So what if in the Old Testament, men of God had many wives?
Does that mean God approved of it?
Instead, doesn’t it mean something else?
That God will not interfere with freewill?
And didn’t things turn out really bad for the people who participated in plural marriages? Didn’t the actions of these men impact their wives and children negatively?
So how would I reply to this?
I’d say yes, that’s the usual “schtick.”
But it doesn’t hold water.
Except for kings, “multiplying wives” is never condemned.
And even there, it likely had in view something more like what Solomon got up to. The fear was that by a king multiplying wives, he would be seduced through international marriage into worshiping foreign gods and end up leading Israel into idolatry.
And despite saying not to mulitply wives?
God explicitly GAVE David Saul’s wives, didn’t he?
He even says if David had asked him for more?
He would have given him them too!
There are also laws in the Pentateuch, governing how to DO polygamy. There is simply no evidence that these men of God were behaving sinfully.
Of course these plural marriages had their problems.
But so did the monogamous ones, didn’t they?
Since monogamous marriages in the Old Testament had their failures as well?
Shouldn’t we also be condemning monogamy?
Remember, in the Old Testament wives were actually property. The 10th commandment sees coveting your neighbor’s wife on a par with coveting his oxen!
What you have to be careful of?
That you don’t project your modern views onto the Old Testament.
Marriage had nothing to do with love back then.
It was all about ensuring the proper inheritance of property.
Sinful humans will do what sinful humans do, irrespective of the relationship “style” they’re practicing. The Bible doesn’t present one consistent viewpoint on how relationships should work.
Things were polygamous under Judaism.
They shifted toward monogamy through the Romans.
With our modern concept of consenting adults?
They have shifted now toward polyamory.
What do you think? Does the Bible present any sort of monolithic view of how you should configure your love life, or has God always adapted his dealings with people based on how they did things culturally?
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