Skip to comments.Does God Endorse Polygamy? Why does 2 Samuel 12:8 say that God gave David wives?
Posted on 05/13/2021 8:33:00 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
Is God pro-polygamy? Let’s talk about that.
If God is opposed to polygamy, then why does 2 Samuel 12:8 say that God gave David wives?
Now, I do believe God is opposed to polygamy. In fact, in Genesis 2:24, God’s creation account indicates that God intended for one man to marry one woman, and become one flesh for one lifetime. In fact, Jesus even quotes that definition in Matthew 19 and upholds it as valid. And in fact, then He adds his own commentary by claiming that monogamous marriage is a God-ordained institution.
But now, if you read the Old Testament, you’ll see polygamy practiced by patriarchs, and of course, many Israelite kings. Remember though, that many parts of Scripture are descriptive, not prescriptive. And the Bible often records what happened, not necessarily what should happen.
Still, it appears God allowed polygamy to occur.
Now, I think this is true, but I believe that God tolerated polygamy, but never condoned it. And the same could be said of divorce. God never intended married couples to divorce, but He tolerated it. In fact, Jesus even says in Matthew 19:8 that divorce was permitted because of the hardness of the hearts of men. And yet He also clearly reminds the pharisees that divorce was never intended by God from the beginning.
So, what are we to make then when the Bible says God gave David his master’s wives?
Well first of all, Deuteronomy 17:17 forbids kings from marrying more than one wife, so it doesn’t make sense that God would give that clear prohibition and then give David multiple wives. Furthermore, in Leviticus 18:17, it forbids marrying a woman and her daughter, so that would also be odd for God to give David Saul’s wife, who was his mother-in-law.
Now second of all, as Paul Copan points out in his book, “Is God a Moral Monster?”, the same word “gave” where God gave David these wives, is used in 2 Samuel 12:11 when God took David’s wives and gave them over to his wicked son Absolom. Now we wouldn’t say that God approves of polygamy because of this punishment.
Third, notice that the text doesn’t say God gave David these wives to marry, but that God gave David your master’s house and your master’s wives into your care. In other words, it’s possible that he didn’t marry them, but was simply responsible for caring for Saul’s estate and household after his death.
This, by the way, would often occur during the Old Testament era. A king would inherit the previous ruler’s house and especially the widows and the orphans if the ruler had died. And David would have been expected to extend his protection to Saul’s family, including his harem. In fact, we even see eight chapters later where David takes his concubines and puts them in a house under guard, and the text even says he provided for them but had no sexual relations with them.
So, God is opposed to polygamy, and it doesn’t seem that the 2 Samuel passage does anything to undermine that view.
Because his son Absalom slept with all of them (in public view).
It was lawful for the King, and for him only, to marry his predecessor’s wives. That David actually married any of Saul’s wives does not appear. Only one wife and one concubine of Saul’s are mentioned. See 1 Samuel 14:50 & 2 Samuel 3:7.
RE: It was lawful for the King, and for him only, to marry his predecessor’s wives.
Well, there were non-Kings who had more than one wife.
Just to name two...
Jacob had two wives - Leah and Rachel.
Elkanah had two wives, Penninah and Hannah ( who was the mother of the prophet Samuel ).
So tell me, what did Solomon do with all his concubines?
Closely resembled Muslim faith at one time.
God does not endorse OT politics. He lets the narrative show the good and bad.
Jesus answered the question when they tried to trap him the way this query does. Atheists give God bad grades whenever they can. Jesus said simply (on a slightly different conundrum): “From the beginning it was not so. Because of the hardness of your hearts God granted divorcement.”
So God has had to put up with hard hearts from people who purport to love and obey Him, and from people who want to give Him bad grades.
People forget, though, He is the only one with the Red Pen.
We are not under the Old Covenant. Jesus brought in the New Covenant, and He stated one man/one woman for marriage. And no divorce unless one spouse is unfaithful.
Are you a Mormon?
RE: So tell me, what did Solomon do with all his concubines?
We can have a hint of what he did by understanding what Concubines were for in the ancient Biblical world.
In the Bible, a concubine was a woman acquired by a man as a secondary wife. Her purpose was to provide a male heir in the case of a barren wife, to provide more children in general to enhance the family’s workforce and wealth, and to satisfy the man’s sexual desires. A concubine was endowed with rights and protections by Hebrew law but was not equal in status to a wife.
A woman living as a concubine was more common in Israel during the patriarchal period of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob than in later periods, but it still happened among the wealthy and especially the royal like King David and King Solomon.
Although God provided rights and protections for concubines in the Law of Moses, God did not introduce or approve of this marital model. The Hebrew word for concubine, Piylegesh, isn’t even of Hebrew origin. It’s “a non-Semitic loanword borrowed to refer to a phenomenon not indigenous to Israel,” according to Baker’s Dictionary of Biblical Theology.
David L. Baker, theologian and seminary professor, said this:
“In the ancient Near East, it was acceptable for a married man to have a secondary wife or concubine, so long as he had the resources to support a large family. Apart from working in the home and providing sexual companionship, a major role for a concubine would be to produce children, to increase the work force in a household.
“Polygamy and concubinage were also allowed in ancient Israel and seem to be have been quite common in the patriarchal period (age of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob), but after that most marriages of commoners were monogamous.”
RE: Are you a Mormon?
What is your motive for trying to stir up arguments? Are you bored with the notion that hundreds of millions are not trusting in Jesus as Savior and Lord?... Anything to move the focus, eh?
RE: What is your motive for trying to stir up arguments?
To find good answers to those who challenge scriptures ( including Mormons ).
I don’t give a crap what anyone says including this fake “god “. This moron is talking about
Who the hell would want two wives ? Nightmare !
Why didn’t Adam have more than Eve? Why was Mary Josephs only wife?
Maybe Post #15 would give us an answer to your question.
I want to hear about the enuchs..the many, many enuchs...
I for one do not believe you.
Adam had one wife. Noah also. Every example in the OT, of mutiple wives, shows that it doesn’t make life better for all parties involved, quite the opposite. Even Abraham had just one wife; only marrying again after her death (the one BIG mistake was him obeying Sarah’s request that he lay with her handmaid Hagar). Isaac had one wife. Jacob only wanted Rachel, but was tricked into marrying Leah first. It seems that his son Joseph just had one wife.
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