- Isaiah 4:1
- "And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, we will eat our
own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our
- This passage is cited by Mormons in an effort to find Biblical support for the doctrine
of polygamy taught in Mormon "scripture".
- This passage is cited for scriptural support for the Mormon doctrine of polygamy. But
does the passage state that the seven women would marry the one man? The request is
"let us be called by thy name to take away our reproach." Is this synonymous
with a request for marriage? If so, why the statement, "We will eat our own bread,
and wear our own apparel?" When were such requests made by Mormon women of Mormon men
for the reason "to take away our reproach"?
- In the passage in Isaiah it is the women who request of the man, "let us be
called by thy name, but Mormon "inspired scripture" has the initiative resting
with the men. The basis for Mormon teaching on polygamy is that God commanded
Joseph Smith to take plural wives because of a new 2
and everlasting covenant.1
Rather than the woman making the request of the man, Joseph Smith's wife was told
if she did not submit to a polygamous relationship, she would be cursed.2 Is submission the same as request?
- The geographical location of the prophecy is not Independence, Missouri, nor the area
covered by the Mormon trek to Salt Lake City, in the 1800's, but Palestine. Consider the
following evidence: Judah and Jerusalem (Isa. 2:1); "cedars of Lebanon" (2:13);
"oaks of Bashan" (2:13); Jerusalem and Judah (3:1); "Judah is ruined and
Jerusalem is fallen" (3:8); "daughters of Zion" (3:16); "he that is
left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem" (4:3); mount Zion (4:5).
- There are two reasons implied in the context for seven women requesting to be called by
the name of one man:
- So many young men had been slaughtered there was no longer enough males for the females.
"Thy men shall fall by the sword, and thy mighty in the war". (Isa. 3:25).
- The females had been stricken with plagues (Is. 3:16-24; "filth of the daughters of
Zion", Isa. 4:4) which were so repugnant that no young man desired these women for
wives. Hence the request to be called by a man's name to take away the reproach, yet
"we will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel . . ."
Either, or both of these reasons are incompatible with the Mormon claim that polygamy
was a "new and divine covenant" communicated by God through the
"prophet" Joseph Smith.
- Mormon communities have been noted for their patriarchal rule.
3 Mormon doctrine
teaches that a woman cannot attain the highest glory for a woman, apart from a man. 4 But the context to the passage in
question states, "as for my people . . . women rule over them". (Isa. 3:12).
Since Mormon history is silent about rulership by women, this is further evidence that
Isa. 4:1 is not prophetic of Mormon polygamy.
- "For behold, I reveal unto you a new and an everlasting covenant; and if ye abide
not that covenant, then are ye damned; for no one can reject this covenant and be
permitted to enter into my glory . . . And let mine handmaid, Emma Smith, receive all
those [wives] that have been given unto my servant Joseph . . . And if he have ten virgins
given unto him by this law, he cannot commit adultery, for they belong to him, and they
are given unto him; therefore is he justified." Doctrine and Covenants,
section 132:4,52,62, pp. 239,244,245 (1952 ed.) Return
- The following revelation is alleged to have been given Joseph
Smith by God: "And let mine handmaid, Emma Smith, receive all those wives that have
been given unto my servant Joseph . . . And I command mine handmaid, Emma Smith, to abide
and cleave unto my servant Joseph, and to none else. But if she will not abide this
commandment she shall be destroyed, saith the Lord; for I am the Lord thy God, and will
destroy her if she abide not in my law." Doctrine and Covenants , Section
132:53,54, p. 244 (1952 ed.). Return
- See LeGrand Richards, A Marvelous Work and a Wonder, (Salt Lake City, Utah:
Deseret Book Company, 1950), p. 200. Return
- Ibid., p. 195. Return