And Lamech took unto him two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah.
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George Leo Haydock
Two wives. Lamech first transgressed the law of having only one wife at a time. (Chap. ii. 24.) None before the deluge is mentioned as having followed his example, even among the abandoned sons of men. Abraham, the father of the faithful, and some others, after that event, when the age of man was shortened, and the number of the true servants of God very small, were dispensed with by God, who tolerated the custom of having many wives at the same time among the Jews, till our Saviour brought things back to the ancient standard. (Matthew xix. 4.) And why do we excuse the patriarchs, while we condemn Lamech? Because the one being associated with the wicked, gives us reason to judge unfavourably of him, while Abraham is constantly mentioned in Scripture with terms of approbation and praise, and therefore we have no right to pass sentence of condemnation upon him, as some Protestants have done, after the Manichees. Hence the fathers defend the one, and reject the other with abhorrence. (Haydock)
Tertullian (Monog. c. 5.) and St. Jerome, contra Jovin. 1, says, "Lamech, first of all, a bloody murderer, divided one flesh between two wives. "It was never lawful, says Pope Innocent III. contra Gaudemus, for any one to have many wives at once, unless leave was given by divine revelation "and St. Augustine joins with him in defending the patriarchs, by this reason, "When it was the custom, it was not a sin."