• Biblical Marriage

    Bibliical Marriage.
One man, multiple wives and concubines.

    When we think of the godly act of making love we think of one man and one woman in holy matrimony. While that was the original Biblical ideal, the Word of God did allow for other arrangements, most of which are frowned upon today. This means there was a whole lot of lovemaking beyond that of a man and his one and only wife!

    1. Polygamous Marriage

    One man married to more than one woman; very common in the Word of God. David, Solomon, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob were all polygamists; and most of the men in the Hebrews Hall of Fame. Mind you, it was never without its problems.

    2. Levirate Marriage

    If a woman’s husband died without a son her brother-in-law or other close male relative had the responsibility to impregnate her. If she had a son he would be considered the heir of her late husband.

    Then Judah said to Onan, “Go in to your brother's wife and perform the duty of a brother-in-law to her, and raise up offspring for your brother.” Genesis 36:8 ESV

    3. A man, a woman and her property — a female slave

    A man could be considered “married” to both a woman and her female slave, especially if his wife told him to have sex with her.

    So she [Rachel] gave him her servant Bilhah as a wife, and Jacob went in to her. And Bilhah conceived and bore Jacob a son. Genesis 30:4-5 ESV

    4. A man, one or more wives, and some concubines

    A concubine was often a woman purchased as a slave who became the wife of her owner, but with less status than a regular wife. Her children where usually not heirs. This meant having sex with a concubine did not risk the line of succession.

    5. A male soldier and a female prisoner of war

    A woman captured during war could be forced to marry or become a concubine of the victor.

    And you see among the captives a beautiful woman, and you desire to take her to be your wife, and you bring her home to your house, she shall shave her head and pare her nails. And she shall take off the clothes in which she was captured and shall remain in your house and lament her father and her mother a full month. After that you may go in to her and be her husband, and she shall be your wife. But if you no longer delight in her, you shall let her go where she wants. But you shall not sell her for money, nor shall you treat her as a slave, since you have humiliated her. Deuteronomy 21:11-14 ESV

    6. A male rapist and his victim

    In one of the strangest Old Testament laws an unmarried woman must marry her rapist!

    If a man meets a virgin who is not betrothed, and seizes her and lies with her, and they are found, then the man who lay with her shall give to the father of the young woman fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife, because he has violated her. He may not divorce her all his days. Deuteronomy 22:28-29 ESV

    7. A male and female slave

    A slave owner could force two slaves to marry, have children, and thus produce more slaves. One would hope that part of this was a compassionate provision.

    If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the wife and her children shall be her master's, and he shall go out alone. Exodus 21:4 ESV

    8. Monogamous, heterosexual marriage

    These were usually arranged marriages, most of which proved to be quite successful, no matter how strange the concept may seem to the western mind. You were paired with someone from your own ethnicity and faith.

    What has never been allowed is any male-male or female-female arrangement. Citing the various Old Testament permeations of marriage in no way sanctifies sexual sin.


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    Biblical Marriage.

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