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Islamic Sociology and Polygamy in the Bible

QUESTION: Islamic Sociology – Polygamy in the Bible


Polygamy occurred in biblical history, in the lives of David, Solomon, and others. Some Muslims assert that the Bible both condones and promotes polygamy and that Islam is superior to the Bible since it limits the number of wives to four. These limitations are insufficient, however, to curb problems inherent in the practice.

Islamic Sociology – The Consequences of Polygamy
The biblical picture of marriage and even polygamy strikes a very different chord than that of Islam. For instance, when God created the first humans, he created a monogamous couple, Adam and Eve (Genesis 1:27; 2:21–25), a biblical ideal that Jesus noted in His teaching (Matthew 19:4).

The first instance of polygamy in the Bible is that of arrogant and sinful Lamech (Genesis 4:19,23). However, despite recording cases of polygamy throughout biblical history, the Bible clearly portrays the consequences of such a decision—no instance in the Bible of a polygamous marriage turned out well! God not only created our first parents as monogamous, He also prohibited the kings of Israel from “multiplying wives” (Deuteronomy 17:17), though many of them did just that, often taking wives of foreign nations along with their false gods. This was a terrible compromise that affected the entire nation. In the New Testament, leaders of the church are to be husbands “of one wife” (1 Timothy 3:2,12). Moreover, Jesus’ relationship with the church is the perfect example, in that He has one bride (not “brides”), a relationship illustrated by marriage (Ephesians 5:31–32).


Rendered with permission from the book,Understanding the Times: The Collision of Today’s Competing Worldviews(Rev. 2nd ed), David Noebel, Summit Press, 2006. Compliments of John Stonestreet, David Noebel, and the Christian Worldview Ministry at Summit Ministries. All rights reserved in the original.

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