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1M1WNot: Esau and his foreign wives

One Man, One Woman wasn’t always the only form of marriage in the Bible. The Bible has many instances of non-sanctioned polygamy.

For example, Take Esau in Genesis 26:34:

When Esau was forty years old, he married Judith, daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Basemath, daughter of Elon the Hivite. But they became a source of embitterment to Isaac and Rebekah.

Was Esau’s mother Rebekah embittered because Esau was a polygamist? Nope. It was that Esau’s wives were foreigners. See Genesis chapter 27:

Rebekah said to Isaac: “I am disgusted with life because of the Hittite women. If Jacob also should marry a Hittite woman, a native of the land, like these women, what good would life be to me?”

What’s was Esau’s ultimate answer to this disapproval? To take a third wife from his clan in Genesis 28:

Esau realized how displeasing the Canaanite women were to his father Isaac, so he went to Ishmael, and in addition to the wives he had, married Mahalath, the daughter of Abraham’s son Ishmael and sister of Nebaioth.

Next week we’ll meet Esau’s brother Jacob, the founder of Israel and his two wives Leah and Rachel.

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