Polygamy, God is Very Pro Polygamy.

From:  http://www.patriarchywebsite.com/polygamy/poly-is.htm

IS POLYGAMY OF GOD?
August 1997


Our approach to this question is by doing a study on all the known polygamists in the Bible. For the purpose of our study, we’ll add in some non-polygamous persons into the list.

NAME

WIVES

Lamech
Gen 4:19

2
Adah, Zillah

Abraham
Gen 11:29
Gen 16:3
Gen 25:1,6

5 or more
Sarah barren
Hagar
Keturah and concubines

Isaac
Gen 24:15,37,38

1
Rebekah

Jacob
Gen 29:23
Gen 29:28
Gen 30:4
Gen 30:9

4
Leah
Rachel
Rachel’s maid, Bilhah
Leah’s maid, Zilpah

Esau
Gen 26:34
Gen 28:9
Gen 36:2

5
Judith - Hittite, Basemath - Hittite
Mahalath - Ishmael’s daughter
Adah - Hittite, Aholibamah - Hivite

Judah
Gen 38:2
Gen 38:6,26

2?
daughter of Shua, Canaanite
Tamar, daughter-in-law

Joseph
Gen 41:45

1
Asenath, daughter of priest

Manasseh
1Chron. 7:14

2
Syrian concubine

Moses
Ex 2:21
Num 12:1

2
Zipporah
Ethiopian woman

Caleb
1Chron. 2:46
1Chron. 2:48

3 or more
Ephah, concubine
concubine Maachah

Gideon
Judg. 8:30

Many
70 sons

Jair
Judg. 10:3-4

Many
30 sons

Ibzan
Judg. 12:9

Many
30 sons, 30 daughters

Abdon
Judg. 12:14

Many
40 sons, 30 grandsons

Samson
Judg. 16:4

1
Delilah

Elkanah
1Sam 1:2

2
Peninnah, Hannah (Samuel)

Saul
2Sam 21:11

2 or more
Aiah, concubine

David
1Sam 18:27
2Sam 3:2-5
2Sam 11:27
2Sam 15:16

18 or more
Micah
6, Ahinoam, Abigail, Maacah, Haggith, Abital, Eglah
Bathsheba
10 concubines?

Solomon
1King 11:3

1000
700 wives, 300 concubines

Rehoboam
2Chron. 11:18-21

2
Mahalath, Abihail

Ahab
2King 10:1

Many
70 sons

Abijah, mighty
2Chron. 13:21

Many
14 wives, 22 sons

Joash
2Chron. 24:2-3

2
2 wives

Tribe of Issachar
1Chron. 7:4-5

many
many wives and sons

Elijah

0

Elisha

0?

Hosea
Hos 1:3
Hos 3:1

2
Gomer – prostitute?
Another prostitute

John the Baptist

0

God
Eze 23:4

2?
Oholah, Oholibah (representing Israel and Judah)

Jesus Christ
Rev 14, 2
2Cor 11:2
Matt 25:1-13

Collectively One and Many in number
One collectively
No limit
Polygamous Marriage (representing the individuals)

The Rest
Ashur - 2 wives, 1Chron. 2:48/ Jerahmeel - 2 wives, 1Chron. 2:26/ Machir - 3 wives, 1Chron. 7:15-16/ Shaharaim - 2 wives, 1Chron. 8:8.


SOME QUICK & INTERESTING CONCLUSIONS
A glance at the above draws some quick and interesting conclusions. Most of the biblical patriarchs were polygamous. Of all the patriarchs whose lives were recorded with the most details and are the most preached to be exemplary throughout the generations were Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Moses and David. And 4 out of all these 5 were polygamous! A quick conclusion is that God may not be against polygamy any more than He is against monogamy and celibacy. For if polygamy had been an issue with God, as it is with today's Christianity, these men would not have been vindicated with such high standing and considered worthy for His children to look up to. He would have clearly ruled against them being polygamous like He would have against all other sins. Instead in many instances, He seemed to have shown acceptance and given recognition of the other women as "wives" in His Word and had blessed and vindicated their offspring. This seems to be the case if one studies the Word without prejudice and presumptions. There is definitely much more than meets the eye. A sweeping conclusion alone will not do justice to this issue, which by today's standard, polygamy is branded as nothing less than an outrageous form of adultery, condemnable to hell fire.

Whatever one’s personal conviction and ideal for himself may be, which of course is to be respected, there remains the important task of reconciling the sentiments of modern Christian marriage theology with the way God actually sees it. Can the inconsistency, if any, be the reason for the Church to be so at loss in dealing with marital problems? Most probably, yes. The Church is indeed at loss concerning this. If the Church is to be the answer for the world as intended, she must come to terms with the way God sees marriage. Otherwise, not only does she not have the truth, she herself remains in deception and bondage, as untruth is a blindness that results in bondage. And if one approaches the matter with a heart of openness and love, without any cultural prejudice and personal standards of righteousness, he will see the inconsistency. Has the Church compromised or is she too rigid? This is the reason for bringing up this issue - to study it biblically and see how God sees it.

The last few verses in Malachi declare that we must know the commandments and statutes of Moses (the Apostolic ministry) of old, yet never old because God’s law is timeless. And Elijah (the Prophetic ministry) will come and turn the hearts of the children (modern Christianity) from Baal back to the (patriarchal) fathers. What is the doctrine of Baal, polygamy or anti-polygamy? One of these must be concocted from the pit of hell. We therefore cannot afford to take this matter lightly, no matter what one’s personal ideal and conviction may be. It will determine whether a good portion of mankind be in heaven or in hell. For if polygamy is sin, then a good portion will inevitably end up in hell, but if it is not, then the church at large would be guilty of much blood by depriving many polygamists of their God-given acceptance, position and salvation.

Polygamy or anti-polygamy? One of these has to be an offshoot of the religious teachings of pagan gods, and it has a lot to do with Jezebel, the whore of Babylon who rules still from Rome. Modern Christianity undoubtedly declares that polygamy is that offshoot. Let's examine this further under the light of the written Word of God, looking at the lives of the polygamists in the Bible and what is God's disposition towards them. We will include some monogamists and celibates for the purpose of our study. Moreover, marital life is the beginning of all lives. Thus, the correct understanding of it will liberate, while the wrong understanding will bind and kill. Let’s look at the above listing again, and have a more detailed run-through to glean some very important truths in the various aspects of marital life, which is the foundation of all lives, in and upon which all other spheres of life evolve and revolve.

LAMECH, THE FIRST RECORDED POLYGAMIST IN THE BIBLE WAS A MURDERER.
Lamech, a descendant of Cain, was a murderer. He was the first recorded polygamous man in the Bible. Thus, most theologians condemn polygamy as a corrupt practice of evil-doers. This is too simplistic a deduction, as there is no proof that he would not be murderous if he were monogamous. Instead, the first murderer on earth, Cain was a monogamist. Abraham was polygamous, yet considered righteous before God. Thus, polygamy as monogamy and celibacy, itself has nothing to do with murders and evil deeds which proceed from the heart of man. Anybody can be murderous, not necessarily by deeds but also by words. If polygamy is not sin before God, then anti-polygamy lobbyists are ‘committing murders’ by incriminating polygamists and depriving them of the right to a decent social life.

ABRAHAM, GOD’S FIRST DETAILED EXAMPLE OF PATRIARCHAL LIFE
God specifically called Abraham to come out of his country and kindred to live a new life that will be pleasing in His sight. Abraham was the first to receive the gospel and be born again (Gal 3:7-8), thus he was the first believer, disciple and "Christian". He is the father of the children of faith, thus we become the chips of the old block. The scriptures say, "Look to the rock, from which you were hewn, the hole of the pit from which you were dug. Look to Abraham your father, And to Sarah who bore you;" (Isa. 51:1-3) and the Lord will comfort Zion and make her wilderness like Eden. So, to what do we look to have true abundant life? The patriarch’s principles of obedience, sacrifice, faith, love, relationship, marriage, parenting, integrity, leadership and all that have been written for us to follow, as chips of the old block.

Abraham seemed contented to be monogamous, until for Kingdom’s sake of obtaining a heir of the promise, took Hagar. It is commonly believed that taking Hagar was wrong because Abraham ran ahead of God or that polygamy is not of God, thus great grief was brought upon the patriarch’s family. In truth, the first conclusion of Abraham running ahead of God is wrong. The second conclusion that polygamy is sin and thus the cause of Abraham’s grief is even more wrong. This is because the maid, Hagar was supposed to bear sons for her mistress, Sarah, as was with the case of the maids of Leah and Rachel where all the 12 sons of Jacob successfully became joint heirs (born by all 4 wives). The same should have been with Isaac and Ishmael, regardless of who was given the birthright. None of the sons of Jacob were ever discriminated as illegitimate or children of sin. For if it were so, they would have to die if they were born into God’s patriarchal families, like in the case of Bathsheba’s first son and Judah’s first 2 sons. Ishmael would have become joint heir with Isaac if not for some reasons, which we shall discuss later. Thus, the earlier 2 conclusions are not consistent with scriptural principles.

The right interpretation is vitally critical for knowing the will and ways of the Almighty in our decision making even in this present generation, for God's ways never change. The wrong understanding, which has been accepted worldwide, has stripped the church of a dynamic truth, and has caused her to stray into weaknesses and the bondage of the heathen world. Many theologians mistakenly justify Hagar, considering her to be a victim of circumstances, blaming it all on Abraham and Sarah. This is dangerously wrong. This springs from the western anti-slavery ideal, but it actually plunged the Church, into the Egyptian and Roman theology of Baal! We'll see why this is so.

Why were Hagar and Ishmael cast out? The answer is already provided in the Word of God as illustrated by Apostle Paul, when he used the analogy to relate to law and grace. Hagar was an Egyptian bondmaid and not a free woman, one bound by Egyptian (worldly) law and values. After she was lifted up, she despised her mistress, giving her no patriarchal respect. She could have become a woman freed into the grace (gospel first preached to Abraham - Gal 3:8) of God’s patriarchal family. But having no place for Sarah in her eyes (Gen 16:4), she was in effect forcing Abraham into serial monogamy of choosing her and discarding Sarah. Hagar could have by then, been with the patriarch’s family for close to 10 years, considering the time Abraham went to Egypt, but in her heart she had no regard for God’s patriarchal polygamy order. The liberation of slaves and women, when carried too far gave rise to the feminism movement - a Babylonian religion that is now part of western theology. Because feminism theology is so interwoven into the theological and cultural fabric, countries like America has become the breeding ground of the Jezebel spirit that is forcing the churches to their knees before their goddesses. Homosexuality and all other forms of perversion will be condoned but polygamy is going to be condemned as never before. This is Jezebel! For Kingdom’s sake, Sarah was right in being willing to share her husband with her maid to produce an heir as in the case of Jacob and his wives. That was why she said, "My wrong be upon you, (which means - I am doing this for you to get an heir)". Thus, God still stood by her in this matter!

Hagar would have been set free from Egyptian bondage into God's patriarchal liberty if she had responded well to her mistress's correction or the instructions she received in the angelic encounter to go back and submit to her mistress. The angel did not in anyway justified her as a victim of circumstances, nor condemned the act of Abraham and Sarah. How wrong can the western theologians be? They are in effect endorsing Ishmael's claim to the Promised Land today. Hagar not only did not repent, but also forced on the patriarchal family the pagan values of Roman-tic exclusiveness and Egyptian self-centeredness, where there can only be one to stay and the other must go. She thought the old, barren Sarah would stand no chance against her youthfulness and usefulness, but God decreed that she had to go instead, for not only did she not repent but she also raised her son Ishmael to mock at his half-brother Isaac. This violated God's patriarchal order. For Kingdom’s sake, Abraham, being always obedient to God, submitted. Well, God considering that Ishmael was also Abraham’s son, blessed him exceedingly in giving him 12 princes even though Isaac inherited the covenant (Gen 17:19-20).

Through this, Abraham learned the patriarchal marriage principle that the women for God’s men must be God-fearing, Kingdom-oriented, Kingdom sharing and respectful of authority. He made his chief servant to swear that the woman he finds as wife for Isaac must come from where he came from. The servant must never take a Canaanite who would be paganistic and anti-patriarchal. How wrong it is for ministers of the gospel to easily endorse and solemnize marriages with the heathen as long as it is monogamous and then ex-communicate polygamists without a second thought! They are in effect propagating the Roman theology of love, the carnality of Egypt and the theology of Jezebel.

Jacob knowing the ways of God went back to Abraham’s homeland to be married. But Esau took Canaanite wives and caused much grief to his parents, which again was anti-patriarchy where the parents were not respected nor honored. Both were polygamous, but "Was not Esau, Jacob's brother?" says the LORD. "Yet Jacob I have loved;" (Mal 1:1,2). Why? - Because Jacob was patriarchal and Esau was not. In God’s eye, polygamy is not just tolerated, it is completely acceptable like monogamy or celibacy. It’s not whichever method or form is legitimate. It’s the heart of man that makes all the difference. Polygamy however does make manifest many aspects of life and intents of the heart that may remain hidden in the other 2 forms of marriage.

After Sarah the patriarchal woman died, Abraham in his old age continued to be polygamous. He married Keturah and took concubines. He needed them to help manage his plenteous blessings. There is no trace of any indication of sinfulness in this matter. Yet again for Kingdom’s sake, to see that the bloodline is well preserved into the hands of Isaac, the one whom God had given the full inheritance, Abraham just before his death, sent the rest of his children away into the east (Gen 25:6). This again is patriarchal Kingdom principle. The patriarchal life of Abraham was well lived until 175 years of age. Bible said, "Then Abraham breathed his last and died in a good old age, an old man full of years, and was gathered to his people" (Gen 25:8). He still lives today in eternity as father of many nations, and Sarah, the mother of many nations. Such is the blessing of the patriarchal life of God.

ISAAC, LIFE OF PATRIACHAL MONOGAMY
Isaac’s life was monogamous in form. He had a patriarchal virtuous wife who was willing to be hospitable even to strangers, not knowing that in so doing, she fulfilled God’s plan for her life to be chosen as wife for a patriarch. She went an extra mile to give drink, not just to the servant but also to the camels. She was quick to obey God’s voice to go with the servant right away. She was modest and respectful to her husband (Gen 24:64-65). She discerned the will of God concerning God’s chosen heir, Jacob. She was a patriarchal, Kingdom-principled woman that God’s men would take delight in.

Isaac's monogamous life even though less eventful as compared to the other polygamous patriarchs was also well lived. He was more of a maintainer and he held the fort. He claimed some wells of Abraham’s. Only in the area of parenting, he might not have been strong enough as he gave in to Esau who was led by the fallen nature to marry Canaanites who became a grief of mind to the godly old couple. He should have learned well, having being mocked by Hagar and Ishmael. Yet he loved Esau, the carnal, non-patriarchal polygamous man that God hated. God loved Jacob who was another patriarchal polygamous father.

JACOB, PATRIARCHAL POLYGAMOUS FATHER
A man who loved the things of God, prevailed well with Him and was blessed with the blessing of Abraham. He also went through the patriarchal training of handling wife rivalry, the wilderness hardship of his fathers, and managing a family of 4 striving wives and 12 sons, none of whom were discriminated as illegitimate, but were all groomed to be joint heirs and the foundation of the then coming Kingdom of God. His life was difficult, having to pay the price of supplanting his brother’s birthright, the price of prevailing with God and the price of laying a foundation for the nation of Israel upon his polygamous family. His patriarchal polygamous lifestyle was recorded in the Bible, to be taught and passed on to the millions that will be flooding into the Kingdom, the Jews and the Christians alike.

POLYGAMY OR MONOGAMY, WHICH IS FOR ME?
It was through Jacob’s polygamous marriage that the first strength of God’s promise became visible as a nation in Egypt. His name was changed to Israel, the prince with God, and the name by which God’s nation would always be known thereafter forever. For all who are called to lead a patriarchal polygamous life, be encouraged to know that the foundation of God’s Kingdom was fitly piled on, and framed in a then striving polygamous family (a sin and a shame, according to today’s culture and Christianity), that through obscurity, pain and difficulties finally emerged into victory and eternal glory.

They suffered shame and mockery in their days, for being Kingdom principled, thus doing things that were different or contemptible in the culture of others, and I am afraid, continue to be so to this day. This time in the eyes of their own children, the Jews and the Christians, for whom they have laid down their lives. But how can it be so? To those who despise polygamy and who hold in their hearts or theology that the patriarchs were backward or even barbaric, thus they practiced polygamy, to these I say you are GUILTY! You despise the very foundation upon which you were built, the hole from which you were dug out, the rock from which you were hewn. Yes, you are as Hagar, still under Egyptian bondage, having Egyptian values with Roman-tic ideals and exclusiveness flowing in your veins. Despite your physical departure from Egypt, you who still despise and mock at the patriarchal values and lifestyle, considering it a shame and a stumbling block, you are no better than the heathen mockers of those days!

Nothing has become more civilized or holier but instead more immoral and sinful. That’s what the Bible says and we all know it. The pomp and idols of the Egyptians and the pride and arrogance of the Romans are ever in existence today as before. Thus, Elijah, the prophetic ministry will come to turn the hearts of the children to look to the (patriarchal) fathers, to respect them in all aspects of their lives the way God did and still does. Otherwise, the Church will never be free from the chains and shackles of Egypt and Rome, and the whore of Babylon that sits upon many waters (nations) in these last days. Polygamy is never going to be out of date. It enabled Jacob to fulfil God’s plan and so will enable many others who are patriarchal in these Last Days.

To those who would respond and ask, "What should I do? What is in it for me?" As we can see in the list, not all patriarchal lives need to be polygamous. There are also those that are called to be monogamous. Coerced monogamy as a godly standard or the plan of God however, is not scriptural. It is as Roman and Egyptian today as it was in those days. It does not matter whether one’s life is to be celibate, monogamous or polygamous, his life must be patriarchal in the principles and practice of obedience, sacrifice, faith, love, relationship, marriage, parenting, integrity, leadership and all that have been written in the Word. And if it really is, then you will harbor no discrimination or even preference for each marriage form, whether it be polygamy, monogamy or celibacy. Instead, you will have to seek God’s will for your life, and be supportive of the others in their forms. This is the poly-positive attitude that is according to the scriptures. The way God sees it, and the way we should see it. So, to each according to the will of God for his life and ministry, and according to the grace given to him.

The pagan Roman teaching has it that celibacy is holiest and closest to God. Only monogamy is acceptable and polygamy is sinful. We see this in the Roman Catholic Order. What are the implications of such teachings? We should be holy and should everyone choose to be holy and close to God, then the entire world will be exterminated in one generation. This is a lie that is concocted from the pit of hell to destroy mankind or at least to make the standard of holiness exclusive to a few and beyond reach for many. It also lies against our forefathers, making them sinful, barbaric and illegitimate children, which would include Jesus Himself, as they also were His earthly forefathers. And as they were, so then are we. Lies are shrouded with the cover of holiness, while promoting selfishness, individualism and exclusiveness, resulting in slavery and bondage.

ESAU, NON-PATRIARCHAL POLYGAMY
Not that he was not a patriarch to his descendants but rather he was not God’s kind of patriarch. His polygamy was not patriarchal polygamy in that it not only did not fulfil the purpose of God and did not bring glory to God, it failed to fulfil the command of God to reverence God and honor his parents. God was not against him for being polygamous, but against him for not being patriarchal like his fathers. God said that Esau He hated, but Jacob He loved. Esau is an example of the kind of polygamy that is not approved by God. The abuse of polygamy however does not make polygamy any more sinful than monogamy that has and is also being abused by many monogamists.

So let’s have this understanding that when we refer to God's kind of polygamy, we are referring to patriarchal polygamy and not just polygamy, even though plain polygamy alone is no more sinful than monogamy. The same applies to monogamy and celibacy, they need to be patriarchal as regards to the children of God. Even the pagan religions have those that are celibate for their religion’s sake. So, it’s not what you do but for whom you do that counts.

Technically speaking, when we speak of polygamy, we are referring to polygyny which means 1 man with more than 1 female spouse. Polyandry means 1 woman with more than 1 male spouse, which is not biblical. God is not for polyandry. Polyamory when it's not polygyny is worse, it can be any form as long as it is non-monogamy, including more women with more men or homosexuals and lesbians. This is what Sodom and Gomorrah were all about and the world is very quickly racing fast into it, leaving modern monogamous Christianity gasping nervously and helplessly behind, with only 2 choices - compromise or be unsympathetic, impractical and obsolete. Satan has used enough of coerced or enforced monogamy and is now raising a move to overtake it and make a mockery of it. Let’s move on.

REUBEN, ONE WHO HAD TO PAY FOR HIS INCEST
Supposedly a monogamist, as the name/s of his wives were not even recorded. Contrary to common belief that God was just being tolerant of marital sins, Reuben had to pay for his incest with one of his father’s concubines. He lost his birthright despite his sacrificial attempt to use his sons as surety for the safe return of Benjamin from the dangerous trip to Egypt to buy wheat. Where there was a wrongdoing, God made it clear and had it recorded for us to know. Thus we see no record of God correcting or punishing the patriarchs for being polygamous, but we have the record of Reuben’s punishment for his incest. One may argue that polygamy was permissible in the OT but not in the NT. But we see in the NT, a greater severity of Apostle Paul threatening to deliver a person who had committed incest to Satan to be destroyed, and yet nothing at all was mentioned about polygamy which was also practiced during the first century. Our God is very vocal about His ways, to the very details of our lives when morality is involved.

JUDAH, THE POLYGAMOUS PATRIARCH THAT PREVAILED
Judah, the third son of Jacob had a hard life and it all began when he went to marry a Canaanite. This part of his life is not preached for it would be too stumbling and too hard for our Western Christianity to comprehend. We only know him as "praise". But his life was one that prevailed even against the "flawless" suffering Joseph who delivered Egypt and Israel. Judah prevailed over his brothers, and from him came a ruler even though the birthright was Joseph’s (1Chron. 5:1-2). Thus he was chosen to bear the royal bloodline of King David and Jesus Christ, the Saviour, the Lion of Judah. In addition to that, the double portion of Joseph, the tribe of Ephraim (40,500) and Manasseh (32,000) put together (=72,700) was even lesser than the 1 tribe of Judah (74,600) (Num. 2:3-4,18-21). He prevailed in quality and quantity yet his life was one that can never be accepted by modern, stereotype, "holy" Christianity that would condemn him to hell, and have his name blemished and mocked from generation to generation.

This just shows that we are in danger of thinking and judging very differently from the ways of God. Judah visited a prostitute, not knowing that it was his daughter-in-law who had posted as one, but from there came the bloodline. I am in no way justifying the act of visiting a prostitute, but I want to point out that the righteousness and magnanimous love of God is far more dynamic and radical for modern-day Pharisees and Sadducees to phantom or even understand. God can use a man with such a background to carry the holy bloodline and the modern-day "righteous" Pharisees would not allow membership to a polygamist, no matter how responsible, committed and God-loving he can prove himself to be, not mentioning giving him a place of leadership in the church. Legalism would consider Judah’s generation thereafter to be all children of abomination, including David and Jesus. Even though he had no more intimacy with Tamar after that, he had still to father the children that were born which in this sense made him polygamous.

How could such a one be chosen? My simple conclusion is that Tamar was a kingdom-principled patriarchal woman who would do anything to prevent the tribe of Judah from being exterminated and to advance God’s Kingdom. And Judah laid down his life for his brethren at the time when he gave his life in exchange for Benjamin’s. For this, they were chosen. So was Rahab, the prostitute of Jericho. History has it that she married Salmon, one of the 2 spies and was counted worthy also to be an ancestor of Jesus. We can go on and theologise and justify why Judah and Tamar were different from others and were chosen. But that’s where we become legalistically self-righteous again. The answer is that God does not strain at a gnat and swallow a camel. Thus He was delighted to find a donkey who was willing to suffer shame to carry the Truth into Jerusalem. All in all, we see the patriarchal kingdom principle as a central issue in all God’s dealings with the patriarchs and even to this day, God never changes. He said, The Lord delighted ONLY in your fathers, to love them; (Deut. 10:15). Thus the children’s hearts will be turned to the fathers in these last perilous days.

More on the central issue of Kingdom principle - Er, the first son of Judah was wicked and had to suffer the death penalty, so that he will not carry on and defile the bloodline. The second son then had to take Tamar, the wife of the first to produce offspring to bear the name of the first. He refused, and was again struck dead by God. But such would have been honored as a hero in this new generation of Western Christianity who worships monogamy in the place of God. What bothers me is that we are dangerously misinterpreting the Word, the righteousness and the law of God. We must see where God is particular and where He is not, or we’ll miss Him altogether.

JOSEPH, "FLAWLESS" MONOGAMOUS PATRIARCH
Joseph "flawlessly" represented Christ in many ways, prophetic of the things that Jesus will go through, like being the beloved of his father, betrayed by his own brothers, and exalted to be their protector and provider…. He was monogamous. But this does not in anyway represent the perfect will of God for all men. Just as his marrying a heathen wife does not mean that it is fine for a child of God to marry an unbeliever. Just as Jesus being a celibate does not mean that celibacy is the way to perfection for all men. Joseph's marrying a Gentile wife was a foreshadow of Christ taking on a Gentile church. This was an exception for the purpose of God's plan. And such exceptions do really show that God is above and not under the law. But exceptions must not become precedence. Where God's will is, there His grace will be when one is willing to submit to it. Joseph, having gone through those trials and tribulations was not overpowered by the temptations, and was prepared to handle a daughter of a heathen priest. His children were raised in the knowledge of God. He was in control, and his heart did not turn to idolatry. That’s the main issue. Thus we see so many varieties of patriarchal lifestyle, centered in Kingdom principles.

MANASSEH, A SON OF JOSEPH
A son of monogamous father, Joseph. He was polygamous as he took a Syrian concubine. He did not prevail as well as his father, but also became a forefather of a tribe of Israel.

MOSES, THE MIGHTY DELIVERER
Moses, the meekest man on earth, went through 40 years of wilderness to be trained in obedience and leadership, and to be raised as a deliverer and an exemplary example of godly men. He was also polygamous. He had 2 wives, one a Midianite, Zipporah, and the other, an Ethiopian woman whom he married (Num. 12:1). Aaron and Miriam spoke against Moses because of this second wife. That looks like a by-product of "sinful" polygamy again - family squabbles. But when the Lord suddenly appeared, it was Miriam who was turned leprous, not Moses nor the second wife. Did God make a wrong judgement? Certainly not. The Bible said, "because of the Ethiopian woman." If polygamy is sinful or even just permissible, wouldn’t God be punishing the wrong person? God almost killed him for not circumcising his son, but nowhere was it shown that God was against Moses for taking another wife. Book of Hebrews says, Moses was faithful in all his house. This wouldn’t be said of him if polygamy is sinful.

CALEB, MAN OF GREAT FAITH
Remembered as a man of great faith - One of the only 2 men among the millions that came out of Egypt that entered the Promised Land, while the rest who came out died in the wilderness, and the rest who went in were those born in the wilderness. Was Caleb sinful to have 2 other concubines as mentioned in 1Chron. 2:46-48? Did God overlook it, considering polygamy to be a lesser sin? A lesser sin is still a sin. And if so, Caleb would not have been chosen, or at least God will clearly state that his polygamy was sin, which He did not. There can only be one answer, polygamy in itself is not a sin! As it seems, polygamy was not a problem or a hindrance to a man of faith, but a blessing. He was not disqualified as were millions of others who failed to enter the Promised Land, neither was he stumbled or plagued with the ‘evil’ of polygamy to fail in entering the Promised Land.

BOAZ, THE PATRIARCHAL POLYGAMIST
It was not written whether Boaz was polygamous or not. But looking at the culture at that time and also the background of the wealthy Boaz, it was most probable that he was already married when he met Ruth, being one that had to keep a big estate and also being much older than Ruth (Ruth 3:10,11). It was Kingdom principle and godliness to help continue the family line of each family in Israel, and in this case, that of Elimelech who had no male descendant.

The closest next-of-kin refused this responsibility out of selfishness, for fear of opening up his family and sharing his inheritance with another. By God's law, in the presence of all the elders of Israel, he had to take off his sandal and give it to Boaz who would take up this kingdom responsibility, and he had to be spat on the face by Ruth (Deut 25:7-9)before the elders of Israel for denying this kingdom responsibility. The name of this selfish relative was never remembered by God in the scriptures. Boaz and Ruth were both blessed by God to be the forefathers of King David and the Lord Jesus. This act of Boaz and Ruth set the foundation that resulted in King David’s kingdom-mindedness. Such an act would never be understood or be appreciated by western society today where free love and romantic values are exalted in place of patriarchal kingdom principle. The self-centered relative would be applauded by western society as righteous, godly, Christ-like and exemplary. Alas, God has a totally different perception. Thus, we see that the whole western society that enforces monogamy is totally deceived and will be persecutors of God's righteous saints like Boaz and Ruth.

What Boaz did ran in the principles of the levirate law (Deut 25:5-10) where a male will have to marry the wife of the deceased brother to continue his family line. This itself is polygamy that is not just sanctioned but required by God. One can contend that all these apply only to Old Testament time and culture and is no longer valid. No doubt there are some changes in cultures and societal development since OT times, but the Almighty God never changes. As long as we remain human, basic human needs do not change. They only take on different forms today, and thus may require some individuals to be polygamous, like meeting the needs of people totally committed to a vision or a cause, or for good and mutually beneficial reasons, opening up a family unit to look after another. Through the generations, all such human needs actually never change and neither will. They only take on different forms. Our modern society, in the name of holiness and human rights, exploits such emotional commitment and support by repaying only with monetary compensations and not reciprocating with love, care and emotional responsibility where appropriate. When the levirate law was presented to Jesus (Matt 22:24), He did not say that it was sinful, backward, inferior, nor no longer valid in the grace. He explained that there would be no problem as to whose wife she will be, as there will be no sexual relationship in heaven. However, while we are on earth, even in this modern generation, the exact same act of polygamy may be needed to preserve or enhance a vision, a ministry, a family or even a business. Of course, scriptural principles will have to be complied with and mutual consent respected.

GIDEON, COMMANDER OF THE COMMANDOS
We are going to see that not only were many patriarchal founders polygamous, the judges who were used mightily by God were too. Gideon had many sons. You can’t have 1 wife to produce 70 sons. Bible said Gideon had many wives. Is God overlooking here again? Was there no man in Israel who had lesser wives and thus be more "righteous" that could have been selected? My deduction is that he must have had handled his wives and household so well that he was selected for a task that required highly disciplined soldiers. 300 high caliber soldiers selected from 32000 soldiers - only 3% qualified and Gideon was to be their commander. Hardly a job for a drunken sex-mad person that some people think polygamous people are. Neither was he someone that was too busy or over-burdened with his many wives. He must have managed his wives well as not to be turned aside by them to worship idols. Instead, he had the time to wake up in the middle of the night to smash up the altar of Baal.

JAIR, WELL-ORGANIZED JUDGE
Another judge that did well, keeping Israel for 22 years - well organized, with 30 sons trained and equipped with 30 donkeys, to extensively help him judged Israel for 22 years. Power and numbers of wives and children well managed and used for the Kingdom.

IBZAN, SUCCESSFUL FATHER AND JUDGE
Must have many wives to have 30 sons and 30 daughters. He is an example of a successful husband and capable father who managed his family well that he could also manage the house of God for 7 years. He got 30 wives for his 30 sons and married off 30 daughters.

ABDON, TRANS-GENERATIONAL PLANNER
Another success story of a patriarchal father who planned well into another generation. Contrary to general belief that polygamy will result in his failing to give enough attention to raise good and responsible children, he had 40 sons, 30 grandsons on 70 donkeys to judge Israel for 8 years.

SAMSON, SERIAL MONOGAMIST
There are those who can handle many wives for the glory of God, while there are many like Samson that cannot handle even one - a romantic hero who practiced serial monogamy. His first wife, an unbeliever, disclosed the answer of his riddle under the threats of the enemy. In fury, he gave away his wife to his friend and married another unbeliever who also betrayed him the same way. The Bible said it was God’s plan that he should marry unbelievers (Judg. 14:4). This shows that God is above and not beneath His commandments. He did not break His commandments. He is above them. Here was an exception where Samson was expected to prevail, like in the case of Hosea and Joseph who had to manage unbeliever wives and bring them into the ways of God. These they did well while Samson failed badly. It was God's strategy to move against the Philistines, but it was Samson's part to love God more than his wife. He could still fulfil God's plan without letting his wife betray him. It should be noted that Samson the monogamist fell not because he was polygamous, nor because of marrying heathen women (as directed by God), but because of his weakness for woman. Is this not typical of many monogamists in this present generation?

ELKANAH, LOVING HUSBAND
Here we see another example of wife rivalry. It was God who made Hannah barren (1Sam 1:6). God now seems not just an active participant, but author of such wife rivalry. Of course, God’s involvement was not of evil but of goodness, that a child might be born and fully consecrated to be one of the greatest prophets of Israel. He blessed Peninnah with many children, and through it sanctified Hannah to give Him a more perfect sacrifice. At the human level, it was hurtful but such evil was the result of human selfishness, made manifest by God through a polygamous situation rather than the act of polygamy itself. In monogamy, much selfishness is condoned and justified, but will inadvertently manifest itself in other forms in life. Consideration, sharing, selflessness and godliness are prerequisites of polygamy. If polygamy is in anyway a sin before God, Samuel a child of polygamy, would never have been chosen and consecrated to serve God in His Holy Temple and anointed to play such an important role in the history of Israel.

SAUL, THE FIRST KING OF ISRAEL
Saul, the first king of Israel had a concubine (2Sam 21:11). Looking at this verse, he could have more. The kings of Israel were to be good examples of godliness for the people to follow, and God if necessary, would disapprove of their acts openly and deal with them severely. This He did and wrote about King Saul in the scriptures, detailing his rise and fall, including some disobedience that were not obvious to man. But there is nowhere in the Bible that God indicated His displeasure about Saul, the first king for having more than 1 wife. In fact, nothing was mentioned about it until after his death, when a faithful concubine mourned for the 7 family members of Saul and stayed in the open for the entire harvest season on sackcloth to keep the vultures from tearing up the carcasses. And godliness is something that God was very vocal about, and still is.

DAVID, MAN AFTER GOD'S HEART
David was called by God to be "a man after His own heart" in life, character, and leadership. He was exemplary for God's kingly leaders, and he received a promise of an everlasting kingdom. He was one of the very few who knew how to use relationships to expand and establish the kingdom. All in all, despite his involvement in building the Kingdom, he had at least 18 wives (1Sam 18:27, 2Sam 3:2-5,11:27,15:16). And David went on, and grew great, and the LORD God of hosts was with him… So David knew that God established him as king over Israel…. And David took more concubines and wives from Jerusalem…. Also more sons were born to David (2Sam 5:10-13). The episode of David's adultery with Bathsheba is misquoted to purport that God is against polygamy. In fact, the very same passage actually supports it. For God said, "I gave you your master's house and your master's wives into your keeping, and gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if that had been too little, I would have given you much more! Why have you despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in His sight" (2Sam 12:8,9). What were the commandment and the evil? God further explained that it was the murder of his faithful soldier and the taking of his wife. It's a great deception to interpret this as God was against polygamy. No, He was against taking another man's wife. Taking on more unattached women as wives was not scripturally considered as adultery, taking another man's wife is. David or any other men at that time understood this very well. For immediately after issuing the 10 commandments which included Thou shall not commit adultery, taking another man's wife (Ex 20:14) where the death sentence was mandatory (Deut. 22:22), He gave another law regarding taking another unattached woman as wife (Ex 21:10), that he should not diminish the rights of the first wife. God cannot be condemning and condoning the same act at the same time. The only answer is that polygamy of marrying unattached women is not adultery.

SOLOMON, WISE KING WITH THE MOST WIVES
Here again, another wrongly quoted example to purport against polygamy. Solomon's failure was due to his love for heathen women, not polygamy. On the contrary, many men and most men fell, not because of many women but because of a woman, the woman whom he seeks to please and idolizes, whose voice becomes louder than God’s, good sense and life! Adam was monogamous and he fell! Samson was monogamous and he fell. God told the kings that they should not multiply wives, such that it becomes beyond their capacity to handle. The fact that God did not specify that it is godliness or ideal to have only one wife shows that God is not against polygamy (Deut. 17:17). Instead, His kingly leaders should consider consecrating their marital life to God to benefit the Kingdom in a greater way, whichever is the way.

While there is a warning that the excessiveness and abuse of it can cause failure, which is the case in all things in a man's life, the primary failure of Solomon was not polygamy or too many wives, but rather his love for many foreign wives. God’s judgement of his failure as mentioned in 1Kings 11 was that he disobeyed God's instruction by loving "many foreign women", "For surely they will turn your hearts after their gods". The emphasis was first on the wrong kind of marriage rather than the number, even though excessiveness can be damaging. For it may be wrong even to undermine his God-given extraordinary wisdom to manage up to a thousand. Samson, on the other hand was a serial monogamist who could not handle even 1 heathen wife at a time. Adam was a monogamist who listened to the voice of his one wife and fell. Let’s remember that sin came into the world through Adam the monogamist but hope began with Abraham, a polygamist.

The lesson is clear, God's men must not allow his wives whether more or just one to destroy his ministry, and unbelieving women are in-routes of Satan to turn the heart of men away from God. To interpret otherwise would be deception! One who is kingly must know his own heart, limitations, strengths and weaknesses. God expects him to manage them well. There is no absolute numbers, but to each according to his ability and grace, but more importantly, the right kind. God was angry with David not because he took on one too many, but because he broke the commandment of taking another man's wife (2Sam 12:8).

REHOBOAM, SON OF SOLOMON
A descendant of Solomon was only mildly polygamous with only 2 known wives (2Chron. 11:18-21). He did not have the wisdom and capacity of his fathers. Just as any other kings that went before him, his successes and failures were due to his heart and not his marital status.

AHAB, THE MOST EVIL KING OF ISRAEL
Ahab was an ungodly and evil king of Israel who married Jezebel the heathen priestess, whose ways were remembered even into Revelation. He was totally living under a feminine power. He abused his other wives and children. He must have had many wives to have produced 70 sons (2King 10:1). He was the worst of all the kings of Israel, with the full-blown manifestation of the fallen man, totally under the control of Jezebel his heathen wife who kept a large company of pagan false prophets. None of his other wives were allowed into his palace, and his sons were taken care of elsewhere by his governors.

ABIJAH, A MIGHTY KING
A mighty king of Israel who married 14 wives and had 22 sons and 16 daughters (2Chron. 13:21).

JOASH, KING WITH A GOOD MENTOR
A king that did what was right in the sight of God in all the days of his guardian, the priest, Jehoiada who took for him 2 wives. He had sons and daughters. He set his heart on repairing the house of the Lord (2Chron. 24:1-3). But after the death of Jehoiada, he listened to the leaders of Judah and practised idolatry (2Chron. 24:18).

TRIBE OF ISSACHAR, PEOPLE OF DISCERNMENT AND FORESIGHT
Issachar, a tribe known to be capable of discerning the times and ways of God (1Chron. 12:32). Perhaps, because of this foresight, they were able to contribute many mighty men of war to the Kingdom because the men had many wives who bore many sons (1Chron. 7:4-5). This is what God said of them.

ELIJAH & JOHN THE BAPTIST
Nothing was recorded of these 2 great prophets of Israel in this aspect of their lives. Most probably, they were celibates, with a special consecration as required by their specific ministries. Samuel and Hosea were at least 2 prophets that were not celibates.

ELISHA
Elisha, the disciple of Elijah, left everything, whether married or not, to walk in the specific call of Elijah. Even though there remains a special reward for those who become eunuchs for God's Kingdom, they are not in any way holier by virtue of being celibates. To each according to his calling and grace given. Thus that which is right for one may be wrong for the other. For all cases, there will be a specific choice that will be glorifying to God, whether it be celibate, monogamy or polygamy.

HOSEA
The marital life of Hosea the prophet was an exceptional one. Another 2 were that of Joseph and Samson who for God's purposes, married heathen wives. Hosea was told to go and marry a woman who would bear children for him and one day walked out of him for another man or men. This was God's prophecy in drama depicting the unfaithfulness of Israel (Hos. 1:2,3). He later did according to God's command, "Go again, love a woman who is loved by a lover and is committing adultery…" which means taking another adulterous woman that represented the Gentile church (Hos. 3:1-5, 14:9) taken from the world, thus rendering him polygamous or it could mean buying back his wife as interpreted by some others. Whichever is the case, God shows that He is above and not beneath His law, and that law is for man and not man for the law. But it does not mean that man should break the law even though there may be such exceptions, in which case, grace will be given to bear with the consequences of it.

THE REST OF THE KNOWN POLYGAMISTS
Ashur - 2 wives, 1Chron. 2:48/ Jerahmeel - 2 wives, 1Chron. 2:26/ Machir - 3 wives, 1Chron. 7:15-16/ Shaharaim - 2 wives, 1Chron. 8:8.

IS JESUS ALSO POLYGAMOUS?
Jesus was clearly a celibate while on earth. But spiritually, He is depicted as polygamous. The brides of Jesus is collectively one (Rev 22:17) but made up of many virgin brides put together. The 5 wise virgins in Matt 25 are not referring to bridesmaids but the brides that were ready, waiting for Him, and it is definitely a polygamous marriage. There is no doubt that the marriage of Christ is a spiritual one. But the question is why would the Holy All Wise God use a "sinful" polygamous marriage to be analogous of His relationship with the church? Why did Jesus depict Himself to be "sinfully" polygamous? There is only one answer. Polygamy is not a sin, it's analogous of the spiritual marriage of Jesus Christ and the Church and it is a marital relationship that we can learn much from! Jesus is well identified with celibacy, monogamy and polygamy.

IS GOD HIMSELF POLYGAMOUS?
In Ezekiel 23, God is depicted to be loving and marrying 2 harlot sisters, Oholah and Oholibah representing the unfaithful Israel and Judah. One may contend that God is Spirit and this is only an analogy used to illustrate the love of God for Israel and Judah. It is true that this is an analogy, but if polygamy is sin then God in this analogy becomes sinful as well. We know that God is not only against sin, He will not identify Himself with sinful deeds. Why then is He depicted to be polygamous? Why does God use a polygamous analogy to describe Himself? The only conclusion is that polygamy is not sin any more than monogamy or celibacy in God's eye.

THE CONCLUSION IS OBVIOUS.
JUST LIKE MONOGAMY AND CELIBACY,
POLYGAMY IS NOT A SIN.

I FURTHER CONCLUDE
We must not continue to undermine our founding fathers. The patriarchal forefathers like Abraham, David, Moses and Jacob, were not backward, barbaric nor sinful in being polygamous. Their polygamous lifestyle did not in any way affect their standing adversely before God, instead in many cases facilitated the fulfilment of their calling.
We must not continue to condemn and ostracize the innocent. The anti-polygamy sentiment has adversely affected the way we live life and judge others, and we have wrongfully condemned and ostracized millions of innocent polygamous people and their children, and deprived them of their rightful place and recognition in Church and society.
The truth of patriarchal polygamy portrays another dimension of relationship with God. For the relationship of Christ and the Church is like that of Groom and Bride and if the principles of marriage are not understood in the right light, the Church will never comprehend the depth of her relationship with God.
This truth is an urgent answer for the world and the Church. Anti-patriarchy means anti-submission to God and leadership. Anti-polygamy means exclusiveness and anti-sharing. Both are the real cause of broken marriages. Both are anti-God and need to be changed. The teaching of patriarchal polygamy will bring about the restoration of God’s truth and the right disposition of hearts in natural and spiritual matters. The hypocritical holiness of should-be monogamy is not answering the world’s needs and the frustrated world is turning to homosexuality and lesbianism that are quickly being legalized and infiltrating the Church. The should-be monogamy idol will soon be taken over by the "homogamy" god.

A CHALLENGE TO YOU
I challenge anyone to search the scriptures in good depth, and in the light of what is written, to see how and why this generation is decaying in marriages and immorality. Judge for yourself whether the interpretations are scriptural. Be not sweeping in judgement, neither be tinted with religiosity, cultural traditions nor your own emotional experiences, but rather, search the scriptures for the heart and ways of God and I believe the Church and you will soon return to the ways of the patriarchal fathers in Spirit and in Power as it should be. Whatever one's own disposition may be, the Holy Spirit will restore this vital patriarchal truth before the soon coming of Christ. Thus, there remains an urgent need to live out this truth in words and in actions. Amen

In Christ's Name,
Israel CS Lim
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