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The 12 Books of Abraham

    Chapter 10

    Truth or Tradition?
    A Closer Look at the
    Plural Wives Question
    by Andy Nonymousman

    Chapter 10: Upbringing

    How much one accepts or rejects plural wives marriage seems to be based largely upon upbringing. In cultures where it is the ‘norm’ no one questions it. In cultures where one-man/one-wife is the norm, anything else is considered a horrible sin. Interviews of women in plural wife families show the bias of the Western mindset in the questions. Some of the questions often asked are

    “How can you consider yourself Christian?”

    “Isn’t this really about sex?”

    “Aren’t you jealous?”

    “Why don’t you just leave?”

    The answers to these questions are often cut short in the editing process but the answers given on television shows like Dateline or on public broadcasting education channel programs give us some insight to the differences in thinking.

    Interviewer: “How can you call yourself Christian?”

    Wife in plural wife marriage: “This is the most Christian thing there is . . .” at this point the scene switches. No further explanation is allowed to be shown.

    Interviewer: “How can you say God told you to do this?”

    Husband in plural wife marriage: “If we look in the Bible we see many of God’s most righteous men had plural wives . . .” at this point the scene is switched as the husband was about to open a Bible and point out what it really says.

    Interviewer: “Why do you feel that it is necessary for your husband to have multiple wives?”

    Wife in plural wife marriage (somewhere in Africa): “You women in America don’t have much to do so a man can have only one wife. But here if a man herds cattle and he kills an ox for his family, the next day he goes to take care of the cattle. If he has only one wife and she goes to find water, when they get back home the buzzards will have eaten the meat. But if one wife watches the meat, and another seeks water and another helps herd the cattle, then all survive as they work in cooperation.”

    Interviewer: “Isn’t this really about sex?”

    Husband of five wives (In the U.S.) “If you asked my wives, they’ll tell you it’s not really about sex.” The scene changes, allowing no further explanation.

    Interviewer to five wives: “How do you decide who will be with the husband on a given night?”

    One of the five wives: “We have a schedule.”

    Interviewer: “What if someone else wants him on a night that is not theirs?”

    One of the five wives: “We all can sense what each other needs and willing to adjust when necessary.” The scene is abruptly switched so no further explanation is given.

    Interviewer: “Do you have a rotation schedule of who is with the husband?”

    One of the wives in Africa: “Yes, he is with me for a week and then he is with her for a week.” The scene is abruptly changed.

    Interviewer: “Weren’t you jealous when he took another wife?”

    One of two wives: “When you have an old piece of paw-paw that you don’t particularly enjoy you don’t mind sharing it.”

    Interviewer: “Do your wives enjoy being in this situation?”

    Husband in plural wife marriage: “Most wives like being one of many. Sometimes in the beginning they might be jealous but after a while they enjoy the help.”

    These are a number of types of responses to questions asked by Western biased reporters and interviewers but many involved in plural wife marriages where that has been the upbringing, they accept it as the normal thing and have no qualms about it.

    Some Men in the Bible with Plural Wives

      Lamech - 2 wives
      Abraham - 2 wives
      Israel - 4 wives
      Esau - 3 wives
      Gideon - many wives
      Elkanah - 2 wives
      David - 10+ wives
      Jehoiachin - wives
      Ashur - 2 wives
      Shaharaim - 2 wives
      Rehoboam - 18 wives
      Abijah - 14 wives
      Jehoram - wives
      Jehoida - 2 wives
      Belshazzar - wives
      Mered - 2 wives
      Machir - 2 wives
      Solomon - 700 wives

    These are among the men who are listed in the Old Testament as having plural wives in the Bible. None of them were ever condemned for having plural wives with the exception of David only in the matter of Bathsheba and Uriah, and Solomon because he married women from outside of Israel who turned his heart away from the Lord.

    There is only one shown to have plural wives in the New Testament. He is the bridegroom in Matthew 25 who comes to marry the five wise virgins.

    True and False Exam


    • T
    • F

      One man (Lamech) had two wives before Noah’s time. (Genesis 4:19).


    • T
    • F

      God did not condemn Lamech for having two wives.


    • T
    • F

      Abraham had two wives. (Genesis 16:3).


    • T
    • F

      Jacob had four wives. (Genesis 29:28, 30:4, 32:9).


    • T
    • F

      Esau had three wives. (Genesis 26:34, 28:9).


    • T
    • F

      The Bible never condemns anyone before the Law was given to Moses for having plural wives.


    • T
    • F

      Moses had two wives (see Exodus 2:15, 21), Zipporah the Midianite and the Ethiopian woman (see Numbers 12).


    • T
    • F

      When Aaron and Miriam spake against Moses for marrying the Ethiopian woman, God rebuked Aaron and Miriam, not Moses. (Numbers 12:4, 8).


    • T
    • F

      Gideon had many wives. (Judges 8:30).


    • T
    • F

      God did not condemn Gideon for having many wives.


    • T
    • F

      David left home and married Michal, Saul’s daughter (I Samuel 18:27).


    • T
    • F

      Later David married Abigail and Ahinohem at the same time. (I Samuel 5:43).


    • T
    • F

      David eventually had at least 10 wives. (II Samuel 3:2-7, 3:14, 5:13).


    • T
    • F

      God never rebuked David for having many wives except in the matter of Bathsheba and Uriah.


    • T
    • F

      God says to through the prophet Nathan “I gave you your master’s wives . . .” (II Samuel 12:7).


    • T
    • F

      Solomon’s error in marrying many wives was in marrying women outside of Israel who turned his heart away from God. (I Kings 11:3, 4).


    • T
    • F

      God set rules in place in “the Law” on having more than one wife (Exodus 21:10, Leviticus 18:17, 18; Deuteronomy 21:15-17).


    • T
    • F

      In the Law a man was required to marry his dead brother’s wife and raise up children and an inheritance for his dead brother. If he already had a wife that did not matter. (Deut. 25:4-10).


    • T
    • F

      Many men in the Old Testament had many wives but God never condemns any of them for having them.


    • T
    • F

      In the New Testament there are two passages which seem to speak against a bishop, deacon, or elder having more than one wife.


    • T
    • F

      These passages are in I Timothy 3 and Titus 1:6.


    • T
    • F

      The word for “one” in these passages is mia in Greek. (See Strong’s Concordance).


    • T
    • F

      The word mia can mean first or one x other. (See Strong’s Concordance).


    • T
    • F

      When the word “one” means “only,” the word heis is used. Examples: One Body, One Spirit, One Lord, One God.


    • T
    • F

      Without the Timothy and Titus passages there is no clear indication that God is opposed to plural wives marriages.

    In case the reader has not figured it out, the answer to all the questions above is “true” (T).

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    First created on 27 September 2001
    Updated on 20 June 2016

    Copyright ©1999 Andy Nonymousman
    Reproduced by permission and with thanks by HEM, 2001
    Endorsement of this book by HEM does not necesserily mean
    endorsement of the author's other publications or views.