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Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary

Concubine

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פילגש . This term, in western authors, commonly signifies, a woman, who, without being married to a man, yet lives with him as his wife; but, in the sacred writers, the word concubine is understood in another sense; meaning a lawful wife, but one not wedded with all the ceremonies and solemnities of matrimony; a wife of the second rank, inferior to the first wife, or mistress of the house. Children of concubines did not inherit their father's fortune; but he might provide for, and make presents to, them. Thus Abraham, by Sarah his wife, had Isaac, his heir; but, by his two concubines, Hagar and Keturah, he had other children, whom he did not make equal to Isaac. As polygamy was tolerated in the east, it was common to see in every family, beside lawful wives, several concubines. Since the abrogation of polygamy by Jesus Christ, and the restoration of marriage to its primitive institution, concubinage is ranked with adultery or fornication.


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Bibliography Information
Watson, Richard. Entry for 'Concubine'. Richard Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/wtd/c/concubine.html. 1831-2.

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