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Should a Christian man, who was a Muslim married to several wives, divorce his wives after he becomes a Christian?
Answers to a Question from Nigeria
How the Koran has Changed God's Old Testament and New Testament Commandments on Monogamy and Polygamy
(by Salam Falaki)


(one man being married to several women)
Torah: Tolerated
Gospel: Not Prohibited
Koran: Allowed

OLD TESTAMENT: Simultaneous polygyny is never commanded in the Old Testament, because that would contradict God's creation order of monogamy. However, it is indirectly tolerated (Jesus would say, because of the hardness of your hearts) in such passages as this from the Torah: "If he (a man) takes another wife to himself, he shall not diminish her food, her clothing, or her marital rights." (Exodus 21:10) or: "15 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, 16 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, 17 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." (Deuteronomy 21:15-17) Also, the Old Testament nowhere commands that a man, who is simultaneously married to more than one woman, should divorce one of them simply for the fact of being polygamous, contrary to God's creation order of monogamy. The LORD, God of Israel, did not encourage simultaneous polygyny, but when it happened, God did not act against it. You can see this in the passages about Abraham (having Ishmael from Hagar and Isaac from Sarah, while both women were alive), about Esau (having three wives, Genesis 36:2-3) and about Jacob (fathering children from four women: Genesis 29:31 to 30:24). In the case of David, who had eight wives, God even said to him through the prophet Nathan: "7 I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you out of the hand of Saul. 8 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. …" (2 Samuel 12:7-8) Here God gave David the wives of Saul to become his own wives, a clear case of polygyny. The pinnacle of this kind of polygamy was king Solomon, of whom we read: "He had 700 wives, who were princesses, and 300 concubines. And his wives turned away his heart." (1 Kings 11:3) Here Solomon clearly sinned against the Lord's commandment in the Torah: "And he (the king) shall not acquire many wives for himself, lest his heart turn away, nor shall he acquire for himself excessive silver and gold." (Deuteronomy 17:17) This led to the fact that king Solomon became the first anti-Christ: as anointed king, he was a Christ (= anointed one), however, since he had a yearly income of 666 talents of gold (1 Kings 10:14) he was able to amass and feed many heathen wives. They turned his heart away from the LORD and he ended up worshiping not only the LORD in the Temple in Jerusalem but many other gods as well, i.e. he became a syncretist (mixing religions together), which is the mark of the Anti-Christ (the dragon with seven heads = seven religious identities, which all have the same Satanic heart).

NEW TESTAMENT: The Gospel follows the Torah in not commanding simultaneous polygyny anywhere. But we also do not find any text in the New Testament that commands a husband with more than one wife to divorce any of his wives to become monogamous. In addition, the New Testament does not list simultaneous polygyny as a sin that excludes from eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ. Adultery and other sexual sins are clearly marked as incompatible with Christ and his holiness, but not so for husbands having more than one wife. Galatians 5,19 lists: "sexual immorality, impurity and sensuality" among the fruits of the flesh. "Those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God" (Galatians 5:21). And "the sexually immoral" (Revelation 22:15) will not enter heavenly Jerusalem. But nowhere is polygamy expressly listed among the list of vices that exclude from eternal life. -- Rather we are told that eternal life transcends sexual relationships, as Jesus said: "34 The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage, 35 but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and to the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage, 36 for they cannot die anymore, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection." (Luke 20:34-36)

KORAN: In this point the Koran radically changed biblical teaching. Allah did not only tolerate polygyny, as in the Old Testament, and he did not just leave it unprohibited as in the New Testament, but through Muhammad in the Koran Allah explicitly commanded and thus allowed simultaneous polygyny: "And if you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly with the (female) orphans, then marry women of your choice, two or three, or four; but if you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly (between multiple wives), then only one (woman) or (the female slaves) that your right hands possess. That is nearer to prevent you from doing injustice." (Sura 4:3) By mentioning female slaves on the same level with legal wives, the Koran makes it clear that the relationship between husband and wife is constituted through physical intercourse and is not conceived in an essential manner as a spiritual relationship as in the Bible. This is why many Muslim men up till today still marry more than one wife, even though Muslim countries in their legislation more and more prescribe monogamy as the standard. -- According to the Sira (Muslim biography of Muhammad) and the Hadith (collections of sayings and dealings of Muhammad) Muhammad in his life exemplified this command of Allah to marry more than one wife. He ended up marrying more than 12 women legally and having sexual relationships to many more concubines. Some women, which he desired for a physical relationship, even resisted his wish, by taking refuge with Allah from his desires. This seems to have been the only way with which such women were able to effectively resist his advances.

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