What is certain is that the definite assumption of monogamy is found only in such late books as Ben-Sira (Ecclesiasticus), Tobit and Judith.
Monogamy, as is remarked above, is assumed in Proverbs to be the recognized custom.
The Solomonic authorship has long since been given up: the historical setting of the work and its atmosphere - the silent assumption of monotheism and monogamy, the nonnational tone, the attitude towards kings and people, the picture of a complicated social life, the strain of philosophic reflection - are wholly at variance with what is known of the 10th century B.C. and with the Hebrew literature down to the 5th or 4th century B.C. The introduction of Solomon, the ideal of wisdom, is a literary device of the later time, and probably deceived nobody.
Herein he divided the class A y es into two subclasses, to which he applied the names of Insessores and Grallatores (hitherto used by their inventors Vigors and Illiger in a different sense), in the latter work relying chiefly for this division on characters which had not before been used by any systematist, namely that in the former group monogamy generally prevailed and the helpless nestlings were fed by their parents, while the latter group were mostly polygamous, and the chicks at birth were active and capable of feeding themselves.
Monogamy, however, seems to be the rule among the pastoral tribes, and polygamy is not unknown in Tibet, especially in the eastern parts of the country.
The supposition of a Solomonic authorship for Proverbs is excluded by the whole colouring of the book, in which monotheism and monogamy are assumed, without discussion, to be generally accepted, while in Solomon's time and by Solomon's self the worship of many gods and the taking of more than one wife were freely practised, without rebuke from priest or prophet.
(450-400 B.C.) may have monogamy in mind, but its position on this point is not clear.
Of all his singular opinions the best known is his advocacy of clerical monogamy, immortalized in the Vicar of Wakefield.
Reid proposes to apply this principle in favour of monogamy, arguing from the proportion of males and females born; without explaining why, if the intention of nature hence inferred excludes occasional polygamy, it does not also exclude occasional celioacy.
We observe, however, that Paley's method is often mixed with reasonings that belong to an alien and older manner of thought; as when he supports the claim of the poor to charity by referring to the intention of mankind "when they agreed to a separation of the common fund," or when he infers that monogamy is a part of the divine design from the equal numbers of males and females born.
Monogamy was the rule, and a childless wife might give her husband a maid (who was no wife) to bear him children, who were reckoned hers.