22 Then Pharaoh commanded all his people, saying, “Every son who is born you are to cast into the Nile, and every daughter you are to keep alive.”Exodus 1:22 NASB
The Hebrews were multiplying and the new king in Egypt was getting nervous. He began with enslaving the Hebrews and making their lives miserable through forced labor, but when that did not stymie their obedience to ‘be fruitful and multiply’ the Pharaoh commanded that the boys be thrown into the Nile and the girls be left alive. Presumably, he thought to destroy the seed and future headship in one fell swoop.
While we do not know how many were thrown into the Nile or otherwise killed, but we can understand from the grave dangers facing Moses as a child that the dangers were exceedingly great and many sons of Israel died in this type of Shoah. Did it leave a generation of women wringing their hands and wondering how to fulfill God-given desires and Creation order? Did Israel simply allow their precious daughters to leave the fold and seek men elsewhere because of the shortage? Maybe they all just became old maids and spinstresses? Is this even relevant today?
I’ve heard the question quite a few times in recent years. “Where have all the good (Godly) men gone?”
Even ten years ago, before leaving the institutional church, I was involved in multiple ministries and several congregations where I would hear the question. And, almost always, there were more single women than men. Often, women outnumbered men by a ratio of 2:1.
Once my wife and I began learning and walking Torah, we participated in and visited multiple home fellowships and small congregations or synagogues. We’ve participated in and even spoken at conferences, both in the US and in Israel. We have helped lead a couple ministries that connect with people across the planet. Everywhere, and I mean everywhere, single women outnumber men. Within the Hebrew roots/Messianic circles the ratio by my observation is closer to 3:1! Godly single women decidedly outnumber Godly single men. In fact, as I sit here, I can reel off the names of 12-15 single ladies that I know from 32 – 70 without even hesitating. I can only think of about three single men over the age of 28.
A friend in India recently sent a picture of his congregation. It was beautiful as 100 or 150 sat in chairs and on the floor for worship and instruction. Then I noticed that, like a Jewish synagogue, the men and the women were seated separately. Easily, there were three times as many females as males. Easily. In India.
A good friend of mine recently recounted the heartbreaking story of a dear single lady he knew. He said,
My friend, a woman who had longed to get married all her life, was once given a word of comfort from the Church.~a friend
She was told that the reason she was still single, well into her fifties, was because her future husband’s current wife hadn’t died yet.
Cold comfort for a woman who has now passed.
Several weeks ago, my wife and I sat at dinner with a recent acquaintance, a happily married man with wife and children that he adores. He sat across the table from us and with tears in his eyes and a tremble in his voice, he recounted four or five single Godly ladies that have come through their lives in the last several years who could not find a husband. One has since left the faith altogether, two married or got into destructive relationships with unbelieving men and one, after earnestly seeking and praying for a husband for eight years, had given up and was distancing herself from God and the church. He detailed that her trajectory was exactly following the others who had left the faith.
Are we so calloused that we do not hear the cries of our sisters?
I am not alone in recognizing this 3:1 ratio. Clyde Pilkington, Jr. details this very obvious and disparate ratio in his well researched book, The Great Omission. He articulates the Church’s blindness and often willful silence on a matter that is deeply hurtful and damaging, not just to the single ladies, but to society as a whole. He also reveals solutions from Scripture. Solutions the church has willfully and knowingly omitted and suppressed.
While we are not losing men to the Nile, we are losing them to Pharaoh, the adversary. Culture, the world, homosexuality, drugs, prison, as well as just deadbeats and ungodliness has seriously depleted the ranks of available Godly men.
So, when the Israelite boys were being thrown into the Nile, what happened to all the girls in the growing male:female ratio imbalance? Were they wringing their hands and weeping over inability to fulfill God-given desires and mandate? Were they allowed to leave the tribe and hunt for men among the Egyptians? Did they live as spinstresses?
NO!! They were married! To Israelite men! There is no other Biblical solution. We know that Israel continued to grow in number and multiply greatly.
Obviously, this challenges our western cultural paradigm, but Hebrews 11 bestows high praise on many men, ‘approved by God,’ who fulfilled their responsibility to provide covering for more than one woman. Consider Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Gideon and David. Others that Scripture proves to be righteous are Caleb and Joash.
Clearly, this is not isolated to one passage of Scripture or a select class of men. Go read Numbers 31 and pay very close attention to vss. 18, 35, 40 and 46… Do a little simple math.
Are we so calloused that we refuse to hear the cries of our sisters? Are we more concerned with tradition or what others think of us than we are with Biblical truth? Are we more concerned with appearance and public relations than our own hurting family? Are we more wrapped up in selfishness than self sacrifice?
Indeed! Where have all the good men gone?
For more challenging study on this topic, go here.
Interesting. I’ve never really taken the idea seriously, for lack of a good reason why, but this opens my eyes. As a happily married man for 20 years (we just celebrated our 20th anniversary 3 days ago) and a father of 3 daughters and 1 son, the issue hits a bit closer to home. Thank you for sharing. We’ll be praying and studying more about this. Shabbat Shalom!
It is a very challenging subject that when rightly understood touches every area of Scripture from headship, YHVH’s relationship with His people, and the restoration of Israel to how we interact in the home and how the community/Body us supposed to interact and function.
I now wonder how the vows of our ‘traditional’ wedding ceremonies (that we vowed in ignorance) affect our ability to walk out issues like this. I don’t recall my exact vow, and we didn’t know what a ketubah was at the time, so we may not have a record of what exactly was vowed, but Yah knows. If a man vows “I take this woman to be my lawfully wedded wife”, “forsaking all others”, “cling only her”, etc. Vows like this may exclude some people. Thoughts?
Good question. First, lots of prayer and discussion and seeking Yah. But, I believe she and He can release from vows entered into in ignorance. Certainly, not a matter to take lightly or unilaterally.
I would agree we need to keep our vows. In my opinion, a married couple could AGREE to re-negotiate their vows to reflect their current beliefs. This is why when I performed the wedding ceremony of my eldest daughter to her husband, they were married, under the huppah, ‘according to the Torah of Moshe’, as to not add to, or take away from what Y–H has for them. I also think that a man had better have all things in order before he even considers taking another wife. Very few men I have met are mature enough to properly handle this challenging situation. I think there are many potential benefits for the family, as well as many pitfalls, proceed prayerfully. btw, I do not have personal experience with multiple wives. I am married to one wife with three children, one adult son and one adult daughter still at home, having concerns about finding righteous Torah spouses for them. I believe the Father will provide.
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The “elephant in the room”, so to speak. Have had similar discussions with a few people, both male and female, concerning this topic. A few of us have come to the same conclusion that you have here. As if us “rooters” needed another reason for the mainliners to call us a cult lol! 😉
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Truth brings freedom, but also draws the ire of the adversary. The fact that this topic draws so much fire demonstrates how much the enemy hates it.
Blessings to you for the spine to study and speak out.
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Pete, something you said here in your response is something I have put much thought into. As I have thought about a few things that non- Torah types and unbelievers across the board come against, such as ‘keeping the law’, circumcision, eating clean, Sabbath, and knowing how critical those issues are to the faith of Y–H, it has really made me wonder what we are missing by not embracing biblical marriage. I’ll admit it kind of scares me because some bells just can’t be un-rung. That being said, I am amazed at how people who are ok with homosexual relationships, sex of ANY kind with ANYTHING, are almost without fail totally against a man having two or more wives. There is probably more agreement against biblical marriage than any subject that I can think of, in any arena! That in and of itself makes me wonder, why is the response so vitriol to something some of the MOST RIGHTEOUS men in history commonly practiced? Makes me think we need to take a more serious look at it, at the very least quit calling it a ‘sin’, when it is clearly not!
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I totally agree with you and have come to believe it is a truth we much accept even if we never do it. I believe the Father is using this topic as another way to sift His people. Will we believe His Word and accept His truth and, if He clearly calls, walk in it? Or, do we reject this and thereby render ourselves unworthy to follow the King?
Some time ago a Torahkeeping family was aghast that I had come to a place of believing God’s Word in this matter. I asked, ‘If Jacob and his four ladies showed up at your door for Shabbat, would you let them in?’
Her immediate response was, ‘No! No way they bring that in my house.’
I clarified, ‘So, you would shut the door in Jacob’s face?’
‘Yes,’ came the cold reply.
That revealed to me a few things of their hearts. How much more does this test reveal us to the Father?
Tough topic, but are we humble enough, supple enough to lay ourselves before Him and say, ‘Abba, I need you to remove tradition and teach me truth. Help me understand and accept Your ways and purposes.’
I have recently been studying Mormonism to better witness and minister to Mormons. I have watched dozens, perhaps hundreds of video testimonies. Those testimonies include x-polygamists. Every single woman testifies that living in that systems was horrendous.
How about you begin a ministry to build men up to learn how to overcome this man hating culture and teach them how to be men of God instead of suggesting they take on multiple wives. Help establish His Kingdom on the earth, bring our people back to Eden where one man and one woman is the ideal order Yah set up for HIs people.
Carrie, Shalom and blessings.
While I cannot vouch for Mormon practices, I do know what the Word teaches and have studied it deeply as well as have provided a number of solid resources. Our Western minds may not like the conclusion, but it is what the Creator says in His Word.
As to ‘building Godly men,’ that is part of what we do and, to that end, are preparing a series detailing what God’s Word says about men, women, roles, marriage, headship, patriarchy and more….
We are headed back to Eden, but Yah never gave an ‘ideal.’ That is Christian mythos rooted in Greco-Roman law and Juno worship… tough truth, but worth researching.
I promise to be true to His Word, even when it collides with tradition.
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The ideal order established in creation is patriarchy not monogamy. The whole “ideal” argument is rather funny… based on that theory we would expect all weddings to take place in a garden naked as well…
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You make a great point. Patriarchy is the real issue and God doesn’t care about mono or plural. Witness the ‘Patriarchs.’ Abraham had at least three, probably more; Isaac had one and Jacob had four. Others listed in Hebrews 11 include mono and plural, all approved by God.
What He cares about is righteousness and men and women each fulfilling their respective callings in the created order and according to the plan layed out throughout Scripture.
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You are wrong about the Mormons. There are many women in consensual polygamous marriages and are very happy about it. The Browns on the TLC show “Sister Wives”, the Dargers who wrote the book “Love Times Three” to name a few. There are many more. If you want to be effective in ministry you should at least try to learn and understand the other side of the question. Best wishes.
Do you support women having multiple husbands, or only men having multiple wives?
Scripture nowhere allows polyandry. What you describe is the scriptural definition of adultery.
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I agree that it does not “allow” polyandry … but it does not forbid it either. If a woman takes another husband … an unmarried man … how is that adultery?
Tom, looks like Jeremy has already made a solid case, but I’ll add a few supporting thoughts. First, you can search this blog for a post I made a couple years ago titled ‘Marriage, Adultery and Christian Error.’ In it I defined both marriage and adultery according to Scripture. If marriage is ‘becoming one flesh’ and adultery is ‘a married woman having relations with a man who is not her husband’ then, she can only cross that bridge one time unless divorced.
The marriage relationship, as described in Scripture, is a master – bondservant relationship. He is the head and she is the helper/follower. Scripture clearly states that a person cannot have two masters.
Still another illustration is that Torah clearly says no mixing of seed. A woman with multiple husbands will have mixed seed, thus being defiled as is the land.
A final thought… Numbers 5 is the test for a jealous husband, but no such reciprocal test applies to women.
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Definition of adultery is a woman being intimate with a man other than her husband. Ezekiel 16:32
The entire purpose of this thing we call marriage is to reflect “image” the relationship between Yah and his people. How did Yah deal with his wives when they attempted to take additional “husbands” gods??? Jeremiah 3:6-10
If a woman is permitted to have more than one husband why was David and Bathsheba dealt with so harshly? No need for David to have killed Uriah they could have just shared her. Notice what David gets reprimanded for? Stealing another mans wife. 2 Samuel 12:8 and the surrounding context is a rather interesting passage…
There is a lot more depth to this than I’m able to go into here but this notion that Yah allows polyandry couldn’t be further from the truth.
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I read a scientific article a while back that said sperm, whether it be from a male partner or a male child that she carried and bore, is absorbed by the woman’s body and becomes a permanent part of her DNA…
Here is a link to the story Robin is referring to. https://www.medicaldaily.com/dna-sperm-ex-partners-lingers-female-flies-and-influences-genetics-her-offspring-305934
I remember reading this and couldn’t help but think how this concept is supported in the Torah! Science is proving HIS ways. Think about when a brother is supposed to marry his brothers widow if she hasn’t had a son, so his brother would have his name continue. Now we see that science is showing that some of the dead husband’s DNA remains and changes the woman’s, so the child would actually still have some of his father’s genes! Absolutely amazes me how perfect our Fathers ways are!
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Interesting. I saw this article earlier myself but thought of it in terms of ‘the land being defiled’ as Abba promises with sexual promiscuity. The seed becomes mixed.
We tend to think in spiritual terms, but the physical is also important to Avinu. In Biblical marriage, blood lines and genetics are preserved and unmixed. Thus, this does not defile the land. ..
Indeed, Elohim is wise in all He does.
Romans 7:2 and 1 Cor 7:39 prevent a women from having more than one husband.
Actually, you are in error. To be bound to a husband, in no way prohibits a woman to bound to more than one husband. It simply says that she is bound to him … but not only him.
Answered above by Jeremy and me. But the short is, according to Scripture, bound to a husband absolutely means she cannot be bound to another, else God can’t hold His wayward bride accountable.
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Well there are many great points here, the losing of men to worldly things and the great contrast of men to women in the congregation.
However, I cannot disagree more with the conclusion of having multiple wives. Between the last part of the article and most of the comments, I am deeply troubled.
To have more than one wife would disqualify one from eldership (1Tim3:2) and being a king (deut 17:17). There is great cost to being married alone (1 corth 7:25-40). For a believer to commit such sexual immorality would also disqualify them from my table (1 corth 5). May this position not gain any traction in our faith. There is no sin committed in remaining single or married to one wife.
While it is noble to consider honorable ways to help our sisters; I believe this article’s conclusion is departing the scriptures by not just describing polygomy but prescribing it, which is a very dangerous error and application (to.the congregation and all marriages). Please correct me if I am misunderstanding this whole blog post. I am rather surprised to see this here, and it hurts (Pardon me for this being my first post). This “remedy” for singleness on the case that the patriarchs were approved misses the point that they were approved by their faith. Paul gives a remedy for singleness, remain single and serve the Lord without a divided heart (1 corth 7:25-40).
This post in no way is attempting to minimize the pain of those who desire marriage, yet are not. We all know many who would be a great spouse, but are not yet one. Why is this so? God is faithful to provide what we need, our greatest need is Him. Whether married or not, we must be satisfied in Yah alone. A spouse will fall miserably short (I say this as a spouse myself who has fallen short, as well as the many I counsel on a regular basis). May we keep marriage in its rightful place of under God, rather than a god replacement (a common error of our single friends). Marriage will reveal our sin like no other earthly relationship, it has many if it’s own troubles. It’s a tough contender with God and our own flesh. Marriage cannot be worshiped like many of our single friends do. It can be an idol, may we not help them further this idolatry of marriage or encourage them in practicing the description of the patriarchs, but the application of the perscription of Eden, the TWO becoming ONE flesh, and to be qualified for service in the congregation of the righteous.
Please reconsider this position and removing this post all together.
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Thank you for taking the time to respond and I acknowledge, this is a very challenging topic, not to be entered into lightly. And, thank you for honestly admitting that the problem I lay out is indeed real with real people, real hearts and real needs.
This specific article, nor the larger subject matter, have been entered into quickly or lightly. As one can see from the link at the end ( https://natsab.com/biblical-marriage/ ) where my position is clearly defined, I have arrived here over several years of wrestling with the Word and studying out the Biblical definitions of marriage, adultery, sexual immorality, headship, husband and wife, etc.
To specifically answer the objections you mention,
-1 Tim 3:2 translates ‘mia’ as ‘one’ due to translator bias. The Greek ‘mia’ can also be translated as ‘a’ or ‘first.’ If the translator rendering is correct, then Abraham, Jacob, Moses and David among others are not qualified to even be Elders, nevermind examples of righteousness. A correct rendering of either ‘a’ or ‘first’ would immediately align with the Torah and multiple other Scripture.
-Deu. 17:17 indeed says a king is not to multiply wives, however, if you impose ‘one’ on the passage you must also do so with respect to silver and horses. One piece of silver and one horse? The point is excess. Consider two passages that clearly demonstrate that God had no problem with a king caring for more than one woman: 2 Samuel 12:8 wherein God says, “I gave you..your master’s wives..and if that had been too small a ting I would have added many more…” Also, 2 Chronicles 24:2-3, 15-16. Joash did what was right in the sight of the Lord… and so did Jehoida the High Priest. What did they do? The truth is, there is not a single place in Scripture where God condemns a man for marrying more than one eligible woman. Even Solomon, the one example of gross excess, is only chastised for taking ‘foreign women’ because they led him into idolatry.
-1 Cor 7:25-40 is a viable option, however, if we are to be true to the Word, we will deal honestly with all Biblical options rather than demand that those who are hurting simply remain in their pain while we offer unBiblical platitudes. The course you recommend is the historical position of the Church and it has led us to the very problem that you acknowledge. Linked on my Biblical Marriage page there is a book by Clyde Pilkington titled The Great Omission. I recommend it. He articulates the Church’s ignoring of the cries of our sisters while teaching a false doctrine of marriage. This is a sin for which we will be held accountable.
-Your application of 1 Cor. 5 would bar God Himself, according to His description of Himself, from your table. https://natsab.com/2018/03/02/does-god-have-two-brides/ Where you err is in having an unBiblical definition of ‘sexual immorality.’
Raymond, this is very challenging. It is a paradigm shift toward the Word that is pretty epic, but truth demands that we seek and wrestle.
May Yah bless you and I pray He guide and challenge you in your journey and ministry.
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μία (mia) means “one”. For example, the three basic forms εἷς (masc), μία (fem), and ἕν (neut) all occur here:
There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all…
Of 321 occurrences in the NASB, εἷς / μία / ἕν is translated “one” 282 times, “first” 9 times, “one thing” 5 times, etc.
Translating μιᾶς γυναικὸς (mias gynaikos) in 1 Timothy 3:2 as “first wife” is not really tenable and actually inverts the meaning of the verse.
Is there anywhere else where translating μία as first inverts the hermeneutic, that is where it couldn’t have just as easily been translated “one”?
Under the μία=”first” reading, why would Paul include the “first” modifier at all? Why not merely require a “husband” or “married man”?
What’s more, under that reading if a man divorces his wife and remarries, then he potentially qualifies as an overseer because of his “first” wife.
The purpose of 1 Timothy 3:2 and it’s expanded parallel in Titus 1:6 is to select leaders from stable, gray haired men (temperate, one wife, grown believing children, etc.).
A man who takes multiple wives is disqualified from leading anything beyond his own families.
πρῶτος (protos) means “first” in the New Testament. For example, πρώτῃ διαθήκῃ (prote diatheke) is the “first covenant” in Hebrews 9:15.
Of 156 occurrences in the NASB, πρῶτος is translated “first” 128 times, “leading men” 5 times, etc.
If Paul wanted “first” wife, he would have used this word with Timothy and Titus.
Marriage has changed over time.
Adam and Eve’s children married each other and Jacob married two sisters, neither of which is permitted in Torah (after Sinai).
That said, whether it’s Sarah and Hagar (and Hagar’s firstborn Ishmael) or Leah and Rachel (and Leah’s firstborn Reuben), multiple-wife families caused family strife in the Scriptures (remember David’s third son Absalom?).
Jason, thank you for your reply. Indeed, this a challenging topic, though worthy of deep study.
Our presupposition as we approach Paul is that he is not adding to or taking away from Torah. No where in Torah does a command exist that limits a man to one wife or in any way calls having more than one a sin. So, minimally, that is a line Paul can’t cross, evidenced by his use of ‘heatou’ and ‘idios’ in 1 Cor. 7:2. Further, besides the men previously listed who Scripture (Hebrews 11, Paul the author?) deems righteous, we have other examples in Scripture that demonstrate leaders with more than one woman in their care are specifically approved by God. Consider Joash in 2 Chr. 24:2-3, 15-16. Clearly, the Kohen Gadol took two wives for him and ‘he did well in Israel and to God and to His house.’ The point is that as we approach 1 Tim. 3:2, we need to be sure to have Western cultural bias removed before pondering the verse and whether rightly translated.
I suggest that if we read from the Torah only, we would find zero reason for an elder to be limited to one wife, but we may find support that an elder minimally be a) married and b) specifically that she be the wife of his youth. In other words, he is obeying the mandate to be fruitful and multiply and he is not a covenant breaker.
Now, we are prepared to consider 1 Tim. 3:2.
If Paul is saying that an elder may have only one wife, then would he be adding to Torah? (Never mind the fact that even if he IS saying that, he leaves the door wide open for anyone who is not an elder to have more than one and never commands otherwise…. selah.)
If Paul is saying ‘first wife,’ as in, the wife of one’s youth, does that line up with Torah? Hmmm…. Yes. The elder is a covenant keeper.
If Paul is saying ‘a’ wife, would that line up with Torah? The elder would be trying to be fruitful and would have evidence of leadership/headship over his family. ‘A’ wife would be a minimum standard.
Now, translator bias will obviously push the text toward monogamy only, something never ever taught anywhere in Scripture by anyone. In fact, as at least three instances demonstrate, God describes Himself as having two brides. Would He describe Himself in sinful terms? Further, in multiple commands of the Torah He regulates the practice of plural marriage. Would He regulate sin? (If you are going to steal, this is how you do it to please Me….)
These are paradigm shifting thoughts…. Very, very challenging.
Indeed, ‘mia’ can be translated as ‘a’ or ‘first.’ Bauer’s Lexicon says ‘a’ as in ‘someone, anyone.’ And, we are all familiar with ‘mia ton sabbaton’ …first day of the week.
Note on your final paragraph…
-We *assume* Adam and Eve’s children married siblings. The text doesn’t tell us what actually happened.
-Jacob did marry two sisters. The Torah says not to take one sister to the other *to vex* her. The intent is to cause rivalry.
-Christendom often brings up the challenges within plural marriages as if that is supposed to mean we avoid it. Why do they never mention Adam and Eve’s son murdering his brother, or Noah’s son Ham, or Isaac and Rebekah’s sons that are fighting today? If bad marriages warns us away, then we need only look around for a gross amount of evidence to prevent even monogamy. (And, we have to assume ALL plural marriages were disasters, something the text does not support.)
Brother, I encourage you to dig in and see what Scripture actually says on the matter. Why were there Greek and Roman goddesses of monogamy and marriage while the culture was steeped in divorce, promiscuity and temple prostitutes. Josephus tells us that at the time of Yeshua the Hebrew men were known and allowed to have more than one wife. Yeshua never addressed it! (He did address divorce….)
Bottom line: Translator bias coupled with cultural lenses make us read 1 Tim. 3:2 (and the Titus verse) as ‘one and only’ when I believe a solid case exists for Paul meaning most likely ‘a’ or possibly ‘first’ for the above stated reasons.
Blessings and Shalom!
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Good to hear from you, Pete.
There’s a lot here, so I’ll try to address your main points.
“Our presupposition as we approach Paul is that he is not adding to or taking away from Torah. No where in Torah does a command exist that limits a man to one wife or in any way calls having more than one a sin.”
In the following verse, Ezekiel essentially flows marriage rules for the high priest to all priests and adds a caveat that priests can also marry widows of priests:
First, for context, Leviticus 21:7,13,14 states:
1. Priests cannot marry a harlot, defiled, or divorced woman.
2. The high priest is to marry a virgin from his own people.
3. The high priest cannot marry a widow, divorced, defiled, or harlot woman.
Ezekiel 44:22 states:
1. Priests cannot marry a widow (or a divorced woman).
2. Priests must marry either Israelite virgins or priestly widows.
Was Ezekiel “adding to or taking away from Torah” when he altered the marriage rules for priests?
“I suggest that if we read from the Torah only, we would find zero reason for an elder to be limited to one wife.”
Would you say if we read from the Torah only, we would find zero reason for a priest to be limited from marrying widows?
“Is there anywhere else where translating μία as ‘first’ inverts the hermeneutic, that is where it couldn’t have just as easily been translated ‘one’?”
“we are all familiar with ‘mia ton sabbaton’ …first day of the week.”
Even though “day” and “week” don’t appear in the Greek phrase, tradition (which venerates Sunday) renders all instances of mia ton/mian/mias sabbaton and even prote sabbatou (singular) as “first day of the week”.
There is a more reasonable translation which maps to counting the Omer; for detailed treatment of mia ton sabbaton, see the article by Bryan Huie (OBM) entitled “SABBATH vs. SUNDAY: WHICH SHOULD WE KEEP”.
Other than the “Sunday” passages and Titus 3:10, I’m not seeing mia translated as “first” anywhere in the Apostolic Writings.
In Titus 3:10, it might be rendered “one” or “once” as easily as “first” — very possibly a Greek idiom there (why not just say “two” instead of “one and a second”?).
Hopefully we can agree that there is overwhelming (exhaustive?) textual support for mia being the cardinal number “one” and protos being the ordinal number “first”.
“We *assume* Adam and Eve’s children married siblings. The text doesn’t tell us what actually happened.”
Is there another theory about who they married? Based on what?
“Jacob did marry two sisters. The Torah says not to take one sister to the other *to vex* her. The intent is to cause rivalry.”
If you’re suggesting that the commandment depends on the groom’s intent, the sages disagree (e.g. Mishnah Yevamot).
Does anyone in the Orthodox community take this position? Would the Pharisees, who received authority from Yeshua to interpret Moses?
It could be anachronistic to apply Leviticus 18:18 to Jacob since the commandment was given at Sinai.
What I was getting at is that marriage rules have changed over time. Today, being “sister wives” is against Torah even if there are seemingly positive anecdotes.
“And, we have to assume ALL plural marriages were disasters, something the text does not support.”
Not being a disaster is a pretty low bar to set for polygamy. That said, I cannot think of a shining Biblical example.
Understanding that all families have challenges, the great pain in the examples I mentioned was caused *because of* polygamy.
YH-H also permitted divorce and a king over Israel; just because something isn’t prohibited/sinful doesn’t mean it’s good for women and children.
Judaism and Christianity built the West on the dignity of life, family, and property. Espousing polygamy is potentially dangerous not only to people who identify with Hebrew Roots but to the very foundations of civilization.
Regarding marriage to 2 men:
“So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man.”
Romans 7:3 NKJV
Regarding marriage to 0 men:
“There is a difference between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman cares about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit. But she who is married cares about the things of the world—how she may please her husband.”
I Corinthians 7:34 NKJV
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did my comment show up? – this is only a test..
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