Polygamy is the practice of having more than one wife. The word comes from poly meaning ‘many’ and gamos meaning ‘marriage.’ The term has also come to mean having more than one husband. However, polyandry is the technical word for having more than one husband. 

Polygamy was both forbidden and permitted at different times in the Old Testament

  • Polygamy Forbidden:  Deut. 17:17; Lev. 18:18; Mal. 2:14
  • Polygamy Permitted:  Gen. 4:19; 26:34; Job 27:15.




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