Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Does the Bible Condone Polygamy: Part 1--The First Marriage

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In our first look into the idea of polygamy and the Bible, we get to look at the first marriage.  This is THE best marriage ever, even with it's issues, because God Himself created it back in the Garden of Eden.  How cool is that?

Now, those of us who are "non-scholars", may not be overly familiar with the thought of the "law of first mention".  Basically this idea is that where ever an idea is mentioned first in the Bible, that thought carries the same meaning throughout the Scripture.  Basically like in Deuteronomy, where murder is a sin there, it is the same throughout the rest of the Bible.  If an idea is in a positive light in its first mention, it is in the same light all the way through, if it is in a negative light at first mention, it is negative all the way through.  Make sense?  By the way, more information on the "law of first mention" can be found here.

Now, keep that thought in mind as we look at the first marriage.  This can be found in Genesis 2: 18-25.

18 And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
19 And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.
20 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.
21 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;
22 And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

You will notice in this passage that God didn't create 2 women, 3 women, or even 4 women to help Adam.  Instead, He created 1, and made her from a part of him, and were to be one flesh.  This is the first mention of marriage in the Scriptures, and it was created by God Himself.  Had God wanted Adam to have more than one helper, one wife, He most certainly could have provided Adam with one.  But--He didn't.  It was not His plan.

Now, we know what happened with Adam and Eve, how they sinned and were made to leave the garden.  Even so, no where is there mention of another wife for Adam after they sinned and left Eden, no mention of children from another wife besides Eve.  Why?  Because there was no second or third or fourth wife.

Throughout Genesis 3, we see mention of God speaking to Adam or attending to Adam and his wife...not wives.

The first mention of multiple wives comes a little later on in Genesis, but it is not with the first marriage.  We can go through Genesis, including after Cain slew Abel, and we see no mention of another wife for Adam, but we do see where Eve bore more children after Abel's death.  By the time we get to Genesis 5:5, where Adam passes at 930 years old, there is never mention of multiple wives, just multiple generations after Adam and Eve.

Thus, we see the first marriage, one man and one woman.

Just the way God created it!

Sources:  Bible Gateway, Answers in Genesis

If you missed it, the Introduction to this series is:  Does the Bible Condone Polygamy?

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