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Re: The Bible and Polygamy [Re: Green Cochoa] #134305
06/09/11 02:18 AM
06/09/11 02:18 AM
G
glenm  Offline
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Active Member 2018
Posting New Member
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 45
Colorado, USA
I'm not following this thread, but did have occasion earlier today to look briefly at what EGW says about polygamy.

There are at least two terms you can search on -- "polygamy" and "plurality of wives". It looks like there are around 25 distinct statements using these terms on the EGW CD-ROM.

One of the really core ones is as follows:

Quote:
In the beginning, God gave to Adam one wife, thus showing his order. He never designed that man should have a plurality of wives. Lamech was the first who departed in this respect from God's wise arrangement. He had two wives, which created discord in his family. The envy and jealousy of both made Lamech unhappy. When men began to multiply upon the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, they took them wives of all which they chose. This was one of the great sins of the inhabitants of the old world, which brought the wrath of God upon them. This custom was practiced after the flood, and became so common that even righteous men fell into the practice, and had a plurality of wives. Yet it was no less sin because they became corrupted, and departed in this thing from God's order. {1SP 93.2}

Re: The Bible and Polygamy [Re: glenm] #134306
06/09/11 04:34 AM
06/09/11 04:34 AM
NJK Project  Offline
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Posts: 1,098
Laval, Quebec
Interesting SOP quote glenm again on this topic. I’ve browse through the other distinct SOP quotes and my Biblical understanding (still) is that God’s ideal was indeed one wife for each man, however, as with Levirate marriages allowed in the Law, I see/understand that in genuine cases of one wife not being able to bear children, for which she could be given a certificate of divorce, God allowed for a man to take another wife. In fact divorcing that barren wife would most likely result in her remaining unmarried for the rest of her life, thus really making her life doubly miserable (i.e., both “unloved” and barren, two things that God did not at all want for a woman/wife (cf. Deut 21:15-17; cf. His favoring of Leah for the “unloved” reason in Gen 29:31-33. My view is that the descendants of Ishamael have always been so much more numerous than even the descendants of Isaac (=Israel) for that same “unloved” reason with Hagar.). Lamech may indeed have gone against that just provision and may have married two wives for no such reasons at all.

So, as I see it, just like God allowed, and in Statutory Law, for divorce due to the tangible issues as a result of the loss of man’s perfect state, He also allowed for having a second wife for the sake of having children.

In regards to my earlier point with Elkanah (“a Levite” -PP 569.1/Josephus, Antiquities, 5:10.2 [#342]), it is said in the Bible and SOP (cf. Josephus) that Hannah was loved, but barren, and so Elkanah took second wife Peninnah, while not divorcing his first wife, justly for that reason of having children, which Peninnah did. (See PP 569.2)

It is indeed for this reason of Religious men and Leaders (Abraham, Jacob, Moses?, Elkanah) doing this without being punished by God as was (Lamech), David and Solomon for indeed “baseless” excesses, that I do not see every instance of it as a “sin.” Some cases, when involving childbearing, were indeed according to various pertinent Laws and thus Justified. (contra ST, March 27, 1879 par. 3). And, as I see it, God instructed Abraham to send Hagar away because of the strife her presence was causing in his household. As Is ee it, contra. SR 80.2, if God wanted to make a statement on polygamy, He would have rather instructed Abraham not listen to Sarah’s counsel and marry Hagar in the first place. So my view is that EGW overgeneralized the pointed revelation she was given on this issue to apply to every single occurrence.

Indeed having two wives was more than likely to produce contentious household however it seems to me that God’s Law in Deut 17:17 also indirectly served as an impetus to prevent this from taking place for those cases when such a second/Levirate marriage was justified for those reasons of childbearing.


“Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.” Matt 25:45 NJK Project
Re: The Bible and Polygamy [Re: Green Cochoa] #134319
06/09/11 03:52 PM
06/09/11 03:52 PM
Mountain Man  Offline
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Active Member 2019

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Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 22,256
Southwest USA
Originally Posted By: Green Cochoa
M: Elle, I used to serve the church as a pastor and an evangelist. We were taught people living together under common law must get married before they can be baptized and join the church. I hear you saying, no, they are already married in the eyes of God. Also, the punishment for rape was death not marriage.

GC: Despite what the church may or may not say, Elle has the Biblical support for her stance on both of the points above. The church, for as much as God has honored us with wisdom, has not always been right. This is one of those points where I feel the church has diverged from a clear "thus saith the Lord." Now, if you can show Bible support for your position.

Again, the punishment for rape was death not marriage. I believe Elle misinterpreted Duet 22:28-29.

Re: The Bible and Polygamy [Re: Elle] #134323
06/09/11 07:02 PM
06/09/11 07:02 PM
Rosangela  Offline OP
5500+ Member
Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 6,153
Brazil
Quote:
Jesus Emphasizing to Give a Written Divorce
With that context in mind, and knowing that Jesus did not come to destroy the law, let us look at Matthew 5:31, 32 in greater detail. These two verses are a part of His comment on "Thou shalt not commit adultery,"(v.27) that is part of the 10 commandments. So the final thrust of His comment is to define adultery in relation to the laws of divorce and remarriage found in Deut 24:1 which Verse 31 simply refers to. In that Law, God demanded that men give their wives a WRITTEN bill of divorcement before they could lawfully put away their wives. Deut 24:2, of course, allowed divorced wives to remarry after a lawful divorce. So let us take another look at Matthew 5:31, 32, inserting a few key words in the original Greek, so that we get a proper translation of the passage.

31 It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away (apoluo) his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement (apostasion). 32 But I say unto you, that whosoever shall put away (apoluo) his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery; and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced (apoluo, lit. "put away") committeth adultery. ”

To paraphrase this: The law says that she commits adultery if she remarries (or lives with another man ) without a written bill of divorcement. BUT I SAY UNTO YOU that whoever puts her away (without divorce papers; that is, unlawfully) causes her to commit adultery (if she remarries or lives with another man under such conditions). Thus, he who simply put her out of his house without divorcing her properly is JUST AS LIABLE AS SHE IS. And whosoever marries her (or lives with her) that has been put away (without divorce papers) also commits adultery, because he is marrying another man's wife.

Jesus is here condemning men who put away their wives the Babylonian style (verbally), instead of putting her away in the manner prescribed by God's law. Under the laws of liability, this would make him (the husband who neglects to give a bill of divorcement to his wife before putting her away as God prescribed) guilty of adultery if she were to remarry or living with another man. So we see that the whole point of this commentary is to bring out a point of law that had not been covered by the Pharisees in their interpretations.

So divorce is OK? If it's OK why does God hate it (Mal. 2:16; same word used in Deut. 24:3, 4)?
Besides, why did Jesus say that it was "for your hardness of heart [that] Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so"?
Both the passage in Deut. and Jesus mention the bill of divorcement before the putting away of the wife. So what Jesus is saying here is that the man who gives a bill of divorcement to his wife before putting her away is guilty of adultery if he marries another and that he makes of his former wife an adulterer if she remarries.

Re: The Bible and Polygamy [Re: Rosangela] #134363
06/10/11 07:01 PM
06/10/11 07:01 PM
K
kland  Offline
SDA
Active Member 2020

5500+ Member
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 5,867
Midland
(MM, divorce is another one where it's not God's will, but He instructs about it -- "for your hardness of heart")

Re: The Bible and Polygamy [Re: kland] #134369
06/11/11 12:20 AM
06/11/11 12:20 AM
NJK Project  Offline
Banned Member
Dedicated Member
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,098
Laval, Quebec
I see God granting this right to divorce because this hardness would directly translate into quite unhappy marriages. God Himself does not force a relationship or love and that also extends into marriages which is symbolic of His relationship with professed believers. And just like in marriage, when one party does not want to continue in the relationship, divorce (cf. Isa 50:1), though “hated” by Him, is the best option, however with strict regulations/limitations/conditions.


“Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.” Matt 25:45 NJK Project
Re: The Bible and Polygamy [Re: Mountain Man] #134373
06/11/11 08:04 AM
06/11/11 08:04 AM
E
Elle  Offline
Active Member 2019
Died February 12, 2019

2500+ Member
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 2,536
Canada
Originally Posted By: Mountain Man
Originally Posted By: Green Cochoa
M: Elle, I used to serve the church as a pastor and an evangelist. We were taught people living together under common law must get married before they can be baptized and join the church. I hear you saying, no, they are already married in the eyes of God. Also, the punishment for rape was death not marriage.

GC: Despite what the church may or may not say, Elle has the Biblical support for her stance on both of the points above. The church, for as much as God has honored us with wisdom, has not always been right. This is one of those points where I feel the church has diverged from a clear "thus saith the Lord." Now, if you can show Bible support for your position.

Again, the punishment for rape was death not marriage. I believe Elle misinterpreted Duet 22:28-29.

MM, I think you need to re-read Deut 22:23-30 carefully as it is very plainly written how to deal with the case of rape of a virgin damsel. The damsel is to scream if she’s rape which is what define if she’s rape or not(v.27). In the condition that she screamed (v.27) and is not bethrothed, that man does not die(v.27-29). He only dies if that damsel is bethrothed only(v.24 & 25).

So the conclusion according to this law is the man that rapes dies only because of the reason of adultery for he lied with a bethrothed maiden which is considered as a married woman. Deut 22 does not support your interpretation that all cases of rape = death.


Blessings
Re: The Bible and Polygamy [Re: NJK Project] #134374
06/11/11 08:45 AM
06/11/11 08:45 AM
E
Elle  Offline
Active Member 2019
Died February 12, 2019

2500+ Member
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 2,536
Canada
Originally Posted By: NJK Project
I see God granting this right to divorce because this hardness would directly translate into quite unhappy marriages. God Himself does not force a relationship or love and that also extends into marriages which is symbolic of His relationship with professed believers. And just like in marriage, when one party does not want to continue in the relationship, divorce (cf. Isa 50:1), though “hated” by Him, is the best option, however with strict regulations/limitations/conditions.

NJK, KLand, and others, I agree with the overall of the above. But one thing we need to remember, that God Himself had two wives and He divorced one of them(Israel) in the manner of His law(Jer 3:8 and Deut 24). He wrote her a bill of divorce through the prophet Jeremiah before taking her out of His house.

So God Himself is a Divorcee.

Did God got divorce because of the hardness of His heart?


Blessings
Re: The Bible and Polygamy [Re: Elle] #134377
06/11/11 10:52 AM
06/11/11 10:52 AM
NJK Project  Offline
Banned Member
Dedicated Member
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,098
Laval, Quebec
Originally Posted By: Elle
So God Himself is a Divorcee.


Indeed/Agreed! And God remarriage is fully justified given the issue of marital unfaithfulness on OT Israel’s part.

Originally Posted By: Elle
Did God got divorce because of the hardness of His heart?


Of course not. As the Scriptures relatedly say it was because he ‘found fault with them’ (Heb 8:8ff) that he had to alter those previous relationship/covenantal arrangement though while in the midst of their allotted time (Jer 31:31-34 ca. 640 B.C.), but then at a point where a “marital separation” was about to occur with the Babylonian Captivity.

Indeed it was Israel who had hardened themselves against God in this ‘most gracious’ marriage relationship (cf. Deut 7:6, 7; Ezek 16:1-15), having developed the “forehead (i.e., mentality) of a harlot”, ‘playing the harlot’ and ‘refusing to be ashamed’ (Jer 3:3; Ezek 16:15ff; cf. Rev 17:5), (all something so counterintuitive that God did not “expect”, especially after all this loving care (Isa 5:1-4)).


“Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.” Matt 25:45 NJK Project
Re: The Bible and Polygamy [Re: Elle] #134402
06/11/11 06:00 PM
06/11/11 06:00 PM
Mountain Man  Offline
SDA
Charter Member
Active Member 2019

20000+ Member
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 22,256
Southwest USA
Originally Posted By: Elle
Originally Posted By: Mountain Man
Originally Posted By: Green Cochoa
M: Elle, I used to serve the church as a pastor and an evangelist. We were taught people living together under common law must get married before they can be baptized and join the church. I hear you saying, no, they are already married in the eyes of God. Also, the punishment for rape was death not marriage.

GC: Despite what the church may or may not say, Elle has the Biblical support for her stance on both of the points above. The church, for as much as God has honored us with wisdom, has not always been right. This is one of those points where I feel the church has diverged from a clear "thus saith the Lord." Now, if you can show Bible support for your position.

Again, the punishment for rape was death not marriage. I believe Elle misinterpreted Duet 22:28-29.

MM, I think you need to re-read Deut 22:23-30 carefully as it is very plainly written how to deal with the case of rape of a virgin damsel. The damsel is to scream if she’s rape which is what define if she’s rape or not(v.27). In the condition that she screamed (v.27) and is not bethrothed, that man does not die(v.27-29). He only dies if that damsel is bethrothed only(v.24 & 25).

So the conclusion according to this law is the man that rapes dies only because of the reason of adultery for he lied with a bethrothed maiden which is considered as a married woman. Deut 22 does not support your interpretation that all cases of rape = death.

Contemporary English Version
Deu 22:28 Suppose a woman isn't engaged to be married, and a man talks her into sleeping with him. If they are caught,
Deu 22:29 they will be forced to get married. He must give her father fifty pieces of silver as a bride-price and can never divorce her.

Matthew Henry Commentary
V. If a damsel not betrothed were thus abused by violence, he that abused her should be fined, the father should have the fine, and, if he and the damsel did consent, he should be bound to marry her, and never to divorce her, how much soever she was below him, and how unpleasing soever she might afterwards be to him, as Tamar was to Amnon after he had forced her, Deu_22:28, Deu_22:29. This was to deter men from such vicious practices, which it is a shame that we are necessitated to read and write of.

John Gill Commentary
Deu 22:28 If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed,.... That is, meets with one in a field, which is not espoused to a man; and the man is supposed to be an unmarried man, as appears by what follows: and lay hold on her, and lie with her, she yielding to it, and so is not expressive of a rape, as Deu_22:25 where a different word from this is there used; which signifies taking strong hold of her, and ravishing her by force; yet this, though owing to his first violent seizure of her, and so different from what was obtained by enticing words, professions of love, and promises of marriage, and the like, as in Exo_22:16 but not without her consent: and they be found; in the field together, and in the fact; or however there are witnesses of it, or they themselves have confessed, it, and perhaps betrayed by her pregnancy.

Exodus
22:16 And if a man entice a maid that is not betrothed, and lie with her, he shall surely endow her to be his wife.

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