I ran across some notes I had previously made (years ago) and thought I'd very briefly use them to address the issue of polygamy in the Bible as I have so far found it to be. If anyone is interested, stay ... read on. If someone is not interested, move on, or stay; as you please. There are no handcuffs or locked doors here. 8-)
Be that situation as it may, I'll give it a try and hope I don't sound too preachy.
All asterisks are added by me. Here goes.
The journey.. it is a journey if one is studying the Bible, or it's an assignment... either way if any one who is reading this now has ever journied through the Bible, you probably learned eventually, as I did, that what is actually recorded in the Bible irt many issues is hardly ever recorded the same way we've 'been told' or we've "heard" it is recorded.
Lots of people have been told the Bible says, "This." Or the Bible tells us, "That." But nine times out of ten the actual text and/or meaning usually ends up being something other than what our "sound byte" culture has lead us to believe.
We also eventually see that not everything recorded in the Bible is something of which God approves, so going directly to the Bible can help to clear up lots of issues. :)
To that end I think a good start irt polygamy can be made in Genesis and Matthew.
24 For this reason a man will leave his father
and mother and be united to his wife, and they
will become one flesh.
Matthew 19 (references Gen 2:24)
4 "Haven't you read," he replied, "that at the beginning
the Creator 'made them male and female,' 5 and said,
'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother
and be united to his wife, and the two will become one
flesh'? 6 So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore
what God has joined together, let man not separate."
Consider ... "A" man, will be united to his "wife." Both singular.
And because it's in the same area, might as well go here ... the following passage gives us a reason God allowed so much polygamy to be reported on in the Old Testament; reported and recorded, not approved of.
The passage concerns divorce in particular ... but it can apply to most anything we may think is right but that may not be quite what God has decreed (according to other passages in other parts of the Book).
7 "Why then," they asked, "did Moses command that a
man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her
away?" 8 Jesus replied, "Moses permitted you to
divorce your wives *because your hearts were hard*.
But it was not this way from the beginning. 9 I tell you
that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital
unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits
I understand many people reading this may not be believers. But, well, ya don't have to believe it to be able to see what it actually textually says. Belief isn't a prerequisite for reading it if you see what I mean. In any case, it's your choice to continue reading or not. Soo, moving on.
Below is the Biblical tenet irt what the character of a bishop *should* be. As the leader of a congregation, it becomes obvious that these guidelines were not just for the bishop but were meant to guide the bishop into being an example, a model for the whole congregation to follow.
1 Timothy 3:1-2, 5
1 This is a true saying, if a man desire the office
of a bishop, he desireth a good work.
2 A bishop then must be blameless, *the husband
of one wife*, ...
5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house,
how shall he take care of the church of God?)
In the New Testament, in 1 Corinthians 7 Paul says,
1 Now for the matters you wrote about: It is good for
a man not to marry. 2 But since there is so much
immorality, *each man should have his own wife,
and each woman her own husband* .
Additionally, some of the most blessed men and women who's stories are recorded in the Bible were monogamous ...
Isaac and Rebekah were monogamous.
As were Joseph and Asenath
Moses and Zipporah.
I think ... if I recall ... Biblically polygamy was first reported in the line of Cain ... a murderer. We don't find it in the godly line of Seth.
Annnd ... Lamech .. um I think he was the grandson of Cain - he was also a murderer and a polygamist. Then there's Esau (the one who "despised his birthright") ... he caused a lot of pain for his mother and father by marrying two pagan wives.
There may be more I can't remember at the moment but one I'm sure everyone is familiar with is Abraham ... Abram and Sarai were monogomous and totally blessed until they had their crisis of faith and trust irt God's timing for giving them a son ... which brought Hagar into their home. After that ... well, you probably know the story of what trouble that relationship and the resulting pregnancy caused.
To sum up, Biblically polygamy is reported but seems to generally eventually be accompanied and characterized by some sort of disobedience, unbelief, and/or related trouble and strife. +shrug+