Precepts & Principles of the Torah – Lev. 18:6-18

12/06/14 (09/13) Video Broadcast

Precepts & Principles of the Torah - Lev. 18:6-18 - Study
Precepts & Principles of the Torah - Lev. 18:6-18 - Study

Precepts & Principles of the Torah - Lev. 18:6-18 - Study

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Video Transcript

This is a direct transcript of a teaching that was presented via video. Due to the fact that we often speak differently than we write, the written text may not flow and/or sound strange in some places. There may also be grammatical errors and unintended mistakes. It is encouraged that you to watch the video to complement this written transcript.

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We are ready to begin our study portion for today’s broadcast. We have been going over the “Precepts and Principles of the Torah,” and we are ready to begin our 24th installment in this examination of Yahweh’s Law– His Torah, His teaching.

A lot of people when you start talking about Yahweh’s Law, one of the first things they are going to think is, “Oh, it’s bad. It’s mean. It’s an ogre trying to overpower you and destroy you,” and all these things. But think of this for a minute logically with me here.

Every family has a law that they abide by. Every family has certain moral principles that they expect their children to abide by. And every society has laws that one is expected to abide by. And no one says, “Well, how terrible that the Senate and the government passed a law,” unless that law was unrighteous.

And so, laws are for the protection of the people. They are for the benefit of man. And so, as we begin to study Yahweh’s Law, we will begin to understand and learn what love truly, truly is.

And He who made our bodies knows what is best for us. He who made us knows why certain things do what they do, and what works in a society and what does not work in a society. So, He is the One that we look to for direction.

And so, we want to hear from Him what His precepts are, what His laws are, so that we can in turn walk in the true way of love, as He defines it, rather than through the way that man, with his experimental societies, seeks to define love.

And so, we are going to now embark on the 24th installment. And this one is called: “Precepts and Principles of the Torah – Leviticus 18:6-18.”

We are looking at Leviticus chapter 18 and verses 6 through 18, but we want to go ahead and start with the beginning of the chapter and verse 1:

Leviticus 18:1 – Then YAHWEH spoke to Moses, saying,

2 – Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: `I am YAHWEH your Elohim.

3 – `According to the doings of the land of Egypt, where you dwelt, you shall not do; and according to the doings of the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you, you shall not do; nor shall you walk in their ordinances.

Every nation has ordinances, as I shared. Every nation has laws, which they seek to abide by. And Egypt had theirs. Yahweh tells us not to walk in their ordinances. Instead, He says:

Leviticus 18:4 – `You shall observe My judgments and keep My ordinances, to walk in them: I [am] YAHWEH your Elohim.

5 – `You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, which if a man does, he shall live by them: I [am] YAHWEH.

And we went over these scriptures quite in detail the last study two weeks ago.

Leviticus 18:6 – `None of you shall approach anyone who is near of kin to him, to uncover his nakedness: I [am] YAHWEH.

This is sort of like the heading of the next several verses where Yahweh is expressly forbidding incest. And not just incest, but things that lead to incest, which is uncovering nakedness.

Yahweh was the One who chose in the garden of Eden to cover Adam and to cover his wife so that they would be modest. And He expects us, also, to be modest even in and within the family relationships.

The Hebrew word for “near of kin” simply means “flesh of” or “remnant of” his flesh. That is the literal Hebrew meaning there. So those who are of our flesh, the ones who are near of kin, the ones who are our close relatives– He is specifically telling us to keep ourselves covered.

And this would help to prevent inappropriate relationships within the family, to keep ourselves covered while we are at home.

Now there are different families who have different standards regarding modesty– modesty outside the home, modesty inside the home. The way in which we can help to assure that there is nothing inappropriate happening within the family itself is that everybody keeps their body parts private.

Some believe this particular verse is only talking about the actual act of copulation. But, I don’t know. I am not convinced of this for several reasons.

Apparently, other people were convinced that is what it meant. For instance, the New International Version has: Leviticus 18:6 – “No one is to approach any close relative to have sexual relations. I am Yahweh.”

They were so convinced that it was simply an idiom to describe sexual relations that they, in their “dynamic equivalence” translation style, actually translated it “sexual relations.”

But there are other places where you can find this “uncovering of nakedness.” You can find it in Ezekiel.

Ezekiel 16:36 – `Thus says the Master YAHWEH: Because your filthiness was poured out and your nakedness uncovered in your harlotry with your lovers, and with all your abominable idols, and because of the blood of your children which you gave to them,

We are not going to get into the context here, but what I want to point out is: “nakedness being uncovered in your harlotry.”

Some might suggest, “Well, it is only talking about nakedness being uncovered in the context of harlotry.” And so, they would quote that verse.

Another place:

Ezekiel 23:18 – She revealed her harlotry and uncovered her nakedness. Then I alienated Myself from her, As I had alienated Myself from her sister.

Again, uncovering nakedness and revealing her harlotry. I mean, one does go with the other. And so, it would make sense that they would both be linked together.

But in Leviticus 18, the list of those whose nakedness we are forbidden from uncovering, it does not, for one reason or another, actually say that we are forbidden from uncovering the nakedness of our children.

Now it does forbid a child from uncovering the nakedness of their parents, which certainly means a child cannot marry a parent. But there is no specific prohibition of a parent uncovering the nakedness of their son or their daughter.

And I find that to be a little bit strange if we really believe that the prohibition in Leviticus 18 is simply regarding sexual relations as the New International Version would suggest. Why wouldn’t there be a command that says a woman cannot marry her son (like we know Nimrod, and all that, that went on)? They did that.

So I think that there is more here than just sexual relations. I think it is also dealing with uncovering nakedness.

Now we have to uncover the nakedness of our children in order to attend to their needs to be bathed, perhaps their medical needs, change their diapers, teach them how to use the potty, and things like that.

And so, it would make sense to me why He would not specifically forbid the uncovering of our children. I mean, they are born with no clothes on, right?

So if “uncovering nakedness” was just an idiom for sexual relations, I can’t really think of any reason why Yahweh would not have included our children in the list. But if it is simply meant by what it says, “uncovered nakedness,” to me it would make perfect sense that we need to have the ability to take care of our children.

And, also, there was already a very common way of describing the act of copulation. It is used here in Leviticus 18, verse 20. He says:

Leviticus 18:20 – `Moreover you shall not lie carnally with your neighbor’s wife, to defile yourself with her.

Now why didn’t He use this phrase “lie carnally” all throughout Leviticus 18 if that is all He was talking about? It seems He is talking about, yes, certainly, you cannot lie carnally, but, also, keeping our nakedness covered.

He used different verbiage here and for that reason I think it is just best to take Yahweh at His word. He used different verbiage for a reason. So perhaps He meant something different, or something more, than just the act of copulation here.

I mean, obviously, uncovering nakedness is the first step in copulation. It is impossible to lie carnally with someone without nakedness being involved somehow. So it certainly seems to be an extra step that Yahweh is requiring of us. And it is in the context of a family unit that nakedness is most likely to be a possibility.

So, He is saying, even though we may live together in the same home, keep the private parts of your body private. I think that is what He is after. He wants modesty within the home.

Leviticus 18:6 – `None of you shall approach anyone who is near of kin to him, to uncover his nakedness: I [am] YAHWEH.

7 – `The nakedness of your father or the nakedness of your mother you shall not uncover. She [is] your mother; you shall not uncover her nakedness.

Now could a person uncover their own nakedness? In other words, He is saying, “You shall not uncover her nakedness.” But what if she uncovered her own nakedness?

Now to uncover another person’s nakedness would be an act of aggression. However, it does seem to be wrong to even willfully see (willfully, not accidently, but willfully– we are talking about an aggressive act), to see willfully the nakedness of anyone who is near of kin.

For instance, Leviticus 20, verse 17, says:

Leviticus 20:17 – `If a man takes his sister, his father’s daughter or his mother’s daughter, and sees her nakedness and she sees his nakedness, it [is] a wicked thing. And they shall be cut off in the sight of their people. He has uncovered his sister’s nakedness. He shall bear his guilt.

He says it is a wicked thing.

Now it says “if a man takes his sister.” In other words, he is the aggressor here. Men are usually the aggressor. You only have to look up the rape statistics to find that.

But we see here that it is wickedness, according to Yahweh, for a brother and sister to physically see– just to see– each other’s nakedness. And Yahweh actually says “it is a wicked thing.”

And so, although Yahweh does seem to be speaking directly to males here in Leviticus 18, by the understanding that we are looking at principles here of the Torah, not legalistic statements, the prohibition is certainly for women as well. She sees his nakedness. It is wickedness.

Because we are looking for principles. We are not looking for legal verbiage. That is not what Yahweh’s Law is all about. It is not about legal verbiage. It is about principles.

And we see that is how the Apostles, when they quoted from the Torah, you will notice that they were taking principles, not just legal verbiage like one studies law in American law. Yahweh wants us to walk, not just in the literal, but also in the principle behind it, the meaning behind it.

And we can gain that meaning if we understand Yahweh’s ways and we study His Word and we compare other verses and we realize He is trying to teach us how to love.

And what He is trying to prevent here in family is incest. And the way you prevent incest is you don’t allow there to be situations where people are being tempted. And so, He is basically saying here: “Cover up!”

We will go back to Leviticus chapter 18, verse 6. It says:

Leviticus 18:6 – `None of you shall approach anyone who is near of kin to him, to uncover his nakedness: I [am] YAHWEH.

So Yahweh is going to define for us what this “near of kin” is, or “flesh of his flesh” or “remnant of his flesh,” would be. He says:

Leviticus 18:7 – `The nakedness of your father or the nakedness of your mother you shall not uncover. She [is] your mother; you shall not uncover her nakedness.

8 – `The nakedness of your father’s wife you shall not uncover; it [is] your father’s nakedness.

A husband and wife are one flesh. Yahweh says the nakedness of our father’s wife is our father’s nakedness. So there appears to be more going on here than just the act of copulation. It says, “It is your father’s nakedness,” and so on.

So Yahweh wants us to keep ourselves covered up even in the family setting. Refraining from seeing the nakedness of our parents was Yahweh’s expectation long before He gave the Torah to Israel.

We find in Genesis chapter 9, and verse 20, it says:

Genesis 9:20 – And Noah began [to be] a farmer, and he planted a vineyard.

21 – Then he drank of the wine and was drunk, and became uncovered in his tent.

22 – And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside.

It does not say he did anything. It just says he saw the nakedness of his father.

Genesis 9:23 – But Shem and Japheth took a garment, laid [it] on both their shoulders, and went backward and covered the nakedness of their father. Their faces [were] turned away, and they did not see their father’s nakedness.

Now some have suggested what happened here was either a homosexual act or something more than actually what is written. But we only really know what the text says. We are not given any details. So I want to be cautious about going beyond what actually is written.

What I want to point out, though, is that Shem and Japheth took a garment, laid it on their shoulders, went backward and covered the nakedness of their father. And so, they refused to even look at their father.

Now if the prohibitions in Leviticus 18 were only talking about the act of copulation, I would have to wonder why Shem and Japheth felt the need to walk in backwards (I mean, they are all males, right?) so they did not see their father’s nakedness.

I mean, did they have to walk in backwards to avoid having an act of homosexuality with their father? Of course, not! It says their faces were turned away, and they did not see it.

Now some suggest since Leviticus chapter 18:8 actually says, when we see our father’s wife it is our father’s nakedness, he was actually looking at Noah’s wife, Ham’s mother. I am not sure I buy that. I tend to go with what it is actually saying here.

I mean, there are other places. For instance, Reuben went up on his father’s wife’s bed that actually was more descriptive than just seeing nakedness.

But, otherwise, I mean, why would Shem and Japheth even walk in the tent? Was his wife drunk? It does not even mention his wife being there. Walking in the tent, walking backwards, they did not want to see their father’s nakedness.

My point is, the act here was simply seeing nakedness. It does not say Ham uncovered his father’s nakedness. It just says he saw it, and it was a result of his father becoming uncovered in his tent. Ham saw it, told his brothers about it. We might presume, maybe they could take a look also? They refused to.

Ham’s lineage actually was cursed as a result. Now it is not unusual for the lineage of a man to be cursed as a result of the father’s sin. Yahweh cursed Ahab’s lineage, and He blessed David’s lineage.

And so, Noah here says:

Genesis 9:25 – Then he said: Cursed [be] Canaan; A servant of servants He shall be to his brethren.

26 – And he said: Blessed [be] YAHWEH, The Elohim of Shem, And may Canaan be his servant.

27 – May Elohim enlarge Japheth, And may he dwell in the tents of Shem; And may Canaan be his servant.

So the curse actually had to do with one being greater than the other. Jacob also said abut Reuben that he would not excel because he went up on his father’s bed.

But we see, as a result of this act, one-third of the human race basically was placed in a position of servitude. Now, biblically, we know a curse cannot fall on the child unless the child does something that would invite that kind of curse.

For instance, Proverbs chapter 26, verse 2, says:

Proverbs 26:2 – Like a flitting sparrow, like a flying swallow, So a curse without cause shall not alight.

That means it will not fall upon them. So we would have to be doing something, if we were a son of Ham, for that curse to take effect.

We see that also in Exodus chapter 20, in verses 5 through 6. Yahweh says:

Exodus 20:5 – you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, YAHWEH your Elohim, [am] a jealous Elohim, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth [generations] of those who hate Me,

Of what? “Of those who hate Me.” So if the generations hate Yahweh like the fathers would have, because they agree with their father and what their father had done and they are doing the same things, then they would also have that curse placed on them. But, it says:

Exodus 20:6 – but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

So the curse will not fall upon the succeeding generations unless the succeeding generations also choose to walk contrary to Yahweh and refuse to love Him back. But that is another topic for another day. I just want to point out that we need to be aware here of the need for modesty in our homes. Us parents need to set the example of that.

And we see Ham kind of mocked, I guess. We do not know what he did in response to seeing his father, but he apparently did not think it was a problem and went and told his brothers about it. And so, it is important. We see one-third of the human race was affected because of that.

Now there are obvious exceptions to it. For instance, a mother needs to nurse her infant, right? She is not exactly going to be clothed while she is nursing her infant. In this instance, we have the basic human need, which is the need for food, the need for sustenance, overriding a legalistic way of observing the commandment.

Remember, Yahweh’s laws are not a list of legalistic dos and don’ts and that you look at it like you would look at the “Revised Statutes of Missouri,” or something like that.

It is the principle behind the command. And the principle behind these commandments is to maintain purity in the family relationships. I mean, they are all living together in the same house. There is no concern about a baby having purity issues while nursing. So that is an obvious exception.

Maybe another exception might be the instance where a parent is elderly. They are unable to take care of themselves, similar to that of a child, cannot use the restroom without assistance. Again, we have a basic human need involved here.

And since an exception would have to obviously be made in the case of a baby seeing their parent’s nakedness when they are nursing, which would otherwise not be appropriate, there would, I think, by principle, possibly be an exception in the case where an older child (of course, their parents are elderly) is going to need to take care of their parents.

If you are concerned about it, you could always hire a caregiver. But if it were me, I think that the overriding principle here– basic human needs, a need to take care of our parents, a need to honor them, a need to return the favor, pay them back, and all those other principles– would override this other thing.

Now if it is getting to where there are problems or something in that area, I can’t imagine, then you might need to hire a caregiver. But I am looking here at principles, and that is how the Apostles, that is how Yahushua, looked at the Torah.

When He was asked about divorce, He said: “Haven’t you read?” And He gave the command. And then He said, “What Yahweh has put together, do not let man separate.” He was going by principles.

So back to Leviticus chapter 18. It says:

Leviticus 18:6 – `None of you shall approach anyone who is near of kin to him, to uncover his nakedness: I [am] YAHWEH.

7 – `The nakedness of your father or the nakedness of your mother you shall not uncover. She [is] your mother; you shall not uncover her nakedness.

8 – `The nakedness of your father’s wife you shall not uncover; it [is] your father’s nakedness.

Leviticus 18:9 – `The nakedness of your sister, the daughter of your father, or the daughter of your mother, [whether] born at home or elsewhere, their nakedness you shall not uncover.

“The nakedness of your sister, the daughter of your father, or the daughter of your mother [in the case of polygamy], whether born at home or elsewhere, their nakedness you shall not uncover.”

So whether it is a sister or a parent, those are included among those (the immediate family) that it would be inappropriate for us to be uncovering nakedness– or, basically, walking around the house with no clothes on.

Now in Leviticus chapter 20, in the event of nakedness of your father’s wife, He actually gives the judgment. He says:

Leviticus 20:11 – `The man who lies with his father’s wife has uncovered his father’s nakedness; both of them shall surely be put to death. Their blood [shall be] upon them.

He gives the sentencing guidelines for having done this. He says: “Both of them shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them.”

And we can actually find an instance where there was a case in Scripture where a man was with his father’s wife. And that is 1 Corinthians chapter 5, verses 1 through 2. He says:

1Corinthians 5:1 – It is actually reported [that there is] sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles — that a man has his father’s wife!

2 – And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you.

So the principle here is: He needs to go! And this is a Torah principle. A man having his father’s wife is inappropriate. Even Gentiles see that. But it is going back to this (Leviticus 20:11)… having his father’s wife… both of whom will be put to death.

In this case, they are not in a position, being in Corinth, of having civil authority, so they should at least be kicked out of the assembly, and so, deliver them over to Satan for them to be, hopefully, corrected.

Going back to Leviticus chapter 18, verse 9: “The nakedness of your sister… you shall not uncover.” And, again, we find that verse in Leviticus chapter 20. And He actually gives the sentencing guideline here. He says:

Leviticus 20:17 – `If a man takes his sister, his father’s daughter or his mother’s daughter, and sees her nakedness and she sees his nakedness, it [is] a wicked thing. And they shall be cut off in the sight of their people. He has uncovered his sister’s nakedness. He shall bear his guilt.

So they need to be cut off. And so, in the case of siblings, interestingly, we know this is actually a new thing, because in order for Adam’s sons to marry a female (this is going back to the beginning of creation– Adam and Eve had children), in order for them to have anyone to marry, they would have had to marry their sisters.

And then their children would have had to marry either an aunt or an uncle or a sister in order for the human race to even have propagated. And so, really, in actuality, we are all sons and daughters of what we call today “inbreds.”

But when Yahweh gave the Torah, He did expressly forbid the marriages of brothers and sisters, and He set a penalty for that.

Now His prohibition makes sense, even scientifically, because if we marry a brother or sister, the forthcoming offspring would inherit a double portion of all the genetic problems and the health issues that arise from that.

And for that reason, if a brother and sister were to marry, in very high likelihood, they would have birth defects in their children.

Now in the beginning, Adam and Eve were created perfect. There were no diseases to pass on genetically until sin entered the world and then death by sin. And so, by the time we come to Abraham’s time, we know Abraham married his half-sister, being Sarah. And Yahweh actually built the house of Israel from that union.

And the genetic problems at that time were not so pronounced because there were not enough generations for all those genetic issues to begin to build up and pass on from generation to generation.

So as the lives of men got shorter, Yahweh, in His wisdom, began to place limits on who could marry whom. And I am glad He did because today we would have an awful situation.

You know, this can even happen within animals if you do any raising of animals. If you have too many inbreds, problems start to arise. But in the beginning, it was not so. In the beginning it was not an issue because we did not have all the genetic problems.

And to me, this is one of the clearest evidences for creation as opposed to evolution, because if it were so that we had been here who knows how many millions of years, or whatever you want to say, then there would be so many genetic mistakes by now we wouldn’t even survive.

Anyway, continuing here in Leviticus chapter 18, He says:

Leviticus 18:10 – `The nakedness of your son’s daughter or your daughter’s daughter, their nakedness you shall not uncover; for theirs [is] your own nakedness.

So that is kind of interesting. It is your own nakedness. We, obviously, otherwise, see our own nakedness. But he is pointing out they are of your own flesh.

And since they are of your own flesh, they are near of kin to you. That means their flesh is a remnant of your own and it is not appropriate for you to be uncovering your granddaughter’s nakedness.

This is also mentioned in Leviticus chapter 20. It says:

Leviticus 20:12 – `If a man lies with his daughter-in-law, both of them shall surely be put to death. They have committed perversion. Their blood [shall be] upon them.

Now this is a case of our son’s wife. And it says they have “committed perversion.”

And this word translated “perversion” is the Hebrew word: 08397 “tebel” {teh’-bel}. It means: 1) confusion (violation of nature or divine order) or 1a) perversion (in sexual sin). Origin: apparently from 01101; TWOT – 248d; n m Usage: AV – confusion 2; 2.

It says it is from word #01101. And we go back to that word number, and it has to do with mixing and mingling, confusing and confounding. And that certainly would be if you married your son’s daughter. That would be confusion. I mean, what would you do with inheritances? Messing up, basically, Yahweh’s institution of marriage.

Lexicon: 01101 balal {baw-lal’} Meaning: 1) to mix, mingle, confuse, confound 1a) (Qal) 1a1) to mingle, confuse 1a2) to mix 1a3) to give provender, feed (animals) 1b) (Hithpoel) to mix oneself (among others) 1c) (Hiphil) to fade away.

Origin: a primitive root; TWOT – 248; v Usage: AV – mingled 37, confound 2, anointed 1, mixed 1, give provender 1, tempered 1, non translated variant 1; 44.

And so, Yahweh says:

Leviticus 18:10 – `The nakedness of your son’s daughter or your daughter’s daughter, their nakedness you shall not uncover; for theirs [is] your own nakedness.

11 – `The nakedness of your father’s wife’s daughter, begotten by your father — she [is] your sister — you shall not uncover her nakedness.

12 – `You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father’s sister; she [is] near of kin to your father.

That is your Aunt.

Leviticus 18:13 – `You shall not uncover the nakedness of your mother’s sister, for she [is] near of kin to your mother.

Leviticus 20:19 – `You shall not uncover the nakedness of your mother’s sister nor of your father’s sister, for that would uncover his near of kin. They shall bear their guilt.

20 – `If a man lies with his uncle’s wife, he has uncovered his uncle’s nakedness. They shall bear their sin; they shall die childless.

So aunt, uncle, son, daughter, granddaughter, son’s wife, and so on. These are all areas in which it is forbidden.

Leviticus 18:14 – `You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father’s brother. You shall not approach his wife; she [is] your aunt.

15 – `You shall not uncover the nakedness of your daughter-in-law — she [is] your son’s wife — you shall not uncover her nakedness.

We covered this in Leviticus chapter 20.

Leviticus 18:16 – `You shall not uncover the nakedness of your brother’s wife; it [is] your brother’s nakedness.

That would be your sister-in-law.

Leviticus 18:17 – `You shall not uncover the nakedness of a woman and her daughter, nor shall you take her son’s daughter or her daughter’s daughter, to uncover her nakedness. They [are] near of kin to her. It [is] wickedness.

Now at first glance we might be inclined to think this verse is talking about uncovering nakedness having basically the same meaning as copulation, because we are talking about nakedness of a woman and her daughter. But notice it says “her daughter” or “her daughter’s daughter” or “her son’s daughter.”

And so, an example of this might be, suppose a widowed woman had children. Yahweh is saying it is wrong to uncover her nakedness and her daughter’s nakedness. And so, if we were to marry a woman who had children, Yahweh is saying, we would not be permitted to see the nakedness of the woman’s children.

And maybe that is because the child was born to another man and it would be akin to seeing the other man’s nakedness. Now if you marry the woman, her nakedness becomes your nakedness. But her daughters and sons, maybe it is different because they are the physical result of her union with another man.

And so, if we choose to marry a person who has children, we should probably let the mother of those children take care of their bathing needs, and so on. And, actually, nowadays, that is probably best no matter what.

Now the specific prohibition of a man marrying a woman and her mother is mentioned again in Leviticus chapter 20 and verse 14.

Leviticus 20:14 – `If a man marries a woman and her mother, it [is] wickedness. They shall be burned with fire, both he and they, that there may be no wickedness among you.

Wow! That is a pretty serious criminal matter there.

There is another place where Yahweh commands that a person would be burned with fire, and that is Leviticus 21, verse 9.

Leviticus 21:9 – `The daughter of any priest, if she profanes herself by playing the harlot, she profanes her father. She shall be burned with fire.

Now the punishment of burning with fire, I want to mention first of all, is not necessarily burning them alive. But first, I want to show you an example of where, actually, the patriarchs (specifically Judah) was suggesting this to be done to Tamar.

Genesis 38:24 – And it came to pass, about three months after, that Judah was told, saying, Tamar your daughter-in-law has played the harlot; furthermore she [is] with child by harlotry. So Judah said, Bring her out and let her be burned!

As often is the case, though, when there is one finger pointing one way, there are three fingers pointing the other direction.

Genesis 38:25 – When she [was] brought out, she sent to her father-in-law, saying, By the man to whom these belong, I [am] with child. And she said, Please determine whose these [are] — the signet and cord, and staff.

26 – So Judah acknowledged [them] and said, She has been more righteous than I, because I did not give her to Shelah my son. And he never knew her again.

Now it may seem barbaric, the idea of someone being burned, but I want to show you an example of where someone actually was burned.

Joshua chapter 7– Joshua, talking to Achan, who had taken the Babylonian garment. Hopefully, you are familiar with the story. He says:

Joshua 7:25 – And Joshua said, Why have you troubled us? YAHWEH will trouble you this day. So all Israel stoned him with stones; and they burned them with fire after they had stoned them with stones.

And so, this burning with fire was, basically, like an act of cremation. I mean, after they had died, they would burn them. And so, this was an act of judgment.

Joshua 7:26 – Then they raised over him a great heap of stones, still there to this day. So YAHWEH turned from the fierceness of His anger. Therefore the name of that place has been called the Valley of Achor to this day.

And so, it is for this reason I don’t know that cremation is an appropriate way to handle our bodies. That seems to be something that was given as an act of judgment. And so, I would not want that for myself.

Now the way Messiah did it, you know, with the tomb and everything, I think that is the way all Israel pretty much did it. They had the tomb. Cremation did not even come along, I think, until the Romans with all the dead bodies in the battlefield. They didn’t have time to bury them all, so they just burned them and went on.

But, you know, we want our customs and the way we do things to be more like the way Messiah did things. And so, I think that is the best example for us.

Now, continuing on… Leviticus 18, verse 18, says:

Leviticus 18:18 – `Nor shall you take a woman as a rival to her sister, to uncover her nakedness while the other is alive.

Now, in this instance, it is forbidden to uncover the nakedness of a woman and her sister. But in this instance, we see a marriage mentioned that a man is taking a woman “as a rival.” So they are talking marriage here. We are not just talking about uncovering nakedness. We are going an extra step and talking about marriage.

It is forbidden for a man to uncover the nakedness of his wife’s sister while the other is alive. Now in all of the instances where uncovering nakedness is forbidden, obviously, marriage would be forbidden, right? I mean, you cannot have one and not have the other.

But perhaps due to the possibility of cohabitation here, like when Jacob dwelled with Laban, uncovering nakedness goes a step further than just marriage. We are also talking about modesty.

Now speaking of Jacob, he actually did marry a woman and her sister. You might think, “Well, I guess Yahweh decided to forbid that arrangement.” But remember, the entire thing occurred as a result of fraud and deception. And so, I think, perhaps, Jacob kind of got a little taste of his own medicine.

You know, he deceived and was shady with his brother, Esau, and then he got a little taste of his own medicine and someone dealt deceitfully with him. In this case, it would have been Laban.

Now Yahweh turned it into good and actually built the house of Israel under this arrangement. But you only need to read the book of Genesis to find all the problems that came out of it– arguments over mandates, and so on.

And so, I think the principle we are looking at here, in Leviticus 18, is avoiding a situation where there is rivalry happening in the family. And, certainly, this has an impact on the question of polygamy.

Now most people recognize the word “polygamy” as referring to a man having multiple wives. A more technical definition would be “polygyny,” but for the sake of argument, and since it is culturally already seen this way, we are just going to call it “polygamy” as the arrangement where one man is married to two or more women.

But that particular arrangement is not expressively forbidden in the Torah. Actually, the Messianic promises were made to a polygamist. King David had multiple wives, and a great promise was given to David. And Yahweh called David a man after His own heart. He built the house of Israel on a polygamist family, Jacob.

And so, now it is worthwhile, I think, to examine this topic in light of what is being written here and also Yahushua’s statements regarding divorce and remarriage. I think it actually has a bearing. So I want to look at this topic of polygamy here for a little while.

Yahushua says:

Matthew 19:9 – And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.

He says in Matthew 5:32:

Matthew 5:32 – But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery.

Mark 10:11…

Mark 10:11 – So He said to them, Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her.

12 – And if a woman divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.

Now Yahushua’s statements have to have an impact here, I think, on polygamist marriages. Because let’s suppose that a man looked at Yahushua’s statements, and he says, “Ah, well, rather than divorce my wife and marry another, I will marry another and then divorce my wife,” and find a little loophole there in His words.

But what is He really saying here? I mean, a man could say, “Well, I am not going to divorce you, but I will just take a second wife whether you want me to or not,” and justify themselves. And then he does not have to trouble himself with the whole divorce process.

And so, do you see the loopholes that could easily be created if we look at this particular statement by Messiah and some of the other statements in Scripture in a wrong way?

Now the reason why divorce and remarriage is considered to be adultery against the first wife is based on the fact that Yahweh is still honoring the first marriage.

But since it is not a sin for a man to have more than one wife anywhere in the Torah, why would a man who divorces his first wife and marries another be even committing adultery? He would just be committing polygamy, basically.

The reason why adultery exists is because Yahweh is honoring the original marriage, correct? And so, if he takes a wife, then it is considered to be adultery for him to take another wife. You might even say these statements are telling us that the act of taking another wife actually would be adultery.

The reason why this is adultery against her (verse 11) is because Yahweh is honoring the first marriage, right? Right. So why is it called adultery and not just polygamy, he just took a second wife? And so, it does seem Yahushua’s statements have a bearing on the polygamy question. Why is it not just polygamy against her rather than adultery?

Because the only reason it could be adultery is if he had… what? Taken a second wife? If it is his wife, why would it be adultery? Now if it were not a covenant marriage with the second woman, yes, it would be adultery. But if it is a covenant marriage with the second woman, why is it adultery?

That is an important question that those who support the polygamy idea need to answer for themselves. It is a very serious thing to be in a marriage that Yahweh calls adultery.

So let’s take a look back here again at Leviticus 18:18. It says:

Leviticus 18:18 – `Nor shall you take a woman as a rival to her sister, to uncover her nakedness while the other is alive.

The scripture is speaking of the sin of taking two sisters in marriage. The scripture is not condemning a man from taking two spiritual sisters in marriage. It is forbidding a man from taking two blood related sisters in marriage. That is what it is talking about.

Now why is Yahweh forbidding marriage between two blood sisters? The reason why is because of this word right here: “rival.” Now the word “rival” means “affliction.” It is “tsarar” in the Hebrew. It means “distress by binding together.”

And so, in light of the fact that two blood sisters married to the same man are apt to have jealousies, strife between one another, the precept that Yahweh gave here to prevent the holy institution of marriage from being used as something that creates affliction, distress and dissention, rather than peace, love and unity, has been developed.

A Torah principle here of “love one another” is being evoked. Sowing discord by a man taking two women who are at rivalry with one another is inappropriate. That is the principle that is being given here in Leviticus chapter 18.

And that fits with other scripture. For instance, Proverbs chapter 6, verse 16.

Proverbs 6:16 – These six [things] YAHWEH hates, Yes, seven [are] an abomination to Him:

17 – A proud look, A lying tongue, Hands that shed innocent blood,

18 – A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that are swift in running to evil,

Proverbs 6:19 – A false witness [who] speaks lies, And one who sows discord among brethren.

For a man to marry a woman and her sister would cause discord. Strife and discord are the work of the flesh, not a fruit of the Spirit. Scripture says those who engage in strife are committing a work of the flesh that if they practice, they will not inherit the Kingdom of Yahweh.

And so, the act of creating a marriage where discord is going to be sown is something that Yahweh considered to be abominable. And that is why He says do not do something that creates rivalry.

We recall the jealousies and fighting that took place between Leah and Rachel, between Hannah and the other wives that were in that covenant marriage, and so on. But He does not want the rivalry.

Yahweh knows the potential of rivalry and the strife that creates a very unhappy home for the children and hindering them from being the seed of Elohim that Yahweh desires.

Now the Hebrew word translated “rival,” in Leviticus 18, “tsarar,” is also found here in 1 Samuel chapter 1, verse 4. It says:

1Samuel 1:4 – And whenever the time came for Elkanah to make an offering, he would give portions to Peninnah his wife and to all her sons and daughters.

5 – But to Hannah he would give a double portion, for he loved Hannah, although YAHWEH had closed her womb.

And it says:

1Samuel 1:6 – And her rival also provoked her severely, to make her miserable, because YAHWEH had closed her womb.

That same word is translated “rival” there.

1Samuel 1:7 – So it was, year by year, when she went up to the house of YAHWEH, that she provoked her; therefore she wept and did not eat.

8 – Then Elkanah her husband said to her, Hannah, why do you weep? Why do you not eat? And why is your heart grieved? [Am] I not better to you than ten sons?

Nothing her husband said or did could comfort Hannah from the oppression she felt from her rival. And they were not even blood sisters. No indication that they were blood sisters.

But the sadness in such a home can be just as great. And when Jacob and his family fled from Laban, when Laban caught back up with Jacob? He said to him:

Genesis 31:50 – If you afflict my daughters, or if you take [other] wives besides my daughters, [although] no man [is] with us — see, Elohim [is] witness between you and me!

Laban recognized polygamy can cause affliction. In this case, taking other wives besides his daughters. He considered any decision by Jacob to add another wife to his family to be an affliction to his daughters.

In fact, there are no examples in Scripture of any righteous man marrying a second wife against the will of his first wife. Not one example.

So important this was, Abraham, he had one wife, Sarah, and he was ready to give his inheritance to Eliezer of Damascus. He had no children.

He was ready to give his inheritance to Eliezer of Damascus rather than marry a second wife. Remember?

Genesis 15:2 – But Abram said, Master YAHWEH, what will You give me, seeing I go childless, and the heir of my house [is] Eliezer of Damascus?

Why was Eliezer of Damascus the heir? Why didn’t Abraham just go ahead and marry a second wife and have some children?

Genesis 15:3 – Then Abram said, Look, You have given me no offspring; indeed one born in my house is my heir!

Now remember, “Abram” means “father of many.” And so, here is Sarah. She is barren. Abraham walking around, everyone is calling him “father of many,” and he has no children. Why didn’t Abraham just pick up a second wife rather than walk around in shame with a name like that and force himself to give his inheritance to a household servant?

It was not until Sarah gave permission and gave Abraham her handmaid that Abraham did anything. And we know that even though Sarah permitted it, there was still strife. Now imagine if he took a second wife against Sarah’s will? The rivalry would have been even greater and Abraham would have been afflicting his wife.

Remember, Leviticus 18:18 forbids a man from taking a woman as a rival to her sister. And so, the spirit and the principle behind what is being spoken is to avoid afflicting your wife and creating strife in a household between two people who are called to love one another.

And so, whether a person takes a woman as a rival to her blood sister or he takes a woman against the will of his first wife, it is really no different. The outcome is the same– strife and fighting between two people who ought to be loving each other.

And so, a man who practices polygamy against the will of his first wife is afflicting her. He is laying down a stumbling block before her feet, and it will sow discord between two sisters in Yahweh who are called to love one another.

Sowing discord is something Yahweh hates. He calls it an abomination. And those who create temptation for others and cause others to stumble are actually, in Yahushua’s words, tares among the wheat.

Matthew 13:40 – Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age.

41 – The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness,

Not just those who practice lawlessness, but also those that cause offense. Remember, Satan is the great offender. He is the one always trying to trip us up, always bringing us to a place of temptation where we are being tempted to sin. Believers in Yahweh are called to build one another up, not cause stumbling in others.

This word translated “offend” is the Greek word “skandalon,” which means “to lay a snare” or “give occasion for another person to fall.” And so, those who offend and those who practice lawlessness will be cast into the lake of fire for justice to be served.

Matthew 13:42 – and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

And so, we do not want to practice lawlessness and we do not want to be the reason why someone else is being tempted to practice lawlessness. Two things.

Now this same word is also used when Yahushua rebuked Peter for tempting Him to sin.

Matthew 16:21 – From that time Yahushua began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.

22 – Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, Far be it from You, Master; this shall not happen to You!

23 – But He turned and said to Peter, Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of Elohim, but the things of men.

The same word: “skandalon.” Why such a strong reaction to Peter? Because this was a temptation that Satan was placing in Peter’s heart to tempt Yahushua to commit the sin of pride. “Oh, far be it from You. You are too great. It is not going to happen to You.”

And so, Yahushua actually called Peter “Satan” for unknowingly creating a temptation for Him. Satan was using Kepha, or Peter, to subtly tempt Yahushua into thinking He is too great to go through all those things. Satan is the one who wants to stir up trouble and create temptation for believers.

And a man taking on a second wife against the will of his first wife is not only creating temptation and strife between two sisters in Yahweh, he is also afflicting his wife, the very one he is called to be loving, as Yahushua loved the assembly.

1Peter 3:7 – Husbands, likewise, dwell with [them] with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as [being] heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.

Hindered prayer if we do not treat our wives the way Yahweh has called us to treat them, which is the way Messiah treated the assembly in giving His life and laying down His life for her. A husband is supposed to be loving, guiding his wife to righteousness. Marrying a second wife against her will is not doing that.

It is afflicting her. It is guiding her, sowing discord in her and another sister in Yahweh. And so, with that in mind, it is no surprise to me why Yahushua said divorce and remarriage for unrighteous reasons is not polygamy. It is adultery. It is an offense to the first wife.

So strong is Yahweh against this that He actually blames the husband for causing the first wife to commit adultery when she remarries. And so, it is serious. And you see that, actually not in this verse, but in Matthew 19, you see it. He causes her to commit adultery as if he is responsible for her adultery in some fashion when she remarries.

So all throughout Scripture, let me tell you, Yahweh hated it when a person caused affliction to the disadvantaged, when a person who was in authority caused affliction to the one under authority.

Yahweh says, in Exodus 22:22:

Exodus 22:22 – You shall not afflict any widow or fatherless child.

They are in a position of disadvantage, unable to fend for themselves. He says:

Exodus 22:23 – If you afflict them in any way, [and] they cry at all to Me, I will surely hear their cry;

24 – and My wrath will become hot, and I will kill you with the sword; your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless.

Serious stuff! Yahweh talks again and again about the fatherless and the widow. He hated it when they were afflicted and when their needs were ignored by Yahweh’s people. And if a man were to divorce his believing wife and marry someone else, that would be classified as such an affliction that He calls it adultery.

And so, Yahweh has a message to all the woman of Yahweh around the world who fear their husbands wanting a second wife. Listen, He cares about you. He really does.

Righteous Job, a man who had one wife, refused to even consider marrying a second wife to the point of making a covenant with his eyes so that he would not look upon a young woman (“bethulah”).

Job 31:1 – I have made a covenant with my eyes; Why then should I look upon a young woman?

This word is “bethulah,” which means “virgin.”

Job 31:2 – For what [is] the allotment of Elohim from above, And the inheritance of the Almighty from on high?

3 – [Is] it not destruction for the wicked, And disaster for the workers of iniquity?

4 – Does He not see my ways, And count all my steps?

Yahweh is a Righteous Judge, standing from on high. He will judge and will punish all the evil we see in the world today including any evil we did. And that is why we need Yahushua.

But my point here is, Job, if polygamy were permissible and he could marry anytime he wanted to, why couldn’t he look upon a young woman and even marry her? Why would Job keep his eyes from looking at virgins if he could take a second wife any old time?

His first wife must have been against that and he knew what a serious matter it was to sin against his first wife.

Now, anciently, I think, all these things were arranged ahead of time. When you got married to a woman, it was already decided whether or not it was going to be permissible for a man to have a second wife. And possibly the worth of the woman in the eyes of the man would determine that.

Now I think understanding the importance of this whole thing really clears up, not only Yahushua’s statements in light of polygamy, but, you know, if polygamy were acceptable in all cases, there would be no problem with getting a second wife.

But the fact that it is not always acceptable– there is not just a blanket you can marry whoever, whenever, whyever– everything has to be restrained under the law of love. EVERYTHNG.

So even in what we think is permissible, if it is not walking in love, we are missing the point. Because every commandment Yahweh gave in the Torah has one thing in mind: Love one another. Love Yahweh.

And so, the understanding being presented here, I think, prevents this loophole of a man thinking he can just marry another woman before he divorces the current wife and then he is not guilty of adultery.

It doesn’t matter if he marries another and didn’t divorce his first wife. The situation is still present. It is still adultery.

I do not see anyone standing before Yahweh with a loophole like that convincing Him it is okay, because the issue has to do with afflicting the one we are supposed to be loving as Yahushua loved the assembly.

So if a man divorces his wife and she marries another man, her first husband is causing an adulterous relationship. It does not mean the first wife is guiltless, but he is the one by whom the offense is coming. Yahushua said:

Luke 17:1 – Then He said to the disciples, It is impossible that no offenses should come, but woe [to him] through whom they do come!

And to me, it is just more evidence that divorce is never really meant between believers, which I have a study on that. That is another thing we can look at sometime.

Now if a man and his wife both chose to allow a second wife into the marriage, I cannot say that is always wrong. There are cases where I believe it is wrong, but I cannot say it is always wrong.

And we are going to get into that in a minute, but I want to point out here, in Titus chapter 1, and verse 5, it says:

Titus 1:5 – For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you —

6 – if a man is blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of dissipation or insubordination.

7 – For a bishop must be blameless, as a steward of Elohim, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money,

What I am pointing out here is the fact that an elder would have to be the husband of just one wife. He cannot be a polygamist if he wants to be an elder.

1Timothy 3:2 – A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach;

A bishop is the same thing as an elder. He cannot be a polygamist.

And later on in verse 12…

1Timothy 3:12 – Let deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling [their] children and their own houses well.

Deacons, that is overseers, must be the husbands of one wife.

Now the fact that Paul mentions this requirement shows that possibly some believers were indeed practicing polygamy in the first century.

Now the Greek word translated “one” in these instances here is actually translated “one” 62 out of 79 times. The other places where it is not translated “one,” the word “one” would certainly fit.

Some people like to say, “Well, he has to be the husband of his first wife.” In other words, never having divorced. But I do not think that is what it is talking about.

Look at this verse, where the same word “one” is used:

Titus 3:10 – Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition,

After admonition number one, after admonition number two, he is to be rejected.

So the Torah principle behind these verses is where basically Yahweh did not want the kings to multiply wives. He said:

Deuteronomy 17:17 – Neither shall he multiply wives for himself, lest his heart turn away; nor shall he greatly multiply silver and gold for himself.

And so, to multiply wives is problematic for kings, for those who are in authority. They turn the heart away. And so, I think that is the Torah principle that the first century believers were seeking to abide by when they came up with that prohibition.

Yahweh knew well that power and wealth of a king would increase the potential for excessive polygamy and for riches. Polygamy in particular can draw one’s heart away from Yahweh as well as turn a king’s heart away from his responsibilities as king.

I mean, it does say:

1Corinthians 7:33 – But he who is married cares about the things of the world — how he may please [his] wife.

So if you have a whole bunch of wives, then it can cause problems in that area. King Solomon is certainly an example of that. When he did turn his heart away from Yahweh, he led all of Israel with him. And so, they did not want that happening in the assembly.

And so, I can see why they would establish that principle among those who were elders and those in that form of leadership.

Now, as far polygamy being practiced, today, if someone wanted to practice polygamy in the United States, it is pretty much against the law. And we need to consider that.

1Peter 2:13 – Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Master’s sake, whether to the king as supreme,

14 – or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and [for the] praise of those who do good.

1Peter 2:15 – For this is the will of Elohim, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men —

16 – as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of Elohim.

17 – Honor all [people]. Love the brotherhood. Fear Elohim. Honor the king.

And so, any ordinance of man that does not expressly violate a commandment of Yahweh should be followed for the sake of putting to silence those who would accuse us and attempt to cast us in a bad light. We want to put them to silence.

Choosing to have only one wife does not violate any command in the Torah. It is perfectly permissible to have only one wife. And so, if an ordinance of man was written that forbids polygamy, we are instructed by Peter, a man who knew Yahushua a whole lot better than we do, to submit ourselves to those ordinances.

So in the United States it is against the law. And if you want to practice it, if you want to say, “Well, yeah, it is against the law, but no one ever enforces it,” or whatever you want to do, it is just like those who say, “Oh, well, I will just kind of run through the stop light here. Hopefully, I will get away with it, and I will be all right.”

I do not think that is what Yahweh wants us to do. We do not want to do anything that would cause other people to stumble.

You know, I can guarantee you something. Suppose a day would come that polygamy actually was legalized in America. Suppose the day would come. I will guarantee you one thing. If you walk around town with a harem of women, you will be a stumbling block that will cause people to be offended, and you won’t be able to put them to silence. You just won’t.

And so, Yahushua, we know He paid the temple tax even though He did not have to. He submitted Himself to that ordinance, even though He did not have to, just so they would not be offended. And so, I think we need to use wisdom here.

Maybe we think they should not be offended because the Bible does not expressly say polygamy is always wrong. Maybe they shouldn’t be offended if we are practicing Yahweh’s commandments. Now if we are practicing Yahweh’s commandments and they are offended by that, that is their problem, not our problem.

But Yahweh never commands us to take a second wife. Polygamy is not practicing Yahweh’s commandments. Just because Yahweh may allow it in certain cases does not mean we must practice it.

And so, we need to weigh that against the potential for harm, the potential of turning what we think is our own liberty into something that turns other people away from Yahweh and His truth.

And I can assure you, if you walk around with multiple wives, it will provoke a very strong reaction from other people, especially women, and they won’t want to have any part of what you are believing in. I will promise you that.

And for that reason, it is far more important that we be an effective witness than for us to think, “Oh, we have the liberty to do what we want. Therefore, we can do this.”

In Romans 14:21, Paul said:

Romans 14:21 – [It is] good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor [do anything] by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak.

We do not want to do anything, we do not want to be an agent, for other people to turn away from the Father. We want to be agents to turn people toward the Father, not away. And if we are walking around with a harem of women, I promise you, you will make people stumble.

Now another thing to consider is most marriages today include an agreement between a man and a women which contain words something like: “You will keep yourself only unto her for as long as you both shall live.”

Now if your marriage included those words as part of your covenant with your wife, you cannot take a second wife. You have to keep that covenant that you made. Yahweh is a covenant keeper, and we need to be also.

I know, with my wife and me, we made that covenant 24 years ago. And so, no way I could ever be a polygamist, because we made that covenant with each other. And no way would I even want to be a polygamist.

But if we look at the way Yahushua wanted things, He is pointing us back to the way things were in the beginning. It is not hard to see why some people actually believe Yahushua was prohibiting polygamy altogether, but Yahushua wants us to go back to the way things were: one man, one woman, producing children for Yahweh.

Now when you have a child, there is a fifty-fifty chance that child being a boy or a girl. Now suppose you have a nation. The population is generally (if there isn’t any major problems) 50% male, 50% female, or close to that, approximately. In the United Sates, we have 49.12% male, 50.88% female (according to the 2002 census data).

I don’t know if that was the census data, but some kind of data. But if we lived in a society, though, where there were significantly more women than there were men– suppose there were 75% women, 25% men– what could cause that? A big war.

If you have a nation with three million people in it and eight hundred thousand or one million of the men went out to war and died, you would have far more woman than you would men. In those instances, I certainly see some legitimacy for a man having more than one wife.

Because what would happen is, you have multitudes of women who could not find anyone to marry, and they would basically be sentenced to a life of celibacy.

Now this was often the case in ancient times. How many times do you read, in various wars umpteen thousand men fell that day? The men were the ones bearing the brunt of dying in the event of wars.

And so, in a society like that where there are far more women than there are men, a man marrying more than one wife would actually prevent the population, first of all, from dwindling out and would repopulate the population far more quickly.

Now the reverse would not be the case. A woman could only have one child at a time even if she had multiple husbands. So the reverse does not happen.

But I just pointed that out because, you know, if you live in a society where basically men and women are nearly the same, and you go out and have multiple wives, you are actually taking potential marriage partners away from other men who would want to have someone to marry. And so, I think we need to take that into consideration as well.

Now I realize Yahushua was not outright condemning all forms of polygamy in Matthew 19, and so on. And so, I am going to stop short of calling it a sin.

But to me, it is very evident by His statements that unless a man understands the difference between adultery and polygamy, he could actually find himself in a marriage he thinks is polygamist but Yahweh says is adulterous. And the determining factor is whether we are causing affliction, whether we causing rivalry, and these kinds of things.

And so, it is very, very important. The society we live in is getting further and further away from the things of Yahweh and it is important that we understand the full counsel of Yahweh’s Word. And it is for that reason we are going over these verses in Leviticus 18, because I think we need to be prepared.

We have to understand what the will of Yahweh is. When does He allow polygamy? When does He not allow polygamy? If He is not allowing polygamy where it causes rivalry, where it causes affliction, in one case, I cannot see Him permitting it in another case.

So let’s keep that in mind and also the importances we have discussed in this chapter regarding family modesty. I know of people who have let their children take baths together. We did it. However, I also know of situations where that caused major problems in the home.

And so, I think that Yahweh wants us to keep our private parts private whether we are among family members or out in society. And that is why He clothed Adam and Eve for a reason.

Now next week we are going to go over some other topics. We are going to discuss homosexuality, a topic that seems to be dominating the news almost every day. We are going to talk about that, and we are going to talk about some other things.

And until next week, may Yahweh empower us to keep His precepts and His principles in the Torah. And may Yahweh bless you and have mercy on us all.