Polygamy And Persia

hen we view the process utilized in selecting a new
queen of Persia as described in the book of Esther, it's
beneficial if we can separate our Western moral and cultural bias
from what the scriptures actually teach on the subject concerning men and
women. In the story, Ahasuerus the king gathers beautiful virgins
to his palace in order to select a queen to replace Vashti who has
been banished.

With a fairy tale-like quality, the scriptures tell us
that when Esther (the Persian name for Hadassah) goes into
the palace to live with the virgins ("maidens" in the KJV) being prepared
for the king, she is given "things for purification" and is treated
"kindly." She takes with her "such things as belonged to her" (Esther 2:9)
and is given seven servant girls to pamper her. She lives in the royal
palace for an entire year, and is anointed with myrrh, which we know was
very valuable, for six months. The second half of her year, she is
anointed "with sweet odours, and with other things for the purifying of
the women" (Esther 2:12). 

Esther, along with the other virgins from the various
provinces. are obviously treated with honour and respect. As the 
time approaches, each of the maidens was given "whatosoever she desired"
in terms of raiment for her time with the king. It is clear the king could
have intimate relations with these young women if he so desired.

After their evening with the king, the opulent care
continued and they were moved to "the second house of the women" --
presumably a bit less extravagant, but in the palace nonetheless. In other
words, the Persian royal didn't just have his way with the young beauties
and then throw them away. We have every indication the ladies were to stay
in the palace indefinitely in a life of leisure and comfort.

The European derived mindset of America does not
understand the ancient Eastern worldview. Many look at this story with
disapproval;  yet, when Christians read about Solomon's 700 wives,
"and three hundred concubines"
(I Kings 11:3), it doesn't seem to
bother us. Why is that?

Indeed, there is nothing in scripture that even
polygamy -- the one statement from the Apostle Paul
indicating a "bishop" should only have one wife notwithstanding. What is
even more interesting is how such practices in contemporary times have
been uniformly propagandized as being somehow the equivalent of evil.
Whether the stereotype is a sadistic Arabian sheikh with some poor Arab
woman that isn't allowed to drive, or an anachronistic Mormon whose
alleged lust drives him to live with two households, we've been programmed
to view such behavioural patterns as overly sensual, or downright carnal.

The hypocritical reality is found in the fact that our
nation has become vile and disgusting in our pseudo-moral high
mindedness. Satanic ritual abuse and pedophilia are deeply embedded in
some very high places. Utilizing the Bachannalian spirit found in
everything from MTV to thongs and string bikinis, we've turned our sons
and daughters into hedonistic pleasure seekers, as the state is more than
willing to step in to theoretically pick up the pieces (read enslave
everyone concerned) when the degradation of our lifestyles reaches its
natural conclusion in the courts and drug rehab facilities of our land. In
fact, the various social engineering programs funded by the government
have become massive commercial enterprises.

Ironically, in the book of Genesis, we see the
patriarchal structure of a significant family (including multiple wives,
servants, concubines, livestock, etc) as manifested in the life of Abraham
and Sara was the model the LORD preferred. Conversely, the city/state
system espoused by Nimrod in the great building project at Babel
was the system the LORD clearly disavowed through the scattering of the

Thus, as we continue to study the story of Esther, and
what actually occurred so long ago in the ancient land of Persia, we would
do well to limit our moral imperatives to those specifically enumerated in

August 19 2005 -- James Lloyd

Copyright © 2005, 2008 Christian Media Network

See Also

More On The Book Of Esther

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