By Shem Eliyah Eber
“Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers
YAHUAH will judge.” (Hebrews 13:4)
Table of Contents …………………………………………………………………………………….ii
What Is Marriage? What is a Husband and Wife? ………………………………………. 3
What is “Adultery”?…………………………………………………………………………………. 5
What is “Fornication”? …………………………………………………………………………… 11
What is “Pre-marital Sex”? …………………………………………………………………….. 13
The Myth of Traditional Morality………………………………………………………………. 14
Who is a Fornicator?……………………………………………………………………………… 20
Is There a Difference Between “Desire” and “Lust”? ………………………… ………. 21
Is Monogamy the Ideal? ………………………………………………………………………… 25
What is sin? ………………………………………………………………………………..………. 28
Can You Count to Two? ………………………………………………………………………… 31
Examples of Polyganous Men in Scripture ……………………………………………….. 36
The Image of Jealousy ………………………………………………………………………….. 39
Selfish Possessive Love Is Sin, NOT Polygany! ……………………………………….. 47
Eight Witnesses Show YAHUAH Endorses Polygany …… …………………………..51
Marriage In the End Times …………………………………………………………………….. 57
Can We Do THIS?………………………………………………………………………………… 61
Marriage from the Beginning ………………………………………………………………….. 64
Polygany in the New Testament ……………………………………………………………… 66
Does the Man Need His Wife’s Permission? …………………………………………….. 69
Private Property! …………………………………………………………………………………… 75
Scriptures Grounds for Divorce……………..……………………………………………….. 77
How Many Heads? ……………………………………………………………………………….. 80
A Great Mystery!!……………………………………………………………..…………………… 80
Matriarchy—The Ultimate Evil ………………………………………………………………… 81
In this book we use the names “YAHUAH” in the place of “the LORD”, and “Yahuah-Yeshua” in the place of” Jesus”. We use the title “Messiah” in the place of “Christ”. We also use the title “the Almighty” in the place of “Elohim” when it is used in connection with YAHUAH, “Mighty One” when used alone and the context allows, and “mighty ones” when it is clearly referring to pagan deities. We do this because we believe the evidence shows that the names and titles used today for our heavenly Father and His son are wrong. Many of these names and titles can be traced back to Greek and Roman pagan deities. Since we wish to show due respect to our heavenly Father as well as to His Son (as commanded in the third commandment), we should not call upon them using the name of pagan deities. We will, instead, use the proper names and titles in the proper places as called for in the original manuscripts.
Today there is a lot of interest in Marriage. Marriage Seminars are very popular. Counseling is given by psychologists, Kahal (Hebrew Community)es and other groups in regard to keeping the “family” together. Yet the divorce rate is very high, even for those who belong to “Christian” families.
So what is happening? Is it possible that all of these “self-help” guides to marriage enrichment are founded on shaky ground? I believe so, and I believe that the reason it is all on shaky ground is because almost all of them have strayed away from or even outright ignored the Patriarchal and foundational teachings of the Scriptures, which come from and are called the “Torah”.
Have you ever been involved with a game in which the leaders of the game kept changing the rules?
That is exactly the problem when it comes to marriage—people have been forced to make up the rules as they go because no one seems to know what the rules really are. When we follow the rules as laid down in Scripture we are on solid ground, and the same is true in regards to the rules of marriage. And those rules come from the “Law” or “Torah”.
The Messiah said, regarding the Torah (or Law): “Not one jot or tittle will pass from the law until heaven and earth pass away” (Matthew 5:18). Anyone who breaks one of these the least of the commandments will be the least in the kingdom of heaven (that is, they will be dust under our feet!).
According to Leviticus 26:15 the commandments do not refer only to the 10 commandments as given on mount Sinai (although those are also included) but refer specifically to ALL of the statutes,
judgments and commandments given in the Torah (Law). The number of those “commands” is 613
in all. Look closely at what it says. Notice that in verse 15 it clearly identifies “commandments” with
ALL of YAHUAH’s “statutes”, “judgments”, and “commandments” as part of His “covenant”.
“I am Almighty YAHUAH, which brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, that ye should not be their bondmen; and I have broken the bands of your yoke, and made you go upright. But if ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments; And if ye shall despise my statutes, or if your soul abhor my judgments, so that ye will not do all my commandments, but that ye break my covenant: I also will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it. And I will set my face against you, and ye shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you; and ye shall flee when none pursue you. And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins.” (Leviticus 26:13-18)
According to this Scripture, obedience to our heavenly Father YAHUAH is essential to our well being.
This covers all of our human relationships, including Marriage. And the Messiah clearly endorsed
the idea that we should keep (or obey) the commandments (all of them), as is seen in this text:
“And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is, the Almighty: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.” (Matthew 19:17)
Now we can see that there is a need to understand the full meaning intended by the Scriptures when it says we must “keep the commandments”. So, what about “the commandments” mentioned here in Matthew 19—just what are they? Now we certainly know that at least part of the issue here involves Exodus 20, however, is that the full extent of it? Could it be that this statement includes all the commands of Scripture, or is it merely an exclusive reference to the 10 commandments of Exodus 20?
First of all we need to make a clarification here in regards to the term itself–the “Ten Commandments”. Friend, did you know that this expression is really not even to be found in Scripture! Today they are commonly known as the “Ten Commandments”, however (according to the original texts which mention them, Exodus 34:28, Deuteronomy 4:13, and 10:4) this phrase should be translated as “the ten words” [Strong’s Hebrew #6335 & #1697 (eser dabar)].
It can also be translated “ten matters, “ten statements” or even “ten declarations”but never as “ten commandments”. Therefore, the title of “Decalogue” (deca = ten, logoi = words) or “Ten Declarations” would be more appropriate and more accurate. The phrase “ten commandments” is not found in Exodus 20 nor anywhere else in Scripture! It is never used in Scripture or even traditional writings of those times! It is only in some of the more modern translations, such as the King James Version. Now it has been suggested by some that these are not only not commandments, they are merely “10 suggestions”.
However, this would also not be in harmony with scripture. They are not “suggestions” since our very lives are dependent upon our observance of them. Nor are they all “commandments” for a commandment by definition is a direct request for positive action on the part of another person(s). While some of these ten statements include positive “commands” to act upon, many of them contain prohibitions or even just a simple statement of facts.
“I am Almighty YAHUAH” is neither a command nor a suggestionit is simply a statement! And yet it is indeed the first “word” (or “command”) of those 10 declarations! Another statement found in
Exodus 20 is “You shall not commit murder”. That is the 6th declaration. But again, this is neither a
command nor a suggestionit is a prohibition telling us what we should not do! Of course, we will
speak in more detail later on in regard to this seventh declaration.
Here in this next Scripture we will look closely at a statement which speaks of “commandments” and we will see that the “commandments” could not be limited only to the 10 commandments. Notice:
“Now therefore hearken, O Yisrael, unto the statutes and unto the judgments, which I teach you, for to do them, that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which Almighty YAHUAH of your fathers gives you. Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of YAHUAH your Mighty One which I command you.” (Deuteronomy 4:1-2)
Clearly, as can be seen here, the commandments spoken of throughout the Scriptures go well beyond just the 10 declarations (or commandments). And that word “Law” in Matthew 5, though believed by many to refer to the “10 commandment” law clearly refers to the first 5 books of the Hebrew Scriptures.
It cannot be referring to the commandments written in stone, for it is repeated throughout the entire Scriptures that this “Law” is part of the “Law and the Prophets” (or the “Torah” and “Neviim”). The word “Torah” really means “teaching” although it is also referred to as the “Law”, “Neviim” refers to the writings of the “Prophets”—hence, the “Law and Prophets”. The Torah is made up of the first 5 books of the Scriptures: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.
‘The Prophets’ refers to the writings of the prophets of Yisrael. These were the books written by Moses and the Prophets from the inspiration of our heavenly Father. Now that we have covered this topic thoroughly one might think that we are getting off the point of this study. However, it is actually at the very heart of this study on Issues in Marriage, for without the true understanding of what constitutes the commandments and “Law” of Scripture we would never be able to learn how we should address the many and varied issues related to marriage. We would be forced to make up our own rules.
Without mutual obedience to these commandments a marriage relationship will either fail or fall far short of its ultimate potential. So, the first point we have learned is that it is very clear from Scripture that the “commandments” are not limited to just the 10 commandments, but include ALL of the “statutes”, “judgments” and “commandments” that are given in Scripture. So now for the second point: can anyone tell us “what is the first commandment of Scripture?” Well, to find the first commandment given to man in Scripture we would have to go back to the first book of Scripture, which is Genesis. And there we will find that the first command given to man in Scripture is right in Genesis 1—and it has everything to do with marriage!
“So the Almighty created man in his own image, in the image of the Almighty created he him; male and female created he them. And the Almighty blessed them, and the Almighty said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” (Genesis 1:27-28)
The first commandment given to man in Scripture is to “procreate”. And friends, those who discourage or even forbid people from attempting to obey this command are doing an evil work. And so, marriage is an important part of life—and to pursue this goal is indeed a work of righteousness.
Yet, as we pursue this goal to “procreate”, we must always be careful to follow the teachings of Scripture. The main question we need to ask is simply “what are the rules that we must follow while
we pursue the fulfillment of the divine mandate of Genesis 1:27-28?” What is the right way in which
to pursue the fulfillment of this first commandment given to man in Scripture?
Now in order to answer this question we must first define our terms, for there are many terms people use in the context of the rules of marriage. Some of the terms that come up from time to time include marriage, husband, wife, adultery, fornication, pre-marital sex, divorce, incest, licentiousness, harlotry, etc. There are more terms but these are the primary ones. And we will address each of these and more as we continue to study the subject Issues in Marriage According to Scripture.
What Is Marriage? What is a Husband and Wife?
We come to some very important terms that needs defining. And remember we are defining our terms by the “book” (Scripture) not by our modern culture. And the first term we need to look at here is “marriage”. What does Scripture say about “marriage”? And also what is a Husband? What is a Wife? Again, we are getting our definitions for these in Scripture—not our modern culture.
I looked up the words for “marriage”, “married”, “marry”, etc. in the Strong’s Concordance with the purpose of discovering the original Hebrew for these words. My discovery was shocking, for when looking up the original meaning I found that the concept of “marriage” as we know it today did not even exist in the Hebrew culture or language. Really, our concept of marriage where a man and woman marry in a formal ceremony with both the blessings of the Kahal (Hebrew Community) and the state (to form an equal partnership) is not in the Hebrew Scripture!
The primary meanings listed under “marriage” in the Strong’s Concordance would include “contract affinity” or “give (a daughter) away” (#2859, chathan), “owner”, “master” or “have dominion over” a “woman” (#1166, #802; baal ishishah), “(sexual) cohabitation” or “dwell together” (#5772, ownah), “to take” (#3947, laqach), “to lift”, “carry (away)”, “lay”, or “take (away, up)”, (#5375, nacah), “to sit”, “to dwell” or “remain” (#3427, yashab), and “celebrate” (#1984, halal). Regarding the word for “wife” it is often listed as a composite of 2 words: the first word means “woman” (#802, ishishah) the second word means “owned by a man” (i.e., her husband) (#1166, baal). Most of the time the word usually translated as “woman” stands alone, yet is often translated “wife”. In most cases it would be better to translate it as simply “woman”. When you look at this without bias it becomes clear that in Scripture a wife is merely a “woman owned by a man”. The Biblical concept of marriage is simply a man who “takes” a woman.
The primary way in which a man “takes” a woman is through direct sexual intercourse, however he
could also be said to “take” a woman through the purchase of a female servant (or slave) or a dowry given to the father of the bride. Then, by a “contract” of “affinity” (vows of love, faithfulness, support) becomes the “master” or “owner” (husband) of that woman” and then “cohabits” (dwells together) with her! And what happens when we look up the word for “husband”? We find when we look up this word it simply says “baali” which means “lord” or “master”.
A husband is simply the “master” over his “woman” and household. In the family of the righteous Hebrew, the husband is “lord” and his wife is his “help” in matters primarily related to raising children.1 Of course, the husband is also subject to the rulership of our heavenly Father so that he is responsible for those under his care. Friends, no one knows everything and I am certainly no exception.
But what you are seeing and hearing here in this study is simply the true teaching from Scripture on the actual meaning of “wife”, “husband” and “marriage”, neither adding to nor taking away from!
Although marriage is a form of partnership, it is not an equal partnership. The concept of an equal partnership in marriage is also totally foreign to the Scriptures, for the man “owns” the woman. And
as difficult as it may be to accept this truth, nevertheless the woman is (in general) secondary to the man in physical, mental, spiritual and emotional abilities.
Therefore, the fact that the man has dominance over the woman (in a marriage) does not mean that this status is forced upon her—it is simply that way by nature. And when either the man or the woman (or both) goes against nature and try to be something which they are not capable of being, they do so to their own harm.
That does not mean men cannot be more nurturing or women cannot run a business, but it does show the general tendencies inherent within each of the sexes. In a marriage, the man is the husband (or “master”, as the word really means) over his wife. However, it is not exactly the same as slavery either—the woman is “subject to the man” (below the man in ability and authority) but she is not like a beast of burden or even a slave. The wife is a willing servant in the home (not a prisoner), greater in authority than a child but a little below the authority of her husband—not groveling at his feet (as in some cultures today). And so the man’s right of ownership is subject to conditions and is limited.
The fact that Scripture teaches a man could loose his right of ownership over the woman shows that he does not have complete dictatorial control over her. His ownership is limited and subject to conditions as would be a manager who takes care of property for an absentee owner. That absentee owner is none other than YAHUAH Himself, our creator. The man holds the woman “in trust” and therefore is subject to following certain guidelines as given to us in Scripture. Those conditions will be explained in more detail as we progress in this study.
What is “Adultery”?
People in both the secular world and the religious world have misconceptions and even outright false ideas on what constitutes honor and fidelity in a marriage relationship. For example, people will often misinterpret and misunderstand the meaning of the words “adultery” and “fornication”. Remember that we have to go with the word meanings from Scripture, not from our own modern culture. “Adultery”, according to Strong’s Hebrew (#5003) is “commit adultery, fig. To apostatize, woman breaketh wedlock.” Among the dictionary meanings of this and its companion word “adulterate” would include to “make impure”, “corrupt”, “debase”, “alter”, (ad+alter+ate=”adulterate”), “pervert”.2
Now lets look closely at “adultery”. It says (in the Hebrew) it is when a woman “breaketh wedlock”. Well, what is that? Now some will say that this breaking “wedlock” would mean that the married woman goes and takes another man and they have sexual relations. And that is true, if that woman
were to do this it would constitute adultery.
But that is not the full extent of meaning intended by that word. The word “wedlock” (if we are going by its meaning in Scripture) means simply sexual intercourse with the man that she has married. “wed” means the same as “joined”, and implies sexual bonding. “lock” means just what it says—locked so that the woman is bound to her husband.
Thus we have “wed” (or joined sexually) “lock” (or bound)—wedlock. If the woman refuses (except
where Scripture permits or commands) to have intercourse with her husband on a regular basis then she would be guilty—one who “breaketh wedlock”. The word “adultery” also carries with it the meaning of “to apostatize”.
If the woman rebels against her husband and/or against our heavenly Father on a continuing basis without any evidence of repentance then she would also be guilty of adultery—one who “breaketh wedlock”. Notice what Jeremiah says about this:
“Surely as a wife treacherously departeth from her husband, so have ye dealt treacherously with me, O house of Yisrael, saith YAHUAH.” (Jeremiah 3:20)
One of the signs of rebellion by a man’s wife includes attempting to dominate and control her husband. And the most common ways in which an adulterous wife will do this is for her to hold out on love and separate from her “duty of marriage” (sexual intercourse) which she owes to her husband. She then “treacherously departs from her husband”.
And the same would be true in regard to the man; he has a duty to continue to provide not only sexual intercourse but also food and clothing. Again, the fact that a man is “master” over his woman does not lessen his responsibility to provide for her needs. If he does not provide these basic needs it is not adultery, however, it would be his responsibility to give her a “writing of divorcement” and she is then free to leave (but take no money) and contract another marriage:
2 The fundamental idea presented in the word “adultery” is to “adulterate” or “pervert” something from its original purpose or design. So, before we can decide what “adultery” is, we therefore need to understand what the original design or purpose of marriage was for. The main focus in marriage (based on Scripture and Hebrew practice) is procreation, sharing mutual pleasure and keeping the family line pure!! To keep the family line pure, the wife would have to remain exclusively joined (or “yoked” or “bound”) to her husband. Adultery, according to Scripture, can only be committed with a married woman.
“If he take him another wife; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish. And if he do not these three unto her, then shall she go out free without money.” (Exodus 21:10-11)
Acceptable reasons for which one might temporarily be excused from this “duty of marriage” would
include many things.
We can rightfully (based on Scripture) include extreme cruelty or abuse from a spouse which would cause them to fear for their life (in which they may seek the counsel of elders— those who can judge matters rightly based upon Scripture). We have an example of this in the issue of a slave and his master. If a slave is beaten to the point that they loose a member of their body, the Scripture teaches that the slave must then be set free by his or her owner.
The Scripture makes this point very clear: “And if a man smite the eye of his servant, or the eye of his maid, that it perish; he shall let him go free for his eye’s sake. And if he smite out his manservant’s tooth, or his maidservant’s tooth; he shall let him go free for his tooth’s sake” (Exodus 21:26-2).7 If this is true in regard to a servant, how much more would it be true for a trusted wife?3 Surely, by using this Scripture we can ad cruel punishment that leads to serious injury to the list of grounds for divorce.
In Scripture, a wife or a servant could be punished—however, excessive or cruel and unusual punishment would be a work of evil which would then warrant immediate freedom. In many cases today, punishment is inflicted by an abusive husband to his wife and is more the result of a cruel repressive spirit which takes a simple misunderstanding and blows it out of proportion.
Sometimes the wife is guilty of open rebellion, but even in this case the husband has a duty to show mercy without tolerating or condoning the rebelliousness. If his wife is truly sorry and repents then she is to be forgiven by her husband and treated as if nothing happened.
Likewise, an abusive husband can be forgiven by his wife—but abuse which is taken to extremes may require a complete separation and/or divorce. The fact that a master (or husband) is allowed to discipline or chastise his servants (including a wife) does not give him the permit to allow the chastisement to turn into abuse. Reproof and rebuke is preferable to chastisement, which should only be done when all else fails.
Other reasons a wife may avoid intercourse with her husband include separation due to circumstances beyond their control (such as political and/or economic instability), separation for some special or important purpose for a certain reasonable time limit (which is agreed upon by her husband). During times of sickness on the part of either party, including and especially the period of menstruation (“niddah” in Hebrew) in which the woman is commanded by Scripture to abstain on
monthly basis for purification purposes (the 7+ days of cleansing).
Other than this, the woman isbound to the “duty of marriage” with her husband. For her to turn from this duty (without a validcause) would constitute rebellion on her part, and for the man to turn from this duty would cause him to forfeit his rights to possess her as his wife—as clearly shown in the last Scripture we quoted. This is what the Messiah was referring to when he speaks of those who “put away” their wives without a valid cause and without giving them a final divorce: “It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement:
Moreover, I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication causeth himself to commit adultery and whosoever shall marry her that is so put away commits adultery.” (Matthew 5:27-32)
But the Scriptural definition of adultery stands out as singular—“woman breaketh wedlock”. When the man “breaketh wedlock” (separates from his wife) then puts away his wife (for a valid reason, such as “fornication” or some form of “uncleanness” as defined primarily in Leviticus 23) it is not adultery on his part since he is the “master” over his own household. However, if this continues, he will forfeit his right of ownership—if that is what they choose to do.
Although it is not the purpose of this paper to go into detail in regard to the issue of slavery, it is important that we at least touch on this subject. Slavery was allowed in ancient Yisrael and it is also permitted in Scripture. However, that doesn’t mean we should go out looking for slaves. We must consider the fact that they were generally living under a theocracy where truth and righteousness prevailed. Slavery then (in Hebrew society) was for the welfare of society NOT the degradation of human lives. It was and always has been the primary solution to poverty and warfare. Enemies of ancient Yisrael would be made into slaves in order to prevent organized rebellion, allowing them to contribute to the gross national product and at the same time provide for the welfare of individuals in the hopes that they should learn the ways of peace.
Every 7 years the slave was to be given an option to obtain his freedom, unless he choose otherwise. In the year of Jubilee (every 50th year) the slave was always to be given their freedom. Someone who became impoverished could sell themselves or a daughter into slavery in order to save their family, but in a theocracy where righteousness prevails such slavery was more like our current system of employment–only more stable. Again, this was a temporary solution to very serious economic and political problems—for every seventh year the slave was to have an opportunity to be set free. A female slave was the exception—she was to remain in her masters household and either be married to himself or his son (Exodus 21:7-8) unless her basic needs were not being met (Exodus 21:10). The condition of slavery permitted in Scripture IS NOT the same type of slavery that existed in the American south of 200 years ago. It was to provide for the poor, control unruly parts of society and eventually redeem them, not to condemn a certain race.
The purpose of “putting away” a wife was to bring peace to the home and give them both time to think and recognize their wrongs in the hopes of reconciliation. However, for him to keep her in this condition for an extended period might force her to actually commit adultery (for which he would also be responsible). If he is a righteous man he will not allow this to continue—he will take his wife back or give his estranged wife a divorce (if that is what she rightly needs). He forfeits his right of ownership, which is limited anyway. And even though she may have been primarily at fault, she is free to remarry to whoever is willing to take her.
Of course, this does not mean that the woman simply becomes a “sex toy” for the man to use and abuse beyond the limits of reason. There is much more to a marriage relation than just sexual intercourse. The overuse of that “gift” of being able to impart mutual pleasure is certainly something
that needs to be guarded against.
The purpose of intercourse is to “procreate” as well as bring mutual pleasure (it is not one or the other, but both). And although it is natural for us to seek an authoritative answer in regards to this issue of “frequency of intercourse”, we really are unable to give a direct answer to that question—simply because Scripture is silent on many of these points.
That must be left up to the individuals involved. But here is a good suggestion which you are at
liberty to consider and it is here put in the form of a proverb:
“Intercourse is par for the marriage course, so. . .If you agree you can stay away you see, But do not stay locked or you’ll break wedlock,Stay away if she’s sick that day,When she’s a bleeder 7+ days you don’t need her,Twice a week is what you should seek, Once a day is ok,If you do more then sin lies at the door.”
The Scripture teaches the principle that we should do all things “in moderation”. Applying that principle to the marriage relationship is certain to go a long way toward creating a happy home.
Now what we have said so far may not be so difficult to accept by most people, since we know that one of the first signs of trouble in a marriage is when sexual intercourse ceases or goes to extremes.
But now we are going to get into some very controversial areas which many may not be aware of because it goes completely contrary to the way they have been taught all of their lives. The definition of adultery in the Scriptures and according to the original Hebrew is: “commit adultery, fig.
To apostatize, woman breaketh wedlock.” Now here is the question: What about the man? How come it does not say anything about this?
Why is the Scriptural definition of adultery directed toward the woman and not to the man? Now we know the man could also commit adultery, for Scripture plainly states this. And yet, the modern dictionary definition (and the popular belief of most people) says that adultery is “voluntary sexual intercourse by a married man with a woman not his wife, or by a married woman with a man not her husband.”4 Which definition do we go with? Which is right?
Many people believe and will openly say that adultery is when a married man or woman (either one, it doesn’t matter which) have a sexual relationship with another partner of the opposite sex. Even the Scriptures Dictionaries appear to present this view: “adultery, voluntary sexual intercourse between one person and another not the lawful spouse, condemned by the law* codes and seen as detrimental to family* welfare…”5 This would indeed be adultery in the case of the woman.
However, in the case of the married man and from the Scriptural point of view that might not be the case, although it could be depending upon the circumstances. So we will soon see according to Scripture what exactly constitutes adultery:
“And the man that commits adultery with another man’s wife, even he that commits adultery with his neighbours wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.” (Leviticus 20:10).
“If a man be found lying with a woman married to an husband, then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shalt thou put away evil from Yisrael.” (Deuteronomy 22:22)
Now read those texts again. Notice that the definition in both of these verses of what constitutes adultery is having sexual intercourse with a “woman married to an husband”. Notice also that it is a man (any man) taking a married woman who commits adultery.
Now take notice of this Scripture:
“If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold on her and lie with her, and they be found; then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel’s father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife; because he hath humbled her, he may not put her away all his days.” (Deuteronomy 22:28-29)
Now let’s stop right here and read all three of these texts again and very carefully take notice of the
fact that “the man” is not directly qualified nor defined in anyway. Did that text say anything about the man being married or single? Now remember we are searching for truth, not trying to prove preconceived views on this matter. Again I ask, does this or any of those other texts qualify what kind of man they were talking about? No, they do not. Read these texts again friend! It clearly does not differentiate between a single and a married man! Therefore it can be said that this rule applies to ANY MAN, whether he is married or single! We have the 2 witnesses and then some. In this last case, it was a sin—but not as severe as adultery.
Now let’s examine this again [with friendly reminders added in brackets] for those who did not “get it”: “And the man [ANY MAN—could be married or single] that commits adultery with his neighbors wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.” (Leviticus 20:10). “If a man [ANY MAN—could be married or single] be found lying with a woman married to an husband, then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shalt thou put away evil from Yisrael.” (Deuteronomy 22:22). Most people would agree with this so far.
But now notice: “If a man [ANY MAN—could be married or single] find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold on her and lie with her, and they be found; then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel’s father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife; because he hath humbled her, he may not put her away all his days.” (Deuteronomy 22:28-29).
It is very clear that since any man who takes a virgin is required to marry her, then that includes a man who is already married! There is no way of denying the simple truth of this single text in Deuteronomy—which is part of the “law of Moses” or the Torah that the Messiah said in Matthew 5:18 is still in effect today. Some have suggested that this last text may have even been a case of rape, but this cannot be proven conclusively since the text does not say that the woman was “forced”.6 The context seems to suggest more likely that the woman was seduced, not raped. And according to Scripture, rape was a crime equal to murder and murder was a capital offense (Deuteronomy 22:23-27).
Therefore, it is very unlikely that this was rape—instead, this was a minor sin, not a sin “unto death”. It was a trespass against the authority of the “father” who was not notified of the intentions of the man—and that is the extent of the sin. Note also that the “damsel is a virgin” and is “not betrothed”, so if she is not a virgin then that monitory fine would not apply. If she is not under her father’s authority, then she is free to marry. Of course, if the woman was indeed betrothed to some other man, then they were to be stoned to death—for she (as the betrothed) would be considered married to the other even before having relations with him.
Regardless, should this man actually be married, and have another wife already, then the woman (who is neither betrothed nor married) has then become the bride of the man—one of several. With that comes the responsibility to provide for the needs of his new wife. The punishment for this trespass is very interesting—he had to take the woman as his wife and could not put her away (separate from her) for the rest of his life! And this applied whether he was already married or not.
Of course, as our previous text on adultery indicates, a married woman does not have that same freedom to find any man she wants to have intercourse with. For her, that would constitute adultery
(based on the Torah or “law”). In fact, once she is joined to her husband it could even be considered adultery if she rebels against (or apostatizes from) her husband and the true faith of Yisrael (based upon Torah).7 For example, if a married woman began bringing carved images into her home and her husband finds this out—it is not grounds for divorce, it is grounds for execution! While we may be required to refrain from executing her, at the very least we must separate from that person until such time as those idols are cast down. She has committed spiritual adultery—apostasy from the true faith. If she truly repents and puts away her idols, then she may be allowed to remain with that man. If not, he not only has grounds to terminate their relationship—he MUST do so in order to preserve the temple of his home.
And so in the Hebrew language the word for “adultery” can also carry the meaning of “idolatry” and “apostasy”.8 But for the man to take another wife, that would not be adultery simply because in the Hebrew language that word for adultery specifically applies to a married woman taking a man other than her husband. Notice what several authorities have to say, commenting on “adultery” and “marriage” as it relates to the “Law of Moses”:”Adultery. Ex. 20:14. The parties to this crime, according to Jewish law, were a married woman and a man who was not her husband. The Mosaic penalty was that both the guilty parties should be stoned, and it applied as well to the betrothed as to the married woman, provided she were free. Deut. 22:22-24. A bondwoman so offending was to be scourged, and the man was to make a trespass offering. Lev. 19:20-22. “It makes no sense to judge the attitude of patriarchal men by our western idea of faithfulness and adultery. In their model of marriage it was acceptable for a man to have more than one wife (Genesis 4:19, 29:21-27, 1 Samuel 1:2,25:42-44).
“In our culture if a man took a second wife he would be committing adultery. This was why nineteenth century missionaries forced a man in Africa with five wives to dismiss four of them before he could be baptized. The New Testament practice seems to have been to accept polygamists for baptism, but to require monogamy for Kahal (Hebrew Community) leadership. (See 1 Timothy 3:2, Titus 1:6).” “The continued obligation of the Levitical Law on this subject is also recognized in the New Testament. This recognition is involved in the constant reference to the law of Moses as the law of Elohim. If in any of its parts or specifications it is no longer obligatory, that is to be proved. . . .If Elohim gives a law to men, those who deny its perpetual obligation are bound to prove it. The presumption is that it continues in force until the contrary is proved. It must be hard to prove that the laws founded on permanent social relations of men were intended to be temporary.”11
Here are the other texts that mention adultery, and in each case it is the adulterous wife which is pointed out. It does not say anything about a married man having intercourse with a single woman,
since that would not be adultery.
“Because they have committed villainy in Yisrael, and have committed adultery with their neighbors wives, and have spoken lying words in my name, which I have not commanded them; even I know, and am a witness, saith YAHUAH.” (Jeremiah 29:23)
“But as a wife that commits adultery, which taketh strangers instead of her husband.” (Ezekiel 16:32)
A husband is permitted by Scripture to discipline his wife in cases of flagrant rebellion, but this does not give license for the husband to be cruel and abusive toward his wife. A woman who believes she has been cruelly abused by her husband may seek the judgment of an “elder at the gate” and/or a righteous Hebrew who will judge the matter and call for an appropriate punishment—such as scourging or in some cases banishment (‘being cut off”) of the offending party. A man who is rightfully “cut off” from Yisrael is considered “dead”, therefore his wife would then be free to contract another marriage. However, the judgment of a heathen relative or a secular court would not be acceptable. 8If such could be the case for the woman would it not also be true for the man—if the man brings idols into a home would he not then be an “apostate” (therefore, a spiritual “adulterer”) and subject to being “cut off” from Yisrael? Could this also be grounds for the wife to leave that situation? In the case of Achan (Joshua 7:1-24), his sin of idolatry caused his whole family to perish–but the outcome might have been different had his wife warned the elders of his sin. Only her husband
would have been held responsible and then she would have been allowed to live and contract another marriage. 9 Peloubet’s Scriptures Dictionary, Universal Book and Scriptures House, Philadelphia, PA, 1913, p. 14 under “Adultery”. 10 Adultery and Marriage in Jewish and Arab Patriarchy, by Robert & Mollie Brow.[www.brow.on.ca/Articles/PatriarchyMarriage.html], p. 2.
Most of us have been taught all of our lives that a man (married or single) who has intercourse with a woman other than his wife is an adulterer (or fornicator if they are both single). As difficult as it may be for us to accept, that teaching is not at all true! It is not true, because if the intentions of the man is to marry and provide for the other woman, and that woman is single and available, then he is not an adulterer nor a fornicator but has merely chosen his other wife! He has committed marriage, not fornication! This is made abundantly clear from these and other simple statements in the Scriptures.
And although it may be a very painful revelation to many and an unpopular belief it is nevertheless the plain and simple teaching of Scripture. To deny this would require that we revise and alter the Scriptures—which we should not do, of course, for it is inspired by YAHUAH:
“And that from a child thou hast known the Set-Apart scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Yahuah-Yeshua Messiah. All scripture is given by inspiration of YAHUAH, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of YAHUAH may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” (2 Timothy 3:15-17)
What is “Fornication”?
“Fornication”, according to Strong’s Greek (#4202) is “Porneo”, “harlotry” (including adultery and incest), fig. Of idolatry”. The Greek word for fornication is porneia, which literally means ‘prostitution’ or ‘harlotry’, and referred to the pagan religious practice of worshipping deities through sexual intercourse with the priestesses of the temple. This is the word from which we get the word “pornography”.
In the Hebrew, the word “Fornication” (Strong’s Hebrew #2181, #8457) refers specifically to “idolatry” and is related to other Hebrew words which mean adultery, infidelity, apostasy and idolatry (Strong’s Hebrew #2183, 2184, 2185). The root meaning is “highly fed” or “wanton”. Strong’s Hebrew #8457 is a related word and it means “harlotry, i.e. (fig.) idolatry:–fornication, whoredom.”
Now the dictionary definition is based upon Western culture, so we must also test it by the Scriptures to see which is right. That dictionary reference says: “Fornication . . . sexual intercourse between unmarried persons”.12 Is that true? Does the Scriptures really teach that fornication is simply “sexual intercourse between unmarried persons”? We have already looked up that word in both the Hebrew and Greek and find no reference to “pre-marital sex”. So let’s look at a Scripture text to see if it will shed some light on this issue:
“And if a man entice a maid that is not betrothed, and lie with her, he shall surely endow her to be his wife. If her father utterly refuse to give her unto him, he shall pay money according to the dowry of virgins.” (Exodus 22:16-17)
This text says nothing about fornication, yet it does involve so-called “pre-marital sex”. According to
this text his punishment is that he will “endow” her to be his wife, or if the father refuse to give her then he is to pay “according to the dowry of virgins”. The reason that this situation could not involve
fornication is that the man is allowed to live!! Yes, fornication was a great evil and if the sin was grievous it could even be a capital offense, as we can easily see in these texts:
“Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.” (Jude 7)
“Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.” (1 Corinthians 10:8)
“And Yisrael abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab. And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their Elohims: and the people did eat, and bowed down to their Elohims. And Yisrael joined himself unto Baalpeor: and the anger of YAHUAH was kindled against Yisrael. And YAHUAH said unto Moses, Take all the heads of the people, and hang them up before YAHUAH against the sun, that the fierce anger of YAHUAH may be turned away from Yisrael. And Moses said unto the judges of Yisrael, Slay ye every one his men that were joined unto Baalpeor. And, behold, one of the children of Yisrael came and brought unto his brethren a Midianitish woman in the sight of Moses, and in the sight of all the congregation of the children of Yisrael, who were weeping before the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And when Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose up from among the congregation, and took a javelin in his hand; And he went after the man of Yisrael into the tent, and thrust both of them through, the man of Yisrael, and the woman through her belly. So the plague was stayed from the children of Yisrael. And those that died in the plague were twenty and four thousand.” (Numbers 25:1-9)
If this man spoken of in the first text (who took a virgin girl and had sexual intercourse with her) had
committed fornication he could have been lawfully executed. Since he would be dead he would not
have to pay a fine or a dowry to make her his wife. Therefore, he did not commit fornication! In 1 Corinthians 10 the issue that caused the death of these men was the fact that during the wilderness experience the Yisraelites began to have relations with the Midianites (idolatrous foreigners from Yisrael) and were (as a result) turned away to worshipping idols. So, even having relations with foreigners (from the commonwealth of Yisrael) would be considered fornication. And Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed for “going after strange flesh” (homosexuality, fornication, etc.) True, these sins are just the end result of living a life of total ease, fullness of bread, etc. Nevertheless, fornication (which includes harlotry, incest, adultery, licentiousness, homosexuality and even mixed marriages [not interracial, but mixed between totally different faiths]) are the sins which later became manifest and brought upon them judgments! Fornication, therefore, is any sexual or even just spiritual relationship that leads one away from obedience to YAHUAH—it is a relationship that causes one to become apostate.
What is “Pre-marital Sex”?
So now, let’s deal with the concept of “pre-marital sex”. The truth is that this term is in itself a contradiction, for according to Scripture when a man (any man) has consenting sexual intercourse with a woman who is not a close relative, not married nor betrothed—then at the moment of intercourse they are generally considered married. If you were “engaged” (that is, betrothed) then you would be considered to be married EVEN BEFORE having sexual intercourse, which makes the whole issue even more of a puzzle! Marriage was always official whenever the betrothal began,
whether consummation followed immediately or not.13 So you cannot have “sex” before being “married” since it is through “sex” that a man and woman become “married”, and in the Jewish culture (as clearly taught in Scripture) you could even be married BEFORE having “sex”. Does that
make sense? The exceptions to this general rule (that “sex” means “marriage”) would include acts of homosexuality, rape victims, prostitution (which is also fornication) or those engaged in intercourse merely for pleasure without any desire for commitment. Look at what the Scriptures says:
“And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from YAHUAH.” (Genesis 4:1)
“And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her; and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.” (Genesis 24:67)
“Then again Abraham took a wife, and her name was Keturah.” (Genesis 25:1)
“Then went Esau unto Ishmael, and took unto the wives which he had Mahalath the daughter of Ishmael Abraham’s son, the sister of Nebajoth, to be his wife.” (Genesis 28:9)
“And Judah saw there a daughter of a certain Canaanite, whose name was Shuah; and he took her, and went in unto her.
And she conceived, and bare a son; and he called his name Er. . . . And Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn, whose name was Tamar.” (Genesis 38:2,6)
“And there went a man of the house of Levi, and took to wife a daughter of Levi.” (Exodus 2:1)
“When thou goest forth to war against thine enemies, and YAHUAH thy Almighty hath delivered them into thine hands, and thou hast taken them captive, And seest among the captives a beautiful woman, and hast a desire unto her, that thou wouldest have her to thy wife; Then thou shalt bring her home to thine house; and she shall shave her head, and pare her nails; and she shall put the raiment of her captivity from off her, and shall remain in thine house, and bewail her father and her mother a full month: and after that thou shalt go in unto her, and be her husband, and she shall be thy wife. . .” (Deuteronomy 21:10-13)
So it is clear from these texts that in the process of “taking a wife” (through sexual intercourse) the man generally becomes married to her—that is, made “one flesh”. In some of these texts quoted it is very clear that the time from the “taking” to the “sexual intercourse” was very brief!! How can this be called pre-marital sex when the “marriage” and the “sex” often took place simultaneously?
14 In this study we are not here recommending unrestrained, uncommitted, pre-marital sex. We are merely pointing out that according to the Scriptures most do not even understand what marriage is. If we understood that intercourse is almost always the same as marriage (except where it would be a sinful relationship), then we would never be so foolish as to do that unless we were certain of making a permanent commitment. So-called pre-marital sex may not even be a sin at all!! IF they are free from the authority of the father and the intention of the man is to marry the woman, and likewise the woman desires to marry the man, then (if they are marriageable) it is not a sin. Getting a priest or minister to officiate at a wedding and getting a “marriage license” from the state comes from the practice of pagan rulers and were not required of the average person until recent centuries. It is not like a Hebrew marriage. So, a man takes a woman and makes her his wife–if she is not married to another and is free from her father, it is not a sin. And even if it is done to a woman while still under the authority of her father, it is not a “sin unto death” and is generally looked upon (according to the Scriptures) as a minor sin or “trespass”. The only difference is that the punishment was a fine and/or permanent marriage to that person!! Nor does it meet the current Scriptures definition of “fornication”—for true fornication in the Scriptures was not strictly pre-marital sex, but any sexual activity which involved perversion in the form of “harlotry”, “incest”, “licentiousness”, “adultery”,”homosexuality”, or even marriage or relations with “idolatrous” foreigners (from the true faith). Again, we must define our terms from the Biblical point of view, not from our current culture’s definition.
The Myth of Traditional Morality
Today we have inherited lies from our fathers, one of which is the lie that in order for a man and woman to be considered married there must be a ceremony, and they must receive the sanction of both Kahal (Hebrew Community) and state. Both the Kahal (Hebrew Community) and the state are corrupted with the traditions and commandments of men, so they have no authority to officiate at a wedding of the righteous. And although a marriage ceremony of some kind would be good, the absence of one does not change the plain teachings of Scripture. In point of fact, the traditional marriage ceremony of today was totally unknown during Scriptures times among many people, including the Hebrews.
“There was no religious rite that was performed with the concluding of the marriage, although there was a feast at the conclusion of the festivities (Gen. 29:27, Judges 14:10)”15 An Eastern wedding often consisted of a “wedding feast” that lasted several days, at the early part of which the man consummated his marriage with his new bride (or brides) in a private “bridal chamber” and the witnesses remained feasting in the main room or a nearby building. The only “legal” documentation regarding the marriage would be the signing of a marriage contract with the father of the bride. Often the maid knew very little about the man she was to marry, and the father was the one who made all the arrangements.
The payment of a dowry was not a wedding gift, but was required to compensate for the loss of income by the family of the bride.16 Often the woman was unattached to a family, so in many instances even this contract and/or dowry would not apply–or else the amount of dowry would be reduced. So this rule did not strictly apply in the case of a woman who was widowed, divorced or an orphan taken as a “war bride”. In modern Jewish weddings up until just the last few decades, a marriage could even take place without the use of a “rabbi” or “priest”—it only required witnesses.
The “vows” were often made privately (not publicly) between the man and the woman in the privacy
of the bridal chamber. And often the man just took the woman and made her his wife without even having a marriage feast or formal ceremony (according to the Scriptures already given). Even Christian marriages did not require the sanction of a priest until 1565 C.E. The wedding ceremony (both Jewish and Christian) so commonly used today is totally absent from the texts of Scripture and for most of recorded history, simply because a marriage was almost never contracted in that way.
Again, the earliest date at which even the Christian Kahal (Hebrew Community) required a marriage ceremony was in 1565 C.E. due to the decree of the Council of Trent. Our modern day concept of “traditional morality” is nothing more than a myth.
“Traditional ‘Morality’ — A Myth? Bishop Spong notes that in the Scriptures the prevailing marital pattern of the times was not monogamy but polygany. In fact, moral patterns ascribed to Scriptures times actually were never the way those who call us to reaffirm ‘traditional morality’ think they were. In his book Living in Sin?, also favorably reviewed in Time magazine, Spong brings this fact out clearly. Marriage, for example, was not ever universally required to legitimize sexual activity even in western Christian society. It was not until the Council of Trent in 1565, that the Kahal (Hebrew Community) declared that a Christian ceremony was necessary in order to have a valid marriage. He adds:
‘Marriage does not make sex Set-Apart, the quality of the relationship does’ (Spong, 1989: 65).”
Scripture only speaks of a “marriage feast”, not of any formal “ceremony”. From the beginning, a marriage did not require either the sanction of the Kahal (Hebrew Community) or of the state—nor should it today. In fact, the Torah (or Law) strictly forbids the righteous Hebrew from making any contract with a heathen government. That includes a civil marriage. The texts that support this can be found in 2 Kings 17 and Ezekiel 11 which we will quote:
What is and is not Adultery in the Scriptures? You may be surprised.” Posted at http://inkaboutit.homestead.com/Adulterythefamily.html and is a part of a larger article located at http://www.thefamily.org/dossier/books/book5/main.htm
“For so it was, that the children of Yisrael had sinned against Almighty YAHUAH, which had brought them up out of the land of Egypt, from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and had feared other Elohims, And walked in the statutes of the heathen, whom YAHUAH cast out from before the children of Yisrael, and of the kings of Yisrael, which they had made. And the children of Yisrael did secretly those things that were not right against Almighty YAHUAH, and they built them high places in all their cities, from the tower of the watchmen to the fenced city.” (2 Kings 17:7-9 and 14-16)“
Notwithstanding they would not hear, but hardened their necks, like to the neck of their fathers, that did not believe in Almighty YAHUAH. And they rejected his statutes, and his covenant that he made with their fathers, and his testimonies which he testified against them; and they followed vanity, and became vain, and went after the heathen that were round about them, concerning whom YAHUAH had charged them, that they should not do like them. And they left all the commandments of Almighty YAHUAH, and made them molten images, even two calves, and made a grove, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served Baal.” (2 Kings 17:14-16)
“This city shall not be your caldron, neither shall ye be the flesh in the midst thereof; but I will judge you in the border of Yisrael: And ye shall know that I am YAHUAH: for ye have not walked in my statutes, neither executed my judgments, but have done after the manners of the heathen that are round about you.” (Ezekiel 11:11-12)
It is very clear from Scripture that we are not to make contracts or agreements with heathen governments. Nor are we to follow the manners or customs of the heathen. Nor are we to observe their “statutes” (which is another way of saying “traditions”, “laws” or “civil statutes”). This applies to a lot of areas in our lives, but it also applies to the area of marriage. When the civil statutes happen to agree with the “commandments” and “statutes” and “laws” of the Torah we are certainly happy to obey them. When they are not in agreement with Scriptural laws then we must say with the rest of the righteous “It is better to obey YAHUAH than man”. A marriage license is a permit from a heathen government to contract a marriage which only YAHUAH can rule over. To marry with the consent of the state is to place yourself under the “yoke” of the state and invites a third party to come into and bring trouble to your marriage at anytime and for any or no reason. Since the State does not follow or even desire to understand the true teachings on marriage (as given in Scripture) they have no right or authority to dictate and decide what is or is not a valid marriage. To do so is a blatant violation of the first amendment to the constitution (separation of Kahal (Hebrew Community) and state). Remember, it is written that we are not to be “unequally yoked”. Surely you can see that a marriage license places the State together in bed with the husband and wife? According to Scripture, such an arrangement could possibly be considered a form of adultery!
While a marriage license issued by the state would be inappropriate, a simple agreement on paper is acceptable. However, from the beginning even this was not required. Just remember, Adam and
Eve didn’t have a minister to marry them nor a printing device to make marriage certificates! You might say they made their agreement verbally, and why not? If they are honest then they will each abide by their agreement.
Does a piece of paper give legality to something and make the original verbal agreement better, or does it merely provide a measure of protection in case one of the parties is not totally “honest” regarding their commitment? In an honest society, there would be no need for a marriage certificate. But since we don’t live in an honest society, a commitment on paper (a simple agreement, not a civil contract) is needed in case there was a question regarding the contract—but that paper in itself does not a marriage make.
It would be much better, especially when feelings of guilt or doubts may be involved, to refrain from
intercourse until the date of marriage. However, failure to do so does not constitute “fornication”. In fact, it may not even be a sin at all. It would only be a “trespass” or minor sin IF the woman is still under the authority of her father and is not betrothed to another. If, as stated earlier, she is free to marry (virgin, divorced, widowed or orphaned), is eligible to marry (not currently endowed to another) and their intention is to marry (not to gratify their desires then abandon each other)—then there is no sin. Of course, if they should have intercourse prematurely they should then want to live together as man and wife and not continue to live as if single.
Now since we are addressing this issue of when does a person marry, it is important that we consider another text which shows clearly that our modern idea of “fidelity” and “righteousness” regarding sexual relations is clearly false. It is true that in those times protecting a woman’s virginity was of vital importance, but only up until she was certain of who she was to marry. Once that was decided in her and/or her father’s mind (through the giving of a dowry), then she was free to give up her virginity at any time to the man she was endowed to. Sometimes they would choose to delay marriage for 6 months or a year, but this was a tradition and not a command from Scripture.
Mary, the mother of Yahuah-Yeshua, was betrothed but not officially married to Joseph (Matthew 1:18) When Joseph found out of her pregnancy he thought she had committed adultery and thought to put her away privately. But in a dream YAHUAH appeared unto him and told him “fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Set-Apart Spirit” (Verse 20). Clearly, Joseph was considered married to Mary even before they were joined sexually. Yet, he is commanded to take Mary (who was still not officially married to him, only betrothed) and allow her to reside in his home “And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son” (Verse 25).
Friend, according to today’s false standards of righteousness, the Son of the Most High, Yahuah-Yeshua, was born out of “wedlock” and his mother Mary was “living in sin”!! Yet, those who know the true teachings of Scripture can never accept this as evil–they know better! It is not the Scriptures which are wrong, but our false concepts of righteousness. And here is a thought to ponder–just how old do you think Mary was when she married Joseph? According to traditional Hebrew marriages, she (as a virgin daughter) might have been quite young–though it would be speculative to add any more to this.
Here is another situation: If a woman was an orphan or divorced or widowed, she was of course free to directly solicit marriage to the man she desired without appealing to anyone else to make this decision for her. We find confirmation of this truth in the story of Ruth. Here we have a situation in which Ruth herself (who was widowed) actually made a direct solicitation not just for a future marriage, but for immediate sexual intercourse with Boaz. In Ruth 3:4-9 it gives us the story:
“And it shall be, when he lieth down, that thou shalt mark the place where he shall lie, and thou shalt go in, and uncover his feet, and lay thee down; and he will tell thee what thou shalt do. And she said unto her, All that thou sayest unto me I will do. And she went down unto the floor, and did according to all that her mother in law bade her. And when Boaz had eaten and drunk, and his heart was merry, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of corn: and she came softly, and uncovered his feet, and laid her down. And it came to pass at midnight, that the man was afraid, and turned himself: and, behold, a woman lay at his feet.And he said, Who art thou? And she answered, I am Ruth thine handmaid: spread therefore thy skirt over thine handmaid; for thou art a near kinsman. And he said, Blessed be thou of YAHUAH, my daughter: for thou hast shewed more kindness in the latter end than at the beginning, inasmuch as thou followedst not young men, whether poor or rich. And now, my daughter, fear not; I will do to thee all that thou requirest: for all the city of my people doth know that thou art a virtuous woman.” (Ruth 3:4-9)
Many will read this story and yet miss what to the unlearned eye is the most obvious— this is solicitation; not in the modern sense of someone who merely wants to have sexual gratification without commitment. The righteous Hebrew didn’t have our modern concept of “free love” where one can be treated as a sexual toy to be disposed of when they grew tired of it. No, this is our false western concept that we inherited from pagan Rome. In the teaching of the Hebrews if someone was to solicit sex it was (unless they had become a prostitute) with the intention of marriage.
So there is no reproach upon either Ruth or Boaz in this regard. Instead, the reproach is upon us for being so deceived into thinking that sex outside of a formal marriage is not really marriage, then justifying our promiscuous ways by saying that since it is not really marriage it is “ok” for the man to have as many sexual encounters as he wishes–yet without forming a permanent bond of marriage (which Scripture defines as “fornication”). And likewise women often do the same thing by leavingthe man they have married and taking another man (which Scripture defines as “adultery”).
In attempting to hold onto this false concept and shield ourselves and our children from having a “sinful relationship” we actually cause ourselves and those we love to fall into sinful relationships and never see how sinful it really is. And so the reverse is also true: sex with the intention of making a lifelong commitment is not sin, provided that each of the parties is indeed committed to each other, marriageable and prepared to follow through with their commitment.
Admittedly, in our society such committed attitude as this might seem rare—but not in the society of the righteous Hebrew who already understand these principles. Do you see how easily the whole world has been deceived by these false ideas regarding marriage?
Surely you can see that if YAHUAH does not change and He judges people today the same way He judged people in the past, this doctrine that one has to have a formal marriage [complete with purely pagan ceremonies, I might add] or else they will be “damned to hellfire”–that doctrine is indeed a doctrine of devils!! It was not until the Council of Trent that even the Christian Kahal (Hebrew Community) commanded people to be married in that way, and we should know that NONE of the righteous people of Scripture were ever married in that way–so will they be lost also? I think not.
Now there is more in this particular text that most people are not aware of. In the translation of these verses almost every translation either purposely or out of ignorance has chosen to “tone down” the language of the text. For example, the word “feet” is often (as it is here) a euphemism for “genitals”. [(Hebrew #7272, regel; meaning “feet” or euphemism for “pudenda” (i.e., genitals) and (#4772,margelah, foot, footpiece, based on #7272) used in the book of Ruth].
This can be confirmed by looking at several other texts in Scripture (listed in the footnote below)19 and noting the context. In addition, the invitation from Ruth to “spread therefore thy skirt” over her is really quite toned down from the original Hebrew. It actually has a much more graphic meaning as you will see with this revision of the King James showing in highlighted text the places where the changes have been made. Notice:
“And it shall be, when he lieth down, that thou shalt mark the place where he shall lie, and thou shalt go in, and uncover his genitals19 and lay thee down; and he will tell thee what thou shalt do. And she said unto her, All that thou sayest unto me I will do. And she went down unto the floor, and did according to all that her mother in law bade her. And when Boaz had eaten and drunk, and his heart was merry, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of corn: and she came softly, and uncovered his genitals19 and laid her down.And it came to pass at midnight, that the man was afraid, and turned himself: and, behold, a woman lay at his genitals19. And he said, Who art thou? And she answered, I am Ruth thine handmaid: stretch out your genitals down against20 thine handmaid; for thou art a near kinsman. And he said, Blessed be thou of YAHUAH, my daughter: for thou hast shewed more kindness in the latter end than at the beginning, inasmuch as thou followedst not young men, whether poor or rich. And now, my daughter, fear not; I will do to thee all that thou requirest: for all the city of my people doth know that thou art a virtuous woman.” (Ruth 3:4-9)
We know for a certainty that Ruth uncovered the genitals of Boaz and not his feet, for since he was
working and simply lying down he had no covering other than his robe. Once he lay down his feet were already uncovered, for no robe would extend beyond the length of his body. And in lying down, his robe would naturally be pulled up slightly higher (uncovering his literal feet with no help from anyone else). Obviously, the euphemistic meaning of “feet” (i.e., “genitals”) was intended here. Whether he had relations with Ruth at this time, or not, cannot be shown conclusively. But what this text does clearly show is that our whole modern concept of what constitutes righteousness in the setting of human relationships is totally and completely wrong!Ruth’s action in soliciting sexual intercourse (and therefore marriage) from Boaz was truthfully that of a “virtuous woman” as testified by both Boaz himself and “all the city of my people”! It was an act of righteousness on her part, for her intentions were to form a lifelong bond of marriage with Boaz!!
And here is the enigma of it all: the offspring that was born of Ruth and Boaz became the forerunner of both David and later the Messiah himself! Amazing how Scripture often conflicts with our concepts of righteousness. “We should not assume that our ways are normal and that Elohim’s ways are an abnormality which needs vindication.”21
19 “feet” is often used in Scripture as a euphemism for genitals. This can be easily seen when reading the full context of
these verses: Genesis 49:10 “between his feet”, Exodus 4:25 “at his feet”, Deuteronomy 28:57 “between her feet”, Judges 3:24 “covereth his feet”, Ruth 3:4,7,8 “uncover his feet” and “lay at his feet”, Isaiah 6:2 “covered his feet”, Ezekiel16:25 “opened thy feet”, Isaiah 7:20 “hair of the feet”, 2 Kings 18:27 and Isaiah 36:12 “water of the feet” (translated as “piss” or “urine”. In each of these texts the better translation would be to say “genitals” instead of “feet”. [Note especially Isaiah 6:2 which shows that even angels have “genitals”—showing that they are also sexual beings!] It
is better to translate these texts accordingly because most people do not “know” Hebrew euphemisms and because this is clearly the intended meaning. 20 “spread therefore thy skirt over thine handmaid” is not the best translation. The word “spread” can also mean “stretch forth” or “extend out” (Hebrew #6566, paras, break apart, disperse, stretch out). The word “skirt” can also mean “extremity” (#3671, kanaph, edge, extremity, wing, flap, from #3670, kanaph, to project laterally) and is sometimes used by the Hebrews as a euphemism to refer to the genitals (usually the male “extremity” that can “project laterally”). The word “over” can also be translated “against” or “upon” [#5921, al, above, over, upon, or (down) against]. Therefore, in spite of the fact some will object to it, the translation of this text given above is a more dynamic translation giving the intent of the original text. “stretch out your genitals down against thine handmaid “ is a valid translation. And even though we risk offending people, we could have translated it even more pointedly as shown here: “stretch out your penis down upon your handmaid”. Refer to Ezekiel 16:8 for further evidence regarding “spreading the skirt”.
Who is a Fornicator?
Now, let us deal with the question: Can a man as well as a woman commit fornication? Well, the answer to that is yes, either one. In fact, any man or woman (whether married or single) can be guilty of fornication. However, it is not something that can always be judged based upon the external circumstances. For instance, if any man has a sexual relation with a woman not married (nor under the authority of her father, nor promised to another) then the question of whether it is fornication or not would depend upon what the purpose in his heart is. If his intention is to marry the woman, and she is considered qualified for that, then it is not fornication.
Notice what is said in 1 Corinthians:
“But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.” (1 Corinthians 7:9)
So, now that we know what is not fornication let’s look and see what fornication really is. Again,
going back to the Greek we will also find the true meaning of fornication: “Fornication” according to Strong’s Greek (#4202) is “Porneo”, “harlotry (including adultery and incest); fig. Of idolatry”. Other related words reveal more details about the true meaning of “fornication”: (#4203) “porneuo”, “to act the harlot. . .indulge unlawful lust (of either sex), or (fig.) practice idolatry”.
Notice that it says to “indulge unlawful lust”. Therefore, we can safely say that “unlawful lust” means to have a desire for something that you are not lawfully allowed to have. Good examples of that would include a man desiring to have relations with a heathen woman, a married woman, or relations with a very close relative, or relations with an animal, or relations with a harlot, or relations with someone of the same sex.
You could also include someone who desires to have relationships with others who normally would be qualified for marriage, but without desiring to make a commitment of marriage. This person would then (if he/she turns their thoughts into actions) “act the harlot”. All of these would qualify as “unlawful desire” or “lust” and if the desire were actually engaged in then it would become “fornication”.
Beyond all of this there are “gray areas” in which some people feel may also constitute fornication, but the Scriptures only present to us the areas we have mentioned in this part of our study. And as we will learn later, an unmarried woman desiring to have relations with a married man may not qualify as a fornicator (unless it becomes obsessive desire for someone that is not interested in her)—since that type of relationship (Polygany ) is permitted by the Torah (as we will see later)!! Remember, it is “better to marry than to burn”—that is, burn with lust.
Is There a Difference Between “Desire” and “Lust”?
Is there a difference between desire and lust? Does the Scriptures give an answer?
In the gospels the Messiah takes the most basic definition of “adultery” and expands the meaning to include not just the actions but the thoughts as well:
“Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” (Matthew 5:27-28)
Remember, the Messiah stated plainly at the beginning of that same chapter that he came not to destroy the law (or Torah)! Therefore, any statements made here would not be in conflict with any teachings found in the Torah. Those who claim that he did intend to contradict the Torah need to read the first part of that same chapter, where he plainly tells us that those who teach contrary to he Torah will be “least in the kingdom of heaven”! So this reference to lusting after a woman is not a unique statement made only by the Messiah, but is based upon the 10th commandment (not the 7th) which is found in Deuteronomy (the fifth book of Moses, part of the Torah)—“thou shalt not covet [or desire, lust after] thy neighbors wife . . .” (Deuteronomy 5:21) What he is saying here regarding adultery is not meant to replace the law, but merely to expand the law showing the principles upon which that law (Torah) was based. So, the law is still binding, only now we must apply the principles of the law as well in our daily lives.
Let us remember that it is not with our actions where sin begins but in our heart and minds, our thoughts. If our thoughts are evil and we continue to dwell on those evil thoughts without seeking repentance then they will eventually produce the outward manifestation of the sin that we have already committed in our heart.
Now some will go to this text in Matthew 5 and say: “See, here it says that if you even look at a woman, having a desire for her, you have committed adultery in your heart. So, men [especially married men] should not be looking or thinking about other women–and based on this they certainly shouldn’t marry another woman.”
Agreed, men should not behave rude to women and women should not flaunt their bodies by the provocative way in which they dress. But is it wrong to just simply have a desire for someone? For those who are married, did you ever have a “desire” for your wife before you were married? Surely you must have at least “looked” at her, right?
Otherwise, how could you have even possibly taken the steps needed to eventually marry? And even if your marriage was arranged, I think surely you must have looked at her at least a few times before deciding—right? Did you sin when you looked at an unmarried woman and began to have a “desire” for her? Is that wrong? Isn’t that natural? Now we are not talking about “cat calling”, “whistling” or making irreverent and insulting remarks or gestures to a woman. That would be evil. We are just pointing out that a man [ANY MAN] noticing a single attractive woman and “falling in love” with her or “desiring” her as a mate is not a sin.
Remember, we already mentioned earlier that the word “lust” often means “unlawful desire”—as shown in the previous page. Is it unlawful for a man, even a married man, to desire a woman that is not married and available for marriage (indeed, is in dire need of it!!)? But what about the Messiah’s statement: “whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her”.
Doesn’t this indicate a married man must not look with lust at any and every woman? Again, we have to deal with translation issues from the text. While it is true we should not “lust” after women, the word “woman” does not mean just any woman. In the Strong’s Greek #1135 for that word “woman” it says:
“gune” and means “a woman; spec. a wife: wife, woman.” That word is based on the Greek #1096
which is “ginomai”, “to cause to be . . . to become . . . be married”. So, in this text (and based on the context of Scripture) the word actually means “a wife” and would be better translated that way— “wife” or “married woman”. And even though the word lust often means “unlawful desire” in this text the word used for lust is even more emphatic. It can mean either “desire” or “unlawful desire”.
So the Messiah is emphatically declaring to us that we are not even to have the slightest desire for a married woman. If we do, yes, then we have committed adultery already in our heart. But it would not be a sin for any man [married or otherwise] to desire a single woman (a maid or virgin) because it does not in any way violate the golden rule—“do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.
A single woman (and especially a mature virgin) would normally have desires for a man. And a young virgin who is just beginning to experience menstruation is at that point in life when “her flowers” are beginning to come upon her and she strongly desires a man to fulfill her sexual needs.
According to Scripture, when this happens she needs (as soon as it is possible) to be married off to
a righteous Hebrew that will love her from that time forward.22 Therefore, for him to respond in kind
(granted, with her and her father’s permission and guidance, of course) would not be a sin. And if he happens to be married it is not a sin, since the Scripture allows for this type of relationship. So now let’s make the changes accordingly and see how the text should be better translated. These changes are shown in blue Italics:
“Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a married woman to even have a desire for her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” (Matthew 5:27- 28)
So it is clear then that the real issue that Yahuah-Yeshua the Messiah was trying to point out here was that we (as men) are not to have a “desire” for those which we are not lawfully allowed to have. Although we may desire a young virgin who is beyond the “flower” of her age (menstruation or in Hebrew called “niddah”), we would certainly be sinning if we had a desire for a mere child.23 Also we are not to “desire” to have a “married woman”—just as Messiah plainly told us.
And regarding those whom it IS lawful for us to desire, we still must be respectful in both our thoughts and treatment of them (“the golden rule”). According to Scripture (Daniel 11:37-38), a man who does not have a desire for women in general is guilty of the highest form of idolatry (self-idolatry)!
Now some may wish to appeal to the story of Job where Job (who is married) tells us it would be wrong for him to even look upon and think about desiring a “maid”. Does this contradict what we are teaching here (that it is not a sin for a married man to desire a single woman)? Well, let’s look at the text in the book of Job and see what it really says:
“I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?” (Job 31:1)
22Though it is not a sin to have a desire for a single woman, it is not always easy to tell the difference between a single and married woman. So it is certainly better to ere on the side of caution and avoid gazing at women in general. Of course, “ogling”, “whistling at” or “cat calling” a man or woman (whether married or not) is certainly disrespectful and sinful since it reveals selfish motives within the heart of the perpetrator. 22 Now remember, we are not addressing here the laws of any nation—we are simply talking about and presenting the teachings of Scripture. 23 We will leave it up to the reader to determine what is that proper age for a young maiden to marry, based upon Scripture and not upon culture.
Please take note of some simple facts that will show the truth regarding this statement from Job. Just like a Nazarite takes a special vow (or covenant) to not use any products from the grape (whether fruit, unfermented grape juice or fermented wine) for a certain period it does not necessarily apply to others. And after the time period that the vow is in effect expires, he may then begin to use the fruit of the vine. Vows are not always permanent, but often of a temporary nature. And a vow is always limited to the individual involved. So, Job is making a covenant here.
That means it is a special agreement that is not necessarily applicable to other people. And he might (when and if the time period for that vow ends) once again enjoy the blessings of partaking of that which the vow forbids— if the vow has a time limit. Obviously, we know that Job was going through some difficult times– which may explain why he has vowed to not even think of women that may have been available.
Therefore, instead of this text proving that it is a sin for a married man to even think about an unmarried woman, it is quite to the contrary! It actually proves that it is normal (and right) for a married man to desire a pretty young woman or a “maid”!!!
Job was married and since this was a special vow that Job made, and Job was a married man, it is therefore absolute proof that it was perfectly normal and even righteous for a married man (in their normal life outside of any special vow) to desire an unmarried woman (a “maid” which could be either a “young woman” or a “virgin”)! Otherwise, he would not have needed to make a vow since it would have already been prohibited.
Now notice verses 9-11 of that same chapter. It says:
“If mine heart have been deceived by a woman, or if I have laid wait at my neighbor’s door; then let my wife grind unto another, and let others bow down upon her. For this is a heinous crime; yea, it is an iniquity to be punished by the judges.” (Job 31:9-11)
The word “deceived” can also be translated “enticed”. So, is Job here saying that it would be wrong
for a man to take a “maid” (unmarried woman) as a wife? If such were the case, why would he have to make a special vow for that as shown in verse 1? No, it is clear that he is not speaking of a “maid” but of a “woman” (that is, a woman married to a husband). The second part of verse 9 makes it clear, for the issue which brings about the sin is that a man may have “laid wait” at his “neighbor’s door”. Indeed, it is a “heinous crime” which he is describing—for to take a married man’s wife is listed in the commandments as “adultery”. Yet, Job just a few verses earlier makes a vow to not even think of women. So, is Job here saying that it would be wrong for a man to take a “maid” (unmarried woman) as a wife? If such were the case, why would he have to make a special vow for that as shown in verse 1? No, it is clear that he is no longer speaking of a “maid” but of a “woman” (that is, married woman).
Besides all of this we have the testimony of Job himself only a few chapters prior to this one that it is perfectly normal for a man to have several wives. Note the text well:
“Those that remain of him shall be buried in death: and his widows shall not weep.” (Job 27:15)
Yes, the man referred to here is among the wicked–but Job acknowledges that even the wicked can leave behind “widows”, not just one “widow”. He recognizes that a marriage can be polygamous! It is not a sin to “wish” or “desire” for something that is lawful (according to the Torah), especially including the desire of a man for a virgin or unmarried woman. It is only a sin when we “covet” something or someone that does not and cannot ever belong to us. But for those who give themselves over to fornication here is what the apostle has to say about that:
“Wherefore YAHUAH also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of YAHUAH into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause YAHUAH gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet. . .” (Romans 2:24-27)
So we can see that “lust” has to do with “leaving the natural use of the woman”. Is it “natural” for a woman to desire relations with a husband, and a man to desire relations with a single woman (that is truly marriageable)? Of course! But, when those desires are suppressed then they are going “against nature”. Over time these “repressed feelings” provoke a slingshot effect which may lead to lust, fornication and even homosexuality (as this text clearly points out). Licentiousness is the result and that term means simply a normal sexual desire which is taken to extremes so that the person committing that sin is without control, without restraint, perverted and lawless.
Yet when those same natural desires are kept under control of the higher powers of the mind and then directed into “lawful”, responsible, and mutually satisfying fulfillment it is not a sin!! Therefore desires which are directed toward “lawful” goals and “natural use” would be acceptable, provided both parties come to agreement at each step in the “courtship” process. At the heart of the matter is this idea of “unlawful lust”, to desire something which we are not permitted to have. For a man or woman to desire someone of the same sex, or a mere child, or a very close relative (sister/brother), or desiring a married woman, that would be “unlawful desire” or “lust”!!
For a married man to “desire” a woman (a “maiden” or “virgin daughter”) that is not married and is truly available, that would not be forbidden, simply because Polygany is permitted by Scripture. Now Polygany means the same as polygany, only polygany is a broader term that could also include the idea of a wife having more than one husband. But Scripture condemns that idea–that would be adultery! In this paper when we speak of polygany let it be understood that (in most cases, unless specified) we are referring to Polygany (one man—many wives). Anything else would be a sinful abomination.
Now regarding “rape” it is clear that the Scriptures does not permit the death penalty for a woman that was raped. In some Middle East countries even today, however, women that are raped are often executed. This is simply another example of principles from Scripture that are misused and perverted to allow injustice of every kind. Here is the text that speaks to this issue:
“If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her; Then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, being in the city; and the man, because he hath humbled his neighbour’s wife: so thou shalt put away evil from among you. But if a man find a betrothed damsel in the field, and the man force her, and lie with her: then the man only that lay with her shall die: But unto the damsel thou shalt do nothing; there is in the damsel no sin worthy of death: for as when a man riseth against his neighbour, and slayeth him, even so is this matter. For he found her in the field, and the betrothed damsel cried, and there was none to save her.” (Deuteronomy 22:23-27)
The Scripture says simply that a woman who “cries out” for help is not to be executed along with the man—because she was forced. And if she is in the country and no one hears her cry, then her story of rape is to be believed and she should be at liberty to continue living her life as before. However, if she is in the city and many people are around, yet she does not cry out then it can be shown that she (the married or betrothed woman) has had consensual sexual intercourse with the man and would therefore (according to Scripture) be stoned to death.
Of course, we know that sometimes crying out even in the cities of today may not always be heard (nor heeded)—but in principle the purpose of this law from the Torah was to protect a woman who is forcibly raped. In the buildings of that time there was no such thing as soundproof construction and people were everywhere (so someone would have come to her aid)—therefore, a woman’s cry could easily be heard and she would receive immediate help by those passing by in the city, but maybe not in the country.
The principle is clearly shown here because the issue was whether or not the woman could be heard. By applying the principles as well as the letter of this law, this text actually shows we should have mercy on those who have been forced into intercourse without their consent. Those who were truly “raped” were not to be stoned, according to the Scriptures. If we are going to be saved in Messiahs kingdom, we had better be sure of that which is “permitted” and that which is “not permitted” or we will never be able to know the difference between right and wrong. This lack of understanding will cause us to justify the guilty and condemn the innocent, and therefore this study is of the utmost importance, especially in light of the importance in which the Torah (Law) plays in our salvation. That is why it is important to understand the true Scriptural status of monogamy, polygany, adultery and fornication. It is not a sin (according to Scripture) for a man to contract a second marriage (i.e., become polygamous).25
Is Monogamy the Ideal?
Now, let us address a common response from most people when this subject comes up. Often, people come to the Scriptures realizing that polygany was allowed and so the most often used explanation as to why polygany should no longer be practiced is that polygany was tolerated then but monogamy is the ideal. Is that true? Notice how this issue is dealt with in a popular Scriptures Dictionary, and we will make comments on this afterward:
“concubines, or secondary wives, acquired by purchase or as war booty, and protected by laws of rightful inheritance (Deut. 21:15-17), were commonly accepted in O.T. society. But it is possible to trace in the O.T. a trend toward monogamy. The Deuteronomic Law (remembering Solomon’s excesses) forbade kings to take several wives (Deut 17:17).
Prophets like Hosea preached monogamy as a symbol of the faithful union between Elohim and His people. Malachi (2:14 ff.) took monogamy for granted. For security large families (see FAMILY) were essential in early Hebrew society, and concubinage contributed to this end. Although O.T. law codes discouraged polygany, an explanation was offered (Gen. 16:1-3). The ideal woman of Prov. 31 moved in a monogamous society. By N.T. times Jewish husbands usually had one wife; N.T. teaching advised monogamy.”26
Friends, this reference work clearly indicates that polygany was allowed in Scripture. However, it is full of errors in regard to the true teachings of Scripture. Note their commentary: “it is possible to trace in the O.T. a trend toward monogamy”. Really? I haven’t seen it. “The Deuteronomic Law (remembering Solomon’s excesses) forbade kings to take several wives (17:17).” This is also a misleading statement. Solomon’s excesses were wrong, but that is not the issue here. Since Deuteronomy was written before Solomon’s time, the statement made by this commentary cannot possibly be true.
That text does not really condemn a man for taking several wives, but it does condemn doing things in excess. Solomon’s excesses were clearly wrong, but we will address this much more fully later on in this study. “Prophets like Hosea preached monogamy as a symbol of the faithful union between Elohim and his people.” Friend, how can this be the case when it is clear from Hosea 3:1-3 that Hosea took another woman as a wife without divorcing his first wife— clearly showing Hosea was living polygamous!! Some say he took back his first wife in this chapter.
But the context shows clearly that this was another woman, simply because he preludes the second marriage by saying “I will love the unloved, I will say to No-People-of Mine, ‘You are my people’, and he will answer, ‘You are my Elohim’” (Hosea 2:23-25, Jerusalem Scriptures) He then gave his new wife detailed instructions in Hosea 3:3, showing that she must have been a new member to his household and so needed special instructions. If she were the same woman he married first this type of instruction would not have been needed. “Malachi (2:14 ff.) took monogamy for granted.”
When you read the context of Malachi 2:14 it is clear that Malachi was condemning the divorcing of
the first wife, or “wife of your youth”. It has nothing to do with defending monogamy. In fact, it may imply that polygany is acceptable since it mentions “wife of your youth” twice. If this is teaching monogamy only why does this text qualify the word “wife” with the phrase “of your youth”? It is clearly suggesting the man could have more wives, like “wife of your youth” or wife of your middle years or wife of your old age. “Although O.T. law codes discouraged polygany. . .”
They did? Where? O.T. law never discouraged polygany—in fact the man who wrote it (Moses) had 2 wives himself! We will explain this in more detail later, but how can they say that the “law codes discouraged polygany” while in fact the author of those codes himself had 2 wives? “The ideal woman of Prov. 31 moved in a monogamous society.” Friends, the ideal woman of Prov. 31 is just that—the ideal. We are all hoping for the ideal.
But the statements made in that chapter neither endorse monogamy nor condemn polygany. “N.T. teaching advised monogamy”. As we will see later in this study, N.T. teaching advised “marriage” and actually gave direct endorsement to both of these forms (monogamy and polygany)! It neither condemned polygany nor monogamy, since both of these terms are not even to be found in Scripture—only marriage, whether with one or with many.
In Scripture there is no term to differentiate between these two forms of marriage! When polygany is objected to on the basis of the theory that “In an ideal world, without sin, we would have no polygany” it is evidence of a lack of understanding concerning true righteousness. The main problem with this objection is that it makes an assumption that polygany is less pure than monogamy–thereby inferring polygany is sin. Yet according to Matthew 5:37 anything that is less than straightforward is sin. Likewise, “sin is the transgression of the law” (1 John 3:4). Yet polygany
is not a transgression of the law–since the law (Torah) repeatedly gives regulations and in one case even a command which may require polygany to fulfill it (the Levirite marriage)!!
Since divine patriarchy (the headship of the man) is established before the fall of man (Genesis 2:18) it would be foolish to say polygany would not have been available in Eden since it is itself the outgrowth and validation of divine patriarchy! Another similar claim is that “Even though Scripture allows polygany, monogamy is the ideal form of marriage”. In this claim at least polygany is allowed, but the problem here is of a more subtle nature. Here the problem with this claim is that it is an overthrow of the Scriptural concept of morality and ethics. If something is moral it is also right and proper. Something that is immoral is by that very definition unrighteous and improper. 1 John 3:4 says simply “whosoever commits sin transgresseth also the law.” Since both polygany and monogamy are in harmony with the teachings of the “law” (that is, the “Torah”) it is clear that making one of these less perfect than the other would be in contradiction to the teachings of Scripture.
You cannot moralize concerning the Law by saying there is one part of that Law which is better or worse than the other–it must all be either good or bad. “But let your communication be, Yea, Yea; Nae, Nae: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.” (Matthew 5:37) That type of thinking shows that they are not defending monogamy but instead they are really judging the law. That argument is a corruption and perversion of truth and blurs the distinction between sin and righteousness. True, the law points out evils which must be punished (some more so than others) but that same law never says polygany is an evil to be punished, nor does it prescribe even the slightest punishment for practicing that form of marriage.
To take the position that “monogamy is better than polygany” knowing what the Scriptures clearly teach on this matter, will eventually lead such a person into lawlessness and rebellion from YAHUAH. Monogamy and polygany are both equally righteous in the sight of YAHUAH and in harmony with His Law (Torah), and which one of these forms of marriage the righteous may choose to follow has more to do with circumstances and situations than upon our regard for ethics. Not that we are applauding situation ethics–that is not the object at all.
What we are recognizing is that we, as sons of YAHUAH, have an obligation to render aid to those who are in need–and if the best way to help someone is to marry them, then so be it!
If there is a righteous woman who needs the care of a righteous man, and the person most qualified to be her husband happens to be married, then we have one instance in which it may be good for the man to take a second wife. At the same time we recognize that not all will be prepared for that type of marriage or may not desire to have a polygamous relationship. We can respect that. We all have freedom of choice in regards to which type of marriage we will have, but we also have a responsibility to follow the golden rule.
If a man needs another wife and if there is a woman who needs a righteous husband (but cannot find one who is not already married) then we must seek to go above our false rationalizations and at least allow other people a chance to “get a life”–even if we are not able or willing to take that step ourselves! Remember, YAHUAH will judge us according to our deeds and if we tempt others into sin or stand in the way of the happiness of others (by denying them or condemning their right to marry), then we will have to give an answer for our own sins in the judgment to come.
What is sin?
1 John 3:4 says that “Whosoever commits sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.”
Romans 4:15 says “Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.”
Romans 5:13 says “For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.”
So, sin is the “transgression of the law”. So, does that mean that those who do not knowthe law are free from sin?
Romans 2:12 say “For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law”
No, even those who do not know the law have still sinned and will perish in the end. Has the law been done away with?
Matthew 5:17 says “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.”
By the “law” he is referring to the Torah or first 5 books of Moses. By “the prophets” he is
referring to the writings of the prophets (originally 19 books).
Matthew 5:18 continues “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.”
Romans 3:31 says “Do we then make void the law through faith? YAHUAH forbid: yea, we establish the law.”
Romans 6:15 says “What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? YAHUAH forbid.”
Romans 8:4 says “That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”
Are YAHUAH’s statutes, ordinances, commandments, in short is His “Law” (Torah) evil or barbaric?
Romans 7:7 says “What shall we say then? Is the law sin? YAHUAH forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.”
Romans 7:12 says “Wherefore the law is Set-Apart, and the commandment Set-Apart, and just, and good.”
Do we, in our “vain philosophy” and “sophisticated thinking” judge the law of YAHUAH? Dowe criticize and condemn it as being evil? How dare we do this!! How can we do this without incurring the wrath of the one who created us and knows best how we should live?
James 4:12 says “There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?”
Those who want to subordinate, change or do away with YAHUAH’s law because they do not wish to follow it are not Set-Apart and righteous, these people are wicked and lawless (“lawless” means “without law”!). Those who are “lawless” do not really love YAHUAH, do they?
Romans 8:7 says “Because the carnal mind is enmity against YAHUAH: for it is not subject to the law of YAHUAH, neither indeed can be.”
Yes, we are saved by Grace, but that is not a license to break YAHUAH’s law–is it? Could we summarize what we have found so far?
· Sin is the breaking of YAHUAH’s Law
· YAHUAH’s Law directs, regulates and even in some cases commands certain actions by us.
· Therefore those actions which are regulated and even sometimes commanded cannot possibly be a sin.
· And in the Laws of YAHUAH sexual relations are regulated such that certain acts or lifestyles are accepted and others are condemned.
· If it was not a sin in those days and according to that Law given by YAHUAH, then it is
not a sin today nor anytime in the future (including paradise).
Now let’s look at the facts:
“And the man that commits adultery with another man’s wife, even he that commits adultery with his neighbours wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.” (Leviticus 20:10).
“If a man be found lying with a woman married to an husband, then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shalt thou put away evil from Yisrael.” (Deuteronomy 22:22)
According to these texts, any man [whether single or married] commits adultery if he has
relations with a married woman. It says nothing about adultery regarding a single woman.
“If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold on her and lie with her, and they be found; then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel’s father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife; because he hath humbled her, he may not put her away all his days.” (Deuteronomy 22:28-29)
Any man [including a married man] who has relations with a virgin is required to marry the woman (if her father permits it) and pay a fine for his transgression. He committed a sin here, but it was not the sin of adultery or even fornication.
“If he take him another wife; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish. And if he do not these three unto her, then shall she go out free without money.” (Exodus 21:10-11)
In this text “wife” is supplied. By reading the full context it is clear that this is in reference to a concubine (a female servant) who is also a lesser wife. A man is allowed to take another woman but must continue to provide for the basic needs of his new concubine! If he cannot provide for her basic needs, he must let his concubine (or wife) go free.
“If a man have two wives, one beloved and another hated, and they have born him children, both the beloved and the hated; and if the first born son be hers that was hated: Then it shall be, when he maketh his sons to inherit that which he hath, that he may not make the son of the beloved first born before the son of the hated, which is indeed the first born.” (Deuteronomy 21:15)
If a man has two wives and one of them is loved less than the other, he is not to discriminate against the first born of the first marriage in regards to the inheritance.
“If brethren dwell together and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger; her husband’s brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of an husband’s brother unto her. And it shall be, that the firstborn which she beareth shall succeed in the name of his brother which is dead, that his name be not put out of Yisrael. And if the man like not to take his brother’s wife, then let his brother’s wife go up to the gate unto the elders, and say, My husband’s brother refuseth to raise up unto his brother a name in Yisrael, he will not perform the duty of my husband’s brother.Then the elders of his city shall call him, and speak unto him: and if he stand to it, and say, I like not to take her; then shall his brother’s wife come unto him in the presence of the elders, and loose his shoes from off his foot, and spit in his face, and shall answer and say, So shall it be done unto that man that will not build up his brother’s house. And his name shall be called in Yisrael, The house of him that hath his shoe loosed.” (Deuteronomy 25:5-10)
Since the man could be single or married he may be entering into a polygamous marriage by following this command of Scripture. Yes, in this instance he is commanded to form (if possible) a polygamous marriage!!
Leviticus 18 tells us who we can and cannot marry, such as very close relatives.
Leviticus 18:17-18 says you cannot have relations with your wife beside (or over) her and her sister at the same time. To do this would be “vexing” or “cramping” her. This is the clearest statement in Scripture showing both group sex and lesbianism to be sinful.
Leviticus 20:14 says you cannot take a woman and her daughter as a wife–it is sin.
Again, I ask, is the law sin? Is it barbaric? Think this through, friend, for in the judgment we will be judged by that very same law which people judge and condemn as the “old law” or “law of Moses”. While it is true that Moses directed the writing of this law, it is certainly not Moses’ law–it is YAHUAH’s law! And it is true that we should keep the “spirit of the law”, yet that does not do away with obedience to the “letter of the law” also, does it?
These laws say it is a sin to have relations with a beast, or with a woman married to another man, or with someone of the same sex. At the same time, these laws say it is acceptable for a man to have relations with more than one woman (Polygany). And in some cases it even commands a man to marry more than one woman!
CONCLUSION: It is not a sin for a man to marry more than one woman.
Can You Count to Two?
Now notice the command from Deuteronomy:
“If a man have two wives, one beloved and another hated, and they have born him children, both the beloved and the hated; and if the first born son be hers that was hated: Then it shall be, when he maketh his sons to inherit that which he hath, that he may not make the son of the beloved first born before the son of the hated, which is indeed the first born.” (Deuteronomy 21:15)
Did we read that right, the man could have 2 wives? In some congregations we might present the Sabbath truth by asking people if they can count to 7! “Can you count to 7?” [RESPONSE: “Yes!”]
Well, go to the calendar and count from the first day to the seventh and you will find the true Sabbath at the end. In the true name movement we say “Can you count to one?” [RESPONSE: “Yes, what kind of dumb question is that?”] Well, if you can count to “one” and you read the verse that says “there is none other name under heaven given whereby we might be saved” then you know that there is only one name (not 2 or 3 or 10) that you can call upon to be saved (Yahuah-Yeshua). Now let me ask again, “can you count to 2″? This text makes it abundantly clear that a man can have 2 wives! If polygany was a sin, then why do Scriptures Commentators say otherwise? ” . . . Yet Polygany is adopted from the time of Lamech (Gn. 4:19), and is not forbidden in Scripture . . . Polygany continues to the present day among Jews in Moslem, Hindu, Buddhist, Asian, Oriental, and African countries.”27 “. . . a man’s ‘house’ might consist of his mother; his wives and the wives’ children; his concubines and their children . . . and slaves of both sexes.
Polygany was in part the cause of the large size of the Hebrew household; in part the cause of it may be found in the insecurity of early times, when safety lay in numbers . . . Polygany and bigamy were recognized features of the family life. From the Oriental point of view there was nothing immoral in the practice of polygany. The female slaves were in every respect the property of their master and became his concubines; except in certain cases, when they seem to have belonged exclusively to their mistress . . . At all events, Polygany was an established and recognized institution form the earliest times.”28 Augustine, from the fourth century C. E., (considered a saint by many Christians) has this to say:
“But here there is no ground for a criminal accusation: for a plurality of wives was no crime when it was the custom; and it is a crime now, because it is no longer the custom. There are sins against nature, and sins against custom, and sins against the laws. In which, then, of these senses did Jacob sin in having a plurality of wives?
As regards nature, he used the women not for sensual gratification, but for the procreation of children. For custom, this was the common practice at that time in those countries. And for the laws, no prohibition existed. The only reason of its being a crime now to do this, is because custom and the laws forbid it.”29
Let’s consider a case from Scripture regarding the law of a brother who dies and yet leaves no
children heirs by his wife:
“If brethren dwell together and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger; her husband’s brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of an husband’s brother unto her. And it shall be, that the firstborn which she beareth shall succeed in the name of his brother which is dead, that his name be not put out of Yisrael. And if the man like not to take his brother’s wife, then let his brother’s wife go up to the gate unto the elders, and say, My husband’s brother refuseth to raise up unto his brother a name in Yisrael, he will not perform the duty of my husband’s brother. Then the elders of his city shall call him, and speak unto him: and if he stand to it, and say, I like not to take her; then shall his brother’s wife come unto him in the presence of the elders, and loose his shoes from off his foot, and spit in his face, and shall answer and say, So shall it be done unto that man that will not build up his brother’s house. And his name shall be called in Yisrael, The house of him that hath his shoe loosed.” (Deuteronomy 25:5-10)
First of all, it has to be admitted that this whole arrangement is quite foreign to our Western culture. If this story were presented to most people today they would probably take sides with the brother who chooses NOT to have relations with his dead brother’s wife!! The person who chooses to refrain from taking that woman would be considered by most people today as virtuous, upright and righteous!!
Isn’t it interesting that our standard of righteousness is so foreign to the standard of righteousness of the Scriptures? Notice again another statement on this issue:
“According to this practice the woman was neither a second wife nor a concubine. Any children who were born were viewed as the legal heirs of the widow’s dead husband. In our culture if a man offered to provide heirs for his dead brother by bedding his widow, we can imagine that his own wife, all the neighbours, and his Kahal (Hebrew Community) congregations would call it adultery.”30
Did you notice the statement “his own wife”? Look carefully at that text again we just quoted.
Notice in the text it did not say anything at all as to whether the living brother was married or not!! Yet the requirement was clear that he was to raise up children for his dead brother. Since no exception was made in the case of a brother who was already married, it is clear that the man who decided to agree to this arrangement could very well enter into a Polyganous relationship when attempting to fulfill the family duty of Deuteronomy 25:5-10! In fact, it is an imperative command which does not require the man (married or otherwise) to obtain the permission of anyone— including his own wife31. Yes, friend, believe it! The Scriptures cannot be broken, but our false ideas of “ethics” and “Western morals” can easily be broken!!
Some might say that this “duty” was not binding, and they would be correct. However, binding or not, the example is here for us to study and learn from. Those who choose to do the “noble” thing will take the woman as a wife to raise up children by her for their brother who died. Those who say “no” to taking this woman as a wife (or as another wife, as it could very well be the case if he is already married), are clearly looked upon as lacking in compassion and of a low character.
They are the ones who get “spit in the face” and called the “house of him that hath his shoe loosed”. Seems almost comical to us today, but rest assured it must have been considered a very serious matter and a very serious stigma or mark on the reputation of those who do not “do their duty”—especially considering the “spit in your face” part!!
Now there are a few Scripture texts which some believe are a direct condemnation of polygany.
However, as stated earlier, if it were so it would be in direct contradiction of many other Scripture
references that clearly allow the taking of more than one wife.
One text which is often quoted in an attempt to show that men should not marry more than one wife is found in Deuteronomy 17 and reads as follows:
“Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold.” (Deuteronomy 17:17)
One might read this and get the implication that having more than one wife is sinful. However, we already know that there are many texts which allow for plural marriage. And so, as we study the full context of this statement that interpretation just simply does not hold true. This statement simply says that this person should not “multiply” wives. If it were a sin to “add” wives as well, would he not have simply said “add”, yet the text only says it is a sin to “multiply wives”. This implies by omission that it was acceptable to “add” wives!
Upon closer examination we find that the command regarding wives is similar to that of horses—so
do we say that it is a sin to own more than one horse? It also says it is wrong to multiply greatly silver and gold, does that mean that it is wrong to own lots of silver and gold?
How much is too much? And last, this text is not even for the common people—it is only given in regard to the “king”.
Notice the full context:
“Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom Almighty YAHUAH shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother. But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as YAHUAH hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way. Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold.” (Deuteronomy
Now lets reason this out. Is it a sin to own more than one horse? Well, of course not! Yet the command is given to not multiply horses or wives or silver and gold. And the command is only given in regard to the king. Therefore, this reference only has application to the king—and even he would logically be allowed to “add” (not “multiply”) horses and wives and generously add silver and gold to himself. In regards to the kings’ subjects, this reference would not even apply.
Another question sometimes raised is, Why did Laban try to limit Jacob’s choice of wives only to his 2 daughters? This is somehow used to show that he was against polygany. This reference is found in the book of Genesis itself and it involves Jacob and his four wives. Remember that 2 of Jacob’s wives were the daughters of Laban and the other 2 were the maidservants of each of Laban’s daughters.
“And Laban said, This heap is a witness between me and thee this day. Therefore was the name of it called Galeed; And Mizpah; for he said, YAHUAH watch between me and thee, when we are absent one from another. If thou shalt afflict my daughters, or if thou shalt take other wives beside my daughters, no man is with us; see, The Almighty is witness betwixt me and thee. And Laban said to Jacob, Behold this heap, and behold this pillar, which I have cast betwixt me and thee:” (Genesis 31:49-51)
Now some have said that this proves Laban was here condemning polygany by warning Jacob about taking other wives. But notice 5 major points regarding this narrative which shows that this could not possibly be the case:
1. Laban had already proven himself to be untrustworthy, deceitful and covetous. Surely we cannot use Laban’s ideas of “morality” as proof that Scripture condemns polygany.
2. Laban was attempting to make a special covenant between himself and Jacob, and out of a supposed concern for the well-being of his daughters wanted a special promise from Jacob to appease his own fears. Even if Jacob made such a covenant it was a covenant with special promises. It only had value in regard to the persons involved in that covenant.
Therefore, whatever was agreed to (if anything) between Jacob and Laban does not apply to the rest of the world (although, certainly we would agree that it did contain at least some good moral counsel regarding relationships).
3. The fundamental definition of Polygany is one man taking at least two wives (or more). Since Laban sought to limit Jacob to having only his two daughters as wives, even in this he was still allowing polygany since the fundamental definition of Polygany is one man—two wives (or more).
4. Jacob had 4 wives, not just 2. Jacob had the two maidservants of Rebekah and Leah as concubines (total of four wives, a concubine being a lesser wife). His other 2 wives were concubines, and Laban surely must have known Jacob had them also. Since Laban knew that Jacob had concubines then it is clear the restrictions requested by him were only in regards to “wives” and not “concubines”.
A concubine was a lesser wife that had no rights of inheritance. Laban’s concern in this matter had nothing to do with a concern over polygany, but was in regard to the rights of inheritance. Again, he shows himself covetous in this matter since his concern was merely over his daughters inheritance rights (and his own potential financial gain after Jacob’s death).
Therefore, since Laban only requested Jacob to not take more wives (that is, proper wives subject to inheritance) other than the 2 that he already had—it is clear he had no objection to Jacob taking concubines since that would not affect Jacob’s inheritance and also the subject was never addressed!
And there is no evidence in this text of Scripture that Jacob ever made any binding agreement with Laban in regard to the number of wives in which he could have—that was Laban’s idea. Whatever the case, Laban was only restricting Jacob in the number of wives he could have, not concubines. If Jacob did agree to Laban’s stipulation, he could have still taken additional concubines without breaking his agreement since concubines were outside of the definition of a legal wife and were not heirs to the estate. A concubine was really a “lesser wife” who was still married to a man but had no rights of inheritance upon his death.
5. The fact that Laban attempted to compel Jacob to limit his choice of wives to only his two daughters is absolute proof that for a man to take more than one or even more than two wives was (and still is) honorable and right. If it were not normal and a natural part of society (even the society of the righteous), Laban would not have needed to appeal to some special covenant to enforce such a marriage restriction—for the laws of society would have condemned it. However, no such laws existed at that time in even heathen societies. And, as we are learning in this study on marriage, no such laws existed in the society of the Hebrews either.
Notice these references that show the history of human sexuality, what was required, and how thetaking of concubines and wives were sanctioned in almost all societies (even Christian) at that time:
“A secondary wife acquired by purchase or as a war captive, and allowed in polygamous society such as existed in the Middle East in biblical times….Where marriages produced no heir, wives presented a slave concubine to their husbands in order to raise an heir (Gen. 16). Handmaidens, given as a marriage gift, were often concubines (Gen. 29:24,29).
Concubines were protected under Mosaic law (Exod.21:7-11; Dt. 21:10-14), though they were distinguished from wives (Jdg. 8:31) and were more easily divorced (Gen.21:10-14).” There will be those who insist that all that is being taught here is a “perversion” of truth, “immoral”, and is the exalting of “sinful fleshly desires”.
To these I have some important questions to ask. Question #1: “What is Sin?” (according to Scripture). Answer: “Sin is the transgression of the law” (1 John 3:4). Question #2: “What is the Law?”. Answer: “The ‘Law’ is the ‘Torah’ or ‘Teachings’ as given by Moses in the first 5 books of Scripture, also known as the ‘Law of Moses’”. Question #3: “Does the ‘Law of Moses’ command us to be ‘fruitful and multiply’?” Answer: “Yes!” (Genesis 1:27- 28) Question #4: “Does the ‘Law of Moses’ have regulations which determine what is and is not allowed in regards to the institution of marriage?” Answer: “Yes!” (Read all of the book of Leviticus, especially Leviticus 18-21). Question #5: “Does the ‘Law of Moses’ have regulations permitting and
in one case even commanding a man to take other wives?” Answer: “Yes!” (Read Exodus 21:10- 11; Deuteronomy 21:10-13 and 21:15; Deuteronomy 25:5-10). Question #6 “Does it have regulations allowing a man to take a woman as a wife without any outward ceremony?” Answer: “Yes!” (Read Genesis 24:67; Genesis 38:2,6; Deuteronomy 21:10-13; and Ruth 3:4-9) Question #7: “How can polygany and an informal undocumented marriage relationship be sin, when this is the practice which is regulated in the Torah?” Answer: “It cannot be a sin!!” If it were a sin, then this
would be a direct contradiction to many very clear and forceful statements from Scripture.
So now we have come full circle and must grab hold of the reality that we have indeed “inherited lies” from our fathers! Now we are forced by this revelation to either reject and abandon our false ideas and concepts or reject and abandon Scripture.
Examples of Polyganous Men in Scripture
The Scriptures is full of examples of men who were Polyganous in Scripture. Lamech, Abraham, Jacob, Esau, Judah, Manasseh, Moses, Caleb, Gideon, Jair, Ibzan, Abdon, Elkanah, Saul, David, Solomon, Rehoboam, Ahab, Abijah, Joash, and Hosea to name just the most notable. Some of these men are reputed to be among the wicked, but the large majority of them are among the righteous—even among the Patriarchs who were directly called by YAHUAH into His service. These righteous Patriarchs were blessed because of their faithfulness to YAHUAH, so to cast doubts upon them because of their Polyganous marriages would be to cast doubts upon YAHUAH Himself!! We will give 2 examples here and the rest we leave for the reader to study on their own.
Moses was one of the greatest leaders the Hebrew people ever had. He was considered the meekest man known. He was raised from childhood to be the deliverer of the Hebrew slaves, and spent 40 years in the wilderness preparing for that work. And yet, he was the husband of 2 wives!!
He was Polyganous. His first wife was a Midianite named Zipporah (who we have good reason to believe was with Moses during the wilderness stay) and his second wife was an Ethiopian woman that he married later. The reference to the marriage of Moses and Zipporah is found in Exodus 2:21 and the next reference to Zipporah (which was about 2 years before Moses took his other wife) is found in Exodus 4:24-26. Here Zipporah is compelled to circumcise her son to save her husband Moses from death by the hand of YAHUAH. She then seems to become angry with Moses and says “A bloody husband thou art.” He soon sends her back to her father-in-law, and they meet again at a later time after the exodus. Exodus 18:2 says “Then Jethro, Moses’ father in law, took Zipporah, Moses’ wife, after he had sent her back. . .” Verse 5 makes it clear that Jethro was returning Zipporah and her 2 sons to Moses in the wilderness. Some suggest Zipporah had died before Moses took to wife the Ethiopian.
However, there is no reference to such an occurrence. Since Moses is a central figure in the entire history of the Yisraelites and their exodus from Egypt, it would make no sense for his wife to have died and yet no mention is made of it in the Biblical record. During the exodus Moses came into contact with his father-in-law Jethro again, a very friendly reunion. Zipporah and his 2 sons are returned to him and since the reunion is a happy occasion, we can safely assume Zipporah is still with Moses— although she may not be in the best of moods, based upon her remarks made when she circumcised her son. According to the record, Jethro finally returns alone (Exodus 18:27) and soon after this (within about a year or two) Moses takes the Ethiopian as a wife.
Now notice as we pick up the Scripture account of this second wife and the response of his relatives:
“And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman. And they said, Hath YAHUAH indeed spoken only by Moses? Hath he not spoken also by us? And YAHUAH heard it. (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.) And YAHUAH spake suddenly unto Moses, and unto Aaron, and unto Miriam, Come out ye three unto the tabernacle of the congregation. And they three came out. And YAHUAH came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam: and they both came forth. And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I YAHUAH will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream. My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house. With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of YAHUAH shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses? And the anger of YAHUAH was kindled against them;and he departed. And the cloud departed from off the tabernacle; and, behold, Miriam became leprous, white as snow: and Aaron looked upon Miriam, and, behold, she was leprous.” (Numbers 12:1-10)
First of all, notice something very interesting. Those who claim that this was Zipporah the Midianite
instead of a second wife (an Ethiopian or “Cushite”) do so without considering all the evidence. It was well know among Moses family that Moses was related by marriage to the Midianites, for this fact is repeated often, including just 2 chapters prior to this account (Numbers 10:29-32). And in Exodus 18:1-27 Jethro, Moses relative (possibly the same as Reuel, his father in law), meets Aaron personally and eats bread with him. Surely Aaron would have voiced his displeasure with this relationship then and there if indeed he saw something wrong with it. Yet he says nothing. And all throughout the first 5 books Zipporah is referred to exclusively as a Midianite woman. Yet it makes no sense for the text of the Torah to use the term “Midianite” throughout as a description of Zipporah’s background, speak of one of her relatives directly as a Midianite 2 chapters earlier, then suddenly call her an Ethiopian, then later in the narrative go back to calling her a Midianite again.
It defies all logic and reason! And in this text of Numbers 12 it very clearly highlights a break with the normal flow of events–“And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman.” According to this text, Moses had married (or in the Hebrew, it says he had “taken” and it implies that it took place recently) an Ethiopian woman. In the reference to his marriage to Zipporah in Exodus 2:21, it clearly states that “Reuel. . . gave Moses Zipporah his daughter”. One text says he had married or “taken” an Ethiopian woman, another text says “Reuel. . .gave Moses Zipporah”. One is taken the other is given–they are clearly describing two totally different women, with totally different ethnic backgrounds, and actions which take place at totally different times! And context strongly infers that this reference to his marriage to the Ethiopian woman took place at some time later than his first marriage. Any other explanation (including the one that says both women are the same) is merely a strained attempt to avoid making Moses into a polygamous husband.
We know that Moses was married also to Zipporah the Midianite woman. Obviously, Miriam and Aaron knew that Moses was now in a polygamous relationship when he married the Ethiopian woman. They probably did not have a problem with that, or they would have mentioned that as one
of the reasons for their complaint. The reason Miriam and Aaron give for their complaint was NOT that Moses was now Polygamous, but because he had married an Ethiopian (or “Cushite”) woman (yes, that would most likely indicate a “black woman”).
And she mentions this point twice for emphasis! The book of “Jasher” confirms this for us, stating that Moses married an Ethiopian princes. So, not only does this story exonerate Polygamous marriages (even for the greatest lawgiver in history) but it also opens wide the door for “interracial marriage”, provided they are of the same faith!! [Wow, didn’t expect me to throw that one in too did you?
As you can see toward the end of this story, Miriam is turned leprous and “white” because of her sin in speaking out against Moses and his “black” wife! Notice, it was because she did not like Moses choice of a “black” woman that she was allowed to see what it would be like to be completely “white” for 7 days—a just and very fair punishment executed by our heavenly Father, wouldn’t you agree?! Those who believe that Scripture condemns interacial marriage are going to have to deal with this text and eventually come to recognize that while marriage within the same race is the norm, for some people it is certainly not the only option.
But now let’s go on to another text. David, before his fall, was considered a “man after YAHUAH’s own heart”. At the time this was said of David, David had many wives. And now we pick up the story at the confrontation of David by Nathan:
“And YAHUAH sent Nathan unto David. And he came unto him, and said unto him, There were two men in one city; the one rich, and the other poor. The rich man had exceeding many flocks and herds: But the poor man had nothing, save one little ewe lamb, which he had bought and nourished up; and it grew up together with him, and with his children; it did eat of his own meat, and drank of his own cup, and lay in his bosom, and was unto him as a daughter. And there came a traveler unto the rich man, and he spared to take of his own flock and of his own herd, to dress for the wayfaring man that was come unto him; but took the poor man’s lamb, and dressed it for the man that was come to him.
And David’s anger was greatly kindled against the man; and he said to Nathan, As YAHUAH liveth, the man that hath done this thing shall surely die: And he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity. And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith YAHUAH of Yisrael, I anointed thee king over Yisrael, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul; And I gave thee thy master’s house, and thy master’s wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Yisrael and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things. Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of YAHUAH, to do evil in his sight? Thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon.” (II Samuel 12:1-9)
David’s sin was to take another man’s wife and then have her husband killed so that his sin would be covered! But it is also true that David already had 3 wives when he took the additional wives of Saul (total of 3+6=9). YAHUAH would have blessed David even more with an abundance of things, if he had not taken Bathsheba to be his 10th wife—for she was another man’s wife!
Now notice these two important points: #1. YAHUAH (as a Father) “gave. . .thy master’s wives” into David’s bosom (AFTER the death of Saul)!! #2. YAHUAH would have continued to bless him with material things (including wives, as the context shows) if he had not sinned against Him.
Why would our heavenly Father give to David something which was not good for him? Why would he not point out the sin of having such a “sinful” relationship (multiple wives) when it is clear that He had NO PROBLEM pointing out David’s sin in taking a married man’s wife? Is it because there was no sin involved in having more than one wife?
Friends, it is clear from the evidence presented here that plural marriage itself is not sinful. And any man can be involved in a sinful relationship, whether monogamous or polygamous— but that is not for us to judge based on mere externals or by “our” culture!
The Image of Jealousy
It is appropriate that we here turn our attention toward the subject of jealousy, for Scripture has much to say in regard to that subject. In a marriage relationship, or any other type of relationship for that matter, jealousy is without doubt the most misunderstood, destructive and dangerous of all the sins one can imagine. Yet it is held in high esteem by many people, even to the point that when one or both spouses become jealous it is even considered the most absolute proof of love that one can have. According to the Messianic writings, jealousy will cause one to be cast into the lake of fire, along with murder, theft, fornication and adultery. Yet, strange indeed is the fact that polygany is not listed among these things as something which will cause one to be lost. Notice what Scripture says:
“And even as they did not like to retain Elohim in their knowledge, Elohim gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, backbiters, haters of Elohim, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of Elohim, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.” (Romans 1:28-32)
“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of YAHUAH. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” (Galatians 5:18-23)
The word “envy” or “envyings” is that same word (or words) for “jealousy” in Hebrew, Greek and English. Yet, the Scripture is very clear that “jealousy” is not good, but evil. Nowhere in Scripture does it teach that jealousy has anything at all to do with love. In fact, it is just the exact opposite of love and it really comes from fear. Notice:
“Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame.” (Song of Solomon 8:6)
This Scripture says plainly that true love is as “strong as death”, yet “jealousy is cruel” and leads to
the “grave”, to “coals of fire” and a terrible flame. Jealousy is not only not good, it is evil in the most
emphatic terms. It says in 1 Corinthians 13:4 that “Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up”. The word “charity” means simply “love” and the word “envieth” can be translated “envy” or “jealousy”. Another way of saying that is “love is not jealous”.
When people say that someone’s jealousy is evidence that “they truly love you”, what they are saying goes directly against the plain and simple teaching of Scripture!! Envy and jealousy is sin, plain and simple. Place that thought in your mind and don’t listen to anyone who says otherwise anymore–Scripture is very clear on this point.
“In this the children of YAHUAH are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of YAHUAH, neither he that loveth not his brother. For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous. Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you. We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. Hereby perceive we the love of YAHUAH, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of YAHUAH in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. For if our heart condemn us, YAHUAH is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward YAHUAH. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Yahuah-Yeshua Messiah, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.” (1 John 3:10-24)
If jealousy were not considered such a serious matter, then why does Moses institute an offering just to deal with the problem of jealousy? Notice what it says:
“And YAHUAH spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Yisrael, and say unto them, If any man’s wife go aside, and commit a trespass against him, And a man lie with her carnally, and it be hid from the eyes of her husband, and be kept close, and she be defiled, and there be no witness against her, neither she be taken with the manner; And the spirit of jealousy come upon him, and he be jealous of his wife, and she be defiled: or if the spirit of jealousy come upon him, and he be jealous of his wife, and she be not defiled: Then shall the man bring his wife unto the priest, and he shall bring her offering for her, the tenth part of an ephah of barley meal; he shall pour no oil upon it, nor put frankincense thereon; for it is an offering of jealousy, an offering of memorial, bringing iniquity to remembrance. And the priest shall bring her near, and set her before YAHUAH: And the priest shall take Set-Apart water in an earthen vessel; and of the dust that is in the floor of the tabernacle the priest shall take, and put it into the water:
And the priest shall set the woman before YAHUAH, and uncover the woman’s head, and put the offering of memorial in her hands, which is the jealousy offering: and the priest shall have in his hand the bitter water that causeth the curse: And the priest shall charge her by an oath, and say unto the woman, If no man have lain with thee, and if thou hast not gone aside to uncleanness with another instead of thy husband, be thou free from this bitter water that causeth the curse: But if thou hast gone aside to another instead of thy husband, and if thou be defiled, and some man have lain with thee beside thine husband: Then the priest shall charge the woman with an oath of cursing, and the priest shall say unto the woman, YAHUAH make thee a curse and an oath among thy people, when YAHUAH doth make thy thigh to rot, and thy belly to swell; And this water that causeth the curse shall go into thy bowels, to make thy belly to swell, and thy thigh to rot: And the woman shall say, Amen, amen. And the priest shall write these curses in a book, and he shall blot them out with the bitter water: And he shall cause the woman to drink the bitter water that causeth the curse: and the water that causeth the curse shall enter into her, and become bitter. Then the priest shall take the jealousy offering out of the woman’s hand, and shall wave the offering before YAHUAH, and offer it upon the altar: And the priest shall take an handful of the offering, even the memorial thereof, and burn it upon the altar, and afterward shall cause the woman to drink the water. And when he hath made her to drink the water, then it shall come to pass, that, if she be defiled, and have done trespass against her husband, that the water that causeth the curse shall enter into her, and become bitter, and her belly shall swell, and her thigh shall rot: and the woman shall be a curse among her people. And if the woman be not defiled, but be clean; then she shall be free, and shall conceive seed. This is the law of jealousies, when a wife goeth aside to another instead of her husband, and is defiled; Or when the spirit of jealousy cometh upon him, and he be jealous over his wife, and shall set the woman before YAHUAH, and the priest shall execute upon her all this law. Then shall the man be guiltless from iniquity, and this woman shall bear her iniquity.” (Numbers 5:11-31)
Notice several points that may need to be clarified here: The husband suspects his wife of committing adultery because of her change in disposition. Yet he has no proof, no eye witnesses, and no confession on the part of his wife. He becomes enraged and jealous. So, he is to bring her to the priest who will take off her head covering (so that she is no longer under the spiritual protection of her husband). Then he has her sware an oath and take a special drink that will either give her the blessings of childbirth or the curse of disease. Inflicting direct punishment upon her is something which the priest does not do.
Instead, punishment is left up to the heart of the one being accused. And then the man turns away from his jealousy, is guiltless from any sin and the woman will bear her sin (if there is any). Now this approach to finding the truth may seem “barbaric” to some, but it is probably the best “lie detector” test that anyone then or now can devise–for the final judgment is left up to the person that is being judged. In the end, we will all be judged in this same way.
We can judge open sin, but secret sin is in the hands of the Almighty and the heart of the individual. We will become our own judge, and by our own heart. Our own deeds and actions condemn or justify.
There is one more thing that should be pointed out here which has a direct bearing upon the subject of polygany. Notice there is a test to determine whether a woman has been unfaithful. But there is not a test to determine whether a man has been faithful to his wife. The reason that this is the case is because the man was then (as he should be now) free to take as many wives as he could reasonably support. Therefore, the woman had no reason to be jealous of her husband–for she knew that it was within his rights as a Hebrew and as a free man to contract other marriages.
Even if they live together in a monogamous relationship their entire lives, she always knows that her husband can at any time take another wife (See Revelation 2-3 for a parallel to that concept!). If this were not the case, then there would have been a need for a similar test to be performed upon the man because of the jealousy that may come upon his wife. Jealousy is something women should never have–it is a sin for them and it can become a sin for men if they hold onto it too long or if it is based upon faulty judgement.
But here is the point of all this: while jealousy is not good when it comes upon a man, it is evil and contemptible when it comes upon a woman!! In fact, jealousy is (as Scripture will confirm) a feeling which is strictly masculine and reserved exclusively for men as a natural defense mechanism. In men it is NOT something to be held onto for any length of time, and in women it is NOT even supposed to be found at all. Here is proof of that:
“For jealousy is the rage of a man: therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance.” (Proverbs 6:34)
Jealousy is the rage of a man, not of a woman. Jealousy in a man is a defense mechanism to momentarily give him power to focus clearly in a moment of trial and to gain the advantage over an enemy, but it is not to be held onto for long periods. And sometimes men do continue to hold onto jealousy longer than necessary. When a woman becomes jealous it not only causes her to become
more masculine and less feminine, it destroys whatever spiritual connection she has left with her heavenly Father.
And when jealousy is held onto for long periods of time (by anyone, men or women) it changes their character over time into that of a devil. In fact, in some cases it can lead to direct demon possession. The witch trials of the dark ages are an obvious example of that—where it was the accuser who was actually possessed (usually by fear caused by envy) and the one accused was often an innocent young woman who was just beginning to become attracted to the opposite sex.
“Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous; but who is able to stand before envy?” (Proverbs 27:4
Remember earlier we showed that as Moses teaches concerning the “Law of Jealousies” that there
is a spirit which imparts Jealousy: “And the spirit of jealousy come upon him. . .” Since there is a spirit which imparts jealousy, it would seem that such a spirit would have to have demons as its source. And Scripture reveals this also:
“But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against
the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.
For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.” (James
See, envy is “earthly, sensual, devilish” and yet it is held in high esteem by many people as evidence to “prove” ones’ love! (How ridiculous!!!) Here are some other texts which speak of envy.
Remember, envy is really the same as jealousy:
“Envy thou not the oppressor, and choose none of his ways.” (Proverbs 3:31)
“Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of YAHUAH all the day long.”(Proverbs 23:17)
If we are not to envy the oppressor and not to follow any of his ways, would it be true then that the spirit of oppression would be a kindred spirit to that of envy–if not the same? Jealousy (or envy) leads people to attempt to rule over or dominate others. The “spirit of domination” is an expression used many times by some religious leaders to describe people who appear on the outside to be religious, pious, devoted to the cause of their heavenly Father–yet it is all mask. Being jealous is not much different from being “zealous” and in the Greek language both words are closely related–“a zeal without knowledge”. As the Scripture plainly says, we are not to let our “heart” envy sinners or else we will be in danger of becoming like them in character.
“But the Jews which believed not, moved with envy, took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city on an uproar,and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people.”(Acts 17:5)
“But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming.”
Here in this last text the Jews were rejecting the message of truth which would save them. As they contradicted and blasphemed against the truth, they were sealing their minds from acceptance ofthat “Spirit” of truth which would have lead them to eternal life. They were committing “blasphemy
against the Set-Apart Spirit”, which the Messiah says is the only sin which cannot be forgiven. Friends, whenever people (whether they are Kahal (Hebrew Community) members, friends, or even our wife) are moved with the spirit of envy it is evidence that they do not have the Spirit of YAHUAH. And since it is that same spirit of envy which acts as a substitute or counterfeit for the Spirit of YAHUAH, we can safely say that the spirit of jealousy is the same as the “Spirit of Antichrist”.
There is no teaching of Scripture which has witnessed such widespread hatred, jealousy and envy as the teaching that a man may have more than one wife. Many people have been cut off from society, fired from their job, deported, stripped of rank, even murdered all because of jealousy—the true “Spirit of Antichrist”. Revelation 3 speaks of it also–it is the spirit of Jezebel.
It is the spirit which leads men and women to destroy others because of the evil which they have created in their own mind. A man who takes more than one woman as a wife is not necessarily proven to be selfish in this, and it can certainly never be proven to be sinful for that reason alone.
In many cases it is out of true love that a man is willing to do this. It would be far easier for that man to simply have secret affairs and pretend to the world that he is a monogamous husband than it would be to take on the task of uniting several women to himself under one household. It would seem that the manifestation of this “spirit of jealousy” against those who follow the true teachings of Scripture in this regard is in fact strong evidence that the evil is on the part of the one manifesting jealousy or envy. Remember, in the text we just quoted unbelief is plainly revealed to be connected with jealousy.
And Jason’s home is assaulted because of jealousy. Do the righteous “assault” others when they feel they have a just cause, and then call it “righteous indignation” as a way to cover up their murderous hatred? I’m afraid that only the wicked do such things, and their actions are as good an indicator of their evil heart as is the test that Moses introduced regarding the “Law of Jealousies”. “And it came to pass in the sixth year, in the sixth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I sat in mine house, and the elders of Judah sat before me, that the hand of Almighty YAHUAH fell there upon me.
Then I beheld, and lo a likeness as the appearance of fire: from the appearance of his loins even downward, fire; and from his loins even upward, as the appearance of brightness, as the colour of amber. And he put forth the form of an hand, and took me by a lock of mine head; and the Spirit lifted me up between the earth and the heaven, and brought me in the visions of the Almighty to Jerusalem, to the door of the inner gate that looketh toward the north; where was the seat of the image of jealousy which provoketh to jealousy. And, behold, the glory of the Almighty of Yisrael was there, according to the vision that I saw in the plain. Then said he unto me, Son of man, lift up thine eyes now the way toward the north.
So I lifted up mine eyes the way toward the north, and behold northward at the gate of the altar this image of jealousy in the entry. He said furthermore unto me, Son of man, seest thou what they do? even the great abominations that the house of Yisrael commits here, that I should go far off from my sanctuary? but turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations.
And he brought me to the door of the court; and when I looked, behold a hole in the wall. Then said he unto me, Son of man, dig now in the wall: and when I had digged in the wall, behold a door. And he said unto me, Go in, and behold the wicked abominations that they do here.
So I went in and saw; and behold every form of creeping things, and abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Yisrael, pourtrayed upon the wall round about. And there stood before them seventy men of the ancients of the house of Yisrael, and in the midst of them stood Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan, with every man his censer in his hand; and a thick cloud of incense went up. Then said he unto me. He said also unto me, Turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations that they do.
Then he brought me to the door of the gate of YAHUAH’s house which was toward the north; and, behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz. Then said he unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations than these.
And he brought me into the inner court of YAHUAH’s house, and, behold, at the door of the temple of YAHUAH, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of YAHUAH, and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped the sun toward the east.
Then he said unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? Is it a light thing to the house of Judah that they commit the abominations which they commit here? for they have filled the land with violence, and have returned to provoke me to anger: and, lo, they put the branch to their nose. Therefore will I also deal in fury: mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: and though they cry in mine ears with a loud voice, yet will I not hear them.” (Ezekiel 8:1-8)
Is it possible that in our modern time people have set up the image of jealousy within their ownhearts? Is it possible that this is the very foremost and primary cause of all of the marital discord and problems between men and women, and in society in general? I believe it is, and the evidence speaks for itself.
In the prophecy of Ezekiel concerning the image of jealousy it appears that he is addressing a major problem within the character of people (especially women). Remember, we are the temple of the Set-Apart Spirit. If there is jealousy within our temple then we are not a child of YAHUAH’s kingdom.
Jealousy is a spirit which stands as a guard at the door of a person’s heart to mask the true problems within the heart, such that the more serious evils within the heart are safely hidden away.
Jealousy is the outward manifestation of feelings, but probe a little further and you will find all kinds
of evil which are of the most abominable nature. Nothing brings this out more decidedly than when a man chooses to live in a polygamous marriage. When jealousy comes out in his wives he is forced to deal with it and confront it. But Jealousy also comes out in others when they find out what he is doing. If ever there was a “truth detector”, friends, this one has to be the best!!
“And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee.Set-Apart Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.” (John 17:11-12)
Here the Messiah is speaking specifically of Judas when he says the “son of perdition”. It was Judas who was constantly motivated with the spirit of jealousy and was always accusing others of some evil when in fact the evil was in his own heart. So, Judas is a type of the last day “Anti-Messiah” (often called “Anti-Christ”) who opposes and exalts himself above everything and everyone. Notice these descriptions of that evil one and notice how closely that same spirit is related to the spirit of jealousy and envy:
“Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Yahuah-Yeshua Messiah, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of the Messiah is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called Elohim, or that is worshipped; so that he as Elohim sitteth in the temple of Elohim, shewing himself that he is Elohim. Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause Elohim shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12
Although this is not a paper dealing with the anti-messiah, it is important to note that the character of this evil one is the same character which is displayed in many marriages today. And so in order to deal with it, we must unmask the pretender for what he is and reveal the plain truth of the matter.
That truth is this: The spirit of jealousy that is so often exhibited in marriages, and which is especially present when polygany is discussed or lived, is in fact the same spirit of anti-Messiah which is spoken of by the Apostles. And that falling away is not some future event, it has already happened.
Notice it says: “Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called Elohim, or that is worshipped; so that he as Elohim sitteth in the temple of Elohim, shewing himself that he is Elohim.” Remember, we already read about the Image of Jealousy–that is the only place in Scripture which talks in detail about idols inside the Temple. In Daniel 7:20-22 it says: “And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows. [Jealousy?] I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.” Does this little horn have the “spirit of jealousy”?
Well, it says he was “more stout than his fellows”! Isn’t that practically the same thing? Yet, as students of prophecy we should know that this little horn power is in fact the same “anti-Christ” power mentioned in 2 Thessalonians. They are one and the same. But now notice another text in Daniel:
“At the time appointed he shall return, and come toward the south; but it shall not be as the former, or as the latter. For the ships of Chittim shall come against him: therefore he shall be grieved, and return, and have indignation against the Set-Apart covenant: so shall he do; he shall even return, and have intelligence with them that forsake the Set-Apart covenant. And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate. . . .
And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every Elohim, and shall speak marvellous things against the Elohim of Elohims, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done. Neither shall he regard the Elohim of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any Elohim: for he shall magnify himself above all.” (Daniel 11:29-31;36-37)
Here it is clear that this anti-Messiah power would place himself above all the powers of this earth, and would even disregard the desire of women. That is, he would tamper with the institution of marriage. Do we find confirmation of this in Scripture? Yes we do. Let’s look at that here:
“Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which Elohim hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every creature of Elohim is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:” (1 Timothy 4:2-4)
Now we don’t have time to go into detail here, but we know from history that this fourth beast of Daniel 7 was the Roman Empire, and the little horn power is clearly referring to the Papacy which took power after Rome fell apart. Did the papacy forbid people from marrying, and from eating certain meats? Yes it did. (See page 82) Regarding marriages, it is well know that the Roman Catholic Kahal (Hebrew Community) through the political power of the Papacy eventually forbade priests from marrying.
But that is only part of the story. They also forbade divorce and forbade people from entering into any polygamous marriages–did you know that? And in exchange they permitted all forms of prostitution, fornication, child molestation, incest, infanticide, sexual slavery and a host of other evils. Certainly it would make for an interesting study–IF prophecy was our primary subject here in this book. But we will leave off this discussion and return to the primary subject of this book.
Selfish Possessive Love Is Sin, NOT Polygany!
It is not a sin, and it is the highest of honor and fidelity to be in a Polyganous marriage—especially with a true follower of Messiah!! Selfish love is the true sin, whether it is monogamous or polygamous. And whether a polygamous arrangement is needed depends upon the circumstances
and the ability of that man to provide for the new bride. But plural marriage is not for everyone. In fact, it is most certainly not for the “beastly elements” or sinful rogues of this world. Polyganous marriage is really only for the righteous and in the proper circumstances, for the wicked will just use
it as an excuse to abuse the privileges given to them by our heavenly Father, and cause the ruin of
many more souls. And then there are those who can only handle one wife. Some may not even be
able to marry at all since they have become whoremongers, adulterers, and/or homosexuals.
These should repent and turn from their evil ways and then remain celibate until such time as they are free from their perverted sexual appetites. But it is not for us to dictate which of these perfectly moral lifestyles they may follow—that is between them and their Creator. Is it possible, then, that when we were created we (as men) were programmed so that we could seek to share our love with more than one woman and likewise the woman would be programmed to share their love with only one man? In nature we know that the great majority of animals are Polyganous (a male takes several females as mates). This is perfectly normal and natural for them and it strongly suggests that such could be the case for the human family as well. In the human family men are generally larger than women. In polygamous species of animals, this same characteristic predominates—males are larger than females. This is not just a coincidence. It is natural for both groups to be polygamous. Now what is most interesting to those of us who believe in the Scriptures is that throughout the Scriptures the saints are compared to “sheep” and the enemy is compared to “wolves”. Should it be any wonder to us that sheep are by nature polygamous and wolves are monogamous? Could there be something to this?
The Messiah is described as both a “lion” and a “lamb” in Revelation 5. We know that the “lamb” is
Polyganous by nature. But this is also true of the “lion”—for there is 1 male to several females in a pride of lions. Here is a truism: Men and Women are different! Certainly you already knew that—but look closer than just the obvious differences. If the differences are only physical, then how do you explain a woman who is ceremonially unclean at least 7 days out of every month? During that time of menstruation (Hebrew “niddah”, #5079) the man is fully capable of ejaculation (at least once a day or more) yet because his wife’s condition is unclean he is not able to do so with her.
With this in mind, is it really a sin for an unmarried woman to look with compassion upon a man who (for whatever reason) is not able to have complete fulfillment on a routine basis? If this need is fulfilled in the proper way (through another wife in a plural marriage and not adultery, fornication or masturbation) then would that not constitute an act of righteousness—a compassionate and merciful act of love? I would think so, at least for true believers. And likewise for that woman, if she has special needs that no one (through marriage) has fulfilled—would it not be good for her (if she is not already married) to have a man that can attend to and fulfill those needs without leading her on the road to perdition?
And if her field of choice is limited to only a few righteous men (and these men are married to one or more wives) then would it not be perfectly right for her to consider marriage to a man that is already married? To dictate monogamy on this woman and force her to marry an infidel would certainly be far worse than for her to marry a righteous man that is already married.
Remember, we cannot depend upon our “cultural” interpretation of right and wrong—for our “culture” is itself corrupt beyond measure!! So, it is not the outward appearance which makes something sinful nor the “cultural ethics” which are pounded into our heads from our peers—it is the purposes and plans behind our actions combined with Scriptural ethics (ethics derived from the study of Scripture).
Those who judge based upon outward appearances and non-Scriptural “victorian era” ethics (which I call “Victorian error ethics”) have lost their ability to reason correctly. Loving women who have no husband and are truly marriageable is not a sin, provided the new husband gives her those 3 basic needs, including “marital duty”. This “duty” in Polygamous marriage is not to be some sexual assembly line, but is instead to be a very personal and loving expression of true concern, affection and love individually given to each wife!
During the time of menstrual difficulty (“niddah”) the woman does not feel much desire for a man until that period is fulfilled. And the Torah says that a man is not to have intercourse with a woman during her menstruation. What should a man do during that time? If he has one or two other wives whose cycle is somewhat different than the other, then this is no longer a problem for him.
Who is really being selfish in a situation like this? And what if the wife has become crippled by a serious illness so that she can no longer take care of herself or give and receive her husbands’ love? Or what if his wife can no longer (or refuses to) bear children?
Does this mean that the husband is being selfish if he desires to take another wife? And so this new bride helps to provide for the home and fulfill his sexual needs on a regular basis—a natural desire given to Him by our heavenly Father? And when the other wife is well, or is no longer in her menstrual period, she can (after a brief respite) return to the company of her husband to have relations with him.
Could it be that the wife who only wants to have relations with her husband twice a month is the one who is being selfish? Could it be that selfishness and exclusism are the root cause of marital problems–not the infidelity that comes later? Jealousy is mention over and over in Scripture and is classified as one of the sins that will lead a person into the lake of fire. Isn’t it interesting that polygany is not in that or any other list of sins?
“For I fear, lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I would, and that I shall be found unto you such as ye would not: lest there be debates, envyings, wraths, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, swellings, tumults: And lest, when I come again, my Mighty One will humble me among you, and that I shall bewail many which have sinned already, and have not repented of the uncleanness and fornication and lasciviousness which they have committed.” (2 Corinthians 12:20-21)
Notice polygany is not mentioned in this list or any other like it, but “envyings, wraths, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, swellings, tumults” are clearly mentioned along with sexual sins such as “uncleanness” “fornication” and “lasciviousness” (which we have already discussed and explained from Scripture). Remember also, both monogamous and polygamous marriage are permitted in Scripture. And we should not fall back into the trap of judging things based on “Western Culture”.
Western culture is largely derived from Greek and Roman pagan philosophy and has little if anything to do with the true ethics of Scripture!! In our Western culture “envyings” are acceptable behavior, along with “whisperings” (which we today call “gossiping”). But tell those same people it is not a sin for a man to take a second wife and they will gasp with horror at the thought¾hypocrites! The righteous polygamous Abraham will be inside the gates of the New Jerusalem and those that are jealous, envious, and gossips will be outside those same gates¾just wait and see.
Our real sin is in our selfish withholding of love to those who are in need of love, but for one reason
or another they have been excluded from having a suitable husband or wife who is of the same faith.
Examples of this would include:
· A woman who has been rightfully divorced and made to feel that she could never marry again.
· A man who is separated from his wife because of either debilitating illness or great distances and so he has to remain “single, yet married”.
· And, a young woman who has difficulty finding a suitable mate—not because of a lack of men, but because of a lack of “virtuous” men.
We need to think these things through and reason them out clearly. These needs include the needs for sexual fulfillment and child birthing. Sexual fulfillment and birthing of children are needed just as much as food and clothing—so, do we condemn people who graciously provide to the poor such basic things as are needed by them? No, we give them great applause and medals of honor before the world!! Yet society often condemns the polygamous man or woman who has sought to fulfill a basic human need of another partner!!!! Of course, we are limiting this to the Scriptural standard of Polygany (one man—many wives), for anything more (like Polyandry or Polyamory) would be a “sodomite” practice and sin against our own bodies and that of the others!
Learning how to minister to 2 or more wives requires a person with a tremendous capacity to share, sacrifice, and love. For without the strong glue of true unselfish love such a relationship as this could never hold together. A polygamous marriage can be based on selfish interests also. Yet, the same could be said of a monogamous relationship. Certainly, we can applaud monogamy as a work of righteousness, but it could become exclusive and selfish if it is based upon “monogamy only” thinking. And so, should it be such a great surprise to find out that plural marriage is, in fact, a type or pattern for the way things work in the heavenly government! YAHUAH speaks of His bride as the true Yisrael—the ekklesia or assembly (which is by definition plural). He has a direct relationship with each of us on a one to one basis—a totally polygamous construction.
Yes, if the sacrifice of Yahuah-Yeshua would have benefited just one that would have been enough. Yet he died for the whole world and expects to bring thousands of us to his marriage feast. Again, this is a totally polygamous typology which does not allow for a “monogomous only” mindset! If it did, what hope would we have of ever being granted salvation? His desire is to save us all!
Our Father is pictured seated on His high and noble throne and “ten thousands times ten thousands minister to Him”! Like our heavenly Father who is surrounded by angels who minister to Him and are ministered to, the fathers down on this earth minister to and are ministered to by their wives and fathers and mothers minister to their children. Now, we are not trying to imply anything specifically by this, nor bring the character of our heavenly Father down to the level of man—for he is not made in our image, we instead are made in His image! We dare not make our heavenly Father into a mere man such as ourselves. However, this is the pattern given to us in Scripture—the pattern which we should follow in regards to all of our human relationships. These are types in Scripture that help us see how things work and should continue to work here on this earth, throughout nature and in the kingdom of heaven.
Now some will say that there is no real proof in Scripture that polygamous marriage is a type of the
heavenly government. And yet, there is actually a lot of evidence in support of this thesis—and we
will start looking at that evidence as we explore the life of David as it is recorded for us in Scripture.
We spoke earlier of David and how he was accounted a “man after YAHUAH’s own heart”. This was true of David ONLY before he sinned that grievous sin by taking Bathsheba to be his wife. But, we know that David had several wives before committing this sin—so this statement of his faithfulness was made at a time when he was engaged in a Polygamous marriage with 9 wives and other concubines (which are really “lesser wives” who bear children but have no right to the family
inheritance). Now, notice these statements regarding David as it relates to his connection with our
“And it shall be, if thou wilt hearken unto all that I command thee, and wilt walk in my ways, and do that is right in my sight, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as David my servant did; that I will be with thee, and build thee a sure house, as I built for David, and will give Yisrael unto thee.” (1 Kings 11:38)
If David walked in the ways of YAHUAH and David also had several wives, then would it not be true that having several wives in a family would be a type of the heavenly kingdom? It does seem to lead to that conclusion, doesn’t it? Furthermore, the promise given to a certain man that if he was faithful like David was, YAHUAH would build him a sure house also. So, is this promise true? Is it for us also? Absolutely!
Then look closely at the key statement of affirmation regarding David and remember David had several wives at the time that this statement was made: “if thou wilt . . . walk in my ways, and do that is right in my sight . . . as David my servant did”!! Does that include the possibility of a man having more than one wife? We know it did in David’s case! But now the promise is extended to ALL who will fulfill the conditions given here!!
Now I know that there are many women who may have been reading this paper (assuming they are still with us here) and all the time saying in their heart—”It’s just not fair that a man can have more wives but we can only have one husband”!! Well, for those who wish to be in the kingdom of heaven they must submit to the Scriptures. Likewise, the woman is to submit to her husband as he submits to the Scriptures and to the Messiah. And so our heavenly Father has an answer for those who ask the question—“why can’t I have more husbands?”
Remember, David was praised because he would “walk in my ways”. Now notice how that same way of thinking (“its just not fair…”) is mentioned in this Scripture:
“Yet ye say, The way of YAHUAH is not equal. Hear now, O house of Yisrael; Is not my way equal? are not your ways unequal?” (Ezekiel 18:25)
So there is the answer, our ways are the ways that are not equal! Our ways are the ways that are not “fair”! We have been so long in a sinful condition that we do not know what is right or wrong. We do not know what is north or south, east or west. We do not know what is up or down and (in a spiritual sense) we are like the drunkard who stumbles on a clear level path!! We have judged right and wrong by our own standard of righteousness and by our own human traditions. Our judgment is faulty!!
“Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways.” (Hebrews 3:10)
We do not know His ways. We do not know His thoughts. Yet, our Father says “Is not my way equal?” It is said of David that he was faithful and walked “in my ways”! And this was at a time BEFORE he sinned with Bathsheba and DURING the time when he had several wives.
Therefore, conclusion—Polygany (one man—many wives) is “equal”, “fair”, “just”, and “righteous”!!
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith YAHUAH.” (Isaiah 55:8)
Eight Witnesses Show YAHUAH Endorses Polygany
If having a plurality of wives was a sin, why then would our heavenly Father YAHUAH describe himself as the husband of “Samaria” and “Jerusalem”, as He does in Ezekiel 23?
“The word of YAHUAH came again unto me, saying, Son of man, there were two women, the daughters of one mother: And they committed whoredoms in Egypt; they committed whoredoms in their youth: there were their breasts pressed, and there they bruised the teats of their virginity. And the names of them were Aholah the elder, and Aholibah her sister: and they were mine, and they bare sons and daughters. Thus were their names; Samaria is Aholah, and Jerusalem Aholibah.
And Aholah played the harlot when she was mine; and she doted on her lovers, on the Assyrians her neighbours… And when her sister Aholibah saw this, she was more corrupt in her inordinate love than she, and in her whoredoms more than her sister in her whoredoms… And the Babylonians came to her into the bed of love, and they defiled her with their whoredom, and she was polluted with them, and her mind was alienated from them. So she discovered her whoredoms, and discovered her nakedness: then my mind was alienated from her, like as my mind was alienated from her sister. Yet she multiplied her whoredoms, in calling to remembrance the days of her youth, wherein she had played the harlot in the land of Egypt. For she doted upon their paramours… Therefore, O Aholibah, thus saith Adonai YAHUAH; Behold, I will raise up thy lovers against thee, from whom thy mind is alienated, and I will bring them against thee on every side . . .YAHUAH said moreover unto me; Son of man, wilt thou judge Aholah and Aholibah? yea, declare unto them their abominations; That they have committed adultery, and blood is in their hands, and with their idols have they committed adultery, and have also caused their sons, whom they bare unto me, to pass for them through the fire, to devour them. Moreover this they have done unto me: they have defiled my sanctuary in the same day, and have profaned my sabbaths… Yet they went in unto her, as they go in unto a woman that playeth the harlot: so went they in unto Aholah and unto Aholibah, the lewd women. And the righteous men, they shall judge them after the manner of adulteresses, and after the manner of women that shed blood; because they are adulteresses, and blood is in their hands.” (Ez 23:1-5, 11, 17-20, 22, 36-38, 44-45)
If this prophecy were taken literally, this relationship would be polygamous. If polygany were sinful, then how could our heavenly Father use that as an illustration DESCRIBING HIMSELF toward his relationship with Samaria and Jerusalem? And then, as if that is not enough, he then makes the
charge that Samaria and Jerusalem had “committed adultery”!! Obviously, from just the context of this one chapter alone, polygany cannot be called a sin since it is used as an illustration of YAHUAH’s relationship with 2 major cities of Yisrael. And, since they (Jerusalem and Samaria) are accused of committing adultery—polygany and adultery could not possibly be the same since both of these conditions exist (in a spiritual sense) here in this same relationship between YAHUAH and
the 2 main cities of Yisrael!!
Another example is given here from Jeremiah 3, Yisrael and Judah playing the harlot:
“They say, If a man put away his wife, and she go from him, and become another man’s, shall he return unto her again? shall not that land be greatly polluted? But thou hast played the harlot with many lovers; yet return again to me, saith YAHUAH. Lift up thine eyes unto the high places, and see where thou hast not been lien with. In the ways hast thou sat for them, as the Arabian in the wilderness; and thou hast polluted the land with thy whoredoms and with thy wickedness. Therefore the showers have been withholden, and there hath been no latter rain; and thou hadst a whore’s forehead, thou refusedst to be ashamed.
Wilt thou not from this time cry unto me, My father, thou art the guide of my youth? Will he reserve his anger forever? will he keep it to the end?
Behold, thou hast spoken and done evil things as thou couldest. YAHUAH said also unto me in the days of Josiah the king, Hast thou seen that which backsliding Yisrael hath done? she is gone up upon every high mountain and under every green tree, and there hath played the harlot. And I saidafter she had done all these things, Turn thou unto me. But she returned not. And her treacherous sister Judah saw it. And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Yisrael committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also. And it came to pass through the lightness of her whoredom, that she defiled the land, and committed adultery with stones and with stocks. And yet for all this her treacherous sister Judah hath not turned unto me with her whole heart, but feignedly, saith YAHUAH. And YAHUAH said unto me, The backsliding Yisrael hath justified herself more than treacherous Judah.
Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, Return, thou backsliding Yisrael, saith YAHUAH; and I will not cause mine anger to fall upon you: for I am merciful, saith YAHUAH, and I will not keep anger for ever. Only acknowledge thine iniquity, that thou hast transgressed against YAHUAH thy The Almighty, and hast scattered thy ways to the strangers under every green tree, and ye have not obeyed my voice, saith YAHUAH. Turn, O backsliding children, saith YAHUAH; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion: And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding. And it shall come to pass, when ye be multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, saith YAHUAH, they shall say no more, The ark of the covenant of YAHUAH: neither shall it come to mind: neither shall they remember it; neither shall they visit it; neither shall that be done any more.
At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of YAHUAH; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of YAHUAH, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart. In those days the house of Judah shall walk with the house of Yisrael, and they shall come together out of the land of the north to the land that I have given for an inheritance unto your fathers. But I said, How shall I put thee among the children, and give thee a pleasant land, a goodly heritage of the hosts of nations? and I said, Thou shalt call me, My father; and shalt not turn away from me. Surely as a wife treacherously departeth from her husband, so have ye dealt treacherously with me, O house of Yisrael, saith YAHUAH.” (Jeremiah 3:1-20)
It is very clear that our heavenly Father is using multiple marriage partners as a type of His own
relationship with both Yisrael and Judah. If such is the case, plural marriage (Polygany) could not
possibly be wrong or sinful.
Now notice another text which gives us the third witness for this issue:
“Behold, the days come, saith YAHUAH, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Yisrael, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith YAHUAH: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Yisrael; After those days, saith YAHUAH, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their Mighty One, and they shall be my people.And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know YAHUAH: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith YAHUAH; for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” (Jeremiah 31:31-34)
Notice 3 very important things here: #1, YAHUAH our Father is speaking, #2, He says he was a husband to His people, and #3 the word “them” proves that His relationship with Yisrael and Judah is a plural marriage. Why would the Eternal Father and Creator of all use the illustration of a plural
marriage to describe His relationship with Yisrael and Judah IF plural marriages were sinful?
Here is a fourth witness:
“Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Messiah? Shall I then take the members of Messiah, and make them the members of an harlot? YAHUAH forbid. What? Know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? For two, saith he, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined unto YAHUAH is one spirit.” (1Corinthians 6:15-17)
In this text it is contrasting those who are members of the body of Messiah and those who are members of a harlot. Note the word used in both cases is “members” (plural, more than one). Therefore, this is speaking of a polygamous union between Messiah and the individual “members” of His body! The fact that “two. . .shall be one flesh” does not limit it to monogamy since this is true for each member on an individual one to one basis! And it says when a man is joined to “an harlot” they become “one flesh”. Since a man can be joined to several women at different times, then this process of becoming “one flesh” can be repeated several times—showing that this could not possibly be limited to monogamy. Of course, this is to be applied spiritually to the ekklesia of the Messiah (“assembly of Messiah”)—but the fact remains that the model used here is of a polygamous relationship!! This assembly is not the current state of Yisrael nor is it any one religion, denomination, or sect existing today, but is instead the true “remnant” of Yisrael which is scattered all over the world.
Now here is a fifth witness:
“For I am jealous over you with Elohimly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Messiah.” (2 Corinthians 11:2)
In this text the word “you” (italicized here) means more than one. It is plural, as in a “plurality of wives”. So it is really saying “I have espoused all of you to one husband, that I may present all of you as a chaste virgin to Messiah.” Notice that they start out “plural” but in the end they are presented as a “singular” “chaste virgin” to Messiah.
This type of construction is also contained in Revelation (as we will soon see) showing that in the beginning they start out as a plural marriage but in the end they each become so unified that they are presented as if they are only “one”! This is simply taking a physical reality (marriage) and applying it in a deeply spiritual way (perfect harmony and unity with the Messiah).
Now for a sixth witness:
It is a true statement that says that the Kahal (Hebrew Community) (“ekklesia” or “assembly”) is also called the “Bride of
Messiah” in various parts of the Scriptures:
“For Zion’s sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth. . . Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzibah, and thy land Beulah: for YAHUAH delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married. For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee: and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall the Almighty rejoice over thee.” (Isaiah 62:1, 4-5)
“And I John saw the Set-Apart city, new Jerusalem, coming down from YAHUAH out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” (Revelation 21:2)
The Kahal (Hebrew Community), or more accurately Zion, is depicted in the Scriptures as a “bride” which is made ready to receive her husband. Now even though the word “bride” is singular and therefore seems to be depicting a monogamous relationship—the word “Kahal (Hebrew Community)” is anything but singular! In fact the word “Kahal (Hebrew Community)” comes from the Greek ekklesia which means a “gathering” or “assembly”. Using the term “Kahal (Hebrew Community)” is probably not the best way to represent Zion. The best translation would be “assembly”.
This “assembly” is by its very nature “polygamous” since it includes more than one member. As the
Scripture says regarding the “Kahal (Hebrew Community)” (see Matthew 18:17-19 for reference to “Kahal (Hebrew Community)”), “For where
two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:20)
In this very reference the Messiah is pictured as in a polygamous relationship, being in the “midst” of two or three of those who are members of his body, the body of Messiah! Again, this Kahal (Hebrew Community) is not a denomination which you can see—it is instead a “remnant” that is “scattered” over the whole earth.
Witness number seven:
This same construction as in Matthew 18:20 can be seen in Revelation 1:12-13 where the Messiah
is seen “in the midst” of the seven golden candlesticks. As we learn here these candlesticks represent the Kahal (Hebrew Community)es of Asia, and as you should know in prophecy the Kahal (Hebrew Community) (Zion) is also represented by a woman. Jeremiah 6:2 says “I have likened the daughter of Zion to a comely and delicate woman”.
“And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks: And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. . . The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven Kahal (Hebrew Community)es: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven Kahal (Hebrew Community)es.” (Revelation 1:12-13, 20)
This last text makes it very clear that even with the use later on in Revelation of “the bride” (singular), his relationship with the Kahal (Hebrew Community)es begins in Revelation with a polygamous union—for he is one man “in the midst” of “seven candlesticks” or Kahal (Hebrew Community)es! A woman in prophecy represents Zion, the Kahal (Hebrew Community) (or ekklesia) of YAHUAH! And the Kahal (Hebrew Community) (or assembly—plural) is also considered as the “body of Messiah”.
Therefore, polygany is a representation of the characteristics of the Messiah. And this description of the Messiah is very obviously based upon the same description of Solomon by his Shulamite bride in Song of Solomon:
“My beloved is white and ruddy, the chiefest among ten thousand. His head is as the most fine gold, his locks are bushy, and black as a raven. His eyes are as the eyes of doves by the rivers of waters, washed with milk, and fitly set. His cheeks are as a bed of spices, as sweet flowers: his lips like lilies, dropping sweet smelling myrrh. His hands are as gold rings set with the beryl: his belly is as bright ivory overlaid with sapphires. His legs are as pillars of marble, set upon sockets of fine gold: his countenance is as Lebanon, excellent as the cedars. His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.” (see Song of Solomon 5:9-16).
The same concepts are presented in Revelation to describe the Messiah as in Song of Solomon to
describe Solomon, the king of Yisrael who (at that time) had 60 wives and many concubines.
Now notice this additional point:
“The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord.” (Matthew 10:24) “The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.” (Luke 6:40)
Yisrael began with Jacob and his 4 wives to produce the 12 tribes—our whole foundation is Polyganous to begin with and many of the patriarchs were Polyganous. Some of the prophets were celibate, including apparently the Messiah at His first coming—so celibacy is also part of our nature.
And last, some of the patriarchs and prophets were monogamous, so monogamy is part of our nature as well. If we, his disciples in the last days, are not above our master (the Messiah) and his character and the character of most of the righteous patriarchs is often represented throughout the Scriptures as celibate, monogamous and Polyganous—then that should be part of our character also (at different times and under various circumstances)!
Therefore, for the righteous Hebrew celebacy is but a temporary condition—not a lifestyle to be lived forever. The Scripture does mention eunuchs (those who choose to be or are forced to be celebate), but the words “monogamy” and “polygany” cannot even be found in Scripture. Monogamy and polygany are just modern day terms used to describe different types of marriage. In the Hebrew culture ALL marriages had the potential of becoming polygamous.
Here is the eighth witness:
Why does Yahuah-Yeshua present himself (who is the Bridegroom) as a polygamist in the Parable of the 10 Virgins?
“Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.” (Matthew 25:1-13)
Some have tried to make this parable into a story about “bridesmaids” and somehow the “bride” is left out of the picture entirely. But let’s be reasonable. What use would it be for a story about a marriage if it only includes the Bridegroom and the “Bridesmaids”? These virgins WERE the “brides”, for they went with the purpose of joining in marriage the Bridegroom! What did the Bridegroom do when the virgins went in with him “to the marriage” and “the door was shut”? Friends, He had sexual relations with them!! That’s why “the door was shut”!! And later when the other five came late he said to them “I know you not”.
This type of language is employed throughout the entire Scriptures (starting in Genesis 4:1) to describe sexual intercourse—”And Adam knew Eve his wife”!! Regarding the 5 foolish virgins, Messiah says “I know you not”. But he DID “know” the first 5 virgins and so as this account in Matthew says each of them were “yoked” together and were made “one flesh” with Him! Five young virgins is what he took! Can we picture that?! No, it is not an orgy! But neither is it the kind of activity you would find in the average home either!!
Again, 10 virgins are preparing to go in to the bridegroom to consummate their marriage. Only 5 were ready when the announcement came, so that means 5 young virgin women had sexual relations with the Bridegroom at that marriage, and all of them were united with Him and fulfilled by Him!! Is that a sin? If it is, then our faith is shipwreck! If it is not then we had better get down on our knees, pray for divine wisdom and put away this “Victorian era” (or “Victorian error”) ethics that we have been brainwashed with year after year by our parents, Kahal (Hebrew Community)es, and society in general. When He came to the Marriage they all 5 went into his house and consummated their relationship with Him by giving to Him wholeheartedly all their love, and He likewise shared His love with them33. This is the illustration given in regard to the Messiah and His second coming. Remember also that this is a parable (which means not all aspects are to be literally fulfilled). Yet it does not change the fact that the very mention of this type of marital arrangement is a direct endorsement of the same—plural marriage (or Polygany)! One man—many wives.
Marriage In the End Times
There is one more question which may be rightfully asked, “Could it be that in our modern day
polygany is just not needed nor necessary? Maybe it was only for those times when the world was
just beginning and raising children was of key importance?”
This text cannot be used to endorse the idea of “group sex” or a man bedding all of his wives at the same time, since that would be in violation of the Torah (See on page 62)
Well, that’s a good point. I think, however, that this next witness will give the final proof that will settle this question showing that the righteous in these last days will still be taking more than one wife.
Here is the text which shows this to be true:
“And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel; only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach. In that day shall the branch of YAHUAH be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Yisrael. And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called Set-Apart, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem: When YAHUAH shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning.” (Isaiah 4:1-4)
First of all, this prophecy is clearly given in reference to the last days, for it says “he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called Set-Apart, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem. . .” This is paralleled in Revelation when it says, in reference to the “New Jerusalem”: “And there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie; but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” (Revelation 21:27) So, this point establishes the time frame for the prophecy—the very last days.
Next, we know that these women are requesting marriage to these men because they point out all 3 of the things required by a husband to supply to a wife. These women were willing to provide their own food and their own clothing, in exchange for being called by his name “to take away our reproach” (to provide children through sexual intercourse).
“If he take him another wife; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish. And if he do not these three unto her, then shall she go out free without money.” (Exodus 21:10-11)
“And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel; only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach.” (Isaiah 4:1)
We know that these men are among the righteous because they are called in verse 3 “Set-Apart” and these seven women took hold of the man “to take away our reproach” (this can only be done through marriage to a righteous Yisraelite and the birthing of children). Genesis 30:23 says “And she
conceived, and bare a son; and said, the Almighty hath taken away my reproach.”. To take away reproach is the same as conceiving and baring a son or “man child”.
And although some might argue that this text is really talking about “serial marriage” (i.e., marriage—divorce—remarriage) we must not forget that serial marriage is generally not something which the righteous (who are called “Set-Apart” here) would be involved in. it is clear from the context that these 7 women took hold of the same man at about the same time! It clearly says “And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man. . .” It happens “in that day” and so the context shows it happened at about the same time.
Therefore, we can safely conclude from these verses that in the last days many a righteous man will have more than one wife.
Now there is a text in Scripture which tells us more about the sins during the time of Noah, which
some have stated included the sin of polygany. But we will look at that here and see what the
Scriptures will and will not support. Notice:
“And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, That the sons of the Almighty saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.” (Genesis 6:1-2
According to this text the sin of the time of Noah was in “taking wives of all which they chose”. In other words, unrestricted access to women—ALL women. It was lustful and licentious in every way. These were their sins and this quickly led them to commit adultery (taking a man’s wife) fornication (sexual relations without commitment or harlotry, incest and sodomy (homosexuality). The Messiah
said concerning this time:
“But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” (Matthew 24:37-39)
It is not a sin to eat. It is not a sin to drink. It is not a sin to marry. The sin of the people living “before the flood” was that they did all of these things to excess. In choosing wives the people committed sin in that they did not discriminate between the righteous and the wicked, married and unmarried, virgin or prostitute, etc. They set no boundaries in that they took any and “all which they chose”. They were gluttonous and lascivious in all things, and without restraint to the extreme–this was their sin. But this is not a description of polygany, it is a description of whoremongering and licentiousness!!
So, the people did not sin by having a second wife (provided she was not already married). Having more than one wife was no more sinful than eating 2 or 3 meals a day. So long as our appetite for these things is kept under control and reasonable limits are set, it is not a sin. If it were true that YAHUAH destroyed the world with a flood even partly because of polygany being a sin, then He would have to apologize to many of those people since He clearly allowed the Hebrew Patriarchs to do the exact same thing, and never once condemned it! Our heavenly Father YAHUAH does not
“For I am YAHUAH, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.”
The patriarchal man should be allowed to follow the Scriptures in the pursuit of his fulfillment of the divine mandate of Genesis 1:27. If he desires and needs additional wives for the calling that YAHUAH has given to him, and he could (through his genius and their assistance) provide for them, then it is acceptable. Yes, it is true that men have perverted the marriage institution—but this is done in all kinds of marriages. So this cannot be used as an excuse to condemn polygany. And for this purpose, (to populate the earth and bring joy to the people) YAHUAH our heavenly Father created the first woman from the side of the man—the man’s rib.
Some might argue that he only made one woman, using one rib, therefore the man should have only one wife, and that this was the original plan in the garden and we should return to that original plan. However, there is really no conclusive evidence for that. That is just an opinion which cannot be proven. If we were to use that logic, then we would also have to say that we should walk around
naked like they did in the Garden of Eden, and eat only fruit like they did in the garden.
Khawwah (Eve) was created from the side of Adam, so does that mean we can only marry someone if she is created out of the flesh of our own bodies? Later they wore the hides of animals for clothing, so does that mean we should only wear animal hides for clothing? And if we should follow the example of Adam in that garden in regards to his marriage to Khawwah (Eve), and that is a pattern for us to follow, then would that not lead us to become lascivious fornicators? Yes, you heard correctly–for it you wish to use that situation as an example for us to follow, then you would have to say a man should marry every single available woman whom he comes into contact with–for surely that is what Adam did when he took Khawwah as his wife! He mated with every woman available to him! Obviously, as I am attempting to reinforce here, using the original situation of the garden as a perfect pattern for us to follow in all things is clearly beyond reason and wrong. So the answer to these questions is clearly no, the conditions in the Garden are not a perfect example and type for us to follow in every detail today.
Here are some other points to consider. The word “monogamy” is not even in the Scriptures; neither is the word “polygany”. So, nowhere in Scripture does it make any difference between a monogamous marriage and a Polyganous marriage. Clearly then, Adam’s “monogamy” was not a “rule” or a “commandment”—it was merely a circumstance. Noah, his wife, and his son’s wives were also simply caught in a particular circumstance–it does not prove monogamy is the only form which marriage can rightfully take. It is like a seed which contains the basic foundation of life, for it does not show all of its properties until it has matured through growth. And like the life of a tree our past history begins with 2 (1 male and 1 female), but blossoms and unfolds out into various types of valid marital relationships (which Scripture defines, not human customs or human laws).
Therefore, whenever the Scriptures says “marriage” it could either be referring to a monogamous or Polyganous marriage! An example of this is in Hebrews 13:
“Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers YAHUAH will judge.” (Hebrews 13:4)
Since the Scriptures NEVER makes any distinction between monogamous and Polyganous marriages, and uses the phrase “honourable in all”, we can therefore safely say that the message of this text is that “Polyganous and monogamous marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled”. The word “in all” can also be translated “in total” or “totally”, so this text could also be translated as given below:
“Marriage is totally honourable, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers YAHUAH will judge.” (Hebrews 13:4)
Marriage is “totally honorable” and the “bed undefiled”. A marriage during and before the time this text was written could be monogamous or polygamous! Another “condition” that may have existed during the lifetime of Adam was that brothers would at first have to marry sisters in order to procreate, so does that mean “incest” should be allowed now because it appears to have been allowed at the beginning?
Obviously, as is suggested here, the answer to these questions is clearly no.
Can We Do THIS?
Now there are some who take the position that certain types of sexual intercourse are sinful, even among marriage partners. Some believe that oral sex, for example, would be sinful. While it is not our place to get too involved with the private lives of others and dictate to others how they should or should not intimately relate with their marriage partners, we do need to address this issue so that truth may be exalted. The question that is begging to be answered is “Does Scripture endorse ‘oral sex’?” Read for yourselves:
“[THE SHULAMITE] Behold, you are handsome, my beloved! Yes, pleasant! Also our bed is green. The beams of our houses are cedar, And our rafters of fir. I am the rose of Sharon, And the lily of the valleys, [THE BELOVED] Like a lily among thorns, So is my love among the daughters. [THE SHULAMITE] Like an apple tree among the trees of the woods, So is my beloved among the sons. I sat down in his shade with great delight, And his fruit was sweet to my taste.” (Song of Solomon, NKJV 1:16-17; 2:1-3)
Remember, Song of Solomon is a book about a love relationship between Solomon and one of his choice brides. It is sensual in nature and everything about it speaks in allegorical terms regarding their relationship together. If the shulamite woman says that her man is like an apple tree which she takes “great delight” to sit under and enjoy “his fruit”, just what do you think she is really talking
about? Friends, she is taking great delight in orally stimulating the genitals of her mate! Now some might argue that this is all an allegory about the true spiritual bride who is waiting for her Messiah.
Well, even if this were so, it does not do away with the literal meaning intended in this text. Clearly, these verses are here describing a man who is standing like a tree, a woman who is sitting close to
him “in his shade”, and then enjoying “his fruit” “which was sweet to my taste”. It is almost impossible to avoid seeing the true meaning of this text, that it is describing a woman giving oral sex to her man!
Now let’s look at another reference just a couple of chapters later:
“[THE BELOVED] A garden enclosed Is my sister, my spouse, A spring shut up, A fountain sealed. Your plants are an orchard of pomegranates With pleasant fruits, Fragrant henna with spikenard, Spikenard and saffron, Calamus and cinnamon, With all trees of frankincense, Myrrh and aloes, With all the chief spices—a fountain of gardens, A well of living waters, And streams from Lebanon. [THE SHULAMITE] Awake, O north wind, And come, O south! Blow upon my gardens, That its spices may flow out. Let my beloved come to his garden And eat its pleasant fruits.” (Song of Solomon, NKJV 4:12-16)
“Fountain”, “spring”, “garden” are all used metaphorically in Scripture to describe a woman’s reproductive organs. When a woman begins to have monthly menstruation it is said that “her flowers are upon her”.
The fact that all these were “sealed” shows that she is a virgin. When a woman is in heat she gives off a “scent” just like other animals in nature. The purpose of this is to attract her mate. Here she asks the winds to “Blow upon my garden” so that “its spices may flow out”. Like in the animal kingdom, people also give off scents that will attract a potential mate. Likewise, this text speaks of the same thing in terms we can understand and relate to. These “spices” will attract her “beloved” so that he would “come to his garden” and “eat its pleasant fruits”. Clearly, this is a description of a virgin woman who is very exited and can’t wait for her mate to come and have relations with her. In this text, however, she is specifically requesting something special—she is requesting her mate to give her oral sex, as is clearly shown by reading the context closely. “Let my beloved come to his garden And eat its pleasant fruits.” She is requesting oral sex.
If (as we have demonstrated) it is allowed for a man to have more than one wife and just because oral sex is allowed in Scripture, it does not mean a man can rightfully “bed” all of his wives at the same time. (Living polygamous is not the same as “promiscuous”.) Neither Hebrews 4:13 nor the book Song of Solomon can be used to endorse the idea of “group sex” or a man taking more than one of his wives at a time for sexual intercourse. Jacob’s wives lived in separate tents (Genesis 31:33), and that text in Genesis appears to show that when each had their turn Jacob would simply
enter into the tent of the wife he would have relations with.
Once intercourse had taken place and they were finished, they were to bath for cleansing purposes—for both the man and woman were “unclean until even”. Practicing this one teaching from Leviticus would save so many lives now being destroyed because of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases. In Africa polygany is openly practiced, yet AIDS is spreading quickly even through the heterosexual population. It is very likely that this is happening because polygamous men and women do not practice true “safe sex” as given in Scripture. By “safe sex” we mean intercourse with one mate at a time and only for that day. So, to prevent the spread of disease, the righteous Hebrew man could not have intercourse again with any of his other wives until after sundown of that same day. Notice now the clear evidence of this truth from Scripture:
“And if any man’s seed of copulation go out from him, then he shall wash all his flesh in water, and be unclean until the even. And every garment, and every skin, whereon is the seed of copulation, shall be washed with water, and be unclean until the even. The woman also with whom man shall lie with seed of copulation, they shall both bathe themselves in water, and be unclean until the even.” (Leviticus 15:16-18)
Notice it says that “they shall both bathe”. That indicates 2 (the “woman” and the “man”) not 3 or more!! Once intercourse had taken place they were to bathe for cleansing purposes; for both the man and woman were “unclean until even”.
Practicing this one teaching from Leviticus would save so many lives now being destroyed because of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases. So, to prevent the spread of disease, the man is not allowed to have intercourse again (with his other wives) until evening (the twilight after sundown) of that same day. In fact, he and his wife for that day are unclean to any and all. If a man was unclean because of having intercourse with a woman, then he was unclean to anyone else—including his other wives.
Of course, the wife he had intercourse with was also unclean, so it would not be wrong for them to stay together. So, this one Scripture is sufficient to show that a man must not take more than one of his wives into the bed of intercourse at the same time. (See also Leviticus 22:4 and Deuteronomy 23:10)
But there is another text which also establishes the fact that multiple simultaneous marriage partners would not be allowed. The same text which many in the “monogamy only” group use to supposedly prove that a man can only have one wife does indeed at least prove that a man can only have one wife at a time! “What?
Know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? For two, saith he, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined unto YAHUAH is one spirit.” (1 Corinthians 6:16-17)
Notice it does not say 3 shall be one flesh, nor 4 or more—only 2. A man can only have the “one flesh” experience with one woman at a time, therefore attempting to have multiple simultaneous partners is against nature and would not have support from Scripture. It would be a perversion of marriage and it is also uncleanness according to Leviticus 15:16-18. Since this also exposes more than one wife to the touch of the other, such activity could also eventually lead them into lesbian (homosexual) behavior, and so is not allowed in Scripture.
Many believe that while homosexuality from men is condemned in Scripture, there seems to be no corresponding condemnation against lesbian sex between women. There is no text of Scripture that can be used to endorse the idea of “group sex”, “lesbian sex” or a man taking more than one of his wives at a time for sexual intercourse. However, there is one text which (when the translation is corrected) shows very clearly that lesbianism and/or group sex is another sinful abomination. The text is found in Leviticus 18:18:
“Neither shalt thou take a wife to her sister, to vex her, to uncover her nakedness, beside the other in her life time.” (Leviticus 18:18)
This text is most often used to show that it is a sin for a man to marry 2 sisters. I have been studying this subject for awhile, and Leviticus 18:18 has been a serious question mark in my mind. It appears that since Jacob married 2 sisters he would have been living in sin if indeed this verse means what the KJV and other translations seem to be saying. However, since Jacob did indeed marry 2 sisters and since his marriage was honored by YAHUAH, there has to be another answer.
So, here is the problem—the translation is not accurate. I believe that the actually translation of this verse is in need of a thorough review. Here are my own findings regarding this text for you to
The better translation of that text (Leviticus 18:18) is as follows:
“Neither will you bring a woman near her sister, to cramp her, to uncover her genitals moving against the other.” (Leviticus 18:18, revised translation) Here is the basis of this revised translation: The word translated “take” can also be translated “bring” (laqach, Hebrew Strong’s, 3947). The word “wife” is simply the word for “woman” (ishisha, Hebrew Strong’s, 802). The word “to” can be translated “toward” or “near” (ale, Hebrew Strong’s, 413). The word “vex” can best be translated as “cramp” (tsawrar, Hebrew Strong’s, 6887).
To “uncover her nakedness” is a reference to sexual intercourse, and the word “nakedness” itself can be translated “genitals” (ervaw, Hebrew Strong’s, 6172). The word “beside” is better translated “above”, “over”, “upon” or “against” (al, Hebrew Strong’s, 5921). And the word “life” can also be translated “fresh”, “living”, “raw” or “strong” (khahee, Hebrew Strong’s, 2416). It is sometimes translated in Leviticus as “running” or “moving” (“running water”, See Leviticus 14:5, 6; 14:50, 51, 52; 15:13). Revelation 7:17 uses the same concept as it speaks of “living fountains of waters”. So “living” or “quickening” or “moving” is a valid translation and truly makes more sense than the King James translation: “Neither will you bring a woman near [or toward] her sister, to cramp her, to uncover her genitals moving against [or over or upon] the other.” (18:18)
Clearly, with this revision in the translation it is profoundly demonstrated that this text is a condemnation against both “group sex” (threesome) and also “lesbian sex”. Yes, I am not making this up. This translation is valid. You will find (if you study this out more closely for yourself) that this translation here is a valid one, and much more accurate than most of the others (including the KJV).
Many have tried to use this verse as a condemnation of polygany or polygany with sisters. While this verse does not speak out against either polygany in general or polygany with more than one sister, it DOES very clearly speak out against 2 other much more serious issues: It condemns “Lesbian” sex and it condemns “group sex”, even in a Polyganous setting (1 man, more than 1 woman). If this verse were really condemning polygany with more than one sister, then the whole foundation of Yisrael is based upon a sinful relationship–and I cannot believe that YAHUAH would allow that to happen without sending some great curse into the lives of Jacob and his family (as an example for us).
Based upon the preceding context of Leviticus 18 (which is dealing strictly with issues regarding various forms of fornication, adultery, and homosexuality) this alternate translation
of Leviticus 18:18 makes a whole lot more sense.
Now that we have covered the “taboo” topics and opened up Scripture to show what is allowed and
what is not, we can now return to the main focal point of this part of the study. So that the point will
not be forgotten, Scripture makes no difference between “polygamous” and “monogamous” marriages.
Scripture does indeed give guidelines regarding behavior within a marriage such that oral sex is allowed but group sex, and promiscuous sex is not. Beyond that we must be careful as we seek to determine whether certain practices are proper or not—since we have no further light from Scripture. And marriage is indeed a “private affair”.
However, reason would suggest that any type of practice (even among marriage partners) which causes physical, mental or emotional harm would be a sinful practice and should be stopped. Based upon this “principle” we can venture to say that “anal” sex would be sinful, since it is clearly a potentially harmful form of intercourse. Oral sex, on the other hand has never been shown to be dangerous, any more than kissing a woman’s mouth or breasts.
Marriage from the Beginning
As it is written:
“So the Almighty created man in his own image, in the image of the Almighty created he him; male and female created he them. And the Almighty blessed them, and the Almighty said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” (Genesis 1:27-28)
“And the children of Yisrael were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied,
and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them.” (Exodus 1:7)
So, it was very simple—man was to populate the earth. “Be fruitful, and multiply…” is what the Scripture says. In China today they might see this text as “Be fruitful, and add, stop at 2 or we will kill them and give you a fine!!” In the United States the text means “Be fruitful, and add, (or take away— if you want) with only one wife!!” And in the Hebrew culture to place any un-Scriptural restriction upon marriage is the same as murder–for the result is that less lives are brought into the world.
The patriarchal man should be allowed to follow the Scriptures in the pursuit of his fulfillment of the
divine mandate of Genesis 1:27. If he desires and needs additional wives for the calling that YAHUAH has given to him, and he could (through his genius and their assistance) provide for them, then it is acceptable.
Yes, it is true that men have perverted the marriage institution—but this is done in all kinds of marriages, both conventional and plural. So this cannot be used as an excuse to condemn polygany. And for this purpose, (to populate the earth and bring joy to the people) YAHUAH our heavenly Father created the first woman from the side of the man—the man’s rib.
“Marriage is totally honourable, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers YAHUAH will judge.” (Hebrews 13:4)
Marriage is “totally honorable” and the “bed undefiled”. Since a marriage could either be monogamous or polygamous, this text makes it clear that polygamous marriages are also “totally honorable”. Remember, the word “marriage” means simply the intimate joining of a man and a woman (“two shall become one flesh”).
Again, here is another text which speaks of marriage:
“So then he that giveth her in marriage doeth well; but he that giveth her not in
marriage doeth better.” (1 Corinthians 7:38)
Remember, Paul was writing this at a time in history when Polyganous marriage was allowed among the Jews. If he had wished to condemn Polyganous marriage he surely passed up plenty of good opportunities to do so!
In the beginning there were 2, male and female—a monogamous pair. Yet, this does not prove monogamy is the only way that marriage is sanctioned by our heavenly Father. There are those who will go to the creation account and attempt to use that as proof that the ideal marriage from the
beginning of creation was “monogamous” only. Our heavenly Father created one male and one female, which appears to imply that this is the normal form of marriage. But the point that is often missed is that this was only a condition and a circumstance—it was not a command. In the knowledge of genetics we know that in order to start the process of “procreation” it only requires 1 male and 1 female. From that point on a monogamous only marriage is not the only way legitimate offspring can be born. And we have the testimony of the Scriptures that it is not a sin for a man to have more than one wife, and no condemnation against Polyganous marriage exists in all the Scriptures—therefore rendering that argument mute. In fact, polygany as a word or concept is not in Scripture at all. ALL marriages (according to Scripture) are potentially polygamous.
Now notice this Scripture and consider this point—it says that the man needs “an help meet” not “the one and only help meet”:
“And Almighty YAHUAH said, it is not good that the man should be alone; I will makehim an help meet for him. . . . ” (Genesis 1:18-19)
If Adam was to have only that one help meet and she was to be his only wife, then why would this text say simply “an help meet”? How many “help meets” does this text imply that Adam may have needed? Obviously, it leaves wide open the door for Adam and all those after him to have many “help meets” (wives)—although, again, we have no proof that Adam ever took another wife.
Polygany in the New Testament
A common response to all these arguments regarding plural marriage is that “we are no longer living or “walking” under the old testament”. Well, first I have to disagree. Messiah says in Matthew 5 that he came not to destroy the “law or the prophets” but to fulfill. The “law” is the Torah or first 5 books of Scripture.
The “prophets” is a reference to the “Neviim” or prophetic writings which include 21 books from the so-called “old Testament”. This makes for a total of 26 books [originally 24 books] which we must (along with the Messiah) hold in supreme authority and highest esteem among all books—for this, Messiah says, will never be taken away or changed. He says that those who teach against the “Law” and the “Prophets” would be “least in the kingdom of heaven”.
Therefore, those who teach against polygany and in support of “monogamous only” marriage are also teaching against the law of Moses! Doesn’t seem like an optional point, right? It is not optional and the law has not changed—although there are those who “think to change times and laws” (reference Daniel 7:25).
Could it be that this has already been fulfilled through the Papacy and other “sister” organizations? Friends, we have already presented evidence showing that the Greeks, the Romans and later the Papacy were responsible for forbidding polygamous marriages as well as the marriage of priests.
However, in addition to this we have some clear evidence from the New Testament not only that plural marriage is allowed but that it was even being practiced by the Messianic believers at that time. Here is the evidence in support of this conclusion:
In 1 Corinthians 5:1 it says “It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife.”
2 points we need to make here:
- The expression “father’s wife” is common in Scripture and refers to a woman who is a second wife, but not the biological mother of the person in question.
“And it came to pass, when Yisrael dwelt in that land, that Reuben went and lay with
Bilhah his father’s concubine: and Yisrael heard it.” (Genesis 35:22)
“And Saul had a concubine, whose name was Rizpah, the daughter of Aiah: and Ishbosheth said to Abner, Wherefore hast thou gone in unto my father’sconcubine?” (2 Samuel 3:7)
“And Ahithophel said unto Absalom, Go in unto thy father’s concubines, which he hath left to keep the house; and all Yisrael shall hear that thou art abhorred of thy father: then shall the hands of all that are with thee be strong.” (2 Samuel 16:21)
“So they spread Absalom a tent upon the top of the house; and Absalom went in unto his father’s concubines in the sight of all Yisrael.” (2 Samuel 16:22)
Remember, not everything that happens in the stories of Scripture are role models for us to follow—especially here in these texts. The reason for mentioning these texts is because they speak of a “father’s concubines”. A concubine is really a lesser wife, one who is also married to a certain man, but does not have inheritance rights like a full wife.
Anyway, these statements (when compared to 1 Corinthians 5:1) show that at the time the letter to the Corinthians was written polygany was allowed while at the same time fornication was condemned in the most forceful terms. If a son went “into” his “father’s wife”, and that woman was not his biological mother—then it is clear that his father had more than one wife.
2. The word for “wife” is “gune” and can be either singular or plural. So this text could have easily been translated “father’s wives”. At any rate, while condemning fornication this text shows that Polyganous marriage was still practiced (and with good conscience) among the early believers.
3. In Matthew 22:24 the Messiah is challenged by the Sadducees in regard to the issue of the Levirite marriage of a man to the wife of his now dead brother (Deuteronomy 25:5-10). In his challenge he gives a very interesting answer that (based on our current translations) raises questions of its own.
The essential point, however, is that in his response he does not in any way challenge the teachings of Scripture. Therefore, since we know that the Levirite marriage commandment of Deuteronomy 25 could potentially lead to a polygamous marriage—it is clear that the Messiah at least passively endorsed polygany by the fact that He did not here challenge it’s validity at all.
4. In Matthew 19:29 and Luke 18:28-30 we have a curious statement from the Messiah which indicates that in Paradise those who forsake all for his kingdom will receive manifold more blessings (and in one text it says 100 fold) both now and in the eternal kingdom.
Notice what it says:
“Then Peter said, Lo, we have left all, and followed thee. And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of Elohim’s sake, who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.” (Luke 18:28-30)
If we are to receive manifold in this present life, then that means we will receive everything listed many times over, including many more wives! And since the word for “wife” can be either singular or plural, even in the text itself the word could just as easily have been translated “wives” as well as
“wife”. Since the context suggests the items listed are mostly “plural” (. . .parents. . . brethren . . . children) it would not be wrong based upon the context to translate “gune” here as “wives”. But the use of the word “manifold” makes this point even more emphatic.
According to this text, a man can not only have more than one wife in this life but may also in the life to come and in greater abundance! Matthew 19:29 says basically the same thing except that it uses the term “an hundred fold” in referring to the blessings to be received in paradise.34 So, even in the New Testament the question of multiple wives is really very clear—although many may not be able to see it unless they look closely without prejudice at these various texts.
5. In 1 Corinthians 7 Paul gives counsel concerning marriage, but when you read it closely and know what to look for you can tell that he is clearly allowing not only divorce and remarriage (in certain circumstances) but also allowing a man to marry more than one wife. You didn’t know that 1 Corinthians 7 says it is alright for a man to marry more than one wife?
Let’s take a look:
“And unto the married I command, yet not I, but YAHUAH, Let not the wife depart from her husband: But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.” (1 Corinthians 7:10-11)
Notice it gives two lists of commands–one for the married man and another for the married woman. The married woman was commanded to 1) Not depart from her husband, 2) If she leaves him, she is to remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. The married man was only commanded 1) not to put away his wife (separate from her without granting her a final divorce).
This verse clearly shows polygany would be allowed, for the woman is the only one who is commanded to remain unmarried. In the case of the man, this requirement is not given at all and so he is clearly (by inference) allowed to remarry!! If Paul wished to condemn polygany here he not only missed a good opportunity–but by his own omission has made allowances for that very practice! But there is more…
“Art thou bound unto a wife? Seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? Seek not a wife. But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry she hath not sinned. Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh: but I spare you.” (1 Corinthians 7:27-28)
Look closely at what is being said here: If you are married to a wife, don’t seek to be divorced. If you are divorced from a wife, don’t seek out a wife. But if you marry, you have not sinned. And if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. Now notice I have underlined “you” because in the context of this verse “you” is speaking of the same person– “the married man”. Even though it mentions virgins in verse 25, we need to consider the whole context of that chapter–it is almost all speaking directly to those who are married. And here in verse 27-28 it is clearly referring to married men. So, to help you see what I am getting at I am going to insert “the married man” into this text at each of these points to clarify this (since it is clear from the context that is who “you” is referring to). So here it is [text in brackets are supplied]:
Foot Note: It is interesting to note that the New Testament teaches something quite similar to the teachings of Islam, that in paradise men could potentially have dozens of wives! In Hadith #2562 “The Book of Description of the Garden”, chapter 23 it says “The least [reward] for the people of Heaven is 80,000 servants and 72 wives.” Quran (55:74) indicates these will be virgins. Of course, this is a teaching which comes from Islam–yet it is at least an interesting point of comparison, since we have just reviewed a statement from the Messiah which says something very similar: ”And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.” (Matthew 19:29)
“Art thou [the married man] bound unto a wife? Seek not to be loosed. Art thou [the married man] loosed from a wife? Seek not a wife. But and if thou [the married man] marry, thou [the married man] hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry she hath not sinned. Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh: but I spare you.” (1 Corinthians 7:27-28)
By the way, people back in those days typically married their daughters off at a young age.
In this text the author is saying a virgin (you can also say young girl) can also marry and it is not a sin–but all of these will have “trouble in the flesh”. So it is clear that we have missed the plain teachings of Scripture, even though the evidence was right before our eyes all the time. Remember, this text was written at a time when polygamous marriage was allowed– so we have to assume from the beginning that this man he is speaking of could have either one wife or more than one wife.
So, he is saying here that if you are a married man, try to avoid divorce. Are you a married man who has divorced a wife? Don’t go looking for another wife. But if you [the married man] marry, you [the married man] have not sinned!! It is so plainly stated, yet we miss it–never see it because we do not have “eyes to see and ears to hear” as the Messiah has so often stated. This text plainly says that it is not a sin for a married man to marry another woman!! And it also says it is not a sin for a virgin to marry.
Lest we forget, the Messiah said in John 8:39 to those Jews who hated His work:
“If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham. But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth. . .” (John 3:39-40)
In His own words the Messiah has given his fellow Jews clear and convincing instruction that they should (as the children of Abraham) do the works of Abraham. It is clear that the Messiah (by encouraging people to do the works of Abraham) has here at least allowed the taking of more than one woman as a wife since Abraham had more than one wife, and even several concubines (See Genesis 25:1-6).
Does the Man Need His Wife’s Permission?
A good question that is often asked is “does the man need to get permission from his wife to marry
another?” The answer, according to Scripture, is very clear.
“Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.” (Genesis 3:15)
A question needs to be asked here in regards to the order of authority in a home. Does the man and woman share equal authority? Does the woman have authority over her husband? Does the man have authority over his wife? Who belongs to who? Notice how we have very clear statements from Scripture which confirm the true order of authority of a woman:
“If a man vows a vow to YAHUAH, or swears an oath to bind himself by some agreement, he shall not break his word; he shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth.
Or if a woman vows a vow to YAHUAH, and binds herself by some agreement while in her father’s house in her youth, and her father hears her vow and the agreement by which she has bound herself, and her father holds his peace, then all her vows shall stand, and every agreement with which she has bound herself shall stand. . . . But if indeed she takes a husband, while bound by her vows or by a rash utterance from her lips by which she bound herself, and her husband hears it, and makes no response to her on the day that he hears, then her vows shall stand, and her agreements by which she bound herself shall stand.
But if her husband overrules her on the day that he hears it, he shall make void her vow which she vowed and what she uttered with her lips, by which she bound herself, and YAHUAH will forgive her. But any vow of a widow or a divorced woman, by which she has bound herself, shall stand against her. . . .These are the statutes which YAHUAH commanded Moses, between a man and his wife, and between a father and his daughter in her youth in her father’s house.” (Numbers 30:3-4,6-9,16,NKJV)
For centuries it has been understood (even in heathen cultures and far away countries) that the man naturally has authority over and above his wife. And here in this last text we have the clearest statements from Scripture regarding the authority of both men and women. A man who makes a vow (including a second marriage vow) is bound to fulfill his word—he cannot go back on his word, unless it is a foolish vow which is contrary to the teachings (‘Torah’) of Scripture.
And he is not required to receive his other wife’s permission or agreement in regard to that vow, as long as it is in harmony with the ‘Torah’. On the other hand, an unmarried woman (a ‘maiden’ or ‘virgin’) who is still subject to her father is under her father’s authority—her father can refuse to allow her vows to stand. (That, by the way, explains why a maiden still under her father’s authority who has relations with another man, is still subject to her father’s decision. In this case her father could allow them to marry or require the man to pay a fine and then simply refuse to allow them to marry (if he felt that union would be disastrous).
“And if a man entice a maid that is not betrothed, and lie with her, he shall surely endow her to be his wife. If her father utterly refuse to give her unto him, he shall pay money according to the dowry of virgins.” (Exodus 22:16-17)
And a married woman is under the authority of her husband—her husband can negate her vows in the day he hears of it. This clearly shows that she is under the authority of her husband. But her husband is not under her authority, so she cannot negate the vows of her husband. It is only in the case of a widowed or divorced woman that the woman is not under subjection to another man, and that is only so long as she remains that way. If she marries (even through intercourse), she is once again under the authority of a husband.
A boy is under the authority of his mother and father until he is grown (and even then must still honor or respect his parents), but never in Scripture is a grown man to be under the authority of a woman (including his wife).
Therefore, according to these very clear Scriptures it is clear that the man does not need his wife’s permission to marry another woman. The modern teaching that the woman has authority equal to or above the man is a false doctrine of pagan origin.
In saying this we are not attempting to deprive women of their rights nor of opportunities for advancement as is done in some eastern cultures. A woman is not and should not be seen as a footstool upon which the man can trample her into the dust. However, we do believe (and Scripture confirms) that in general the man is better equipped to deal with the complex issues and problems of life than is the woman, and therefore is naturally suited to lead his family more so than the woman.
When a married woman attempts to take the lead in her home and force her husband to submit to her direction, she is out of the natural order of things. This belief that the woman is better suited to lead out in the home is both a modern and ancient teaching. It comes directly from the “feminist movement” of the past 100+ years which has its roots in ancient pagan teachings. A woman is not equal to or even above her husband.
It is only when that man is deceived by such false doctrine hat the woman can “get her way” with him—otherwise, she is powerless to control him. Well, the Scriptures are very clear—the man “shall rule over” the woman. Another way to say that is that the man would have “dominion” over the woman. Yes, it is true—the woman is the “weaker sex”.
So, since the man is the head of the family it therefore lends support to the position that a man may
take more than one wife. And the creation accountactually supports polygany because it shows that the man is the head of the family and not the woman. The woman was taken from the man, not the man from the woman. The man was given dominion over all the animals of creation and because he had dominion over them he was allowed to name them all, and whatever he named them was accepted by the Father above as the valid and true names for each.
The names that Adam gave to these creatures would not have been accepted if Adam did not really have authority over them. [A thought just occurred to me—if giving a name or even a new name to someone shows that we have authority over them, would it be right for a created being to change the name of their creator? His name is YAHUAH, not “the LORD”!! Think about it! J] Most people would agree with this, that giving a name to someone or something shows they have authority over them.
However, since by naming the animals showed that man had authority over the animals what do we do with the fact that Adam also was allowed to give a name to his newly created wife? If naming the animals showed Adam had dominion over them, by naming his wife it shows that he also had dominion over her. We often refer to her as being “Eve” but this is not correct. He really named her “Khawwah” which means “living” or one who gives “life”. Notice now the Scripture in which we are referring to:
“And Adam called his wife’s name Eve [Khawwah]; because she was the mother of all living.” (Genesis 3:20)
The woman was to be beneath the man in authority, and different in regard to purpose. Otherwise, Adam would not have been allowed to give his wife her name! The woman was to be the “host” to carry the “seed” of mankind for the purpose of populating the earth. She has authority in the family, but she has no authority to make the final decision in regard to their family—only her husband could make that decision.
Therefore, the man has the authority and the right to take several wives if he decides that it is necessary for having a successful family. Since he has authority over them then it is also clear that permission from them for him to marry another is not a requirement, anymore than the owner of a ranch would need permission from his cattle to purchase additional livestock. (Now remember, this is an illustration to show the principle—the woman is not livestock, she is only a little below the man in authority.)
“But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Messiah; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Messiah is the Almighty. . . .every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven . . . For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.” (1 Corinthians 11:3, 5-6, 8-9)
By the way, this text makes it clear that a woman should have her head (hair) covered while praying, speaking publicly or witnessing (“prophesying”, means “giving a message”). Since we should be doing these things quite often, the head covering should be worn by women most of the time. If more of this principle were followed then there would be less rebellion on the part of women in this world, for when the woman covers her head she shows that she is under the authority of the man, and not above his authority.
If it was the man’s desire to take to him an additional wife, he had every right to make that decision.
Since his other wife/wives are his own personal property then why does he need to ask them for permission? Now remember, we are talking about a righteous Hebrew man—one that will treat his wives with love, kindness and respect. We are not talking about the men of the world who mistreat even their one wife.
Remember, polygany is really only for the righteous—the wicked would use such a lifestyle only to destroy more lives. The wife/wives of this righteous man should know or be taught their role and understand that taking another “beloved” is permitted in Scripture. Even so, in order to be courteous and thoughtful to them he should inform them of his intentions prior to taking another wife (to prepare them).
He should be wise in his decisions and not make haste to take another wife until his other wife (or wives) have had reasonable time to prepare to accept this decision. He may even ask their advice or allow them to suggest another wife for him, but his decision is the final one. And just because it is permitted for him to take another wife, it does not mean that he should be on the “prowl” all the time looking for another wife. He has a responsibility to be extremely “selective” in regards to those he takes under his wing and completely avoid taking someone who will cause disruption in his home.
Proof that the man does not need permission from his wife to marry another and still remain married to the first wife can be found in these scriptures: Deuteronomy 21:10-13, Deuteronomy 22:28-29, Deuteronomy 25:5-10, 1 Corinthians 11:8-9, 1 Samuel 18:27, 1 Samuel 25:44, 1 Samuel 25:42-43, 2 Samuel 3:13-16.
There may be more, but this is sufficient. And here we will examine these in more detail.
“When thou goest forth to war against thine enemies, and Almighty YAHUAH hath delivered them into thine hands, and thou hast taken them captive, And seest among the captives a beautiful woman, and hast a desire unto her, that thou wouldest have her to thy wife; Then thou shalt bring her home to thine house; and she shall shave her head, and pare her nails; and she shall put the raiment of her captivity from off her, and shall remain in thine house, and bewail her father and hermother a full month: and after that thou shalt go in unto her, and be her husband, and she shall be thy wife. . .” (Deuteronomy 21:10-13)
Since it does not establish in this text that the man could already be married, it is clear that he did not need to receive the permission of his current wife. In this text it says nothing about obtaining permission from anyone, much less one of his wives.
“If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold on her and lie with her, and they be found; then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel’s father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife; because he hath humbled her, he may not put her away all his days.” (Deuteronomy 22:28-29)
Again, since it does not establish in this text that the man could already be married, it is clear that he did not need to receive the permission of his current wife. Deuteronomy 25:5-10 is the text we have already mentioned twice which is in reference to the Levirate marriage. Since in this text the man is commanded to marry his dead brother’s wife, and since nothing in the text says anything about his receiving prior permission from his current wife (if he has one), it is clear that the man can take another wife without the permission of his current wife.
In fact, according to this text he is even commanded to do so! This is the only place in Scripture where a marriage is actually commanded regardless of whether the man already has a wife, although with the command comes an “escape clause” should he decide that the union would not be right for him.
In 1 Corinthians 11:8-9 it says: “For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man.
Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.” If the woman was created for the man then it clearly shows that the woman is subject to the man’s authority. This is a “patriarchal family” in contrast to the modern day feminist movement of today which has established the “matriarchal family” where the woman is in charge. In a truly patriarchal family, the man is the head of the home and therefore is the one who makes the big decisions in the family, even in regards to adding more wives.
Again, we are speaking of a righteous man who loves and cherishes his wife (or wives). He is the true head [not a “figurehead” and not a “blockhead”—just the dominant (not domineering!) “head”, is that clear?].
“Wherefore David arose and went, he and his men, and slew of the Philistines two hundred men; and David brought their foreskins, and they gave them in full tale to the king, that he might be the king’s son in law. And Saul gave him Michal his daughter to wife.” (1 Samuel 18:27)
“But Saul had given Michal his daughter, David’s wife, to Phalti the son of Laish, which was of Gallim.” (1 Samuel 25:44)
Michal was David’s first wife. So, if it was required of him to receive her permission for him to take other wives we should find evidence of that in Scripture. However, David had to flee from the presence of Saul who sought to kill him. During that time he was separated from Michal and it was impossible for him to communicate with her. Later, David will take back Michal as his rightful wife because he never gave her a divorce. Now, let’s see what David did during that time when he was separated from Michal:
“And when David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, Blessed be YAHUAH, that hath pleaded the cause of my reproach from the hand of Nabal, and hath kept his servant from evil: for YAHUAH hath returned the wickedness of Nabal upon his own head. And David sent and communed with Abigail, to take her to him to wife. And when the servants of David were come to Abigail to Carmel, they spake unto her, saying, David sent us unto thee, to take thee to him to wife. And she arose, and bowed herself on her face to the earth, and said, Behold, let thine handmaid be a servant to wash the feet of the servants of my lord. And Abigail hasted, and arose and rode upon an ass, with five damsels of hers that went after her; and she went after the messengers of David, and became his wife. David also took Ahinoam of Jezreel; and they were also both of them his wives.” (1 Samuel 25:39-43)
Now, in 2 Samuel David takes back his wife Michal.
“And he said, Well; I will make a league with thee: but one thing I require of thee, that is, Thou shalt not see my face, except thou first bring Michal Saul’s daughter, when thou comest to see my face. And David sent messengers to Ishbosheth Saul’s son, saying, Deliver me my wife Michal, which I espoused to me for an hundred foreskins of the Philistines.
And Ishbosheth sent, and took her from her husband, even from Phaltiel the son of Laish. And her husband went with her along weeping behind her to Bahurim. Then said Abner unto him, Go, return. And he returned.” (2 Samuel 3:13-16)
David did not here receive permission from his first wife to take other wives. They were separated by circumstances beyond their control. David did not divorce Michal. And since David took Michal back as his wife—it is clear they were still considered married.
And in case you are thinking this was adultery and Michal should have been stoned, remember that king Saul had gone mad during this time and essentially declared David to be an enemy of the kingdom (therefore “cut off” or “dead”).
Since David was considered “cut off” or “dead”, Michal (in Saul’s deranged mind) believed she should remarry. So it was commanded from Saul that his daughter Michal should go be married to another man. Michal accepted this as legal (even though she must have known deep down inside that it really was not) and so she was not condemned for being with another man.35
Whatever the case, when she was returned to David and the other marriage dissolved, it did hurt their relationship—for she later turned against David and spoke evil of him and because of this she remained childless until her death.
Now there are those who will point out that not everything that is spoken of in Scripture is a work of
righteousness. Therefore, we should not always use the lifestyles of people from Scriptures times as examples for us to follow in all things—even those who are reputed to be righteous. However, in this last case (David) we must return to the text we mentioned earlier regarding David. David was “a man after YAHUAH’s own heart”—and was obedient to His heavenly Father in all things (up until his great sin with Bathsheba).
“And it shall be, if thou wilt hearken unto all that I command thee, and wilt walk in my ways, and do that is right in my sight, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as David my servant did; that I will be with thee, and build thee a sure house, as I built for David, and will give Yisrael unto thee.” (1 Kings 11:38)
David was a righteous man (before his grievous sin). YAHUAH declares him to be so. Therefore, his actions in taking other wives (even without the knowledge and/or permission of his first wife) could not possibly be a sinful act!! That is not my personal opinion, it is the clear and convincing testimony of the Scriptures!
The code of Hammurabi also permitted a woman to marry another during the absence of her husband due to his captivity or exile, but was required to return to her first husband upon his return. It may be that the Yisraelites sometimes followed this code, even if it was never officially stated in Scripture and may even have contradicted the Torah.
In a polygamous marriage problems can arise. Since his new bride would be living near to the
others, generally in separate rooms or houses, a good relationship with them would help avoid
This might help prevent jealousy from becoming rooted in the relationship. At any rate, as wives of one husband they would each consider themselves “sisters” and treat each other accordingly! Truly, such an arrangement is the ultimate test of character for a woman—and a major test for a man as well! And actually it can be a very profitable and beneficial arrangement for those who work it out and plan it out carefully.
With the high cost of housing these days and the lack of adequate “babysitters” a second or third marriage partner could prove a very economical and wise decision! From an economic standpoint, Polygany works best when the family lives and works in an agricultural based economy and/or has other business interests, or is already wealthy. But it can also work in a working class or middle class environment as well—provided that many of his wives are willing and able to take outside work (as necessary). But someone who desires to live according to the high living standards of this world and also have multiple wives would probably be making a mistake in attempting such a thing—for to live a rich life of ease and pleasure is ruin even to a monogamous marriage! [I speak this by way of advice.]
In Scripture we are given many rules regarding what kind of woman a man can take and what kind of woman he was forbidden to take. In addition to not taking another man’s wife, a man could not take a woman who was a close relative or sister of either himself or of one of his wives. Therefore, marrying a mother and her daughter would be sin, as well as other close relatives such as a sister, and others as specified in Leviticus 23. During the 7+ days of Niddah (menstruation) a man is also not allowed to take a woman. And, of course, a man is forbidden to lay with a man!! Homosexuality from both sexes is condemned in Scripture.
There is a statement from the ten commandments that makes it abundantly clear that a woman is to be considered private “property”—first, under the jurisdiction of her father, then under the jurisdiction of her husband:
“Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor’s.” (Exodus 20:17)
Question: Why does it list a “wife” along with “manservant”, “maidservant”, “ox”, “ass”, or “any thing”? Answer: Because the wife was property just as the other things listed. Nevertheless she is of a much superior order and is just lower than man in authority. She is not to be treated as an animal or a toy or even as a child. She is not to be abused. However, she is also not to have authority over and above the man. She cannot just “do her own thing”, for that would be rebellion and sin on her part.
“Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.” (1 Corinthians 7:1- 5)
First, we need to deal with translation issues again. The second sentence in this text is best translated as given here: “It is good for a man not to fondle a married woman.” The word “touch” carries with it the deeper meaning of “fondle” or to approach a woman “sexually”. The word “woman” means “married woman”. So it is clear that this is not a prohibition against ALL sexual activity, but specifically between a man and a married woman. That is all it is intended to be and that is the reason we make mention of it here. Of course, this revelation we are making is not intended to be a license to commit fornication. It is merely intended to clarify what the Scriptures actually teach.
A better translation would be “Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to fondle a married woman. Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.” We understand that even this translation may need modification, for we recognize that the original text was in Hebrew and not Greek—yet we do not now have the original Hebrew manuscripts. The problem with the Greek word for “woman” is that it could be either “woman” or “married woman”. Evidently (since they were heathens) the Greeks of that era did not appear to see any difference between one type of woman and another!!
Notice that it says “let every man. . .let every woman”. Then it says “let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence:”. “Benevolence” is a key word which indicates “conjugal duty” or “love”.
Paul’s admonition here is that in order to avoid fornication WE MUST ALL GET MARRIED and
perform our “conjugal duty”!! Would that be a true statement? Yet, we hear so many preachers who come to the saints and tell them that they need to “flee fornication” and the best way to do that (as they preach) is to become celibate, or at least stay away from women a lot. But the word “woman” in this text could just as easily be translated “married woman” or even “married women”.
And if that is true, it changes the meaning of the entire statement. Paul is simply saying to us “it is good for a man not to touch (or fondle) a married women”. Of couse it’s not good to do that. Getting the translation right makes a big difference, doesn’t it? Later, in 1 Corinthians 7:27-28 it states that if a man fondles “his virgin” he has not sinned and they should be allowed to consummate their marriage. Obviously, that could not be fornication—or else this very chapter in 1 Corinthians contradicts itself on this and other points. So, since both adultery and fornication begin in the mind, how does celibacy protect the mind from thoughts of evil? Answer: It does not!
Here is an example: If I had charge of working a “boiler” in a boiler room and the pressure gauge kept going higher and higher, it would only be reasonable that I should open up the valve and let even more of the steam out. Telling someone that in order to flee fornication they should become celibate (or almost so) is like doing just the opposite of what we suggested above.
Instead of opening the valves more, in celibacy the valves are not only closed but locked down tight so not a bit of pressure can escape. When this happens the valve indicators go to critical and before long the entire boiler explodes sending pieces of debris and hot water and steam everywhere!! Many people who live celibate lives over a protracted period of time have been know to go to great extremes and actually become drawn into and absorbed by the very thing they were fleeing from—sexual immorality!! Recent news headlines regarding pedophile priests is good evidence to support that.
And so even if they do not verbalize or act out their feelings, their thoughts may stay fixed upon the
very desire they are fleeing. Personality tests and handwriting analysis of long time “celibates” indicate that they generally have the same mental makeup as the “homosexual”!! And like the boiler example given here, the end of them is worse than what they were fleeing from in the beginning.
Now we’re not saying celibacy is totally wrong. It is only wrong if it is forced upon us by false ideas
of what constitutes righteousness. It is really only to be temporary in nature, not something to become a permanent way of life. Every married man will (if he obeys Scripture) remain celibate from his wife for at least 7 days or more out of every month. And there are some people that have to go longer without intercourse. They have no other choice or they are able to live (through YAHUAH’s help) a celibate lifestyle. But for the rest of us (the majority) it would probably be best if we married.
The state of being single is not a normal condition for men or women. And in order for a man to find
fulfillment, monogamy is not the only way that this need may be fulfilled. Plural marriage is a valid option for those who desire it and need it–certainly it is not for everyone.
Scriptures Grounds for Divorce
In a marriage (polygamous or otherwise) the husband was also responsible to provide for the basic
needs of his wives. If these were not provided, the woman that was not provided for was free to leave and remarry. Notice the statement as it is given in Exodus 21:10-11.
This is not to say that a wife (or concubine) can leave a marriage if her husband is having some financial problems. It is talking about a husband who is playing favorites between his wives so that he gives to one more than to the others to the point of neglecting the basic needs of the first. This would be grounds for the woman to leave and contract another marriage (unless they become reconciled). If he shows partiality by giving his first wife less than needful in the area of basic needs
(food, clothing and sexual intercourse) then the first wife is free to leave. Again, we are talking of basic needs here—not luxury items which the husband may refuse to give her (and rightfully so).
And, curiously, having a “home” or “house” to live in is NOT listed among the basic needs for marriage. Probably the reason this is so is because the Hebrews were often a nomadic people who
had no permanent home—so learning to live in makeshift shelters (like tents) was a big part of their
life. Jacob and his wives lived at first in tents (Genesis 31:33). Now maybe in time they built themselves a home, but it was not a requirement for marriage. You will notice the wife could leave in a situation where these basic things are not provided but could not take money when leaving, either then or later. [so much for child support!] At the same time, remember that a woman who is divorced cannot return again to her prior husband if she remarries— for this would be an abomination!!
“When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house. And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man’s wife. And if the latter husband hate her, and write her a bill of divorcement, and giveth it in her hand, and sendeth her out of his house; or if the latter husband die, which took her to be his wife, Her former husband, which sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that is abomination before YAHUAH: and thou shalt not cause the land to sin, which YAHUAH thy Almighty giveth thee for an inheritance.” (Deuteronomy 24:1-4)
Contrary to the opinions of many, divorce and remarriage is allowed according to Scripture.
“Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of YAHUAH of great price.
For after this manner in the old time the Set-Apart women also, who trusted in YAHUAH, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement. Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered. Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous; . . .” (1 Peter 3:1-8)
Wives (who are the members of the body of a family) should be in subjection to their husband.
Likewise, those who have been born into the kingdom should be in subjection to the Messiah— “Even as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord”. Those women (or Kahal (Hebrew Community) members) who refuse to do this are like “sheep gone astray” (1 Peter 2:25), and so likewise the members of the body of Messiah are also considered “like sheep”. And just as sheep have only “one shepherd” and just as sheep have one male ram mated to several females—a man can have several wives. Each wife has in essence become a “member” of his body (the family) which he is the head of. Now we can better understand the Messiahs strange statements made in Matthew 5:27-32. Remember, in verse 28 the word for “woman” and “lust” should be translated differently, as shown here in italics.
Other words should also be translated differently and now looking at the entire statement we can see that our whole concept of marriage and divorce have been misunderstood because of a simple mistranslation issue:
“Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a married woman to have a desire for her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: Moreover, I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth himself to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is so put away commits adultery.” (Matthew 5:27-32)
For so long a time, we have not understood what this text was really speaking of. So, first he tells us that we men are not even to look upon a married woman to desire her. Note it is a “gune” or “wife” that He is referring to, not a single woman. Then he explains that if the wife [one of the “members” of the body] offends, then she is to be “cut…off” [that is, divorced] so that the family can be preserved.
Of course, we know it can refer to members of the body of the Messiah (the ekklesia) but it also refers to the family members, including and especially the many wives of each family—since they are members also. Then in verse 31 he goes directly into the issue of “divorce” speaking plainly and not in riddles as he had in verses 29-30. There he speaks plainly that “whosoever shall put away [get a separation from] his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement”. He doesn’t speak out against the law of Moses, for earlier He plainly tells us that he “came not to destroy the law or the prophets”!
In this next verse he actually puts the blame back on the men for their tendency to separate themselves from their wives without giving them a final divorce. As a result, it is the man who does this that is actually committing adultery! How can this be? Well, it is by his impious act (separation without a just cause, and without finalizing it with a divorce) that he forces his wife to commit adultery in order to survive. Notice, it is only adultery for the woman to remarry if she has been “put away”. A divorced woman (according to the Torah) was always allowed to remarry.
An important point should be made here in regards to the meaning of the word “divorce”. When there is a divorce in a Hebrew family, it is the man who grants his wife a divorce. He could not (as Messiah clearly teaches in Matthew 5:27-32) just divorce a woman for any reason. And in regards to a man who does decide to divorce his wife, we must see things from the perspective of Scripture—it is the woman who is divorced, and not the man.
In Scripture there is divorce, but when the divorce is final it is the woman who is called “divorced”. A man can be classified as “single” or “married” but he can never really be classified as “divorced”, for who is really divorced from whom? Only the woman is divorced from the man, not the man from the woman—for the prime definition of a wife is a “woman” “owned by a man”. She is his property! So when she is released from him his status is unchanged. She is the one who is ‘divorced’!
In Scripture a woman cannot really divorce her husband (though she may certainly petition his approval). In the case of a man who has committed a grievous sin (such as adultery) the man’s wife does not really need a divorce, since the man should be judged by the elders who would (if we were living in the society of the righteous) promptly take him to the edge of the city to be stoned to death.
However, since the commonwealth of Yisrael (not to be confused with the current day state of Yisrael, which strictly speaking does not follow Torah—only the “oral traditions”) is now scattered abroad over the earth and has no power yet as a nation, this sentence cannot be carried out. Therefore, although a woman cannot divorce her husband (according to Scripture), and because of circumstances cannot execute judgment upon him because of grievous sins, it may be that a legal divorce for her is the best option.
Of course, if she is not legally married through the state (only by private arrangement, which is according to Scripture) then it is a very simple matter to obtain that which she desires through the righteous “elders” who can rightly judge the situation and acknowledge her right to remarry.
But this can only be done in the case of a grievous sin from her husband (which can be proven with 2 witnesses) that he has committed a sin worthy of death or being “cut-off” from Yisrael. Although the execution of the final sentence may have to wait until the kingdom of Yisrael is established, he would be “cut-off” from Yisrael and he then awaits the final execution to come at the end of the world (along with the rest of the world). So his wife would then be free to marry again. Since he is spiritually dead, it is the same as if he actually were literally dead.
How Many Heads?
“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto YAHUAH. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Messiah is the head of the Kahal (Hebrew Community): and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the Kahal (Hebrew Community) is subject unto Messiah, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, even as Messiah also loved the Kahal (Hebrew Community), and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious Kahal (Hebrew Community), not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be Set-Apart and without blemish.
So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as YAHUAH the Kahal (Hebrew Community): For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a greath mystery, but I speak concerning Messiah and the Kahal (Hebrew Community).” (Ephesians 5:22-32)
Now we know that this is speaking of the family relationship in reference to the Kahal (Hebrew Community). But for now
let’s narrow the focus down to the family relation itself, as opposed to the Kahal (Hebrew Community). How many heads
does your body have? Yes, the answer is one. But how many members does your body have? Well, there are many members.
Now let’s consider this: What part of the marriage relation does the head represent? It represents the husband. So how many husbands, therefore, does the Scriptures say a wife can have? Answer: One. If this is true of the head, then what part of the marriage relation does the body represent? Well, it represents the wife. So how many wives can the husband have using the “body” and its “members” as a type of the bride of Messiah. Answer: Many! Many wives. One more point: Some believe that husband and wife should be equal or almost equal partners. Again, this is a false teaching that comes from feminism. If this were true, how would we illustrate that in regards to the human body? Answer: A 2 headed MONSTER!!
Does the body of the Messiah really have 2 heads? I think not! And neither does a righteous Hebrew marriage!! But let us remember, the body of the Messiah is now as always a “remnant” which is scattered throughout the whole world. It does not exist as a denomination or Kahal (Hebrew Community), since all organized Kahal (Hebrew Community)es have many false teachings which they proclaim to the world as truth. And like the perversion mentioned here, these Kahal (Hebrew Community)es have also taken another master besides the Messiah. They are like a 2 headed monster, seeking to have both a human and divine authority in their midst!
A Great Mystery!!
The text previously quoted (in Ephesians 5) refers to a mystery regarding the Kahal (Hebrew Community), and it is based upon the illustration of the marriage relation. However, there is also the “mystery of iniquity”—called in Revelation “Mystery, Babylon”. Could it be that these 2 mysteries are direct opposites?
Notice the text where this “Mystery Babylon” is described and lets compare it to the “body” of the Messiah (or the marriage relation):
“And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.” (Revelation 17:1-3)
Now take notice of some important issues here. First, the woman is “laying” on a beast. In the Torah it is not only a sin, but an abomination for a woman to “lay” with a beast. They were both to be killed, the beast and the woman. Sure enough, later on in Revelation that exact same point is made—the beast and woman are thrown into the lake of fire!! Next, the woman is “on top” (meaning in authority).
The beast has 7 heads, and heads represent “lords” or “husbands”—so she has 7 husbands. [They also symbolically represent nations or kingdoms.] In this depiction, the woman (or false Kahal (Hebrew Community)) is in charge and running the show—leading her husbands (the nations) around like they were horses to ride on. But in the kingdom of heaven, the illustration is just the opposite.
So regarding the woman we can ask the question how many women are here illustrated? Answer:
one. How many people have had sexual intercourse with her? Many. Isn’t that exactly the opposite of how it is portrayed in Ephesians 5:22-32? Yes!
Now let’s look closely at the beast. How many heads does the beast have? (Answer: 7). What does
the head represent in Ephesians 5:22? The head represents the husband of the wife, so this woman in Revelation 17 has seven husbands. Who has authority in Revelation 17? Answer: The whore woman has authority over her many husbands!
So what is the exact opposite of that illustration which shows the proper way in which family authority should be illustrated as given in Ephesians 5? (Answer: The husband should have authority over his many wives!)
Question: Since the harlot of Revelation 17 is represented as a woman (who is compared to the Kahal (Hebrew Community)) in command ABOVE her husbands (laying with/on the beast), what is the logical fulfillment of this in these last days?
Answer: A one-world religion exercising authority over the many nations of this world!! Is it possible
that Papal Rome might have something to do with all of this?
Even here we see a polygamous union, only this union is a “polyandrous” one (one wife—many husbands). And in the eyes of the Almighty that type of marriage is an abomination!
Matriarchy—The Ultimate Evil
This illustration in Revelation is depicting the ultimate evil, the “exact opposite” of the kingdom of heaven. So if this is the opposite of the kingdom of heaven, then that means the ultimate evil, wicked kingdom is a matriarchal society and the heavenly kingdom is a patriarchal society. The wicked have only one mother and many lovers and husbands. The righteous have only one father who could have many wives. And we could probably explore this theme even more throughout the Scriptures and find even more astonishing parallels, but for now this will suffice:
“As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths. YAHUAH standeth up to plead, and standeth to judge the people.” (Isaiah 3:12-13)
We know that this is being fulfilled today, especially in Western society. Children today are allowed
to divorce their parents or bring suit and/or false charges against their parents. Children now are engaging in very serious criminal activity. Women are given preferences in the workplace over men
of equal or greater ability. And women also have become the sole ruler over their husband (who is the rightful head), over their homes, over nations, over states, over branches of government, over the Attorney Generals office (in recent history), over their husband (who is the rightful head) and bring confusion because they are out of the natural order of things. In nature, it is most often the male which leads and the many female mates that follow him.
But there is another prophecy of the end times which points directly to this issue of “Matriarchal” domination and forbidding marriages which we have already mentioned but it bears repeating again:
“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which YAHUAH hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.” (1Timothy 4:1-3)
Augustine of Hippo, a 4th century Christian, in regard to the polygany practiced in that century has
this to say: “But here there is no ground for a criminal accusation for a plurality of wives was no crime when it was the custom; and it is a crime now, because it is no longer the custom……The only reason of its being a crime now to do this, is because custom and the laws forbid it.”36 “. . . .
That the Set-Apart fathers of olden times . . . to whom Elohim gave His testimony that ‘they pleased Him’. . . it was permitted to them to have a plurality of wives. . .” 37 “. . . the honorable name of saint is given not without reason to men who had several wives. . . nor did the number of their wives make the patriarchs licentious.”38
Notice he says that it is only because “custom” and the “laws” forbid the practice of polygany that it is outlawed. He clearly acknowledges that it is not a sin! The apostle says that “in the latter times” people would “give heed to seducing spirits”. That expression is a comparison between female seduction and the deceptions of the last days.
Amazingly, this prophecy has a striking fulfillment in the issue of polygany—for history shows that the Roman Catholic Kahal (Hebrew Community) officially condemned polygany about the fourth century C. E. (another direct fulfillment of Scriptures Prophecy!). In earlier eras the Roman government also (at times) banned the practice of polygany, but were never able to fully enforce such a ban as well as the Papacy was.
An example of how that is being fulfilled is to be found in the so-called “Romantic Love” which is so
widely taught—a man and woman becoming selfishly infatuated with each other to the point of forgetting everything else. It is not real love at all, since it is all based on feelings instead of being focused on our heavenly Father and doing the things which would glorify Messiah and help bring in
His kingdom! It is a love based upon “fantasy” and is a “sentimental” love which does not take into account truth. It is, as Webster’s dictionary also states, “a lie; falsehood”.
Take the word “ROMANTIC LOVE” and erase the last 3 letters of the first word and you will find the true source of this false love: “ROMANTIC LOVE”!! Yes, all roads lead back to “Rome”. Rome is the nation that originally took away Polyganous marriage, commanded celibacy for priests and yet allowed all sorts of fornication and adultery to take control of the people. Now take that first word again and erase the first 2 letters and we will find the ultimate selfishness of this kind of love:
“ROMANTICLOVE“! Yes, man love or selfish human love is the foundation of all our problems.
Messiah says that we must die to self. Even a wife’s love and devotion to her husband should not
exceed that devotion which belongs toYAHUAH Himself. He also says,
“But seek ye first the kingdom of YAHUAH, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33)
So, some depart from the faith and go into apostasy and one of the indications of that apostasy is that they would be engaged in the work of “forbidding to marry”. That statement is a very broad range statement and therefore applies in many different ways. Many don’t realize that this is already being done in several ways. First, members of the Catholic faith are told that in order for them to be priests they must not marry. This is the most obvious fulfillment—but it is only the tip of the iceberg in this issue. Second, divorcees are many times told that they do not have grounds for divorce, and so cannot remarry.
And in very many of these cases they may very well have grounds for divorce and remarriage. Third, once married to one mate, they are then told that another mate (female) cannot be added to the marriage. And although it may be “the law of the land”, it nevertheless is an infringement on the constitutional rights of the people to freely exercise their religious beliefs. It is also a terrible burden upon the women of this land who find themselves without a husband and therefore forced to either suffer alone and depend on welfare or marry someone who is totally reprobate—and then subject to the temptations and trials of Satan.
Please notice that this statement from Scripture is open ended and so would include any ban on marriage of any kind, including and especially Polygany. ANY Scriptural marriage which is prevented from taking place due to the “laws of the land” would be included with this prohibition, and is therefore a fulfillment of the prediction of 1 Timothy regarding this end time apostasy! And that fulfillment we see before our very eyes, especially in Western society (more so than other parts of the world). And this prohibition has gone on for centuries wherever and whenever Christianity (both Catholic and Protestant) moves onto the political arena. Remember, it was also true that almost from the beginning of Christianity the Papacy began forbidding the marriage of priests.
According to Scripture, it is against nature for a man to not have a desire for women. An example of this can be found in Daniel 11:37-38 where it says that prior to the great final deliverance of YAHUAH’s people a wicked king (which we believe to be the Papacy) will exalt himself above every Elohim and will not have even the natural desire for women. “Neither shall he regard the Elohims of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any Elohim: for he shall magnify himself above all.
Thus shall he do in the most strongholds, with a strange Elohim, whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory, and he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for gain.” Forced, prolonged celibacy can lead people into fornication and homosexuality. For proof of that, just read your newspapers— priests that abuse young boys and get nuns pregnant are a hot news item today.
By the way, Scripture does not allow homosexual marriages. The Scripture clearly states that a man found lying with a man is to be stoned to death (Leviticus 18:22). Interesting to note, though, is that today gay and lesbian marriages are commonly allowed or at least tolerated now in many Western Societies.
However, Polyganous marriages are not. Wonder why that is? Maybe Satan wants to take people from one extreme to the other, from celibacy directly to “sodomy” and “homosexuality” in all its varied and perverted forms including polyandry (one wife—many husbands) and polyamory (many multiple partners of both sexes). Polygany is conveniently left out and excluded from allowable legal practice because the devil knows that if the righteous went to Scripture based Polygany (which is very fulfilling for all concerned) they would rarely if ever drift over into adultery, homosexuality or other sodomite practices!!
All we can add to this (as it applies to the marriage) is:
“Husbands, love your wives, even as Messiah also loved the Kahal (Hebrew Community), and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious Kahal (Hebrew Community), not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be Set-Apart and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies.” (Ephesians 5:25-27)
The Messiah loves His Kahal (Hebrew Community) and will come again to receive all those who are members of that Kahal (Hebrew Community) (or “assembly”). The word for “Kahal (Hebrew Community)” here is not singular in the Greek, but is plural. It means “assembly” and it is speaking of more than one, that is more than one member. It is describing a polygamous relationship. And since Scripture says he likens Zion to a delicate woman, in type the assembly is composed of females just as the Polyganous families here on this earth.
Then he says “so ought men to love their wives as their own bodies”. The man who has more than one wife should love their wives as if they were their own bodies. They should care for them and nurture them, but never forget that the man is the head not his women. Does your finger argue with
you when you ask it to do something for you? Neither do the members of the “ekklesia”. Neither should a man’s wife!
One additional note for the men reading this: Please do not allow this new found “freedom” to become a stumbling block that would cause you to sin by committing “fornication”. Just make sure you understand what “sin” and “fornication” really is: Sin is the transgression of the “law” or “Torah”
(1 John 3:4)! Does the law allow a married woman to lay with a man other than her husband? No!
Does the law forbid any man (married or single) from taking any unmarried or non-engaged woman
as their wife? No! Does the law forbid Polyganous marriages (one man—many wives)? No! Does the law allow rebellion against the man’s authority from his wife? No! Does the law allow sodomite practices such as “wife swapping”, “incest”, “fornication”, “polyandry” or “polyamory”? No!! [by “the law” we are referring to the Torah—not necessarily the local laws of a nation]. Which is the real sin of this world then, is it rebellion or polygany? Answer: Rebellion.
Those who decide that they should have multiple wives are taking on a tremendous task and responsibility—it is not for everyone! A “task” for it is difficult enough for most of us to fully love and cherish one, much less 2 or more, and requires a special man who is full of generosity, kindness, gentle yet strong, willing to share.
The “responsibility” because the man must be willing to take on the responsibility of loving and providing for those who he has in his possession. That doesn’t mean his wives should become lazy and depend upon him for everything, for the wife was created to be a helpmate to help the husband do whatever is necessary for their needs and the blessings of others.
To be effective they must move together in harmony. Whether with one or more wives, they each are bound to the same husband “in one flesh”. They should all do their part to help out and in turn the husband will be able to bless them even more as he is inspired by their love to excel to even greater heights of success!
And one final thought, remember what happened to Solomon: Here is an example of a “king” who truly did “add” and “multiply wives” unto himself—700 wives and 300 lesser wives (or concubines). In this he truly sinned (too many wives), but the primary cause of his spiritual downfall was not his “many wives”, it was instead his marriage to heathen idolatrous wives that caused him to support them in the setting up of idolatrous worship in Yisrael.
Make certain that you choose wisely those whom you may spend much of your life with, and be prepared to show them that your love is genuine—not based on beastly gratification, but upon a sincere desire to bring complete fulfillment, joy and happiness to the other. Also, remember to “seek ye first the kingdom of heaven” in all areas of your life. Balance is necessary in marriage relations, whether they be with one wife or with more.
“And Almighty YAHUAH said, it is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. . . . ” (Genesis 1:18-19)