So you think Bible the condones Polygamy?
Stories from the Bible tell it differently:
- The first polygamist, Lamech, calls a family conference so he can boast about his inordinate vengeful violence. He’s clearly not a nice man (Gen 4:19-24).
- Jacob has two wives and two concubines, a situation which creates family heartbreak, envy and, ultimately, attempted murder (Gen 29-37).
- Gideon has many wives and many sons (Judges 8:30). This results in civil war and wholesale slaughter in Israel (Judges 9).
- David has a seemingly insatiable appetite for women. He has many wives (2 Sam 5:13), and in the end steals another man’s wife and murders him (2 Sam 11-12). The resulting, big family was not a happy one: they ended up committing incestuous rape (2 Sam 13) and rebellion which almost destroyed David’s kingdom (2 Sam 14ff).
- Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines. They led his heart away from the Lord, and led to the break-up of his kingdom (1 Kings 11:3-4).
Other affirming verses in the Bible that declare marriage as one man and one woman:
The Bible begins with an explicit affirmation that marriage is between one man and one woman (Gen 1-2), an affirmation which is later confirmed by Jesus himself (Matt 19:4-6). There are, furthermore, laws limiting some of the worst effects of polygamy (Deut 21:15-17). And then, in the New Testament, Paul’s command to Timothy that church leaders must be, alongside exemplars of other moral virtues, “the husband of one wife” (1 Tim 3:2, 12; cf. 1 Tim 5:9) implies that polygamy is not a desirable thing.