Polygyny is not a subject to be approached without boundaries. As such, the scriptures, the word of Yahweh, instructs us in how to go about plural marriage. Join us in this teaching as we discover and learn what the bible teaches us about the practice of polygyny. Come with us as we learn the God Honest Truth.
External Polygyny Information:
This is a teaching video series on polygyny, also known as plural marriage. The video discusses polygyny in the scriptures and how it is instructed. The speaker provides links to the notes and resources for the video. They also mention the topics covered in previous and upcoming episodes, including polygyny through history, advantages and disadvantages, and rebuttals of other teaching videos. The speaker emphasizes that Yahweh does not sin and desires everyone to be saved. They argue that Yahweh would not instruct people to engage in sinful behavior. They then explain what it means to be instructed by Yahweh and provide a passage from Exodus 21 that discusses the rights of a woman in a polygynous marriage.
So welcome to the third episode or the third video in a teaching series on polygyny, otherwise known as plural marriage or sometimes as polygamy. This teaching video is going to be all about polygyny in the scriptures and polygyny by the scriptures as far as how it’s instructed and how we’re to go about it if we are to engage in this type of marriage. Now as always, if you would like the notes for this teaching video, you can look down in the description below and we will have a link to the post on our website, GodHonestTruth.com for this teaching video.
And there on that post on our website, you can find the on-demand video of this teaching video. You can find the draw slides that you’re seeing right here on your video screen. And you can also find the notes for this video teaching. Also down below, you’ll find the links for the playlist on YouTube for the entire teaching series on polygyny as well as some other useful links as well. So just do a quick review of what we’ve been through so far in this teaching series and also what we’re going to be getting into later on in future episodes.
In our first teaching video in this series, we went over the terminology and a brief introduction to what plural marriage or polygyny is. In the second video, in our last video, we went over various people and men of scripture who had more than one wife or who were practicing polygyny. Now in upcoming episodes, we’re going to be getting into polygyny through history, some historical examples of many people who have understood the concept, the biblical concept of plural marriage, those who have practiced it through history after the apostolic times and a lot more stuff.
So definitely stay tuned for the next episode as we get into polygyny and history. After that, we’re going to be getting into a teaching on patriarchy because patriarchy is important even in a monogamous relationship but oh so much more in a polygynous relationship. The next video after that, we’re going to be getting into some advantages and disadvantages of polygyny. Many people may not understand that there are advantages and those of you out there who support plural marriage may not be fully aware of all of the disadvantages.
So definitely tune into that video as well. And then later on in the future, we’re going to be getting into some rebuttals of some teaching videos that have been made by other ministries, mostly online. The first rebuttal video that we’re going to be addressing is a video by 119 Ministries. That’s going to be a rather long video because the video from 119 Ministries is rather long but it goes into depth so we’re going to try and do the same thing also.
Stay tuned for that one. Like I said, it’s going to be a long video as we get into addressing the points that they make in their video and try to go over it as in-depth scripturally as we can. The next video after that is going to be another rebuttal video and this is going to be regarding various videos by a pastor called Mike Winger and also another brother in the faith, David Wilbert. And then in our third rebuttal video, we’re going to be going over some more lesser-known ministries and videos by a ministry called Kingdom in Context, one called Wretched, another one called Jude 3 Project, and also Southern Seminary.
So definitely stay tuned for all of these videos and like always, the links will be down below for the playlist on our complete series and we’ll be updating that as we go through this series. So the first thing we think is important to go over in this particular teaching is the issue of Yahweh and sin. How does Yahweh and sin relate to one another or do they actually relate at all? First of all, let us remind you real quick of what sin actually is.
Sin, as defined by scripture, is the breaking of Torah. First John chapter 3 verse 4, everyone doing sin also does lawlessness and sin is lawlessness. So sin, as defined by scripture, is breaking the Torah of Yahweh. That means when Yahweh tells us to do something and we don’t do it, that is sin. When Yahweh tells us to not do something and then we do it, that is sin. For example, when he says to honor the Sabbath by resting on Shabbat and we don’t honor the Sabbath, we don’t rest on Shabbat, that is sin.
Likewise, when he says do not commit adultery and then we commit adultery, that is sin. So sin is breaking of the Torah. However, Yahweh does not sin. We see from Deuteronomy chapter 32 verses 3 through 4. For I proclaim the name of Yahweh, ascribe greatness to our Elohim, the Rock. His work is perfect, for all his ways are right-ruling, an El of truth and without unrighteousness. Righteous and straight he is. Job chapter 34 verse 10, Therefore listen to me, you men of heart, far be it from El to do wrong, and from the Almighty to commit unrighteousness.
So Yahweh does not sin, he does not commit unrighteousness. However, we as human beings do commit sin, for all have committed sin and fallen short of the glory of God. And what does sin do for us? How does it affect us? Well it actually separates us from Yahweh himself. We look in Isaiah chapter 59 verses 1 through 3. Look, the hand of Yahweh has not become too short to save, nor his ear too heavy to hear.
But your crookednesses have separated you from your Elohim, and your sins have hidden his face from you, from hearing. For your hands have been defiled with blood, and your fingers with crookedness. Your lips have spoken falsehood, your tongue mutters unrighteousness. So unfortunately, we commit sin and that separates us from Yahweh. But Yahweh does not want us to sin, he wants us to be closer to him. He wants everyone to be saved, that is his desire. First Timothy chapter 2 verses 3 through 4, For this is good and acceptable before Elohim our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.
Yahweh desires that all be saved. So in being saved, we have to turn from our sins. Now thinking back, remember Yahweh does not sin, and he doesn’t want us to sin. He wants us to be closer to him to be saved. So he would not tell us to go out and sin, he would not tell us to go out and do something that would separate us from him, because he loves us and he wants us to be closer to him and to be saved.
However, like I said, we still sin and some of us have not come to salvation, and this separates us from Yahweh. And not being saved, not being cleansed from our sins will keep us from the kingdom. First Corinthians chapter 6 verses 9 through 10, Do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the reign of Elohim? Do not be deceived, neither those who whore, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor greedy of game, nor drunkards, nor revelers, nor swindlers shall inherit the reign of Elohim.
So Yahweh would not tell us to go out and commit sin. Likewise, he would not instruct us and guide us in how to commit sin, because he wants us to be saved, he wants us to be closer to him, he doesn’t want us to be separate from him. And Yahweh does not sin, he cannot sin, because he is Yahweh, he is sovereign over all. He set out the Torah, that is his instructions and guidance for us as we go through life.
So keep that in mind, that Yahweh cannot sin and he does not guide us in how to sin. He does not guide us and instruct us in how to be separate from him and how not to be saved. So just as a recap, sin is breaking of the Torah. Yahweh himself is without sin, he’s without unrighteousness, he’s without iniquity. Yahweh is perfect. Yahweh does not do wrong. Our sins have separated us from Yahweh. He wants us to be closer to him and we should want to be closer to him as well.
And Yahweh desires that everyone be saved, not be separated from him, but to be saved and be closer to him. And Yahweh would not instruct us on how to be separate from him, nor would he instruct us on how to sin. He wants us to be with him. He would not instruct us on how not to inherit the kingdom. He would not instruct us on how to do wrong. He would not instruct us on how to sin.
Yahweh instructs us in righteousness. Those are his instructions. So if Yahweh instructs us in righteousness, on how to go through this life in a holy set apart worthy manner, he would also instruct us in holy and righteous ways and methods of going about marriage, marriage in general. So what does instruct mean actually? Well according to Merriam-Webster, instruct means to give knowledge to, to provide with authoritative information or advice, and to give an order or command to.
That’s instruct. According to dictionary.com, to teach someone how to do something. That’s what instruct means. And throughout Yahweh’s Torah, throughout the entire canon of scripture, we are instructed on how to go about various things in various ways, child rearing, interacting with each other as brothers and sisters in Messiah. And also we’re instructed on marriage. So the first passage we’re going to look at regarding plural marriage or polygyny, as far as being instructed on how to go about it, is going to be from Exodus chapter 21.
And we’re going to read verses 7 through 11. And when a man sells his daughter to be a female servant, she does not go out as the male servants do. If she is displeasing in the eyes of her master, who has engaged her to himself, then he shall let her be ransomed. He shall have no authority to sell her to a foreign people, because of him deceiving her. And if he has engaged her to his son, he is to do to her as is the right of daughters.
If he takes another wife, her food, her covering, and her marriage rights are not to be diminished. And if he does not do these three for her, then she shall go out or not without silver. Now the entire passage right here, we included four contexts, but the relative one we want you to pay attention to is verse 10. You can see in this entire passage, there’s a lot going on here to be unpacked. To break it down, in verse 8, it’s talking about the woman that if the person that she has went to, her father sold her to, if she does not find favor in her master’s eyes, then her master is to let her be ransomed back to her family, to be redeemed back by her family, to be bought back.
And in verse 9, it goes on to give another option, that if she has not found favor in his eyes, the master can engage her to his son. And then if he does so, he is to treat her as family, as a daughter. Then in verse 10, the third option the master has, is he can take another wife. And in so doing, he is not to diminish what the first wife had, or the previous wife had.
Her marital rights, which can include a multitude of things, her food, or her clothing. Then in verse 11, it goes on to say that if he does not do these three things, then she shall go out for nothing. There’s no prohibition or restrictions on her. And she’s not to go out with silver either. So these three things listed here, all include the woman in question. Now like I said, we’re specifically focusing on verse 10, because this passage directly and explicitly relates to polygyny.
For instance, it states that if he takes another wife. Most translations that comes across rather clearly. But some have taken this to mean other than plural marriage. For instance, some take this to mean if he takes a different wife, separate and apart than without the previous wife. That’s the way some people take it. But most people take it as if he takes an additional wife. Now to get a better understanding of this, the Hebrew word used here for another is the Hebrew word aherd.
And we can get a better sense of how this word is used in Scripture by looking at other verses. Genesis chapter 4, verse 25, And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and called his name Sheth, for Elohim has appointed me another seed instead of Hebel, because Cain had killed him. This does not mean that Adam and Eve had a third son, separate and apart, and no longer had the previous son. What this means is that Adam and Eve had another son in addition to Cain, because Cain was still alive at this point, right? Or so we can assume.
Genesis chapter 8, verse 10, talking about Noah, And he waited yet another seven days, and again he sent the dove out from the ark. So here we can take this as Noah waiting another in addition to the previous seven days. He can’t do away with the previous seven days. He cannot change what happened in the past. So here is speaking about another seven days in addition to the previous seven days. Exodus chapter 20, verse 3, You have no other mighty ones against my face.
No other gods against my face, right? This is Yahweh telling us not to go after other gods. Now this can be taken either way. This can be taken as going after other gods, separate and apart, and without Yahweh. Or this can also be taken as in addition to Yahweh, because there’s been mixed worship throughout history. We know some pagans do not have Yahweh, so they’re going separate and apart and without Yahweh. But some try to mix religions and to include Yahweh.
So this is another one of those verses, just like Exodus 21, 10, that some people can take to mean in addition to or separate and apart from. Leviticus chapter 6, verse 11, And he shall take off his garments and put on other garments and shall bring the ashes outside the camp to a clean place. So here this word, acherb, is meaning separate and apart and without the first garment. Because it says here he’s to take off the garments he had on previously and put on other garments.
So here this word doesn’t mean in addition to, it means separate and apart from. Exodus chapter 21, verses 7 through 11, If he takes another wife, her food, her covering, and her marriage rites are not to be diminished. So we can see this word acherb can mean either that it means in addition to the previous thing mentioned, or it can mean different, separate, and apart from the previous thing mentioned. So in order to understand what it means in Exodus chapter 21, verse 10, we need to take things into context.
So in the context of this passage, does it mean in addition to the previous one, or separate apart and distinct from the previous one? Well as we read it, he says, If he takes another wife, her food, her covering, and her marriage rites are not to be diminished. So if he’s taking one at a time in a monogamous marriage, it would make no sense in saying to diminish what the previous wife had because he would still have all that and be able to give everything to his next wife.
However, if he’s having multiple wives, resources would naturally, you would think, would have a strain placed on them when you bring more people into the situation. However, Yahweh here is telling him that when you bring in an additional wife, you do not diminish the first wife and you do not diminish the second wife either. All are to be provided for and treated equally, even though there may be a strain on the resources available. You don’t come up with an excuse to say, oh, you get less and she gets more.
No, instead, we are being guided and instructed here on treating each one and providing for each one equally. Now when you think about that more, it doesn’t mean identically, but it does mean equally. Don’t mistreat any of your wives. And the context here tells us that it’s a plural marriage, it’s a polygynous marriage, not separate and distinct and apart from. In fact, this very word here used for diminish is Strong’s H1639, gara, or gareth, however you choose to pronounce that, and that means to scrape off, to shave, I’m sorry, to shave, to lessen, diminish, things like that, take away, keep back.
This is things you should not do for your wives. No matter how many you have, how many previous ones you have, how many additional ones you have, you are not to diminish that which you’re supposed to provide for them. You’re not to diminish their food, you’re not to diminish their clothing, nor are you to diminish their marital rights. Now what does marital rights mean? Well, we think it means, when we read in most translations, conjugal rights.
However, the Hebrew word used here is the Hebrew word onah, onah, Strong’s H5772. This is a rather difficult one to discover what it means as far as how scripture uses it because it’s only used one time in all of scripture, and it’s used right here in Exodus chapter 21, verse 10. Only time it’s ever used. But most people agree that this word onah means something relating to the wife. It can mean either conjugal rights, when you think about 1 Corinthians chapter 7, verses 1 through 6, also means housing rights.
Because if we look back to the previous points made in this verse, it’s talking about food, clothing. So logic would suggest that it could also mean something like housing rights. But it could also definitely mean something like conjugal rights as well. As we’re told in the Brit Hadashah, a man’s body is not his own, but also his wife’s. And a wife’s body is not her own, but also her husband’s. So as a husband, he is to provide her with these conjugal rights.
It’s her right to have conjugal visits. Likewise, a woman, a wife, is to provide her husband with conjugal visits because he is entitled and has a right to these conjugal visits. In context, this would mean marital rights, I would put forth in a general sense to include things like housing and conjugal rights. And then the next verse we’re going to look at is about your father’s wife. Well, your father’s wife just means your mother, right? Not necessarily.
Not the way scripture uses it. Leviticus chapter 18, verses 7 through 8. The nakedness of your father or the nakedness of your mother you do not uncover. She is your mother. You do not uncover her nakedness. The nakedness of your father’s wife you do not uncover. It is your father’s nakedness. Now, this is very interesting because first it lists out your mother and specifically says your mother. Then it goes on to say your father’s wife. Why would it describe the same person as your mother and then your father’s wife if it’s all meaning the same person? Well, it’s not.
Scripture is relating to two different people here. It’s instructing us in two separate entities, two separate persons. Your mother and your father’s wife. So, a wife, a woman of your father who is not your mother. Now, this can be taken both ways. For one, it can mean that your father had a wife who gave birth to you, thereby your mother, and then she died and your father is a widower. And it can also mean that your father is married to your mother and also other women as well.
Therefore, this description of your father’s wife would go on to indicate that your father is in a polygynous relationship and therefore you should not uncover the nakedness of one of your father’s wives. This would make a lot of sense, especially back during those times when plural marriage was much, much, much more common than it is nowadays. And here, Yahweh is instructing us not to uncover the nakedness of your father’s wife, someone other than and different to your mother.
Leviticus 18, verse 9 and 11. The nakedness of your sister, the daughter of your father, or the daughter of your mother, whether born at home or elsewhere, their nakedness you do not uncover. The nakedness of your father’s wife’s daughter, brought forth by your father, she is your sister. You do not uncover her nakedness. So again, it’s making a distinction there between mother and father’s wife. Again, instructing us on an issue relating to plural marriage. Leviticus chapter 20, verses 10 through 13.
And a man who commits adultery with the wife of another man, who commits adultery with the wife of his neighbor, the adulterer and the adulteress shall certainly be put to death. And a man who lies with the wife of his father, has uncovered the nakedness of his father. Both of them shall certainly be put to death. Their blood is upon them. And a man who lies with his daughter-in-law, both of them shall certainly be put to death.
They have made confusion. Their blood is upon them. And a man who lies with a male, as he lies with a woman, both of them have done an abomination. They shall certainly be put to death. Their blood is upon them. So again, it’s having this specific phrase, the wife of his father. It’s not saying your mother, it’s saying the wife of your father. So it’s not saying your mother. The whole thing here is relating to adultery and it says so, adultery.
And as we know, adultery relates to a man having sex with a married woman who he is not married to. This is not in the context of incest as far as sex with your mother. It’s using the specific phrase, wife of your father. Then we read in Deuteronomy chapter 27 verse 20. Cursed is he who lies with his father’s wife, because he has uncovered his father’s bed. And all the people shall say, Amen. So again, father’s wife.
Not mother, father’s wife. First Corinthians chapter 5 verse 1. It is commonly reported that there is whoring among you, and such whoring as is not even named among the nations, so as to have his father’s wife. Again, that same phrase, that same terminology as used in the Tanakh is used in the Rishad Asha as well. Few people know that plural marriage, polygyny, was still going on and being practiced in Israel even during the time of Yeshua and the apostles.
And here we’re seeing Paul is writing to the church at Corinth about them committing adultery with their father’s wife. Now the Berhad Asha is not shy about using the word mother. And if it was about mother here, they would have said mother, but no, they’re saying your father’s wife. Another indication that plural marriage could have been going on during that time. This verse does not specifically say that your father had more than one wife at one time.
In full disclosure, this could be relating to your father being a widower and then remarrying, but it does not discount the possibility that your father had more than one wife at the same time, and it’s talking about committing adultery with one of your father’s wives. The next verse we’re going to look at is probably one of the most famous verses used against the practice of plural marriage, whereas a lot of people think this next verse outright condemns and prohibits plural marriage in all things in context.
Deuteronomy chapter 17, verses 16 through 17, speaking about kings. Only he is not to increase horses for himself, nor cause the people to return to Mitzrayim to increase horses, for Yahweh has said to you, do not return that way again. And he is not to increase wives for himself, lest his heart turn away, nor is he to greatly increase silver and gold for himself. King James says he is not to multiply wives. And a lot of people think this is an outright condemnation and prohibition against plural marriage.
But is it really? Have you actually sat down and thought about this particular verse in this passage in general? Number one, this verse in this passage is relating to specifically kings, not everyone in general. But does this mean that kings, or even anyone in general, cannot have more than one wife? Is that what this verse is saying? Take everything in context. Number one, it says that he is also not to increase horses for himself. If it means that we’re to only have one wife, then that would also mean that kings specifically are to only have one horse.
Is that what we see? We look in 1 Kings 4, verse 26. And Sholomo had 40,000 stalls of horses for his chariots and 12,000 horsemen. Second Chronicles 1, verses 14 through 15. And Sholomo gathered chariots and horses, and he had 1,400 chariots and 12,000 horsemen, whom he stationed in the chariot cities, and with the sovereign in Jerusalem. And the sovereign made silver and gold to be as stones in Jerusalem, and he made cedars to be as plenty as the sycamores which are in the low country.
So remember, that passage says he is not to increase horses for himself. We see here King Sholomo, or King Solomon, had many horses. We see people today with many horses. But yet, how many people who claim to be Bible-believing, Bible-reading, Bible-preaching people of God are going against these ranchers who have more than one horse, in the exact same way as they’re going against people who have more than one wife? That’s an inconsistency there. We’re arguing on hypocrisy, because that passage told us that he’s not to increase horses for himself, in the same way that it says he is not to increase wives for himself.
Moving on, it also says that he is not to increase silver or gold for himself. Let’s go back and look at that. So we can see this passage also tells the king, or people in general, if you want to take it that way, not to increase gold or silver, not to increase money for yourselves. Yet, we’re told that King Solomon, or King Sholomo, made silver and gold to be as stones, as common as rocks in Yerushalayim.
Are the people who are going against plural marriage, because of this passage, also going against people for having more than one piece of gold or silver, for having more than one dollar? I mean, how far are we going to take this, if we’re not going to take it in context for what it actually means? Second Chronicles, chapter 9, verses 27 to 28, and the sovereign made silver in Yerushalayim as the stones, and he made cedar trees as plenty as the sycamores, which are in the low country.
And they were bringing horses to Sholomo from Mitzrayim and from all lands. So again, if Deuteronomy, chapter 17, verse 17, is indicating that we in general, or king specifically even, could only have one wife, then that would also mean that we in general, or king specifically, could only have one horse. Or that we in general, or king specifically, could only have one piece of gold. And that’s ridiculous to go along that kind of logic. No. We in general, and king specifically, could have more than one horse.
There’s no problem with that. We in general, and king specifically, could have more than one piece of gold, and more than one piece of silver. That just makes sense. We in general, and king specifically, could also have more than one wife. That just makes sense given the context of the scripture. The point is not to be drawn back to Egypt. Not to be drawn back to Mitzrayim. In fact, if we go back and we look at that, it says here, to cause the people to return to Mitzrayim, to return to Egypt, to return to slavery and the ways of the pagan nations.
That is the point here. And you would think that people like Shlomo, who is the wisest man that we think of in all of history, up until the point of Yeshua anyways, would have understood this and would not have had multiple wives based on this passage or this commandment in the Torah. So this Torah came long before Shlomo. You would think that King Dawid, who was polygynous, would have understood this as well. Because he had lots of gold, he had lots of horses, he also had lots of women.
King Shaul, even though he messed up, he still had more than one horse, he still had lots of gold and silver, and he still had multiple wives. Other people would, you would think, would have understood this as well if it was a condemnation and prohibition against plural marriage. People like Moshe, who had more than one wife. People like Gideon, a judge of Israel, who had many wives. But yet, they did not take this as a condemnation and prohibition against plural marriage.
They did not take this as a condemnation and prohibition against having multiple horses. They did not take this as a condemnation and prohibition against having more than one piece of gold or silver. Because that’s not what this verse means. It does not prohibit or condemn having more than one wife. So now just some various verses that go along with the instructions on how to practice plural marriage from Scripture. These are some that we’re going to go through rather quickly because they’re rather obvious and we’ll be getting into more detail, specifically more in the rebuttal videos.
But the first one we’re going to take a look at is Leviticus chapter 18, verse 18. And do not take a woman as a rival to her sister, to uncover her nakedness while the other is alive. So again, this is covered specifically in the 119 video, and we’re going to cover that more in depth as we get into that particular video. But here you can see it’s clearly speaking about plural marriage. It’s saying, do not take a woman as a rival to her sister.
Does this prohibit plural marriage? No, it’s instructing us in how to conduct ourselves within plural marriage. Not to have a wife and then take her sister as a rival. Now there’s some contention here as to whether this means her actual sister or just a woman in general. But that’s actually a secondary point that I would say is rather moot on the face of it. It’s actually, the point here is not to create rivalry and contention within your marriage.
Not to bring in a rival to your current wife or wives. That is the point of this passage. It’s not outright prohibiting plural marriage, but instructing us on how to go about plural marriage and not creating contention or bringing a rival in to your current wife. Leviticus chapter 20, verse 14, and a man who marries a woman and her mother, it is wickedness. They are burned with fire, both he and they, and there be no wickedness in your midst.
Now here it’s getting more specific. It’s saying not to be married to both a woman and her mother. It’s making no distinction here about whether her mother is a rival to your wife. It’s just saying specifically do not take your wife’s mother as your wife. And it’s using the word, well, and, right? Do not take a woman and her mother. It’s not a blanket prohibition against plural marriage. It’s a specific type of plural marriage that it’s condemning.
A woman and her mother. That is not to be done. Then we go on to look at Deuteronomy chapter 21, verses 15 through 17. When a man has two wives, one loved and the other unloved, and they have born him children, both the loved and the unloved, and the firstborn son is of her who is unloved, then it shall be on the day when he makes his sons to inherit his possessions. He is not allowed to treat the son of the beloved wife as firstborn in the face of the son of the unloved who is truly the firstborn.
But he is to acknowledge the son of the unloved wife as the firstborn by giving him a double portion of all that he has, for he is the beginning of his strength. The right of the firstborn is his. So here is speaking specifically of a man in a plural marriage, in a polygynous relationship, where he has two wives this time at the same time. And both of them have sons, and he is not to play favorites among the sons.
He is not to play favorites with the son of the most beloved wife. Here it’s telling him that the legitimate and actual firstborn, even if it’s of the unloved wife, is to be the heir, the firstborn heir of his estate. But again, it’s an instruction on how to go about practicing polygyny or plural marriage. And then finally we move on to Deuteronomy chapter 25 verses 5 through 6. When brothers dwell together and one of them has died and has no son, the widow of the dead man shall not become a stranger’s outside.
Her husband’s brother does go into her and shall take her as his wife and perform the duty of a husband’s brother to her. And it shall be that the firstborn son which she bears does rise up for the name of his dead brother, so that his name is not blotted out of Israel. So how does this relate to plural marriage? Well you can notice here that if a brother dies and he has no heir, no son, then his wife, his widow, is to marry the man’s brother.
Now take special notice here that there is no restriction on whether that brother is married or not. That’s not the point because plural marriage is allowed by scripture. The point here is to raise up an heir to the first husband. That’s the point. So his name is not blotted out. There’s no special restriction on whether the brother is married or not. It doesn’t say either way. And there’s no restriction here. If plural marriage was forbidden and prohibited by scripture, you would think logically that there would be a special restriction for the subsequent brother.
That if the other brother is already married, then, oh well, we’ll blot out the first man’s name. No, there’s no special restriction like that. Instead, it just goes on to say regardless of whether the brother is married or not, that brother shall marry that woman and raise up a son, raise up an heir to the previous man’s name so that the previous man’s name is not blotted out. So in summary, sin is the breaking of the Torah, as expressed clearly in 1 John 3, verse 4.
Yahweh does not instruct us in how to sin, how to break his Torah. If a man marries multiple wives, he is to provide for them equally and not play favorites and not diminish anything that they are due or have a right to. A man should not sleep with one of his father’s wives. To adulterate, kings and men in general are allowed to have more than one horse. They are allowed to have more than one piece of gold.
And likewise, they are allowed to have more than one wife. A man should not bring contention into his marriage by marrying an additional rivalrous wife. A man is not to marry a woman and her mother. A man is not to play favorites amongst either his wives or his sons. A man is to marry his brother’s wife, regardless if he’s married or not, so that he may raise up an heir to his brother. Scripture instructs us on how to conduct polygyny rather than prohibiting polygyny.
And that’s just the God-honest truth.