I was rather surprised when a gentleman gave a challenge, which was directed at me, to show him where polygamy is mentioned in Scripture. My surprise was not at his audacity. Rather, it was in the fact that I had provided several verses in the piece he was reacting to.
And even beyond that, anyone who has read any of my writings on spiritual matters, knows I do not write even one paragraph without citing Scriptural authority. That is my nature. I fear God too much to pass on my opinions as Scripture.
Well, perhaps some people do not read Scripture, if they want to know where polygamy is written in Scripture, I will oblige them. The word polygamy is less than 600 years old. The word polygamy was first used in the 1590s. Please research it yourself. I deal in facts!
When you hear people saying “if”, “if”, and more “if”, they are actually not quoting Scripture. They are in reality quoting THEIR OPINIONS!
The word polygamy was not in use when Scripture was written, about 2000 years ago (some Scripture are older than 2000 years). However, the practice of polygamy, which is described as one man marrying more than one wife, is in Scripture.
Below are multiple verses from Scripture where the practice of polygamy is observed by righteous men (I carefully omitted polygamy by men Scripture regarded as unrighteous).
1. “If he marries another woman, he must not deprive the first one of her food, clothing and marital rights.”-Exodus 21:10.
2. “If a man has two wives, and he loves one but not the other, and both bear him sons but the firstborn is the son of the wife he does not love when he wills his property to his sons, he must not give the rights of the firstborn to the son of the wife he loves in preference to his actual firstborn, the son of the wife he does not love.”-Deuteronomy 21:15-16.
3. “When Esau was forty years old, he married Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and also Basemath daughter of Elon the Hittite.”-Genesis 26:34.
4. “Jacob made love to Rachel also, and his love for Rachel was greater than his love for Leah. And he worked for Laban another seven years.” Genesis 29:30
5. “Abigail quickly got on a donkey and, attended by her five female servants, went with David’s messengers and became his wife. David had also married Ahinoam of Jezreel, and they both were his wives. But Saul had given his daughter Michal, David’s wife, to Paltiel son of Laish, who was from Gallim.”-1 Samuel 25:42-44.
6. “Ashhur the father of Tekoa had two wives, Helah and Naarah.”-1 Chronicles 4:5.
Another instance of polygamy is Gideon. Scripture says Gideon was called by God in Judges 6:11, which says “The LORD is with you, O mighty man of valor.”
Now, this man whom the ‘Lord was with’, was a polygamist. We see this in Judges 8:20, which says “Gideon had seventy sons of his own since he had MANY WIVES.”
Take the case of Abijah. He was King of Judah and David’s great-grandson Scripture describes him in 2 Chronicles 13:10 as a man who did not forsake God, and in 2 Chronicles 13:11, he is described as a man who carried out “the requirements of the LORD our God.”
Yet, this righteous and GGod-fearing king had many wives. We see this in 2 Chronicles 13:21:
“Abijah grew strong, married fourteen wives, and became the father of twenty-two sons and sixteen daughters.”
In the case of King Joash, he was a minor when he became king. So he was out under the regency of priests (incidentally, the man who challenged me is himself a priest).
Now, it was the leading priest of God, a man called Jehoiada, who himself selected two wives for the young King Joash. And Scripture described Joash as doing “what was right in the eyes of the Lord”. We see this in 2 Chronicles 24:1-3:
“Joash was seven years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem for party years. His mother’s name was Zibiah; she was from Beersheba. Joash did what was right in the eyes of the Lord all the years of Jehoiada the priest. Jehoiada chose two wives for him, and he had sons and daughters.”
So, if the act of marrying two wives was “right in the eyes of the Lord”, why is this priest who challenged me now saying another thing?
What about David, who was given his life, not by a priest; but by God Himself? We see that in 2 Samuel 12:8:
“I gave your master’s house to you, and your master’s wives into your arms. I gave you all Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more.”
The fact of the matter is that some people are taking dogmas of their church denomination and passing them off as scriptural doctrines.
Scripture was not written in English. It was written in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek.
For instance, many people take Christ’s words in Matthew 19:5 as being against polygamy. That verse says in English:
“For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh
However, the actual Koine Greek word used there is gynaiki. That word does not mean wife. It means woman. That word itself is a Koine Greek translation of the Hebrew word bə·’iš·tōw.
To put that verse in proper context, you need to read another verse in the New Testament that quotes that same verse.
We see that in 1 Corinthians 6:16:
“Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in the body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.”
You can see that in 1 Corinthians 6:16, Paul is using that same verse to refer to what a man does with a prostitute. Now, is a prostitute a wife? Of course not.
Now, I will not counsel any man to go into polygamy, and I am not a polygamist, nor do I have plans to be. However, it is either a function of ignorance or just a demonic lie, to say that Scripture forbids polygamy.
Scripture does forbid polygamy for Bishops and elders, as we see in 1 Timothy 3:2:
“A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior given to hospitality, apt to teach.”
When you hear people saying “if”, “if”, and more “if”, they are not quoting Scripture. They are in reality quoting THEIR OPINIONS!
Reno Omokri is a Gospeller. Business Insider Magazine’s Business Influencer of the Year, 2022. Deep Thinker. #1 Bestselling author of Facts Versus Fiction: The True Story of the Jonathan Years. Avid traveler Hollywood Magazine Film Festival Humanitarian of the Year, 2019.