A Damsel or Two
(I am going to use this page to add instances of multiple wives to this page and additional thoughts.)
In the Book of Judges Yahweh God raised up various Godly men to rescue Israel from bondage that they brought upon themselves because of their disobedience. In one case God raised up a woman named Deborah.
After Israel defeated Jabin the king of Canaan and Sisera, Deborah sang a victory song in chapter 5 of Judges. Barak went out and defeated the Canaanites that day, but Sisera escaped and found refuge in the tent of a woman. That woman, Jael, is the one who put a nail through Sisera's head.
Part of Deborah's song of thanksgiving has the mother of Sisera asking why Sisera had not returned home yet. In the song Sisera's mother's wise ladies answer her the following.
The above is a part of Deborah's song of praise to YHVH God for the victory He gave them over their enemies. As part of the spoil of war every man took for himself a damsel or two.
Here is my first addition. This is from 2 Chronicles 24.
2 Chronicles 24:1-3.
Please note that in verse two the scripture tells us that Joash did that which was right in the sight of God the entire time that Jehoiada the priest was alive. In verse three it tells us that Jehoiada gave two wives to Joash and that Joash bore children by them. Joash having two wives had to be righteous and Jehoiada was righteous in giving Joash two wives otherwise God would not have inspired the scripture to say that Joash did that which was right all the days of Johoiada.
The Bible calls one's first wife the wife of your youth. She is your strength and glory and many times the source of your first born son. However for most men one woman can not supply all of his God given needs. As much as she has been told that she should and want to do so God did not make her to be able to do that. Some men can handle her limitations. Many can not. This should be evident by the amount of fornication and adultery that is seen today. Most of the fornication is found to be committed by people who you thought were basically good people.
God made man with strong physical sexual needs. Today, men who have have this strong need and have trouble hiding it may be labeled by this matriarchal society we live in. However God designed a way for man to be able to deal with his God given needs. This way can include the help of the wife of his youth. God's design says that if a man desires another wife he may take one as long as he continues to care for his first wife.
Now a wise first wife will use this event to her advantage. Many women would consider the man's needs as evil (although they can not be as they are from God) The wife of one's youth in God's plan holds a special position. I believe that it is a Biblical principle that any additional wives look to the first wife for direction and leadership. The first wife would not find additional wives a challenge to her or her household. A husband who has such a wise wife will look to her in a way that she would have never guessed possible.
We know that Abraham had a house full of servants. Many of those were handmaids. Although the scripture does not plainly say that Abraham had children by some of his handmaids I believe that the scripture indicates that this is true and that the Book of Jasher supports this idea.
Many suppose that in Hosea chapter three that Gomer must have run away and that Hosea paid to retrieve her. This does not make sense. Here is what I believe happened. Hosea had several children with Gomer. Then God told him to go and get a friend of Gomer's and make her his wife. She also had to be an adulterous woman. It makes sense when one considers that this was all about the house of Israel and also the house of Judah. God considered those two houses as his wives. Gomer represented the house of Israel while her friend represented the house of Judah. God commanded Hosea to take more than one wife. I might add that we have no idea how many wives he might have had before he took Gomer. That is speculation, but quite possible.
Have you ever considered Job? If Job's wife began having children when she was twenty years old and if she had one per year then she would have been at least forty five when the children died. After Job was restored to his position God blessed him with twice as much as he had before including children. So does one imagine that his wife bore him ten more children starting at forty five or forty six years of age? How would a man deal with a wife who told him to curse God and die? I am inclined to think that regardless of what may have happened with Job's wife she was not the one who bore ten more children. Perhaps when scripture says that God blessed Job with twice as much as he had before it also means that he had twice as many wives as well.
I have never really been sure why modern preachers and teachers are so afraid of polgygny? Apparently Abraham, Jacob, David and a host of others were not afraid. One would consider that when a people go into captivity it is because of sin. Generally sin causes the population of the sinners to decrease whereas the poplulation of those who are blessed increases. God took Israel to Egypt to save them, but while they were there they must have sinned because they eventually became captives in the land. Whenever God has released his people from captivity it is usually because they have paid the debt and repented. So when we find out from the book of Numbers shortly after their release from Egypt that each man in Israel has on average 54 children we know two things. One thing is that God is greatly blessing Israel in order for each man to be able to afford that many children. The second thing is that each man had many wives in order to have that many children.
This page will be added to as needed.
Feel free to send your helpful comments.