Monogamy was the original law under which man lived, but polygamy early
commenced (Gen. 4:19), and continued to prevail all down through Jewish
history. The law of Moses regulated but did not prohibit polygamy. A man might
have a plurality of wives, but a wife could have only one husband. A wife’s
legal rights (Ex. 21:10) and her duties (Prov. 31:10-31; 1 Tim. 5:14) are
specified. She could be divorced in special cases (Deut. 22:13-21), but could
not divorce her husband. Divorce was restricted by our Lord to the single case
of adultery (Matt. 19:3-9). The duties of husbands and wives in their relations
to each other are distinctly set forth in the New Testament (1 Cor. 7:2-5; Eph.
5:22-33; Col. 3:18, 19; 1 Pet. 3:1-7).
i.e., the "house-band," connecting and keeping together the whole family. A man
when betrothed was esteemed from that time a husband (Matt. 1:16, 20; Luke
2:5). A recently married man was exempt from going to war for "one year" (Deut.