Self, Sex

What Is Polygamy & 10 Famous Polygamists Of The Bible

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What Is Polygamy & 10 Famous Polygamists Of The Bible

The Bible strictly forbids adultery and fornication, but why then are there cases of polygamy? Many men of God in the Bible were polygamists.

But what exactly is polygamy and what counts as a polygamist?

Do you remember the television show sister wives? That was the show that highlighted what it was like to be in a polygamist relationship in modern-day America. The husband, Kody Brown, was married to five different women.

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We watched as they raised kids together and made decisions together. The world sat at their television sets mouths agape, as this segmented family lived out the monotony of their daily lives.

But what is polygamy? Polygamy is defined by Google as, “the practice or custom of having more than one wife or husband at the same time.” It is basically one man or woman who has multiple legal spouses.

The legality of it all is subjective in America, as polygamy has been illegal for over 100 years. There is usually one person in the “group couple”, who has multiple spouses.

And it is most commonly a man with multiple wives, and most commonly centered around one person.

While we don’t see much polygamy in modern times, it was actually quite common during biblical times.

Here is a list of some of our favorite biblical polygamists:

1. Abraham was a polygamist

Many of us are familiar with the song, “father Abraham, had many sons”. Where do you think he got all of those sons?

His many wives. Yes, it is true, Abraham had 3 wives, Sarah, Hagar, and Keturah.

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2. Asher was a polygamist

Asher, the son of David was said to have two wives. "And Ashur the father of Tekoa had two wives, Helah and Naarah." — 1 Chronicles 4:5

3. Belshazzar was a polygamist

Belshazzar, king of Babylon was said to have multiple wives. "that the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, might drink therein." — Daniel 5:2

4. Caleb was a polygamist

When Caleb was on his journey to the promised land, who do you think he brought along for company? His five wives! Azubah, Jerioth, Ephrath, Ephah, and Maachah.

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5. King David was a polygamist

King David of Israel was said to have upwards of 18 wives! There are many references in the bible to his myriad of wives. "And the fourth, Adonijah the son of Haggith; and the fifth, Shephatiah the son of Abital; And the sixth, Ithream, by Eglah David's wife. These were born to David in Hebron." — 2 Samuel 3:4-5

6. Gideon was a polygamist

Gideon was a profit and a judge! And rule he did… over his many wives. "And Gideon had threescore and ten sons of his body begotten: for he had many wives." — Judges 8:30

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7. Jacob was a polygamist

We all know that Jacob built a ladder to get closer to God, but maybe he also built it to get away from all of his wives. Jacob is on record having 4 four wives Leah, Rachel, Bilhah and Zilpah!

8. Moses was a polygamist

There may be 10 commandments but for Moses, there are only two wives. Zipporah and a woman who is known only as “The Ethiopian Woman”.

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9. Saul was a polygamist

Saul was the first king of Israel, and also into polygamy. He had two wives, Ahinoam and Rizpah.

10. Solomon was a polygamist

Solomon is commonly known as a very wise prophet. He is one of the more famed profits because of his insights. How was he rewarded for all of his teachings? 1,000 wives!

"And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart." — 1 Kings 11:3

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Kaitlin Kaiser is a writer who covers astrology, spirituality and relationship topics.