There was a time in the history of the United States (i.e the very-early 1900s and before) when civil-government marriage licenses did not exist. Both marriages and weddings did, of course, exist.
It was a time when American children in general were taught from the Sacred-66-books Holy Bible in public schools, and thus were far more aware of the Scriptural directives for pre-marital chastity, the need to get married, the requirement to not dress immodestly in public view and to not commit self-sodomizing masturbation, fornication, nor adultery. It was a time when those who were married had large families, nevertheless.
It was a far more sexually-satisfying and progenitively-productive period in our nation's history, to say the least.
In relatively recent years, city and county and state and federal government has - by demand and manipulation of the ones governed - replaced Biblical codes of sexual and marital law with non-Biblical replacements, which has been and continues to be problematic overall.
For example, whatever sexually-related or family-related involvement one has with the government and the Federal Reserve monetary system of the government involving social-security numbers is defined and regulated by excessive, legalistically-nitpicky, and changeable legislative and judicial rulings of an increasingly secular third party we call secular government which - though such has been and yet it influenced by and reflects many of the commandments of the Bible in many things - is ultimately bound only by their own self-established and self-enforced peculiarities. Such artificial laws are sometimes in direct conflict against the doctrinal practices of Christians, such as when governmental Equal Rights and Equal Opportunity laws are in direct opposition to the Lord's directives of Biblical patriarchal authority within and outside the family.
For example, even though IRS Form 1040 defines 'marriage' as: "a union of a man and a woman," the precise wording does not in fact convey what type of a union that is; namely, the additional qualifying words of "sexual" and "permanent" are not there. The way it now reads, the "union" is merely a financial, business, or corporate union. And even though the word 'children' occurs in 1040 instructions, such are not necessarily one's own children but instead are merely "dependents" "residing within the household." The New-Testament book of Hebrews is more definitive as to what internal household or apartment locations are for sexual marital union:
Heb 13:4 Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be nondefiled; for God will judge fornicators and adulterous.
Thus, modern communities are beset with little if any adherence to anti-immodesty, anti-fornication, anti-sodomy, and anti-adultery mandates while being burdened with anti-marriage pro-cohabitation and even homogay-"marriage" phenomena.
The subject of cohabitation is, by necessity, related to harem-type multiple-wife polygamy, because it involves the question of whether or not a contemporary man certifies his woman or women "legally" with marriage license or certificates from the State. Even though most secular governments currently do not enforce anti-fornication, anti-sodomy, and anti-adultery secular laws, they do have laws relating to sexual harassment and assault and rape, divorce, child protection and custody, kidnapping, and abuse.
Whether or not the State would aggressively prosecute multiple-marriage-licensed polygamous couples (both man and women) for "bigamy" is not known. It seems that declaring more than one legally-licensed spouse to the State would be confusing to the legal-licensing State, which does not allow the possibilities of that in their restrictively-and-rigidly-worded government forms. The only recourse common-law non-licensed married couples have in communication to the government on government forms is for each to declare themselves "single" to the government?
Government officials do recognize the existence and legitimacy of non-State-licensed and non-State-certified mutually-consentual common-law marriages.....and have little if no jurisdiction over them. However, without jurisdiction over them results in both no possibly-stabilizing regulation and control of them, and no State protection for all individuals in the common-law marriages - in certain matters.
Moreover, weddings have gotten more and more expensive, and the prospects of most present Christian church people allowing for and participating in multiple weddings of the same man simultaneously married to more than one wife or concubine at a time....are bleak, to say the least. It would be intriguing to delve into the particulars of what ceremonies - if any - many of the patriarchs of the Old Testament participated in for acquisition of their multiple wives and concubines! For example, the word "wedding" is never once found within the King James Version Old Testament, although the Revised Standard Version questionably mis-states? the following:
So 3:11 Go forth, O daughters of Zion, and behold King Solomon, with the crown with which his mother crowned him on the day of his wedding, on the day of the gladness of his heart.
Again, the KJV instead correctly? reads:
Song 3:11 Go forth, O ye daughters of Zion, and behold king Solomon with the crown wherewith his mother crowned him in the day of his espousals, and in the day of the gladness of his heart.
Here are ALL the instances of the word "wedding" within the entire New Testament of the RSV:
at9:15 And Jesus said to them, "Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come, when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.
Matt 22:8 Then he said to his servants, 'The wedding is ready, but those invited were not worthy.
Matt 22:10 And those servants went out into the streets and gathered all whom they found, both bad and good; so the wedding hall was filled with guests.
Matt 22:11 "But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment;
Matt 22:12 and he said to him, 'Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?' And he was speechless.
Mark 2:19 And Jesus said to them, "Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast.
Luke 5:34 And Jesus said to them, "Can you make wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them?
Some similarity and some discrepancy exist as to the RSV rendition of:
John 3:29 He who has the bride is the bridegroom; the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom's voice; therefore this joy of mine is now full.
2Cor 11:2 I feel a divine jealousy for you, for I betrothed you to Christ to present you as a pure bride to her one husband.
compared to the the KJV rendition of the same references:
John 3:29 He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.
2Cor 11:2 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
Interestingly, the KJV wording of "spouse" in their translation of Song of Solomon 4:8, 4:9, 4:10, 4:11, 4:12 and 5:1....reads instead: "bride" in the RSV wording.
Even in cases of multiple-woman polygamy in Scripture, each polygamous patriarch had a primary wife among the less-important others. Abraham had Sarah, Jacob had Rachel, David had Bathsheba, and so forth. The Torah itself displays preference for the primary woman, by stating:
De 21:15 "If a man has two wives, the one loved and the other disliked, and they have borne him children, both the loved and the disliked, and if the first-born son is hers that is disliked....(and so on)
Incidently, TWO wives was somewhat conventional in cases of Biblical polygamy, as indicated below:
Gen 4:19 And Lamech took two wives; the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah.
1Sam 1:2 [Elkanah] had two wives; the name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah. And Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.
2Sam 2:2 So David went up there, and his two wives also, Ahinoam of Jezreel, and Abigail the widow of Nabal of Carmel.
1Chr 4:5 Ashhur, the father of Tekoa, had two wives, Helah and Naarah;
2Chr 24:3 Jehoiada got for him two wives, and he had sons and daughters.
Civilized society recognizes the temptation and the danger of non-licensed cohabitation in which marital union is not declared to the State. Even the Bible records instance of misunderstanding in the following:
Genesis 12:11 When he was about to enter Egypt, he said to Sarai his wife, "I know that you are a woman beautiful to behold;
12 and when the Egyptians see you, they will say, 'This is his wife'; then they will kill me, but they will let you live.
13 Say you are my sister, that it may go well with me because of you, and that my life may be spared on your account."
14 When Abram entered Egypt the Egyptians saw that the woman was very beautiful.
15 And when the princes of Pharaoh saw her, they praised her to Pharaoh. And the woman was taken into Pharaoh's house.
16 And for her sake he dealt well with Abram; and he had sheep, oxen, he-asses, menservants, maidservants, she-asses, and camels.
17 But the LORD afflicted Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram's wife.
18 So Pharaoh called Abram, and said, "What is this you have done to me? Why did you not tell me that she was your wife?
19 Why did you say, 'She is my sister,' so that I took her for my wife? Now then, here is your wife, take her, and be gone."
Repeat episodes occurred as shown below:
Gen 20:2 And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, "She is my sister." And Abimelech king of Gerar sent and took Sarah.
Gen 20:3 But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, "Hey, you are a dead man, because of the woman whom you have taken; for she is a man's wife."
Gen 20:4 Now Abimelech had not approached her; so he said, "Lord, will thou slay an innocent people?
Gen 20:8 So Abimelech rose early in the morning, and called all his servants, and told them all these things; and the men were very much afraid.
Gen 20:9 Then Abimelech called Abraham, and said to him, "What have you done to us? And how have I sinned against you, that you have brought on me and my kingdom a great sin? You have done to me things that ought not to be done."
Gen 20:10 And Abimelech said to Abraham, "What were you thinking of, that you did this thing?"
Gen 20:14 Then Abimelech took sheep and oxen, and male and female slaves, and gave them to Abraham, and restored Sarah his wife to him.
Gen 20:17 Then Abraham prayed to God; and God healed Abimelech, and also healed his wife and female slaves so that they bore children.
Gen 20:18 For the LORD had closed all the wombs of the house of Abimelech because of Sarah, Abraham's wife.
Gen 26:8 When he had been there a long time, Abimelech king of the Philistines looked out of a window and saw Isaac fondling Rebekah his wife.
Gen 26:9 So Abimelech called Isaac, and said, "Hey, she is your wife; how then could you say, 'She is my sister'?" Isaac said to him, "Because I thought, 'Lest I die because of her.'"
Gen 26:10 Abimelech said, "What is this you have done to us? One of the people might easily have lain with your wife, and you would have brought guilt upon us." Hey, she is your wife; how then could you say, 'She is my sister'?" Isaac said to him, "Because I thought, 'Lest I die because of her.'"
Gen 26:10 Abimelech said, "What is this you have done to us? One of the people might easily have lain with your wife, and you would have brought guilt upon us."
Gen 26:11 So Abimelech warned all the people, saying, "Whoever touches this man or his wife shall be put to death."
I guess the moral of the story is that a common-law wife or concubine without a government-issued Marriage License should at least wear a gold wedding band on the 4th finger of her left hand whenever she is out in mixed-gender general public view!
Gen 4:19 And Lamech took unto him two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah.
Gen 16:2 and Sarai said to Abram, "Hey now, the LORD has prevented me from bearing children; go in to my maid; it may be that I shall obtain children by her." And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai.
Gen 16:3 So, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, Sarai, Abram's wife, took Hagar the Egyptian, her maid, and gave her to Abram her husband as a wife.
Gen 16:5 And Sarai said to Abram, "May the wrong done to me be on you! I gave my maid to your embrace, and when she saw that she had conceived, she looked on me with contempt. May the LORD judge between you and me!"
Gen 30:3 Then [Rachel] said, "Here is my maid Bilhah; go in to her, that she may bear upon my knees, and even I may have children through her."
Gen 30:4 So she gave him her maid Bilhah as a wife; and Jacob went in to her.
Gen 30:9 When Leah saw that she had ceased bearing children, she took her maid Zilpah and gave her to Jacob as a wife.
Gen 30:10 Then Leah's maid Zilpah bore Jacob a son.
Deut 21:15 If a man have two wives, one beloved and another hated, and they have borne him children, both the beloved and the hated, and if the firstborn son be hers that was hated.....
Jud 8:30 Now Gideon had seventy sons, his own offspring, for he had many wives.
1Sam 1:2 And [Elkanah] had two wives: the name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah. And Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.
2Sam 2:2 So David went up there, and his two wives also, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail, Nabal's wife the Carmelite.
2Sam 5:13 And David took more concubines and wives from Jerusalem, after he came from Hebron; and more sons and daughters were born to David. [Notice that David's primary wife was the widow of Uriah the Hittite, involved with the geneology of Jesus Christ!]
1Kings 11:3 [Solomon] had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines; and his wives turned away his heart. [Notice that there was only one primary wife of Solomon, involved with the geneology of Jesus Christ!]
1Chron 4:5 And Ashhur the father of Tekoa had two wives, Helah and Naarah.
1Chron 8:8 And Shaharaim had sons in the country of Moab after he had sent away Hushim and Baara his wives.
2Chron 11:21 Rehoboam loved Maacah the daughter of Absalom above all his wives and concubines (he took eighteen wives and sixty concubines, and had twenty-eight sons and sixty daughters)
2Chron 13:21 But Abijah grew mighty. And he took fourteen wives, and had twenty-two sons and sixteen daughters.
2Chron 24:3 And Jehoiada took for him two wives, and he begot sons and daughters.
Eccl 2:8 I also gathered for myself silver and gold and the treasure of kings and provinces; I got singers, both men and women, and many concubines - man's delight.
1Tim 3:2 Now a bishop must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, sensible, dignified, hospitable, an apt teacher,
1Tim 3:12 Let deacons be the husband of one wife, and let them manage their children and their households well;
Titus 1:6 [Appoint elders who are] blameless, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of being profligate or insubordinate.
[Notice that the above three verses restrict ONLY a bishop, deacon, and an elder to monogamy!]
At the time of this writing, there was recently a much-publicized newsflap about a religious camp of Mormon Fundamentalist Latter-Day Saints in Texas associated with the word "Zion" (before McCain has announced his possible choice of Mormon Mitt Romney as his VP running mate for the November 2008 General National Election!).
The controversy-loving network media relentlessly identified the LDS [victims] of non-warranted law-enforcement invasion and intrusion as a "polygamous sect" (as if polygamy was illegal criminal activity) in which polygamous-parents offspring were involved. Typically characteristic of media-and-other satanic accusers were alleged instances here and there of forced sexual relations, abuse, incest, and rape.....all mixed in indiscriminately with polygamy as if it were instead bigamy on the part of some.
Pertaining to present-day legality and civil law, there is yet a differentiation between State-registered or non-State-certified, with or without paid or non-paid PROSTITUTION and [soliciting for prostitution] (described as fornicative or adulterous sexual connections with: exchange-massage masseuses, call-girl escorts, streetwalking hookers, etc.).....in stark contrast to Marriage-License-registered or instead non-Marriage-License-certified MARRIAGE!
Government agents and officers nowadays do not typically cite and arrest sexually-active-with-each-other heterosexual couples for "shacking up," "living together," or "cohabitating." Private, non-public, mutually-consentual, sexual relations with or without marriage are generally beyond the compelling interest and therefore practical jurisdiction of local cops, undercover police detectives, sheriffs, and vice-squad decoys.
Indeed, if a man's primary wife is willing to continue to be State-certified as married to a man without divorcing him, which man obtains and has sexual relations with an acquired common-law concubine (i.e. secondary-wife equivalent), the State has no grounds for charging the man with a crime of "bigamy" because:
The additional permanent-sex-partner concubine is not a non-[common-law]-married prostitute, harlot, fornicator, nor adulteress in relation to the man - and thus no arrests can be made according to any government statute (whether federal, state, county, nor local) on the grounds of [immoral] fornication, adultery, indecent conduct, lewd conduct, disorderly conduct, public nuisance, NOR bigamy!
The additional permanent-sex-partner common-law concubine is common-law married to the man and thus his own personal secondary common-law WIFE considered a concubine. WIVES - whether State-certified as married with State Marriage Licenses.....OR NOT with State Marriage Licenses - are obviously not fornicating nor adulterous prostituties, masseuse harlots, call-girl-escort whores, etc. because they have a declared-to-government government-documented.......or instead NOT-declared-to-government NON-government document.......[heterosexual] marriage with the man in question!
Not that there cannot be facetious and false accusations of demonic slander - ultimately resulting in the false accusers having their baseless cases thrown out of court and deemed frivolous lawsuits by a righteous judge - with the false accusers themselves being successfully sued for substantial monetary settlements!
We all know the seductive effect a partially-unclothed or non-clothed young woman has on a sexually-sensitive man from David's reaction to bathing Bathsheba:
2Sam 11:2 It happened, late one afternoon, when David arose from his couch and was walking upon the roof of the king's house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful.
And occurrences of erotically coming together before mutually signing non-State-registered common-law-marriage declarations:
Exodus 22:16 "If a man seduces a virgin who is not betrothed, and lies with her, he shall give the marriage present for her, and make her his wife.
Deut 22:28 "If a man meets a virgin who is not betrothed, and seizes her and lies with her, and they are found,
Deut 22:29 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 put her away all his days.
For example, contemplate the following false charges of sexual harassment, fornication, illegal-polygamy bigamy (compared to legal polygamy), abuse, and assault:
1. Married Dick asks non-married Jane to go out to a movie with him, tells her he will pay her movie ticket and a soda at DQ afterwards......and is arrested for sexual harassment and soliciting for prostitution.
2. Widower John changes his infant daughter's diapers.....and is arrested for engaging in child-porn sexual abuse.
3. A midwife delivers a baby girl.....and is cited for engaging in California-Supreme-Court-same-gender-marriage-allowed homosexual lesbianism.
4. A married male piano teacher does a duet seated on the same piano bench with his at-pubescence/sexually-awakening female student......and is charged with child molestation and rape.
5. A married businessman pays for his non-married female secretary's lunch.....and is arrested for bigamy.
Wild illustrations? Bizarre and non-realistic examples and evaluations? Let's make up more intimate example:
A very-young, partially-dressed-immodestly female neighbor asks an elderly, erotically-hungry, already-married male into her apartment and he complies, after which they read the Bible together to make sure they are both "on the same page" spiritually, after which she temporarily goes away and quickly comes back modestly attired, upon which he asks her to fill out a Concubine-Agreement Declaration Form, which she does, after which he signs a Husband-of-Concubine Declaration Form, which he does.....then they soon completely denude each other, do copulative coitus, and she consequentially gets pregnant. No Notary Public saw nor signed either of their private-marriage contract forms, and there was no wedlock (meaning no wedding ceremony and no outside-witness locking). Was such a self-camcordable-for-private-family-album event wicked and unlawful sexual harassment, involuntary assault, forced fornication, lustful immorality, illegal prostitution, cruel and inhuman abuse.....or instead godly and Biblically-justifiable true-love marriage?
Are cases of artificial insemination or surrogate mothering rightfully considered "fornication, immorality, prostitution, harlotry, or adultery?" This webauthor personally sees health-related medical and other problems with a woman not married to a man allowing the non-born-child fetus of the man's natural-mother wife to let the foreign baby grow inside of her instead of inside the natural mother.
? Which brings us to the final scenario of injustice:
"Yesterday, Jesus was arrested and whisked away in chains to be whipped bloody at the jealous-jews roman police station for loitering [while praying in the Garden of Gethsemane]; presumably mailing [to funeral survivors] peace-disturbing, harassing, non-lethal hate-mail letters objecting to interracial dating; trespassing on jewish/roman park property without an assembly permit; indecent and disorderly conduct for allowing Himself to be momentarily cheek-kissed by admiring-thief Judas; and assult with a deadly weapon for not stopping the non-expected sudden and angry reaction of passerby Peter lopping off the ear of a security guard's slave.
Chalk it all up as another Waco-type travesty against humane rationality and justice, physically and psychologically injuring now-parentless children needlessly bereft of parents who simply obeyed and conformed to the obviously-God-allowed precedent of Scipturally-kosher harem polygamy founded upon previously-mentioned, rock-solid, Biblical-history grounds.
Is is any wonder certain subversively-and-significantly anti-marriage high-gasoline-prices-besieged americans are in bondage to Saudi and other fundamentalist islamic-muslim OPEC-oil-provider sheiks and their modestly-dressed-in-summertime-when-in-public-view harems?