. Does God join in covenant bondage with those who reject his claim on their lives?
5. If, according to AT’s definition of Genesis 2:24, any woman is automatically married to the first man she has sex with – then all who have sex with her later are causing her to commit adultry. So – any man who has sex with a prostitute is causing her to commit adultry. And God is OK with that? Doesn’t God prohibit someone from causing another to commit adultry? See Leviticus 20:10 and Deuteronomy 22:22.
6. Do you expect to see King David in Heaven? Did King David have more than one wife simultaneously? Is there anybody else you expect to see in Heaven that had two or more wives at the same time? Did any of those men you expect to see in Heaven have sex with their concubines – women who were not their wives? (e.g., Jacob; David; Solomon; Abraham, etc.)
7. It is useful to consider whether an activity is advisable, even tho it is permissible. It is not useful to argue spiritually over stuff that won’t keep us out of Heaven if we do it. The issue of multiple wives seems to fit into this category. If King David and Jacob and Solomon and Abraham and others are not refused entrance to heaven because they had multiple wives and/or concubines, then neither will you be refused entrance because of that issue. There cannot be any Bible-based argument over that. But – that doesn’t mean it is a good idea to aspire to in this society.
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This used to common knowledge. From Mother Goose (dating to mis 1700s)
The Hart he loves the high wood
The hare he loves the hill
The knight he loves his bright sword
The lady loves – her will!
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