When did someone try to have a different relationship? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
In Genesis, we have the fall of man and then when Adam and Eve are forced out of the garden, then we have Cain and Abel come along who are brothers, the children of Adam and Eve. The next thing we know, Cain has killed his brother.
Well, that escalated quickly.
Then the next thing we have happen is we get introduced to one of his descendants, Lamech. Lamech has this idea that “Hey. Why should I be limited to one woman? Why not go and have two women instead?”
Lamech is also seen as a prideful man seeing as he kills someone for insulting him and says “If Cain gets avenged, I should get avenged even more.” It’s not a shock that a man who thinks he can take two women when no one else has decides to think this way. However, this is the first case of polygamy in Scripture, so we need to talk about it.
First, does this constitute a change in marriage? No. Marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman based on a covenant. This just has it go to two people at the same time. If any change has done, it is the removal of exclusivity. When we get to Jesus in the New Testament being asked about divorce, we will find he has words to say even about polygamy without explicitly mentioning it.
Second, Moses, or whoever wrote Genesis, wants us to know about this. Something that we will see as we go through the Bible is that when men marry multiple wives, there usually is chaos to some extent in the family. We don’t know much about the family of Lamech, but what we do know is not really ideal.
A brief word needs to be said about polygamy. I would not be surprised if this came to America again soon, at least in Utah, as Mormons could see the way the LGBTQ crowd has attempted to change reality and then say “Well, we need to bring back polygamy.” I’m sure a number of guys might be interested in this, although most guys are getting used to getting the “benefits” of marriage in their eyes, without actually having to make a commitment to someone.
The main argument Jesus makes really in the New Testament is that when male and female come together, then the union is complete. There’s no need to expand beyond that. For the most part, polygamy is a way of saying that one woman is insufficient. It’s the same reason that a man watching pornography can be greatly hurtful to his wife.
As we go through Scripture, we will see a number of polygamous relationships. When we get to the New Testament, this is largely gone and we get to 1 Timothy 3 which I am inclined to say means that if an elder is married, he must be married to one woman only. However, as we go through the Old Testament, I hope we will see why the Jews abandoned this practice.
(And I affirm the virgin birth)