Were polygamists sinning before Christ?

I’ve been reading the OT through, and I can’t grasp all of the polygamy. The idea that David could have more than one wife:

1 Sam 27:3 And David lived with Achish at Gath, he and his men, every man with his household, and David with his two wives, Ahinoam of Jezreel, and Abigail of Carmel, Nabal’s widow.

Was it a sin for someone to have two wives? Was he married in God’s eyes to two women? I don’t get this.

God was clear from the beginning, man and woman in marriage was a lifelong covenant. No, God did not ordain or bless polygamy. Yes, it was wrong then and is wrong now.

ch’Yes, they were sinning.

My understanding of polygamy in the BC era is that it allowed more secular/economic benefits because the mortality rate for young men was so high and it was a way for people to care for their families instead of seeking sexual pleasure.

In order to sin, you have to go against God’s will.

That’s not necessarily true, otherwise David would have been sinning. We know that before Christ, God allowed these things to occur due to the hardness of men’s hearts. That’s not to say that it was his plan, but he allowed it.

Also, AFAIK, the common person didn’t practice polygamy.

Until Jesus spoke there was no sin, the same as divorce.

Jesus spoke, now it IS a sin, same as divorce.

19:4 And he (Jesus’s speaking) said to them in response, “Have you not read that he who made man from the beginning, made them male and female?” And he said:
19:5 “For this reason, a man shall separate from father and mother, and he shall cling to his wife, and these two shall become one flesh.
19:6 And so, now they are not two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, let no man separate.”

15:22 If I had not come and had not spoken to them, they would not have sin. But now they have no excuse for their sin.

Seems pretty clear to me! :wink:

While the Bible records what people did in the OT, that doesn’t mean it was God’s ideal or that it had God’s blessing and was ok. OT records what happen in the culture of the time which had polygamy, slavery and a host of other things that we would deam wrong. The Bible equally records the fruit of polygamy which includes family strife, favoritism and jeolosy and even sex between half-sibs (Tamar’s rape) and Reuben having sex with one of his father’s minor wives. Women became object to men and had no legal rights. One can see that even today in countries that have legal polygamy such as Islamic countries. Likewise one sees younger and younger women forced into marriages in the same places as well as in fundamentalists Mormon groups.

It wasn’t allowed by God but allowed in that culture of that day. There is a difference and it is a myth that polygamy was necessary because there was a lack of men vs women. both had the same sort of mortality rate and mayb in fact women died younger due to poorer health care in having children.

God’s permissive will is not quite the same as God’s perfect will.

Polygamy was permitted by God, so to speak, but it wasn’t what God desired to happen.

David did sin, don’t have a problem with that, do you?

David did sin, but the sin that he committed wasn’t polygamy. As you said, God permitted it, so if God permitted it, then it wasn’t a sin at the time. When Christ came to fulfill the law, these things changed as we learned the true and perfect plan of God.

What no one has commented upon is that polygamy was sinful for the Jews. All other peoples were ignorant of our G*d and therefore did not know that polygamy was a sin. So they were not affected by it one way or another.
With the exception of the Ancient Greeks and Romans, polygamy was the rule, rather than the exception, in many parts of the non-judaic world.

Are you sure David didn’t commit polygamy? Or were you not talking about that?
I didn’t mean that polygamy was the only sin David committed, just one of them.

Now I differentiated between God’s permissive will and perfect will. It was not God’s perfect
will, I don’t believe, that polygamy was okay. Did Malachi not say of God, “I am the LORD,
I change not” (Malachi 3:6)? God is never fine with something one day then the next all of
the sudden it’s a sin. Things did change when Jesus came, but that was because all that
ought to have happened to us was performed by Jesus, who in terms of divine mathemat-
ics, if you will, fulfilled the entire Law and possibly even more, so what left is there for us
to do safe believe?
Jesus changed many things, but sin is still sin, otherwise the homosexual community
may have a good case, that homosexual acts are “no longer” sinful. If it is a sin today
to have more than one wife at a time, it was a sin yesterday also, and the day before
that, and the day before that, and will always be so in the future.
[RIGHT](There are activists who forget what the New Testament says on homosexual
conduct and point out how prohibitions against such things were only an Old
Covenant thing, but now that Jesus came . . . see where I’m going?)

Revisiting God’s permissive will and perfect will before ‘submitting’, God’s permissive will
was to allow Adam to eat of the forbidden fruit. Was that God’s perfect will also? Absol-
utely not. So understand the difference between God’s permissive will and perfect will.

I didn’t say that David didn’t commit polygamy. However, here’s the question. If David was sinning in a sense of polygamy, then why did he never repent of that sin?

If someone was a good Jew and following the laws that Moses gave to them through God, then would a person be at fault for following these rules? If a man divorced their wives as laid out in the law, did they truly sin?

Yes, God’s will does not change, but if man is in ignorance of God’s will, then how does he sin? Isn’t one of the conditions of sin that one has to know something is a sin/immoral?

I believe that ignorance of the law is no excuse, and I’m quoting a New York City judge on this one.
– (Ron ‘Tater Salad’ White)

The CCC says otherwise:

Imputability and responsibility for an action can be diminished or even nullified by ignorance, inadvertence, duress, fear, habit, inordinate attachments, and other psychological or social factors.

Was there ever an official, “Thou shalt not have more than one wife” anywhere in the OT? Was there ever anything stated to the contrary?

I believe this is not fully correct.
While God’s plan in Genesis 1 is clearly monogmay (1 man 1 woman) it was a tough ask and so polygamy was allowed throughout much of the Old Testament both under God and the Law. it was therefore by dispensation not sinful.

Catholic Theology observes that polygamy is not primarily against Natural Law.
If it were God would not be true to Himself in tolerating/dispensing from monogamy.

Polygamy is against natural law only in a secondary sense.
Obviously monogamy is the more noble calling which Jesus restored and insisted on.
From that point on polygamy for Christians is sinful.

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