39 - I would like to know what the Bible says about second wives!
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 39. Dear Dr. Smith,

I would like to know what the Bible says about second wives! Please let me know.

I am from xxxx and here we have a lot of polygamous marriages. I would just like to know if the Bible condones it or not and would you advice it for a single woman?


Dear Single Woman.

Thanks for asking your question. I think the following text should help to give you an answer to your question.


1 Tim 3: 2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
PS:  This is one of the requirements of becoming a bishop


Titus 1: 6 If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly

PS:  In this case the text is generalizing, that is to say, all Christians.


While it is true that polygamy was practice in the Old Testament and is still today in some parts of the world, the New Testament era did usher in an age of “one woman to one man” for marriage.


If you examine Paul's discussion carefully in Eph 5, you will see this “one woman to one man” concept.


v. 22:  Wives submit yourself unto your own husbands-- (not husband)--for it's a general statement to all wives

v. 23:  For the husband is the head of the wife--  (not wives) this is a singular statement meaning one man to one woman

v. 25:  Husbands, love your wives-- the sentence is plural because he is speaking to all husbands and wives

v. 31:  For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother and shall be joined unto his wife.. (not wives)

v: 33:  Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; 
and the wife see that she reverence her husband.  (Again notice that the text is in the singular)


I could not advise polygamy for a single woman or for any person for that matter, since it is against the will of God. I must admit that I cannot fully explain why it was accepted, for the most part, in the Old Testament, but I do know that Jesus came and gave us a new standard to live by. May God bless you as you do what is right


Dr. Smith