It is confusing to determine whether polygamy is allowed in the Bible or not. Cultures that practice polygamy often cites Old Testament saints like David, Abraham, and Solomon as their role models in polygamy. So Is Polygamy A Sin?
Bible verses imply that polygamy is a sin because it is a form of adultery. The original plan was for a man to have one wife, like Adam and Eve. Genesis 2 demonstrates that marriage is between two people, a man, and a woman until death tears them apart. It implies that adding another wife is a sin because it goes against God’s will.
So, Does the Bible condemn polygamy? Did God allow polygamy in the Old Testament? Does God specifically warn against polygamy in the Bible? How did God intend the institution of marriage to be? Where in the Bible does it say one man should have one wife? Does polygamy violate the commandment of not committing adultery? Why do Christians believe polygamy is a sin? What Bible verses about polygamy? Read on to find out.
Does The Bible Condemn Polygamy?
There are scriptures in the Bible that imply that it condemns polygamy. Being polygamous is an act of unfaithfulness condemned in the Bible. Matthew 19:9 says, “I tell you, then, that any man who divorces his wife for any cause other than her unfaithfulness commits adultery if he marries some other woman.” Also, it will be against God’s plan because God says marriage is between one man and a woman.
Did God Allow Polygamy In The Old Testament?
It is suggested that God did not allow polygamy. In the first place, He created one man and one woman. There are no mentions of a second woman to be the wife of Adam. People like Solomon, Abraham, Jacob, and David went against God’s command and became polygamous, which led to their destruction.
Does God Specifically Warn Against Polygamy In The Bible?
There are no direct verses in the Bible that warn against polygamy. However, some verses imply that God warns Christians not to be polygamous. Mathew 19:9 implies that having more than one wife is a form of unfaithfulness, and God warns husbands and wives against unfaithfulness. Also, 1st Corinthians 7:2, polygamy is discouraged, and monogamy is encouraged to reduce sexual immorality.
How Did God Intend The Institution Of Marriage To Be?
God’s intention for marriage was to be a divine union. A union between one man and one woman, the only thing that should separate a man and a woman in marriage is death. Although Matthew 19:9 implies that separation is based on faithfulness, the same verse encourages faithfulness in marriage to avoid separating what God brought together.
Where In The Bible Does It Say One Man Should Have One Wife?
The Bible is clear enough that a man should have one wife. In 1st Corinthians 7:1-5, a man should have one wife. Also, 1st Timothy 3:12 says, “A church helper must have only one wife and be able to manage his children and family well.”
Does Polygamy Violate The Commandment Of Not Committing Adultery?
Matthew 19:9 implies that having more than one wife is adulterous. Logically speaking, another wife comes into the picture after a period of a man being unfaithful. Chasing after another woman when a man is married is adulterous. Polygamy is a product of unfaithfulness. Also, senior pastor Sam Owusu says polygamy is a sin due to adultery and unfaithfulness.
Why Do Christians Believe Polygamy Is A Sin?
Polygamy is believed by Christians to be a sin because it promotes adultery and unfaithfulness in marriage. God desired marriage as a union between one man and one wife. In the beginning, Adam and Eve were married in a monogamous marriage. 1st Corinthians 7:2 says, “But because there is so much immorality, every man should have his own wife, and every woman should have her own husband.”
Bible Verses About Polygamy
There are so many verses about polygamy in the Bible, especially in the Old Testament. In the Old Testament, you will encounter many saints being polygamous and wonder why Christians condemn polygamy. Just because people like Abraham, David, and Jacob were polygamous does not imply that God had permitted polygamy. Their polygamous state brought so much destruction to them.
The first incident of polygamy in the Bible was through Lamech. In Genesis 4:19, it is recorded: ” And Lamech took two wives. The name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah.” It is important to note that Lamech was from the lineage of the seed of the serpent, Cain. Therefore Lamech does not really set a good example because he is portrayed as a man who goes against God’s word. Genesis 4:23-24 says that Lamech is full of a revenge spirit.
Also, the Bible records the polygamous nature of Abraham in the book of Genesis.
Genesis 16:1-4 says, “ Abram’s wife Sarai had not borne him any children. But she had an Egyptian slave woman named Hagar, so she said to Abram, “The LORD has kept me from having children. Why don’t you sleep with my slave? Perhaps she can have a child for me.” Abram agreed with what Sarai said. So she gave Hagar to him to be his concubine. (This happened after Abram had lived in Canaan for ten years.) Abram had intercourse with Hagar, and she became pregnant. When she found out that she was pregnant, she became proud and despised Sarai.” It is evident enough that polygamy became the root of hatred between two women, Sarah and Hagar.
Also, looking at the beginning, it was a woman who led man into sin, according to Genesis 3:17. In this similar manner, Sarah led her husband into polygamy, which is a sin. It also proves that Sarah did not trust God enough to give her her son.
King Solomon was also the most polygamous man. It is recorded in 1st Kings 11: 1-4 “Solomon loved many foreign women. Besides the daughter of the king of Egypt, he married Hittite women and women from Moab, Ammon, Edom, and Sidon. He married them even though the LORD had commanded the Israelites not to intermarry with these people because they would cause the Israelites to give their loyalty to other gods. Solomon married seven hundred princesses and also had three hundred concubines. They made him turn away from God, and by the time he was old, they had led him into the worship of foreign gods. He was not faithful to the LORD his God, as his father David had been.”
King David was also polygamous, as recorded in 2nd Samuel 5:13. “And David took him more concubines and wives out of Jerusalem after he was come from Hebron: and there were yet sons and daughters born to David.”
Deuteronomy 25:5-10 “ “If two brothers live on the same property and one of them dies, leaving no son, then his widow is not to be married to someone outside the family; it is the duty of the dead man’s brother to marry her. The first son that they have will be considered the son of the dead man so that his family line will continue in Israel. But if the dead man’s brother does not want to marry her, she is to go before the town leaders and say, ‘My husband’s brother will not do his duty; he refuses to give his brother a descendant among the people of Israel.’ Then the town leaders are to summon him and speak to him. If he still refuses to marry her, his brother’s widow is to go up to him in the presence of the town leaders, take off one of his sandals, spit in his face, and say, ‘This is what happens to the man who refuses to give his brother a descendant.’ His family will be known in Israel as ‘the family of the man who had his sandal pulled off.” This verse specifically talk about marrying a widow whose husband dies without a son. The brother of the diseased is given the duty to take care of his late brother’s widow. This means he becomes polygamous if he was already married.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.