37 Bible Verses about Polygamy

Exodus 21:10 ESV / 141 helpful votes

If he takes another wife to himself, he shall not diminish her food, her clothing, or her marital rights.

Matthew 25:1-46 ESV / 140 helpful votes

“Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept. ...

Deuteronomy 21:15-17 ESV / 117 helpful votes

“If a man has two wives, the one loved and the other unloved, and both the loved and the unloved have borne him children, and if the firstborn son belongs to the unloved, then on the day when he assigns his possessions as an inheritance to his sons, he may not treat the son of the loved as the firstborn in preference to the son of the unloved, who is the firstborn, but he shall acknowledge the firstborn, the son of the unloved, by giving him a double portion of all that he has, for he is the firstfruits of his strength. The right of the firstborn is his.

2 Chronicles 24:1-3 ESV / 110 helpful votes

Joash was seven years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Zibiah of Beersheba. And Joash did what was right in the eyes of the Lord all the days of Jehoiada the priest. Jehoiada got for him two wives, and he had sons and daughters.

Isaiah 4:1 ESV / 106 helpful votes

And seven women shall take hold of one man in that day, saying, “We will eat our own bread and wear our own clothes, only let us be called by your name; take away our reproach.”

2 Samuel 12:8 ESV / 100 helpful votes

And I gave you your master's house and your master's wives into your arms and gave you the house of Israel and of Judah. And if this were too little, I would add to you as much more.

1 Chronicles 3:1-9 ESV / 56 helpful votes

These are the sons of David who were born to him in Hebron: the firstborn, Amnon, by Ahinoam the Jezreelite; the second, Daniel, by Abigail the Carmelite, the third, Absalom, whose mother was Maacah, the daughter of Talmai, king of Geshur; the fourth, Adonijah, whose mother was Haggith; the fifth, Shephatiah, by Abital; the sixth, Ithream, by his wife Eglah; six were born to him in Hebron, where he reigned for seven years and six months. And he reigned thirty-three years in Jerusalem. These were born to him in Jerusalem: Shimea, Shobab, Nathan and Solomon, four by Bath-shua, the daughter of Ammiel; ...

Judges 8:30 ESV / 56 helpful votes

Now Gideon had seventy sons, his own offspring, for he had many wives.

2 Chronicles 13:21 ESV / 54 helpful votes

But Abijah grew mighty. And he took fourteen wives and had twenty-two sons and sixteen daughters.

2 Chronicles 11:21 ESV / 54 helpful votes

Rehoboam loved Maacah the daughter of Absalom above all his wives and concubines (he took eighteen wives and sixty concubines, and fathered twenty-eight sons and sixty daughters).

Genesis 4:19 ESV / 54 helpful votes

And Lamech took two wives. The name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah.

2 Chronicles 24:3 ESV / 52 helpful votes

Jehoiada got for him two wives, and he had sons and daughters.

Genesis 30:9 ESV / 52 helpful votes

When Leah saw that she had ceased bearing children, she took her servant Zilpah and gave her to Jacob as a wife.

1 Chronicles 4:5 ESV / 51 helpful votes

Ashhur, the father of Tekoa, had two wives, Helah and Naarah;

2 Samuel 5:13 ESV / 51 helpful votes

And David took more concubines and wives from Jerusalem, after he came from Hebron, and more sons and daughters were born to David.

1 Samuel 1:1-2 ESV / 50 helpful votes

There was a certain man of Ramathaim-zophim of the hill country of Ephraim whose name was Elkanah the son of Jeroham, son of Elihu, son of Tohu, son of Zuph, an Ephrathite. He had two wives. The name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other, Peninnah. And Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.

Numbers 12:1 ESV / 50 helpful votes

Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married, for he had married a Cushite woman.

Ezekiel 23:1-4 ESV / 49 helpful votes

The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, there were two women, the daughters of one mother. They played the whore in Egypt; they played the whore in their youth; there their breasts were pressed and their virgin bosoms handled. Oholah was the name of the elder and Oholibah the name of her sister. They became mine, and they bore sons and daughters. As for their names, Oholah is Samaria, and Oholibah is Jerusalem.

Genesis 30:4 ESV / 49 helpful votes

So she gave him her servant Bilhah as a wife, and Jacob went in to her.

Deuteronomy 25:5-10 ESV / 46 helpful votes

“If brothers dwell together, and one of them dies and has no son, the wife of the dead man shall not be married outside the family to a stranger. Her husband's brother shall go in to her and take her as his wife and perform the duty of a husband's brother to her. And the first son whom she bears shall succeed to the name of his dead brother, that his name may not be blotted out of Israel. And if the man does not wish to take his brother's wife, then his brother's wife shall go up to the gate to the elders and say, ‘My husband's brother refuses to perpetuate his brother's name in Israel; he will not perform the duty of a husband's brother to me.’ Then the elders of his city shall call him and speak to him, and if he persists, saying, ‘I do not wish to take her,’ then his brother's wife shall go up to him in the presence of the elders and pull his sandal off his foot and spit in his face. And she shall answer and say, ‘So shall it be done to the man who does not build up his brother's house.’ ...

1 Kings 11:1-4 ESV / 45 helpful votes

Now King Solomon loved many foreign women, along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women, from the nations concerning which the Lord had said to the people of Israel, “You shall not enter into marriage with them, neither shall they with you, for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods.” Solomon clung to these in love. He had 700 wives, princesses, and 300 concubines. And his wives turned away his heart. For when Solomon was old his wives turned away his heart after other gods, and his heart was not wholly true to the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father.

Song of Solomon 6:8 ESV / 39 helpful votes

There are sixty queens and eighty concubines, and virgins without number.

1 Corinthians 7:1-5 ESV / 38 helpful votes

Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

Deuteronomy 17:14-20 ESV / 36 helpful votes

“When you come to the land that the Lord your God is giving you, and you possess it and dwell in it and then say, ‘I will set a king over me, like all the nations that are around me,’ you may indeed set a king over you whom the Lord your God will choose. One from among your brothers you shall set as king over you. You may not put a foreigner over you, who is not your brother. Only he must not acquire many horses for himself or cause the people to return to Egypt in order to acquire many horses, since the Lord has said to you, ‘You shall never return that way again.’ And he shall not acquire many wives for himself, lest his heart turn away, nor shall he acquire for himself excessive silver and gold. “And when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, he shall write for himself in a book a copy of this law, approved by the Levitical priests. ...

Titus 1:5-8 ESV / 27 helpful votes

This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you— if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination. For an overseer, as God's steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined.

Matthew 19:4-6 ESV / 23 helpful votes

He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”

Mark 10:5-9 ESV / 12 helpful votes

And Jesus said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment. But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”

Malachi 2:14-15 ESV / 12 helpful votes

But you say, “Why does he not?” Because the Lord was witness between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant. Did he not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union? And what was the one God seeking? Godly offspring. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and let none of you be faithless to the wife of your youth.

Genesis 16:4 ESV / 12 helpful votes

And he went in to Hagar, and she conceived. And when she saw that she had conceived, she looked with contempt on her mistress.

Genesis 25:6 ESV / 11 helpful votes

But to the sons of his concubines Abraham gave gifts, and while he was still living he sent them away from his son Isaac, eastward to the east country.

Genesis 2:24 ESV / 11 helpful votes

Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

Proverbs 18:22 ESV / 10 helpful votes

He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.

1 Chronicles 4:27 ESV / 10 helpful votes

Shimei had sixteen sons and six daughters; but his brothers did not have many children, nor did all their clan multiply like the men of Judah.

2 Kings 10:1 ESV / 10 helpful votes

Now Ahab had seventy sons in Samaria. So Jehu wrote letters and sent them to Samaria, to the rulers of the city, to the elders, and to the guardians of the sons of Ahab, saying,

Judges 12:14 ESV / 10 helpful votes

He had forty sons and thirty grandsons, who rode on seventy donkeys, and he judged Israel eight years.

Judges 12:9 ESV / 10 helpful votes

He had thirty sons, and thirty daughters he gave in marriage outside his clan, and thirty daughters he brought in from outside for his sons. And he judged Israel seven years.

Judges 10:4 ESV / 10 helpful votes

And he had thirty sons who rode on thirty donkeys, and they had thirty cities, called Havvoth-jair to this day, which are in the land of Gilead.

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