The article originally published 10/24/2020 has been updated on 11/15/2020. See notes at the end.
My dear brother Ephraim,
It was recently brought to my attention that you published a paper titled It Is Not Polygamy – It Is Polygyny. I count you as a dear brother and hold you in the highest regard, but I was very disappointed at the number of errors in the paper, so much so that I find it necessary to address them in detail. Please understand, I love you, but I love my King and His Word even more. Please, walk with me as I share some corrections and counter points to your assertions.
It Is Not Polygamy – It Is Polygyny
It seems that every couple of years, the necessity arises to address one more unsavory issue plaguing the Hebrew Roots Movement, and especially the precious Israelite Identity adherents. The enemy is relentless in trying to turn this group into an esoteric-cum-occultic sect and having everyone in it vilified by virtue of association with those who espouse strange and nonbiblical ideas.
While this may be an attention grabbing and well-poisoning opening paragraph, what we are about to consider from the everlasting Word of our Elohim is far from ‘esoteric-cum-occultic’ and ‘nonbiblical.’
Among all the various questionable forms of beliefs and associations which have sprung up during the past few years, there has been one that many of you are no doubt aware of, and that is polygyny. And so that you will not be mistaken as to what this term means, let me clarify that it is not referring to a general multiple-spouse relationship “polygamy”, but specifically to a multiplicity of wives. One man—several wives!
While not a ‘questionable form of belief,’ you are correct that polygyny is the correct term for the distinct marital circumstance of a man having more than one wife.
Do we need to belabor the point that at Creation there was one man and one woman? Is it necessary to quote Scriptures which point out that the sacred union between husband and wife is likened to the Messiah and His Bride? Should we point out that in the New Covenant it states very clearly that he who aspires to be a spiritual leader must be the husband of one wife? Or is there a need to mention that Elohim seemingly tolerated some of the customs of this sinful world, even within His own Israelite community, and did not forbid this kind of union but also never really favored it, pointing out that if one man has two wives, one will be loved but the other hated? (I will elaborate on the above comments in this article).
This paragraph contains multiple errors, some quite serious. On first note, you mention Creation and ‘one man and one woman.’ While you gloss multiple verses, I assume your focus is on Genesis 2:24-25. As you well know, Christendom uses this Creation passage as the ‘ideal’, however they fail to use a consistent hermeneutic in that verse because they do not claim that ‘naked and unashamed’ is also the ‘ideal.’ In fact, the verse and circumstance is not a command and is not the ideal, else being single would also violate the ‘ideal’ and be equal sin to whatever assumed error you are assigning to the polygynist.
Our second note would be to consider Ephesians 5:22-33, Paul’s famous passage comparing the Messiah and the Ekklesia with a husband and his wife. Indeed, the parallel is often drawn to the Messiah and His Bride (though the word ‘bride’ does not appear in the passage), while the Ekklesia from before Mt. Sinai, as declared by God in Ezekiel 23, was composed of the house of Israel and the house of Judah, sister brides who played the harlot in Egypt. Without question, God viewed Israel as precious – but separate – brides in both Ezekiel 23 and Jeremiah 3. The two together form the Assembly, also called the Ekklesia in Ephesians 5. Christendom, through the monogamy-only lens, interprets the Assembly to be a singular bride, however, Ezekiel 23 and Jeremiah 3 are two clear witnesses among others that God views them differently.
|Aside: Addressing a dear brother|
|It was not my desire to address Ephraim’s post publicly, therefore, per Matthew 18:15, I wrote him privately and explained that I desired to address him privately first. I further explained, as you will see at the end of this now open letter, that I would allow seven days for him to respond before I made public the letter you see here. I have received no response.|
To be clear, I love my brother, however it is necessary to correct the many grave and disparaging errors he commits in his blog post. Truth is more important than the opinions of men, whether they be brothers or of the world.
If we wish to see the restoration of kol Israel, we better embrace even the hard passages in the Word and cease to negotiate with the false opinions of the world and its collapsing culture.
Polygyny may be a very challenging pill for feminized western monogamy-only culture to swallow, but there must be a very good reason why God handles it the way He does and allows it as His Torah clearly demonstrates. It is for this reason and the glory of my King that I dare stand in public opposition to a man I respect so much.
Our third note is that while you ask as a question whether you should point out that spiritual leaders should be the husband of one bride, we would assume that you would not disqualify Abraham, Jacob, Gideon, or David as elders or spiritual leaders. In fact, multiple authors of Scripture, Patriarchs of Israel, Judges, men of Issachar, fathers of prophets, etc were polygynous. Are they not worthy to be ‘spiritual leaders?’ Or, is it possible that we have historically mistranslated Paul’s ‘mia’ passages with ‘one’ when either ‘a’ or ‘first,’ both solid translations, fit Torah better and do not denigrate our fathers and ‘men approved by God?’
The fourth note, in as many sentences, is that Elohim ‘tolerated some of the customs of this sinful world.’ Frankly, this is a stunning assertion that makes me cringe every time I hear it. There are two reasons: First, not one single time, ever, does God call polygyny a sin. Never. Therefore, by assuming it is sin and that God tolerated it, you place Him in judgment by your standard. The second grave issue is that God ‘tolerated’ or winked at sin. Was He incapable of giving a clear command for one wife? Could He not handle Abraham or Jacob? And, David? The man after His own heart? In truth, God does not and cannot ‘tolerate’ sin. He addresses and corrects sin in His people, yet He never mentions polygyny. Why?
The last note on this paragraph regards your declarative statement that ‘if a man has two wives, one will be loved but the other hated.’ In fact, Scripture says that if, IF, a man has this situation…. There is no assumption in Scripture that one will be loved and the other hated. This is a false assumption imported from possessive western culture’s false monogamy-only paradigm.
Nevertheless, even though you are probably quite clear about this matter, and most likely are not in favor of such an arrangement, please let me expound some more on this issue since it has reared its head again in the “House of Joseph/Ephraim”.
Is it remotely possible that the issue ‘has reared its head again’ precisely because it is a major theme in Scripture and God never condemns it? Is it possible that the Ruach is awakening people to this truth and that is why nobody seems to be able to keep a lid on it? In fact, I hear from people almost daily that learned this truth on their own and thought themselves crazy until they found other believers who were seeing the very same truth in Scripture. Further, I know multiple Torahkeepers who found headship/patriarchy and polygyny before they realized the rest of the Torah must also still be true! Imagine! Fellow Israelites who awakened to polygyny first! (Yes, that blew my mind, too!) I would introduce them openly in the Christian and Hebrew roots communities except they would be vilified by the same people that sing the praises of Jacob and David. Such hypocrisy.
In today’s society, polygyny is no longer recognized as a moral issue but a sociological one. However, a man who wishes to have more than one wife and is a believer in the Word of Elohim (the Bible), especially the New Covenant, has very little to stand on as far as justifying himself biblically. I do not condone this practice for the following reasons.
Dear Ephraim, polygyny is a decidedly moral issue and is a decidedly righteous issue in many circumstances. More on that in a minute. As far as Biblical grounding, there is no command, not a single one, against. Multiple times the Torah of Moshe regulates some part or aspect of the practice, but God never condemns or forbids the practice. God is very clear in calling out and forbidding sin. He says, ‘Thou shalt not steal.’ He never regulates stealing by saying, ‘But, if you steal, here is how to do it righteously…’ He does regulate polygyny in multiple places and offers no escape clause in the Torah for levirate marriage if polygyny is the required solution.
The Creator took only one rib out of Adam’s side, from which He formed one woman to be his companion (wife), so that they would become one flesh. This would be impossible if another person were added to the “equation” or union—even chromosomes come in pairs.
So, would you dare to say that Jacob was not ‘one flesh’ with Rachel? Were any of the twelve sons by four wives illegitimate or less of a son? Did God not bless Leah ‘because I gave my maid to my husband?’ (Genesis 30:17) Put differently, a woman may not have two men because that would be mixing seed, while a man may possess more than one field. It is instructive to note that the agricultural laws exactly parallel what God does and does not say regarding marriage. Indeed, a man may have more than one ‘one flesh’ union, but a woman cannot which is how the ‘adultery’ laws are written. More in a minute.
Noah is said to have entered the ark with his sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth; his wife; and three daughters-in-law. Although YHVH, no doubt, desired to repopulate the earth after the flood, He did not allow Noah and his sons to have two or more wives each in order to hurry up the process.
You make a theological assumption when you say, ‘He did not allow…’ In fact, we are simply told the historical events, not asked to assume His motive or read into it our western cultural view of marriage which was inherited from Greco-Roman laws that predate Yeshua. (See Numa’s Law)
Abraham had only one wife, and that was Sarah. Hagar was not recognized by YHVH as Abraham’s divinely given mate. Nor was Ishmael recognized as a legitimate son. We know this from what YHVH said to Abraham when instructing him to take Isaac, his “only son” (Genesis 22:2), and give him back to Himself. It was not Abraham’s idea to take Hagar. He did not initiate the relationship. When Abraham did take another wife, it was after Sarah’s departure.
Without question, Isaac is the son of the promise, however to say that Ishmael was not a legitimate son ignores the text. Genesis 16:15 and 17:23 among others clearly refer to Ishmael as Abram’s son. And, Hagar is specifically called a wife in Genesis 16:3.
Further, you mention Keturah in passing, but fail to mention Abraham’s concubines and other sons. Genesis 25:6 demonstrates that Abraham had more women in his care than simply Sarah, Hagar, and Keturah. Why did God never address this? No condemnation. None. Zero. And, remember, ‘Abraham obeyed Me, and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My Torah.’ (Gen. 26:5) The simple answer, affirmed again and again in Scripture, is that Abraham did not sin by having more than one wife. Period.
Isaac had only one wife—Rebecca.
Jacob ended up with two wives, not by choice but by trickery, and then proved the veracity of Deuteronomy 21:15—that man is only capable of loving one wife while . . . hating the other. I do not even want to mention what happens when one wife is favored over the other; it is an open door for the spirits of envy, jealousy, resentment, rejection, hatred, murder (with the tongue), etc. Entertaining any of these spirits is sin, which will result in curses and, of course, bad fruit. The following from the Song of Solomon 8:6: “Set me as a seal on your heart, as a seal on your arm. For love is strong as death, jealousy is cruel as Sheol [the bottomless pit]”, points very clearly to jealousy within a love relationship. Thus if a husband really loves his wife, why would he subject her to such potential cruelty? Any spirits coming from the nature and power of sin are cruel and tormenting.
This paragraph is also fraught with error. Our first consideration is the assertion that ‘Jacob ended up with two wives.’ Do we not think that God was in control and operating according to His plan? Jacob may not have planned for anyone besides Rachel, however, God clearly had other designs. That is not to say that Jacob has any justification for his favoritism, but your statement that Deuteronomy 21:15 teaches ‘that a man is only capable of loving one wife’ is patently false. Man is created in the image of God and God describes Himself as being the husband of two wives in Ezekiel 23 and Jeremiah 3. This imagery is further confirmed in Jeremiah 13:11; 31:21, 31-33; Hosea 2, esp. vss 14-23; Isaiah 54, etc. Therefore, if man is created in the image of God, he must be able to righteously fulfill whatever God calls him to.
While I certainly do not condone favoritism and advise the average man against even considering polygyny, I will state very clearly that polygyny does not cause ‘envy, jealousy, resentment, rejection, hatred, murder,’ etc. Polygyny may expose those things already dwelling in the heart, but the marriage arrangement does not cause, or invite, those sins of spirits any more than the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil caused Eve to sin. The Tree revealed the heart just as polygyny reveals the heart. In fact, all the sins you listed can appear in a monogamous family or even in a single woman, or man.
One such example is the relationship between Peninnah and Hannah, Elkanah’s wives. Those two are called “rivals,” or in Hebrew, “tzarah”—that is, “trouble, anguish, distress.” They were each other’s “trouble” (1 Sam. 1:4-6). Elkanah loved Hannah more than Peninnah (v. 5), and thus jealousy, strife and contention ensued. We could also mention the conflicts between Hagar and Sarah, and Leah and Rachel.
Without Peninnah and Hannah, there would be no Samuel. Is it possible God’s purpose was to bring about the prophet? All three of the aforementioned rivalries were due to barrenness on the part of one of the ladies. If it is God who opens and closes wombs, how might we reconsider these three circumstances and their outcomes? Is it possible that these happen in the story-line of Scripture particularly for God’s purpose, not because of some insidious assumed ‘custom of this sinful world?’ We can prove that polygyny was not a rare occurrence in Israel. Further, God never condemned it or forbade it. He uses the very practice to describe Himself and His relationship with His people. And, He blessed it!
Here are a couple interesting verses to ponder:
2 Chronicles 24:2-3 “Joash did what was right in the sight of the Lord all the days of Jehoida the priest. Jehoida took two wives for him and he became the father of sons and daughters.”
Later, in the same chapter, we are told that Jehoida ‘had done well in Israel and to God and His house.’
Can we safely assume that the High Priest knew the Torah, particularly if he ‘did well in Israel and to God and His house?’ Can we assume Scripture is telling the truth when it said, in the same breath, that Joash ‘did what was right in the sight of the Lord’ and the High Priest gave him two wives?
Either, the High Priest and the king colluded in sin and then ensured the Biblical text did not record it, or, they didn’t sin. Which is it? If polygyny is a sin, then it is a sin for all times and all people. If it is not a sin at that time, then it is not and cannot be a sin now, or ever!
If that is the case, then somehow they will have to squeeze into the same wedding dress, “for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His wife has made herself ready” (Rev. 19:7). I don’t see “brides” or “wives” in this Scripture, nor does YHVH add another one on any other occasion. He is very consistent and faithful to the one nation/bride that he betrothed at Sinai. “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Messiah and His ecclesia [or in Hebrew “Kahal”]. Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband” (Eph. 5:31-33). Cain was the first to have more than one wife. Esau and Ishmael, had multiple wives, as did many pagan kings and those who could afford to “own” them. In polygynous relationships, women became a commodity and a source of pride and power to the male ego. Some kings would have only one wife, who was given the status of queen, while the other women made up a harem of concubines.
There are several challenges to this paragraph that may contradict accepted Christian doctrine but are easily supported or supportable in Scripture. First, as has already been pointed out, the Kahal is the ‘Assembly’ composed of the house of Israel and the house of Judah whom God, not me, refers to as separate brides. Jeremiah 3 describes God divorcing the house of Israel but not the house of Judah. Not to be flippant, but no man has ever been successful divorcing half of a bride. The simple fact is that in this case, like Leah and Rachel, God’s purpose is fulfilled through polygyny, both in the physical and the spiritual.
Paul’s use of ekklesia does not exclude the fact that God views the two houses as sisters with varying journeys for the purpose of displaying His glory to the nations when He brings the two together into one house (Come house of Jacob…) to dwell in peace and obedience. Only through this picture of sister brides can we truly understand the envy and jealousy that divides the house of Jacob. [Aside: I am reminded of the Dance of the Two Brides at the Second (I believe) Bney Yosef Congress. I had only recently come to understand this truth in Scripture and I wept through that performance.]
As to Revelation 19:7, is it not curious that Greek has a word for ‘bride’ (nymphe) but that is not what Yochanan chose? Is it because the house of Israel, specifically mentioned as divorced and singled out in Jeremiah 31:33 for covenanting is indeed a gune, a (previously) ‘married’ woman? Is it possible that the marriage supper of the Lamb is the point of re-covenanting the house of Israel to Elohim, something the house of Judah was never divorced from? Maybe, just maybe, because we have errantly viewed this through a monogamy-only lens, something never taught in Scripture, we have misunderstood it. Shouldn’t we dig a little more?
You state that Cain was the first to have more than one wife. I believe you meant Lamech, however, even that is not spoken against by God. The text simply tells us in passing about the origins of tent dwellers, musicians, and forgers. To explain that, the names of the mothers were given with no Divine comment concerning the marriages or of Lamech besides his poem regarding acting in self defense. Christendom makes a lot of hay about this passage in Genesis 4, but God does not.
Naming Esau and Ishmael employs the fallacy of guilt by association. God does not condemn their choice, though the Word does reveal that Esau’s heart was wicked because he intentionally chose wives that would irritate his parents. Why employ guilt by association using these men and not Abraham, Jacob, and David? Recall, large sections of your Bible are written by polyganists. If this were so odious to God, would He have used them as His emissaries and mouth pieces?
In today’s world, polygamous/polyganous marriages are not seen as a moral issue but rather a sociological problem. There are many secular scholarly studies on the effects such families have on a society. You can check out this article on the internet: https://slate.com/human-interest/2012/01/the-problem-with-polygamy.html. It states, “As marriage historian Stephanie Coontz has pointed out, polygyny is less about sex than it is about power.” Quoting cultural anthropologist Joe Henrich, the article notes that ethnographic surveys of 69 polygamous cultures reveal “no case where co-wife relations could be described as harmonious.” The article further states that “polygynous households foster jealousy and conflict among co-wives.” Polygyny also destabilizes the social and economic norms of a community, which is why nations and states have passed laws against such unions. One report says that monogamous marriage actually reduces crime (https://www.nationalreview.com/the-home-front/look-whos-defending-monogamy-glenn-t-stanton/). The biblical idiom and truism that a “thing” is known by its fruit is borne out in the above observations of secular scholars. If evidently even the “wisdom of this world” (1 Cor. 3:19) rejects polygyny, how much more true would that be regarding the “wisdom that is from above” (James 3:17)?!
That the world sees polygyny as a sociological issue is entirely irrelevant. The only authority on the matter is the Word of Elohim which never condemns the practice. However, I will address your comments in this paragraph to demonstrate the errors.
While secular scholars may argue a negative effect of polygyny on families, the demonstrable truth is that Christian missionary imposed monogamy destroyed the fabric of Africa. Lauren Heiligenthal, in Evaluating Western Christianity’s Interpretation of Biblical Polygamy, explores how African families, culture, and economy were disaffected by Christian missionaries’ monogamist ‘ideals.’ Aristotle, circa 326 BCE, stated that monogamy was a tool of the state for building national loyalty. And, even a cursory review of our western monogamy-only culture reveals a disastrous cocktail of divorce, fatherlessness, and single mothers. The ‘fruit borne out’ by western monogamy is no more righteous than your citations.
In truth, God hates divorce, He does not hate marriage. His only requirement, consistent throughout Scripture in all marriages, whether monogamous or polygynous, is faithfulness.
When the world is calling “evil good, and good evil” (Is. 5:20), and then describes as “marriage” some of the most horrendous combinations—like polyamory (open and multi-partner relations), homosexual, and lesbian relationships—then a man who wants two women to join him in a dual marriage doesn’t sound so bad after all. However, the scriptural definition for adultery is a husband having a relationship with another woman, and the same applies to a wife who has a relationship with a man other than her husband. There is no excuse for a born-again, believing husband to look to marry/take another woman. Not only will this most certainly result in divorce, but worse—it is also committing adultery. A friend pointed out that many times cult leaders tend to surround themselves with multiple wives. I thought this was quite perceptive and also confirmed the power and control issue. However, as mentioned before, even in New Covenant biblical times it was declared that if someone aspired to some kind of leadership position in the body of Messiah, he could not have more than one wife and needed to raise his children in a godly way (see 1 Timothy 3:9-12).
Ephraim, again, this paragraph contains multiple gross errors that radically disparage the Patriarchs and our King. You assert that ‘the scriptural definition for adultery is a husband having a relationship with another woman…’ In fact, this is patently false.
Scripture defines adultery as a married woman breaking her marriage covenant (one flesh) by being involved with a man who is not her husband. Both she and the man she is involved with are adulterous. Some verses:
- Lev. 20:10 If there is a man who commits adultery with another man’s wife, one who commits adultery with his friend’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death. 11 If there is a man who lies with his father’s wife, he has uncovered his father’s nakedness; both of them shall surely be put to death, their bloodguiltiness is upon them. 12 If there is a man who lies with his daughter-in-law, both of them shall surely be put to death; they have committed incest, their bloodguiltiness is upon them.
- Deut. 22:22 “If a man is found lying with a married woman, then both of them shall die, the man who lay with the woman, and the woman; thus you shall purge the evil from Israel. 23 “If there is a girl who is a virgin engaged to a man, and another man finds her in the city and lies with her, 24 then you shall bring them both out to the gate of that city and you shall stone them to death; the girl, because she did not cry out in the city, and the man, because he has violated his neighbor’s wife. Thus you shall purge the evil from among you.
Adultery always involves a married woman. The man’s state of marriage is immaterial. Consider King David, the man after God’s own heart. He married Michal, Ahinoam, Avigail, Maacah, Haggith, Abital, and Eglah. God said NOTHING!! But, he laid hands on Batsheva, the wife of Uriah the Hittite, and he was immediately and correctly charged as an adulterer.
God never called Abraham, Jacob, Gideon, or even Shlomo!! an adulterer. But, you dare to. Is that not ‘murder (with the tongue),’ the very charge you lay at the feet of others?
Some older theological dictionaries correctly define adultery as a man having relations with a married woman that is not his wife, however a simple search of modern thought, as in the last 150 years, reveals the wrong understanding that any married person having relations with any person they are not married to is adultery. Please, go back and study this out!!
You continue, “There is no excuse for a born-again, believing husband to look to marry/take another woman. Not only will this most certainly result in divorce, but worse—it is also committing adultery.” In these two sentences you commit three errors.
You state that ‘there is no excuse,’ but the Torah allows for levirate marriage as one of many possible Biblical reasons. Do you honestly think the Messiah will pass over the levirate clause when He adjudicates the Torah? Or, does that command no longer apply?
Your second false claim is that ‘this will most certainly result in divorce.’ I personally know multiple families, both Hebrew roots and Evangelical Christian who have walked this marriage choice righteously for multiple decades. They choose to remain hidden from the condemning eyes of Bible teachers who counsel the women to rebel and divorce. In fact, nearly 50% of monogamy-only marriages within Christendom end in divorce. Maybe you should consider that fact before castigating failed plural marriages.
And, as previously demonstrated, the assertion that it is committing adultery is patently false.
Your next statement may be the most egregious charge laid against God, the Patriarchs, authors of Scripture, etc. You state, “A friend pointed out that many times cult leaders tend to surround themselves with multiple wives. I thought this was quite perceptive and also confirmed the power and control issue.”
Besides being a serious character assassination and hasty generalization, you implicate every Biblical character who Scripture reveals to have more than one wife, including God, as a ‘cult leader.’ This is absolutely stunning! It is a vile charge against my fathers, Abraham and Jacob. My prayer for you is that every single time you read a Davidic Psalm, you remember God loved the polygynist author and never condemned him. I pray that every single time you reference the two houses, you recall that God called them two brides. I pray your eyes are opened in this Torah cycle to every single instance of polygyny and the fact that God says not a single word about ‘cult leaders’ and ‘power control issues.’
Your final passing blow in this paragraph is to again traipse a line regarding the wrongly translated 1 Timothy 3:2 passage regarding ‘mia’ wife. Do you really think Paul was saying that Abraham or Jacob are not qualified to be an elder? How about David? Would you not allow him to address your home fellowship but you read his Psalms and hold them dear? What hypocrisy! Selah!!
Yes, we are living in a fallen world, where the power of sin has a grip on the human soul. But for a redeemed believer in the blood of the New Covenant, there is no reason, nor justification, for polygyny, polygamy, or any other “poly.” We are to bear witness to principalities and powers in the heavenlies of the righteousness and holiness of our Messiah—qualities that are to be seen in a marriage between one man and one woman. As new creatures with a new heart, being conformed to the image of Messiah by the indwelling Spirit of Elohim, we leave behind us the ways of the world, walking on a restoration path toward the more ideal template which Elohim has set for humanity from the Beginning. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24). Yeshua uses the same scripture in both Mathew 19:1-9 and Mark 10:2-12. (Please read both). In Mark’s verse 10 it says: “Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.” This is exactly what happens when taking a second wife, it breaks YHVH’s ordained union of one man and one woman.
Ephraim, I love you brother, but I have to tell you that reading this paper has been almost unbearably hard. Between laughing out loud at the gross theological and logical fallacies and crying at the maltreatment heaped on Godly men and women, both modern and of old, my heart is broken. This latest paragraph again is a radical error because it begins by wrongly calling polygyny ‘sin’ and ‘way of the world’ and cap it off by misusing Yeshua’s teaching about divorce in Matthew 19:1-9 and Mark 10:2-12. Brother, this is a special kind of eisegesis that rewrites Scripture to fit the false monogamy-only paradigm, never taught in Scripture. I won’t belabor the point here, but will cover more in my closing comments.
Many people are leery of Covid-19 vaccinations, which may contain unknown and harmful components, potentially altering our DNA. Sin will do the same if it is passed on from generation to generation. The Creator wrote His Word into every living thing, and we need to pay attention to it (the Word) without adjusting or modifying our behavior to accommodate our fleshly desires or carnal instincts.
So, David just had ‘fleshly desires or carnal instincts?’ You need to prove this from Scripture, because my Bible says, “David did what was right in the sight of the Lord, and had not turned aside from anything that He commanded him all the days of his life, except in the case of Uriah the Hittite.” (1 Kings 15:5)
Brother, God does not change. He does not have unequal weights and measures. He does not wink at sin and He does not allow polygyny in one generation and disallow it in another. If you think He does, then you have zero standing against any other argument that parts of the Torah are no longer valid. This line of reasoning completely destroys your credibility because you pick and choose comfortable passages over the uncomfortable passages.
The Word of Elohim tells us that YHVH hates divorce: “YHVH Elohim of Israel says that He hates divorce, for it covers one’s garment with violence” (Malachi 2:16). YHVH’s distain of divorce stems from His hatred of adultery, which is what marriage to two or more wives actually is!
Again, while the first half of your statement is correct, the last half is raw falsehood. You are adding to Torah, something YHVH does hate.
It is fascinating to note that none of the aforementioned patriarchs divorced a wife. Several had to put one away, but never divorced. Many practiced polygyny. If God is so vocal concerning divorce, why not polygyny? Selah!
A husband needs to “walk in the light” as Yeshua is in the light (1 John 1:7), and thus his wife will have for her companion a humble servant who undergirds the family in love and treats her as he would his own body. It must be a non-hierarchical relationship, where each lays down their life for the other, until the Spirit washes, cleanses, and purges every vestige of sin.
Every one of the aforementioned patriarchs and authors ‘walked in the Light,’ some even seeing Yeshua face to face. All were humble servants who were imperfect, but loved and cared for their families and wives. None are condemned by God.
Your great error here is ‘non-hierarchical relationship.’ This is a subtle but clear attack on patriarchy and headship as portrayed in Scripture from Genesis 1 to Revelation 22. Without question, one of the greatest errors of our generation is the feminization of Scripture and the emasculation of men and their role as head of house.
Woman was made for man, from man, given to man, and named by man both in her general and specific attributes. Man was responsible for teaching her and he was responsible for her actions before the Fall. It is to man that the sin of Gan Eden is laid because he failed to be the authority God created him to be, a reflection of Himself and the Kahal.
You cited Ephesians 5 and marriage as being a picture of the Messiah and the Kahal. They are not equals. Yes, He lays His life down for the Assembly, however He is the undisputed leader, head, King, etc. The Assembly cannot negotiate, manipulate, twist, or steer the King. Rather, the Assembly is in complete, quiet submission and obedience. This is decidedly hierarchical and teaching otherwise is a gross fallacy. If marriage is to image that relationship, then it is decidedly hierarchical. Consider,
- 1 Peter 3 In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, 2 as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior…. 5 For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands; 6 just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear.
- Ephesians 5:22 Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the Assembly, He Himself being the Savior of the body. 24 But as the Assembly is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the Assembly and gave Himself up for her,….33 Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she reverence her husband.
- Colossians 3:18 Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
- 1 Corinthians 14:34 The women are to keep silent in the churches; for they are not permitted to speak, but are to subject themselves, just as the Law also says. 35 If they desire to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is improper for a woman to speak in church.
- 1 Corinthians 11:3 But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ.
Further evidence is that Yeshua didn’t call any women as disciples. He valued and cared for them, but they were not baited with egalitarian falsehoods as is modern Christendom.
Christian feminists want to lionize Deborah, but fail to see that her appointment was because man was not doing his job. In fact, Isaiah 3 says it is shameful to be ruled over by women which is why Paul says that a woman is not allowed to teach.
I completely reject western Christianity’s ‘non-hierarchical’ egalitarian falsehoods. Polygyny, by definition, is a rejection of feminism and female headship, which is exactly why the adversary hates it so much and God allows it! Selah!
The mere mention of polygyny sends feminists and emasculated men into a tizzy because it jangles the imported pagan goddess worship accepted in modern false monogamy-only doctrines. One need not practice polygyny. One need only accept it as a viable and righteous option. Simply, feminism and monogamy-only go hand in hand. This is a topic worthy of exploring!
YHVH is moving in this hour to identify and restore the whole House of Israel, among the nations and here in the Land. But when those who are being drawn by YHVH hear that polygyny is accepted (even if tacitly), they may turn away from the path that YHVH has ordained for them. Let us be bold enough to stand up and declare that this is an intolerable practice in the body of Messiah and in the Hebrew Roots Restoration Movement.
Indeed, Ephraim, this is the hour of our restoration. YHVH desires men who will unflinchingly stand for the truth in Scripture, even when it is diametrically opposed to culture. Will men, and particularly the leaders of the Hebrew roots and restoration movements, have the spine to read and believe what Scripture says instead of having to import falsehoods from our culture that undermine the veracity of the Word, the actions and credibility of YHVH, and their own Divinely appointed role as leaders of home?
Polygyny may just be one of the means by which YHVH is sifting the house. Who will stand with Abraham, Jacob, Gideon, David, and YHVH Himself? I choose to and have no fear in doing so.
Dare to ask yourself this question, “If Jacob and his wives showed up at my door for Shabbat, would I let them in and greet them with a holy kiss?” If your answer is, “yes,” then why would you treat a modern brother any differently? If your answer is, “no,” then you stand in fear of hearing, “depart from Me, I never knew you.”
Brother, I love you. Scripture says, “Better is open rebuke than love that conceals. Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.”
I beg of you to reconsider your position on the subject of polygyny and I ask that you remove several posts from your site and post a clear retraction and reversal. Because you have posted those publicly, it is necessary that I respond publicly, however, I am reaching out to you first in hopes you reverse course immediately.
There is an abundance of material to read and study at https://natsab.com/biblical-marriage/ as well as the recently published Authority, Headship, and Family Structure (According to Moses).
A final note: In the comments to your two blog posts, the following accusations are leveled: ‘highly offensive to the other women,’ ‘selfish,’ ‘destructive practice,’ ‘sexual sin,’ ‘lustful men,’ ‘lusty Hebrew roots males,’ and ‘fleshly issue.’ Please understand, every one of these accusations are equally levied against Abraham, Jacob, David, as well as God Himself. You provided the platform and are responsible for these accusations against ‘men approved by God.’ (Hebrews 11) This is very dangerous territory. Again, I beg you to reverse course immediately!
I look forward to your response,
Shalom, b’shem Yeshua!
Peter G. Rambo, Sr
Mr. Frank has written a further article that makes a couple significant statements and comments that should be addressed for Truth’s sake. I’ll not address all logical fallacies or leaps, as the reader should begin noticing that logical fallacies are very common in the anti-polygyny arguments.
The bottom line, up front, is that Ephraim closes with the following,
YHVH doesn’t call polygamy “sin”, but He does call “lust, pride, and self-righteousness” sin.
While I am glad to see his correction of the gross error calling polygyny sin and thereby defaming God, the Patriarchs, and many righteous men, he still tries to hang the sins of lust, pride and self righteousness on anyone who practices polygyny. This is decidedly false as the Scripture NEVER uses ANY sinful term to refer to polygyny. Therefore, his statement is nothing more than lashon hara, character assassination.
Further, as soon as he says, ‘YHVH doesn’t’ call polygamy “sin,”‘ he has admitted there is NO Scriptural argument against. Period. The conclusion I drew years ago, and have repeated often, is,
It may not be wise, but it is not sin!
The simple fact is that there are times it is the most righteous thing a man can do! And, there are times it may be the dumbest thing a man can do. But, it is NOT sin!
Now to address a couple other items:
Ephraim lists three teachings by teachers that he believes support his position. The problem is that I have already addressed all three and found them wanting. McKee and Scott are addressed in the comments of this article more than two years ago. The 119Ministries piece was an epic train wreck that is disassembled in this article. (Get popcorn!) Further, it is instructive to go read the comments on their YouTube video. I’m not the only Torahkeeper who saw how very flawed their teaching was.
If the reader would like to understand what Scripture actually says, I highly recommend the resources section at the end of the Biblical Marriage page. Simply, there is NO Scriptural case against which is a frustration to western monogamy-only culture and self-righteous doctrinal standards nowhere found in Scripture.
Mr. Frank’s primary angle in his latest article is to pull out the ‘bigamy is illegal’ card. But, bigamy only happens if a person gets more than one marriage license. If Mr. Frank would research it, he would find that marriage licenses are a modern invention developed originally to prevent interracial marriages. Scripture requires a marriage license as much as it requires a gold star. It is a marker by the state to control people. I’ve refuted that argument in previously published articles.
The final note I’ll make is concerning Mr. Frank’s final note:
P.S. I believe that the invasion of the spirit of Islam into the Western Judeo-Christian world is playing a major part in the sudden interest in multiplying wives.
This begs multiple questions:
- Was it the ‘spirit of Islam’ that affected Abraham and Jacob? How about mighty men such as Caleb and David?
- Why does Mr. Frank define us as ‘western’ when he always refers to us as Israelites?
- And, how will Mr. Frank handle Islamic families that come to Messiah while having up to four wives?
I will simply say that while I love Ephraim Frank, I have been deeply disappointed in how he has handled this issue. Scripture is clear and he has chosen not to stand with the Patriarchs and Elohim on a very difficult issue.
As a side note, I have gone back and looked at multiple failed Messianic ministries that took a negative to very negative stand against what Scripture says about marriage. In multiple cases, the ministry declined quickly and became irrelevant when they publicly stood against scripture in this area. I can only assume that God placed a test before them with this topic and they failed that test.
I am not a prophet or the son of a prophet, but I’m deeply concerned for the course that Mr. Frank and 119Ministries, among others, are on. It is very possible we’ll see YHVH remove His hand of favor.
Far better is it to take your lumps for Truth than to stand against the Living Elohim!
“The foolishness of a man twists his way, and his heart frets against YHVH” (Proverbs 19:3).