Nazarene Space

Passed August 17th 2008

Although polygamy is not forbidden by the Torah, it does violate the
principle of Yesod HaBriah (the principle/foundation of creation)
because he who made man in the beginning, 'made them male and female'
(Gen. 1:27) 'Wherefore shall a man shall leave his father and his
mother, and cleave to his wife, and the two shall become one
flesh' (Gen. 2:24) And now then, they are no more two but one flesh
only.

Divorce also violates the principle of Yesod HaBriah because the
divorced man has more than one wife in his lifetime. What therefore
Elohim has joined together man cannot separate.

Moshe then commanded to give a bill of divorcement, and to put a wife away
if she was not pleasing in her husbands eyes" (Deut. 24:1, 3) on
account of the hardness of our hearts, allowed us to put away our
wives, but from the beginning it was not so.
every man that has put away, or shall put away his wife, except it be
for DAVAR Z'NOT, and takes another, commits adultery. And whoever
takes the divorced also
commits adultery.

DAVAR Z'NOT is to be understood as "going astray" and may refer to the
wife who will not be subject to her husband's headship, as we read
"For, behold, they that go far from You shall perish; You do destroy
all them THAT GO ASTRAY from you. (Ps. 73:27)" and "For just as you do
not let the water go and abound, thus do not let the wicked wife go
and sin. And if she will not follow your direction, cut her off from
your flesh, and divorce her from your house." (Sira 25:25-26). And as
Paul writes:" Wives be subject to your husbands as to our Adon,
Because the husband is the head of the wife, Even as the Messiah is
head of the Assembly; and he is the life-giver of the body. But even
as the Assembly is subject to the Messiah, So also wives [should be
subject] to their husbands in everything." (Eph. 5:22-27 see also Gen.
3:16; Eph. 5:22-27; 1Cor. 11:3; 14:34-35; Col. 3:18; Titus 2:2-5;
1Kefa 3:1-7).

Divorce is always a last resort. Even when there is a matter of
Z'NOT, though a man has the right to divorce, the preferred way is to
forgive and work out the problems. Divorce should be reserved for
situations from which repentance is not forthcoming or where the Z'NOT
is not likely to stop.

Views: 99

Comment by Judah Himango on August 21, 2008 at 10:31am
Thank you for this ruling on polygamy. A lot of folks going by the Nazarene name have held to polygamy and a lot of people have been hurt by it.
Comment by James Trimm on August 21, 2008 at 10:58am
Yes Z'NOT can include idolatry.
Comment by James Trimm on August 21, 2008 at 11:28am
It is no secret that my life’s work has been dedicated to the authentic restoration of the ancient sect of the Nazarenes. I founded the Society for the Advancement of Nazarene Judaism way back in 1996. So you can imagine my concern when the name “Nazarene” was recently inaccurately hijacked and used to describe a Messianic Polygamist Cult. Let me make this clear, the overwhelming evidence is that the ancient sect of the Nazarenes DISCOURAGED polygamy, finding it at odds with the Yesod HaBriah (Principle of Creation).

Now I have thoroughly documented the Essene roots of Nazarene Judaism in my book Nazarene Theology http://www.lulu.com/nazarene .

Now to begin with, the Essenes were so opposed to Polygamy, that they were even opposed to divorce. You see, they saw divorce as a form of polygamy, because thorugh divorce, a man would have more than one wife in his lifetime. The Essenes criticized the Pharisees, because the prevailing House of Hillel allowed divorce at the drop of a hat. According to the House of Hillel, a man could divorce his wife just for spoiling his dinner (and Rabbi Akiba even allowed a man to divorce his wife for a prettier woman). (M.Gittin 9:10) The Essenes said the Pharisees had fallen into a trap of Belial saying:

They are caught in…Fornication, by taking two wives
in their lifetime although the Principle of Creation (Yesod HaBriah)
is "male and female He Created them" (Gen. 1:27) and those who
entered the ark "went into the ark two by two" (Gen. 7:9). Concerning
the Leaders it is written "he shall not multiply wives to himself" (Dt. 17:17)
(Damascus Document 4,20-5,2)

There is really no doubt that this Essene halacha is the basis for Yeshua’s own divorce halacha given in Mat. 19:3-9:

19:3 And the P'rushim approached him, and tempted him,
saying, "Is it right for a man to put away his wife for every cause?"
19:4 And he answered and said to them:
"Have you not read that he who made man the beginning,
'made them male and female' (Gen. 1:27)
19:5 And said,
'Wherefore shall a man leave his father
and his mother, and cleave to his wife, and the two shall become one
flesh' (Gen. 2:24)
19:6 And now then, they are no more two but one flesh
only. What therefore Elohim has joined together man cannot separate."
19:7 But they said,
"And why then did Moshe then command
to give a bill of divorcement, and to put her away
if she was not pleasing in his sight?" (Deut. 24:1, 3)
19:8 And he answered them and said,
"Because Moshe on account of the hardness of your hearts,
allowed you to put away your wives,
but from the beginning it was not so.
19:9 And I tell you,
every man that has put away, or shall put away his wife,
except it be for fornication, and takes another,
commits adultery. And whoever takes the divorced also
commits adultery.
(Mt. 19:3-9)

But when we look at the Essene roots of this halacha it become especially clear that Yeshua, like the Essenes, objected to frivolous divorce, BECAUSE he saw frivolous divorce as a form of POLYGAMY.

Ironically Moshe K. argues that POLYGAMY as a solution to prevent DIVORCE! But remember, Yeshua only objected to FRIVOLOUS divorce, and then ONLY because frivolous divorce is a form of polygamy.

To advocate polygamy as a solution to divorce, is like a doctor killing healthy patients and then bragging that he has prevented them from getting sick!

Further evidence that the ancient Nazarene sect DICOURAGED polygamy can be found in 1Tim. 3:1-2, 12 and Titus 1:6 which require that certain leaders in the Assembly be “the husband of one wife”.

Moshe K. points out that the Aramaic word for “one” here is CHAD and that in Aramaic CHAD is sometimes used as an indefinite article. Thus he understands “the husband of one wife” to simply mean “the husband of a wife” or in other words, a married man.

In fact I am well aware of this Hebrew/Aramaic idiom, and discussed it in my book The Hebrew and Aramaic Origin of the New Testament (htto://www.lulu.com/nazarene) which I first published in 2005. On page 64 I discuss the use of this idiom in the Hebrew and Aramaic of Matt. 18:2, in which I define this idiomatic meaning of ECHAD (Hebrew) and KHAD (Aramaic) as meaning “a certain”. In fact wherever CHAD is used as an indefinite article in Aramaic it is always with specification rather than generalization. “a certain man” not “just any man”. Thus even if we understand 1Tim. 3:1-2, 12 and Titus 1:6 as examples of this idiom, they would me “the husband of a certain wife” (which simply makes no sense).

In fact we need look no further that the Essene halacha on Polygamy to find the basis for these verses:

They are caught in…Fornication, by taking two wives
in their lifetime although the Principle of Creation (Yesod HaBriah)
is "male and female He Created them" (Gen. 1:27) and those who
entered the ark "went into the ark two by two" (Gen. 7:9). Concerning
the Leaders it is written "he shall not multiply wives to himself" (Dt. 17:17)
(Damascus Document 4,20-5,2)

The Essenes applied the standard of Deut. 17:17 to their “leaders” and not just to the King of Israel. It is no surprise then to find the Nazarenes requiring certain of their leaders to “be the husband of one wife” as well.

It is absolutely clear to anyone without blinders on, to anyone without an agenda, that the ancient Sect of the Nazarenes followed suite with their Essene forefathers in DISCOURAGING polygamy.

Our Nazarene forefathers were NOT a polygamous sect, and as a Nazarene following in the heritage of our forefathers, as a man who has dedicated his life to the authentic restoration of the ancient sect of the Nazarenes, I resent anyone hijacking the name “Nazarene” to promote a practice that the true and original Nazarenes DISCOURAGED in order , not to advance the restoration of the Nazarene sect, but simply to advance their very personal agenda.
Comment by James Trimm on June 2, 2009 at 4:58am
The tern DAVAR Z"NOT comes from Matthew
Comment by James Trimm on June 2, 2009 at 5:49am

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