Marriage partners the Bible forbids

Who does the Bible say you shouldn’t marry? Well, some parts of the New Testament say you shouldn’t marry anyone. But whatever, let’s ignore that for now.

Who does the Bible say you shouldn’t marry? Here’s a complete list:

  • Anyone, if you’re a contemptible woman or a widow (not exactly forbidden, but disapproved)
  • Contemptible women (implicitly disapproved)
  • Foreigners
  • Anyone outside your tribal clan, if you’re an Israelite woman who has inherited land
  • An Israelite woman who has inherited land, if you’re outside her tribal clan (implied)
  • Many wives, if you’re the king of Israel
  • The king of Israel, if he already has enough wives (implied)
  • More wives than you are able and willing to provide for1
  • Someone who already has as many wives as they are able and willing to provide for (implied)
  • Divorced women
  • Anyone, if you’re a divorced woman (implied)
  • Another woman, if you’re a divorced man and your wife wasn’t sexually immoral
  • A divorced man whose wife wasn’t sexually immoral, if you’re a woman (implied)
  • Your ex-wife, if you’re a man and she has had another husband since your divorce
  • Your first husband, if you’re a woman who has gotten divorced and had another husband (implied)
  • Your living wife’s sister, unless you don’t have sex with her
  • Your living sister’s spouse, if you’re a woman and you have sex with the spouse (implied)
  • A woman and her mother, if you’re a man
  • Your mother’s husband, if you’re a woman
  • Your daughter’s husband, if you’re a woman

So who can you marry without breaking the Bible’s laws?2 You’d be surprised. Check out my other post on marriage laws to find out.

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