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Bible Dictionaries

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary


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A term which, in modern authors, commonly signifies a woman who, without being married to a man, lives with him as his wife; but in the Bible the word concubine is understood in another sense- meaning a lawful wife, but of a secondary rank. She differed from a proper wife in that she was not married by solemn stipulation, but only betrothed; she brought no dowry with her, and had no share in the government of the family. She was liable to be repudiated, or sent away with a gift, Genesis 21:14 , and her children might be treated in the same way, and not share in their father's inheritance, Genesis 25:6 . On cause of concubinage is shown in the history of Abraham and Jacob, Genesis 16:16 . Concubinage, however, became a general custom, and the Law of Moses restricted its abuses, Exodus 21:7-9 Deuteronomy 21:10-14 , but never sanctioned it. The gospel has restored the original law of marriage, Genesis 2:24 Matthew 19:5 1 Corinthians 7:2 , and concubinage is ranked with fornication and adultery.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of the topics are from American Tract Society Bible Dictionary published in 1859.

Bibliography Information
Rand, W. W. Entry for 'Concubine'. American Tract Society Bible Dictionary. 1859.

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