Two items appear below:

1    One Wife OR More?    David Stocker
2    More Wives or One?    Anonymous

One Wife Or More?

David Stocker

(Investigator 19, 1991 July)

David Stocker, 25, is [in 1991] studying  1st year Theology at Flinders University. He is a member of an Islamic sect which claims to accept both the Bible and the Koran as originating from God. The main centres of the sect are Iran and Iraq but a flow to Western countries is taking place.

The question of whether or not a man may have more than one wife is rarely if ever considered by those who live in societies ruled by Western ideologies. In fact it is more common for western people to contemplate having an affair than taking a second wife.

The Western system claims that her laws are far in advance over other societies and cultural systems. If this is true surely we should be seeing some of those benefits nowadays? If monogamy is the highest and most correct way of marriage again we should be finding evidences of this in Western societies, but do we find any? No, sadly the West is failing in its attempts to enforce moral constraints on her people.

I have taken the liberty to quote some figures taken from the U.S.A.,

"Law enforcement officials estimate that more than one and-a-half-million youngsters (ranging from under one year to age sixteen) are sexually molested, filmed, or photographed each year…"

"…one magazine entitled BABY SEX shows actual photographs of adult males engaged in sexual intercourse with a SIX MONTH OLD FEMALE INFANT…"

"…50,000 children disappear from every corner of America each year…"

"…a minimum of 300,000 girls will suffer sexual assault in America…few of their attackers will ever be punished..."  

There are many other statistics we could examine, ranging from alcohol and drug abuse to the number of marriage break ups and prostitution. We will however just confine ourselves to making the point that there is something drastically wrong with the very fabric of Western society, and that in the area of marriage she is certainly wrong.

This article is just an introduction to polygamy, it is not a complete treatise on the subject, for this please see my larger work (of which this is taken from) POLYGAMY IS IT REALLY WRONG?

This brief introduction will just outline that the Bible acknowledges its existence and that it was permitted by God and that nowhere did He ever clearly withdraw His acceptance of it.

The forbidding of polygamy will not be found anywhere in the Bible, this unnatural restriction is borrowed from pagan and ascetic traditions.

I am not advocating that polygamy is for everybody, no I would rather say that if one wants to practise it and the other partner accepts this why can't they?

What I am against is the enforced ban on polygamy, especially by those who are either to blind to see the slow destruction of the family in society or those who prefer to hold onto some unrealistic theory of how marriage should really be.

Lets leave this introduction now and proceed into the scriptures of the Bible.

Gen 29:23
...he (Jacob) took Leah

…he gave him (Jacob) his (other) daughter Rachel as wife also.

Then she (Rachel) gave him (Jacob) Bilhah her maid as wife, and Jacob went in to her.

Leah...took Zilpah her maid and gave her to Jacob as wife.

Judges 8:30
Gideon had 70 sons…for he had many wives.

V 32
He died at a good old age.

1 Sam 1:2
And he (Elkanah) had two wives…

l Sam 25:43
David also took Ahinoam of Jezreel, and so both of them were his wives.

2 Sam 5:13
And David took more concubines and wives from Jerusalem...

1 Kings 11:3
And he (Solomon) had 700 hundred wives, princesses, and 300 concubines…

1 Chr 4:5
And Ashur the father of Tekoa had two wives…

2 Chr 11:18-23
…he (Rehoboarn) took 18 wives and 60 concubines…

2 Chr 24:3
And Jehoida took for him two wives....


1 Tim 3:2
A bishop must be blameless, the husband of one wife 1 Tim 3:12

1 Tim 3:12
Let deacons be the husbands of one wife...

Titus 1:5-6
…and appoint elders...the husband of one wife

This is the only scripture in the whole New Testament which appears to be directly talking about polygamy, though many scholars would disagree and say that this is talking about the disqualifying of persons wishing to obtain these positions if they have been divorced on illegal and unscriptural grounds, and then decided to re-marry.

If this is talking about polygamy, notice exactly who is restricted from practising it,
1  the Bishops
2  the Elders and
3  the Deacons,

Following on from this line of reasoning it would therefore be acceptable to practise polygamy if you did not aspire to fill any of these positions.

This later view has much evidence against it, if you notice there is a similar phrase to be found in 1 Tim 5:9

…unless she be the wife of one man…

As most people would know a wife was never permitted to have more than one husband (unless he died or they divorced) now if this be the case then what could this verse be referring to? Certainly not Polyandry, no it was clearly referring to husbands as one in succession of the other and specifically in relation to illegal divorce and then re-marriage.

This also was the understanding for the men, they could not hold a responsible office if they had committed this act.

Aside from this set of scriptures there is not one other verse in the whole N.T. which clearly discusses the issue of polygamy. All the other arguments that I have heard or read are based on two simple things, one being theory, and the second being hidden meanings within the word or phrase itself. (Supposedly hidden by God Himself). What baffles me is why did God not just spell it out, could He have forgotten to, or was it perhaps left up to clever theologians to formulate a theory for what God could not say Himself?

Absurd isn't it? No the plain facts are that God allowed it to take place, but unlike sin he regulated this practise and sanctioned it against abuse. He was silent on the issue simply because it was (and still should be) a non issue.

In such an age of tolerance where homosexuals are being permitted to marry, and there is even talk of them having rights to adopt children, where sex crimes and prostitution are increasing daily, where affairs are the "norm" of society, where men can't find suitable partners, and if they do it usually doesn't last long, why then doesn't society try polygamy? All other modes are failing, why not do as God permitted?

This would help much of our social ills, and while we are at it why don't we return to our correct roles? As husband and wife (or wives) May God be with you.


The happiness of a man can best be told by his relationship to his wife.

Seers 4:9
Let the good man marry women from other races
For I have ordained that all races intermingle as one.
There shall be one race, one people, one colour, one true religion and only one God.

2 Commands 7:2-3
My people are to be the people of true love, do not let your brothers and sisters be found empty, help them to establish meaningful families.

Missc 1:15
The sad man lacks a good woman and he surely does not know of My path.

Seers 4:13
As the days of evil increase many men shall be found weeping in secret, in this day man has realised that he is indeed a lonely creature, forever seeking but never fully finding.
In such a day, a good man will be as rare to find as the truth in these days.
Wake up you that sleep, take wives from other places where a woman is a woman, find wives which will be wives and not men.


The family we believe should be the central and most important issue of our earthly lives. Within a sound family one can establish the understanding and need of many who not have such. As a group loving and caring for each other you begin to care enough to want to tell others about this wonderful way of life.

As a united body you could help those less fortunate than yourselves, it is our goal and common practise to feed the hungry, clothe those who have little, and to give them shelter if homeless, but a true believer does not stop there, we also give them a family, a real place one can call home.

A good man may take more than one wife in marriage…

And if you fear that you cannot act fairly towards orphans, then marry such women, who seem good to you, two or three or four; and if you fear that you cannot do justice (between them) then marry only one or that your right hand possess (one of the captives) this is more proper that you may not deviate from the right course.
Sura Al-Nisa 4:3 The Holy Qur'an



(Investigator 19, 1991 July)

Polygamy – more than one marriage alliance – may take the form of polygyny (marriage to two or more women) or polyandry (marriage to two or more men).

The word "polygamy" is often used in cases where the right word is "polygyny". The 19th century Mormon acceptance of plural wives was often called "polygamy".

Polygamy is permitted by law in most Islamic countries. It is not permitted by law for permanent residents in Western lands.

The author of ONE WIFE OR MORE? says: "If monogamy is the highest and most correct way of marriage again we should be finding evidences of this in Western societies…" He then gives examples of moral evils in Western societies and concludes: "there is something drastically wrong with the very fabric of Western society, and that in the area of marriage she is certainly wrong."

The author seems to be implying that:

1. Western lands will have a lower incidence of moral evil if they adopted polygamy;
2. Islamic societies have a lower incidence of moral evil than the West because they permit polygamy.

I think that both implications are very dubious contentions.

The sexual crimes that the author lists for the USA and gives statistics for involve about 0.5% of the population. I doubt that this small minority would change their ways if the 99% majority adopted polygamy. He is making the mistake I would make if I argued: "Iraqi soldiers murdered or raped 200,000 Kuwaitis, Kurds and Shiites in 1991; therefore something is basically wrong with Islamic society; they wouldn't have behaved so badly if they adopted a policy of monogamy."

Such an approach gets into arguments of cause and effect and into psychological and sociological claims in which research and statistics are lacking and into value judgments concerning what balance of various good and evil behaviors any society should aim for and even into the free will/determinism debate. In other words we're risking an approach that no one can win.

I'll therefore avoid speculating on hypothetical, over-all effects that adoption of polygamy or monogamy has on societies.

According to the Bible God originally ordained monogamous marriage:

"a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife (not "wives"), and they become one flesh." (Genesis 2:18-25)
Jesus reaffirmed this original standard:
"Have you not read that he who made them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and the two (not "three" or "four") shall become one'? What therefore God has joined together, let no man put asunder." (Matthew 19:4-6)
In the Old Testament polygamy was permitted but was rare compared to monogamy. In Proverbs 5:15-20 and 31:10-31 monogamy is presupposed.

In the New Testament a Bishop is to have one wife and a Deacon likewise. (1 Timothy 3) This standard applies to all Christians who marry:

"each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband." (1 Corinthians 7:2)
The rest of chapter 7 of Corinthians continues to use "husband" and "wife" in the singular and so presupposes 1:1 marriage.

Adam, according to the Bible, was a monogamist. So were Noah and his three sons. Polygamy apparently began with Lamech (Genesis 4:19) who descended from Cain. All polygamists (Genesis 6:1-2) died in the Flood. Humans invented polygamy again after the Flood. The New Testament insists on the original Adam/Eve model being followed by Christians.

Another consideration is this: In the Old Testament God and Israel are compared to a husband and wife – one of each. (Isaiah 62:5)  In the New Testament Jesus and Christianity are compared to a bridegroom and a bride – one of each. (2 Corinthians 11:1-2; Revelation 21:9-10)

This relationship of Christ and the Church should be mirrored in the literal husband/wife relationship of a man and woman. Read, for example, Ephesians 5:21-33

Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, be subject to your husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Saviour.

As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that he might present the church to himself in splendour, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.

Even so husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no man ever hates his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one." This is a great mystery, and I take it to mean Christ and the church; however, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

In the Old Testament Abraham was monogamous. (Genesis 12:18; 16:1) Apparently, his son Isaac was also. Grandson Jacob was tricked into taking two wives although the intention was to take one wife. (Genesis 28:2; 29:1-35)

From Jacob's 12 sons came the nation of Israel and from time to time individual Israelites also took two or more wives. The Mosaic Law had several clauses to regulate aspects of polygamy. Christians, viewing this from the New Testament standpoint, see it as God permitting for a while the second best situation until decisively enforcing the original Adam/Eve, 1 man/1 wife, standard after Jesus came.

How is monogamy best and. polygamy second best? I said before I won't speculate on hypothetical over-all effects on society. However, I'd like to suggest possible benefits at the individual and family level.

It is difficult, perhaps impossible, for one man to love two women equally. (Genesis 29:30) Strife and rivalry between the wives is likely. (Genesis 30:1-24; 1 Samuel 1:4-8) The New Encyclopedia Britannica says:

"Sexual jealousy and bickering are common problems for the (polygamous) family; and a husband must be wise, strong, diplomatic, and shrewd to preserve harmony."
In African societies the first wife may actually encourage the husband to take a 2nd wife. This is because the 2nd wife takes over most of the work and is, in effect, a labor saving device.

Concerning polygamy in Mormonism Fawn Brodie wrote:

"There is reason to believe also that women secretly hated polygamy. No promise of heavenly reward could quite compensate for the humiliation, social degradation and tragedy inherent in the plural wife role."
If a husband follows Christian ethics and standards and furthermore loves his wife as described in Ephesians chapter 5 what woman would want him to divert his attention to getting extra wives?

Hebrews 13:4 in the Bible says:

"Let marriage be held in honour among all, and let the marriage bed (not "beds") be undefiled; for God will judge the immoral and adulterous."
1 Corinthians 6:16 says:
"The two (not "three" or "four" etc) shall become one."