What does the bible say about having more than one wife

What Does The Bible Say About Having More Than One Wife?

People often ask whether having more than one wife is allowed in the Bible. The answer, as with so many things, is complicated. There are a few verses that seem to condone polygamy, but there are also verses that seem to forbid it. So what does the Bible really say about polygamy? Let’s take a closer look.

What are the biblical verses that seem to condone polygamy?

In the Bible, there are a few verses that seem to condone polygamy or the act of having more than one wife.

For example, Exodus 21:10, states that “if he takes another wife to himself, he shall not diminish her food, her clothing, or her marital rights.” This seems to suggest that polygamy is acceptable, as long as the husband does not mistreat his wives.

Additionally, 1 Timothy 3:2, states that “a bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife.” Some people interpret this to mean that polygamy is not allowed, as a bishop should only have one wife. However, others interpret this verse to mean that a bishop should be faithful to his one wife. Therefore, there are conflicting views on whether or not polygamy is condoned in the Bible.

However, it seems that the overall consensus is that polygamy is not encouraged.

What is polygamy, and why do people practice it?

Polygamy is the practice of having more than one husband or wife.

It most commonly refers to a situation where a man has multiple wives, but it can also refer to a situation where a woman has multiple husbands, or where both men and women have multiple spouses.

Polygamy is found in many cultures around the world, and there are a variety of reasons why people practice it.

In some cases, polygamy may be seen as a way of ensuring that all members of a community are married, which can be important for social stability.

In other cases, it may be seen as a way of increasing the size of a family or tribe. And in some cases, it may simply be seen as a matter of personal preference. Whatever the reason, polygamy is an important part of many cultures and continues to be practiced by many people today.

Are there any negative aspects of polygamy that should be considered?

While polygamy is not currently practiced in most Western societies, it is still legal in many parts of the world. At its core, polygamy is the practice of having more than one spouse. While there are some positive aspects to this form of marriage, there are also some potentially negative consequences that should be considered.

One potential issue is that polygamy can lead to a shortage of eligible partners for marriage. This can be particularly problematic in areas where the population is already sparse.

Additionally, polygamy can also create economic inequality within families, as the husband will often have more resources to divide among his multiple wives.

Finally, polygamy can also lead to jealousy and conflict between wives, as they compete for their husband’s attention.

While there are certainly some positives to polygamy, these negative aspects should also be taken into consideration.

What are the biblical verses that seem to forbid polygamy?

While the Bible does not outright forbid polygamy, there are several verses that discourage it.

  • In Genesis 2:24, God tells Adam and Eve to “Be fruitful and multiply,” which is often interpreted as a command to have children, not multiple wives.
  • Additionally, Exodus 21:10 specifically forbids a man from taking more than one wife, stating that “he must not take another wife to add to the bitterness of the first.”

While these verses do not explicitly forbid polygamy, they do discourage it and suggest that monogamy is the preferred marital arrangement.

In the Old Testament, polygamy was common among the patriarchs and kings. However, there are a few verses that seem to forbid the practice.

The most notable is Leviticus 18:18, which states, “Thou shalt not take a wife to her sister, to vex her, to uncover her nakedness, beside the other in her lifetime.” This verse is sometimes interpreted to mean that polygamy is only allowable if both wives are willing participants. However, it is more likely that this verse is simply prohibiting a man from taking two sisters as wives.

Another verse that has been used to argue against polygamy is 1 Timothy 3:2, which states that a bishop must be “the husband of one wife.” While this verse does seem to prohibit polygamy, it is important to note that it is specifically addressing the qualifications for church leaders. As such, it does not necessarily reflect the general views of the early Church on marriage.

In conclusion, there are a few biblical verses that seem to forbid polygamy; however, it is important to interpret them in context.

How does the Church view polygamy today?

The Church’s views on polygamy have changed significantly over time. In the early days of the Church, polygamy was practiced by some members as a way to increase the number of children they had. However, the Church eventually banned the practice, and it is now only allowed in certain circumstances.

Today, the Church teaches that polygamy is only acceptable if it is entered into prior to baptism. If a person converts to the Church after they are already married, then they are only allowed to have one wife.

The Church also teaches that polygamy is only acceptable if all of the parties involved consent to it. This means that a man cannot simply take another wife without her expressed permission. If any of these conditions are not met, then polygamy is considered to be a sin.

Polygamy in other cultures – is there a difference?

Polygamy is the practice of having more than one wife or husband at the same time. In many cultures, polygamy is a common practice, and there is often no stigma attached to it. In fact, in some cultures, polygamy is seen as a sign of status and wealth. However, in other cultures polygamy is frowned upon, and those who practice it are often seen as being immoral.

So what is the difference between these two views on polygamy?

In cultures where polygamy is common, it is often seen as a way to provide for multiple wives and families. A man may have more than one wife in order to have children with each of them, or because he feels that he can provide better for multiple families. In these cultures, polygamy is not considered to be an act of infidelity, and there is often no jealousy between the wives. They may even form close bonds with each other and work together to raise their families.

In contrast, in cultures where polygamy is not accepted, it is often seen as a sign of disrespect for women. A man who has multiple wives is seen as being selfish and greedy, and his wives are often viewed as little more than property. These cultures tend to frown on any kind of sexual relationship outside of marriage, and so polygamy is considered to be a form of cheating. There is usually a lot of jealousy between the wives in these marriages, as they compete for their husband’s attention.

Will God bless a second marriage?

The Bible makes it clear that God intends marriage to be a lifelong commitment between one man and one woman.

However, we live in a fallen world, and marriages do sometimes end in divorce. If you have been divorced and are considering remarrying, it is important to seek guidance from the Lord.

The decision to remarry is not one to be made lightly, but if you pray for wisdom and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, you can be confident that God will bless your second marriage. Just as He has brought beauty from ashes in your life before, He can do so again. Trust in Him, and He will guide you on the path ahead.


In conclusion, the Bible does not condone the practice of polygamy or having more than one wife. In fact, it is quite clear in its condemnation of the practice. However, there are some who argue that the Bible does allow for polygamy in certain circumstances. While this may be true in isolated cases, it is not a general principle that should be applied to all situations.

Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to practice polygamy is a personal one and should be made with careful consideration and prayer.