Polygamy and the Bible

30 10 2007

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine needed help defending monogamy in the Bible. He knew that polygamy was unbiblical, but was having trouble putting his beliefs into words when he was challenged by his aunt on accounts in the Bible that “promoted polygamy” such as narratives on David and Solomon. It is true that polygamy was practiced during Old Testament times, so how do we handle such accusations that the Bible allows for such a practice?

A lot of problems can be headed off easily if we remember one rule: a recording of historical events does not equate to the allowance or condoning of said event.

For example, if I were to write a historical account of Hitler and Nazi Germany, it does not necessarily follow that I am advocating Nazi beliefs. No one asserts that it is necessary that authors who write of historical events first affirm the actions contained within their work as true or morally right. To say that the Bible condones polygamy because it contains accounts of polygamy is a fallacy.

Another thing that we must remember is that the Bible often portrays the sins of its heroes. This is particularly true of David and Solomon, as well as the disciples/apostles in the Gospels and Acts. We would not say that the Bible condones denying Christ based upon the fact that Peter denied Him.

In Jesus’ teaching on divorce, He pinpoints God’s original intent on marriage. Consider:

6But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ 7 ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, 8and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh.”
Mark 10.6-8

God’s original plan for marriage from the beginning is shown through Adam and Eve. The model is specifically monogamous, one male and one female. If this was God’s plan from the beginning, than anything other than that is sin, including polygamy. The “two shall become one flesh.” This idea can only be realized in a monogamous relationship.

But let us look more specifically at the accounts of David and Solomon. We’ll begin by looking at the commands for kings in general.

14‘When you come to the land that the LORD your God is giving you, and you possess it and dwell in it and then say, ‘I will set a king over me, like all the nations that are around me,’ … 17And he [the king] shall not acquire many wives for himself, lest his heart turn away, nor shall he acquire for himself excessive silver and gold.”
Deuteronomy 17.14,17

There is not really much need of commentary as polygamy for kings here is specifically prohibited. This verse also prohibits the kings from acquire “excessive silver and gold.” In the case of Solomon, he actively breaks both of these commandments.

1Now King Solomon loved many foreign women, along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women, 2from the nations concerning which the LORD had said to the people of Israel, ‘You shall not enter into marriage with them, neither shall they with you, for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods.’ Solomon clung to these in love. 3He had 700 wives, princesses, and 300 concubines. And his wives turned away his heart… 9And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned away from the LORD, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice”
1 Kings 11.1-3, 9

Here we see that Solomon has committed several sins: 1) He had many (many!) wives, 2) he had foreign wives, which was forbidden for Israelites, and 3) he acquired a lot of gold and silver (see 1 Kings 10.14-29 which tells about Solomon’s great riches, and is recorded again in 2 Chronicles 9.13-24). Again, these are specifically against the commandments of Deuteronomy 17. When people assert that the Bible allows for polygamy, they will usually point to Solomon first, but we can easily see that this is not a sanctioning by the Bible, but simply a historical record of Solomon’s sins. The effect of his sin was that his heart turned away his heart, just as Deuteronomy 17 and the command quoted in 1 Kings 11.2 warned. Recording a historical fact is not a sanctioning.

So what about David? Many people also point to David’s affair with Bathsheeba, and his subsequent owning of concubines. In 2 Samuel 12, we find Nathan the prophet coming to David and calling him out for his sin of adultery with Bathsheeba. Being forced to come face to face with his sin, David repents, yet he does not escape consequences. As punishment, God takes David’s son who was born of the illicit affair, as well as all of David’s other wives. This is important because it leaves only one wife, Bathsheeba. However, Scripture also records that David would take 10 concubines as well. Consider 2 Samuel 20:

3And David came to his house at Jerusalem. And the king took the ten concubines whom he had left to care for the house and put them in a house under guard and provided for them, but did not go in to them. So they were shut up until the day of their death, living as if in widowhood.”
2 Samuel 20.3

There are two things of note here. The first is that verse 3 says that David “…did not go into them.” In other words he did not have sexual relations with them, thus not committing adultery with his wife Bathsheeba. The second thing to note in this verse is that they were “living as if in widowhood” i.e. not remarrying. Not only did David not have a sexual relationship with them, he also did not have a marriage relationship with them. Thus, he preserved his monogamous relationship with Bathsheeba.

Some may object that these commandments and events deal specifically with kings, what about everyone else? Though this question is, I think, grasping at straws, we will entertain it. There is no reason to suspect that if polygamy was forbidden for the kings, than it would not be forbidden His people the Israelites. The sixth commandment forbids adultery (Exodus 20.14) which would include forbidding polygamy. This can be seen in an argument from the lesser to the greater. Consider Jesus’ words at the sermon on the mount:

27‘You have heard that it was said, “You shall not commit adultery.” 28But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
Matthew 5.27,28

The Jewish people at that time were great at keeping the commandments, externally. Unfortunately, that is where they stopped. As long as they didn’t commit an actual act of adultery, they were fine. Jesus directly confronts this idea, and gets (literally) to the heart of the matter. Acts of adultery stem from a sinful lusting that originates within us. It is not merely the external we should abstain from, but the internal, which is the root of the external acts. If simply looking lustfully at another woman is tantamount to committing adultery in our hearts, how much more would engaging in a marriage covenant or sexual relations apart from our wife (or husband, as the case of the reader may be)? This is one of the reasons why Jesus forbids divorce later on in Matthew 5, again in Matthew 19, and Mark 10: Those who are divorced by law and enter into another relationship is still guilty of adultery to their first spouse.

Thus, polygamy is not condoned or allowed in the Bible because it goes against God’s very plan for the marriage covenant, the union of one male and one female to become one flesh, and because it is an act of adultery. Those who point to examples of David, Solomon, and other Old Testament saints have made the mistake that a report of what took place is equal to the sanctioning of an event. As we can see, this inference is not at all necessary to make, and is quite a logical jump. In fact, if we pause to consider the teaching of tota scriptura, all of Scripture, we see that polygamy is expressly forbidden and that these individuals were sinning against God.


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14 responses

30 10 2007
LDS Anarchist

You may want to look over this entire site:

http://www.biblicalpolygamy.com

before stating categorically that polygamy is unbiblical.

31 10 2007
Julie

Very nice article, Bryan. I’ve had several conversations like this with folks who are not LDS, but seem to want to argue for polygamy.

1 11 2007
Alicia

Unfortunately, I was a bit disappointed with this treatment of the subject. I’m glad you pointed out the folly of treating narrative silence as tacit approval, but there’s more to this story.

For example, I don’t follow your treatment of David. First, how do you conclude that God took away David’s wives, leaving only Bathsheba? Verse 12 of 2 Samuel 12 says God will “take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and he will lie with them in broad daylight.” We know that David left his concubines to care for the palace during Absalom’s rebellion, and Absalom fulfilled this curse on David (2 Sam. 16:21-22). When David returned after Absalom’s death, he locked away the concubines and did not have sex with them anymore, as you pointed out. But I can’t see how this reference to his concubines entails all of his wives, especially his beloved Abigail. Why do we need to conclude that David became monogamous after his affair with Bathsheba?

Second, you didn’t deal with God’s explicit statement: “I gave…your master’s wives into your arms!” (2 Sam. 12:8) What do we make of this?

I have a theory, but I’ll hold off for now. I want to hear what you think.

2 11 2007
Bryan

In respect to 2 Sam. 12.8, the NASB says “I also gave you your master’s house and your master’s wives into your care.”

I’m not necessarily convinced that must be understood as being given to David in terms of marriage covenant, just as he cared for the concubines outside of a marriage covenant. From the text, we could just as easily assume that if David did marry them that it was an abuse of the care that God intended him to give. Which goes back to narrative silence.

On 2 Samuel 12.11, to me it seemed to fit the language. I don’t know if it necessarily means that they died, although adultery would have been punishable by death. However, the phrase “taken [away]” and “given” seems to be one of permanence, especially as a judgment. To be honest I’m about to go to bed for an 8 o’clock Greek class, so let me pour over it a bit more when I’m awake.

4 11 2007
Chad

In some cases, polygamy was actually required by Deuteronomy 25:5-10—i.e. if in such an instance a man to whom the command applied was already married—which means there is nothing inherently immoral about it. The prohibition against kings multiplying women to themselves was not because polygamy was wrong, but because of the danger of women turning their hearts away, as the text itself says (Deuteronomy 17:17). Uxoriousness was the problem, not polygamy. None of the patriarchs are looked upon negatively by scripture for having more than one woman. David’s sin with Bathsheba was not in taking another woman, but in taking another woman that did not belong to him; a woman that belonged to another man. He is not condemned for having more than one woman to begin with, and in fact, if that had been “too little”, Nathan said that God himself would have given him more (2 Samuel 12:8).

It is the irrational influence of women upon men that continues to be the perennial problem here and is demonstrated in how scripture is so dishonestly approached on this issue. Polygamy can only be considered offensive if a woman is morally entitled to be a man’s only woman, but this you will not find anywhere in scripture. Believing that polygamy is offensive is commensurate with believing that women are entitled the same things as men (classic egalitarianism). Since a man is entitled to be the exclusive head, it is supposed that a woman is entitled to be the exclusive one over which he is head. But such reasoning ignores that men and women are not the same, and there is no support for such reasoning in scripture.

Uxoriousness is the only thing keeping men from treating honestly what the Bible teaches about men and women. The Bible does not mandate polygamy (unless you believe you are still under the Mosaic Law and fall under the obligation of levirate marriage, and then in only certain instances), but it doesn’t condemn it either. Instead of making excuses for something which clearly does not offend God, men would do well to recognize their own place, and to care enough about women (dare I say *respect* women enough) to remind them of theirs.

5 11 2007
Alicia

When God created Adam, and saw it was not good for him to be alone, God gave Adam a wife—one wife, not three or seven. This alone should be enough to persuade us of the wrongness of polygamy.

Yet polygamy existed in patriarchal times. And the narrator of Genesis does not write, in parentheses, “By the way, Abraham sinned by having multiple wives.” This is because Old Testament narrators prefer to show us things rather than come right out and tell us. So narrator silence does not indicate tacit approval. I believe Brian did a great job establishing this point already. It is simply a non sequitur to suggest that because the narrator does not comment on the polygamous practices of the patriarchs, the narrator therefore approves of them.

Returning to what we know about Old Testament storytelling, the narrators prefer to let the characters’ actions and consequences speak for themselves. Again, the preferred method is to show, not to tell. And when we look at the lives of the patriarchs, it is more than obvious that their polygamous lives did not produce good fruit. Abraham’s polygamy with Hagar produced envy and strife in his family (Gen. 16:6, 21:8-10). Jacob’s two wives produced a harvest of envy, competition, resentment, and fraternal hatred (Gen. 29-31, 36-37). Polygamy is not portrayed in a positive light in the patriarchs.

Further, in later instances of polygamy, the fruits of this arrangement are equally unsavory: Hannah experiences belittlement and torment at the hands of her husband’s second wife (1 Samuel 1). It is also not too difficult to see David’s family strife breaking out along maternal lines (2 Samuel 13, esp. v. 4).

Further, Jesus says that to marry another, other than your first, is adultery (Mark 10:1-12). He does not say that to marry another man’s wife is adultery. He says to marry another women, without respect to that second woman’s marital status, is adultery against the first woman. It is hard to imagine the Lord Jesus being any clearer than this. In addition, it is difficult to imagine polygamy as morally acceptable in light of Paul’s use of the singular (“wife”) in Ephesians 5, and Paul’s requirement that deacons, bishops, and elders be monogamous (1 Tim. 3:2,12; Titus 1:6).

In Deuteronomy, we find laws regarding a man who has more than one wife (Deut. 21:15-17). He is forbidden to give firstborn rights to the son of his preferred wife if that son is not really the firstborn. By comparing this law to divorce law in Deut. 24:1-4, we can see that this was a concession, not an approval of polygamy. Jesus Himself makes this point about Deut. 24 (Mark 10:1-12). It is not hard to see the similarity between divorce law and polygamy law here.

Exodus 21:10-11 gives more guidelines for polygamists: A man who has multiple wives is prohibited from shirking his duties to any one of those wives. Again, regulating a practice is not the same as approval of that practice per se. This law is a concession, an acknowledgement that in the Israelite community at Sinai, there were already men who had multiple wives. They had come out of pagan Egypt, not knowing God or serving Him, retaining perhaps only dim memories of stories about the patriarchs. Coming from such a pagan culture with pagan values, it is understandable that men might have multiple wives already. They were coming out of that life, and being initiated into a new life, life in covenant with God. This new covenantal life was not merely individual, but communal; God was creating a community of worshipers. It would not do to have thousands of covenant members turned out of their homes onto the streets, unprovided for. The moral thing for a man to do in that situation was not to divorce or neglect any of his wives, but to provide for all their needs now that they were married to him.

This brings us to the heart of the subject: God does not see all sins as equally evil. Clearly, polygamy is wrong in God’s sight. But it is also clear, especially from the Mosaic code, that God considers other things more evil than polygamy itself. So when confronted with a situation in which a man is already married to multiple women, God finds it morally unacceptable for the man to turn his back on those women he has committed himself to. This is because marriage is a covenant (Malachi 2:14), in which a man and a woman each take the other unto themselves as if the other were their own flesh and blood (Gen. 2:24). In marriage a man or woman commits him/herself and all his/her worldly goods—yes, even his/her very life—to the good of the other. While God clearly sees the attempt to divide this commitment among many women as an evil, He also clearly sees the attempt to revoke this commitment from one to whom it has been given as a worse evil. Gods solution to a polygamous relationship is not to undo the relationship. It is to regulate it. This is God’s way.

And this is the gospel’s way. The gospel is not for revolutionaries. The gospel brings change gradually, peacefully, not through violent upheaval of established relationships. We see this in the New Testament in Paul’s treatment of slavery: slavery is incompatible with gospel ethics, just like polygamy. Paul does not advocate a slave uprising; rather, he advocates the lawful, peaceful means of obtaining freedom (1 Cor. 7:20-24). The gospel of Jesus Christ brings change through reformation, not revolution. It works like yeast working its way gradually through dough (Luke 13:21), not like a forest fire burning everything in sight so that a new order can come. As Doug Wilson writes,

“The godly pattern of social renewal is never bloodthirsty. The radical insists on immediate action, through coercive, bloody, and political means. In contrast, the work of the gospel is done as silently as yeast working through the loaf, and the end result is liberation from sin, love for God, and love for one’s neighbor. This love for neighbor necessitates the recognition that in Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave or free, male or female, white or black (Gal. 3:28). But those radicals who are impatient in their spirits always refuse God’s teaching in such matters. They are proud and ignorant, loving verbal strife, envy, railing, and perverse disputes (1 Tim. 6:3-5). We speak for peace, but they are for war (Ps. 120:7).” (dougwils.com, 4.20.07)

There are many established institutions and practices that are sinful in the world. But God is compassionate and gracious. He does not require that all sinful institutions be overthrown instantaneously and violently. He makes concessions and desires them to be overthrown peacefully. So when we see polygamy tolerated in the Old Testament, this does not amount to divine approval, but rather divine patience. God is regulating institutionalized sin while simultaneously working to systematically eliminate it. The gospel takes time to work through the whole of society.

So the biblical teaching is that monogamy is God’s institution, and polygamy departs from it in a sinful way. But because marriage is communal, it is not morally acceptable to simply walk away from a polygamous marriage. God is compassionate toward the people involved, and He understands that more damage can be done by violently cutting ties than by acting morally within given circumstances.

8 11 2007
Aaron Gower

I think one should not be obsessed with the concept of Polygamy. The way I see it,polygamy was rampant in the old testement. Part of the reason for this was polygamy was embedded in the cultures which prevailed at that time. However,as we live in the Christian age as opposed to the Moasic age, polygamy should not apply to us at all. In Matthew 19:8, Jesus clearly says that if a man divorces a women other than for marital unfaithfulness,and marries another women it is deemed adultery. In such a context, can a man have more than one wife ?It is simply impossible for a man to have more thanone wife according to this teaching. Then again simply becasuse there was animal sacrifices and circumcission in the old testement we dont practice them in the Christian age. So I cant see any reason why we should be worried about this issue as we are living in the Christian age.

God Bless

8 11 2007
Bryan

The problem is you’ve now set polygamy as equal with sacrifice and circumcision. Sacrifice and circumcision have a specific role in the Old Testament, such as marking out God’s covenant people, and the atoning for sins. Polygamy, however, is none of those things and is in fact a sin.

The vital issue is why don’t we practice these things in “the Christian age?” To me it seems like you are just throwing out the Old Testament as unnecessary. Jesus said that He did not come to abolish the law, but fulfill it. I won’t get into the issue of covenantal, new covenantal, and dispensationalism here, however.

9 11 2007
Chad

Aaron: Polygamy may seem historically “rampant” based upon the accounts in the Bible, but I suspect that it hasn’t really ever been the norm for average Joes. As many men as the Bible highlights, it is really only a handful—and mostly Jews at that, since it’s their book and all. I think the challenge of being responsible for more than one woman is enough to have made polygamy the exception for most men throughout history, not the rule; even in the Bible. While I know several men who want to have sex with many women, none of them want to be responsible for more than one…if even one.

I don’t believe it is a matter of being obsessed with polygamy, but rather, being honest with what the Bible teaches. Since there are plenty of accounts of polygamy in the Bible, it is worth addressing, particularly if the Bible teaches that it is sin. That is reason enough for Bryan to address the issue. Kudos to him.

Bryan: The reason I decided to comment was because I happened upon the site by coming across your post on “Masculinity and Being Raised by a Single Mom.” I think the two are connected: 1) masculinity is rarely taught or understood, least of all in the home of a divorced mother (hence, you recognize that you are a man and that means something, which is why you are pursuing to understand it), and 2) polygamy is considered immoral precisely because it is unthinkable that men and women would be treated differently. At the heart of both issues is the failure of a clear and accurate understanding of man and woman as created by God—not as “equals,” but as “male and female.”

From one theologian to another—I *know* when answers aren’t satisfying. If I wanted the Bible to teach that polygamy was a sin, I would appeal to everything that you did. But I still wouldn’t be satisfied, because all of the arguments are based on believing that polygamy is a sin to begin with (the thing I would be trying to prove), and I still wouldn’t have a text that says it. Matthew 19:9 is the closest [good for you, Aaron], but that actually has several variant issues (cf Matthew 5:32). The point is that I know when I am trying to find what I want in the Bible, and I know when I am forcing the text. I humbly submit that you may not want to believe that polygamy is *not* a sin because, among other things (like being taught that way your whole life…like me), mostly, you don’t want women to feel bad. It just seems so cold.

And I suggest that is the crux. “It just seems so cold” is not enough reason to make the Bible say something that it doesn’t. The feelings of women should not dictate exegesis. While polygamy is nothing to be obsessed with, the proper handling of the Bible is. I fully expect you to follow your convictions. I follow mine. I grew up in the home of a divorced mother, too. I know first-hand how detrimental such a situation is to the proper development of masculinity. But it turns out that a great deal of theology has been overly influenced by the sensitivities of women, too (hand-in-hand with the growing lack of masculinity on the part of its teachers), and that’s what I suggest that you consider (The Church Impotent – the Feminization of Christianity, by Leon Podles, was well done, I think…was a fun read…thought I might plug it…it was a good find).

Thanks for the discussion, brothers.

9 11 2007
Alicia

Chad,

You still have not engaged key texts on this issue.

First, the pattern God Himself established in Genesis. This is not something to be trifled with. How do you defend the idea that Scripture would sanction such a clear departure from God’s pattern?

Second, Matthew 19. Jesus is speaking on the lawfulness of divorce. In the course of that discussion, He declares that the Law of God in Deuteronomy was not a sanction for divorce, but a regulation of it. In other words, divorce itself does not have God’s approval; God was making a concession to a people with hard hearts. I’ll repeat: a people with hard hearts.

How does Jesus defend His disapproval of divorce, despite its appearance in the Law of Moses? “It was not so from the beginning.” (v.8) Clearly, Jesus sees the creational pattern as normative and approved by God. Departure from that pattern is sin, in Jesus’ mind.

We can do no better than to apply the same hermeneutic our Lord applied. This divorce law occurs just a couple of chapters after some domestic laws that included a law about children in a polygamous marriage (Deut. 21:15-17). Since Jesus interpreted the divorce law as a regulation of sin rather than an approval of it, and if He did so by citing the creational ordinance, we must do the same for the polygamous laws. Whenever Mosaic law regulates polygamy, it is not because polygamy is okay; rather, it is because God is regulating a *sinful* pracitce.

Additionally, your citation of Deuteronomy 25:5-10 makes no reference to polygamy at all. It is difficult, therefore, to see this text as supportive of polygamy.

In short, Jesus’ own teaching on the integrity of marriage makes it impossible to conclude that alteration of the creational arrangement (one man, one woman, the end) is anything other than sinful. We are simply out of step with the text if we can imagine Jesus saying, “If any divorces his wife, except for infidelity, and marries another woman commits adultery…But as long as you keep the first wife, and marry another woman, that’s cool.”

Matthew 5:32 cannot be used to nullify 19:9, any more than Romans 3:28 can be used to nullify James 2:24. The Bible cannot be played against itself. Jesus’ teaching in Matt. 5 has a slightly different trajectory (adultery) than in 19 (divorce). But the two do not contradict each other. Rather, we are left with a Savior who clearly teaches that marriage is one to one, till death us do part.

Finally, your view of men and women is decidedly out of step with the Biblical view. “Equality” is not the same as “sameness.” Men and women are equal in value, and they are equally the image of God (Gen. 1:27). They are also equal in their affirmation as covenant members (Gal. 3:28). But they are not the same. They have differing roles within marriage itself (Gen. 2; Eph. 5; 1 Peter 3). Differing roles does not mean inequality. And it is precisely this equality that is violated by the practice of polygamy. The husband’s body belongs to his wife, and the wife’s body to her husband (1 Cor. 7:1-4). This reciprocity is blatantly denied and destroyed by polygamy. “Sorry, honey. My body isn’t yours; I’ll do with it what I want, and I want to be united with a second woman.”

Far from ever requiring polygamy, far from approving of it, the BIble speaks against polygamy on numberous occasions. From God’s creation and institution of one-man-one-woman marriage; to the negative portrayal of the patriarchs’ polygamy; to Jesus’ clear teaching on the sinfulness of departure from the creation model; to Paul’s picture of marriage; the Bible shows us that polygamy does, in fact, offend God.

9 11 2007
Bryan

I just want to say that I am extremely happy with the dialogue thus far. I haven’t stepped back into it because I’ve been busy, and really, I see no reason to interrupt. Except this time. Or if things get out of hand.

9 11 2007
Alicia

Mark 10:1-12 should have been included in my last post, as well. Anyone arguing for the acceptability of polygamy must deal with Jesus’ explicit statement: “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her.” Taking another spouse is adultery against the first spouse. Jesus further tells us that this goes both ways: The standards in this instance are the same for both men and women. Reciprocity is the word.

I guess Jesus was a bit too influenced by the feelings of women on this issue. We’ll have to correct Him when we see Him.

29 11 2007
ArchAngelM

I am sorry… you are in error regarding Solomon “This verse also prohibits the kings from acquire “excessive silver and gold.” In the case of Solomon, he actively breaks both of these commandments.”

God specifically made sure he had these things at his disposal; Solomon did not: “acquire for ‘himself’ excessive silver and gold.” (emphasis added) God provided it. He prayed for discernment and knowing right and wrong:

1 Kings 3

7 “Now, O LORD my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties. 8 Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. 9 So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?”

10 The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this. 11 So God said to him, “Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, 12 I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be. 13 Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for—both riches and honor—so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings.

And in the end since he married many when he was told specifically NOT to… he lost the blessing that God poured out on him of His own plan. Not Solomon’s – He turned away from God just like he was warned about:

17And he [the king] shall not acquire many wives for himself, lest his heart turn away, ”
Deuteronomy 17.17

3He had 700 wives, princesses, and 300 concubines. And his wives turned away his heart… 9And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned away from the LORD, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice”
1 Kings 11.3, 9

God allows things to occur. It does not mean He condones those things. Just because we CAN do a thing does not mean we should. Solomon knew right from wrong. And he chose the latter.

29 11 2007
Bryan

1. You don’t have to apologize for my error. But all the same, it’s ok. Just don’t do it again.

2. I’m not denying that God was a source of his riches. Or even that God doesn’t bless people with riches. As a Calvinist I think all things come from God. Maybe I shouldn’t have used a reflexive pronoun there, but having a first cause doesn’t always take away the secondary cause.

3. We still arrived at the same conclusion. Solomon sinned.

4. Please use your name and a real email please. My posting guidelines were point to nonanonymous posting, but I was not clear enough. That was my fault so I went ahead and posted the comment. I’ll make that a bit more evident.




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