Jacob 2:30 – “Raising Up Seed” and The Polygamy Question

Polygamy was, is, and likely ever will be Mormonism’s defining doctrine.  Even though the Church officially ended the practice with Wilford Woodruff’s 1890 “Official Declaration 1,” spiritual polygamy, one man sealed to two or more women, is alive and well.   LDS Church President Russell M. Nelson is sealed to two women–his first wife, Dantzel (d. 2005) and his current, Wendy Watson.  I don’t know the difference between celestial polygamy and terrestrial polygamy other than carnal relations (at least until we’re all resurrected, but then what?) In 2022, polygamy remains the most controversial and most discussed aspect of Latter-Day Saint history and theology.  It’s a cottage industry with books, conferences and digital ink devoted to covering it. I don’t think we’ll ever escape its shadow.

A complete survey of polygamy, if such a thing were possible, is far beyond the scope of a single blog post.  (For a more comprehensive examination of polygamy see Hemlock Knots.)  Instead, I want to focus on Jacob 2:30 in the Book of Mormon and the phrase “raise up seed.”   On this phrase hinges in the LDS church’s modern interpretation, the so-called “exception clause,” that God can and will command polygamy, or more appropriately, polygyny (one man with multiple wives), when He sees fit for the purpose of additional children.   The church’s 2013 essay on plural marriage reads,

“The Bible and the Book of Mormon teach that the marriage of one man to one woman is God’s standard, except at specific periods when He has declared otherwise

Latter-day Saints do not understand all of God’s purposes for instituting, through His prophets, the practice of plural marriage during the 19th century. The Book of Mormon identifies one reason for God to command it: to increase the number of children born in the gospel covenant in order to “raise up seed unto [the Lord]” (Jacob 2:30). Plural marriage did result in the birth of large numbers of children within faithful Latter-day Saint homes. (Emphasis added.  See “Additional Notes” at the end of this post.)

This claim is also put forth by Stephen Smoot at Book of Mormon Central:

“Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints today interpret this passage as saying “that monogamy is God’s standard for marriage unless He declares otherwise” (Official Declaration 1, citing Jacob 2:27, 30)…

Latter-day Saints in the past, as today, understood Jacob 2:24–30 as accommodating an otherwise prohibited practice.” (Emphasis added.)

FAIR Latter-Day Saints adds,

“In other words, when the Lords commands it, polygamy is acceptable. If Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, then you have to accept that God told him to bring the principle into practice. (Appeal to authority.) After all, this dispensation is the RESTORATION of all things, therefore, the principle of plural marriage was restored. (Bold in original).

The problem is, critics of the LDS Church use scriptures selectively, and not fully, in their arguments, therefore their interpretations are faulty of what LDS teachings really are…  (Emphasis in original)

Remember that verse 30 could be the “exception clause.” That is why it is important to look at the full (bold in the original) account in the scriptures, and not selectivity pick one or two verses (this is sound advice!)…The Lord had not given permission for the people to have more than one wife at that time. The people were selectively using the scriptures to obtain more than one wife. Because the Lord had not given His permission, it was wrong to have more than one wife at a time.” (Emphasis added)

The BMC Team at Book of Mormon Central writes,

“Concerning their “whoredoms” (Jacob 2:23, 28, 33), Jacob specifically mentioned unauthorized polygamy as an iniquitous practice. (No, he did not.) ‘Behold, David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines, which thing was abominable before me, saith the Lord…Wherefore, I the Lord God will not suffer that this people shall do like unto them of old’ (Jacob 2:24, 26).  Jacob therefore categorized such unauthorized instances of polygyny and concubinage, as sinful, for, he said, God “delight[s] in the chastity of women” (Jacob 2:28), and would not tolerate lascivious men abusing women (Jacob 2:32–33).

That being the general rule, Jacob went on to qualify that law, saying that plural marriage is justifiable but only when God commands it. (He said no such thing.) “Wherefore, this people shall keep my commandments, saith the Lord of Hosts, or cursed be the land for their sakes. For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people; otherwise they shall hearken unto these things” (Jacob 2:29–30). As Latter-day Saint researcher Brian Hales commented, “The Nephite prophet Jacob reiterates a commandment given to his father Lehi establishing monogamy as the rule and polygamy as only a divinely commanded exception.”  (Emphasis added)

This interpretation of Jacob 2:30 (“authorized polygamy”) post-dates Joseph Smith’s 1844 death and is likely tied to a creative revision of history by Brigham Young, Willard Richards and George A. Smith (Joseph’s cousin) in collating various documents for the Manuscript History of the Church beginning in 1845.   Joseph’s October 5,1843 journal reads,

“Thursday October 5. … eve at home walked up and down st. with scribe.— and gave instruction to try those who were preaching teaching or the doctrin of plurality of wives. on this Law. Joseph forbids it. and the practice thereof— No man shall have but one wife”

In the Manuscript Draft history, we find the passage has been revised with the note “to be revised” about 3/4 down the page against the left border,

“Evening at home, and walked up and down the streets with my scribe. Gave instructions to try those persons who were preaching, teaching, or practicing the doctrine of plurality of wives; on this on this law for according to the law I hold the keys of this power in the last days, for there is never but one on Earth at a time on whom the power and its keys are conferred—and I have constantly said Joseph forbids it and the practice thereof. No man shall have but one wife at a time unless the Lord directs otherwise.”

The final printed version reads,

“Evening, at home, and walked up and down the streets with my scribe. Gave instructions to try those persons who were preaching, teaching, or practicing the doctrine of plurality of wives: for, according to the law, I hold the keys of this power in the last days; for there is never but one on earth at a time on whom the power and its keys are conferred; and I have constantly said no man shall have but one wife at a time, unless the Lord directs otherwise.”

With the stroke of a pen, Young, Richards and Smith turned Joseph’s original anti-polygamy statement to the “exception clause” the church uses today.  In 1853 (after the changes were made) Joseph Lee Robinson penned his history and included the following,

“The Lord instead of releasing [Joseph Smith] from that burden, he sent an holy angel with a drawn sword unto him, saying unto him, Joseph, unless you go to and immediately teach that principle (namely polygamy or plural marriage) and put the same in practice, that he, Joseph, should be slain for thus saith the Lord, that the time has now come that I will raise up seed unto me as I spoke by my servant Jacob as is recorded in the Book of Mormon, therefore, I command my people.” (Emphasis added.)

This is also the first known account of the “angel with a drawn sword” myth, which I’ll probably address in a later post.   Orson Pratt offered up a similar explanation in an 1859 sermon.  Monogamy is the norm, unless God commands people to “raise up a seed,”

“Because certain individuals among the Nephites, in ancient days, were expressly forbidden to take two wives, that did not prohibit the Lord from giving them a commandment, and making an exception, when he should see proper to raise up seed unto himself.

The substance of the idea in that book is that—When I the Lord shall command you to raise up seed unto myself, then [polygamy] shall be right; but otherwise thou shalt hearken unto these things—namely, the law against polygamy. But when we go to the Jewish record, we find nothing that forbids the children of Israel from taking as many wives as they thought proper. (Emphasis added)

Curiously, the church sidesteps the polygamy issue in Jacob 2 in its Come, Follow Me Sunday School study manual, focusing instead on chastity.

Now that we’ve reviewed the official LDS interpretation of Jacob 2:30, let’s turn our attention to the Book of Mormon text and see if the claim that God will command polygamy to “raise up seed” (more children) withstands scrutiny. 

Before we jump in, let me explain my approach to hermeneutics:

1) I apply the historical-grammatical method (authorial intent, historical/cultural setting, audience)
2) The text is king (Let the text speak for itself and refrain from imposing bias or meaning)
3) The Book of Mormon interprets itself. 

CONTEXT OF “RAISING UP SEED”

If you’re not familiar with the history of the Nephite people in Book of Mormon, some context is important as we investigate the meaning of “raising up seed.”  Around the year 600 BC, God commanded Lehi, a descendent of Joseph of Egypt, via a dream to leave Jerusalem prior to its destruction in 597 BC.  Lehi obeyed, gathered up his family and departed.  After some time in the “wilderness,” God commanded Lehi’s sons to return to Jerusalem,

“…it came to pass that the Lord spake unto him again, saying that it was not meet for him, Lehi, that he should take his family into the wilderness alone; but that his sons should take daughters to wife, that they might raise up seed unto the Lord in the land of promise.  And it came to pass that the Lord commanded him that I, Nephi, and my brethren, should again return unto the land of Jerusalem, and bring down Ishmael and his family into the wilderness.” (1 Nephi 7:1, emphasis added)

Here’s our first instance of “raising up seed” in the Book of Mormon.  Naturally, if God wants to raise up a righteous people (“seed”), He needs couples.  Man and woman. Husband and wife.  Nephi’s sons returned to Jerusalem and Ishmael and his family agreed to join Lehi’s party.   Sometime before their departure to the Promised Land, Nephi married,

“And it came to pass that I, Nephi, took one of the daughters of Ishmael to wife.” (1 Nephi 16:7, emphasis added)

After their arrival in Promised Land, the Lehi’s family split into two groups:  the righteous Nephites and the wicked Lamanites, Laman being Lehi’s first son.  As people are often wont to do, the Nephites fell into the pride and searching after riches.  Jacob begins his sermon by chastising them for their pride, then turns his attention to their “grosser crimes,” which always struck me as an interesting word choice.  Crime indicates not just the sin of moral failing, but a legal one as well.  Jacob says,

“For behold, thus saith the Lord:

This people begin to wax in iniquity; they understand not the scriptures, for they seek to excuse themselves in committing whoredoms, because of the things which were written concerning David, and Solomon his son. Behold, David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines, which thing was abominable before me, saith the Lord.

Wherefore, thus saith the Lord,

I have led this people forth out of the land of Jerusalem, by the power of mine arm, that I might raise up unto me righteous branch from the fruit of the loins of Joseph. Wherefore, I the Lord God will not suffer that this people shall do like unto them of old.

Wherefore, my brethren, hear me, and hearken to the word of the Lord:

For there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife; and concubines he shall have none; For I, the Lord God, delight in the chastity of women. And whoredoms are an abomination before me; thus saith the Lord of Hosts. Wherefore, this people shall keep my commandments, saith the Lord of Hosts, or cursed be the land for their sakes.  For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people; otherwise they shall hearken unto these things.

For behold, I, the Lord, have seen the sorrow, and heard the mourning of the daughters of my people in the land of Jerusalem, yea, and in all the lands of my people, because of the wickedness and abominations of their husbands. And I will not suffer, saith the Lord of Hosts, that the cries of the fair daughters of this people, which I have led out of the land of Jerusalem, shall come up unto me against the men of my people, saith the Lord of Hosts. For they shall not lead away captive the daughters of my people because of their tenderness, save I shall visit them with a sore curse, even unto destruction; for they shall not commit whoredoms, like unto them of old, saith the Lord of Hosts.

We previously read in 1 Nephi 7 that the Nephites were led out of Jerusalem so that God could “raise a seed” unto Him.  This establishes precedent and serves as our interpretive key.  Remember, the Book of Mormon interprets itself and nowhere does God say, as the church suggests, that “raising a seed” indicates quantity.  It’s about righteousness, not numbers.  God desired to “raise a righteous branch” in the Promised Land. Whether the branch is comprised 10 people, 100 people, or 10,000 people is irrelevant.  Monogamy is the rule among the people of God.  Unless one wrests the scriptures to support a preconceived belief or bias, there’s no “exception clause” in the text for “authorized” polygamy.  Nor is there any language, implicit or explicit, that “otherwise” is synonymous with “unless.”

Part of the issue is the imprecision of language.  I’m guessing this can partially be attributed the difficulty of translation.   Whatever the case, let’s very carefully examine verse 30,

For there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife; and concubines he shall have none; For I, the Lord God, delight in the chastity of women. And whoredoms are an abomination before me; thus saith the Lord of Hosts. Wherefore, this people shall keep my commandments, saith the Lord of Hosts, or cursed be the land for their sakes.  For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people; otherwise they shall hearken unto these things.”

Let’s reword this passage for clarity,

“For there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife; and concubines he shall have none; For I, the Lord God, delight in the chastity of women. And whoredoms are an abomination before me; thus saith the Lord of Hosts. Wherefore, this people shall keep my commandments, saith the Lord of Hosts, or cursed be the land for their sakes.  For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me in righteousness, I will give them commandments, (including monogamy), so they know what I expect from them. Because if I don’t (“otherwise”) give them explicit commandments regarding marriage and morality, they will hearken after the whoredoms of David and Solomon.”  

If anyone would like to challenge this rewording, I invite you to contact me.

A SORE CURSE AND DESTRUCTION – THE FRUITS OF POLYGAMY 

When compiling the Nephite record, Mormon makes an interesting observation,

“And behold, I am called Mormon, being called after the land of Mormon, the land in which Alma did establish the church among the people, yea, the first church which was established among them after their transgression.” (3 Nephi 5:12)

What was the “Nephite transgression?”  I believe it was their immorality, including polygamy and concubinage.  Jacob prophesied,

“But, wo, wo, unto you that are not pure in heart, that are filthy this day before God; for except ye repent the land is cursed for your sakes; and the Lamanites, which are not filthy like unto you, nevertheless they are cursed with a sore cursing, shall scourge you even unto destruction. And the time speedily cometh, that except ye repent they shall possess the land of your inheritance, and the Lord God will lead away the righteous out from among you.

Behold, the Lamanites your brethren, whom ye hate because of their filthiness and the cursing which hath come upon their skins, are more righteous than you; for they have not forgotten the commandment of the Lord, which was given unto our father—that they should have save it were one wife, and concubines they should have none, and there should not be whoredoms committed among them.

And now, this commandment they observe to keep; wherefore, because of this observance, in keeping this commandment, the Lord God will not destroy them, but will be merciful unto them; and one day they shall become a blessed people.  Behold, their husbands love their wives, and their wives love their husbands…”

Consider this:  God would rather people be faithful to their spouses than believe in Him at all.  This should tell just how seriously God takes this commandment and sexual morality in general.  Despite all their wickedness, the Lamanite obedience to the law of monogamy staved off their destruction.  They were promised that in time they would become a fair and delightsome people because of their obedience to that one commandment.   And in time they did take land of the Nephites and the righteous were led away.  Amaron, a direct descendent of Jacob, writes,

“Behold, it came to pass that three hundred and twenty years had passed away, and the more wicked part of the Nephites were destroyed. For the Lord would not suffer, after he had led them out of the land of Jerusalem and kept and preserved them from falling into the hands of their enemies, yea, he would not suffer that the words should not be verified, which he spake unto our fathers, saying that: Inasmuch as ye will not keep my commandments ye shall not prosper in the land. Wherefore, the Lord did visit them in great judgment; nevertheless, he did spare the righteous that they should not perish, but did deliver them out of the hands of their enemies.” (Omni 1:5-7)

Amaleki then writes,

“Behold, I will speak unto you somewhat concerning Mosiah, who was made king over the land of Zarahemla; for behold, he being warned of the Lord that he should flee out of the land of Nephi…” (Omni 1:12)

Jacob’s prophecy was fulfilled to the letter. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to conclude that the “Nephite transgression” was related to sexual immorality and multiple wives and concubines they were expressly forbidden from taking.

SECOND WITNESS – THE BROTHER OF JARED

At the time of the “tower,” (presumably the Tower of Babel), God led a different group of people to the same promised land later inhabited by the Nephites.  Prior to their departure, God told the Brother of Jared,

“…And [in the promised land] will I bless thee and thy seed, and raise up unto me of thy seed, and of the seed of thy brother, and they who shall go with thee, a great nation. And there shall be none greater than the nation which I will raise up unto me of thy seed, upon all the face of the earth. And thus I will do unto thee because this long time ye have cried unto me.

Just as it was with the Nephites, “raising up seed to God” references quality, not quantity.  Neither Jared, his brother, or any of their party were commanded to take multiple wives for the purpose of “raising up seed.”

CONCLUSION

The Nephites that God led out of Jerusalem to “raise a righteous seed/branch” were explicitly and strictly prohibited from having more than one wife and any concubines.  The LDS claim that God will sometimes command polygamy for the purposes of bringing more children into the Gospel via plural wives does not withstand scrutiny.  It fails. And it fails badly.

The church has inverted God’s words, turning an explicit condemnation of polygyny and concubinage among His people into an “exception.”  They church has granted itself a loophole.  And there’s one reason they have done this: to justify the serial, institutionalized, church-sanctioned immortality, fornication and adultery of its Prophets, Presidents, Quorum of Twelve Apostles and other leaders and members between 1845-1900.  There is no other reason.  The LDS church presents itself as the only true church on the face of the earth.  Consequently, any and all actions of its governing body must be divinely sanctioned or commanded.  It was the same Wilford Woodruff, author of Official Declaration 1 and then president of the Church, who enshrined this prophetic infallibility,

The Lord will never permit me or any other man who stands as President of this Church to lead you astray. It is not in the programme. It is not in the mind of God. If I were to attempt that, the Lord would remove me out of my place, and so He will any other man who attempts to lead the children of men astray from the oracles of God and from their duty.”  (Emphasis added.)

By Woodruff’s reasoning, if he practiced polygamy (he had fives wives and 33 children), then God commanded it.  The mere fact that Wilford Woodruff occupied the Presidency is sufficient evidence in his eyes.  However, if it were conceded that all the church presidents from Brigham Young to Heber J. Grant were practicing polygamists–and polygamy is always sin in the eyes of God–Woodruff’s claims of prophetic infallibility fall by the wayside.

FAIR recommends we take a “full” survey of scripture regarding polygamy.  I suggest they start with their own.

And I will end this post with this thought:  if Joseph Smith took plural wives, then he was guilty of adultery.  Full stop.  No excuses.  We don’t justify bad behavior because a person in authority, presumed or real, engages in bad behavior.  Bad behavior is bad behavior.  Mormon, perhaps seeing our future, directly addressed the Mormon Gentiles at the end of 3 Nephi, reiterating the words of Jesus at Bountiful,

“Turn, all ye Gentiles, from your wicked ways; and repent of your evil doings, of your lyings and deceivings, and of your whoredoms, and of your secret abominations, and your idolatries, and of your murders, and your priestcrafts, and your envyings, and your strifes, and from all your wickedness and abominations, and come unto me, and be baptized in my name, that ye may receive a remission of your sins, and be filled with the Holy Ghost, that ye may be numbered with my people who are of the house of Israel.”

The irony is that LDS believe the “Gentiles” refers everyone but the Jews and themselves.

*ADDITIONAL NOTES ON THE POLYGAMY ESSAY

There are a few notable things about this paragraph.  First, the claim that the LDS “do not understand all of God’s purposes” in instituting polygamy is refuted by Nephi, who wrote that God does “nothing save it be plain unto the children of men.” (2 Nephi 26:32-33.)  Secondly, the essay references “prophets,” but the church claims polygamy was instituted by one man, Joseph Smith.  The plural “prophets” provides cover for Brigham Young (55 wives), John Taylor (8 wives), Wilford Woodruff (5 wives), Joseph F. Smith (5 wives) and Heber J. Grant (3 wives).  Lastly, the church equates polygamy with faithfulness. Again, all of this is to justify church-sponsored adultery.

7 thoughts on “Jacob 2:30 – “Raising Up Seed” and The Polygamy Question

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  1. When you put all the verse of Jacob together like you did, and then you rephrased the part to suggest that men would easily and willfully sin (polygamize—-I made that up) if HE didn’t tell them not to practice polygamy, it makes sense. I have always been bothered by the contradiction between that verse(s) and the practice of polygamy. And then there is the point you have made in several other writings, as you have here, that you can’t find ANY proof Joseph Smith EVER endorsed polygamy, let alone practices it, or actually had himself sealed to multiple women in the temple (I think your writings suggest accounts of this from elderly people or second-hand witnesses—no documentation or temple Records). This just goes to show how practiced pat-answers handed down from Brigham to local leaders, from LDS parents and teachers to children continues the perpetuation of misinformation and misinterpretation of a verse in full context. Nicely done.

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  2. Oh I definitely need to speak with you. I am always shut down when the light of truth about this topic shines forth. There are exceptions indeed to the monogamy clause and every falsely understood scripture about this has been addressed academically. First of all it is not for you to determine that because the lords commands monogamy for raising up seed that you are allowed to decide when it takes place for that purpose. That is mans reasoning. You reason that why wouldn’t the Lord to it in this case then etc. Not up to you in which case of raising up seed the Lord decides to command it . If you are so sure that polygamy is an abomination why did Jehovah present himself as a polygamist in the OT in symbolic manner? Would he apply soooo great an abomination to himself? Would he do likewise an liken himself to a gay marriage!!!. No he never would but he did however in the OT liken himself to a polygamist. If you need a reference to this , it shows your lack of study on this issue and should be a lesson to you. I can provide such. Also the bridegroom and virgins with oil story clearly has 10 virgins going to meet the bridegroom. What I find soooo interesting is the bias found on both sides of this issue..never mentioning the strong scriptural evidence on the other side. The truth is a DOUBLE EDGED SWORD. Why ..it cuts both ways and your view is one sided my friend. Please reply.

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    1. Hello, Peter. I don’t believe I know you but thank you for reading.

      Can you provide documentary evidence that Jehovah presented Himself as a polygamist is a symbolic manner?

      In Genesis 2 we read,

      “Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”

      Two become one. Three, four or five don’t become one.

      Polygamy, plural wives, spiritual wifery–whatever you want to call it–is an abomination. Always has been. Always will be.

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      1. The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, there were two women, daughters of the same mother. 3 They became prostitutes in Egypt, engaging in prostitution from their youth. In that land their breasts were fondled and their virgin bosoms caressed. 4 The older was named Oholah, and her sister was Oholibah. They were mine and gave birth to sons and daughters. Oholah is Samaria, and Oholibah is Jerusalem….but wait there is more

        Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD

        you are not critically thinking thru this issue my friend and are speaking that the lord is using abomination to apply to himself. Giving instances of monogamy does not abolish polygamy. Monogamy is the standard but there are reasons for exception as listed in Jacob. Your blind to this because of the teachings of men assuming you know things you do not. Can you believe you did not know this scripture already…assuming you had done your research? You have not.

        what did he do ….eir fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake,
        what was the symbolic relationship
        They were mine and gave birth to sons and daughters.

        There is more but this should suffice to show you , you have not done your research but for one side and the logic used is not sound. Blanket statements of confidence are not indicative of truth especially when you had to ask me where it is.
        here is more….
        During the reign of King Josiah, the Lord said to me, “Have you seen what faithless Israel has done? She has gone up on every high hill and under every spreading tree and has committed adultery there. 7 I thought that after she had done all this she would return to me but she did not, and her unfaithful sister Judah saw it. 8 I gave faithless Israel her certificate of divorce and sent her away because of all her adulteries. Yet I saw that her unfaithful sister Judah had no fear; she also went out and committed adultery.
        Please prayerfully consider this. Just because you know of abuse of this principal does not mean in all cases it is unholy, nor do the scriptures show that.
        Thanks for listening brother

        Peter

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      2. I put an error in my email. I have put the correct one in the details below this post. Thank you for listening. Jehovah indeed used himself as a symbolic polygamist in the OT twice. The standard is monogamy to be sure but the Lord under certain circumstances allows polygamy. Hard to bear but true and can be holy and sacred and does not betray nature for those who spiritually are called to such by the Holy Ghost and indeed removes a tool of Satan to murder the masses of men in a group and stifle the procreation of that same group. There are other reasons, but this should suffice. All scriptures can be answered regarding this practice to a spiritual mind but to the mind that can not bear the potential for abuse of it, which resides in their own hear t(for they can not bear to think someone could be spiritual enough to live it, maybe because they can’t). You think you have a scripture that proves otherwise…you don’t.

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      3. Hi, Peter:

        First things first, you don’t do your cause much good when you accuse people of not doing their research or accuse people of having a carnal mind.

        Ezekiel 32 is CLEARLY an allegory, not an example of Jehovah engaging in polygamy. That’s a preposterous interpretation.

        From the Expositor’s Bible Commentary:

        “THE allegory of chapter 23 adds hardly any new thought to those which have already, been expounded in connection with chapter 16 and chapter 20. The ideas which enter into it are all such as we are now familiar with. They are: the idolatry of Israel, learned in Egypt and persisted in to the end of her history; her fondness for alliances with the great Oriental empires, which was the occasion of new developments of idolatry; the corruption of religion by the introduction of human sacrifice into the service of Jehovah; and, finally, the destruction of Israel by the hands of the nations whose friendship she had so eagerly courted. The figure under which these facts are presented is the same as in chapter 16, and many of the details of the earlier prophecy are reproduced here with little variation. But along with these resemblances we find certain characteristic features in this chapter which require attention, and perhaps some explanation.”

        Monogamy is the standard. Period. From Adam and Eve to Christ saying that man and woman become one, monogamy is the rule. Any exceptions are the works of man, usually trying to justify his lusts.

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