I am obliged to Cecil Woods in the Men's Club (closed in 2003) who pointed out to us an interesting and overlooked scripture in the Old Testament which gives an interesting twist to the debate on the scripturality of polygamy:
There are at least five Jehoiada's mentioned in the Old Testament, but the one cited here was the chief priest of the Temple in Jerusalem during the reigns of Ahaziah, Athaliah, and Joash. He married Jehoshabeath, sister of King Ahaziah, and played a prominent part in political affairs. On the death of Ahaziah he frustrated the queen-mother Athaliah's attempt to destroy all "the seed royal". He and his wife hid their nephew, Joash, for six years in the Temple precincts, while Athaliah usurped the throne. Then in a coup d'état he brought him out of hiding as the rightful ruler of Judah. A covenant was made for his protection, and another of his proclamation as king (2 Kings 11:17). Whilst Joash was a minor, Jehoiada ruled on his behalf. He destroyed the shrines of Baal and organised the Levites. After a rebuke from Joash himself he repaired the Temple (2 Kings 12:7). When he died at the age of 130, he was buried in the royal tomb in recognition of his service to the community.
"Joash did what was right in the eyes of the Yahweh all the years of Jehoiada the priest. Jehoiada chose two wives for him, and he had sons and daughters" (2 Chronicles 24:2-3, NIV)
We see in Jehoiada (which in Hebrew means 'Yahweh knows') a fascinating prophetic picture of another proxy Priest-King who was to come in the meridian of time as the Saviour of the world. Indeed, many prophetic images confront me as I look at the history of this man and his monarch. Just as Yah'shua (Jesus) our Saviour and King hands back His Kingdom to Yahweh at the end of the Millennium (1 Corinthians 15:24-25), so we see Jehoiada handing back the kingdom of Judah to Joash when the boy came of age. As polygamists we are, of course, interested to see a High Priest arranging a polygamous marriage for a King - in this case, two wives, reminding us that Yahweh Himself was also possessed of two allegorical wives in the form of Israel and Judah (or Samaria and Jerusalem). Given that the reign of Joash was a righteous one, which saw the elimination of idolatry reminiscent of the reforms of Hezekiah, we are to understand this period of time, and the chief spiritual movements, to be in the vindication of Yahweh our Father in Heaven.
The allegorical prophetic imagery apart, we are faced with an even more interesting situation whereby polygamy is seen to be vindicated by Yahweh's proxy of High Priest in Judah within a royal, messianic context. Here the High Priest is himself arranging a polygamous marriage for the head of state and protector of the faith - a king sitting on the royal throne of David representing the Messiah who is later to be addressed as the Son of David (e.g. Matthew 1:1; 9:27) and the fulfillment of the royal raison d´être.
Under the fullness of the New Covenant we are all kings and priests (Revelation 1:6; 5:10; 20:6) and therefore entitled to live polygamously when we have attained that stature, as our High Priest, Yah'shua (Jesus), arranges wives for us. What this means is that those who have leadership positions are ordained to have one (like Isaac), two (like Joash), three, four (like Jacob) or more wives.
Which brings us to the 'problem' of 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1:5-9 which have been interpreted to mean that either:
Given that these passages can be translated one way or the other, depending on your bias, we are then forced to find the one which harmonises with what the Bible has said before. (For traditional Protestant renderings of these passages, see What Does It Mean to Be the Husband of One Wife? by Mark Van Bebber. For a pro-polygamy rendering, see Miâ Revisited: Disposing of a Stumbling Block).
- (a) Elders and Deacons must have at least one wife (i.e. be married) in order to hold those offices; or
- (b) Elders and Deacons must be exclusively monogamists and not polygamists.
We live in the dispensation of a Priesthood of all Believers and not the former Levitical one. What this means is that all the previous rights and prerogatives of the former Mosaic Priesthood are now potentially those of believers. As argued in previous articles, only those called to live polygamy should live it, namely, those with the spiritual maturity and physical resources to enable the lifestyle to be lived happily and successfully. Those who are therefore most qualified to live this way are therefore those who are first, Elders, and second, Deacons whom Yahweh has authorised by revelation (not excluding special cases). This truth has been repeatedly confirmed to me, and especially in a vision which I saw on 13 September 2001.
The picture of Jehoidah arranging two wives for King Joash therefore prophetically tells me that Christ will personally call leaders in His Kingdom to be polygamists. In the case of Joash the motivation was probably to ensure the royal succession. One of the functions of polygamy in our generation is to ensure that godly men and women are raised up for the next (and last) generation to be the leaders, and the wives of leaders, of the Body of Christ (Messianic Community) on the earth during the final tribulation period. Polygamy is a great spiritual fire that has a tendency to either refine those called into it or consume those who are not.
After Jehoiada's death, Joash and his nation once again turned to evil. A good polygamist became an evil polygamist, murdering Jehoiada's son Zechariah who called the king to repentance. It was not long afterwards that Judah was invaded by the Arameans who caused terrible devastation. It is written that in spite of the Arameans' numerical inferiority, that Yahweh caused Judah to be defeated (2 Chronicles 24:16-27) and Joah to be wounded and then assassinated in revenge for the murder of Zechariah by Zabad, the son of an Ammonitess, and Jehozabad, the son of a Moabitess.
I end this article, therefore, with a dire warning to those men whom Yahweh has called into polygamy but who then turn away from Him by exercising unrighteous dominion and assassinating - by character defamation or otherwise - Yahweh's patriarch-prophets and priests. Unlike righteous Jehoiada, who was burried in a king's tomb, Joash was not. Both those who have not been called into polygamy, and those who have but are turning to personal kingly ambition will go the way of Joah. That is how strict Yahweh is when it comes to this principle.