The Law of First Mention is a method of hermeneutics in which the student interprets all scriptural references to a given†concept primarily in light of its very first mention. This is a very subjective method of Biblical interpretation, and a very dangerous one, because it quickly breaks down into nonsense. While it is often asserted that polygyny must be wrong, because the first polygynist was a murderer, we could as easily assert that polygyny must be right, because it led to the invention of all wind and string instruments. (See Genesis 4:21.) In fact, the sequence of the narrative would render our case even stronger than the former: Moses told of Lamech’s polygyny, then of his descendants’ inventions, and only then does he tell of Lamech killing another man. The absurdity of this train of logic is evident, but many people have no difficulty using the same method to declare all forms of polygamy to be perversions on the basis of Lamech.
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