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Marriage in the Bible
09-04-2012, 04:09 AM
Post: #1
Marriage in the Bible
Many of the Old Testament Prophets and Patriarchs had multiple wives, including Lamech, Abraham, Jacob, Esau, Gideon, Saul, David, Solomon, Rehoboam, Elkanah, Ashur, Abijah and Jehoiada. Some interpretations also suggest Moses had a second wife in Tharbis. Other polygamists identified in the Bible include Ahab, Ahasuerus, Ashur, Belshazzar, Benhadad, Caleb, Eliphaz, Ezra, Jehoiachin, Jehoram, Jerahmeel, Joash, Machir, Manasseh, Mered, Nahor, Shaharaim, Simeon, and Zedekiah.

The first polygamist mentioned in the Bible is Lamech, whose two wives were Adah and Zillah (Gen 4:19).[1] Abraham's 3+ wives were Sarah, Hagar (Gen 16:3, 21:1-13), Keturah (Gen 25:1), and concubines (which are also referred to as "wives" in other parts of the Bible) (Gen 25:6). The concubines were Hagar (Gen 16:3, 25:6) and Keturah (Gen 25:6, I Chr 1:32). There is no reason to presume that he had concubines other than Hagar and Keturah. Hagar, like the slave women of Jacob's wives, was more of a surrogate mother than a concubine in the normal sense as it appears that after using her in place of Sarah to provide a child, Abraham does not appear to have had sexual relations with her any more. Jacob's four wives are Leah and Rachel (Gen 29:28) and despite an oath with their father Laban to not take any additional wives (Gen 31:48-54), Jacob took Bilhah (Gen 30:4) and Zilpah (Gen 30:9). As with Hagar, Bilhah and Zilpah were surrogate mothers to provide children on behalf of their mistresses, Leah and Rachel. It does not appear that Jacob continued to have sexual relations with the two women. In each of the three cases of Sarah, Leah and Rachel, each woman commanded her slave to have sexual relations with their husbands respectively. Neither Abraham nor Jacob took it upon themselves to approach their wives' slave women. Moses' 2 wives Zipporah (Ex 2:21, Ex 18:1-6) and an Ethiopian (Gk "burnt face")(Cushite < כושי, kooshiy, ultimate meaning unknown but from ancient times signifying Upper (southern) Egypt, Nubia, and dark skinned (see Jer 13:23) or even red haired people) woman (Num 12:1), which Moses was permitted to marry by God, despite all the rest of his people being forbidden to take a foreign (because foreigners were per se pagan) wife. There is dissent on this. Some think that Zipporah, daughter (Ex 2:21) of a Midianite priest (Ex 2:16, Ex 18:1, 2), is the "Ethiopian" woman. Other opinion is that Zipporah died and Moses married an Ethiopian woman in her place. Interestingly enough, Aaron and Miriam were punished for disapproving of Moses' forbidden marriage.

Gideon (also named Jerub-Baal) "had many wives" (Judges 8:29-32). Elkanah, Samuel the priest's father, had 2 wives: Hannah and Peninnah (1 Samuel 1:1-2). Often, people studying King David, get confused between his "wives" and "concubines" because the Bible calls 10 of his concubines "wives" in several places. An accurate list of David's wives would include at least 4 named wives: 1) Michal (1 Sam 18:27, 19:11-18, 25:44; 2 Sam 3:13-14, 6:20-23), 2) Abigail of Carmel (1 Sam 25:39, 1 Chr 3), 3) Ahinoam of Jezreel (1 Sam 25:43, 1 Chr 3), 4) Eglah (2 Sam 3:4-5, 1 Chr 3), and 5) Bathsheba (2 Sam 12:24). David also took "more wives and concubines" in 2 Sam 5:13, 12:7-8, 1 Chr 14:3, bringing the total women to a minimum of 5 + 2+ additional wives + 2+ additional concubines = 9+ women. Three additional women are mentioned, but we are not told if they are wives or concubines: 1) Maacah (2 Sam 3:3, 1 Chr 3), 2) Abital (2 Sam 3:3-4, 1 Chr 3), and 3) Haggith (2 Sam 3:3, 1 Chr 3). The new total is 12+ women for King David. And lastly, there are the 10 concubines, or "wives" as they are also referred to as, in 2 Sam 5:13, 15:16, 16:21-23, 1 Chr 14:3), bringing David's total women to at least 22+ "wives/concubines". David's son, Solomon, chose 700 wives and 300 concubines, totaling 1,000 women in 1 Kings 11:3.

The Hebrew and Greek terms translated into English as "wife" simply means "woman," that is, "female human being." It is by context that it has to be determined by a translator whether it should be translated "wife" or "woman" ("woman" < "wif" woman as we mean by it today + "mann" human being, individual member of mankind) the kind of human being suitable as a wife as we mean by it today.

My personal #1 reason that I don't like religion is because I like knowledge! And Religion suppresses knowledge; not just the knowledge unfortunately, but it suppresses the entire drive to understand.
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