Daily Bible Radio

A Semi-Productive King

2 Chronicles 11:18-23 :

Rehoboam took a wife for himself, Mahalath the daughter of Jerimoth the son of David and of Abihail the daughter of Eliab the son of Jesse. She bore him sons: Jeush, Shemariah, and Zaham. After her, he took Maacah the daughter of Absalom; and she bore him Abijah, Attai, Ziza, and Shelomith. Rehoboam loved Maacah the daughter of Absalom above all his wives and his concubines; for he took eighteen wives and sixty concubines, and became the father of twenty-eight sons and sixty daughters. Rehoboam appointed Abijah the son of Maacah to be chief, the prince among his brothers; for he intended to make him king. He dealt wisely, and dispersed of all his sons throughout all the lands of Judah and Benjamin, to every fortified city. He gave them food in abundance and he sought many wives for them.

Even though Rehoboam made some huge policy mistakes, he may have done a few things better than his father. He appears to have had a little better handle on the concept of re-production. In his own family alone, he fathered 88 children. God isn't condoning polygamy here, but He was not addressing that problem at this time in history. Perhaps God was hoping that these men would do the math. Remember that Solomon, Rehoboam's father, had 1000 wives. That makes Rehoboam's 78 wives a move in the right direction. He actually had more kids than wives. Even so, it proves a serious point about centralization. It shows why having multiple wives is not a very good way to obey God's command to fill the earth.

God's plan was for everyone to spread out and have modest families of perhaps 10 or so. If that were to happen, it wouldn't take long for the world to be fully populated like God asked of us originally. This single, very powerful man was only able to have 10 more children than he had wives. That's not too good. There were probably some slave women more productive than the queens in those days.

The modern concept of productivity is wrong. Productivity isn't the production of a lot of money. It's the production of a lot of children, and that takes a lot of money. Rehoboam appeared to have some understanding of this. He actually distributed his children into separate cities and found them wives too and that was actually accomplishing what God told us all to do.

Genesis 9:1 :

God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.

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