Is Gen. 29 a modern love story?

Note:  This began as a discussion in the comments section of Riding to Lancelot’s rescue, but it seems worthy of making into a quick post.

Commenter Kevin asks:

I agree that the obsession with romantic love is absurd. But I continue to be confused by the connection between our bizarre expectations and courtly love. Is Dalrock arguing that there was no concept of love or romance prior to courtly love? Or that courtly love was the beginning of the perversion?

Genesis 29 seems to be a love story. The concept of love and romance both licit and illicit is ancient.

There has always existed an emotional aspect of sexual desire/passion. What is novel is our focus on separating the emotional from the physical and declaring the emotional aspect pure, purifying, and holy. As C.S. Lewis explains, we struggle to even imagine how this was viewed prior to the transformation of courtly love. Gen. 29 is a great example of this (NIV version):

16 Now Laban had two daughters; the name of the older was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. 17 Leah had weak[a] eyes, but Rachel had a lovely figure and was beautiful. 18 Jacob was in love with Rachel and said, “I’ll work for you seven years in return for your younger daughter Rachel.”

19 Laban said, “It’s better that I give her to you than to some other man. Stay here with me.” 20 So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her.

21 Then Jacob said to Laban, “Give me my wife. My time is completed, and I want to make love to her.

As Kevin points out, in our minds this is a modern love story, a romance. How could it possibly be anything else? We simply can’t imagine otherwise.

But take a look at the original Hebrew and how our translations cover it. I’m not trying to create the “correct” biblical interpretation*, but pointing out the different frame of mind of the Hebrew words vs the massive baggage we have in English about romantic love. Here is an example of how the passage would read choosing just three different English words:

16 Now Laban had two daughters; the name of the older was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. 17 Leah had weak[a] eyes, but Rachel had a lovely figure and was beautiful. 18 Jacob liked Rachel and said, “I’ll work for you seven years in return for your younger daughter Rachel.”

19 Laban said, “It’s better that I give her to you than to some other man. Stay here with me.” 20 So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his sexual desire for her.

21 Then Jacob said to Laban, “Give me my wife. My time is completed, and I want to go into her.

Cane Caldo pointed out that Jacob’s “love” for Rachel is not the sentimental, purifying true love of modern love tales:

1. Jacob loved Rachel because she was beautiful. He wasn’t “captivated by her inner beauty”. He didn’t “love her for who she was”. He wanted her to be his, and to have sex with her. Compare this to Dalrock’s post “Like a rutting buck”.

Indeed. So much so that Jacob didn’t realize he had spent the night having sex with the wrong sister until the next morning!

21 And Jacob said unto Laban, Give me my wife, for my days are fulfilled, that I may go in unto her.

22 And Laban gathered together all the men of the place, and made a feast.

23 And it came to pass in the evening, that he took Leah his daughter, and brought her to him; and he went in unto her.

24 And Laban gave unto his daughter Leah Zilpah his maid for an handmaid.

25 And it came to pass, that in the morning, behold, it was Leah: and he said to Laban, What is this thou hast done unto me? did not I serve with thee for Rachel? wherefore then hast thou beguiled me?

Moreover, as Cane also points out, we are never told that Rachel had any romantic or sexual feelings toward Jacob;  Jacob never “wins her heart”. Contrast this with 1 Sam 18 where we learn that Michal was in love with David:

 20 Now Saul’s daughter Michal was in love with David, and when they told Saul about it, he was pleased. 21 “I will give her to him,” he thought, “so that she may be a snare to him and so that the hand of the Philistines may be against him.”

Jacob offers to work for Rachel’s father for seven years, and her father replies that he may as well give her to Jacob instead of some other man:

19 Laban said, “It’s better that I give her to you than to some other man. Stay here with me.”

And yet, as Lewis explains, the legacy of the courtly love revolution means that we can’t read stories like Gen 29 in any other way than as a “love story”.

This is not to say that Jacob had no emotional feelings for Rachel.  If he didn’t have strong emotional feelings for her before the wedding he certainly had them by the time of her death.  But the story of their “courtship” is anything but romantic, and the description of Jacob wanting to marry her so he could have sex with her is about as straightforward as it could be.  There is also not even an inkling of the idea that romantic love is pure or sanctifying in this story.  But the legacy of courtly love hovers over us like a supermassive black hole, warping everything relating to sex and marriage with a nearly irresistible force in our minds.  We just don’t notice it because from our perspective it has always been there.

*Just as everyone with access to an acetylene torch is tempted to fancy themselves a welder, everyone with access to Strongs is tempted to see themselves as a scholar of Hebrew.  For the record, I am neither a welder nor a scholar of Hebrew.  My point is not to offer the correct interpretation/translation of the passage, but to give a sense of the immense baggage the words have in English.

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136 Responses to Is Gen. 29 a modern love story?

  1. Pingback: Is Gen. 29 a modern love story? | @the_arv

  2. theasdgamer says:

    Yeah, romantic love as found in the Song of Solomon wasn’t invented until long after Jacob’s time. “But I have this against you, that you have left your first love.” Nah, that couldn’t have been romantic. It was about rutting or something. Feewings…

  3. Ironsides says:

    The question is here: is romantic love an actual emotion?

    If it is, then the troubadours could not invent it. No fashion can create or destroy an emotion; it’s programmed in and MUST be there, if it’s real. For example, we can look to the open-borders globalists. They claim to have no ethnic hatred, but in fact, the powerful survival instinct known as “tribalism” cannot be removed from their brains. All they do is redirect it against their own tribe, against which they direct the fury, hatred, and venom people generally direct at the enemies of their tribe rather than their tribe itself. They can’t get rid of the emotions and instincts, they simply redirect them in an abnormal, destructive manner — a literal perversion.

    Mind you, I think that you’re mostly correct. Love is a separate emotion from sexual desire; people love their parents, children, siblings, pets, etc.

    However, one can sort of see where the idea of romantic love came from. As you point out, Jacob obviously viewed Rachel as a lot more than a set of genitals later in life, since he put up a memorial pillar to her, grieved by her death.

    It’s perhaps not surprising that the troubadours, observing people who had both love AND sexual desire for another person, should conflate the two.

  4. SkylerWurden says:

    Of course romantic love is a real feeling. You are missing the point of its perceived value as an emotion above any other. Nowadays we see romantic love as the purest love and any love as the highest emotion, and best emotion. There is some Biblical reasoning for the latter, but not for the former.

  5. SkylerWurden says:

    Lewis and D are recognizing the evolution of our perception of this emotion. Anything is justifiable in the name of (romantic) love. Think about how many women (and men) in today’s society would agree with that. Now think about 3000 years ago.

  6. Isidore the Farmer says:

    Lewis and you are correct. But, demonstrating that this shift occurred is not enough. Nor is making a persuasive case that the ancients had a superior model of the world in this regard (arguable even once a reader admits Lewis is correct.)

    One reason is that there have been periods, even fairly recently, of stable marriage culture under the romance paradigm. This makes the cause / effect argument implied by your posts more difficult. In other words, it would seem, given the long timeframes under which both mental models have played out, that good and bad marriage cultures can exist under each. Which raises the further question of why this point is so critical in the present context.

    Really enjoy your work on the blog.

  7. David Warner says:

    If you weld, you’re a welder.

    If you have the courage to see the nose in front of your face when the professional scholars fail to, then it is you who are the true scholar.

  8. The Question says:

    I would be hard pressed to find any of those OT stories “romantic” by our modern definition. Judah and Tamar’s story would be more fitting for an episode of Jerry Springer.

    It’s funny how modern culture considers of romantic love as the “only” kind of love or the only appropriate way to express affection. One wonders how in centuries before many couples who loved each other deeply did so in a way we would find utterly unromantic and strange.

    For all his faults, Mark Dricsoll’s one redeeming quality is that he pointed out the happy marriage between Martin Luther and Catherine Von Bora and how it didn’t meet any of our modern expectations for a successful relationship. Luther married her for the most unromantic of reasons – to spite the Devil. He also didn’t consider he that physically attractive. But their marriage was by all accounts a joyful one.

    I would say that many, too many, Western Christians believe romance is an essential quality of any man a woman might marry, and would have no problem telling a girl to not marry a man they deemed insufficiently romantic.

  9. Ron says:

    Also keep in mind that Jacob worked seven years without pay simply to marry Rachel. Its not as if there werent any other women on the planet. But as far as he was concerned, there wrrent any other women fit to raise children with. The proof is, that after being given Leah, he was annoyed when he realozed the next morning. That is, sexually he was fulfilled, because he couldnt tell the difference at night, the next day, when he realized he had been deceived, he was cross and demanded Laban live up to his agreement.

    Despits all that, I agree with Dalrocks interpretation of the Hebrew, but wiht an important caveat. The prophet was not under the control of his desire, he was using that desire to achieve his aim. And this is a very difficult thing. Most people think they are in control, lr being logical, when really it is a case of “a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise”. In this case, the man had developed himself to the point where he was in a state of total self control, such that he could harness his own desire to work seven years straight for the purpose of marrying a girl who had the objective qualities of what he consciously determined were optimal in both a wofe and a mother,

    Most people are totally incapable of that, which is why the pre romance era of your parents arranging your marriage worked better.

  10. Spike says:

    I remember hearing a sermon about ”love”. Apparently, the speaker said, ”love” was so complex that the ancient Greeks had six words for it. Three were found in the Bible. Those were ”phileos” – brotherly love ”agape” – the love God had for man, and ”eros”- sexual love.
    I found the first two quite easily, but the third took a long time to track down. It is presumed that the Greek translation of Son of Songs contains the word ”eros” in the phrase, ”For I am sick with love (Song of Solomon, 2:5)”.
    The Bible does not emphasize romance. It emphasizes the love God has for His creation. When it comes to human relationships, there are only two states: married or single.
    In turn, this implies that marriage is a strictly policed and regulated affair, a partnership of man and woman of which sex is in the contract and granted – as a property right. The husband owns his wife’s sexuality (not her person), which he pays for by looking after her. Fair enough.

  11. Ben Sake says:

    Gen. 24 is the real romance story, especially at verse 67:

    “And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her: and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.”

    No wedding party. No wedding cake. No bridesmaids (there is a bestman though, who apparently did a fantastic job). Issac simply looked at her (didn’t even ask questions) took her into his tent, banged her, then: wife.

  12. Cane Caldo says:

    One other point I’d emphasize (I may have before, but can’t recall) is that Jacob had to impress Laban; not Rachel. That’s anti-romantic in our run-away-love world.

  13. Pingback: Is Gen. 29 a modern love story? | Reaction Times

  14. Don Quixote says:

    The similar argument could be made for the gospel itself. If you follow the chronological order:
    1) God had a secret plan to eradicate sin. [And get a bride for His Son]
    2) God set His plan in motion with creation, and allowing Adam and Eve to sin.
    3) At the right time God sent His secret weapon. [Sent His Son to die for His bride]
    4) Paid for her redemption in full, despite the fact that she was/is a bitch.
    5) Gave the promise of eternal ‘marriage’ [Christ as husband, church as wife].
    6) Sent the Holy Spirit as engagement present and surety for the deal.

    Does anyone know the following hymn:

    1. The church’s one foundation
    is Jesus Christ her Lord;
    she is his new creation
    by water and the Word.
    From heaven he came and sought her
    to be his holy bride;
    with his own blood he bought her,
    and for her life he died.

    2. Elect from every nation,
    yet one o’er all the earth;
    her charter of salvation,
    one Lord, one faith, one birth;
    one holy name she blesses,
    partakes one holy food,
    and to one hope she presses,
    with every grace endued.

    3. Though with a scornful wonder
    we see her sore oppressed,
    by schisms rent asunder,
    by heresies distressed,
    yet saints their watch are keeping;
    their cry goes up, “How long?”
    And soon the night of weeping
    shall be the morn of song.

    4. Mid toil and tribulation,
    and tumult of her war,
    she waits the consummation
    of peace forevermore;
    till, with the vision glorious,
    her longing eyes are blest,
    and the great church victorious
    shall be the church at rest.

    5. Yet she on earth hath union
    with God the Three in One,
    and mystic sweet communion
    with those whose rest is won.
    O happy ones and holy!
    Lord, give us grace that we
    like them, the meek and lowly,
    on high may dwell with thee.

  15. PeterW. says:

    I’m wondering if a better term for Jacob’s desire for Rachel wasn’t “infatuation”.

    I don’t view Rachel through rose-tinted glasses.
    We are introduced to her as a wilful young women taking on a job that she can’t actually do (watering your stock is as basic a competency as there is for a shepherd, but she can’t do it without help). This wilfulness seems to attract Jacob, who seems to have instinctively been something of a mama’s-boy, until forced to leave home by his brother’s hostility.

    When finally married to Jacob, she – as mentioned – introduced false gods into his household, caused most of the marital dissection in the family, and was the first to argue that Jacob should fornicate with his wife’s servant in order to have additional children.

    Had Jacob contented himself with the situation in which he found himself, with Leah, God’s purpose would still have been fulfilled through Judah (or Reuben, had he not followed his father’s example of fornicating with a servant.

    Worth considering the comparison between the “love” that seems more like an infatuation, generally sparked by a very shallow attraction, rather than a deep knowledge of character and shared experience. (Jacob’s example being of the former and Martin Luther’s being of the latter). Romantic love appears to be a sanctification of the former, the belief that this immediate attraction that is closely related to lust and covetousness, is the most important of emotions.

    The love that lasts is based on knowledge, understanding, sharing and commitment.

  16. Oscar says:

    @ PeterW. says:
    March 21, 2017 at 6:23 am

    “We are introduced to her as a wilful young women taking on a job that she can’t actually do (watering your stock is as basic a competency as there is for a shepherd, but she can’t do it without help).”

    That’s not quite right. Let’s look at the story.

    Gen 29:2 As he looked, he saw a well in the field, and behold, three flocks of sheep lying beside it, for out of that well the flocks were watered. The stone on the well’s mouth was large, 3 and when all the flocks were gathered there, the shepherds would roll the stone from the mouth of the well and water the sheep, and put the stone back in its place over the mouth of the well.

    4 Jacob said to them, “My brothers, where do you come from?” They said, “We are from Haran.” 5 He said to them, “Do you know Laban the son of Nahor?” They said, “We know him.” 6 He said to them, “Is it well with him?” They said, “It is well; and see, Rachel his daughter is coming with the sheep!” 7 He said, “Behold, it is still high day; it is not time for the livestock to be gathered together. Water the sheep and go, pasture them.” 8 But they said, “We cannot until all the flocks are gathered together and the stone is rolled from the mouth of the well; then we water the sheep.”

    9 While he was still speaking with them, Rachel came with her father’s sheep, for she was a shepherdess. 10 Now as soon as Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban his mother’s brother, and the sheep of Laban his mother’s brother, Jacob came near and rolled the stone from the well’s mouth and watered the flock of Laban his mother’s brother. 11 Then Jacob kissed Rachel and wept aloud. 12 And Jacob told Rachel that he was her father’s kinsman, and that he was Rebekah’s son, and she ran and told her father.

    Note that the shepherds (who were men: “My brothers, where do you come from?”) were supposed to roll the stone from the mouth of the well. That doesn’t make Rachel “a wilful [sic.] young women [sic.] taking on a job that she can’t actually do”. That makes her a normal girl who’s not strong enough to move a stone that an adult male can move. To this day it’s still common for girls in the Middle East to tend to their father’s flocks. She was doing her duty as a daughter.

    You’re right about Rachel introducing idols to Jacob’s household, but she learned that sin from her father. We know that because she stole the idols from Laban’s house (Genesis 31:19 Laban had gone to shear his sheep, and Rachel stole her father’s household gods).

    You’re also right about Rachel creating strife in Jacob’s household, and that proves one of the arguments in favor of polygyny wrong.

    “or Reuben, had he not followed his father’s example of fornicating with a servant.”

    This is also not quite right. Reuben’s great sin was dishonoring his father by having sex with his father’s concubine (Zilpah).

    “Worth considering the comparison between the ‘love’ that seems more like an infatuation, generally sparked by a very shallow attraction, rather than a deep knowledge of character and shared experience.”

    I think the lesson is two-fold.

    1. Sexual attraction (sparked by beauty) is enormously important in marriage. Sarah was so beautiful that Abraham was afraid that Pharaoh would kill him to steal her. The same was true of Rebecca with Isaac. Rachel won Jacob over with her beauty. Solomon goes on and on about his Shulamite wife’s beauty.

    2. Sexual attraction alone is not enough. As Proverbs 31:30 reminds us, “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised”. The entire chapter teaches us that a man needs to choose a wife not only based on her beauty, but also on her character and Godliness

    The prototype for that kind of woman is Abigail (1 Samuel 25). Verse 3 describes her as a “wise and beautiful woman”, and the rest of the chapter proves her Godliness, wisdom, industriousness, humility and submissiveness.

  17. Oscar says:

    I just realized that Laban (Jacob’s uncle) spelled backwards is Nabal (Abigail’s 1st husband). Freaky, man!

  18. theasdgamer says:

    Romantic love is generated by oxytocin/vasopressin and is attached to a face via our visual centers. Crushes are one form of this.

    Crushes cause us to want to be around our crush and to see our crush; frequently, we feel confused/uncertain/shy around our crush because our bodies’ chemicals have that impact on our brains. Those chemicals weaken our Frame and make us seem less masculine. Those chemicals have a tendency to cause us to want to defer to our crush, which is bad for a marriage. The man’s Frame must be the Frame for the marriage if he is to lead.

    My view is that the wife needs to be in love with her husband, but not vice-versa. A man should love his wife as a decision independent of his feelings; he should not be in love with his wife. Of course, they should have rapport about many things, so a man will have some feelings, but a man must not let his feelings control his decision making if he is to lead well.

  19. 8 in the Gate says:

    Another interesting twist to consider is that Jacob would not have been a young man at the time her married Rachel. Depending on timelines and dates, most believe Jacob to be about 84 when he took Rachel (and Leah) as a wife. (I’ve seen other interpretations make Jacob as young as 67 depending on how to interpret the age of Joseph when he stood before Pharaoh – either 30 or 30 years after he entered Egypt). Either way, Jacob was not exactly a young man. For context, Jacob lived to be 147. His son Joseph lived to be 110.

  20. theasdgamer says:

    There is also not even an inkling of the idea that romantic love is pure or sanctifying in this story.  But the legacy of courtly love hovers over us like a supermassive black hole, warping everything relating to sex and marriage with a nearly irresistible force in our minds.

    I totally agree. Romantic love is a joy, not justification.

  21. Samuel Culpepper says:

    Thou canst not love a wife thou desireth not to bang!

  22. Oscar says:

    @ Samuel Culpepper says:
    March 21, 2017 at 10:16 am

    “Thou canst not love a wife thou desireth not to bang!”

    That’s not quite right. The Greek word translated “love” in Ephesians 5:25 (Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her) is “agape”.

    You can “agape” a wife that doesn’t turn you on, but you can’t “eros” a wife that doesn’t turn you on, which then makes it very difficult to “agape” her.

  23. Bart says:

    Peter W.

    Jacob did not fornicate with Bilhah. He took her as a wife. Gen. 30:4 “So she gave him her servant Bilhah as a wife, and Jacob went into her”.

    The same is true of Zilpah servant of Leah. Gen. 30:9 “…she took her servant Zilpah and gave her to Jacob as a wife”.

    Those were legitimate marriages (just like Leah and Rachel). It’s just that they were concubine/slave wives, not endowed free women wives. (Note Paul’s discussion of Sarah/Hagar, Isaac/Ishmael in Galatians 4:21-31).

    Also note that the Bible regards Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Joseph, and Benjamin as legitimate son’s, even though they were born of poly,gamous and/or concubine marriages.

    Reuben did something totally different than what Jacob did. He violated his father’s wife/concubine. Gen. 49:4 tells us that Reuben “defiled his father’s bed”.

    That was not merely fornication. It was incest and adultery. Leviticus 18:8 (uncovering the nakedness of father’s wife – incest), and Leviticus 18:20 (lie sexually with another man’s wife – adultery). Both of those things are abominations and bring the judgement of God (Gen. 18: 24-30).

    Jacob’s union with Bilhah was marriage, and was blessed by God in accordance with the law of Marriage and the creation mandate (Genesis 2:24, and Gen. 1:28).

    Jacob’s family certainly had a lot of strife, and he probably would have been better off if he had been content/satisfied with Leah alone.

    Still, the text clearly regards all four unions as lawful marriages.

    .

  24. da gbfm zlozozlzlzlzolzoozozo says:

    One on level I am quite surprised that Dalrock has dismissed the love story of Homer’s Odyssey as well as Dante’s love for Beatrice in the Divine Comedy.

    On the other hand, it makes perfect sense, as da GBFM cannot save our culture. Only C.S. Lewis and game can do that.

    I have always felt that C.S. Lewis owed a lot of his popularity to the fact that he never actually quoted Christ nor the Bible, but just rambled on.

    Quoting Jesus, or the Great Books for Men, does not make you popular amongst those who spearheaded the decline–the “only men in the room”–even as they believed themselves to be fighting it.

    And there is the love story of Aeneas and Dido too.

    lzlzlzolzozozo

  25. PeterW. says:

    Oscar….

    WRT to middle-eastern culture, it is distinctly abnormal for a young woman to be alone, as shepherding requires. Particularly the young and attractive daughter of a wealthy man. She is working out of sight, without protection, at a time when isolated women were at risk, themselves, let alone being unable to defend their flock – which represented wealth – from thieves or wild animals. Contrast the acknowledged risk to Ruth while working in a private field in the company of other people. Contrast also, the recorded experience of young David, as a shepherd.

    Secondly, watering sheep from a well is both physically demanding and time-consuming. It is not normal to take up good grazing time to hold them on the bare ground adjacent to watering points. Jacob is justified in asking why they do this, because the normal timetable would be to bring them to water on the way back from grazing grounds and before penning for the night – assuming that they are being penned, rather than held out on the pastures. (If they are held on the range overnight, then mid-morning is a more typical watering time)

    Point is, the idea that shepherds would wait until they all got together , with the attendant waste of time and additional work to keep mobs seperate , as a normal procedure does not ring true. The most reasonable conclusion is that a wealthy and powerful man has passed the word around “look out for my daughter”.

  26. PeterW. says:

    Bart…..

    “the text regards…..”
    I don’t believe that it’s that easy.
    When the Scriptures record history, they often do so without offering commentary regarding the legitimacy or otherwise of those historical acts.
    The culture of the time regarded the taking of concubines as normal, therefore that is how scripture records it, just as it records the fact that Solomon had concubines by the hundred.

    However we, who have all of scripture before us, are expected to understand that God regards marriage as monogamous, and that the taking of concubines is therefore forrnication in the proper sense of being sexuality outside the proper moral context.

  27. PeterW. says:

    Oscar, again….

    Rachel may have learnt the worship of false gods from her father, but that is not the point. Her wilfulness is demonstrated in that she STOLE the idols from her father’s household and concealed them in her husband’s camp at considerable risk to those who would be obliged to protect her.

  28. MikeM says:

    However we, who have all of scripture before us, are expected to understand that God regards marriage as monogamous, and that the taking of concubines is therefore forrnication in the proper sense of being sexuality outside the proper moral context.

    That’s an oversimplification to the point of error. It is correct to say that God designed marriage as a monogamous institution, that polygamous marriage is a degradation from His design, and that no Christian man ought to pursue polygamous marriage.

    However, scripture also shows that God refers to multiple wives as wives. It commands that to qualify as an officer in the church a man must be the husband of one wife, which carries the implication that men with multiple wives were nonetheless members of the church in good standing. Polygamous marriage is a degraded form of marriage, but it is still, according to scripture, marriage.

    A professing Christian man who attempts to pursue polygamous marriage should be rebuked. But what of the man who comes to profess Christ while already married to multiple women? Sure, this may not seem a major concern in society where polygamy is (for the time being) forbidden, but there are areas around the world where it is still practiced. If a man married to multiple women hears the Gospel and professes Christ, and his wives with him, then by the whole council of scripture he is still married to them. He should not divorce them, he may not hold office in the church, and he must not seek to marry any more women.

    If we were truly to understand all polygamous marriage as fornication, then the accusations against Jacob would not start with Bilhah and Zilpah. If all polygamous marriage is fornication, then he was fornicating with Rachel as well. But this is not how scripture treats the subject.

  29. Samuel Culpepper says:

    PeterW:

    At what point did God start regarding “marriage as monogamous”? Scriptures please.

  30. Oscar says:

    @ PeterW. says:
    March 21, 2017 at 4:09 pm

    “WRT to middle-eastern culture, it is distinctly abnormal for a young woman to be alone, as shepherding requires.”

    It’s normal enough that I saw it frequently while I was there.

    “Rachel may have learnt the worship of false gods from her father, but that is not the point.”

    It’s certainly part of the point. After all, someone taught her that those idols were valuable and desirable enough to steal them “at considerable risk to those who would be obliged to protect her”. Who do you suppose that was?

  31. Oscar says:

    @ Samuel Culpepper says:
    March 21, 2017 at 7:25 pm

    “At what point did God start regarding ‘marriage as monogamous’? Scriptures please.”

    Genesis 2:24 Therefore a man [singular] shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife [singular], and they shall become one flesh. 25 And the man [singular] and his wife [singular] were both [1+1=2] naked and were not ashamed.

    Matthew 19:4 He [Jesus, i.e., God the Son] answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, 5 and said, ‘Therefore a man [singular] shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife [singular], and the two [1+1=2] shall become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two [1+1=2] but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”

    From the beginning, God’s design for marriage was one man and one woman for life.

    An evil man named Lamech, a descendant of Cain, invented polygamy.

    Genesis 4:19 And Lamech took two wives. The name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah…. 23 Lamech said to his wives:
    “Adah and Zillah, hear my voice;
    you wives of Lamech, listen to what I say:
    I have killed a man for wounding me,
    a young man for striking me.
    24 If Cain’s revenge is sevenfold,
    then Lamech’s is seventy-sevenfold.”

    Whose design should a Godly man follow? Should he follow God the Father’s design revealed to us in Genesis chapter 2 and confirmed to us by God the Son in Matthew chapter 19? Or should he follow Lamech’s design?

  32. Splashman says:

    God always intended marriage as monogomous — Adam & Eve, not Adam & Eve & Julie. “I will make for him a suitable helper” (not helpers). New Testament tells us repeatedly that marriage is a scale model of a Christian’s relationship with Christ — and that is a one-to-one relationship.

    God allowed polygamous marriages just as he allowed Israel to have a king. That doesn’t mean he was pleased by either one.

    And anyone who thinks having multiple wives is a good idea, has obviously never been married and knows nothing about women.

  33. Bart says:

    Peter W.
    I would argue that patriarchy (or stated differently, covenantal headship) rather than monogamy is the defining principle in marriage. The Covenantal nature of the marital union is revealed in the Genesis creation account, and is continually affirmed throughout all the rest of Scripture.

    Covenants always involve a covenant head, who leads, protects, provides for, instructs, and cherishes the person or persons who comes under their covenantal authority. The second weaker party follows, helps, serves, and is solely devoted to the covenant head.

    In marriage, the husband is the covenant head, and the wife comes under his leadership. In the relationship between God and His people, God is the covenant head, and Israel the wife, Christ the Head, and the Church his bride, Christ also the head of the man, who in turn is head of his wife.

    Covenant heads are always singular, while those under their covenantal authority my be one, or more than one.

    A master may have one servant, or many. A servant may only have one master.

    A king may have one subject, or many. A subject submits to only one king.

    A father may have one child, or many children. A child however only has one father

    Christ has many disciples, yet the Christian serves only one Lord and Master.

    Likewise, the Law, the Prophets, and the Apostles all tell us that it is adultery for a woman to serve more than one husband, but they never prohibit a man from leading loving, protecting, and providing for more than one wife.

  34. Bart says:

    Splashman and Oscar,

    1. The Bible never prohibits polygamy (but clearly prohibits adultery, homosexuality, incest, etc.)
    2. The Bible never calls for punishment of polygamy (but called for death for adultery and homosexuality).
    3. The Bible never called polygamy sin, evil, perverse, unclean, impure, abomination, or anything of the sort. Yet that exact language is repeatedly used against adultery, homosexuality, incest, etc. To the contrary, the Bible calls polygamy MARRIAGE, just like monogamous unions.
    4. Many of the greatest men of faith in the OT had more than one wife (Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Gideon, David, Solomon, Josiah, etc.)

    None of those men were ever rebuked, punished, or repented of their polygamous marriages. Yet, when these same men committed ACTUAL sins, they were called out, rebuked, punished, repented, etc.

    Adultery and homosexuality radically violate the patriarchal nature of covenantal unions. God abhors those things. Polygamy is not an advisable practice, but it does not violate the fundamental nature of the covenant of marriage.

    Remember also that God specifically said that He gave multiple wives to David, and that He would have gladly given him more. Yet, when David violated another man’s wife, God rebuked him severely.

    Covenant is the key concept, both of marriage, and all of Scripture.

  35. Oscar says:

    @ Bart

    Answer the questions, please. Whose design should a Godly man follow? Should he follow God the Father’s design revealed to us in Genesis chapter 2 and confirmed to us by God the Son in Matthew chapter 19? Or should he follow Lamech’s design?

  36. dpmonahan says:

    Ancient Christians never practiced polygamy. While the debate in the 2nd century church was whether or not a second marriage after the death of a spouse was legitimate (they eventually decided it was), there is no sign of a debate over polygamy, it was rejected outright. Some Gnostic groups allowed polygamy, and this was loudly condemned by century century authors like Justin and Ireneaus. St Paul’s reference to “married only one time” refers to divorce, which was common in the ancient world, and which the ancient church only allowed in the case of an unbeliever abandoning a Christian spouse.

  37. Boxer says:

    However, scripture also shows that God refers to multiple wives as wives. It commands that to qualify as an officer in the church a man must be the husband of one wife, which carries the implication that men with multiple wives were nonetheless members of the church in good standing. Polygamous marriage is a degraded form of marriage, but it is still, according to scripture, marriage.

    A long time ago, one of the heavy hitters here (Lyn87?) cited Tertullian,:
    Adam was the one husband of Eve, and Eve his one wife, one woman, one rib.15 We grant,16 that among our ancestors, and the patriarchs themselves, it was lawful17 not only to marry, but even to multiply wives.18 There were concubines, too, (in those days.) But although the Church did come in figuratively in the synagogue, yet (to interpret simply) it was necessary to institute (certain things) which should afterward deserve to be either lopped off or modified. For the Law was (in due time) to supervene. (Nor was that enough:) for it was meet that causes for making up the deficiencies of the Law should have forerun (Him who was to supply those deficiencies). And so to the Law presently had to succeed the Word19 of God introducing the spiritual circumcision.

    Much more at:
    https://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/ecf/004/0040012.htm

    Boxer

  38. Bart says:

    Oscar,

    The man of God follows the instructions that God has given in the Bible. Sola Scriptura. God has revealed His will to mankind in the Bible.

    God did not prohibit polygamy, therefore I cannot. God did not call it evil. Therefore we cannot. God called it marriage, and treated it as such, therefore we will do the same if we are His followers.

    The traditions of men have added to the Law of God. The traditions of men say “Thou shalt not take more than one wife”. The traditions of men tell us that ” polygamy is adultery”.

    All that violates God’s Law which says that we must not “add to the word that I command you, nor take from it”. (Debut.4:2).

    Adding to God’s Law is an act of rebellion against His rightful authority. Take a second to let that statement sink in.

    The same God that gave one wife to Adam gave multiple wives to David. (2nd Sam. 12 – “your master’s wives into your bosom” -Those were real marriages). In one place God gives one wife, and in another He gives several.

    Besides, it is not so much God’s example that we are to follow, but His commands/instructions.

    He did not prohibit polygamy, but He did prohibit man from adding to His Law (by prohibiting things that He didn’t).

    Who will we follow? Will we follow Christ, or will we follow the traditions of men?

    (I don’t recommend polygamy. It doesn’t seem to work well. Still, it is marriage in God’s sight.)

  39. mad_kalak says:

    I just wanted to let the blog commentariat know of a nice quiet corner of the Manosphere where one can learn a lot about courtly love and literature. Purple Motes is always a good read, and he recently did a post on this topic: https://www.purplemotes.net/2017/03/19/lombard-conjugal-partnership/

  40. Elspeth says:

    It is worth noting that almost every mention of polygamy in the Bible involved 1) very wealthy men, 2) men of royalty, or 3) men for whom one wife was not producing an heir.

    Even if you allow for the fact that polygamy may be permissible in a land where it is not illegal (the Bible also commands us to obey the law of the land in which we dwell), there are very, very few men who meet the standard or fit into the template of a man who could legitimately support, provide for, and parent properly the offspring of multiple women.

    and I am always amazed at the callousness displayed toward young, less prosperous, single men when the “rah rah polygamy!” talk gets started. No matter how you slice it if older men who have achieved a sufficient amount of material success start multiplying younger women worthy of marriage, that makes it even harder for young men to find a worthy wife than it is already.

    Lastly, the NT doesn’t offer any level of endorsement of polygamy at all. There are several OT traditions that were set aside in Christ’s one ultimate sacrifice. It is abundantly clear that God’s ideal for marriage was one man, one wife.

    Yes, I have an ax to grind on the subject. Not on my own behalf, but because we have seen the destruction this practice has wrought.

  41. Oscar says:

    @ Bart

    I’ll ask one last time. Answer the questions, please. Whose design should a Godly man follow? Should he follow God the Father’s design revealed to us in Genesis chapter 2 and confirmed to us by God the Son in Matthew chapter 19? Or should he follow Lamech’s design?

  42. Elspeth says:

    And by the way, Jacob never even wanted Leah. He only wanted Rachel. The other women were added as the sisters engaged in their perverse game of reproductive oneupmanship.

  43. Jonadab-the-Rechabite says:

    I’ll ask one last time. Answer the questions, please. Whose design should a Godly man follow?
    Although you did not direct this query toward me, I will intervene in an attempt to keep the comments here intellectually honest. The correct answer is not multiple choice as you would frame it. Christian ethics are far more complex than a simple “this or that” option. Christian ethics has been defined as the application of God’s Word to individuals in situations. Note the normative, existential and normative perspectives that factor in the proper application. One possible answer to your question Whose design should a Godly man follow? is “The design revealed in the entire Word of God, as understood according to proper hermetical principles. ”

    Should he follow God the Father’s design revealed to us in Genesis chapter 2 and confirmed to us by God the Son in Matthew chapter 19?

    We should follow the precepts, principles and with prudence the positive and negative examples in the narratives of scripture and in that order. So I reject your framing as gerrymandering and the application of improper hermenutical methods.

    Or should he follow Lamech’s design?

    Lamech did not design anything, you might just as well say the design of the man called “a man after God’s own heart” or the design of the men who were types of Christ. It is improper to assume a postulate and then rearrange good principles to find support and ignore valid contrary arguments.

    We get it, you have an axe to grind with polygyny and favor monogamy, that is fine everyone is entitled to their opinion. To gerrymander the Word or abuse reason in an attempt to make your opinion the opinion of God that is something different entirely.

  44. Mandy says:

    Sex & marriage were not viewed as separate entities. Apart from protitutes, men married and sex was part of the deal. Over time of course emotions naturally grow which may or may not be present at the wedding. But the desires & feelings are channeled to marriage.

    The point of marriage wasn’t for any individual to be happy but for uttering the family.

    Jacob’s mother’s desire for him to marry Laban’s daughter also played a part. Lean did not please him as much but it was going to be one of them regardless of how in love he was.

  45. SirHamster says:

    God did not prohibit polygamy, therefore I cannot.

    Incorrect. God did not prohibit hating one’s brother, yet what did Jesus teach his disciples?

    One Christian eats meat, another does not for the sake of his conscience. There is a freedom to eat meat, but what does Paul instruct the meat eater to do?

    Slaves to Christ are not governed by “what God did not prohibit”, but “what pleases God”.

  46. Oscar says:

    @ Jonadab-the-Rechabite says:
    March 22, 2017 at 11:37 am

    “One possible answer to your question Whose design should a Godly man follow? is ‘The design revealed in the entire Word of God, as understood according to proper hermetical principles’. ”

    Okay. Where did God reveal His design for marriage? When the Pharisees asked God the Son about marriage and divorce, to which Scripture did He refer to affirm God’s design for marriage?

    Speaking of God the Son; marriage is an earthly picture of His relationship with His Church, right? The Church is referred to as His bride, is it not? How many brides does He have?

    Ephesians 5:23 For the husband [singular] is the head of the wife [singular] as Christ [singular] is the head [singular] of the church [singular], his body [singular], of which he is the Savior [singular]. 24 Now as the church [singular] submits to Christ [singular], so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

    25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ [singular] loved the church [singular] and gave himself [singular] up for her [singular] 26 to make her [singular] holy, cleansing[b] her [singular] by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her [singular] to himself [singular] as a [singular] radiant church [singular], without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He [singular] who loves his [singular] wife loves himself [singular]. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ [singular] does the church [singular] — 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a [singular] man [singular] will leave his [singular] father and mother and be united to his [singular] wife [singular], and the two [1+1=2] will become one flesh.”[c] 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ [singular] and the [singular] church [singular]. 33 However, each [singular] one [singular] of you also must love his [singular] wife [singular] as he [singular] loves himself [singular], and the [singular] wife [singular] must respect her [singular] husband [singular].

    So, how many brides does Christ have? Is the head over many bodies, or is he the head over one body?

    Revelation 19:6 Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting:
    “Hallelujah!
    For our Lord God Almighty reigns.
    7 Let us rejoice and be glad
    and give him glory!
    For the wedding of the Lamb [singular] has come,
    and his [singular] bride [singular] has made herself [singular] ready.
    8 Fine linen, bright and clean,
    was given her [singular] to wear.”

    How many brides does Christ have?

  47. Samuel Culpepper says:

    Oscar:

    I commend you for looking to the first scripture regarding marriage, that being Genesis 2:24. Since you are basing your assertion re: polygyny on the first recorded marriage, I presume that you also adhere to the belief that a man shall only take a virgin to wife? Since Eve was a virgin, God must have also intended that all marriages be between a man and a virginal woman, correct? Therefore, is it not a sin to take a non-virgin to wife? Has she not already been “wifed” by someone else if she is a non-virgin? This would be adultery, no?

  48. BillyS says:

    You err again Jonadab.

    Lamech did not design anything, you might just as well say the design of the man called “a man after God’s own heart” or the design of the men who were types of Christ. It is improper to assume a postulate and then rearrange good principles to find support and ignore valid contrary arguments.

    We should all go commit adultery and get the husband murdered. That even added that woman into the line of the Messiah, so it must be a good path, right?

    You would do well to learn better how to rightly divided the Word of Truth.

  49. Don Quixote says:

    Polygamy has been done to death here, but there is an interesting book out there for those that are interested:

    https://www.amazon.com/Thelyphthora-Treatise-Female-Ruin-Consequences/dp/0982537506/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1490250222&sr=8-6&keywords=martin+madan

    Martin Madan [author] was a Methodist minister and founded the Lock hospital. His writing on this subject are still worth reading. This book is volume 1 in a set of 3. I have only read the first volume.

  50. nick012000 says:

    @Oscar:

    >Speaking of God the Son; marriage is an earthly picture of His relationship with His Church, right? The Church is referred to as His bride, is it not? How many brides does He have?

    *looks at all the different Protestant splinter sects*

    Like, potentially thousands, depending on how you’re counting them?

  51. Lyn87 says:

    I haven’t weighed in on the last several posts as I’ve been traveling a lot for work, but before my next flight boards in a few minutes I’ll note that whoever it was that wrote what Boxer quoted, it wasn’t me. (Credit-where-credit-is-due, and all that.)

    Gotta’ go… about to board my flight.

  52. infowarrior1 says:

    @nick01200

    Check all their claims against Scripture and you will narrow it down considerably. Even with a plurality of churches as the multitude of believers that compose the bride of Christ they are all one body.

    Just as the spirit unites manifold believers as one organism acting in tandem despite decentralized leadership. Yet such leadership is under the kingship and direction of Christ connected by the Holy Spirit.

  53. Dave says:

    Since Eve was a virgin, God must have also intended that all marriages be between a man and a virginal woman, correct? Therefore, is it not a sin to take a non-virgin to wife? Has she not already been “wifed” by someone else if she is a non-virgin? This would be adultery, no?

    Just a quick comment on the above.

    Since Eve was a virgin, God must have also intended that all marriages be between a man and a virginal woman, correct?

    Actually, yes. That was God’s intended will concerning marriage. But since the fall, many things that God wanted have not materialized among humans (e.g. God is not willing that any should perish, though the fact is millions of people do perish every single day).

    Therefore, is it not a sin to take a non-virgin to wife?

    No, it is not. God nowhere commanded the average Joe to take a virgin to wife. He gave a specific command to the high priest to take a virgin wife. In the same passage, God disqualified even widows, divorced women or foreign wives, even if they were virgins, from being wives to the high priest. See Leviticus 21:10-15.

    Has she not already been “wifed” by someone else if she is a non-virgin?

    No. As far as the Bible is concerned, sex between unmarried people is considered to be fornication and defilement, not marriage. For marriage to take place, consent must be given by the woman and those responsible for her (father if still alive, then other close relatives, if he is not), and the appropriate ceremonies observed to let the public know that the couple has become coupled.

    This would be adultery, no?

    No. Adultery would only be possible when a married individual becomes unfaithful to their spouse. An unmarried person has no spouse, and therefore cannot commit adultery.
    Whether or not a man marries a nonvirgin is totally up to the man, provided the nonvirgin has repented of her sins, and makes the appropriate disclosures to the man before the marriage, such that both are on the same page. God is far more interested in our restoration and forgiveness than “glorying in the flesh”.

    When a nonvirgin is truly repentant, and seeks forgiveness, God truly forgives and restores. Unfortunately, many celebrated “Christian women” in America who previously played the field never truly repented; they claim to be “empowered” by riding the cock carousel.

    Some folks here have maintained that they could only marry virgins. That is their choice, but they have not a single promise from God that He would give them a virgin to wife. It is similar to a woman praying that God would give her a six footer millionaire to marry.

    However, if a man is determined that he will only marry a virgin, and works hard in that direction, he may well end up marrying a virgin. Frankly, I personally encourage men to seek to marry virgins, though that may force them to consider non-Americans as potential wives. It is very refreshing to know for a fact that the woman you are with has absolutely no serious baggage left by other men, and carries no genetic materials from some other dudes. The innocence of a virgin could be very endearing, and make it worth your while to put in extra effort to make the relationship with her work.
    But, in my experience, virgins are often like unbroken horses due to their lack of experience, not only sexually, but in many aspects of male-female relationships. They are often strong-willed and incorrigible. Thus, lots of patience and understanding are often required to “break” them.
    Good luck!

  54. Luke says:

    Uh, Dave, you completely misunderstand God’s Word there.

    “When a nonvirgin is truly repentant, and seeks forgiveness, God truly forgives and restores.”

    With respect to her salvation, sure. With respect to her suitability as a wife (ESPECIALLY to a Christian man), you couldn’t be more wrong. Like someone who was a heroin addict for 10 years (so has innumerable too-deep-to-really-fade needle track scars) wanting to later become a bikini model, some things just can’t be undone. A chick who did it with the Team and with the Band will never make a good risk for a wife, no matter if she spends a decade in a convent.

  55. Oscar says:

    @ nick012000 says:
    March 23, 2017 at 4:51 am
    “@Oscar:

    >Speaking of God the Son; marriage is an earthly picture of His relationship with His Church, right? The Church is referred to as His bride, is it not? How many brides does He have?

    *looks at all the different Protestant splinter sects*

    Like, potentially thousands, depending on how you’re counting them?”

    How many brides does the Bible say Christ has?

  56. Dave says:

    @Luke says:

    With respect to her salvation, sure. With respect to her suitability as a wife (ESPECIALLY to a Christian man), you couldn’t be more wrong.

    OK, show me a passage of scripture on which you based your assertion. (Hint: there is none).
    However, my argument was based on the passage:

    2 Corinthians 5:17
    17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

    Although written with masculine pronouns, we all know it is equally applicable to women, because in Christ “there is neither male nor female” (Galatians 3: 27-29).

    As I said earlier, every man has a right to desire a virgin for a wife, BUT that is a personal preference, and not a biblical command, and certainly there is no promise in the entire bible where God said He would provide any man with a virgin wife. Anyone with a contrary view should educate the rest of us.

    One man (e.g. @Luke) may consider nonvirgin women to be unsuitable for a wife, no matter how repentant such women might be; another man (e.g. @Dave) may consider them suitable once they have thoroughly repented and taken responsibilities for their actions. Let each person be persuaded in their own minds.

    But this much is clear: God neither promised any man a virgin bride, nor commanded any man to marry a virgin (the exception being as stated earlier, in the OT regarding the high priest).

  57. Samuel Culpepper says:

    Oscar:

    How many men “knew” Eve?

  58. Samuel Culpepper says:

    @Dave:

    My point to Oscar was this: if we are basing God’s intention for marriage upon the first union, that of Adam & Eve, then we need to pattern ours after all of its elements, a chaste woman be one of those elements. Oscar wants to dismiss polygyny as against God’s law and sinful because Adam (so far as we know) took only Eve to wife. By this logic, we should also take only a virgin to wife.

    You mentioned above the need for consent and a ceremony as the only elements necessary to form a marriage. What scriptures are you basing this upon?

  59. Dave says:

    As a matter of fact, most of the decision regarding marriage are based on PERSONAL preferences. Whether a man or woman decides to stay single or gets married, who they choose as a mate, when they marry, etc., are largely based on personal preference. God is surprisingly neutral about such decisions.

    God’s laws regarding marriage for the Christian are pretty basic and simple:
    1. If you are a Christian, you may only marry another Christian of opposite gender.
    2. You may only marry in compliance with the established rules prevalent in your society, provided such rules are not a violation of God’s words.

    The rest is up to you. Whether you seek a virgin or nonvirgin, rich or poor, educated or illiterate, tall or short, etc. It is entirely up to you. God has nothing to do with it.
    However, it is wrong to condemn a man who chooses to marry a nonvirgin as marrying a woman “unsuitable for marriage”. It is his decision to marry whosoever he wills, provided he marries “in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 7:39).
    We must avoid the temptation to elevate our personal preferences and personal opinions to the same level as God’s word.

  60. feministhater says:

    Thanks for clearing that up Dave. Marry your non-virgin, no one cares. Just realize that she ups your chances of divorce hugely. Nothing changes the obvious ideal that a virgin wife is more suitable than a non-virgin one.

  61. Dave says:

    My point to Oscar was this: if we are basing God’s intention for marriage upon the first union, that of Adam & Eve, then we need to pattern ours after all of its elements, a chaste woman be one of those elements.

    I believe Oscar was right, and Scripture supports his argument, as shown in Genesis 2:24 (and repeated in Matthew 19:5 and Ephesians 5:31-33).
    Let me ask you: upon what would you base marriage, if not on the first union?

    But in my opinion, you are wrong to assume that the pattern of the first union must be replicated in all subsequent cases. First examples of anything are generally unique. This was true of Adam (who named the animals), of Eve (who never experienced childhood), of the first outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost (accompanied by rushing mighty wind and cloven fiery tongues), etc.

    Oscar wants to dismiss polygyny as against God’s law and sinful because Adam (so far as we know) took only Eve to wife. By this logic, we should also take only a virgin to wife.

    Oscar is only partially right, in my opinion. There were no laws against polygyny during Adam’s time, and “where there is no law there can be no transgression” (Romans 4:15; also see 5:13, which argues that sin was in the world before the law, but it was not counted as sin).
    However, in the beginning, God did not expect that man would need many laws to guide most of his behaviors. He was to be self governed for the most part. Laws and human government became necessary after the fall. The Apostle clearly stated that “the law was not made for the righteous man, but for the lawless” (1 Timothy 1:9).

    Polygyny was never condemned out rightly in the OT, but strongly discouraged in the NT, and forbidden for those who would play leadership roles in the church. It is difficult to call it a sin, actually, even for the Christian. But Scripture strongly discourages its practice among believers.

    Also, as stated earlier, your logic was also wrong. Although we are not required to take virgins to wife, the basis of our marriage is deeply rooted in the first union. Even Jesus alluded to the first union when he preached about the sanctity of marriage (see the above passage in Matthew).

    You mentioned above the need for consent and a ceremony as the only elements necessary to form a marriage. What scriptures are you basing this upon?

    There are several, actually, and I could provide many if I had more time.
    1. Consent, both of the woman (e.g. Genesis 24:57, 58) and of those who have authority over her (vs 49-51), is an essential requirement for marriage, else the relationship becomes “rape”, “kidnap”, etc. Scripture directly supported consent before marriage could take place (e.g. Exodus 22:17; 1 Samuel 18:25). Even sexual act without this parental consent was considered insufficient to establish marriage.
    2. Ceremony, no matter how simple, was necessary to announce to the world that the woman was no longer available to other men. In some cultures, the newly wedded couple would go inside the room to consummate the marriage while the rest of the guests waited outside, and the wedding was not considered complete until at least the man emerges to announce that his wife was found “a maid” (i.e. a virgin), bringing the soiled bedsheet along with him to give to the parents of the new bride as evidence of virginity.
    See an allusion to this practice here: Deuteronomy 22: 13-17.

  62. feministhater says:

    There are those who believe that sex equals marriage and thus marrying a non-virgin woman means committing adultery since she is married already. Whether you believe that or not is up to you. However, such a women, who would gladly give herself to others when she is younger, fertile and in her prime is denying those things to her husband, thus defrauding him of his true bride.

    Make of it what you will, just don’t come here and tell us to like non-virgins as you do and consider them for marriage. Marriage is already in the dung heap, no need to increase the load.

  63. Dave says:

    Thanks for clearing that up Dave. Marry your non-virgin, no one cares. Just realize that she ups your chances of divorce hugely. Nothing changes the obvious ideal that a virgin wife is more suitable than a non-virgin one

    Actually, I agree with you. Please see my earlier entries above. Virgins are far better, all things being equal, compared to nonvirgins. My personal preference is to marry a virgin soon, though I do not have a biblical basis for that preference. But I like the idea.
    That does not mean I consider truly repentant nonvirgins to be permanently unsuitable for marriage. If things were different, I could have ended up with a nonvirgin.

  64. feministhater says:

    However, in the beginning, God did not expect that man would need many laws to guide most of his behaviors. He was to be self governed for the most part. Laws and human government became necessary after the fall. The Apostle clearly stated that “the law was not made for the righteous man, but for the lawless” (1 Timothy 1:9).

    God doesn’t ‘not expect’, he is all powerful and all knowing, there is no ‘not’. In Eden, they lived directly in communion with God, they were under his Grace at all times. There was but one thing they were forbidden from eating in Eden, and that is eating from the tree of knowledge, which they did. God knew that would happen as humans are fallible and because all things come in time; and sin entering into the world was only a matter of time. There could have been a fork in the road so to speak, Adam choosing to follow God, not Eve, but God knew about all the choices man could make, he was not unprepared for man’s fallen nature.

    All men, and women, are now living out of God’s grace, in other words we now sin. Laws are apart of governing a group of people, there are those that will abide and those that will not. The righteous man lives by God’s laws and thus has no use of man’s laws but still abides them, the unrighteous live by their own morals and are thus governed by the state in the absence of God’s righteousness.

  65. Dave says:

    There are those who believe that sex equals marriage and thus marrying a non-virgin woman means committing adultery since she is married already. Whether you believe that or not is up to you. However, such a women, who would gladly give herself to others when she is younger, fertile and in her prime is denying those things to her husband, thus defrauding him of his true bride.

    We can only go by our personal preferences where Scripture is silent. Where God makes His commands clear, we are obligated to obey. God made it clear in His word that sex does not equal marriage. All those who believe otherwise are in error.

  66. Dave says:

    @feministhater:

    God doesn’t ‘not expect’, he is all powerful and all knowing, there is no ‘not’.

    Maybe I should have put it better. I meant to say that God made man to be self governing, and therefore did not need an external governor, or laws, until the fall.

  67. Scott says:

    Gentlemen I’ve teamed up with Elspeth to an explore an alternative hypothesis here. Enjoy and please critique vigorously!

    https://americandadweb.wordpress.com/2017/03/23/june-cleaver-might-be-unmarriageble-right-now/

  68. Anonymous Reader says:

    Dave
    God’s laws regarding marriage for the Christian are pretty basic and simple:
    1. If you are a Christian, you may only marry another Christian of opposite gender.

    While that’s true (Der vs. Die, le vs. la, etc.) in a sense, men and women are opposite sexes. Thus a Christian should marry another Christian of the opposite sex.
    Gender is a linguistic concept. Sex is genetic. Even the Victorians had no problem using the word “sex”, although they tended to use it in foolish ways, such as referring to women as “the fair sex” when nothing could be further from the truth.

    The words we use affect the way we think. Using feminist words makes clear thought difficult. So don’t use feminist words, such as “gender” in the place of “sex”.

  69. Gunner Q says:

    For the interested and the slow class, the Biblical prohibition against polygamy is 1 Cor. 7:2. If you take multiple wives then you force your fellow man into sexual frustration. That is cruelty.

    It is the work of the devil to divide humanity into the glutted and the starving.

  70. PokeSalad says:

    Maybe this blog needs a Godwin’s Law variant….”As a Dalrock online discussion grows longer, the probability of a polygamy catfight approaches 1″‍

  71. Bart says:

    Don Quixote referenced the book Thelyophthora by the 18th century Calvinistic Methodist minister Martin Madan.

    I would agree that this book is extremely helpful in understanding marriage from a Biblical perspective (particularly regarding the principle that the seduction of a virgin requires marriage – Exodus 22:16, and also the somewhat related issue of polygamy).

    The hospital Rev. Madan founded worked with women dying of sexually transmitted diseases (prostitutes etc.). Madan realized that God’s Law required a man who seduced a virgin to marry her. He argues that this law is universally applicable (not only to Old Testament Israel). If this law were widely followed, then most of the women who had fallen into a life of ruin, would not have ended up there.

    You don’t have to buy this book on Amazon. You can download a free scanned pdf copy of it (all 3 volumes actually) from Google books.

    In volumes one and two, Madan primarily deals with the Biblical and theological issues. In volume three, he carefully studies the history of the Church’s teaching on marriage down through the years.

    Thelyophthora is a very helpful/insightful book (though also a very controversial one) Blue pill churchian it isn’t.

    I’d also recommend another excellent book entitled “Man and Woman in Biblical Law” (2 volumes)by Tom Shipley. This book is primarily focused on the principle of patriarchy, but recognizes that patriarchy is inextricably linked to polygamy existing as at least a theoretical possibility.

  72. Scott, I posted something to your blog. I don’t know if it went through or not, I assume moderation.

  73. Lost Patrol says:

    The words we use affect the way we think. Using feminist words makes clear thought difficult. So don’t use feminist words, such as “gender” in the place of “sex”.

    I’m learning this myself. Trying to avoid feminist approved words unless I want to use them ironically. Mind control terminology, coming as it does via incessant barrage, is harder to guard against than one might think.

  74. Boxer says:

    Maybe this blog needs a Godwin’s Law variant….”As a Dalrock online discussion grows longer, the probability of a polygamy catfight approaches 1″‍

    That’s now known as PokeSalad’s Law.

  75. Boxer says:

    Dear Bart:

    Great effortpost

    Don Quixote referenced the book Thelyophthora by the 18th century Calvinistic Methodist minister Martin Madan.

    Yup. Here’s a link, if anyone wants one…

    https://archive.org/details/phthoraortr03mada

    The great thing about the New Testament is that it is written, for the most part, in plain language. No expert or “guru” is required to interpret its words for you.

    In cases like this, where one is trying to reconstruct a complicated bit of theology and apply it to some contemporary artifact, he has a huge library compiled over 1500 years, written by the greatest thinkers in the western world. No issue we talk about here hasn’t been discussed before, and there are reams of work available on the topic of monogamy.

    All I gotta say about it. Keep going gentlemen.

    Boxer

  76. feministhater says:

    That does not mean I consider truly repentant nonvirgins to be permanently unsuitable for marriage. If things were different, I could have ended up with a nonvirgin.

    If things were different I might actually want to get married. However, since marriage is such a bad deal currently I don’t advise men to do it. It’s the same with non-virgins. If things were different and the legal situation were different and marriage was permanent and no fault divorce did not exist and women were told to keep to their vows and punished for not doing so, one could marry a repentant non-virgin and have an okay marriage.

    Since none of those things are different, a non-virgin is a terrible bet and is given ample opportunity to destroy your life and has already been shown to not be able to keep her legs closed. Simply put, she is a poor choice for a wife. Thus I will not advise men to marry them, in fact I will do the opposite. Their personal preferences need to be tempered.

  77. SirHamster says:

    Polygyny was never condemned out rightly in the OT, but strongly discouraged in the NT, and forbidden for those who would play leadership roles in the church. It is difficult to call it a sin, actually, even for the Christian. But Scripture strongly discourages its practice among believers.

    I think otherwise on calling this a sin. It has already been addressed before in a different context.

    “Now about food sacrificed to idols: We know that “We all possess knowledge.” But knowledge puffs up while love builds up. Those who think they know something do not yet know as they ought to know. But whoever loves God is known by God.

    [ … ]

    Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak. For if someone with a weak conscience sees you, with all your knowledge, eating in an idol’s temple, won’t that person be emboldened to eat what is sacrificed to idols?

    So this weak brother or sister, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge.

    When you sin against them in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ.”

    How does the polygamy discussion increase love for God? It does not, it’s about what I-ME-ME-ME-ME get to do. And oftentimes a prideful display of how I-ME-ME-ME-ME know so much about the Bible.

    If those who love polygyny knew the Bible as well as they claim, they would know what I just quoted and be careful with their knowledge. They are not, because they don’t know the Bible. The love of God and His saints is far from their hearts – when Jesus told us otherwise.

    “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”

    “Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister.”

  78. Dave says:

    @SirHamster

    What I often try to do is to keep as close to Scripture as possible, so that I don’t mistake my personal views for the written word.
    Personally, I do not support polygyny, and I have been one of those who forcefully stood against its practice right here in this forum.
    But that does not mean polygyny was called a sin in the Bible; it was not. But it was clear that Apostle Paul discouraged its practice, and made monogamy a requirement for church leaders. He could have easily called it a sin, but he did not.

    But I agree with your view that polygyny does not increase the Christian’s usefulness in the Kingdom. Moreover, none of the early disciples practiced polygyny. Thus, anyone who would advocate for the practice will have a hard time justifying it.

    As Christians, the most important question we should be asking is not whether a particular act is sinful or not (that is similar to a citizen asking if a questionable act is legal), but whether it helps us to lead holier lives and increases our usefulness to God. A whole lot of acts that were never considered sinful could cause significant hindrance to us on the Christian journey. Hence Paul said (paraphrasing) ” not all the things that may be lawful are good”. (1 Corinthians 10:23).

  79. Oscar says:

    @ Samuel Culpepper says:

    “Oscar wants to dismiss polygyny as against God’s law and sinful”

    Where did I state that? Can you provide a quote?

  80. Boxer says:

    Dear Dave:

    As Christians, the most important question we should be asking is not whether a particular act is sinful or not (that is similar to a citizen asking if a questionable act is legal), but whether it helps us to lead holier lives and increases our usefulness to God. A whole lot of acts that were never considered sinful could cause significant hindrance to us on the Christian journey. Hence Paul said (paraphrasing) ” not all the things that may be lawful are good”. (1 Corinthians 10:23).

    This is a very important point, and one that often gets lost in these debates. Months (years?) ago, someone on another forum cited this:

    https://www.andrews.edu/library/car/cardigital/Periodicals/Asia_Africa_Journal_Of_Mission_And_Ministry/2015/v.11/4.pdf

    There is a legitimate concern about people who convert to the Christian tribe as adults, and whether they should then be compelled to divorce good women merely because they got accepted into the Christian church. These gray areas are outliers, though.

    Best,

    Boxer

  81. Samuel Culpepper says:

    @Dave:

    I am one of those you believe to be “in error” re: sex with a virgin. Genesis 2:24 reads that man shall cleave to his wife and the two shall become one flesh . . . no ceremony, no pastor, no marriage license, no proclamation to the village, just sex. This same theme is repeated in Genesis 24:67 and bolstered by Exodus 22:16-17. There is no mention of some other family member giving her away, only her fathers right to refuse to allow the marriage if she is still under his authority. That law is plain, I am not reading anything into it, just the express language.
    Please show me the error and the flaws in my logic?

    You said a mouth full above when you wrote : “We must avoid the temptation to elevate our personal preferences and personal opinions to the same level as God’s word.” This means you too!!

    It sounds as though you have the hots for a reformed slut at bible college and are looking to justify marriage to said slut or perhaps you have been shamed by your churchian peers for actually wanting a virgin and thus you are simply trafficking in their heresy because you are beat down. Which ever guy you are, don’t take a slut to wife . . . you will regret it and especially so if you are chaste or have limited sexual experience. I am 16 years into a marriage with a reformed slut and I can tell you her sexual past never goes away; you will live with the consequences of her sins for the rest of your life. Women seem not to care about a mans sexual past,as they are just wired differently, to share a man even (regardless of your view on polygyny). Man on the other hand requires exclusivity, it is in his raw nature and he is jealous for his woman. Its interesting, God is jealous over the church. Paul understood this well, he told the church at Corinth that he “espoused [the church] to one husband . . .” that he may present the church as a “chaste virgin to Christ.” II Corinthian 11:2

    I would suggest you read this chaps blog post on the subject, I think he did a thorough job of citing the scripture rather fill in the blank churchianity.

    https://artisanaltoadshall.wordpress.com/2016/06/03/the-lie-that-caused-the-adultery-epidemic/

  82. SirHamster says:

    @Dave,

    You have a point there. Using what I referenced, it’s not that the polygamy is the sin, just as it is not the eating of idol-sacrifice meat that is the sin. Rather, it is the idle use of knowledge that is the sin.

    Thus, advocating polygamy is a sin; but not the practice of polygamy itself.

    The practice of polygamy can be sin when it misleads weaker Christians to chase perishing material things over eternal things. Practice can itself be advocacy. The immature Christian may be misled to think he ought imitate the elder Christian and multiply wives as mature Christian living. Even as wonderful as marriage can be, it ends on death and our heavenly state is something greater. I expect no one to get a heavenly crown for perfectly arguing how polygamy is not sin. Still, a man with multiple wives may get a crown for leading his wives and children in holy living, loving each other.

    But polygamy itself is not sin.

  83. Samuel Culpepper says:

    Oscar:

    You implied it . . . you understand implication, correct? Your whole post upstream was based upon God’s intent as implied by the scriptures you cited. You implied that God intended for man to take one wife because Adam took only Eve to wife.

    So tell me then in express language so that I do not misunderstand your position: do you believe that is polygyny is a sin and thus prohibited for christian men?

  84. Samuel Culpepper says:

    SirHmaster:

    “Thus, advocating polygamy is a sin; but not the practice of polygamy itself.”

    This is utter non-sense. Its either sin or it is not.

  85. Boxer says:

    Samuel:

    This is utter non-sense. Its either sin or it is not.

    SirHamster’s next trick will be following you around this comments section, for months on end, obsessively attempting to get your attention with ever more outrageous behavior. He can be sorta funny, but he’s not to be taken seriously.

    Incidentally, I read the Toad Hall too. Originally I thought you were the author, with a pseudonym. In any event:

    You implied that God intended for man to take one wife because Adam took only Eve to wife.

    I can’t answer for Oscar, but this is a really old argument. Tertullian used it. I find it sound (assuming we are taking the text at its word, and there wasn’t an actual Adam character who had other wives that weren’t mentioned there).

    http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf04.toc.html

    I hope this is helpful.

    Boxer

  86. SirHamster says:

    @ Samuel Culpepper

    This is utter non-sense. Its either sin or it is not.

    Or haven’t you read in the Law that the priests on Sabbath duty in the temple desecrate the Sabbath and yet are innocent?

    Is desecrating the Sabbath a sin?

  87. Oscar says:

    @ Samuel Culpepper says:
    March 23, 2017 at 4:58 pm

    “You implied it”

    No. You inferred it, and wrongly. There’s a difference.

    The answers to my questions you did not answer are:
    1. I did not state it and…
    2. You can’t provide a quote in which I stated it.

    Now, are you prepared to set your straw man aside?

  88. Bart says:

    Regarding the whole polygyny discussion, my point of contention is not whether or not Christian men ought to take more than one wife. I am attempting to answer the following question.

    What is polygamy?

    Is it marriage, or is it adultery/sexual immortality?

    The Bible answers this question with the former. Polygamous marriages are marriages, not adulterous or sexually immoral relationships.

    An informed Christian may honestly argue that Christian men shouldn’t enter into multiple marriages. On the others hand, I don’t believe he can honestly argue that the practice is in any way morally equivalent to adultery or homosexuality.

    Thus, if a Muslim man with multiple wives comes to faith in Christ, I would argue that he MUST NOT divorce his multiple wives, as God hates divorce and intends the marriage bond to be permanent.

    Ministers who would tell him to divorce his wives sin against God by advocating unlawful divorce. Historically, this has frequently happened and has harmed the spread of the Christian Faith.

    On the other hand, if a practicing homosexual in a ” gay marriage ” situation comes to Christ, he MUST cease his homosexual relationship. (Same with the adulterer)

    Homosexuality is an abomination in God’s sight (adultery too), while polygamy is marriage in God’s sight (though it seems to be a bad idea, and net work well – culturally unacceptable etc.).

    I do not regard my above comments as “advocating for polygamy”. I regard them as simple honest discussion of God’s Moral Law as revealed in the Bible.

    On the other hand, if I said something like ” polygamy is great, and Christian men ought to pursue multiple wives”, that would be advocating for polygamy.

  89. Bart says:

    Sorry I meant “not work well”, not “net work well”. Typing on my Kindle.

  90. Bart says:

    Oscar,

    I assume that you are aware of the fact that God Himself uses polygamous language when describing His relationship with Israel and Judah. In both Jeremiah and Ezekiel, God pictures Himself as the Husband of (married to) two adulterous sisters (Israel and Judah) at the same time.

    Jeremiah 31:31-32 includes the phrase “I was their Husband” referencing both Israel and Judah.

    Also see Jeremiah 3:6-9 where God accuses both Israel and Judah of committing adultery against Him. Two women, both married to God, yet unfaithful.

    In Ezekiel 3:1-4, God refers to “two women, the daughters of one mother” being married to Him simultaneously “They became Mine, and they bore sons and daughters”.

    God said that He was married to two women.

    Clearly the implication you seem to be drawing from Genesis 2, and Matthew 19 (only monogamy being marriage) is not warranted.

    Patriarchy/Covenant seems to be the fundamental principle in marriage, rather than monogamy.

    Adultery and homosexuality radically violate patriarchy/covenant and are abominations. Polygamy does not violate the principle of patriarchy/covenant.

    Samuel Culpepper –

    Those passages also show us that whores tend to make unfaithful wives.

    Single guys listen up! YOU TAKE A HUGE RISK BY MARRYING A HARLOT! (even a ” reformed one”). Take heed to what Samuel is telling you.

    I thank God that my wife of 17 years was a virgin when I married her. The older and wiser I get the more I appreciate that (I was one too).

    Praise be to God that in Christ, He saves and redeems broken wicked people like us! We are all hopelessly fallen and broken beyond human repair. God saves!

  91. infowarrior1 says:

    Polygyny was a disaster at Munster by the Radical Anabaptists:
    https://books.google.com.au/books?id=X1EQCAAAQBAJ&pg=PA222&lpg=PA222&dq=monogamy+and+military+effectiveness&source=bl&ots=n0yJRRtemO&sig=y8uFTKCVgJIa7KeUCjXQIYN9o80&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwivrfy_1e7SAhVKJZQKHdB2D_YQ6AEIHjAA#v=onepage&q=monogamy%20and%20military%20effectiveness&f=false

    The disaster at Munster is evident for all to see who look back into history starting with the endless disorder that polygyny results from with every new wife.

    The example of the biblical Patriarchs and their respective polygynous household strife as well as the experimentation at Munster shows it wanting.

  92. Dave says:

    @Bart,

    Jeremiah 31:31-32 includes the phrase “I was their Husband” referencing both Israel and Judah.

    Judah and Israel were one and the same—one country; one people. Judah became an independent political entity after the death of Solomon when his son, Rehoboam, ascended the throne, and subsequently lost the ten tribes (“Israel”) after he rejected good counsel (see 1 Kings 12:12-17). Before then, Judah was part and parcel of Israel.
    I believe God addressed them as separate entities to make Himself clear to His human hearers and readers.
    So, this example you cited does not prove polygyny. Even if it did, it does not form a basis for our actions. Humans do not have the liberty to do something just because God did it. We are humans; He is God. Big difference. We are obligated to do what God wants us to do, and no more. For instance, He says we should forgive those who offend us. But He says He will repay the evil doers, and avenge Himself of His enemies. It would be wrong for us to “repay” those who mistreat us, and “avenge” ourselves for perceived mistreatments, though God can and will do both, in His own time. Thus, God could engage in polygyny, while telling us not to do the same.
    However, God’s marriages throughout Scripture were all figurative. Even our earthly marriages are supposed to be figurative of the marriage between Christ and the Church. That, actually, is a stronger argument against polygyny.

    Those passages also show us that whores tend to make unfaithful wives.

    Non sequitur. Your conclusion is correct, but the basis of that conclusion is, at the very least, doubtful. It is questionable to reach a sweeping conclusion when you only cited one case. It’s like claiming that meteors do hit the earth on Thursdays because the only one that ever hit the earth did so on a Thursday.

  93. infowarrior1 says:

    One should note that there were things permitted earlier that were prohibited later due to God instituting Laws to regulate human behavior.

    At 1st there were no law prohibiting murder as well but a curse on Cain and sebsequently on Lamech who murdered and soon the earth was filled with violence. For this reason the flood was sent and after the flood murder was prohibited and the death penalty was commanded for the murderer.

    Also Adam and Eve’s initial descendants who were brothers and sisters were not prohibited from marrying each other. But by the time of the Mosaic Law for reasons that God can see and we find evident it was prohibited for all time afterwards.

    Jesus as God in the New Testament acted to restore the Edenic Marriage Model. When previously it was permitted to have multiple wives. This is foreshadowed by the trend towards monogamy in the Old Testament even when polygyny was permitted:
    https://books.google.com.au/books?id=OTyjAQAAQBAJ&pg=PA43&lpg=PA43&dq=trend+towards+monogamy+old+testament&source=bl&ots=Q3KU_-1JBO&sig=-ceuashBuNDGZvGRZZO1i3tOTEs&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiGpOWNjO_SAhXEf7wKHRcPADkQ6AEIGTAA#v=onepage&q=trend%20towards%20monogamy%20old%20testament&f=false

  94. Luke says:

    Samuel Culpepper, Artisanal Toad advocates theological positions that clearly put him outside Biblical Christianity over into apostasy. I would not quote him on anything on religion.

  95. infowarrior1 says:

    Even with permission polygyny was never encouraged and a number of obligations that the husbands have towards all his wives discouraged the practice.

  96. Dave says:

    @Samuel Culpepper,

    I am one of those you believe to be “in error” re: sex with a virgin. Genesis 2:24 reads that man shall cleave to his wife and the two shall become one flesh . . . no ceremony, no pastor, no marriage license, no proclamation to the village, just sex.

    You will have a hard time using the process that Adam went through to find a wife, and marry her, as a model for all marriages. To be consistent, we must require that God puts the men to sleep, take a rib from their sides, and create custom-made wives for them. But we know that is not reasonable.

    Adam lived in a very primitive society. This was the first family. Most things were extremely crude at the time. As a matter of fact, they could not invite anyone to their wedding, because they were only two on the planet. And you want to use their example as our model? Seriously?

    Again, the passage in Genesis 24:67 shows a very crude process as it could be. How many men today would marry a girl they met only once, and they begin to sleep with her within an hour of meeting her? How many men have no say in who they marry, but depend on their father’s choice and the expertise of their father’s servant, to pick a wife for them?

    And, all those differences apart, are you trying to argue that, just because some folks did certain things in a certain way in the Bible, it is somehow justified for us to do the same? I hope not.

    We are at a great advantage today, because we have access to the lifestyles of those who went before us, and we can learn from their mistakes. It would be foolish to follow their examples without considering the consequences of their actions.

    Sex is not equal to marriage because
    1. Sex between unmarried people is universally considered to be a sin, not marriage. Biblical marriage is not a sin
    2. Sex between unmarried people was described as a defilement (Genesis 34:13); sex between married people is not considered this way (Hebrews 13:4).
    3. Men do not seduce their wives (in a bad sense) in order to have sex with them; unmarried men do seduce single women, contrary to God’s laws.
    4. Sex between unmarried people does not require the issuance of a divorce decree to terminate the relationship. Marriage does.
    5. Those who engage in unmarried sex are in danger of God’s coming judgement (Hebrews 13:4); marriage has no such punishment
    6. Marriages cannot be dissolved by the father of the bride. Sex between unmarried people can be terminated by the father of the woman (Exodus 22:16-17).
    7. Even after sexual intercourse has taken place between two people, they are not married until the man ENDOWS the woman to be his wife (Exodus 22:16-17). This marriage can be prevented through the woman’s father’s refusal.
    8. Equating unmarried sex to marriage means you cannot define fornication, which means sex between unmarried people.
    9. Marriage implies an understanding that each party has pledged their bodies to each other in perpetuity; unmarried sex has no such understanding.
    10. God calls sinners to repent of their fornication, but never of their properly conducted marriages.

    Thus, we can see that those who equate fornication with biblical marriage have no leg to stand on.

  97. infowarrior1 says:

    @Bart
    ”4. Many of the greatest men of faith in the OT had more than one wife (Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Gideon, David, Solomon, Josiah, etc.)”

    And all the result of polygamy was strife,misery,death and all other kinds of disharmony for those great men of faith.

    Monogamy has a much better record in scripture. But Polygamy only yields misery for those involved.

    Not one example of polygamy portrayed in the bible ever ends well or that it is a relationship blessed by God. I mean if Gideon’s polygamy is blessed by God how then why would 70 of his sons perish with only one survivor Jerub-Baal?

    Would God not bless a man by strengthening his house by multiplying the numbers of his house?

  98. Samuel Culpepper says:

    Oscar:

    No straw man, just a question that you haven’t answered. You wrote that I “wrongly” inferred that you implied that polygyny was a sin. You did not use the word “sin” but I think any passer by reading your post (which was in response to a question I posed to Dave actually) would think that you believed polygyny to be a sin. If you do not believe polygyny is a sin, please make that clear once and for all, that way we don’t argue a conclusion about which we agree. Simple enough?

  99. Son of Liberty says:

    You guys are trying to navigate without a compass. Nobody has yet to mention the Bible Version in which you quote, which is fundamentally CRUCIAL to interpret the real word of God. The Hebrew Scriptures of the Old Testament (Septuagint in Greek) and the Textus Receptus for the New Testament is the main and only finalized book of the Word of God, finalized no later than 200AD. Today, the only version that has 95% accuracy in English translation, is the 1611 and 1769 King James Version (NOT NKJV garbage), (Reina Valera of Spain as well). EVERYTHING ELSE is man-made, edited, omitted and in logical terms satanically influenced.

    Revelation 22:18-19 KJV
    18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
    19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

    Stay Away from the Alexandrian Manuscripts-inspired lineage of books, as they are false and not of God. These manuscripts gave way to the Sinaiticus and the Vaticainus which came late and way later after the finalized Old and New Testaments of God. The Dallas Theological Society is spreading great damage to ignorant Christians becasue of this. Masoretic and the Babylonian Talmud under the Orthodoxy doesn’t need any further exposure…

    New Age Bibles: NIV, NASB, NKJV, NWT, RSV, ECV.. – Gail Riplinger at the Prophecy Club

    King James VS Other Bible Versions- Dr. Kent Hovind

    PT 1 KJV Vs NIV, ESV, NASB, MEV, And All Other Versions

  100. American says:

    In 24 States now 50% or more of babies are born on Medicaid with New Mexico leading the nation at 72%!

    I’m not kidding when I say the government has replaced fathers and husbands for millions upon millions of promiscuous young women who no longer economically need to qualify a man to form a moral nuclear family with before they start giving birth.

    See: http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/terence-p-jeffrey/24-states-50-babies-born-medicaid

  101. Bart says:

    Infowarrior1

    You replied to my comment that ” Many of the greatest men of faith in the OT had more than one wife (Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Gideon, David, Solomon, Josiah, etc.)” saying:

    “And all the result of polygamy was strife,misery,death and all other kinds of disharmony for those great men of faith.”

    That is such a bogus argument (besides being incorrect).

    The moral status of polygamy is determined by God’s Law. The Biblical facts are clear and cannot continue to be ignored.

    1. God never prohibits polygamy, or mandates monogamy as the only lawful form of marriage (Old or New Testament) though He clearly and repeatedly prohibits adultery and homosexuality.
    2. God did not call polygamy evil, sin, unclean, impure, or anything of the sort, though He repeatedly does exactly that with actual sexual sins.
    4. God never punished it, and godly men never repented of it. At the same time God did rebuke and punish real sin, and godly men did repent of sin.
    5. God treated polygamous unions as real marriages, and treated the children of these unions as legitimate offspring, while simultaneously declaring the offspring of adulterous unions as unclean.

    The God of the Bible clearly regards polygamous marriages as “marriage, not adultery or sexual immorality”.

    A lot of folks want to ignore these inconvenient facts.

    We can argue that polygamy doesn’t work well, that it is impractical, or culturally unacceptable etc.

    We cannot however pretend that it isn’t marriage, or that it is in any way equivalent to adultery, or other form of sexual immorality.

    People grasp at straws and come up with desperately flawed arguments like yours when they pretend that our cultural traditions have a Biblical mandate.

    Let’s look at your particular argument.

    What strife, misery, and death came to Moses when he married his second wife? What strife, misery, and death came to Josiah for having more than one wife? What of Jair, Ibzan, and Abdon in the book of Judges? Where is their strife, misery, and death? Where do you read of Jehoash/Joash having strife, misery, and death coming from the fact that he had more than one wife? Where is the strife, misery, and death for Caleb father of Achsah?

    Abraham and Jacob’s families had some serious strife, but it seems like Isaac’s monogamous family had just as much (not to mention the monogamous family of Adam and Eve who’s son was the first murderer).

    Maybe we should just admit that all families were affected by the Fall. Sin and death have entered the world, and touch all our lives.

    Besides that “strife, and misery” were not the only consequence of Jacobs several marriages. There is also the small matter of THE WHOLE NATION OF ISRAEL coming from these four women. Without the polygamy, seven of Israel’s tribes never would have existed. Asher, Benjamin, Dan, Ephraim, Gad, Manasseh, and Naphtali all descended from Jacob’s polygamous marriages.

    Probably the best example to look at is that of David. ALL THE STRIFE, MISERY, AND DEATH CAME AFTER HE COMMITTED ADULTERY WITH BATHSHEBA! IT HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THE OTHER FIFTEEN OR SO WIVES THAT DAVID HAD! The problems with Amnon, Tamar, and Absalom all come as Divinely ordained consequences of David’s sin of adultery and murder.

    God’s dealing with David is especially revealing. God seems to have no problem with David having plural wives (He actually said He gave those wives to David), but when David takes another man’s wife (radical violation of covenant/patriarchy), then God rebukes David harshly.

    “Now therefore the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.’ Thus says the Lord, ‘Behold, I will raise up evil against you out of your own house. And I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel and before the sun.’” (2nd Samuel 12:10-12)

    Dishonest pastors sometimes try to pin David’s family trouble on polygamy, but 2nd Sam. 12 clearly tells us otherwise.

  102. Bart says:

    Dave –

    I realize that “God could engage in polygyny, while telling us not to do the same”.

    Of course He could. The point is that HE DID NOT PROHIBIT POLYGAMY.

    The fact that God used polygamous literary imagery is just one more piece of evidence showing that He regards polygamous marriages as “marriage, not adultery or sexual immorality”.

    No matter how deeply people want to deny it, the God of the Bible obviously treats polygamy as marriage.

  103. SirHamster says:

    @infowarrior1

    Thanks for that excerpt about the Munster rebellion. After much disorder and slaughter, including violent suppression of dissidence inside the polygamist faction, a captured leader says in defense of his practice of polygamy that the OT patriarchs practiced it, “why therefore should it not be allowed to us?”

    Preventing civil disorder and destruction of your community would be a rather good reason, had he been governed by reason and the wellbeing of his people, rather than the lust of his eyes and flesh.

    But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them–bringing swift destruction on themselves.
    […]
    For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of the flesh, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity–for “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.”

    Do not follow the false prophets who entice your flesh, or you will share their doom.

  104. Bart says:

    SirHamster,

    I had trouble opening the link from infowarrior1 on the topic of Munster, but am generally familiar with the history of the situation there. It was clearly a bad situation, but that does nothing to change God’s timeless Moral Law as revealed in the Bible.

    I did want to comment on your Scripture reference and the talk about false prophets.
    In the Sermon on the Mount, the Lord Jesus clearly blesses those who accurately teach the Old Testament Law (which obviously regarded polygamy as marriage), while criticizing those who minimize or distort God’s Law.

    The Apostle Paul warns us about false teachers who will come and add to God’s Law, by prohibiting things that God has permitted.

    “Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared, who FORBID MARRIAGE and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer. If you put these things before the brothers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, being trained in the words of the faith and of the good doctrine that you have followed. Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness;” (1 Timothy 4:1-7)

    Clearly, you guys don’t seem to be these types of folks. You are not prohibiting all marriage, but rather one particular (and relatively uncommon) form of marriage. Still, those who pretend that polygamy isn’t marriage, or that it is immoral are sinning by adding something to God’s Law.

  105. Bart says:

    Infowarrior1 –
    I also wanted to comment on your “trend towards monogamy in the Old Testament even when polygyny was permitted” argument.

    I do see your point that sometimes, later on, God prohibits things that He didn’t initially. The obvious example is intermarriage with close relatives. Adam and Eve’s kids presumably had no other options. The Mosaic Law however prohibited it.

    Still, there is no such “trend” regarding polygamy, and furthermore that sort of argument is just the type of reasoning that unbelieving liberals use to promote feminism and the normalization of homosexuality. The Bible doesn’t actually say what they want it to say, so they pretend that there is some sort of evolving trend.

    The source you linked contains numerous errors and unsupported assertions. He makes broad statements, and then doesn’t back them up with Biblical evidence. For example, he states that Deuteronomy prohibited kings from having more than one wife.

    That is incorrect. Deut. 17:17 prohibited the king from hoarding up an excessive number of wives (Solomon with his thousand wives, not Joash or Josiah with two, or even David with 10-20). It no more mandated monogamy for the king than it mandated the possession of only one horse.

    Verse sixteen uses the exact same wording regarding horses that verse seventeen uses about wives.

    “not acquire many horses for himself”
    “not acquire many wives for himself”

    Nobody seriously argues that the king could only have one horse. Clearly the text doesn’t mean that. We simply read a mandate for monogamy into verse seventeen based on our monogamous presuppositions. Those who argue that Deut. 17 mandates monogamy should also argue against the ownership of more than one horse.

    The king of Israel was suppose to trust in the Lord his God. He was not to trust in military might (horses), earthly treasure (excessive gold and silver, which can be used to buy friends and influence), or wives (which would often involve entangling alliances with pagan foreign powers – see Solomon).

    Deuteronomy 17 tells us that if the king broke these laws, then his heart would turn away from the Lord.

    Likewise, the king was not to abuse his position of power and authority to abuse his fellow Israelite brothers (by scrounging up all their money, and women) for selfish gain or aggrandizement.

    Moreover, I note that while Solomon seems to have violated all aspects of Deut. 17 (excessive horses, horses from Egypt, excessive wives, excessive gold and silver, heart turned away from the Lord), the Bible indicates that David did not, even though he had quite a lot of gold and silver, horses, and wives.

    “David did what was right in the eyes of the Lord and did not turn aside from anything that he commanded him all the days of his life, except in the matter of Uriah the Hittite.” (1 Kings 15:5)

    Furthermore, verse 3 of 1 Kings 15 tells us that David’s heart was wholly true to the Lord his God.

    The source you cited also states that:
    “Hosea preached monogamy as a symbol of the faithful union between God and His people”

    I can’t think of anything about monogamy or polygamy in the book of Hosea.

    Hosea preaches covenantal faithfulness. God is faithful and merciful to Israel, even though Israel is idolatrous/adulterous. Hosea calls Israel to be solely faithful to God. God demands monogamy from Israel towards Him, but Israel cannot demand monogamy from God towards them.

    The covenant head is always singular. Those coming under the covenant head may be singular or plural.

    The cited text also stated that:

    “Malachi took monogamy for granted…”

    Malachi isn’t talking about monogamy and polygamy. Much like Christ in the gospels, Malachi is dealing with the permanence of marriage. Malachi (and Christ) criticizes unjust divorce “breaking faith with the wife of your youth”, in order to hook up with a new chick. Malachi also preaches against God’s people intermarrying with unbelievers “married the daughter of a foreign god”.

    The Bible never says that a polygamous man “broke faith with the wife of his youth” when he took a second or third wife. The men Malachi references seem to have abandoned their first wives. Godly men do not abandon their wives, even if they take another.

    The Prophets did not add to God’s Law, but rather they called people to:
    1. Obey the Law
    2. Convicted Israel for violating God’s Law
    3. Repentance
    4. The Promise of God in Christ
    5. God’s Judgement

    Note that the prophets never likened Israel’s relations with idols or the pagan nations to polygamy. They likened it to adultery. God as the husband, may be polygamous. Israel as the wife must be monogamous.

    I also wanted to add in that the Protestant reformers Martin Luther, Philip Melanchthon, and Martin Bucer are all on record permitting polygamy under certain circumstances (though Luther later reversed himself on this, likely giving in to pragmatism).

    Augustine is also on record suggesting that polygamy doesn’t violate the Biblical covenant of marriage, but that it does violate Roman (not Biblical) laws and customs, and therefore Christians shouldn’t do it.

  106. Dale says:

    Samuel Culpepper and Dave were addressing whether sex with a virgin automatically creates a marriage. (Someone might go father and argue that sex with an unmarried promiscuous woman also automatically creates a marriage.)

    I previously read a rather well-researched post by the favourite hated-one, AT, who would (mostly?) agree that sex with a virgin automatically creates a marriage.

    I wish to thank Dave for pointing out something from the Ex 22 passage. I want to make it a bit more explicit, as I think it is important, and Dave’s words changed my mind on this issue.
    Ex 22:
    16 If a man seduces a virgin who is not pledged to be married and sleeps with her, he must pay the bride-price, and she shall be his wife. 17 If her father absolutely refuses to give her to him, he must still pay the bride-price for virgins.

    Some may look at the passage above, and say that sex with the virgin therefore creates a marriage. If the father disagrees, the father can cancel the daughter’s decision to create a marriage with the suitor.
    While that interpretation could be consistent with the passage, it is not actually required by the passage. Only one thing is shown that is mandatory; the suitor must pay for having taken the woman’s virginity. Whether the father allows a marriage or not, the suitor must pay.
    But verse 17 does not actually say that the father cancels a short-lived marriage. It shows that the father refuses to give the daughter to the suitor; there is no marriage. No divorce certificate is mentioned either, as would be expected if a short-lived marriage existed.
    The passage says that “she shall be his wife”, but given the second verse in this passage, it should be understood this occurs only in those cases where the father agreed. My interpretation of the words from verse 16 cannot ignore 17.

    It would be better to say that this passage shows that the father’s agreement is mandatory, for a marriage to be permitted. Payment is for the taking of virginity, not for the taking of a wife.

    I will disagree that many former promiscuous women can become suitable for marriage. Deut 22 shows that, if a man chose to object/complain, the proper penalty for a woman having been promiscuous before marriage is death. Yes, she is able to be saved; salvation is someone else having paid the cost for the most important eternal consequence of our sin — it is not payment of all consequences. See 1 Cor 3:14-15 for proof that even some eternal consequences remain after salvation.
    Of course, the man with the promiscuous woman might choose to take and keep this lower-value woman. Nothing in that passage requires the husband to have the promiscuous woman killed, although it is absolutely within his right.
    I wonder how many parents faked the proof of their promiscuous daughter’s virginity, and thus avoided shame plus pocketed 100 shekels.

    >To be consistent, we must require that God puts the men to sleep, take a rib from their sides, and create custom-made wives for them. But we know that is not reasonable.

    That’s too bad. This really sounds like the ideal to me 🙂
    A custom-made woman for each man; how fantastic that would be, compared with the cesspool in which I wade, anytime I wander into a North American church.

  107. SirHamster says:

    I had trouble opening the link from infowarrior1 on the topic of Munster, but am generally familiar with the history of the situation there. It was clearly a bad situation, but that does nothing to change God’s timeless Moral Law as revealed in the Bible.

    Bad situation is an understatement.

    Clearly, you guys don’t seem to be these types of folks. You are not prohibiting all marriage, but rather one particular (and relatively uncommon) form of marriage. Still, those who pretend that polygamy isn’t marriage, or that it is immoral are sinning by adding something to God’s Law.

    How can I prohibit anything for you when you are not under my authority? But I observe that polygamy is a solution in search of a problem. Even as its spirit lives on in the serial monogamy of unfaithful women and the spinning plates of unfaithful men.

    There is no need for polygamy in this day and age. No one is disputing that polygamy is a type of marriage. But it is neither desirable or good for our current society. As far as polygamy leads to sin and destruction – it is immoral and a sin to advocate for it and mislead immature Christians into chasing things of the flesh.

    Where it is sin, it is not I who prohibits it for you – God does. Raise your fist against God rather than the messenger.

  108. Bart says:

    SirHamster,

    You finally acknowledge that “polygamy is a type of marriage”.

    I am satisfied.

    Again, I agree that it isn’t advisable. I just want people to admit that it is marriage, not adultery or sexual immortality. Most Churchians won’t admit that.

    Most commentators here seem better informed than many in the Church.

    Also, I am not raising my fist against God. I’m just telling you what He said. The Churchians who deny that polygamy is marriage are the ones shaking their puny fists in the face of the Almighty.

    Still you confuse adultery and polygamy when you wrongly insist that the “spirit (of polygamy) lives on in the serial monogamy of unfaithful women and the spinning plates of unfaithful men”.

    That is adultery/sexual immorality, not polygamy.

    Women can never be polygamists. They can be virgins, wives, widows, or adulteresses, but never polygamists.

  109. Bart says:

    SirHamster,
    Furthermore, polygamy is not really a thing in itself. Rather, it is just one small and pretty uncommon aspect of patriarchy (which is God’s created order).

  110. dvdivx says:

    I want to know if Genisis 6:2 was a love story or just women not caring about where the father of their children came from.

  111. infowarrior1 says:

    @Bart
    Do you think God not prohibiting murder before the flood and then prohibiting it after the flood with the death penalty changing the timeless moral law?

    Do you not think that the immediate sons and daughters of Adam and Eve being permitted to marry each other as brothers and sisters. Yet such an action is prohibited later an alteration of the timeless moral law?

  112. infowarrior1 says:

    ^Disregard my earlier comment.

  113. infowarrior1 says:

    @Bart
    You seemed to have missed Gunner Q comment:
    For the interested and the slow class, the Biblical prohibition against polygamy is 1 Cor. 7:2. If you take multiple wives then you force your fellow man into sexual frustration. That is cruelty.

    It is the work of the devil to divide humanity into the glutted and the starving.

  114. SkylerWurden says:

    Wait, I’m confused, when did God outlaw polygamy for women? Taking the “what is not forbidden is allowed” tac, when did God say that a woman could not have ten husbands as long as they were lawfully married?

    Sometimes, it’s better not to overturn things.

  115. Lyn87 says:

    SkylerWurden,

    A women may not have more than one husband because a wife is required to submit to her husband, and “You cannot serve two masters” (Matt 6:24 and Luke 16:13).

  116. SkylerWurden says:

    Pretty convenient. I prefer my Truth with a little less mental gymnastics.

  117. Bart says:

    SkylerWurden,
    Lyn87 is correct. Of course there are many more reasons as well.

    “And you shall not lie sexually with your neighbor’s wife and so make yourself unclean with her.” (Leviticus 18:20)

    A woman can only be the wife of one man.

    “For a married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies she is released from the law of marriage. Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she marries another man she is not an adulteress.” (Romans 7:2-3)

    ““If a man commits adultery with the wife of his neighbor, both the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.” (Leviticus 20:10)

    ““‘And you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife. And you shall not desire your neighbor’s house, his field, or his male servant, or his female servant, his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.’” (Deuteronomy 5:21)

    The wife belongs to her husband. Note that the 10th commandment on coveting is one directional. You are prohibited from coveting that which belongs to your neighbor. His wife belongs to him.

    Also note that while the Bible has MANY examples of polygamous men. There is never an example of a polygamous woman. There are just virgins, widows, faithful wives, and adulterous/sexually immoral women.

  118. Bart says:

    Skylar,
    Patriarchal polygamy has existed since the dawn of time (book of Genesis is full of it). The Bible clearly treats it as marriage.

    Sometimes, it is better not to overturn things.

  119. Bart says:

    Skylar,
    Marriage 1.0 is patriarchal.
    Marriage 2.0 isn’t
    It is better to stick with God’s definition of marriage, than man’s.

  120. BillyS says:

    Give it a rest Bart. Go for your own harem if you really want, but I suspect almost all who argue that polygamy is all great can’t even entice one, let alone a harem.

    ====

    One thing to consider about a divorced spouse:

    [Deu 24:1-4 NKJV] 1 “When a man takes a wife and marries her, and it happens that she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some uncleanness in her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce, puts [it] in her hand, and sends her out of his house, 2 “when she has departed from his house, and goes and becomes another man’s [wife], 3 “[if] the latter husband detests her and writes her a certificate of divorce, puts [it] in her hand, and sends her out of his house, or if the latter husband dies who took her as his wife, 4 “[then] her former husband who divorced her must not take her back to be his wife after she has been defiled; for that [is] an abomination before the LORD, and you shall not bring sin on the land which the LORD your God is giving you [as] an inheritance.

    God didn’t want divorce, but allowed it to happen. The wife is no longer the man’s to return to in this case.

  121. Bart says:

    Give it a rest yourself BillyS.

    I suspect almost all who argue that polygamy is unlawful actually fear offending their wives (or cultural/church norms) more than they fear the God of the Bible.

    There is a word for that. It is idolatry.

    You are not the Creator. You don’t get to set the laws by which mankind is governed. The God of the Bible does, and He has always treated polygamy as marriage, not adultery, or sexual immorality.

    If you want to reject the God of the Bible, and make up your own religion, go for it. But know that God will hold you accountable for rejecting His authority.

  122. Bart says:

    BillyS –
    Furthermore, I didn’t argue that “polygamy is all great”.

    I argued that the Bible treats it as marriage, not adultery, or sexual immorality.

    I would in fact argue that polygamy is not generally advisable. I just have to also be honest about it’s moral status in God’s sight.

    It is not the usual form of marriage. Obviously monogamy is the usual form of marriage. Polygyny is more of an unusual exception (but clearly a lawful one).

  123. Samuel Culpepper says:

    All:

    Regardless of your reading of the Scriptures to either permit or prohibit polygyny or the initiation of marriage by intercourse, I still have to wonder why so many christian men defend the practice of taking a banged up slut to wife. Does the thought of yoking yourself (for life) to a vagina that has been penetrated by one or more men not disgust you? I suppose there are some young lads here that have not wifed up these sluts yet and therefore do not know the psychological anguish that comes with the territory . . . their ignorance is somewhat excusable as they just don’t know and their churches are probably shaming them into thinking this way . . . you know the grace and forgiveness fixes all kind of theology. (It does not do away with earthly consequences. II Samuel 12: 1-31)
    But for those men here that did wife up a used woman (divorced, banged up, etc.) do you not have problems respecting your wife sexually? Does the thought of another man’s member and semen being in the vagina you now call your wife not disturb you. It did me before I married and it never changed in 16 years of marriage. Maybe I am just Old School, Old Testament or just plain Old, but this thing has been an absolute bar to me feeling anything towards my wife that resembles the love described in biblical marriage. I really wish that I could love and respect my wife like a chaste virgin but I can’t and never will as the components for that love just don’t exist and to state otherwise would just be a lie.
    I would like to hear some of the commenters explain why they married used women and if they have the same problems in their marriage as I do in mine and if not, how did they address and overcome this issue in their marriages . I have shared parts of my history here and don’t mind doing it again if it would convince the younger men not to come to this hell that I live in.

  124. Bart says:

    Infowarrior1 –
    I read Gunner Q’s comment:
    “For the interested and the slow class, the Biblical prohibition against polygamy is 1 Cor. 7:2. If you take multiple wives then you force your fellow man into sexual frustration. That is cruelty.”

    His insulting those who disagree with him as “the slow class” isn’t exactly charitable (I know I get snarky too sometimes).

    Here is my response.

    He is making more of a practical argument against polygamy than a moral one. Gunner Q isn’t saying that polygamy is fundamentally immoral. He is saying that the implications of widespread polygamy would have a harmful impact on some men. That could be a very valid consideration for the Christian man, but it does not equal a Divine prohibition against the practice.

    There are practical/pragmatic arguments to be made both for and against polygamy. There are both benefits and disadvantages to it.

    It isn’t really my purpose to weigh them. I’m trying to show people what the Bible says about the moral status of polygamy. How does God’s Law define it? I’m claiming that the Bible regards it as marriage, not adultery, or sexual immorality.

    One could flip Gunner Q’s argument on its head and say that this passage actually indicates that polygamy would be mandatory under certain circumstances where there is a gender imbalance in society.

    Look at Europe in 1919 and 1945. An entire generation of young men was wiped out in each of the world wars. This created a huge gender imbalance. Millions of women were left as widows, or young women without any marriage prospects.

    In 1st Cor. 7:2, the Bible tells us that each woman is to have her own husband. Mandating monogamy under those conditions is cruel in that it forces millions of women into sexual frustration, and removes any possibility of them ever becoming wives and mothers.

    According to Gunner Q,

    “That is cruelty. It is the work of the devil to divide humanity into the glutted and the starving.”

    Of course 1st Cor. 7:2 isn’t directly relevant to the issue of the moral status of polygamy. Fundamental moral laws on things like marriage were given in the Pentateuch, not in the Epistles. Christ Himself affirmed the moral teaching of the Law (Matt. 5), and Paul and the other Apostles do the same in the Epistles.

    Passages such as 1st Cor. 7 are divinely inspired guidance to the churches, not fundamental moral law.

    It isn’t a demand that every single man in the world has to be married. I think the point Paul is getting at here is that marriage (and proper sexual relations within marriage) is God’s general plan for meeting the sexual desires that He gave mankind. Not every single person has to be married. Some people have the gift of singleness. Most of us however burn with passion, and should marry.
    The exact number of men and women in a society fluctuates, but is never an exact 1:1 ratio.

    If polygamy were extremely widespread, it could deprive some men of a wife, and that could be a problem. In reality, it rarely works out that way. Even in polygamous societies (like ancient Israel), polygamy tends to be pretty rare (probably less than 10% of men had more than one wife).

    Most women prefer monogamy over having to share a husband. Most men are not high enough SMV to attract more than one wife, and most men lack the financial resources to provide for more than one. Furthermore many wealthy and high SMV men have the good practical sense to avoid seeking more than one wife.

    Furthermore, some percentage of men have the gift of singleness and don’t need a wife. Other men are MGOTW, and don’t want a wife. Others are homosexuals. Still others are unwilling, or unable to provide for a wife and a family.

  125. Cane Caldo says:

    @Samuel

    Maybe I am just Old School, Old Testament or just plain Old, but this thing has been an absolute bar to me feeling anything towards my wife that resembles the love described in biblical marriage. I really wish that I could love and respect my wife like a chaste virgin but I can’t and never will as the components for that love just don’t exist and to state otherwise would just be a lie.

    1) Did you know about the other men before you married her?
    2) Did she tell you about them, or did you find out another way?
    3) Did she claim responsibility for her actions, admit they were sin, say she was sorry, and ask for forgiveness?
    4) Do you believe her?

  126. SirHamster says:

    @Bart

    You finally acknowledge that “polygamy is a type of marriage”.

    There is no “finally”. I have never said otherwise, because the very definition of the word is “multi-wife/husband”. Wife/husband = marriage.

    Don’t falsely impute positions to me.

    Also, I am not raising my fist against God. I’m just telling you what He said. The Churchians who deny that polygamy is marriage are the ones shaking their puny fists in the face of the Almighty.

    There is no one on this thread that argues polygamy is not marriage. You are swinging against idiotic strawmen.

    Wasting your God-given talents on such pointless arguments is a sin.

    Still you confuse adultery and polygamy when you wrongly insist that the “spirit (of polygamy) lives on in the serial monogamy of unfaithful women and the spinning plates of unfaithful men”.

    That is adultery/sexual immorality, not polygamy.

    The spirit of polygamy is to have many men or women, instead of one. Serial monogamy is a form of polygamy, and for you to call it adultery/sexual immorality is your own judgement upon polygamy.

    Polygamy is not necessarily wholesome or God honoring.

    Women can never be polygamists. They can be virgins, wives, widows, or adulteresses, but never polygamists.

    How many husbands did the Samaritan woman at the well have?

    And that’s before I point out that an -ist can be a supporter/advocate, not just a practitioner.

  127. thedeti says:

    Samuel Culpepper:

    contact me at

    detination42 – at- gmail.com

  128. Bart says:

    SirHamster,
    You stated that.
    “There is no one on this thread that argues polygamy is not marriage. You are swinging against idiotic strawmen.”

    I am not exactly sure of the viewpoint of everyone is on this website. I can tell you however what is the official or at least de facto position of every major Christian denomination in the country.

    Every denomination regards polygamy as adultery/sexual immorality. More than 99% of professing Christians would hold to that.

    If a man with three wives walked into a church and told the people present that these are “his wives”, he would be treated/regarded as an adulterer/sexually immoral man.

    It wouldn’t matter if it was a Roman Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Lutheran, Pentecostal, Charismatic, Wesleyan, Eastern Orthodox, Reformed, Episcopal, or any other church.

    They all teach that monogamy is marriage, and that any form of polygamy is immoral.

    I am addressing an error that is almost universally believed, not attacking straw men.

    The real point isn’t polygamy anyway. It is patriarchy. Mandated monogamy serves to undermine patriarchy, and the possibility of polygamy helps strengthen patriarchy (even if polygamy is very rare, and impractical).

  129. Gunner Q says:

    Bart @ 3:26 pm:
    “I read Gunner Q’s comment … His insulting those who disagree with him as “the slow class” isn’t exactly charitable (I know I get snarky too sometimes).”

    If you still believe the OLD Testament is binding upon modern Christians then you’re in the slow class. If you believe only selected portions of the the OT are binding then you’re a lawbreaking hypocrite, too. I won’t be nice about this. We are not Jews living in Ancient Israel. Acts 15:10.

    “He is making more of a practical argument against polygamy than a moral one. Gunner Q isn’t saying that polygamy is fundamentally immoral.”

    Polygamy is fundamentally immoral. It cannot be a standard practice without depriving unattractive men of any chance at sanctioned sex.

    “If polygamy were extremely widespread, it could deprive some men of a wife, and that could be a problem. In reality, it rarely works out that way.”

    You lie. *points at Africa, Middle East and the lost boys of Mormonism*

    “Most women prefer monogamy over having to share a husband.”

    You lie. *points at hypergamy, serial monogamy, frivorce rates and STD infection patterns.*

    “He is saying that the implications of widespread polygamy would have a harmful impact on some men. That could be a very valid consideration for the Christian man, but it does not equal a Divine prohibition against the practice.”

    You make the Pharisee’s mistake of believing God is a rulebook instead of a person. Fatal error.

  130. SirHamster says:

    “There is no one on this thread that argues polygamy is not marriage. You are swinging against idiotic strawmen.”

    I am not exactly sure of the viewpoint of everyone is on this website. I can tell you however what is the official or at least de facto position of every major Christian denomination in the country.

    Bullshit. Bearing false witness is an explicit 10 Commandment sin, by the way. “Not promoting polygamy”, on the other hand, is not a sin.

    If a man with three wives walked into a church and told the people present that these are “his wives”, he would be treated/regarded as an adulterer/sexually immoral man.

    Because polygamy has been legislated out of every Western Civ country for generations. Lawless men are immoral.

    They all teach that monogamy is marriage, and that any form of polygamy is immoral.

    Monogamy is marriage, by definition. Practicing polygamy in any Western Civ country in this era is immoral and brings dishonor to your community and yourself.

    Teaching truth is a good, but you are treating what is true as something shameful. It says something that polygamy is your rallying cry – not love of God, nor love of others.

    Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices–mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law–justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.

    Stop misleading others to major in the minors.

  131. Bart says:

    Gunner Q –

    You lie.

    You quote Acts 15, but dishonestly leave out the fact it teaches the Mosaic law still applies to New Testament Gentile Christians in regard to the issue of marriage/sexual immorality.

    “Therefore my judgment is that we should not trouble those of the Gentiles who turn to God, but should write to them to abstain from the things polluted by idols, and from SEXUAL IMMORALITY, and from what has been strangled, and from blood. For from ancient generations Moses has had in every city those who proclaim him, for he is read every Sabbath in the synagogues.” (Acts 15:19-21)

    Sexual immorality as defined by the Law of Moses is applicable to Christians.

    It’s right there man!

    The Jerusalem Council determined that the Mosaic law still applies to Christians as it pertains to the field of marriage and sexuality.

    Thankfully, it doesn’t as pertains eating pork and shrimp. (Acts 10, and 15)
    🙂

    I notice that you also conveniently left out any response to my argument that monogamy deprives women of husbands when there is a gender imbalance. That is something that has frequently happened throughout history, since men die disproportionately in war.

    Apparently you don’t give a crap about women being deprived of husbands.

    Also, I am not defending polygamy as practiced by Mormon groups, Muslims, or other pagans. Pagans do a lot of evil things. They frequently sin in the way they practice marriage. I’m arguing that polygamy isn’t inherently sinful.

    You make the error of the Pharisees. You add to God’s Law.

    “Now, therefore, why are you putting God to the test by placing a yoke on the neck of the disciples that neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? But we believe that we will be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they will.” ” (Acts 15:10-11)

    People are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, which is received by faith. The Law saves no one.

    Still, the Law guides our conduct, and shows us how God wants His people to live. The Law of God permits polygamy.

  132. Pingback: Was it true love? | Dalrock

  133. Dave says:

    @Bart:

    The God of the Bible clearly regards polygamous marriages as “marriage, not adultery or sexual immorality”.

    The same way the owner of a China shop regards any item broken by a careless customer as a sale.
    It would be cruel and unusual punishment to regard polygamous marriages any less.
    When a man has already married more than one wife, the damage is already done. The “extra” wives can no longer become some other men’s wives. To mandate a dissolution of their union, and condemn only the women to a life of celibacy, is likely to do more harm than good. Just because a person is divorced does not make their sexual drives go away. Sooner or later, as a result of their irrepressible sexual urges, they will stray, and “increase transgressions among men”. (Proverbs 23:28). Worse still, this could tempt them to abandon the faith entirely, causing them an eternal perdition. The sin of fornication is far worse than that of polygamy.

    The same argument, in my opinion, can be advanced in the case of a man who rapes or seduces an unmarried woman. She is defiled, and disqualified from being another man’s wife. The man who defiled her therefore MUST marry her, and NEVER divorce her for the rest of his life. That is the only reasonable way forward. You broke it; you own it.

    It is silly to argue that God gave more than a grudging approval for polygamy in the OT. The NT is far more explicit: polygamous men were permanently barred from positions of leadership in the church, irrespective of their otherwise sterling spiritual accomplishments. (think of a felon with suspended sentence, but barred from running for office). If that is not an express disapproval of polygamy, I don’t know what is.

  134. Dave says:

    Sexual immorality as defined by the Law of Moses is applicable to Christians.

    Actually, you are the one who erred, because you did not divide the Scriptures aright. The NT standard is much higher than the law of Moses, because, in every way, the New Covenant, under Christ, is superior to the law of Moses. That is the core of Paul’s arguments in the book of Hebrews (I suggest you take a look). The definition of sexual immorality in the NT is totally different compared to the OT.

    As per the N T standards regarding immorality, let’s read it straight from Jesus Himself:

    Matthew 5: 27-28
     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.

    Clearly, according to Christ, you don’t need to touch a woman before you become guilty of adultery. That’s a standard much higher than what Moses taught. And that was just an example. Christ went on to show that the NT standard was indeed much higher (you can read more of His teachings in the rest of the chapter, beginning from verse 21).

    New Testament believers, including Gentiles who have come to know Christ are under no obligation to obey ANY law of Moses. Zero. Zilch. The Law of Moses has been done away in Christ. The Old Tabernacle has been made obsolete. The terms of the Levitical priesthood have expired. The temple no longer exists. It’s gone. Totally.

    Those who limit their obedience to the Law of Moses, or seek to be justified by the law of Moses, are lost, according to this passage:

    Again I testify to every man who gets himself circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole Law. You who are trying to be justified by the Law have been severed from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. Gal 5:4

    Once you subject yourself to ANY law of Moses, you are obligated to obey ALL of the Laws, as shown above. Every law that God means for us to obey are stated clearly in the NT, under the New Covenant (more than 300 of them). Every useful law in the OT that God wants us to obey are restated in the NT. Even then, the NT standard is much higher, compared to the OT.

  135. Dave says:

    Look at Europe in 1919 and 1945. An entire generation of young men was wiped out in each of the world wars. This created a huge gender imbalance. Millions of women were left as widows, or young women without any marriage prospects.

    And this forms a basis for polygamy? Seriously? So what happens now that feminism has all but taken most young women, and rendered them unsuitable for marriage? Would you advocate polyandry then?
    God’s laws are not “politically correct”; they are not “seasonal” either; and neither are they subject to cultural differences among peoples. God’s laws are God’s laws.
    Even if the people of the world were so foolish they wiped out 99% of their men. That does not justify willful disobedience to God’s laws.

    In 1st Cor. 7:2, the Bible tells us that each woman is to have her own husband. Mandating monogamy under those conditions is cruel in that it forces millions of women into sexual frustration, and removes any possibility of them ever becoming wives and mothers.

    Straw man. Marriage has never been imposed on anyone in Scripture. Both Christ and the Apostles recognized that marriage was voluntary, as some people were voluntarily celibate for life.

    I think you’d have a better argument if you could point to one person in the entire NT who had more than one wife. Just one Christian is enough. Then proceed to show what the Church did about it. (Hint: there’s none; the church frowned at the practice).

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