True Biblical Marriage

I’m wondering if people actually know what the Bible says about marriage. Based on what I’m hearing in the current political arena about “marriage equality,” “traditional marriage,” and “morality,” I don’t think they do. I found this interesting infographic and did a bit of referencing.

*I’ve found an inaccuracy when checking the biblical references in Exodus 21:4. Those verses (Exodus 21:1-11) do not talk about female slaves submitting sexually to their husbands. They talk about the laws regarding servants and servitude (including selling ones daughter as a servant).

So with all of this talk about “traditional biblical marriage,” why are the supporters ignoring (or just ignorant of) women as property, female subjugation, slavery, infidelity, etc? It’s because the Bible is not a very good guide for morality. All you have to do is actually read it.

Here’s a breakdown:

Man + Woman (Nuclear Family)
Genesis 2:24

  • Wives subordinate to their husbands
  • Interfaith marriages forbidden
  • Marriages generally arranged, not based on romantic love
  • Bride who could not prove her virginity was stoned to death

Man + Wives + Concubines

  • Abraham had 2 concubines
  • Gideon had 1 concubine
  • Nahor had 1 concubine
  • Jacob had 1 concubine
  • Eliphaz had 1 concubine
  • Gideon had 1 (or more) concubines
  • Caleb had 2 concubines
  • Manassah had 1 concubine
  • Solomon had 300 concubines
  • Belshazzar had more than 1 concubine

Man + Woman + Woman’s Property
Genesis 16

  • Man could acquire his wife’s property including her slaves

Man + Woman + Woman + Woman (Polygamy)

  • Lamech had 2 wives
  • Esau had 3 wives
  • Jacob had 2 wives
  • Ashur had 2 wives
  • Gideon had many wives
  • Elkanah had 2 wives
  • David had many wives
  • Solomon had 700 wives
  • Rehaboam had 3 wives
  • Abijah had 14 wives
  • etc.

Man + Brother’s Widow (Levirate Marriage)
Genesis 38:6-10

  • Widow who had not borne a son required to marry her brother-in-law
  • Must submit sexually to her new husband

Rapist + His Victim
Deuteronomy 22:28-29

  • Virgin who is raped must marry her rapist
  • Rapist must pay victim’s father 50 shekels of silver for property loss

Male Soldier + Prisoner of War
Numbers 31:1-18, Deuteronomy 21:11-14

  • Under Moses’ command, Israelites kill ever Midianite man, woman and child; save for the virgin girls who are taken as spoils of war
  • Wives must submit sexually to their new owners

Male Slave + Female Slave
Exodus 21:4

  • Slave owner could assign female slaves to his male slaves
  • *Female slaves must submit sexually to their new husbands


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