What does the Bible say about having more than one Wife?

By Faith Way

The Bible is the word of God and one of the most widely read book in history. It’s a collection of books written by numerous authors over the course of centuries and it contains stories, teachings, and wisdom for every kind of person. So, the question on your mind “what does the Bible say about having more than one wife?

👉 Please Note: “I am not here to share my personal opinions on any subject matter, but this blog is an informational blog where I simply share what the Bible says about various subject matters in the Bible”. “🙏

Dexter Whinfield

What does the Bible say about having more than one Wife?

A number of passages in the Bible speak about having multiple wives. In Genesis 4:19, Lamech took two wives.

The Old Testament also recounts many stories of kings and political figures having multiple wives. Kings David and Solomon both had hundreds of wives, as described in the books of 1 Kings 11 and 1 Chronicles 3.

At the same time, Jesus’s teaching on divorce (Matthew 19:8) implies that he was not in favor of polygamous marriages, and while the New Testament does not explicitly prohibit polygamy, it points toward monogamy as the preferable ideal.

“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.”

Ephesians 5:32-32

This is not to say that the Bible has absolutely stated that a man must have only one wife. Infact, there are some passages in the Old Testament that seem to suggest that having more than one wife is not a sin as in the case with many great men of God like Abraham, Jacob, David, Solomon, and many others in the Old Testament.

👉 Restoring Your Marriage: God’s Perspective

That said, there is no clear instruction in scriptures that one can take more than one wife. There’s no where in scripture where you will find ” thou shall take wives.” But what is Jesus take on this very sensitive subject matter?

In the New Testament, Jesus re-iterates his view that marriage must be between one man and one woman when he says in Matthew 19:5-6: “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh”.

It is clear from scriptures that under the old covenant polygamy was allowed, but according to Jesus in the New Testament; one man to one woman.

But if where are to consider everything there is in the Bible on this subject matter, then we may conclude by saying ” while the Bible does not directly forbid polygamy, it does not encourage it either.”

It’s likely that the best advice one can draw from this is that if a man wishes to take more than one wife, he should do so in line with his faith, considering what his church and spiritual leaders advise on the matter, and more importantly, he should consult his own conscience.

Polygamy throughout the world

Polygamy is still practiced in many parts of the world today. According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 25-30% of all marriages are polygamous in much of Africa, and in certain parts of the Islamic world, as many as 20% of all marriages are polygamous.

Polygamy is only legal in a few countries, and in some countries in which polygamy is against the law, it is still practiced in secret.

Polygamy is rooted in patriarchal societies, where women are seen as inferior to men and are deprived of the right to have some measure of control over their own destiny.

The most common argument for polygamy is that it allows a man to take care of several wives and also for widows to find security in a man with more than one wife.

In other parts of the world, polygamy is seen as a sign of wealth, as a man who can afford more than one wife is assumed to be more successful financially.

Some cultures even view polygamy as a status symbol and an indication of a man’s virility.

Whatever the justification for it may be, polygamy has caused a huge amount of suffering across the world.

Many women in polygamous marriages are forced into situations of extreme financial dependence and have few rights in such relationships.

Women in polygamous marriages are often treated unfairly and not given equal rights or respect.

They may be denied basic necessities such as food, clothing, and education. This problem is especially acute in societies where polygamy is commonplace, and women are expected to accept the situation.

The Impact of having more than one wife

Having more than one wife can have a negative impact in several ways. Firstly, it weakens the bonds of marriage and trust between a man and his wife.

For many women, this can lead to feelings of insecurity, as they no longer feel they have the exclusive attention and commitment of their husband.

Secondly, it can disrupt family stability, as children may feel jealous or resentful of the attention their father gives to the other woman.

This can cause a great deal of tension in the household and can lead to arguments and strife.

Thirdly, having multiple wives can have an adverse effect on a man’s finances, as he has to offer financial support to more than one wife.

It can also diminish his social standing, as he is associated with a practice that is frowned upon in most societies across the world.

Finally, it can lead to a divide among family members as they disagree on the validity of such a marriage. This can cause resentment and further conflict within the family.

How can polygamy be avoided?

In order to avoid polygamy, men and women should foster strong, open relationships. Such relationships are based on mutual trust and understanding, and ensure that spouses are true to one another.

Additionally, both spouses should be ready to express their needs and desires in order to help deepen understanding and trust between them.

In addition, both spouses should strive to cultivate a strong sense of commitment to one another. This means being true to each other in everything you do. In the face of temptation, both spouses should make a conscious effort to stay true to each other and to their marriage.

Moreover, couples should work to strengthen their bonds through communication, quality time together, and mutual respect and understanding.

This can help to ensure that the relationship remains strong, and that spouses are less likely to look outside it for fulfillment.

Finally, couples should be aware of the potential social dramas that can arise from polygamy and be sure to understand its implications.

Knowing the risks involved can help couples to make better decisions and muster the strength to stay true to one another.


The Bible does not encourage polygamy, as it contradicts the teaching of one man and one woman being united as one. This doesn’t mean that it is forbidden, but it does indicate a preference for monogamy.

Polygamy is still practiced in many places in the world, even though it is illegal in some countries, and it can have several negative impacts, both socially and financially.

To avoid polygamy, couples should strive to maintain strong, open relationships through communication and quality time, as well as express their needs and cultivate a strong sense of commitment to one another.

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