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Question 195

Good Morning pater, my question is how was it acceptable that Solomon had a Harem and also Lot who was spared and went on to commit incest? Thank you

 

Answer to Question 195

 

According to the Bible the whole human race came about through incest because Cain must have taken his sister as his wife. This may be termed as incest, but that was how God ordained it [that all men should be the offspring off one couple - Adam and Eve]. It was not a sin (unlawful) because God willed that the entire Human race should come from one man and one woman. In should be noted that as yet there was no law forbidding such a thing. The law came after when the earth had been multiplied and even then it allowed marriage between first cousins. To this day it is lawful for Jews and Muslims to marry their first cousins because their religious laws allow them. Abraham was married to his half sister but both he and Lot lived in a time when the law did not exist, so there was nothing to accuse them that it was wrong. But even if it did, Lot was not responsible or guilty of incest. His daughters got him drunk and took advantage of him.  Marriage in the Old Testament placed great emphasis on the multiplication and continuation of the Hebrew race. But this continuation was not restricted to childbirth in marriage or to one wife. There was the custom of the man coming together with his wife’s concubine and the practice of a man marrying his brother’s widow even though he already had a wife. Polygamy was socially accepted. We read that Solomon, for example, “had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines,” King David took more concubines and wives from Jerusalem after he came from Hebron; and more sons and daughters were born to him. And many other great personages of the Old Testament had multiple wives and concubines. However, the primary reason for all of this mating was not the gratification of lust, but the desire for descendants. Sexual promiscuity was in no wise condoned by God in Old Testament times any more than He condones it in our own times, But He also condescends to human weaknesses. He allowed such institutions as polygamy because He knew that man was still unable to understand his own original destiny and to live in accordance with it. Marriage in the Old Testament was considered as a temporal contract, which could be dissolved at any time. Nevertheless, the ideal of a true marital relationship was not completely lost, and the Old Testament prophets were concerned about the purity of marriage.. Gradually we see that God condemned polygamous marriages, concubines, and the practice of marrying one's brother's widow. He began to shift the focus of marriage from procreation to a higher, spiritual level.

 

Same member

Thank you for answering my questions. Did that all change with Moses or Jesus our Lord

 

Answer

 The law was given by Moses which did away with incest relationships, but still allowed polygamy.  With the coming of Christ, marriage no longer had as its primary goal the reproduction of human beings and the continuation of the family line, although procreation was still regarded as an important part of marriage. But Christ had come to the world and brought with Him the proof and guarantee of the resurrection of the dead, therefore giving to Christian marriage a new primary goal - the attainment of eternal life by husband, wife, and all children. The Lord Jesus Christ, Who came to earth to restore the Divine moral foundation to human society, concerned himself also with restoring the marital union. By His presence at the marriage at Cana in Galilee the Lord blessed and sanctified the marriage and performed his first miracle there. The change of water into wine points to a transfiguration of the old into the new, a passage from death to life. Later, the Lord made clear to the Jews the true significance of marriage. Referring to the Scriptures regarding the union between man and woman, the Lord reinforced the principle of indissoluble marriage in definite terms: “Wherefore they (man and woman) are no more two, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” When the Sadducees questioned Christ saying: “Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? He said unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.” (Matthew 19:3-9). In other words, a person entering marriage is required to remain in it. The breaking of marital fidelity is disobeying God's will and, therefore, a grievous sin. The New Testament and especially the Epistles of St. Paul give the true teaching on what marriage should be and the recipe for a strong and happy marriage.