Marriage, Whether Monogamous or Polygamous Is Illustrative Of the Relationship of Messiah and the Church
The author speaks of a mystery that in many previous generations was commonly known and practiced, but has been hidden from the understanding of many (Particularly in Western societies) in recent centuries. He speaks of the unfolding of the nature of marriage as taught by the statutes of the Law, (The Torah) which commands that marriage be exercised as either one man and one woman, (monogamy) or one man and more than one woman. (polygamy) He testifies that both of these forms of the same institution speak of eternal heavenly realities found in the relationship of Messiah with any particular Christian Believer, and Messiah, to and with the corporate Church. (The Church being the corporate body of all Believers) (Ephesians 5:32)
Marriage, Whether Monogamous or Polygamous Is Illustrative Of the Relationship of Messiah and the Church
I have written to him the great things of my law, but they were counted as a strange thing. (Hosea 8:12 KJV) Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from Your law. (Psalms 119:18 NKJV) To the obedient, the Spirit of God is able to open the commandments and prophecies of the Scripture and bring understanding unto righteousness even as the Psalmist proclaims in 119: 97-100 (NKJV), “Oh, how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day. You, through Your commandments, make me wiser than my enemies; for they are ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teacher, for Your testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the ancients, because I keep your precepts.”
In these last days it is being revealed to the children of men that the commandments of the Law were designed to not only regulate the everyday affairs of men’s lives, to the end that they might live wisely and enjoy both prosperity and security, (Deuteronomy 4:5-8) but by the very genius of Yehovah (Yehovah is the ancient and eternal name of God Almighty—Pronounced Ye-Ho-Vah) His laws have been designed so that obedient souls can by their actions bring forth a full and accurate picture (testimony) of eternal heavenly realities. Yehovah, in His genius and power right from the beginning created this to be so. (Hebrews 8:5-6 & 10:1) He created the man to be a living mortal illustration of Himself. The woman was created by Yehovah to be a living mortal illustration of the individual Believer, as well as the corporate Church. Every aspect of their being, physical, emotional, and psychological is designed to this very end. (Genesis 1:27, 1 Corinthians 11:7-8) The male and the female, although very similar, at the same time were created altogether different the one from the other to fulfill very different callings, and testify of very different eternal heavenly truths. This understanding can only be perceived by attention to, and obedience to the laws of God. This is the mystery of which the Apostle Paul mentioned in Ephesians 5:32, which before this time has been greatly hidden from the understanding of the children of men, but in these last days is being revealed.
The reason Satan has done his very best to deceive the children of men in regards to this mystery is that the revelation of it adds another dimension to the understanding of the wisdom and glory of God, and yet another plank on the edifice of the doctrine of Divine Order. (1 Corinthians 11:3) That order of headship prescribed by the Lord that testifies that God is the head of Messiah, who is the head of Man, who is the head of woman. Which order Satan hates, in that he is the chief of all rebellion and usurpation. (Isaiah 14:12-15) Therefore he (Satan) has from the beginning been working to disrupt the order which Yehovah created to be fleshed out in the lives of men and women, particularly in regards to the marriage relationship. (But not solely, for these same truths also exist in the general male-female relationship)
Yehovah created the human persons to be reflective of both Himself and that which is the chief object of His attention and desire: The Church. So that people who live their lives by the Holy Spirit in accordance to Yehovah’s laws might every day, and in every way be a constant and accurate testimony of Himself and the Church. In the beginning Yehovah created the first male and female persons as adults, and they were immediately placed into the marriage relationship. Adam, who was the first man announced by the wisdom that Yehovah had placed in him that this attraction between the sexes would continue, and that it was to be fleshed out in the marriage relationship. The summation of this is that the man and the woman would come together in covenant, a covenant that is only meant to be severed by death, pledging fidelity to one another according to the commandments of Yehovah, this being witnessed both by men, and of Yehovah Himself. Thus the institution and practice of marriage came forth into the world from God’s heart, for it was created to be a picture of the realities that would exist between Himself and all Believers, both as individuals and as a corporate unity, IE, The Church. (Matthew 5:32)
The beginning of marriage, as the beginning of all things was before the advent of the giving of the Law. That is not to say that there was no law. For the Law has ever been, for Yehovah Himself is Law. It is only to say that in the beginning the first man had the Law written perfectly in his heart, he had no need of it to be written down on tablets of stone. (Hebrews 10:16) It was not until after the fall of man, and that man had increasingly degenerated did Yehovah bring forth the posting of the Law. Which law gave evidence of the attitude of Yehovah’s heart in the directives that were contained in it, in regards to marriage, and all other issues. Only in one place in all the body of commandments is a man commanded to marry, and that is in the case of a man having slept with (Had sex with) an unmarried woman. (Deuteronomy 22:28-30) He was then to take the responsibility of headship over that one whom he had approached, and to render due payment for the bride to the woman’s father or guardian. Other than this example there is no commandment contained in the Law that demands that a man marry. There is no need for such a commandment today, nor has there ever been a need for such a commandment, for the very chemistry of the sexes is a constant drawing card toward marriage. All human kind are sexually motivated creatures. This is so because we were created to reflect God Himself.
The Law did not command men to marry, but it does give commandments in regards to the order of marriage and family life. I will not in this writing attempt to comment upon all the issues of marriage as are spoken of in the law, but to only mention a few:
- That marriage is never to be thought of, or practiced man to man, or woman to woman. (homosexuality, this is an abomination before Yehovah) (Leviticus 18:22)
- That marriage is never to be to a close relative, such as to brother or sister or aunt or uncle, or one’s child etc. (What in some cases is called incest) (Leviticus 18:1-17)
- That marriage is never to be with a beast, but only between human persons. (bestiality) (Leviticus 18:23, Deuteronomy 22:19)
- That marriage was never meant to see the separation of its partners until the death of one or both of them. (What is called divorce) (Matthew 5:32)
- That in marriage the man is in the place of headship over the woman, meaning he is chief in authority and in responsibility. (Divine Order) (1 Co. 11:3, 1 Tim. 2: 11-15)
Various commandments were given as to how a bride might be obtained, such as in the case of buying her from another, or obtaining her in war, etc., but after being obtained she was not to be sold, traded, shared, or discarded, but to be treasured and cared for. (Exodus 21:8-11, 22:16-17, Deuteronomy 20:10-14, 21:10-15, 22:28-30)
- Other laws were giving stating the responsibility toward a widowed woman by her near kinsman. (Deuteronomy 25: 5-10)
- Still others were given to regulate how a man’s estate was to be divided among his surviving sons. (inheritance) (Deuteronomy 21:15-17)
- That adultery was not permitted, and in fact is to be punishable by death. (Leviticus 20:10)
- Of all of these, the single greatest that is held in controversy in modern western societies is the fact that the law of God provides for a man to take unto himself more than one wife. The two basic stipulations being that he must provide for them, this is in respect to not only the basics of life but also in regards to her emotional and sexually needs, and that at the time of his death his sons are to inherit his estate, with a double portion being given to his first born son. (Exodus 21:8-11, 22:16-17, Deuteronomy 20:10-14, 21:10-15, 22:28-30)
I first noted the reality that many Biblical patriarch were polygamous when as a teenager I was drawn to the Holy Scriptures and read the stories of the patriarchs of old, the books of the Law, and at that same time I noted that the practice of a man being husband to more than one wife was not done in modern western societies. I also then noted, (And the years since that time have confirmed this) that the Christian Church appeared to believe that the writings of the Apostle Paul (Where he spells out concerning the qualifications of a Church elder, and/or deacon–1 Timothy 3:1-10) specifies that the man desiring the office of service must be the “husband of one wife”. Therefore, in the minds of many this apparent admonition from the apostle annulled the Torah’s allowance of polygamous marriage. Meaning that only a man having one wife could qualify to be a Church elder or deacon, thereby by implication stating that this was good for all men, for what is good for the leader is also good for the follower. I agree with the wisdom that teaches what is good for the leader is good for the follower, I have no argument with that wisdom. This generally is very good advice. However, it is my determination that there is a problem in the translation from the original Greek into the English, which is that the translators translated the Greek word pronounced mee’-ah , which is number 3391 in the Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance into the English word “one”, as in the phrase “the husband of one wife”. This translation is incorrect. It is my determination that the translators translated it according to their bias. Which bias sprang forth from many generations of Roman Catholic influence, which namely was to limit marriage to one man and one woman, rather than to allow the practice of marriage according to the common ancient practice of the Jews, which was in alignment with the Torah, which allowed for, and in some cases commanded a man to be married to more than one woman at a time.
My determination is simply that the word “one” as in the phrase “the husband of one wife”, of right ought to be translated “first”, changing the statement Paul made in regards to the qualification of an elder or deacon in the Christian Church to- “the husband of his first wife”. This statement makes sense in that it is in accordance with Yehovah’s law. It is in accordance to the commandments of God! Whereas the translation that the King James Version of the Bible (And almost all other modern translations) offers wordage that is not in accordance to the Law, but in accordance to men’s traditions. Paul was not a law breaker. The explanation of the gospel was never given by him to do away with the Law. Paul always taught that the gospel was/is the expression of what the Law, as well as what the Old Testament Prophets pointed to. This is seen clearly by his statement in Romans 3:31, “Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary we establish the law.” For the Law, as well as the writings of the Prophets, the Lord Yeshua, and the Apostle Paul all testified that Yehovah was against divorce. And in fact, that Yehovah hated, and I will say, still hates divorce. (Malachi 2:14-17) So the qualification of a perspective elder or deacon ought to be that a man hates what Yehovah hates, and that is divorce. There is no reasoning found in this Scripture (Or any other Scripture) when due thought is given to it in light of the proper translation of the Greek word that communicates that an elder or deacon ought by Yehovah’s law be limited to being husband to only one wife. Therefore, by implication (Which is based on the wisdom that teaches what is good for the leader is good also for the follower) stating that any man who so aspires, in that he can convince a virgin’s father or guardian that he will be responsible for the bride he wishes, has every right to take to himself more than one wife. But let that one know that he shall be held accountable before Yehovah for his actions. So, let it be that true and godly motivations lead him, versus simply the desires of his flesh.
These Scriptures Are Examples of the proper translation of the Greek word pronounced mee’-ah into the English word first. (The number 3391 in the Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)
- Matthew 28:1…Toward the first day of the week…
- Mark 16:2…morning the first day of the week…
- John 20:1…first day of the week cometh Mary…
- John 20:19…being the first day of the week…
- Acts 20:7…and upon the first day of the week…
- 1 Corinthians 16:2…upon the first day of the week..
- Titus 3:10…after the first and second admonition….
A Straightforward Explanation of How Marriage, both Polygamous and Monogamous Reflect Divine Order.
Again, Yehovah created the man as a living mortal illustration of Himself, and the woman as a living mortal illustration of the individual Believer, and/or the collection of all Believers: the Church. Yehovah’s laws have been put forth in accordance with this truth. Therefore the lives of men and women must be lived in accordance to Yehovah’s laws in order to bring forth proper order in regards to the immediate affairs of men’s lives, and to bring forth the proper testimony of heavenly realities. Therefore, the Apostle Paul understanding this taught that the core of Divine order (The order of headship that springs forth from God) is: God is the head of Messiah, Messiah is the head of Man, Man is the head of woman, and although the apostle did not mention it, the obvious extension of this listing is that the woman is the head of the child. (1 Corinthians 11:3) Which is correct in that every child came forth from a woman, and therefore by both logic and Yehovah’s law is subject to its mother. This is the core evaluation of Divine Order. The following illustration speaks very clearly showing that in regards to the specific personal relationships of father to daughter, or husband to wife, the male person is in headship concerning the female person. When one considers that there are many men and women in the world, to illustrate this reality we simply add additional circles to the levels where the man, the woman, and the child are, and the expanded illustration will look like what follows.
One can now see with great clarity the age old truth that has by and large been rejected by this generation is extremely obvious in this illustration, and that is, that all men are over (In respect to headship) all women. This signifies a truth that our national fathers clearly understood, and therefore both in respect to civil and religious issues held that patriarchal governments were alone godly. That neither society at large, nor the Church was to be ruled by women. Therefore, male ruler ship is the communication of the Scripture in respect to all forms of ruler-ship, whether they are civil or religious in nature. The which, communicates that the practice of a woman being given a civil vote is ungodly in that it makes her equal to not only her immediate head, (Whether that be her father, husband, or guardian) and at the same time, speaking in general terms, it makes her equal to all men in the society where she lives and may practice a civil vote. For a civil vote is the operation of elder-ship rule.
The second illustration is to show you how that the core truth of Divine Order can be enlarged to picture polygamous marriage. For an example sake I suggest that you consider plugging the name of the Biblical Patriarch David into the illustration, for it is thought that he was husband to 15 or more women. The reason I suggest this is that he and his family are names common to most Christian Believers, and besides that, his life exhibited many signs of Yehovah’s approval. David walked with Yehovah, and in fact is referred to in the Scriptures as a man after God’s own heart. For those of you who may be set against what I am teaching I suggest you remember that not only what I am showing you is according to the Law, but that also the Prophet Nathan himself said by the Holy Spirit in regards to David’s particular case, that the wives of his former adversary Saul, after his death, (Saul’s death) were given by Yehovah into David’s arms. (2 Samuel 12:8) So upfront the case for polygamous marriage has not only the witness of the Law, but of a proven prophet of Yehovah. These are two very basic and credible witnesses.
In this illustration you will see that there is one head of the family and more than one wife, and if followed through one could show each of the children that came forth unto David (Using him as an example) from each of those that were a wife to him. This illustration is not complete in that the Scripture does not provide the complete listing of all of David’s wives, nor the children they bore to him. (2 Samuel 3:1-5) The illustration of the family of David is a picture of Messiah and the Church. For as David was husband to more than one wife, in like manner the Lord Yeshua is the husband of the spirit of many. Yehovah created polygamous marriage as a picture to show that the Messiah would be husband to the spirit of many. The illustration of the core line of Divine Order where there are single circles on top of each other is shown to illustrate how monogamous marriage, (That of one man to one woman) is also an accurate picture of Yeshua’s spiritual marriage to a single Believer. Both dimensions, that of Messiah to the single Believer, and Messiah to the corporate Church (Which is many Believers in one corporate entity) are seen in these illustrations, and both are at the same time accurate.
In conclusion I feel it wise to add that this ancient form of marriage that is not only according to the Law and that it occupies a wise place in the illustrated truth of Messiah’s relationship to Believers, but is also is a sign of the end of this age and the entrance into the next, for the practice of polygamous marriage will become more and more common in the world as the end of this age approaches. In fact, in the days ahead after which the judgment of God is exercised upon the world which will result in the death of very many men, and at the same time the humbling of women, this form of marriage will be very common place. For verification of this read Isaiah chapters one through three, which are illustrative of the modern Church and modern societies. These chapters speak of our sinful condition and the judgment of God that will be exercised upon the earth. Chapter four then begins by the announcement that in that day polygamous marriage will be common place.
An American Watchman,
Gregory A DeHart