It is generally accepted that "having a concubine" = "not socially accepted." However,

  1. Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines.
  2. Having concubines was mentioned in the Old Testament.
  3. I cannot find any New Testament verse against having concubines.

Thus, the question:

What is the scriptural evidence against a man having a concubine?


4 Answers 4


Overseers and deacons are told to be a one woman man in the pastoral epistles, and Christians are told to model the behavior of these men. (1 Timothy 3:12)

Additionally, Ephesians 5 roots the institution of marriage in creation and demonstrates that its intent was always to point to the profound mystery revealed: Christ's marriage to the church. As a picture of a healthy monogamous marriage in pre-fallen creation, it demonstrates that the creation ideal of marriage applies to Christian marriages.

As Jesus said that certificates of divorce were allowed due to hardness of heart (Matthew 19:8) but in the beginning it was not so, he demonstrates that for a time, these non-ideal marriages were permitted though they were never a good thing. As people indwelled by the Spirit, they were expected to be in line with the restoration of creation, and the modeling of the Christ/Church marriage.

Finally, Calvin himself denounced Lamech and Laban as perverters of the original mandate for having one wife in his commentary on Genesis.

  • 1
    This answer would be improved by supplying references for its statements. Apr 12, 2015 at 14:04
  • Yes, especially this statement: «Overseers and deacons are told to be a one woman man in the pastoral epistles, and Christians are told to model the behavior of these men.»
    – user900
    Jun 27, 2016 at 18:52

"Biblically, is there any scriptural evidence against a man having a concubine?" Yes, because sexual relations apart from a spouse are forbidden, and concubinage obviously falls outside of marriage. These verses don't speak of concubinage specifically, but they all speak against sexual relations outside of marriage. As such, concubinage is adultery.

Luke 18:20

You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother.

1 Cor. 6:18

Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.

1 Cor. 7:1-2

Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.

1 Cor. 7:8-9

To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single as I am. But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

1 Cor. 6:9-10

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

  • 4
    ...you might want to check into laws in the old testament. Concubines weren't quite outside of marriage for the time period, and were often used as "backup" wives, essentially (that is, any children they had would be considered as being from some other wife - witness Jacob and Rachel/Leah, and their actions with their servants. Or for that matter, Abraham, Sarah, and Hagar). I don't know that having a concubine was really considered adultery, for the time period. You'd also likely have better luck pulling in one of the "husband of one wife" verses... Dec 15, 2014 at 12:19
  • @Clockwork-Muse The "husband of one wife" was objected to because it limited application to a particular position in the church. I just used NT passages, assuming that the poster wanted modern sensibilities.
    – Steve
    Dec 15, 2014 at 18:35

Yes, Solomon had concubines. He also became greedy and chose to accumulate wealth and wives rather than nurturing his kingdom. If you read his story, you find that God was not pleased with his later actions, but spared him punishment during his lifetime because of his father. God told Solomon that his punishment for these things would come after his death by the taking of his kingdom from his son. Read I Kings 11, and this should shed some light on it all. Although the Bible might not directly speak the consequences "don't do this" in the case of Solomon (although "thou shalt not commit adultery" certainly does), an example is given through sin and consequence.


Q1) So, is having a concubine a sin....?

Q2) what is the Biblical meaning of concubine?

Q3) what is the different between concubine and fornication ?


Please all my brethren, let bare in minds that concubine and fornication are not the same according to the Bible.

Oh Yes, Abraham never fornicated but he had two concubines.

What of the king who had ten concubines?

Did the Bible specified that those who had concubines fornicated? ...........................................

References relating to concubines:

  1. About the concubine of Abraham

Read: Gen. 16:1-4 ( Hagar - Abraham's 1st concubine)

Read : 1 Chronicles 1: 32 ( Keturah - Abraham's 2nd concubine)

  1. About the concubine of a King; be it king David or any other king.

Read: 2 Samuel 15:16 ( a King had ten concubines)

Read: 2 Samuel 20:3 ( a King had ten concubines)

  1. About the concubine of another king

Read: Judges 19:1-4

Read: Judges 19:20

  • 2
    Welcome to the site, Amazing25. Can you please elaborate a little more on your answer. We prefer more details in answers than simply read this or that....
    – Ken Graham
    Feb 16, 2021 at 0:42
  • When you have a moment, please take our Tour to understand why the Christianity Stack Exchange site is different to others: christianity.stackexchange.com/tour
    – Lesley
    Feb 17, 2021 at 17:21

You must log in to answer this question.