Q. 1. ...and God let a deep sleep come upon Adam and took from Him a rib from his side and from adam, He created Eve and she was named woman. for this reason a man will leave his mother and father and cleave to his wife and they shall become one flesh. Initially, marriage was monogomous... in Adam's case, for only one help mate was required to "replenish" the earth.
2. As time went on, particularly in the days of King Solomon, we see he had many wives and concubines... But also considering the many battles and wars of the day, could that have been part of balancing out the condition that there were many more women than men due to war? And therefore, God allowed each woman the opportunity to conceive, bare children all within the confines of wedlock?
3. Was the definition and point behind polygamy within the Bible something that was good for the days of old and needed, similar to slavery in the bible? The economic system in those days create slavery, in a sense, you were a slave to your debts and repayment was in the form of personal ownership, in part, the yeat of jubilee freed all the slaves to be free again with no debt. Today, to claim slavery is biblical woud be absurd because the times and econimic structures are different. Is this also true of polygamy, that maybe it was something for the times?
A. Welcome to the community and Yahweh bless. Questions from honest investigators are always welcome. We will attempt to answer them here succinctly if a little briefly, and guide you to additional resource materials that will delve far more deeply into these, and any other, questions you may have. It is our hope that all your questions will be answered to the glory of Yahweh God and your own personal edification. Let us deal with the preliminary questions you have asked as they are very good ones requiring satisfactory answers before further progress can be made.
The first question is in regards to the fact that Eve was created from Adam's rib and given as his helpmeet, starting the one-flesh union that characterizes the biblical marriage concept. Many have taken this passage to infer that since marriage began monogamously in the Garden of Eden, it somehow is a more preferable or more desirable marriage estate. However, we believe there are a couple of fallacies in that thinking.
Firstly, we see monogamous marriage as a beginning place, a place to begin a family in righteousness, just as depicted in the Bible. But if you continue to read and diligently seek discernment regarding these matters, it seems logical to conclude that monogamous marriage is just that, a beginning place and not a final destination. Just as the Bible begins with an account of the creation of the first man and woman, hence the first marriage, it ends with an account of the marriage feast of the Lamb, an allegorical polygamous marriage between Christ and the Church, His Bride, one bride but many, many members. I think the issue, basically is kind of one of maturity. Marriage begins as monogamous but progresses as Yahweh calls the family to it in His time and dependent on the spiritual strength and maturity of the husband. And also a point to consider. We view marriage as marriage; we do not make a great distinction in definition relating to the number of wives. There is only one marriage, and one bond between all the parties in the marriage, a uniplural concept that is a little difficult to understand on first contemplation, but I believe will become more clear with honest inquiry. Just as the Apostle Paul describes how a man can be one flesh with more than on woman on a carnal level, it should be fairly easy to extrapolate from that how a man can be spiritually one with more than one woman. In fact, we believe, that the bond of unity actually strengthens with each additional wife, provided spiritual maturity and devotedness to Yah'shua's teachings and example. To be sure, it is this concept of "echad" or oneness in plural marriage that brings the truly greatest of blessings in marriage, both for the husband and his wives. We believe it is the closest approximation we will have on this physical earth of the relationship of Christ to His people. So while monogamy is where marriage begins, we believe that monogamy is a departure point, if you will, on a journey towards the greatest of blessings that Yahweh has for us as we mature in His truths and abilities. There is much material available on the HEM website to further elaborate and explain this viewpoint and I encourage you to explore this site and please feel free to bring us any and all questions you may have for discussion and elaboration.
Your second point of concern was also very astute. It has been postulated before, that the polygamy in the Bible was a sociological development to meet the immediate needs of the society of the time. It has been stated that due to the wars and the lack of marriageable men due to the casualties, that polygamy was sociologically expedient at that time to provide a framework wherein women could marry and have children in a marriage situation and not be forced into a life of either celibacy or immorality. While that was certainly a side benefit of polygamy, then as well as now, as it would certainly be beneficial for believing women to be able to marry believing men rather than marry unbelievers, or be forced to a life of celibacy and temptation to immorality, we do not believe that is a good apologetic from a spiritual standpoint. From a spiritual standpoint, we believe that Godly marriage is the smallest complete unit available to show the Kingdom of Yahweh on earth. We believe that the family is the building block of the Kingdom of Yahweh and the dynamics of a Godly family will mimic on a smaller scale the dynamics of the whole Kingdom, as it should do. We believe that the scriptural description of a devout family is the cornerstone of the whole of the kingdom. We believe that the kingdom will be a righteous patriarchal theocracy with Yahweh the ruler, Christ subject to Him, the husbands subject to Christ and the wives and children subject to the husbands, with sacrificial and selfless love governing all that we do. What better venue to develop the selfless, serving humility so essential to the Christian spirit at peace, than in a large, devout, and loving family. So in answer, yes there are practical sociological benefits to polygamous marriage, but we do not believe they are the defining reasons nor the greatest blessings of polygamous marriage.
Your third point is also fairly a common viewpoint amongst those just beginning to research this principle and one that I personally struggled with for a while. The idea that polygamy was appropriate for the time and conditions in bible times, but a need that has passed away with the passage of time and the changing of cultural mores is an easy line of thinking to fall into. I believe it is a fallacious line of reasoning however, for a couple of reasons. Firstly, marriage and its conduct are covered extensively throughout the bible. Secondly, there are instances in Ezekiel and Isaiah where Yahweh presents Himself as a polygamous husband to Jerusalem and Samaria, and Israel and Judah respectively. I have researched extensively and it is plain that Yahweh does not change, as well and well established that He is righteous, truthful and holy. Therefore it seems most illogical to conclude that He merely tolerated polygamy as a necessary if flawed option for the times, only to repeatedly portray Himself in a polygamous relationship to His people throughout scriptures. He further gave regulations regarding the conduct of polygamous marriage in Leviticus and Exodus and there are even situations in scripture where polygamous marriage is mandated. Since the nature of Yahweh is so thoroughly established, it is hardly logical that He would portray Himself in a less than righteous relationship, nor tolerate something He did not view as righteous just because of the times or the culture of peoples. Therefore, I believe it is logical to conclude that living in polygamous marriage, obedient to the commandments of Yahweh, and loving our families selflessly without thought of gain is sanctified and blessed and even to be sought by those with the spiritual maturity to overcome the obstacles thrown up by carnal and fleshly nature in opposition.
As with all institutions instituted by Yahweh for man, due to the fallen nature of man, there are instances of abuse and mistakes that can be held up to negate the principle, but it is not valid scripturally to do so, I do not believe.
This is just a very basic overview of the three points you made. Please understand that much material is available for study and reference and each of these themes, along with many other aspects, require much diligent study for understanding and edification. Again welcome and by all means ask questions. As a favorite teacher once told me, the only stupid question is the one you didn't ask. We look forward to fellowshipping with you and sharing our insights with you, as well as hearing your insights and perspectives as well.
Please feel free to peruse the extensive materials available at the HEM Website.
And by all means, ASK. Yahweh bless and lead you ever further into the glory of His truth.