II. The sense obtained by the marginal translation, namely, a prohibition of polygamy, is contrary to the testimony of other plain passages of the Old Testament. The law of Moses presupposes the existence of polygamy, and by regulating the duties of the husband in such cases (Exod. xxi. 7 11 ; Deut. xxi. 1517) plainly sanctions it. David's adultery is denounced by the prophet, but not his polygamy. (2 Sam. xii. 8.)
III. The translation, " Neither shalt thou take a wife to her sister," &c., is correct, 1st. Because it is the literal grammatical sense of the Hebrew words. 2dly. Because it is agreeable to the context. The immediate context relates to prohibitions respecting marriage with a wife's relations. The more remote context to marriage with blood relations, and the word "sister" has been already taken, in verses 9, 11, 12, 13, in its literal and proper meaning father's sister, mother's sister, own sister. Consistency requires that we should take it here also in the same sense. Thirdly, The prohibition respecting wife's sister is here required to preserve the symmetry, or order, observed by Moses in these prohibitions. He speaks, 1st, of Blood-relationships, founded in parentage mother, father's or mother's daughter, son's daughter, daughter's daughter, half sister, ending with the transverse or collateral line, father's sister, mother's sister ; 2d, of Blood-relations' wives, father's brother's wife, daughter-in-law, collateral, Brother's wife ; 3d, Wife's blood-relations, wife's daughter or mother, wife's son's daughter, wife's daughter's daughter, collateral, wife's sister. Withoutthe wife's sister the enumeration would be incomplete.