You know, it is amazing the power that emotions have over us to affect our ability to reason clearly. I begin to understand better all the time the need to keep our emotions separate from our reason in order to discern things correctly. This has been demonstrated to me graphically one more time. There have been several long treatises in the past few days from a brother who began as ambivalent to polygamy but willing to learn that have progressed from a brother seeking enlightenment to a brother who is not convinced but still seeking honestly, to a brother who is unconvinced to a brother who is outright hostile and dogmatic. All this from a gentleman whose scriptural posts I have been reading for quite some time and in whom I held a great deal of esteem for his honest quest to understand the truth of scriptures. As his research into the issues surrounding the principle of righteous polygamy progressed, it became easy to discern the change in spirit as the scriptural evidence grew stronger and stronger in favor of polygamy, which it appears he did not think it would in the first place. He has been unable to accept or even register scriptural refutations to his objections and keeps insisting on presenting them as absolute, citing tinglings and movings of some sort of spirit as confirmation of his correctness. Further, his tone has become more and more hostile. He has progressed from addressing us as brother and sister to addressing us by bare last name. I will go over some of his statements and let the reader determine which spirit is truly at work here.
To begin with let us examine how the latest treatise was opened:
"Quick response, no need to pollute the waters with a long exergesis:"
No need to pollute the waters with scripture? Oh really? I should think that is exactly what is needed here, a healthy dose of scriptural truth and the spiritual honesty to accept it. Let us dispose with the quick point then quickly before addressing the motivational aspects.
"David and Solomon broke the law in Deuteronomy17:17 (speaking of kings), ..."neither shall he multiply wives unto himself, lest his heart turn away, neither shall he multiply silver and gold" Solomon, the richest man ever did both, David was a close second. Solomon never repented, David did ......... READ all the scripture."
We have been over and over this, and this brother absolutely refuses to acknowledge the plain and literal truth of scripture in 2 Samuel 12:8 where Yahweh describes giving David Saul's house and his wives and states he would have given him more if it were not enough. Now I say to this brother, READ ALL the scripture. This was stated when the prophet went before David to chastise him for his adultery with Bathsheba and murder of Uriah in order to keep her for himself. Now, it is plain and literally discernable that David's sin here was adultery and murder, and equally plain and discernable that it had nothing at all to do with the number of wives he had, but with the method in which he obtained Bathsheba. And, the writer is absolutely correct that David repented, but of the adultery of taking Bathsheba and his blood guiltiness of having Uriah killed, never in one instance for having more than one wife. To say that that is what David repented of shows amazing lack of knowledge of the body of the story and a profound emotional commitment to discrediting polygamy without due scriptural substantiation.
Now, Solomon was very different. He had 1000 wives and concubines and was most definitely guilty of multiplying wives, that and the fact that most of them were pagan and turned his head from the ways of Yahweh. That is the Deuteronomy instruction against multiplying wives, the injunction to avoid excess. To use this verse as a prohibition of polygamy is sloppy logic and bad exegesis, as if it were prohibiting more than one wife it would have said not to ADD wives rather than MULTIPLY. Now think about it and the plain sense of the way the verse is worded. Also consider that in the same book that this verse is in, is also legislation for the righteous conduct of plural marriage. Now does it make sense that Yahweh would turn around and make rules of conduct for a practice that He has just made illegal? I think not. Let us look at some scriptures, in Deuteronomy as well as in Exodus.
"If a man has two wives, one beloved and the other hated,, and they have born him children, both the beloved and the hated, and if the firstborn son be hers that was hated: Then it shall be that when he maketh his sons to inherit that which he hath, then he may not make the son of the beloved firstborn before the son of the hated, which is indeed the firstborn. But he shall acknowledge the son of the hated for the firstborn, by giving him a double portion of all that he hath; for he is the beginning of his strength and the right of the firstborn is his." (Deuteronomy 21:15-17)
"If he take him another wife, her food, her raiment, her duty of marriage shall he not diminish." (Exodus 21:10)
"You shall not uncover the nakedness of a woman and her daughter, nor shall you take her son's daughter or her daughter's daughter, to uncover her nakedness. They are next of kin to her. It is wickedness. Nor shall you take a woman as a rival to her sister, to uncover her nakedness while the other is alive. (Leviticus 18:17-18, NKJV)
Then of course there is the command in Deuteronomy 25 for Levirate marriage, that is, if a woman is widowed without a male heir, then his brother, by Yahweh's command, is to take her to wife, that the brother's bloodline does not disappear from the tribe. No condition is made regarding whether or not the brother is already married. Now I posit one more time. Why would Yahweh find in necessary to legislate a practice and even order it in certain circumstances if He found it sinful? It makes no sense and denies the simple and literal truth of the scripture presented.
"If you try to change the obvious meanings of Deuteronomy17:17, you are guilty of adding to or taking away from the word.
"I stand on scripture for all of us... I promised the sender of this original email i was going to stop debating this that separates and divides us so too that name out but for our enrichment, i just needed to quote Deuteronomy, anything past that is not necessary. God Bless all of us."
I agree, to try to change the obvious meanings of the verse in Deuteronomy is changing the word of Yahweh. The word is multiply, not add. The difference is obvious and plain to see, particularly in light of the overwhelming scriptural support for righteous polygamy. There is much more, and I have written several exegeses, as has my husband, so I will not carry this any further in this context. What concerns me here is the adamant refusal of a brother that I have known to be an honest and fair scriptural researcher, intelligent and thoughtful, to hear scriptures supporting polygamy so plainly that there is no logical rebuttal. This blind clinging to the notion that somehow polygamy is forbidden or prohibited by Yahweh must have its root in an emotional, subjective aversion to the principle, based on what he has been conditioned to and been told what was right by traditional religion all his life. I do understand, as I struggled with many of the same issues early in my investigations, but honesty and integrity demand accurate representation of scripture in this matter. It is truly amazing and very sad to see how Satan uses a person's emotions to blind them to the truth of Yahweh's word, especially a person who is a believer and known to be a diligent scriptural researcher.
It illustrates how Satan can divide believers and turn us on each other and take us completely out of the Spirit, robbing us of the fruits of the Spirit and of our peace and joy. Because, you see, we cannot know the peace of Yahweh if we reject His word. All the emotional reactions and tinglings and burnings and manifestations in the world do not change the plain truth of Yahweh's word, and every time we let the enemy use our emotions to make us change what scripture says, then he wins another victory over us, because he causes a wedge to develop between us and Yahweh, and us and other believers. Let us not let Satan do that. Let us bind together as brothers and sisters, and at least, if we cannot agree, agree to love and agree to let the Word of the Lord stand on its own merits, without us trying to make it say what we want it to. This is my prayer, at any rate. That the Spirit lead me to Yahweh's truth, not what I want to be Yahweh's truth. Amen.