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Thread: Marriage in Old Testament?

  1. #1

    Question Marriage in Old Testament?

    I have a question regarding marriage in Old Testament...I know that God doesn't approve of polygamy...even in OT because He never changes...right??

    So...I wondered why David, who wasn't king at the time, married Abigail and a random woman named Ahinoam...after he was given Michal, who was later taken away from Saul, in the first place?

    I know that in David's time, it was cultural norms for men to have multiple wives...so, I decided to look up "marriage" in concordance in the back of my Bible...

    According to Deuteronomy 24:5...if a man isn't pleased with his wife...he can write her a certification of divorce and send her away...this made me wonder whether Israelite men thought they could marry as many women as they wanted...??

    I mean how was polygamy allowed...?? Just wonderin'...



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    Re: Marriage in Old Testament?

    I believe they were allowed to marry more than one woman.

    There was Jacob, I believe his name was. He was married to both Leah and Rachel.
    Quite a few of the men in the old testament had multiple wives at the same time.

  3. #3

    Re: Marriage in Old Testament?

    Quote Originally Posted by Spike View Post
    I believe they were allowed to marry more than one woman.

    There was Jacob, I believe his name was. He was married to both Leah and Rachel.
    Quite a few of the men in the old testament had multiple wives at the same time.
    You believe that they were allowed BY GOD to marry multiple women??

    I'm wondering what makes you believe this way? I wanna know your perspective ^.^

    Azael

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    Re: Marriage in Old Testament?

    Do you think maybe God allowed polygamy because the ratio of women to men was such a high proportion - given lifespans and the brutality of war there were probably way more women than men. My view is that God allowed polygamy to protect women from slavery or prostitution.
    Come unto me all that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

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    Re: Marriage in Old Testament?

    Polygamy is not forbidden according to the OT.

    Finding a happy polygamous marriage in the bible is quite a challenge though. So perhaps there's a lesson there.
    As for Me, this is My covenant with them," says the LORD: "My Spirit who is on you, and My words that I have put in your mouth, will not depart from your mouth, or from the mouth of your children, or from the mouth of your children's children, from now on and forever," says the LORD.


    Isaiah 59:21

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    Re: Marriage in Old Testament?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fenris View Post
    Polygamy is not forbidden according to the OT.

    Finding a happy polygamous marriage in the bible is quite a challenge though. So perhaps there's a lesson there.
    Fenris, I can't find the passage at the moment but....isn't there a passage in one of the prophets, perhaps, when the Israelites had returned from Babylonian captivity and were told to put away their foreign wives (or am I thinking of something else??)...is there anything there where polygamy is also discussed? Also, there seems to be a definite change between the OT practice of polygamy and the what we seen in the Gospel accounts of the Judaic practices during Jesus' time... any idea at what point that attitude toward polygamy changed???

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    Re: Marriage in Old Testament?

    Quote Originally Posted by Frecs View Post
    Fenris, I can't find the passage at the moment but....isn't there a passage in one of the prophets, perhaps, when the Israelites had returned from Babylonian captivity and were told to put away their foreign wives (or am I thinking of something else??)...is there anything there where polygamy is also discussed?
    No, I believe that it was just the intermarriage that was the issue. It's interesting that the foreign wives were sent away, but not the foreign husbands...I would posit that as evidence that Judaism was always matrilneal.

    Also, there seems to be a definite change between the OT practice of polygamy and the what we seen in the Gospel accounts of the Judaic practices during Jesus' time... any idea at what point that attitude toward polygamy changed???
    Hmm I am not sure...I believe that in the Talmud there are no instances of any Rabbis having multiple wives, so it would have been standard practice by that point. Legally, though, it was not specifically outlawed in Judaism until the middle ages. And then only for Ashkenazic Jews. Sephardic (Spanish/Middle Eastern) Jews can technically have multiple wives if the country they are in permits it (Israel does not).
    As for Me, this is My covenant with them," says the LORD: "My Spirit who is on you, and My words that I have put in your mouth, will not depart from your mouth, or from the mouth of your children, or from the mouth of your children's children, from now on and forever," says the LORD.


    Isaiah 59:21

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    Re: Marriage in Old Testament?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fenris View Post
    No, I believe that it was just the intermarriage that was the issue. It's interesting that the foreign wives were sent away, but not the foreign husbands...I would posit that as evidence that Judaism was always matrilneal.
    Really? How would that work when all the scriptures talk about the man's seed...the son of David the son of Solomon...I don't see any genealogies in the OT which follow the woman.

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    Re: Marriage in Old Testament?

    Quote Originally Posted by Frecs View Post
    Really? How would that work when all the scriptures talk about the man's seed...the son of David the son of Solomon...I don't see any genealogies in the OT which follow the woman.
    Tribal affiliation goes according to the father. Whether the child is Jewish or not goes according to the mother.
    As for Me, this is My covenant with them," says the LORD: "My Spirit who is on you, and My words that I have put in your mouth, will not depart from your mouth, or from the mouth of your children, or from the mouth of your children's children, from now on and forever," says the LORD.


    Isaiah 59:21

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    Re: Marriage in Old Testament?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fenris View Post
    Tribal affiliation goes according to the father. Whether the child is Jewish or not goes according to the mother.
    Okay, I can see that. But, then in the marriage of Ruth and Boaz, the children would not be Jewish but yet Ruth is the great-grandma to David, yes?

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    Re: Marriage in Old Testament?

    Quote Originally Posted by Frecs View Post
    Okay, I can see that. But, then in the marriage of Ruth and Boaz, the children would not be Jewish but yet Ruth is the great-grandma to David, yes?
    Correct! But Ruth was a convert. "Your people will be my people, your God will be my God..."
    As for Me, this is My covenant with them," says the LORD: "My Spirit who is on you, and My words that I have put in your mouth, will not depart from your mouth, or from the mouth of your children, or from the mouth of your children's children, from now on and forever," says the LORD.


    Isaiah 59:21

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    Re: Marriage in Old Testament?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fenris View Post
    Correct! But Ruth was a convert. "Your people will be my people, your God will be my God..."
    Ahhh, yes........thanks, Fenris!

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    Re: Marriage in Old Testament?

    I would argue that monogamy was God's original plan based on Genesis 2.

    Gen 2:24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

    Notice, a man shall hold fast to his wife, not wives, and the they shall become one flesh.
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    Re: Marriage in Old Testament?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nomad View Post
    I would argue that monogamy was God's original plan based on Genesis 2.

    Gen 2:24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

    Notice, a man shall hold fast to his wife, not wives, and the they shall become one flesh.
    Note: no where in the Levitical Laws is there one mention of monogamy or polygamy. Would seem to me if God wanted to clarify what He had intended back in Genesis, that would have been the opportunity moment to do so!

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    Re: Marriage in Old Testament?

    I posted a very similar question to this a while back-I can find no definate ordinance against polygamy in the bible.I would love to know when and why it was suddenly looked down on.Not that I want to be part of a plural family,lol,but it is strange how it went from being the norm to being a strange thing.
    Praising GOD for his mercy and grace!!

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