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    FAQ 87

    The Hagar Heresy:
    A Lame Excuse for Divorce
    in Polygamy Rebutted

    Q. I want to ask you a question about a ground for divorce that has been used by a patriarch recently. I come from a polygamous family of three wives and I was thrown out of the family by my husband because he said I was disruptive. He told me I could never return but for a while still claimed to be my husband. After a while he disavowed me completely as his wife saying that he was putting me away for the same reason that Abraham put away Hagar. But I thought that Hagar and Sarah just lived separately in different places and both remained Abraham's wives? What is the truth of this? Am I forever bound to him even though he has 'divorced' me?

    There is no evidence whatsoever that Abraham ever divorced Hagar. To the contrary, the Book of Jasher [1], which gives an expanded account of certain patriarchal events in Genesis and which is mentioned in the Bible (Joshua 10:13; 2 Samuel 1:18) makes it absolutely clear that Hagar lived some distance away and that Abraham would regularly visit her and their son. In one place it describes how Abraham visited Ishmael's camp where his wife Hagar lived to arrange marriages for his son.

    Furthermore, Hagar was not expelled from his camp because she was jealous, contentious, (though she was sometimes these) or adulterous but because Ishmael tried to murder Isaac, who was the firstborn heir through Sarah, in a fit of jealosy. Abraham deemed the best solution to his son's rivalry would be to have his two wives live in separate camps with a fair distance between them.

    Even if you had 'caused trouble' in the family, your husband would never have been justified in divorcing you. (See the several HEM articles on divorce). He should either have kept you at home with the other wives and found a resolution to whatever difficulties there may have been or, if he felt there was no possibility of a solution in this arrangement, provided you with a separate home and visited you on a regular basis, rotating between homes. This separate home arrangement, though not encouraged by HEM, is in any case one way in which many patriarchs and their wives prefer to live.

    Any patriarch marrying another wife should always have an emergency plan for such a situation. It is his responsibility to provide a second home should everyone living together not work out. To just abandon or throw out a wife because it hasn't worked out in the main home - whoever's fault it may be - is without a shred of justification. A man who thus throws out a woman is neither fit to marry polygamously nor, I would suggest, even worthy of the claim to be a believer in the Master Yah'shua (Jesus). To permanently abandon a wife in this matter, even if she is at fault, is a breach of the marriage contract. It is to violently remove the covering of the husband over his wife and is to be compared to Christ suddenly removing His atoning covering from His people because we are a bit unruly at times and leaving us a prey to the devil. To use the Hagar incident as a justification for such outrageous behaviour is nothing short of scandalous and must be denounced in the strongest possible terms.

    Are you still bound to this man? In my view, such an act is one of heathenism. And since he has abandoned you, you are no longer bound to him (1 Corinthians 7:15). And if you are still not sure whether this is correct, ask yourself this question: if Christ suddenly abandoned His position as Redeemer (were this even possible), would we still be bound to Him? Were He to do that, then the Godhead would fall and Satan would be victor. And such a scenario is an act of complete and utter anarchy and dissolution.

    It would be a little different if the wife abandoned the husband since the callings of husband and wife are not the same. But since the husband-redeemer has abandoned you, and says you may never return to him and his family, and has declared that you are no longer covered by him, then you are indeed alone and single again and free to remarry. This is my judgment.


    [1] The Book of Jasher (J.H.Parry & Co., Salt Lake City, UT, USA, 1887)

    Author: SBSK

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    First created on 18 January 2002
    Updated on 17 May 2016

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