Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

1 Bump

Did Polygamy Ever Work Out In The OT?

A friend and I were talking about why God allowed polygamy at one time, and I concluded that all polygamous marriages happened before God gave Moses the 10 Commandments. Are there no instances of polygamy in the OT after Moses?

Then that led us to ponder that no polygamous marriages in the OT worked out. Jacob was quite disappointed that he was given Leah to marriage when he really wanted Rachel. He favored Rachel's children over Leah's, and I think Leah rightfully experienced resentment. Also, Sarah was the one to suggest Abraham marry their slave so that he could have offspring, wasn't she? When Sarah had a child she became jealous of their slave and Abraham's other offspring, so sent them into exile. Please correct me if I'm wrong about any of this.

Did polygamous marriages ever work out with a happy ending in the OT?


Asked by flatlanderjenn at 9:29 PM on Oct. 10, 2010 in Religion & Beliefs

Level 17 (4,354 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (14)
  • Polygamy never "worked out" in the Bible and always caused problems between the siblings. Jacob loved Joseph the most because he was Rachel's son, who Jacob wanted to marry in the first place. This caused deep resentment among the siblings which could have been avoided if Jacob had either only married Leah, or had not married Leah.
    Solomon had hundreds of wives and hundreds of concubines and later warned his son about strange women and the snares they leave, and the destruction that follows in Proverbs. I don't think Solomon would say it "worked out" for him.
    David caused great destruction and pain by seducing, impregnating and then marrying Bathsheba. Their son in turn tried to kill David to overthrow his kingdom. I don't see how that "worked out".

    Answer by Laura2U at 12:12 AM on Oct. 11, 2010

  • I wouldn't say that Jacob, Rachel and Leah "worked out". Really, Jacob was tricked into marrying one daughter so that her father could get rid of her and then her children were not as favored as those he had with Rachel. Honestly, because of the fact that the Bible was written by men and women were property at the time we have no idea how it really worked for the women. Leah didn't have a choice in the matter at all.

    Answer by scout_mom at 10:26 PM on Oct. 10, 2010

  • Of course there is polygamy after Moses. King Salomon had many wives, for example.


    Answer by momto2boys973 at 9:51 PM on Oct. 10, 2010

  • Abraham didn't actually marry his slave did he? I thought he just got her pregnant (with his wife's blessing!)

    Jacob also had children with handmaidens and such (Zilpah and Bilah I think?)

    Can't think of any other polygamist marriages offhand. I think it only benefits the man.

    Answer by LostTheSlipper at 9:37 PM on Oct. 10, 2010

  • Two more unsuccessful polygamous marriages-

    David's adulterous tendencies was his downfall, as he approached Bathsheba.
    Solomon's many wives were a snare to him and drew him into idol worship.


    Answer by JeremysMom at 9:38 PM on Oct. 10, 2010

  • Oh, and probably one of the most famous cases of polygamy involves Jacob, Rachel and Leah. It was before Moses' time, but that worked out.


    Answer by momto2boys973 at 9:54 PM on Oct. 10, 2010

  • Your right.. it made things more complicated. Rachel and Leah didn't work out too well either.... read the whole story to find out why it didnt.
    Solomon lost focus with the Lord later on when he ended up having all those wives
    David's son with Bathesheba died ...then they had Solomon.
    Absalom was a different son

    Answer by Shaneagle777 at 12:32 AM on Oct. 11, 2010

  • Not that I am aware of. It may seem as though God allowed multiple wives, but if you look further into it you will see that it was never blessed and like you said it didn't work out. God never condoned it.

    Answer by DawnDietz777 at 1:45 AM on Oct. 11, 2010

  • King David had a few wives, as did King Solomon, both after Moses' time.


    Answer by Plum419 at 5:30 AM on Oct. 11, 2010

  • sound right to me

    Answer by Kittty_Katt at 10:44 PM on Oct. 10, 2010