Biblical Polygamy

°°  Exegesis  °°

Not Marry Sisters

"Neither shalt thou take a wife to her sister, to vex her, to uncover her nakedness, beside the other in her life time."
Leviticus 18:18.

Occasionally, some people confuse this simple verse to assert it as "proof" of some prohibition of polygamy.

Actually, however, it proves just the opposite!

This verse simply prohibits a man from marrying two sisters while both of them are alive. Moreover, the phrase, "beside the other", in that verse, rather emphatically makes it clear that this is speaking in terms of the man being married to them at the same time.

The fact that this verse is even instructed actually PROVES that polygamy is otherwise a valid marriage possibility!

After all, if polygamy was really a sin anyway, it would be completely irrelevant and unnecessary to specify a prohibition against marrying sisters anyway! That is, if it was truthfully a sin for a man to marry more than one wife anyway, then OBVIOUSLY he would not be able to marry two sisters beside each other in their lifetime!

It is additionally important to also note something about the previous verse (not listed here, Leviticus 18:17) and its relevance to this verse 18 here. Namely, the previous verse 17 prohibits a man from uncovering the nakedness of a mother and her daughter. That is also, by such implied instruction, clearly also meaning that it is a prohibition from marrying both mother and her daughter. That makes that also another proof that polygamy is Biblical by the fact of it even being instructed.

But even beyond that, whereas that previous verse 17 only spells the matter out as being "not uncovering the nakedness" of a mother and her daughter, this verse 18 here is even more explicit.

Namely, this verse 18 even more explicitly includes the word "WIFE". A man shall not take sisters TO WIFE beside each other in their lifetime. This makes it even more explicitly clear that this is talking about a man marrying more than one WIFE, just not being allowed to marry sisters while they're both alive.

Therefore, this is a very clear and simple prohibition ---but not against polygamy. Rather, the instruction is clear that men may not marry sisters beside each other while they're both alive.

Thus, this verse is actually another clear PROOF that polygamy really is Biblical!

Also See:

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