Thursday, October 18, 2012


Conservative Christian theologians define marriage as "the union of one man and one woman."  They quote Genesis 2:18-24 as the basis for their position.  Some less conservative theologians would allow polygamy, using the patriarchs and the kings of Israel as examples; they would change the definition to "the union of one man and an unspecified number of women."  Liberal theologians have ignoring the Bible's condemnation of homosexuality, willingly define marriage as "the union of two consenting adults."

I may have missed it, but I can find no passage of Scripture that prohibits a man from having more than one wife.  It is true that Church leaders are to have only one (1 Tim. 3:2; Titus 1:5-6), but if Paul had his way, they wouldn't even have one (1 Cor. 7:1, 11, 20, 27-28, 32, etc.).  There are several passages that speak against divorcing a wife to marry another woman, but I find none saying a man cannot marry additional wives.

In the Old Testament, God calls Israel His wife (Ezek. 16).  Hosea's on-again, off-again marriage relationship to Gomer, an unfaithful wife, is a description of God's marriage relationship with Israel.  He is even said to divorce Israel in Jeremiah 3:8-22, but in the end, He promises to bring her back to Himself (Rom. 9 - 11).  In the New Testament, the Church is referred to as the bride of Christ; the relationship between Jesus, the Bridegroom, and the Church, the bride, which is to be our model for our own marriage (Eph. 5:22-32).

One might also look at the life of Jacob, to see, perhaps, a picture of the Triune God having two brides.  If one sees Leah as a type of Israel, and Rachel as a type of the Church, one could easily come to the conclusion that the New Jerusalem, which descends from heaven adorned as a bride, is actually two brides:  Israel is the twelve gates representing the twelve Tribes of Israel (Rev. 21:12), and the Church is twelve foundations representing the twelve Apostles (Rev. 21:14).

What I have written is not doctrine, but one simple mind trying to understand God' Word. 


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