Abraham had a principal wife, sarah (Genesis 11:29), and also two an additional wives, Hagar and also Keturah (Genesis 16:3; 25:1).Abraham’s an initial wife was Sarah. She alone would certainly possess legal rights and social standing together Abraham’s wife, and also only her son Isaac would end up being the rightful heir come the family members inheritance.Sarah, that was can not to be afflicted with children, provided her Egyptian servant, Hagar, come Abraham as a concubine, although the Bible also calls Hagar Abraham’s wife (Genesis 16:1–4). A concubine to be a woman, frequently a maid or slave, that lived through a man as if she were his wife, having actually sexual connections with him and also bearing his children. Once one’s wife was can not to produce an heir, acquisition a concubine was a common solution in old times. But a concubine held “secondary mam status,” reduced than that of the major wife. The concubine’s position, while low grade to she master and also mistress, was permanent. Concubines were provided for and protected as component of the family.Hagar provided Abraham a son, whose name was Ishmael, but he was no to be the kid of God’s covenant (Genesis 17:1–14). It was through Abraham and also Sarah’s child Isaac the God had promised to develop His everlasting covenant (Genesis 17:15–19).Keturah was Abraham’s 2nd wife after ~ the death of Sarah: “Abraham had taken another wife, whose surname was Keturah. She boring him Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak and Shuah” (Genesis 25:1–2). Choose Hagar, Keturah was dubbed both “wife” and also “concubine” in scripture (1 Chronicles 1:32). As a “wife,” Keturah to be married come Abraham in the legal sense, living in a sex-related union through him. Yet, as a “concubine” she organized a rank inferior to Sarah’s. Keturah might have an initial become Abraham’s concubine when Sarah to be still alive however was later elevated to the position of mam after buy it passed away.Before Abraham died, he provided all his material possessions and the blessings of the covenant to Isaac, the child God had promised come him and also Sarah. To the boy of Hagar and Keturah, Abraham offered only gifts from his house and also then sent out them away to live in the nation east of Israel (Genesis 25:5–11).Does the truth that Abraham had three wives prove the God condones polygamy?No. God’s best pattern because that the marital relationship relationship has always been a monogamous union in between one man and one woman (Genesis 1:27; 2:24). From the moment of Lamech (Genesis 4:19), people engaged in polygamy, yet it was never God’s design. Also though the exercise is not expressly forbidden in Scripture, its consequences were regularly harmful and also problematic (Deuteronomy 17:17; 1 queens 11:1–3; Judges 8:30—9:57; 1 Samuel 1:1–7).The bible does not explicitly clarify why God tolerated polygamy among His people. One reason may have been to carry out a secure home for unmarried ladies who had actually no other safe means to provide for themselves in the male-dominated, patriarchal culture of the ancient world. At that time in history, ladies were no educated or trained for employment and thus depended upon male members that their families to protect and also support them.

You are watching: How many wives did abraham have?

See more: Lucas Finds Out Dan Killed Keith ? The Runaway Found

With prostitution, slavery, or starvation as the only other choices, plenty of unmarried ladies turned come concubinage.Polygamy additionally served to build the expansion of mankind at a much much faster rate, fulfilling god’s command to “be fruitful and increase in number; multiply on the earth and also increase upon it” (Genesis 9:7). Possibly God tolerated polygamy in ancient times to fix some of this problems, yet the brand-new Testament plainly specifies God’s best intent for marriage to be the union the one man and also one woman for life (Ephesians 5:22–33; 1 Timothy 3:2, 12; Titus 1:6).
Recommended ResourcesGenesis: Baker comment on the Old testimony Pentateuch by john GoldingayMore insights indigenous your scriptures study - acquire Started v Logos holy bible Software for Free!
Related TopicsWhy does God test us?What is the definition of mount Moriah in the Bible?Why did God punishment Pharaoh because that Abram’s lied (Genesis 12:17)?Who space the biblical patriarchs?Why go God command Abraham to sacrifice Isaac?