Comments/Questions from Readers

Question #6: Like most christians today, I was raised to believe that polygamy is sinful and I knew only that mormans practiced it. I was never shown scripture that showed why it was wrong but just trusted the people that told me it was wrong. I never looked into the bible to see what the truth was for myself. I have discovered that polygamy is an accepted form of marriage before Yahweh and not a sin like I was led to believe. The bible demonstrates that polygamy is just as valid as celibacy and monogamy and all three are acceptable to God.

My question is whether there is any way for a married man to commit adultery against his own wife or wives? I thought a man could only commit adultery with the wife of another man but I wanted clarification on Yeshua's words.

You are correct that none of these (celibacy, monogyny, or polygyny) have ever been condemned anywhere in Scripture, although most Christians have not seriously looked into this for themselves. Honestly, it's easier to take the word of a respected leader or an educated commentator before actually cracking open our Bibles and studying, seriously studying, His Word for ourselves.

As to whether it is possible for a married man to ever commit adultery against his own wife, the answer is yes (it would be possible, but never lawful). He would commit adultery if, and ONLY if, the following two conditions applied:

         1) The man divorces his wife unlawfully (i.e. she did not commit whoring "virginity fraud").
         2) The man marries another woman.

Let me quote the relevant passages of Yeshua's own words:

Matthew 5:32: "But I say to you that whoever puts away his wife, except for the matter of whoring, makes her commit adultery. And whoever marries a woman who has been put away commits adultery."

Matthew 19:9: "And I say to you, whoever puts away his wife, except on the ground of whoring, and marries another, commits adultery. And whoever marries her who has been put away commits adultery."

Mark 10:11-12: "And He said to them, "Whoever puts away his wife and marries another commits adultery against her. And if a woman puts away her husband and marries another, she commits adultery."

Luke 16:18: "Everyone putting away his wife and marrying another commits adultery. And everyone marrying her who is put away from her husband commits adultery."

By looking at all four of these passages, it is immediately apparent that if a man unlawfully puts away his wife and then marries another, he ends up committing adultery against the wife that he treacherously dismissed. By unlawfully discarding her (without Scriptural justification), he becomes directly responsible for forcing her to break her marriage covenant with him.

Remember the Scriptural definition of adultery (na'aph) literally means "a woman who breaks wedlock" and it is always a sexual act. Yeshua is not redefining adultery here, but rather, he is applying the sin of adultery to the act of unlawful divorce and remarriage. In effect, the husband is not permitted another wife if he has acted treacherously against the wife of his youth.

However, unless both conditions are true, the man cannot commit adultery against his wife. If the "one flesh" relationship with the first wife remains intact, then the marriage covenant has not been broken. To understand this reference, look at Exodus 21:10:

Exodus 21:10: "If he takes another wife, her food, her covering, and her marriage rights are not to be diminished."

The term "marriage rights" here refers to the duty of marriage, specifically the sexual obligations due to the spouse. The adultery in the example given to us by Yeshua consists of the dissolution of the marriage covenant with the first wife and the substitution of her with a second wife.

It is the failure of the husband to continue providing food, covering, and sexual relations with his first wife, not the taking of a second wife, which causes him to commit adultery against her. Taking a second wife doesn't constitute adultery, but doing so to replace the first wife does.




"...In essentials we maintain unity, in opinions liberty, and in all things love..."

Your comments are welcome!