Lemech is the first polygamist in the Bible. His two wives are Adah and Zillah. Adah has two sons: Jabal and Jubal. Zillah also has a son, Tubal-Cain, as well as a daughter, Naamah (1).
Though Adah and Zillah must share their husband’s affections, there’s no mention of strife between them. This is not the case for most of the other polygamist marriages that follow it in Scripture. Having multiple wives is certainly different than God’s idea of two people joining to become one.
From what we know, however, Adah and Zillah get along. This is a tribute to them and their character. They must make an intentional effort to live together in harmony. For them, having the same husband is the highest level of sharing.
It’s not fair that they need to divvy up the attention of one man, and doing so is not God’s intent. However, they do what they need to do to make their situation work and avoid contention.
When we find ourselves in an unfair circumstance outside of our control, do we work to make the best of it or show our displeasure by causing problems for everyone around us?
[Discover more about Adah and Zillah in Genesis 4:19–23, along with Genesis 2:24.]
Learn about other biblical women in Women of the Bible, available in audiobook, e-book, paperback, and hardcover.
A lifelong student of the Bible, Peter DeHaan, PhD, wrote the 1,000-page website ABibleADay.com to encourage people to explore the Bible. His main blog and many books urge Christians to push past the status quo and reconsider how they practice their faith in every area of their lives.