Ok, this is probably one of the most random articles I’ve read in a long time. So strange, in fact, that it’s virtually like something out of “The Beast with a Billion Backs” (the latest Futurama offering, in case you didn’t know).
I should say, before I start, that I do realise this is an article from the Daily Mail and probably isn’t a shining example of investigative journalism. Nonetheless, I want to make a wider point which I will come onto shortly.
I won’t go into the details of the article (it’s worth a read, even if just to make you slap your forehead and go “WTF?”). I just can’t quite believe those women are comfortable with the arrangement – do they have so little self-respect?!
The strangest thing about the story, though, is that he is apparently a ‘Messianic Jew’ (i.e., a Jew who believes Jesus Christ was the Son of God). But then he goes and says things like this:
‘God was telling me I was a king. Not the Messiah, as has been suggested, but a Messiah. What God was showing me was that I would have a significant role in a Jewish revival, that a true nation of Israel would rise up and the world as we know it today was going to be severely judged.
“A” Messiah? Hmmmmmmm… not quite sure that one works! But it gets worse.
And so from this Philip came up with the idea of making these women without heads his wives. He would be their head, their protector – their ‘husband’.
He found passages in the Bible which seemed to give the all-clear. So was this the guiding hand of God, or a terrific scam by someone who wanted to have sex with lots of women?
And then goes on to deny that it’s a scam, saying “I’m not that clever!”. Hmmmm once again (about the scriptural support for polygamy, that is).
The problem with the Bible is that it actually doesn’t explicitly condemn polygamy. For example, it seems to be allowed in Exodus 21:10. But, Genesis 2 seems to be pretty clear: “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” Not his “wives” – but “wife”. Jesus affirmed this in Matthew 19.
The hard part for me is, why were David and Solomon not condemned for the wives and concubines? Solomon had about 700 wives and 300 concubines! That’s a ridiculous number, to be honest. But it’s not condemned… as such: “He had seven hundred wives of royal birth and three hundred concubines, and his wives led him astray. As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the LORD his God, as the heart of David his father had been” (1 Kings 11:3-4). [Interesting side note: look at Deuteronomy 17:17]
So, Solomon’s heart was turned to other gods by his wives – but having that many wives doesn’t seem to be frowned upon.
The best answer I can come up with at the moment is that those times were different – they lived by slightly different rules. Poloygamy itself wasn’t a big issue at the time – although the original plan for marriage was always for a man to have one wife (and a woman one husband), at that time – because of the people’s hardness of heart – God had bigger fish to fry.
I don’t really know, to be honest, that’s my best guess at the moment. But any comments are welcome!