Breaking the vow of “Forsaking all others” to practice polygyny

December 14, 2015

The typical Christian wedding vow goes something like this: “Comfort her, honor and keep her, in sickness and in health, and forsaking all others keep thee only unto her as long as you both shall live?” – So now how do you break free from this vow if you want to become polygynous?

Foolish Oaths

Forsaking all others is definitely a foolish oath. So was Herod’s:

But when Herod’s birthday came, the daughter of Herodias danced among them and pleased Herod. Whereupon he promised with an oath to give her whatever she should ask. She, being prompted by her mother, said, “Give me here on a platter the head of John the immerser.”
The king was grieved, but for the sake of his oaths, and of those who sat at the table with him, he commanded it to be given,  and he sent and beheaded John the immerser in the prison. His head was brought on a platter, and given to the young lady: and she brought it to her mother. His disciples came, and took the body, and buried it; and they went and told Yahusha.

Matthew 14:6-12

Let's bring up another foolish oath for the sake of making an analogy.

Say, you promise that you will never ever breathe again. You would be making a foolish vow. You are not able to fulfill it. How, such a foolish vow could not be withdrawn, asked forgiveness for and forgiven?

Promising to forsake all others is like saying you will never ever breathe again. For men, attraction to women is like breathing.

My son, if you have become collateral for your neighbor, if you have struck your hands in pledge for a stranger; You are trapped by the words of your mouth. You are ensnared with the words of your mouth.Do this now, my son, and deliver yourself, since you have come into the hand of your neighbor. Go, humble yourself. Press your plea with your neighbor. Give no sleep to your eyes, nor slumber to your eyelids. Free yourself, like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter, like a bird from the snare of the fowler.

- Proverbs 6:1-5

Solomon here is teaching his son that if he gave himself to be a collateral then he should humble himself, and talk to the person he made the deal with and free himself from the pledge.

Vowing to forsake all others and be loyal to one and only is like being a collateral. If you heed the wisdom of Solomon you go humble yourself, talk to your wife and free yourself from this foolish oath.

It is a snare to a man to make a rash dedication, then later to consider his vows.

Proverbs 20:25

So those of you who have not married yet, avoid taking this oath. When I married, in our wedding the only thing that was asked of me if I will take her as my wife. Inasmuch as it’s possible to request what you want to have included in your marriage vow, consider not having one at all. You can just tell your loved woman that you want her as your wife and if her father is fine with this then go ahead. Nothing else is really required for marrying. It's a covenant between you, her and Yahuah. No need for a civil or a church wedding.

Examples of breaking vows

He said, “The Jews have agreed to ask you to bring Paul down to the council tomorrow, as though intending to inquire somewhat more accurately concerning him. Therefore don’t yield to them, for more than forty men lie in wait for him, who have bound themselves under a curse neither to eat nor to drink until they have killed him. Now they are ready, looking for the promise from you.”
So the commanding officer let the young man go, charging him, “Tell no one that you have revealed these things to me.” He called to himself two of the centurions, and said, “Prepare two hundred soldiers to go as far as Caesarea, with seventy horsemen, and two hundred men armed with spears, at the third hour of the night.” He asked them to provide animals, that they might set Paul on one, and bring him safely to Felix the governor.

- Acts 23:20-24

These Jews bound themselves under a curse that they will not eat unless they will kill Paul. Now, did they kill Paul? No, he was rescued. And the Jews with the oath? They most likely broke their oath and ate.

Samuel died; and all Israel gathered themselves together, and mourned for him, and buried him at his house at Ramah.
Then David arose, and went down to the wilderness of Paran. There was a man in Maon, whose possessions were in Carmel; and the man was very great. He had three thousand sheep and a thousand goats; and he was shearing his sheep in Carmel. Now the name of the man was Nabal; and the name of his wife Abigail. This woman was intelligent and had a beautiful face; but the man was surly and evil in his doings. He was of the house of Caleb. David heard in the wilderness that Nabal was shearing his sheep. David sent ten young men, and David said to the young men, “Go up to Carmel, and go to Nabal, and greet him in my name. Tell him, ‘Long life to you! Peace be to you, and peace be to your house, and peace be to all that you have. Now I have heard that you have shearers. Your shepherds have now been with us, and we didn’t harm them, neither was there anything missing from them, all the while they were in Carmel. Ask your young men, and they will tell you. Therefore let the young men find favor in your eyes; for we come on a good day. Please give whatever comes to your hand, to your servants, and to your son David.’”
When David’s young men came, they spoke to Nabal all those words in the name of David, and waited.
Nabal answered David’s servants, and said, “Who is David? Who is the son of Jesse? There are many servants who break away from their masters these days. Shall I then take my bread, my water, and my meat that I have killed for my shearers, and give it to men who I don’t know where they come from?”
So David’s young men turned on their way, and went back, and came and told him all these words.
David said to his men, “Every man put on his sword!”
Every man put on his sword. David also put on his sword. About four hundred men followed David, and two hundred stayed by the baggage. But one of the young men told Abigail, Nabal’s wife, saying, “Behold, David sent messengers out of the wilderness to Greet our master; and he insulted them. But the men were very good to us, and we were not harmed, and we didn’t miss anything, as long as we went with them, when we were in the fields. They were a wall to us both by night and by day, all the while we were with them keeping the sheep. Now therefore know and consider what you will do; for evil is determined against our master, and against all his house; for he is such a worthless fellow that one can’t speak to him.”
Then Abigail hurried and took two hundred loaves of bread, two bottles of wine, five sheep ready dressed, five seahs of parched grain, one hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cakes of figs, and laid them on donkeys. She said to her young men, “Go on before me. Behold, I am coming after you.” But she didn’t tell her husband, Nabal. As she rode on her donkey, and came down by the covert of the mountain, that behold, David and his men came down toward her, and she met them.
Now David had said, “Surely in vain have I kept all that this fellow has in the wilderness, so that nothing was missed of all that pertained to him. He has returned me evil for good.
The Almighty do so to the enemies of David, and more also, if I leave of all that belongs to him by the morning light so much as one who urinates on a wall.” 
When Abigail saw David, she hurried and got off of her donkey, and fell before David on her face, and bowed herself to the ground. She fell at his feet, and said, “On me, my lord, on me be the blame! Please let your servant speak in your ears. Hear the words of your servant. Please don’t let my lord pay attention to this worthless fellow, Nabal; for as his name is, so is he. Nabal is his name, and folly is with him; but I, your servant, didn’t see my lord’s young men, whom you sent. Now therefore, my lord, as Yahuah lives, and as your soul lives, since Yahuah has withheld you from blood guiltiness, and from avenging yourself with your own hand, now therefore let your enemies, and those who seek evil to my lord, be as Nabal. Now this present which your servant has brought to my lord, let it be given to the young men who follow my lord. Please forgive the trespass of your servant. For Yahuah will certainly make my lord a sure house, because my lord fights Yahuah’s battles. Evil will not be found in you all your days. Though men may rise up to pursue you, and to seek your soul, yet the soul of my lord will be bound in the bundle of life with Yahuah your Almighty. He will sling out the souls of your enemies, as from the hollow of a sling. It will come to pass, when Yahuah has done to my lord according to all the good that he has spoken concerning you, and has appointed you prince over Israel, that this shall be no grief to you, nor offense of heart to my lord, either that you have shed blood without cause, or that my lord has avenged himself. When Yahuah has dealt well with my lord, then remember your servant.”
David said to Abigail, “Blessed is Yahuah, the Almighty of Israel, who sent you today to meet me! Blessed is your discretion, and blessed are you, who have kept me today from blood guiltiness, and from avenging myself with my own hand. For indeed, as Yahuah, the Almighty of Israel, lives, who has withheld me from harming you, unless you had hurried and come to meet me, surely there wouldn’t have been left to Nabal by the morning light so much as one who urinates on a wall.”

- 1 Samuel 25

David broke his vow after listening to the words of Abigail, Nabal’s wife. Because he realized the truth in her words and had compassion. So can you. 

As far as I can tell the Law doesn't specify how many women a man can possess, and probably that's the reasons that many of the great men of Yahuah had more than one wife.

So the Law does specify that a woman shall have one husband and shall not be joined to another man or she be called and adulteress. But the Law does not specify that a husband shall have one wife and if the husband of one wife joins to another not betrothed virgin he shall be called an adulteress.

Read more about this in my article titled: What is adultery? Adultery is intimacy with another man's wife

So then if a husband having one wife wants to break "Forsaking all others" does he break the commandments of Yahuah or the commandments of men? He breaks commandments of men. Judge it yourselves.

When they had brought them, they set them before the council. The high priest questioned them, saying, “Didn’t we strictly command you not to teach in this name? Behold, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and intend to bring this man’s blood on us.”
But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.

- Acts 5:27-29

Vowing “Forsaking all others” is an unintentional sin

When you vowed that you would forsake all others you did not know that having more than one wife is not a sin, right? So you made the vow in good faith, unintentionally bringing on yourself a curse. But this curse doesn't need to stay on you. You can break it.

Forsaking all others is like an unintentional sin. You did it unknowingly.

The men of Israel were distressed that day; for Saul had adjured the people, saying, “Cursed is the man who eats any food until it is evening, and I am avenged of my enemies.” So none of the people tasted food.
All the people came into the forest; and there was honey on the ground. When the people had come to the forest, behold, honey was dripping, but no one put his hand to his mouth; for the people feared the oath. But Jonathan didn’t hear when his father commanded the people with the oath. Therefore he put out the end of the rod who was in his hand, and dipped it in the honeycomb, and put his hand to his mouth; and his eyes brightened. Then one of the people answered, and said, “Your father directly commanded the people with an oath, saying, ‘Cursed is the man who eats food today.’” The people were faint.
Then Jonathan said, “My father has troubled the land. Please look how my eyes have brightened, because I tasted a little of this honey.

1 Samuel 14:24–25

Jonathan unintentionally broke the vow of his father, but when he learned about it, he still felt he did the right thing. He followed his gut feeling. We can assume from the text that Saul’s vow wasn't YAHUAH inspired. So Jonathan too a practical step against the vow of his father.

You vowed something that was not YAHUAH inspired. Now as you know YAHUAH’s thoughts about this issue, you know your vow wasn't in agreement with the truth. So why not take it as an unintentional sin and pray for forgiveness to the High Priest, Yahusha the Anointed King?

“‘If anyone of the common people sins unwittingly, in doing any of the things which Yahuah has commanded not to be done, and is guilty; if his sin, which he has sinned, is made known to himthen he shall bring for his offering a goat, a female without defect, for his sin which he has sinned. He shall lay his hand on the head of the sin offering, and kill the sin offering in the place of burnt offering. The priest shall take some of its blood with his finger, and put it on the horns of the altar of burnt offering; and the rest of its blood he shall pour out at the base of the altar. All its fat he shall take away, like the fat is taken away from off of the sacrifice of peace offerings; and the priest shall burn it on the altar for a pleasant aroma to Yahuah; and the priest shall make atonement for him, and he will be forgiven.

- Leviticus 4:27-31

Remember, your sins can be forgiven unless it’s blaspheming the Holy Spirit.

Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men.

- Matthew 12:31​

Now as you are free from your foolish vow, go and find more wives and be fruitful and multiply.

Barnabas Nagy
Barnabas Nagy

I’m Barnabas, a servant of Yahuah, who loves writing songs and speaking about the truth. Together with my lovely wife I run a small homestead where we raise free range organic chicken, ducks and turkey. We also have a garden where we grow seasonal vegetable. Read more