Posted by: proregno | December 6, 2019

IS DAAR ‘N OU TESTAMENT VERBOD OP POLIGAMIE?

IS DAAR ‘N OU TESTAMENT VERBOD OP POLIGAMIE?

Inleiding

Ek het die volgende 3 artikels geskryf oor die onderwerp van die huwelik, monogamie (een man een vrou huwelik) of poligamie (om tegelyk getroud te wees met meer as een huweliksmaat), en vir die lesers wat nog nie daardie artikels gelees het nie, versoek ek om dit eers te lees, voordat u hier onder verder lees oor die die vraag van: Is daar ‘n verbod op poligamie in die OT self, waar baie van die bybelse figure skuldig was aan poligamie? Die artikel hier onder bou voort op die fondamente van hierdie twee artikels:

Poligamie in die lig van Jesus Christus se koms

‘n Aanhaling:

“Jesus Christus het juis met sy koms, en spesifiek met sy woorde in Matt. 19:1-9, wat ook die rol en plek van man en vrou raak, die volkome wil van God vir ons bekendgemaak: ‘n terugkeer na die skeppingsorde en skeppingswil van Genesis 1 en 2, soos dit later ook in die wet van God vir alle tye en alle mense vasgelê is: Ex.20:14.

Die gebrokenheid van huwelike, verhoudings, rolle van man en vrou ens. van die Ou-Testamentiese (en Nuwe-Testamentiese!) tye , naamlik poligamie, egskeiding, hoerery, homoseksualisme, egbreek, ontrou, ens. moet juis in navolging van Christus nie net gesien word in die lig van die sondeval en gevolge van Gen. 3 en daarna nie.

Dit moet wesentlik juis ook weer gesien en herstel word in die lig van Gen.1 en 2, soos Christus dit geheilig en bevestig het (Matt. 19:1-9), en soos dit deur die res van die NT geleer word, veral deur Paulus en Petrus (Ef. 5; 1 Tim. 2; 1 Petr. 3, ens).”

As die huweliksfondamente (weer) omgegooi word (Ps.11:3)

“Poligamie, soos egskeiding is verdra weens die verhardheid van die mens se hart soos Jesus dit hierbo stel, dit is nie God se ewige wil vir die mens nie, en moet teen gewerk word, nie aangehelp word nie.  As ‘n mens Gen.29 en 30 lees oor Jakob se twee vroue, veral 29:30,31 en 30:1, dan was daar heelwat ‘fronse’ oor poligamie se gevolge.  Die swaershuwelik was ‘n instelling wat spesial verorden is vir Israel, sodat hul geslag sou voortduur tot en met die koms van die Messias, en was nie bedoel vir alle tye nie, soos die verdere goddelike Openbaring in die Nuwe Testament duidelik van getuig (1 Thess. 4:3-4; 1 Tim. 3:2).”

STUDIE OOR POLIGAMIE IN AFRIKA

“Pastoring Polygamists: Biblical Counsel for the African Church
Paul D. Schlehlein

This thesis explores polygamy within African culture by addressing the hermeneutical, biblical, and pastoral implications on a matter heavily debated throughout the centuries. Since the majority of passages describing polygamy occur in the Old Testament (OT), proper rules and guidelines are necessary for a suitable handling of the OT in the New Testament (NT) era.

Several OT passages appear to condone polygamy, leading some to tolerate its practice. After all, Abraham, Jacob, David, and Solomon were godly men greatly blessed of God—all of whom had multiple wives. Many believe this is clear support for polygamous marriages. This thesis seeks to debunk those arguments by taking a closer look at the context, grammar, purpose, and application of all the relevant passages.

The crux of this thesis aims to give pastoral counsel to those ministers who are shepherding polygamists after they are converted. Though the counsel handed down by church history gives no consensus on this point, Jesus’ teaching on divorce and remarriage does give light. Further there are a host of other NT passages that solidify the point of this thesis: Scripture never condones or legislates polygamy, nor does it mandate the formal divorce of converted polygamists, thus freeing African pastors to be shrewd and gracious in their counsel of them.”

Met bogenoemde as fondament, kom die verdere vraag na vore:

IS DAAR ‘N OU TESTAMENT VERBOD OP POLIGAMIE?

Baie is seker daar is glad nie sprake van enige verbod nie, hul redeneer, bloot omdat ‘n klomp OT gelowiges poligamie bedryf het, en omdat God nie daarteen ‘n uitdruklike verbod gegee het nie, en (volgens hulle), eintlik Israel se konings soos Dawid en Salomo met baie vroue ‘geseën’ het, daarom moet dit nie net reg aanvaarbaar wees vir die OT tye nie, maar ook nog vir vandag, in die NT tye … vir die wat dit verkies.

Nou wil ek hier op ‘n paar bronne wys wat ek raakgelees het, die bronne self laat spreek met hier en daar opmerkings. Ek is van die oortuiging, soos in die artikels hierbo uiteengesit, dat poligamie vanaf ons eerste kennismaking daarvan, deur die ongelowige Lameg, en verder, nooit beveel is, aangemoedig is, of goedgepraat is nie.  Dit is bloot ‘n sondige gegewene van die tye waarin die gelowiges, die kerk van die OT geleef het, en ongelukkig deur beïnvloed is, en dan deur die Here, soos met onwettige egskeidings, ‘weens die hardheid van die harte’ toegelaat en vedra is. Die bedoeling was nog altyd dat dit verby moes gaan deur herstel te word na God se skeppingsordening en wil, in Gen. 2:24, soos bevestig in Jesus se eie woorde, in Matt. 19:4-6, die monogame huwelik tussen een man en een vrou (sien weereens die artikels hierbo).

Kom ons kyk dan na ‘n paar Skrifgegewens en onderwerpe oor die saak, volgens die bronne wat dit verklaar (beklemtonings en kursief orals bygevoeg):

1. Die oorsprong van poligamie

“En Lameg het vir hom twee vroue geneem. Die naam van die eerste was Ada, en die naam van die tweede Silla.” (Gen. 4:19)

Geneva Bible Commentary:

“The lawful institution of marriage, which is, that two should be one flesh (Gen. 2:24-slc) , was first corrupted in the house of Cain by Lamech.”

Statenvertaling kanttekening:

“Deze Lamech is de eerste van wien men leest, die twee vrouwen tegelijk gehad heeft, regelrecht tegen Gods ordinantie, Gen. 2:24. Mal. 2:15.”

Calvyn se kommentaar:

“19. And Lamech took unto him two wives. We have here the origin of polygamy in a perverse and degenerate race; and the first author of it, a cruel man, destitute of all humanity. Whether he had been impelled by an immoderate desire of augmenting his own family, as proud and ambitious men are wont to be, or by mere lust, it is of little consequence to determine; because, in either way he violated the sacred law of marriage, which had been delivered by God. For God had determined, that “the two should be one flesh,” (Gen. 2;24-slc) and that is the perpetual order of nature. Lamech, with brutal contempt of God, corrupts nature’s laws. The Lord, therefore, willed that the corruption of lawful marriage should proceed from the house of Cain, and from the person of Lamech, in order that polygamists might be ashamed of the example.”

Matthew Henry:

We have here some particulars concerning Lamech, the seventh from Adam in the line of Cain. Observe,I. His marrying two wives. It was one of the degenerate race of Cain who first transgressed that original law of marriage that two only should be one flesh. Hitherto one man had but one wife at a time; but Lamech took two. From the beginning it was not so. Mal. 2:15 ; Mt. 19:5 . See here, 1. Those who desert God’s church and ordinances lay themselves open to all manner of temptation. 2. When a bad custom is begun by bad men sometimes men of better characters are, through unwariness, drawn in to follow them. Jacob, David, and many others, who were otherwise good men, were afterwards ensnared in this sin which Lamech begun.II. His happiness in his children, notwithstanding this. Though he sinned, in marrying two wives, yet he was blessed with children by both, and those such as lived to be famous in their generation, not for their piety, no mention is made of this (for aught that appears they were the heathen of that age), but for their ingenuity.” 

Hierdie poligamie gebeure vind plaas na die sondeval, dit is dus geen skeppingsordelike, God gewilde opdrag, bevel, gebod van die Here nie, dit word bloot beskryf. In kontras daarmee, staan natuurlik die monogame huwelik se fondamente en uitdruklike wil van die Here in Gen. 2:22-24, wat al drie verklaarders hierbo noem.

Die drie gerespekteerde verklaarders beskryf poligamie as:

1. ‘n korrupsie en oortreding
2. pervers en ‘n ontaarding
3. wrede minagting van God (se wil) en reëlreguit teen God se huweliksordinansie
4. oortreding van die oorspronklike heilige huwelikswet van God (Gen. 2:24)
5. ‘n slegte gewoonte deur slegte manne begin waarvoor ongelukkig manne met beter karakter in geval het (Abraham, Jakob, Dawid, ens.)
6. dat poligamie ‘n sonde is
7. En ten laaste, dat hierdie ongelowige heidense oorsprong, poligamiste moet beskaam, nie trots maak oor hul voorvader, en/of die praktyk van poligamie nie.

In die woorde van ons Here Jesus, van toepassing op die poligamie kwessie: die poligamie kultuur het uit die sondige ‘hardheid van (mense) harte” (Matt. 19:6) ontstaan, nie uit God se skeppingswil, sy goeie bevelswil vir die mens nie (Gen. 1,2).

2. ‘n Eksplisiete verbod teen poligamie?

Die argument teen poligamie is gebaseer op die eksplisiete gebod en opdrag van die monogame huwelik, soos uiteengesit is in die artikels hierbo vermeld (spesifiek met verwysing na God se skeppingswil en orde deur die monogame huwelik, tussen een man en een vrou, Gen. 2:24; Ex. 20:12,14; Ps. 128:3; Spr. 5:18; Mal. 2:14; ens., finaal herbevestig deur Christus in Matt. 19:4-6, asook ander teksgedeeltes soos 1 Kor. 7:2; Ef. 5:22-33; 1 Thess. 4:1-8; Tim. 3; ens.)

Maar is daar enige aanduiding van ‘n eksplisiete verbod daarteen?

Gereformeerde skrywers meen oor die algemeen daar is nie ‘n ‘eksplisiete’ (in soveel woorde) verbod nie, maar belangrik, dat God se wil nie net bepaal word deur wat ‘eksplisiet’ gebied en verbied word nie, maar wat ook deur ‘goeie en noodsaaklike gevolgtrekking’ uit die hele Skrif afgelei kan word oor ‘n bepaalde saak.

Dit is wat bely word in Westminister Konfessie, hoofstuk 1.6,

“Die volle raad van God met betrekking tot alle dinge wat nodig is vir sy heerlikheid, die saligheid van die mens, en die geloof en lewe, is uitdruklik opgeteken in die Skrif, of mag van die Skrif afgelei word, deur ‘n goeie en noodsaaklike gevolgtrekking; waaraan niks te eniger tyd bygevoeg mag word nie, of dit nou nuwe openbarings van die Gees of tradisie van mense is nie”

(Sien die volgende werk oor die “goeie en noodsaaklike gevolgtrekking’, soos dit in die Skrif self te vinde is en … afgelei word:  Ryan McGraw, By Good and Necessary Consequence)

Op grond daarvan word dan geleer dat monogamie God se standaard en wil is vir die mensdom, nie poligamie nie.

Tog is daar aanduidings van moontlike ‘n ‘eksplisiete’ verbod by ‘n paar Skrifgedeeltes:

Norman L. Geisler skryf as volg:

“And yet Scripture repeatedly warn against having multiple wives (Deut. 17:17) and violating the principle of monogamy – one man for one wife (cf. 1 Cor. 7:2; 1 Tim. 3:2). …. The Law of Moses prohibits polygamy, commanding, ‘You shall not multiply wives’ (Deut. 17:17). The warning against intermarriage with unbelievers was repeated in the very passage where it numbers Solomon’s wives (1 Kings 11:20.

By implication, polygamy can be seen in that statement. Because of both their number and their idolatry, Solomon’s wives did irreparable damage to the house of David and to Israel. The New Testamen stresses that ‘Each man [should have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband’ (1 Cor. 7:2). This emphatically excludes polygamy, Paul insisted that a church leader should be ‘the husband of one wife’ (1 Tim. 3;2, 12). Whatever else this may entail, it certainly implies a monogamous relation.” (Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics, Baker Books, GI, Michigan, 1999, p. 602)

Daar is wel ‘n teksgedeelte wat ‘n nog sterker moontlike ‘eksplisiete’ verbod bevat, alles afhangende van hoe dit vertaal kan word, en dit is:

Levitikus 18:18 as eksplisiete verbod van poligamie

Ek gee ‘n twee moontlike vertalings, en stel dan vir John Murray aan die woord oor hierdie teksgedeelte, wat meen dat Lev. 18:18 is ‘n eksplisiete verbod op poligamie.

“Jy mag ook geen vrou by haar suster as mededingster byneem om haar skaamte gelyk met die ander een, terwyl dié nog lewe, te ontbloot nie.” (Lev. 18:18)

“Nor shall you take a woman as a rival to her sister, to uncover her nakedness while the other is alive.” (Lev. 18:18)

“And a woman unto another thou dost not take, to be an adversary, to uncover her nakedness beside her, in her life.” (Lev. 18:18)

Sien hierdie opmerkings oor die laaste vertaling:

“Translators have made a fairly strong case from philological, literary, and historical considerations for translating Leviticus 18:18 as follows. “And you shall not take a woman as a rival wife to another….” The Qumran community translated it this way. If this translation is correct, the verse explicitly prohibits polygamy and implicitly prohibits divorce. [Note: See Angelo Tosato, “The Law of Leviticus 18:18: A Reexamination,” Catholic Biblical Quarterly46 (April1984]):199-214; Gleason L. Archer Jeremiah, A Survey of Old Testament Introduction, p259; and Walter C. Kaiser Jeremiah, Toward Old Testament Ethics, p189. John Murray also preferred this interpretation in Appendix B of Principles of Conduct, pp250-56.] Thus the Mosaic Law forbade some things that the patriarchs practiced: marrying one”s sister ( Leviticus 18:11; cf. Genesis 20:12) and marrying two sisters ( Leviticus 18:18; cf. Genesis 29:30).”

Dit gaan dus oor die vertaling van die woord ahot, wat gewoonlik suster beteken (susters van dieselfde vader en moeder, familie, ens.), maar dit kan ook as ‘geliefde, ander’ vertaal word.

John Murray, skryf oor Lev. 18:16,18, in ‘n afsonderlike ‘n appendiks in sy boek, Principles of Conduct. Ek gee die kern van sy argument hier deur (belemtonings bygevoeg):

“However, an entirely different view of the import of Leviticus 18:18 must be accorded serious consideration. It is the view that the expression isah el ahotah not to be rendered ‘a wife to her sister’ but rather ‘one wife to another’ and that what is prohibited here is digamy or polygamy. The verse would then be rendered as follows: ‘Thou shalt not take a wife to another, to vex her, to uncover her nakedness, besides her in her lifetime.’ Cf Matthew Pool: Annotations upon the Holy Bible, ad Leviticus 18: 18; Charles Hodge: The Biblical Repertory and Princeton Review, 1842, Vol. XIV, pp. 518f.

This view of the verse would have to be abruptly dismissed, as is done by many, were it not for the fact that in Hebrew usage of the Old Testament the expression which occurs in Leviticus 18:18, to wit, isah el atohah, used elsewhere in the sense of ‘one to another’ without implying that the persons concerned are sisters in the proper sense. In fact it is an idiom of the Hebrew Old Testament in the sense of ‘one to another’ even when persons are not in view at all (cf. Exodus 26: 3,5,6,17; Ezek. 1:9,23; 3:13). In this respect it is like the expression isah el atohah (literally ‘a man to his brother’) which occurs more frequently and does not imply more than ‘one to the other’ or ‘one to another’ (Genesis 42: 21, 28; Exodus 10: 23; 16: IS; 25: 20; 37: 9; Numbers 14: 4; Isaiah 9: IS; Jeremiah 13: 14; 23: 35; 25: 26; Ezekiel 24: 23). Of course, on occasion the persons involved may be literally brothers but this is not necessary. The expression isah el atohah is similar to other expressions (cf. Genesis 13:11; Exodus 32: 27; Leviticus 7: 10; 25: 14; Deuteronomy 1: 16; Jeremiah 31: 33; Ezekiel 4: 17; 18:8; 38: 21; Joel 2:8; Zechariah 7: 9, 10; Malachi 2: 10).

Hence the expression with which we are concerned, as far as Old Testament usage is concerned, can perfectly well mean ‘a wife to another’, ‘one woman to another’ and need not reflect upon two women who are sisters in the proper sense of the term. The only reason why this has been abruptly dismissed is that sufficient attention has not been paid to the force of this expression and its analogues elsewhere.

If this interpretation is adopted, then the verse has no bearing whatsoever upon the question so keenly debated, namely, that of marriage with a deceased wife’s sister. Indeed, it would bear upon the question of a man’s relation to his wife’s sister in terms of the prohibition of digamy in general. But it would have no relevance, of itself, to the question of the deceased wife’s sister. And, furthermore, this verse would be express condemnation of digamy and polygamy and would hark back to the original ordinance of monogamy (Genesis 2: 23, 24). There are difficulties encountering this interpretation.”

(Sien Murray se volledige appendiks oor Lev. 18:16, 18 hier.)

RJ Rushdoony skryf ook as volg in sy verklaring van Lev. 18:18 (beklemtoning ingevoeg),

In v. 18, we have a prohibition of polygamy. It is of note that, while adultery was condemned as treason to marriage and society, polygamy was tolerated as a lesser form of marriage. However,we have two interesting statements made concerning polygamy: (a) a second wife will vex the first. The word vex has lost much of its force in today’s English; in the Hebrew tsarar comes from the word to cramp; it means adversary, enemy, afflict, besiege, bind up, and oppress. It is atleast an evidence of disrespect if not a hostile act to add wife to wife.

Moreover, (b) it means “to uncover her nakedness,” which means, at the very least, to shame her. If this is what a plural wife means to the first wife, we are told implicitly that adultery is an even greater act of hostility and shame. What is required of godly marriage is holiness; what unlawful sexuality results in at the least is shame. We have seen that union within the forbidden degrees is common as a means to consolidating power and property. Rabbi J. H. Hertz called attention to this, noting: ‘It was a practice among Eastern heirs-apparent to take possession of the father’s wives, as an assertion of their right to the throne, that action identifying them with the late ruler’s personality in the eyes of the people. This explains Reuben’s conduct in Gen. XXXV.'” (Commentatries on the Pentateach Volume 3: Leviticus, Vallecito, CA: Ross House Books, 2005, p. 191-192)”

Samevatting

Soos hierbo vermeld, die saak teen poligamie staan of val nie by hierdie of enkele vers nie, maar Lev. 18:18 moet goeie oorweging geniet as ‘n duidelike verbod teen poligamie, dus reeds in die OT bedeling. En ja, soos met baie ander wette van God, het die Here se volk nie altyd daarna geluister nie, maar onkundig of kwaadwillig oortree, ongelukkig ook die ‘beste’ van die Here se kinders.

3. Die sondige gevolge en regulering van poligamie

Ds. MJ Booyens skryf daarvan in sy boek, Huwelik en Gesin in die Skrif (kursief bygevoeg):

“Maar Josef was ‘n verbondskind uit die huis van sy vader Jakob. Sy vader het hom voorgetrek teenoor sy broers. Hy was immers die seun van Jakob se geliefde vrou, Ragel. Dit was ook weer ‘n gevolg van die huwelikslopende sonde van die veelwywery, waaraan Jakob hom
skuldig gemaak het. Dit het die gevolg gehad dat Josef se broers hom gehaat en uiteindelik as slaaf verkoop het. …

Vrouenood by veelwywery.
Dit gaan hier om Hanna se huweliksnood en vreugde. Haar man Elkana was vir beide verantwoordelik – haar verdriet en haar vreugde. Hy het haar liefgehad – dit was haar vreugde.
Maar hy het ook ‘n tweede vrou gehad, Peninna – en dit was beide Hanna en Peninna se verdriet. Peninna het smarte beleef omdat sy Elkana se tweede keuse was. Hy het Hanna meer liefgehad as vir haar. Hoe kon dit ook anders? God het ons so geskape:  man en vrou – één man en één vrou.

Ongelukkig het daar al baie water in die see geloop sedert die wreedaard en wellusteling, Lameg, vir hom twee vroue geneem het. Veelwywery was in die tyd van Elkana ‘n algemene gebruik. Die Here het dit selfs nie verbied nie. Uit die gevolge daarvan kon die volk egter sien dat dit ‘n euwel was. Dit hoort nie so nie. Alreeds in vader Jakob se huis was daar verdriet en jaloesie tussen die susters Lea en Ragel.”

Roger Patterson wys ook op die sondige gevolge van poligamie, en dat die Mosaiese wetgewing dit gereguleer het, nie goedgekeur en aanbeveel het nie:

“Consider the consequences revealed in Scripture in each of the following cases: Abraham—led to bitterness between Sarah and her maid, Hagar, and the eventual dismissal of Hagar and Ishmael; Jacob—led to Rachel’s jealousy of Leah and to Joseph being betrayed and sold by his half-brothers; David—led to the rape of one of his daughters (Tamar) by one of his sons (Tamar’s half-brother Amnon) and Amnon’s subsequent murder by Tamar’s brother Absalom; Solomon—his many wives “turned away his heart” from the Lord and to the worship of false gods (1 Kings 11:1–8). Just because the Bible records polygamous relationships does not mean that God approves of such things.

The only direct command against polygamy is given to the kings that were to rule Israel, as they are told not to “multiply wives” to themselves (Deuteronomy 17:17). It is also interesting to note that polygamous relationships seem to be regulated in the commands Moses gave to the nation of Israel. Leviticus 18:18 instructs that a man should not marry sisters, and Deuteronomy 21:15 talks of assigning an heir to a man with two wives. Many commentators suggest that the passages do not endorse polygamy but rather prohibit it. Deuteronomy 21:15 may also be translated as “has had two wives” in succession rather than at the same time. The sisters in Leviticus 18:18 are understood by some to be any Israelite women. Regardless of the interpretation of these passages, the taking of multiple wives is not in accord with God’s design from the beginning.”Poligamie lei tot egbreuk

Bob Burridge verduidelik dat poligamie ‘n oortreding is van die sewende gebod, Jy mag nie egbreek nie (Ex. 20:14):

“The Principle of Adultery in Romans 7
In Romans 7 the Apostle Paul explained that we must be separated from looking to the law for our righteousness before we can be united with Christ by grace though faith. We cannot serve two masters. He uses marriage as his primary example.

He introduces his argument this way, “Or do you not know, brothers — for I am speaking to those who know the law — that the law is binding on a person only as long as he lives?”

The word “binding” here (some translations have “jurisdiction” or “dominion”) is from the root word kurios (κυριος) which is usually translated as “lord”. It carries the idea of authority. In the legal sense, it is the jurisdiction a court has over citizens in its district. Death releases a person from legal relationships. Law in its most general sense deals only with the living. Since Jesus died in the place of those he came to redeem, they are in him released from the binding and condemning nature of the law which they have violated as sinners. In him the penalty of death has been paid (Romans 3:23, 6:23, 5:6-9).

Paul then gave an illustration with which his readers could not disagree since they knew and relied upon the Bible.

Romans 7:2-3, “For a married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies she is released from the law of marriage. Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she marries another man she is not an adulteress.”

According to God’s law marriage is a bond for life. As introduced in Genesis 2, marriage was when Adam and Eve became “one flesh”. The union of one male and one female into one flesh is to last as long as the two live. Death is the only moral means of ending a marriage in God’s sight. Ending the marriage by divorce involves some sinful behavior on the part of at least one of the partners which destroys the covenantal contract of marriage. In the traditional marriage vow we promise before God, “till death us do part.”

If a spouse is dead, the living partner is free to be joined to another. When the conditions of a legal bond are met, the bond is no longer in effect. A new bond becomes acceptable. Any marriage bond when the original spouse is still alive is not recognized by God as a true marriage. It is condemned as immoral and contrary to law.

Sexual infidelity in a marriage is identified as “adultery” [moicheia (μοιχεία)] in this passage. This is repeatedly condemned in Scripture as sinful behavior (Exodus 20:14, Luke 18:20, Romans 2:22, James 2:11, etc.). When the marriage bond is not broken (as God defines it), to marry another is adultery. Explicitly, multiple partners at the same time is forbidden.

…. Building upon the original institution of marriage in Genesis 2, Jesus made it clear that marriage is a bond between a man and a woman where the two become one. This bond is morally and legally binding until it is disrupted by death. The Apostle Paul in Romans 7 explicitly states that if a person is married, and the spouse is still alive, to marry someone else is adultery, not a legal marriage. Biblical examples from silence where polygamy was practiced but not directly punished or condemned are simply records of history and cannot nullify moral principles God had already revealed.

John Frame, ‘n bekende gereformeerde etikus, is baie meer verdraagsaam en inkonsekwent in die hantering van poligamie, terwyl hy wel die ‘egbreuk probleem’ van poligamie erken:

“If a man swears exclusive love to one woman, and then takes a second wife, he has broken his original vow. The second wife enters into a sexual relationship with another woman’s husband.

Commitment within marriage, like commitment to God, is exclusive. It excludes rival commitments, rival loves (Deut. 6:4-5). A polygamous marriage compromises that exclusiveness. In such a marriage, the spouses share less of one another than in monogamy. And we get the impression from polygamous saints in the Old Testament that jealousy among plural wives was a common thing. So polygamy is a sin. It violates both the letter and the spirit of the seventh commandment, which is to protect the exclusive love of marriage. And since polygamy violates God’s norms, it is unfaithful to our heavenly husband. Thus it violates the deepest intention of the seventh commandment.” (The Doctrine of the Christian Life, Phillipburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 2008: 754, 755)

Poligamie, veral in die verdere lig van die Nuwe Testament openbaring, is dus oortreding van die sewende gebod.

John Witte Jr, is die skrywer van die boek, The Western Case for Monogamy over Polygamy. In hierdie artikel wys hy op al die slegte gevolge van poligamie deur die eeue, en dat ook die westerse tradisie gekant was en nog is teen poligamie, ongeag al die huidige morele verval:

“The Western tradition developed another line of argument against polygamy that turned on its potential to do unjust harms. Some 1,800 years ago, ancient Jewish rabbis and early Church Fathers alike warned that polygamy was “trouble”—the literal meaning of the Hebrew term for a “second wife” (tzarah) (nota: die woord kom uit Lev. 18:18, sien die bespreking hierbo oor daardie vers – slc). They observed that it brought grief to the most noble and God-fearing men and women of the Bible—Abraham with Sarah and Hagar, Jacob with Rachel and Leah, Elkanah with Hannah and Peninnah.

These biblical polygamists suffered bitter rivalry between their wives, bitter disputes among their children over inheritance, deadly competition among the half-siblings that ultimately escalated to incest, adultery, kidnapping, enslavement, banishment, and more. Think of the great King David who lustfully murdered Bathsheba’s husband to add her to his already ample harem. Or think of King Solomon with his thousand wives and concubines who led him into idolatry, and whose children ended up raping, abducting, and killing each other, precipitating civil war in ancient Israel.”

Maar dit is ook skadelik in nie-westerse wêrelde:

‘In the non-Western world, most polygamous cultures also feature social dysfunctions. After completing an exhaustive study of polygamy in 170 nations, Brown University political scientist Rose McDermott concludes, regardless of “whether it is practiced in a Western democracy or sub-Saharan Africa, polygamy produces harmful effects that ripple throughout a society.”

Polygamous communities suffer from increased levels of physical and sexual abuse against women, increased rates of maternal mortality, shortened female life expectancy, lower levels of education for girls and boys, lower levels of equality for women, higher levels of discrimination against women, increased rates of female genital mutilation, increased rates of trafficking in women, and decreased levels of civil and political liberties for all citizens. The law’s prohibition of polygamy would seem based on a sound judgment about the harm its practice inflicts on the most vulnerable.’

Witte se slotwoorde:

“We have every reason to believe this presumption against polygamy will continue, regardless of how liberalized we become in other matters of sex and family structure. A great deal of evidence shows that most men and women alike are instinctively attracted to long-term, single-partner intimacy and instinctively repulsed and angered if forced to share their bed and partner with a third party.

Despite our wide cultural acceptance of sexual liberty in the West, sexual infidelity still breaks marriages and intimate relationships more than any other cause. Moreover, over the centuries, successful societies have consistently migrated from polygamy toward monogamy, but never in the other direction. Perhaps I’m wrong, and the modern sexual revolution will yield a polygamist’s Stonewall, and then an Obergefell. But if so, that will mean that we don’t care all that much about protecting the vulnerable.”

So, uit die praktyke en sondige gevolge van poligamie, is dit ook baie duidelik dat dit afkeurenswaardig is, en dat ons moet bly by God se skeppingswil en verordening van die monogame huwelik.

4. Slotwoorde

Die Heilige Skrif begin met die heilige monogame huwelik in die paradys (Gen. 2), en eindig ook daarmee met die vervulling en bevestiging daarvan deur Christus en sy apostels (Matt. 19; 1 Kor. 7; Ef. 5; 1 Tim. 3; Tit. 1, ens.).

Maar selfs in die Ou Testament reeds, eindig dit met die monogame huwelik, tussen een man en een vrou:

“14 En julle vra: Waarom? Omdat die HERE getuie is tussen jou en die vrou van jou jeug aan wie jy ontrou geword het, terwyl sy tog jou metgesel is en die vrou van jou verbond. 15 Het Hy dan nie een mens gemaak nie, hoewel Hy gees oorgehad het? En waarom die een? Hy het ‘n geslag van God gesoek. Neem julle dan in ag ter wille van julle gees en wees nie ontrou aan die vrou van jou jeug nie.” (Maleagi 2)

Die Statevertaling se relevante kantaantekeninge daar (beklemtoning bygevoeg):

“50) Naamlik mens, naamlik Adam, uit wie Hy Eva gemaak het. Hy wil sê, dat dit teen die eerste instelling van die huwelik is, dat ’n man meer as een vrou sou hê, want God het gewil dat ’n man en ’n vrou één vlees sou wees. sien Gen. 1:27; 2:24. Matt. 19:4, 5. Mark. 10:6, 7, ens. 1 Kor. 6:16. Ef. 5:31.

51) God kon wel, indien dit Hom behaag het, meer vroulike liggame geskep het en in hulle ’n lewende asem ingeblaas het, dit ontbreek Hom nie aan die mag om vir Adam meer as één vrou te skep nie, maar aangesien Hy dit nie gedoen het nie, blyk daaruit dat Hy dit nie gewil het dat ’n man meer as één vrou sou hê nie.”

Jim Newheiser maak ook hierdie punt, en gee ook ‘n goeie samevatting teen die dwalinge van hulle wat vandag nog poligamie wil toelaat en/of bevorder (Rom. 1:32), veral nou dat ons die volle openbaring en wil van God het in die Heilige Skrif:

“In the garden, the Lord could have chosen to create many women for Adam, which actually could have been more effective for fulfilling his mandate that humanity would be fruitful and multiply. Instead, the Lord created one woman for the man and set this forth as his intended design for marriage. Polygamy is a violation of this original design and compromises the exclusiveness and intimacy of the companionship God intends for a husband and wife in the covenant of marriage.

Polygamy is also frowned on in the Mosaic law, which forbids a man from marrying ‘a woman in addition to her sister as a rival while she is alive” (Lev. 18:18). Kings are warned, “He shall not multiply wives for himself, or else his heart will turn away’ (Deut. 17:17).

Furthermore, Scripture never speaks of polygamy in a positive light and almost always portrays it as harmful. The first record of polygamy occurs in the wicked line of Cain, when Lamech–an unrighteous, vengeful man-takes two wives for himself (Gen. 4:19). Later, when Abraham, at the encouragement of his wife, Sarah, takes Hagar who bears Ishmael, rancor occurs in his own family (16:4-5; 21:8-21), and great trials result for many generations of his true offspring through Isaac (16:12).

Similarly, when Jacob takes both Rachel and Leah as his wives, his household experiences conflict and jealousy (30:1-24). “So Rachel said, ‘With mighty wrestlings I have wrestled with my sister, and I have indeed prevailed” (30:8). Also, “But she [Leah] said to her [Rachel], Is it a small matter for you to take my husband? And would you take my son’s mandrakes also? So Rachel said, Therefore he may lie with you tonight in return for your son’s mandrakes” (30:15). The book of 1 Samuel opens with the distress of barren Hannah at the hands of her husband Elkanah’s second wife, Peninnah: “Her rival, however, would provoke her bitterly to irritate her, because the LORD had closed her womb” (1 Sam. 1:6).

While David and other kings had multiple wives, in violation of Deuteronomy 17:17, King Solomon presented the most tragic example of the harmful effects of polygamy. Early in his life, Solomon had prayed to God for wisdom (2 Chron. 1:8-13) and was among the wisest men to ever live (1 Kings 4:29-34). During his reign, the temple was built, and Israel became a great world power. But Solomon’s many wives drew his heart away from the Lord, and he began to participate in their idolatry (1 Kings 11:1-8). As a resulin the next generation-the kingdom was divided into two parts and lsrael never again reached the heights it had achieved under Solomon’s reign.” (Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage: Critical Questions and Answers, Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 2017: 25, 26)”

In my eie woorde, waarmee ek hierdie artikel begin het, as samevattende konklusie:

Jesus Christus het juis met sy koms, en spesifiek met sy woorde in Matt. 19:1-9, wat ook die rol en plek van man en vrou raak, die volkome wil van God vir ons bekendgemaak aangaande die huwelik: ‘n terugkeer na die skeppingsorde en skeppingswil van Genesis 1 en 2, soos dit later ook in die wet van God vir alle tye en alle mense vasgelê is: Ex.20:14.

Die gebrokenheid van huwelike, verhoudings, rolle van man en vrou ens. van die Ou-Testamentiese (en Nuwe-Testamentiese!) tye , naamlik poligamie, egskeiding, hoerery, homoseksualisme, egbreek, ontrou, ens., moet juis in navolging van Christus nie net gesien en hanteer word in die lig van die sondeval en gevolge van Gen. 3 en daarna nie.

Dit moet wesentlik juis ook weer gesien en herstel word in die lig van Gen.1 en 2, soos Christus dit geheilig en bevestig het (Matt. 19:1-9), en soos dit deur die res van die NT geleer word, veral deur Paulus en Petrus (Ef. 5; 1 Tim. 2; 1 Petr. 3, ens).

Konklusie

God se geopenbaarde bevelswil vir die verhouding tussen man en vrou, in beide die OT en NT bedelings, was en is die monogame huwelik, nie poligamie nie.


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