Tuesday, April 2, 2013

5 Other Biblical Definitions of Marriage

There are so many anti-gay pro-religious memes that have been crowding social media sites and jostling about the interwebs, similar to the meme below.

The phrase "Biblical Definition of Marriage" keeps coming up. It's a tricky fucker. It leads one to believe that the Bible actually lays out the proper form and function of marriage, designed by an omnipotent heavenly being. What it really does, however, is simply describe a variety of marriages found in the Middle East during the time period of the Old Testament and the New Testament. Here's five alternative types of marriage from the Bible that you won't find on a Pro-Bible Pro-Marriage church sign:

1. Levirate Marriage

"If brothers dwell together, and one of them dies and has no son, the wife of the dead man shall not be married outside the family to a stranger. Her husband’s brother shall go in to her and take her as his wife and perform the duty of a husband’s brother to her." Deuteronomy 25:5 ESV

Keepin' it in the family...nice! For the men out there with brothers that married really hot women who haven't had a son, you might want to stick with the "Biblical Definition of Marriage" on this one.

2. War Booty Marriage (personal favorite)

"10 When you go to war against your enemies and the Lord your God delivers them into your hands and you take captives, 11 if you notice among the captives a beautiful woman and are attracted to her, you may take her as your wife. 12 Bring her into your home and have her shave her head, trim her nails 13 and put aside the clothes she was wearing when captured. After she has lived in your house and mourned her father and mother for a full month, then you may go to her and be her husband and she shall be your wife." Deuteronomy 21: 10-13 NIV

Okay, so once you've decimated your enemies, look through the available women, preferably still breathing, and just pick one that suits your fancy. Hold your horses, you can't go straight for the consummation! Today, one might communicate this sentiment by saying, "Take her out to dinner first!" During Bible times, one would say, "Shave her head, trim her nails, remove her clothes, and give her a month to mourn the death of her parents first, man!" After that, you're good to go.

3. Rape n' Take Marriage

"28 If a man meets a virgin who is not betrothed, and seizes her and lies with her, and they are found, 29 then the man who lay with her shall give to the father of the young woman fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife, because he has violated her. He may not divorce her all his days." Deuteronomy 22:28-29 ESV

This one's not as simple as it sounds. First of all, you can't just rape any unmarried girl and make her your own. You have to make sure she is both unmarried and a virgin. This will take some time and strategy to get the right information needed before making the move. Oh, you'll also need 50 shekels of silver. I don't know where the Hell to find that. This form of Biblical marriage might be a little too complicated. Most importantly, it's not very feasible if you're on a budget.

4. Party Platter Marriage

"King Solomon, however, loved many foreign women besides Pharaoh’s daughter—Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians and Hittites. 2 They were from nations about which the Lord had told the Israelites, 'You must not intermarry with them, because they will surely turn your hearts after their gods.' Nevertheless, Solomon held fast to them in love. 3 He had seven hundred wives of royal birth and three hundred concubines, and his wives led him astray." 1 Kings 11:1-3 NIV

At first glance, this type of Biblical marriage seems particularly enticing. With the ability to enjoy a 1,000 person sexual orgy, one could spend one's days in endless pleasure. However, you have to factor in the needed resources to house, clothe, and feed 1,000 women. It can get expensive and confusing. So, let's recap: Upside--orgasmic pleasure from sun up to sun down. Downside--having to type in 1,000 new contacts into your cell phone. You know how long that would take?

5. Domestic War Booty Marriage

Feel free to pass over the lengthy set of verses below and jump to the description. Basically, David screws Uriah's wife and impregnates her. David then has Uriah killed and marries his wife, Bathsheba.

"One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful, and David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, 'She is Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite.' Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her. (Now she was purifying herself from her monthly uncleanness.) Then she went back home. The woman conceived and sent word to David, saying, 'I am pregnant.' So David sent this word to Joab: 'Send me Uriah the Hittite.' And Joab sent him to David. When Uriah came to him, David asked him how Joab was, how the soldiers were and how the war was going. Then David said to Uriah, 'Go down to your house and wash your feet.' So Uriah left the palace, and a gift from the king was sent after him. But Uriah slept at the entrance to the palace with all his master’s servants and did not go down to his house. 10 David was told, 'Uriah did not go home.' So he asked Uriah, 'Haven’t you just come from a military campaign? Why didn’t you go home?' 11 Uriah said to David, 'The ark and Israel and Judah are staying in tents,[a] and my commander Joab and my lord’s men are camped in the open country. How could I go to my house to eat and drink and make love to my wife? As surely as you live, I will not do such a thing!' 12 Then David said to him, 'Stay here one more day, and tomorrow I will send you back.' So Uriah remained in Jerusalem that day and the next. 13 At David’s invitation, he ate and drank with him, and David made him drunk. But in the evening Uriah went out to sleep on his mat among his master’s servants; he did not go home. 14 In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it with Uriah. 15 In it he wrote, 'Put Uriah out in front where the fighting is fiercest. Then withdraw from him so he will be struck down and die.' 16 So while Joab had the city under siege, he put Uriah at a place where he knew the strongest defenders were. 17 When the men of the city came out and fought against Joab, some of the men in David’s army fell; moreover, Uriah the Hittite died. 18 Joab sent David a full account of the battle. 19 He instructed the messenger: 'When you have finished giving the king this account of the battle, 20 the king’s anger may flare up, and he may ask you, ‘Why did you get so close to the city to fight? Didn’t you know they would shoot arrows from the wall? 21 Who killed Abimelek son of Jerub-Besheth[b]? Didn’t a woman drop an upper millstone on him from the wall, so that he died in Thebez? Why did you get so close to the wall?’ If he asks you this, then say to him, ‘Moreover, your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead.'22 The messenger set out, and when he arrived he told David everything Joab had sent him to say. 23 The messenger said to David, 'The men overpowered us and came out against us in the open, but we drove them back to the entrance of the city gate. 24 Then the archers shot arrows at your servants from the wall, and some of the king’s men died. Moreover, your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead.' 25 David told the messenger, 'Say this to Joab: ‘Don’t let this upset you; the sword devours one as well as another. Press the attack against the city and destroy it.’ Say this to encourage Joab.' 26 When Uriah’s wife heard that her husband was dead, she mourned for him. 27 After the time of mourning was over, David had her brought to his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son. But the thing David had done displeased the Lord. 2 Samuel 11:2-26 NIV

The Domestic War Booty Marriage is straight forward. Just have sex with your neighbor's wife, kill her husband, and marry her. To pull off this "Biblical Definition of Marriage," one must not have the capacity for empathy. Essentially, you need to be a psychopath. Find the parts of your brain that process empathy, incapacitate them, and voila! You're one step closer to a "Biblical Definition of Marriage!"

Maybe the "Biblical Definition of Marriage" meme is right. The Bible doesn't describe a marriage scenario between two people of the same sex. The marriages that are described in the Bible, however, are even more imaginative and insane than any straight or gay marriage conceivable. But no one's advocating for the 5 Biblical marriages listed above. The anti-gay pro-religious people are failing miserably with they're attempt at historic preservation of Biblical marriage. They're just protecting one type of Biblical marriage. They seem so serious about this issue to make such an egregious error.


  1. Here's another one: Polygamy

    It was allowed under Old Testament law. Although the Bible requires Christian clergy to have 1 wife (yes, Catholic priests are committing a sin by being clergy while unmarried), the Bible does not ban non-clergy from having multiple wives.

    Legalize Biblical Marriage - Repeal Bigamy Laws

    I don't think that will be on any church signs any time soon, but it should be. Christians are being persecuted by the laws saying they can't have more than 1 wife.

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