What are the principal texts used in attempting to justify polygamy by divine precept and what may be said of them

(1) "And if he have betrothed her unto his son, he shall deal with her after the manner of daughters. If he take him another wife, her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish." Ex. 21:9, 10.

NOTE.- The word wife is not in the original, and should not be in this text, whose meaning, as seen from verse 9, is "another betrothed," not "another wife." Thus: "If he [the father] take him [take to his son] another wife [in betrothal] , her food, her raiment [the food and raiment of the one first betrothed, but not married] , and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish." This means simply that one first betrothed should be provided for in case she was set aside and another one married. But even if the word wife belonged in the text, it would merely be God's counsel with reference to how such sinners should be dealt with, as in Ex. 22:1, "If a man shall steal an ox or a sheep," etc. "If" does not mean "thou shalt," nor even "thou mayest."

(2) "If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger: her husband's brother shall... take her to him to wife." Deut. 25:5.

NOTE. - No further comment is necessary on this passage, than to say that in accordance with God's law concerning marriage, the "husband's brother" or kinsman here referred to must be a single man, as was the case with Boaz, who married Ruth; for not a single instance is recorded where God ever counseled any man to take more than one wife, or gave a precept to that effect.

(3) "And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel; only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach." Isa. 4:1.

NOTE. - Whether this was fulfilled centuries ago, or applies to the Mormons of today, does not prove that God now designs a man should have seven wives instead of one. There are prophecies of evil as well as of good; and because the crimes of Absalom, Ahab, Judas, and the persecutions under paganism and the papacy were predicted, does not prove them divinely sanctioned.

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